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San Diego County reports 3,653 COVID cases, most since Jan. 7

 December 30, 2021 at 4:05 PM PST

Speaker 1: (00:00)

The county's emergency rooms are once again, strained due to COVID talking

Speaker 2: (00:04)

To people in ERs and, and such that they're all really expecting, uh, uh, Omicron to spread like wildfire.

Speaker 1: (00:11)

I'm kina Kim with Jade Hyman. This is KBB S midday edition, A new emissions, free energy storage project break ground. Next month. The main goal of

Speaker 3: (00:29)

This project is the larger goal that California has, which is try to bring in more sources of power that do not invent greenhouse gas, emissions,

Speaker 1: (00:39)

Lions, tigers, and bears. We take a, a look at a local exotic animal sanctuary, and just in time for the fifth day of QA, a look at the holidays, origins and purpose that's ahead on midday edition

Speaker 1: (01:00)

Cases of COVID are once again, on the rise in San Diego county on Tuesday, the county reported more than 3,600 new cases. That's the highest number of new cases in a single day, since last winter, and now due to the growing number of cases and the increased demand for testing. We are at risk of straining hospitals. Again, the Paul Sien is the health reporter for the San Diego union Tribune, and he joins us now for more on the latest COVID 19 news. Hi Paul. Hi, thanks for having me, as I mentioned, the county reported a huge single day increase in cases. Can you put that in context for us? How does this compare to last year and are we seeing major differences from last winter surge,

Speaker 2: (01:41)

You know, looking at the numbers and going back to last year, it looks like the number of new cases that the county is recording daily is maybe even a bit higher than it was this time. Last year, you know, the only higher numbers as you said, were, were seeing it kind of at the peak of the winter surge in, in, uh, mid to late January of this year. So it really does look like we have quite a surge on our hands. Uh, you know, as, as everyone is aware, we, we still have new year's Eve parties to get through. And, uh, you know, last year the clubs and bars and, uh, and indoor dining and restaurants was, uh, was not open. So, uh, so we've definitely got a situation where this appears to be spreading quite quickly, and there's going to be a heck of a lot more social interaction, uh, just coming up tomorrow than there was, uh, last year. So, uh, you know, talking to people in ERs and, and such they're, uh, they're all really expecting, uh, uh, O CRO to spread like wildfire. Uh, before we get through this holiday season, the, the hospitals are really, uh, expecting a, a significant surge, uh, in January. And perhaps even into February,

Speaker 1: (02:54)

Hospitals are seeing increases in COVID admissions, but not as many as this time last year, despite that the county issued an emergency alert yesterday because of the increased traffic in emergency rooms, what's driving this uptick and how are hospitals responding?

Speaker 2: (03:08)

Yeah, that's right. Uh, we learned about, uh, the county EMS service, uh, putting out a bulletin to all of the local emergency rooms, letting them know that many were having to go on what's called diversion, uh, where they significantly reduce the number of ambulances that they can receive, uh, because they're full. Uh, and, and so, uh, you know, I guess at one point yesterday, about half of the 22 ERs in town were in that diversion category and, and through some skillful maneuver and they were able to bring that number down by the evening. You know, there are several different things driving this, you know, of course a lot of people aren't infected in having symptoms and coming in and, and they're worried, uh, and they want a doctor to check them out. Uh, and then, uh, what we also heard from Dr. Canning at county EMS, uh, yesterday was that some appeared to be coming in just to get tested, uh, that they, you know, the, the lines for testing at the 400, uh, different testing locations across the county are very, very long.

Speaker 2: (04:04)

Uh, you know, we, we had a photographer down in Chula Vista yesterday who observed, uh, weights at one testing facility in south bay that were over two hours to get tested. Uh, so it appears that some folks are, are getting frustrated, waiting in those long lines and just going to the nearest ER, and come in and saying, I don't feel well. And, you know, they, they buy, uh, by routine test, everybody who comes to the door, uh, for COVID no matter what their symptoms are. Uh, so it looks like part of the ER, surge that we're seeing right now across the county is linked to an increased demand for testing. Uh, although there are plenty of people coming in with as well, talking to one physician at, at sharp yesterday, what he said was, you know, we're seeing these folks come in, they they're a bit younger than they, than they were last year. Uh, and what we're not finding is nearly as much, uh, respiratory distress. Uh, as, as we saw last year, we, we're seeing a lot, a lot more, um, minor symptoms,

Speaker 1: (04:59)

Right. I wanna ask you something really quick. You said ambulances are being diverted. What impact does that have on patients and the emergency healthcare system as a whole?

Speaker 2: (05:08)

It has an immediate and direct, uh, impact what it means is, uh, you might be taken if you have a serious problem. If you have, if you're having a heart attack or, or if you have a broken leg or, you know, any kind of emergent sit situation, uh, you might be taken further away, uh, than you otherwise would be. Uh, you, you know, if your local, uh, hospital is on bypass, you might find yourself traveling further for care, you know, because your local ER is inundated.

Speaker 1: (05:36)

Right. And I also wanna ask you, so you're mentioning that a lot of this strain is because people wanna get tested and they know that they can do that in the emergency room. So if people are listening to this, what should they do instead if they really do wanna get tested?

Speaker 2: (05:48)

Um, you know, uh, I guess the, the main advice is have patients , which a lot of people don't have, especially when they're standing outside in the rain and it's cold outside, uh, you know, know, it's totally understandable that people don't really wanna do that, you know, but also if you, uh, if you don't have symptoms, uh, and, and you've just been exposed, uh, you know, it looks like this illness is pretty mild. Uh, you know, if you don't wanna wait for testing and you don't wanna go into the ER, one thing you can do is just monitor your symptoms. It's, it's a good idea to have what they call a pulse ox in your house that allows you to, uh, to monitor your, uh, blood oxygen levels. And so that's one good way to kind of know if your body is really being impacted, but, you know, if you, if you can't get tested and, and you don't have the patients to wait in those lines, uh, you should probably curtail your, um, contact with other people until you, till you are able to get tested. But sadly, it doesn't really seem like there's, uh, a simple, quick fix that, uh, it can short circuit the line for testing. It's just, uh, there's so much demand everywhere right now that it's just, uh, it's gonna be a long wait. That seems to be the, uh, the reality, sadly,

Speaker 1: (06:52)

In your reporting. You say that compared to last year, when patients came into hospitals with COVID 19, it was presenting a lot more severely. Now it's much more like the flu, which tracks with what we've been hearing of the Omicron variant. What do doctors and experts say that you've been talking to about people taking Omicron less seriously? Because it appears to present more mildly,

Speaker 2: (07:12)

You know, they're right in the middle of it. So they, they don't, uh, you know, they've, they've been asking people to get vaccinated and kind of curtail their, their activities for months now. And, um, you know, they're, they're somewhat frustrated that people haven't done that, but, uh, at this point the interactions have already happened. Uh, you know, even if you got vaccinated today, it wouldn't take effect immediately. So you wouldn't be immediately protected. So I, I think they're kind of in a Humper down kind of mentality. They, they know that a, a big wave of patients is going to come at them and that it really can't be stopped at

Speaker 1: (07:43)

This point. I've been speaking with San Diego union Tribune health reporter, Paul Sien. Thank you so much for joining us. I know we'll be talking to you a lot more in 2022. Yeah.

Speaker 2: (07:51)

I'm looking forward to it and, uh, happy new year happy new

Speaker 1: (07:54)


Speaker 4: (08:06)

A new energy storage project is rolling out across the county with the first two sides scheduled to break ground within the next month. This San Diego energy storage project aims to add more emissions, free energy to California's electric. Once completed, there will be a total of 12 sites across the county with enough storage to power, 110,000 homes for two hours. Joining me to talk about the new energy project at San Diego union Tribune, energy reporter, Rob Eski. Rob. Welcome.

Speaker 3: (08:35)

Hi, Jade. Good talking to you again.

Speaker 4: (08:37)

Likewise, could you tell us about the 12 new sites and how they'll work?

Speaker 3: (08:42)

Well, the batteries that are gonna be installed will store up energy and then release it into California's power grid. Two of the sites will use zinc battery storage technology. The other 10 sites we'll use what's called lithium iron phosphate batteries. Now your listeners are probably familiar with lithium ion batteries. Now lithium iron phosphate is a little bit different. Uh, lithium iron phosphate batteries are considered less flamable. And so they're considered at least in this project to be, uh, a better choice.

Speaker 4: (09:16)

How powerful will these sites be?

Speaker 3: (09:19)

Well, the entire portfolio is gonna count for 165 megawats and 336 will megawat hours of battery storage, electricity. And as you mentioned, that roughly translates into enough to power 110,000 homes for two hours.

Speaker 4: (09:35)

And what's the main goal of this project.

Speaker 3: (09:37)

The main goal of this project is the larger goal that California has, which is try to bring in more sources of power that do not emit greenhouse gas emissions. And, um, that's because under the state's renewable portfolio standard about 60% of California's electricity must come from renew, renewable sources by 2030, and by 2045, if not earlier, a hundred percent of all the energy sources must come from carbon free sources. So that's a big driver behind this project and other ones across the state. So

Speaker 4: (10:10)

If this project is successful, how does that change the trajectory of our climate crisis?

Speaker 3: (10:16)

Well, the thought is that if you're able to use battery storage, that that can help replace some of the fossil fuel sources that are out there. And the overall trick to this whole thing is that here in California, we have a lot of solar production that we get during the day. In fact, we get so much solar option that it can't be used, that sometimes it has to be curtailed. And so what they're trying to do is be able to take that excess solar or any other excess power that we have during the day, then store that up and use batteries to do that. Then when solar production declines rapidly, once the sun goes down, you might be able to, to deploy, you will be able to deploy, um, energy from batteries and other sources like that, that can store up energy. So this whole idea of energy storage is very critical for California to try to meet these climate goals.

Speaker 4: (11:10)

And we know the first two sites are breaking ground within the next month in Chula Vista and El Cajon. Where will the other 10 sites be located in the county?

Speaker 3: (11:18)

They'll be scattered all across the county. There's one, a fairly decent size in LA Mesa. Another one, fairly decent size in spring valley. The, uh, second largest project is 30 megawatts, uh, and that's out in Rancho Pena scoo, and then the biggest will be built out in Ramona and that'll be 39 megawats.

Speaker 4: (11:39)

Mm. So when are all the sites expected to be up and running?

Speaker 3: (11:42)

Well, the El Caho and Chula Vista site that you mentioned at the, uh, top of this, uh, interview that are just broken ground, they're expected to begin commercial operations. As soon as early April, the entire portfolio, they expect to have all 12 sites up and running by the end of 2023.

Speaker 4: (11:59)

And could you tell us about who will be designing it and operating these systems?

Speaker 3: (12:04)

It's this company that's based in San Diego called enter smart. Uh, they are renewable energy company. Uh, they're fairly new, wrote a story about them about a year ago, about another project that they're doing in the San Diego area. And it's not as big, but, uh, they're new, but they're making, um, making some progress here.

Speaker 4: (12:25)

All right. How much is the project estimated to cost and how will it be funded? It's

Speaker 3: (12:30)

Estimated to cost up to a hundred million dollar and enter smart, was able to get some funding, some financing from two pretty big, uh, entities. One is Siemens financial. The other is in north American development bank. They're going to split the costs about 50 50 between Siemens and the north American development bank. The north American development bank is kind of interesting. It's a binational project that's been established by the us and Mexico government that's been established in order to, uh, build and enhance infrastructure projects along the border of those two countries. Do you

Speaker 4: (13:08)

Foresee more projects like this rolling out across the county or even the state in the, a near future?

Speaker 3: (13:15)

Yeah, I think so. In fact, definitely it's probably a better way to put it because of those California renewable mandates that we talked about earlier. There's a lot of requirements and there's a lot of push to bring more renewable projects into the form, put 'em into the grid. And on top of that, the up utilities commission has ordered utilities and power companies to come up with more sources of power, especially clean energy projects in the next few years, the grid really needs these new projects, especially because in the next couple of years, the last remaining nuclear power plant in California, the Yalo canyon power plant up in, uh, central California. That's going to be going away. It's going to be, uh, discontinued and that's roughly about 2000 megawats that need to be replaced. So California is looking for more in the next couple year, more sources of power, especially clean power. All right.

Speaker 4: (14:12)

So we know one of the big goals of this project is to be able to store and use this emissions free energy more efficiently. Does this have the prospect of lowering energy bills at all?

Speaker 3: (14:25)

At this point? I, I doubt it because the general thought is that this particular project that we're talking about that inner Smartt is doing, I ask, uh, the, a managing partner of that company, what the estimated cost would be. And it's about $300 per megawat hour, which is more expensive than conventional sources. But the overall thought that, uh, backers of energy storage say is that they point to the fact that energy storage battery storage prices have dramatically gone down, uh, a few years ago, it was in the tens of thousands of dollars. Now it's depending, uh, on the various estimates that have been said, for example, the national renewable energy, uh, laboratory in Colorado, they asked estimate that by the year 2030, that battery storage prices could be about $148 megawat hour. So the goal is to get to battery storage prices at about a hundred dollars a megawat hour. So we're getting closer, but I don't think that this particular project will translate into, uh, lower energy bills for customers in San Diego. Right

Speaker 4: (15:33)

Now, I've been speaking with San Diego union Tribune energy reporter, Rob Eski, Rob, thank you so much for joining us.

Speaker 3: (15:41)

Thank you.

Speaker 4: (15:55)

You're listening to K PBS midday edition. I'm Jade Henman with Christina Kim, Maureen Kavanaugh is off whether a cup size a B or D or any other letter of the alphabet losing one or both breast to cancer can be a shattering experience. Earlier this year, K PBS evening edition anchor Maya trai met a group of tightknit women, living at a retirement home in Escondido who are lightning, the pain associated with mastectomy. One loving stitch at a time

Speaker 5: (16:27)

Like grading a bicycle. You don't forget

Speaker 6: (16:30)

In her little cottage at Redwood terrace, retirement home, pat Anderson's creates it. Hasn't slowed down over the years. After a long career, as a textile designer, she still enjoys making yarn by hand on her homemade spinning wheel and everything

Speaker 5: (16:45)

You wear starts with this process. Her work

Speaker 6: (16:48)

Both old and new is strew on her couch. Her friend, pat Moler is here. This is

Speaker 5: (16:54)

The very first thing I I ever made. Did you see this hat pat? No.

Speaker 6: (16:59)

And admires her creations from the seventies. How neat the two pats call this tranquil home in Escondido, the magic place as it's become the setting of their new friendship, as well as the surprising grassroots movement called S B w and

Speaker 5: (17:15)

That's stand else for sisterhood of the boobs wonders,

Speaker 6: (17:18)

The sisterhood of the boobs wonders are breast cancer survivors, and part of a trio of knitters who have literally taken comfort into their own hands in the shape of hand, knitted bust forms, aptly called busters.

Speaker 5: (17:31)

And here they are. They're nothing more than a especially designed accessor.

Speaker 6: (17:37)

In the six years since pat made the first prototype, the busters project has helped more than 1200 women across the country who have undergone mastectomy surgery. All

Speaker 5: (17:46)

Women's clothing is designed to accommodate the bust contour. If that is gone, your clothes don't fit, right? And you end up feeling dumpy and

Speaker 6: (18:00)

Unkempt. Pat says most of all it shows. And until now the only official solutions offer to patients were surgical reconstruction or medical grade silicone prosthetics, which can be heavy busters. On the other hand, this weighs less

Speaker 5: (18:14)

Than an ounce. They're soft, they're washable, natural and normal looking at

Speaker 6: (18:21)

First glance busters may look simple. These

Speaker 5: (18:24)

Are tricky to

Speaker 6: (18:25)

Make. Pat says there is a very specific kniting technique that all the direction and the grain of the yarn and pat has proudly patented the design. We've got

Speaker 5: (18:34)

A contour here, but it has to be flat on

Speaker 6: (18:38)

The back. What makes them even more unique? Unlike prosthetics is that they are customizable in size by simply adding or removing the filling. Almost

Speaker 5: (18:47)

The full cup size, larger or smaller.

Speaker 6: (18:50)

Every last detail has been considered the light,

Speaker 5: (18:53)

Bright, cheerful colors, help women remember that they are breast cancer survivors, not victims.

Speaker 6: (19:01)

Each pair takes about eight hours to knit. It's a real labor of love. What do you

Speaker 5: (19:06)

Think of something like this? Colorwise

Speaker 6: (19:10)

Pat Mueller stepped in to help.

Speaker 5: (19:12)

She happened to be in front of me in the buffet line. And I said, if you need any help, kniting I would be happy to. And she's doing the biggest sizes. So, you know, she's a good niter

Speaker 6: (19:23)

yeah. When fellow residents, Bernice do four, found a lump on her breast. I

Speaker 7: (19:27)

Didn't want any nonsense. I said just

Speaker 6: (19:29)

Lo it off. Medicare covered the cost of the silicone prosthetic. She holds in her hand, which usually costs more than $200 per breast. I

Speaker 7: (19:37)

Waited on my postal scale, weighs two pounds, and it was hot in the summer. And it could even be cold in the winter. I don't think anybody would choose

Speaker 6: (19:45)

This since she was introduced to busters. She says, this breast sits in a box.

Speaker 7: (19:50)

Now I have have a much better choice and I'm sticking with it.

Speaker 6: (19:55)

A basket full of thank you. Notes with gratitude from recipients usually comes with donations. That is so nice that go towards sponsoring another woman's pair from one survivor to another there's

Speaker 5: (20:06)

Life. After breast

Speaker 6: (20:06)

Cancer, ask for pat Anderson in a career that dates back more than 50 years, she says busters is her final project.

Speaker 5: (20:14)

How many? Almost 89 year old women can say that they're still doing something that makes a

Speaker 6: (20:20)

Difference and much like the 60, 40 acrylic nylon blend chosen for its strength and its softness. These survivors exude that same resilience, creating a product that is built to last down to the final thoughtful stitch Maya trai K PBS news.

Speaker 1: (20:41)

There's a major effort in the us to shut down the multi-billion dollar trade in exotic animals like lions, tigers, and leopards. Some of these big cats wind up in sanctuaries, like the one right here in San Diego county, KBS reporter John Carroll took us there on international tiger day in July

Speaker 8: (21:02)

Set among the rolling Hills of San Diego. County's back country, just a few miles outside of Alpine, a menagerie 93 acres of sanctuary and a name lions tigers, and bears a home for rescued animals.

Speaker 9: (21:17)

So exotic animal trades suck into drugs and weapons and human trafficking in our country. Uh, these animals are used abused and BR for nothing more than profit NOLA

Speaker 8: (21:28)

NOLA. Bobby brink is the founder and director of lions, tigers and bears home to dozens of animals, not just the ones in the title. Bobcat, goats, Alma, along with some horses and birds live here too. It is accredited by the American sanctuary association and that's a important,

Speaker 9: (21:48)

The true sanctuary rescues provides a lifetime home does not breed sell or trade animals.

Speaker 8: (21:55)

Videographer Mike Damron and I were here last Thursday, international tiger day, at least 10,000 tigers are kept in captivity. As pets people begin their time here watching a video, explaining how the animals they're about to see got here. But this being international tiger day, there was something special treats hidden in cardboard creations, raw meat for NOLA and MOCA. It costs either 43 or $46 for adults, depending on the day and $26 for children for a day's visit. The 15,000 yearly visitors help pay the bills.

Speaker 9: (22:31)

It's about $15,000 a year to feed just one cat. And then our, of course our biggest expenses are building these vast habitats insurance pumping the water, electricity, uh, keeper, keeper, salary, all these animals gotta have someone to take care of them daily. So yeah, it's not

Speaker 8: (22:48)

Cheap about 2 million a year to take care of 65 animals. So while visitors help with daily expenses,

Speaker 9: (22:56)

We do survive on donations,

Speaker 8: (22:58)

Donations that help pay for big costs. Like the rehabilitation of the animals. A lot of them are in bad shape when they arrive the life. These bears lived before getting here, his stomach turning

Speaker 9: (23:11)

Blue behind me is a perfect example. What we call pit bears. So they're literally in cinder block pits where the bears can't see out, kept in breeding bears. And then when the babies are born, they pull the babies about eight days, six, eight days, um, from the mama, they take 'em up top where the mama can hear and smell them, but can't see 'em for people to get at their picture taken.

Speaker 8: (23:31)

Do you still get angry at your fellow human beings?

Speaker 9: (23:35)

I have to control my temper a lot because you can't lose your temper or we lose and we wanna get the animals out of there. And sometimes this can take like years, five, six years to get animals out of just disgusting places.

Speaker 8: (23:48)

Bobby brink began her professional career as a flight attendant in 1990, but she soon realized that wasn't for her next. She became a restaur, but eventually she and her husband's life paths led them here. They opened this place in 2002. She nowadays her most rewarding moments come from visitors who arrive not knowing anything about the exotic animal trade, but leave educated and motivated to do something about it. Someday brink hopes. There won't be a need for places like lion's tigers and bears.

Speaker 9: (24:21)

That is a sanctuary's job is to try to be putting sanctuaries out of,

Speaker 8: (24:25)

But until that day arrives brink, her staff and her volunteers will continue to expand this special place by building more habitats. And by doing the daily work of making life, as good as it can be for these animals who have suffered so much,

Speaker 4: (24:47)

Kwana is a seven day celebration of black culture that begins on December 26th and ends on January 1st during the celebration, seven principles are observed and on this fifth day of Kwana purpose is the theme here to talk about. The holiday is Starla Lewis, a professor of black studies and Mesa and SDSU professor Lewis. Welcome.

Speaker 10: (25:09)

Thank you. Great to be here. So first,

Speaker 4: (25:12)

How is Kwana celebrated?

Speaker 10: (25:14)

Well, you know, most people don't realize it, but it's actually celebrated all over the world and there's a beautiful documentary called black candle that shows you Kwana happening throughout the world. Um, and it's celebrated during the, uh, the 26th through the 31st of what we, uh, officially call a Christmas holiday, but the reality is it's after Christmas, it has nothing to do with Christmas. It's not a substitute for Christmas. So people who celebrate Christmas or any other holidays can also will celebrate QA because it is a cultural celebration.

Speaker 4: (25:51)

You mentioned the documentary called black candle. What's the significance of the black candle during QA.

Speaker 10: (25:57)

The black candle is the first candle that is lit on the first day of QA. And then it's lit every day after. And it represents the people

Speaker 4: (26:07)

And today's principle is purpose. Can you talk a bit about, about that and how it's observed during the holiday

Speaker 10: (26:15)

Principles are observed throughout the year and on that day, people come together and talk about how they've lived that principle throughout the entire year and purpose, you know, is like destiny. You it's like we're born into the world with a purpose. We're giving gifts, we're giving talents. And when we tap into those and manifest those, then we begin to, uh, fulfill our purpose for being

Speaker 4: (26:39)

So really this is a time of, of self reflection, um, over the entire year, what are the other principles?

Speaker 10: (26:47)

U N I T Y unity, which is Moje self-determination, which is my favorite CJI chat because it's about naming ourselves and defining ourselves and speaking for ourselves. And my whole thing is self love. So I love UJI cha a collective work and responsibility, which is Ujima, uh, that we've come together, worked together. And we're all responsible for each other cooperative economics, which is Ujima and Ujima is sharing. It's a concept of believing that we're here to not only, um, build for ourselves, but build for our future generations, those that we may never even meet. And then of course, Mia, which is purpose, and then Kaumba, which is creativity, creativity. My great-great great aunt. Kate used to always say, you come from a people, learned how to make a way outta no way. And I believe that's our creativity. And then the last principle is Imani. Faith. African people are very spiritual people. So we believe in things that are not yet seen. And I do believe that that's one of the reasons we survived enslavement because even without any evidence that we were gonna be free, we knew that our spirits were free.

Speaker 4: (28:07)

Hmm. And collectively, why are these principles so important to the black community?

Speaker 10: (28:12)

Well, one is because they, uh, encompass many different cultures on the continent of Africa. Uh, Myana Coringa brought the, the principles and values together kind of blended them based on the different cultures. So all of these principles can be found in every African society or culture.

Speaker 4: (28:34)

And, you know, the pandemic has changed so many communities. Do you think the pandemic really highlights the need for these principles?

Speaker 10: (28:41)

Well, I think the pandemic highlights the needs for everything, but especially, uh, collective work and responsibility and cooperative economics. We're in a time where if we're not sharing, uh, many people are suffering. And then also the whole concept of Imani, faith, you know, faith and fear can't exist in the same place at the same time. So either we're gonna have faith that we're gonna get through this, or we're gonna struggle in our fears of what might happen that may never happen. Are

Speaker 4: (29:12)

There organizations or areas, uh, of San Diego where you see these, the seven principles working?

Speaker 10: (29:18)

Uh, actually I see them working wherever they're being taught, but I know that every year in B park at the, a world beat center, the community comes together and celebrates these principles. And it's usually packed. And the beauty of Cheam who is the director of the world beat center is that she also owned the number one vegetarian restaurant in San Diego for many years called the profit. So she literally feeds the community for free throughout the Kwana celebration with COVID, uh, and the, and the lockdowns and the, all the restrictions. Uh, they, they only did two in-person, uh, QA celebrations, but you can see Kwanza virtually, uh, by going to the world beat center and looking at their website.

Speaker 4: (30:05)

Mm. And, and how was Kwanza started?

Speaker 10: (30:09)

Well, it was started by a student at, uh, UCLA, Dr. Mylan Koranga who later became a professor at San Diego state university and is now a professor at long beach state. And he said that black people celebrated everybody's holidays, but their own. And the only holiday we celebrated before QA was when they told us two years later that we were freed in Texas. And that's important, but that doesn't define the, the vastness of who we are.

Speaker 4: (30:40)

And do you think that there are are ways to really engage the community to carry the principles of Kwana? Uh, beyond December 26th through January 1st, but 365 days a year?

Speaker 10: (30:53)

Oh, absolutely. I was in the barbershop getting my haircut and they asked me, how is it that we can get gang members to get outta gangs? And I said, oh, that's easy. And they looked at me like, what? And I said, all you have to do is teach 'em who they really are because when people know who they really are, they're not a threat or danger to anybody else when we love ourselves and accept ourselves, and then we can see ourselves and others, then we want for others, but we want for ourselves.

Speaker 4: (31:20)

That's interesting. Let's touch on that a little bit. What's been the challenge to us getting to know ourselves.

Speaker 10: (31:28)

It's called miseducation. We're finally in a place where we're taught, getting ready to talk about ethnic studies, to represent the, the contributions and, and perspectives of all the people who make up America, because America's very diverse. And yet, historically, we only learn about the history of our European brothers and sisters. We can quote them, but we often know nothing about ourselves. And my favorite example is when I desegregated a school in Al to Dina, I was nine. And the teacher asked us to talk about where we came from. And I was sitting there trying to figure out where Negro land was, because I'd never heard about us coming from Africa. And,

Speaker 4: (32:06)

And there's a lot of power in knowing where you come from, who you are.

Speaker 10: (32:11)

Absolutely knowledge is power. You can't be yourself. If you don't know yourself,

Speaker 4: (32:16)

I've been speaking with star Lewis, a professor of black studies at Mesa college and SDSU professor Lewis. Thank you so much for joining us.

Speaker 10: (32:25)

Thank you for having me and have a wonderful Kwanza.

Speaker 4: (32:29)

You too happy Kwanza. You're listening to KPBS midday edition. I'm Jade Henman with Christina Kim, Maureen Kavanaugh has the day off Charles McPherson is one of Jazz's most prolific saxophonist, still performing and releasing new music. Even in his eighties, in September of 2020, he put out an album called jazz dance suites inspired by his time working as composer and residents at the San Diego ballet. In February, we asked McPherson to put a playlist together of the music that got him into jazz, shaped his style and drives his music. Here's Charles McPherson. Even

Speaker 11: (33:18)

If I can't perform just to have music in my mind, I hear it in my mind. And to be able to just go to the piano and play a few chords or, or go to the saxophone and play what I hear or so I, I try to be busy and try to be creative, even though that, uh, these are some to trying times just the passion and the love I have for the art itself. It just makes me happy just to the fact that I, I can do it and hear it. And, and I could actually entertain myself. One of my, uh, inspirations is Charlie Parker. And one of the first compositions or song that I heard that Charlie Parker play was a, a song called Tico Tico.

Speaker 11: (34:33)

I didn't know Charlie Parker. I had never heard him before. And, uh, when I heard that I, I heard it on a jukebox in my neighborhood in immediately resonated with me. I, I, I was about 14 years old when I first heard this. And even though I, uh, did not know how to, to explain why this resonated with me, but really what it was I could hear, even at that young age, his sense of logic, melodic Lynn, New York logic. In other words, these long, beautiful musical phrases, improvised phrases were well connected, you know, in a linear melodic in a very logical way. And even though I was a kid, I could hear this logic. It made sense to me, There's an album by Billy holiday. That impressed me a lot.

Speaker 12: (35:44)

You've changed That sparkle in your is

Speaker 11: (35:53)

Gone. And of course, it's the famous records. It's it's I lady in satin. I mean, I cry now talking about it, listening to some of this

Speaker 12: (36:04)

You're breaking, my you've changed. You've changed. Your kiss is now. So

Speaker 11: (36:25)

I learned so much from Billy holiday in particular, not just this record, but Billy holiday in particular, because besides having this really nice pleasant voice, there is this high level degree of honesty, uh, in, in how she sings and how she interprets. There's no egoic sense of trying to impress people. She opens her mouth, she stay the song and there's no affectation. There's no trying to prove anything. There's nothing narcissistic about it. It's just pure emotional honesty and a very deep understanding of the words that she's singing.

Speaker 12: (37:19)

You're not the angel, what's new, No need to tell me that we through All you've

Speaker 11: (37:51)

Bayla bar talk. I really love him. And I got interested in him. It's funny, the way it came about, I moved into this apartment and the preceding people had left a bunch of classical records that they didn't take with them. And they were in good shape. They were LPs. And one of them was a symphony called the miraculous Mandarin suite by bill Barto. I listened to this and I was mesmerized for about 40 minutes. So however long it is, and I fell in love with him, right then Melodically and harmonically. It is, uh, just gorgeous as far as I'm concerned. And I learned a lot and that sort of interest, uh, introduced me to classical music, um, in more of a, a, a deeper way. I really started actively listening to different composers. Anytime you learn anything new, it broadens you, or just gives you more dimension as an artist. And, and as a person, The thing about, uh, Charles Ming's writing his ballot writing is just beautiful. I mean, there are many tunes balls that Mingus wrote that I love portrait is one of them.

Speaker 13: (39:43)

I sing alls most of the

Speaker 11: (39:56)

Us, his ballot writing in particular, there was something haunting about his melodies mixed with sens and, and also his melodic inventions were a little different musical curve balls all over

Speaker 13: (40:13)

The place. I've paint it, mother bold flowers that brave.

Speaker 11: (40:31)

I worked with Mingus for about 12 years. I was about 20 years old when I first joined in his band. Mingus was in his early forties, I think, and with my own writing every now and here, then I can hear influences from Mingus and not because I'm trying to do it on a conscious level, uh, just because of osmosis and for years of being with him and having, you know, the sounds and chords, uh, from some of his music in my, in my mind

Speaker 13: (41:23)

Leaves on the ground moms tip with a dash, right slow.

Speaker 11: (41:36)

Also, I did learn from Mingus how to be thematic in my writing because Mingus wrote lyrics to his tunes. He was very political and he wrote political songs with where, with war protest words, but he wrote love songs. He wrote his own words, and he also wrote ballet, uh, music he wrote for, for dance and movement. I think that also influenced me, uh, where that I started, uh, thinking about music in an episodic way. Uh, cuz he certainly did. I think that kind of consciousness he brought to me, I, I became aware of that, that you just don't write a bunch of notes. You have a reason, you have a story that you want to tell

Speaker 13: (42:27)

Tip with a dash of glowing wide snow.

Speaker 11: (42:48)

But uh, what I learned from, uh, Mingus bar talk and all the just different variety of music and styles that I've, I've listened to through the years, all of that has impacted how I think about music. And uh, certainly led to me thinking episodically about music and not just writing notes for instruments to play, but also for people to dance. And that experience as being resident composer with the San Diego ballet really brought all that to four. I learned how to write for dance and how to be aware of a storyline and not just to ramble, but write me and to be structured. And um, also my daughter, um, Camille is like one of the principal dancers, um, with the San Diego ballet. So basically she's the inspiration for doing that project. The jazz dance suites

Speaker 4: (43:51)

That was San Diego, jazz saxophones, Charles McPherson Coming up on KPBS evening edition at 5:00 PM on KPBS television health officials say big celebrations should be out for new year's Eve. So how can people celebrate and join us again tomorrow for K PBS midday edition at noon. And if you ever miss a show, you can find the midday edition podcast wherever you listen to podcast. I'm Jade Henman with Christina Kim. Thanks for listening.

Speaker 14: (44:50)

The, the, the, I.

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Cases of COVID-19 are once again on the rise in San Diego County. On Tuesday, the county reported more than 3,600 new cases, the highest number of new cases in a single day since last winter. Plus, a new energy storage project is rolling out across the county, with the first two sites scheduled to break ground within the next month. Then, earlier this year KPBS met a group of women living at a retirement home in Escondido, who are lightening the pain associated with mastectomy one loving stitch at a time. In July, KPBS reporter John Carroll took us to an animal sanctuary in San Diego County that is trying to bring awareness to the illegal, multi-billion dollar trade in exotic animals. And in current events, Starla Lewis, a professor of Black Studies at Mesa College and SDSU, talks about the meaning of Kwanzaa and its origin. Lastly, KPBS looks back at an interview with Charles McPherson, one of jazz's most prolific saxophonists.