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The Pentagon is pushing Congress to shut down more military bases. The objective is to save money, just as it was 20 years ago when Fort Ord closed. 

Many lawmakers don’t like the idea because it means cutting jobs in their communities. So Congress has fought base closure for more than a decade.

Military communities like Monterey, have used that time to get ready.

Every year the former Fort Ord looks less and less like an Army base. New housing is going up near a shopping center, and demolition of old buildings on the campus of Cal State Monterey Bay is practically a daily occurrence.

“It used to be very almost sad to see these buildings boarded up that had so much history,” says Fred Meurer, a retired Army Colonel and former Monterey City Manager.

Meurer was also part of the team that got Fort Ord off the base closure list in 1988, but they lost in 1991. Fort Ord formally closed in 1994.

“How did we prepare? Could we have done a better job,” says Meurer.  He had the chance to find out.

The Monterey Bay Area has been the target of nearly every round of Base Realignment and Closure, BRAC. The most recent was 2005 when the Army’s Defense Language Institute and the Naval Postgraduate School were targets. Both are in Monterey.

That year, Meurer crisscrossed the country to attend every regional BRAC hearing where communities defended themselves against closure.

“Basically I would go and I would listen. How are the other communities presenting? What can I learn? What good ideas can we steal from other folks,” he recalls.

He even booked seat on a flight next to the Chairman of the BRAC Commission.  “I think he probably thought I was stalking him,” says Meurer.

It all worked. Both installations were saved. But Meurer says it’s less about last minute hustling and more about being prepared.

“Dealing with Base Closure is not an event. You don’t wake up one morning you’re on the list and then you get to work. Dealing with base closure is doing exactly what the city of Monterey is doing now. It’s just an ongoing effort, part of the DNA of this City,” says Meurer.

Part of the DNA because Monterey City officials say they have a lot to lose. The region has several Department of Defense installations including Camp Roberts and Fort Hunter Ligget in south county.

Collectively it’s a workforce of more than 15,000 and an annual budget of roughly $1.4-billion.  Most of those jobs and dollars are in Monterey.

Last year, the city hosted a symposium about its efforts to protect the region from base closure.   Consultant John Murphy sat on the panel. The city hired him to analyze the region’s strengths and weaknesses.

“Your argument is value. You are never going to make the Monterey Peninsula inexpensive. It’s not possible,” said John Murphy, Principal at Public Private Solutions Group.

But, he told the crowd, just like Washington D.C. Monterey can make the case for its installations.

“It’s no more possible to make the Washington DC area inexpensive, and yet there are things in DC and they stay there because the value of having them overrides the cost of them being there and you have the exact same circumstances here,” said Murphy.

Monterey Assistant City Manager Hans Uslar says after the 2005 BRAC, the City realized decision makers in DC didn’t understand the military missions that happen here. So they started giving tours to anyone who visits the area, from deputy secretaries to members of Congress.

“We need to use every opportunity to promote this location and to promote what is going on in our military installations. And we have been fairly successful in spreading the word,” says Uslar.

More recently the City started marketing the region as the Language Capital of the World. California has more native speakers of more languages than any other state.

It’s argument is simple: Monterey should be home to institutions like Defense Language Institute.

“It is a huge marketplace to recruit native teaching speakers… I believe we are creating a good basis to not overlook California when it comes to language training and potential base closures,” says Uslar.

Even as Congress is pushing back on base closures, he says the City has to make its case.

“Everyone says BRAC will never happen, yet we’ve had five rounds of BRAC. That’s a phenomenon.  So BRAC will be coming and we are preparing for that,” says Uslar.

The latest Pentagon budget calls for a new round of base closures in 2021. It says getting rid of excess infrastructure will save the government $2-billion a year. 

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A new campground is coming to a former Fort Ord firing range.  The California Coastal Commission approved a permit for California State Parks to build the campground in Fort Ord Dunes State Park. 

The park, west of Highway 1, is close to 1,000 acres in size. It stretches along the coast between the cities of Marina and Sand City. Four miles of shoreline, it’s dotted with sand dunes covered in green vegetation and old Army bunkers.

On Wednesday, California Coastal Commissioners toured the park before they voted on whether they’d allow a campground there.  The plans include 45 RV sites, 43 tent sites and 10 hike-in/ bike-in sites.

State Parks has been planning the project for years. The agency hasn’t built a coastal campground of this size since the 1980s. Brent Marshall is the Monterey District Superintendent for State Parks.

“I think it’s so neat that you can watch the sunset over the ocean, you can walk back to your campsite, spend time with your family and then wake up to a sunrise and dolphins in the ocean,” Marshall said.

For decades, the Army used the area for shooting practice. The bunkers built into the dunes stored the lead-based ammunition. Before the state park opened to the public in 2009, the Army cleaned up the land. Tyler Potter, State Park’s lead environmental consultant on the project, said that left about 100 acres safe to host the campground. But only 17 acres will be used. He said the rest of the park is okay for limited use.

“Recreational use, hiking, but again those areas are where the military was actively using it as firing ranges,” Potter told the Coastal Commission.

The issue of lead gave a few California Coastal commissioners pause.  But in the end, the project got unanimous support. 

“This is a historic legacy project for the people of the State of California particularly with regard to our future generations for recreational use and access along the coast,” Coastal Commission Executive Director Jack Ainsworth said.

In addition to the campsites, there will also be a campfire center, restroom facilities, parking, and a new beach access trail. While building on a former Army base did pose challenges, State Parks is embracing the history. Two of the bunkers will be renovated to teach visitors about the area’s past.

The project also includes significant habitat restoration. Like getting rid of the non-native and invasive ice plant that the Army brought in.

The campground will be under construction in 2019. State Parks said $25-million is secured for the funding. 

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For U.S. troops in Vietnam, the “China Beach” surfing spot provided a rare recreational outlet during the war. Some still seek healing from the waves.

 

 

Like a lot of American soldiers in Vietnam, Bobbie Lux spent most of his time in the jungle. As an infantryman, he rarely knew exactly where he was fighting.↨

But one day, about halfway through his tour, his commander told him to set down his rifle for a day of R&R.  And for Lux, who grew up surfing in Encinitas, Cal., it’s the one day he likes to remember from an experience he’s often tried to forget.

 

“They took us to the beach in helicopters,” Lux recalled. “I was pretty excited. I got out there and the surf was mushy, you know, two foot, but they had a stack of boards there. It felt so good.”

He thinks he was at what the Americans called “China Beach,” the most famous surf spot of the Vietnam War. China Beach was actually My Khe beach in the city of Da Nang. It was a rest and relaxation station, next to a large military hospital.

“I know I got to stand up and ride two, three waves,” Lux said. “I had a few buddies that were from the Midwest, and they wanted me to help them try to surf it. It was beautiful and relaxing.”

Lux was at the beach for less than three hours before his unit was sent back to the jungle. He would not surf again until he got back to California. He said he does not talk often about his time in Vietnam.

“War is not good for anybody …. You can survive it, but that’s all you can do,” he said. “And surfing has helped me survive it.”

Troops actually surfed all along Vietnam’s coast. Often, they were isolated surfers who found boards or built their own out of spare parts. Many of them were Californians drafted into the conflict. They were hungry for any taste of life back home.

Lux, 70, is still surfing. Recently, he was out at Del Mar, Cal. with Jim Lischer. A retired lifeguard and lifelong surfer, Lischer does not recall even seeing the ocean when he served in Vietnam. But just after his tour of duty there, he hit the beach in Hawaii, along with two friends who also had just gotten off the plane from Vietnam. They were walking to the beach when a car backfired.

“We all went under a car … instantly went for cover,” Lischer said. “That was right downtown, a block from the beach at Waikiki.”

Lischer said he used the massive Hawaiian waves to wash away the stress of living in a combat zone.

“I took the personal challenge to see how large of a wave I could ride.” he said. “That took my mind off the war zone instantly.”

Over the past two years, the California Surf Museum in Oceanside has been collecting the stories of vets who surfed in Vietnam and those who continue to use surfing as a release. The exhibit “China Beach: Surfers, the Vietnam War, and the Healing Power of Wave-riding” opened in May.

Surfing is part of the mystique of the Vietnam War. It was featured in “Apocalypse Now” and later the acclaimed but short-lived 1980’s TV show “China Beach.” But those references are lost on veterans like Lischer.

“I only learned recently through the California Surf Museum that there was a China Beach at all,” Lischer said. “That’s partially because I avoided going to any Vietnam movies for decades and decades.”

The exhibit has been a chance for vets to open up about the wider experience of a war that many of them barely talked about after they came home.

The day he was surfing with Lux at Del Mar, Lischer ran into one of his former co-workers, Eric Sandy. He found out Sandy had been at China Beach during one of his two tours in the Navy.

The two of them met in 1972 back in California. They worked together for 40 years, but they did not talk very much about their experience in Vietnam.

“Nobody wanted to know about my experience,” Sandy said. “When we came back we weren’t very well accepted. It’s not like we were treated as heroes.”

The exhibit at the California Surf Museum includes a recreation of the surf shack at China Beach. Artifacts from the time include a surfboard fashioned from the parts used to repair swift boats.

Bruce Blandy was in the Navy in 1969, stationed near the border with North Vietnam. He fashioned his own surfboards from supplies used to repair river craft. He also helped put together the California Surf Museum’s exhibit.

“A lot of Vietnam veterans, especially when we came back, we feel a little under appreciated,” Blandy said. “So this is part of the history of Vietnam.”

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VALLEYPBS TO PREMIERE
CHANGING SEASON: ON THE MASUMOTO FAMILY FARM

AN IMPACTFUL DOCUMENTARY ABOUT CENTRAL VALLEY FARMING FAMILY
 
AT 7:00PM, April 28, 2016 
This Documentary Captures Uncertainty of Family Farming From Drought
To a Daughter’s Fourth Generation Plans For Future
 
FOLLOWED AT 8:30PM BY
Changing Season: A Conversation

Where we continue the story with the Masumoto Family as they answer questions and discuss
new developments since the film production ended last year.
 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE…Fresno, California…. Central Valley viewers can follow the story of local farming family, the Masumotos, in an award winning documentary from the Center for Asian American Media, Changing Season: On The Masumoto Family Farm, on April 28th at 7pm. 
 

“We’re thrilled to be part of the PBS family and honored that Changing Season will be part of storytelling nation-wide beginning here,” said family patriarch Mas Masumoto.

The film explores family farming with a twist and will be immediately followed by the premiere of locally produced Changing Season: A Conversation.  Hosted by Zoua Vang, A Conversation will be a personal and frank discussion with the Masumotos and will include revelations about life since the filming ended last year.    
 
In the film, Mas is turning 60 and the physical rigors of an artisanal organic peach operation have taken a toll. Farming in California’s Central Valley has provided Mas with a lifetime of experiences, inspiring seven best-selling books about a love of the land.   In the midst of a prolonged drought, Mas wonders what the future holds for the family business his grandparents started. It’s possible that the fourth generation to farm the land will be daughter Nikiko, who has returned to become what she calls “an apprentice farmer.”
 
Being a multi-generational Japanese American farming family in California’s conservative Central Valley, the Masumotos stand in the shadow of forced wartime dispossession and relocation of Japanese Americans. Nikiko has inherited her family’s passion for justice and, just as her father did, she chooses to express it in organic farming. Her choice to farm means forsaking income and professional accomplishment as a performance artist and writer for toil and hard labor in the fields. 
 
Changing Season: On The Masumoto Family Farm received the Best Director Documentary Award at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival and Best Feature Documentary at the Sacramento Asian Pacific Film Festival. Jim Choi is director and Chihiro Wimbush is the editor of the documentary. Don Young is the producer for CAAM, and Stephen Gong and David Hosley are co-executive producers.
 
ABOUT VALLEYPBS
ValleyPBS has served the Central Valley’s diverse community since 1977, providing programming and services, both locally and nationally produced, that educate, enrich and inspire the minds and imaginations of its viewers and members.  ValleyPBS is your Valley Preschool, Classroom, Stage for the Arts and Lens for Exploration.  ValleyPBS’s family of channels includes KVPT-HD on Channel 18.1, VALLEY CREATE on Channel 18.2, VALLEY Vme on Channel 18.3 and VALLEY WORLD on Channel 18.4.
 
ABOUT THE FILM MAKERS
A nonprofit organization headquartered in San Francisco, CAAM is dedicated to presenting stories that convey the richness and diversity of Asian American experiences to the broadest audience possible.  CAAM funds, produces, distributes and exhibits works in film, television and digital media.

 
CONTACT:     Elizabeth Laval, Vice President of Operations             559-266-1800 ext. 350      elaval@valleypbs.org
                          Candice Pendergrass, Director of Marketing               559-266-1800 ext. 290      cpendergrass@valleypbs.org

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Tawny Biggs’ seemingly happy childhood in the northern Los Angeles County suburb of Santa Clarita, Calif., showed no outward sign that she would one day struggle with drug addiction.

As Biggs tells it, she was raised with two siblings “in a very good family” by an assistant fire-chief dad and a stay-at-home mom. Her after-school hours were filled with hockey and soccer.

But paradise was lost sometime during her late teens, when emotional problems, drugs and alcohol turned Biggs into a self-described “nightmare.” One night, when she was amped up on cocaine, her boyfriend gave her a hit of something different to help her sleep: heroin.

Before she even knew what had happened, she was addicted. Six months later, she learned she had contracted hepatitis C from a dirty needle.

Biggs, now 37, finally got sober 14 years ago. Now, she helps others get clean as an admissions coordinator at Action Family Counseling drug and alcohol treatment centers, in her hometown. Based in part on her own arduous experience, she strongly supports a controversial proposal to establish venues where adult intravenous drug users can shoot up with clean needles under medical supervision and get referrals to addiction treatment.

The only injection facility currently operating in North America is in Vancouver, Canada. Australia and several countries in Europe also have such centers.

“I think it’s a great idea,” said Biggs. “Right now, in this climate, we have to think out of the box because we’re fighting an uphill battle.”

A bill pending in the state legislature, AB 186, would authorize eight California counties — Alameda, Fresno, Humboldt, Los Angeles, Mendocino, San Francisco, San Joaquin and Santa Cruz — to test so-called “safe injection sites.”

The legislation faces tough opposition. Critics say it essentially endorses the use of illicit drugs. And it is not likely to sit well with the federal government, particularly under Attorney General Jeff Sessions, whose hard line on drugs is well-known.

Advocates argue, however, that a different approach is needed to stem the rising tide of addiction and related deaths.

Earlier this spring, San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors instructed the Department of Public Health to form a task force to make recommendations on the establishment of safe injection venues.

Nationwide, several major cities — including Seattle, Baltimore and Philadelphia — are considering such publicly sanctioned locations as a means to curb escalating heroin drug overdoses and deaths; slow the spread of infectious diseases such as hepatitis C; and help people kick their lethal habits.

Across the United States, an exploding opioid epidemic has sent overdose deaths skyrocketing and policymakers scrambling for solutions. In 2015, opioid overdoses — both from prescription drugs and from more potent and easier-to-obtain street heroin — took the lives of 2,018 Californians and 33,091 Americans, according to data from the Kaiser Family Foundation. (California Healthline is produced by Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent service of the foundation.)

“This is a medical issue, it is a brain disease, and we have to get out of our shell of thinking that these are bad people and … they have to hit bottom and then decide to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps,” said Barbara A. Garcia, director of health at the public health department in San Francisco, where 22,000 residents are known IV drug users. “That’s the pathway to death.”

Safe injection sites would go beyond existing needle exchanges by allowing drug use on the premises. Under the proposed California measure, introduced by Assemblywoman Susan Talamantes Eggman (D-Stockton), health care providers stationed at the sites would be armed with the emergency medication naloxone, which is used to help revive people from opioid overdoses.

“What we’re talking about here is essentially a medical facility,” said Christian Burkin, a spokesman for Eggman. “This is an opportunity to take drug abuse off the streets and put it into a safe and sterile environment.”

Opponents of the measure, including many law enforcement organizations, fear such sites would only serve to normalize illicit drug use and harm local neighborhoods.

“It creates a danger for the communities that these safe consumption program sites would be located in,” said Cory Salzillo, legislative director for the California State Sheriffs’ Association. “It doesn’t require anybody to undergo treatment. … It’s just effectively: ‘Here’s a safe place for you where you can come; here’s your needle, your paraphernalia and here you go, shoot up.’”

Even if the state measure were to pass, it might face significant resistance from the federal government, since the drugs that would be injected are illegal under U.S. law, said Stanley Goldman, a criminal law professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles.

“So you’d have to be fairly assured that the federal government was not going to proceed against such operations before people could feel completely comfortable with participating,” Goldman said.

Cary Quashen, president and founder of the Santa Clarita rehabilitation center where Biggs works, said that while he also has some reservations, he’d be likely to support the concept as long as drug users are offered access to recovery services at the centers.

“We got to do something different. People are dying everywhere,” Quashen said. “We lose more people in this country to accidental overdoses than to car crashes and gun violence.”

Burkin noted that the proposed safe injection clinics would be restricted to areas “where they are experiencing a high rate of opioid abuse, including death.”

A 2011 study published in The Lancet found that overdose deaths on the streets surrounding Vancouver’s safe injection site dropped 35 percent in the two years after it opened, compared with the two prior years. In the rest of the city, overdose deaths dropped 9.3 percent during the same period.

Another study showed a 30 percent increase in the use of addiction treatment services associated with the opening of the Vancouver site. Studies also suggest that supervised injection facilities in Australia and Europe have reduced overdoses without an increase of drug injecting or trafficking in their communities.

“We are not supporting what people call ‘shooting galleries,’” said Garcia, the San Francisco public health director. “I don’t believe in allowing people to just sit in a room and shoot drugs with each other — that is not something I’m going to support. What I will support is how do we engage those who are using drugs to help them reduce their harm and get better and go into recovery eventually.”

Another argument in favor of supervised injection sites is financial: Two recent studies showed that a single supervised injection site would save $3.5 million a year on health care costs in San Francisco and $6 million in Baltimore.

Burkin believes that, given a chance, the safe injection pilot programs will prove their worth.

“Someone addicted to opioids who is going to come to a facility like this is someone starting on the first step toward recovery,” he said. “This is not someone who is going to ignore appeals or attempts to get them connected to services.”

Tawny Biggs agrees. If it were not for a work colleague in recovery who introduced her to a 12-step program years ago, she said, she would not have survived.

When her boyfriend gave her that first hit of heroin, she said, it didn’t seem like a big deal.

“I was thinking, ‘I can handle this,’” Biggs recalled. “Then something snapped in my brain and there became no control over needing it. I knew at that point it was either I gave up my son to my mom and shot up dope until I died, or I got some sort of help.”

This story was produced by Kaiser Health News, which publishes California Healthline, an editorially independent service of the California Health Care Foundation.

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For the most part, American cities are built around cars. We drive to work, to school and to play, and civic planning during the boom of the suburbs seemed more concerned with where to put cars than how to give people spaces to enjoy.

That trend is changing, however, as cities embrace green spaces, multi-modal transportation and better access to safe walking and biking routes. For poor and disadvantaged communities, though, we have a long way to go.

Across the country, researchers and transportation advocates are building a case that parks, open spaces and alternatives to cars dramatically improve public health outcomes, from a reduction in traffic accidents to improved air quality and mental health.

With new evidence, they believe, they can prove that forward-thinking urban planning isn’t just about safety—it’s an investment in the health of all of us.

Changing the concrete city

At the University of California, Los Angeles, researchers in the Fielding School of Public Health are studying how the urban environment affects the health of the city’s dwellers, along with ways to spread the benefits of a positive environment to all communities. And given LA’s history as a city built around cars, their findings present opportunities for all cities to adapt to a more inclusive model.

Open Spaces pbs rewireMichael Jerrett, the chair of the Department of Environmental Health Studies, pursued a series of studies that found wide disparities between privileged and disadvantaged communities in major areas of public health—the ability to get around on a transit network, access to parks and safety in public spaces.

“People living in low-income communities aren’t getting sufficient access to this health-promoting resource, and when they do have access, the area tends to be more polluted, the park facilities are not as well-maintained, and there is less park programming and less energy going into the programs offered,” Jerrett said in an interview the department’s magazine.

Even when residents can take advantage of a green space, Jerrett found, they’re much more likely to suffer a traffic accident or injury when walking or biking there.

The risk of an incident is as much as 50 percent higher within a quarter-mile of a park or public space, his team discovered. And his surveys revealed that personal safety is a huge concern for cyclists across Los Angeles.

“Unless you have an integrated system in which people can have options that allow them to bike away from dangerous roads and intersections, safety is going to be a deterrent,” he said.

Opening the streets

Closing a busy road to make way for walkers and cyclists doesn’t seem like an efficient way to handle traffic, but during events like CicLAvia in Los Angeles, Open Streets Minneapolis or Atlanta Streets Alive, residents swear by the opportunity to enjoy their neighborhoods, shops and parks in a car-free environment. (In the hearts of some European cities, popular “pedestrian zones” ban motorized vehicles year-round.)

Open Spaces pbs rewireThe growing popularity of these “open streets” events reveals how different a city could be if residents are given the option to move about freely and safely.

In surveys of attendees at a 2014 CicLAvia event, Jerrett and his team found that more than half of the attendees would have been sedentary at home if not for the event. And fewer than half of attendees arrived by car—most walked, biked or took public transit to reach it.

There are positive impacts to social health during car-free events as well; when these events were held in lower-income, park-poor areas, Jerrett’s surveys revealed that many attendees were first-time participants from nearby neighborhoods.

“At each event, thousands of new people are being exposed to this new paradigm of what our city can look like and how fun mobility and social connections can be,” said Christina Batteate, a Ph.D. student at the Fielding School.

How nature helps health

The ability of all communities to access to a quality transportation network—also referred to as “transportation equity”—is a growing area of study for companies, planners and organizations around the country, and finding alternatives to a car-based model can dramatically improve public health.

A 2015 study by Yifang Zhu at UCLA’s Fielding School found that even during a one-day CicLAvia event, particulate pollution in the air was dramatically reduced in host neighborhoods. Her team discovered that readings of particles 2.5 micrometers or smaller, which are linked to respiratory and cardiovascular disease, declined by 49 percent during a single day.

Open Spaces pbs rewireSpending time in nature—or even just an urban green space—also has positive impacts on mental health, from reducing depressive thoughts to encouraging creativity and even curbing bodily inflammation. A growing body of research, gathered in this 2016 article, supports the idea that our bodies and minds perform better with a little greenery in our lives.

And as transportation funding is an increasingly bitter political issue in local, state and federal governments, citizen voices will help convince lawmakers that promoting public health is less costly than the wide-ranging negative impacts of a car-based society, from traffic accidents to pollution. In Minnesota, for example, a diverse panel of citizen planners, policymakers and advocates created a report that lays out how an equitable, forward-looking transit model can improve health, wellbeing and social interaction across an entire state.

With such clear positive outcomes to a robust and safe transit network, it’s heartening to know that, with dedication and effort from residents, planners and legislators, cities of the future will focus less on flying cars and more on the health of all citizens.
Author

Alex Gaterud

Alex Gaterud is a Minneapolis-based writer and editor. As of 2016, the three most important things in his life are Bruce Springsteen, Sour Patch Kids and playing the drums.

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The 50th anniversary of the Monterey International Pop Festival will be marked with a return of the event later this month. The original Monterey Pop not only became the model for later festivals like Woodstock and Coachella, it also launched the careers of rock legends like Jimi Hendrix and the photographers who were there to capture the moment. 

The photographs of Tom Gundelfinger O’Neal and six other Monterey Pop photographers go on display today at the Monterey Museum of Art.

At his home in Carmel Valley, Tom Gundelfinger O’Neal flips through a photo book of Monterey Pops with the wistfulness of someone flipping through a family photo album  

Monterey Pop was O’Neal’s first big photo shoot. He had just started his career less than a year earlier. In fact, he shot in black and white, not for artistic effect, but because he couldn’t afford to shoot color.

He stops on a picture of Janis Joplin.

(O’Neal) Now that is not very becoming of her, but it shows the tremendous amount of energy that she put into her singing.

(O’Neal) She gave it everything from the very inner part of her soul. I caught her just before a breath. She has dropped the mic and she is getting back up ready to belt it out right there at the end.

Next he shows me a shot of Jimi Hendrix and says, Nobody knew who he was. Now when he came off the stage he had transformed himself in that one performance into this giant rock star.

(O’Neal) When he got down to burn his guitar, I was so shocked; in such a feeling of awe and bewilderment.  And how can this be? Why would anybody burn a prized possession?

(McKnight) What was it about Jimi Hendrix burning his guitar that so stands out?

(O’Neal)  First of all, He did it in such a poetic choreographic way. Like he had a choreographer that said this is how you do it. Throw it down here. Come down on your knees. Ok, in one gesture take out the lighter fluid. Don’t fumble with it. Just take it out squirt it.  Ok, now one match; one match only. Just take it (and) drop it on. Drop it on (and) it erupts. Now lean back a bit. Fan it with your fingers. Give it as if it is a sacrifice to your muse as you watch it go up into the sky.

(McKnight) When someone says Monterey Pop to you is there a moment or individuals or something that immediately pops in your mind?

(O’Neal) Well I think about where I was standing by the side of the stage and I think about how good I was feeling and happy. You know Monterey Pop probably put the stamp, the official stamp, on the summer of love.

(O’Neal) And Lou Adler who was the co-producer with John Phillips told me all over the country, so many cities,  are celebrating the summer of love, but there is only one city, in the world really, that can claim the celebration, the true celebration, of the Monterey Pop Festival .

Monterey Pop not only launched the careers of Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix, it also launched the career of Tom O’Neal. He went on to shoot album covers for rock and roll.  And 50 years later he’s still a professional photographer.

Monterey Museum of Art’s exhibition “Who Shot Monterey Pop!” opens tonight at the Pacific Street location in Monterey.  It continues through mid-September.  

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In the remote Southern California desert, the US Army is testing whether it can put some its most advanced cyber tools into the hands of commanders in the field. The pilot project started in August and will wrap up in the next few weeks at Fort Irwin.

Cyber warfare — the use of computer technology to disrupt the enemy’s activities –�is often conducted in air conditioned buildings far from the battle lines. Since last year, the US Army Cyber Command has been sending small teams to work with brigades as they train at Fort Irwin and a few other locations.

RELATED: WannaCry Ransomware: Microsoft Calls Out NSA For ‘Stockpiling’ Vulnerabilities

The National Training Center, roughly 200 miles northeast of San Diego, is the size of Rhode Island. It is the only Army site large enough to hold live fire exercises for an entire brigade of 5,000 soldiers.

Capt. George Puryear is with Blackhorse, the 11th Armored Calvary Unit, which acts as the opposition force to train the brigades who train at Fort Irwin.

Trainers want the troops to come away with two basic lessons: these are the sort of threats Army Cyber Command can detect; and this is what a potential enemy, like Russia or China, might be able to do in the field.

But commanders are busy. Puryear said they will balk if you load them down with too much technical information.

“Hey, the amount of mental bandwidth I have to commit to this, just isn’t worth it,” he said.

Trainers are tight lipped about their methods. But they will reveal some tactics: during the last couple of training cycles, a cyber team lured a part of a brigade’s leadership into an ambush. Another team blunted a tank assault by jamming the radios.

Standing on top of a wind-blown ridge overlooking one of the mock villages, Brig. Gen. JP McGee, Army Cyber Command deputy commander for Operations, described how part of his small force helped with the battle over one of the villages.

“What you can’t see is the cyber capabilities going inside the networks,” he said. “They’ve been able to take over devices inside that city and exploit them”

The next day, Fort Irwin‘s Commanding Gen. Jeff Broadwater made an impressive entrance on another ridge, by Blackhawk helicopter. He said concentrating on things like cyber warfare is still relatively new for the army. The US spent more than a decade fighting desert wars against opponents who did not have any of these advanced weapons. Until 2013, the national training center at Fort Irwin was mainly readying units to deploy to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Fort Irwin has since renamed its mock villages to downplay Arabic, instead substituting names that sound eastern European. The focus now is how would the Army fight a near peer competitor, like Russia or China.

Cyber command started the pilot program by sending a few advisers. By May, they were inserting small teams to work directly with the field commander — alerting him to potential threats. In the case of the trainers, they worked with them to attack the brigade operating in the battlefield, or what they call “the box.”

Army Cyber Command is trying to flesh out its mission. The Army recently published the first major update to the field manual for cyber and electronic warfare. It created a new cyber classification for its soldiers. After the pilot project wraps up, later this month, the army will have to assess how much of this technology it wants to move with troops on the front line.

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Exemple

Researchers have found a commonly used pesticide can significantly impair the ability of honey bees to fly. The pesticide is called thiamethoxam and it’s used on crops like corn, soybeans and cotton, along with many vegetable and fruit crops.

James Nieh is a professor of biological sciences at the University of California – San Diego, and an author of a new study.

He says he started wondering whether the pesticide could affect honey bee flight after previous research showed thiamethoxam affected the ability of bees to find their way home successfully.

“So we wondered if it could be that they weren’t being able to get home because they simply weren’t being able to fly very well,” says Nieh.

Nieh says in order to test this in the field, scientists would need to use a tracking technology that doesn’t quite exist yet.

“So we did the next best thing, which is to take it into the lab, and we used an existing technology called a flight mill, which I built and modified to use with honey bees for our particular experiment,” he says.

Simone Tosi is a postdoctoral fellow at UCSD, and the study’s lead author. He says next, they’d like to study other bee behaviors.

“And the impact that other stressors have on them. For example, the locomotor abilities of the bee, so how do they move inside a hive, for example, and when they forage on a flower,” says Tosi.

Earlier this year, the EPA said in a preliminary risk assessment that four pesticides, including thiamethoxam, do not pose significant risks to bee colonies, but some kinds of applications could hurt bees:

The assessments for clothianidin, thiamethoxam, and dinotefuran, similar to the preliminary pollinator assessment for imidacloprid showed: most approved uses do not pose significant risks to bee colonies. However, spray applications to a few crops, such as cucumbers, berries, and cotton, may pose risks to bees that come in direct contact with residue. In its preliminary pollinator-only analysis for clothianidin and thiamethoxam, the EPA has proposed a new method for accounting for pesticide exposure that may occur through pollen and nectar.

“I think one thing that the EPA would like to have – and it’s understandable – is what is the effect of these pesticides on whole colonies, not just upon bees in the lab,” says Nieh.

“And I think that’s reasonable, because you want to know what is the actual, realistic effect in the field. However, that is quite challenging for many reasons, including the fact that bees fly over great distances. So when you’re designing experiments to look at the field effect of colonies, you really have to have a vast experiment that covers many square miles.”

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Exemple

 

Interactions between humans and the environment is a two-way street. Human actions change the environment, and changes to the environment affect human behavior.

David Lopez-Carr, a geographer a the University of California-Santa Barbara, calls it “human environment dynamics.” He studies how climate change impacts food security, crop production and human health, particularly infant mortality.

 

“Babies and infants are the hardest hit when there is when there are food shortages,” Lopez-Carr told KGOU’s World Views.

During his career, Lopez-Carr has worked in Latin America, Africa and Asia. Lopez-Carr’s research center, the Human-Environment Dynamics lab, has determined that sub-Saharan Africa is the region of the world that is most vulnerable to climate change. The region has experienced high population growth density with climatic anomalies, such as high temperatures and decreased precipitation.

Rural areas shoulder the brunt of the burden in Africa. Rain-fed farming is imperative for livelihoods. When there is not enough rain, farmers can’t raise food to feed their families, so they search for alternatives.

“They can migrate. They can try to find off-farm labor. They can maybe have fewer children even. These are all potential responses and they all have potential limitations,” Lopez-Carr said.

Studying this field can be difficult for scholars like Lopez-Carr because every weather anomaly is not necessarily related to climate change. His lab examines climate data that goes back 30 years to make sure a climatic event, a temperature anomaly, is not a random short-term occurrence.

“By doing so we have higher confidence that is part of a longer term global climate change pattern,” Lopez-Carr said.

Space and time add another layer of complexity. An action can occur in one place on the globe that later changes conditions in Africa.

“If you go back to you know the vast majority of human history as hunter-gatherers, our impact on the environment was very intimate and sudden in space and time,” Lopez-Carr said. “The impact was here. The impact is now. Increasingly that’s much more complex. You know, the impact is in a different place and a different time.”

Trade and global business deepen this complex study  in today’s advanced economies. Fossil fuels are used to import coffee into Oklahoma, for instance, which damages the environment without a trace to any one individual’s actions.

Interview Highlights

Lopez-Carr on the harsh impacts of climate change in rural areas

What we didn’t know is where these two forces – the climate side and kind of the human population side – collide most vigorously and it came out in eastern Africa quite a lot. Where you do have the combination, and in sort of pockets in across western Africa, particularly where there are higher rural population densities. So a lot of people essentially on limited farmland that is also undergoing climate change and reduction in precipitation. So for most of the developing world, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, most people are farmers and they’re depending directly on rain fed agriculture. So there’s not rain, to survive they have to often migrate. Sometimes they don’t survive and that’s what we’re trying to understand.

Lopez-Carr on studying climate change

Particularly in more advanced economies like here, we are sitting in Oklahoma, and we’re having our breakfast. And the eggs might be local but, you know, other components of that breakfast, especially the coffee, for example certainly isn’t from Oklahoma. So we’re buying products that are coming from all over the world and we’re using fossil fuels for this transportation. And so these impacts are happening in a very complex way over space and time that’s seemingly disconnected to any one individual’s actions and therefore is also very difficult to study scientifically.
 

KGOU and World Views rely on voluntary contributions from readers and listeners to further its mission of public service with internationally focused reporting for Oklahoma and beyond. To contribute to our efforts, make your donation online, or contact our Membership department.

Suzette Grillot: David Lopez-Carr welcome to World Views.

David Lopez-Carr: Thank you. Pleasure to be here.

Grillot: Well David, you had a very impressive career in environmental issues. You’re a professor of geography, but you direct the Human-Environment Dynamics Lab. Can you tell us what you do and that lab is an actual lab and what tells what you do?

Lopez-Carr: Great question. So, you know, I’m trained as a social scientist first, but I as a geographer connect to the physical sciences as well and so environmental change and ecological change. So the sort of questions that I’m interested in pursuing are those that involve how are humans interacting with the environment and the causal arrow goes both ways. You know humans impact the environment. So much of my work is on deforestation in the tropics in Amazon or the Maya rainforest in Guatemala. But then humans also react to environmental change. And so increasingly much of my research looks at the aspect of human environment dynamics, particularly examining climate change and its impacts on food security, crop production, and human health and particularly infant mortality, because babies and infants are the hardest hit when there is when there are food shortages. So these are some of the topics that I deal with.

Lopez-Carr: And I do get this question you know, “To what extent is this a lab right?” So no we’re not like bringing in soil samples, though our colleagues do at our labs next door. You know it’s more like a group where our doctoral students and post-docs convene to work.

Lopez-Carr: I’m also director co-director of the University of California systemwide involving all 10 campuses a center for planetary health. We just launched that center this fall.

Grillot: The key word to me and your lab is really dynamics, given that this dynamic relationship between both humans and the environment. I like how you put that that the causal arrow goes both ways and that they each interact with each other.

Grillot: So it seems to me a very dynamic relationship, but it’s also a very broad relationship. I mean I’ve listed a number of issues that we are concerned with. So how do you work in a field where it is such a broad issue and there are many more right that you could add to this list?

Lopez-Carr: That’s a great question you know and some people do ask me, “Human environment dynamics. You know this can encompass so many things. And how do you how do you focus?”

Lopez-Carr: And so there’s a couple of things I’d like to mention about this. One is that you know to some degree despite this being an area that encompasses so many themes and interactions among themes it’s only in recent years that academics, you know, professors, research human and social systems in an integrated fashion with the environment.

Lopez-Carr: And so because of that, there’s opportunity almost to label one’s self doing these broader themes and because conceptually we are concerned with these broader themes even though of course we’re training students we have to be very very specific.

Lopez-Carr: My own expertise specifically within human environment dynamics is particularly how human populations interact with the environment. So how does population size density distribution, mobility, involved in deforestation for example in the tropics. Similarly how is it involved with where people are most vulnerable to climate change?

Grillot: Where is that happening?

Lopez-Carr: You know pursuing that very question, before we get into the dynamics of how this is happening, and thus how can we prevent it. How can we suggest policies to prevent, you know, problems associated with climate change. You know we asked ourselves a direct question is a geographer Well first thing we do is we make a map and we made a map by taking existing data on climate change by using anomalies in temperature, evapotranspiration and precipitation. So if transportation is basically how well the soils are retaining water which is ultimately the most important thing for crop production. And we link that data with Demographic and Health Surveys. Demographic and Health Surveys are sponsored by the U.N. It’s probably the largest ongoing survey of human populations worldwide to map out where are areas of high population growth density coupled with anomalies in, particularly, you know, high temperatures, sub-Saharan Africa, aridity, you know lack of rainfall, and low level of evapotranspiration. And where we found these hotspots emerge are in sub-Saharan Africa and some patterns we expected and others surprise us. Now we knew that for example the Lake Victoria basin in eastern Africa has a lot of people. So there’s a lot of vulnerability there.

Lopez-Carr: And we know that the Sahel sort of in central western Africa is also experiencing a dramatic climate change and increasing aridity. But what we didn’t know is where these two forces – the climate side and kind of the human population side – collide most vigorously and it came out in eastern Africa quite a lot. Where you do have the combination, and in sort of pockets in across western Africa particularly where there are higher rural population densities. So a lot of people essentially on limited farmland that is also undergoing climate change and reduction in precipitation. So for most of the developing world especially in sub-Saharan Africa most people are farmers and they’re depending directly in rain fed agriculture. So there’s not rain, they either, to survive, they have to often migrate. Sometimes they don’t survive, and that’s what we’re trying to understand.

Grillot: So in sub-Saharan Africa. Let’s just talk about this for a second because obviously that the climate change issue is is you know you’re scientifically studying that you’re able to produce the data you’re undoubtedly looking at the causes of this happening. But what about the consequences? You were getting at that at the end right. Migration. The fact that that you know farmers are having to migrate. People are struggling and suffering but it’s also causing conflict right. Is that one thing that we don’t fully understand is the impact between climate change and desertification or changes in you know rain patterns that sort of thing and the impact on the conflict over the land that we see let’s say in Sudan for example.

Lopez-Carr: Excellent question. And first let me let me talk a bit about the climate change aspect, so that we are confident that our anomalies that we’re observing are actually climate change and not short term short term anomalies, right, that might be random, we use data that goes back at least 30 years. And by doing so we have higher confidence that is part of a longer term global climate change pattern. One. Two, that being the case, just to be clear that doesn’t mean we can say with confidence that in any one specific place where there are climate anomalies, say temperature precipitation anomalies, it is from climate change. And this is the scale issue that makes this complicated so. So again have to be clear we’re pretty confident that at a regional scale what we’re seeing these signals are part of a larger climate change pattern. We have very very high confidence about that. OK. In any one place any one event it’s hard to ascertain that with complete confidence but so. So what happens in sub-Saharan Africa, you have decreased precipitation. And with that households depending on rain fed agriculture essentially you’re cutting off their lifeline. You need water to grow your crops and you know you have they have several options to respond. They can migrate. They can try to find off-farm labor. They can maybe have to have fewer children even. These are all potential responses and they all have potential limitations. And so we often refer to trap populations where there aren’t real migration opportunities and people remain and they do the best they can.

Lopez-Carr: And what we are observing is that with that we do see increased mortality particularly among infants and children who are the most vulnerable to food shortages.

Grillot: I think that thing that you know we talk about the environment so much on the show and elsewhere I mean obviously it’s a huge issue. It’s just making those those causal connections and consequential outcomes visible. you’re putting out information not only so governments can perhaps make better decisions but also so activists and interested individuals can take up that information that you’ve provided that scholarship that scientific research that you’ve provided. And actually you know lobby or or pressure governments to do what we think they need to do. But it’s is it is harder and harder the further you get from you know something that’s causing infant mortality for example to say climate change in sub-Saharan Africa is you know directly linked to infant mortality. That just seems like that’s so hard to make that that so visible that we can actually develop better policies.

Lopez-Carr: This is a very interesting and complex question. One thing that I like to tell people is that these are sort of circumstance in terms of how we’re how we’re seeing the arc of human environment dynamics unfold over time is that if you go back to you know the vast majority of human history as hunter gatherers, our impact on the environment was very intimate and sudden in space and time. The impact was here. The impact is now. Increasingly that’s much more complex. You know the impact is in a different place and a different time. So you know particularly in more advanced economies like here we are sitting in Oklahoma and we’re having our breakfast in the eggs might be local but you know other components of that breakfast especially the coffee for example certainly isn’t from Oklahoma. So we’re buying products that are coming from all over the world and we’re using fossil fuels for this transportation. And so these impacts are happening in a very complex way over space and time that’s seemingly disconnected to any one individual’s actions and therefore is also very difficult to study scientifically.

Grillot:  Well and clearly the complexity also it affects how well we can address these things and I can’t have this conversation with you without asking the question now that we are you know into the Trump administration. And it’s been very clear that perspectives on this issue have shifted somewhat from the last administration to this. But in general politicians struggle with this issue and perhaps because it is so complex because it has been politicized but first of all how do you feel about where this administration is going on this issue on environmental issues as we have, for example, a director of an EPA that’s a climate change denier. And then you know where do you find hope. Do you. Where is it that we need to concentrate our attention.

Lopez-Carr: It’s these are challenging times for those of us who are concerned about the impacts of growing populations on limited resources under climate change where we also see conflict arising from these issues.

Lopez-Carr: You know I think in the short term at the federal level, I I’m not particularly optimistic about where things are going. I’ve already sensed from my own work where there’s issues of limitations, consequences potentially, for what we write what we say how we say it. There’s efforts to limit to control information. And any society that wishes to become self-actualized, truly have a functioning democracy, really solve problems that are in the best interests of everyone, we first need an open free press, exchange of information as professors. At major research universities, it’s imperative that we have academic freedom. It’s imperative that we all understand that facts are facts and they are unassailable and we can and should argue over opinions. We should never waste our time arguing over facts. This is something that we should be teaching our children very vigorously in the public schools starting in grade 1.

Grillot: So that’s where we find hope as an early education, educating our children early on.

Lopez-Carr: Absolutely. You know I think we must not allow that budgets shrink for K through 12 education. It’s imperative that we increase the education, particularly around critical thinking skills. And critical thinking skills, you can and will learn from a diverse array of disciplines.

Grillot: Well David thank you so much for being here today. And the latest is going to be an issue we continue to talk about and I really appreciate you sharing your thoughts and perspectives and your research with us. Thank you.

Lopez-Carr: Thank you. A pleasure to be here. 

Copyright © 2016 KGOU Radio. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to KGOU Radio. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only. Any other use requires KGOU’s prior permission.

KGOU transcripts are created on a rush deadline by our staff, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of KGOU’s programming is the audio.

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