Thousands of San Diego students return to school
S1: Students are back on campus with new rules affecting start times.
S2: I think the last hour is actually a very good idea because we have so much course slowed our work. We're very pressured.
S1: I'm Andrew Bowen with Maureen CAVANAUGH. This is KPBS Midday Edition. Congressman Adam Schiff joins the San Diego Festival of Books this weekend.
S2: It's despicable that in the light of these threats , the former president and others are continuing to stoke the flames and make false allegations. But they are and it's raising the threat level , I think , for everyone.
S1: Calls for safer streets in Carlsbad after the death of a young mother riding a bike and the forgotten history of a Japanese internment camp in Pacifica , California. That's ahead on KPBS Midday Edition. Thousands of students returned to San Diego County schools yesterday. Oceanside Vista Bonds all and Poway Unified are some of the school districts that are now back in session. And between COVID safety measures and new laws affecting public schools , there's a lot to talk about. Joining me to break it all down is KPBS education reporter M.G. Perez. M.G. , welcome to the program.
S3: Good to be with you.
S1: You went to Rancho Bernardo High School yesterday. It was their first day back on campus. I have to assume there's a lot on the minds of students , teachers , administrators , even in normal times on the first day of school. But of course , these times aren't normal.
S3: And it started with a great pep rally for freshmen. So the energy was definitely excitement , certainly some nervousness for the new freshmen. But kids were just excited to be back on campus. And we interviewed several of them , including the student body president , who's also a cheerleader. There was lots of cheering going on and really they are excited to be back in-person and with each other. You have to remember that some of these many of these students actually started their freshman year on Zoom and then sophomore year turned into kind of a hybrid , kind of not. And now they're actually in-person for the first time in their junior year. So there's a lot to see and do and most importantly , connect with each other is is what we found.
S1: Now , we know most school districts now are not requiring masks anymore.
S3: I would say in the few hours that we were there , I only saw a handful of kids that were wearing masks. None of the teachers or administrators were wearing masks. And that's , you know , certainly their choice to do. As far as COVID , there , you know , were some hand-washing stations and and there are those safety measures in place. But it's really , you know , doing what we know and have learned in the last couple of years about good hygiene and being respectful of personal space. And then , you know , and dealing with it , because that's really the reality of this. COVID is still with us. Students know that. And there are protocols in place in the event that an outbreak were to happen and hopefully that will not in this new fall semester.
S1: And another thing interesting about Rancho Bernardo High is they got $41 million in renovations this year.
S3: That particular campus is especially old. And so there was a lot of infrastructure , building repairs , those kinds of things. But the best part was really landscaping there. They have a quadrangle that , until this renovation happened , was rather drab and lifeless. They filled it with plants and climate friendly vegetation. And it's really beautiful to look at. And there are actually there's a planter in the shape of a letter R and B for Rancho Bernardo. And it really does add to the environment. And the kids were really enjoying it yesterday when we were with them for the first day of school.
S1: Now , one new development that's affecting middle and high schools , not just in San Diego , but across all of California , is the start time. Tell us about that.
S3: So the great debate is whether starting later in the morning is going to work. We talked to people on both sides. The experts will tell you that having kids get more sleep will make them more productive. The challenge in that is that a lot of families have students who are spread out. So , for instance , the new law that says middle schools have to start at 8:00 or later and high schools can't start before 830 impacts families who have children in elementary school. So there's the real conflict of how do we balance our life and our different kids. And we talked to one cheerleader who said because they start late , that means the day is going to go much later into the afternoon with athletics and extracurricular activities. So they will have less time for homework. She was not happy about that. Another young man that we talked to , it was the exact opposite. He said we should have been doing this all along. And he feels that it will make him a better student in his senior year.
S1: And there are also some changes in school cafeterias. Tell us what's happening there.
S3: California has become the first state. To offer universal free breakfast and lunch to every student in the state. Used to be you had to meet certain criteria. There were reduced lunches and so forth. But as of this semester , every student will be given free breakfast and free lunch no matter their needs. So it's great news because that way it's an equalizer and everybody has a fair shot at , you know , having a good , healthy lunch , which ultimately will make them better students.
S1: I've been speaking with KPBS education reporter Meg Perez. And Meg , thanks for joining us.
S3: Thank you.
S4: Democrat Adam Schiff represented California's 28th Congressional District years before Donald Trump became president. He was known for his work in foreign affairs , surveillance reform legislation and as an advocate for freedom of the press. But in recent years , Congressman Schiff has attained national prominence for his work in Congress investigating allegations against Donald Trump while Trump was president. And after Schiff's book , Midnight in Washington , tells the behind the scenes story of one of those investigations and how the submission by many Republican lawmakers to the former president has changed Congress and politics in America. Congressman Adam Schiff is chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. He was the lead manager in the first impeachment trial of Donald Trump and is a member of the House Select Committee conducting the January 6th investigation. He'll be in San Diego this weekend to take part in the San Diego Union-Tribune Festival of Books. And Congressman Schiff , welcome to the show.
S2: Thank you. It's great to be with you.
S4: Liz Cheney , the vice chair of the January 6th committee , was soundly defeated in the Wyoming Republican primary this week. She was defeated by a candidate endorsed by Donald Trump.
S2: And tragically , that party has been remade in his flawed image. It is now a prerequisite to success in the Republican Party of Donald Trump to lie about the last election. And sadly , because Liz Cheney was willing to tell the truth , because she would not go along with the lie that eats at the heart of our democracy. The lie that says that in the election you lose is somehow rigged and illegitimate because she wouldn't go along with that. She's rejected by Trump's GOP. It's a tragedy for the GOP. And because we need two healthy political parties in America , it's a tragedy for the country.
S2: So we are exploring the different topics and what would be most important to share with the public.
S4: Former Vice President Mike Pence says he would consider testifying before the committee.
S2: And obviously Mike Pence would have very , very relevant testimony. So I was glad to hear that he is open or potentially receptive to the idea. We will be and are discussing next steps as a committee. I'm not in a position to announce anything at this point , but clearly he was the at the center of a campaign by the former president to overturn the election. There were allies of the former president urging him to exercise powers he doesn't have that would force him to act in an unconstitutional manner. Thankfully , he rejected those entreaties , but he certainly would be a very relevant witness.
S2: And it is rather remarkable , though , I have to say , that the Congress in many respects is so far out ahead of the Justice Department in conducting an investigation. Many of the Justice Department steps seem to be a reflection of what we are sharing with the public as a result of what we're finding. That's not really the case. I've been involved. Now , this is the third major investigation where there has been a contemporaneous investigation by the Justice Department. Normally , Congress lags way far behind because the Justice Department has far greater investigative resources. They have the FBI that can go out and do interviews and execute search warrants. They have the power to enforce their own subpoenas. We have to go to them to enforce our subpoenas. So in that respect , their parallel investigations , we are talking with them and want to make sure that material that we have that's important to them we can share. At the same time , we don't simply open our files to another branch of government any more than they simply open. There's 2 hours and there are other areas where their investigation is beyond the scope of ours , such as the search that they did at Mar a Lago.
S4: I was going to ask you about that.
S2: You know , we don't exclude the possibility that there's a connection. And indeed , you know , there have been times where we have heard the testimony that's relevant to the handling of documents by the White House and and others. And while that has not been the focus of our investigation , we obviously don't turn away when we learn information that we think is relevant or potentially violative of law or jeopardizes our national. But that isn't really the focus of our investigation. Our focus is on the events that led to the attack on the capital and the multiple lines of effort to overturn the election.
S4: After the firestorm from Republicans about that Mar a Lago , search and threats on social media to law enforcement.
S2: We are now seeing it as a result of the president and many of his enablers , irresponsible attacks on the FBI. You know , someone strap on body armor , bring a assault weapon and go to shoot people at an FBI building. Others threatening violence to the FBI. And it's despicable that in the light of these threats , the former president and others are continuing to stoke the flames and make false allegations about the bureau. But they are and it's raising the threat level , I think , for everyone.
S4: Your book , Midnight in Washington describes the first impeachment hearing and Senate trial of Donald Trump. But you also talk about the change that you've seen in Republican colleagues as they become loyal supporters of Donald Trump.
S2: They are essentially echoing what he says in the hopes of getting his support. So it's very real in that sense. Do my Republican colleagues believe the big lie ? No. They know it's a big lie. They're content to repeat it because they think it helps them politically. You know , one of things I write about in the book is something that the historian Robert Caro once said the power doesn't corrupt as much as it reveals. It doesn't always reveal it for our best. But it says a lot about who we are. Well , power of the last five or six years has revealed to me a lot about the people I work with , who , it turns out , don't believe any of the things they've been saying , or if they do , it's simply not as important to them as maintaining of their own position or potentially getting a better position. You know , the the case of Liz Cheney and Elise Stefanik , for example , is a study in contrasts. Liz Cheney wouldn't tell a big lie and was willing to lose her position in Republican leadership and now her position as the nominee in her district. And when she expressed her unwillingness to go along with that big lie , Elise Stefanik put up her hand and volunteered for the job and now has Liz Cheney's position. That is sort of the cautionary tale of where we are. That advancement within today's GOP requires fidelity to the former president and his lies.
S4: I've been speaking with Congressman Adam Schiff , who'll be discussing his book , Midnight in Washington How We Almost Lost Our Democracy and Still Could at the San Diego Union-Tribune Festival of Books this Saturday afternoon. Congressman Schiff , thank you so much for joining us.
S2: Thank you.
S4: This is KPBS Midday Edition. I'm Maureen CAVANAUGH with Andrew Bowen in for Jade Hindman. 16 deaths reported in San Diego jails this year. The latest reported death happened just two days ago. Numbers like that , along with a state audit criticizing the care of inmates inside San Diego jails , prompted the county board of Supervisors this week to launch a new effort to beef up jail staffing and safety measures. The plan is to reduce the amount of overtime for current sheriff's deputies by boosting pay scales to bring in new recruits. Supervisors also unanimously approved new efforts to scan for drugs in county jails. Joining me is San Diego Union-Tribune reporter Jeff McDonald. Jeff , welcome to the program.
S2: Hello , Maureen. Thanks for having me.
S4: Establishing new policies for the sheriff's department is not something the board of Supervisors usually gets involved in , is it ? No.
S2: No , because the sheriff's an elected position , the supervisors have typically , you know , delegated all the operations and administrative decision making to the elected official. They do , however , control the sheriff's department budget. And so historically , they've left all the other decision making to the to the elected official.
S2: The sheriff's department has taken a number of measures , it says , to to address and reduce the number of jail deaths , but apparently not to the satisfaction of the supervisors who basically pressured the sheriff's department a little bit to to do more. And that's what we saw this week at the Board of Supervisors meeting.
S4: Now , the supervisors want to come up with a plan to boost pay for sheriff's deputies and staff.
S2: They need across the board help. They have a number of vacant positions and I mean hundreds. Three or 400. Not all deputies , but , you know , across the health care sphere , nurses , mental health technicians , all sorts of positions. There's a lot of competition for those jobs in the economy. And jails , of course , are not the happiest places to work. So they are having to adopt these incentives to try and recruit more people.
S2: Experienced deputies coming in from other departments would be given $20,000 signing bonus to come in to work at the San Diego Sheriff's Department. So it's not insignificant. We'll see how much help , how much it helps.
S2: However , the jail deaths have persisted for years. So if there's a nexus , it's that's not been one of the complaints. But you do have to imagine that , you know , mandatory overtime tends to drive down morale at any worksite , any workplace. So you would think that , you know , being told you have to work more than a full time , you know , schedule would deplete morale , especially when it goes on year after year after year. So while they don't say that , that's one of the reasons affecting the number of jail deaths , you have to expect that it at least does not help.
S2: And as I understand it , this provision approved by the supervisors this week , without that extra money or additional body scanners that you have to assume would be state of the art. So I think that that's the priority. The idea , of course , being to find the drugs that are being smuggled in by people who who are being booked into custody. Sometimes they hide drugs on their person in order to sell them inside jail.
S2: We have a huge number of overdose that don't result in fatalities. I think it was something like 1300 so far this year , which is a lot by any measure. The deaths , of course , are spotlighting spotlighting that problem. The sheriff said during the meeting the other day that the drugs are coming in through the mail and by inmates smuggling them into the facilities. Couple of the supervisors kind of implied that maybe they should look at employees , too. I've heard anecdotally that some employees have historically smuggle drugs into work , don't have any proof of that. The sheriff said they have not uncovered any specific cases of that , even though there have been some allegations lodged. One of the supervisors. As are suggested , drug sniffing dogs at the entrances , at the staff entrances. That might be an interesting development. And another supervisor suggested maybe the workers should be scanned on their way into work just as a matter of routine. That's going to be part of what comes back to the supervisors in a couple of months when they look at the implementation and the effectiveness of what they approve. This week , it's coming back to review in 60 days.
S2: Of course , one of the two runoff candidates is the undersheriff right now. And so they work closely with Kevin Martinez already. The other is outsider John , himself , a former city prosecutor. But don't forget , several of the supervisors are up for re-election , too. So I think it's fair to assume they want to be perceived as being proactive on this front , you know , ahead of their own re-election chances. Right. Okay.
S4: Okay. I've been speaking with San Diego Union Tribune reporter Jeff MacDonald. And Jeff , thanks.
S2: You bet. Have a great day.
S1: Bike advocates say the death of a Carlsbad mother while riding her e-bike is a wake up call about how unsafe our streets are for cyclists. Christine Hawk Embry was riding home with her daughter on August 7th when she was struck by the driver of an SUV and later died. Her six month old daughter was not hurt. She's one of four cyclists killed on the streets of San Diego County in the span of eight days this month. Joining me to talk about this is KPBS North County reporter Tanya Thorne. And Tanya , welcome.
S5: Thanks , Andrew.
S1: So the widower of Christine Hawk Embry spoke before the Carlsbad City Council this week. Tell us what he said.
S5: Yeah , this is a tragic story. I mean , I think this is what really struck out to me about this story is that this wasn't the first time Bob Embry , Christine's husband , spoke at City Council about road safety. Here he is on Tuesday's meeting.
S1: Never in a million years , I think. Three weeks later , my wife would be hit by a 42 year old female who lived in the neighborhood , traveling approximately 40 miles an hour and blew a stop sign. Thank God my daughter didn't die , but my wife wasn't so lucky.
S5: So just a couple of weeks before his wife's accident , Bob took the podium to ask council members for ways to slow traffic down in his neighborhood. He spoke about the accidents he responds to on a daily basis as part of his duties as a firefighter in Orange County. So he was ringing the alarm about road and speed safety in his own neighborhood , probably never imagining it would impact his family so closely weeks later.
S1: And Bob Embry has been calling on the city of Carlsbad , as you say , to do something about unsafe streets in his neighborhood.
S5: It happened right by Carlsbad High School. And with the return of school , the popularity of e-bikes and this accident , along with a couple others that have happened recently , many community members are calling for changes after the public comments in Tuesday's meeting , council did extend their condolences to the family and the friends and family. And the city manager said efforts are on the way. Data is being collected right now at the site of the crash , as well as a separate location also in Carlsbad from another bike accident that recently occurred.
S1: Bike advocates say that Emery's death sheds light on just how unsafe streets are for cyclists. I remember going to a press conference last summer in which there was another span , you know , a short time span in which several people on bikes or maybe e-scooters were killed.
S5: That isn't new. It's been it's been going on. And unfortunately , sometimes it takes tragedies like these for the problems to be looked at , examined. But it's really about slowing people and cars down. So changes to the road , such as speed bumps , roundabouts , dips on the roads and giving cyclists space so designated bike lanes , but also education for anyone on the road , not just people riding the bikes , but also drivers making them aware and distraction free. So , you know , some of the residents also mentioned more law enforcement. Right. And forcing people on their phones and not paying attention.
S1: Now , Christine Embry was riding an e-bike.
S5: Right. I mean , they are electric. They mention that the speed really tops out at 20 miles an hour. It's really about education and road safety.
S1: This week , Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill into law that was authored by and Senators Assembly member Tasha Berner. HORVATH And it will require the state to develop a safety and training program for e-bikes.
S5: I mean , organizations like the San Diego County Bike Coalition have a great educational information and training. But this bill will have California Highway Patrol create a statewide educational standard on e-bike safety and training. And it's because they become so popular. RIDE Schools are starting to see them everywhere. A lot of students , a lot of people are now riding their e-bikes to work the roads. You know , we're definitely seeing more and more e-bikes and just regular bikes and scooters on the street. So I think this popularity and the rising gas prices. Right. More people are now maybe thinking about alternative transportation. So it's all of these factors that are really calling for a standardized set of education and pointers about e-bike safety.
S1: And it bears repeating , there's no evidence that Christine Embry was riding unsafely. She seems to have done everything right. But the woman who was driving the SUV ran a stop sign and was speeding.
S5: Reports state that the driver cooperated with law enforcement. She stayed at the scene. It seems like drugs or alcohol were not a factor. The case is still being investigated. It could be many different factors. Right. Was she speeding ? Did she roll a stop sign ? Was Christine on the right side of the road ? And , you know , that's where the statewide training can really come in handy for anyone. Bike riders , pedestrians and drivers such as being aware of these e-bikes and your surroundings.
S1: I've been speaking with KPBS North County reporter Tanya Thorn. And Tanya , thanks for joining us.
S5: Thanks for having me.
S1: California has begun a big push to get more four year olds enrolled in transitional kindergarten or tech. But as KQED is Daisy Wen reports , not every parent of an eligible child is ready to sign up.
S5: Come on. The Kindle Transitional. But Paramecium playset for the moment.
S6: This ad played on Spanish language TV in Salinas as part of a campaign to tell parents their space for their kids in transitional kindergarten. About 400 kids in the Aliso Union School District are eligible to enroll , but only half the slots have been filled , T.K. teacher Florida elite said. Dalot saw this problem last year. Some kids stopped showing up , so she caught their homes to ask why.
S5: A lot of these parents are migrant workers , and so they work really early in the morning and the children do come here at 815. They just have known no one to drop them off.
S6: It is teaching the only T.K. classroom at Sanchez Elementary School this year. Low enrollment led the school district to consolidate a T.K. classroom at another school with hers. I caught up with her a few weeks ago as she prepared to welcome new students here because T.K. will be most of her students first exposure to school and an adult who speaks English. She wants her curriculum to be fun , play base with students developing social and motor.
S5: Skills at their own pace. They don't even know that they are learning. So a lot of it is like self-exploration and they are learning themselves.
S6: The district superintendent , James Koenig , believes Covert still has a lot of parents scared.
S2: I think they're just still concerned about about enrolling these very young kids in school and possibly exposing them to the virus.
S6: COVID hit the Salinas Valley hard , and infection among farm workers was four times.
S5: Higher than the rest of the population.
S6: During the first year of the. Pandemic.
S6: But parent Luis Alonso , who has a daughter eligible for tech , says she's worried about the student to teacher ratio.
S5: I did my research.
S6: She wants to keep her daughter in Headstart for another year because kids there get more attention and support from adults. This ties into her big concern.
S5: My daughter has some say in potty training , I guess. Okay.
S6: When she asks the principal of her neighborhood school about this issue.
S5: They just say , well , if. He is just going to have.
S6: Do it on her own , kind of.
S5: Like , Oh , my goodness. Then that's not what I want for her. That's. That's not right. I mean , they're too little.
S6: The state is investing $2.7 billion to create this new great. There's strong demand for tech in San Diego and Simi Valley , while most school districts are facing an eligible kids for the next three years. These two districts are opening tech to all four year olds now. Julia Ellis at Simi Valley Unified says Tech's enthusiastic reception there shows how much parents need this program.
S5: pre-K education. Previously.
S2: Has been mostly.
S5: Available through. Private.
S5: Preschools , and now we have a public institution that's welcoming these four year olds to everyone. And so it kind of levels the playing field for students to have early access to public education.
S6: I'm Daisy Wynn.
S4: This is KPBS Midday Edition. I'm Maureen CAVANAUGH with Andrew Bowen in for Jade Hindman. Several residents of the sleepy Northern California beachside city of Pacifica recently discovered a forgotten fact about the town. During World War Two , a Japanese internment camp was located there. The discovery has prompted many to ask , Why didn't anybody tell us ? It also led a bundler , Moody of the Bay Curious podcast to learn more about the Sharp Park camp in Pacifica and try to find out about some of the people who spent time there.
S6: I didn't know anything about Sharp Park , so I drove down and checked out the spot for myself. Maybe there was something written on a plaque or a sign nearby that other people could read. The park sits between the Pacific Ocean and the rolling hills of the coastal range. Back in the 1940s , the prison sat where an archery range now stands. It's all overgrown with trees and shrubs. I looked all over the property and couldn't find any clues about Sharpe Park's history of mass incarceration. No old buildings , no commemorative plaques. Nothing.
S2: Yeah , maybe the thing to do is to step back a little because I think there are fundamentally two different round ups of Japanese Americans and sharp part is definitely one part of that story that's different from kind of the better known part.
S6: That's Brian Nia , the content director for Denso , an online encyclopedia dedicated to the experiences of mass incarceration of people of Japanese ancestry across the country.
S2: So what happens basically is from the 1930s for a full decade before the outbreak of war , various government agencies , the Office of Naval Intelligence , the FBI , began to surveil the Japanese community.
S6: Since the early 1930s , Japan had been invading China first with the Manchuria region in 1931 and then slowly extending its control to other regions in the country. The United States government was worried about what Japan would do next , so the FBI began to secretly investigate and keep tabs on every Japanese resident in the U.S..
S2: And so by the mid thirties they've got lists of people that are refined as the thirties go on.
S6: A few months after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor , those lists were put to use by the government. President Franklin D Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 , which allowed the U.S. military to start methodically forcing people of Japanese descent into detention centers. Meanwhile , the U.S. government encouraged paranoia and xenophobia.
S2: Japanese fishermen had every opportunity to watch the movement of our ships. Japanese farmers were living close to vital aircraft plants. So as a first step , all Japanese were required to move from critical areas such as these.
S6: In Northern California , some Japanese people were first sent in mass to stand for in near the San Francisco airport. It was one of the largest so-called assembly centers in the state. Some people would spend time there before being transferred to more permanent prisons like Tully Lake , near the California Oregon border , or Manzanar in the Owens Valley. But then there were camps like Sharp Park in Pacifica. The people sent there were specifically targeted by the government because the FBI considered them , quote , highly dangerous. But as Brian Nia says , they were really just community leaders.
S2: So it was Buddhist priests , it was Japanese language schoolteachers , newspaper editors like my grandfather , people who were officials at community organizations with their cultural organization and economic organizations.
S6: While reporting out the story , I got in touch with Kimiko Mayer , who runs a nonprofit called Japanese American Memorial Pilgrimages , which creates mini documentaries about this period of mass incarceration and the experiences people had at the camps. Her great grandfather , Tanjiro Barber , and his son Shigeru Baba , were held at Sharp Park before being transferred to larger prisons.
S5: They arrived at Sharp Park at 5 p.m. March 30th , 1942.
S6: Tanjiro and Shigeru were strawberry farmers. Kumiko is still not sure why they were targeted by the FBI and sent to Sharp Park. The closest she's ever come to an answer are from records that say Tegeta once donated $2 to the Japanese military. According to her research , the men were picked up by police one day and separated from their families.
S5: They had no idea where they were going , how long they were going to be gone , what was going to happen to them. And so that's got to be really stressful to just be put places where you're like , I don't I don't know how long I'll be here. I don't know what's going to happen.
S6: The rest of her family , including her mother , who was just a baby at the time , were taken to Topaz Camp in Utah. Tanjiro and Shigeru eventually joined them and were held there until the end of the war in 1945. Kimiko gets angry when she thinks about what her family had to go through , even though they were Americans so proud to be part of their adopted country. It wasn't enough.
S5: It's almost as if when you come here as an immigrant , you almost have to. Disavow your native country like you can't be proud of your native country because that's being disloyal.
S6: When I first started digging into this story , I found it really difficult to get any firsthand accounts of what Shark Park was like. That's partially because people weren't held at Sharp Park for very long. They were usually transferred to more permanent camps and reunited with their families rather quickly. But it's also hard because most of the people held at Sharp Park were older , more established members of Japanese-American society who aren't around anymore to share their stories. The only account I could find was from a set of diaries written by a man named Yamato Ichi Hoshi. Yamato was about 16 years old when he emigrated from Japan to the United States on a student visa in 1894. There was a lot of racism , particularly towards Asian-Americans in the Bay Area at the time. He attended Lowell High School , then Stanford and finally Harvard , where he got his doctorate degree. He ultimately accepted a position at Stanford teaching international relations and Japanese studies. Dr. Gordon Chang , a Stanford professor , now , has spent a good part of his career studying the life of Yamato.
S2: He may have been the most esteemed or certainly one of the most esteemed members of the Japanese-American community nationally. He was a Stanford professor.
S6: According to Chiang's research , Yamato thought of himself as an American. He even named his son Woodrow after President Woodrow Wilson , and he often looked down on other Japanese-Americans who didn't make as much money as him or held tight to their traditional values and culture.
S2: He considered himself certainly of the elite.
S6: Most of Yamato , his friends were white professors at Stanford and other prestigious universities. When the war began , he publicly condemned the Japanese military for starting conflict and started purchasing $100 U.S. war bonds every month. Around May , six months after Pearl Harbor. Yamato and his wife , Kei , started seeing signs all around the Stanford campus instructing people of Japanese ancestry to report to a designated spot with only what they could carry when they showed up. They were taken by bus to the Santa Anita racetrack just outside of Los Angeles. They would spend the next three years living in concentration camps without freedom. After they were shuffled to different camps around the state , including the Julie Lake facility in Northern California. Yamato was told he alone would be transferred back to the Bay Area to Shark Park.
S1: I faced an unforgettable incident. An FBI agent named Robert Hart came to the room at 230 and told me that I was under arrest. I asked what was the charge and he replied , No charge as far as he knew. I was told to pack things I wanted to take with me , but I had no spare things with me.
S6: Yamato was separated from his wife and son for two months while he was at Sharp Park , according to his diaries. There were tall iron net fences that surrounded the camp and about ten army barracks within it.
S1: I was pleasantly surprised the makeup of this camp , particularly after my experience at the crowded Santa Anita Center. When I reached there , the flowers were in full bloom. The site was delightful to the eye.
S6: Because Sharp Park specifically held Japanese-Americans with supposed influence. The U.S. government wanted to treat them carefully. Again , here's Bryan Nia.
S2: The US government understood that the treatment of these men had bearing in our treatment of American prisoners in Japan would be treated.
S6: Each room housed eight people. Compare that with the barracks at the Santa Anita facility , which housed 10 to 12 people per room , Shah Pak held about 500 prisoners. Compared to the thousands of people at other camps. Here's an excerpt from Yamamoto's diaries at the time.
S1: Treatment was satisfactory , food abundant , though often too greasy and powerfully seasoned with garlic. Supplies were freely given , such as toothbrush and toothpaste. Sheets and pillowcase were changed every Monday. Blankets were clean.
S6: Yamato was held at Sharp Park from late August to late October , 1942 , before reuniting with his family at Tully Lake. Yamato had written his entire life. And Gordon Chang believes Yamato was writing these diaries partially to make sense of what was happening to him in a way he had always used to process the world. But it was maybe also to collect evidence of what he went through.
S2: And he accumulated a substantial portion. But this this material became more spare as time went on. Less rich , because he's sort of reduced to just an attorney and no longer a scholar.
S6: Over the next three years , Yamato was incarcerated. He grew more reclusive , more aloof. A camp director tasked with keeping eyes on him wrote that he was definitely well-respected by others in the camp because of his position as a scholar and university professor. But he was distant.
S2: Most people do not seem to know just how to take him , and he , in turn having had little contact with Japanese during his 40 years at Stanford University , seems to have difficulty in relating to them and has a tendency to hold himself aloof. He appears to be an impersonal observer of the passing scene.
S3: Rather than a participant.
S6: Again , here's Cheng.
S2: I think you very much felt this was a challenge to his dignity and his prestige , and he tried to carry himself and recreate sort of a world in which he was highly regarded. But in a prison camp such as that , he's just a number.
S6: In 1945 , when mass incarceration of people with Japanese ancestry finally ended and the hashes were released , they weren't enthusiastic about returning back to the life they left behind. anti-Japanese sentiments were still high. Leaving the camps felt dangerous , and they didn't have many resources to restart their lives. Yamato was a completely changed man.
S2: After he got out , he did very much. Was I see as a broken person as far as many of the older Japanese-Americans were. We just had a very , very tough time physically , mentally , emotionally.
S6: By the time Yamato returned to Stanford , the university was already looking for his replacement.
S2: Professional career had been crushed , and he was no longer an active faculty member. His marriage , it fell apart. He was disaffected with his son. So to me , those are all indications. He was in a very sad situation.
S6: The way Gordon sees it. The experience had lasting effects on the Ichi hashes , as it did for most other Japanese-Americans.
S2: There is this long history in the United States of those from Asia being held as somehow , somehow perpetually foreign.
S6: Yamato worked so hard to assimilate to a country where white men held power , attending the best universities in the country , getting the highest degrees , getting a prestigious job , having lots of white friends , and even naming his son after an American president. But it wasn't enough. The government still considered him a foreigner , a dangerous foreigner , and that classification destroyed him. That story was.
S5: Reported by KQED's other debunker , Moody.
S6: By the way , as she reported that story , she learned that a few years after the end of.
S5: The war at the Sharp.
S6: Park Incarceration camp was torn down.
S5: The iron fence , the barracks where Yamato.
S6: Slept , the dining area where he ate the garlicky food haven , the flowers he admired. There was a rumor that the stone steps from one of the buildings were still there.
S5: But when Aditi visited the park , she couldn't find them anywhere.
S6: Right now , nobody is really.
S5: Lobbying to commemorate what happened in the park. Not local governments or advocacy groups. And while local schools do teach students about Japanese incarceration at Tan Foreign and other camps around California , there isn't any specific mention of what happened at Sharp Park.