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

San Diego to end COVID state of emergency

 January 25, 2023 at 1:42 PM PST

S1: So are we still in a pandemic ? Dr. Eric Topol on where we stand.

S2: It's not over by any means , but at least right now making it a non emergency is appropriate.

S1: I'm Jade Hindman. This is KPBS midday edition. A look at how gun violence restraining orders could prevent gun violence.

S3: Usually the person who's guns and access to guns is at issue is going through some kind of a traumatic event.

S1: Details on one community college's new four year degree program. And we take you to the bay to hear about the history of Portchester village. That's ahead on Midday Edition. After nearly three years , San Diego's COVID state of emergency is coming to an end , and so is the city's vaccine mandate for employees. While the state of emergency will end late February , what does science actually say about where we're at in this pandemic and what best policies should be ? Here within sight is Dr. Eric Topol , director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute in La Hoya. Dr. Topol , welcome back.

S2: Thanks very much , Jane. Always great to be with you.

S1: Thank you. So first things first.

S2: We have so much population immunity now against the virus with all the infections , the vaccines , the boosters and their combinations. And overall , the country has weathered this most recent variant called SB one five relatively well. And so it does appear , at least for now , we're in a good state. It's not over by any means. We've going to be facing this virus for the years ahead , but at least right now , making it a non emergency is appropriate.

S1: That's good to hear. And the city will also end its vaccine mandate policy for employees as well.

S2: And so there's never been the proper recognition of COVID as being a form of immunity , not that we want anyone to get it because there's an unpredictable aspect about the outcomes of possible long COVID. But I've never thought mandates were good. It led to , you know , a lot of really negative responses. So I'm glad to see that the mandates have been dropped.

S1: You know , there seems to be this disconnect where scientist and health experts continue to say that we're very much still in the midst of a pandemic. However , many people and now most local governments are scaling back on most , if not all , COVID safety measures.

S2: You know , we're not done with this virus. We could easily see , you know , more significant variants or a whole new family of variants beyond crime , which we've been dealing with essentially for over a year now. So that remains to be seen. And only over the years ahead will we know if we've gotten through the worst of it. You know , there's still the ability to reduce infections by keeping up with boosters using masks when there's indoor gatherings , particularly when there's absence of good ventilation and air filtration. And we know we know a lot of tactics about how to deal with the virus. The problem is we're just so fed up with it. We just , you know , capitulated that we have these defenses , don't even want to use them. So there's still going to be risk out there , particularly in people who don't have an intact immune system response or people of advanced age. And those are the people that really have to keep their guard up.


S2: How many cases are really happening at any moment in time right now ? We're starting to descend as a country. And the most recent wave , fortunately. And so , hopefully , you know , we're going to go through some period where things will be relatively stable. But I think it's fair to predict that after a few years of watching the virus , that world will see another wave in the times ahead. When exactly that will occur ? Within a matter of weeks or months. But it will occur. The question is , is our current level of immunity based on all these infections and boosters vaccines , is it enough to withstand further challenges ? And we only will know when we get through the subsequent waves. And right now , there's uncertainty. If we learn anything in this pandemic is not to be certain , not to try to predict , because often that's very inaccurate.

S1: Be prepared and be flexible. It seems so.

S2: First of all , there's always the risk of long COVID. Even in healthy people , young , healthy people. And so that's unpredictable. And that's much more rare with flu. So that's one of the reasons , again , to try to avoid infections or repeat infections. The other thing is if you're immunocompromised or if you're older , the chance of you having a severe COVID is not trivial at all. And so , again , unlike flu , there's a risk there that's in excess. Overall , if you look at the big picture , yes , over time we've tame this virus in terms of the outcomes , the bad outcomes. But there's still the risk of severe COVID and long COVID that we have to keep in the front of our minds.

S1: That in mind , the FDA is also considering revising its vaccination guidelines.

S2: This virus behaves in a seasonal way like flu , where there's just a few months of the year when the risk is high. We've already learned that this virus can cause trouble year long. It's not so seasonal in that respect. So by making it a once a year shot in people who've never had COVID , that means a lot of people who haven't had COVID relying only on vaccines and boosters , they're only going to get four maximum six month protection. So what we are missing is the will to get durable new vaccines that have less side effects that lasts for years , and also block infections that we can get through nasal vaccine. So the FDA isn't even talking about that. They're basically using what we have right now chasing the variants , which is always hard to do. We were relatively lucky this last round whereby the BFI first Bivalent was successful against what we're dealing with right now , actually. b15 which , you know , there was no guarantee that we may not be so successful in the future when you're chasing variants that you don't know what they're going to be. So I much prefer that we take on the Sabre Cold Virus family and have a pan variant vaccine which last many years. We're just not doing that.

S1: When we last spoke , you talked about the latest emerging variant SBB.

S2: Yeah , I no , the latest is the worst fears to be done now in the US. We still here in San Diego have not gotten dominant in that variant. We'll get a new report this week from CDC. But , you know , we've got a few more weeks before we know for sure that we're going to be relatively unscathed. It hit northeast very hard. But right now in the country , if you look at the hospitalizations from COVID , they're down more than 30% in the last two weeks. So it looks like we're descending from the worst of that variant wave , which is really good. We're in a pretty good state here in San Diego. Let's hope we maintain that as we see more cases from that variant. We'll have other variants in the future like this one , c h , 1.1 That's warming up right now. But right now things are looking pretty encouraging.

S1: You know , you touched on this earlier , but there is a new CDC report on how well the Bivalent vaccine booster actually works against ZBB.

S2: The new CDC report on the the Bivalent booster against HB one five , which looked very good for preventing symptomatic infections , something we haven't seen for a long time because we didn't have a match up of a new vaccine booster that was much closer to the variants that we're dealing with. So that was good to see about a 50% reduction in symptomatic infections for at least three months across all age groups. And then two reports in the New England Journal that showed that the bivalent it clearly was better than the original booster for suppressing hospitalizations and severe COVID , including deaths. So all these data points show that we're lucky with the bivalent that it did its job. Not perfect , but it was clearly better than the original booster. It was worth doing the updating and it's helped people , no question , from getting severe COVID and even getting symptomatic infection.

S1: Still so much to learn about this virus. I've been speaking with Dr. Eric Topol , director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute in La Hoya. Dr. Topol , as always , thank you for joining us.

S2: Thank you , Jane.

S1: In the wake of this week's mass shootings , there is more focus on gun violence , restraining orders or red flag laws. These allow authorities to temporarily take away firearms and ammunition from people who have been reported by a family member or coworker. San Diego has been particularly aggressive in pursuing such gun seizures as a way to prevent shootings. The California report hosts Al Gonzalez talked about this approach with San Diego City attorney Mara Elliott. Here's their conversation.

S3: The idea is to give a cooling off period to the individual. Usually the person who's guns and access to guns is at issue is going through some kind of a traumatic event. And it could be a breakup of a relationship. Maybe they got out of the military and they have post-traumatic stress disorder. We've worked closely with Alzheimer's here in San Diego because once responsible gun owners could become irresponsible because their health has deteriorated. So usually it's a cry for help. And we have that cooling off period where somebody doesn't have access to the ability to end their life with somebody else's. And during that period of time , they can seek the help they need to become responsible again.

S4: Your office sent us a list of cases where people in San Diego had had their guns taken away from them after they had been reported by a loved one or a co-worker. But I see all of those people already had some history of violent acts , or at least violent statements. So you can't just seize firearms if someone expresses a general concern about someone else.

S3: So we have to have clear and convincing evidence. A suspicion is not enough , but we will investigate suspicions that are credible and it will lead us sometimes to social media statements made at work. Other acts. But we're going to want to present a full case so we can reach our burden.


S3: We tend to air on the side of caution and we will investigate it. I don't want anybody who calls the city of San Diego to question whether they have enough evidence for us. Our job and particularly law enforcement , they are trained. They know exactly what to look for in terms of gun violence. So let the professionals do the job and figure out if there is something here.

S4: And what's your response to critics of red flag laws who say at the best , they're just examples of virtue signaling that doesn't really have a lot of effect on the real world. Or at the worst , they pose a threat to people's constitutional rights to have firearms.

S3: Well , I think the response is ask the people who have gone through the experience , those who have been protected. They will all attest that this was a crisis intervention tool that was that worked. But to the law of it , of course , there's due process. So the ultimate determinant doesn't lie with the city attorney or whichever attorney is handling it. It doesn't lie with law enforcement. Both sides have an opportunity to talk to a court of law and give their side of the story. We look for the least restrictive alternative to try to address whatever is presented to us. Sometimes it's not taking away the firearm. There might be some alternatives that don't don't necessitate that action. So we really look at the individual before us and try to figure out how we're going to keep that person safe as well as a community safe.

S1: That was San Diego City attorney Mara Elliott speaking with the California report host Saul Gonzalez. You're listening to KPBS midday Edition. I'm Jade Hyneman. Students at San Diego City College will now have the opportunity to earn a four year degree for the first time in the school's history. The California Community College's Board of Governors approved the new Cyber Defense and Analysis Baccalaureate program this week. Their state approval is a huge step toward a more affordable education for those community college students who need it most. Here to tell us more about it is KPBS education reporter MJ Perez. MJ , welcome back to Midday Edition.

S2: It's good to be with you.


S2: First of all , I didn't know this , but City College has been around 108 years. And in that time , it has never offered a four year degree program. And so that's exactly what happened with the board. They said , yes , you can go ahead with this program and offer the full degree , which means a student could enter at City College and finish at City College , saving money and time and of course , getting them a great degree in the process.

S1: That is great. So so tell us about the history of four year degrees at other San Diego community colleges.

S2: Surprisingly , this has been in the works for some time , specifically at City College. They've been working a few years to get all their ducks in a row , all the documentation needed in order to go forward with this degree. But back in 2015 , there was actually a pilot program with other community colleges around the state that offered four year degree. San Diego Mesa College was among the first community colleges in California to offer a baccalaureate program. Once the Board of Governors approved it , and that was in 2015 in health information management. Right now , we know that Miramar College has submitted a proposal for a bachelor's degree program in public safety management.

S1: The new program will allow students to obtain a bachelor's degree in cyber defense , an analysis. They could have gone with a lot of different fields of study.

S2: But you also have to look at cyber defense. Everything is technology these days , Jade. And so this made a lot of sense for it to be the first program to be expanded and allow many more students to participate.

S1: Definitely a need for that.

S2: So some students have already been there for two years and they'll look forward to continuing the other two years in order to complete the degree. But realize this is open to anybody who wants to attend City College for this program. So we expect that there will be a lot of applicants who will want to be part of this. They will start taking applications in October and it will continue into the spring of 2024 with hopes to get the class going by August of next year.

S1: Most of the students attending community college have very specific career plans that include healthy incomes.

S2: The average pay for cybersecurity analysts in San Diego County could reach up to $111,000 every year. That is as recently as May of 2021. Those statistics were provided to us by the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. So it really is a moneymaker. It really does offer students a future in an economy that is uncertain at the moment. But certainly we know that technology is here to stay. So that could guarantee them employment and income for a very long time.


S2: This is significant because it really offers students who need it affordable education and allows them to stay at one campus to complete their education verses. I'm going to go to City College and get my associates. Then I have to go through the transfer process and then hopefully get accepted into a four year university. This kind of programming will cut all of that out and keep them , as one professor said , at home in order to complete their education.

S1: And you touched on this earlier.

S2: I said , Is this kind of the template ? And he said , Well , yes , kind of. And I said , Well , what does that mean ? And he said , Well , each program is very specific , so the requirements are specific. So what it's going to take are administrators for different disciplines to come together. And yes , they can use the template that was created by the cyber defense group. But , you know , ultimately they will have to put together their own documentation. They will have to put together their own proposal and once again go to Sacramento and go before the board of governors to get it approved.

S1: And you're actually going to be there when they launch this program with students , right ? Yes.

S2: Classes are still out. They return to class next week and we will be attending one of the first cyber defense classes so that we can talk to students and ask their opinion about this and whether they're going to apply to continue their education for the full four years. You know , some people might not. Some people might be satisfied with an associate degree , and that works for them. But this definitely gives many more options for many more students.

S1: You know , we look forward to hearing about how this program works for them. I've been speaking with KPBS , education reporter M.G. Perez. MJ , thank you so much for joining us.

S2: Thank you.

S1: The city of San Diego's new organics , recycling marks a shift in how much of our waste winds up in the landfill. Over the next few months , more and more residents will receive kitchen bins for all of their food waste , diverting it from the landfill to be composted instead. This shift may have some people thinking about creating West Waste overall. San Diego writer Frederica Siren's family is serious about waste. Their goal is zero waste , and she's the author of the book A Practical Guide to Zero Waste for Families. I spoke to her last year and I started by asking her to explain what zero waste actually means. Here's our conversation.

S3: There are ways just means that we're making conscious decisions to not produce any waste. So for us , we live by the simple rule that if we can't compost it , recycle it or reuse it , we just won't bring it into the home. We will refuse it.


S3: But once I became a mom 15 years ago to my first child , I realized that climate change was the Ashland issue was going to affect my children. And because this is their future and I want to save it for them , because I want to give my kids everything. And that includes a perfect , nice , healthy planet to live on. So I started to think more about personal action and individual action and how important that actually is. It actually makes a huge difference. I do believe that companies and government needs to also be held responsible and help out , but I do believe that individual action is really important. So I started to just small step by step , reducing our waste. So this was a journey that took us 15 years to get where we are today zero waste and a slow and sometimes painful journey. But we got to the end where we are now producing no waste at all. Wow.

S1: Wow. And so it's one thing to make that lifestyle change , but you decided to go ahead and write a book.

S3: They weren't even industry waste swaps. So everything I had to figure out on my own and I think this is why it took so long for us to get to zero waste. So this is the guy that I wish I had 15 years ago. I so desperately wanted a guide to something to just give me the tips , the recipes , the ideas I had to find a little bit here and there and figure out on my own. So I want to write a book to help other people , because I firmly believe that majority of people actually want to reduce their own waste. They just don't know how to. They don't know where to begin. And this is the guide to help them because there is something for everyone. And it's not about becoming zero waste. It is about reducing one small carbon footprint one step at a time.


S3: For example , once we became aware of waste and we did a trash audit , we actually realized that one third of our waste was food waste. And this was just simply food. Sometimes that gone bad because , you know , I didn't store the food the proper way or I forgot about food. So we really tackled food waste by reducing it , making sure that we ate our leftovers. We only shop when we needed to and stuff like that. So that is a tip to really go over your own food waste or your own food and just making sure that you're storing everything the proper way and reducing it that way. So that is a great tip that's in there in my book. And then the other one is just how can you actually go shopping without waste ? What places can you go find food that doesn't contain packaging ? And if you are not able to shop in bulk. While there are still options , you can still choose a cardboard box which can be recycled over a plastic bag. And these are the small , small tips that actually makes a huge difference.


S3: We hang dry our clothes outside instead of using the dryer , which reduces a lot of our impact on the clothes , makes them last longer , but also reduces your use of electricity.


S3: He did not believe this was something doable. I mean , he he knew about climate change and he thought we should do something. But I think he saw more that the government should do something about it. He thought that zero waste was going to be too hard and too much work and he was too busy for it. But what he realized was that the zero waste actually saves a lot of money for us. It saves us $18,000 a year by just reducing our waste and living the way we do. But it is actually not taking a much more time. We did not to consider ways to complicate our life. We did it on complicate our life. We have more time , more money , and we just having less waste.

S1: Frederica Siren is author of A Practical Guide to Zero Waste for Families. Frederica , thanks for coming on the show.

S3: Thank you for having me. Have a nice day.

S1: You're listening to KPBS Midday edition. I'm Jade Hindman. Today we're bringing you a story from our colleagues at the Bay Curious Podcast. Portchester Village is a neighborhood in the Bay Area town of Richmond. After World War two , black ministers there made a deal with local politicians to build some of the state's first housing intended to be racially integrated. Part Chester Village soon became a hub for black political power , excellence and community. Residents of the village remember the powerful sense of belonging they felt growing up right there. Reporter Arianna Pringle digs into its history.

S5: You'd be hard pressed to get lost , in part sister village. There's a big loop road encircling the neighborhood of some 400 homes. Like its own little bubble.

S3: It felt like family , like a safe place , like coming home from school. You knew all your friends are going to be going around the neighborhood. They were all over the village. They were at the community center. But at night , you know , everybody's child went home. They knew when it got dark it was time to go home.

S5: A number of homes still have the original , unique flat top roof design. There's two active churches as well as a community center and park.

S3: We were a progressive neighborhood. We really believed in community.

S5: Walking around Portchester village , you'll notice the streets sound like last names. Williams Drive. Bradford Drive. Jenkins way. They are , in fact , the last names of ministers who are revered for brokering a deal with a local politician and a wealthy landowner to create quality housing for black Americans.

S3: It wasn't something.

S2: Given to them.

S3: It was because. Black.

S2: Black. People.

S3: People.

S2: Had so.

S3: Exercised their political muscle.

S5: Dr. Shirley-anne Moore is professor emeritus of history at Cal State , Sacramento. She wrote a book about the black communities impact on Richmond before and after World War Two. Many black Americans left the South and moved to Richmond for jobs in the shipyards. When the war ended , the wartime housing projects where they lived were scheduled to be torn down.

S2: The post-war period saw a real frenzy of building communities and homes and developments all around in suburban areas , etc. But those developments that were going up , they were restricted on a racial basis. The city officials and city fathers and others were hoping that those black newcomers , all newcomers , but blacks especially , would go back to from.

S3: Where they come.

S2: But that wasn't the case.

S5: No , it wasn't. The working class black community grew , becoming an influential political force in Richmond , a political force that was exercising its power not just in Richmond but across the country , paving the road for the modern civil rights movement.

S3: Those working class black people took the lead , people who had.

S2: Been presumed.

S3: Not to be.

S2: Aware of the political currents around them were.

S3: Really in the vanguard.

S5: In 1949 , a man named Reverend Guthrie Williams , a carpenter by trade , started organizing to end housing and workplace discrimination in Richmond. A self-described persistent King Tinker's cuss , Williams created the universal nonpartisan league to help bridge the racial divide.

S3: And he. Garnered.

S4: Garnered.

S2: A lot of support from those.

S3: People living in the housing projects. And they became.

S2: Very valuable voters and white politicians began to see that , too.

S5: AMOS Hinckley was one of those white politicians , a city council member , running for re-election. He approached Reverend Williams and the league to support his campaign. Williams agreed in exchange for Hinckley's commitment to create permanent housing for black people. Now , Hinckley was backed by Fred Parr , a wealthy developer who was key in building the Richmond terminal and Kaiser shipyards. Parr brought lots of industry to the Bay Area , like the Ford Motor Company planned in Richmond , a real power player who owned land. So Hinckley , the politician , arranged a meeting between Parr , the influential man with the land , and Reverend Williams , the organizer.


S5: He was interviewed in 2001 for a documentary on North Richmond.

S6: Then they agreed that if the ministers could help them sell the homes for this land out here that he owned , then he would support working with the black community so we could buy these homes.

S5: By the end of the meeting , Williams had a promise from PA to back the housing development that would become part Chester Village.

S7: We we advertised that this was an American community. That was our slogan.

S5: That's John Parker. Cox , Fred Parker's nephew in a 1986 oral history interview. He says his uncle intended Portchester village to be a place people of any race could buy a home. Heads up , uses some outdated language in reference to people of Asian descent.

S7: I would say 30% of the sales were to Caucasians and the rest were to black people or Oriental people. Within a couple of years , the community changed completely to all black. Well , we we did not intended for anybody except those able to purchase.

S5: Historian Shirley Moore says white flight was common at the time when white families fled neighborhoods where people of color were moving in. But some black Richmond ites held the more cynical view that Fred Parker never intended for an integrated community to work out.

S2: Rather , it was merely an attempt by white politicians and powerbrokers in Richmond.

S3: To maintain residential. Segregation.

S2: Segregation.

S3: While appearing.

S2: To appease black demands.

S5: No matter the intentions of the white community , Reverend Williams , the cantankerous cuss , told a local newspaper that he wanted poor Chester to be an all-American project , adding , quote , We hoped to set a standard of perfection and fair play in housing for the Bay Area.

S2: The black homeowners that moved there.

S3: Were at every intention of moving into.

S2: An integrated , open community , but seeing that that was not going to be the case , they didn't say , well , you know.

S3: A pox on it , and we'll just wait until that comes along. They were eager , as so many people.

S2: Were black , white or others were after.

S3: The war.

S2: To to own their own homes , to get move out of those cramped and dilapidated wartime. Housing.

S3: Housing.

S2: Projects and break out on their own.

S5: The dream of a racially integrated community didn't work out , but the black folks who moved in still created something special. The political pressure Reverend Williams and others placed on city leaders to build Portchester village was just the beginning of what became an active , organized neighborhood association that advocated on behalf of residents and supported a vibrant community known for its safety , high achieving children and regular block party barbecues.

S3: My name is Greta Johnson and I'm from Richmond , California. But I've been a resident of Portchester village for the last 20 years now.

S5: I meet up with Ms.. Johnson at her home to hear stories about her childhood and the village's early years. She's invited her friend from down the street , Laurie Hart , who also grew up in Part Chester , to join us. And they're showing me the utmost hospitality , laying out a full spread of juice , coffee and food for the three of us.

S3: My girlfriend can help us out. You say a little bit of stomping and she can give you a variety. Wow. Michael showed us. Everybody else did this.

S5: There's fresh pineapple pastries , cheese and crackers , the rosemary kind.

S3: I found some major Dickinson just for you.

S5: Their warmth reminds me of sitting around the table with my aunts or grandmother helping.

S3: Let me grab my coffee and.

S5: Went after Ms.. Hart. Bless the food.

S3: For Bless this food allowed to give up business. Ms..

S5: Ms.. Johnson starts telling me why her childhood in Portchester village was so special.

S3: In my growing up here. We were really self-contained. We had our own store , gas station , nightclub. There were closed off streets and it was a block party. And you would have like , say , like maybe on McGlothlin and Jenkins , like the loop. They would have all the meat. And then on the streets in between , you would have like the desserts , and then you would have other streets that would do the sides. So you would walk and eat all day. All this neighbourhood , you know , you couldn't get me out here. I absolutely loved it. It was a place of safety , right ? We never locked our doors. I remember one of my best friends , Lorna King. We wanted some cool.

S5: Purple Kool-Aid , to be exact , but neither Ms.. Hart nor her friends had any at their houses.

S3: So I told her , I said , Well , let's go to Pam's. And that's the lady that I babysit. So I open the doors. I am Scott Bakula. So I went in there and I wrote a new law in honour to Purple Kool-Aid. That's the kind of neighbourhood we lived in. You could walk in to your neighbour's house , take something , leave a note , and it was fine. The neighborhood council came about because Portchester didn't belong to San Pablo or Richmond. And so there were no street. And from what I can understand , there weren't any sidewalks. And we had trouble with flooding out here. So there was a lot of infrastructure that wasn't taken care of. And so the homeowners got together and they petitioned the city.

S5: Now , remember , Porchester was built on an empty plot of land. In those first years as a community , the neighborhood council successfully lobbied the county to get services like street lights and sewage through nearby San Pablo. Later , residents wanted the village to be incorporated into Richmond so they could access funding and infrastructure from a bigger city. They got their way. Joining Richmond in 1963 , but didn't stop there.

S3: We used to be extremely politically involved. And , you know , I remember hearing about how they would go down to the city council and raise some cane if something was not right. And the council back then knew they were just ahead. They bet because they would call them up. I'm gonna need you to come. Right. And they're like , Oh , here comes the damn village. And they will come in.

S5: For decades , protester residents fought for their community. Headlines from local papers highlight the many times they came out and made their voices heard.

S2: Giant highway traffic anchors , village.

S3: Groups , councils fight City hall groups keep Richmond officials hopping.

S4: Residents unite against roadside. Dumping.

S3: Dumping.

S5: And perhaps the headline that encapsulates them all from the Independent and Gazette. In 1980 , the little village that could success thrives in bustling Portchester Miss Johnson again.

S3: We were a community of many different professions because at that time they wouldn't allow black people to buy in other neighborhoods. So we had plumbers , you know , laborers , teachers , doctors. We had day laborers , construction workers. Just everybody came together into one place. And so everybody took pride in their property. And it was anticipated and expected you would be somebody growing up. I mean , you had the bookmobile. We were taught and encouraged to read and we were taught to respect one another. And I really wish in all the communities that some of that stuff would come back.

S5: Changes started creeping into the community in the 1970s with the collapse of suburban segregation. The village lost some of its original appeal. Black families looking to buy homes moved into suburbs around Richmond , and many of the local businesses had long since closed by the eighties , which Mr. Johnson says were the worst years.

S3: And when crack hit the eighties , that's when that the landscape really changed. It just kind of wiped through everybody's homes like everybody was touch wood. Somebody who had got involved with that.

S5: In the early nineties , the fatal drive by shooting of a neighborhood teenager rocked the Chester community. In response , the village reasserted its values , starting a youth association to give young people positive things to do. By the early 2000s , many original homeowners still called Portchester Home and the BLOCK party barbecues were still in effect. But it was becoming harder to hold on to that founding essence and to homes.

S3: When the parents start to in a way that just changed everything , the older generation kids gave up their homes , you know , moved out. You know , that's when the neighborhoods start changing.

S5: This is Charles at a Prewett , a former resident. Her family was one of the first to settle in Chester Village. She left for a couple of years as a young adult , but moved back to raise her family.

S3: Once I got married , I came back and , you know , it was still that community.

S5: That tight knit , open door place she'd known as a kid.

S3: It was a village that everybody's home was your home you all cared about. They provided for you.

S5: But as time went on and families grew up and out , that strong sense of community has waned. Ms.. Prewett eventually remarried and moved to Stockton. She held on to her Portchester house as long as she could , but eventually sold it. Still , the village remains close to her heart.

S3: Parts of village will live on. It will not ever be gone. It's always a big home for me.

S5: Miss Pruitt's story reminds me of a line in a report from UC Berkeley's Othering and Belonging Institute , which says Home is housing animated. It is where the people experiences , objects and memories that make up our day to day lives are knotted together with broader relationships to people , places and moments. Home is where housing and belonging come together. Like any neighborhood , porchester has changed over the years. High housing costs have pushed many black families out of the Bay Area. 20 years ago , protester was 80% black. In 2020 , the census showed it's now only 20% black. And the folks who've moved in weren't part of the community's founding. They didn't fight to become incorporated. They don't remember the thrill of keeping the paving company out. The community , not that older residents remember , has loosened a little.

S3: I love when I see families out here. It just warms my heart when I see the kids and.

S5: The two friends. I had breakfast with Miss Johnson and Miss Hart. They still serve on the PROTESTER Village Neighborhood Council. They're proud that one of the last standing original Porchester institutions , the neighborhood center , has recently been renovated. It has a new garden , and they refresh the mural that features young black kids playing on grass under the words Portchester village touches the world. Mooseheart has her sights on hosting a roller derby here.

S3: We're looking forward to that , trying to restore some of the glory of the old and just bring back some of the remembrance. I'm going to get a roller derby out here if it's the last thing I got to get on skates and I can't roller skate. I'm to get a roller derby wahoo because kids don't know what they're missing. Right ? Right. They really don't.

S1: That was reporter Arianna. Pray from the Bay Curious podcast , which you can find wherever you listen to podcast.

Ways To Subscribe
After nearly three years, San Diego’s COVID state of emergency is coming to an end. Then,  in the wake of this week's mass shootings, there's more focus on gun violence restraining orders or red flag laws, which allow authorities to temporarily take away firearms and ammunition from people who have been reported by a family member or co-worker. Plus, students at San Diego City College now have the opportunity to earn a 4-year degree for the first time in the school’s history. The California Community Colleges Board of Governors approved the new Cyber Defense and Analysis Baccalaureate Program this week. And, with more San Diegans receiving new bins for kitchen waste, one local writer is sharing what it means to be zero waste. Finally, a story from the Bay Curious podcast exploring a forgotten Bay Area neighborhood that was once a hub of Black political power, excellence and community.