Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Watch Live

San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria discusses proposed $4.89 billion budget

 April 18, 2022 at 4:09 PM PDT

S1: Mayor Gloria talks about his new budget priorities for the city.
S2: This is the largest infrastructure investment in our city's history.
S1: I'm Jade Hindman. Maureen CAVANAUGH is off. This is KPBS Midday Edition. What we know about antivirals and how they help fight COVID 19.
S2: So it's about 89% reduction in hospitalization and death. The monoclonal antibodies traditionally have been around 80 , 85% effective in preventing hospitalization and death.
S1: Is there a connection between a record payout to shareholders and a rate spike for any customers ? Plus , a local pianist who will perform a mixed media concert. Hear about her inspiration. That's ahead on Midday Edition. On Friday , San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria unveiled next year's city budget. The mayor says the new budget plays the long game for the city , focusing on improving infrastructure , signaling a shift away from the pandemic emergency that dominated the city's focus over the past two years. The nearly $5 billion budget proposal will now make its way through the city council and is due to take effect on July 1st. Here to talk more about his proposed budget , as well as other city business is Mayor Todd Gloria. Mayor Gloria , welcome back to the program.
S2: Thanks for the opportunity , Jane.
S1: So what was your number one goal with this budget.
S2: To maintain fiscal stability for the city while transitioning to a period of hopefully long term growth and improvements that San Diegans can see , touch and feel in their neighborhoods ? I'm very proud of this budget proposal. I think we hit those marks and I look forward to proposing to the city council formally this afternoon.
S2: And there's a substantial increase in road repair funding this budget , 27 million , taking us to a total of 77 million for the fiscal year. This is the largest infrastructure investment in our city's history. We're trying to have that reflected in our roads where , again , San Diego's talked to me the most about that asset class. But , Jane , the area that concerns me the most is stormwater. We have recently completed an assessment of all of our asset classes. And stormwater is the largest amount of liability that we have with the fewest amount of revenue resources. We have been successful in competing and receiving an over $300 million federal low interest loan to jumpstart some of our stormwater programs. But we have a lot more work to do in this space to ensure not only do we prevent neighborhood flooding , but we also maintain the cleanliness of our beaches and bays.
S1: You've made alleviating homelessness and increasing housing major priorities.
S2: What that will do is allow us to increase the amount of coordinated street outreach that we perform , grow the number of shelter beds by hundreds across the city , and increase the amount of permanent supportive housing that we know ends homelessness for good. These are important investments. More it has to be done. We need help from our county and state partners on things like behavioral health reform to address the extremely mentally ill and substance abuse users that so many of your listeners and viewers see every single day as they go about the city. But the city is meeting its commitment , stepping up its investments , and hopefully will do more. Beyond that , Jade , we have millions of dollars dedicated to our development services and planning departments intended to grow the overall inventory of housing for all of us.
S2: We have seen a lot of our revenues starting to rebound , particularly sales taxes and to a lesser extent , property taxes. But we continue to see our tourism economy still trying to grow out of the pandemic induced reductions that we've experienced were not back to pre-pandemic levels , nor are we where we hoped to be prior to the pandemic. So we still have a significant revenue gap. Thankfully , the Biden administration provided the city with nearly $300 million in American Rescue Act dollars. We have been using those dollars judiciously. We used a significant amount in the last two fiscal years. We're using some this year and we anticipate using some next year. All of that is allowed under federal law. And what that does is give our revenues time to get back up again from pre-pandemic reductions and allow us to maintain service levels. There's a lot of service level increases in this budget , and it's made possible because of the generosity of our federal partners who know that cities like San Diego's were hard hit by the pandemic. It still needs some time to climb out of that pandemic induced recessionary hole.
S1: And recently a report came out showing San Diego , like many California cities , spent the bulk of their federal cares funds on the police budget , specifically in 2020 , where 64% of it was spent on the police budget. In 2021 , it was 33%. What's your response to that and how is the city prioritizing police spending in your new budget compared to mental health resources and housing ? To name a few things.
S2: Well , first off , it's a logical allocation of dollars. The number one thing the city does is keep its residents safe. A large share of our budget goes to that. And so when you saw the reductions during the pandemic , it only makes logical sense that we would take rescue dollars and apply them towards those holes in our budget and look at what's going on on our streets today. You see a proliferation of guns , in particular ghost guns , rising gang violence , things that are causing our crime rate to increase. It would be irresponsible to leave our public safety departments underfunded. And so we would use our rescue and relief dollars. The Federal government to fill in those holes. This proposed budget that I'm introducing the city council today fully funds our public safety departments and envisions providing additional salary increases to attract and retain qualified individuals to work in our police department , fire department and our lifeguard service.
S1: We also see , again , homelessness , mental health issues , income inequality. We see all of those things taking place on the streets of San Diego.
S2: The income inequality gap , the rising mental health crisis , our rising homelessness crisis. These are not unique to San Diego nor to California. We're seeing this across the country with regard to mental health that has historically been the responsibility of the county and the state and federal government. The city doesn't have a mental health department , but that has not prevented us from making major investments in homelessness solutions and strategies. You see us standing up things like a coordinated street outreach where we have social workers paid by the City of San Diego to go out and interact on a daily basis with our homeless population. Partnering with the County of San Diego to divert 911 calls from a police dispatch response to one that involves clinical social workers. We're working in that space budget. There is increase in violent crime that is disturbing across this country , and San Diego is not immune from that. We have to have enough police officers to respond to the kinds of calls that we're getting.
S1: Aside from the budget , a new two part plan to bring transit to the airport was announced last week. This is something residents have long wanted.
S2: It already does. It just doesn't connect to it and therefore is not a convenient way for many San Diego and travelers to our community to use to get to the airport. But the will is what's different. What you see is new leadership at the head of SANDAG. It's at the Port of San Diego with the City of San Diego. And I think all of us recognize that this is a really a no brainer. This is something that big cities typically have , if for whatever reason we have not. I think that this unprecedented alignment in terms of priorities and vision is there. There is some work that we have to do with regard to the details on that. But what we're doing with last week's announcement is being very transparent with the public that they will start seeing environmental impact reports being commissioned , contracts being led out to get this done. This is something we've discussed endlessly for a very long period of time and have not been able to get done. I like to call that a San Diego special. The time is now is to put that behind us , actually build this and make that connection. We have to be able to make transit and other forms of non car based mobility more viable to San Diego.
S2: What we know is that the airport authority already has hundreds of millions of dollars available to actually make this project work. We have some local funds existing and the ability to ask our federal government for a portion of the bipartisan infrastructure bill. So there are a lot of options. It may require additional resources. And if that's the case , we will make our case to the public. What I know , Jane , is that San Diegans are very passionate about this subject. It is something that I've asked about continuously. When I'm out in the community , people just see it. They see the trolley is right there. They see the airport is right there. They just don't understand why they don't connect. I agree with them.
S1: As you mentioned , automobiles are a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Recently , advisory bike lanes meant to provide safer roads for bicyclists , have been put on hold after pushback from residents and Mayor Mesa.
S2: The anger and frustration that they expressed and the city didn't get it right , which is precisely why I said we're going to fix it and I regret what happened there. This introduction of bike lanes in communities can sometimes be controversial. I think generally where we've installed them , it has led to some period of questioning on the front end , but ultimately is embraced and then well used. And we have to do more that in the case of Gold Coast Drive and Mayor Mesa. The community outreach was not there. The education of the neighborhood was not there. And therefore those bike lanes are no longer there. Going forward , we certainly will see more bike lanes in the city of all varying types in versions , perhaps some that we have not seen before in our city. But what will happen differently is that we will do the work of going to the community and explaining to them what's coming , provide them the opportunity for input , and then try and figure out how to do this in the best , most cost effective way. We missed that mark in Mesa. That's on us. But I've owned that mistake. We have corrected it and now we're moving forward.
S1: Earlier today , you announced Andrea O'Hara as the first executive director for the. New Office of Child and Youth Success.
S2: O'Hara. But we envision expanding this office in this budget proposal. And what we would like this office to do is to really set up every child in our city for success. The city interfaces with young people through many of our departments , through our Parks Department , our library department , our equity department , homeless services. All of these agencies within the city do touch on this issue. But the council president , as well as members of the city council , really challenged my administration to go bigger and bolder. And that's what we're doing with this and what I envision our deeper relationships with more meaningful outcomes. And so stay tuned. What I think an early deliverable could be is for quality child care , not just for city employees. That's an urgent concern amongst our employees here , but for all San Diegans. The city recently undertook an inventory of our real estate assets seeking properties that could be well utilized for child care. We have that list now. We need to drill drill down deeper. And this office can work with public and private sector partners to actually make childcare on some of those properties a reality.
S2: Public welcome to participate and provide input. And then the Council will meet in May for a week long series of meetings on each individual apartment. Again , public is welcome to provide input as well as to speak with their council members. Each of the council members , I believe , are doing outreach events in their districts and they're always welcome to contact my office directly. This is the most important thing we do all year as we figure out how to spend the billions of dollars that are entrusted to us. We want to make sure that every nickel has meaning and impact on the neighborhoods of the city. So I welcome that public input , whether it is at a public city council meeting at one of our town halls or workshops , or directly contacting our office through phone or email.
S1: I've been speaking with San Diego Mayor Todd. Gloria. Mayor Gloria , thank you so much for joining us.
S2: Thank you , Jane.
S1: As COVID 19 lingers , new treatments to help fight the virus have received FDA authorization for emergency use. Some of those treatments include antiviral pills and monoclonal antibody treatments through IV infusion , which decreases the chance of hospitalization and death. When COVID 19 cases were high and these treatments were first approved , it was hard to get your hands on them. But now , as COVID 19 cases start to decrease , the supply and availability for them seems higher and the demand lower. Joining me now to discuss COVID 19 antiviral treatments is Dr. Matthew Genovese , assistant medical director at Kaiser Permanente , San Diego Medical Center. Dr. Genovese , welcome.
S2: Thank you. I appreciate you having.
S1: When Paxil Ovid received emergency FDA approval , the demand for the antivirals were high and supplies were low.
S2: And it seems like when we are in most need is when we have the biggest issues with supply of bulk drugs and staffing. So now that we have not had significant number of cases for a few weeks here , of course we have an abundance of supply of drug and plenty of staff to give the medications. So there's some frustration in that. Of course , supply and demand when there's really significant surge , we really have a tough time getting what we need to treat the members and we have high risk members that it's hard to get therapy. Right now there's there's quite a bit and particularly packs of bid is available and it's an oral medication , although it's a lot of pills a day. It's just five days medication. And it's very efficacious , we believe , towards all the strains that are out there. And so the other options through all of this and actually starting before the oral options have been the monoclonal antibodies. These monoclonal antibodies target specific variants of the COVID virus.
S1: So now what if there was another surge in infections ? What's your sense of the availability of COVID antivirals ? Yes.
S2: So actually , right now it seems like there's quite a bit. We at Kaiser had been a bit slow to actually get doses of the oral antibodies from the county. I think the county was trying to centralize to increase equity to to everybody in San Diego and had it available through CVS for free. This is a little bit of a barrier for our model , but we were able to incorporate getting the access to the medications by using specific providers who are proficient in understanding how to find it and how to appropriately prescribe it. So I think we're in a pretty good situation as far as having different tools in our arsenal towards battling COVID at this point.
S1: In Paxil of it is an antiviral treatment for COVID 19. How does it work against the virus ? Yes.
S2: So interestingly , and I think this is one reason that passive it's been kind of welcomed with open arms , particularly from infectious disease doctors , is it's very similar to the antivirals we use in HIV. It's actually a combination of two protease inhibitors. And one of them is actually effective versus the virus. And then the other ritonavir is and kind of an old school HIV medication that's actually used just to prolong the effective parts half life. So we sort of cheat to keep the the one that's truly effective versus COVID in the body longer by giving it with another antiviral. One of the big issues with parts of it is that there's a very high number of drug drug interactions. And as you might suspect , lots of the patients who are at higher risk wanting this treatment will be on some of these medications. Sometimes you can stop them or hold them , but other times that's a contraindication towards giving Paxil.
S1: That packs of it is not the only antiviral treatment for COVID , as we've mentioned here.
S2: The monoclonal antibodies traditionally have been around 80 , 85% effective in preventing hospitalization and death , which we've really latched on to through Kaiser and have infused for for a long time , probably close to 1500 patients. Remdesivir , a more typical antiviral drug , is 87% reduction. Per the pine tree study in hospitalization death. So those all we're talking greater than 80%. And then you get to Molnupiravir and the the follow up study by the manufacturer was 30%. So again , that one was kind of a distance for the caveat is as we've had to switch from our monoclonal antibodies or trova MAB to them to lower the MAB due to the B.A. point two , we have some concerns about efficacy. And it's really doesn't have the track record or proven efficacy as the previous monoclonal antibodies did. So right now , packs of it is looking to be the best option if you are able to receive it.
S1: Can anyone who tests positive for COVID 19 or has symptoms walk into a hospital or pharmacy and get an antiviral treatment ? Yes.
S2: So still , these medications are actually really reserved more for people who are at higher risk of progressing. And I'd also like to say I wouldn't really want anybody to walk in if they're COVID positive. We try to do everything telephonically in this age of virtual care and keep them out , if possible , of pharmacies and hospitals and clinics. But having said that , it's really for people who are greater than 65 or less than 65 with risk factors , and there's quite a few risk factors. So actually a fair number of people actually would qualify a COVID positive people , immunocompromised , cancer , stroke , kidney disease , lung disease , liver disease , diabetes , heart conditions , obesity , pregnancy , smoking , current former tuberculosis and even mental health disorders. So , you know , a BMI of greater than 30 is is a good portion of our population and those typically would qualify. I also think vaccination status and booster status is important if you are fully vaccinated , boosted and not particularly high risk. I don't think these are really appropriate for you. But if you have risk factors and or you're not vaccinated or even boosted , I think I would strive to get therapy.
S2: For instance , the monoclonal antibodies , we've had very few reactions. We've had no significant complications. And a lot of times since it is an infusion , those patients are coming in. And then if they do end up in the E.R. , it's usually even before we've infused them. So flushing typically minor reactions or mild allergic reactions are the most common. Otherwise , they tend to be tolerated quite well. And I think the symptom reduction that you would experience due to suppressing the virus is is more substantial than the side effects would be.
S1: I've been speaking with Dr. Matthew Genovese , assistant medical director at Kaiser Permanente , San Diego Medical Center. Dr. Genovese , thank you so much for joining us. Absolutely.
S2: Absolutely. Thank you. I appreciate it.
S1: You're listening to KPBS Midday Edition. I'm Jade Hindman. Maureen CAVANAUGH is off. On Friday , Sempra Energy , the parent company of San Diego Gas and Electric , paid out its highest profits ever to its investors. Some jionni ratepayers might be wondering if there is a connection to the massive spike in bills they've paid in recent months. San Diego ratepayers shoulder the highest per unit electricity prices in the country. Joining me now to talk about this is i news source reporter Cami van canal. Can me. Welcome back to the program. Hi.
S3: Hi. Thank you.
S1: So let's get right to it.
S3: This payout was first announced in February and it actually is. It was set because Sempra , the company that owns Genie , had a really good 2021 and a really good fourth quarter in 2021. So the larger context here is that Sempra has been doing very well financially for years. In fact , this is the 12th consecutive year that it is increasing its quarterly payout to investors.
S1: But as you report , simper investors just got record profits. What's the connection between what the company charges , rate payers and the company's profits ? Yeah.
S3: So the utilities set their rates and their profit margin in this complex negotiation with the Utilities Commission , which is a state body that oversees utilities. So these are complex negotiations with the Utilities Commission , and advocates can weigh in. Ultimately , the decisions regarding rates and the company's profit margin are at the discretion of the company and the Utilities Commission. The connection with Sempra is that Genie is Sempra's biggest subsidiary , so it produces the most earnings for Sempra.
S1: What does the company say is the reason it's doing so well financially ? Right.
S3: So Sempra has a few subsidiaries , including a , C , G , it has a utility in Texas that did very well in 2021 , and it has a subsidiary focused on infrastructure that also did very well in 2021. These company's subsidiaries provided more earnings than expected for for the company. And Jeffrey Martin , who's the Who's Sempra CEO , told investors in a February earnings call that the company had a long standing commitment to return those earnings and that value to shareholders.
S3: And he's he's trying to get the Utilities Commission to lower Jeannie's profit margin. And he's gearing up for a sea genie to negotiate its rates for the next three years or so in a state mandated proceeding at the Utilities Commission coming up this spring.
S1: And remind us why Genny said its rates increased so much earlier this year. Sure.
S3: Sure. So there was a scheduled 11% increase in rates in January. And then executives told my co-worker that with inflation , an unusual spike in the cost of natural gas , people saw additional spikes beyond that. And some residents and business owners told my co-worker that they've seen their bills even tripled. So there are these really huge , huge spikes.
S3: She did say that the company's investments are geared towards customers. So there's investments in wildfire safety , like putting the lines underground. Those add costs to customers , as Eugenie has a few programs to help consumers lower their bills. They're based on your income level or outstanding debt , medical needs. There's a few kind of bill relief programs available , and we have a list at a new source , dawg.
S1: What do we know at this point about whether any customers will continue to see the same rates for energy use here ? Yeah.
S3: The consumer advocate I spoke to said that he he doesn't recall there ever being a rate decrease in the San Diego region. So , you know , this is kind of the trend we're dealing with now. The rates for the next few years are going to be set at the Utilities Commission this year starting in May. So we'll have to keep an eye on on that proceeding to see what what exactly we're dealing with. It's called a general rate case.
S1: I've been speaking to I new source reporter Cami Van Canal. Cami , thank you so much for joining us.
S3: Thank you.
S1: Bacterial STDs have been on a concerning rise for years across the country , and San Diego County is no exception. Rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea are two and in some cases three times what they were in 2000. And syphilis has seen an even greater resurgence. Here's our new source reporter Jake Harper.
S4: If you look at a graph of the latest STD figures in San Diego County , you'll see they dip in 2020. There was a new pandemic. People were keeping away from each other more than usual. So maybe fewer people got infections. But Dr. Winston Tilghman , who manages STD prevention for the county , says those numbers are probably a fluke.
S2: I don't think that's indicative of the long term trends that we can expect.
S4: Remember , clinics closed or reduced outpatient services in 2020. People didn't go to the doctor as much. And doctors may have written prescriptions to treat STDs without actually ordering lab tests , which is how the county tracks STDs.
S2: So I imagine that the numbers in 2020 were related to decreased testing. So it probably underestimates the actual burden of STIs in 2020.
S4: When the 2021 data is released. Tilghman expects those numbers to return to pre-COVID levels amid these historically high rates of STDs. Some people are at greater risk than others. People of color , men who have sex with men and transgender women are all more likely to contract these infections. Eric Walsh , Boo High , a researcher at San Diego State University , says those disparities are due to social determinants of health.
S2: Social determinants of health are those things that help keep you healthy or make you sick. Things like poverty , substance abuse , lack of access to health care , health insurance , as well as things like housing , housing discrimination.
S4: Given the rising STD rates , Walsh BU called for more public health funding. San Diego County has seen an increase in funding in recent years , but so far it hasn't stopped the growth. Meanwhile , nationwide , these diseases cost billions of dollars a year , while public health funding for STDs hasn't substantially changed. Whilst Buhari says that's partly because of stigma.
S2: That's another thing we need to be fighting is that stigma of even talking about it and making it a public health priority.
S4: HIV shows a different trend. In the last two decades , the numbers of new cases have fallen in San Diego County.
S2: However , among some groups , the incidence is still holding steady.
S4: Gabriel Wagner is an infectious disease specialist at UC San Diego Health. As with other STDs , HIV affects marginalized groups more.
S2: Gay and bisexual men the most. And black and Latinx folks. And transgender women.
S4: People in these groups may not have easy access to prevention services such as Prep , a daily medication used to prevent HIV infection. And again , stigma can keep people from getting tested and treated. While HIV isn't curable like bacterial STDs are , there are medications to keep the virus at bay. And despite the challenges , Wagner pointed to a success story with one of his patients. He first saw the man in 2018 when he began having complications from HIV.
S2: Several years back. Someone had told him of the diagnosis , but he had decided to put it out of his mind. And in doing so , waited until things got really bad and he had to be hospitalized.
S4: The man only spoke Spanish , and Wagner says the language barrier and stigma probably kept him from sticking with treatment. But Wagner is Hispanic and speaks Spanish.
S2: There was a nice cultural connection that I oftentimes take for granted.
S4: He says that connection allowed him to help. The man's HIV infection is under control now , and he's doing well. For KPBS , I'm news service reporter Jake Harper.
S1: I knew Sauce is an independently funded nonprofit partner of KPBS. You're listening to KPBS Midday Edition. I'm Jade Hindman. Maureen CAVANAUGH is off San Diego comic fest bills itself as the friendly , intimate comic convention experience. And this year it can also boast that it is back in person starting April 21st. KPBS arts reporter Beth ACCOMANDO speaks with the new president of the board , Alonso Nunez , about what defines comic fest.
S3: So Alonzo , you have just taken over as president of the board for San Diego Comic Fest.
S2: Back when Mike Lowery , who started Comic Fest nearly ten years ago , when he stepped back about a year ago and asked me to take over as president of the board , I was daunted and kind of terrified , but also very excited. You know , comic fest is really run by a group of people. It takes a village , as it were. And we have so many amazing volunteers. And I'm just I'm happy to be involved and to help keep it going.
S3: And Comic Fest describes itself as the friendly , intimate comic convention experience.
S2: It is very much that experience. And if you've never been to a comic convention , what you're going to get is just a really ground level , intimate experience where you get to meet professionals , you get to meet a lot of legends , you get to meet journalist , all these really exciting people in just a really accessible way. They're all just hanging out , eager to talk. It's very , very low pressure. You know , none of these stories of people sitting overnight waiting for a spot in a panel. Super , super fun , very low key , and yet full of memories and just really exciting opportunities to make new friends , the exciting panels and talk to professionals.
S1: And what do you think is the.
S3: Importance of having a convention like this to complement the huge Comic-Con experience that you get in the.
S2: Summer ? You know , it's funny because people will say that Comic-Con is not about comics anymore. That's only pop culture. And I do disagree with that. You know , Comic-Con has become about all of it. You know , it's still about comics and it is about the movies , it's about the whole experience. Whereas the way we imagine Comic Fest , it's much more intimately focused on kind of the art , the people behind the art of the comic making experience , right ? So there's absolutely nothing wrong with Comic-Con. I am there every year. I love Comic-Con , but for us it's really a chance to kind of humanize the medium , to get those personal stories from these creators , old and new , you know , longtime creators , emerging creators , local creators that are here in San Diego. And to really give fans the chance to really just pop in , right. We've got tickets and passes still available. So it's not like you have to have planned , you know , a year out to be able to attend a comic fest. And so it's really important to give , you know , everything from adults that remember comics from 30 or 40 years ago and are curious down to eight , nine , ten year olds who are newly , newly falling in love with comics give them the opportunity to pop in and to discover new creators , new books in a kind of just intimate personal experience.
S3: And now that you're back in person , you can have a slightly belated celebration for the 100th birthday of Gene Roddenberry.
S2: Gene Roddenberry , of course , the creator of Star Trek and that incredible universe , but also a very accomplished science fiction writer , doesn't even cover it , writer , creator , advocate across the board. And so we're going to we're going to have , of course , a ton of Star Trek centric panels and decorations up. You will not be able to escape it. I don't want to ruin the surprises , but we've got some some really great stuff planned. But then also as fast as we focus on , you know , the creators , the creation , but then also the fans. Right. And so Star Trek , for those of those out there that don't know , was really it saved by its fandom early on and was really one of the early experiences of a hardcore effective nerd fandom. And we're going to through panels and appearances , we're really going to be making sure that we represent that as well. So people are going to get a full look and kind of appreciation for everything that Gene Roddenberry did for us , for fans , for the public , but then a representation of what he meant to people.
S2: It's always a ton of fun. It's going to be great this year. But we we're also going to have during our after hours programming when , you know , the dealers room is closed. But we still have a lot of programming and entertainment going on. We are as of this past weekend , we're going to have Klingons teaching us proper Klingon etiquette and table manners. There is so much and of course , the spotlight. Our panels on our guests like Larry Niven , Peter , David , Willie Ito. Drop in. See them. I guarantee you'll get a seat.
S2: All of our guests will have tables where they'll be signing. And then I always like to spotlight all the local creators here at Comic Fest. Don't overlook Artist Alley , the small press area. San Diego is we're beyond lucky to have the wealth of local creators that we do. They want to talk to you. They want to talk about their art , the drop in. You know , this is your chance to really support the local art community of San Diego by participating , by getting a sketch , by picking up a book. It's a lot of fun.
S3: Well , thank you so much for talking about San Diego Comic Fest , and it's great to have it back in person. Awesome.
S2: Awesome. Thank you very much.
S1: That was Beth ACCOMANDO with Alonzo Nunez. San Diego Comic Fest runs April 21st through the 24th at the four point Sheraton on Arrow Drive. Tickets are available online or at the door. Award winning local pianist Ji-Yoon Kim is debuting a mixed media concert to coincide with the release of her new album. The performance , titled Shame , will incorporate elements of music , poetry and photography to present a unique way to engage and reflect on classical music. For Kim , the process to develop this concert has been a personal one. By reflecting on her own memory and experience. She invites the audience to meditate , not just on the sound of her music , but what emotions these pieces can stir in the listener. And joining me now to discuss her work and music is pianist Ji-Yoon Kim Ji-Yoon. Welcome back to the program.
S3: Thank you for having me here.
S1: So this upcoming concert shares the same name as your new album , also called Shame.
S3: She is poetry and , um , is the first part of Umma , which means music. I had a vision of combining just two art forms in this project. To me , music is a poetry with notes. Poetry is music with words. So in being a Korean who live in America , I wanted to represent half and half of my persona. I'm between some American and Korean , and I wanted to kind of share that part of me being Korean who does also classical music.
S1: And throughout the performance , you'll share a lot of personal memories from your own life.
S3: There was a hidden in my mission is so that they can a step closer to the magical power of classical music so that I become a bridge between audience and the music.
S3: And also it's a film photography by your friend Alan Brown , which is taken around the 1980s and nineties. And he would go to the same spot in a nature for multiple times to get one perfect shot and go into dark room and develop from the negatives. I find this kind of slow process of film photography before the digital camera era resembles my process of preparing a concert or creating a poetry. So I wanted to bring all this element to so that help people to get into music. And I also want people to know that everybody is creative. You just have to tap into it. And by me sharing my process and help them to start writing or a start to think of this music in a different way or a deeper level , maybe they can also be creative.
S3: I find it pieces come to me , then I choose them. And some of the pieces that I always wanted to play. Some of the Scarlatti sonatas , for example. To me , Beethoven's sonatas is more like novel. A Scarlatti sonatas , it's more like poetry had a succinct expression. And when I think of this concept of I wanted to really combine poetry with music , this pieces test came to me out of nowhere , one by one , and I feel like it's not me choosing it , but pieces knock on my door. Some of the pieces called Reflections in the Water by Debbie Sea. I'm embarking surfing now , and it's just in time with the water piece and it came to me and I o in surfing is very much like music or poetry with water and I was just perfect and as it came to my life at this point.
S3: I find that I receive so much from music and I. I want people to discover in the music the way I received the strength from the music.
S3: I really strongly believe that. However , I think people still need some kind of context. I don't change the music itself. I still would play by to win sonatas , Scarlatti and Chopin. But I choose to outfit to be modern outfit by bringing a little bit different elements or storytelling. It's a little more contemporary so that people find it more familiar. I think a lot of times classical music , it's known as difficult or I don't know how it's supposed to listen to. And I wanted to make a point to people that it is a every day experience. It's nothing different. You just have to open to us. So me bringing poetry or photography , some visual elements to it , make them think about music in the context that I see it and maybe help them to see that this is such a beautiful art form. I should know a little bit more about it or to be more friends with it.
S1: And before we go , we'd like to end with a reading of one of the poems featured in your concert. Spoken first in Korean and then in English.
S3: This is a poetry called Happiness by Korean poet Petrina. Handbook Tanya day to Rago to be tanning got hindered de mom so-called or thinkers had I been standing go where road day one does to tanning got. Having a home to return to in the evening. Having someone to think about at hard times. Having a song to sing when I'm lonely.
S1: I've been speaking with pianist Ji-Yoon Kim , who will be performing at the Conrad Prevost Performing Arts Center in La Hoya this Sunday at 3 p.m.. For more information , go to KPBS dot org. Ji-Yoon. Kim , thank you so much for joining us.
S3: Thank you very much.

Ways To Subscribe
On Friday, San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria unveiled next year’s city budget, signaling a shift away from pandemic emergency planning. Next, antiviral treatments to help fight serious COVID-19 disease were once very hard to access. But now as COVID-19 cases start to decrease in San Diego, are there enough doses? After, Sempra Energy, the parent company of San Diego Gas & Electric, paid out its highest profits ever to its investors Friday. Some SDG&E ratepayers might be wondering if there is a connection to the massive spike in bills they’ve paid in recent months. Then, KPBS arts reporter Beth Accomando speaks with San Diego Comic Fest’s new president Alonso Nunez about the fest events happening this week. Finally, award-winning pianist Jeeyoon Kim is debuting a mixed-media concert to coincide with the release of her new album this week. Kim joined Midday Edition to share selections and insights from her upcoming concert.