Sunday Stories: Episode 14

♪♪ Welcome to Sunday Stories, I’m
Michael Sanford. Over the next hour we’ll be
sharing stories that celebrate the rich history, amazing
people, and fascinating places throughout our region and
beyond. Are you happy? We certainly hope you are, as
does the United Nations General Assembly. In 2011, the General Assembly
recognized happiness as a fundamental human goal, and a
year later decreed March 20th each year as the International
Day of Happiness. Our lead story introduces us to
Edwin Edebiri who believes that happiness is a skill and can be
taught. Narrator: In 2009 Edwin
launched the I Am Happy Project, an organization
that focuses on spreading the art of happiness. His strategy: create monthly
“I am Happy” meet up events, along with school
presentations, festivals, happy journals, dancing,
laughing yoga, creating and all things happy. So what if we look at
happiness as a skill? So what we start to
understand is this: If we move it just
from pure emotion, and okay- this is skills
you can learn now. And even if you have
to take baby steps you can become good at it, if
you put the time and the effort and somebody come in and
mentor you, and coach you. Michael: Learning to be happy,
later on Sunday Stories. In our profile story today,
Rob Stewart sits down with Betty Williams. Betty talks about her life and
shares how her experiences and passion have led her to
become the leader of multiple civil rights organizations,
including President of the Greater Sacramento NAACP. Rob: A longtime stalwart
for Civil Rights, Betty has also served as the
leader of the American Civil Liberties Union – the first
African American to head the ACLU in the Capital Region. We are- We are
change agents, and that’s what we
should be doing, making change for
the entire community. Rob: And you’re working, uh,
at a 30,000-foot level with your feet on the ground. You know, It’s like
you have the big picture and you’re doing the work. If I have the voice, if I’m
being empowered to be at the table that will
help my community, then that’s
where I want to be. Michael: More of Betty’s work,
later on Sunday Stories. Whether it’s to celebrate, to
say I love you, or an attempt to say I’m sorry, flowers have been
a great way for people to share their feelings with the people
in their lives. Opened in 1946, Relles Florist
is a mulit-generational family business. We’ll take a peek inside this
long-time Sacramento emterprise to see what it
takes to help people express their feeling through flowers.>>Bye Jim. Thank you very much!>>You only have one chance
and you don’t want to screw it up.>>IT’S A TEAM EFFORT
calling Relles’ Florist, this is Ben.>>FLOWERS ARE PROCESSED. BOUQUETS ARE ASSEMBLED. AND DELIVERIES GO OUT.>>We have a real core bunch
of people that have been with us for a long time. They’re very important
to running this business. Michael: The business of
family and flowers, ahead on Sunday Stories. If you’ve ever driven to Tahoe
or Reno when it’s snowing, you’ve seen the snowplows
that clear the roadways. But have you ever wondered
what it takes to keep the snow off railroad tracks? Later, a story about the
heavy-duty equipment that keeps the trains running.>>The Philanderers are your
first line of maintenance more so than defense because
they pull the snow out from between the rails and throw
it outside the rails. ♪♪ And then your Spreaders
come along and actually clean up after
them pushing it off. ♪♪ If the snowfall or a
slide or the wind, or whatever builds up,
drifts that’s- when it gets to where
the Philanderer and the Spreader can’t
get through it, that’s when you start
thinking about Rotaries. ♪♪ (Steam whistle) Michael: Later on Sunday
Stores, a train crew’s rescue by the rotary. Plus… aviation careers
take flight at Sacramento City College. A conservation and wildlife
friendly rice farm. A program uses the arts to give
students a voice. And food truck Slightly Skewed’s
Asian-style street food. As the self-proclaimed Chief
Happiness Officer, Edwin Edebiri founded the Happy Neighborhood
and the I am Happy projects. His purpose is to inspire and
encourage people to reach their full potential by practicing the
art of happiness. Edwin Edebiri: How are you? Now you ask me how I am…
(How are you?) I am happy! It’s an affirmation. But let me start, by giving
you a little background of how I became the chief
happiness officer. If somebody would have told
me back in 2009 when this whole thing started, that
I will be where I am right now.
I’m like give me a break. it was the height of the
recession and you can kind of tell people around
you, the mood was down. People were scared, and so I
came out of meditation which is one form of art and I was
feeling really happy and I just went outside. I knew I
couldn’t do anything about the global meltdown, but I could do something
about one person. Narrator: Edwin Edebiri
decided instead of just offering a friendly “hello,”
he would begin to track each person’s level of happiness
by asking the question “How Happy are you today
on a scale of 1 to 10?” Edwin: When we look at
happiness as an emotion, which is what traditionally
we have been told, then you are powerless,
It is nebulous. And I’m like, no, the human
brain is way more powerful than that. So what if we look at
happiness as a skill? So what we start to
understand is this: If we move it just
from pure emotion, and okay- this is skills
you can learn now. And even if you have
to take baby steps you can become good at it, if
you put the time and the effort and somebody come in and
mentor you, and coach you. So that is really
what we are doing. Narrator: In 2009 Edwin
launched the I Am Happy Project, an organization
that focuses on spreading the art of happiness. His strategy: create monthly
“I am Happy” meet up events, along with school
presentations, festivals, happy journals, dancing,
laughing yoga, creating and all things happy. Edwin: I truly believe
that art and happiness are synonymous because… When
people get into any kind of art form, it brings joy. and I think it’s more the
process. Even though they already
imagine the outcome, they never know what the finished
product is gonna be. Sometime it’s an art form
that we have forgotten, and you can learn it again and
you can totally have impact on your life. When people are happy, they
tend to be more creative and so they create all
kinds of stuff. Even when they have nothing in
their mind in the beginning. So the art of happiness is
just pure human endeavor. we are in 64 cities in 19
countries, so we have places like New Delhi and Cairo
right now has the largest membership of I Am
Happy Project. We have over 7,000 people
who are engaged with the I Am Happy project in Cairo. We have I Am Happy
Project in Cape Town, in South Africa. We have in Brazil, we have
in Mexico, we have in Canada, we have in Nigeria,
in many cities in Europe, we’re in London,
Paris, Rome. I mean this is just exciting
the different places that we are and to know that we are
connected with one mission which is to spread happiness
one person at a time. Narrator: In 2012, the
United Nations passed a resolution making March 20th
the International Day of Happiness around the world. “I hope everybody finds
their happiness” Edwin: So we’ve been very
fortunate, you know, the whole project. I am happy project recognize
at the United Nations. But when it
actually happened. it was very humbling
experience and then of course invited to do a
Ted talk on happiness. That was also great
in the process. So the I Am Happy Project
was the first organization. Then in 2015 I came across a study that was conducted
by Harvard Business Review that happy businesses
attract 37 percent more customers. So that’s when I started the
Happy Neighborhood Project for the purpose of going
into businesses and creating a culture of happiness
in the workplace. My goal is not to even
convince people, okay, my goal is to
remind people and yes, there are times people look at me
with a glass face And I know in the general
sense most people will not look at art and
happiness as the same. But for somebody like myself
that’s focused totally on happiness for these last
seven or eight years. I see them as
one at the same. You’re gonna find out that
you can change your mood, but don’t expect it
to happen overnight. You have to be patient. Creating a piece of art, You
know, you don’t know what the outcome is going to
be, but diligently you are working on it
every single day. You are pouring your
sweat into it, your life into it, And then all of a sudden the
end product people go, wow how did that come about? I think happiness is
the just like that. life is going to throw me a
curve ball. I have a way to receive that
curve ball and throw it back to life and still
be happy. So find out what is it that
you really liked to do? What kind of piece
of art speaks to you? Is it painting? Is it drawing?
Is it singing? Is it dancing?
Is it photographic? Is it creating? You know, whatever it is
that speaks to you, embrace it. Use it as a tool to bring
yourself to that level of happiness that you deserve. “How are you?”
“I am happy” ♪♪ Michael: Later… Sacramento
City College’s aviation and aeronautic training programs. But first Betty Williams,
President of the Greater Sacramento NAACP shares
her perspectives on her role as a leader and connector,
and her views on being a change agent
for the community. Sacramento’s NAACP President
Betty Williams is busy, hard at work inside the
local chapter office in Oak Park … fielding calls from
the community she loves. A longtime stalwart
for Civil Rights, Betty has also served as the
leader of the American Civil Liberties Union – the first
African American to head the ACLU in the Capital Region. Rob: Good to see you, Betty. Betty: Thank you. Rob: Thrilled to
be here with you, what an honor. Betty: Actually, it’s my
honor because I’ve never been asked to do
anything like this. Rob: Really? I wonder why? Betty: Probably
I work too much. Rob: How would you
describe yourself? What would that be? Betty Williams: That
would be the person, the liaison, the connector,
to the individuals that I’m helping as far as answering
what they don’t know, but they’re trying to
get to the next level. They’re trying to get
that next job or better education, or
grow their business, or start a business, or
understanding how to fill out a ballot. Those are all connecting,
and so they just need a trusted messenger
to connect the dots. A lot of people
think law enforcement, but we cover the gamut. Civil rights,
housing, employment, all the
injustices, whatever it is. Rob: How did you become a
leader in standing up for what is right? Betty Williams: You know
when I hear that question, I reflect on my fourth-grade
teacher because she said something in front of me. She said, um,
“You know what, Betty, she
doesn’t want to lead, but she’s a natural leader.” Rob: Oh, I love that. Betty Williams: That’s
probably why I love serving my community so much
whether it’s ACLU or NAACP, I get the most joy, and
sometimes the heartache, ’cause you
can’t win them all. So, the ones I don’t
win, I take to bed, but the ones I do
win, I take to joy. Rob: Oh, I like that, ‘Take
to joy.’ Betty Williams: And there’s
always one of the two, our- our top two
issues every day, all day, is education
and criminal justice. Sometimes they take turns
being number one for the month. Betty Williams: When I turn
on the news and I hear a shooting; everything
stops in my house. And I hold my breath on,
is it Sacramento first and foremost? And is it another unarmed,
individual or an unarmed black man, brown
man that’s been shot? And so, for example,
when Stephon was shot, we understand the streets
was full and people were going on the freeways, but
my first call was to Chief Hahn. And we discussed next steps. he actually implemented a
lot of the things that NAACP had. Rob: That
benefits everybody. Betty Williams:
That’s right. Rob: Every human being. Betty Williams:
That’s right. That’s what we are. We are- We are
change agents, and that’s what we
should be doing, making change for
the entire community. Rob: And you’re working, uh,
at a 30,000-foot level with your feet on the ground. Betty Williams: You know? It’s like you have the big
picture and you’re doing the work. I wonder how you managed
to stay so even keeled? Betty Williams:
Probably ’cause I have to. My clients are always in
crisis and I can’t afford to be any other way. What on your
heart must be shared? In the now … right now, in this
moment, to be fully present? Betty Williams: Knowledge
needs to be shared, in the pockets
where it’s not. Everyone needs the
opportunity and the equity to get the same results. And that’s all. Rob: A fair hand. Betty Williams. A fair hand. Give us that equity. Give us that equal playing
ground and we can do wonders with the opportunity. That’s all I want, and
that’s what I want to continue to fight for
until the day I die. If I have the voice, if I’m
being empowered to be at the table that will
help my community, then that’s
where I want to be. Don’t sit me at a table
for simple kumbaya meeting, you will find that I
will never come back. But if there’s true results,
and it’s a result given type of meeting, you’ll see me
back and my community will be rewarded for it. ♪♪ Alexis: Sacramento International
Airport. 11 o clock.
E120 -5000. Do you have in sight? Steve: Air traffic controllers
may spend their careers with their eyes on the sky…
but they start their training on the ground…
in programs like this one at Sacramento City
College. Sean: You don’t know that
UPS is going to see Coast Guard. Tom: We’re one of the few
programs in the state. In fact, Sacramento City College
is the only aviation program in the northern part of the state. Alexis: So I’ve been flying
literally my whole entire life. I remember being a unaccompanied
minor, and being perfectly fine go on planes by myself. Steve: Alexis Ford-Beckham
already has a bachelor’s degree in history, but enrolled in the
community college’s air traffic control program to learn a
different skill set. Alexis: It’s something that you
don’t learn when you’re younger. So it’s all new information and
it’s something that I just drive myself to wanting to know more
know more about it because not a lot of people do know. Alexis: Runway 16 right
or 10 right. Sean: The goal of this program
is for the students to come out of here and become controllers. Steve: Instructor Sean Tener
teaches his students everything they need to know in order to be
accepted to – and pass — the FAA Academy. Once they pass the FAA’s
rigorous standards, he says they’re on a solid career path. Sean: It’s a great job. I did it for 27 years and
retired at age 46. I’ve been asked over the years,
‘what makes a person a good candidate to be a controller?’
And my answer is always been, ‘someone who can make very
quick common-sense decisions and multitask.’ Steve: Sacramento
City College is one of the oldest community colleges
in the state… with a long history tied to
aviation and aeronautics. Dr. King: Back in the 30s,
preparing in the run-up to World War II, there were very specific
needs in the community and the aeronautics program was created
to respond as the nation was preparing for war. So the program evolved to meet
the needs then. And has continued to evolve,
right to the current day. Steve: Those current day
programs include air traffic control, aircraft maintenance,
flight technology and aircraft dispatch. Tom: The aircraft dispatcher
program. The best job in aviation that no
one knows about. Tom: And then, look at the
Sacramento NOTAM Steve: Students in Tom Burg’s
aircraft dispatch class can go on to earn a one-year
certificate, or two year degree, that will prepare them to
pass an FAA exam. Tom: An aircraft dispatcher is
responsible for all of the pre-flight planning.
So, that person has a lot of responsibility
before the flight. They’re also the airline
representative that is in constant contact with the
flight. Eyoel: Pilots taxing on taxi way Eyoel: I’ve always been
interested in aviation. I used to I used to wait for my
mom at the airport, and it kind of seemed like it has life
there, you know. Everybody had a purpose
everybody was going somewhere. Steve: Eyoel Abraha is a native
of Ethiopia, who initially wanted to be a pilot. But flying lessons were too
expensive, so he instead turned to dispatch. Eyoel: Dispatcher is really
interesting. It just you’re always doing
something, you’re not like it’s not like a boring office job,
you know. You’re always doing something. Robbie: So the terminal approach
radar – out of service. Steve: No matter how challenging
the course can be at times. Students can rest assured
— they’re in good hands. Tom: At the end of this course,
the FAA will send an examiner here to give their practical
exams. In eight years, we’ve only had
two students that didn’t pass on the first try. So it’s a pretty good program. Tom: What’s the problem with
Oakland? Dr. King: As the industry
continues to evolve, the close relationship that our faculty
have with people in the industry, we will be prepared to
help train students for the needs of the industry moving
forward. ♪♪ ♪♪ Michael: Later… the past,
present and future of Relles Florist. Each year between April
and August they dot our region – the flooded fields
where rice is grown. 95% of California’s rice is
produced in the Sacramento Valley.
Our next story takes us to Montna Rice Farm
just south of Yuba City. That’s where they specialize
in premium, short grain specialty rice and are dedicated
to environmental conservation and sustainability. ♪♪>>Today we’re harvesting a
field of medium grain and we’re right in the middle of
a 150 acre field right now that we hope to finish today. ♪♪>>The fall rice harvest
is in full swing just north of
Sacramento, California. Al Montna and his daughter
Nicole Montna Van Vleck have a decision to make. The moisture level in the
rice is a little high so they may need to wait
to complete the harvest.>>Because of that, maybe
coming back Saturday or y’know, or maybe through
the weekend to Monday.>>What might seem
like a minor detail can have a larger impact
on their bottom line. Higher moisture means longer
drying time for the rice. And that translates into
higher costs and less profit. It’s the kind of decision
that requires gut instinct and a keen knowledge
of their crop, handed down from
generation to generation.>>Montna Farms has
been in this region since the late 1850s. My grandfather was
a French immigrant, and was a farm laborer, and became a walnut
and tree farmer and he had seven children and
one of those was my father. And he became the
first rice grower in the family
and in the 1930s, and that heritage is now
come to me and to my family.>>Preserving that heritage has prompted Al to
focus on the future. Environmental efforts like
new solar panels save energy in running the farm’s
huge drying facilities. And the family has
made a commitment to protecting the wildlife
that shares their fields. I think the- the thing
that we’re most proud of, I’m personally most
proud of is our- is our commitment that
we’ve made to waterfowl and- and migratory birds, because I’ve seen the great
success story of this region going from some birds
to now and, at times, hundreds of thousand birds
in this- in this region.>>What’s in the field here
today are white faced ibis and when I came to the
ranch I never saw them, very, very rarely, now
they’re here in colonies, they’re hard to move off, I’d- I’ll send the dogs
or the kids off sometimes to see if we can move
them along and they just move to the next check,
they really enjoy it here.>>You came back to the
farm 20 years ago…>>Mmhmm.>>And essentially
around the same time that the birds started
coming back, right?>>Right, yeah…
well these especially, this species in
particular has seemed to really flourish
in the last 20 years.>>Farmers flood the
rice fields after harvest to break down the
remaining rice straw. Those fields provide
food for birds. That has attracted the
attention and support of environmental
organizations like the Nature Conservancy
and Audubon Society. It also brings out bird
watchers to catch a glimpse of rare and beautiful
wild birds.>>Rice fields have largely
replaced traditional wetlands in California. We’ve lost more
than 90 percent of the original
wetlands in our state, so rice fields now operate
as surrogate wetlands to more than
200 wildlife species, millions of ducks and geese
and many other species that utilize the
flyway and rely on rice fields for food
and a resting place. ♪♪>>A severe statewide
drought has meant reduced water flow to
farmers like the Montna’s. This year the family
isn’t able to grow rice on a third of their ground
due to the cutbacks. Historically,
agriculture in California has used 80 percent of
the state’s water supply. And as usage across the
state is scrutinized, farmers are forced to
demonstrate the benefits of their usage beyond
the harvested crop.>>We are providing jobs, and jobs in these communities
where rice is growing is so vital because in-
in counties up here like Sutter County, Yuba County,
which is next door, Colusa County up the
street, Butte County, rice is almost
50 percent of the economy. Those towns would be
hit very, very severely, those little towns that
are dotted up and down Highway 99 and I-5 by
the lack of our rice crop. Beyond that,
this habitat value. In a normal year if you have 300 of the
500,000 acres flooded for the ducks and geese,
that provides food. For those ducks and geese,
60 percent of their food. They would run out of food
in a normal year in January, if we don’t have
water this winter for the ducks and geese
to help decompose the straw it doesn’t
provide the habitat, it doesn’t provide the food, so they’re gonna run
out of food even sooner. Which makes them, you know,
the viability of the flyway put that in question,
without enough water.>>As Al Montna hands
the farm management to the next generation, the family’s
environmental effort is a large part of
ensuring their success. The reigns are being passed
to Nicole as we speak, she runs this company, and I’m very proud
to be the coach and her sister’s
also involved. I drive up and
down these roads and I point out to my family, “You see that family’s name
on that sig, street sign? You see that one?
They’re gone.” And we’re hopefully
not gonna have- have that happen to
our family operation. It’s almost impossible
to describe the pride that we have about the
legacy of passing this on. ♪♪>>I have a business
that I work in with beauty. We’re helping people express
their feelings with flowers. Every emotion there is,
whether it’s life or death, love, graduations,
anything that people feel, we’re involved in. ♪♪>>I’m Jim Relles,
president of Relles Florist. It was founded by my
father, Ross Relles Senior, in October 1946. Sacramento has always
been home and it’s been wonderful to our family.>>FROM THE BEGINNING,
local guys will just get one pack.>>Okay.>>Okay >>Working with my father
can be trying at times. You know, we sometimes don’t
see eye to eye on things but you know’s he’s been working
at this business for 50 years so he knows a lot more
than I do and sometimes I just need to,
you know, stop, shut my mouth.>>That’s probably about
what we’re getting today.>>Yeah.>>This
supplier and then …>>I do admire my dad. You know he still works 12
hours to 16 hours a day, 6 to 7 days a week. And that was hard, not
having him as home as much as a kid, but it also
gave me incredible respect for his work ethic.>>Oh hey!>>I’m 70 years old. I want to start slowing
down and let them run the business, the day
to day operation.>>Hey Colby, are we
getting any tulips today?>>Yeah we should be
getting some this afternoon.>>Okay, and are there
any Lillies with that?>>This is a very unique
beast in terms of the way it works and there are so many
parts that are instinct to my dad but for both my
brother and I are things that we’ll have to
learn and take on.>>It’s not going to be
easy to keep it going. I think Colby and Alicia
both know they’ve got to really step it up and
take the bull by its horns. So that’s what I’m
trying to instill in them.>>”STEPPING IT UP” IS
ON JANUARY 15, 1972.>>I was with my father in
the shop on a Saturday and he had a
massive heart attack, and unfortunately, he died. We had one month
before Valentine’s Day, the biggest flower day
of the floral industry. What are we going to do?>>THE FAMILY WAS SUDDENLY
THEIR FATHER’S BUSINESS.>>If you’re in a business,
you grieve but then you got to move forward.>>IT WAS DECIDED JIM AND
knowledge of what to do, but now the learning
is going to begin. Every family member came
in and helped us and we all pitched in and
we got through Valentine’s. We changed our lives a lot,
but maybe this all goes back to the family, that
family’s so important to us. We had this great
opportunity also to expand it and to keep
the business going. As challenging as it is, I’m
really having a lot of fun. Some people
say, “You’re nuts, Jim, why are you
doing all this? Why are you
working so hard?” Well I have to
say I enjoy it. I guess I enjoy a challenge.>>FOR THE RELLES, HOLIDAYS
CHALLENGING TIME OF YEAR.>>Bye Jim. Thank you very much!>>You only have one chance
and you don’t want to screw it up.>>IT’S A TEAM EFFORT
morning everybody. Today, historically, is our
busiest day with people calling.>>We have a real core bunch
of people that have been with us for a long time. They’re very important
to running this business.>>Thank you for
calling Relles Florist >>ON THIS MOTHER’S
DAY, ORDERS ARE TAKEN.>>Thank you for
calling Relles’ Florist, this is Ben.>>FLOWERS ARE PROCESSED. BOUQUETS ARE ASSEMBLED. AND DELIVERIES GO OUT.>>Everybody has to work
together and everybody has to do their best
for the consumer, because that’s what the
business is all about, is helping your customer and
being there for them when they need you. ♪♪ We did the flowers
for the grandparents, we did the flowers for the
parents and now we’re doing the flowers for
the children. It’s priceless. We’ve had customers
come back and tell us, “Oh, your dad
did our wedding. And your dad did the
flowers for my parents.” Hopefully we can pass that
onto my kids and they can say that somebody
someday, 50 years from now, can say, “Gee, I remember
when your dad did my parents’ wedding flowers.” That would be
wonderful for me.>>The thing I care most
about is this brand and this business. And I hope to be taking it
to the next step with the third generation.>>I want to immerse myself
in this business and do everything I can to make
it successful.>>FOR NOW, JIM WILL
grew up with him, I remember so many of
them coming in and saying, “Your dad would be so proud
of what you guys have done here and how
successful you’ve been.” It’s beyond words really.
It’s just so wonderful. It’s a really great feeling. ♪♪ ♪♪ Michael: Still ahead, the
business and story behind local food truck
Slightly Skewed. But first, let’s head to
Livermore High School where students are making their
voices heard about the issues that are important to
them through the Student Voices Campaign. That’s a statewide creative
video competition. ♪♪ Carol: The
Student Voices campaign was created by the California
Alliance for Arts Education to speak to the need for
arts for all students in every classroom every day. And it was way, a means of
giving students a voice to say, ‘This is why
we need the arts.’ Carol: Now, what will be the
focus of the cameras during the ceramics class? Michael: Carol Hovey
is the drama director at Livermore High School. She’s checking in today with
a group students who are working on a two-minute
video for the Student Voices Campaign. Vincent: Our video for the
Student Voices Campaign is about how there’s so
many different art types, and so many different ways
people can express their art through
sculpting, photography, filming, that all of
them should be included for everybody to feel like
they have a voice in this. James: Most of the
time we’ve been working on, um, storyboarding it or just
brainstorming just on big sheets of paper. And just jotting down ideas
and figuring out a story and what would be best for it. Harleigh: If all of the
quotes together are more than two minutes, then you
guys may have to look back to find shorter quotes. Michael: The video is
a true collaboration, with drama students writing
the script and recording the voiceovers…
and film students like Harleigh turning
it into a reality. Harleigh: They’ll show us a
little picture of what they want us to do and
we’re like okay, we know exactly how
to make this happen. We’ll get, like,
some close up shots. We’re filming what their
vision is and then we go back and edit. Um, we show
them our footage. They’re basically
our bosses. (laughs) Carol: They learn
how to collaborate, they learn how
to communicate, they learn how to
express creativity, they learn critical
thinking skills, they learn problem solving. So it’s an invaluable
process. Nat full: What if I said you
could change the world by making a video? And that video is
about your voice. Michael: The Student Voices
Campaign launched in 2014 as a creative way to give
students a voice in school budget
discussions. Students from schools across
California submit about 200 videos a year….
all of which are judged by professionals, with
the winners announced in the spring. Every video that’s
created by students is also submitted to
their school board. Caitlin: We’ve had some
wonderful issues raised by students at the
Student Voices Campaign. Um, one of our
outstanding videos was, um, a video submitted by San
Jose Unified School District students about trans and
non-binary students at the school. Nat full up from trans
video: Gender neutral restrooms should be readily
available in our schools. Let’s help out our trans
and non-binary friends. Caitlin: And the outcome
of that video was that the school board put in two
new restrooms for trans and non-binary students to use
during their school day. Michael: Livermore
High School students have participated in the
video campaign since the beginning…
advocating to their school board to keep arts
classes at their school. Harleigh: Art is pretty much
the first classes they cut from any budget of schools. So, if they see how
important it is to students and how it really gets
our creative minds going, I think it’s
very important for, like, the community and the
school to understand that. Vincent: I believe that our
voices should be heard as students
because they are, uh, oftentimes not heard as
well as adults or teachers because they think
that we are too young, or, um, naïve to understand
what we should be. Michael: Carol Hovey says
she’s mindful to act only as a guide and observer during
the filmmaking process… ensuring that the
video really does reflect the student viewpoint. Carol: I really
try not to butt in. I really try just to let
them to find their voice. Because, as I remind
myself, it’s not my voice. I talk enough. They need to
find their voice. Nat full: I feel like their
little sibling and they always have my back. Plus we share so many
common interests it’s never boring to go to rehearsal. Caitlin: The Student Voices
Campaign also introduces students to advocacy, some
of which have never heard of this in their daily life,
or understand that that actually can
make a difference. Nat full: Arts have
some power. Do we want to go out
and ask other people what they think? Michael: Although the
Livermore High student video didn’t win top
honors, it was a finalist. Perhaps more importantly, it
conveyed a powerful message to the Livermore school
board, and community about how important
art classes are to these young people. Vincent: Art is not
just for the art people. It can also be for
sports people to come in and express
themselves that way. It gives everybody an
outlet to express themselves freely. James: Arts
matter to people, and arts have a
lot of power. They can empower people. They can changes lives. Arts can do a lot of
things for people. ♪♪ Hello, I’m Rob Jong. I’m the owner and operator
of Slightly Skewed. We’re a food truck operating
out of Sacramento here. I went to culinary school
in Portland, Oregon at Oregon Culinary Institute
and learned a few things to help us crank out
some good food. ♪♪ So when we were
looking to get into the food industry,
we were looking at our different options and we
thought a truck would be a better fit for
us over a restaurant. We’re able to keep a little
bit of a smaller crew; we’re able to focus in on
our menu a little bit more. We’re very much a customer
service oriented business. We have somebody that’s
outside taking your orders to kind of be able to chat
with you about the meal. Some of the mainstays
on our menu right now are Korean based, but we try to take a
Pan Asian approach to it and try not to stick too
close to any one category. Helps us keep variety
on the menu and keep things interesting
for the customers. I love this truck. They come by every week and
they always offer something that’s healthy but also
really delicious. I can get the
Brussels sprouts or the Bok Choy they have, or if I want something a
little bit more savory, I’ll go with the
pork bellies. ♪♪ Hey, I’m really fortunate
to be working with such a sterling
associate as… my dad! Working with my son has
been a real eye opener. As father and son we have a
certain relationship, but once we’re on the
truck he’s the boss and that’s been a learning
experience for me and a humbling one and also
it gives me confidence to see a side of him that
you don’t see at home. ♪♪ The hardest thing for us in
starting a new business is creating a customer
base momentum. We’re a mobile business
so we’re hardly at the same spot within
the same week. So getting people to know
where we’re at and buy into the business to care about
where we’re at is probably the hardest thing for us. The food truck
industry’s definitely blowing up in Sacramento. We’re on multiple lists as
one of the cities that the industry’s growing the most. It seems to be exploding
to the point where it’s just as viable as the
restaurant business. The most satisfying
aspect of this is really just feeding people. That’s why I got into
the food industry, is I really like taking
care of people. ♪♪ Da, da, da, da,
da, da, da ♪♪ ♪♪ da, da, da, da,
da, da, da, da ♪♪ ♪♪ Michael: Today’s Excerpt From
story recalls a snowy day in March 2011, after a record
snowfall, when the special Rotary snowplow was called
into action to help rescue a trapped train crew and
re-open a major rail line in the Sierras. ♪♪>>The 2010 winter
was productive, we didn’t really have
any bad days. Then you flash forward
to um, 2011. And right off the bat,
that weather just made it really clear it wanted
to kill you. [sound of wind blowing
and drum beating]>>Last two weeks of March
2011, we had uh, approximately 15 feet of
snow on the grount. At Norden, we had a weather
report that was coming in that next week we
were going to get anywhere from 5 to 6
feet of snow which came out on
Mr. Pechner’s report.>>If you look at uh, the day
the first snow fell in March on March 5th to the 27th,
that’s about a 20 day period we had 190 inches of snow
for March, which is double the average annual snow
fall for that whole month. It was probably some of the
strongest snows that we’ve seen in the
high Sierra in almost a quarter
of a century.>>Not only did we get
5 or 6 feet of snow but we had winds up
on the peaks that were close to
100 miles an hour. So we had a lot of
drifting snow on top of that 5 to 6
feet of snow. ♪♪>>Snowfall on the
Sierra Nevada is some of the heaviest
snowfall that effects inter-state commerce in
the United States. It’s unique because it’s
generally very wet. ♪♪>>With the type of snow
that’s on the Sierra Nevada, the equipment that
we use has to be a heavier duty than
would be normal because of what we call
our Sierra cement, it’s a lot heavier in water
content and it requires some heavy duty equipment
to get it out of there. [sound of snow being plowed]>>People that going up
on the highway, they see the snow plows
and stuff. They never think about
what it takes to keep the snow off the
railroad tracks.>>When the nose hits the
tunnel, raise a blade. And then as you exit
the tunnel, wait ’til you get at least
200 out then you drop. ♪♪>>The Philanderers are your
first line of maintenance more so than defense because
they hold the snow out from between the rails and throw
it outside the rails. ♪♪ And then your Spreaders
come along and actually clean up after
them pushing it off. ♪♪ If the snowfall or a
slide or the wind, or whatever builds up,
drifts that’s- when it gets to where
the Philanderer and the Spreader can’t
get through it, that’s when you start
thinking about Rotaries. ♪♪>>The last thing they want
to do is lose a track and have to bring a
rotary up there, that’s a major, you know,
that’s a major job to break out a Rotary and
get it up there.>>If it gets to the point
of using those, we’re out of alternatives to open
the line or keep it clear.>>The rotaries themselves
are a very unique piece of machinery that have
a very unique function.>>It has a sound that
everybody knows in Roseville Growing up here as a kid,
when you heard that steam whistle, you knew
the rotaries were getting ready to go out of town,
it was a sound that you could hear all over
Roseville and there’s no other
sound like it. [sound of steam whistle]>>Rotary 209 was built
in 1929 and Rotary 211 was
built in 1937, one of the very last
two Rotaries built for Southern Pacific. The key parts of the Rotary
are first and foremost, the blades that cut the snow. These can go in either
direction depending on which direction you want
to throw the snow.>>You look at right here
at the center it has some little fins
sticking out. That’s to really get
in there and grab the good stuff.>>That then takes the snow
into the fan, which is a cone shape in
the modern Rotaries, that will then shoot the
snow out through the top and out of the right of
way to 150 feet away.>>Steam is used in the
Rotaries to keep everything thawed out,
to keep it free and moving. [sound of steam hitting Rotary]>>Yes, it’s impressive. [sound of Rotary moving snow]>>I just remember the days
when I was younger, thinking of them as some
type of a hero, you know, going over the mountains
to save- save Donner Pass.>>I live here in Roseville
and when I here the Rotaries start up and go home to
steam whistles and stuff, you know it kind of does
something to you. You spend most of your life
working on this stuff, and yeah, you miss it for
the first few years.>>6-0-4. Over.>>6-0-4 go ahead. Over.>>Yeah guys, how does it
look coming out of that Balloon Track for you?
Over.>>Uh, we are out and on uh,
8 toward number 1 this time, we’re getting ready
to proceed. Over.>>Okay, watch for our
lights then. Over.>>Over. 6-0-4, out.>>Well it was, uh, one of
those days that you really enjoy because it was a fairly
close to a daylight call. I think we were on-duty
around 5:00 to 5:30 and, uh, we mounted up and got
going pretty quickly. I think the most
important thing at that time of the morning
was to make sure we had coffee and
some extra food. I’ve lived in upstate New
York and Ohio on Lake Erie and I’ve never seen
snow like that, that thick, that heavy. Uh, that wet and coming
down so hard that you literally lost point
of reference out there, it was pretty close to
a white-out. ♪♪>>6-0-4 how’s it look
coming out of that Balloon Track for you, over?>>Uh, we are out and
on eastward Number One this time. Over.>>That guy behind said he’s
got about a half a mile of pretty heavy snow to plow,
do we want to get too far ahead of him or uh, want to
head on there? Over.>>Yeah, we’re going to
head on there.>>Okay, MO says stay in it.
Over.>>He said stay in it,
okay- out.>>Every time you’d come
around a corner, especially coming through
some of the tunnels, Yuba gap. You’d come around and you
would hit a cornice that was starting to mound up on the
east side or the west side of the tunnel and you’d hit
it and it would blind you for about 10 or 15 seconds. ♪♪ And we came up to the
other side of the bridge, shed 10 there at 178, and we could barely
see the bridge, we couldn’t make out
the signal, it was just snowing so hard
you couldn’t see anything, it was white-out. Slowed down to go across the
uh, switchpoints in the fog there on the west
side of shed 10, we were a little bit blinded
because we had a big snow dump on us coming
in from the west side and as we were coming
around the east side, I throttled out, made
sure I was going as fast as I could safely go and the
next thing you knew, boof.>>Truckee snow, 6-0-4.>>Alvera calling the
U-V-6-0-4. Over.>>6-0-4.>>Go ahead, over.>>Alright, talk to me here,
what happened you got buried by a drift or an avalanche
or something? Over.>>We had an avalanche
on the mountain. Over.>>It’s buried over,
we’re going to have to go out the side windows
to get out. Over.>>Can’t go out the back
door there? Over.>>Buried.>>74 6-0-4 everyone okay?
Over.>>Sat there for a second to
gather our wits, I was pretty happy that we
didn’t blow a window out, debris came in or anything
like, we didn’t lose any windows which I thought was
a real fortunate thing. The one thing we noticed
when we came to a stop was that I was sitting a little
bit higher on the right side and I think we were probably,
on my side, on the engineer’s side,
about maybe 10 inches off the rail, vertical. The conductor’s side wheels
were still on the rail but we were planted, we weren’t
going to move anywhere. ♪♪>>Avalanche up top uh, just
to let you know, my engineer’s qualified on
the Rotary, over.>>Well yesterday was
the anticipation of the Rotaries being called out. Today is the reality.>>The avalanche happened
on March 24th in the mid-late evening. And I didn’t get notified
until about 2:30 in the morning Friday when
my assistant, Lio Marin, was trying to tear my
door down at my house because my phone was
apparently on silent.>>It’s crunch time, it’s
very critical time here for us to get these
Rotaries to get up there, get the crews up there,
and get this mountain open.>>There’s nowhere to
put it anymore, it’s time for the Rotaries. ♪♪>>So the heros are
called on-duty. Fire ’em up, fire up the
boilers, get ’em ready because we’re going to
take on the mountain.>>Fire in the hole. ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪>>Pull through to
the D-rail, I’ll stop you when
we get past it.>>Alright.>>Alright, I know these
things are in good shape but we’re going to give it a
walk-around so we could see how our equipment is,
get familiar with it. We don’t do this this often. Been since ’98 since we had
it out actually plowing. I’ve been in southern
California for 2 weeks and I just came in last night
when they called and said, we’re going to go. So we’ll go up to
the Rotary, throw as much off as possible,
we’ll plow all the way to Truckee, uh,
get water in the Rotary and come back out
tomorrow morning. [sound of drumroll] [sound of horn]>>When we finally departed
Roseville and got on the move y’know, I think reality set
in that we’re about to do some things that, y’know,
have not been done in quite a while and it was really
being done in an emergency. I mean there was no other
way to get this task accomplished but with
this equipment.>>If we go down,
whose going to help us? You know, we’re it.>>It was scary in a way
because we were going into an area where there’s
no way to get to you if something happened. [sound of horn] [sound of drumroll] ♪♪ Michael: To watch the full
story, go to or
download the free PBS video app. ♪♪ I’m Michael Sanford. It’s been a pleasure being part
of your Sunday. We hope you’ve enjoyed
today’s stories and that you’ll be back next time for
another episode of SundayStories. Until then, have
a great week. ♪♪

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