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Storm headed to San Diego County

 December 13, 2021 at 2:51 PM PST

Speaker 1: (00:01)

How an incoming storm will impact the region. So

Speaker 2: (00:04)

This is by far the strongest storm we've seen this year.

Speaker 1: (00:09)

I'm Jane Henman with Maureen Kavanaugh. This is KPBS midday edition, The multi-billion dollar plan to transform transportation in the county. Advancing

Speaker 3: (00:30)

Mobility choices is a top priority for me, especially because our region for far too long has not invested in transit and active transportation options. These decisions in the past have left our transit dependent community, these and communities of color behind

Speaker 1: (00:42)

Since day one. When we talk about changes ahead for the solar panel marketplace and tell you about a new art exhibit opening at the Oceanside museum of art that's ahead on midday edition, San Diego preparing for a major storm to hit the region late Monday, bringing with it much needed rain and snow, but also high winds and maybe lightning as well, but extreme weather and other parts of the country has been the main story as deadly tornadoes hit six states across the Midwest national weather service meteorologist Alex tardy joins me to talk more the storm and what's been happening in other parts of the country. Alex, welcome.

Speaker 2: (01:28)

Hi, thanks for having me on. So

Speaker 1: (01:29)

There is a storm on its way after making its way through Northern California. What should we expect?

Speaker 2: (01:35)

Yeah, we do have a storm on its way and we can safely call it a storm. It has a lot of cold air coming down from the Gulf of Alaska. It's tapped into tropical moisture, which is an atmospheric river to the south. And in between all that, there's a lot of wind or energy. So it looks like that storm, which brought already two feet of snow to lake Tahoe will continue to producing a lot of rain and snow to Northern California. And it'll slowly come southward and be right over us on Tuesday.

Speaker 1: (02:09)

And how long is the storm expected to last

Speaker 2: (02:12)

Overall? I think the effects from this particular storm will only be one day 24 hours, but when it comes in, it'll be noticeable in terms of how hard it rains on Tuesday, a the snow that we get in our mountains, such as big bear and right wood, and even a little snow in the San Diego mountains. And then also the wind, uh, the wind that will be accompanying the heavy rain on Tuesday. You might even have a clap of thunder along with that heavy rain. So this is by far this strongest storm we've seen this year and probably you could track it all the way back to the storms we had late January of last year. If you can remember that, Hmm.

Speaker 1: (02:56)

November was the driest. It had been in decades, uh, will this storm help with the lack of rainfall we've had?

Speaker 2: (03:02)

Yeah. So this is the type of winter. We more or less expected. So during drought years, like we're currently under and also during LA years, which is the cold phase and the Equa Pacific ocean, we tend to have very extreme sporadic storm systems that move through. Now, will this be enough as a drop Buster? Definitely not, but this is the type of storm that'll put us back to near average for this year. Cuz as you mentioned, November saw zero precipitation.

Speaker 1: (03:33)

And is there anything local residents should be thinking about in preparation of the storm?

Speaker 2: (03:38)

Yeah. You got to take this type of storm serious because it'll be accompanied by high winds, uh, enough to knock over trees Tuesday afternoon. It'll be accompanied by heavy rain, uh, enough to cause flooding on streets it'll cause enough rain where, you know, the low line areas will have standing water. The travel will be difficult. We do even think, you know, the San Diego river will have a rapid rise Tuesday afternoon and early evening. And then even as the storm moves through Tuesday night, we're gonna see a change over to snow above 5,000 feet in our mountain areas. And you mentioned

Speaker 1: (04:17)

Top old trees does the risk for that trees when you have a ground that's saturated with so much rain and the high winds.

Speaker 2: (04:24)

Yeah, it does. Um, so when the rain's coming down on Tuesday and then when it really picks up Tuesday afternoon and you have bursts of heavy rain and then you have wind at the same time, you know, a lot of our trees, um, even some of our larger trees when they get saturated with rain on, on their canopy. And when the ground, as you mentioned, gets saturated, it makes 'em that much more susceptible to those bursts of wind

Speaker 1: (04:53)

On Friday, uh, Kentucky, as well as other neighboring states were hit by very destructive and deadly tornadoes. How rare are, is it for there to be tornadoes of such ferocity, especially in December. That is, that is a rare, uh, thing to happen in the Midwest.

Speaker 2: (05:09)

Yeah, it is. The tornado event will likely go down to the history books is probably the worst one we've ever seen in December. The combination of record warm temperatures they were experiencing on Friday, uh, plenty of moisture and just a vigorous storm system in itself that moved through was the ingredients for unprecedented tornado activity in that part of the country. You know, we often think of tornadoes in the spring, right? Uh, April may, and maybe not so much in the winter, they're not unheard of in the winter, but to have an outbreak that large with tornadoes that intense with wind speeds over 150 miles per hour, that is remarkable. And yet another example of extreme weather events that we've been seeing. Hmm I,

Speaker 1: (05:57)

Is this an example of climate change?

Speaker 2: (06:00)

Uh, potentially, uh, some of the climate change indications are that, you know, the tornado alley area is shifting to the east, uh, that it's being extended, you know, into the winter, you know, with the warmer temperatures, warmer air, more energy, it's a lot like, you know, looking at our wildfires in California or some other flood events, you know, the seasons are shifting a little bit extending or you're seeing more extreme events in different types of the year. We

Speaker 1: (06:29)

Saw the tornadoes in the Midwest. We don't see that type of weather here. Why is that?

Speaker 2: (06:34)

Uh, the biggest thing in California is we don't have the Gulf of Mexico. So the Gulf of Mexico is a warm body of water. It provides a lot of energy, you know, that drives those type of events. It's not necessarily the terrain, it's not necessarily, uh, other factors or even our latitude we're right in the prime latitude. It's the lack of very moist conditions that are, you know, just common out of the Gulf of Mexico. So we get the cold air, we sometimes get the wind speed and what we call wind shear. We don't always get and very rarely get the situation where we have that rich, moist Gulf air coming up from the sea.

Speaker 1: (07:19)

I've been speaking with national weather service, meteorologist Alex tardy, Alex, thank you so much.

Speaker 2: (07:25)

Thanks for having me on today.

Speaker 4: (07:31)

Leaders from the county and San Diego's 18 cities make up the membership of the San Diego association of governments or San and a and last Friday that organization gave approval to a 160 billion proposal to transform transportation throughout the county. The new regional transportation plan expands public transit, including high speed rail lines increases managed lanes on freeways and complete San Diego as long plan network of bike lanes. But the plan still faces hurdles voters will have to approve sales tax increases to fund some of the proposals and SANDAG members are asking that a fundamental piece of the transportation plan, a per mile fee for drivers be removed. Joining me as K P Metro reporter, Andrew Bowen. Andrew,

Speaker 5: (08:22)

Welcome time, Maureen. Thanks.

Speaker 4: (08:24)

Can you remind us why sand ag needs to draw up a new transportation plan for the county?

Speaker 5: (08:29)

Sure. Regional transportation plans are required by both state and federal law and they have to be updated every four years. Although sand ag is currently operating under a two year extension, uh, because they, they decided in 2019, they needed to put a whole lot more work into this overhaul. The purpose is basically just to make sure that large metropolitan areas are planning for their long term transportation needs. So they're projecting decades into the future. How many people will be living in your region? Where are they gonna be living and how are they going to be getting around in sand A's case in California? Uh, the state has also imposed a pretty strict and, and ever increasing requirements to reduce driving and greenhouse gas emissions. So that's a key component of this plan and, and the requirements often the discussion, I think around these things ends up giving people the impression that these projects are gonna be happening tomorrow. Uh, but in fact, the really big ticket items in this plan wouldn't happen until 2035 at the earliest. And many of them not until 2050. The other point to keep in mind is that SANDAG, as you kind of alluded to in your intro SANDAG, didn't vote on any individual project that they're going to build. Uh, last week you can think of the regional plan as kind of the blueprint and then the implementation of that plan requires a whole host of other actions that have to take place.

Speaker 4: (09:49)

Let's talk for a minute about the vision though. How would this plan transform the way San Diego's gonna around?

Speaker 5: (09:56)

Yeah, well, I think maybe it's helpful to frame it through, uh, the way that SANDAG, um, structure, this plan, which is kind of the branding strategy. Um, the five big moves, so five sort of like overarching, uh, strategies in their approach to transportation. One of them is called complete corridors and this is the idea to transform our highway work. And, uh, in some cases, perhaps even surface streets to include more high occupancy vehicle or carpool lanes, um, that would also then be open to solo drivers. If they're willing to pay a toll, this of course already exists on the I 15, the express lanes there and also kind of reorienting major surface streets to include more bike, pedestrian and infrastructure. The second big move is transit leap. So this is, um, big improvements to, uh, bus services, new commuter rail lines, uh, that would connect major population and employment hubs.

Speaker 5: (10:49)

Uh, the next is mobility hubs. So this is a strategy, more oriented towards land use, where you concentrate your population and growth your housing development in dense walkable areas that are less car dependent. The fourth is flexible fleets. So this is the, um, sort of smaller vehicles that allow you to get from your home to a major transit hub. Um, that might be too far to walk and these could include autonomous vehicles, um, shared shuttle, uh, regular old bikes or scooters, either owned by an individual or maybe even rented like the companies that exist out there now. And then the fifth big move is the next operating system. This is the technology that would allow you to open your phone, look at all of the different options that you, um, have for getting to wherever you have to go, how much each one will cost, how long it'll take. And then the bigger vision is just to provide people with more options and incentives to live more sustainably without relying on a car all the time.

Speaker 4: (11:49)

Now supporters are excited about what this regional transportation plan could mean for San Diego's future, but there are dark clouds surrounding this particular vote. It was divided on partisan lines, wasn't it?

Speaker 5: (12:02)

Yes. The Democrats on the SANDAG boarded of directors voted for the plan. The Republicans voted against it, which doesn't happen all that often. Usually it's not quite so clean. Um, but in this case it was, and the conservative critiques were several. One of them was just that it was too expensive. It relies on new taxes. Of course, uh, the taxes wouldn't happen if they didn't get approval from voters. Many of them didn't like the elimination of some freeway widening projects, particularly in north county. Um, the, there, our plans to expand the capacity of the freeways, but not adding new general purpose lanes that could be used for anybody. And also just building within the existing blueprint of the, of the highway, rather than, you know, expanding with more concrete and, you know, seizing property to make the overall freeway wider. Um, and then they also felt that it was to focused on urban is, and not enough on suburban or rural areas where even decades into the future, people are still likely to, um, rely on cars for their transportation.

Speaker 4: (13:03)

Let's talk about that per mile driving fee. We've heard a lot about this when the proposal was just being put forth and many believe it's the linchpin for this plan to achieve its climate at action goals, but it's still not popular with sand ag leaders. What's the status of that proposal

Speaker 5: (13:20)

A week before this vote happened on December 3rd, the top three leaders of the sand ag board of directors, San Diego, mayor, Todd, Gloria, and Sanita mayor, Katherine Blakes and national city mayor Alejandra. So Salise all three of the came out against this road, user charge, quite unexpectedly, uh, and their decision was to approve the plan, the regional transportation plan as it's drafted, but immediately direct staff to start updating the plan and eliminate this, uh, road user charge. So Sandi staff are now getting started on that. I imagine right now, um, the, just at the board was, this was contemplated before we knew about the passage of the federal infrastructure bill. So I think their hope is that maybe SANDAG can strike this, um, charge from their funding strategy and make up the difference by assuming that they'll just get more money from the state and federal governments.

Speaker 5: (14:13)

What I didn't really hear much acknowledgement of, of, as you alluded to in your question is that the road user charge is not just a funding strategy. It's also a strategy to reduce driving and greenhouse gas emissions when you make driving more expensive. Uh, and if public transit is fast and free, as the plan anticipates, uh, in 2030, when this would take effect, you are going to have more people to choosing transit and fewer people choosing to drive. So, you know, SANDAG is gonna have to basically just come up with another way to lower greenhouse gas emissions to come up with new ways to fund all of these projects. Um, after that it'll have to, um, do, uh, an amendment to its environmental impact report, go through a whole other process of a public outreach and, and review. Um, so you know, this plan is, is not even fully cooked

Speaker 4: (14:59)

Yet. I've been speaking with KPBS, Metro reporter, Andrew Bowen, Andrew. Thank you.

Speaker 5: (15:04)

Thank you, Maureen.

Speaker 4: (15:11)

This is KPBS midday edition. I'm Maureen Kavanaugh with Jade Henman California. Regulators could dramatically change the state's biggest in the nation's solar marketplace. Next year, the California public utilities commission is close to revealing how it will change the relationship between rooftop, solar owners and utilities. K PBS environment reporter Eric Anderson has details.

Speaker 6: (15:37)

Ricardo Castillo pushes open the door to a long narrow front yard

Speaker 7: (15:41)

Seat Heights, courtyard cottage

Speaker 6: (15:43)

Come on. Castillo bought this house in the late 1990s when he was still in the Navy 61 year old remembers how cheap electricity used to

Speaker 7: (15:52)

Be bills were about $18 a month, $22 a month at, at the highest

Speaker 6: (15:56)

His electric bill climbed over the years topping out at about $280 a month. That's why he added solar energy and a new air conditioning unit. Putting

Speaker 7: (16:06)

This thing is so quiet uses about that much energy, that much why cause those big gas ball hanging up there in the sky Castillo

Speaker 6: (16:15)

Leases, his solar system. So there were no upfront costs. This is one of more than 1.3 million solar rooftop systems installed in California. Nearly 15% of the state's electricity production comes from solar systems like the one on deals home, but the economics of solar could be changing soon. The current state regulations known as net energy metering are designed to encourage the move to rooftop solar. They set the cost of electricity, sold by residents and include a small monthly fee for fixed utility costs. 15 years

Speaker 8: (16:52)

Ago, our electric rates were half of what they are today. And solar panels are more than twice as

Speaker 6: (16:58)

Expensive. The natural resources, defense councils, Mohi Chabra is among those asking regulators to roll back. The subsidy. His organization is advocating sharply, cutting back how much utilities are required to pay for the electricity generated on rooftop. And he wants to charge a hefty monthly connection fee. Based on the size of a solar system, people

Speaker 8: (17:20)

Will still save money. They'll just save less. The

Speaker 6: (17:23)

Lower buyback charges and flat monthly fees could mean it'll take solar owners 10 to 12 to 15 years to pay off their upfront investment. To put the panels on their roofs. Chopper says payback times right now are only about four to six years. You

Speaker 8: (17:39)

Will still for my estimate, save around 50% of your bill. If you sell your solar system correctly, with our export rate change and the discharge, you just won't save close to a hundred percent because certain fees are fixed fees for maintaining the grid that we all depend on. And social costs.

Speaker 6: (17:57)

The California public utilities commission is considering more than 70 proposals to adjust the net energy metering rules. Solar advocates say eliminating the financial I, if for residents to spend thousands of dollars, installing solar panels could crush demand that endangers 68,000 California jobs, it

Speaker 9: (18:19)

Will mean laying off a majority of their workforce or potentially closing their doors.

Speaker 6: (18:23)

Karina Gonzales works for Hammond climate solutions, a company advocating for net energy metering to only get small tweaks. She says rooftop, solar needs to be encouraged because it's critical to help meet the state's clean air goals, less

Speaker 9: (18:38)

Rooftop. Solar means that we're using more dirty energy worsening. The climate crisis contributing to climate racism. That's in Kern county and where there's fracking in people's backyard. And we just think at a time when there's a climate emergency, we can't afford to be taking away clean energy solutions from

Speaker 6: (18:56)

Families California's investor owned utilities filed their proposed revisions more than a year ago, but San Diego gas and electric steers requests for interviews to surrogates like the natural resources defense council or the utility reform network, the company declined to make an official available for an interview both last summer. And in recent weeks, an email statement says the utility is engaged in the formal process. Quote, we are eager to see a resolution that allows the solar industry to continue to thrive and addresses existing inequities and quote. The California public utilities commission is expected to unveil their plans to adjust net energy metering. Soon that preliminary proposal would be vetted and then voted on by the commissioners early next year.

Speaker 4: (19:48)

Joining me is KPBS environment. Eric Anderson, Eric. Welcome.

Speaker 6: (19:53)

Thank you.

Speaker 4: (19:55)

What do people who wanna change the present net energy metering system say is wrong with it?

Speaker 6: (20:02)

Well, uh, the utilities, uh, look at this as a way that they're being forced to buy, uh, electricity well above Mar market rates. This is kind of the line of, of logic that they're, uh, putting forward. They're saying, look, if we, uh, can convince someone to build a huge solar plant in a far flung place, uh, we can buy that electricity for 3 cents of kilowat hour. But if we have rooftop solar in a city, we're forced to, to buy that electricity because of net metering rules at 36 cents an hour. So the difference there is widely considered to be a subsidy. Now, there, there is a reason why that difference is there it's a few pennies below, uh, what the retail rate that the utilities can charge for electricity is. Um, so the utility can charge you even more for that. And so the feeling was, is you wanted to give, um, new solar customers, uh, an incentive to lay out this capital expense, this large expense to put solar on their roof tops because there would be a benefit for, uh, generating clean en energy in the state of California. And then, uh, this was how we were going to, uh, pay them back, how to make sure that they, they recoup that investment by locking in the rate of return utilities now are saying, uh, that's way too high, uh, based on electricity we can buy else and it should be lowered. And they're also asking for, um, fees, uh, based on the size of the solar system and the connection, uh, monthly fees that are basically grid connection fees that would pay for the utilities, uh, maintenance and expansion of the electric grid. It

Speaker 4: (21:48)

Is the C P C considering these changes because solar energy may not need a big incentive anymore.

Speaker 6: (21:57)

No, this is part of a periodic review. The last time they did, this was about five, six years ago. Um, when they changed, uh, the first setup, right? Uh, in the early days of solar, uh, they had what we called net energy metering 1.0, and basically, um, if you invested in a solar system, you could sell the electricity, you generate back to the utility for the same price that they charge you. The utility said, look, uh, after about five or six years, they said, look, this just isn't fair to us. We need to kind of tweak the system a little bit. So they adjusted it to net energy metering 2.0, and that created a small monthly connection fee for solar users. It lowered the rate that they sell that electricity back to the utility, a few cents below, uh, the rate that the utility can charge back to you.

Speaker 6: (22:45)

And it created, uh, the utility, uh, utilities of ability to have these time of use, uh, fees. In other words, they could charge more for, uh, electricity during certain parts of the day than they do during other parts of the day. Right now it is most expensive to buy electricity between the hours of 4:00 PM and 9:00 PM. Uh, you know, when people come home from work it and they, you know, cook dinner and, and sit around the, the house, uh, but need the lights on. And, and, you know, at that time of day, the solar doesn't really help you out that much.

Speaker 4: (23:19)

Now saving on energy costs has been an essential selling point for the residential solar industry for years. How much might those savings go down if the net energy metering system changes?

Speaker 6: (23:34)

Yeah, this is a, uh, kind of really the $64,000 question. Um, there are people all over the spectrum on this. Some people think that the current system just needs to be tweaked, uh, you know, in a very small way. And it's pretty much right where it is. There are people on the other side of the spectrum, uh, you know, the CPU C is considering some 74 proposals somewhere in that neighborhood. People on the other end of the spectrum are saying, look, uh, you know, this really needs to be changed because, uh, it's not allowing the utilities, uh, to, to spread the costs of maintaining this system to equally to all the customers. And those without solar are paying more or will end up paying more, uh, because we have to subsidize the solar, uh, energy costs, uh, to those who do have solar. So, uh, so the range of, of proposals is, is really kind of far and wide. And you have everything in between those, those two poles,

Speaker 4: (24:32)

Will the CPU C consider just the bottom line costs to homeowners and utilities, or will it take into consideration the potential impact on climate change if fewer solar installations take place because of their decision?

Speaker 6: (24:48)

Yeah, that's a good question. I, I think one thing that the CP C has said is that it is committed, uh, to making sure that the customers who install, so solars maintain that right to self-generate and they want a policy that will allow, uh, the expansion of rooftop, rooftop, solar, uh, to continue, perhaps not as lucrative as it currently is, but a policy that still, uh, encourages people to, to make that investment because it will help California get to its zero carbon goal in 2045. So it's not just to monetary, uh, consideration for the CPU C um, they have, uh, committed to making sure that that whatever changes they make don't remove the incentive for solar, which is, uh, the fear among some solar advocates.

Speaker 4: (25:42)

And we will be broadcasting the second w two reports on the CPU C decision tomorrow. And I've been speaking with KPBS environment reporter Eric Anderson, Eric. Thanks.

Speaker 6: (25:53)

My pleasure,

Speaker 1: (26:03)

Michelle Guerrero is known for her bright, colorful mural, celebrating my Mexican culture. Well, now her career is really taking off, but like a lot of artists, Michelle, who goes by the name, Mr. B baby had to go through a lot to get to where she is today. Her biggest struggle was with addiction in a new episode from our border podcast, port of entry, Michelle talks to Alan, Lil Al and Natalie Gonzalez about how she, she got addicted to opiates.

Speaker 10: (26:36)

It's a story we have all heard too many times. First came the pain then came the pills then came the Cray, plain addiction.

Speaker 11: (26:46)

Michelle's husband got hooked on opiates again. And this time he took Michelle down with him.

Speaker 12: (26:54)

Misery loves company. I think he didn't, he wanted me to, to really like be in it with him, all of it, including his addiction. He definitely pressured me into taking them because he would tell me that, um, he'd be like, no, try, try. 'em again, try 'em again. Like, trust me, like at like every time's better, every time's better. And so I trusted him. And so I did, I, I would, I took them with him and then next thing you know, I looked up and I, I was having withdrawals and I was like, oh, okay, I'm addicted to these. Um, and that was, that was a very, very scary moment in my life.

Speaker 11: (27:41)

So addiction can be a really sneaky thing, right,

Speaker 10: (27:45)

For sure. And here's the thing. Sometimes people don't even realize they are addicted until they stop doing the thing that they're addicted to. And that was the case for Michelle,

Speaker 12: (27:59)

But then we couldn't get the pills. And, um, we were actually in LA, we went to LA and on Venice boardwalk, and we started walking around the, the boardwalk. And that's when I got like the insane chills and the sweats. And I started vomiting and all the symptoms of withdrawals. That's when I knew that I had a very big problem.

Speaker 11: (28:29)

So those prescription pain pills eventually turned into heroin.

Speaker 10: (28:34)

Michelle says, once they made a jump, she tried hard to quit a few different times, but she said the withdrawals made her feel like she was

Speaker 11: (28:46)

Things just got darker and darker.

Speaker 12: (28:49)

My artwork took like a, a big shift because back then it used to be really dark. Like it would be muted colors

Speaker 10: (28:59)

Until one day, an unexpected moment of light.

Speaker 12: (29:06)

I found out I was pregnant. And then that was when reality set in that I needed to get my life together. And so I made the choice to get clean. I wasn't gonna do that to her. So I, I had to quit. And that was my only option.

Speaker 11: (29:22)

At first, Michelle, didn't go to rehab or take methadone or even see a therapist. She didn't reach out for any help at

Speaker 10: (29:31)

All. Instead she just quit cold Turkey and spent a lot of time alone

Speaker 12: (29:38)

Because in my head, I was like, if I, if I seek the help, then they're gonna take away my baby. So I, I did it. I recovered and did all of that by myself. I slept through it. Like as much as I could, like you, when you're going through withdrawals, like you can only sleep so much. And you have like, restless, like leg syndrome. Like you have a lot of restless nights, but I just kind of, I slept through it. And then I sub there's a thing called like Suboxone, like tabs. And so I started to take, um, a tab, but like I knew I was pregnant and I hadn't really, like, I didn't really know the effects. So I was so paranoid about that. So I would, every single day I would take less and less and less to the point that I was taking like a microscopic amount , but I was terrified to stop because I did not wanna feel the withdrawals.

Speaker 12: (30:24)

And I actually had to go to a therapist who I spoke to because I needed to talk to somebody because I was going crazy in my head about the Suboxone and the baby. And, um, and I told him and I showed him, cuz he asked me, he was like, well, how much are you taking? And I showed him and he just laughed and was like, you know, it's all in your head. Right. He's like, go home tomorrow. Don't take it. And you're gonna be a hundred percent fine. And um, I don't know why I needed to hear that. And once I, I took his advice and I, I didn't take it. And that was when I was like, wow, like I'm finally like free.

Speaker 10: (31:10)

So yeah, after her daughter was born, Michelle just totally flipped her script and got her life in order.

Speaker 12: (31:19)

As soon as I held her, I knew that I was the never gonna, I was never gonna touch that again, that she, I wasn't gonna put her through that. So I, um, she was my strength through it all. I loved her and I was, I was so happy to be a mom and to, to have her in my life. So it was in a way, like my daughter was like my little angel that saved me. And so that kind of was like, what ignited did like my flame to being where I'm at today.

Speaker 13: (31:52)

How was school today? Good. Yeah. You're what seven, no, six, six, whoa. You're a total six year old.

Speaker 10: (32:01)

So Kinsey and I recent cut up with Michelle and her daughter. We played a game of truth or there, which is not really a thing in Mexico or at least it wasn't for me and my friends. You start there. This light go, no, you have

Speaker 13: (32:18)

To, you accept you

Speaker 10: (32:19)

Accept truth. You accept a there. Sorry I'm too Mexican for this game. uh, truth. No, there, there,

Speaker 14: (32:27)

I dare you to go down again. That's lie.

Speaker 10: (32:31)

no baby. I mean kin and I also really, really try to give her daughter the courage to go down this tunnel slide that she was afraid of.

Speaker 15: (32:42)

Uh, why can't I not go behind you? Okay. You

Speaker 10: (32:45)

Can go behind me. We both went down this slide to show her how easy and fun it was. And I even went down the fire pole and I always hated that thing when I was a kid, but she stood her ground and just didn't want to do it. But

Speaker 15: (32:58)

4, 3, 2, 1 go, just go. I got you.

Speaker 10: (33:13)

I have no doubt that Michelle's daughter will get over her fear and do things waste carrier than going down a slide someday because she's got a powerful role model. Her mom, Michelle, who pulled herself out of addiction and has now become one of the best known muralists in San Diego.

Speaker 11: (33:35)

Yeah. I saw an article about her and her art on the front page of the art section in of the San Diego union Tribune. Recently she's getting gigs in Oaxaca, New Mexico, LA.

Speaker 10: (33:45)

Yeah. And she's becoming really well known for her bride murals, celebrating Latin culture. Her art has definitely evolved from the darker themes of her past to much happier stuff. Yeah.

Speaker 11: (33:59)

Her murals make me joyous every time I see him,

Speaker 10: (34:02)

Her only struggle now is figuring out how to balance her success with being a single mom.

Speaker 12: (34:10)

I mean, it's really, really hard, um, to be gone and to do this. And I mean, a lot of times I beat myself up and feel like I'm being selfish, but at the end of the day, like I just kind of remind my self of my end goal. And I try to involve my daughter. And like, like if I'm working in town, I always try to bring her so she could see like that what I'm creating and what I'm doing and that I'm out here working and hustling and chasing my dream, like for not just for me, but for, for the both of us. And, um, it's definitely a challenge, but I, I try my a best, I still haven't figured out the best balance, but, um, but I'm definitely I'm working on it.

Speaker 10: (35:06)

Michelle is a really great mom and her daughter is totally awesome. She's an artist and a dancer. And she told us she's one of the fastest kids in her class.

Speaker 12: (35:20)

My hope is that, you know, through my art just kind of shows her that she can like that anything is possible. Like whatever it is, she wants to do hip hop, dancing, whatever she she's into, you know, that she can make it happen for herself, you know?

Speaker 15: (35:40)


Speaker 13: (35:40)

Thanks leading up with us again. Truth point. Okay. Final one. Um, truth pick there please. No, I have a good day. You're gonna make me go. No more slides. No, I'm not. Okay. Dare. Um, I going off often, that's

Speaker 15: (36:01)


Speaker 1: (36:09)

And that was port of entries, Natalie Gonzalez, Kinzie Morlin. And Athal talking with Murs Michelle Guerrero and her daughter listen to the full episode online at port of entry,, or find and follow port of entry on apple, Spotify, and wherever you listen to podcast, You're listening to KPBS midday edition I'm Jade Heman with Maureen Kavanaugh. The Oceanside museum of art opens its fifth artist Alliance biennial on Saturday. The jury to exhibit was conceived to elevate the voices of Southern California artists and celebrate the best work from the museum's artist Alliance, KPBS arts reporter, Beth Amando speaks with professor of fine art and curator Alessandra Matama who was selected as this year's ju and artist duke Windsor

Speaker 16: (37:04)

Alessandra, explain a little bit about what the Oceanside museum of arts artist Alliance biennial is

Speaker 17: (37:11)

About. This is an exhibition that takes place every couple of years, and this is their fifth exhibition and it it's a juried exhibition. So artists who belong to the artist Alliance, uh, of the Oceanside museum of art submit the work and then the work they invite a juror in this case, it was, it was me and, and they select, they narrow it down from all of the submissions. And so it's an exhibit that has me many different types of artwork, many different artists for this year. I had to review close to a thousand entries and I had to narrow it down to, I narrowed down to about 60 works that were included in the exhibition. So it was a very difficult job. The because to go from 900 to 60, you can imagine, so

Speaker 16: (38:03)

As the juror for this, what were you looking for in the

Speaker 17: (38:06)

Art? I'm a curator. So I'm always looking at artworks and artists and visiting their studios. And I really look at the unique vision that they have, the way that they deal with different topics or themes. And also what is innovative about how they approach a particular technique or media. And so I think that artists filter many ideas and filter the world world for us. And so I'm, I'm looking for examples that are really striking

Speaker 16: (38:41)

And duke. One of your pieces was selected for this exhibition. So how does it feel to be a part of this artist Alliance?

Speaker 18: (38:48)

It's, it's very exciting because number one, for an artist, when you enter in exhibitions, you never know, know whether you're going to even be selected as part of the process and to be part of this, this exhibition with a lot of my artists, colleagues that I've known for many, many years, it's really exciting to be part of that, uh, that exhibition and I've juried exhibitions and 900. I have to say, Alessandra, that is a daunting test. I've that've think the most I've ever had to deal with was 300, but I can understand how difficult that is and to be accepted with that many pieces of works is really exciting to be part of. So it's

Speaker 16: (39:26)

Wonderful and duke, because this is for radio. Can you describe what your piece of arc that was accepted is or what it looks like?

Speaker 18: (39:34)

My stand or typical, uh, genre, an area of work is urban city scapes. The ubiquitous alley, most of the times is what I've been focusing on because of its, it has its own drama. It has its own allure. It has its own mystery behind it. And the piece that I have in, in, in the exhibition is a nocturnal view of this scene, basically in a, uh, under the, under this golden light, in a nighttime scene, in an alley with vehicles in the driveway. And you know that there are people there, even though you don't see figurative images in it, you know, that, that, that there's someone there and you're the voer you're, you're looking at this scene and it's titled parked under a golden night because I also embellished the scene with this golden sky utilizing gold leaf as a process that I've been incorporating in lots of my work lately. And that gold is this radiance that offers this honoring of this vision of this scene, of this view, which kind of reflects the same type of iconic view. Uh, like the say for instance, the, uh, Russian icon in the Byzantine icons of the past, uh, utilizing gold in that way of honoring and, uh, the radiance of this, of this scene

Speaker 16: (40:58)

And Alessandra, when you were looking through all this art, were you struck by any like themes that kind of came out or were you looking for something that kind of linked all of the works that were going to be shown?

Speaker 17: (41:10)

I was, uh, noticing different themes that were surfacing as I was looking through the works. And some of the things that I really noticed was landscapes, both urban landscapes and natural landscapes that captured, uh, beautiful or sublime moments. I think that during the pandemic time we were all isolated and, uh, I took a lot of walks around my neighborhood and I could see what duke was talking about. You know, you turn the corner and suddenly the sun is setting and this beautiful sky and you see this alley illuminated and it's just, uh, really wonderful gift. And I, and I think it was also about very much this artist pointed out how important it is to be present, right, how important it is to be in the moment. And then the other topic that I saw coming through was about connection and, and then coming out of the pandemic, you know, uh, AC and, and caring for each other. So those were, uh, some of the themes that I saw come across

Speaker 16: (42:19)

And duke, you are in a unique situation because you have not only a work in this exhibit, but you are also having a solo exhibit at the Oceanside museum. And so will people get a sense of what your solo show is like based on this one piece or are they kind of completely different?

Speaker 18: (42:37)

Uh, I would have to say they are completely different. Uh, the only connection you will see will be the goal leaf and the show of course is called, uh, nothing's impossible, uh, which deals with our food icon that we have, which is the American food icon is the Hamburg. And it does kind of go back to the pandemic mode where we were also looking for comfort food, looking for something to, uh, take our mind off of, of what's been going on. And so, uh, I think this has been a, it was a poignant exhibit to try to, to create. So the only connection you're gonna see is the goal leaf. And

Speaker 16: (43:12)

For both of you, how does it feel to who be getting back to in person shows where you can actually have people see the artwork up close and personal, as opposed to, you know, I know there's been some virtual exhibits and gallery shows

Speaker 17: (43:28)

For me is so exciting. I mean, this last semester, we actually went back in person for the museum studies class. I, and I actually, I had the students in the gallery learning how to hang the work, handling the art pieces, doing the lighting. And there's nothing, you know, there was no way to do that virtually. Um, and I just think that wonderful to be able to see works in person, you don't get a sense of the scale or the texture or the luminosity. And like, for example, with Duke's beautiful paintings, you know, the, the gold and, you know, the reflective qualities, a lot of those things don't translate well when you're just doing it virtually on our website. And then another thing for me is the beauty of being with people in the space. So it's super exciting for me to go back in, into the museums and into the gallery.

Speaker 18: (44:16)

Uh, and the other thing too is, is, is also being able to see your work, not inside your studio. You know, you can't see the whole show until you get it into a space somewhere and being able to do that, and then see the reaction of the guests that look at the work. It's just one of those experiences you can't get virtually, but also getting back into the, to the art side, it is just wonderful just to be back, to see people and see their reaction.

Speaker 1: (44:44)

That was Beth Amando speaking with duke Windsor and Aandra, Matama the Oceanside museum of, of arts artist Alliance. Biennial opens on Saturday and runs through May 1st of next year.

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San Diego is preparing for a major storm to hit the region late Monday, bringing with it much needed rain and snow, but also high winds and possibly lightning. Plus, SANDAG recently approved a $160 billion regional transportation plan, but it still faces hurdles as voters will need to approve sales tax increases to fund some of the projects. Also, California regulators could dramatically change the state’s biggest-in-the nation solar marketplace next year. And in an excerpt of the Port of Entry podcast, meet Mexican artist Michelle Guerrero. The artist’s career is taking off, but, like a lot of artists, Guerrero had to go through a lot to get to where she is today. Finally, the Oceanside Museum of Art opens its fifth Artist Alliance Biennial this Saturday. The juried exhibit was conceived to elevate the voices of Southern California artists and celebrate the best work from the museum's Artist Alliance.