tv This Week in Northern California PBS February 20, 2011 4:00pm-4:30pm PST
bloomberg news. so ryan, president obama comes to silicon valley and then he goes up to oregon. a lot of to do, though not a lot of press coverage. why did he really come here? >> officially it was for a talk about innovation and jobs. other people think that maybe he's here to raise money. but, obviously, the big news coming out of the meeting was that facebook's ceo mark zuckerberg owns a suit. usually he's in t-shirts and hoodies. so that was the big news that people were discussing today about the photo that came out of it. >> there was another photo with steve jobs as well who is on leave, medical leave. and there he was hob knobbing with all the people. >> he looked apparently healthy. >> my invitation got lost in the mail. couldn't make it. the valley is doing well on its own. a lot of private companies are growing on their own without government intervention. it seems like he could learn something from them about what's driving their businesses. >> what they say in the valley is they want federal money for
technological innovation and he is saying the government ought to provide that money. is that not a solid opinion? >> it seems like the companies that are growing, facebook is leasing the biggest office in 20 years. you know, they are -- google announced 6,000 jobs. they are hiring internationally. so they are growing without the incentives it seems that some people actually are asking for. >> what is president obama actually proposing in terms of high-tech development and innovation? >> one of the things he's talked about at his state of the union address was national high-speed internet. and that would help people order stuff from amazon and help these companies grow their user base. >> what is high speed internet? wireless, right? >> yeah, wireless internet. it's fast. it allows -- no dial-up modem hanging on back and forth online. >> silicon valley is doing pretty well. the rest of the california economy is still in the doldrums. how far back has it come? we've obviously seen a couple of
busts in the last decade. there was a tech wreck in 2000 and then the housing bubble which really affected silicon valley badly. so have we bottomed out? are we well past it? where are we in the recovery for silicon valley? >> the state of the valley report came out earlier this week. last week the report was very dire. they said we're not sure if we'll ever come back from losing 90,000 jobs between '08 and '09. this year a little more mixed. private companies are hiring. back to '04 hiring levels. salaries at $64,000 level which is about '05. not where we were in 2000 and that seems pretty far off but we're not at the bottom anymore. >> the high-tech business in the news internationally right here at home. facebook, twitter, supposedly have a lot to do with the revolutions going on in egypt and even tunisia there. does that help, too, to kind vf that cache, that bump in the news saying you really are important. look what you can do. it's not just helping you talk
to your friends but you can topple a government? >> he wasn't kicked out. he was defriended by egypt. so it's amazing how these things are kind of -- can spur revolutions across the world. you are seeing the domino effect in the middle east. >> what i don't understand is you are talking as though the depression or the recession is over in silicon valley. and i'm not sure it is. >> no, i think people are still hurting. houses prices have double-dipped a little bit. looks like people are still trying to figure out what's next. public sector, government jobs. not just people in city hall but teachers, firefighters, cops. there's, you know, cutbacks to their pensions and actual employment. so there's still a lot of people struggling and asking for public services. >> can i ask you about the politics of it as well. we said with obama there perhaps for fund-raising. we saw president clinton practically live in california when he was in office. george bush practically ignored california. and barack obama really hasn't been here much since he's been president. do you think we'll see that a lot more as he's ramping up for
re-election, and what might that mean for the state to have the president here and what might it mean for him to have friends or reach out to silicon valley? >> it can't hurt to see -- people to see him hobnob with facebook. those are cool companies. people want to work there. so when google said they were going to hire 6,000 people, they get 75,000 applications in one week, the most in their history. so -- and a lot of his campaign, through social media, facebook and such. so i think as the campaign ramps up, you'll probably see more of him out here. >> what he didn't do on this trip out here was meet people. he met 12 billionaires. >> they've all given him money or democrats money. >> they didn't give him money yesterday. they didn't talk about money. is this just a -- an advance billing of what's going to happen in the election or was he really here for innovation? >> i mean, again, these people have donated to democrats and obama in the past. so i'm sure it can't hurt to lay the groundwork for what will be
an interesting election coming up. >> and he can't win re-election, obviously, without california's 54 electoral votes. so that's sort of the starting place. i don't think he's going to spend a whole lot of time out here in the election in 2012. he won california. he won by 25 points, the biggest since fdr last time. but he's going to use the state as a cash register. no question about it. >> so silicon valley may be doing a little better. what about san jose. the mayor talked about that recently. >> they are struggling. pensions are growing so far and so fast that the city can't keep up. so he's looking at saying, look if we don't cut back some of your benefits, you can fully retire at age 50. if we don't raise that to social security level, 67, we may have to have more layoffs. do you want less cops on the street, less firefighters or a smaller pension? it's a big issue people are fighting over. >> so the whole valet politics and economics as usual. paul rogers, you've been looking
into the so-called williamson act. a 45-year-old law that seems to help some farmers. what's new about it at this point? >> well, we've heard a lot in the last month about how bad the state budget is, right? california has a $26 billion deficit on a general fund of $85 billion. the deficit is one-third the size of the entire budget. and this is such a massive deficit that jerry brown, who has, you know, over the last 40 years, been an environmentalist, a friend of environmental groups. as he's looking to cut lots of things that we're all hearing about like increasing uc tuitions and taking all the redevelopment money from cities and counties. he's also going after popular environmental programs. and the one getting a lot of attention is the williamson act. this was set up in 1965 after l.a. had really sprawled badly after santa clara valley which, remember, was the valley of a big ag center had sprawled out. and amid the population growth, leaders at the time said how do
we give farmers an incentive to not sell their land to developers. and what they do is a farmer signs a ten-year or 20-year contract. they get reduced property tax rates. and the property tax is thes th county loses that they then would collect is made partially whole by the state. brown has said we can't afford to do that anymore. we'll have to zero the state portion out. it's gotten a very, very rare coalition. you almost never see in california. farmers and environmentalists on the same side. >> it seems to me that in the middle of a recession, there isn't that much pressure to build. so it's -- it might not even be an important point. >> that's one of the arguments that the brown administration is making. what the farmers are saying is, look. the state grows by 500,000 people net a year. so if you think about that, every two years, basically, the population of a city the size of san jose and certainly the size of san francisco is plopped down in california in perpetuity.
that's a relentless pressure in good economies and bad. sometimes it slows, sometimes it doesn't. if you don't protect your key farmland you'll end up like los angeles. it's an amazing fact a lot of people don't know. up until 1946, los angeles was the leading farm county in california by products sold. so you can lose it pretty quickly. >> we talk about the short-term financial boost if they sell this land to developers. what's the long-term implication to lose california's farm land even if it's acre by acre by acre? it seems that has been a key industry, obviously, for california. we have this whole movement now of the local food movement. we really want to be importing fruits and vegetables from mexico and from china and who knows from where else, chile. is the governor at all looking further down the line at that? i'm not going to sell the state buildings now. i've got to look for a new way to bring money in. >> at this point, they are so desperate for any place they can cut money. they are looking at popular programs. and there's a pretty good chance
that if brown is even able to get the tax extensions on the ballot in june he wants that voters will reject him. this san off-year election. it's going to be an older, more conservative electorate. it's going to be hard to get them to raise their taxes. he is looking for anything. >> he's not going to save all that much money with this williamson act is he? how much are we talking about? >> the state normally gives about $35 million. last year they cut it to $10 million. that's what schwarzenegger did. it's not a large amount. but this is a governor who is going after cell phones and cars and a lot of this is symbolic to convince people, hey, i'm serious about cutting. >> do you think that the williamson act is really a terrific program? i read one article that seemed to indicate that somebody was claiming williamson money because they had a vegetable garden in their backyard. >> there have been excesses. i think most people would tell you who are in the planning business, who are in the farm business, who are in the environmental community, it's the state's largest tool for protecting open space. that's it. there have been -- there have
been problems with it. the -- in santa clara county, they were giving these property tax breaks to people with small farms. backyard gardens, basically, and they had to stop. but statewide, and this goes right to your question, 16 million acres right now is under williamson act protection in california. that's an area 50 times the size of the city of los angeles. it's an area that basically represents about 15% of all the land in california. and in santa clara county which has the most land in the bay area in williamson act protection, 40% of all the land in the county is under this protection. >> if there wasn't this williamson act, are there other measures, local jurisdictions are doing to make sure the land isn't just developed, that there are open space protections? >> the big question now is if counties aren't going to get any more money from the state will they continue the program or just drop out of it. counties also have zoning and other protections. as environmentalists will tell you, zoning can be changed with three votes on the board of supervisors. >> and a question as to whether it's legal to tell someone he
can't develop his land. >> you can. zoning is legal. the question is how far do you go? you can't take 100% of the value of the property. >> so what happens now? i mean, governor brown has decided he's going to slash redevelopment agencies. a whole bunch of things. williamson rise above those or is it just -- >> already in the early committees in sacramento, the legislators are saying we're not going to cut this program. it's too popular. in some rural counties it makes up as much as 5%, 10% of the budget. they're talking about having to lay off sheriffs deputies in some areas. even fresno which gets millions of dollars back from this. >> they are already suffering from the doubt and cutbacks there. sometimes unemployment levels double digits. it's really stark. >> it's almost a rural versus urban-type debate. it's all going to get wrapped up in the next month when brown and the dems are in sacramento hammer out the budget. and what that's going to look like, nobody knows. >> there's big questions there. but thank you, paul.
there's even more questions about what's going to happen at the ballpark at pac bell, at&t park. rachel gordon, we're talking about the giants right now. even -- everybody became a giant fan, even people who hardly cared about it in the last year. is that going to happen again? do you have a clue? >> if there's going to be a two-pete? it doesn't happen very often. some want to just call it willy mays field. as you mentioned in october when the giants won the world series, the whole bay area erupted in joy. even if you really weren't a baseball fan it was hard not to be affected by it. is it going to happen again in the 2011 season? a big question. the team is generally the same team. most of the same players are coming back. >> some of them aren't. >> well, some of them aren't but most of them are coming back. largely intact. that's been fairly rare with major league baseball teams. usually a lot of shuffling in the off-season. i think, though, one thing that happened with last year's baseball team, the championship
team, was this magic going on. it was a team of misfits, ragtag folks. people who weren't even starting the baseball season. starting the season watching games on their couch because they weren't playing. they came in. the giants front office built this incredible team and it was this magical moment. that's going to be harder to sustain than is someone going to keep their arm healthy and bats going. >> but the tickets are selling like hot cakes. >> they are. people like to root for a winner. so far, we are the winning team, at least someone has to beat us before we're not going to be the champions anymore. at&t park has been popular, pretty much since it opened. and now it's even more so. i think the season ticket sales are up by about 3,500. single game tickets are soaring. >> how much are they? single game tickets? >> oh, boy. >> dynamic pricing now. the more popular teams. teams we hate like the dodgers cost a bit more money for those games. weekend games cost more. lower box seat, somewhere near
the field, about 35 bucks, 36 bucks for a single seat. beers are $8 or $9. >> how dependent are they going to be on posey having a repeat year and lincecum doing better than last year? >> buster posey was a rookie catcher last year and did phenomenal. will he have a sophomore slump or come back and have a better year? >> he's one of the most dedicated trainers in baseball. people say he's a serious guy. he's one of the only serious guys in terms of personality and demeanor, not that they aren't serious athletes, who doesn't get into the whole joking mood. tim lincecum is our ace pitcher. he's won two cy young awards. a young guy. he reported to spring training this week with a ponytail. people are -- are we going to go forward with that? san francisco is a very strong pitching staff, though. it's kind of what kept us there. the question is will the bats be going as well? we saw with the giants at the end of the postseason that helped propel them to beat the rangers in the world series. they've got some good bats going
in if people can stay healthy. mark derosa who hurt his wrist only played a handful of games. he's supposed to come in with a fairly solid bat n this guy in the minor leagues, brandon belt who a lot of people are looking at as maybe the second buster posey. someone who came from the minors and is going to make a big impact. >> what does he play? >> first base generally but he has an incredible bat. that's something the giants have been lacking for a long time. >> speaking of bats, you mentioned how difficult it is to repeat. there's been so national league team has won back-to-back world series since the '75-'76 reds. and the giants did not bring in a new hitter. they didn't get the big bat. and people are saying maybe the big bat is getting pablo sandoval to start hitting again. how key is he going to be to the -- >> let's talk about big bats, smaller guy. the panda. pablo sandoval, third baseman. he was pretty phenomenal two years ago. last year he kind of petered out. and one of the things, he's a big guy. gained a lot of weight. hard for him to get down and get
the ball. hard to get around the bases. he was in a hitting slump. this off season, though, he worked really hard to get in shape. he even worked with barry bonds to try to get -- >> didn't he have personal problems, though? >> i believe reports say he went through a divorce. that would take his mind off the game as well. but he, too is coming back. he wants to make a contribution to the team. and probably a lot of that is to do with they're champions. he wants to be a champion next year. >> and barry zito, their highest paid player for a while, didn't even play in the world series. is he going to make a comeback? >> we'll see if he'll be the number five starter. he's going to go against baumgartner to see who is going to get that slot most likely. there are a lot of unknowns in baseball. i think that's one of the beauties of the game. in any game, an individual can be the goat or the hero. you don't know if someone is going to have a good season or bad season. really, every game is different. every inning is different and out by out it really -- the game can change. >> i think all of us have a good future on espn. you guys are great on baseball
as well as the williamson act. thanks very much for being here tonight. ♪ now we look at a colorful exhibition fusing two popular african-american al forms -- jazz and quilts -- in honor of black history month. textural rhythms at san francisco's museum of the african diaspora features some of the biggest names in african-american quilting. including a leading artist from the bay area. >> this is what's known as free-motion quilting, when you don't use a pattern. i just stitch it as i think of something to put in it. with this piece, i have used
african prints. this is painted african fabric. and this is mud cloth. >> marion coleman is one of the best quilters in the bay area, at the very least but probably nationally. she's typical in that she started out quilting on weekends in the evening and found herself increasingly passionate about what she could do with quilts. she responds to calls for exhibits by wanting to tell the african-american story. >> for this piece i'm working on, documenting the lives of african-american nurses. they were oftentimes not allowed to work in an integrated hospital so they had their own nursing association. i like collecting the fabrics and thinking about what i'm going to do with it. i started out being a very light stitcher and the more i quilt, the more stitches i put on.
and it creates the kind of texture that you would if you were like, i think, putting lots of paint on something. you know you can feel it. you can see it. it has a lot of movement in it. >> this is my jazz quilt about artist deedee bridgewater. i call this one "sisters." now this i call "petroleum world." >> over the past two decades, marion has used an incredible range of mixed media to create not just narrative quilts but also abstract wall hangings, larger than life portraits and grand scale public art commissions. once she has a theme in mind, there's no end to the directions her quilts may take. >> one of the ways of thinking about improvisation within quilting tradition is to say that it's an impulse that's not linked to a formula or a prescription. it doesn't mean that it lacks discipline.
it doesn't mean that it lacks no know-how. it's just an impulse towards creativity and wanting to tell the story in an unanticipated way. >> i'll add yarn, shells, probably something that will make some sound. something like buttons or something like that. >> that spontaneous approach is at the heart of textural rhythms at san francisco's museum of the african diaspora. the exhibit curator carolyn mazloomi challenged quilters to riff on another improvisational art form -- jazz. >> textural rhythms, we were asked to create pieces about our interpretation of jazz. and so i didn't use jazz artists in my piece. i talked about the jazz mood. so saturday night rhythms is really about people out for saturday night, enjoying the rhythms and sounds of time when
you see them dressed up, feeling cheerful. and i've used family members for the figures in the piece. my mother is wearing the white dress looking really sassy. she reminded me of a jazz singer. >> this is a very significant exhibit. the best african-american quilters probably in the world are represented in this. >> developing a series of quilts about jazz, showing the parallels between the two. both forms are known for improvisati improvisation. there's not a definite plan. you may start here and go to there. you see figures. you see dixie land style, new orleans style, jazz. you have miles davis, you know, and his style. so you see the variations, sizes and colors and techniques showing the vibrancy of the two
al forms. >> african-americans have used quilts to tell stories for at least 100 years. the first known ones are from a quilter named harriet powers who was a fiercely religious woman. and the only outlet that she had in the 1890s for expressing her faith was through her quilts. >> she is what i would call the true godmother of us all in terms of doing narrative work. >> in the 1950s, '60s, particularly the '70s, more and more women are coming to quilting for the aesthetic impulse that it satisfies for them, and we begin the development of a real art quilt tradition at that time. >> i think patrons really should take advantage of the
opportunity to look at the quilts from multiple angles. when you step the furthest back from the quilt, you'll get the big picture of the story the quilter was trying to tell and the way in which it's a balanced piece of art. the closer you get, you'll be able to see the attention to detail. and it increases your respect of what that quilter has accomplished. >> sometimes i become so attached to some pieces that i can't sell them. and i decide that i have to keep them for myself. i've been feeling that way about saturday night rhythms. a person wanted to buy it right away but the more i look at it, the more i think i may not be able to do that. >> beautiful stuff. marion coleman will give quilting workshops in march at the museum of the african diaspora. they are among the many cultural activities surrounding the textural rhythms exhibit which runs through april 24th. and speaking of april, april 8th is opening day in baseball
season. we've been talking about baseball. it's fascinating subject. thanks very much for being here. so we want you to visit kqed.org/thisweek any time for complete episodes and segments, to sign up for your newsletter and podcast and to share your thoughts about the program. i'm spencer michels. good night.
others, they'll come for me. i am number four. >> christy: an alien seems to be an american teenager, in "i am number four." we've got a lot of big movies this week, plus a few we're catching up on. i'm christy lemire of the associated press. >> ignatiy: and i'm ignatiy vishnevetsky of mubi.com. the hero of "i am number four" explains in the opening narration that he is an alien from another planet hiding out on earth for an undefined but constantly repeated reason. he must hide or else he'll be killed by an evil group of aliens called mogadorians. >> who are you? >> number six. >> ignatiy: that's alex pettyfer, playing alien number four. the previous three aliens are already dead. number four lives under the protection of a warrior from his home planet played by timothy olyphant. the two pretend to be father
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