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Redistricting for San Diego Council Districts moves to final phase

 November 15, 2021 at 3:18 PM PST

Speaker 1: (00:00)

Uh, report on the final deal, struck at the cup 26 climate summit.

Speaker 2: (00:05)

It's a question of the longterm survival of humanity on this planet.

Speaker 1: (00:10)

I'm Maureen Kavanaugh with Jade Heinemann. This is KPBS mid-day edition. The city of San Diego gets closer to finalizing new district boundaries.

Speaker 3: (00:29)

The official goal was seven to, to the folks who were against it, thought the community's collaboration map did more to create Asian empowerment districts, and they thought that should have been a greater priority

Speaker 1: (00:39)

Profiles of two different war time experiences from the American Homefront project and Broadway San Diego comes back to live theater with the musical hairspray that's ahead. On mid day edition,

Speaker 1: (01:01)

San Diego's redistricting committee has settled on a preliminary boundary map that avoids major changes in most districts. New boundary lines for city council districts are needed to keep the districts relatively equal in population based on the numbers. And last year census by and large major shakeups, such as the proposal to remove UC San Diego out of district one were rejected by the committee, but there are still changes in store for several areas like Scripps ranch and Pacific beach. The proposed map now moves on to a final series of public meetings. And joining me is San Diego union Tribune reporter David Garrick. David, welcome back to the show. Thanks for

Speaker 3: (01:42)

Having me.

Speaker 1: (01:43)

There were proposals for big changes in a new redistricting map. Did that fizzle out with this new map? Again,

Speaker 3: (01:51)

She could say that. I think it depends on your perspective, but yes, there was a bold proposal called the San Diego communities collaboration map, which would have display somewhere between 305,000 voters, depending on your calculations and would have really redrawn the entire Northern part of the city in a dramatic fashion. It was a tied vote, but the commission voted against that and went with something that accomplishes some of the goals of that map, which was trying to create some racial minority empowerment districts without as much severe disruption.

Speaker 1: (02:22)

What communities are reunited under the new boundary map,

Speaker 3: (02:25)

Actually four prominent ones that everyone's really comfortable and familiar with Claremont, which was divided, uh, Linda Vista, which was divided normal Heights and Rancho Penasquitos. And they'll all be reunited under this proposal. No,

Speaker 1: (02:37)

As you alluded to, one of the major community efforts in this process was to create an Asian American empowerment district with a more than 40% Asian-American population in that particular district, is that reflected in this map,

Speaker 3: (02:53)

There is an increase right now, district six, which is basically Kearny Mesa, Mira Mesa. Those communities that district now is the largest Asian district. It has an Asian city council member, Chris Cate and office, and that's about 34% Asian, almost all the maps that the panel was considering all increased that number. It's just a question of how much, whether it's up to 38%, 39%, 40%. And the key thing that the panel started to drill down on late in the process was it's not just the percentage of Asians in the district overall, but it's how many of them are of voting age and how many of them are citizens. And so there there's different calculations based on those, uh, the community collaboration map would have increased the Asian percentage a little bit more than the compromised map that was adopted on Saturday.

Speaker 1: (03:40)

And would it have increased because of that move from UC San Diego out of district one into district six?

Speaker 3: (03:46)

That is correct, but it's going to increase either way because the, the convoy district they're moving a lot of areas. Most of the large swath of Asian population of San Diego lives sort of in that area. But yes, the UCFC thing would have been part of the one that increased even high.

Speaker 1: (04:00)

And just to be clear, moving UC San Diego is not happening in this map. That is the preliminary map from the redistricting committee.

Speaker 3: (04:08)

Correct. And, and again, I'm not sure it's possible. They could revisit that, but it seems like that's a done deal on UCFC, we'll stay in district one with lower,

Speaker 1: (04:15)

There are communities that will find their districts changing, what happens, uh, say to Scripps ranch, Pacific beach. And I think there are some communities in Southeast San Diego that are changing to

Speaker 3: (04:27)

Yeah. And those are going to be very different situations because I think strips ranch residents are not excited that, that the community will be divided at Pomerado road. That's sort of the one big community that's going to be divided under this proposal and I'm not an expert, but it seems it would be difficult for them to fix that in the next few days, that's meetings between now and December 15th, Pacific beach is an interesting change. It's been tied to the beach communities, mission beach and ocean beach for years and years and years. And now it will be shifted upward and will be tied to the Hoya. So it'll stay coastal, but it will be tied to a different part of the coast. That'll be interesting in Southeast San Diego, those will most likely be embraced changes. Those were lobbied for by residents and community leaders. Uh, examples are shell town in south crest. We moved from district nine to district eight, and that's what the residents had wanted and requested.

Speaker 1: (05:12)

And are there any other significant changes to San Diego's nine city council district in this new proposed map?

Speaker 3: (05:19)

The biggest ones that come to mind is that university city would shift from district one into district six that the Asian district and the second one would be that district nine now, uh, which already included, uh, sort of SDSU and, uh, Eastern communities now is going to move a little bit west and also add in SDS used new mission valley campus that was under construction.

Speaker 1: (05:41)

Was this preliminary boundary map, a unanimous decision by the redistricting committee?

Speaker 3: (05:47)

No, it was seven to two. And you could argue that it was five to four because of the seven two people said that they could have gone with either map that the more aggressive communities, collaboration or the compromise map, but the official goal was seven to, to the folks who were against it, thought the community's collaboration map did more to create Asian empowerment districts. And they thought that should have been a greater priority than avoiding the disruptions.

Speaker 1: (06:11)

The map now moves on to a final round of public meetings. How much is the preliminary map expected to change as a result of those meetings?

Speaker 3: (06:20)

And I expected to change dramatically. Again, illegally as I pointed out in the story I wrote, they could change it dramatically. Uh, but from what the commissioners have said, they plan to only make tweaks and minor adjustments. So probably not significantly one area that they specifically mentioned is that Mount hope the community in Southeast San Diego might be, might be shifted in some other areas might get trimmed here and there

Speaker 1: (06:43)

That'd be because of public input or is that just something that's in the works already?

Speaker 3: (06:48)

Uh, the Mount hole thing they said was because district dine does not have as large of a Latino population as some community leaders would like. And they suggested that moving Mount hope could possibly help solve that problem. But they had to take a look at the numbers and any time you move, one thing you have to make moves somewhere else. So there's always that reverberate of change that makes all sorts of proposals complicated.

Speaker 1: (07:08)

Now, December 15th, that's the date? A new map must be finalized. What happens after that?

Speaker 3: (07:15)

Well, what happens after that is that there's new districts. And in the primary, the June, 2022 primary, the city will vote based on those new districts. Some candidates will have to adjust if they wanted to run for city council, all of a sudden they realized their house is in a new district. So we have to be sort of people reacting and making adjustments based on these new batteries.

Speaker 1: (07:33)

Does the commission have to present the map like let's say to the city council or anything like that?

Speaker 3: (07:38)

No, the commission has the final load they're volunteers and it's the process is deliberately set up to eliminate the city council so that the politics of adjusting the boundaries is, is downplayed a little bit. These are all volunteers and they're not elected and they have no reason supposedly, you know, to vote one way or the other based on politics.

Speaker 1: (07:56)

How can people participate in the final five public meetings before this map is finalized,

Speaker 3: (08:02)

They can go to the city's redistricting website, just go to Google and type in San Diego redistricting committee and it'll come up. It has a long URL. Basically you can go to any of their meetings. The next one is 5:30 PM on Tuesday, and then there'll be four more. Uh, at least they could hold more, but they have to hold a minimum of five between now and December 15th. And as with this last time, the commission is hoping to make a decision before December 15th, but the preliminary map we had right up until the wall. So I'm guessing this one probably will too.

Speaker 1: (08:28)

Okay. I've been speaking with San Diego union Tribune, reporter David Garrick. David. Thank you. Thanks.

Speaker 4: (08:37)


Speaker 1: (08:40)

With the cop 26 climate conference behind us, global leaders are moving forward to address the planet's biggest climate issues yet. Despite the urgency of the meeting, critics have cast doubt on the political will of global leaders to actually commit the goals of the conference. Still, whatever progress is made will have a significant impact on California. Joining me with more is David Victor, professor of international relations at the school of global policy and strategy at UC San Diego. He attended the conference in Glasgow, David, welcome back to the program.

Speaker 5: (09:14)

It's great to be back.

Speaker 1: (09:16)

So this climate conference was especially important to remind us why

Speaker 5: (09:20)

It was important because this is the first time that countries have updated their pledges since 2015, when they all got together in Paris and set up this new framework for cooperation on climate change. And so they they've issued new pledges. They all did that before the conference. And this was a chance to look at those pledges.

Speaker 1: (09:37)

And there's been a lot of talk about how the goals of cop 26 were watered down or not fully realized. Was this conference a success? In your opinion,

Speaker 5: (09:47)

You can judge success two ways in part success can be judged by what happens with just the deadline of having 120 heads of state show up all the spotlight and so on. And that sense it was a huge success, lots of announcements. That's in fact, the most interesting ones are from business. A lot of commitments, also a lot of noise, not quite clear, you know, what's real, what's not real, but in that sense, a big success. And the other way to judge success is around the diplomacy. And that's just a grinding process. Cause you have to get to consensus with every country that's there. And that's mostly mostly where the news media is focused. And in that sense, it was kind of what it was expected. They watered down the final agreement, they got agreement where agreement was possible and then they live for another day.

Speaker 1: (10:25)

What are some of the major milestones of this conference?

Speaker 5: (10:29)

Well, I think the most important milestone diplomatically was that you had essentially every government on the planet issue, these new pledges. And so as of today, about 70% of the world emissions are coming from countries that have a pledged to stop those emissions to zero in effect by mid-century. So that's a, that's a really big deal. They also had, uh, uh, uh, uh, some, some diplomatic requirements. There were some parts of the Paris agreement that were not yet finalized. And so that had to be done. And then one of the most controversial issues and, and a big priority was, was money that developing countries have expected a hundred billion dollars per year of new money from there from richer countries. And they only got about 80 of it. And so they're upset about that, understandably. And they're also upset about how that money is being spent. Okay.

Speaker 1: (11:10)

Did global leaders fall short in any significant ways in terms of the goals they agreed on?

Speaker 5: (11:17)

I think they mostly delivered on the goals that they at least said they were going to do. I think the big question right now is following up is do we believe these pledges, you know, it's pretty easy for a leader to come in and say, we're going to stop emissions to zero by mid-century, but almost nobody has a real plan for that. And I think from the developing countries, point of view, this question of money of how are they going to be helped in particular dealing with the fact that climate is already warming it's 1.2, two degrees above pre-industrial levels continues to accelerate. How are they going to deal with that? And some of these countries literally will be underwater. They have very emotive speeches about that. It's a big deal and they're looking for help. And that, that part of it, they really left without a clear plan. And a lot of trust I think is at a pretty low level. Hmm.

Speaker 1: (12:01)

Can you tell us about some of the policy decisions that could have a strong impact locally here in California?

Speaker 5: (12:09)

Well, here in California, we're of course not going to sit waiting for an edict from the United nations system we're off working on deep, de-carbonization cutting our emissions essentially to zero. I think what really matters here is that this helps put a lot more pressure on the need to act in particular, puts a lot more pressure on the United States to be a leader and with everything that's going wrong in Washington right now, it's really the states and the localities that are on the front lines of that. And, uh, here in San Diego, we are, we're doing a huge amount. And so I think that kind of pressure it's gonna, it's gonna put a, uh, put a spotlight on our model and also give us a, uh, a receptive audience around the world as we learn how to make big cuts in emissions. And hopefully it can help out those the same.

Speaker 1: (12:51)

You know, when we spoke at the beginning of the conference, you said our state's key role is to really gain fellow, uh, followership rather. Uh, can you remind us what you mean by that? And if you think that was achieved?

Speaker 5: (13:02)

Well, I think first California has less than 1% of global emissions. And so we are embarked. We have embarked on this incredible journey to eliminate emissions from our electric power sector from the rest of the California economy. But if we are successful, that's only 1% of global emissions. And so the goal is to get the rest of the world doing similar things. What I see as more countries looking to the United States as a leader, not only the United States, there's a lot happening in Europe and also skeptical of what's happening at the federal government level. And so they're looking to the states in particular and the most important thing that we're doing here in California is learning how to make big reductions in our electric power system, because that's going to be vital for the world worldwide effort to cut emissions. So I see a lot of attention to that issue. And how do you keep the lights on? How much does it cost? Things like that.

Speaker 1: (13:49)

And the absence of a few key leaders made headlines early on in the summit, most notably from China. And what can you tell us about that and how will it impact global cooperation to fight climate change?

Speaker 5: (14:01)

Well, it's one of the most important geopolitical questions right now. The Chinese leader was not there. The Russian leader was not there. Um, there are a lot of things going on inside China. The country is becoming more insular. President Xi from China has not left the country in two years. He didn't go to the G 20 meeting and Rome the weekend before the big conference. And so this is a big concern because China is turning inward. The United States, frankly, is turning inward. It's one of the areas where there's a bipartisan agreement on foreign policy is to beat up on China. And yet when you look at the history of innovation and deployment of new technologies in the energy space, a lot of it has been from globalization of manufacturing, like, like solar cells and batteries. And so we've got to find some way politically through that, but the political environment is very, very toxic. The two countries issued a kind of surprise communicate a few days ago saying they're going to cooperate, but there wasn't really any content in there. Um, uh, other than things that they were already agreed to a president Biden, the president, she are gonna meet, uh, very soon and hopefully just lower the temperature a little bit on the relationship and, and set up some working groups of the two countries can find at least some productive way forward.

Speaker 1: (15:06)

Um, ultimately, D do you think there's a discrepancy in terms of our scientific understanding versus the political will to combat climate change?

Speaker 5: (15:15)

I think absolutely the scientists are convinced that we should be stopping warming at something like 1.5 degrees where, you know, at 1.2 and cruising ahead right now, and they've been convinced to that for a long time. Uh, the economists have found various ways, at least in an ideal world to, to cut emissions at a reasonable cost. Politics are really, really hard. And I think that's, what's really key here is that because of all the announcements that happen, not only at cop 26 in Glasgow, but a lot of other places and, and demonstrations like we have here in California, how to actually cut emissions, which you're seeing as the political interest groups that want to cut emissions are getting stronger politically, that doesn't happen quickly, but it's ineffective rewriting the political landscape and making, making big deals more possible in a way that wasn't true. A few years ago,

Speaker 1: (15:59)

You know, temperature, projection based commitments were made at cop 26, but not as far as experts had hoped. What can you tell us about that?

Speaker 5: (16:08)

Well, the, the big promise was to, to keep 1.5 degrees alive, keep alive the idea that we're going to stop global warming at 1.5 degrees. And that's really important to a lot of the most vulnerable countries. The science suggests that that's a good, that's a reasonable goal. And so on what we've learned is that it's easy for countries collectively to pledge. They're going to stop warming at 1.5 degrees. So long as nobody individually says, this is exactly what we have to do. And so my expectation for a long time has been that we will continue to overplay and not deliver. And that means one more thing for us locally, which is that the whole whole world, including San Diego is in for quite a lot of climate change. And so we need to not believe these politicians when they say they're going to stop warming at 1.5 degrees. We need to plan for scenarios where warming is much more intense

Speaker 1: (16:53)

And quickly. Is there a way to frame the end of cop 26 in a positive light?

Speaker 5: (16:58)

I think that the single most important thing that happened, uh, was that corporate leaders were there in big numbers, made big pledges, and, uh, they're going to be held accountable. And that's a big change.

Speaker 1: (17:09)

I've been speaking with David Victor, professor of international relations at the school of global policy and strategy at UC San Diego. David, thank you so much for joining us.

Speaker 5: (17:19)

Always a pleasure. Thank you.

Speaker 1: (17:31)

This is KPBS midday edition. I'm Maureen Cavenaugh with Jade Hyman American Homefront series on American veterans continues with the story of Clifton Hicks. His family has a long tradition of military service watching the nine 11 terror attacks on TV in high. All Hicks wanted to do was join the army and serve his country. But his deployment to Iraq in 2003, fundamentally changed his relationship to the military.

Speaker 6: (18:01)

Pretty quickly. I learned to hate the place I did count the days I did not like what I was doing. It wasn't glamorous. It wasn't masculine. It wasn't honorable. It was just stupid and dangerous. Everybody that I knew that around me, nobody wanted to be there. You know, you kick yourself every day for being such a fool that you volunteered to come out to do this. I think the only time I ever really saw confirmed enemy, you know, up close was when I was on gate guard duty, where you have to guard the main gate to the base. And there was a mortar attack while I was on gate guard. And after the mortar attack, this Iraqi guy came walking up to the gate and he had his hand blown almost completely off his hand was wrapped up in a bloody rag. And they said they brought the medics up there and they quickly determined that he had powder burns all on his hand.

Speaker 6: (18:49)

He had just been firing the mortars at us. He was just a regular guy and truth be told he had every right to try to kill me. It's their land, it's their city. I have no business here. You know, if I'd been born in Iraq, I would be him. And, uh, then there comes that happy day when you actually hand it all off to the new guys and it's their problem. Now we started to hear through word of mouth that things were going really bad in Iraq. You know, parts of Baghdad had been overrun that our old base, where we were, had been overrun, that all of Fallujah had been taken by insurgents and that a lot of Americans were getting killed, but we still had that feeling like, man, we got out of there just in time. It never occurred to anybody around me that the army would send us back.

Speaker 6: (19:36)

The things were very different when we got back, all of the overpasses over the highway had been blown up and the closer we got to Baghdad, the more just destruction you started to see on the side of the roads, you started to see, you know, tons of shot up burnt like trucks and cars on the side of the road. Uh, you would see the occasional, a dead person on the side of the road. You know, I kind of clammed up at that point. I stopped talking for a long period of time because basically it's 18 year old kid. At that point, it was more than I could process. I could not make sense of the things that I was seeing. So my response was just to shut down and just pull into myself when I did start speaking again, I was very vocal about how wrong the war was and how we shouldn't be there and how we were all getting used.

Speaker 6: (20:28)

When I got back to Germany, they had us in the basement lined up outside the arms room and we all drew our rifles again, right back into training. Like that's how the army operates. So I knew, I was like, oh, they're going to send me your right back as soon as they can. I remember that moment where I thought I've got to get out of this any way I can. I, I will not go back to Iraq. And so once I'd done my research, I found the Army's definition of a conscientious objector was just that you had to be genuinely opposed to war. There was tons of paperwork, but after eight months somebody came and said, Hey, you're needed up at the first sergeant's office. And I was like, oh great. You know, I'm in trouble again, because I'd been in a lot of trouble. And so I went back up to the first sergeant's office and, uh, and he said, oh, your paperwork came through. You've been honorably discharged. That was probably the happiest day of my life. The only thing I'm proud of is that I spoke out against the war.

Speaker 1: (21:28)

That's Clifton Hicks recorded by insignia films for WGBH Boston. You can hear more on the PBS series, American veteran and the podcast, American veteran unforgettable stories. This excerpt was produced by the American Homefront project,

Speaker 4: (21:46)

Uh, uh,

Speaker 1: (21:51)

And another American Homefront veteran profile. Sergeant Nick Irving made a name for himself as a special operation sniper in the Army's third ranger battalion. He deployed six times to Iraq and Afghanistan earning a reputation as one of the deadliest army Rangers in military history.

Speaker 7: (22:09)

My nickname was the Reaper, um, and Afghanistan killed a lot of guys. You kind of are trained to not see them as people just to target my, uh, uh, upbringing, set the path for me to join the military. Both my parents were in the army discipline in my household was really, really strict. My dad was the enforcer when it came to that push ups at a very young age, uh, exercising at a very young age. And I wasn't allowed to get away with much as a child. My dad would usually nip that in the bud really quick. For me, it was about being tough. And my dad was very adamant about that. Of no pain, no tears, no crying. If I ever felt anything, I always had to take it out and throw it away at a very young age, from falling down the stairs.

Speaker 7: (22:52)

I had to beat up the stairs because the stairs made me fall. I wasn't able to, or allow to cry. I watched all the Charlie sheen, Navy seal movies with my dad. I've watched Chuck Norris Delta force with my dad and watching those movies push me to become that special operator. I just knew they had cool jobs. Chuck Norris had rockets on his motorcycle, and I thought that was cool. First time I ever shot someone, uh, first deployment to Iraq, to crit. I was a machine gunner on the striker. It was past curfew, completely quiet. It was a vehicle approaching us and he had IDs in the trunk of his car. My platoon leader had to tell me three times essentially to engage this guy. I pulled the trigger on the 50 Cal. That's an anti vehicle anti-tank weapon. Uh, I remember I could see his face and his eyes.

Speaker 7: (23:44)

And he had like a no expression. It's the blank stare. And it didn't feel like anything. I didn't feel, you know, what the movies told me. I would feel like I didn't feel anything. No one said anything about it. It was when I got back and I had my first dream after killing someone is when it hit me. Think the dream was very graphic, very graphic. I would have that dream for, I guess once every once, every year for a few years overseas, I had all the control in the road. I just pull a trigger and anything that was bad. Went away over here. You can't pull a trigger on a house, note, a car note, phone bill, stuff like that. So all that accumulated and piled up into this big, bad enemy that you couldn't shoot. And it slowly started to take its toll on me.

Speaker 7: (24:29)

Big time, drinking alcohol was a way that I would suppress certain emotions and, and process everything that happened, but it really wasn't a state of processing anything. It was just blacking out and forgetting whatever happened happened. I woke up one day and the car was gone with the foreclosure notice on our house and stuff like that. So I was used to killing things and getting rid of bad things. And the bad thing at that time that I felt was me. So I contemplated on taking myself out of the equation. I felt like a burden. My son was born, born on my birthday. That was a big eye-opener. I had a purpose to live at that point. And it was, um, pretty much that everything that I didn't have as a kid, I saw that I wanted to give him, my dad didn't know how to be a diet. So my childhood and the way my dad was a dad to me, different from the way I always saw how dads needed to be on TV. I guess. So two rehabs didn't work, but him popping out November 28th was like instant. Yeah.

Speaker 1: (25:37)

That's Nick Irving recorded by in Sydney, a film's GBH Boston. You can hear more on the PBS series, American veteran and the podcast, American veteran unforgettable stories. This excerpt was produced by the American Homefront project.

Speaker 4: (25:53)


Speaker 1: (26:06)

You're listening to KPBS day edition. I'm Jade Hindman with Maureen Cavenaugh, the crash, him smash him sport demolition Derby had its hay day in the fifties, sixties and seventies. But these days the derbies are featured at county fairs and special events at racetracks like this one at Irwindale Speedway, about 30 minutes east of Los Angeles. On this night, the track is hosting 13 women and their cars for the Derby divas demolition Derby reporter. Peter Gill strap takes us into the pit to meet them. Irwindale

Speaker 8: (26:43)

Speedway grand stand is filled with thousands of people, hungry for destruction after a full night of standard races, meaning cars that just go around in a circle real fast, the place is humming with energy. It feels like a Saturday night at the county fair. The air smells like a mixture of cotton candy, vape, smoke, gasoline and real cotton candy. But in the pit behind the track, the Derby divas stand around their cars under the lights, bored and nervous. Their crews of friends and family members make last-minute tweaks to the aging rides, Nissans and Hondas Fords and Buicks. Making sure they can run one last time. They need to survive through 20 minutes of sheer driving. Hell

Speaker 9: (27:30)

Cheryl Highland from Hawthorne, California, that one, this one, they all have check. Engine lights are still on him because he's literally come from the junkyard

Speaker 8: (27:39)

Except, uh, you know, you also have giant eyelashes on the front of your

Speaker 9: (27:44)

Eyes. You can see, I have them. It's my signature.

Speaker 8: (27:46)

Each car is decked out with the driver's personalized touches. They look like small discount parade for

Speaker 10: (27:53)

My name is Becca Doyle. I am from Ventura, which is just a few hours up the coast. We get to paint them. However we want to. That's always, my favorite part is decorating them. I like to put a little sparkle on my cars and then we just go and destroy them.

Speaker 8: (28:12)

There's a Buick century painted up like a cop car. It says party patrol on the side with big red beer pong, solo cups stuck on the roof. There's also a car with a furry life-sized unicorn head mounted on the roof. You're going to want to remember that for later. It all seems like part performance, art part Viking funeral.

Speaker 10: (28:31)

I always think it's really funny that somebody went to the car lot and bought this car brand new, really excited. They got their brand new car and they have no idea. This is the send-off it's going to get, it's going to get crushed and people are gonna watch it. And they probably have great memories in this car. It's going to get one hell of a sendoff.

Speaker 11: (28:50)

My name is Nicole Emma, and I'm from Burbank, California, born and raised. And I'm here. My second Derby, try and win it this

Speaker 8: (28:57)

Time. What made you want to start doing this?

Speaker 11: (29:00)

I ran out of other crazy stuff to do. I'm not married, no kids all the times. You want to just slam into people on the freeways. You can do it here. So it's a lot of aggression getting released.

Speaker 12: (29:11)


Speaker 10: (29:16)

It's been 2019. I was on the 1 0 1 freeway and I was in dead stop traffic and a car never stopped, never saw the traffic and he hit the rear end of my car going 50 miles an hour. And that left me with substantial injuries, but it also left me with very severe PTSD in cars.

Speaker 8: (29:39)

Doyle tried talk therapy. She anti-anxiety meds. Then she had a breakthrough idea, demolition Derby.

Speaker 10: (29:47)

I'm just going to try it. I'm just gonna see if this helps. If I show myself that I can have all these extra car accidents and walk away from it and be okay, maybe this will change things for me. To me, it means the world, because like I said, there's so few women in this sport and in motor sports in general. So it's very empowering to come together with women that are similar to you have a similar interest. It's rare to find people like that. You know, I think if I were to go up to a random woman in target and be like, do you want to drive into demolition Derby with me? They'd think I'm missing all my nuts and bolts up there.

Speaker 9: (30:25)

The guys that I race with, they treat me like anybody else. I haven't had any backlash. As far as being a woman in racing, they volunteer,

Speaker 10: (30:32)

You definitely get some double lifts. Like, oh, there's, there's a woman out there. Like that's different. Like you're different. And I welcome it because when I was a little girl, there were no women for me to cheer for. So it helps me want to even drive better. Knowing that I'm the person, those little girls up in the stands are looking up to that day.

Speaker 9: (30:57)

You know, the women come out and like, you go girl like that. You can do this too. Anybody could do this

Speaker 10: (31:01)

Because people want to see destruction. So give them destructions.

Speaker 8: (31:05)

Let me ask you something. Cheryl, do you think that there's anything about being a female that gives you any kind of edge in demolition Derby over men?

Speaker 9: (31:12)

You know what? I think we're more aggressive. I'll be honest with you. You'll see tonight. I've been in co-ed Derby's I've seen him. They kind of chase each other around. I don't know what it is. Hormones. I don't know. We just have that. Something to prove. We got a lot of pent up anger. I don't know, but we just got there and let it go.

Speaker 8: (31:29)

And now it's time to let it go. The drivers put on their helmets and climb into their vehicles. Quite literally the windows have been removed and the doors are welded shut. Other than the driver's seat inside the cars are stripped of everything. And that includes dashboard stereos, which can quickly become flying projectiles. But that means no personal soundtrack to destruction. If you're able to play some in the car, what would you choose?

Speaker 11: (31:54)

Yeah, it works. Which TNT

Speaker 8: (32:04)

They line up in formation gun, the engines and head toward the field of battle. And then it's all the cars are cordoned off in a small area in the middle of the track for maximum contact. There's nowhere to hide and you can't just sit. You've got to keep moving or risk disqualification Ramming each other in reverse and slamming. Head on bumpers. Get ripped away fenders, go flying tires, blow out and drivers continue on rims alone. Wheels pop off and roll aside slowly teetering like cartoon wreckage,

Speaker 8: (32:45)

Axles, brake, rotors grind, radiators, overheat, spouting, smoke, and water, and the transmissions. Good God. The wounded transmissions. They stick and grind and scream, struggling to get into gear, fighting to survive. It's total vehicular carnage one by one, the cars die off as the field now thick red curtains of sparks spew from the underbellies of a few remaining rides. As they make sounds. You just never hear cars making real life derbies, usually in just like a pistol duel or America's next top model. The last one standing is the winner, but this Derby is timed out and judged on battering skill and demolition finesse. And now as the smoke from dead engines, drifts across the track littered with twisted auto parts, like a mad max battlefield, the winner is declared, but it's not Baca or Cheryl when Maria or Nicole it's car number 93, driven by Derby diva, Jesse denied. And then coming through the mayhem. There's Nicole. So how did, how did it, how was it?

Speaker 13: (33:57)

It's brutal. I mean, they like demolish you. I love it. It was awesome. Beer.

Speaker 8: (34:16)

I feel sorry for the car.

Speaker 14: (34:19)

I did feel a little bit sorry for the unicorn. I saw a unicorn go flying and I was like, oh, hi.

Speaker 10: (34:26)

I drove that car hard. I drove it hard and I, I lost my front tire. So I was sparking it up a storm, uh, kind of became a human sparkler, but doing the demo Derby, it helps seal the deal for me to take that next step in my healing progression.

Speaker 8: (34:46)

So it was a positive night for Becca Doyle and her PTSD and all those little girls in the stands with visions of demolition in their heads, had someone to cheer for, for the California report. I'm Peter Gilstrap in Erwin day.

Speaker 1: (35:04)

Hairspray began as a very indie 1988 film by John Waters and then became a musical play in 2002. The touring production of hairspray marks Broadway San Diego's returned to live performances this week. The show is helmed by former old globe, artistic director, Jack O'Brien and Jerry Mitchell, KPBS arts reporter, Beth Huck Amando speaks with O'Brien about transforming a film into a musical.

Speaker 15: (35:33)

So when you are tackling a play, that's based on a very iconic movie, what are the challenges of that? Do you try to make it look like the original source material or do you try to kind of be radically different?

Speaker 16: (35:48)

Look, all movies do not make musicals. And it's a sort of lazy formula now that we can take birth of the nation and make it into a musical. One of the worst things in my estimation you can do is ask the original screenwriter to do the adaptation because they have created what they wanted to do. And they think basically by adding a couple spoonfuls of music in there, they're home free, but all screenplays or in fact, all stories don't sing. I was always fascinated when I was working on Shakespeare on the fact that he, the elevated texts, very common people spoke for pro's intelligent people, spoken blank verse, but people who are raised to a higher consciousness speak poetry. And I don't know whether how many people know this, but when Romeo and Juliet meet, they speak in interlocking sonnets. Perfect, matched sonnets. Now the average playgoer, isn't going to know this, but what he's suggesting is there's no way these people cannot be together because they share a rarer form of communication.

Speaker 16: (37:15)

Only reserved for Shakespearean characters and angels. I think now what is above poetry music when you're passionate enough about whatever it is, you're thinking that pro's blank, verse poetry don't work for you. You open your mouth and you sing. That's what I mean. When you look at the piece that you're thinking about, does it need that other dimension? And if it doesn't, can it, can you shift your focus in such a way as to make the characters want to soar if they can't and that can not be just love or passion, it can be anger. It can be righteousness. It can be a lot of things, but it's an exalted state that requires music. And if the person contemplating making a, a musical out of their film or any film, can't find that structure, I would ask them not to do the thing. Does that make sense? Yes.

Speaker 15: (38:23)

So in casting, this, uh, divine has very large shoes to fill And you have Nina west stepping into that role. So talk that

Speaker 17: (38:35)


Speaker 16: (38:36)

Well, let me just say something about the 22 years intervening history that have occurred since we launched hairspray. Now, when we did the original, there was Harvey who was instrumental, not only in creating it, but in writing a lot for himself. Wow.

Speaker 17: (38:55)

I am big bland heirs. And if you say I'm beautiful, I guess I'm beautiful. It,

Speaker 16: (39:04)

But Harvey is Sui. Generis is Harvey there's. There are very few Harvey fire's genes in the world, but we also found there were fewer and fewer male stars that wanted to get into the dressing pumps and play that part. Maybe the most accomplished was Michael Ball in London. He saw the wit he saw the humanity in that character and he wanted to play her. And so he did here. We did find many people who want, thought they wanted to do it. George went, I mean, I really had some wonderful people, but there wasn't a cadre of natural performers that were dying to play that part. And you got to have a larger than life person do it. You just do. Uh, and then comes Ru Paul, who was not even a blip in the radar when we started this. And if you had said to me, uh, or the turn of the century on one of the most popular and appealing television series in, uh, coming down the pike is the drag race.

Speaker 16: (40:16)

I would have said, you're not. And yet RuPaul has pulled this off. Where's thinking, wow, you know what? There's another category of performer out there that the younger generation will flock to see. And I think that, that Andrew as Nina west, although he's not playing Nina west in hairspray, I, I, I beg you to understand this is not a special guest appearance by Nina west, camping it up in hairspray. One of the interesting things in working with Andrew on this, that Jerry and I and Matt Lenz and all of us actually putting the work back together have tried to explain is it doesn't matter if you're a man or a woman that reality of being a parent, an insecure parent does not have to do necessarily with John with gender. It has to do with the heart. Andrew, God bless him, started shedding his mannerisms and finding the simple truth of Edna Turnblad, which was that she's a big woman who was disappointed in history, where she grew up and not being appreciated or encouraged to be creative. She wanted you to be a designer. She said, and there were last words on the stage is America. I designed this myself is just enough to make you wait,

Speaker 15: (41:47)

Do you think has contributed to Hairspray's longevity? What is it about this that appeals to people over generations?

Speaker 16: (41:54)

Well, I wish I, I actually, I wish I knew that because I could sort of mint this entire idea. Um, I, I think it was with a certain amount of trepidation that we all looked at this piece in today's market with hypersensitivity in terms of role-playing and tropes and what you're allowed to say and what you're not allowed to say. And we found basically that it was just fine, that it is in fact, a very accurate historical representation of what was going on in 1962, from which we can then see how we got here. It's a little tiny time capsule of race relations. Um, do you see the innocence of these kids who do not quite understand why they shouldn't be allowed to dance together? And you see this little girl who has a dream be fueled by the imagination and talent of the black kids and given enough of her own spark of divine fire, to be able to make her dream come true. It couldn't be more contemporary in that respect, but we've preserved basically John Waters formula, which is can't. We all just get along.

Speaker 4: (43:15)


Speaker 1: (43:21)

That was Beth Armando speaking with Jack O'Brien hairspray runs tomorrow through November 21st at San Diego civic theater.

Speaker 18: (43:31)

You can stop the season's girl, but you know, and you could

Speaker 4: (43:38)


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San Diego’s redistricting committee’s proposed district map side steps major shakeups, but there are still changes to be made as it moves on to a final series of public meetings. Plus, with the COP26 Climate Conference over and despite the urgency of the meeting, critics have cast doubt on the political will of global leaders to actually commit to the goals set at the summit. Also, Clifton Hicks, who came from a military family, watched the events of Sept. 11 unfold on television and all he wanted to do was enlist and serve his country. But his deployment to Iraq in 2003 fundamentally changed his relationship to the military. Meanwhile, Nick Irving made a name for himself as a special ops sniper, but civilian life was far less straightforward. Irving shared how he found his calling in the military and beyond. And, every October at L.A’s Irwindale Speedway, you'll find a brutal, magnificent thing to behold — The Derby Divas, an all-female demolition derby. Finally, “Hairspray” began its life as an ‘80s campy, indie movie that was turned into a musical. Now, a touring production of the musical is returning to San Diego as Broadway San Diego reopens its doors to live performances. KPBS arts reporter Beth Accomando speaks with director Jack O'Brien about transforming a film to a musical.