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Governor Nominates 1st Openly Gay Person To State Supreme Court

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OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR OF CALIFORNIA

Governor Gavin Newsom and Justice Martin Jenkins sit six feet apart and talk in this undated photo.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has nominated the first openly gay Black man to the state Supreme Court. Also, landlords can begin filing eviction notices for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic. As a result, tenants were protesting outside of the courts in downtown San Diego Monday. Plus, a deep dive into the race to replace Democrat Susan Davis in the 53rd Congressional District.

Governor Gavin Newsom is nominating the first openly gay Black man to the state Supreme Court. He made the announcement on monday. He’s choosing Judge Marvin Jenkins to replace retiring State Supreme Court Justice Ming W. Chin. Jenkins is only the third Black man to serve on the bench---and it has been 29 years since the last. He is also the first openly gay man to be a California Supreme Court Justice.

Judge Jenkins says he understands that being any kind of first brings with it unique responsibilities.

[JENKINS: "I want to say to some young person who may be out there today, who is struggling with their identity. Anyone who knows me knows my identity has been as a gay man perhaps the greatest challenge of my life. And it has not been easy. But I want
to say today to those young people who may be watching and those who may hear about what has transpired here, that I am not here in spite of the struggle. I'm here because of the struggle."] <<:37>>

Judge Jenkins is a native Californian whose mother was a nurse and whose father was a janitor at San Francisco's Coit Tower for 36 years. A former NFL player, he turned to law and served on the State Appeals Court before becoming the Newsom administration's judicial appointments secretary last year. His nomination must be confirmed by the three-person Commission on Judicial Appointments.

A new, free COVID-19 testing site is open at the South Chula Vista Library. The new testing facility is part of an effort to expand testing options in South County, where the Covid caseload remains stubbornly high.

Nick Macchione (Mash-ee-own) is San Diego County's Director of Health and Human Services and says latinos in the region have been testing positive for COVID-19 at alarming rates.

"Latinos make up about 34% of our county, yet 66% thereabout of our cases, positive cases, are latinos. "

The drive up site will be open Sunday through Thursday from 12:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The KPBS Voter Guide is now live. The guide is your online resource for state races, local campaigns and ballot measures. The updated guide is full of well-researched, non-biased information. We have a new feature this year with the guide’s election center, ... you can check election news, see if you're registered, and if your registration is correct. You can also see the answers candidates gave to our questionnaires. Our web team says almost all the candidates responded. You can find the Voter Guide at KPBS dot org slash election.

It’s Tuesday, October 6th. This is San Diego News Matters from KPBS News...a daily morning news podcast powered by everyone in the KPBS Newsroom. I’m Annica Colbert. Stay with me for more of the local news you need to start your day

California Landlords can now begin filing evictions in housing courts for the first time since the pandemic started.

Tenants protested outside the court in downtown San Diego on Monday. They say a new state law meant to protect them doesn't go far enough. KPBS Max Rivlin Nadler reports.

AB 3088, passed right at the end of the legislative session last month, gave tenants until February to pay a portion of their rent, but it doesn't stop evictions unrelated to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Patricia Mendoza, a tenant in the south bay, says this gives landlords, like her own, the loopholes needed to move forward with evictions.
The lady wants to remodel the roof. So she thinks that it needs to be remodeled during this pandemic, so she wants to kick everybody out.
The group of tenants drove downtown from Balboa Park as part of a car caravan, circling the downtown courthouse just as its doors opened.
They called for more support for renters from the state, including the cancellation of rent for tenants who have had no way to pay it for the last several months.
Max Rivlin-Nadler, KPBS News

At more than a million acres, the August Complex fire burning near Mendocino is the largest fire in modern California history. It’s been burning for a month and a half…and as of this morning its still only 54 percent contained. CapRadio’s Ezra David Romero reports on how the fire got so big.

AUGUST FIRE [BODY 1:35 ]
Everyday Kale Casey gets in his truck and drives the perimeter of the north end of the August Complex fire. He was hired from Alaska to help suppress the blaze.
[CASEY] “All across the west this year the goal was to keep the fires as small as possible because of COVID. Smoke impacts folks who are susceptible to COVID symptoms.”
But no matter how hard crews worked to put the fire out- dry, hot and windy conditions kept the blaze going. It started as 37 different lightning sparked fires in mid-August. Punky Moore is a spokesperson with the Mendocino National Forest.
[MOORE] “As those fires grew together two or three different times they doubled in size. The weather wasn't helping.”
The million acres burned is an important moment in California history. But UCLA Climate Scientist Daniel Swain says it's more significant to evaluate how destructive fire season is as a whole.
[SWAIN] “Thirty something people have died this year in California. That's quite a high wildfire death toll compared to almost any other year, historically.”
UC system forestry advisor Michael Jones says the August Complex is an example of how people in Mendocino are facing the consequences of historical fire suppression and a warming climate year after year.
[JONES] “People are worn out, and they're scared and don't understand this fundamental shift.”
But Jones says Northern Californians may need to accept smoky skies as a year-long reality because of prescribed burns and what is becoming a prolonged fire season.
In Sacramento, I'm Ezra David Romero.

The November election will undoubtedly bring big changes to the region's leadership, and nowhere more so than County District 2 that will see changes after almost 3 decades.

KPBS's Maya Trabulsi updates us on the race for the East County seat on the San Diego County Board of Supervisors.

Former State Senator Joel Anderson led in the primaries with almost 75 hundred more votes than Poway Mayor Steve Vaus.
They're both Republicans, running in a historically red district. What sets them apart, they say, is their performance record as public servants.
"I think the distinctions between myself and my opponent could be summed up with three things: track record, temperament and trust. As far as track record, I'm the only candidate with executive experience running a jurisdiction and I think I have been pretty successful."(:17)
Vaus points to his bipartisan endorsements, including from outgoing Supervisor Dianne Jacob. His priorities include public safety, infrastructure, and expanding open space.
Anderson touts his experience in the minority party in Sacramento.
"You know, in the time I had in the legislature, I did over four hundred and fifty bills across party lines, either joined or co-authored by Democrat colleagues. If you added all the Republicans I served with collectively, I did more bills with Democrats than all of them combined." (:16)
Anderson is endorsed by the San Diego County Republican Party. His priorities include road improvements, housing attainability, and career opportunities in the county.
Maya Trabulsi, KPBS News

#########

And… in the 53rd congressional seat… Two democrats are facing off next month. Sara Jacobs is a childhood anti-poverty advocate who is the granddaughter of Qualcomm co-founder Irwin Jacobs. And we need to disclose that he is a major supporter of KPBS. Jacobs' opponent is the current city of San Diego council president Georgette Gomez. KPBS’ Matt Hoffman has these introduction.

53CONGRESS (4:07)
A lot has changed for both candidates since campaigning in the March primary, when the nation wasn't facing pandemic restrictions. Sara Jacobs says it's not easy without face to face contact
We're phone banking, getting creative, doing zoom events and just trying to find ways to connect to people because we can't be with them in person
Georgette Gomez says her campaign has also been leveraging technology during the pandemic--
Texting communicating with voters through social media and utilizing the power of social media
Jacobs and Gomez will meet in November vying to replace congresswoman susan davis who is retiring from her 53rd district seat after 20 years.
I consider myself a practical progressive and i know the only way to get things done is by building coalitions
Jacobs was a state department employee during the Obama administration.
I think that a lot of voters really value the fact that i have experience working in the federal government working on federal policy issues that i have experience on the domestic and international issues that will be coming before congress and i really am a coalition builder and work across the aisle to get things done
Gomez says voters need someone who understands them at a personal level and says because she grew up poor, she can relate to people going through tough times.
I've lived personally lived my life growing up with very little resources my parents living paycheck to paycheck that's experiences that my opponent doesnt have
Gomez considers herself a progressive, but says her time on city council proves she can work with republicans, like San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer.
We introduced the eviction moratorium protecting renters and our businesses we made a relief fund and it shows im able to put my politics aside
Both candidates say COVID-19 relief for businesses and individuals will likely be a major priority for the next congress.. They say the CARES Act -- which brought stimulus checks and money for struggling businesses was a good start--
It's clear we need a lot more and I'm disappointed that congress hasn't passed another assistance package
I'm hoping they can put the division to the side because this is not the time to be playing politics this is the time to lead--
It's no secret there's a lack of affordable housing in San Diego -- and our county has one of highest homeless populations in the nation. To address the housing crisis Jacobs wants to provide emergency assistance in the form of housing vouchers and rental aid, increase our federal homeless dollars, and add a rental tax credit--
So that any family who pays more than 30 percent of their income on rent gets assistance through the tax code then we need to build more affordable housing
Decisions about how and where to build that affordable housing are largely in the hands of local governments - some of which have been resistant to new units -
What we can do at the federal level is leverage public dollars to incentivize and push for more private investment
Whether it's building low-income or housing for people who are homeless, Gomez says it starts with hearing from the community.
You need to make sure you're out there talking to your constituents and saying this is why it's important to make your backyard available people want the issue resolved it's not rocket science we need units and that's where congress comes in to ensure we have the support
Addressing climate change is also something on both candidates' agendas.
Aside from recovering from covid and getting that issued resolved and handled in a proper way i'd say the climate crisis is very critical
Gomez says she supports Governor Gavin Newsom's recent executive order for all new cars in California to be zero emissions by 2035.
That's something that we should be as a congressional members thinking about adopting it should be a national model
Jacobs says Newsom's mandate has to be doable and she wants to see an entirely clean energy economy by 2030.
I think we need huge investments in new green technology something i'm excited about here in san diego is the ocean as a source of energy production
A poll from last month shows Jacobs with a double digit lead over Gomez, but in that same poll nearly 40 percent of voters who responded were still undecided. Matt Hoffman, KPBS News.

That was KPBS’ Matt Hoffman.

Coming up on the podcast….a San Diego filmmaker gets a world premiere at Screamfest LA. We have that story from KPBS Film Critic and Cinema Junkie Host, Beth Accomando, up next after this break.

And now for some inside KPBS news: KPBS General manager Tom Karlo is retiring at the end of the year. KPBS Reporter Erik Anderson has details.

Karlo began working at KPBS 47 years ago as a student assistant and his career at the station will finish at the end of the year. He rose through the ranks and became general manager a dozen years ago. He was only the fifth general manager in the news outlet’s 60-year history. KPBS news reporting was found primarily on the radio dial when Karlo became G-M. He says KPBS needed to adapt.
“There was a growing population that was beginning to use digital technology to consume content. And I wanted our news to be where people were consuming their media.”
The news is now found on more than 30 different platforms including radio, television and a host of digital streams. KPBS Associate General Manager Nancy Worlie will take the top position on an interim basis. She will be the first woman to be the station’s General Manager.
“I’m thrilled and I’m honored to be the first woman and to represent the women at our organization and out in the community and help take KPBS into the next couple of years.”
Worlie takes over on January first. She says the station plans to continue to burnish its commitment to journalism as the organization moves forward.
Erik Anderson KPBS News

Tonight Screamfest L.A. kicks off a season of horror film festivals for October. This year local San Diego filmmaker Pia Thrasher will have her vampire comedy Things We Dig receive its world premiere at a Screamfest Drive-In event on Oct. 13. KPBS arts reporter Beth Accomando talks with the filmmaker about her work.

PA

Speaker 2: 00:24 You and I share a love for horror. And for Halloween, this Halloween, though, you do have something to be excited about, which is the fact that you have made a film things we dig that has been accepted to a number of festivals. So tell me where you're going to be having your world premiere. Finally,

Speaker 3: 00:42 We finally do have one festival that does kind of a in person event, which well it's a drive in theater and it's going to be in, um, LA North separate lane, but nice for the screen Fest LA film festival, and it'll be making its world premier and we're super excited. I'm going to bring some cast and crew with me. It'll be a chance to see the film with a bunch of other horror fanatics. I'm really excited about it. We're going to have our, we actually have a real premier with a bunch of other really cool horror flicks. So that's yeah, finally, I'm glad we have that. Then there's going to be a few other, um, uh, there's going to be the horror house festival, which is later in October and we'll have also the Northern frites, which is in Canada and it'll be, uh, shown there.

Speaker 2: 01:37 Dig is a documentary. And I have to say it's probably influenced a little bit by what we do in the shadows, big time deals with vampires. So tell people a little bit about the story.

Speaker 3: 01:48 First saw what we do in the shadows. I just loved it. I loved the whole format, the whole idea about just a bunch of ordinary ordinary vampires living together and having to deal with regular life stuff. And it made me think, God, what would it be like for four female vampires with all their female issues or whatever you want to call it, living together and, um, and dealing with it now modern times because they have different ages. You know? So when I saw that movie, what we do in the shadows, I just had a few ideas and I started writing and I'm like, okay, I'm not going to make another film. No, but then I kept writing and finding more stuff and making myself kind of giggle. And I'm like, Oh my God, I need to do this. So, so I wrote a script back in 2016 for a w w would have been probably more like a 40 minute movie. And, uh, and then, you know, over four years been, cause we had all these problems with locations and everything and, and uh, then I got sick and all that stuff. So finally we filmed it and um, and then of course the TV show, what we do in the shadows came out and I was scared to watch it. I was like, Oh my God, what if there's stuff in there? That's in my short film. And, but it wasn't. So it's all good. It's all good. So, um, that's how it happened. And we're here now.

Speaker 2: 03:08 I'm going to play a little clip from the film just so people can get a feel for the flavor of it.

Speaker 4: 03:13 Uh, so, um, yeah. Do you, uh, have a favorite blood type favorite blood tap? No, but we have favorite victims. I like the ones that are out on the beach all day. Jog people are good. Ooh, nice buzz on those. Yeah. Drug surfer dudes. Do you surf fangs off girls

Speaker 2: 03:41 For full disclosure? I have to say that I contributed some coffins to your film. And I want you to talk a little bit about it because I gave you some very plain bland Pinewood coffins, and you have an amazing art director, production designer who dressed those up quite a bit.

Speaker 3: 04:00 Yeah. When, uh, when I was trying to get all my props together and I need, I knew I needed a coffin and I needed a child size coffin. I'm like, where am I going to get a child size coffin? And so of course I asked on Facebook and of course the first thing like Beth, hello. So I asked, you know, and you were like, you saved my day and you, I came over to your place and you had this firewood, um, child sized coffee. It was perfect, but it was very plain. So we knew we going to have to dress it up a little bit. So you gave me that and you gave me this really thick sheet, um, of, of, um, his cardboard is like probably an inch thick or so and says, you know, see what you can do with that and make a lid out of that.

Speaker 3: 04:45 And so I brought it all to my production designer. [inaudible] who is, if you're in the San Diego film industry here anywhere, you would know her because she's amazing. She's done so much stuff. Uh, she built the entire vampire coven, like the whole, their whole place in their house. So she basically took, this is coffin and created this amazing, uh, elaborate coughing with the lid that has so, so many, um, ornaments. And, and then she made it golden and then she aged it. And I don't even know how she did it, but she did layers of that cardboard sheet and somehow put it all together. And it's amazing. I still, I can get over it. It doesn't, it does not look like it's made out of cardboard. It looks like it's made out of some kind of an old metal, you know, and it's all shiny and golden and it's, it's incredible. I couldn't believe it's, she's amazing fell Sam Nicholson production designer. Extraordinary. All I can say it wouldn't look the same in honor.

Speaker 2: 05:52 What are some of the challenges of making a comedy like this, where you using a film

Speaker 1: 05:58 Crew within a film crew and trying to make it all feel spontaneous and what are some of the challenges of doing that and pulling it off?

Speaker 3: 06:06 It was hard because first of all, you have to find a balance of, of kind of creepy and humor. And it turned out to be a little bit more funny than creepy. I didn't want to do like just the found footage style. So we actually breaking a bunch of laws here where we're having found footage a little bit from the crew's point of view, but also a narrative camera that is just there to kind of capture everything. So we also wanted to leave it open for some improv here and there. Yeah. It was definitely not what I first imagined. Cause at first I wanted to have it kind of like what we do in the shadows, just constantly talking to cameras on, like, we didn't have that time. We had three days to feel milk.

Speaker 1: 06:50 And can you remember what got you interested in horror?

Speaker 3: 06:54 There wasn't really a specific moment. I think I didn't realize that gravitated towards the dark side until somebody pointed out to me that I'm like Wednesday Adams that I grew up like her and I'm like, what do you mean? And she said that, well, your dad made tombstones for a living and he had tombstones all over the front, you opened a backyard and all these graves, you know, things that you put on a grave like lights and the little water, Holy water containers. And this was in Germany. So, and I was like, yeah, you're right. I, I think to me it was always normal to deal with the dark side of the death unspoken. And we always had people come to my dad's house to talk about the funeral and the planning. And so I grew up with it and to me it was normal and I never liked romantic comedies because I thought they were just, they made me die. I couldn't take it. So I would go anything but that, and of course the natural reaction is the opposite. So which was usually the darker side. It made me think more and made me get into it. It made me focus on my own dark side. Cause we all have fun. Some suppress more than others. It's just not good for you. You have to let it out.

That was Beth Accomando speaking with filmmaker Pia Thrasher. Her film Things We Dig has its world premiere at Screamfest L.A. on Oct. 13. You can look for Beth's fleeting appearance in the film as a creepy clown. That’s it for the podcast today, thanks for listening and have a great day.

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San Diego News Matters

KPBS' daily news podcast covering local politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings so you can listen on your morning commute.