Monday, January 21, 2013 - Evening Edition


Uploaded by KPBSSanDiego on 21.01.2013

Transcript:
>> >>AMITA: TONIGHT ON KPBS EVENING EDITION, PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA OFFICIALLY BEGINS HIS
SECOND TERM. >> >>: I, BARACK OBAMA, SWEAR I WILL FAITHFULLY
EXECUTE THE OFFICE OF PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.
AND WILL TO THE BEST OF MY ABILITY PRESERVE, PROTECT, AND DEFEND THE CONSTITUTION OF THE
UNITED STATES. SO HELP ME GOD.
>> >>ERIK: WE'LL HEAR FROM SAN DIEGANS WHO ATTENDED THE INAUGURATION CEREMONY.
>> >>AMITA: AND REACTION TO PRESIDENT OBAMA'S INAUGURAL ADDRESS FROM TWO OF SAN DIEGO'S
POLITICAL PARTY LEADERS. IT'S EASIER TO REMEMBER WHAT YOU POSTED ON FACEBOOK THAN PASSAGES
FROM BOOKS OR EVEN FACES. WE'LL TELL YOU WHY CERTAIN THINGS STICK WHILE
OTHERS FADE FROM MEMORY. >> >>ERIK: AND WE'LL FIND OUT WHY THE CITY
HASN'T REPAID THE SAN DIEGO DOWNTOWN HOME OWNERS WHO WERE OVER CHARGED ON THEIR PROPERTY
TAXES. KPBS EVENING EDITION STARTS NOW.
>> >>: WE, THE PEOPLE STILL BELIEVE THAT OUR OBLIGATIONS AS AMERICANS ARE NOT JUST TO OURSELVES,
BUT TO ALL POSTERITY. >> >>ERIK: GOOD EVENING, THANKS FOR JOINING
US, I'M ERIK ANDERSON FILLING IN FOR DWANE BROWN.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA'S INAUGURATION ADDRESS INCLUDED AN HISTORIC FIRST.
HE CALLED FOR EQUAL RIGHTS FOR GAYS AND LESBIANS AND OBAMA SAID THE UNITED STATES WILL MAINTAIN
ITS ECONOMIC VITALITY BY LEADING THE WAY IN THE FIGHT AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE.
>> >>: WE WILL RESPOND TO THE THREAT OF CLIMATED CHANGE.
KNOWING THAT THE FAILURE TO DO SO WOULD BETRAY OUR CHILDREN AND FUTURE GENERATIONS.
SOME MAY STILL DENY THE OVERWHELMING JUDGMENT OF SCIENCE, BUT NONE CAN AVOID THE DEVASTATING
IMPACT OF RAGING FIRES AND CRIPPLING DROUGHTS AND MORE POWERFUL STORMS.
THE PATH TOWARD SUSTAINABLE ENERGY SOURCES WILL BE LONG AND SOMETIMES DIFFICULT.
BUT AMERICA CANNOT RESIST THIS TRANSITION. WE MUST LEAD IT.
>> >>ERIK: HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE ATTENDED THE INAUGURATION CEREMONY.
SAN DIEGAN BRIAN JOHNSON WAS THERE JUST AS HE WAS FOR OBAMA'S FIRST INAUGURATION.
>> >>: WHEN YOU DO THESE LARGE CIVIC EVENTS LIKE THIS IT REALLY SORT OF CONNECTS YOU TO
EVERYBODY AND ALL THE OTHER CITIZENS THAT ARE THERE WITH YOU AND YOU DON'T FEEL LIKE
YOU'RE SO ISOLATED OR OUT THERE ON YOUR OWN. WE REALLY ARE IN THIS TOGETHER.
>> >>ERIK: MUCH OF THE ATTENTION TODAY WAS AT THE NATION'S CAPITAL, BUT WHETHER POLITICS
IS LOCAL. AMITA SHARMA CHECKS IN WITH LEADERS FROM SAN
DIEGO'S REPUBLICAN AND DEMOCRATIC PARTIES. >> >>AMITA: ON THE DAY PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA'S
SECOND INAUGURATION, WE'RE JOINED BY POLITICAL FAULT LEADERS, RON NEHRING, AND FRANCINE BUSBY
IS THE NEWLY APPOINTED CHAIR WOMAN OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY.
BEFORE WE START, I WANT TO FOCUS A LITTLE BIT ON PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA'S INAUGURAL
SPEECH TODAY. HE SAID OUR JOURNEY ISN'T COMPLETE UNTIL OUR
GAY BROTHERS AND SISTERS HAVE HAVE THE SAME PROTECTIONS UNDER INLAW.
ARE THESE TWO ISSUES YOU SEE THE REPUBLICAN PARTY CHANGING ITS POSITION ON? IS IS.
>> >>RON NEHRING: I THINK WHAT WAS MOST NOTE WRGTY IS NUMBER ONE, NOT ENOUGH OF AN EMPHASIS
ON THE ECONOMY AND NUMBER 2 THE FACT THAT THESE ARE ISSUES WHICH PARTIALLY ARE BEING
U ADDRESSED IN THE COURTS AND WE AT THE SAME TIME PRESIDENT OBAMA'S WAS REELECTED, A REPUBLICAN
HOUSE OF REP SLE SWRENT TIVES WAS REELECTED AS WELL.
I'M CONCERNED THE SPIRIT OF BISPART SWRNSHIP WASN'T SHOWN BY THE SPEECH TODAY.
>> >>AMITA: ARE THESE TWO ISSUES YOU THINK REPUBLICANS MIGHT COMPROMISE ON
>> >>FRANCINE BUSBY: I THINK THERE'S A DIVERSITY OF OPINION ON THE PARTY.
CARL DEMAIO WHO WAS OUR REPUBLICAN NOMINEE FOR MAYOR STRONGLY SUPPORTED.
HE BELIEVES IN THE MARRIAGE SHOULD BE PERMITTED BETWEEN TWO MEN, TWO WOMEN, ON THE ISSUE OF
CLIMATE CHANGE I THINK WHAT'S AT ISSUE IS WHETHER OR NOT WE'RE GOING TO PURSUE RATIONAL
SOUND SCIENCE POLICIES THAT MAKE SENSE FOR BOTH OUR ECONOMY AS WELL AS RECOGNIZING ONE
OF THE CHALLENGES THAT WE FACE HERE LOCALLY. IN CALIFORNIA TRY TO APPROACH THIS ISSUE AS
WELL. >> >>AMITA: FRANCINE WHAT STOOD OUT FOR YOU
TODAY? >> >>FRANCINE BUSBY: IT WAS A HUGE REAFFIRMATION
AND ECHOED BACK IN THE LAST ELECTION. HE WAS ELECTED BY A DIVERSE VOTER ELECTORATE.
HE WAS ELECTED BECAUSE HIS MESSAGE WE ALL HAVE PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY BUT WHEN WE WORK
TOGETHER WE IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF LIFE FOR EVERYONE. I THINK IT WAS A PERFECT MESSAGE
FOR SAN DIEGO. HITTING THAT CLIMATE CHANGE WAS RIGHT ON TARGET
BECAUSE WE HAVE ECONOMIC ISSUES, WE HAVE ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES, AND SOCIAL ISSUES, ALL TIED INTO THAT.
THE DEMOCRATS HAVE BEEN VERY SUPPORTIVE. >> >>AMITA: THE CALIFORNIA DEMOCRAT OR REPUBLICAN
PARTY TOOK A REAL DRUMMING IN THE ELECTIONS IN NOVEMBER.
HERE IN SAN DIEGO AT THE CITY LEVEL, AT THE COUNTY LEVEL, AND AT THE CONGRESSIONAL LEVEL.
WHAT IS THE LOCAL PARTY GOING TO DO TO REINVIGORATE ITSELF?
>> >>RON NEHRING: I THINK THE DEMOCRATS HAD A GREAT ELECTION CYCLE IN 2012, POLITICS IS
CYCLICAL. REPUBLICANS HAVE A CHALLENGE, WE HAVE TO BUILD
RELATIONSHIPS IN THE COMMUNITIES AND HAVE NOT HISTORICALLY BEEN SUPPORTING REPUBLICANS.
WE HAVE TO HAVE POSITIVE FORWARD LOOKING RESPONSE, NOT JUST ON THE ECONOMY BUT ON ISSUES OF HEALTH
CARE AND IMMIGRATION AS WELL. I THINK WE'RE GOING TO SEE REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES
TALKING ABOUT HOW REPUBLICANS WANT TO SEE A GUEST WORKER PROGRAM THAT RESTORATION, THE
DEMOCRATS HAVE NOT BEEN IN FAVOR OF A GUEST WORKER PROGRAM BECAUSE THE LABOR UNION ALLIES
WON'T LET THEM. WE CAN SUPPORT INCREASE THE NUMBER OF H1B
VISAS, LETTING STUDENTS WHO COME HERE TO GET AN EDUCATION STAY HERE.
THERE ARE MANY ISSUES ON IMMIGRATION. >> >>AMITA: HOW FAR DO YOU EXPECT THAT TO
GO? >> >>RON NEHRING: I THINK IT'S CRITICALLY
IMPORTANT REPUBLICANS MAKE CLEAR IMMIGRATION IS A FAMILY ISSUE, SOCIAL ISSUE, AND ECONOMIC
ISSUE. >> >>AMITA: FRANCINE, HOW DO YOU SOLVE THE
DEMOCRATIC PARTY WHICH HAD THE HUGE WIN IN NOVEMBER FROM BEING COMPLACENT.
>> >>FRANCINE BUSBY: WE'RE ANYTHING BUT COMPLACENT. THIS IS THE FIRST TIME WE'VE HAD SO MANY DEMOCRATS
IN ELECTED OFFICE AND WE'RE EEG TOOR PUT OUR POLICIES INTO PLACE.
PEOPLE VOTED FOR DEMOCRATS TO MOVE FORWARD ON TRANSIT, ON GREEN ENERGY, RENEWABLE ENERGY,
THEY VOTED FOR DEMOCRATS BECAUSE WE RESPECT AND SUPPORT JUSTICE AND EQUALITY FOR WOMEN,
FOR THE LGBT COMMUNITY. FOR LATINOS, WE SUPPORT REASONABLE IMMIGRATION REFORM.
ALL THESE ISSUES THAT NEED TO BE RESOLVED AND MOVE FORWARD.
THAT'S WHY THEY VOTED FOR DEMOCRATS. IT WAS NO BIG ACCIDENT.
IT WASN'T JUST A DEMOGRAPHIC SHIFT. IT WAS THEY WANT TO SEE THESE POLICIES MOVE
FORWARD AND WE'RE READY TO DO THAT. >> >>ERIK: FRANCINE, RON, THE CONVERSATION
THAT COULD GO ON AND ON, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SPEAKING WITH US TODAY.
>> >>ERIK: ON THIS MARTIN LUTHER KING JUNIOR HOLIDAY GROUPS ACROSS THE COUNTY GATHER TO
HONOR THE LATE CIVIL RIGHTS LEADER'S LIFE. KPBS REPORTER ADRIAN FLORIDO WAS THERE AND
HE JOINS US FROM THE NEWS CENTER. THE MARE ADDRESSED ONE OF THE LARGEST OF THE
LOCAL GATHERINGS TO SUPPORT DR.ÊKING, WHO PUT IT ALL TOGETHER?
>> >>ADRIAN: IT WAS ORGANIZED BY A CALLED ALLIANCE SAN DIEGO, THEY BUILD COALITIONS
BETWEEN PROGRESSIVE GROUPS HERE IN SAN DIEGO, GROUPS THAT FOCUS ON IMMIGRANT RIGHTS, GAY
RIGHTS AND OTHER PROGRESSIVE CAUSES. >> >>ERIK: WHAT WAS THE MAYOR'S MAIN MESSAGE?
>> >>ADRIAN: MARTIN LUTHER KING HALL U DE IS IMPORTANT TO THE MAYOR BECAUSE HE HAS A
LONG HISTORY WITH CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT HE WAS A FREEDOM RIDER, GOT ARRESTED FOR PROTESTING
SEGREGATION SO THE MAIN THEME OF HIS TALK WAS DIVERSITY, AND IN THIS CASE, THE IMPORTANCE
OF PROMOTING DIVERSITY HERE WITHIN CITY GOVERNMENT. HE MADE A POINT OF SAYING OF THE FIRST 24
PEOPLE HE APPOINTED AS MAYORAL STAFF 21 OF THEM WERE WOMEN OUR MINORITIES.
>> >>ERIK: KPBS FRONTERAS REPORTER ADRIAN FLORIDO.
MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY IS A DAY OF SERVICE FOR MANY AROUND THE NATION.
PEOPLE FIX UP NEIGHBORHOODS, THEY HELP THOSE LESS FORTUNATE AND ABOUT 300 PEOPLE IN SAN
DIEGO COUNTY PLANTED TREES. >> >>: ONE TREE IS A HUGE IMPACT, A THOUSAND
TREES IS A THOUSAND TIMES IMPACT. >> >>ERIK: RICHARD DEW OF THE SAN DIEGO RIVER
PARK FOUNDATION IS HELPING GUIDE THE TREE PLANTING EFFORT IN THIS TWISTING EAST COUNTY
CREAK BED JUST NORTH OF ALPINE A.ABOUT 150 PEOPLE DELIVERED FOOT HIGH SAPPLINGS TO THEIR
HOMES. WORKERS ARE PLANNING ABOUT A THOUSAND TREES
HERE AND A THOUSAND TREES IN THE SAN DEGITO RIVER VALLEY.
>> >>: FINDING A WILLING PARTNER TO RECEIVE A THOUSAND TREES IS NOT SO EASY.
WE DID A LOT OF PHONE CALLING AROUND TO LOOK FOR ORGANIZATIONS THAT HAD THE SPACE, AND
THE SUPPORT TO HELP DO THE LOGISTICS IN SOME CASES PRE DIGGING HOLES, CLEARING OUT BRUSH
AND SO FORTH. >> >>ERIK: KEITH WILSON SAYS HE HOPED TO REDUCE
THE PLANT'S CARBON FOOT PRINT BY PLANTING ENOUGH TREES TO BALANCE THE AMOUNT OF PAPER
THE COMPANY USED LAST YEAR. DEVELOPING DRUGS TO FIGHT AFFLICTIONS LIKE
CANCER, DIABETES, AND ARTHRITIS. WILSON SAYS THEY WORK WITH THINGS THEY CAN'T
SEE. AND THAT GIVES THIS PROJECT EXTRA MEANING.
>> >>: HERE, AT THE END OF A DAY, WE CAN SEE WHAT WE CAN ACCOMPLISH SOMETHING AND MEASURE
SOMETHING TOWARDS MAKING THE WORLD BETTER. JUST IN FOUR HOURS OF WORKING HARD TOGETHER.
>> >>ERIK: THIS CREAK BED FEEDS EL CAPITAN RESERVOIR.
IT WAS BURNED HERE IN 2003 AND 2007. MANY OF THE TREES WERE BURNED O UT THEN.
>> >>: TODAY WE PLANTED FIVE DIFFERENT SPECIES OF TREES.
SOME OF THEM LIKE OAKS ARE VERY SLOW GROWING, THE MIGHTY OAKS, THAT CAN TAKE LONGER THAN
OUR LIFETIME TO GROW AND BE OF A SIZE WHERE IT CAN PROVIDE A CANOPY.
>> >>ERIK: RICHARD DEW SAYS A HEALTHY TREE CANOPY HELPS A LOT OF OTHER LIFE 35.
>> >>: IT STARTS WTD BUGS, BIRDS, LARGE MAMMALS THEY'RE SUPPORTED BY THE TREES AND VEGETATION
IN THIS HABITAT. >> >>ERIK: MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY ALSO BROUGHT
OUT PEOPLE TO HELP AT THE SAN DIEGO FOOD BANK, OTHERS CLEANED UP LITTER IN PARADISE PARK,
AND A LOCAL RADIO STATION PUT TOGETHER A BLOOD DRIVE.
THE DEATH OF A CALIFORNIA CONDOR IS BEING LINKED TO LEAD POISONING.
A BIRD FOUND IN ZION NATIONAL PARK HAD BEEN FORGING ON A RIDDLED GAME CARCASS.
IT'S ANOTHER SET BACK FOR THE ARIZONA PARAGRINE FOUNDATION.
ABOUT HALF OF THE ROUGHLY 130 CONDORS HAVE DIED OR DISAPPEARED.
>> >>ERIK: THE CITY OF SAN DIEGO OWES HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS TO PEOPLE WHO LIVE
DOWNTOWN. THAT'S BECAUSE THE CITY OVER CHARGED THEM
ON THEIR TAXES. AND WHILE CITY OFFICIALS ACKNOWLEDGE THESE
OVER CHARGES TAKE PLACE, THEY HAVEN'T REPAID ANYBODY.
KPBS REPORTER CLAIRE TRAGESER HAS MORE. >> >>CLAIRE: IN JUNEÊ2009 CATHY CASEY FOUND
SOMETHING FISHY ON HER PROPERTY TAX BILL T.LOOKED LIKE SHE WAS OVER CHARGED FOR HER DOWNTOWN
SAN DIEGO CONDO. HER NEIGHBORS FOUND THEIR PROPERTY TAXES LOOKED
TOO BIG. >> >>: I LOOKED THAT ASSESSMENTS OF THIS BUILDING
AND FOUND OUT THEY WERE INCORRECT. THIRTY EIGHT OF THE 54 PROPERTIES HAD BEEN
OVER CHARGED. ANOTHER NEIGHBOR AT PARK VIEW ALSO FOUND OUT
HERS WERE INCORRECT. FURTHER CHECKING, WE FOUND OUT THAT ALL OF
THE COND MIN YMS IN THE CITY THAT WERE BUILT BEFORE 2005 HAD INCORRECT ASSESSMENTS.
>> >>CLAIRE: CITY OF SAN DIEGO OFFICIALS AGREE PEOPLE HAVE BEEN OVER CHARGED.
BUT THEY HAVEN'T YET REFUNDED ANYBODY. >> >>: IT'S BEEN THREE AND A HALF YEARS AND
TO DATE NOBODY'S BEEN PAID BACK A CENT. >> >>CLAIRE: DOWNTOWN PROPERTY OWNERS PAY
AN EXTRA FEE FOR SOMETHING CALL AD PROPERTY AND BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT, OR P BID.
PBID'S PROVIDE ADDITIONAL SERVICES THE CITY DOESN'T LIKE PALM TREE TRIMMING.
HOW MUCH DOWNTOWN RESIDENTS PAY IS BASED ON THE SIZE OF THEIR PROPERTIES.
PROBLEM IS, THEIR PROPERTY SIZES WERE CALCULATED INCORRECTLY.
>> >>: I ESTIMATE ABOUT 3,000 HOME OWNERS WERE OVER CHARGED TO THE TUNE OF ABOUT 300,000
DOLLARS. >> >>CLAIRE: AFTER DISCOVERING THE ERRORS,
CASEY ALERTED THE CITY RIGHT AWAY. AT FIRST, THE CITY SAID EVERYONE WOULD GET
REFUNDS. TWO YEARS PASSED, NO REFUNDS CAME.
CASEY CONTINUED ASKING CITY OFFICIALS TO FIX THE PROBLEM.
IN JUNEÊ2011, THE CITY FILED A LAWSUIT AGAINST THE ENGINEERING FIRM THAT CALCULATED THE PROPERTY
SIZES. OFFICIALS TOLD CASEY SHE MIGHT HAVE TO WAIT
FOR THAT LAWSUIT TO BE SETTLED BEFORE GETTING HER MONEY BACK.
ONE MONTH LATER, THE CITY COUNCIL DISCUSSED THE OVER CHARGES.
CITY COUNCILMAN KEVIN FAULKNER WHO REPRESENTED DOWNTOWN SAID CITY STAFF WAS GOING THROUGH
THE MISTAKES. THEN PROPERTY OWNERS WOULD BE REFUNDED.
>> >>: THE RIGHT RULES OF THE ROAD. WE WANT IT TO BE FAIR FOR EVERYBODY.
AND SO IF IT WASN'T FAIR IN THE PAST, I WANT TO KNOW WHAT THAT AMOUNT WAS AND THEN HAVE
IT BACK HERE SO WE CAN TAKE ACTION TO MAKE PEOPLE WHOLE.
>> >>CLAIRE: MORE TIME PASSED, NOTHING HAPPENED. ONE PROPERTY THAT WAS OVER CHARGED COULD USE
THE MONEY. SAFE HAVEN, A HOMELESS SHELTER FOR THE MENTALLY
ILL, LESLIE KELLER IS THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR THERE.
>> >>: WE NEED TO RAISE MONEY FOR THIS PROGRAM AND EVERY PENNY COUNTS.
WE ARE ABLE TO ADD ADVANTAGES THAT ENHANCE THE SERVICES WE PROVIDE WHENEVER WE HAVE ADDITIONAL
FUNDS. >> >>CLAIRE: SAFE HAVEN WAS LISTED AT ABOUT
FOUR TIMES ITS ACTUAL SIZE WHICH MEANS THAT IT PAID $7,600 MORE THAN IT SHOULD HAVE.
THAT EXTRA MONEY COULD GO TOWARDS HELPING PEOPLE LIKE JOHN SCARBOROUGH.
>> >>: TO ME IT'S YOUR LIFE SAVINGS, I WAS ON THE VERGE OF COMMITTING SUICIDE.
I WAS ON MY LAST ROPE FOR TOTALLY FED UP WITH EVERYTHING.
>> >>CLAIRE: THE SHELTER CAN HOUSE 28 PEOPLE AT A TIME AND PROVIDES THEM WITH COUNSELING,
REHAB, AND JOB TRAINING, WHILE THEY GET BACK ON THEIR FEET.
KELLER SAYS IT SUCCESSFULLY TRANSFERS ABOUT 75% OF ITS RESIDENTS TO PERMANENT HOUSING.
JUST LAST MONTH, THE CITY FINALLY AGREED TO DO SOMETHING THAT COULD HELP CASEY AND SAFE
HAVEN GET THEIR MONEY BACK. COUNCIL PRESIDENT TODD GLORIA WHO NOW REPRESENTS
DOWNTOWN SAYS THE CITY WILL REFUND PROPERTY OWNERS.
THERE'S A FOUR YEAR STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS ON CLAIMS MADE AGAINST THE CITY.
SO IF PROPERTY OWNERS FILE CLAIMS NOW, THEY WILL ONLY BE REFUNDED BACK THROUGH ABOUT 2008,
EVEN THOUGH THE OVER CHARGES STARTED IN 2005. >> >>: I THINK IT'S FAIR FOR THE CITY TO PAY
BACK WHAT WE'RE REQUIRED TO PAY BACK. AND YOU KNOW THE MORE IMPORTANT PIECE FOR
ME, AND I THINK FOR MY COLLEAGUES ON THE CITY COUNCIL HAS BEEN THAT WE DON'T HAVE THESE
KINDS OF MISTAKES U GOA GEN. >> >>CLAIRE: GLORIA SAYS HE'S WORKING TO GET
THE WORD OUT NOW TO DOWNTOWN PROPERTY OWNERS THAT THEY CAN FILE CLAIMS.
ONLY CATHY CASEY AND ABOUT 100 OTHER PEOPLE WILL GET THEIR FULL REFUNDS BECAUSE THEY WERE
THE ONLY ONES TO FILE CLAIMS EARLY ENOUGH. AS FOR SAFE HAVEN, NO ONE FROM THE CITY TOLD
THEM TO FILE A CLAIM UNTIL NOW, SO THEY PROBABLY WON'T GET ALL THEIR MONEY BACK.
CASEY STILL THINKS THE CITY NEEDS TO REPAY EVERYONE WHO'S OWED.
>> >>: I HAVE HOPE. I THINK IT WOULD BE THE ETHICAL THING TO DO.
>> >>CLAIRE: CLAIRE TRAGESER, KPBS NEWS. >> >>ERIK: TO FIND OUT MORE DETAILS ON THESE
OVER CHARGES AND TO STEE IF YOU MIGHT BE OWED MONEY, VISIT OUR WEBSITE AT KPBS.ORG.
SAN DIEGO ROAD CREWS HAVE SCRUBBED OUT A BRIGHTLY PAINTED BIKE LANE ON A BUSY ROAD NEAR SAN
DIEGO STATE UNIVERSITY. THEY DID IT AFTER REALIZING THE LANE MADE
A NEARBY INTERSECTION NO SAFER AND POSSIBLY MORE DANGEROUS.
KPBS REPORTER TOM FUDGE JOINS ME TO EXPLAIN WHY THE BIKE LANE WAS REMOVED.
TOM, WHERE EXACTLY IS IT LOCATED? >> >>TOM: WELL, THIS BIKE LANE WAS ON MAWNT
U SWREUM UH ROAD. THAT'S A COMMON ROUTE LEADING TO THE SDSU
CAMPUS. IT'S VERY DANGEROUS TO PEOPLE ON BIKES.
MOST NOTORIOUS MAY BE THE CORNER OF COLLWOOD. LAST FALL THE CITY PAINTED A DIAGONAL NEON
GREEN BIKE LANE TO SHOW THE BIKES WHERE THEY SHOULD CROSS THROUGH THAT RIGHT TURNING TRAFFIC
THINKING THIS WOULD ALERT MOTORISTS AND MAKE CYCLISTS SAFER.
BUT NOW THAT BIKE LANE HAS BEEN PAINTED OVER. THE TRAFFIC ENGINEERS THOUGHT THIS GAVE BIKERS
A FALSE SENSE OF SECURITY. THE CITY SPOKESMAN TOLD ME THEY WERE AFRAID
THAT MOTORISTS WERE NOT SLOWING DOWN AND NOT DEFERRING TO BIKES.
MEAN WHILE THE LANE WAS SUGGESTING CYCLISTS SHOULD RIDE THROUGH IT NON STOP AND NOT PAY
A LOT OF ATTENTION TO WHERE THEY WERE GOING. >> >>ERIK: SO IS THERE A BETTER ALTERNATIVE
FOR THAT PART OF MONTEZUMA? >> >>TOM: THE CITY IS WORKING ON OTHER SOLUTIONS
FOR MONTEZUMA ROAD AND A REPORT IS DUE OUT SOON. THE SOLUTION MAY INCLUDE A DEDICATED
BICYCLE CROSSING LIGHT AT COLLWOOD, IT MAY INCLUDE A BUFFERED BIKE LANE TO SEPARATE BIKES
FROM CAR TRAFFIC. THAT'S SOMETHING THE BIKE ADVOCATES HAVE BEEN
CALLING FOR FOR QUITE A LONG TIME. >> >>ERIK: YOU'RE PRETTY SURE THIS PART OF
MONTEZUMA ROAD IS DANGEROUS. >> >>TOM: O, YES.
THIS ISSUE IS VERY PERSONAL FOR ME. I WAS HIT BY A CAR WHILE RIDING MY BIKE AT
MONTEZUMA AND COLLWOOD ABOUT SIX YEARS. LAST YEAR A CYCLIST NAMED CHARLES GILBRITH
WAS HILT HIT AND KILLED BY A CAR. THE SAFETY ISSUES THERE ARE VERY REAL.
>> >>ERIK: KPBS REPORTER TOM FUDGE. THANKS, TOM.
FACEBOOK ATTRACTS MILLIONS OF USERS AND WHAT THEY HAVE TO SAY IS STICKING IN OUR BRAINS.
AMITA SHARMA HAS THIS INTERVIEW. >> >>AMITA: A NEW STUDY OUT OF UC SAN DIEGO
SAYS THAT FACEBOOK POSTS ARE MORE MEMORABLE THAN MANY OF US THOUGHT.
THEY'RE EASIER TO REMEMBER THAN FACES OR SENTENCES FROM BOOKS.
JOINING ME TO TALK ABOUT HIS RESEARCH IS SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGIST NICHOLAS CHRISTENFELD.
AS YOU KNOW, PEOPLE POST UPDATES ON THE TRIVIALITIES OF THEIR LIVES ON TO FACEBOOK.
WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO RESEARCH THESE POSTS? >> >>AMITA0: IT LOOKS AS THOUGH IT'S ALL TRIVIAL,
IT VANISHES AS QUICKLY AS IT'S WRITTEN. A BILLION PEOPLE ARE POSTING THESE THINGS
NOW IN THE WORLD AND A BILLION PEOPLE ARE READING THEM AND THE QUESTION IS WHY.
IS THERE SOMETHING ABOUT THESE POSTS THAT'S FASCINATING TO PEOPLE, IT RESONATES IN THEIR
MINDS. >> >>AMITA: SO YOU STRUCTURED THE STUDY TO
SEE IF FACEBOOK POSTS WERE MEMORABLE THAN WRITING.
HOW DID YOU SET UP THE TEST? >> >>NICHOLAS CHRISTENFELD: WE GATHERED HUNDREDS
OF POSTS. THESE ARE POSTS OF STRANGERS, NOT PEOPLE YOU
KNOW. PEOPLE READ A HUNDRED OF THEM QUICKLY, AND
THEN WE TEST THEM ON 200, 100 OLD ONES AND A HUNDRED NEW ONES.
EACH PERSON'S JOB IS HAVE YOU SEEN THIS ONE BEFORE AND HOW CONFIDENT ARE YOU.
IF YOUR MEMORY IS STRONG, THAT'S AN EASY JOB. YES, JUST READ THAT ONE.
IT TURNS OUT WITH FACEBOOK POSTS PEOPLE ARE EXTRAORDINARILY GOOD AT IT.
IF THEY'VE READ IT THEY'RE ABSOLUTELY SURE THEY'VE READ IT BEFORE.
WHEREAS IF IT'S A HUMAN FACE OR A SENTENCE FROM THAT PUBLISHED BOOK, EVEN THOUGH A SENTENCE
HAS RECEIVED A LOT MORE CRAFTING, PEOPLE AREN'T SURE, I DON'T KNOW IF I READ THIS SENTENCE
YES OR NO. OVERALL LEVEL OF MEMORY FOR BOOKS AND SENTENCES
AND FACES ARE MUCH LOWER THAN FOR FACEBOOK. >> >>AMITA: AND SO YOU DID FIND AS YOU MENTIONED
THAT THE POSTS WERE EASIER TO REMEMBER THAN FACES.
WHY DO YOU THINK THAT IS? >> >>NICHOLAS CHRISTENFELD: ONE OF THE THOUGHTS
IS THAT LANGUAGE IS DESIGNED BY EVOLUTION, THOUSANDS OF YEARS AGO TOO, CONVEY ALMOST
EXACTLY THIS KIND OF INFORMATION. IT'S NOT DESIGNED TO BE CAREFULLY WRITTEN.
AND IT'S DESIGNED TO SHARE LITTLE TID BITS FROM ONE PERSON TO ANOTHER PERSON.
THIS IS ONE WALKS ACROSS THE SAVANNAH. YOU KNOW, THE ROUTE THE OTHER DAY, I ATE A
ROOT THE OTHER DAY IT WAS TASTY. IN FACEBOOK 500 YEARS OF WRITING LETS WRITING
GO FROM SLOW AND LABOR OWS, TO THIS CASUAL, TRIVIAL SHARING TID BITS OF YOUR LIFE.
THE PEOPLE REALLY DO WANT AND DO RESONATE TO, AND DO STORE READILY THESE DETAILS ABOUT
OTHER PEOPLES LIVES. MAY BE ONE OF THE REASONS REALITY TV IS SO
POPULAR. ONE DOESN'T NECESSARILY WANT SOMEBODY WHO
CREATED A SCRIPT AND MADE IT FUNNY, RELEVANT OR NORMAL.
>> >>AMITA: YOU WEREN'T QUITE SATISFIED WITH THE RESULTS.
YOU DID FURTHER STUDIES ON USING CNN'S STORIES. WHAT DID YOU LEARN THERE?
>> >>NICHOLAS CHRISTENFELD: I WAS AWLAL U ALWAYS CONCERNED THERE WAS SOME OTHER SUPERFICIAL
EXPLANATION, PEOPLE ARE WOOT EXCLAMATION POINT, AND THAT'S WHAT MAKES THEM MEMORABLE.
WE ELIMINATED THOSE. ANOTHER POSSIBILITY IS THESE SENTENCES FROM
BOOKS ARE TAKEN OUT OF CONTEXT, SENTENCE FROM A BOOK AS HAS AN ENTIRE BOOK AROUND IT THAT
MAKES THAT SENTENCE MAKE SENSE, WHEREAS A FACEBOOK POST IS DESIGNED TO EXIST IN ISOLATION.
WE TOOK HEAD LINES FROM CNN NEWS ARTICLES DESIGNED TO BE COMPLETE, INTERESTING, AND
INFORMATIVE AND THEN SENTENCES DRAWN JUST RANDOMLY FROM THE SAME CNN NEWS ARTICLE.
HEAD LINES ARE MUCH BETTER REMEMBERED THAN SENTENCES, FITTING WITH THIS COMPLETENESS.
WHAT WAS EVEN MORE MEMORABLE AND THE SURPRISING PART THAN EITHER HEAD LINES OR SENTENCES WERE
RANDOM READER COMMENTS AT THE ENDS OF CNN ARTICLES.
THE HEAD LINE INTERESTING ARTICLE, SLIGHTLY LESS INTERTSING, BUT MOST READILY STORED IN
PEOPLES MINDS ARE THESE RANDOM READER COMMENTS. >> >>AMITA: SO IT'S THE SAME CONCEPT.
>> >>NICHOLAS CHRISTENFELD: SPONTANEOUS EMNATION. THE THOUGHT IS THE MORE READILY IT COMES OUT
OF THE PRODUCER'S MIND, THE MORE READILY IT GO NZ TO THE RECIPIENT'S MIND 92 SNOO SO WHY
ARE WE REMEMBERS. >> >>AMITA: SO WHY ARE WE REMEMBERING PEOPLES
FACEBOOK POSTS? >> >>NICHOLAS CHRISTENFELD: I THINK IT'S REFLECTIVE
ABOUT THE LANGUAGE SYSTEM IS DESIGNED TO DO IN MANY WAYS.
WRITING HARNESSES THE POWER OF THE LANGUAGE SYSTEM BUT FOR A SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT GOAL.
THAT IS ONE IS TRYING TO PA PACK LOTS OF DEEP THOUGHTS INTO A SMALL SPACE, SOMEONE IS TRYING
TO BE ELEGANT, GRACEFUL, OR BEAUTIFUL. ALL USES OF LANGUAGE, BUT NOT THE ONE LANGUAGE
IS REALLY TUNE, AND THE THOUGHT OF THIS MEMORY PROBE ALLOWS YOU TO ASSESS WHAT IS IT THAT
REALLY RESONATES IN THE HUMAN MIND OR WHAT'S THRR USE OF LANGUAGE FOR WHICH IT'S MOST READILY
SEULT SUITED. AND I THINK THIS SHARING OF FACEBOOK LIKE
STATUS UPDATES, READER KA MS OR REALITY TV IS THE KIND OF THING THE SYSTEM IS TUNED FOR.
>> >>AMITA: WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO WRAP IT THERE.
IT'S A FASCINATING TOPIC. THANK YOU FOR SPEAKING TO US TODAY.
>> >>NICHOLAS CHRISTENFELD: MY PLEASURE. >> >>: ON THE NEXT NEWS HOUR, THE POMP AND
CEREMONY OF PRESIDENT OBAMA'S SECOND INAUGURATION. THAT'S MONDAY ON THE PBS NEWS HOUR.
>> >>ERIK: MORE OF THE SAME WARM WEATHER IS PREDICTED FOR SAN DIEGO THROUGH THURSDAY.
SUN ALONG THE COAST, TEMPERATURES IN THE MID 70S, SAME FOR THE INLAND VALLEYS WITH HIGHS
EXPECTED IN THE 80S, A BIT COLDER IN THE MOUNTAINS, MOSTLY SUNNY, TEMPERATURE IN THE 50S, AND
SUN AND CLOUDS IN THE DESERT WITH A HIGH OF 81 ON THURSDAY.
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