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Vaccines or weekly tests mandated for employees of big companies

 November 4, 2021 at 3:14 PM PDT

Speaker 1: (00:00)

Uh, COVID vaccine mandate is issued for the nation's big businesses.

Speaker 2: (00:04)

The white house has higher vaccination rates protect our workers. They reduce hospitalization and deaths, and that this is good for workers.

Speaker 1: (00:12)

I'm Maureen Cavenaugh with Jade Heideman. This is KPBS mid-day edition. What's that San Diego get out of the major bills being negotiated in Congress.

Speaker 3: (00:29)

The $55 billion being proposed is several times greater than the largest investment we've ever made. It's so important for a coastal community like ours in Southern California,

Speaker 1: (00:40)

Older San Diego, and get their moment in the spotlight and an age friendly film festival. And we celebrate San Diego music with five songs for November that's ahead on midday edition,

Speaker 1: (01:02)

Employees of large companies across the U S will be subject to a COVID vaccine mandate starting January 4th. The Biden administration announced the deadline today. The new rules mandate that companies with 100 or more employees must require their workers to be fully vaccinated or undergo weekly COVID testing. The regulation applies to an estimated 84 million workers, although it is likely that most are already vaccinated. Administration officials say the mandate will save the lives of thousands of workers and cause new COVID case numbers to plummet. But opponents of the vaccine mandates are already gearing up for a fight. Joining me is KPBS health reporter Matt Hoffman, Matt. Hi, Hey Maureen. Now with about 70% of the adult population in the U S already vaccinated, why does the Biden administration think this mandate is necessary?

Speaker 2: (01:56)

First? I would say that this was announced a few weeks ago, uh, by the Biden administration. And they said since that announcement that millions more Americans have gotten vaccinated sort of anticipating this mandate coming down. Um, but sort of simply put, you know, the white house says higher vaccination rates protect our workers. They reduce hospitalization and deaths and that this is good for workers. And importantly, they say this is really good for the economy. Um, and they say that they know that these mandates are working, that, that they're data-based. Uh, and so they want to get more people vaccinated. Um, they say, you know, with more than 700,000 Americans dead, that, uh, this is something that has to be done.

Speaker 1: (02:33)

Will there be exemptions for medical and religious reasons?

Speaker 2: (02:36)

Yeah, we understand that there will be exemptions for medical and religious reasons. Um, it sounds like some of that may be up to the employer. Uh, although OSHA sounds like that. They're trying to give some guidelines, um, for this mandate and also one that covers federal health workers or, or health workers that work with Medicare and Medicaid services.

Speaker 1: (02:54)

You mentioned OSHA, is this how this business vaccine mandate is going to be enforced? Yeah,

Speaker 2: (02:59)

So it was announced by the labor department and when the president made this announcement a few weeks ago, he said that he's giving them some time to adopt the rules and regulations I'm on their website. Now they have a whole list dropdown, um, of sort of, you know, who falls under this requirement. We know it's like a hundred or more employees. For example, if you are an employee that's working from home and you don't go in the office, um, you know, it says you don't have to be, uh, you know, regularly screened if you're unvaccinated or you don't have to comply with this. So the employers are going to have to pour over this. Um, as I know that we talked to when this first came out, um, Woodstock's pizza with their HR department stuff. And they said that they were really looking forward to being able to pour over all this cause there's a lot of questions about, you know, paying for testing, not paying for testing, giving time off and things like that.

Speaker 1: (03:42)

No, I know investigations are going to be based on complaints about a lack of compliance OSHA. Isn't actually going to go in and investigate every business. But if a company fails to comply with the new regulations, will there be consequences?

Speaker 2: (03:56)

Yeah, there could be consequences. And this is something we've seen throughout the pandemic, right? Whether it be, uh, relating to masking or when we were in those color coded tier systems, uh, the state saying, you know, we will enforce capacity requirements and things like that. Um, but just like, as we saw there, this sounds like it's going to be complaint based too. Um, so if somebody goes in, they see something, you know, maybe they don't ask, uh, for their vaccination card, then they, they get a report. OSHA comes out, um, and they could face some hefty fines. Um, I mean, depending on how big the business is, um, but they could be, we understand fines can be up to $14,000 per violation. Um, and the federal government says that they're going to assess that based on each individual case. So, um, you know, if somebody is like showing continued non-compliance, then their fines could be higher.

Speaker 1: (04:38)

It's also a companion mandate to this concerning healthcare workers in facilities covered by Medicare and Medicaid. Tell us about that.

Speaker 2: (04:46)

Yeah. So the centers for Medicaid and Medicare services, they sort of issued a new rule that requires healthcare workers at facilities that take Medicaid and Medicare, that those employees have to be fully vaccinated. Now, this one's a little bit different than the sort of broader mandate for companies with a hundred or more employees, because that has a testing opt out. Whereas this one, uh, for the healthcare workers does not. So it's very similar to the state of California is one that we've seen. Um, and we understand too that, uh, both of these mandates are aligning at the same time. So January 4th, 2022 is the date that people have to be in compliance, whether that be fully vaccinated or weekly testing, or have a religious or medical exemption,

Speaker 1: (05:26)

This mandate counteracts the laws of some states that don't require vaccinations are they're already lawsuits lining up against it.

Speaker 2: (05:34)

You know, we've definitely heard a lot of chatter, um, especially from some, uh, Republican attorney generals, um, that they plan to file, or if not already filing lawsuits that are going to challenge this, um, that they want more of a freedom of choice for people. Um, it's also worth noting too though that, uh, the white house, when they held their media call, um, they sort of went over a section where they sort of explained how they have this authority and how the labor department at Cal OSHA are able to do this. So it seems like the federal government feels pretty confident that they're able to implement this and require vaccination.

Speaker 1: (06:05)

And just so we know what's the current state of new COVID cases around the country.

Speaker 2: (06:10)

So we know that COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths are continuing to decline. Um, obviously we're heading into the holiday season, uh, where we saw a huge surge last time, but we have, you know, millions and millions of Americans that are vaccinated millions of Americans that are still not vaccinated. Uh, but the CDC sorta notes that there's still, you know, certain parts of the country that are still experiencing high levels of community transmission. Um, those are likely areas with lower vaccination rates. So everything's looking good, but we're still seeing cases pop up and that's sort of why the white house says we need this, um, to help sort of stamp this out, especially now that we have vaccinations available for kids ages five to 11

Speaker 1: (06:48)

Speaking with KPBS health reporter, Matt Hoffman, Matt. Thank you.

Speaker 2: (06:52)

Thanks Maureen

Speaker 1: (06:59)

Congressional leaders have been debating the contents of a $1.75 trillion social benefits package while efforts to finalize the bills have hit snags over their ambitious scope signs are emerging that Democrats may move to vote on the framework by the end of the week. And while Congress hammers out the details of the landmark infrastructure bill global leaders are meeting at the UN climate change conference in Scotland to discuss global efforts to combat climate change an issue that is providing a major sticking point in the debate in Washington, U S representative Mike Levin, who represents parts of Northern San Diego and Southern orange counties spoke to KPBS mid day edition, hosted Jade Hyman about the social benefits package. Here's that interview. How

Speaker 4: (07:46)

Involved have you been in negotiating the social benefits?

Speaker 3: (07:50)

Well, I've been very involved in, uh, in fact, just before coming on with you, we, uh, had a discussion with the speaker. We're trying to put the finishing touches on the build back better act as we are calling this legislation that deals with climate and childcare and healthcare. I'm extremely encouraged by, uh, where we are. And, uh, I think we're moving forward quickly here in the house. So with a package that we can be very proud of, that's consistent with our values and also with the spirit of the president's agenda. And my hope is that we're going to get this across the finish line in the house and, uh, that the Senate, uh, will also pass this legislation as soon as possible. We'll get it to the president's desk for signature

Speaker 4: (08:32)

End of the social benefits package are most important to your constituency in your opinion.

Speaker 3: (08:37)

Well, look, I think, uh, climate childcare and healthcare are all critically important, uh, addressing the climate crisis $555 billion worth of, uh, new spending, whether it be tax incentives or other benefits to dramatically incentivize things like electric vehicles and solar and wind and battery storage and all the rest, uh, money for resilience. It's so important for a coastal community like ours, uh, in Southern California. Uh, I'm also very encouraged that our American, uh, coasts and oceans protection act, which would ban all new drilling off the coast in California and elsewhere. That's made it in the house version as well. It's on page 851 for anybody that's interested, but also that we're making transformative investments in childcare. So often I've heard through the pandemic that a lot of people are very concerned about going back to work because of the cost of childcare. And this bill, if you make under $300,000 a year, would cap your childcare expenses at 7%, no more than 7%.

Speaker 3: (09:37)

It would also extend the child tax credit for working families, providing them with a monthly payment for the next year. And it would also for the first time in American history provided free and a universal preschool that is so critically important. And we know Jane that when we make investments in children, those are some of the best dollars we can spend because they will yield long-term economic return. Uh, when you look at the longterm outcomes of children, when you invest in them, when they are young, it is really astounding. The long-term implications of that. Finally healthcare doing all we can to reduce prescription drug costs. That's clearly been a very important facet of all this and doing all we can to expand upon the success of the affordable care act and other things like salt. I'm very hopeful that we have a deal on the state and local tax deduction that is dramatically impacted so many families in San Diego and not just wealthy families, but middle-class families who are stuck now paying much higher taxes because they fall under the $10,000 cap for the state and local tax deduction. So there's a lot in this bill and I'm so excited to get it across the finish line. So I really can begin explaining the benefits of it in the months ahead,

Speaker 4: (10:49)

A big chunk of climate spending and the package is missing some key support. What are your thoughts on this hesitancy to commit to climate forward spending while global leaders discuss the issue on the world stage at the UN climate conference?

Speaker 3: (11:04)

Well, I just had an opportunity to meet with several representatives, uh, from various countries talking about this very issue. And I tried to reinforce to them that we are committed as the United States to leading again on climate action. That's exactly what the build back better act would do. Remember the $555 billion being proposed is several times greater than the, the largest investment we've ever made in climate action. That was around $80 billion as part of the 2009 recovery act. And so this is a magnitude of order greater than that. And I think it will put us on a path to meet our nationally determined contribution to the international community of reducing our emissions 50 to 52% by 2030 on path to zero net carbon by 2050. And I think that we are going to there. Jay, I know that, uh, Senator mansion, uh, has spoken, you know, very, uh, a unique perspective that he has from West Virginia. But I think at the end of the day, when the president of United States comes to us in the house and says that he will get all 50 senators on board with this framework, I think I trust the judgment of the present United States to make sure that that happened.

Speaker 4: (12:15)

Her Pelosi recently announced that paid family leave would be added back to the social benefits framework, following significant backlash after its initial removal. What are your thoughts on this?

Speaker 3: (12:26)

Well, what I've heard this morning is that four weeks are going to be added into the house bill that we'll be voting on very soon. And I think that's absolutely the right thing to do. The United States is one of only six industrialized nations in the world, not to have a paid family leave policy. Uh, and it is a absolutely essential, uh, that we, uh, that we do this for so many who are, uh, working and who are trying to raise a family. It's the very least we can.

Speaker 4: (12:54)

And another point of contention with the bill is in regards to lifting the cap on the federal tax deduction allowed for state and local taxes. Where do you stand on that?

Speaker 3: (13:03)

And you take a look at the current law. There is a $10,000 cap, which has dramatically hurt the ability of a lot of middle and upper middle class people in San Diego county and Southern California. Because if you own a home, uh, you don't have to be really very wealthy at all for that cap to impact your tax bill in a negative way. So the way the current law is, is we would have that 10,000 or cap for the next, uh, I believe it's four years. And then for the following five years, there would be complete return to deductability. So the question that we asked is what could we do on a ten-year basis that would be revenue neutral that would not add a single dollar to the deficit or the debt. And the answer is that you could have a cap of $72,500. So that is the solution that I think we've landed on, that I'm going to be pushing. We can restore that tax fairness for Californians without increasing our deficit.

Speaker 4: (13:58)

The bill has faced some criticism over the scope of its spending and for being complicated. Do you agree with that?

Speaker 3: (14:06)

Well, no. I, I think that, uh, these are big challenges that require bold solutions. And I think the principle here is that, uh, we will have a bill that is fully paid for, and that will not increase taxes on people who make under $400,000 a year. And I think that, uh, when you look at childcare healthcare and climate, uh, these are very significant concerns for the average American. And we are going to address them with this legislation. We are going to advance this legislation and I trust the present United States when he says that he will be able to get all 50 senators on board with this framework.

Speaker 4: (14:41)

We've been speaking with Congressman Mike Levin, representative 11. Thank you so much for joining us today. Thank you, Jay. That was midday edition, cohost Jade Hyman midday edition

Speaker 1: (14:51)

Spoke to democratic representative Scott Peters about the prescription drug pricing portion of the package. Here's what he said.

Speaker 5: (14:58)

The relief we're giving seniors at the drug counter is exactly the same as the original bill. Uh, we're doing that while we also preserve the incentives to invest in all of those secures, uh, that the private sector is working on in San Diego county, 68,000 jobs, 175,000 jobs indirectly dependent on life sciences.

Speaker 1: (15:17)

San Diego county is sole Republican representative Darrell. Eissa said the following in a statement about the package of bills, quote, the million dollar spending mashup is a completely moving target. The product of daily backroom drafting done by Democrats only unquote

Speaker 6: (15:35)


Speaker 1: (15:44)

This is KPBS day edition. I'm Maureen Cavenaugh with Jade Hyman San Diego county has contacted tracing program was envisioned as a pillar in the fight to stop the spread of COVID-19. The idea was to identify people who had been exposed to COVID-19 and notify them. So they could quarantine KPBS, investigative reporter, Claire Traeger, sir, looks into how the county's program actually worked.

Speaker 7: (16:11)

It was the early days of the pandemic and Jessica wanted to do something, anything to help. So she jumped at the chance to be a case investigator for San Diego counties contact tracing program.

Speaker 8: (16:22)

It was a pretty steep learning curve Weaver thrown into, um, into the mix within just a few days of training. But, um, after a few days of pretty rigorous training, um, I would say that I caught on pretty quickly,

Speaker 7: (16:43)

Yes, is not using Jessica's real name and has distorted her voice to protect her livelihood. She is part of a contact tracing program that at one point employed nearly 1000 people and has so far cost the county millions, despite this commitment, it became clear within months that it wasn't nearly enough to stop the spread during the summer surge of 2020, just 11% of people with COVID-19 were being contacted by a case investigator within a day, far short of the county's goal of 70%. Now more than 18 months into the pandemic experts are looking back on the program to examine how it could have been changed, to be more effective. Rebecca fielding Miller is an epidemiologist at UC San Diego conduct.

Speaker 9: (17:31)

Tracing is the most useful when you think of it as putting out flare ups rather than dealing with a wildfire. Um, so in the very beginning, um, February, March, April, um, yeah, it was really important to catch those flare ups as quick as we can.

Speaker 7: (17:57)

County officials would not agree to be interviewed for this story, but county spokesman, Michael Workman insisted in emailed responses to questions that the program is worthwhile still. He acknowledged that even now the county is only able to reach an interview about 50% of people exposed. Jessica feels her work has made a difference, but the job has taken a significant toll on her mental health, especially since the COVID vaccine became available and the virus became even more politicized. People will scream at her and tell her she can't control them. And that COVID is a myth.

Speaker 8: (18:36)

There are folks who just don't want that information or potentially are going out into the community after perhaps they've tested positive or have been exposed, knowing that they are potentially probably exposing other people.

Speaker 7: (18:59)

Then another setback as vaccination rates increased and case counts decreased in the spring and early summer, the county cut back its contact tracing staff by nearly half then as the Delta variant surged, the county tried to hire back the contract tracers who'd been laid off cases will likely surge again over the holiday season, but in 2022 and beyond, as COVID becomes endemic, not a pandemic contact tracing will prove, especially useful. So says fielding Miller, the epidemiologist,

Speaker 9: (19:34)

The wildfire analogy. We will be more in a place where we're keeping our eye out for hotspots. The quicker you can stop a hotspot from spreading the better off everybody is going to be.

Speaker 7: (19:46)

Meanwhile for Jessica, the heartbreak

Speaker 8: (19:48)

I can use, I just had someone call me yesterday asking me if the county could help in any way. Um, because she was going to miss 10 days of work and her employer was not providing any kind of sick pay for her.

Speaker 7: (20:05)

The stress she will keep working as long as she's needed.

Speaker 1: (20:11)

Joining me is KPBS investigative reporter, Claire Tresor and Claire. Welcome. Thank you. Now, last year COVID testing was more difficult to get and took longer to get results than it does now. So how did that affect the contact tracing program?

Speaker 7: (20:26)

Right. Well, first of all, you just didn't know necessarily, uh, whether you were positive or not. I mean, if we think back to, it's hard to remember, but back in March and April, 2020, and people were getting sick and they just weren't able to get a test necessarily, um, you had to have pretty severe symptoms. Um, and so then people testing positive and therefore weren't getting calls from contact tracers and contact tracers. Weren't reaching out to the people that they had close contact with. And then the other thing is just that if you got a call from a contact tracer saying, you know, someone you've been in close contact with has tested positive, there weren't necessarily tests available for you then to go out and see, uh, if you had picked up the virus from that person. And when someone,

Speaker 1: (21:14)

I didn't test positive for COVID during the height of the pandemic, were there obstacles that got in the way of getting those contacts traced,

Speaker 7: (21:22)

Right? Yes. So as we said in the story early on, when there weren't as many people who were testing positive, they were doing okay, because the goal was always just that they would start a case investigation within 24 hours of someone testing positive. Um, so that means, you know, getting them on the phone and going through the list of who they'd been in close contact with. But then as they reopened, you know, lifted stay-at-home orders, restaurants were open, people were back out and we had that first real surge in summer 2020, the case investigators and contact tracers were just overwhelmed. The number of new cases, they were able to start within 24 hours drop to 11%. So they basically just did not have enough people to be calling all of the people who had tested positive and doing that thorough interview with them. Uh, Rebecca fielding Miller, the UCS epidemiologist mentioned that in Asian countries like China or Taiwan, where they were really doing serious contact tracing, they just had thousands and thousands more contact tracers working, uh, than we did in the United States to be able to keep up with everything.

Speaker 1: (22:32)

Can you remind us Claire, how contact tracing works? In other words, what does the tracer ask the person who tests positive?

Speaker 7: (22:40)

Right. So you get this call, um, if you have tested positive and they, they go through, you know, everything that you have done, basically in the last two weeks, what stores you have visited, you know, whether you've been out to eat, whether you've gone into work, gone into the office, um, and then, you know, who you live with, who else you might've been in close contact with? And I think the definition was always that you'd spent 15 minutes or more with a person. So you would really try and remember everything that you'd done, um, so that they could collect all of those business names and then, uh, collect all the names and contact information. If you had it, of people that you had been in close contact with,

Speaker 1: (23:23)

And then what do they do with that information? What do they tell the people on the other end? Right. So,

Speaker 7: (23:28)

So that's the role of the case investigator who goes through someone who is a case who's a positive case. And then they pass those contacts onto the contact tracers who then reach out and say, um, you know, someone you've been in close contact with has tested positive for COVID. And so you are now, um, required, or we're asking you to, uh, stay home for the next two weeks to quarantine and, you know, get tested, monitor your symptoms, uh, things like that. So the idea is to stop those people from then, if they go on to test positive from spreading the virus further.

Speaker 1: (24:05)

And is the contact tracing program still going on now? Yes.

Speaker 7: (24:09)

Yes it is. Um, they decrease, they cut in half the number of contact tracers they had after, um, vaccines became more while it's widely available. And we started to see cases drop, but then, uh, the Delta variant emerged and cases went back up and they tried to hire people back. And so, yeah, it's, it's still going on. In fact, about a month ago, I got a call from a contact tracer because, uh, someone in my son's class had tested positive. Of course I already knew from the school, but, uh, she did call and told me to that my son needed to quarantine for two weeks, which we already knew that as well. But that's, that's how the call goes, I guess.

Speaker 1: (24:52)

And this angry pushback that Jessica in your story says that she's getting, has that increased?

Speaker 7: (24:58)

Yes. She says that, um, that it's just become a whole different world. Um, early on people were really, you know, thankful and grateful for the information. They were scared, you know, they didn't know what was happening. And she says, now a lot of the calls she gets are people who are just refusing to cooperate with her. They won't give out the contact information of anyone they've been in close contact with. They say, I'm not staying home. You know, COVID is a myth. The government can't control me, things like that. And, you know, yelling at her. And so it's just, it's become a whole different ball game. She says,

Speaker 1: (25:35)

You know, it's surprising that Dr. Fielding Miller says when COVID changes from a pandemic to an endemic virus, then contact tracing will be most valuable. Can you explain why? Yeah,

Speaker 7: (25:47)

I think the idea is that contact tracing really only works when you can kind of keep on top of the number of cases. So when there's just, you know, rampant spread and people everywhere are testing positive, you know, it's kind of useless, I guess, in some ways to be trying to call everyone and trace the cases, but when it's become less of a common thing that fewer, hopefully fewer people will be having it, then it really does make sense to say, okay, you know, this isolated person has tested positive. Let's get in touch with all of their close contacts and, you know, try and stop the spread that way. When it's something that's more of a rare virus.

Speaker 1: (26:31)

And does the county believe enough contact tracers are in place now in case there is an uptick in COVID cases over the holidays?

Speaker 7: (26:39)

Well, you know, as I said in the story, um, they wouldn't make anyone available to do an interview with me. Um, I think that they would say, you know, that as they hired people back after the summer, that they have been able to stay on top of cases and that, you know, hopefully they would have that ability to further increase their staffing if they needed to. Um, if cases do go up over the holidays,

Speaker 1: (27:05)

I've been speaking with KPBS, investigative reporter, Claire Tresor and Claire. Thank you so much. Thank you. Media arts center, San Diego is hosting the first ever age friendly film festival on November 13th. If you're curious about exactly what that means, then KPBS arts reporter, Beth haka. Mondo has the answer. She speaks with filmmaker, David Meza and San Diego foundation, director of community impact Katie Rast about what the festival will be highlighting.

Speaker 10: (27:44)

Katie, you are with the San Diego foundation and they are one of the sponsors and partners for this age friendly film festival. Now, the title of this intrigued me because I couldn't tell right away what that meant. So explain what an age friendly film festival is about.

Speaker 11: (28:01)

San Diego foundation is working with media art center, San Diego in partnership with the county of San Diego health and human services, agency aging and independent services, and a RP San Diego to present the age friendly film festival. And this is something that has been put together by media arts center, San Diego, to showcase and really highlight stories of older adults in our community, as well as to support, uh, emerging filmmakers who have created and produced these stories.

Speaker 10: (28:37)

And why did the foundation feel it was important to focus on this topic?

Speaker 11: (28:42)

So by the year 2030, there will be over 1 million people living in San Diego over the age of 65 older adults make up an important, valuable part of our community. And the age friendly film festival is really a way to hear their stories, right? And we're, we're interested in developing plans with our partners that envision a future that really considers the needs, the knowledge and the insights of the older adults in our region. And this is one way to, to, to capture that information and highlight those stories and de

Speaker 10: (29:19)

Do you feel that seniors and the elderly are sometimes kind of forgotten and just pushed aside?

Speaker 11: (29:25)

Sure. And I think within the stories that are highlighted in the age friendly film festival, we do see stories of social isolation. We see stories of people overcoming some of those challenges, but certainly within, within our region nationally, and certainly globally, there are a lot of challenges that older adults are facing.

Speaker 10: (29:46)

David. Your film focuses on a program that teaches technology to seniors, and here's a little clip from the film.

Speaker 12: (29:53)

So tech for seniors program, it's a pilot program based in south bay, San Diego county. And the program helps to try to reduce social isolation and loneliness among older adults by providing them not with just assistance with technology, but to partner them with, with a buddy that can help them learn technology.

Speaker 10: (30:13)

So tell me a little bit about the process of making this film and being part of this emerging filmmaker fellowship.

Speaker 13: (30:19)

The process of making the film was really short process because we do have the help of our mentors name, Diego and Edwin. And so they, they pushed us and they told us that we needed to talk about the main topic that is the seniors living in San Diego. But also we need to talk about something that really comes close to us as filmmakers, we have to comprehend, we have to listen. And so the process for me was making sure that I made a film that I can relate to and that, and that can talk to a lot of people, not just me and I right away knew that I wanted to do a story about this senior. She's a Latina senior. We, we met and then we started talking right away. And so she knew that I speak Spanish and she was like comfortable speaking with me. And so that was the thing that really got me into thinking, this is the film I wanted to make. And also with the help of my mentors, Edwina and Diego, they really, um, Diego and Edwene really made me, took the path I took. Cause they told me that this is a story that could really impact other people. And so it really impacted me in the first place.

Speaker 10: (31:41)

And so what was it about Consuelo that appealed to you in terms of using her for a subject in the film?

Speaker 13: (31:48)

He really is a person that's extrovert like, like me, you know, but at the same time, the language barrier was a thing that sometimes made her feel like she doesn't belong. And so really the thing was that I talked to her and she was really comfortable with me cause we, we spoke the same language, but also from that, we were really people that like to talk with other people, but we'd sometimes don't know how to exactly communicate or we're not really familiar with our second language like English. She just speaks like a little bit of English. And so in the classes, they actually have teachers that speak Spanish, but in the same classes, not a lot of people speak Spanish. So she, she cannot be like truly herself because she cannot communicate the way she wants to.

Speaker 10: (32:43)

And Katie, how did you feel about pairing up these young filmmakers with a senior? Did you feel that impacted the seniors in any way?

Speaker 11: (32:49)

Yeah. You know, I think one of the interesting elements about this film festival is that it really is intergenerational. And certainly in the work that we do within the community with our partners, we recognize that an intergenerational approach is extremely important when we have policies and practices within our communities. We know that it's, what's good for one is good for many. And certainly the more we support and the more our older adults within our communities have the supports that they need and are recognized and their voices are recognized. I should say the better off we all are.

Speaker 10: (33:28)

And David, did you feel you learned anything through this process or through meeting Consuelo?

Speaker 13: (33:34)

Yeah, absolutely. Um, I learned the, the art of patience because really when you work with older people, usually they come from another era. You know, they, they come from another culture from another cultural background. And so sometimes they really do want to learn things. They really do want to talk to people, but it's a process. Sometimes you have to just be there and just listen. I learned to listen a lot. I learned to have a lot of patients, but I also learned that I can learn a lot from older people. Uh, I can learn a lot from younger people. And so that was the thing. My film also talks about a lot of patients because sometimes Consuelo wanted to learn technology. And so that's a lot of things that needs a lot of patients and the director of the program named Kwan talks a lot. He talks a lot about, um, being patient with a lot of a lot of people because really you don't know what they're been through and you never really know if you're helping them by just listening. And so the thing I learned the most about making this film as patience and listening,

Speaker 10: (34:53)

Well, I want to thank you both very much for talking about the age friendly film festival.

Speaker 11: (34:57)

Thank you, Beth. Appreciate it.

Speaker 13: (35:00)

Thank you for the opportunity

Speaker 1: (35:04)

That was Beth haka. Mondo speaking with David Mesa and Katie Rast. The age friendly film festival is free and takes place on November 13th at Redding cinemas town square.

Speaker 6: (35:17)


Speaker 1: (35:29)

This is KPBS midday edition. I'm Maureen Kavanaugh with Jade. Heinemann our KPBS arts producer and editor. Julia Dickson Evans

Speaker 4: (35:37)

Joins me today to listen to five new songs from San Diego musicians. In fact, two of these bands will play live shows this weekend. Julia is here to talk us through each track. Welcome

Speaker 14: (35:48)

Julia. Hi Jane. Thanks for having me on. So first

Speaker 4: (35:51)

Out you have a track by a new young local band called Koshin. Tell us about

Speaker 14: (35:55)

Lyla. Yeah. So just out in early October, this is the second single they've put out this year and they've only been writing songs together since March Laila is it's really fun. Their sound is equal parts, surf rock and indie pop, and it has a lot of grip to it. It's sort of beachy sort of grungy too. And Layla is kind of a simple tune, but still really expressive. And it can be a little melancholy. I love the chorus, the repeated name, Laila and singer Caitlin Thomas. His voice has a ton of nineties nostalgia.

Speaker 6: (36:32)


Speaker 14: (36:42)

Koshin performs at a brand new all ages venue bridges for the first show there. This venues partnering with soda bar and Casbah for booking. And it's just really great to have a new all ages space in town, especially after the ironic closed a few years ago, bridges is on Balboa and Clairemont Mesa, and it's an, an old mid century church. And the show is Friday, November 5th, with Fox tide headlining

Speaker 6: (37:09)


Speaker 4: (37:20)

That's Laila by the ban Koshin max let's switch gears to jazz local trumpet players, deaf Richards paired up with piano player, Joshua wind for a brand new album. Tell us about this

Speaker 14: (37:31)

Staff. Richard is professor of music at UC San Diego and is such a prolific composer. This is her fourth album in as many years, and she paired up with local jazz piano player, Joshua White for this, which is a really magical combination. Richard's jazz is really experimental and she's known for her brainy and complex compositions and white adds such a great component to these tunes. So Zephyr is a sort of poetic word for wind. And this album is basically a journey through myths and mysteries of the natural world like ancient oceans, cicadas for us, and even the Northern lights. And I love this track sacred sea Zephyr, which is the opener. This is wild, like all the others, but it's sort of in a moody subdued way. Like the sea is in shrouded in a Misty fog and the track opens with solo fuzzy trumpet from Richards and then the muted piano arpeggio kicks in

Speaker 6: (38:53)


Speaker 14: (39:05)

It also has a beautiful music video for this track just released a couple of weeks ago. And Steph Richards is currently wrapping up an east coast tour, but Joshua White performs with a quartet of his own disease on November 20th.

Speaker 6: (39:18)


Speaker 4: (39:31)

That's sacred seed Zephyr from a new jazz album from local trumpeter, Steph Richards and PNS, Joshua White hip hop duo 18 scales released a new album this summer, what to stand out track for you?

Speaker 14: (39:45)

Yeah, so they released a new full length. Um, 18 scales did called for function only, and the album is everything I expect and love from 18 scales. It's fun. It's weird. It's disruptive. And also sonically lush and complex. And my favorite track is involved, which Laura's is in with a sort of loungey trumpet motif. It's kind of a nice chaser to draws out of that jazz trumpet that this track has such an easy groove and the vocals are kind of a layered staccato style, but really strong that's from Rick scales and producer Ralph crazy.

Speaker 15: (40:21)


Speaker 14: (40:39)

This album it's jam packed with fast paced songs. There's nine tracks in total that a runtime of barely even 25 minutes. So you can do it all. In one sitting, I recently caught 18 scales performing and they're both super talented and just really genuine performers. They have no shows planned in the near future, but keep an eye on them because they do perform locally fairly often

Speaker 15: (41:01)

Less compensation, but what you, before they sit down and lay down on

Speaker 4: (41:13)

That's involved from a new album by local hip hop duo 18 scales. Plosives is a brand new band with new music. And their first show is this weekend, but listeners may recognize many of its members tell us about plosives and their first single hit the brakes.

Speaker 14: (41:30)

Yeah. Closeups are what we call a super group. Every single member has a bunch of bands in the resume. Most of which saw success outside of San Diego. Even there's John Reese from hot snakes drive like Jay who and rocket from the crypt. There was Rob Crowe from Penn back and heavy vegetable drummer. Adam Willard was from against me and the offspring and also basis. Jordan Clark was from Mrs. Magician. This track hit, the break starts with, with a wall of rock and roll sound and it doesn't let up. I even had to turn it down right away, which I probably shouldn't admit. And I did eventually turn it back up

Speaker 6: (42:06)


Speaker 14: (42:21)

But it's high powered noise and energy from the get-go. And it's aptly named draws on a feeling of things being too much, too fast. And this desire, which possibly goes unresolved to let up to hit the brakes. And they also play with the spelling and all the homophones of brakes. And it works implicits will play their first local show. This Saturday at courtyard outdoors with Shay's McCool opening for them.

Speaker 6: (42:48)


Speaker 4: (43:13)

That's plosives with their first single hit. The brakes. Finally, local Valentine Bern has paired up with real J Wallace on a track from her new album. Tell us about the song. Don't say you love me.

Speaker 14: (43:25)

Valentine burn is astonishingly talented. She just put out her first EAP earlier this year, it's called baby on a wall and it's an instant hit for me. It's really cohesive as a whole, but each song is still somehow surprising.

Speaker 6: (43:43)


Speaker 14: (44:00)

The production is lush. The song writing is really tragic and she wrote, performed and produced every single note of every instrument herself with the exception of two guests, including rapper real J Wallace on this track, don't say you love me musically. This piece is haunting and evocative, and I love the way it starts out with just the repeated word. I like a note sung in unison at high and little octaves, something really menacing about it. And the rest of the track just keeps up that great combo of power and heartache. And we'll J Wallace, who is otherwise known as local arts hero. Ramelle Wallace who hosts creative mornings. And he's also on the board of directors for the San Diego African-American museum of fine art. And he also contributed to the SD state of mind anthology earlier this year and his rap verse here really leans into the dysfunction of the song. And it's also really melodic

Speaker 16: (44:57)

Our breaks. How long does it take to fill up and fill? My heart

Speaker 14: (45:03)

Burn is one to watch for sure. And while it's just adds magic to whatever project he touches,

Speaker 4: (45:09)

That's Valentine burn and real J Wallace with don't say you love me from burns new EAP baby on a wall. You can find links to listen to each of these tracks, plus a Spotify playlist and I've been speaking with KPBS arts editor and producer, Julia Dickson Evans. Julia.

Speaker 14: (45:27)

Thanks. Thanks so much, Jane.

Speaker 6: (45:29)


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Tens of millions of Americans who work at companies with 100 or more employees will need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Jan. 4 or get tested for the virus weekly under government rules issued Thursday. Plus, Rep. Mike Levin on the contents of a $1.75 trillion dollar social benefits package being debated in Congress right now. Also, San Diego spent millions of dollars on contact tracing to fight the pandemic, but was it worth it? And, KPBS arts reporter Beth Accomando has a preview of San Diego's first ever Age-Friendly Film Festival, opening Nov. 13. Finally, five songs by San Diego musicians to discover in November.