San Diego County wants to expand homeless services to cities throughout the region
S1: New incentives to open shelters across the county.
S2: For far too long. Everyone has said , Hey , we've got to deal with homelessness until it comes to actually sighting a facility and then people get awfully squeamish.
S1: I'm Jade Hindman with Maureen CAVANAUGH. This is KPBS Midday Edition. With the strain on the grid. Blackouts could be coming this summer.
S2: I guess we should just all be on the lookout and be prepared for possible repeats of what happened in 2020.
S1: We've got details on the Assembly District 80 primary and a new exhibit honoring the work of San Diego native Dave Stevens. That's ahead on Midday Edition. A new county initiative would pledge onsite homeless resources to any city in the region that builds new shelters. The proposal would provide new shelters with everything from behavioral health services to public benefits assistance , while the cities themselves would be on the hook for staffing and other operational cost. San Diego Board of Supervisors chair Nathan Fletcher says the effort is intended to increase the number of shelters countywide to match the growing need for services.
S2: You know , for far too long everyone has said , hey , we've got to deal with homelessness until it comes to actually citing a facility and then people get awfully squeamish. Mean the reality is we can't do that. That can't be the way we go as a region. We have got to be willing to safe places. We've got to address the situation we face on the streets.
S1: Joining me now with more is KPBS health reporter Matt Hoffman. Matt , welcome.
S2: A.J. , great to be here.
S2: Now , the services we're talking about are behavioral health services. So like mental health services , it could be relating to like addiction treatment. And they're also going to have they'll provide a human services specialist. So that's somebody that can connect people to things like Cal Fresh or Medi-Cal or even some cash assistance programs to try to help people in their current situation. So they're not providing everything. I think it's it's key to to mention here that cities that would want to sign on to this general and the view that the county is putting out , they would still have to run the day to day shelter operations or maybe even find like a third party provider to run those operations.
S2: So obviously they want a space , whatever they sort of choose here. There's a few things they need to do. The county wants them to have access to onsite showers , restroom and laundry. They have to provide three meals a day and they also have to coordinate intake services. And they also have to , like I said earlier , run day to day shelter operations. So that's something that we know can be expensive. Some of the city of San Diego shelters , the contracts , you know , 450 bed shelter can be up to $3 million a year to run. So there's definitely going to be some investment on the city side here. But the county is trying to , you know , give them some resources to kind of get the ball rolling here.
S2: The board of Supervisors is voting on a $10 million grant program. And if that gets passed , the county's basically saying we want to fund projects that are ready to go. So there's definitely going to be some investment on the city side here. But the county is trying to , you know , give them some resources to kind of get the ball rolling here.
S1: And when Chair Fletcher announced this proposal yesterday , he seemed to be addressing attitudes of NIMBYism across the county when it comes to dedicating space for shelters.
S2: You know that everyone says that we need to deal with homelessness. We see on the streets that it's not just happening in the city of San Diego. It's getting pushed out to some of the smaller cities , some of the suburbs. And he says , you know , a lot of people say we need to deal with this , but they don't necessarily want to deal with it , you know , maybe within their own city. But he thinks that those attitudes are changing , and particularly because the problem is becoming more visible. And so city leaders are sort of having to make some of these tough decisions that we're seeing in some cities that are already moving forward with their own shelter options. So that's why this money's being made available. That's why the county's making this M.O. You obviously they can't do everything themselves , but they can try and encourage some of this. It's also worth noting , T.J. , that these services that the county would be offering are services that they already provide at City of San Diego shelters. So all the bridge shelters there , they have benefits specialists that are trying to connect people that are screening people for communicable diseases. So it's not out of the ordinary. They're just offering it to any city who could build a shelter.
S2: That was yesterday. And in that meeting he said that they didn't get any hard commitments yet. But he says that there's a number of cities that are already working on shelter plans and moving forward , he says. Like National City , Oceanside , Carlsbad and Chula Vista are some of those cities that are right there on the bubble. But while that's good , you know , he's saying we need all of the cities to be doing that because homelessness is a regional issue and something that we know that the annual homeless count reports coming out next week that will maybe show an increase in homelessness , a decrease , we're not really sure , but we did get a little bit of tidbit of information from that. We know that when these volunteers are out walking the streets , talking to these unsheltered residents , you know , they're asking them where they're from. And they said up to 90% of people in any given city are from that community. So another reason why they say this initiative is key is because they want to keep people where they're at and talking with homeless providers. Like if they find somebody out in Lakeside , it's , you know , moving heaven and earth to try to get them to go to a shelter in downtown San Diego. But if they had a shelter in their community where they're from , you know , maybe where they became homeless , they think that they have a better opportunity to house them there or to start to get them in the process to find. Some sort of permanent supportive housing.
S2: There may be some winter shelters , but there's not a lot or at all of any of these year round shelters. And so the providers that are out there , you know , they're helping people. But it would be nice if , you know , maybe instead of giving them like a hotel voucher , that they can bring them to a shelter where they can get some of these services. They're all right there. So they're not having to drive somebody to the county building to try to get them on cal fresh benefits. Something else that's related to this and why they want shelters. Supervisor Joel Anderson was just recently out there in East County. There's a large homeless encampment that's on the border of like Santee , El Cajon and the unincorporated county. And a lot of people who were there were saying , why can't we just move all these people out of here ? Well , the county points to some case law that says those who are homeless cannot be punished for sleeping outside on public property in the absence of adequate shelter alternatives. And so what they're saying is we can't even if they wanted to , they couldn't move people because they don't have any shelter options out there.
S1: I've been speaking with KPBS health reporter Matt Hoffman. Matt , thank you so much for joining us.
S2: Thanks , Jake.
S3: If we have another hot , dry summer with major wildfires , prepare for blackouts. That's the word from California energy officials. Despite upgrades to the state's energy grid , officials say there's a potential for energy shortfalls that could lead to power outages. The multiple elements that could lead to shortages include smoke from wildfires , blocking solar production , supply chain delays and a decrease in hydroelectric power due to a low snowpack. Those problems and more could leave the state short of the energy capacity needed to avoid blackouts. Joining me is San Diego Union-Tribune , energy reporter Rob Nicholas. And Rob , welcome to the program.
S2: Glad to be back.
S3: So back in the summer of 2020 , California experienced some major blackouts and the state electrical grid managers determined to beef up resources. So that wouldn't happen again.
S2: They've added about 11,000 megawatts since 2021. And since those 2020 blackouts and among that 11,000 megawatts includes about 4500 megawatts of battery storage. So they have added some capacity.
S2: It's been persistent now for a few years. And that hot , dry weather is really making things very , very difficult for the people who manage the grid , especially during the summertime. When you get around 5:06 p.m. , it's really , really difficult. And when you're trying to manage the grid at around five , six , 7 p.m. during the summertime because it's so hot , people are all cranking up your air conditioners. But then around 5:06 p.m. , the sun starts to go down and all that solar production is taken off the grid because you're not you're not able to produce solar production when the sun goes down. And so the grid managers then have to try to find a replacement for that solar production in real time. And that really puts a lot of strain on the grid. Immigrant managers.
S2: In fact , Oroville Dam , which is one of the largest dams up in northern California , one of the largest dams in the entire state. It actually shut down for the first time in its history last summer for a short period of time , for a number of months. And as a matter of fact , and it's still very dry , still a lot of drought. And so you're not going to get a whole lot of hydro production on top of that. California imports about one third of its mega wattage from other states. And when other states are in very parched conditions similar to California , they're not able to import that energy or that those megawatts over to California. And that puts a little bit more strain on California's system.
S3: And there are also supply chain problems that might contribute to power shortages.
S2: In order to try to get that extra procurement online , you need to have that material sent over in their supply chain problems that are causing problems as well. Also , it's a little bit complicated , but the U.S. Commerce Department is considering a petition from some solar panel manufacturers , and that has delayed the production and the import of solar modules from places like China and Southeast Asia. And so that has slowed things down as well.
S2: This whole confluence of things that happened in 2020 , like the heat dome that covered not just California but the entire West , and we're talking about 1700 megawatts. That gives some perspective. That's about 5% of the total load that the energy system handles during the summer time. And if things get really bad , they're saying that could just be 1700 megawatts short , which could be four or 5000 megawatts short. So I guess we should just all be on the lookout and be prepared for possible repeats of what happened in 2020.
S3: Now , California is still committed to getting an increasing amount of energy from renewables , and that's got to come under criticism if there are blackouts.
S2: And that was came up. Representatives from Governor Gavin Newsom's administration said California is not going to turn back on the state's commitments to try to get to 100% derived electricity from renewable or carbon free sources. Resources by 2045 something. They say they're not going to amend that or change direction at this point.
S3: Now , the effort to shore up the state's energy grid has even led Governor Newsom to lobby for the continued operation of the Diablo Nuclear Plant.
S2: It's interesting because Governor Newsom brought that up as a possibility when he was talking to the L.A. Times editorial board about ten days ago. And he said that California should at least consider maybe keeping Diablo open for a few more years. It's supposed to shut down by 2024 slash 2025. Pacific Gas and Electric is the utility that operates that facility. They didn't really make a commitment one way or the other after what the after the governor's comments about that. So I would think that we if they're going to try to ask for federal funds to keep that facility open. The deadline is May 19 for them to apply for it. So we're coming down the stretch. So we'll know in the next week or ten days at the most.
S3: And meanwhile , the cost of power is also expected to keep going up here in San Diego and across the state.
S2: Yeah , you know , Maureen , one of the things that really surprised me about this discussion that we had with the California energy officials is they talked about the increase , the potential and expected increase in rates. And normally that would be what had been my lead story on when I wrote this story late last week. But yeah , they're talking about double digit increases. And there was a report that the CPC , the California Public Utilities Commission , did and came out about a year ago saying that they expected double digit increases by 2030. The other day , they mentioned they moved those projections up to 2025 to just give everyone an idea for San Diego Gas and Electric. The CPC analysis estimated the average bill would rise from $171 per month. That's what we're at today , up to $213 per month by 2025.
S3: I've been speaking with San Diego Union-Tribune energy reporter Rob Nicholas. Rob , thank you.
S2: Thank you , Maureen. Oh.
S1: You're listening to KPBS Midday Edition. I'm Jade Hindman with Maureen CAVANAUGH. Assembly District 80 is up for grabs this June 7th , not just once , but twice. KPBS speaks City Heights reporter Jacob Air explains why.
S4: After Lorena Gonzalez stepped down from her Assembly District ADC in January. A battle to represent San Diego South Bay got underway. First , there was a special election primary on April 5th. No candidate got the majority vote. So now there's a runoff on June 7th. That's the same day as a separate general election for the same seat. Yes , it's confusing.
S5: There will be approximately 250,000 voters in the county that will have two Assembly District contests on their ballot.
S4: San Diego County Registrar of Voters Cynthia Paz explains how this will work.
S5: One will be the general election for the 80th Assembly District for the remainder of the current term. So it's electing someone to fill the seat for the remainder of this current term through December of 2022. The second contest State Assembly contests will be for the new term beginning December 5th of 2022.
S4: So voters will vote twice , once for a candidate for June through December , and then again for a candidate to go on to the November general election. The November winner will then represent the district for the next two years. For the June through December term , Democrats Georgette Gomez and David Alvarez are the only two candidates competing head to head. Meanwhile , the standard election primary will include the two Democrats , as well as a pair of Republicans Lincoln Picard and John Vogel Garcia. Southwestern College professor of political science Phil Sines , says whoever wins the special election will technically run as an incumbent in the November general election.
S2: They both have terrific name recognition. They have the political machinery in place. I would say that those are other factors to be considered. But yes , I think there is an advantage , especially if they're able to use that time wisely and generate enough positive publicity during that time period.
S4: To further complicate matters. People who lived in the 2011 district boundaries can vote for the special election candidates. But the standard election primary is only for those who live in the updated 2021 district boundaries. So some folks may not be able to vote for both.
S5: On the ballot for the 80th Assembly District. We have in parentheses special runoff to fill vacancy , which is separate from their regular the primary election for the new term of the whatever Assembly District they reside in now.
S4: Again , the top two vote getters in the standard primary election this June will head to a November general election. Signs says even though the two Democrats are the most likely to be on the November ballot , it's the Republican and Independent voters who may make a difference.
S2: Because there was 9000 votes in the previous election that went to the one Republican that was running. So who's going to get those 9000 votes ? Who's going to get the other Republican votes when they vote again in November ? And it may come down to Republican voters deciding the election as much as it does for Democrats in that district.
S4: Now , ballots are on their way to voters.
S5: So the week of May 9th , you should expect to receive your official ballot in the mail on that same day. We will have nearly 130 to drop off locations open across the county.
S4: Says the county will also have 219 voting centers open starting on Saturday , May 28th. Results in both contests will be certified 30 days after the June 7th election. Jacob Air , KPBS News.
S3: Of all the candidates running for office during primaries and general elections , voters often know the least about the judicial candidates. These races are nonpartisan. Judicial candidates are restricted from taking strong stands on issues that may come before the court , and they don't take part in debates. So voters are often left deciding by chance or by gender , or even by the sound of the candidates names. But the San Diego County Bar Association offers a bit more solid information on the judicial candidates. The bar has released evaluations of the candidates in the June primary. Joining me is San Diego County Bar Association president David BioShock. And David , welcome to the program.
S2: BREAM Thank you so much for inviting me to be here.
S3: As I said , voters are often left floundering when it comes to picking judges.
S2: And that's probably simply because a lot of what they do is outside of public perception. And it's not so simple to evaluate a particular person and their abilities to be on the bench through a simple overview or something short of a more comprehensive analysis similar to what the County Bar Association does.
S2: While there are a number of organizations which publish information on candidates for various offices. What aren't normally covered are these four judicial elections. So we offer a way for the public to have some information. So as you said earlier , they're not making decisions based upon matters that aren't necessarily going to reflect who would best serve in these positions , which are going to be critical to us. Judges have the ability to make decisions that impact people before them in very personal ways and in very important ways. And so we want to make sure that the public has as much information about these people who may be impacting their daily lives.
S2: These include things like bias , intolerance , caseload management , compassion and understanding , courtesy and patience , decisiveness , fairness and objectivity. Just by way of example of some of these characteristics and the committee meets to maintain integrity and the impartial assessment of any candidate , then the committee does its research. It delves into the backgrounds of the candidates , both based on what they may offer themselves and through outreach to the legal community to get feedback on each of these candidates before arriving at an assessment regarding their qualifications to serve on the bench.
S3: And that assessment comes down to about five categories. Tell us what those five categories are.
S2: It's really four categories than a fifth one that says we're unable to evaluate , but the four categories that you might get are exceptionally qualified , well-qualified , qualified and lacking qualifications. I will offer that to be even qualified to serve on the bench is significant because of all of those characteristics that we look at along the way and would expect in a member of our judiciary. But there are distinctions between the qualifications , the exceptionally qualified , or those that are possessing exceptional professional ability , experience , competence , integrity and or temperament to perform the judicial functions. The well-qualified have a very high level of those characteristics and the qualified meet those standards that we are looking for in our judges.
S3: The evaluations that the bar releases are not endorsements.
S2: We provide these evaluations along the way so that they can assess who it is that the professionals in the community believe would be fit to serve on the bench in terms of where a particular candidate may fall in relation to the other ones. It's a real tough call for us to tell the public , you should pick this one person rather than another. And that's why we construct these evaluations where we evaluate the candidates independently of one another. It's not meant to be a comparison , and although there may be different. Levels of qualifications and evaluations that come out. Those can be very close calls. The line can sometimes be very thin between a well qualified and a qualified candidate , for example. We've got a process we follow , and each candidate is put through the same evaluative process , but not as compared to other candidates in their race or any other candidate.
S3: The County Bar Association has evaluated the seven judicial candidates on the June primary.
S2: And on the homepage there is a button to press that says Judicial Voting Guide. If you select that , that will lead you to the evaluations of the seven candidates.
S3: That sounds great. I've been speaking with the San Diego County Bar Association president. David , my shock. And David , thank you so much.
S2: Thank you , Maureen. Really appreciate it.
S1: San Diego County is now seeking to overturn a verdict or get a new trial after the family of a man who died after a 2015 arrest in Santee was awarded $85 million by a jury. The civil suit filed against San Diego County alleged excessive force , negligence and wrongful death and the arrest of 32 year old lucky fancy. Joining me is Greg Moran , San Diego Union-Tribune reporter covering criminal justice and legal affairs. Greg , welcome.
S2: All right.
S1: So back in March after a second trial , a jury found the county liable for the death of Lucky Fancy and awarded his family $85 million , the largest payout in the county's history. Remind us why deputies had an interaction with family to begin with.
S2: What had happened was one of the many ironies or sad elements of this case is that Lucky Fancy had actually called the sheriff's department himself. He was at a relative's home in 2015. They were celebrating a birthday. And he a few days before , he had been to the Coachella Music Festival out in the desert and had taken a small amount of the drug ecstasy. It upset his sleeping and his daily rhythms to the point where , when he was at this party a few days later , he was just very concerned about his own well-being , getting a little paranoid. And so he called the sheriff's department and asked them to come. He was under the delusion that he and his family were in danger. The sheriff's deputies arrived and the situation just spun out of control really quickly. They went into the home. They talked to him a little bit. He was animated and kind of excited. They went to go handcuff him and they put a handcuff on one wrist and went to handcuff the other. And suddenly this was a point of dispute in the trials. One of the deputies fired a taser at him and that then kind of triggered a very lengthy struggle that eventually involved close to a dozen sheriff's deputies with him. Hmm.
S1: Hmm. And this has been a complicated case. A lot happened between the first federal trial in which the jury was deadlocked and the second where the county was found liable.
S2: He was struck with batons , beaten. They sat on him or pressed down their weight on him at one point. And then he was put in what are called maximum restraints. It's kind of the euphemism that most people would recognize. It is where your hands and your ankles are bound together to immobilize you. And this went on for a long period of time while they were struggling with him. The plaintiffs lawyers said that they were just inattentive to his health , his well-being. They didn't monitor , you know , was he no longer struggling ? Was he having trouble breathing and so forth ? And they had just really argued that this was an excessive force case that led to his death and that not only were the individual deputies liable for that , but that the county and the sheriff's department also was because they had do not and did not train their employees about how to apply restraints properly and how to monitor people and so forth.
S1: And you reported that in the second trial , the judge in this case actually told jurors they could distrust the county's version of events on how deputies were trained and on found his drug use.
S2: And I think it related to the judge's instructions that are related to something that came up between the first and the second trial. So , you know , this case was filed back in 2015 , have been going on for seven years. And in a lot of the the run up to the trial , the lawyers for the family had asked as as plaintiffs lawyers always do , for all kinds of material from the sheriff's department about training records and personnel records and and all kinds of information about how the sheriff's department trains its deputies. And they got a lot of it. But in between the first and the second trial , they discovered in kind of an inadvertent way that the video that the sheriff's department made in 2007 , that is the training video that all deputies use for how to apply maximum restraint that it had never been turned over , despite the legal obligation that the county had to provide. These materials when asked for is called a discovery violation. It it the discovery rules are there to make a fair trial for everyone. When the lawyers discovered this , they brought it to the court's attention. They thought it was a terrible error on the part of the county. The judge was not happy is said she was shocked by it and in a way to kind of frankly penalize the county for that , she instructed. The jurors several times throughout the case , not just at the end , that because the county had not turn this over , they could infer , I suppose , that they were trying to hide something and that if if that was the inference they could make , then they could distrust what the county said about three areas. One , the training to that , the records of how deputies who are supposed to view this video every year and then are tested on it , how some of those records had not been turned over to the defense. And a third issue related to the toxicology tests that have been conducted on Mr. Fancy. So , you know , is a very serious violation. The judge thought it was that and it was so serious that she believed that the jury had to know it and issued what's called a curative instruction or just sort of this warning that says , look , you can distrust what they said because they weren't forthcoming and didn't fulfill their legal obligations before the trial. Hmm.
S1: Hmm. So now lawyers for San Diego County are seeking to wipe out the $85 million jury award or get a new trial.
S2: I mean , they they're moving papers to put in it all kinds of you know , what they said ? It's a long string of errors by the judge. Inappropriate arguments and questioning by the lawyers for the county family. And , you know , ultimately the conclusion and the verdict by the jury , they said , you know , was untethered from sort of the facts and the reality of the case. And so they it's kind of that quite a kitchen sink motion. But I mean , they they really list all of these issues that they say were created a trial that was unfair to the county and led to a verdict that was excessive and not supported by the evidence. And among those grounds is they complain that the judge ought not to have given these instructions about disbelieve in their county's version of events and shouldn't have done it as often as she did. And then there's also an argument that the amount of the money that was awarded here , the $85 million , was far in excess of similar kinds of cases or verdicts , and that it should be reduced by a significant amount. You know , so they're looking either for a new trial based on what they say.
S2: You know , the facts of this case are really egregious , frankly. I mean , this was a very , very violent struggle , you know , that not just occurred only in the home , but , you know , he was restrained in here , restrained. He was brought out of this home. And then after a number of minutes , an ambulance came. He was put into the ambulance , still restrained with his ankles and hands tied behind him , is placed on the gurney. He was strapped to the gurney. There was a deputy who accompanied him , a guy named Richard Fisher , who had just fired from the sheriff's department for other misconduct a number of years later. And on the ride to hospital , the evidence showed that that Fisher continued to restrain him. He forced his head down. He held his head down. And in what Fisher described under oath as on a scale of 1 to 10 , with ten being the greatest amount of force , it was a nine out of ten , and he held him down for as long as it took to go to the hospital. So , you know , the facts are egregious. I think I didn't talk to any of the jurors , but I think the not turning over the information about the training and so forth to the defense lawyers and the instructions by the judge on that played a role as well. And also , you know , Mr. Phillips , he was a young man. He was 32. He has two children and a widow. Part of the damage calculation here is , you know , how long he would have lived and the loss of companionship and love and so forth that both the widow and the children , you know , would experience. So it's a big number. But I think , you know , the legitimate or the conclusion you can reach is the jurors thought that this was a a serious an egregious breach of policing by the sheriff's department.
S2: County has filed these post-trial motions for a new trial or something called judgment , notwithstanding the verdict , which is rule for us anyway , and reduced the amount. The plaintiffs just yesterday filed their responses to those which said that there was nothing warranting a new trial or a reduction in the award. There'll be a hearing on these in front of the same trial , Judge Marilyn Hough on June 13th. I think it is so. And then she'll issue a ruling on both of these. But I think , you know , this eventually clearly is going to even if there is a reduction in the in the verdict , you know , I think the county is just going to continue to appeal these and try to , you know , whittle down this this number as much as they can. So I think there's probably a pretty good chance it'll end up with the ninth Circuit. That'll be another several years of litigation , really. But , you know , I suppose there's a chance for a settlement , but , you know , there's been going on for so long , I don't think that that's that that's quite in the cards.
S1: I've been speaking with Greg Moran , San Diego Union-Tribune reporter covering criminal justice and legal affairs. Greg , thanks so much for joining us.
S2: You're welcome.
S3: A survey released today reveals wage theft is still a big problem for more than half a million fast food workers in California. As KQED's Friday Traveller Romero reports , more than eight in ten workers surveyed said employers have shorted them on their paychecks.
S6: A lot of people presume fast food workers are teenagers making some extra cash. But in California , most are adult people of color , many immigrants with families and kids to feed and.
S5: House embrace marijuana. They might as well barely through school.
S6: Maria Bernal is a single mother of three who works at a Jack in the Box near Sacramento. Barnett says for years , she often worked double shifts of 14 hours a day , but she was paid for only about two thirds of that time.
S5: With legal counsel to say they may retire.
S6: Burnell says things got really difficult about two years ago when she fell behind on rent and the family was evicted. She says she and her kids slept in their car for about six months.
S5: For more difficult work.
S6: She says the worst thing about that experience was living in constant fear. Somebody would break into the car while they were sleeping in it. Over the years , she estimates , her employer has cheated her out of more than $86,000 in unpaid wages. She figured this out with help from union organizers who are pushing for legislation to address what they say is a long standing and pervasive problem in California.
S2: The impact of wage theft. It is criminal.
S6: David Walker is president of Service Employees International Union , or SEIU , California. The union funds the Fight for 15 campaign , which issued the 2022 California fast food wage theft survey. Bilingual outreach workers talk to more than 400 employees across the state. That's not a huge survey , but its findings mirror others. Among the facts , most of the employers shorting their employees are franchises. So when you visit a Jack in the Box , for example , that restaurant is likely owned by somebody who's paying the company for representing the brand and Worth says. That's a big part of the problem.
S2: It's the pecking order of the injustice that happens that starts from the very top with the corporations who then squeeze the franchisees , who then squeeze the fast food workers.
S6: Corporations that KFC or Taco Bell control a lot about how a franchise operates from what the store looks like to the hours to the price of those meals you see advertised on TV.
S5: Mix and match the Egg McMuffin. Sausage McMuffin with egg or bacon , egg and cheese biscuit with any two for just $5.
S6: The report notes McDonald's made billions in profit during the pandemic because fast food didn't shut down. But storeowners not so much , says Can Jacobs , who chairs the UC Berkeley Labor Center.
S2: It becomes very difficult to run a profitable store and follow labor and employment laws.
S6: Jacobs says one thing franchisees can control is what they pay employees. That's what makes shaving paychecks an attractive option for employers looking to bolster slim profit margins , he says.
S2: And so who's the real responsible party there is the corporate headquarters. They're the ones who are setting the rules that are creating the situation. But who the law currently holds accountable is the store owner , because they're the ones who are making those decisions on the ground.
S6: A bill pending in the state court. But all would make California the first in the nation to shake that system up by making fast food corporations liable for violations at their franchises. AB 257 , known as the Fast Recovery Act , passed the assembly. Now it faces a battle in the Senate. David Wertheim , with the SEIU , which co-sponsored the bill , says lawmakers should support food workers who are considered essential. Just a few months ago.
S2: Fast food workers understand that they are victims of a system that's been closed , that have been stacked against them , and they want a change.
S6: Industry lobbyists , like the International Franchise Association say corporations don't own the individual franchise stores and don't make employment decisions there. They also say the survey findings are misleading because of its small sample size of roughly 400 respondents. A spokesman for McDonald's says they increased wages for workers by 10% at company owned restaurants in 2021 , and that many of its franchisees also raised wages. Jack in the Box Subway , Taco Bell and others did not return a request for comment on the bill or the report's findings. Neither did Maria Bernard's employer.
S3: That was KQED's heritage of valor. Romero reporting for the California report.
S1: You're listening to KPBS Midday Edition. I'm Jade Hindman with Maureen CAVANAUGH. Artist and former San Diego resident Dave Stevens is probably best known for creating The Rocketeer , a comic book that became a movie in 1991. But Stevens , who died in 2008 , did much more than The Rocketeer in the new Comic-Con Museum exhibit , displays it all from pages of original comic book art to one of a kind artifacts from Stevens personal collection. KPBS arts reporter Beth ACCOMANDO speaks with Dave sister Jennifer Stevens. Balcombe who manages The Rocketeer Trust that provided all the exhibit materials.
S5: Most people probably remember Dave Stevens as the creator of The Rocketeer , first as a comic book and then as a 1991 film. And here's the trailer from that movie.
S2: An Innocent Discovery. I wouldn't touch that if I were you. A powerful weapon , a one man rocket , a deadly conspiracy now working for a Nazi agent. An extraordinary adventure. Jenny's in trouble. We've got the girl. The. It will come to us. We're going to get one person barn. Rocketeer.
S5: So most people probably remember that movie. But Jennifer , what do you remember best about your brother , Dave Stevens ? Well , I mean , aside from just watching him produced , you know , paintings and different artwork , when I was little , you know , he did a lot of art when he was still living at home with us because there's 16 years of difference between our age , between us , besides just being enamored with his art. He was so much fun. He was just a really , really , so funny. Always teasing me. Yeah , I had a really good time with him as a big brother. Definitely. And what do you think of his personality came through in his art ? Interestingly , when he created The Rocketeer comic book , he incorporated bulldogs into the comic book , and that was one of his absolute favorite things. He just was obsessed with Bulldogs , English Bulldogs. The funny , quirky part about that is in one of the comic book pages , you know , the main character tries to feed him beef jerky , you know , alluding to what would happen after the dog ate beef jerky in one of the clips. You almost wouldn't notice it. But at the very bottom , at the end of one of the chapters , the dog is lifting his leg on someone else's shoe. So , I mean , there's just a lot of that is. So , Dave , humor. Absolutely. His humor just kind of childish. You know , he he was the boy that never grew up for sure. And Comic-Con now has an exhibit dedicated to him and remind people of what Dave's connection was with Comic Con , because he started going there just as a fan. Yeah , exactly. So we had moved to San Diego in 98 or early 1972. I was maybe three months old and he was in high school. So and he I'm not sure how he found out about Comic-Con , if he knew about it from living in Portland or how. But I believe 1972 was his first con and he started as a geeky fanboy , super excited to see all of his comic book artist heroes. And then he started bringing his own portfolio to for these artists to review. And it went on from there. He was a volunteer for a while. He started designing all the Batman , not all , but he started designing some of the badges and some of the programs. So he's had a long a long relationship with Comic-Con , and he really got to meet some mentors there who helped him with his career. Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. One of the big ones was Jims. Durango. He obviously started out being somewhat mentored by him , but then over the decades , they became very close friends. You know , they were the best of friends. So you help run the Rocketeer Trust Fund , and you have partnered with the Comic-Con Museum to put together this exhibit. So what are some of the things that you have contributed that people can see there ? Almost 100% of it ? I know they there's I don't know. I loaned about 60 pieces of art plus all the personal effects , all the movie props. I think there's a couple of things that may show up at a later date from other collectors that will be on loan for the display. But yeah , almost the entire thing is from me. And in terms of what kind of art you brought to the exhibit , I mean , what kind of went into the thought process of curating those pieces ? And what did you want represented of him in terms of the diversity of the art ? My goal was to have the exhibit be biographical. So there are pieces that I learned from when he was in elementary school , fifth or sixth grade of , you know , Spider-Man all the way through sometime in the 2000 , so towards the end of his career in life. So I wanted a very broad spectrum of of art to show that Dave was not just known for The Rocketeer , but he had so much other , you know , and very varied styles and everything else. Yeah. I wanted people to see the breadth of his career. Yeah , there were a couple of pieces where the detail was almost photographic and it was something that I didn't realize he had done that kind of style. So much of his stuff. You know , when I pull it out , it's like , man , there's just there's not a single flaw. There's nothing wrong with this. How did he do this ? There's no white out. There's no over painting. It's just I don't know how he did it perfectly the first time. It just amazes me. And that's why I was so wanting to have an exhibit somewhere. Just so that people. Go. Oh , my word. Look at this. It's amazing. So , yeah , I'm thrilled that it's finally being shown in public. Where deserves to be seen. Really ? And what would you like people to kind of take away from the exhibit in terms of maybe learning something new about him or getting some insight into who he was beyond just being an artist ? Hmm. That's a good question. I mean , Dave was just a guy , you know , he had his flaws. He had his problems. The the juxtaposition of that is that you didn't see it in his work. But I don't know that you'll get that out of the exhibit. I think you would have to you know , maybe the documentary that's coming up hopefully this summer will kind of bookend the exhibit. But I think just his diversity , I think just his simple diversity that he could do so many different things and be good at it. And do you remember anything specifically about the origin of The Rocketeer or him talking about it ? Because that is such a memorable part of what he did. I know that it was a just kind of a filler at the back of another comic book. They just needed somebody to do a story , and that's where it just exploded. People loved it. They loved the art style , they loved the era. And they got so much acclaim just from that first story that it was like , I think we have a thing here. I think we should do something with this. So I believe it was after the second chapter they did their own comic book. I think that's how quickly it happened. All right. Well , I want to thank you very much for talking about your brother and about this new exhibit at the Comic-Con Museum. Yeah , I'm just beyond thrilled to be able to have this happen. So thank you.
S1: That was Beth ACCOMANDO speaking with Jennifer Stevens. BALCOMBE Comic-Con Museum is currently hosting the exhibit , Dave Stephens and The Rocketeer. Art for Art's Sake.