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Eye on the Triangle

Eye on the Triangle

Author: WKNC 88.1 | NC State Student Radio

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Eye on the Triangle is WKNC 88.1 FM HD-1/HD-2’s weekly public affairs programming with news, interviews, opinion, weather, sports, arts, music, events and issues that matter to NC State, Raleigh and the Triangle.
338 Episodes
Link to Harmabee event details: 
Podcast: Into the fire at Burning Coal Theatre - on WebsiteFacebook: Burning Coal TheatreInstagram: burningcoaltc Website
In this episode, Owen Cutter covers the Highlight Fashion Concepts Show in Downtown Raleigh. He specifically interviews the organizer of the show, one of the designers that is featured in the show and the entertainer of the night.
Speaking with McKenzie Van Oss, singer, songwriter, and ballet soloist about how she's single-handedly launched her own music career centered around inclusivity, diversification, and self-impowerment. We discuss females in the music business, the benefits of genre fluidity, and the importance of being a part of a community.
Prevention State Drop in Spaces: Center:
For this episode, JT Duley- a transfer student from Maryland, sits down with Jonathon Eigenmann to discuss his experiences as a recent transfer student to NC State University and his thoughts on what NC State has to offer. He also sits down with Director Michael Coombes of the New Student Programs to discuss the incoming transfer students, giving them advice and his views as well as making them more aware of whats available to them at NC State currently
Alecsai Allen interviews Carlyn Wright-Eakes, who is the Interpersonal Violence Prevention Education Coordinator of the Women's Center at NC State, about the upcoming launch of the Pack Survivor Support Alliance (PSSA) and how to stay educated on interpersonal violence.
EOT 330 - Mike Otis

EOT 330 - Mike Otis


Elizabeth Esser interviews Mike Otis, the president of Battle Tested Craft Barbecue Sauce. Five percent of the company's profits go to the veterans non-profit Stop Soldier Suicide.
Lise Nox interviews Daniel Correa, lead singer of Miami indie rock outfit The Collective Bus. They talk about re-adjusting to the music scene after the pandemic, the pop punk revival, his relationship with his audience and more.
FULL TRANSCRIPT OF EPISODEProvided by Otter.aiEoin Trainor  0:00  The views and opinions expressed in Eye on the Triangle do not represent WKNC or student media.Eoin Trainor  0:45  Good evening Raleigh and welcome to this week's Eye on the Triangle an NC State student produced new show on WKNC 88.1 FM HD one Raleigh, I am Eoin Trainor. On tonight's episode, Elizabeth Esser interviews Santisha Walker, a registered nurse, entrepreneur, author and speaker based in Durham they talk about her fitness apparel and wellness brand, the I am experience. But first you have some stories from the North Carolina News Service enjoy.Nadia Ramlagan  1:12  A state environmental committee is considering a proposal to set a process in motion to reduce carbon emissions from power plants. It involves North Carolina joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative or “RGGI,” a collaborative effort to shrink emissions by a group of East Coast states. RGGI requires companies to purchase an allowance for each ton of carbon-dioxide pollution they produce. The petition now heads to a second commission for a vote. Joel Porter with Clean Air Carolina says environmental groups are pleased the state is taking the impact of carbon pollution seriously.Joel Porter  1:44  So that was a big step forward for us on a long journey through the regulatory process, but we are encouraged that they approve of our petition and regulating greenhouse gases in North Carolina.Nadia Ramlagan  1:57  He says states already part of RGGI have seen carbon-dioxide emissions from power plants drop 47-percent over the last decade. With that dip in fossil-fuel generation came cleaner air, fewer hospital visits, and fewer lost work or school days from asthma and other respiratory illnesses. But an energy bill being debated by state lawmakers could complicate the effort to join RGGI. Porter says House Bill 951 would enshrine natural gas and fossil-fuel use in the state for the next decade, and limit the amount of renewable energy that can be used.Joel Porter  2:30  All and all, we’re glad that we’re supporting a petition to get the state in RGGI, because this bill closes the state’s energy market to clean energy.Nadia Ramlagan  2:41  Derb Carter with the Southern Environmental Law Center says joining RGGI would put North Carolina on a path to reduce carbon emissions from 2005 levels by 70-percent before 2030, and become carbon neutral by 2050.Derb Carter  2:55  Which generally aligns with what the scientists are telling us we really need to do to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.Nadia Ramlagan  3:04  Carter notes North Carolinians already feel the effects of climate change from extreme weather. He says unless the course is shifted, the state's residents and economy will see more consequences. For North Carolina News Service, I'm Nadia Ramlagan.Nadia Ramlagan  3:23  New survey data offer a clear picture of how North Carolina kids and families are faring, both before and after the pandemic. The Tarheel State ranks 34th in the nation for overall child well-being in the 2021 Kids Count Data Book from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Vikki Crouse with N-C Child says before the pandemic, one in five kids lived in households with incomes below the poverty line. And then, massive job losses meant thousands of parents suddenly had no or reduced income and few options for child care.Vikki Crouse  3:53  So we know that the pandemic took a toll on everyone, but especially parents and caregivers.Nadia Ramlagan  3:59  According to the report, the percentage of adults in households with kids experiencing symptoms of depression rose from 19-percent last year, to 22-percent in March of this year. The data also reveal in 2020, 22-percent of households with children experienced housing insecurity, reporting "little or no confidence" in their ability to pay their next rent or mortgage payment. In March 2021, that figure has dipped to 17-percent. However, Crouse says affordable housing continues to be a pressing issue.Vikki Crouse  4:29  And now he's really constrained because certainly families and kids don't fare well if they don't have a stable place to live.Nadia Ramlagan  4:36  But she notes the expanded Child Tax Credit will likely lift more than 140-thousand North Carolina children out of poverty.  Leslie Boissiere with the Casey Foundation explains both state and federal Child Tax Credit programs are critical to eliminating structural inequities in the tax code.Leslie Boissiere  4:53  We are excited and grateful that lawmakers passed the expansion, and we're calling on them to make that expansion permanent. We'd like to ensure that we don't have the largest-ever one-year reduction in the number of children who live in poverty, followed immediately by the largest-ever one-year increase.Nadia Ramlagan  5:10  She adds more than half of Black children have historically been ineligible for the full Child Tax Credit because their household incomes are too low, compared with 25-percent of white children. For North Carolina News Service, I'm Nadia Ramlagan.Lily Bohlke  5:30  Groups advocating for clean energy say Governor Roy Cooper's recent commitment to expanding North Carolina's offshore wind capacity will bring economic benefits to the state. North Carolina has among the highest offshore wind-energy potential in the nation, with its long coastline and shallow outer-continental shelf. Jaime Simmons, with the Southeastern Wind Coalition, says in addition to being a carbon-free source of power, expanding offshore wind could create tens of thousands of new jobs.Jamie Simmons  6:00  Some of these major location decisions are being driven in large part by the states or regions with anticipated projects. So these development goals set by Gov. Cooper make a much stronger case for these manufacturers to locate and invest in North Carolina.Lily Bohlke  6:16  North Carolina is facing a 10-year moratorium on all offshore energy leasing starting in July of 2022. Simmons says pending legislation would exempt offshore wind from the ban. In the meantime, she says there's work to do to get existing wind-energy areas ready for leasing – Wilmington East and West in the southern part of the state – and prepare for development of new projects to start immediately when the moratorium ends. Simmons says offshore wind will be an essential part of the move toward a carbon-free grid – and that it marries well with solar energy. When solar starts to produce less in the day, around early evening, offshore wind usually is blowing the strongest. She adds that the high generation capacity of individual offshore wind projects is key.Jamie Simmons  7:04  You're really talking about rethinking what baseload power means. Offshore wind is really the only renewable energy that could replace the capacity from a coal facility or natural-gas facility.Lily Bohlke  7:19  Cooper's proclamation outlines targets for offshore wind energy of 28-hundred megawatts by 2030 and 8-thousand megawatts by 2040. His administration notes 8-thousand megawatts could power more than 2-million homes. The order also aligns with the state's clean-energy plan signed in 2018, which aims to reduce power-sector greenhouse gases 70-percent by 2030 and to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. For North Carolina News Service, I'm Lily Bohlke, reporting.Elizabeth Esser  7:54  I'm Elizabeth Esser with WKNC 88.1 Eye on the Triangle. Joining us today is Santisha Walker, a certified nurse, entrepreneur, speaker and author based in Durham, North Carolina. We discussed her fitness apparel and wellness brand, the I Am experience. Santisha, thank you so much for joining us on Eye on the Triangle. Santisha Walker  8:13  You're welcome. Thank you for having me, Elizabeth. I'm excited to be here.Elizabeth Esser  8:18  So you wear many hats. You're a certified nurse and entrepreneur an author, speaker. Would you mind telling our listeners a bit about your professional background and how you got to where you are today? Santisha Walker  8:29  Sure. So yes, I am a registered nurse. I've been a nurse for seven years, I actually received my nursing degree from Wake Technical Community College here in Raleigh. And then I went on to get my master's in nursing from Gardner Webb University. And so as far as my nursing background, I have worked at Wake med, I was a cardiac nurse on intermediate step down unit, I worked at a private practice in Raleigh for neurology, I've done homecare, supervisory visits, I've worked in assisted living, long term care and rehab. So I have a really broad knowledge of nursing. And as you know, I'm not your typical traditional conventional nurse, I believe in stepping outside of the box and using my nursing knowledge to help others outside of the bedside setting. I'm also a wellness coach. And so I thought it would be great to pair wellness knowledge with my nursing health care information that I have and then make you know the best of that and be able to help others outside of that setting. I am here from the Raleigh Durham area and I reside here at RTP. And so I try to reach out to the community and partner with others who are making a difference in the lives of others as well in the healthcare wellness setting. So I have a broad range of knowledge. Elizabeth Esser  9:43  So what is the I Am experience and and what inspired you to create it?Santisha Walker  9:48  Sure, so the I am experience. So my mission with that is to basically offer individuals a fitness and wellness experience that's going to empower them to intentionally cultivate the best version of themselves and reflect it out to the world. And so my vision was to offer a fitness apparel from a quality brand that everyone can trust. And then also tag on to that wellness products that they can use while they are actually working on their physical body. And so where this idea came from, I actually came to me during the pandemic, right, everyone was home, we were all going through a lot. myself as a nurse, I was still actually helping in the bedside setting, doing what we call PRN, helping in different COVID units in the area. But when I was home, I actually decided to focus more on my actual fitness and physical fit as far as my physical body. And so I began working out more. Before the pandemic, I would go to the boxing gym and try to work on my body, but I got really lazy with it. So I decided to incorporate more physical activity for myself. But also I want it to center myself emotionally, spiritually and mentally, right. And so with every, at every news station, every time we turned around, there was something negative being mentioned or or new breaking news, I should say about Coronavirus, and about COVID and about the number of deaths and so it was taking a toll on everyone, including myself. And so what I wanted to do was become very still very centered. And so I begin positive self talk, I begin to incorporate heavily, I was doing it before, but I really want to focus on positive affirmations. And so during my workout sessions, which I would work out early in the morning, go ahead and get it done for the day, I began playing affirmations in the background. So while I was doing my HIIT Workout, I had affirmations going. And that really helped me during that vulnerable time when I was working out to center my mind and to speak to myself in my body. And I just took it from there. So I thought you know, what, if this is helping me Who else could this actually help? You know, because when we working out that's a very, it's empowering, but it's also very vulnerable, right? Because you're questioning yourself, can I do this, I have to reach this goal, I have to feel better. So you're vulnerable, but you're also empowering yourself to keep going and push past that threshold. And so that that's when it came to me, you know, it would be really cool to you know, come up with an apparel that people could actually put on when they can actually when they see themselves in that apparel, they will be empowered, right. But then also add products or add something to that, that would allow them to continue with the empowerment, mind body, soul and spirit. And so that's where it came from my husband's nonprofit organization, Carolina united flag football club, they actually had access to Nike apparel, and so I tapped into his resource and I was able to get great you know, quality apparel and use you know, use the I Am brand to go ahead and put something great out there for individuals.Elizabeth Esser  13:03  And so I understand that the brand is not just a fitness apparel brand. What all does it offer?Santisha Walker  13:10  Yeah, great, great. Okay. So this is this is the fun part right because there are several fitness apparel you know, you can athleisure is everywhere. But the thing that says that I am experienced a part is we offer an I am fitness wellness kit, right so that I Am exclusive wellness kit is basically 10 subjects that those who purchase the apparel can choose from it's complimentary. And so you choose one of those subjects with your apparel purchase. And I'm actually sending you information based on my nursing and wellness knowledge that will help you to incorporate that into your life. So there are daily practical guides, they're invaluable resources that are reputable that you can you can believe and trust in, there's evidence based information that's provided on that particular topic. So each time you purchase an apparel, you can choose a new topic to go along with your apparel. So that I am exclusive wellness kit will be included with your package with your actual apparel that you receive at your doorstep. Okay, so another product that I included was the I Am energy workout mix. This was this was a really fun project. And again, like I mentioned before I was working out right but what I wanted to do was put I am affirmations on top of energizing beats So when we work out we want something that's just going to keep us going and especially when we reach that peak, right, we have to push to that threshold. And so what I wanted to do was incorporate Im affirmations with energizing beats so that you can actually listen to it for while you're working out. So it is a 30 minute audio. And so these are professionally engineered beats that are done by the professionals. I know nothing about studio work. So I reached out to Hatton Brandon CO and they were able to reach out to their resources their team and put together the I am energy work out there. And so again, that's complimentary. It comes with your apparel, you can only get it once you purchase your apparel. But that's actually to help your mind stay in that positive mindset while you're working out. And I actually had some someone reach out to me and she said, You know what, I actually listened to it after I finished my workout. And so that you can carry it into your everyday activities. And the other, the other, this is not really a product. But the other thing that I offer is I am empowered private group. And so that is a private Facebook group, you have to have an entry code, you have to answer questions to be able to get in. But once you purchase your apparel, then you actually get access to that group to be held accountable, and to be empowered on a daily and weekly basis. And so it's not just me posting information as a healthcare professional. But it's those that are in the group, were asking questions, Hey, what are you guys doing about this? How are you guys being empowered this week? This is what I'm doing. Right. One of the things I posted yesterday was Hey, guys, like I had a little bit too much sugar last week, and, and I didn't really take in as much water this week, I am, you know, being held accountable to drinking more water. And so they hold me accountable to that. So yeah, I wanted to definitely partner wellness products,Elizabeth Esser  16:15  and you have a background in healthcare and business. And you've been able to successfully merge these two passions in your career. Was creating a brand like the I am experience always a goal of yours? Or is that something that just happened along the way?Santisha Walker  16:31  Great question. So it happened along the way. You know, if you do a little bit of research and background on me, I am a true like, nurse entrepreneur, what we call nursepreneur. And so I consider myself a serial entrepreneur, because I love taking ideas, I love taking things and my creativities and bringing them to a full finished work and bringing them to fruition. And so no, I it's so funny, I had never envisioned myself, even launching a fitness line, right. But I have a business degree. And I always tell this story. I have a business degree. And I concentrated in marketing. But I never envisioned that I would be an entrepreneur. And I know that's like an oxymoron it's contradictory. But when I went to college back in 2001, you know, I didn't know what I wanted to do what to major is I said, Hey, if I get a business degree, I could always use it at some point in life. And then after graduating I in college, I kind of had an idea. I wanted to be a nurse, but I was close to graduating. So I graduated. But becoming a nurse, I didn't become a nurse to even partner the two worlds. It wasn't until later I realized, oh my god, I have all of this knowledge, I have a business degree. And my husband actually brought that idea of, you know, going into consulting and starting my own business. And so eventually I'm merged the two. So I did not set out to be a serial nursepreneur, I did not set out to launch, you know, a fitness line, I do believe in submitting my mind, my body and my will to the will of God, my Creator. And I do believe in allowing him to order my steps. And so throughout life, life is very secure. You know, very, you know, it's a windy road. And so I just believe in just following him and doing what he's telling me to do. And it's been a success so far. Success, meaning I have empowered a lot of people along the way. That's how I measure my level of success. So, you know, no, I didn't set out to do it. But I did. I do believe in not being boxed in and just you know, submitting myself to God and letting him use me in that way.Elizabeth Esser  18:38  And as a registered nurse yourself, you have a specific passion of empowering nurses professionally and in life. How have nurses and other health care professionals responded to the I am experience?Santisha Walker  18:51  Yeah, so they responded great. I actually had a giveaway I launched actually the day like nurses week was my first inaugural launch of the brand. And so I had nurses like reach out to me that was actually a giveaway that I offered. And one of the one of the nurses won, but they've responded positively. I will say just in general, nurses are amazing. We're the powerhouse of healthcare. And I'm happy to see that we are moving along and becoming used to nurses operating outside of that traditional setting. But it's it is still a pool every once in a while to get nurses to see another nurse operating outside of just having all scrubs and starting IVs and running to codes. And so I have had a positive response. But I think as nurses hear more about this and realize, Hey, you know, this is something you guys can tap into as well. I think there will be even more a better response but so far it's been it's been good. I actually have a nurse who was a part of our inaugural launch. And so she has actually been putting it she's a she's an ER nurse at Wake med and she's actually been she's an ambassador. And she's been putting helped me get the brand out to other nurses as well. Elizabeth Esser  20:05  When is your next release?Santisha Walker  20:07  Yeah, so my next release is actually, this Friday, June the 25th. I'm not sure when this will air, but it is June the 25th. And so I release the fourth Friday of every month. And so if you missed the first release, or the most previous release, you can also always subscribe and then you'll get a heads up with that next release is coming. So the 25th of June is my next release. And the releases are available only for one week. And so you have to almost get in there why you can you know, while the getting is good. And then once that, that that seven day is over, then the next release is not until another three or four weeks.Elizabeth Esser  20:44  And finally, where can listeners find your merchandise? Santisha Walker  20:47  Yeah, so they can find it at So that is the I am experienced dot shop. And then once they go there, they can see all of the amazing information and yeah, all the good stuff.Elizabeth Esser  21:04  Santisha, thank you so much for joining us.Santisha Walker  21:07  You're welcome Elizabeth, thank you so much for having me.Eoin Trainor  21:11  And that is it for this episode of Eye on the Triangle. Thanks for tuning in. If you have any questions, comments, ideas or would like to get involved, shoot us an email at public We'd love to hear from you. Stay tuned for usual programming. We'll see you next time.
FULL TRANSCRIPT OF EPISODEProvided by Otter.aiLise Nox  0:00  The views and opinions expressed during Eye on the Triangle do not represent WKNC or students media.Lise Nox  0:11  Hi, this is Lise Nox and you're listening to Eye on the Triangle. In today's episode, I had the chance to talk with Deborah Granik, a mental health professional and more precisely a licensed social worker and a psychiatrist nurse practitioner working for Monarch. In a few words Monarch is a North Carolina statewide provider of comprehensive specialty mental health and human services. I'm personally really invested in making mental health matters less taboo. I love having open discussions regarding mental health struggles. So I was really grateful to be able to have this conversation with Debbie. In this episode, we talked about the mental health struggles that the Covid-19 pandemic brought up like work life balance, or how to deal with personal life issues and collective grief at the same time, or maintaining healthy relationships at a distance or setting boundaries. And a lot of other really interesting things. Before we get to the episode, I just like to say if you're a student at NC State University, and you're struggling with mental health in any way, you can always reach out to NC State's Counseling Center to set up an appointment. No matter who you are, where you are, you're not alone. And you can always ask for help, it does get better. And it starts with breaking the silence talking about it and reaching out for help. That being said, enjoy this episode. Yeah, thank you so much for being on the show. Debbie Granick  1:23  My pleasure. Lise Nox  1:24  Really glad you're here today. I just figured that with the pandemic and everything that we've been going through as a collective for the past year and 2021, there has been so many issues related to mental health that have just, you know, been brought up and being Debbie Granick  1:39  Yes. Lise Nox  1:39  Finally discussed for the first time in a very long time because people have been kind of ignoring all those things related to mental health because you know, when we're talking about like work life balance and burnout or boundaries with the people you live with, or you know, writing messages elation, or depression, anxiety, it's like, Yes, all the things that people live with on a daily basis, and they never do anything to actually take care of your mental health,Debbie Granick  2:01  Right and without a pandemic, there's so many natural distractions from all those things, you go out, you go to a bar, you go to friends houses, like all these, you go to the gym. And so I agree, I think the pandemic brought some things up for people, but it also for people who maybe always have those things I get maybe maybe created new mental health issues, or it just exposed mental health concerns that were already there because people couldn't get away from them or solve them for themselves in the way that they usually do. Lise Nox  2:30  Yeah. And I've had personally my own mother had to take a few days off work because she was being completely overworked. And she had she was like diagnosed with burnout. Like she right out. Because there was this idea that since when you're like you're at home, 24 seven people just assume you're available 24/7 Debbie Granick  2:47  That's right, Lise Nox  2:48  To do you whatever they want you to do and she was never really able to say no, or set, you know, any healthy boundaries around where she thought she was supposed to do it all and just like, get everything done as quickly as possible. Because I have time I'm home so I can do everything they asked me to do. I feel like this has been one of the most challenging years for everyone in terms of work life balance, you know, whether we're talking people working from home, or students like me having online class.Debbie Granick  3:13  Right, I agree. And you know, when like, for class, when things are tape recorded, you're like, oh, I'll watch it tonight. I don't want to do it from one to three, like when you would have during your normal class time. But you know what, at night, you don't realize you actually kind of treasure that time at night to hang out and watch Netflix or whatever. And so it's the same I think with the work life balance. I think a lot of people when you're at a job place and you leave at 6pm, there's a natural, naturally built in to kind of protect your home time, but at home at two o'clock, you're like I'm sick of working, I'll just do it later. And then that burnout happens because there's no none of those boundaries. Lise Nox  3:45  Yeah, your personal life and your work life and every thing else in your life is completely like the strikeDebbie Granick  3:52  It meldsLise Nox  3:53  Yeah, everything is blurred out because there's no difference between the 2. So you're a licensed clinical social worker, and a psychiatric nurse practitioner at Monarch.Debbie Granick  4:02  So my job consists of talking to people who are struggling with mental health in some capacity. And for the most part using medications, my role is to help them with the medication part of their mental health to find things that help them feel better. I integrate in some counseling and we always stress the non pharmacological approaches to helping people feel better as well. You know, all those normal good health things. So I'm kind of in a combined role focusing mostly on the medication part, but also trying to integrate in some some counseling Lise Nox  4:35  Did you have to go from seeing your patients in real life to having consultations over zoom?Debbie Granick  4:42  I did. I very abruptly went from 100% of my client visits being in person to 100% of them being via telehealth, and it was a very quick transition. I think the biggest challenge at first was technology both for us but also for our patients and monarch serves a population that's very mixed demographically and financially. And many people don't have access to computers or great Wi Fi or, you know, phones with video capacity. And so I think for lower income people, that transition was even harder, I think, to telehealth, we take for granted that when we say telehealth, that everyone can sit in a quiet place and have a visit. You know, that was another thing actually, is that everyone's at home. So you've got a mom that you're asking to talk about her depression in front of her 14 year old daughter or eating disorder or her drinking problem. And that also posed a tremendous number of problems. It's just privacy. You know, I talked to a lot of people in their cars. Lise Nox  5:38  Oh, wow.Debbie Granick  5:40  Yeah,Lise Nox  5:41  That's a solution. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I never really thought about this thing of, you know, having difficulty accessing the right technology because I just have a laptop, I have earphones or whatever,Debbie Granick  5:51  Right? It's a very kind of middle upper middle class assumption that you can make that seamless transition to telehealth.Lise Nox  5:58  So this was hard for your patients. But what was it like for you? So how did you approach your patients differently over zoom or like through computer?Debbie Granick  6:06  I just missed that physical connection, seeing someone a few feet in front of me. And I think it makes empathy easier when you're together and you're looking at someone, I also think that the private space of a therapy office is very therapeutic to people to separate like what you were saying about work life balance, to separate from their normal life for a few minutes and step into a therapist or nurse practitioners office for that 25 minutes where there's no distractions, and it's you in that professional versus you're like, in the middle of your your home life. And then you're like jumping into the bathroom to talk to your provider for a few minutes, or whatever. I think it was a less therapeutic experience kind of on both ends. And you know, for me to like to be working. I mean, I have an office and things like that, but I had dogs somewhere I had kids going to school, online at home. And so your brain is just not as as free to just relax into the moment and truly connect to that person. So I think that was hard on both ends for the providers and for the patients. But I also think over the course of what turned out to be a year and a half. We all got better at it. Yeah, I think we all I think we all got better at it. But we did have to set some boundaries. No, I had to sometimes say to say to a patient, hey, when we talk, can you like be out of bed and be dressed? You know, can you not be driving your car just to try and protect that therapeutic boundary that makes you more available to be engaged in your in your therapy?Lise Nox  7:24  You mentioned that a lot of people who are your patients for monarch are very diverse in terms of their income, or in terms of demography, I was thinking earlier about how 2020 and 2021 were rough for everyone, obviously, while we're all going through this pandemic BIPOC specifically had also to go through this thing of dealing with collective grief of you know, the Black Lives Matter movement. Yes, the horrific death on all over social media. And so did you have patients who had to deal with, you know, their own personal struggle and this collective grief?Debbie Granick  7:59  So much, I can barely begin to answer that. Because I think part of the mental health struggle this year was in addition to everyone's normal, you know, we all struggle, you know, sometimes with anxiety, depression, whatever. And then there's those of us that struggle more. But during those struggles, we often take for granted certain things that I feel like in this past year kind of start to crumble, like we take for granted that that we can trust the news we take for granted that we can trust certain government agencies, we take for granted that our represented officials that we're going to feel like they're out to, to a certain degree, hopefully help us much less like actually do harm to us, right. And I think over the course of the year, we all came to realize like, Hey, we don't know what to believe. We just don't know what to believe. Because each side every different fraction was trying to convince us that we were being lied to or that we couldn't trust anyone or whatever. And that I think more than anything degrades our communal mental health. You know, I was thinking about when we learn about history, and we learn about everyone was watching people land on the moon, everyone was watching when Kennedy was shot, there was no collective everyone was doing anything during 2020 there was a focus on people that vote this way are doing that people that are this color are doing that. And and I think, you know, even in the really hard times, like a president is being shot. It's calming and nurturing and, and helpful for us to know that we're all kind of watching and mourning and experiencing this together even if you didn't vote for that President, right. But just so evident during this pandemic, and all the politics that happened with it was not only are we suffering, not only are we suffering alone, but we're suffering in communities that we don't know who cares about us and who doesn't. And that there might be people that we thought cared about us who now we've learned don't care about us because we just saw them downtown at a rally of some kind that doesn't represent what we believe. I think it was really very, very hard in that way. And And interestingly and almost kind of funny, I guess, you know, like people that struggle for example, with delusions or paranoia. Um, that we that we recognize as No, this is this is not normal. This is paranoia, we had to kind of question that, like, if someone says, I'm freaking out, I'm paranoid that the police are out to get me, well, maybe two years ago, I would have been like, Whoa, whoa, whoa, the police are there to help you. Right? Like, I think you're having a delusion. I mean, I wouldn't really say it quite like that. But right. But this year, I'm like, Well, yeah, I could see you feeling that way. Because of what you're watching on TV, you know, because of what's happening. And because of what's happening in your community, you are right, you know, so I think there were some like, just different kind of things that happened like that. I don't know if that answers your question. Lise Nox  8:15  But yeah, it's very interesting, because I was thinking about how all those social justice issues were mostly covered on social media. This has been also another personal but also collective challenge, you know, your relationship to social media during the pandemic, where it's like, you get just so many things regarding social justice issues, or anything like that on social media all day. So you kind of like get into this Doom Scrolling kind of habit where it's like, oh, I need to stay informed, I need to know what's happening, I need to know how to help. And so you kind of get stuck in this vicious cycle of I need to stay informed, I want to help, I want to share resources, but also I am just completely overwhelmed with everything that's going on. And I can't take any more, Debbie Granick  11:12  Right, that's it, I think people just got to those breaking points and and then and then something else would happen. And something else would happen. And we'd be raw from a mass shooting, and then we'd be raw from a you know, a police shooting, and then we'd be raw from a, you know, rally. I mean, like, it just kept coming and coming and coming. And then you know, our leadership our political leadership was not what our country needed at the time to come together. That's, that's all that can be said it could have been done so much better. So what could have been a unifying potentially opportunity for people to come together and say, Hey, we all need to help each other to support each other, while experiencing something as a community that's difficult. Instead, everybody looked inward and turned against each other. And I think when we are afraid for our own safety, we are less inclined to help others. And so our leadership kept telling us to be afraid for our own safety. And so as a community, we all just focused on ourselves. And I think that what we learned is that that's not human nature, that doesn't work well, for us. Most everybody is coming out of the last year and a half feeling deeply exhausted, because we are not made to just sit alone and feel fearful, you know, we are created as pack animals that that need each other. And so I think we're feeling the effects of that with like a communal exhaustion. Lise Nox  12:30  Yeah. Do you think we're all going to have some kind of collective PTSD? Debbie Granick  12:36  I do. I really do. I think, Lise Nox  12:40  How's it going to show up? Like, just,Debbie Granick  12:41  I don't I don't know how it's gonna show up. But I think I think what came out? I don't know why I don't want to get political on this. Or, you know, but I just how it came out that what we took for granted that I mean, can I say something political, I don't know. Lise Nox  12:54  You're free too!Debbie Granick  12:55   No. I mean, like that I would have taken for granted that someone who I knew or loved or cared about would not have supported a certain political candidate, or would have supported, you know, Black Lives Matter protesters downtown or something. And then to hear them say something either negative about that, or positive about leadership that I very much disagreed with, I think there were a lot of like, shocking things that came out where we again, realize that what we thought we took for granted what we thought, you know, people kind of were in line with us, or what just make sense to us, that we realized doesn't just make sense to other people. It's like that causes a certain amount of trauma we take you know, but to realize that our perspectives, but we assume is kind of common thought or common emotion is not, I think it's kind of traumatizing, you know, and I'm a white person. So this is just this isn't even taking into account the communal trauma of the black community to realize how alone in many ways they really were, when they thought we're thinking, hey, maybe there'll be more people to come kind of help us out or support our cause. And just to be so supremely disappointed, I think is very traumatizing. Lise Nox  14:01  Do you have any advice or I don't know, tool that you could give to BIPOC or you know, anyone who has been dealing with PTSD or the aftermath of all the violence that they had to put up with during 2020?Debbie Granick  14:14  I would say a couple of things. So on the on the micro level, meaning on the personal level, I guess one thing I feel is that the more in line Our lives are with what our values are, the more healing our life can be. So for example, if I asked you what are your top five values and you say church, family, time alone reading a book, going to school and my dog, and then I say okay, well When's the last time you you know, hung out with your dog, went to church, spent time alone reading, took a class you liked whatever you're like, gosh, not a long time. That's, that's not gonna be working for you. Right? So the more we can connect the life we're leading with the values that we share, the more healing the divides that we have that we hold, the more healing it's going to be. So the first question is like, what is important to me? What are my values and what can I do to be integrated those more fully into the life I'm actually leading every single day. So that'd be one. And then the other, I think, is to reach, you know, to reach out, I think we've all turned very inwards, we're all feeling kind of a little damaged and raw and fearful and rejected. And I think we've got to start reaching back out again, and making those connections to the people that help us heal, and that help us feel safe you know that we're not alone. Lise Nox  15:22  I've been able to connect with all my friends and my family and people who live really far away from me. And this has been definitely something that I was very grateful for, during the pandemic, to be able to connect to all those people I care about, at the same time, I just got so exhausted and tired of not having this, you know, physical connection, even when I would like hang out with my friends. It's like, Oh, we can't really hug because, you know, there's COVID and, and this frustration, and this, yeah, just piled up all year, have this social interaction we used to have even though we have the technology, and we have the math, and we have, you know, the tests that we have to take every week to show we're not infected with COVID. But it's definitely been really challenging to have a normal, obviously, a normal social life. And also just how do you, you know, maintain a healthy relationship when you might need to do just, you know, the basic thing you're supposed to do in a relationship, quality time, physical touch, you know, all these things, right? This is really, really challenging. And I feel like a lot of people have resorted to social media to kind of make up for the lack of social interaction. Social media is a very, never ending cycle of dopamine, you just get dopamine and dopamine. And it's very addictive, when you're just stuck at home all day, on your phone or on your computer. And the only thing you can rely on is  social media and the dopamine.Debbie Granick  16:41  I like this phrase that is don't compare your insides to someone else's outsides, because you might be feeling you know, kind of sad or isolated, or alone or rejected or whatever. And then you get on your social media, and everybody looks so happy and great, but that's their outsides. That's what they're putting out there for the world to see. So social media was very connecting for many of us. But at the same time, it really traumatized us with a lot of the stuff we were already experiencing, you know, like feeling alone, or feeling that we're the only one who believes politically or socially or morally, how we believe or, you know, getting on and seeing, oh, my God, I can't believe that person is posting that and just being so filled with this rage that has nowhere to go, that was really challenging, I had, well, that's always challenging, but it is especially challenging in the last year and a half, because people felt so secure putting things out on social media that maybe they wouldn't necessarily have said to someone if they were having that in person interaction, you know, so I think social media serves a purpose. But I would, at this point, probably be telling people go to where your people are, you know, if your people are at a fundraiser for the hungry, or if your people are doing some kind of social action project, or if your people are at a church or a synagogue, or in a certain kind of class, like go be with your people where you can kind of relax and reconnect and feel that that you're not alone. And also, I also think, like take the energy, I think a lot of us have this energy to make the world better and to heal. And so it's like, what can I do with that energy? What little project can I get involved in that will make me feel like I'm doing one piece of the puzzle. You know, I was with a group of women the other day, and we were making these little bags of kind of things we can keep in our cars to hand to someone that who might be like on a street corner or asking for money or something. And they just were bags that had some snacks and water and tissues and some things like that you can be having a bad day. And you pull up to a stoplight and you hand someone this and say hey, I hope your day gets better. And they say, Oh my gosh, thank you so much for caring for thinking of me and you both leave the interaction feeling a little bit better, you know, so I just think, we all need to kind of engage in each other, engage in our community helping and healing and trying to build some bridges back that have been messed up.Lise Nox  18:51  So what your saying is that there's a basically a balance to find between taking care of yourself and staying aligned with your values and what makes you happy and what makes you feel you know, safe and love, self care. Like you have to balance it out with reaching out to other people and making sure that other people are feeling that they're being taken care of and that they're feeling safe and they're being loved. It's like this balance we have to find and maybe this pandemic was the, you know, this eye opening experience of Oh, maybe all this time, we never really learned how to love each other or care for each other because we're all just so caught up in our daily lives. And now that we're forced to spend an entire year either alone or stuck with people we you know, we didn't really have a choice to be stuck with.Debbie Granick  19:34  I mean, I think also in stepping back that we can all re engage a little more intentionally with the relationships that give us energy versus those that take it away. You know, I think we all now have opportunity to re pick our friends and re pick who we're going to go out with on Saturday night because we've been doing nothing so those are the gifts of intentionality that we have now that we can kind of look back and say you know actually appreciated not having to see so and so every week or every couple weeks where I realized that that relationship was really draining, it wasn't filling me, it was depleting me, and I'm not going to re engage in that relationship. And I think those are good decisions to make. At this point, too, I feel like you can mostly implement with your friendships or you know, like relationships at work or your social life. But what about when you have family members that you don't really get along with? You don't really have a choice to like, not be related to this person.Debbie Granick  20:26   Correct, right? Lise Nox  20:27  Responsibility towards your family in this community house. So right? how do you set this intention when it's your family member, you don't reall get along with.Debbie Granick  20:35  Right. You're right. So you can't choose to have relationship, but you can choose the nature of the relationship, you can choose the boundaries of the relationship, you can choose, you know, the limits, or you know, so I think, and that's a whole other conversation about managing challenging relationships. But you know, when you're dealing with a toddler, there's this phrase, like, you can have choices, but then limits right, you can have any staff that's in this drawer, but mom puts the snacks in the drawer and none of the snacks are doughnuts, right, but you can pick any you want. So it's kind of like with your family, it's like, I have to see them three times a year. But within those three visits, I have options, those options are going to include blank by blank that helps me keep my sanity when we're all together.Lise Nox  21:12  I feel like it's very reassuring to hear you say that for a lot of people who are gonna be listening to this episode and thinking, wow, I spent all of 2020s stuck at home with a family I really don't get along with and now that I hear you know, the terms personal boundaries, which is something I have never really heard of before. 2020 words like boundaries. What do you mean like just, you know, telling people? No, okay, sure, whatever. But now that I'm learning about how to take care of myself in a time where everything else is calling my name all the time, it's like, oh, yes, boundaries, right. So I'm actually reading a book right now. And it's called set boundaries, find peace by a therapist, who works in Turlock, North Carolina. And it's really interesting, she talks about how to implement those boundaries with the people you care about your family, your co workers, and all this kind of thing. And it's been really interesting. So I don't know if you've ever like really worked on the subject of boundaries, like with your patient very specifically,Debbie Granick  22:00  I do think that comes up a lot in mental health, I think we have to be really careful with that concept. Because I think it's really easy to say have boundaries but like what you're saying, it's not always so easy to implement. And then we don't want someone to have guilt or shame or rage or distress, because they're not able to implement what's in a book. Right? So because our reality is that we do live in community, and it is a struggle. So I think it's really unique to each person. And I think it's, I want to validate that it's a very difficult thing for us all to do to find that line. And there are two, I usually work with my patients to identify like, what is the what are the couple biggest priorities here? Right, like, what are the what are the boundary crossings that most impact your day to day health, well being emotional balance and pick one or two areas to kind of focus on for your boundaries? Because otherwise, you'll go crazy, right? But yeah, it's annoying. For example, I don't know what an example would be. But like, you might have five annoying things that happen. But the one that really makes you crazy is when you know, someone walks in when you're asleep or something. So that's the one boundary I'm going to focus on. And instead of being upset about it, I'm going to really think intentionally about what can I actually do to fix this situation, we'll just do that one. And then when one thing is really protected, maybe other things don't seem quite as bad. Lise Nox  23:20  Another thing I wanted to talk about with you, which seems very central to COVID, and the pandemic is the question of grief, you have like someone from your family, or you know, someone you care about that died from COVID, or you know, anyone you know, who had someone pass away from this disease. There's this first question of like, Okay, how do you deal with grief when it's barely possible to organize a proper funeral or to meet up with other family members, and everything is going on at home and at work, and you have to deal with so many things at the same time, and you have to deal with someone passing away from the very same virus that has been keeping you stuck at home for a year. Did you have any patients that deal with this kind of grief?Debbie Granick  23:59  I did. And I think what we talked about a lot is grief is messy, and grief doesn't always look a certain way or feel a certain way. And even though we grow up with certain grieving rituals, they are just socially constructed rituals. They're not you know, we do have options and how to make how to adjust them to what we need in our current life. You know, so I think what's challenging is to recognize Oh yeah, I guess that was just my family tradition or my faith tradition to do blank blank blank after someone dies but we have to adjust it we just have to make these changes you know, and if that means we have to wait a certain amount of time or gather more technologically than in person or pray a little bit different than that's what we have to do but I think the the baseline I always tell people is that grief doesn't look the same feel the same for everybody in all situations. Sometimes it looks like crying. Sometimes it looks like rage. Sometimes it looks like drinking too much. Sometimes it looks like going out more with your friends. Sometimes it looks like sleeping all the time. Sometimes it looks like never sleeping and all that is okay. And all that is real and we can work with it as long as we just put it out there and say, here's what I need help with. But yeah, I think a lot of traditional mourning rituals were really messed up by this for sure. They're also though, and I'm not trying to deny the negative. But I would say There have also been some positives that have come out of it, people were able to have funerals with family members from all around the entire world, because the funerals were put on zoom. So recognizing identifying and being thankful and expressing gratitude for some of the those things that come out, I think was important to to recognize it. Well, it sucked to not be able to do this, but this was actually a good thing that came out of it that we wouldn't have been able to do.Lise Nox  25:34  trying to see the positive without, you know, falling into this, you know, toxic positivity kind of thing. Debbie Granick  25:38  But nope, that's right. Lise Nox  25:39  Seeing the positive. still being grateful for the little things that you can get out of a very negative situation. This is very important, just like the Yes. If you all hold on to it's like, okay, yeah, we weren't able to set up a funeral. But at least I, you know, talk to my aunt that lives in Spain, and I haven't talked to her in 10 years. And now I you know.Debbie Granick  25:59  That's right? That's right, I have a private practice where I just do therapy. And this came up a lot. And one of the phrases that we use a lot in therapy is and also instead of, but also because someone's if you say, well, this sucks, but you're kind of negating the, the thing that sucks, but instead use the phrase, and like, this sucks. And also, the good thing happened, of being able to talk to my aunt, kind of recognizing that we can have negative and positive emotion existing simultaneously. And there was a lot of that there was a lot of that that went on in this past year. Lise Nox  26:34  It's just making space for everything that comes up. Debbie Granick  26:37  That's right.Lise Nox  26:38  Yeah, the pandemic has been a really easy for people to just fall into this very vicious and dark cycle of nothing matters anymore. The world is ending. Debbie Granick  26:46  Absolutely. Right. Absolutely. Or the world is a terrible place. Why should I invest in it? This is awful. Like, are you watching TV, all these things are terrible going on. And you know, like, with the back to the boundaries thing you were saying, I think a lot of people ended up shutting down a lot of those social media, the television, the radio, because they're just like, I'm maxed out. And I think that's okay, too. You know, like, we all have to be protective of our own functioning. But at some point, it might be more important to just shut it out for a couple weeks and say, Yeah, I won't know what's going on in the world. But I if I do, I won't be able to function. Lise Nox  27:16  We've been talking about like how people have to set personal boundaries with their family members or significant other or any person that you live with, or people who had like a really hard time having alone time did you have to deal with any patient who spent pretty much their entire year alone, you know, people who suffer from loneliness, and they're already struggling with mental health issues and they had to go through all this alone, like, how, how does that work out for a person?Debbie Granick  27:41  I think both extremes for that with were horrible. There are people that went through it alone. There are also people who live in group homes, mental rehab centers, sobriety centers, where they were homeless shelters, where they were forced to live surrounded by people shut in together for long periods of time. And then there were single people, older people who were just really alone and would say, I have literally gone weeks without human touch. I don't think there's any other way. Anything to say about that. Except I think there was a lot of suffering. Yeah, I think there was a lot of suffering, and a lot of needing to find other ways to get to get needs met, you know, a lot of saying, Yeah, like, what are you experiencing? And is there any other way to get some of those some of those needs met? I mean, luckily, I feel like we're coming out of this. And at this point, we can look at the path forward and ask ourselves, what do I need now? what's what's missing? What's still not feeling good? What do I need now? And really choosing with intention, again, representing my deepest values? What do I need to make part of my life to get me up and going, how I want to I want to go and I do think there was a lot of trauma from the past that I try and encourage I use this imagery of like driving a car and I say like that trauma, that depression that anxiety is in the car. But is there a way to live your life without it driving the car, you know, like we have to make room for it is the passenger seat in the backseat it's not going away. But can it not be the driving force of all the choices you're making going forward or your emotional well being going forward that those choices are made more by a desire to move forward, but not being able to totally shut down what you've been through in the last year, year and a half.Lise Nox  29:16  That's a very beautiful metaphor, I remember reading a metaphor about depression that was like, You think you're stuck in a hole? Really, you're just stuck in a tunnel and you have to keep walking till you get to the light, right now your in the dark but you know, like an imagery or like metaphor around mental health usually really helps picturing some kind of hope that you can hold on to is yes, yes. What do you want to talk about? No, yeah, I was gonna say you seem to be working with a lot of very diverse patients, like, you know, BIPOC, homeless people, people who are in sobriety homes or you know, is this something specific to Monarch like you get, you know?Debbie Granick  29:50  yeah, monarch monarch serves the population in Wake County that does not have health insurance. It has like the contract for our area to serve people without health insurance. So that includes a lot of people kind of stuck in that economic area of not enough money or not solid enough employment to have commercial health insurance, but not qualifying for any kind of state assistance. So it often gets, you know, a low income population. And then a good chunk of my clients are in sober living centers or in recovery living in homeless shelters. Yeah, yeah.Lise Nox  30:25  It's really amazing. It's just very, because it just like warms my heart to know that there are companies or, you know, organizations that actually help people who need help with their mental health, you know.Debbie Granick  30:36  that's right. Like this. That's right. And Monarch is going to help you whether you have money or not. So and that's its mission and its goal for mental health, intellectual disabilities, has centers all across the state, and the people that work there are uniquely gifted and beautiful people, very committed to serving a population that is often overlooked or unimportant to some other health agency. So I'm feel really honored to work there.Lise Nox  31:03  Yeah. How did you end up working for Mark? Um, how did you find them? And like, how did you think, Oh, yeah, this is what I want to do, you know, help people in need? Debbie Granick  31:12  Well, I think the price of healthcare has gotten exorbitant, you know, and I think there's a lot of people that are left behind. And like I said, I have a private practice, I do serve people that are totally financially fine, who can afford to pay a certain amount for their therapy visits each week, and I find that rewarding, and they find that rewarding, and that's great. But there's a huge population that just doesn't have that opportunity. And I think we're only as a community as a world, we only function as well as our lowest functioning people. So we need to bring up the bottom for us all as a community or as a as a country to move up. And I don't mean the bottom, like, why don't we know, you know, what, you know what I'm saying, like the sickest, the people suffering the most alone or with the fewest resources. And so I found, I just felt like that was a place that I could help, you know, a place that I was really needed. And I think there was just a huge need. The the waitlists are extraordinary. The number of people who need services compared to the services available is it's always off balance. So I just, I guess, about kind of called to be there. Lise Nox  32:13  This is really, really inspiring, and really beautiful. Because I mean, obviously, you decided to work as a mental health professional. So you had already this calling of helping other people. But no, I mean, not everyone decides to go all the way and decide to join monarch or any other company or organization that actually, you know, helps people who have really low income or low resources or you know, so yeah, really beautiful. BecauseDebbie Granick  32:37  it's, we it's called, like community mental health, meaning it really is accessible. The goal is for it to be truly accessible to a community regardless of their economic status.Lise Nox  32:46  Because when Monarch reached out to WKNC, to set up an interview, I thought, oh, mental health is something that really matters to me, because I've had my personal struggles with it. My family members have had struggles with mental health know, pretty much everyone I know, has that struggle with it. And I thought, Oh, it would be interesting for me to let me talk about it and maybe break like a taboo around it or, you know, raise awareness. It's just something that really matters to me to be able to talk about mental health without the taboo. Okay, yeah, And this is how they're doing this, how they're dealing, like, what can we do about it. Debbie Granick  33:19  And you know, our mental health is amazingly the same based on our common humanity, regardless of source. I mean, it sounds so cliche, but it is regardless of skin color, and economic background and jobs, it we know, what we struggle with, is unique to who we are as, as a human race, and there's not a whole lot in the mental health field that separates that separates us from each other in that world. So that also is very, I find that very rewarding, you know, to just involve myself in help and humanity and helping humanity. You know, it doesn't,  nothing else really matters, we have unbelievable amounts of things that are the same between us, even when we come from totally different communities and different backgrounds. And, you know, to really sit with someone and hold their pain or help them hold their pain, to me is a really great gift. And I want to give it to my clients and i and i want for us all to give it to each other. You know, I think that's how we, when we feel like we're being held up a little bit, that's what empowers us to feel like we can take a chance take a risk, you know, try and kind of move in a direction if we feel like there's other people helping us supporting us.Lise Nox  34:23  So you know, like a lot of people who are going, who are going to be listening to this episode, are probably going to be students from the university, like, I feel like they belong to this very specific category of people who are going through their 20s or, you know, their young adult years or their teenage years, and they had to deal with all of the things we talked about, whether it's about, you know, BIPOC struggles or Black Lives Matter or depression and anxiety or, you know, toxic family members or lack of boundaries. And, we're all at an age where it's like very hard for us to you know, have a place in this world and we're not financially able to sustain ourselves. We still have to rely on this community you were talking about to sustain our Whether we're talking mental health or finance or whatever, so I guess my question is do you have like advice to give to young people who had to go through this pandemic as students and who didn't get to have normal graduation or didn't have to have a normal school year or barely saw their friends. And you know,Debbie Granick  35:16  that's a tough one. I think acceptance is kind of like it was what it was, it is what it is, you know, like, the more we try and label things like that was abnormal, or that was, I would think I would just say, let's take away the labels. It was what it was, we had that experience that we had, let's kind of move on from that. I don't mean put it behind you. But it becomes a rung in the ladder. That's all that it was, you know, it's a rung in the ladder on your on your journey. You know, it's like when I hear these conversations about, Oh, my gosh, we're going to be set back a year because people missed out on school, we're not set back like it is the year it is our world. It is what is happening. There's no timeline out there, there's no measuring stick out there saying that you're behind, you know, it just is what it is. It's the experience that we had. So step on the wrong move, keep going, you know, or step on the rock, go to the next one, that was the rock that was the 2021 2020 rock on the path, nothing can be done about it. So to me we can we can learn from the experience, we can recognize the effect that the experience had on us, but looking taking our energy and putting it into the woulda, shoulda, coulda is energy that could be spent saying, you know, what do I want? Where do I want to go? How can I use this? What's my next step? Those are more, those are questions that we can answer and that we can do something with the other ones are, there's no answers to those who knows what would happen if something had been different in the past? We'll never know, Lise Nox  36:35  I really liked the idea of just going back to the here and now. Debbie Granick  36:39  Yeah. I like the there's this phrase, I don't know where I heard this. But anxiety is the workings of our imagination. And if we can recognize that, that when we're anxious is because our imagination is spinning up all kinds of stories. And what we know is exactly what you said what we know is the here and now the more we can just connect and kind of be with that the more calming and affirming it is.Lise Nox  37:00  So do you have like advice tools or anything you'd like to say to people who are going to progressively go back to a normal life or you know, like a, you know, what I mean? Like a normal life in 2021? And you know, soon 2022? And even going for Really? Do you have any mental health advice or anything new, like people to know about their own mental health, something that's not discussed enough? Or you know, just something you'd like to put out there?Debbie Granick  37:23  I would try not to focus on what's normal, but just focus on what is what what is what's going to work for you and your community. And try not to think about things with a label of is this the right thing to do? Is this the normal thing to do? But is this what seems a fit for me? Right? And is this what seems a fit for those around me. Another I guess is I do believe that we feel better, we function better when we are helping each other. And you know, whether it's as simple as intentionally opening or holding the door open for grandma to walk through or holding the door open for someone to walk through all the way to you know, spending a day volunteering at a you know, food pantry, it doesn't have to be a humungous big thing, it can be a small but intentional phone call to a friend, the more we can engage in those good deeds, I feel like the more those build our our chests, you know, I guess what I'm thinking is this, this vision of like a chest or a treasure box and the balance, or think of a tissue box, we're pulling out tissues, right. And the balance of the tissues that we pull out when we need to use them needs to be refilled by new tissues. And so we always have to have our eye on that balance. And it's not going to be perfect every day, every day is not going to be even in even out but overall in the scheme of a couple weeks, a couple months period Am I engaging in things where that take my energy, but am I refilling my energy with things that give me energy so which might be you know, yoga, or calling a friend or hanging out with a with a boyfriend or doing a good deed and then the energy out is you got to go to class you got to work out, you got to look for a job. And then these things are non negotiable, but trying to kind of keep that consciousness of you know what I'm getting burned out. I'm getting in a bad mood, whatever. I think my I think my balance is a little bit off, you know, and kind of recalibrating, and looking. I'm not I'm not getting enough, I'm not giving enough. I think that's really important. And then I think at some point, we just have to move on from what you kind of called the stigma of mental health. You know, if I say my knee hurts, I can't go to the track today, I should be able to say, I don't know what's up, I'm having kind of an anxious day. I think I need to for some time alone, you know, to try not to have it be such a hidden concept. Because then we all learn from each other Lise Nox  39:35  If you are sick, you can call it work and you call for a sick day. But if you're mentally you know, struggling, it's like just go to work like whatever, you're anxious, who cares. It's like this needs to change mental health struggles need to be taken more seriously. Right? I really love what you're so focused on community healing and thriving as a community because they feel like America tends to be very focused on the individual and I feel like this idea of community healing is more something that usually that you find usually in like Asian cultures where it's like Buddhism or any other religion like this or any other culture where it's like, community over the individual, whereas in America, it's usually the individula first It's really amazing that you're bringing all of this up, because it's something that we've been all lacking my personal opinion, so it's a very, very refreshing to finally hear from someone like, yes, we need each other, we need to Yes, be there for each other and take care of each other. And like, you know, obviously, you can't pour from an empty glass, you need to take care of yourself. Yes, you know, just read a lot on the internet or anywhere else about self care take care of yourself. Yes, for yourself. We never hear about like, what can you do for other people.Debbie Granick  40:42  Community care.Lise Nox  40:44  Yeah, exactly. Like self care, community care. And I feel like I read so much about self care but never anything about community care. So it's very refreshing to finally hear someone talk about this. Thank you for bringing this Debbie Granick  40:55  And that to like these, I would say that to is a balance, right? Like just like what you said, your cup, you It's all a balance the self care, the community care. And I don't think we function well, when we're focused on one versus the other for long periods of time. You know, over the course of our life, we have to keep that balance in check as best as we can. Lise Nox  41:15  It's all about balance every time. Debbie Granick  41:16  Yeah, but reach out any time if you have questions, or if there's anything else I can be helped you with. And I treasure the opportunity to talk about these kinds of issues. Lise Nox  41:24  Oh, yeah. Debbie Granick  41:25  I feel like it's really important for the college population, you know, especially as you guys are embarking on moving forward with so many different exciting things and in so many different directions so.Lise Nox  41:40  Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Eye on the Triangle just listened to Debbie Granick, a licensed social worker and a psychiatrist, nurse practitioner working for Monarch. She talked about the importance of community care and taking care of each other to heal collectively, but also about being in the present moment and accepting things for what they are. Just like I mentioned at the beginning of this episode, if you're a student at NCC University and you're struggling with mental health in any way, you can always reach out to NC State's Counseling Center to set up an appointment. You're not alone and it gets better. Thank you again for listening. This was Lise Nox reporting for Eye on the Triangle WKNC 88.1 and I guess I'll see you soon. Take care.
FULL TRANSCRIPT OF EPISODEProvided by Otter.aiEoin Trainor  00:00The views and opinions expressed in Eye on the Triangle do not represent WKNC or the student media. Eoin Trainor  00:34Good evening Raleigh and welcome to this week's Eye on the Triangle an NC State student produced news show on WKNC 88.1 FM HD-1 Raleigh. I'm Eoin Trainor. On tonight's episode, you'll hear my interview with Brooke Dickhart, Brooke is the executive director of the Joel Fund Wake Forest nonprofit that serves veterans. The Joel Fund recently received a federal grant to implement one of its programs at Walter Reed Medical Center. We talked about that, the Joel funds mission and much more. Afterwards is Elizabeth Esser's interview with Dr. Paul Kaloostian, a neurosurgeon and author. Elizabeth talked to him about the effects of stress on college students cognitive functioning. But first you have a quick story from the North Carolina News Service enjoy. Nadia Ramlagan  01:15North Carolina is ramping up plans to lease offshore wind-energy areas to developers, as the Biden administration expresses support for those efforts. The green light comes one year before a decade-long Trump-era moratorium on offshore development is slated to go into effect – on July 1st of next year. Despite the pending moratorium, which includes wind-energy, Democratic Congresswoman Deborah Ross of Raleigh says the state is poised to be a leader in offshore power generation and manufacturing. Deborah Ross  01:43And, with a bipartisan effort in our delegation to seek the ability to harness the best offshore wind in the country – and associated research and technology that will go with it – it will benefit North Carolina for decades to come. Nadia Ramlagan  02:02Earlier this year, Ross sent a letter signed by a bipartisan group of North Carolina lawmakers urging the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to hold lease sales for two of the state’s existing wind-energy areas in federal waters off the coast of Wilmington. It's unlikely the Trump moratorium on offshore development would be overturned in such a divided Congress. But Jaime Simmons of the Southeastern Wind Coalition says the most recent move is a sign the Biden administration is willing to take prompt action before the moratorium begins. Jaime Simmons  02:32We’re in a unique position here in North Carolina, because we already have what’s called wind energy areas identified. It gives a signal to those manufacturers; it gives them the certainty that they need to start making those investments. Nadia Ramlagan  02:47Director of North Carolina Political Affairs for the Environmental Defense Fund David Kelly points out the state already has a reputation as a clean-energy leader and a hub for clean tech. David Kelly  02:58It’s reassuring to know that our state’s leaders in Congress recognize the opportunity that offshore wind, emerging as a industry in the United States, offers. And that they're taking action to make sure North Carolina is well-positioned to compete for wind-energy jobs. Nadia Ramlagan  03:13Offshore wind is expected to create a 70-billion-dollar supply chain and tens of thousands of new jobs in the United States by 2030. For North Carolina News Service, I'm Nadia Ramlagan. Eoin Trainor  03:31This is Eoin Trainer with WKNC 88.1's Eye on the Triangle and I'm here with Brooke Dickhart, the executive director of the Joel Fund fund, a veterans nonprofit based in Wake Forest. Brooke, welcome to the program.  Brooke Dickhart  03:41Thank you so much for having me.  Eoin Trainor  03:43To start, would you mind telling us a little bit about what the Joel Fund does? Brooke Dickhart  03:48Absolutely. So the Joel Fund helps connect veterans to their communities. We do this through three main programs, we have a resource connection where we will work one on one with veterans and their family members to connect them to the services that they're looking for. We have operation art, which is our art classes for veterans and their family members. And then operation furnish, which is a furniture program locally where we can find gently used donated items for veterans in need. Eoin Trainor  04:20And I've heard that you have a new program of expressive writing classes as part of Operation Art would you mind telling us a little bit about that? Brooke Dickhart  04:27Absolutely. So this program was something that I started in honor of my dad because I after he passed away I found sheets of yellow legal paper where he had tried to write his story and I figured if he had trouble doing it then others probably do also. And so we started working with a with an amazing local writer to develop a class we also worked with a couple of veterans from the Vietnam Veterans of America to develop this class and we launched it a little over a year ago. And it has been a very successful program for us. Eoin Trainor  05:07And how have the veterans and their families who have taken the course responded, did they find it helpful? Brooke Dickhart  05:13Absolutely. They even asked us to bring in a therapist for the class. So our classes, we often say that there it's community therapeutic arts, we're not offering art therapy, however, with writing that can trigger a lot of emotions and that sort of thing. And the veterans who helped us develop the curriculum, really wanted there to be a therapist, as the safety net in the class, so that if they were writing about their time in the service, that they could do it in a safe and secure environment. And so because of those things that we have in place, they have really loved the class and have been able to write freely and feel that they can do it safely. Eoin Trainor  05:59And you recently received grant support for the program, what does that enable you to do anything new?  Brooke Dickhart  06:05Yes, so we just recently, were selected from a national search to do a writing program at Walter Reed Medical Military or Military Medical Center out of Bethesda, Maryland, to bring our writing program to their employee wellness program. So we work with people who work in the hospital, some of them are veterans, they are all caregivers, because of the population that they serve. We've even had a couple active duty soldiers who called in from overseas, you know, the technology that we have with virtual, you know, conference calls, and that sort of thing has really been our silver lining story, because we can now reach more veterans and family members across the world because of this technology, it doesn't have to just be centered to our area. And that has enabled us to take our writing program and expand it and bring it to the people at Walter Reed, which is been amazing. Eoin Trainor  07:09Then what was the transition between Wake Forest and Walter Reed like? Was there any kind of new challenges that you encountered? Brooke Dickhart  07:16Oh, yes, for sure. It's a, it's a much different dynamic when you're offering a writing class for people who work together. And in the military, you know, there's a hierarchy hierarchy. So there's a lot of considerations that we did not anticipate that we've had to navigate but they have renewed our contract. And so we're working through all that with Walter Reed. And they're it's their program is called creative forces. Creative forces is art therapy that is offered, I think it's um, 10 sites across the country, on bases, and then at Walter Reed. And so we've been working with the with the folks at creative forces and Walter Reed to make sure that the program is just right for their for the students that we are getting from them. Eoin Trainor  08:06And then the instructor assigns writing prompts, what are these like? And can you give us some examples of what some of them have been? Brooke Dickhart  08:16So the the writing prompts vary every week, and every class and that is based on who's in the class, and you know, what's going on around us during the time. But one example that I can give you that was for this week was described in vivid language, someone you deeply cared for who served our country, and his, and who is no longer with us. So that was their writing prompt heading into Memorial Day weekend. Eoin Trainor  08:48And if you don't mind, telling viewers, what kind of stuff if you know, did some of the veterans write for that one? Brooke Dickhart  08:55That I haven't seen yet actually, they they will be working on it for Actually, today. They have class today. So I haven't seen the writing yet.  Eoin Trainor  09:05And, did COVID kind of create any unique mental health related challenges for the veterans in your programs? And did you have to adjust any of them at all? Brooke Dickhart  09:18Absolutely. In fact, it was a very scary time for us as an organization that serves veterans, so many of the veterans that we work with come to us as direct referrals from the rec therapy department at the VA. So a lot of them are working through some mental illness and isolation is not a great thing for that population. And so we had to pivot immediately and figure out how to continue to serve them. And because one aspect of our classes is creating this sense of community, and connecting veterans and family members with their peers, we knew we needed to continue to bring that same feeling to these men and women, it's not just a class, we often say that art is just the vehicle. They do leave our classes learning an amazing skill. And they are taught by extremely, very well trained individuals. But we also mentor our instructors on military culture and how to create this feeling of community. And so we had to work very hard to continue to create that online. Of course, it's not a perfect match, but it has still been very effective and before the holidays, there was a group in fact, it was one of our writing classes got together and had a zoom holiday party, one class dressed up at Halloween. So we've really been able to still create this, this feeling of community even though we are online. Eoin Trainor  09:46And are veterans in the course, they're able to kind of share and talk about their writing and their experiences, correct? Brooke Dickhart  10:57Yes, they do love to share it's it's a very intimate group. Usually we have around five students give or take, you know, one or two more, it depends on you know, the day or the time, but they, they will always they have the option to share if they don't personally want to share the instructor will share for them but there is there is under no circumstance are they required to share. One thing that we are going to be doing very soon is now that things are starting to open up and we're able to get together in person again, we are planning to do a reading where the people who are in our class can meet in person, those who are local, and invite family members and friends and they will read their stories that they have written. Such a big part of it is being able to share in all of our classes, whether it's photography, or drawing or painting, they really take some pride in being able to share what they've created with their family members. Eoin Trainor  12:00Thanks for coming on. Brooke Dickhart  12:02Thank you, I really appreciate the opportunity. Elizabeth Esser  12:09I'm Elizabeth Esser with WKNC 88.1 Eye on the Triangle. Joining us today is renowned neurosurgeon, author and speaker Dr. Paul Kaloostian. Dr. Kaloostian is a Board Certified neurosurgeon and the author of numerous books, including the young neurosurgeon, lessons from my patients, from the eyes of a doctor, and my surgical cases told in poems. He's here today to discuss stress and how it affects the brain functions of college students. Dr. Kaloostian, thank you for joining us today on Eye on the Triangle to get us started. What exactly is stress? And what's going on in our brains when we experience it? Dr. Paul Kaloostian  12:49Yeah, that's so that's the that's the million dollar question. So stress is a essentially state of being where your brain and and body communicate in a certain specific way based on the hormones and neurotransmitters that are secreted at that time. And so we've all experienced it, we've all experienced stress, we all really know what what it is because we've we've been through it we experience on a daily basis. And certainly college students experience it, you know, because of everything they're going through in school and others. So but it's but it's really a process that is really regulated by the brain itself. There are specific areas that do that. And these areas secrete hormones and neurotransmitters through our bloodstream that then make our other areas of our body realize, hmm, something's not right, I should feel a certain way, which is stress. So that's what really happens during that stressful moment, or moments of our lives. Elizabeth Esser  14:07And can stress have lasting effects on our brains and bodies? And if so, what does that look like? Dr. Paul Kaloostian  14:14Absolutely. And once again, you know, similar to what I just said before, we've all experienced it. We've had moments where, let's say we're in a particular situation and  we've been in that situation before. So our minds go back to that prior time or times where we've been in that situation. And that makes us nervous and stressed. You know, for example, public speaking, let's say you've, you gave a talk once and something bad happened. I don't know. Maybe someone laughed  at you or you said a word wrong or whatever. And so the next time or next few times after that, you can always remember that particular event where you had a tough time right? So that the the memory center of the brain the hippocampus, We call it is super important in this whole stress response. And so there are permanent features because obviously years later we remember these episodes way back early on in the past. And and so the brain really remembers what had happened in the past so certainly there are permanent aspects to it and there are actually genetic components to it. So stress can affect your actual DNA, believe it or not through a variety of responses, but often through repeated experiences of stress over time. The common thing is, let's say someone you know, a young child, you know, witnesses domestic violence between the parents or some multiple arguments between parents or others. If that happens, often, what has been found is that there's genetic alterations, so that that particular child really, experiences stress a different way, if they see that particular episode. And it's based on all these neurotransmitters that are secreted that affect proteins that are expressed on our surfaces of ourselves. So certainly, there are permanent aspects in many, many ways, as I just mentioned. Elizabeth Esser  16:17And college students undergo a lot of stress for a multitude of reasons. are college aged people differently affected by stress compared to other age groups? And if so, in what ways? Dr. Paul Kaloostian  16:30Well, I think everyone experiences stress differently. And I don't know if I would break it down by age. And I don't know if there are any specific studies that do that. But I think the, the process of experiencing stress in handling stress is really a human trait, meaning, it probably isn't going to be very, very different among all of us, we probably all feel somewhat similar in, in different situations, and how we react to that particular stressor in our life. But certainly, you know, I've done a lot of schooling to become a neurosurgeon, I've been in school for a long, long time, and then training for a long, long time. That comes with a lot of difficult times. I mean, there are a lot of great times to but there's a lot of difficult times, that certainly are stressful. And I remember studying for finals, midterm exams, just all of that, I mean, I'm so thankful that's over. But that certainly was tough. But you know, I want also your audience to know that stress can also be very good, there's, there's good stress, there's kind of a mediocre, or a medium level of stress. And then there's toxic stress. So there's, there's really a variety of different types of stress in the body. And so and I would say that, it's actually a very healthy thing to have some stress in our lives, because it, it actually motivates us to do things we likely wouldn't do if we didn't have this little push, or this little heart rate increase, you know, to get us doing these things. But But I think, you know, college students, they experience, a significant amount of stress. And I think that, you know, most colleges, most universities, have environments where, where students are able to really tap into to look for help to look for methods of de stressing, I think that's very valuable in, in the university setting. Certainly, you know, the places I've went, those those things were present and very helpful. But, but I think most of us experience stress quite similarly. Elizabeth Esser  19:09So like everyone, college students have experienced many new situations in the last year due to COVID. You know, we've switched from in person classes to online learning. And students have been, have experienced isolation due to social distancing, among other things. How have these changes maybe affected stress levels or mental health as a whole in students Dr. Paul Kaloostian  19:38Significantly increased these these issues. I mean, and I see it in many of my patients, I would say, almost daily. I can't tell you how many patients I see that that tell me about all the difficult times that they're going through since COVID. And actually, I think we've, we've we've coined a new phrase post COVID stress disorder, kinda like a post traumatic stress disorder, but it's a post COVID stress disorder, it's really becoming the kind of the new theme now, among medical providers and psychologists. And, I mean, just as you can imagine, Elizabeth, I mean, just just picture, you know, losing someone close to you, and you're not able to go to the hospital to see them. And they're not doing well, and some may pass, you know, just just that situation alone. Imagine that, you know, let's say someone closest to you, you know, how do you handle that, you know, you're just hearing them on the phone, you know, and, you know, and that's the, that's just one situation, imagine other types of situations during  COVID, where people have lost their jobs that, you know, literally companies have fallen under, and people have been fired, literally fired, lost their jobs. I know many people where that's happened to, and, and they have no income, no income source, they have kids, they have grandkids, they have mortgages, etc. Imagine that stress. There's so many, so many different situations, with COVID, where people weren't prepared. And, and how can you be, you know, this is something out of the blue and, and it has really dramatically, unfortunately, affected people's lives in such a negative way. And, but like I said, I think this this disorder is really very important nowadays, you know, for all providers, and psychologists seeing patients, even nurses, others, you're going to see this, that's probably going to be be seen in many, many patients for many years to come. It's a very significant problem. And it just is difficult to to really deal with just given the acuity of COVID how it happened just so quickly, so suddenly. And, and just the psychological component to, to dealing with all of these stresses all at once, I think is is compounding The, the the difficulty of really treating, treating this. So I think it's it's very valuable to really understand what's going on in people's lives, especially as providers to really try and help them best where we can. Elizabeth Esser  22:46Right? Well, absolutely. We've all gone through this very traumatic experience. So I guess, going off of that, we're now at this point where we're sort of transitioning back into normal life, you know, students are returning back to campus this coming semester. Do you have any tips on how students can cope with stress as we make this transition? Dr. Paul Kaloostian  23:15Yeah, absolutely. I mean, there are a lot of healthy ways to, to deal with with stress in your life. And I know there are a lot of studies identifying exercise as a very, very critical means of de stressing and, and I won't go into the specific mechanisms of why that that is so but but certainly, you can understand it through exercise, there's a better blood flow throughout the body, because the heart is not pumping stronger, and our muscles are all squeezing the blood back to the heart. And so there's more, there's more blood supply to important areas of our brain and heart and other parts of our body that that allow us to, to clear our minds to have that energy to think beyond the stress and to move forward towards solutions. So I think exercise is just so so invaluable. Sleeping is very critical. Most studies recommend probably about six hours of uninterrupted sleep a day. I think that is fair and valid. Sleep is essentially really the one of the only ways our body can recharge itself. And that's the way I think of sleep. I think of sleep as kind of like charging your phone or charging you know, whatever you need to charge. It's that means of recharging the system or rebooting the system. And during the course of it, a typical day for a college student and others that they can beat you down so to speak just with all the activities that occur both physically and psychologically, you get tired, you get beaten down, your brain is injured, your body's injured. And so that sleep is just so valuable for those six hours or so, to really help those areas of the brain and body just heal, so that it can then do the same thing the following day in a, in a safe way. So I think sleep is so critical. Obviously, counseling, there are and should be, at least at most universities, I'm sure North Carolina State that has methods of seeking help, psychologically, someone to just speak to perhaps a counselor or psychologist others. And I think that is great. I don't think there's any negative stigma attached to that, I think more people should do that. And, you know, we're all social beings, we all need communication needs social interaction. And so I think that's, that's crucial to be able to communicate with someone who's trained to, to help others deal with with tough situations, so that you can then, by speaking, work through those problems that have tangible solutions. I think those are some of the solutions that I would recommend. Elizabeth.  Elizabeth Esser  26:28Great. Thank you so much. And then I guess, finally, is there anything else that you'd like to add? Regarding the topic of stress and college students? what you're working on or anything else? Dr. Paul Kaloostian  26:40Well, you know, I am a writer. So I think writing, you know, would be a fantastic way of de stressing, it's one of the one of the reasons why I have kind of partook in, in, in writing is because it really enabled me to, to de stress. As you could imagine, I just see so many sick, sick patients, gunshot wounds to the head and assaults to the head and spine. And I have to fix this and, and after a while, after many, many 1000s of these cases, I needed to just have an outlet. So I think for me, poetry or in writing, were my methods of doing that. And it really was super helpful. So I would recommend that, you know, the students in college university. Right. And it could be anything could be short poems, like haikus, or it could be a memoir of what they've experienced in their life. I'm sure people would love to read about that. And I think through that, you can get these these emotions out of your system. And I think that'll help you be a little bit more calm and collected and able to tackle any of the next challenges that come your way. Elizabeth Esser  27:56Well, thank you so much for joining us today. Dr. Kaloostian. The work you do is so important, and it was truly a pleasure speaking with you.  Dr. Paul Kaloostian  28:03Pleasures all mine. Thank you. Eoin Trainor  28:09And that is it for this week's Eye on the Triangle. Thanks for tuning in. If you have any questions, comments, ideas, or like to get involved with the Eye on the Triangle team, shoot us an email at public We'd love to hear from you. Stay tuned for your regular programming. We'll see you next time.
FULL TRANSCRIPT OF EPISODEProvided by Otter.aiEoin Trainor  0:00  The views and opinions expressed in Eye on the Triangle do not represent WKNC or the student media.Good evening Raleigh and welcome to this week's Eye on the Triangle an NC State student run student produced news show on WKNC 88.1 FM HD 1 Raleigh, I'm Eoin Trainor. On tonight's episode, Elizabeth Esser sits down with Jacob Downey, the director of Little Raleigh radio and then a little later, we'll have some stories from North Carolina News Service enjoy.Elizabeth Esser  1:08  This is Elizabeth Esser, for Eye on the Triangle. I sat down with Jacob Downey WKNC, alum and co-founder of little Raleigh radio, a nonprofit community radio station in downtown Raleigh. We talk about Jacobs's background in radio, his experience in establishing little Raleigh radio and what the future looks like for the station. Jacob Downey, thank you so much for joining us on Eye on the Triangle.Jacob Downey  1:32  Very, very excited to be back on Eye on the Triangle.Elizabeth Esser  1:34  To start us off. Would you mind telling listeners a little bit about your background in radio?Jacob Downey  1:39  Yeah, so my background in radio is WKNC. Oh, I mean, obviously, my initial background of radio was growing up listening to it, and kind of when the media consolidation act hit in the 90s it was like a sledgehammer to your gears just with how much radio became modernized. And when I moved to Raleigh, you know, I would listen to KMC. And there was a mood rally to go to school at NC State. And we're very fortunate with the musical radio station diversity that we have here in the triangle. I feel like with some stations like WSHA, going the way we are losing some of that, but we're pretty privileged. And we also have a lot of great record stores. And so I was and that's where I would go to find out you know, KNC and record stores in the area like school kids. And at that time record exchange was one of the main places that I would go to for music discovery, nice price around those that kind of fills that void as well now with the record exchange being gone, and now the poorhouse especially with some of their board recordings, that they're doing some fun stuff. But I was talking to one of the clerks at the record exchange. And he was a music director at WKNC. And I was like, Oh, yeah, I've always wanted to do radio for a little bit. And so he's like, well, you need to come by and sign up. And y'all know what that whole process and kinda started doing radio at KMC, from 2002 to 2011. Mostly daytime rotation. from six to 8am, Monday through Thursday, Gonzo would do the vinyl revolution on Friday mornings, and then after I graduated. I stuck around WKNC for a little while. Doing weekend specialty programming and mentoring some students, just made a lot of great friends. And some of those friends kind of parlayed into like, Well, you know, how can we create the WK experience for other people that live in Raleigh or work in Raleigh, or somehow have a vital connection to the city where basically people could come in and learn how to curate audio that they care about to share with others? When you were at WKNC? What was your What was your DJ name? I was very boring. It was just Jacob. Nice. My name is not even just Jacob. Just Jacob.Elizabeth Esser  4:08  Nice. Super simple. Was there a point during your time at WKNC when you knew you wanted to continue working in radio in some capacity?Jacob Downey  4:19  No, but there's definitely a point where I would like whenever I would consider jobs in different places. One of the things I would look at would be the the media landscape of those places. And definitely wanted to find a way to keep radio part of my life.Elizabeth Esser  4:40  Establishing a nonprofit community radio station, that's no small feat. What drove you to founding Little Raleigh radio and what was that process like?Jacob Downey  4:50  Um, the biggest part of the process was, you know, how do we get to keep making radio and how do we create an outlet for other people to have that ongoing platform to begin learning to create radio content, a big part of that was influenced by Steven waltman, who wrote a thick tome, the FCC called the information needs of communities. And he really laid out the case for how much of a dessert there is for folks getting involved in media. And so that's why we decided that that was the type of organization that we wanted to be kind of that that's step one, for folks that want to pursue a broadcasting career or hobby. And we chose to be a nonprofit, because at the time, the local community radio act was getting momentum in Congress, and that was only open to community organizations. Mostly 501 C3 nonprofits and church groups. So that influenced a lot of our structure for how we created the organization.Elizabeth Esser  5:59  And so I understand that at one point, you had a goal of obtaining a low power FM license, but were unable to do so during the last filing window. Do you have plans to continue pursuing an lpfm license during the next filing window,Jacob Downey  6:13  we will definitely look into it there'll be a question of fundraising and if there is property available, that will allow us to put a tower up where frequency is available until they make those filing window rules. The we really can't look at spaces to know like we know what frequencies are available. But not every possible antenna site in Raleigh, would have access to those frequency spaces. So we would do an engineering study. When the rules from the new filing window get made to see if there's something that exists from the 2 communities that we've identified that we want to serve, we're pretty committed to being the immediate gateway for folks in downtown Raleigh and southeast Raleigh. So we probably would not be looking at them if there were only frequency sites available in like North Raleigh or Cary. There's other folks in those communities that have great ideas. But we want, we're very, we want to be very focused on the people that are coming to our studio that folks can hear them through those treasure awaits. So we're anxiously looking forward to the new rules making process now that the FCC has finished their 5g movement. That's been it's been really slowing the next window down.Elizabeth Esser  7:30  So when you were creating little Raleigh radio, was there a particular reason why you wanted to have it located in the downtown area and the southeast Raleigh area,Jacob Downey  7:43  those two communities seem very physically connected, because there's not the beltline divide that that was a big part of it. And we really felt like, especially southeast Raleigh is very underserved for media, creating opportunities. And then downtown Raleigh is where you, you know, especially at the time was the closest that you had to a strong Arts District in Raleigh. So that's where a lot of your creative capital was already invested in. We wanted to make sure that we were a pipeline those people,Elizabeth Esser  8:16  what does the future look like a little Raleigh radio?Jacob Downey  8:20  Like a lot of nonprofits were rebuilding post pandemic, as folks at WKNC probably attest as well. It's a very droplet heavy activity. So most of our producers, especially folks that are retired members of our communities, have kind of taken a break. So we're looking forward to getting them back into the studio. And as soon as it's safe to do so bringing new producers into our studio, because the big question that we wanted to solve was, you know, what does Raleigh sound like? And for us, it sounds like people that are passionate about something, whether it's music, beer making, painting theater, passionate about to the point that, they want to find the best way to curate that and share with other people. So the immediate future for us, we'll be doing very heavy producer onboarding and recruitment and training. Elizabeth Esser  9:11  And finally, how can people tune in to little rally radio? Jacob Downey  9:14  It's really easy, which confuses a lot of folks, if you just go to our website and click on the mp3 link, it should automatically start playing in your browser or your smartphone. But if you like apps, we're on most mobile listening apps, including tune in.Elizabeth Esser  9:29  Great. Well, thank you so much for joining us today, Jacob. Jacob Downey  9:33  Thanks for making radio. Elizabeth Esser  9:35  More information on little rally radio can be found at www. reporting for Eye on the Triangle. This is Elizabeth Esser.Nadia Ramlagan  9:50  The Biden administration has its sights set on creating more jobs with an ambitious plan centered on clean energy and climate policy in North Carolina. environmental groups are urging leaders in Congress to pass an economic recovery plan that would bring those benefits to the state. Dan Crawford with the North Carolina League of Conservation Voters says the administration's moves to rejoin the Paris Agreement and recent global summit on climate set the right toneDan Crawford  10:15  that's really refreshing to have that type of leadership in office   and it's good to have that type of leadership in North Carolina as well with Governor Cooper who's partnering with the Biden administration to push these crucial efforts forward.Nadia Ramlagan  10:27  Biden has outlined a goal of reducing carbon emissions by 50% by 2030. Dozens of North Carolina elected officials are among more than 1200 across the country to sign a letter asking Congress to seize a once in a generation opportunity North Carolina's coast is particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. And Crawford points out that weather forecasters are already predicting a turbulent 2021 hurricane season Dan Crawford  10:53  We've had 2 500 year storms in three years. It's time to start preparing for what's happening with our climate. And this is a really big step that the by the administration is pushing forward. Nadia Ramlagan  11:05  Crawford notes the state also faces serious infrastructure challenges in the coming decades. The American Society of Civil Engineers says around 9% of bridges in North Carolina are structurally deficient and Crawford adds the state's drinking water needs are even greaterDan Crawford  11:21  North Carolina;s drinking water infrastructure will require almost a $17 billion dollar investment over the next 20 years. We need to start putting a down payment on that now.Nadia Ramlagan  11:30  Almost six in 10 voters say they support multitrillion dollar economic stimulus legislation that prioritizes investments in clean energy infrastructure according to polling from climate Nexus, the Yale program on climate change communication and the George Mason University Center for climate change communication for North Carolina News Service I'm Nadia Ramlagan. Restoring oysters can boost water quality and offer shoreline protection from storms and this week the North Carolina coastal Federation released its five year action plan outlining steps to keep this valuable shellfish thriving. Leda Cunningham with the Pew Charitable Trusts says North Carolina's oysters are in good shape, but face threats from storms, poor water quality and the impacts of climate change. She believes the new oyster blueprint offers an example for other coastal states of how to restore and protect oyster populationsLeda Cunningham  12:27  in those 15 or so years. It's led to measurable progress in the state and that is really a result of the inclusive systematic approach that coastal Fed has taken with its partners to identifying challenges and opportunities with the special resourceNadia Ramlagan  12:40  guided by the blueprint. Over the years North Carolina has restored nearly 450 acres of oyster habitat grown shellfish aquaculture from a 250,000 to $5 million industry increased the number of shellfish farms in the state tenfold and developed a nationally recognized shell recycling program. Erin Fleckenstein with the North Carolina coastal Federation says the plan includes a new management strategies to help safeguard North Carolina's waters, particularly in the Newport river and stump soundErin Fleckenstein  13:11  make sure that they are pristine and healthy to grow oysters making it safe enough to harvest oysters from those beds, allowing for continued recreational opportunities.Nadia Ramlagan  13:21  Cunningham adds oysters add numerous benefits for coastal communitiesLeda Cunningham  13:25  restoring oysters would add so much value to the coast more oysters mean cleaner water better recreational fishing more wildlife more resilient shorelines more fishing jobs, and more healthy local foodNadia Ramlagan  13:37  goals outlined in the blueprint include building an additional 100 acres of oyster sanctuary in pamlico sound creating a cohesive oyster shell recycling program along the coast and in specific inland areas to help support habitat restoration projects and building 200 acres of reef to support wild harvest support for this reporting was provided by the Pew Charitable Trusts for North Carolina News Service. I'm Nadia Ramlagan. More North Carolina employers have changed their time off policies to include sick leave related to COVID-19. But low income workers and those in industries considered essential are still less likely to have paid leave. According to the North Carolina Justice Center as many as 3 million workers have navigated the pandemic without any paid sick days. Kathy Colville with the North Carolina Institute of Medicine says paid leave policies can have a measurable effect on the health of individuals and families.Kathy Colville  14:35  We've had these big demographic shifts in the last decade so that most children in North Carolina are cared for by parents who are working outside the home and we've also had this much more aging demographic.Nadia Ramlagan  14:47  state lawmakers are considering two bills the N c Paid Family Leave Act and the Healthy Families healthy workplaces act which would require employers to offer paid family and medical leave insurance and Allow workers to earn a minimum number of paid sick days. Colleville notes paid leave has particular benefits for new mothers and babies. Studies show women who receive at least 12 weeks of paid parental leave are more likely to initiate and continue breastfeeding which is considered healthier for babies. She says a 2019 Duke University study also found paid leave during a pregnancy can reduce the chance of a low birth weight baby and even found that there was potentially a relationship between people having access to paid family leave and infants that would survive that might otherwise die. Colville adds research shows paid leave could also reduce the number of older North Carolina residents needing nursing home care by about 2% across the state employers are starting to rethink paid leave Joe Mecca of coastal credit union in Raleigh says his company modified its paid time off policies in the pandemic when people had fewer opportunities to take vacations. He says they offered to pay their employees insteadJoe Mecca  16:01  we did have some employees whose families Yeah, they lost part of their income or had extra needs that they were trying to take care of during that time, the extra flexibility was helpful to them. Nadia Ramlagan  16:11  He adds employees now receive an extra paid leave day to get Coronavirus vaccinations or recover from side effects. Earlier this year the CDC issued new workplace guidelines recommending paid leave for vaccination recovery for North Carolina new service I'm Nadia Ramlagan.Eoin Trainor  16:32  That's it for this episode of Eye on the Triangle extra tuning in if you have any questions, comments, ideas or would like to get involved with the Eye on the Triangle team, shoot us an email at public We'd love to hear from you. Stay tuned for usual programming. We'll see you next time.
FULL TRANSCRIPT OF EPISODEProvided by Otter.aiEoin Trainor  0:00  The views and opinions expressed in Eye on the Triangle do not represent WKNC or the student media.Good evening Raleigh and welcome to this week's Eye on the Triangle an NC State student run and student produced news show on WKNC 88.1. I'm Eoin Trainor. On tonight's episode Elizabeth Esser is talking about NC State's return to in person classes this fall with Dr. Amy Orders the director of emergency management and mission continuity at the university. Afterwards, Laura Mooney and I report on the controversy surrounding Chadwick Seagraves, an NC State employee who was accused of being a member of the proud boys, stay tuned.Elizabeth Esser  0:45  This is Elizabeth Esser reporting for Eye on the Triangle. Joining us today is Dr. Amy Orders director of emergency management and mission continuity here at NC State to discuss the university's plann to return to in person classes this fall. Thank you so much for joining us today, Dr. orders.Dr. Amy Orders  1:01  Thank you for having me, I'm grateful to have the opportunity to tell about great new changes on the horizon. Elizabeth Esser  1:07  To start us off, can you just tell listeners a bit about yourself and your position at NC State?Dr. Amy Orders  1:12  I have hit my 20th year at NC State. But my my position has evolved over the years within environmental health and public safety. And within COVID, it really took on a new a new face and a new paradigm of operation centric work was very important to move us forward in all the different phases. So our job has been to be responsive to the needs of the campus over the past year. Elizabeth Esser  1:35  How did the university come to the decision to return to in person class.Dr. Amy Orders  1:41   It was kind of an evolving conversation. We've been watching the public health information and changes in the CDC or recommendations from other public health entities for several months. And the whole idea is we knew we would return to normal and I have to use normal with air quotes at some point we were hopeful it would be sooner than not. So trending the virus itself that community transmission, the prevalence of vaccine and its distribution models, people, you know, following community standards, both outside of campus and in campus, all of that helped make a better informed decision on what was safe and appropriate to the idea of a normal fall really is a cascade effect over a couple of months. It requires us to go back and challenge what our safety practices are now what our community standards need to be what we need to do for changes in classrooms or physical spaces to invite people back to their offices or research environments or other areas. But all of that has to be mindful of the virus itself, we have to watch what happens in the public health sector. If we experience another wave of the virus and infections, then we need to be moderating in our decision making and pace appropriately. We're really hopeful though that normal fall can really mean back in the classrooms 100% or in a large capacity. Looking at our research operations, we've fully activated and then restoring our other campus special events, clinics, all of the above. So we are anticipating a normal start keeping that caveat in mind that if something changes, we pauseElizabeth Esser  3:14  So when we started with in person classes last fall seats were spread out. Teachers had plexiglass screens in front of them while they lectured. As of right now, what can we expect in person classes to look like in comparison to in person classes prior to COVID.Dr. Amy Orders  3:30  Some of the recommendations that are coming out slowly but steadily from the Centers of Disease Control really do tell us what the expectations are how to minimize exposure, maximize the experience. So one of the greatest examples that we're watching is public schools, you're seeing the decrease in the spacing. So we were at six feet physical distancing. And now the paradigm shifting to about three feet. When we in our classroom setting some of our classrooms may not be appropriate for different reasons. It could be ventilation, it could be the spacing, whatever that is, we'll continue to assess that even as recommendations come in and say hey, you can be closer together. In the fall though it was such an extreme situation, we were looking at every possible safety mechanism that layers into effect is the Swiss cheese model. If you can give Plexiglas and maximize distance and decrease the occupancy, then we minimize transmission in those facilities, what happens outside and you bring the virus in there, that's still a problem. Well, now that the virus load or the number of positive cases is going down, we can start removing layer by layer not all layers to be able to increase that experience as close to what we used to or we're accustomed to, in like the 2019 timeframe. So university will still look at these things very, very, very detailed and specifically such as plexiglass, like you mentioned, if a faculty member has some sort of experiential learning or in face obligation with a larger crowd. Maybe that Plexiglas is still appropriate because when you Talk, you actually spit, the aerosol is a concern. So we need to think about these things creatively and not assume that we take everything away because that may not be the situation.Elizabeth Esser  5:10  Residence halls will also return to full occupancy. Will any extra precautions be put into place there?Dr. Amy Orders  5:16  there are some standing precautions that we will maintain for sure. So, in our residence halls, single occupancy moving that back to regular double occupancy is is the goal. And still having a process for an exception as we have cases that are necessary to address but the heightened cleaning, having people understand what cleaning in their own personal space means. Understanding what it what the virus itself will exist in the background, how to protect yourself and be more effective and those measures will continue. The other part of it in the residence halls and across campus is messaging. We won't just take down everything that says you know, cover your face, wear your mask, it has to be a blend, a reminder, if it's cold and flu season, we tell people cover your cough and wash your hands. Let's do cold flu plus COVID because it will still exist. So still cover your cough wash your hands. It applies at home and the residence hall settings, it's going to be the same type of approach Elizabeth Esser  6:14  Does the university as of right now have plans for if there are major spikes in cases?Dr. Amy Orders  6:20  We keep that as a on the front burner conversation every day, our plans won't go away. So we will decrease the number of quarantine and isolation spaces in the fall. mindful though that at any point in time, if we have to increase those, again, we will so we have provisions in place kind of in a tiered process. If we have to go back and analyze what the best spacing policies are. We're hopeful that if everyone understands what the community expectations are, then we won't see those spikes we will go and have our social gatherings we may still have limitations on those gatherings. That's kind of a crystal ball that we don't have right now. But if we're able to look at those in a very methodical manner and make some plan decisions, then if we do have a spike we're ready to address.Elizabeth Esser  7:03  Finally, is there anything else that you would like for listeners to know about NC State's return to normal this fall?Dr. Amy Orders  7:09  I think there are two things that I'm going to add one is as some level of surveillance testing is going to have to continue. You know, it's going to be that COVID becomes endemic to society. At some point, it still exists, it's in the fabric. So it's just like seasonal flu it comes and goes. Our testing strategy may not be as pervasive as it is now. But some level of testing is still appropriate to make sure you're not missing some level of information that can better inform our decisions. The other thing is the vaccination process. It's starting to open up stores so widely, the opportunity to get the vaccine is making itself very much available to everybody. So in the next week or so you'll see the next group open, where we can actually invite the close to the 15,000 people who have pre registered for vaccination on campus into the vaccine clinic. Having that vaccination makes a world of difference because increasing the immunity across the board, we reach the closer to a herd immunity status that helps us get back to being able to gather and be in other places in a more social circumstance. I think between the two, because we're really cautious about how we're setting up campus physically, how we're telling people in our training, what to expect, setting the right expectations. It helps us also engage the individual and say some of this is on you. Get your vaccine or if not at your discretion. GO participate in testing, we would like to have that data help us meet in the middle. That will get us back to normal in the fall.Elizabeth Esser  8:37  Well, thank you so much again for joining us today. Dr. Orders. Awesome.Dr. Amy Orders  8:41   Thanks so much.Eoin Trainor  8:43  NC State University became embroiled in controversy this winter when some students began to question its commitment to inclusion and diversity. This came on January 11, when NC State announced that they would not take disciplinary action against Chadwick Seagraves, a university employee accused of being a member of the far right extremist group the Proud Boys. The allegations emerged last November when the anonymous comrades collective an anonymous left wing organization released a blog post and Twitter thread detailing Seagraves connections the group, the thread claims that he posted students and activists personal information online. It also includes photos from a 2017 anti Islam rally in Chapel Hill. These claim to show Seagraves pictured with Augustus Solinvictus, a prominent white supremacist who headlined the unite the right rally in Charlottesville that same year. Seagraves vehemently denies the allegations in a statement he said to paint me as a racist and fascist is heinous slander. NC State made its decision to not take action against Seagraves following a two month investigation into his conduct. In a statement, the University said the rigorous review did not substantiate any significant allegations. Following this announcement, student body president Melanie flowers signed an executive order designating January 19 as a day to protest the decision. I recently sat down with President flowers to discuss this, our interview details student government's perspective on the issue and offers a reflection on one of the semesters most controversial moments. For Eye on the Triangle I'm Eoin Trainor.First question, what was your and student government's initial reaction to NC State's decision to not take any action against Seagraves?Melanie Flowers  10:26  It was a few things. There was obviously a lot of disappointment at the results of the investigation. It's, it's frustrating, because I know, when all the information came out, at least for me, I was really nervous that there wouldn't be any actions that the university would be able to legally take with the investigation. And so that was really concerning for me seeing as the groups that the OIT employees affiliated with, I think it or I know it continues to spread and just perpetuate a culture of white supremacy on our campus. And that's, that's really nerve wracking, and unsettling, and, and more. And so it sucks, it more than sucks to, to know the university couldn't do anything about it. And it puts student government and myself and others in a place to think about what steps can we take to ensure that the people that the university employees are champions of diversity and inclusion and equity, like the university is trying to be?Eoin Trainor  11:38  In your view, was NC State transparent during the actual investigation? Did they ask for your input at all?Melanie Flowers  11:45  So I forwarded on information after it started to surface on social media. I wasn't asked for input. But legally, I don't have any role to play in the investigation. So that wasn't something that I would have really needed to be a part of anyways. Um, I think transparency is kind of a difficult topic, because I have I have the perspective of somebody who has the knowledge to know what legally can be put out for these kinds of cases and what can't be and like this is it's really an HR case. And I think students are definitely just very apprehensive in trusting the process and the University and I am too, because you just, you you see the results. And you see that Seagraves just continues to be employed here. And you wonder, like, what happened? And, and I get that, and I think that's why the transparency pieces, although legally, it was correct, I think I understand the frustration of what felt like crumbs of information the university was able to share.Eoin Trainor  13:04  Um, you signed an executive order creating a time and place for protests against the results of the investigation. What led you and student government to come up with this decision? Did you consider any alternatives?Melanie Flowers  13:18  This was one of the things that came out of my understanding of the fact that the university couldn't do anything legally. Student Government has a, a privilege and a power to use our voice in the way that our university as a public institution can't. And I didn't want to let that go to waste in student government. It's our job to represent students and voice their opinions and concerns in a way that's heard. And so this was our way of making sure that students knew that we were fighting for them. And we're feeling all of these things alongside them as well. And so this was this idea was really the idea. We didn't really consider other options it. It came about before the first day of classes, and it came about in about a week less thanEoin Trainor  14:13  can you tell us about how the protests went. What was your overall impression of what the students who were there were saying and what concerns they were expressing?Jaylan Harrington  14:23  So it was interesting, because we had to essentially publish the executive order in the protest, and the notification of the protests before students were back on campus. And even though students are back, we're not all here. So we kind of had a completely virtual launch of the protest. And there was a lot of online engagement across social media. And so we definitely felt like we had this student support. In person. We had a couple of dozen students attend and then we also had about 10 people for the virtual option which was awesome to see. attendees were thankful the ones that I interacted with, were thankful that we were saying something. And just making them feel like they weren't alone. I heard a lot of that because I think sometimes or not sometimes for a lot of students, you get this notification and you're alone in your residence hall. And you  you just wonder, like, Is anybody else feeling disappointed? Or is anybody else feeling scared? Or is anybody else angry or mad at this? And I think, actually speaking out provided that affirmation for a lot of students,Eoin Trainor  15:32  And your perception of how the general student body feels, is that any different or do you think it's fairly similar to the opinions expressed the protest?Jaylan Harrington  15:40  I'd like to think it's fairly fairly similar. I know there are definitely individuals who who question if it's student government's place to to protest at all, and there are definitely varying opinions about how we approached the situation. But from what I've heard, what I've seen, the the outcry about Seagraves, when you know, these accusations initially surface back in November, and how that continued over winter break, there's definitely a a larger message and group just just wanting to make sure that NC State is the place that we say we are. And so I think that's definitely the overwhelming the overwhelming opinion, it's just, we've got to do better and right now Seagraves continuing at the university isn't the university doing better,Eoin Trainor  16:25  Right, student government is planning on sending Seagraves one letter a day until he resigns. What does this been like so far? Has he responded? at all?Jaylan Harrington  16:37  I haven't gotten any responses to the office and we're sending them to the on campus office, I don't have his home address. My my guess is that they could be getting forwarded to his home address or they're there until or when he gets to the office. So yeah, that's, that's up in the air. I'm hoping to get a response.Eoin Trainor  17:00  And then even though NC State basically can't take any action, now the investigation is over. Do you think they should do anything else beyond the statements they've released to address the concern that they're not completely committed to equity and diversity?Melanie Flowers  17:16  Yeah, and I think some steps that we are taking, slowly, but surely, as I sit on several search committees, and what's starting to get added to job descriptions at the university is being a champion for the diverse populations that we serve. And it might not be those words exactly. But there are definitely statements and required qualities that are being implemented into all of these positions. It's not just the chief diversity officer who you have to have that competency. It's, it's a random engineer, it's a random instructor that needs to have that understanding. And so I think that's one of the ways that we're moving in the right direction to just make sure that objectively, when we ask anybody who's entering the university, what they're going to bring, we hope that inclusion and equity and a champion for everyone is a part of the qualities they're bringing to the university.Eoin Trainor  18:08  Given the controversy of the situation, has Student Government received any negative responses since the feedback? Have you received any threatening statements to either you or any of the protesters?Melanie Flowers  18:21  Yes. So as I said, I know there are opinions that disagreed with our, our strategy on addressing the situation. There are some comments on our Instagram page asking about you know, is this cancel culture is it SG's place to protest etc. And I think To that end, the University has done, I mean, as good as a job as it can to offer opportunities to educate yourself on diverse communities at NC State and really just in the world, and in North Carolina, and especially over the summer, those resources were shared very abundantly and pass that OIED offers DEI related trainings for for a lot of different communities. And I think there's just too much opportunity to learn, especially this year for this to be considered cancel culture. We, we know that white supremacy is a, a toxin to our community. And that's, that's not physics. So I feel as though there have been clear standards for what the university expects from its community members and those aren't met from what what I feel to be true about his actions and affiliations. Eoin Trainor  19:42  And then just to clarify like no, like any, just like complaints about like, cancel culture and stuff, not like threatening statements or anything, correct.Jaylan Harrington  19:52  Yeah, we, we were very fortunate to not receive death threats or anything of that nature. We did our best to protect the identities of protesters, it helps that everybody wears masks now. So that wasn't a huge concern. And then while we did take down names and contact information that was remained in the hands of a student government official, and its since then been discarded of and that was just for COVID-19 tracing in the event that that was a concern. We could contact people, but it was as anonymous as possible so we could ensure that peace would wouldn't be a concern.Eoin Trainor  20:32  And then, since the protest, is there anything else under your purview that he's been planning to do or have been able to do to address this situation?Jaylan Harrington  20:42  This is a really good question. I spoke to it earlier about the university kind of starting to standardize asking questions related to DEI in all interviews and how that's becoming a more standard piece of job descriptions. And so that's something that I will continue to push for in search committees that I'm a part of, and then also just trying to see what we can do to standardize that practice moving forward.Eoin Trainor  21:10  I think that's it but thank you so much for your time. Melanie Flowers  21:13  Awesome. I'm excited to listen for it thank you for covering thisEoin Trainor  21:22  OIED is NC State's Office for institutional equity and diversity. DEI stands for their diversity, equity and inclusion training programs. For more information you can go to Mooney  21:37  President flowers interview sheds light on how NC State as an institution reacted to the allegations towards Seagraves. However, student perspectives vary greatly on this issue. For further information on student reactions and how other outlets covered the story. We reached out to members of Technician, NC State's longest standing student newspaper. For the latter half of this segment, we are joined by technician editor in chief Rachel Davis, managing editor Alicia Thomas and multimedia managing editor Jaylan Harrington. I'm Laura Mooney, and you're listening to Eye on the Triangle on WKNC 88.1.So let's just go ahead and do some introductions just for you know, when I introduce this segment, the audience members will want to know who's talking representing technician. So if you could share your names and positions at technician, that would be phenomenal. Rachel Davis  22:35  Hi, my name is Rachael Davis. I'm the editor in chief of technician.Alicia Thomas  22:41  I'm Alicia Thomas. I'm the managing editor at Technician.Jaylan Harrington  22:49  And I am Jaylan Harrington. I'm the multimedia managing editor of Technician.Laura Mooney  22:55  And for those who are unfamiliar with student media at NC State, I'm just going to do kind of a general overview question of why is student journalism important from the perspective of student journalists?Jaylan Harrington  23:11  I'll take that one. I think student journalism's important because it's really important to inform the student body of the current events that are happening on campus. We're really the only outlet that cares about the minute details that are happening on campus. So keeping the student body informed is really, really important to meRachel Davis  23:35  It also informs students about issues or maybe policies, the ways of the university that they may not have known about. Laura Mooney  23:45  The next thing I was going to ask was regarding informing the student body, what motivated you to cover this particular story? Rachel Davis  23:53  Well, right off the bat, that a student was being targeted by this employee.Alicia Thomas  24:02  To say, Yeah, I definitely think that that like, unique nature of the story was what was like, kind of shocking to us initially, because when we were sent a tip, I believe, I don't really know. I don't really remember who sent us what, at this point. It's been a minute since we started covering it. But I definitely think it was like, was so obscure, and like strange enough, but also like, preposterous, we were like, We need to look into it more. And that's kind of like what we do with like, weird stories like these when we have to, like investigate a little bit more because it was just like, some random employee and we were like, this cant be real. And thenLaura Mooney  24:52  Some random employee never heard of him before. Alicia Thomas  24:55  Yeah, exactly. It was crazy. Especially with like the political climate over the summer, that was a huge deal. You know, like all the Black Lives Matter protests, the black students petition on campus, this was just like another thing, showing like white supremacy in Raleigh. And just furthering that narrative, that was like huge over the summer.I think it kind of goes into, like, why student journalism is important, what like what we do at technician too because we feel it as journalists, and I'm sure, Laura, you understand as well. But like, as student journalists, we have a duty to inform students about who is around them on campus, and students have the right to know or feel safe and know whether or not campus is safe. So if that safety is threatened, obviously, that's newsworthy, and we have to cover it.Laura Mooney  26:00   Absolutely. And I think that's great commentary. Because in so many different ways, this situation was really I wouldn't say unprecedented. And we'll get into that later. But it was a really unique thing to look at. So because of all the nuances of this situation, how did the technician team handle covering the situation? What was your strategy for going about that? Well, I'll just say, it was really hard. because not everything was confirmed, right off the bat, because there were social media accounts where it did not have his name on it or attached to it. And we were kind of going off the metadata of the anonymous comrades collective. And we had no way to confirm that information, because we didn't have that information. So a lot of our coverage and articles on it was like, allegedly, and you know, surrounding around that language.Jaylan Harrington  26:59  I would also say it takes a lot longer than our recording usually takes, like, we were covering it like it was a breaking story, because it was breaking news to us. But we kept having to pause and wait for days to wait for more things to come out so that we can actually run something. So the articles took much longer to come out because of that.Laura Mooney  27:24  I guess regarding the fact that so much was unconfirmed at certain periods of time, how does that change the way you write about it?Jaylan Harrington  27:36  For me, I'd scribe most of the first two articles we did. What I really wanted to do was hone in on whatever was confirmed. So the, you know, we only got to the point that we could run the very first article. Once we had the fact that NC State was investigating that was confirmed we knew that and once we also had the video of Augustus Solinvictus, literally saying thanks for inviting me Chadwick. Seagraves, like, once we had those two things, it was like, okay, we can pare down all of the other stuff that we don't have confirmed and we don't actually have to highlight that, because we've got these two really solid things.Alicia Thomas  28:17  I also think it's like interesting to discuss, like, what is reportable and what isn't reportable or like, what isn't confirmed? Because what was reportable was that like, or there was so much stuff happening online, and like rumors swirling around, and that obviously, like, we can see that we can take screenshots of that and put that in the article and say, there is a lot of there are a lot of unconfirmed. I don't remember how we put it or even if we put it like that. I don't know, Jalen, can, I'm sure Rachel and I don't remember it as much as Jalen probably remembers that Rachel and I tend to like blackout when things like this are happening. When that's like rumors are swirling, we can report that, hey, students are talking about this. We've reached out to Mick Kulikowski, the spokesperson, and we'll provide updates. So like that's kind of how we treat like unconfirmed information to we can report that people are saying x, y, z about the situation, but we also have to reach out to like, the spokesperson and honestly, we have to reach out to see we had to reach out to Seagraves himself to get like it confirmed to be like HeyRachel Davis  29:49   I guess to go more off that about like the rumors and fact checking. There was a point in time where there's rumors on Twitter, that Chadwick Seagraves went to the Capitol riot in January. But we couldn't just put that out there because that's, you know, not very ethical without it being fact checked. And so we were able to, you know, do picture by picture fact-checking. And we were able to see that it was not him. Yeah, so I guess just a bunch of fact checking that takes a long time. And also being in constant contact with Mick Kulikowski University spokesperson asking like, because the investigation went on for a very long time. So emailing him, you know, every week every other two weeks about are there any updates on the investigation? And him just saying no. But yeah, being in constant like, following following up. I think when we first even reached out at that point, it had been, I remember was like an afternoon, I emailed him or I called him or something. He's like, I have no idea what you're talking about.Alicia Thomas  31:04  Because and university libraries had said that he wasn't an employee there. So we were like, does this guy even work at NC State? There was like a lot of rumors swirling and, like, sometimes it just takes a long time, like I said, because at that point, the when the rumors started swirling around, the university had no idea what was going on. It broke fast. It was the talk of the town really quickly soRachel Davis  31:34  it definitely was and I remember talking to Melanie flowers to see the vice president that day. And she basically told me that she couldn't really say anything. And the university couldn't really say anything yet without everything being confirmed. Because there was just so much left out there that nobody knew.Jaylan Harrington  31:53  Yeah. And speaking of how it blew up on Twitter, we usually don't like tweet super early when a story like that breaks unless it's something very confirmed. But when it first broke, there was like an internet mob harassing NC State libraries and their like why is this white supremacist, and they're like, we have no idea what you're talking about. And we had to tweet and be like, okay, the guy that there are unconfirmed reports about works in IT leave the libraries alone was like the implicit message that says, Yeah, yeah, no mob goes wild.Laura Mooney  32:29  So I think that transitions really well. And the next question that I had, because there's so much, you know, I think that there's a lot of talk now about how people choose to express their opinions on the internet, and I will avoid divulging my own opinion there. But there is that, you know, Twitter specifically offers a platform for people to share their thoughts openly and very widely. So what feedback Do you receive on your coverage of this Chadwick Seagraves story. Rachel Davis  33:03  I say our coverage was very, people liked it. Just a short thing, because not a lot of people were reporting on it. I mean, WRAL and everybody was reporting on it. But we were kind of constantly reporting on it, or keeping up to date having updates every now and then, especially towards the end, when the investigation did end, I think we were probably the first or one of the first news outlets to say that they did not find any, like evidence against him.Laura Mooney  33:41   I'm going to skip around some questions a little bit. In your opinion, how was this covered by other outlets? You mentioned WRAL, I know that I've read articles by Indie week, like, how does your coverage differ from theirs?Alicia Thomas  33:57   I think the difference between our coverage and like other local papers and news organizations, coverage is number one, I think we just like because we were NC State we were here, I think it's a lot easier to get access to administrators that there are a lot more like I know. It was a lot easier to just like, or it's very quick to reach out to whoever we needed to reach out to in upper administration to get like information first. As well as I think like student perspectives and student sources. I think because we are student paper we've created like we have a reputation where we are reputable. I like to think with most with many students on campus and they felt like trust in us to confirm information and talk to us to get more background information or talk to us off the record which I don't know. I don't know if WRAL or news and observer Indy week, other outlets like that had, they probably maybe did, but I don't know if they had their student sources and that's where I think that difference is Rachel Davis  35:24  Definitely with the student trust, I would say it's a big thing because yes, I think WRAL was at the freezeout protest a couple months ago, but they were just there for like maybe an hour or so and we were there the entire time, like walking around with the group. Every now and then. Also we- I just lost my phone-Alicia Thomas  35:51  I'll pop in while your thinking. Yeah. But I think like with new local news outlets, I can say this like when WRAL when we're doing like updates to Chadwick Seagraves coverage because I know we did it, or there was like more news that came out. I don't know. Recently, there always is something to be updated about Chadwick Seagraves, but when that's happening, it's just this is happening at NC State and university is investigating this employee here the allegations, bam, it's done, article is done. And I think that our coverage has been more, more more more nuanced.Rachel Davis  36:34  Yeah, it goes into my point that I forgot earlier. But we are able to publish like, student explainer pieces. So we just published a piece about, like, freedom of speech and why Chadwich Seagraves was not fired, because of you know, government employee roles, his place at the university. So we're able to explain to students why the investigation went the way it did, which other outlets probably do not do that. Also, since we are at NC State, and we are students, we were able to write an editorial on our thoughts of the situation, which I don't think any other news outlet did.Laura Mooney  37:20  I think okay, so I have a lot of thoughts there. And I do agree completely that your coverage was extremely nuanced, and that you do have the benefit of proximity to the student body into the event itself, which provides access that other outlets may not have had. And I do think that came across in your coverages, which was why I was excited to talk about you, talk to you, not about you. You mentioned several times having a direct connection to the student body because of that community of trust that the technician has fostered over 100 years of functioning. And so what are your perceptions of the student bodies feelings? What were student reactions to the allegations and then also towards NC State's decision not to fire Seagraves?Alicia Thomas  38:08   I honestly think the majority opinion the majority of a student body is outraged by this decision to keep him at the university. I know at the freezeout protests there was maybe one or two counter protesters in favor like supporting Chadwick Seagraves, but the rest of the student body I mean, there's still protests going on I it kind of died down, but I think last Friday, there was a protest against him. So I would say that the majority of the student body is still very angry that he is an employee here. Rachel Davis  38:46  Yeah, and I think some I yeah, I think a lot of people are still incredibly angry. And yep there have been protests there was one a few days ago. In protest of the university's decision, I do think there might be a silent a silent decent crowd of people who don't think that, who who stand by the university's decision, I mean, I think that we saw very clearly in 2019, during the TP USA event, how split our campus really is in terms of political ideology. I think that NC State compared to like our other, the other schools that are nearby, Like Duke and UNC is far more in the middle, in terms of political ideology we have. So I do think that there is there are a decent amount of people who do stand by the university's decision to keep Chadwich Seagraves on staff or whatever. And I think that has been a point of contention, just like between students, obviously, and staff, and something that we probably should be covering more as well. Just thinking about it,Laura Mooney  40:22   I think you bring up a great point with the turning point, NC State chapter and the culture wars protest, or the protest against culture wars that happened. And I think you're right, I think it is 2019. You know, honestly, in my draft of questions that I had, I wrote that this is not the only highly publicized and controversial happening at NC State's campus in recent years, and then referenced this same event that we're talking about. My original question was, how do you think these events impact public perceptions of NC State? But truthfully, I don't really care about the branding of NC State. How do you think that the continued recurrence of you know issues centered around conservative discourse? How do you think that reflects within the student body? Like, is this representative of larger trends within the university system? In your opinion? Rachel Davis  41:21  This is a great question Laura, or Jaylen, you want to take that?Alicia Thomas  41:26  I was gonna say, Jaylen, you haven't spoken in a whileJaylan Harrington  41:30   Of course, I would love to take this question. Um, I think it's just representative of a trait in the world or at the very least, the United States. Now we're more polarized than we've ever been. And I think, you know, the election of Donald Trump really made it a meme to be antagonistic, it made a meme to be openly all the -ists that you can be. So I do think that that's going to continue to happen, we're going to continue to have these events, there's going to continue to be clashes, and they're probably going to get worse. I wouldn't imagine they're going to get better anytime soon.Laura Mooney  42:11  I think that's a great question. And I also do think that, as reported by, you know, publications across the country across the world, honestly, Donald Trump's influence on political culture, even beyond American borders is far more nuanced than I care to touch on in a 30 second audio clip. But within NC State, particularly, you know, these issues were brought to national platforms, particularly after turning point when Donald Trump invited NC State students and NCSU TP USA members to speak alongside him in Florida and other conventions that he had attended. So I guess in the wake of these kinds of things continuing to happen, as a voice of the student body, how do you believe that student media or students themselves can function to hold the university accountable in these instances?Jaylan Harrington  43:12  I think by recording the truth, it's funny that you mentioned that Donald Trump invited people to speak at rallies. One of the people he invited to speak was Jack Bishop, Jack Bishop during that time of the culture war, that claimed that he was spray painted in the face viciously by I forget who the group was nothing at NC State, I think. So we reported that we also went back and my video session did follow up recording with one of the people who was in the tunnel. And we had multiple eyewitness accounts, saying that was not what happened, essentially, that he moved his head into the way of this spraypaint. So things like that, where, you know, certain narratives are going to be started by certain people is our job to find out what the truth is. And usually the truth is all you're really going to need to combat that.Alicia Thomas  44:11  I definitely also think that, um, like you were saying, it has been just like with the election of Donald Trump, that, like Jalen said the ists have been more normalized and because of that, universities and other public entities like at other establishments are seeing manifestations of that. You look at what in 2018 when UNC tore down, toppled the Silent Sam statue, and just the slew of events that happened afterwards that you know, Just go into a more in depth discourse about race relations in the US and how that fosters or trickles down into even like a university system and how university administrators perpetuate racism. Even if it's not, quote, unquote, intentional, I don't know, if I'm articulate, articulating myself well, but I do think that there have been a lot of trends we've seen of people, people who are advocating for a change on a university level to be more inclusive and diverse, and be explicitly and consistently against racism, and implicit biases, biases, and all of that, and then that directly being challenged by people like, organizations like TP USA, or counter protesters, who were like no, f that essentially and will like come protest. Or if they say things online to people and threaten them. Again, he is threatened, we have to cover it. Laura Mooney  46:37  Of course, I think you bring up a great point with talking about how consciously or otherwise administrative functions can perpetuate, you know, barriers to equality that for generations, for centuries have been sought by people who have been historically oppressed and continuously oppressed by these same barriers, and the list goes on of people who are impacted by them. And what was the faculty sentiment towards this thing, I know that you covered specifically faculty discussions and commentary in response to NC State's choice not to fire Seagraves.Jaylan Harrington  47:16  It was really confusion. They were just as confused as we were. And I think they also had the added element of they knew that students were going to look at them as like a mediary, between them and NC State. So their biggest concern was basically looking at what the university had done and going, Hey, you say you have all these values? You also say, you know, you can't fire this guy. How are we supposed to defend you? What are we supposed to say to students? That was really, really the biggest point that hit me. Watching the faculty senate meeting was they were just as outraged as students are, they were probably more confused. And they just didn't really know what to do at all.Laura Mooney  48:06  Now, this is a question that we've asked other parties that we're interviewing In this segment, and I think it's important to ask your opinion as well. In your view, was NC State transparent during the investigation? Did they consult student media in any way during that process?Rachel Davis  48:26   I do not think the university was as transparent as they could have been. The only reasons why we heard things about the investigation is because we reached out first. And even after the investigation, they wouldn't really say, I'm not sure about the laws and what they can and cannot tell us. But when they did make the decision that there were no substantial allegations against him. They didn't like say what their process was, you know, they just didn't really inform us. They just kind of said, it's done. And he's fine.Jaylan Harrington  49:05  Yeah, I'd say even the faculty senate video that gave us a lot of information, a lot of context as to, you know, the process that leaked, that was not something that was freely put out. That was something that somebody recorded, went out by themselves. So the process was extremely not transparent. And I think that's why NC State is getting so much bad press from this so much bad wolf from this, if they'd just come out from the beginning and said, Look, he may have done this, but we just can't fire him. Sorry, guys. The conversation would be different than them uou know, not saying anything at all.Rachel Davis  49:45  okay to ask Jaylen and Alicia, if you remember, did they even put out a statement at all?Jaylan Harrington  49:52  They said they were investigating is what I remember. I think. Or is at the very beginning was like we don't like white supremacy, obviously. And that was about it. There was never a very big statement put out.Rachel Davis  50:06  Yes, I would say that their lack of a big statement or just explaining what was happening, besides we will be investigating is pretty weak. And I would have liked as a student for them to have addressed it better.Alicia Thomas  50:23   I think this is like an issue nationwide too. Because, again, talking about like the silent Sam stuff, the trend I've noticed, and I think that like Rachel and Jaylen to like, I think that student journalists and students are just frustrated at the lack of transparency and communication about issues that are extremely important to students. Yeah, I think that the only big statement we got was like, right was before when they were like, yeah, we hate racism, heart. And then like, at the end of the investigation, they were like, sorry, heart, he still works here. Peace, love. But like you're safe on campus, which was like,Rachel Davis  51:17  it's like, how do we know that? You know, it's like they're saying that we're safe on campus. But we're not. We don't know that because you're not telling us any information of what you did or how you combated this issue. Like, you can't trust not to be like, don't trust the university. But after they said that, how can you be sure,Laura Mooney  51:38  Trust has to be earned. And as a student at NC State, despite the fact that I don't believe I represent groups who are directly targeted by this kind of rhetoric, perpetuated at NC State. I still recognize that trust, as I said, must be earned. And without providing that background context. As you said, statements, it's really hard for the student body to meet NC State and say, okay, we accept this decision. Which leads us to the final question I have. How do you think this issue will be handled going forward? Do you think that it's over now?Rachel Davis  52:20  I do not think it's over with him. I you know, I think it's over with the whole discussion. I think there will be more instances of people like this coming out or getting exposed but for Chadwick Seagraves I don't think it's over for him either. The fact that there was a protest last week. And he's getting one of the things for the freeze out protest was people writing him letters, and he's being mailed a letter every day saying that he should resign. So it is definitely not over in any capacity.Alicia Thomas  52:55  Yeah, I don't I definitely don't think it's over with him. Like Rachel said, I definitely think there are more people on campus with similar beliefs that are laying low right now. who eventually people start to question their morality in their place in a diverse and inclusive campus. Yeah, I think it's not over and so long as people, so long as we people continue to talk about it, and we continue to report on it. I hope that it like, I hope this conversation in this dialogue continues. So that I mean, I think that's the point of student journalism, but it's to start conversations and affect change and I hope that happens,Rachel Davis  53:50  for sure. And like what you're talking about with the university, I hope we never seen learned from this situation and that if there are instances like this going forward, they know how to better improve and how to better, like you said build trust with the students with handling these situations.Laura Mooney  54:14  From the feedback provided by technicians, staff members, it is clear that this issue is anything but resolved. Furthermore, with student government continuing to send letters to Seagraves letters that currently remain unanswered, there yet exist cliffhangers in this story. As students and staff members alike continue to put pressure on the university to align their words with their actions. The disparity between the two is striking. For more information on this story, visit technicians website at technician Their coverage includes report on all relevant information, opinion pieces from both students and from Seagraves himself and a staff editorial in response to the initial news break. Furthermore, they've also published the university's official statement on the investigation towards Seagraves and its results audience for tuning into this reflection on one of the semesters most controversial moments. This has been Eye on the Triangle only on WKNC 88.1Transcribed by
FULL TRANSCRIPT OF EPISODEProvided by Otter.aiEoin Trainor  0:00  The views and opinions expressed in Eye on the Triangle do not represent WKNC or the student media.Good evening Raleigh and welcome to this week's episode of Eye on the Triangle on WKNC 88.1 FM HD one Raleigh, I'm Eoin Trainor. On tonight's episode contributor Elizabeth Esser will sit down with Caroline Rocheleau to talk about the North Carolina Museum of Art's new exhibit on golden mummies. And then a little later contributor Lise Knox will discuss live music during the pandemic with Adam Lindstaedt, owner of the local venue the Pour House. Stay tuned.Elizabeth Esser  0:51  I'm Elizabeth Esser with WKNC 88.1 Eye on the Triangle. Today I am speaking with Caroline Rocheleau, curator of ancient art and Director of Research at the North Carolina Museum of Art to talk about the new golden mummies of Egypt exhibition that opened on March 6. Miss Rocheleau, thank you for joining us on Eye on the Triangle.Caroline Rocheleau  1:11  Well, thank you for inviting me Elizabeth Esser  1:12  To get things started can you just tell us a little bit about yourself and your position at the North Carolina Museum of Art.Caroline Rocheleau  1:19  I am director of research and also curator of ancient art, which is I guess, my primary role at the museum. I take care of all the ancient things from ancient Egypt, to the Mediterranean like Greece and Rome and also the ancient Americas but I have a colleague working with me on those last collections.Elizabeth Esser  1:38  What can visitors expect from golden mummies of Egypt?Caroline Rocheleau  1:42  Well, I'll tell you a little secret. Since I started working at the museum about 15 years ago, people have been asking me, when are we going to have mummies? When are you going to bring an exhibition of mummies because we don't have any in our collection. And the second they found out that I was a trained Egyptologist, they thought, Oh, well, she's the person to get us some mummies. So what they can expect to see in Golden mummies of Egypt is mummies. However, we're focused on a very specific cultural period. And that's the end of Egyptian history, when Egypt was ruled by the Greeks and the Romans, so the mummies are not going to look like King Tutankhamun, for example, that's sort of an image that people have in their mind. So it's not going to be that they're still mummies. But there's cultural and artistic influence at that time that's coming from elsewhere in the Mediterranean, and you will see the Egyptians wearing like Roman hairstyles and togas and things like this. So on the outside, they look different on the inside, they're the same.Elizabeth Esser  2:48  So the exhibition focuses on the Greco-Roman period. So what was unique about this particular period? And how do we see that translated in the exhibition?Caroline Rocheleau  2:59  So Egypt has always been a multicultural environment, because of where it's located, you know, northeast Africa, but attached to Western Asia and like the, what we call today, the Middle East, and with access to the broader Mediterranean, now you really see it even more, because Egypt becomes part of other empires that have even further wider reaches. And if you think of just a Roman Empire, the fact that Roman Egypt is on par with Gaul with Roman France, is sort of mind boggling, you know, insert mind blowing emoji here, when you put that into perspective it's like, wow, other countries are as old as Egypt. And Egypt is now part of a much, much bigger network than it was before. So you do see as I mentioned earlier, those cultural influences coming in, because it's all part of the Empire. The Empire is very diverse. It runs from Western Asia, all the way through Western Europe, and the British Isles. So it's, it's quite bigger than Egypt at its height ever was. So you do see those influences? What does curating an exhibition during a pandemic look like? The curating part was not done by me because we this is a traveling exhibition. So it came. It's an exhibition that is circulated by Nomad Exhibitions based out of Scotland and the collection that is being presented is that of Manchester Museum in the UK. So my colleague there, Campbell Price, and Nomad Exhibitions worked together to curate the exhibition. That being said, installing an exhibition during a pandemic is something that nobody had ever done before. And this was complicated by the fact that people from Nomad and people from Manchester were supposed to come travel to North Carolina to install the cases and put the objects in the cases, because of the pandemic and the travel restrictions, nobody could travel. So it was a whole bunch of zoom meetings, phone calls, we had a WhatsApp, you know messaging group, because we're, they're basically helping us remotely put the cases together things we'd never put together before. The material that's you handle any material the same way. So that's not so much of an issue but it was trying to do all of this by ourselves when we were originally supposed to assist. So it was a lot trickier and you're in there with your mask, and you're putting in the objects and you're you're trying to stay six feet apart. That's impossible. So it's very nerve wracking at the same at the same time, but we pulled through, and it looks absolutely fabulous. But it was quite a challenge.Elizabeth Esser  6:06  I understand that the triangle area is celebrating this exhibition along with the museum. Can you tell us a little bit about the community collaborations with the Golden Mummies of Egypt,Caroline Rocheleau  6:16  We actually have a few goodies in various restaurants. And so we have places in Raleigh and Chapel Hill, for example, good day, good night at Origin Hotel in Raleigh. They have a cocktail called Gold of Egypt. There's another one called a golden goddess cocktail that's in Chapel Hill at Honeysuckle Lakewood, there's a bunch of different things. We even have chocolate, custom packaged sea salt chocolate, available at our museum, or I should say, our exhibition store, which is as you come out of the exhibition, it's it's right there, that's Videri Chocolate Factory, and they sell it at their store as well. Even in the store, we do have some goodies related to this bartending cocktail mix that we have. And we also have a candle that where the scent was made exclusively for us. And it's inspired by golden mommies. So that's actually kind of fun. Like you don't really see that in like exhibition stores something custom made like a candle. For example, Honeysuckle Tea House has Egyptian sunset tea made with chamomile, lemon balm, fall gold, ginkgo leaf, gingerroot, and oatstraw. That just kind of sounds nice, actually. So those are the kinds of partnerships that we have with local places like restaurants and tea houses and chocolates, like what could be better a cocktail, some chocolates after you visit the exhibition. That's awesome to me.Elizabeth Esser  7:47  What is your favorite part of the exhibition?Caroline Rocheleau  7:50  Goodness, I have lots of it's like asking for my favorite child. There's lots of different things that I like about the exhibition. I like that we are that we have mummies that people can finally see mummies, like I mentioned, we do not have any in our own collection. But I like also that the exhibition is more than just about mummies that we talk about multiculturalism, we still talk about, what is mummification? Has it changed or not during the Roman period? And a little bit you see this hinted in the exhibition, but there's a catalog also that accompanies it. And we dive into other themes like colonialism as well, because the discovery was made at the height of the British Empire. So how does that play how the objects that were discovered in Egypt ended up in Manchester Museum, for example. And that's one of the reasons I mean, I've been looking for a mummy exhibition for a little while. This one really caught my interest because it was more than just about mummies, but it was also about bringing transparency to how collections have been formed. And that sort of thing. So it was sort of hitting multiple boxes on the best mummy exhibition to bring to the the NCMA. Elizabeth Esser  9:04  Finally, is there anything else that you would like listeners to know about Golden Mummies of Egypt?Caroline Rocheleau  9:09  Well, it is awesome, first of all, so that's the first point. And what I like to our marketing team, we have this little more I'm going to call it a little ad that said that says mummies wear masks too, because you will see a lot of masks and portraits in the exhibition. And yes, these do identify like, Oh look, this is a human mummy. But these are also used as protection, just like the layers of wrapping around the mummy that's for protection. So those mummy masks that you see in the exhibition to offer protection. So wear your mask, do like the mummies, and come see golden mummies of Egypt. Elizabeth Esser  9:47  Golden mummies of Egypt is open from now until July 11. Tickets are $20 for non member adults $17 for seniors and $14 for youth ages 7 to 18 students get in free with their college ID Every Friday from 3 to 5pm with a reserved ticket which can be received through contacting reporting for Eye on the Triangle. This is Elizabeth Esser.Lise Nox  10:15  The views and opinions expressed during Eye on the Triangle do not represent WKNC or student media.Hi, this is Lise Knox, and you're listening to Eye on the Triangle. After spending all of 2020 without seeing live music because of the COVID pandemic the emblematic Raleigh music venue the Pour House House Music Hall started hosting live shows again as of March 2021, I went to one of their COVID safe concerts to see the Latin rock band Tumbao play live on the fifth of March 2021. And I ended up writing about my experience for WKNC's blog, in an article called "I went to a COVID safe concert after one year without any live shows." Adam Linstaedt, owner of the Pour House Music Hall and record shop read my article and thought it would be interesting for him to talk more in depth about what it's really like for a music venue to be hosting COVID safe shows while Raleigh is still affected by the pandemic. I'm really glad we're having this conversation today because I wrote an article a few weeks ago that apparently you've read about me going to a COVID concert at Pour house, which is a very weird experience but really cool experience. So today we're going to be talking about what it's like to be hosting these kind of shows in the middle of a pandemic, because for a lot of people, it can seem kind of weird to be, you know, going to concerts. But before we dive into this very specific topic, I just wanted to like know how it was like for you guys to be going through this pandemic as a venue, you know, like a local business, how are you guys able to survive the pandemic in the first place,Adam Linstaedt  11:51  It was extremely stressful. It still is we're only partially back at this point. But it was just from day one, watching the money in our bank account just dwindle on a daily basis for a venue like ours when we're closed completely not doing anything, the lights are off, it cost $500 a day. And we were closed for 355 days without doing shows. So for all you math majors out there, you know, you can figure that out really quickly of how much we lost. We had nowhere near that amount when we went into the pandemic either we relied heavily on donations, on grants from the city and state and other organizations we've taken out several loans. So yeah, I mean, we've acquired another $400,000 of debt since this time last year just to stay afloat to make sure we don't go anywhere. And now there's some light at the end of the tunnel knock on wood. The venue grant that passed in December through Congress is becoming available the applications opening on April 8, which will be a huge Lifeline not just for us, but for all independent music venues across the country. It'll basically help bring us back to close to zero, which is way better than being a large negative number. There has been days over this last year where it's like, Alright, we got this, we got to figure it out. We're gonna do this, this and that. And then the next day you're like curled up in a corner crying like what the hell am I doing? Why am I doing this? Oh my god, this is such a terrible idea. So it's definitely been an emotional roller coaster, us more than other venues, we're in a slightly better position. So in November of 2019, we converted the second level of the music venue into a record shop. So we've had that open the whole time. Once we closed down, we converted all of our inventory to try selling online the first couple weeks, you know, we basically just had an Excel spreadsheet that we made public that people would tell us what they wanted, they would come to curbside pickup we delivered to their houses, ship it in the mail. And after a few weeks of doing that it was really confusing for everyone and not terribly accurate on our end, since it was like a panic mode. Like we got to do this now. So we can stop the bleeding a little bit. So we launched the true website. It's still active,, and we released new stuff every Friday new and used. And we really developed a great online following and are now selling nationally to all 50 states and several countries as well. So that's been huge for us. It's basically helped sustain us, it's definitely not making us money, but it's you know, making the losses every month a lot less. The intention of the record shop was never to pay for a 5500 square foot building and prime real estate of downtown. There's a reason you don't see places like that very much across the country anymore. It was really a way to provide more services to our customers be open more and use our square footage in a better way. I guess, rather than only using the building at night for a few hours. You know, we wanted to try to use it, you know, 16 hours a day and we had the record shop open. We got a full bar up there. We were doing shows free shows on Saturday and Sunday three to five sets every Saturday and Sunday afternoon up in the record shops. It was really becoming a great thing and then the shutdown happened and everything got wiped out. And really in order for us to get back to doing those types of things. Again, we're going to have to be back with no restrictions whatsoever because it's a pretty small space up there even right now with the show that you went to and that we've been Running on Fridays and Saturdays, it's running at 19% capacity, we normally hold 289 people, we're now letting 54 people in at a time into a big space. They're seated shows, I'm personally bringing everybody in and bringing them to their table, giving them the rundown of how shows are running the expectations that this is a seated show that you should really think of this as going to a movie or a comedy club, you're sitting back and enjoying the show, we're bringing everything to you, there's no reason for you to be up wandering around anything like that, unless you're using the restroom or needing to step outside for whatever reason. Otherwise, if people are just starting to wander around, they see friends at different tables, we talked to them, if they continue to not follow the rules, we kick them out without a refund. Luckily, that hasn't had to happen yet, I'd say 95% of people have been great. And they understand they're, you know, following our protocols, no problem, there's a small group of people that don't want to wear masks, they'll come in, you know, the moment they get inside, they're taking it off. And because you're inside now that COVID is gone, it doesn't make sense. So we are enforcing the mask rule more strictly than say, like a restaurant or a store, we're requiring people to keep it on the entire time, the only time they can take it off is you know, for a drink, they can pull it down, take a sip of their drink, then put it back on. And if people aren't doing that, we ask them to comply. And if they continue to cause a problem, we ask them to leave. We've had a couple people leave on their own, and on their way out calling me a mask Nazi and all this fun stuff. So like cool, like you can have a great day, you know,Lise Nox  16:24  it's like we've been independent for over a year. Now, you should know you're supposed to wear your mask. It's like, you know, basic guidelines for COVID.Adam Linstaedt  16:31  Yeah, there's this strange dichotomy happening because the Pour houses in other music venues are considered private clubs. So like your regular bar that doesn't serve food, it's not part of a brewery, not part of a hotel, not part of the winery, we've been the only classification of bars in the state that hasn't been able to be open, all the other ones have been open since May of last year. So a lot of people have been going out for 10 months at this point. And all those places, you know, you go into a brewery, you go into a restaurant, you wear your mask in, and then you sit down and then you can take it off for two hours and not have to put it back on, getting those people used to the fact that they have to keep it on it feels they feel like they're getting their rights or whatever squashed, blah, blah, blah, but it's our house our rules. And really what the mandate says is, if you're not drinking, you have to be wearing a mask. And we interpret that as if you're not physically drinking, not just sitting there with a drink in front of you that's not drinking, you got to have a mask on. And we're keeping the show short right now to reduce the amount of time that people are in room lessen the exposure risk. So normally, we would have anywhere between two and four bands every night, we're now running one band playing one set for 60 minutes. So people are in and out pretty quickly. And then we turn the house do a deep clean and then do a second show with the same artist. So we're not you know, having multiple bands sharing the stage and having to do deep cleans of the equipment for the artists in between sets. And we've got, you know, plastic shields on all the microphones for when singers are singing, it provides extra protection from them spraying their spit out into the audience. And you know, we're doing everything we possibly can in our powers to do it right and make sure it is a safe experience. In my opinion. I've heard it from countless people that have been to shows already, they felt safer coming to a show with us than going to the grocery store or going to a restaurant or going to this place or that place because the rules are so strictly enforced. Lise Nox  18:15  Yeah, as someone who actually went to a show, I could tell that the venue really looked empty. But at the same time, I was like, I'm glad I have enough space around me to you know, not feel like someone's going to infect me with COVID or something I felt safe. And it was really weird. When my friend told me Oh, actually my partner plays the bass in a band. Do you want to go see him play live? I was like, why would I ever go to a concert like that seems like that most unsafe thing to do. And when I was actually at Pour House, I was like, everything is so much safer than me going to like the grocery store or any other place. So you guys have been doing a really great job of keeping everyone safe props to you guys like that.Adam Linstaedt  18:50  Thank you very much. Yeah, safety and experience for not only the patrons for the bands and my staff as well have always been top priority even before COVID. You know, obviously, it looked different before but the mentality was always there in trying to make it as fun as possible for everyone involved in as safe as possible for everyone involved. And that's just really carried over. I mean, we had these plans in place ready to go in at the beginning of April 2020. We knew what we had to do in order to put on a safe show. Because you know, in the beginning it was it was like on a three week rolling basis. It's like you might be able to open in three weeks. So get ready and then three weeks would come we're like okay, it's another three weeks and kept snowballing on and on and on and on. And then by the time we got to after Halloween into November the numbers were going crazy. So I was like, you know, I'm stopping I can't keep replanning and retooling everything every couple weeks its driving me crazy. I'm getting pretty grey now and I wasn't before. But you know, and then all of a sudden Cooper made the announcement that we could open. It kind of blindsided us we weren't exactly ready for it. And honestly, we didn't think that it was the appropriate time but also at the same time we felt we had safe plans and places have been open for 10 months except 1000 businesses in the entire state. So we felt we could do it safely and properly and provide that Pour House experience, even though in a different fashion, we felt we could do it in a safe and enjoyable way.Lise Nox  20:11  And it was probably even safer at Pour House than any other bar, because I remember going to bar once. And just like you said, People usually tend to like take off their mask to drink. And for two hours, they don't put it back on, we're just not wearing our mask and drinking beers at a bar so. We're just like, not in a pandemic anymore, you know, feels like we're not Adam Linstaedt  20:31  Totally yeah, and you know, there was so much language early on, like concerts are the most dangerous thing you could possibly do on the face of Earth anymore. And everyone's like, concerts. It's the devil's play right there. You can't, you can't mess around with it. And at the same time, during the pandemic, there's comedy shows, and there was concerts happening at places that serve food, it was okay if there was food, so you had to have your mask off and flap your mouth more so more spits flying out into the air that was safer rather than people just sitting down paying attention to what's happening in front of them with a mask on so I mean, the the way it was cut up felt extremely unfair. I do feel like we did our part in doing everything we could to step back and you know, alleviate any sort of pressure that's put on the system for people getting sick. Obviously, that's the last thing we want for anybody. We want this to just go away and nobody else gets infected. But that's not the reality we live in. And but it also got to a point where it's like we were the first ones to jump back into the you know, from the quote unquote, true music venue side of things in the area, we were the first ones to just jump back in. I feel like we've set the bar for expectations for people coming to concerts and what it needs to look like in order to feel safe and comfortable.Lise Nox  21:38  Yeah, cuz it really looks like you guys had been like preparing for COVID safe shows for a long time, because you were able to do it in a way that felt safe professional, and you didn't forget about any detail. I mean, when it comes to COVID guidelines, so that was really impressive to be able to adapt that quickly. You know, like I've seen many record labels and artists have online shows for their audience to watch. Is this something you've ever done with bands who usually play at Pour House during 2020? Adam Linstaedt  22:05  Yeah, for sure. We did probably 20 or 25 live streams over the last year. The first one we did was very early on. Right after John Bryant passed away. We did a tribute to John Bryant with that's when people were still on full lockdown and they're still at their houses. Nobody was coming to the Pour House. We had 8 different acts like BJ Barnum from American aquarium, Kate Rhudy, John Howard Jr, who's playing tonight at the Pour House and a bunch of other really great acts that are influenced by John Bryant. And they each played three songs, nobody replicated songs and we switched myself and one other person we controlled the stream from the Pour house and you know tuned into John Howard's house and over to BJs house then over to Kate's house, and it was like a continuous thing. And it was a really beautiful tribute and you know, tons of people tuned in at that time we were doing it as a fundraiser for the Raleigh music venue employee fund that we started to try to get some dollars in the pockets of all the people that work at Pour House, Lincoln's, Slim's, Kings, and Wicked Witch raised some good money during that for the crews. And then over time, we started doing more in person like Arson Daily and Jack the Radio and Shame did something and a bunch of other artists, Reese McHenry, and over time like as the pandemic ticked on, more and more, the number of people tuning in started going down, I definitely feel like there was like a live stream fatigue happening. I've spoken with several other event producers around the country. And they've seen very similar things. It seems that the most successful live streams are from bands that have a much larger national or international fan base. They're doing it on their own. They're not necessarily streaming from a place for this specific reason. They're just connecting with their, their audience, it was never really an intention for us to make money from it, it was more of a way to be like, Hey, we're going to be gone for a year. Don't forget about us. We're still here. Like, we're still doing these things over here. And we're ready for you when when this is all over. So it was really just a way to try to stay fresh in people's minds. Lise Nox  24:00  Yeah, I feel like the one positive thing that we can all kind of get from this entire pandemic is how we've all kind of learned how to use technology in new ways. You have online shows, which is something you've never would have thought of before the pandemic because if you're going to go to a concert, you're going to go in person, like why would you watch music through computer in the first place? Yeah. And also Yeah, about the, like livestream fatigue. I feel like a lot of people have spent their entire 2020 working from home on their computer, you know, having zoom calls all day. No, the last thing you want to do after an entire day seated at your computer at your desk is watch the live stream again at night. I don't think I've watched any live stream during the pandemic because I was really I wasn't really up to date with everything that was going on, like this, but I think I would have watched one if I kind of knew because I was so caught up in like work and you know, trying to survive a pandemic, I guess but yeahAdam Linstaedt  24:52  it just gets pushed so far down the priority list of things going on in your life and nobody's to fault for that because I mean, everyone's experienced with this last year has been wild. And I mean, nobody's experience has been the same. So I've heard, you know, some artists complaining, like, Oh, so and so these people aren't supporting us anymore. Like, it feels like this isn't worth it anymore. It's like, I get that I understand why you're feeling that. But you also have to put yourself in that in their shoes and understand why they're not. I mean, maybe they had a death in the family from COVID. Maybe they're sick themselves, maybe they're just like losing their damn minds, and just don't know what to do anymore. I had several people approach me over this last year that like, we really need to convert audiences into getting used to watching live streams, because this is going to be the new reality. And like this, and that we can do all these different things to make it more engaging. And at the end of the day, the people that were pitching these ideas weren't even watching or paying for the live streams themselves, they might like tune into a free one. But the moment like the artists can really monetize that and use it as a source of income is they got to charge just like a concert. When concerts are free artists in the venue, make very little money, when there's a cover charge, they're still making very little money, but it's better. And then you have the opportunity to sell merch and actually connect with the fans and get them to come back and multiply those crowds as time goes on the in person interaction that being in the same room with others. And experiencing the highs and lows of a musical set are the things that bond that group together. And all of a sudden, you've got 300 people in a room that are strangers that are all experiencing the same thing in the same way. And you know, they're high fiving each other and hugging and kissing on the way out, obviously pre COVID. ButLise Nox  26:33  definitely, you mentioned earlier that people you are trying to like adapt to the pandemic in the first few weeks or month by kind of selling more records online. And I just think it's really great that people were actually trying to support you guys, just like you mentioned, we've all been kind of struggling in our own ways during the pandemic. So I know that my first priority during this entire year wasn't to buy records or watch concerts online. And also, I feel like it's going to be a great opportunity for you guys to kind of expand your activity, because you mentioned that was a national kind of thing, you know, like selling records all around the country. Like are you going to keep doing this kind of thing after COVID is over?Adam Linstaedt  27:10  Oh, yeah, I mean, in November of 2019, we completely remodeled the second level, turned it into a record shop. So we are open up there from 11am till 7pm, seven days a week, and then we would convert over to shows at night. Right now we're open just Thursday through Sunday from 12 to six. So we're starting to ramp up towards getting back to more normal hours and get more activity going up up in there. And you know, it was it was really a really great scene, having people you know, browsing records peeking their head around the stacks, watching, you know, falling in love with a new act that they'd never heard of easy for them to see it because it's a free admission type show got a full bar people are hanging out, it was like a really cool, really cool scene. And then after four months of doing that it got stripped away completely. And it's like, okay, we had this great thing going on, we still have this record shop, we've got 30,000 records that we are just sitting on now we got to start selling online, and the online stuff has been really great. And we've developed a lot of relationships and deepen relationships with people that were already our customers. And now that we're starting to come back, we're keeping the online and we're trying to get more in person stuff going as people become more comfortable and get vaccinated and start venturing out of their cubby holes that they've been in for the last year. It seems like at this point with the way that vaccines are rolling out. And the way the numbers are starting to go down a little bit. It's very possible July or August, we might see things fully open. And we're back to full capacity shows and shoulder to shoulder and splitting and sweating it out with strangers like we did in the past.Lise Nox  28:35  Yeah, are you guys going to kind of try to make the shows evolve aggressively until the summer because I know you guys are only opened at 19% capacity right now. Do you see yourself like having 30% capacity shows? Because I know it's the maximum percentage, right?Adam Linstaedt  28:48  Well the maximum is up to 50% now yeah. So when you came to the show, we were allowed to be at 30%. But with going to a show, just like if you went to a movie, for example, and you got a seat where you couldn't see the screen, it wouldn't be a terribly enjoyable experience, right? So we could, in theory, put more people on the second level of the venue and push them back where they can't see the stage, but you can't see the stage and you're paying to see a show. So that kind of defeats the purpose. So in order to maintain distancing by our standards, which is a little bit provide a little bit more distance than the six feet that's mandated between tables to just provide that extra comfort level and a stage view. So looking at those two factors together, the maximum we can get to is 19%. So now we're allowed to be a 50% and getting all sorts of bands and booking agents hitting me up like alright, I heard 50% let's do this, you can do 140 people now is like, Well, no, because social distancing is still part of the mandate. And that's the reason until social distancing is not a revenue requirement anymore. We're going to keep operating in the way that we are once we are making plans for about a month and a half from now, to start extending the length of the shows a little bit like to show that you came to for Tumbao, those were 60 minute shows with one act, we're going to extend each show to 90 minutes. So basically add a second act with very minimal change over. So most of the time, it'll be a full band as a headliner, and maybe a solo or a duo act as an opener for 30 minutes, we can get them off stage very quickly, they're set up in front of the band already. So we don't have any big change overs, bringing gear down into the crowd and getting too close to customers or anything like that. And then we can just, you know, within two to three minutes, move on to the next band. So it's now a 90 minute show, instead of a 60 minute show.Lise Nox  30:33  It's really crazy as someone who was part of the audience, how I never like I know how much it takes to you know, keep everyone safe when you're trying to have this kind of event. But I never realized how many small details you have to think about to make sure that every single thing you do is safe. And you've been telling me about cleaning after every band and only choosing to have like one band at a time. So many things you have to think about because I mean, when I went to see Tumbao at Pour House at the beginning of March 2021, it felt weird to have like the venue being almost empty but at the same time. I'm pretty shy person. So if you tell me in the first place, like Oh, you're not allowed to dance or like, you know, jump around, I'm gonna be like, it's fine with me. I wasn't planning on dancing. If I just began my table, and like just enjoying the music and doing my thing, but yeah, no, I didn't mind having to follow all of those right, very strict rules that you guys have been implementing for the past few weeks.Adam Linstaedt  31:23  I mean, we can continue to wait until things are fully open, and then just dive back in at 100% go full force, or we could take some baby steps and get you out in front of that computer screen and actually get you back into the room feeling the music because going to show is more about feeling than anything you can see it on the screen, you can see it in person, it's the feeling that you get when you're in the room, the bass hitting you in the chest, and you know, the vibes that are just going on in the room, feeding off the energy of the other people, whether you're paying attention to them or not its in the air. And that's what that's why we do what we do is that experience of being in the room and collectively going through a moment of time that's memorable with others. And that's the baseline of what this whole experience of live music is all about to us.Lise Nox  32:05  Yeah, clearly. But since you guys were having so little people inside the venue, would you say it was easier for you to have the show since you had to, like, you know, take care of less people at the same time.Adam Linstaedt  32:15  No, because we're running things extremely differently. You know, I mean, we've always been high volume quick service bar, so customers would come to the bar to order their drinks. Now we're going to their tables and taking their order, we have paper menus at each table, people mark down the items that they want, they put it in a little metal stand. And when we see that little paper waving in the air, that's our sign to come and pick up their order. So we come and grab, grab it, bring it back to the bar, prepare those drinks, and then carry it out on a tray. I mean, we've never, we don't have cocktail service with what we run, people are coming up to us. And we're usually struggling to hear what they're trying to order. And then we make their drink as fast as possible and move on to the next one. Because there's you know, lots of people trying to get drinks, and we're doing band merch the same way. So to minimize the number of interactions that the band is having with customers, we're selling it for them. Since myself and our bartenders are already interacting with the crowds, it made better sense for us to sell their merch as well. So they're on each table, just like the bar menu, there's a little menu with the band merchandise and people can select what they want, put in a little metal stand. And when we see that we add it to their tab and bring them their t shirts and CDs and records and whatever it is that they wanted less work on the band's and more income for them because they're selling merchandise, we're not taking any sort of cut of that. So we're providing that service to just minimize the risk of getting anybody else potentially sick. And you know, that coupled with me personally seating every single person that comes through the venue explaining the rules to them. And once that's done and everyones sat I get up on stage and make an announcement and reiterate the rules say what is acceptable, what's not introduce the band, get back down start bartending and helping and clearing dishes and you know, the whole nine yards. It's exhausting. And then, you know, once that Show's over, we do it again and do a deep clean of the entire 5500 square foot venue in between the two shows, but it is really nice. I'm thankful that I had some formal theater training in the past, I used to work at Playmakers in Chapel Hill and I worked at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego before I moved to Raleigh and American Dance Festival and Carolina theater for a little bit I really learned about how other types of live events run not everyone's like come in party, do what you want be on your phone, talk loud, most other forms of art you come in, you sit down and shut up and pay attention. Like I wrote, I had that experience and I was used to enforcing those things from the past. And we're already used to enforcing rules at the Pour House too. So it was just another layer of rules that were different than everyone was used to. So it's definitely been interesting getting folks in tune with that with this new flow of operations and I can guarantee what's gonna happen by the time everyone's like, Oh, Okay, I get it, then everything's gonna change and open back up. And we're not going to be doing things like this anymore. But at the same time, we've always had shows in the past that have lent themselves better to a seated environment, whether it's a an acoustic songwriter where silence is golden, or a jazz show or a folk show, something that is just more mellow, or maybe would attract a crowd that is a little bit older, and they appreciate the seats. So now we've got the operations down to accommodate those things, and we can amplify it a little bit more, maybe not have tables so spread out and bring in additional ones, and run shows in the same way that we are right now. So it's definitely forcing us to be more dynamic. And I think it's only going to be beneficial down the road for us to adapt how we present things based on what it is we're presenting.Lise Nox  35:35  Yeah, cuz I was gonna ask like, Once COVID is over, and you don't have to worry about masks or social distancing, or cleaning up the entire venue after every, like every set, I was gonna ask, are you going to do anything differently going forward, and it seems like you guys are gonna have more opportunities to have, you know, just like you said, lighter shows or like more intimate shows.Adam Linstaedt  35:57  Usually, when we've done seated shows in the past, we've done it more like rows of chairs, without tables, more of like a theater style seating. So we'll bring in 100 chairs or something like that, for the ground floor, maybe some standing room behind it with a few tables, and then general admission behind that at the bar. So people are still able to be fluid. But when you do shows like that, especially when you're in a row of 10 people, and you're in the middle and you want to get up and go get a drink, you're gonna probably question yourself, whether you should do that and interrupt all these seven people that you got to walk past in front of and then come back and how many times you actually going to get up and down. But with doing it with the tables like this, so it's kind of more like a jazz club or a comedy club type approach? I think it works really well. You know, we started a series with NC State live in 2019, we did a handful, maybe three or four shows with them in partnership, and something Those were all seated shows with the sporadic seating and row seating that I was speaking of before, but I was talking to Sharon, who runs the program over there yesterday, actually, like you should really come check out what we're doing now. I think it's gonna lend itself perfectly for the NC State live shows. And she's like, yeah, that's gonna sounds great, we should totally come and check that out. And it just, you know, people are always more comfortable with things they're familiar with. And certain crowds are more familiar with certain types of approaches than others. And it's a way to reflect what the crowd wants. That's our job as a venue is to make it comfortable for people and make it as fun for those people that are there that night. And I think having those seated shows like that is going to continue to be a thing in the future, we might lay off it a little bit for a while and just party as hard as we can, and you know, throw all the ragers. But whenever that whenever that happens, whenever it's safe. It's looking like the later this year, late summer, maybe in the fall, we should be back to rocking and rolling.Lise Nox  37:45  Do you have unless you don't want to talk about it? Because it's a surprise, or, you know, do you have anything planned for when things are gonna go back to normal to kind of celebrate, you know, venue being able to reopen normally?Adam Linstaedt  37:56  No, not at this point. Because if I've learned anything over this last year is the more you put plans down into place and start moving on them, you're going to have to change them. So we know how to run shows like that we're ready for it. It's when it's going to be it might be a Tuesday randomly, it might be a Friday night, a couple of weeks after we get the announcement that we can do things like that as we ride out things that are already in place on the calendar, since we know typically booked further out than this weekend, you know, we've got things on the calendar all the way up to January right now of stuff that was rescheduled from last yearLise Nox  38:28  really seems like the pandemic has kind of taught us all how to be more spontaneous and flexible with our time with our energy our plans, just like you said, Every time you as of right now every time you're going to plan something for the future, you're always going to think in the back of your mind, maybe its is not going to happen. Or maybe everything's gonna change or like my entire world is going to fall apart in like two months from now. So adapt to be changes really quick. It's what we've all been doing for all of 2020Adam Linstaedt  38:53  Yeah, early on in the pandemic, I was talking to someone I don't remember who you know, you seem to really be on top of things and like getting things rescheduled and getting things on the calendar, blah, blah, blah. I was like, Yeah, but you know, at the same time, I'm really trying to look at this, like we're a startup business, when you're a startup business, you don't really you might have a date planned for when you're going to open but there's always going to be surprises that pop up, you have to have this extra permit or you have to have this extra inspection or the plumbing inspector is making you move your toilet over a quarter inch to fall into compliance. So being flexible, having a plan and being able to adapt it in real time is key for everyone right now to maintaining sanity really Lise Nox  39:30  I think the positive things we can remember from this pandemic is like how we've all been able to evolve into new people or you know, just like or new ways to run our businesses, I guess.Adam Linstaedt  39:39  Yeah, hopefully it sticks for a lot of people because typically people tend to forget things very quickly and move on and fall back into old habits. So hopefully it is been long enough that there is a greater good that comes out of this all this downtime we've all had. Lise Nox  39:52  I can say even though you guys had to set really strict rules for your show. I remember having a great time. So thank you so much for making this possible because I'm a really big fan of like music. So spending an entire year without going to a concert and also having started the year 2020 thinking, Okay, this year is the year where I will be going to one concert per month. That's the thing I wanted to do for my 2020 and then having to spend the entire year locked up in my room and be like, not going to happen. Definitely not gonna happen. I just remembered that. So I moved to Raleigh a few months ago. And I remember the first time I went to Pour House, I had no idea what it was in the first place. Like my friend told me, Hey, we should go to pourhouse. I was like, yeah, sure, whatever that is. And she took me to the record shop upstairs. And at the time, I had no idea that you guys were actually hosting live shows, usually, you know, pre pandemic. And she's the one who showed me the stage. And she was like, Oh, my partner usually plays there. And I was like, wow, there's a venue here. Like, that's awesome and at the time, I was like, well, we're, you know, with COVID. and stuff, I'm never going to be able to see a concert anyways, like, good thing to know. But I'm probably going to beAdam Linstaedt  40:58  Thanks for rubbing it in.Lise Nox  41:00  Like, I'm glad to know this information, but I'm not going to be able to do anything about it. And fast forward two months later, I'm seeing a live show of her partner playing the bass on stage. And I'm like, Oh, it was just really, really fun to notice the evolution because we're kind of seeing the light at the end of the tunnel right now know, people are getting more and more vaccinated.Adam Linstaedt  41:18  I think its starting April 6th, or 7th anyone over 16 in North Carolina can get it. You can get it next week. Lise Nox  41:26  Oh, wow. That's, that's coming really quickly. Yeah, cuz I'd like to get vaccinated. And I, for some reason, for obvious reasons, I couldn't. But yeah, it's good to know. So yeah, Adam Linstaedt  41:36  They've fast tracked a lot of things. And yeah, I believe it's the sixth or the seventh, anyone over the age of 16 is eligible. Okay, yeah, I got my second shot on Wednesday, and my wife just got her second shot this morning. That's great. So we're moving, we're moving towards it. And you know, once everyone that works for the venue, is vaccinated, and we're past that two week after, after getting your second shot time period, we are going to be a little bit more flexible with the masks, we're obviously still going to encourage people to keep them on the entire time they're inside the building, but we're gonna fight with them less about it. So if someone feels the need to sit down and take their mask off, and stay in their spot and follow all the other rules, keep their mask off while they're drinking, we're going to allow it at that point in time. But right now, if any of us get sick we had 17 employees when we closed down, and now we're we have 4, so if any of us get sick, we're gonna have to cancel shows for the next month, which is putting all these bands out of work, putting them out of work, we're just doing everything, we can definitely not make that happen. So we'll feel a little bit more comfortable with it once everyone's got their vaccinations fully in their systems. And, you know, hopefully everyone else follows suit and gets their shots as well. And we can get back to this sooner than later since I mean, it's the floodgates are opening next week,Lise Nox  42:53  it definitely matters more than anything that your team is safe first, because for people running the shows, like did you have to let go that many people because of like the debt?Adam Linstaedt  43:02  Well, I mean, that's how many people we need to run shows right now. Okay, so I've got my sound engineer, our door person, and two people working behind the bar plus myself managing so there's four people working than me managing and we're able to make it work with 54 people in the room, that's a fine number for us to deal with. So as things ramp up, we're going to start bringing back more folks, I have a separate person that's running a record shop during the daytime for those hours, technically five people back of the 17 that we had when we closed down initially,Lise Nox  43:34  okay, yeahAdam Linstaedt  43:34  But yeah I mean, we were we had the record shop opened 56 hours a week, we're doing shows seven nights a week with multiple bands, you know, often we would have four or five bartenders on any night, sometimes additional security on the floor, always a manager on duty. So just the need for more people right now isn't there and it wouldn't be fair to bring back more people and cut everyone's money down and then go, we should have stayed on unemployment, we would have been making more money that way, even though people want to get back to work. So it's been a balancing act for sure. We definitely have more folks that we're ready to bring back once restrictions get loosened a little bit. And we're able to bring more bodies in and justify the cost and having more people workingLise Nox  44:13  if you only have to deal with like 40 people like 44 people at the same time, it seems you know, reasonableAdam Linstaedt  44:18  Right, normally, in the before times, if we had a show where you know, 40 or 50 people showed up, that would be a one bartender night because they're not having to go out and run all over the place and cocktail and get their bills. 20,000 steps in in a couple hours. They're behind the bar, people are coming to them, which is a lot more easy to manage than it is with this other process. But yeah, that's where we're at right now. And I have full intentions of getting back to bigger and better places than we were before.Lise Nox  44:42  Hopefully by this summer 2021. That would be awesome. The rebirth of Pour House. Finally,Adam Linstaedt  44:47  yeah, it's coming.Lise Nox  44:49  Yes, it definitely is. I think I've covered pretty much everything I wanted to talk about. Is there anything else you want to add?Adam Linstaedt  44:56  Just let folks know that we're announcing new concerts every Tuesday at noon. So if you pay attention to our social media on Facebook or Instagram, or you get our newsletter that we send out, those are the main places that we're announcing those shows on the record shop side of things, we put out new and used releases every Friday at 10am. online at they're obviously available in shop starting at noon, and just kind of keep an ear out for us. Because we're always adding more things, we're always announcing more events. And hopefully soon we're going to announce that things are changing for the better. And we're moving in the direction of not having to be so strict and we can loosen up because at the end of the day, people come and hang out with us to cut loose from life not to follow more rules their here to have fun were very much ready to get back to that. So in the meantime, we're just going to make this as fun as we possibly can and as enjoyable as we possibly can, with the hope of being able to shift back to how things were before and being more fluid of an experience.Lise Nox  45:56  Yeah, and I feel like this interview and the article I wrote, are going to be pretty good proof for people that their shows are safe. So if you want to have fun, if you want to forget about the pandemic for an hour, one night, you can you're not going to get sick with COVID, it's fine, you can go to a concert, like with a clear conscience,Adam Linstaedt  46:14  Right totally. And on that same on that same note we've got, because we're largely selling all of our tickets in advance. So we have contact information for at least one person in every single group that's coming to the venue. And we've asked in all of our terms, hey, if you or anyone in your group gets sick with COVID, within two weeks of being here, let us know. So we can let everyone that was at that show know. So they can, you know, squash it and you know, isolate and do the things that they're supposed to do to help slow the spread of this thing. The answer is to slowing it down are just so painfully obvious. And it's so hard to watch everything happen that are just flying in the face of it and flying in the face of logic. It's really frustrating. We could have been back to rocking and rolling a long time ago if everyone just you know, did what they were supposed to do and were responsible but that's not the world we live in unfortunately.Lise Nox  47:03  Definitely not thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me about this this the kind of information that I think a lot of people are going to be benefiting from people are going to know what it's like with you telling us about Pour house and everything had to go through and how you're running the shows right now. Like it's just really great information. So thank you so much for taking the time to talk about this with me.Adam Linstaedt  47:22  Yeah, absolutely. I appreciate you putting it at the forefront and letting folks know and if anyone has any questions or concerns or hesitations about coming out to a show or coming to the shop you know we're an open door people can email me my email is You can also reach out to Nick his emails the same but it's Nick you can reach out to Lacey the same but L A C I E, our phone numbers 919-821-1120. Call us we're happy to talk and ease your mind a little bit. And if we can't convince you that it's safe now we hope that you come back when you feel more comfortable.Lise Nox  47:59  Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Eye on the Triangle. This is Lise Knox for WKNC 88.1. My guest was Adam Linstaedt from Pour House Music Hall, and he did a really great job in explaining what it's really like to be hosting COVID safe shows in the middle of a pandemic. Thank you so much for listening once again and I guess I'll see you soon. Take careTranscribed by
FULL TRANSCRIPT OF EPISODEProvided by Otter.aiEoin Trainor  0:00  The views and opinions expressed in Eye on the Triangle do not represent WKNC or the student media.Eoin Trainor  0:28  Good evening Raleigh and welcome to this week's Eye on the Triangle. An NC State student run students scripted and student produced a new show on WKNC 88.1 FM HD one Raleigh, I am Eoin Trainor. On tonight's episode our contributor Elizabeth Esser sits down with executive director of NC State University's Counseling Center, Dr. Monica Osburn They'll be discussing the COVID-19 pandemics impact on the mental health of college students. Later we'll have my interview with Blakeley Hildebrand, a staff attorney with the southern Environmental Law Center who is challenging the construction of an eastern North Carolina natural gas facility. And to top things off, we'll end with two stories from Nadia Ramlagan at the North Carolina News Service. Stay tuned Eye on the Triangle.Elizabeth Esser  1:14  Today I am joined with Dr. Monica Osburn, Executive Director of the Counseling Center here at NC State to talk about the impact of COVID-19 on the mental health of college students as we come up on a year since lockdown. Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us today Dr. Osburn.Monica Osburn  1:32  Very glad to be here. Thank you for having me.Elizabeth Esser  1:34  Everyone has been impacted by COVID in different ways. Dr. Osbourn, in what ways has the pandemic uniquely impacted the mental health of college students?Monica Osburn  1:44  That's a great question. It has significantly impacted the mental health of not only college students, but people around the nation, the way that we're really seeing that in our students at NC State is first and foremost isolation, not having as many social outlets and opportunities for connection has been a significant challenge related to mental health.Elizabeth Esser  2:16  And after the lockdown, did you find that more students were seeking out counseling resources?Monica Osburn  2:22  It's interesting because it has kind of had almost a wave effect when  everybody left campus, we experienced a lull in services. I think students were really focused on getting home, getting moved, getting settled, trying to figure out first order needs of how am I going to manage my academics? Where am I going to live? Do I have internet? And so we didn't start seeing a pickup in service delivery until over the summer, usually we're a little slower in the summer and that wasn't true this past summer, because once students kind of got settled and realize that they could access us still in a telehealth capacity they started doing that. And we absolutely made services available for them. So then we had another increase when folks came back to campus in fall. And then when it went remote again, it dropped again, it was it's kind of like it followed a little bit of a roller coaster for sure.Elizabeth Esser  3:29  And how have students responded to counseling sessions virtually?Monica Osburn  3:34  Really well, we have a significant number of students that really like it, and some students even it's preferred, I mean, it's not the same as being in person, right. And we were all trying to do the best we can with what we have. But students have been, for the most part, really grateful that the services exist, and that we've done so much to reduce the barriers of access, it really is as simple as calling the Counseling Center and you do actually talk to one of our front office workers and we have our paperwork on a link on the website. So it really it you know, it took us a little while, but we really have a system that flows to remove some of the barriers for access for students.Elizabeth Esser  4:29  And what are some coping strategies that students have been using or that you could recommend for students dealing with mental struggles related to COVID?Monica Osburn  4:38  This is an area that our department prevention services at NC State does a phenomenal job because not everybody needs counseling, and sometimes they just need that connection and support or maybe additional resources. If you go to the website and just type in "prevention services drop in spaces", an entire list of community drop-in spaces appears to where students can meet and talk to folks that are struggling with similar things that they are. So that's one of the places that I think has been a tremendous resource. We also have workshop series in the Counseling Center, our anxiety tool kit, or getting unstuck, that focuses on some symptoms of depression that really help teach students those coping strategies. And some of them are just gentle reminders of things that we already know, right, we need to make sure that we're getting appropriate amounts of sleep that is key to our bodies, and, you know, eating foods that are nourishing and healthy, that help take care of us. Going out for a walk, I mean, just some of those basic things can really improve mental health significantly.Elizabeth Esser  6:04  How do you sense students are feeling about the pandemic right now? And do they seem like they've eased into it? Are they optimistic as we enter spring? Monica Osburn  6:13  You know, I'm not sure. And I think, you know, if I had to create the narrative, in my head for what others are feeling, maybe it's similar to myself, some days, I am optimistic, some days, I'm scared to death, some days, I'm ready to take it on and have my groove and have a good plan. And then other days, I just want to pull the blanket up over my head. So I don't think there's just one path, we're all doing the very best that we can, I can tell you that. We've seen significant resilience and creativity in our students, there is just such a desire to succeed and figure out a way forward and that instills a lot of hope. And I don't want to minimize how challenging this time is, you know, we have many students who are managing grief and loss related to COVID. We're in a national environment that is really painful and activating for folks, both with what's happening with COVID, and other things that are happening in the world. So I think it really depends on the day is the best answer I have for you there.Elizabeth Esser  7:33  And then finally, is there anything that you want the student body or listeners as a whole to know about your resources?Monica Osburn  7:40  Continue to use them, continue to connect with one another, figure out what you need, try it on, help each other. And that could be going to a workout with well rec, that could be, you know, a nutrition class, it could be doing the drop in space with us connecting with one of the centers on campus, we are still doing some drop in spaces, in collaboration with the Women's Center, African American cultural center, and if you really need someone to talk to then then come to the Counseling Center because having that support whether it's in a group space, or an individual counseling space can make all the difference in the world. You don't have to be alone.Elizabeth Esser  8:34  Thank you again, Dr. Osburn for speaking with us today on Eye on the Triangle.Monica Osburn  8:38  Very glad to be here and thank you again for having me, have a wonderful day.Elizabeth Esser  8:43   For more information on NC State's Counseling Center resources can be found at reporting for Eye on the Triangle. This is Elizabeth Esser.Eoin Trainor  8:57  This is Eoin Trainor with WKNC 88.1's Eye on the Triangle. Joining us today is Blakely Hildebrand. Blakely is an attorney with the southern Environmental Law Center, and she's here to discuss her lawsuit to hold the construction of what could be North Carolina's largest bio gas facility. Blakely, welcome to the program.Blakely Hildebrand  9:17  Thank you. Thanks for having me, Eoin.Eoin Trainor  9:19  To start Would you mind briefly explaining what exactly a bio gas facility is and what it is that your lawsuit aims to do?Blakely Hildebrand  9:26  Sure, let me start by talking about what bio gas is. Bio gas is often referred to is a common term is often used to describe energy that's generated from swine feces and urine. Bio gas consistent methane, carbon dioxide and other gases and once it's processed, can be used to generate electricity. So this project that we're talking about today is is a bio gas project. And I think before kind of getting into the details of the project itself, I'd like to kind of zoom out a little bit and talk about the lagoon and sprayfield system on which this project relies. You know, in North Carolina bio gas production relies on an outdated waste management system that involves storing untreated hot manure and urine in uncovered pits, where the solid waste falls to the bottom and liquid waste floats to the top. And that liquid waste is in sprayed onto nearby cropland. And this waste management system is recall we generally refer to this as as the lagoon and spray field system. And this system is used at the vast majority of industrial hog operations in North Carolina, most of which are located in the coastal plain of the state. And there was a 2007 law that put a moratorium on the use of the lagoon and sprayfield system for new and expanded hog operations. So this biogas project that we are focused on is a project that is sponsored by Dominion energy, and Smithfield Foods. Smithfield Foods is the largest pork producer in the country. And these two companies, these two giants and their industries, are putting about $500 million into a joint venture called align renewable natural gas, which will make money from producing the gas in North Carolina and a few other states. aligns first major project is called the Grady wooded project and that's the subject or the focus of this of this lawsuit. Alliance first major bio gas project in North Carolina is located in duplin. And Samson counties, which again is in the coastal plain of North Carolina. And the Grady, it's the project is called the Grady road project. And it has three main components. The first is capping hog waste pits at 19 Industrial hog operations in duplin, and Samson counties, constructing a central processing facility and then laying a pipeline that will connect each of the 19 hog operations in the processing facility. So in brief, what happens is each Smithfield and dominion, cap hog waste lagoons, each of the 19 hog operations, those hog operations trap the bio gas, the biogas travels through this new phase of pipelines, and delivers that bio gas into the Central Processing Facility. The processing facility, collects all the bio gas brings it up to pipeline standards and injects the bio gas into the existing natural gas pipeline.Eoin Trainor  12:51  You mentioned that Smithfield and dominion didn't disclose their projects full environmental impact. What exactly was it that they didn't reveal? And how did you uncover this?Blakely Hildebrand  13:00  So the key that one of the key pieces of information that Smithfield did not disclose to DEQ is the identification of these 19 hog operations that are part of the project. And we know that there are 19 hog operations that are part of this project because Smithfield and Dominion have said as much. They have in their public statements about this project in their filings with North Carolina Utilities Commission and in the representations to the state. They have described this project as involving 19 Industrial hog operations, but they haven't disclosed which operations are part of this project. And in order for DEQ, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, who regulates water pollution and air pollution in the state, in order for DEQ, DEQ has to know what is coming into that Central Processing Facility in order to know, in order to adequately protect communities that live nearby and protect air quality in the area. And I'd like to be specific Eoin, SELC has challenged the air quality permit that was issued to align for the processing facility, the central gathering processing facility where all of the bio gases collectedEoin Trainor  14:15  With this sort of lack of transparency, why do you think it is that the DEQ issued the permit in the first place?Blakely Hildebrand  14:21  I think DEQ, Smithfield didn't tell DEQ, what information they need. I think DEQ was handicapped in providing, in drafting the comment as they did we think that Smithfield and dominion should have been more transparent with DEQ and in fact DEQ requested information from Smithfield and dominion on numerous occasions and Smithfield and Dominion were not transparent about all of the details of the project and we're asking the DEQ require more transparency out of Smithfield and dominion and to write a permit that's more protective of communities and the environment.Eoin Trainor  15:10  Smithfield and dominion have actually said that this project would benefit the environment because it would reduce CO2 emissions by 150,000 metric tons per year. What's your response to that?Blakely Hildebrand  15:22  I think this industry has greenwashed this project. This project will entrench and lock in an air harmful Waste Management System, the Lagoon and Sprayfield system that has polluted our waterways that's polluted the air that is created adverse health impacts for people living nearby, is creating noxious odors, and other unbearable conditions for people living close to these hog operations on which Smithfield and dominions project relies, not to mention the fact that the biogas is not a truly renewable resource like solar and wind energy, because the admissions that bio gas depends on are not naturally occurring. Smithfield is through this project Smithfield is maximizing the amount of methane that's produced from these hog lagoons. And while they're capping and trapping most of that methane, there are opportunities for leakage along the way, which may mitigate some of the climate benefits that the industry is so loudly touting. But at the end of the day, this project locks in a harmful system. Bio gas is not a truly renewable resource like wind and solar. And we don't think the project should move forward as proposed.Eoin Trainor  16:40  You mentioned the local communities, how much of a say did they have in the approval of this project? In the past, Smithfield has gotten into some hot water for either dismissing or ignoring their concerns. Was it any different this time around?Blakely Hildebrand  16:56  We are very concerned about the lack of transparency surrounding this project, not just because we're concerned about the permits that have been issued, and the lack of information that DEQ had from Smithfield before it issued a permit for this project. But we're also concerned about, you know, about the lack of transparency for communities, and people cannot protect themselves and provide the agency, the state agency with meaningful feedback, if they don't know the details of the project that is going on in their backyard. For example, how are they supposed to talk about or how are they supposed to know how this project is going to impact them if they don't know which hog operations are involved in the project, where the pipeline is that Smithfield and dominion plan to construct? People can't protect themselves and provide the agency with feedback if they don't know the details of the project, and they can't protect themselves if they don't know the details of the project.Eoin Trainor  18:00  People of color and the poor are disproportionately impacted by agricultural pollution. Is this the case with the Grady road project as well?Blakely Hildebrand  18:09  Yes, biogas relies on a primitive Lagoon and Sprayfield system that harms residents and it's been well documented that people who, that communities of color living near lagoons and spray fields are disproportionately communities of color and communities of color bear a disproportionate burden of the health impacts and environmental impacts that are associated with this very primitive waste management system.Eoin Trainor  18:39  With respect to the lagoon and spray field system, Smithfield promised the state of North Carolina to tighten their environmental standards and research alternatives and in an agreement over 20 years ago, they still have not followed through with this promise, but you're now asking Attorney General josh stein to enforce the agreement. Tell us more about that.Blakely Hildebrand  19:00  Sure, in the year 2000, the Attorney General and Smithfield Foods entered into the Smithfield agreement, which is a voluntary agreement between the state and Smithfield Foods, under which Smithfield committed to developing and installing cleaner technology at their company and contract operations in the state. There were several technologies that were developed in the years after the agreement was signed that addressed the noxious odors from the lagoon and spray field system, the water pollution, the air pollution and other impacts of the lagoon and spray field system. But Smithfield did not implement any of these new waste management technologies on their operations because the technologies were not found to be economically feasible. And that's a term of art that was used under the agreement. In short Smithfield did not install these technologies because the technologies were found to be too expensive. But the candidate technologies and the economic feasibility analysis was conducted, you know, over a decade ago and a lot has changed since then. In particular, bio gas development is now on the horizon and Smithfield stands to make money and profit from the lagoon and sprayfield system. There are technologies out there that address the water pollution and air pollution and odors that are, that result from Smithfields use of the lagoon and sprayfield system, Smithville has   these cleaner technologies and other states like Missouri, and we think that the technology that Smithfield has used in other states that is, that is cost effective can be a starting point for what Smithfield can use here in North Carolina. So it is time that Smithfield upholds its obligations under the Smithfield agreement and follows through on its promises to clean up its mess here in North Carolina.Eoin Trainor  21:02  So the pork industry is known for being a powerful interest in North Carolina. And most lawsuits that have challenged any of its activities haven't been successful. What makes you think this one will be any different?Blakely Hildebrand  21:15  The pork industry is very powerful in North Carolina, there's no doubt about that. And the industry has fought regulation at every step they have tried to change laws about who can bring nuisance actions in the state, they have tried to create a loophole in the existing moratorium on hog operations in the state. And they're a powerful force in North Carolina. And here, our lawsuit seeks to require Smithfield to be transparent about the basic details of their project, the pollution that will be created by their project and the details of their project. These are basic pieces of information that Smithfield needs to disclose to the state in order to get a permit that complies with the law. And so we are hopeful that our lawsuit will be successful, of course, that remains to be seen. And, you know, at the end of the day, what we hope is that Smithfield will transition to cleaner technology to manage the top race, will be transparent with the state and with the public about the impacts of their project and the details of their project, and will  not further harm the environment and the communities that have dealt and borne the burden of pollution and health impacts for decades resulting from Smithfields poor waste management practices.Eoin Trainor  22:47  Did you or anyone else at the SELC reached out to Smithfield, Dominion or the DEQ before or after filing the lawsuit.Blakely Hildebrand  22:57  So we, SELC on behalf of over a dozen organizations submitted two sets of technical comments to the state in June and again in November of last year raising these concerns about the lack of transparency with the state. In those comments we provided detailed, we provided detailed technical comments to the state raising our concerns about this air quality permit. We attended a public hearing and spoke at a public hearing and made those concerns very well known to the state and to industry representatives that attended this hearing. So both the state and Smithfield and Dominion are well aware of the concerns that we've raised throughout this process.Eoin Trainor  23:41  And what was their response?Blakely Hildebrand  23:43  Well, the state after the public hearing in November requested that dominion and Smithfield disclose several pieces of information that we suggested that the state needed in order to issue the permit, Smith refused to disclose that information.Eoin Trainor  24:02  Blakely, thank you for joining us.Blakely Hildebrand  24:05  Thank you for having me, Eoin.Nadia Ramlagan  24:07  Every 10 years states use the census to redraw congressional and state legislative districts but delays in the release of 2020 census data because of the pandemic have some experts worried that could lead to extreme gerrymandering and a torrent of litigation North Carolina Republican lawmakers are slated to begin redrawing maps this fall only a few months before the state's primaries in March of 2022. Bob Phillips of common cause North Carolina says unfairly drawn maps deny fair political representation to diverse populations.Bob Phillips  24:40  There is an awareness here in the state I think even more so than many other places about the problem we have with drawing maps, maybe not everybody across our state knows exactly what gerrymandering is, but they do know that something is not rightNadia Ramlagan  24:55  Philips adds there have been more than 50 legal interventions related to gerrymandering. along racial or party lines within the last few decades, some watchdog groups are calling for postponing candidate filing in the 2022 primary to allow enough time for a proper redistricting process. Phillips says when redistricting gets underway, lawmakers should be transparent and allow for more public input. He says it's likely in North Carolina with its growing and increasingly diverse population we'll get a 14th congressional seat next yearBob Phillips  25:27  and that we will also see pressure from the legislature having to create more legislative seats out of the urban areas which have grown in North Carolina and fewer seats coming from the rural areas where again, the majority party mostly holds those seats.Nadia Ramlagan  25:42  North Carolina State law bans the governor from being able to veto redistricting maps. Philips also notes that nationwide this will be the first redistricting to occur after the US Supreme Court invalidated a portion of the Voting Rights Act in 2013. Now districts with a history of racial discrimination no longer need pre clearance from the US Justice Department to make voting changes. For North Carolina News Service. I'm Nadia Ramlagan. tooth decay is the most common chronic disease among young children and as families postpone preventative dental care due to the pandemic. Experts say it's important to maintain good oral health habits at home. Dr. Kerry Dove who runs a pediatric dental practice in Concord says lack of a normal schedule means kids at home maybe snacking throughout the day, which can lead to cavities. she recommends brushing kid's teeth in the morning and at night, drinking lots of water and staying away from chewy and sugary foods like fruit snacks.Kerry Dove  26:42  baby tooth decay can get really severe really fast. But you know if you've got a diet full of simple sugars and juice and carbohydrates and small things can get really big really quickly.Nadia Ramlagan  26:52  Dove says one in five kids ages six to 11 have at least one untreated cavity. The American Dental Association recommends continuing routine checkups and cleanings in the pandemic but the World Health Organization cautions that non emergency dental services should be avoided wherever community transmission of COVID-19 is high or uncontrolled. Use websites like COVID act to check your local infection rates Dove notes that dentists are obsessive about infection control and are taking extra precautions to keep patients safe. Kerry Dove  27:26  Make sure you talk to your provider about your comfort level or you know if they can move you to a private room dentists are doing a lot of things to make people feel as safe as possible taking temperatures making sure everyone's wearing masks. Nadia Ramlagan  27:37  One study published last fall found fewer than 1% of dentists nationwide had tested COVID positive and 99% had enhanced their infection control procedures. Chief dental officer at United Healthcare Dr. Richard Gesker adds most tooth and gum problems are preventable and emphasizes it's important to stay in touch with your child's dentist,Richard Gesker  27:58  individual dentists and some dental plans are making telephone and video consultations available. But this is only an option as a starting point for care and advice to help the patient select the best setting for them for in person care.Nadia Ramlagan  28:15  The American Dental Association says spending on dental care dropped by 38% last year and is expected to further dip 20% this year for North Carolina News Service. I'm Nadia Ramlagan.Eoin Trainor  28:31  That just about does it for this episode. We'd like to thank our listeners for tuning in. It means a lot to us here at Eye on the Triangle, and we'd be happy to hear from you as well. That's right. If you have any questions, comments or powerful opinions, email us at We're also accepting applicants if you'd like to get involved the Eye on the Triangle team. Our theme music for today's show was "Chilled" by DJ quads Licensed under Creative Commons. Stay tuned for usual programming and we'll see you next time.
FULL TRANSCRIPT OF EPISODEProvided by Aaron Kling  00:00The views and opinions expressed during "Eye on the Triangle" do not represent WKNC, or the student media. Your dial is currently tuned to "Eye on the Triangle"  at WKNC 88.1. Thanks for listening. Aaron Kling  00:12Hello everyone. I'm Aaron Kling for WKNC 88.1's "Eye on the Triangle." And tonight, we'll be discussing COVID-19. Naturally, all of you have heard quite a bit about this disease so far, but we at "Eye on the Triangle" thought it would be good to close up the end of 2020 with a breakdown of what we know about COVID. We'll do our best to strive to present you with information that you haven't already heard 1,000 times. All right. Let's begin then.  Aaron Kling  00:59What do we know about COVID-19 now that we didn't know about to begin with? As anyone would expect, researchers worldwide have been studying COVID-19 essentially non-stop. Today, compared to its identification of Wu Han China in the month of December, we have more lab research, case studies and examples of the disease among the public than ever before. Let's go over a few. Aaron Kling  01:23COVID-19 was originally believed to primarily target the elderly, with risk of complications growing alongside the age of the patient. Unfortunately, we are now aware that children can present more than mild symptoms once infected, and one in three children that are hospitalized will require transfer to an intensive care unit SARS COV2 has largely been identified as a respiratory virus. Common are the same effects compared a lot to the flu. And any of our listeners that have long memories will remember that health officials stated as much here on "Eye on the Triangle." For the most part, these details remain true. SARS COV-2 infections can give a person aches, fever, chills, coughing, everything you would expect. Yet research has also demonstrated the virus can have worrying secondary effects in the body even after it has been defeated by our immune system. Our bodies work into a frenzy by the presence of a pathogen can cause inflammation of the tissue of the heart. This can create chest pain and further down the road can increase your risk of heart failure. Additionally, COVID fog a state of persistent absent mindedness, has been reported in the wake of some cases. It's sort of like you're stuck in confusion, like everything doesn't really make as much sense. This can leave the affected individual unbalanced for weeks, even after the disease passes. Aaron Kling  02:56These effects have even been reported individuals who experienced mild symptoms, leaving researchers wondering what the long-term prognosis for survivors will entail. Though COVID-19 remains  serious, we've learned a few things that may make it easier to deal with. Firstly, vaccine production can be achieved much faster than experts previously believed was possible. More on this later, but consider that we may be seeing vaccines by 2021. A lightning quick development timetable considering such treatments normally take 10 to 15 years to complete. COVID has a low rate of mutation, at least when compared to other viruses. While we have seen some variation and mutations in COVID over the course of the pandemic. This is really resulted only in one major branch, which did little to change the danger or infectivity of the disease. The low amount of mutation is excellent news, both for researching treatments, cures and preventative measures as well as for ensuring the disease's impact doesn't worsen.  Aaron Kling  03:59Despite all the research that has gone into this pandemic, there is still plenty we have yet to understand. For example, when some individuals contracto COVID-19 they report very mild symptoms or even no symptoms. This can make the disease appear to be a cold or an outbreak of allergies, and generally has done plenty to make everyone terribly paranoid every time they get a little tickle in their throat. Because COVID doesn't hit everyone like a cold, for the unlucky it can drop oxygen levels and blood, constrict breathing and leave the infected hacking and wheezing. For others, it can cause a storm of autoimmune responses where cells attack bodily organs until death. Researchers still cannot determine what causes the illness of damage some and only inconvenience others. Current theories point to a failure of interferon proteins in the body that engage our immune systems defenses. Without the crucial first response to these interferon proteins, no alarms really go off in the body, and you give the virus a head start, so to speak. This intensifies symptoms and can increase lethality. Yet, in other patients, it's actually the immune system causing most of the problems with an excess of the protein, interleukin six and TNF alpha. When these are in higher concentrations in the body, it seems to lead to higher morbidity that's death. And just generally a negative prognosis over time.  Aaron Kling  05:35Also of interest is whether or not an infection of SARS COV-2  can grant a stable and long-lasting period of immunity. Common knowledge states that once you get a disease, you can never get it again. Sure, maybe you might catch a different strain floating around out there, but at least your body won't fall for the same trick twice. Right? Well, some good news here. In this case, that appears to be true. Studies have shown that antibodies and specially produced T cells remain in the body on standby for further attacks from COVID and persist for at least six months time. The issue here is that a few individuals appear to have suffered reinfections despite successfully staving off the virus the first time. What this means is that even with a six month window, there is still some measure of risk for reinfection. In the case of the original SARS and the very similar MARES, both of which are coronaviruses, immunity lasts a year, though nothing is certain if SARS-2 persistently environment like other diseases, such as influenza, that a year of immunity will prove to be pretty short in the long run. Aaron Kling  06:45So with all this information, where are we now? How is COVID-19 affected the United States? Well, listeners, the short answer here is badly. I've seen individuals compare SARS COV-2 to to some of the worst diseases in history, the black deaths, Yersina pestis, [unknown], the Spanish flu, H1-N1. This comparison is usually made to downplay SARS COV-2 to demonstrate that we survived vastly worse and that the pandemic is nothing to really be afraid of. That cannot stress this enough. That is a wrongheaded way to look at this. Remember, we don't have a handle on SARS COV-2 right now. Unlike those diseases of the past, it may not be the deadliest disease in history. But it's the disease that's killing thousands of Americans daily. 300,000 Americans have died so far. And the numbers aren't going down. Week by week, they're trending upwards. Over the summer, death rates were dropping. But now in mid-December, they're the highest they've ever been. 3,293 people died in America on December 16 alone. Globally, we're number one in new infections and deaths and have been for months. The population hit hardest within our nation, our black and Latinx, both of whom have a higher chance of dying from a COVID-19 infection.  Aaron Kling  08:16We're simply not taking care of our people. There's no bright side to this. No silver lining. SARS COV-2 may have flu like symptoms, but it's not killing us like a seasonal flu would. This is the pandemic in our laps, right this instant. Rising cases means a higher chance of critically ill patients heading to hospitals. And that means more stress on a system unprepared for this eventuality. This could lead to doctors having to make some hard decisions between patients. And this is something we've already seen during the Italian health crisis. In Kentucky, hospitals have begun establishing triage centers to determine treatment courses for an expected larger influx of patients. In Utah, a medical system stretched to the breaking point is beginning to report that informal rationing of care is just what has to happen for patients to survive. So yeah, now it would be a really great time for a vaccine to be released.  Aaron Kling  09:15As we've established that COVID-19 Coronavirus relatives can reinfect after about a year, a vaccine is crucial to finally end this pandemic. As mentioned before vaccine programs have gone through an accelerated approval and testing program that has no equal in history. Over 200 vaccines are in production now with Pfizer and Moderna's mRNA based injections reportedly 95% effective in preventing infection. Some countries such as the United Arab Emirates, China, Russia and Great Britain have already begun provisional or emergency distribution of their own vaccines to their citizens. So what about the US? Unfortunately, vaccine distribution isn't going to be like a movie right? There isn't going to be some location where everyone can go to acquire a vaccine. Once a vaccine gets approved outright, we're not all going to get it right away.  Aaron Kling  10:10So first, what's going to happen? Tens of millions of healthcare workers are going to get the vaccine, followed shortly afterwards by extreme risk individuals in care homes across the nation. The vaccines path will follow a sort of an essential worker hierarchy from there, making its way to the hands of the general populace, and supposedly being given to children last due to children having a generally lower risk. But the thing is, that's just the overall plan. These mRNA treatments, they begin to degrade at temperatures above negative 94 degrees. That means the process of transporting vaccines alone will be a serious strain for many locations, expect that urban areas will receive the vaccine first, and then it will flow outwards to rural regions.  Aaron Kling  10:53So some outlets have mentioned that vaccines should begin circulating along these lines by the spring. But remember that not everyone will get them. At least not immediately. We've done quite a bit of waiting already. But make no mistake, things aren't going to get easier from here. So I'll leave you with the usual then. Wear a mask outside. Stay six feet apart. Wash your hands frequently. Stay healthy for yourself and for your family. At this point, it's all routine. Right?  Aaron Kling  11:25This is my last show everybody. After this there'll be someone brand new at the microphone. Thanks for making my time here unforgettable. It is really been a heck of a year, right? WKNC 88.1's "Eye on the Triangle." I'm Aaron Kling,
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