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Locals Push For A Green New Deal

 August 20, 2021 at 5:03 AM PDT

Good Morning, I’m Annica Colbert….it’s Friday, August 20th. >>>> Local advocates push for the Green New Deal More on that next, but first... let’s do the headlines…. ###### San Diego County public health officials Thursday reported 1,400 new COVID-19 cases, five deaths and 104 new hospitalizations. It makes for discouraging news as the Delta variant continues to surge. The newly hospitalized patients bump the county’s total to more than 700. One month ago, that number was 179. There’s also 143 people in ICU beds, which is an increase of nearly 100 patients since july 19th. ######## The city of san diego says its efforts to get rental and utility assistance to people has picked up steam. Mayor Todd Gloria says nearly 80-million dollars has been distributed to more than 97-hundred households. And he says there’s more to come. “we have about another 80-million dollars coming to us to be able to do even more assistance.” To apply for the rental and utility assistance program, go to the san diego housing commission’s website, s-d-h-c dot org. ######### On Thursday, sponsors announced that San Diego will host its first men’s ATP tennis tournament at Point Loma’s Barnes Tennis center. The tour is organized by the Association of Tennis Professionals and is the elite circuit for men’s professional tennis. Fred Sidhu (sih-doo) is the spokesperson for what they’re calling the San Diego open. “i think as far as men’s tennis, this is going to be the biggest moment in the history of san diego because they have hosted previous tournaments in the past, but they have never hosted an atp tour. these are the top players in the world.” The "San Diego Open" takes place september 27 to october 3rd. ######### From KPBS, you’re listening to San Diego News Now. Stay with me for more of the local news you need. San Diego climate advocates rallied on Thursday to support federal legislation that’ll boost efforts to combat climate change. KPBS environment reporter erik anderson has more Local climate advocates joined their counterparts around the country to call out for lawmakers in Washington to support the president’s budget plan. The spending blueprint contains more than three point five trillion dollars worth of spending on the president’s agenda. City Council member Sean Elo Rivera says it would fund projects that bring fundamental change to underserved neighborhoods 11:08:38 – 11:08:53 “It should include these thinks, not because they would be nice to have. It is because who bears the brunt of climate change is our most vulnerable neighbors. Which include many people in city heights where we are today and throughout district nine an all of San Diego.” The climate advocates say it is past time to take action. They argue the latest U-N Climate report only gives the world nine years to stave off the worst possible outcomes of climate change. Erik Anderson KPBS News ########## Southern California's biggest water supplier is calling on people to limit their water use amid a prolonged drought. KPBS reporter Alexandra Rangel has more about what this means for our local water supply. Drought conditions are worsening in the western U-S. The U-S drought monitor says more than 95 percent of the region is in a drought. Continued droughts are forcing the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California to ask water agencies to voluntarily conserve water. Jeff Stephenson is the water resource manager for the San Diego County Water Authority. He says the county is decades ahead in conservation practices. Jeff Stephenson, SDCWA Resources Manager “To prepare if drought conditions continue. To start ramping up conservation activities. So water use efficiency. Here in San Diego we have a great history of water efficiency. We cut water use per person in half over the last 30 years.” The supply alert comes a day after the first ever water shortage was reported on the Colorado River. Although that shortage mostly affects Nevada and Arizona, San Diego does receive 60% of transfer water from the Colorado River, which may seem like a lot but…. Jeff Stephenson, SDCWA Resources Manager “What makes us in a better position versus other parts of the state, especially northern california, is 30 years ago when we started diversifying our water supplies.” Over the years, Stephenson says San Diego went from having two water supplies to a multitude of sources that include reservoirs, recycled water, and groundwater. Stephenson says we’ll be facing a real problem if voluntary reductions become state mandates for everyone across the board. Jeff Stephenson, SDCWA Resources Manager “It’s too soon to tell if that’s going to happen. 50 of the 58 counties are under emergency drought proclamations here in southern california we are not. But if the state were to do that we’d like them to offer the stress test again so that we can show this model we created that the rest of the state can emulate. That we diversified our supplies and are prepared for droughts.” Stephenson says we’ll have to wait and see if we’ll be hit with a reduction mandate in the months to come, but for now he encourages San Diegans to continue using water efficiently. Alexandra Rangel KPBS news. ########## The recently released 2020 census results show Latinos making up the second largest ethnic-racial group in San Diego County after white people. But KPBS Race & Equity reporter Cristina Kim says for many people, the Census categories do not really work for them. Chula Vista resident Carolina Juarez immigrated from Mexico 18 years ago… to this day every time she fills out the Census, it’s confusing. It asks her to say if she’s Hispanic/Latino and then select her Race…. L3: Carolina Juarez, Chula Vista Resident Source: Carolina_Video “I don’t identify as African American, Asian or white, I feel like I am left out without a box to mark.” “So yeah I couldn’t find an option that fitted right in so I just put in “Some other race” The 2020 Census shows that many people are like Juarez. Nearly half of all Latinos in San Diego County identify as “Some Other Race” … a more than 20% increase in the last decade. The increasing numbers of people who mark some other race show the limits of the Census, says Edward Telles, a Sociology Professor at UC Irvine. Why should there be some other race category? Why isn't there a Latino category? Since 1980 the Census has always had a 2-format question--it asks If you are Hispanic, Latino or Spanish and then your race. That’s because it designates Hispanic or Latino as an ethnicity instead of a race. But Telles says the differences between race and ethnicity aren’t so clear. The traditional way was that race where these people differ by physical features. And ethnicity, we're people with cultural differences. Well, we know that there's really a lot of overlap between those. What we do know from the recent census is that Latinos in San Diego increasingly see themselves as multiracial--the number who marked two or more races rose by more than five times since 2010. Mario Torres is a mariachi player who lives in Chula Vista. Five years ago, he learned more about his multiracial roots through genetic tests and the history of mariachi. learning that I have Zapoteco, l Purepecha for Michoacan, Oaxaca, you know, and these indigenous tribes and and and learning more about my own personal history . He marked down several races on the census and wrote in that he’s Native Mexican American Mestizo. His mariachi group, Mariachi Torres, which includes his wife and two kids, sing and play songs in Zapotec and Pure’pecha…. A nod to their roots. I want to acknowledge also the indigenous part. I want to acknowledge the other parts to, too, because it's me. If I don't know my history, if I don't know my roots and I don't have an identity. People like the Torreses are recognizing their complex racial and cultural identities … both on the census, and for the Torres family, through their music. Cristina Kim. KPBS News. And that reporting from KPBS race and equity reporter Cristina Kim ########## Coming up.... The annual Vista Viking festival will be virtual again this year. Plus, the Studio Door celebrates its 7th anniversary by showcasing San Diego Drag Icons. We’ll have that next, just after the break. Imagine a beautiful summer day, the clinking sounds of a blacksmith forge, the thunk of thrown axes striking wooden targets, people walking around a forest-y area in leather armor and furs, bearing colorful round shields– shop stands lined with handcrafted leather emblazoned with celtic knots and norse runes, drinking horns hanging from shop to shop, and of course, the music. It’s the annual Vista Viking Fest. I fondly remember the Viking fest of 2019 at Vista’s Norway Hall. At the time, I had no idea it would be the last in-person viking fest for at least a couple of years. The pandemic forced the Vista Viking fest, and all of its various viking cultural groups that come together to make it happen, to pivot and take their world online. And while you may see other live events reopening this year, the viking fest will be online again for 2021. And Joining me is James Nelson-Lucas, the Director of PR and Media for the Vista Viking festival. James, welcome to the podcast. why Hello. Thank you for having me for newbies how would you describe the Vista Viking Fest? [00:12] - Speaker 1 Well, if you've ever heard of a Renaissance fair, it's like a Renaissance fair only 500 years earlier in history. So we have our Viking encampments where we're living history. Viking groups have their own camps. They all have their own specialties. One group runs our weapons range where you can come and shoot arrows and throw axes and other one runs our blacksmith shop. So there's lots of shopping, there's food, there's music and inter entertainment and lots and lots of Vikings. [00:46] - Speaker 2 So what would you say the atmosphere is like at an in person festival? [00:50] - Speaker 1 Oh, Jovial and Convivial, I would say the festival is actually an outgrowth of our own internal festivals. So you really get that feeling that there is a family there. It's like being invited into our home, really, the Viking Festival and getting to see what we do all year round once a year. [01:09] - Speaker 2 So I know Viking Festival was virtual last year as well. How did that translate to going online? What was all involved? [01:16] - Speaker 1 Well, I had to get all of the entertainment a lined up. Some of them were able to do live shows, some of them pre taped, some things, especially for us. I had to deal with the merchants, those of whom sell online, make sure that they were advertised. I got all of my different Viking groups to do different videos of how they set up their camp and what their specialty is. And we invited people to come and watch all of that online. We had a fairly good, fairly good turnout on the online festival, and many people enjoyed we got to have entertainment, especially that we don't get to have every year. [01:58] - Speaker 1 Some of the bands only come one every other year or something like that. So I was able to choose from all of our vendors and entertainers we've had over the years. [02:07] - Speaker 2 And I imagine the biggest question right now that fans have is, why is the festival online again this year? [02:14] - Speaker 1 Well, as everybody knows, the things with Covid have been in such flux. We weren't able to guarantee that we could pull off the festival that we know we are capable of under those restrictions. We usually have about ten thousand people come through there on a weekend. We didn't think we had the ability to make sure that everybody was going to be safe. So we've been having smaller events with smaller crowds where we can control the safety issues better. And frankly, we weren't able to get all of the permits we would have needed anyway. [02:49] - Speaker 1 Cities and counties weren't issuing the permits we needed at the time. [02:53] - Speaker 2 There are several groups that come together to make Viking Fest happen. There's the Sons of Norway, Daughters of Norway Norway Hall Foundation, just to name some of them. Can you talk to us a bit about who these groups are and what they do? [03:05] - Speaker 1 All right. Well, you also have the Norwegian Fish Club Odin. So the first office, the Sons of Norway, Nor Gage. They are the very beginning of all of this. They got that land. It in early 50s. And our hall was built in 55. And it's been the home of the Sons of Norway ever since. The Hun Sons of Norway Nor Gallade. There was also another group there, that fish club. It's all around the country in San, the Avian lodges and Norwegian lodges, men get together for a fish club. [03:40] - Speaker 1 And historically, it's been a bunch of guys in suits with the cigars and the Scotch and all of that. But when the current Odin, who leads our Norwegian Fish Club took over, he decided to make it into an all gender sort of situation. And it was going to be Viking themes. So each of us in the group have to assume a Viking name. And where our Viking outfits when we go to our gas gatherings, the Norway Hall Foundation is now owning the property. So all these gatherings, we had the Norwegian Fish Club with all their Viking people and the Sons of Norway with all of their Sons of Norway people. [04:19] - Speaker 1 And the Daughters of Norway. We have regular celebration, spring celebration, fall celebration, et cetera. And over the years, there's more and more Viking showed up and more people joined the Lodge. Our fall festival got so big, we needed to start selling tickets. So that's how the Viking Festival was for the Daughters of Norway was one of the founding members. They're not based at the hall, but they are close associates and used the hall a lot. And the Daughters in Norway are based out of Rainbow. So those four groups basically form the core of the Viking Festival. [04:53] - Speaker 1 And then we have numerous Viking reenactment groups, some of which are based out of the hall. There's a group called Dropin, the Celtic North, the Red Hand, Guardians of Midguard, Wolves of Odin. And when the festival is going on, each of them, they all gather at the same time and camp out and set up their tents. Usually there's one or two groups at a time hanging out there. But for the Viking Festival, all the groups come. [05:20] - Speaker 2 So I'm kind of imagining there's just this Viking community in the North County. Why is it important for everyone to come together in this group and celebrate the Vikings? [05:33] - Speaker 1 Well, it's based a lot on just good fellowship and the love of fighting with swords and shooting arrows and stuff like that. But the main thing is good fellowship. And also the Viking people are very concerned with caretaking of the environment, and their family and their friends. It's not all blood thirsty killing and stuff. We really want to show at the festival what the life of the Norse people during the Viking Age was like. And most of it was not battling and fighting. Most of it was being merchants, and being farmers, and being businessmen and manufacturers. [06:12] - Speaker 1 So we get to see all of that at the Viking Festival. Sure, we have the fighting, too, but we want to see what life was really like when people were living closer to the land and more in tune with nature at the time. [06:25] - Speaker 2 James, how can people participate in this year's online festival? [06:29] - Speaker 1 The main outlet will be on Facebook. We've got it set up to run on Facebook where we'll be doing some live programming, and some prerecorded programming. We're going to be putting that up on our YouTube page shortly after it goes out live on Facebook. And just check us out on Vista Viking Festival com. And I will be putting up the list of events, times and how to watch on our website. [06:58] All right. [06:59] - Speaker 2 I've been speaking with James Nelson Lucas, the director of PR Media for the Vista Viking Festival. James, thank you so much. [07:06] - Speaker 1 Thank you for having me. TAG OUT: The Vista Viking fest will be online on September 25th and 26th on their facebook page and youtube channel. information and a full list of events happening between now and then, and even after for Valhallaween in October is all the festivals website. ############# The Studio Door, a Hillcrest art gallery, is celebrating its 7th anniversary in style with exhibit of San Diego Drag Icons. This Saturday there will be a reception, fundraiser and food drive at the gallery with artists and drag queens in attendance. KPBS arts reporter Beth Accomando says the event highlights the connection between drag and activism. DRAGICONS (ba) PODCAST VERS 4:32 Drag is a combination of art and activism. You can’t pull off drag without an insane level of artistry and creativity. TOOTIE Drag, I've always said, is the mother invention. Right. Tootie is one of the San Diego drag icons highlighted at The Studio Door this month. TOOTIE We're always looking for different kind of mediums as well as materials to make things with. I once made a head piece, a crown out of Hubcaps. Paris is another icon and her drag performances are famous for inspired costumes. PARIS When I started doing drag, I kind of realized I can get away with anything. So I have, like, my carousel dress that has the horses roaming around it and it lights up. But doing drag, even in ridiculously cute outfits, is still at its core a provocative act because it’s pushing boundaries and challenging society’s norms. Maybe that’s why since the 1970s, drag queens have been involved in activism for LGBTQ rights, AIDS awareness, and gender equality. PARIS One of the proudest parts about being a drag Queen is that we are those ones that when something goes down in the community, you want to be the kind of bright light part of it first off. But then you also want to be the part that is involved in helping and that's historically been that way. I mean, every time there's a benefit, anytime there's a fundraiser, it's always the Queens that show up first. TOOTIE The drag is just an added tool to get more attention. Again Tootie. TOOTIE And I think that that's why the community looks to us when there is a cause or something, because we will bring people out. We're visually stimulating. Indeed they are and the Studio Door exhibit proves it with not just spectacular costumes on display but also visual art from painters like Margaret Chiaro whose series of drag queen portraits in all colors of the rainbow line one wall at the gallery. MARGARET CHIARO It is not my personal narrative, but one I greatly admire. So I have a series of seven drag queens painted in all the colors of the rainbow. And each one that I chose was specifically because they sort of have the same values that I do. And use comedy, love, kindness to kind of spread beauty around the world. I love seeing people that are so comfortable in the spotlight and are obviously artists that can carry that all around the world where I hide behind my paintings. Patric Stillman, The Studio Door’s owner, says activism and drag Queens go hand in hand, which is why Nicole the Great, another San Diego Drag Icon, worked with Stillman to create this Saturday’s event as more than just a reception for the exhibit. PATRIC STILLMAN But the heart of that is to raise funds for two great food charities, the Emergency Food Voucher Program and Take What You Need Tuesdays. Nicole is a part of the Imperial Court Day San Diego, which is drag Queens who have activism helping communities out. Tootie recalls protesting at a Hillcrest 76 Station years ago when the owner was mistreating a gay employee. TOOTIE So we shut it down for three days. Act up and myself and I paraded around that corner for three days non-stop with a Bee hive and a big 76 ball on the top of my Bee hive. So activism has always been a very big part of what I do. And humor always helps. TOOTIE It breaks down barriers. I think the shine kind of catches them, and the color kind of catches them off guard. And then the humor breaks down all the barriers in between. Those barriers are coming down thanks to things like RuPaul’s Drag Race streaming into people’s homes for more than 10 years. But Paris says drag is still about challenging stereotypes even within the LGBTQ community. Paris likes to embrace both extremes of drag from flamboyant artifice to just dressing daily in stylish feminine outfits. PARIS I am Filipina. For the Filipino community, I am way too much drag because they want a lot more of the natural women and pretty. And then for the more American community, I'm way too feminine. Not so much like on the high drag. But then… I am extremely flexible, so I don't know what any of you all are talking about. I can go either way. My aesthetic is again, fun. But it’s fun fueled by an underlying sense of resistance to conforming to anyone’s norms and the creativity to create magic out of anything. And that’s what the Studio Door is celebrating. Beth Accomando, KPBS News. The Studio Door reception and charity event is this Saturday but the exhibit runs through Aug. 28. That’s it for the podcast today. Tomorrow we’ll have a special bonus episode of the podcast featuring KPBS’ Summer Music series. In the meantime, be sure to catch KPBS Midday Edition At Noon on KPBS radio, or check out the Midday podcast. You can also watch KPBS Evening Edition at 5 O’clock on KPBS Television, and as always you can find more San Diego news online at KPBS dot org. I’m Annica Colbert. Thanks for listening and have a wonderful weekend.

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San Diego climate advocates rallied in City Heights Thursday to encourage federal officials to do more to support legislation that aims to control climate change. Meanwhile, continued droughts are forcing the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California to ask water agencies to voluntarily conserve water. Plus, the annual Vista Viking Festival will be online once again this year.