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U.S. will soon allow nonessential travelers from Canada and Mexico again

 October 13, 2021 at 3:55 PM PDT

Speaker 1: (00:00)

The by then ministration eases travel restrictions for us. Ports of entry

Speaker 2: (00:05)

Too long. The restrictions at our border have separated families have devastated businesses that rely on cross border travel.

Speaker 1: (00:12)

I'm Andrew Bowen with Maureen Kavanaugh. This is KPBS midday, edition Experts. More in the improving COVID-19 situation could lead to a false sense of security.

Speaker 3: (00:30)

You know, we're not out of the woods here. We have plenty of people who are unvaccinated in this state and they are the most likely suspects to get COVID and to spread COVID. Although things are looking good right now, we can't let our guard down.

Speaker 1: (00:43)

Backyard, granny flats are seeing a boom in San Diego, but a new report finds. They can still be very difficult to build. And the new season of our podcast, port of entry kicks off with a story of trash to treasure. That's coming up on KPBS midday edition. The Biden administration announced today. It's easing travel restrictions at land border crossings after 19 months of closure to all but essential travel, San Diego mayor, Todd, Gloria praised the move in a press conference this morning.

Speaker 2: (01:16)

They're allowing families to be reunited. They're allowing businesses to get back to a sense of normalcy and they're allowing our local economy to finally fully recover.

Speaker 1: (01:25)

Starting in early November, foreigners entering the U S for non-essential travel. We'll have to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination. Joining me to discuss the development and its impact on San Diego is David shirk, department chair, and professor of political science and international relations at university of San Diego. Professor shirk. Welcome. Yes, thanks for having me border crossings from T1. I have been taking place to some extent throughout the pandemic. So remind us what types of crossings were previously allowed and which can resume in November because of this announcement.

Speaker 4: (02:00)

So, um, with the, uh, near the start of the pandemic, the Trump administration imposed a restriction to, uh, border crossroads to only allow essential travel across, uh, us ports of entry, um, and any visitors who wanted to come to the United States for non-essential purposes, such as visiting Disneyland could come in through airports, uh, and, um, uh, flying into the country. But for people living here in the border region, uh, only so-called essential travelers were, uh, permitted to come across our land bound ports of entry. Um, so that could include someone coming across for medical reasons. It could include someone who has a position that, uh, is listed among the federal categories of essential workers. Um, but, uh, it, it essentially meant that for Mexican nationals, um, working, working, or, or, uh, in a, in a situation where they were not considered essential, they could not come across the border from a safety Quanta to San Diego, uh, for their, their, uh, otherwise for their so-called non-essential activities like visiting their grandchildren, or, uh, trying to, uh, go shopping and, or go out to restaurants, et cetera.

Speaker 1: (03:20)

How might these changes impact the local economy and how might they impact the lives of everyday people in our community?

Speaker 4: (03:27)

Well, immediately prior to the pandemic, um, you know, in February of 2020, we had on average around 200,000 people crossing the, uh, San Ysidro, uh, Otay Mesa ports of entry into the San Diego in San Diego county, um, on any given, uh, in any given day. And, um, by April of 2020, we saw that number dropped by more than 50%, uh, down to about 75,000 people crossing the border on a daily basis. So the ports of entry were really dramatically emptied. Uh, and over the course of 2020, we saw that number gradually go up, uh, until about mid point this year, when we have, you know, around 160, 170,000, uh, people crossing on a daily basis. So we've recuperated significantly, the number of people who are coming, um, uh, for so-called essential purposes, but there's still, you know, uh, tens of thousands of people who are not crossing the border, not coming across to you to visit SeaWorld, to use our risk, to go to our restaurants, um, and to engage in other quote unquote non-essential activities before our border community, and especially for, uh, south county businesses, uh, it's been quite devastating in terms of trying to, uh, you know, run local restaurants and, um, even hotels and other industries where there's a big dependence on both, uh, people who, uh, can live in Tijuana and legally work in the United States.

Speaker 4: (05:08)

And it depends obviously on the customers who would, would, uh, be coming across for, for ordinary, um, uh, commercial activities or, uh, shopping activities.

Speaker 1: (05:18)

Eric traveled to the U S has been permitted for non-essential travel, as long as the traveler could prove a negative COVID-19 test. So in some ways it's been easier to get to San Diego on a flight from Mexico city than crossing on foot or in a car at San Ysidro. Why was air travel treated differently than land border crossings?

Speaker 4: (05:39)

You know, it's, it is a crazy exception. I can't explain why that policy was chosen. I know in our case, we've had to fly colleagues, uh, from Mexico city and elsewhere, uh, in Mexico, uh, to Los Angeles, uh, or to San Diego in order to get them to come to professional activities here at the university of San Diego because of this odd loophole. Um, whereas normally we might fly them in the Tijuana airport and have them come across, uh, the, um, CDX facility. Um, we had to go through this extra step in order to bring vaccinated people, uh, here for professional purposes. Um, and I, I think, you know, the part of the problem in my view is that in Washington, there's really a difficulty in comprehending the, the realities of what it means to live in a cross border community and to, to, you know, go about your daily business in a place like San Diego and Tijuana, um, and this sort of perception that, you know, flying people in with a vaccination card is somehow safer than having, uh, people drive across with a vaccination card is, is a little bit foolish because there's so much intermingling in our communities anyway, that, um, I'm very personally skeptical that the border closure, uh, or restrictions have had any real effect in reducing cross border flows of COVID.

Speaker 1: (07:07)

I've been speaking with university of San Diego, professor David shirk and professor shirk. Thanks for joining

Speaker 4: (07:12)

Us. My pleasure, thanks for having me

Speaker 5: (07:24)

Numbers of new COVID infections are finally going down in California and nationally, but officials are warning everyone not to let their guard down this time. Last year, COVID looked like it was in retreat before the deadly winter surge. So questions remain about boosters, about vaccine mandates, about vaccinations for children, and about Halloween. Trick-or-treating joining us for his weekly COVID update. It's a pleasure to welcome back Dr. Eric TOEFL, director of the Scripps research translational Institute in LA Jolla. Dr. Topol, welcome

Speaker 3: (07:59)

Back. Thanks for reading. Always great to be with you. The

Speaker 5: (08:01)

Number of new cases is going down is that because of vaccine mandates,

Speaker 3: (08:07)

That's playing some role. It's hard to quantify precisely. I mean, it's a combination of many things California is doing very well, but our vaccination rates are still, let's say 10% points lower than the best states like Vermont and in new England. But we have had a lot of prior COVID in this state, which has helped build some immunity. Fortunately, a lot of those people also have been vaccinated, which gets terrific immunity built up and the mandates help promote vaccination. So all in all, you know, things are looking good, but of course we're not to a level of containment. So we still have a ways to go.

Speaker 5: (08:43)

Now, two recent studies, one out of Israel determined that the Pfizer vaccine has a steep drop-off of immunity protection after only two months, although it still does offer great protection, serious disease for many months, should that new information change the way we're approaching booster vaccines?

Speaker 3: (09:02)

Yes, the best data we have from Israel is, uh, on boosters come from Israel and indeed after five or six months and people over age 60, there's a significant drop in protection from hospitalizations, severe illness. So it's really interesting. It's the older age group that are the ones that really need to get this extra shot. So that's the high risk group. The cutoff is really occurring at age 60 and the time is about five to six months. After that point, it starts to become increasingly apparent that the benefit of an additional shot, uh, will be important.

Speaker 5: (09:39)

No, if you're over age 60 or over age 65, can you just go in and get a booster shot now? And are those the only people who can do that?

Speaker 3: (09:47)

Well, no. The, if you're a healthcare worker or essential worker, or you have multiple medical coexisting conditions, you also can get, uh, a booster from local pharmacies that carry them as far as is it only the people older? No, those are the ones that highest risk across the board. We're learning again from Israel, which has such careful collected data, that all people will have the benefit from a third shot. Uh, if they had a maternal or Pfizer, especially Pfizer, but the data from a dura coming into that extra shot prevents symptomatic infections. Why is that important? Well, nobody wants to get COVID, uh, you don't know where it's gonna go. It could lead to long-term symptoms. It also could transmit to others. So these are the features that why we want to suppress symptomatic infections. Oh, so it could be Maury that over the weeks ahead, as we get more data, the recommendations will extend beyond where they are right now, which is age 65 in the U S it should be 60. Uh, it could go much slower and it could be, you know, close to across the board, but it's just a little early to make that call right now,

Speaker 5: (10:58)

Boosters form a dhurna and Johnson and Johnson vaccines approved yet.

Speaker 3: (11:03)

The week is the peak week. Unfortunately, there is no Israel for these two vaccines, and we have limited data that the data that's being presented at the FDA meetings this week, basically show that if you give the extra shot to either vaccine, Madonna or J and J you get a nice immune response, but they don't have the ability to suppress the need for hospitalization, the protection from the serious outcome that doesn't exist. So in the FDA briefing documents, we have part of the story and you basically have to bring in other pieces of data, like the Pfizer Israeli data to make that conclusion, most likely the FDA will recommend the boosters for all of our vaccines in the U S which include Moderna and J and J. But that's going to be, uh, somewhat controversial because there's some deficiencies in the data that's going to reviewed.

Speaker 5: (11:53)

And can you mix vaccinations? In other words, if you got a Medina vaccination to have them fully vaccinated, can you get a Pfizer booster?

Speaker 3: (12:02)

Yes. As it turns out just today, that data was just put out on the web as a pre-print, it will be presented at the FDA meeting on mix and match. So they had about 150 people that had each of the three vaccines, Pfizer Medina, or J and J. And then they gave those people, any of these nine combinations. And, uh, they worked very well in terms of mixing. So th the concerns that we've had with respect to staying in your lane, you got Pfizer, keep getting Pfizer Madrona, and on and on that probably is now going to be past tense. This idea of mixing, particularly if you had the J and J vaccine, that response to getting either modern or Pfizer is very

Speaker 5: (12:44)

Dr. Topol. I have to ask you this question, because I've had a couple of people bring this up. Is there anything like having too many antibodies against COVID in your system? I've heard some people who've had, COVID say they don't want to get a vaccine, or they don't want to get a booster because they'll have too many antibodies.

Speaker 3: (13:03)

No, no such thing. Uh, the best thing would have as high, a level of neutralizing antibodies. Those are the important ones, uh, as you possibly can, because that is the ultimate protection. That's basically the inactivation of the virus. So I can't do anything to a person. So high levels are great, and we have no data, no evidence to indicate that the limit there could be, uh, in any way, a negative thing. So that's a miscue, and I hope that, uh, we'll learn, uh, everywhere, everybody that we want to have neutralizing antibodies. That that's the whole idea.

Speaker 5: (13:41)

Now we heard today that the land border between the us and Mexico will reopen next month for the fully vaccinated. Is that a good idea, in your opinion?

Speaker 3: (13:49)

You know, I think it's has some merits, uh, that we are trying to return to our pre COVID life. That's good. The liabilities are the vaccination cards that we have are not exactly fool-proof as to being authentic, uh, wish we had that, you know, digitally validated. The other thing is what about people who have been vaccinated and could be carriers that is there, they haven't yet developed the infection symptoms, or they're not going to develop, but they have a COVID infection that can transmit not common. But if we were to do rapid testing, that can be done in minutes, that would take it to another level of safety. So I think it's okay, but we could actually even do better if we had authentication of the vaccination. And we were also using rapid tests to help guide that,

Speaker 5: (14:39)

You know, finally Dr. Fowchee says trick or treating outside is okay for kids this year. What do you think about what's? Okay. And what's not for Halloween this year, you

Speaker 3: (14:49)

Know, would have been really nice if we have had the, uh, age five to 11 or a lot of the trick-or-treaters to be vaccinated, because that would even take it to another level of safety, but that's not, not going to happen. It will likely get the, go ahead in early November, just missing out for Halloween. But I do think, you know, there's nothing to suggest that outdoor transmission is a concern. So since Halloween is an outdoor story, I don't see a problem with that at all. But in the future, as more children get vaccinated, it's going to become even a, a safe, ideal, uh, situation.

Speaker 5: (15:25)

And finally, governor Newsome and others are warning that we saw decline in case rates this time, last year, too, before the winter COVID surge, could we see another bed uptick of disease in the coming months?

Speaker 3: (15:37)

Absolutely. You know, we're not out of the woods here. We have plenty of people who are unvaccinated in this state, and they are the most likely suspects to get COVID and to spread COVID, although things are looking good right now, we can't let our guard down. We need to keep getting more people vaccinated. And we also have to be careful because just because you're vaccinated doesn't mean that you are fully protected. That's why these booster shots for the high-risk people are going to be necessary. So we are quite a ways from containment, you know, hopefully eventually we'll get there in the months ahead, perhaps even sooner if we can rev up vaccination. But, um, we still have lots of vulnerable.

Speaker 5: (16:14)

I've been speaking with Dr. Eric Topol, director of the Scripps research translational Institute in LA Jolla, Dr. Topol as always, thank you so much. Thank you,

Speaker 3: (16:23)


Speaker 5: (16:36)

This is KPBS midday edition. I'm Maureen Kavanaugh with Andrew Bowen. Jade Heinemann is out today. The number of accessory dwelling units or D use often called granny flats continues to grow and San Diego construction boomed during the pandemic and shows no signs of slowing, but the process of building a small detached house in a backyard can be more challenging and more expensive than many homeowners realize. So the San Diego housing commission is out with a report on lessons learned from its own pilot program, building five granny flats in the city of San Diego, Johnny Mia, San Diego housing commission, executive vice president of real estate, Emily Jacobs, and Emily. Welcome to the program.

Speaker 6: (17:21)

Thank you so much. Lovely to be here.

Speaker 5: (17:24)

Why did the housing commission launched this pilot program where you may be getting a lot of questions about use from homeowners

Speaker 6: (17:32)

Pilot program as a result of a study that the housing commission completed in 2017, it's entitled addressing the affordable housing crisis and it noted 80 use as a method to assist in housing production. Additionally, per the direction of the land use and housing in 2019, this pilot program was born as sort of a test kitchen of sorts to help the citizens of San Diego understand the process of ADU design, permitting and construction. Okay. So

Speaker 5: (18:01)

Where did you build the houses?

Speaker 6: (18:02)

We built the houses on five available yard space on some single family home dwellings that the housing commissions non-profit affiliate housing development partners owns and operates. So we had that yard space, um, and it proved to be good locations for this test kitchen, um, pilot program. No,

Speaker 5: (18:22)

One of the major suggestions, the housing commission offers is using quote, permit, ready, housing plans in construction. Why is that important?

Speaker 6: (18:32)

It's very important because it really, it does two things. It allows the homeowner to have plans that are ready to go. So you limit the amount of design cost associated with doing this. Additionally, what makes it important is to modify it, to be consistent with the municipal code for the jurisdiction that you're wanting to develop the ADU in. So it essentially cuts time and the permitting process, as well as the design cost associated with developing ADU.

Speaker 5: (19:05)

What are some of the other lessons learned from the pilot program?

Speaker 6: (19:08)

We quite frankly learned a ton. Um, one of the key takeaways was to assemble a team of experienced professionals for design permitting and construction. A lot of times it seems, you know, doing something like this is not a daunting task, but all of the development principles still apply regardless of the size of the property or the size of the unit you intend to put on the property. So assembling a team of experienced professionals is key. Again, like we mentioned previously, using permit ready plans, it's also important to consider factors that significantly impact costs. And that would be, uh, things that would drive up permit cost, or if you want some specialized design elements, um, in addition to kind of how it's going to situate on the lot. So really being cognizant to do that upfront work, to avoid those backend, um, pitfalls. Another thing we learned was to prepare for factors that could significantly impact the project timeline.

Speaker 6: (20:11)

Again, if you're wanting to do something very involved on the design side, you know, do all that upfront work because time is money. Um, so you want to pay close attention to the schedule associated with the development of the 80 years. Another thing that was very, very fun in terms of the pilot program was the use of a manufactured home, very, very different than a custom stick build, um, and proved to have reduced cost and reduce timing in terms of permitting an actual construction. So very, very fun, um, medium that we used. Um, and we, we highly recommend using manufactured. How

Speaker 5: (20:49)

Much did the ADU cost to build?

Speaker 6: (20:52)

So they varied by type for the studio's stick, build. It ran, uh, just shy of 120,000 for the three bedroom, three bath stick build just shy of 350,000 and your manufactured home. It ran just shy of 140,000. I will say that the square footage on the manufactured is about double the studio size and the cost per square foot on the manufactured is the lowest.

Speaker 5: (21:25)

And I'm going to ask you this about stick build, cause I guess construction doesn't take too long on manufactured units. How long does construction take?

Speaker 6: (21:32)

Yeah. Great question. So for the stick build, um, it took upwards of two years all in from design permitting and construction. The actual construction phase ran about eight to 10 months, depending on type

Speaker 5: (21:49)

Anything about the process of building these pilot project, granny flat surprise the housing commission.

Speaker 6: (21:55)

I think what we learned, uh, as a good aha was to make sure that you understand the topography of any of the parcels on these projects. When you build them, you have to ensure a level site and it might not be visual to you that there is topography on the site. So in [inaudible] for us was to ensure that you do a topographical study on all of the parcels to ensure that when you situate either the stick build or the manufacturer that you don't have anything being sort of wonky in the process. Okay.

Speaker 5: (22:31)

Okay. It, now, if people want to learn more about the housing commission pilot project and those lessons learned, where can they find that information?

Speaker 6: (22:39)

Absolutely. They can find it on our And it's an ADU landing page that they would search for. There's also links to other resources, as well as the city of San Diego's page that has additional resources on the development videos.

Speaker 5: (22:57)

And I've been speaking with Emily Jacobs with the San Diego housing commission. Emily, thank you so much.

Speaker 6: (23:03)

You're welcome. My pleasure.

Speaker 7: (23:04)


Speaker 1: (23:10)

You know what they say about one man's trash becoming another man's treasure? Well at the border, the journey from trash to treasure often involves an actual trip from San Diego to Tijuana where things like old furniture, appliances, and other used or discarded objects find a second life in a new episode of KPBS is border podcast, port of entry hosts, Allan Lillian, Thall and producer, Kenzie Moreland. Take us inside this cross border secondhand world.

Speaker 8: (23:41)

[inaudible] I'll let you do your work. Thank you.

Speaker 9: (23:45)

This past summer, my producer Kinsey, Marlon, and showed up to an auction at a huge warehouse outside of downtown San Diego, about a dozen people stood outside of a locked gate, then rushed in when a staffer officially opened the auction Behind the gate was a sea of secondhand furniture, clothes, exercise, equipment refrigerators, and other used items that would soon be auctioned off to the highest bidders.

Speaker 10: (24:16)

Oh yeah. I see. Oh, oh, hold on. Hold on. Yeah, sure. Like all that, all this stuff over here, any of these things like these cabinets and these cabinets right here, this beautiful dining room table with the chairs, but what it is is we used well, yeah, well, I don't like the word use. We got to say previously enjoyed.

Speaker 8: (24:35)

I like it. Rebranding.

Speaker 9: (24:38)

This is Daniel. He's one of the biggest buyers of secondhand goods at auctions north of the border, which makes him one of the biggest resellers south of

Speaker 10: (24:47)

It. Oh, I do it by the truckloads. Okay.

Speaker 11: (24:50)

Let's go. Let's go joke. Give me a first [inaudible].

Speaker 10: (24:57)

Now they're bidding on this stuff. That refrigerator went 400 bucks. It probably works. Somebody probably figured out it works and everything. So 15, 20 bucks for the stove. He does it in English and Spanish because most of the people are, they only speak Spanish, but there's you got it's multicultured look at it. You know?

Speaker 11: (25:17)

Yeah. Thorough everything here. Give me $30. I say 30

Speaker 9: (25:22)

Daniel didn't want to give us his last name by the way in part, because he's a businessman in Tijuana. And he says that makes him a target for crime. He says he also wants to remain somewhat unknown to his competitors. Bidding on goods at these auctions. Anyway, Daniel buys use things at auctions like this one at father Joe's in San Diego. Then he and his fleet of drivers take the goods to the port of entry in San Ysidro, where they're required to pay an 18% tax of the estimated value of the goods to the Mexican government before they can cross. Then Daniel sells this stuff at his huge secondhand store in the Quanta.

Speaker 10: (25:58)

Well, my whole thing is like I tell all the people over here is keep the landfill stuff down and it's not, we're not taking trash down to the Mexico, but what it is is we're just trying to keep stuff down and try and supply people with stuff that can be reusable. Upcycled. I guess you could say Daniel,

Speaker 9: (26:14)

By the way says the pandemic has totally rocked this corner of the cross-border world. Not as many people are donating stuff. Not as many people are buying previously enjoyed items anymore. And the majority of the folks who used to cross to buy stuff, can't cross right now because the border is still closed to Mexican citizens with tourists.

Speaker 10: (26:36)

I'd be like, usually on a day like this today, you can't see through the radio, but this would be a big crowd of people. Yeah. We only see in a handful right now

Speaker 11: (26:47)

[inaudible] give me $40. [inaudible] thanks. You say 40, 40, 40, 45,

Speaker 9: (26:54)

Seth Sullivan, better known as art pusher on Instagram used to be one of those people lining up outside the gate at that auction in San Diego, most mornings, Seth became a picker, a person who finds secondhand things at auctions, thrift stores and estate sales. Then he refurbishes those things and give them a second life. Seth's buyers were mostly resellers. People who own higher end antique stores or sell furniture and art directly to collectors.

Speaker 12: (27:24)

I figured out that that resellers were the easiest people to sell to because I always had a budget to buy because they needed to have inventory. Once you have a story, you don't have the time that it takes to pick on your own. So all these stores rely on pickers. People like neither, a middleman between basically the garbage dump and the millionaire.

Speaker 9: (27:45)

Seth quickly rose through the ranks to become one of the best pickers at the border. These days, Seth is at the top of his game. He went from being a picker with an eye for good design, to being one of the top interior designers at the border. All right. So where do you want to start for the tour? Over the summer set took my producer Kinsey and I on a tour of hotel. Lafayette. It's a hotel under [inaudible] where he's heading up the interior design work,

Speaker 12: (28:17)

This piece of furniture and the entrance. This is multiple pieces, like seven pieces of furniture. They got deconstructed and rebuilt to make the front desk. Um, the television is also word, so it just happened to fit right in there. And we're hooking this up to an original Nintendo on wireless controllers. So you sit here and you're waiting for your room and you can play Mario.

Speaker 9: (28:37)

The interior of the hotel shows off a lot of the salvage things that Seth has turned from trash into designed treasure. We started right past the entrance where Seth created this beautiful and nostalgic front desk. Remember those wooden entertainment centers from the eighties and nineties where our box CTVs and intenders would go in our childhood homes. Imagine a bunch of those pieced into one single structure that looks like a front desk where the concierge stands. So that

Speaker 12: (29:06)

I think, I think that the whole key about this place was to make it fun, kitschy and quirky. It's a commercial space. It's not someone's private home. So you can play with other people's feelings at the same time, right? Which, which I think is great about commercial spaces. Cause you're not designing it for the customer. You know, you're designing it for their customers. No

Speaker 9: (29:23)

Next Seth showed us a big mirror. He designed for the hotel lobby. There's something going on behind this mirror for share. At first it looked sort of like a basic large mirror, just a big rectangle with a frame covered in a collage of old San Diego union Tribune, newspaper clippings from decades ago, I can kind of see something on the other side, but when we got close Kinsey and I could tell there was something more going on. Definitely want to see it now.

Speaker 13: (29:50)


Speaker 12: (29:54)

Wow. That's

Speaker 9: (29:56)

Well first like the first thing that hit me with, like I was looking into infinity, like for some reason it just expanded the space a lot, but there's these like kind of old school, Mexican mariachi type dolls with some Bernardo's marionettes hanging in the depths of the mirror that you wouldn't have seen if it's not turned on.

Speaker 12: (30:15)

The whole thing that this one was, was to bring something in that really spoke of [inaudible]. And to me, when I was a kid, dude, seeing these things colorful and then the vendors would always like entertain the kids with them when they're walking by and they would tell you how they guilt trip your parents into buying you one. And so those things always wrong, rung a bell in my head and it's, it's fun. It's it's cartoony, it's playful.

Speaker 9: (30:38)

Seth showed us a few more special things, whimsical, beautiful, very colorful things and explain his process, which he says is sorta like a call and response game. He plays with the space. My musician mind likened it to the process of musical improvisation, like jazz.

Speaker 12: (31:01)

What I do, I didn't study art. I didn't study design. So a lot of it, I call it the plan is there is no plan. So a lot of it literally is freestyle dude. So we figure out what materials we have. We look at the spaces and it's my, it's a complicated way to do it, but it's my favorite way to do it because you feel the space before you start messing with it. Um, I've worked with the plan before I've worked with architectural plans before, and sometimes when you have too much of a plan, you don't really work the bones. You know, you don't work the bones of the project. Um, but it's, you don't have a map dude. So it's, it's, it's been, like you said, dude has been kind of like this jazz thing to where not just me, but the other contractors that are coming in are kind of doing the same thing and it's worked out beautifully. Yeah. Yeah.

Speaker 7: (31:44)


Speaker 1: (31:53)

And that was artist and designer, Seth Sullivan, talking with port of entries, Alan Libyan, Paul and Kenzie Morlan. There's a lot more to Seth story, including surviving a difficult childhood that set him on the creative path he's on. Now you can hear the full story in today's new episode, which kicks off a new season for our port of entry podcast. The season is focused on cross-border artists and designers. Who've turned pain into power, find a port of entry on apple podcasts, Stitcher, or wherever you listen.

Speaker 5: (32:34)

The rock and roll running series started here in San Diego and has since spread the country. And even internationally, it had been an annual tradition since 1998 until the COVID pandemic came. KPBS reported, Claire Traeger sir says, now the race is back.

Speaker 14: (32:53)

So 98, I ran my first marathon and uh, did rather poorly. And that led to me doing a second rock and roll marathon,

Speaker 15: (33:01)

Aaron, with his long Forrest Gump, beard and rock and roll running jacket looks exactly like what you'd expect of a legacy runner, meaning he's never missed a single race.

Speaker 14: (33:12)

And then I kind of decided that I was sorta immeshed in it. And I did, I did three and four. And then in five they gave us a really sweet patch for being a legacy runner. And at one thing led to another

Speaker 15: (33:26)

And then he kept racing for 23 years, but then COVID came in the event that's normally held. Every June was canceled

Speaker 14: (33:36)

On the one hand. My body felt enriched by the fact that I wasn't banging out. Do you sub noxious Saturday runs. But on the other hand, um, it felt a little weird, uh, because I wasn't engaged. Like I normally would be

Speaker 15: (33:52)

June, 2021 race also didn't happen. It was postponed to this October 24th and one runners lineup in Balboa park. Aaron will be there even though he's not used to running a fall marathon.

Speaker 14: (34:06)

I can't imagine not being there October 24th. Irrespective of how I think the marathon for me personally, it's going to go. I can't imagine waking up the morning of October 25th and realizing that I did not tow the line. The previous state.

Speaker 15: (34:25)

Yeah. Meryl Levinton is the race director. She's preparing for an unusual race. After almost two years of uncertainty,

Speaker 16: (34:34)

It feels kind of surreal to actually be talking about it right now, because we didn't know when we were going to be ready.

Speaker 15: (34:40)

I think there are still COVID precautions to take no shuttle buses and runners will be much more spread out at the start. She expects 20,000 people this year, which includes people who are signed up in 2020 and deferred, and also new people who picked up running when gyms were closed.

Speaker 16: (34:58)

I'm excited to welcome all these new runners that have picked up this hobby during the pandemic. So I would say the overall level of excitement is higher than usual.

Speaker 15: (35:11)

When do you go, Dwyer has already run a few races this summer. She normally runs several each year and says during COVID she felt the loss of the starting line.

Speaker 17: (35:22)

They did a run. And then when they, for some reason they can say closed off bell ballpark for runners and walkers, which I thought was kind of weird, but because I couldn't run through the

Speaker 15: (35:34)

Now she's eager for the race, which has of entertaining sites from San Diego, along the way from Bellville park to drag queen cheerleaders and Hillcrest to the military mile in north park. As for Aaron, the legacy runner, he's determined to tow the line, even if he feels a little nervous about being in a big crowd.

Speaker 14: (35:55)

I tell my athletes not to get those kinds of things stuck in their head because it has a tendency to overwhelm, um, all the psychological, um, adaptations that take place. When you're training for a race like this,

Speaker 15: (36:12)

He says he'll likely wear a mask at the starting line and then take it off as the crowd thins and runners spread out along the course, Clare Traeger, sir, KPBS news.

Speaker 7: (36:24)


Speaker 1: (36:40)

I'm Andrew Bowen with Maureen Kavanaugh. Jade Heinemann has the day off. This is KPBS midday edition. October is Filipino American history month. So it's the perfect time for San Diego Filipino cinema to launch its first ever San Diego Filipino film festival. The festival runs October 14th through 19th and a mix of virtual and in-person events, KPBS arts reporter, Beth Armando Mondo speaks with executive director Benito Bautista, who co-founded the festival with Emma Francisco

Speaker 18: (37:12)

Benito. Tell us what the San Diego Filipino cinema

Speaker 19: (37:14)

It's all about. San Diego Filipino cinema is a 5 0 1 C3 nonprofit based in San Diego. And our mission is to discover and exhibit compelling films from the global Filipino filmmakers to the diverse community in San Diego. We also nurture, uh, emerging Filipino American filmmakers in San Diego. And

Speaker 18: (37:38)

You've been doing this for

Speaker 19: (37:39)

Three years. This is our third year. Yes. Yeah. Including pandemic. Yeah.

Speaker 18: (37:47)

And you have very exciting news right now, which is you are staging your first Filipino film festival here in San Diego. So what is this going to?

Speaker 19: (37:56)

We are excited, nervous at the same time, proud and inspired to have the first San Diego Filipino film festival here in San Diego and the history of San Diego county. And so we have about 40 films plus you know, that we are on official selection and there are also some 30 plus films on online and a hybrid film festival. Just to give you sort of the highlights. You know, we have amazing films coming from Canada, from the Philippines, from Colorado, New Mexico, from New York, from Wisconsin, from LA everywhere, San Francisco, all over San Diego. And we have filmmakers coming and we have actors and producers and writers, our opening film to it's a feature documentary that represents Asian American women, music, aging discrimination. It's entitled the family.

Speaker 7: (39:01)


Speaker 19: (39:06)

It's a band of Filipino American women in the sixties and seventies, uh, based in Sacramento. And they were rock musicians like the rolling stones, but they were never recognized by the American music industry, uh, because of the color of their skin. And also because members of the band were, uh, are LGBTQ. We also have a fantastic first feature film created by Dante Bosco. Dante Bosco is a Filipino American actor in Hollywood. Um, we also have a special work in progress screening of a long March by Tammy Botkin. I'm one of the co-producers of this film. It's a feature documentary about the story of the Filipino us army veterans of world war two, that

Speaker 20: (39:58)


Speaker 21: (40:02)

And it's 1946, Congress passed the rescission of the Filipino soldiers. The not have been on active duty.

Speaker 22: (40:10)

I never thought that being I met the run will be a second grade chips and the United States.

Speaker 18: (40:17)

And we're sitting here in the recently remodeled Mingei museum. And this is where your opening night is going to be. So explain what people can expect on opening night.

Speaker 19: (40:26)

Well, the opening, the opening night will be a celebration of Filipino food, of course. Right. And then also we have a Filipino made whiskey and Filipino made. Uh, so Jew and of course we have a red carpet.

Speaker 18: (40:43)

Um, how do you see film as being kind of an ambassador for a culture and being able to kind of expose people to maybe things that they're not familiar with

Speaker 19: (40:52)

Now, to answer your question, if you are open to cinema and you're willing to participate in it, it will be a journey into the unknown. And what's amazing about that is you will realize that you are actually traveling with cinema. You're traveling in a different culture, in a different language, in a different landscape, but it's a shared humanity. We share the same emotions. We share the same struggle and hurt and then pain and love and you know, all those things. So it is simple, but it is powerful at the same time. So if you look at the city, you know, in any city, you know, in, in the world, you will realize that the cities that are with a lot of people, with a lot of tourists coming in, they want to engage in art. They want to engage in cinema. And so the more cinema you have in a city, the more people will gather and we'll travel, you know, into your city, you know, because they wanted to be informed and they want to be informed in a media that is again, simple and powerful, you know, as cinema. Yeah.

Speaker 18: (42:21)

Nico has a large Filipino community. And what do you think having a festival like this will mean to that?

Speaker 19: (42:28)

Very, very good question. Well, again, it goes back to the word nervous because Emma and I, and the board, of course, and our volunteers, we are excited. We are inspired, but we're nervous because this is a test we wanted to see if we can engage the community in participating in, in familiar stories or stories that they've never heard or stories moving forward that are coming from a younger generation, talking to them. It's, uh, it's showing them a mirror of, you know, familiar stuff and unfamiliar stuff, you know? And so we don't know how they are going to engage. Will they engage running to the theater? That will be awesome or they will not go, you know, but what we're excited about is that we have given San Diego sort of a platform to see, to see and be curious, uh, and, and find out what, what we have globally.

Speaker 19: (43:37)

Cause there are a lot of Filipinos globally and experience of a Filipino in Africa or the Philippines or California may not be the same, but the perspective might be the same. So we don't know. And we're excited about that. So yeah, we're inviting the Filipino-American community to end a diverse community of course, and the Asian community and the AAPI community and the LGBTQ community to, to participate and, and yeah, and it's nice because you're not only watching films, but you're meeting real filmmakers and actors and writers and producers and musical composers. So yeah, if I am not, I, I'm not a filmmaker. I am just an audience. That will be awesome for me. So yes, I to thank you for talking about the first San Diego Filipino film festival. Thank you, Beth. And thank you, uh, KPBS for having me, uh, seriously. It's been, it's an honor. It's an honor to be here. Thank you.

Speaker 1: (44:44)

That was Beth Armando speaking with Benito. Baltista the inaugural San Diego Filipino film festival kicks off tomorrow night at the Mingei international museum.