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San Diego Jewish Leader Reacts To Rise Of Anti-Semitism, San Diego Sheriff On Fighting Hate And Jail Deaths, Cannabis Cultivation Fines, Rollerderby Comes To Encanto

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With last weekend's stabbing in New York and the attack at a Poway synagogue earlier this year, we get reaction from the San Diego Anti-Defamation League on the spate of anti-Semitic violence. Also, San Diego Sheriff Bill Gore discusses what his department is doing to monitor online hate groups and responds to a high number of deaths inside county jails. For years, cities across the state have struggled with illegal cannabis cultivation. Now the city of Sacramento is issuing hefty fines. Plus, in San Diego, finding a place to play roller derby is hard. But one group is taking steps to build its own home in Encanto. And, on this New Year’s Eve, the band La Diabla brings its bi-national dance party to the KPBS studios.

Show transcript

Speaker 1: 00:01 San Diego is Jewish community reacts to yet another violent antisemitic attack. And what's sheriff bill Gore doing about a rise in hate crimes? I'm Alison st John and this is KPBS Mindy.

Speaker 1: 00:23 It's the last day of the decade. Tuesday, December 31st the news of last weekend stabbing attack on Jews at a rabbi's residence in New York hit the San Diego community, particularly hard memories are still fresh of the attack at a synagogue in Poway earlier this year. It's just the latest in a series of antisemitic attacks across the country and calls are coming from Jewish leaders for more to be done to STEM the violence. Joining us to talk more about this as Lindsay's Zipkin director of development at the San Diego office of the anti defamation league. So Lindsay, thanks so much for joining us. Thank you for having me. So what went through your mind when you heard in the media about this attack in New York?

Speaker 2: 01:02 Right. So I come at this from both the professional perspective of here we are again. Um, and it's, it's alarming the amount of attacks that we saw in New York and New Jersey over Hanukkah. I think there was 12 or 13, um, that we recorded. Uh, but also I'm a mom of two small Jewish kids who go to tourist school and preschool at our synagogue, and you look at those types of things and, um, you know, during our happy celebrations and, uh, you know, my daughter actually saw something about this on the news and she turned to us and she said, that hurts my heart because I celebrate Hanukkah too. And that man wanted to hurt people who celebrate Hanukkah. So, um, you know, I really come at it from, you know, a whole different level of a personal, yeah. It's very person.

Speaker 1: 01:51 Yes. Well, um, I understand that the ADL did, uh, an audit of the antisemitic attacks from 2018 that showed a dramatic increase in violence against Jewish people. And, uh, I just wondering, I mean, is the San Diego community, uh, reacting to this? Is it, is it becoming commonplace or how are they reacting to all of this?

Speaker 2: 02:11 Right. So actually ADL has been collecting, um, incidents of antisemitism for decades now. Um, and since they are 2015, we've seen a 99% increase in antisemitic incidents. Um, actually notably in 2018 there was a slight nationwide decline in incidents. However, in San Diego or California specifically, we had a 27% increase. So I think when the San Diego community sees things like this, obviously there's a, um, a connection to those communities that's probably, uh, a bond forged of trauma and tragedy. Um, one that we share with Pittsburgh. Um, you know, in other communities that have felt this type of violence, um, sort of a ugly club. We don't want to be a member of that. We are Emma. And then I think people too are reacting less and less. Um, because I think that they are tired of it and I think that they're seeing it so much more.

Speaker 2: 03:10 I mean, the weeks before that too, there were, um, attacks on synagogues in Los Angeles and my Alma mater, I went to a Jewish university up there, was um, vandalized down here. We are getting calls almost daily of, uh, vandalism and, um, you know, we get a lot of kids lately who are coming home saying that their parents or that their friend's parents are saying that they can't play together anymore because they're Jewish and they don't like Jewish people. So it's really becoming commonplace, um, both in terms of how it feels to be Jewish and see these things happen, but also it's becoming more normalized for people who have these anti Hispanic, uh, feelings. That's very disturbing. Um, in, in Los Angeles, the, the police apparently did increase patrols around synagogues and, um, they said out of an abundance of caution. Absolutely. What's your relationship with the San Diego PD users?

Speaker 2: 04:05 The, are they responding in any way? Oh, absolutely. We have a great relationship with local law enforcement, both the Sheriff's department and the PD, um, which I know we feel continuously grateful for. Uh, they were one of the first calls that our director made after seeing all of these incidents and they pledged the same two up all of their patrols at synagogues and Jewish community institutions throughout the city and County. Um, which, you know, you can't appreciate enough. So yeah. Would you say the synagogues are also taking steps that they were not taking before? Well, you know, I honestly think that this is not, um, new, like I said, and many of the synagogues already have very strict protocol for safety in place. We work closely with all of the synagogues and Jewish institutions in town to help review their, you know, security protocol and make sure that people are properly trained, um, help advise them on security and safety plans.

Speaker 2: 05:01 And, you know, I can speak from experience. My synagogue isn't, is looking to increase its security, but it's already a type of fortress to get into my synagogue. So I think it's, um, you know, everybody's going to be looking to be more vigilant and to add more. But I think there's a lot of security in place already because of what's been happening. I mean, there's two ways of looking at this. One can either sort of up the security or one can look at how to prevent it. You know, what to do to prevent it. Absolutely. What would you say needs to be done on that front? Well, you know, we have a number of different things that we work on at ADL, both locally and nationally. At the federal level. When Congress comes back into session, we're really hoping that they will push through the federal domestic terrorism prevention act. There are no acts currently at the federal level addressing domestic terrorism, which is obviously a huge issue that we need to tackle. We also have a no hate act that we're hoping they'll push through as well. So do you think that we're focusing much then still on,

Speaker 1: 05:58 on international terrorism threats from outside and not enough on the threats from within?

Speaker 2: 06:02 Right. So I think after, um, I believe it was El Paso, there was an increased, uh, awareness and effort on the part of federal law enforcement to start targeting some of these domestic terrorists. Um, but I think that there needs to be more that's done. I know that one of the things that we are really big firm believers in is more communication between federal law enforcement and local law enforcement. A lot of times there aren't the resources in place for the two to communicate when they're dealing with these types of things. And so we would like to see more funding allocated so that people are in, you know, who are doing this work, are able to talk to each other and get more done.

Speaker 1: 06:40 But there is a, in a sense, perhaps some kind of education that seems to me to be perhaps something that is a little bit harder to legislate, but I don't know if you've got any, um, words of what you've been thinking in terms of what we can do to try to, uh, spread a different kind of message.

Speaker 2: 06:59 Right. Well, ADL is one of the largest providers of anti bias education to schools throughout the country. Um, we've been doing that for decades. In San Diego alone, we reach about 45 to 50,000 people a year in the schools. So we have a great partnership with San Diego unified. We work with Poway unified and that actually was in place prior to the shooting at Habad there. But, um, it has certainly strengthened since. Um, and we work with a number of other city and County schools and we go in and we do general anti-biased education because we recognize that it's not just about antisemitism that hate is hate and it can grow from any place. Um, and we are strong believers. You know, we couldn't get up and do this work every day if we didn't truly believe you could change hearts and minds. So we know that education works and prevention at that level is successful.

Speaker 1: 07:51 Well, thanks so much for coming in. Thank you for having me. That's Lindsey Zipkin who's director of development at the San Diego office of the anti defamation league,

Speaker 3: 08:02 uh,

Speaker 1: 08:05 in a year in review interview, but San Diego sheriff, bill Gore, mid day edition cohost Jade Heinemann spoke with him about what law enforcement is doing to address a rise in hate incidents. He spoke about that and touched on the high number of deaths inside local jails. He was part of that interview. This past year. We had the hibachi Poway shooting. How are you all, all of the law enforcement agencies, state, local, federal, working together to, uh, monitor and, and surveillance websites. Um, especially some of these more radical websites

Speaker 4: 08:38 we worked through. Um, we have a joint terrorism task force in San Diego, one of the first in the country. Uh, and also we have a law enforcement coordination center that's an all crimes, all threats, uh, intelligence center co located with the joint terrorism task force between those two entities. That's how we track international terrorism, how we track domestic terrorism, hate groups. Uh, and we're aggressively going after with our federal partners if appropriate, these, uh, these different hate groups and w w where appropriate monitoring their internet communications, uh, the different sites that, uh, that foster that type of thinking, which is I think a big concern of all of us say, well, you know, we see how this country's being divided now. Uh, unfortunately, because you can find a website, a blog or some TV or cable station that's gonna support your preconceived prejudices or our notions.

Speaker 4: 09:33 And so there's, there's, there's not much opportunity to, to have a, a common denominator. We all start off like we used to 30 or 40 years, not talking about the good old days, but most of our news came from the three major networks, the CBS, ABC and NBC. And so we all kind of started on the same base here. We're in 23, 43 different, 53 different places. And I'm not sure we're the viewers, the readers of news are really broadening their horizons. They, we all like to read stuff that reinforces what we already think. And I, I think that's a big challenge for this country going forward.

Speaker 5: 10:11 And since that's the case, have you all adjusted or changed the way that you monitor these websites, particularly after the hibachi of Poway? Yes.

Speaker 4: 10:20 We're constantly looking for, uh, websites where it will have, uh, uh, concerned citizens come in and, and tell us about a website where there's what they consider to be a hate speech, bigoted speech, uh, uh, antisemitic speech that we will then look at. And, and we're always walking that fine line between people's first amendment rights to read and talk about what they want and where that crosses that line to where they might be acting out and committing some violent act against a group or a religion or, so it's, it's a challenge, but it's something that I think in San Diego, we're, we're, we're ahead of the game just because of that sharing of information that we have. We do so well here.

Speaker 5: 11:05 I want to move to a different subject now. And one of the ongoing issues has been deaths at the San Diego County jail. The union Tribune reported that over the last decade, the County has had the highest jail mortality rate among California's six largest counties with an average of one death at the jail per month. What's your response to that? Well, is I think the UT and I have agreed to disagree. I don't accept the methodology they used of an average daily

Speaker 4: 11:31 elation. Uh, we came to San Diego state university. As a matter of fact, doc dr Colleen Kelly, a statistician here, uh, and we believe the more appropriate way to, uh, look at jail death rates is looking at the total at risk population. That means the total number of inmates you put through your jail in a year, not how many are there on one given day. When you look at Stitt, uh, statistics, we are just like every other major jail system in, in California, uh, are better than some and we're worse than other ones. Uh, a great example of that is, uh, Los Angeles County Sheriff's department has an average daily population three times bigger than the Sheriff's department. So you would expect that they would take in three more, three times as many inmates during the year, during the 10 year period that they like to refer to. We took in 960,000 inmates in the San Diego County jail system, LA County, three times bigger.

Speaker 4: 12:25 Average daily population only took in 1.2 million. You would think they take in like 2.7 million. So that's some more, I, we believe the more appropriate way to look at as the average daily population that not the average daily population but the at risk population, the total number of people you're putting through your facilities. Um, I, I've reached a point where I'm just agreed to disagree with the, with the San Diego union Tribune. We've given him these facts, but they choose to go with the average daily population. Well, and I wanted to ask because the newspapers said that they were unable to replicate some of the consultants. I can give you the statistics come right down. Download them from the state of California, uh, with the average, with, with the total population going through your jails every, every year in every County in San Diego. And pardon me, in California and the number of jail desk.

Speaker 4: 13:12 It's not rocket science, but, uh, there was other things that Dr. Kelly put into her report, like, uh, the demographic makeup of your jails. But putting that aside, just looking at the total population going through your jails in one year were comparable to all the other jails. Now, if the UTS done some fine reporting on reporting issues that jails all over the state of California really all over the United States are dealing with, with, with mental health and medical issues and trying to meet the, the, the, uh, the standards that we need to, to provide those first class medical services. But to point us to, to highlight us as the worst in California, I still think is unfair. And when you look at it, uh, another way with other methodology, I think that proves my point. And what I was saying in the newspaper was unable to replicate some of the consultant's findings in particular, the claim that the suicide rate in the general public is higher than in the County jail after adjusting for demographic factors.

Speaker 4: 14:10 Um, what's your response for that to Dr. Kelly? That was her report. She did. She's the professional statistician, not me. That's why we went outside to professionals to have them do that. Uh, I, I always go back to the statistic of the number of total number of at-risk people you put through your jail in a year. That, to me is a much more accurate, uh, representation that takes into account other counties that have city jails, which that we've told the UT about, uh, other cities, other counties that have County hospitals, uh, where people that are die of natural causes might die in a natural hospital. Uh, it just getting very tiresome to keep debating the same issue over and over. Uh, I'd rather talk about the positive things we're doing in our jails. Like, uh, hopefully by the end of next year we'll, we'll be the second only the second County in the state of California to have a accreditation from the national commission on correctional healthcare for our jails. Uh, the only other one that out there is Riverside. Uh, the fact that we've doubled the number of mental health clinicians in our facilities, the fact that we spend $90 million a year just in our jails on mental health and, and healthcare. So there's a lot of positive things going on. A lot of positive change.

Speaker 1: 15:19 That was San Diego sheriff bill Gore speaking with mid day edition cohost Jade Hindman

Speaker 6: 15:27 [inaudible].

Speaker 1: 15:35 It's been two years since recreational marijuana sales became legal in California, but cities across the state have struggled with illegal cannabis cultivation for years. In 2017 the city of Sacramento launched an aggressive enforcement campaign. It's main tool, hefty fines against homeowners. The city has since issued about $94 million in penalties, but hundreds of homeowners are challenging the fines, claiming that they're innocent. They say their tenants grew pot without their knowledge, their attorney's cold, the whole thing, and abuse of government power, Capitol, public radios. Scott rod has this investigation.

Speaker 7: 16:12 When Zhou, who Wayne got a citation in the mail last year for $137,000 he couldn't believe his eyes. I was very surprised, shocked, and you know, of course I was scared. I spoke to him recently through a Mandarin interpreter, the 63 year old bus driver lives in San Francisco. He bought a home in Sacramento two years ago as a retirement investment. He had saved for decades after immigrating to the U S from China until his retirement. He planned to rent the property to help cover the mortgage. Then his tenant turned the home into a massive indoor puck row. He says, without his knowledge, polio, Daniel, a homeowner has a responsibility. But of course in my case, I found a company to rent the property out. I went to see the house, you know, I feel I did what I could. Wing had no suspicion of illegal activity inside the home.

Speaker 7: 17:05 After the bust, he wasn't charged with a crime. The city had no proof. He was involved in the marijuana grow, but they said he still owed more than a hundred thousand dollars in fines because it was on his property. So you can guys, I'm a victim here, me and homeowners to whom this has happened. You know, we have victims and we have the ones who are being punished here. He says it's sent his life into a spiral. The ones who should be punished are the people who break the law, who grow the Mariana. And if anything, I wish the government would increase the penalty for those people. But wings tenant got off with a slap on the wrist, some community service in a few years of probation, no jail time. No fines. That's in these cases. In Sacramento, the city has issued at least 250 penalties against homeowners, but not one against the tenant. Defense attorneys argued Sacramento targets property owners for a reason because they're the ones with money.

Speaker 8: 18:02 They go after the homeowners, one as a revenue tool, and second, because the homeowner is an easy target of opportunity.

Speaker 7: 18:12 Malcolm seagull is a Sacramento based attorney and former federal prosecutor. He's represented several homeowners who faced these huge fines.

Speaker 8: 18:20 They own a house that has equity in it. The homeowners have their backup up against the wall.

Speaker 7: 18:26 Some defense attorneys point to comments from Sacramento. Mayor Darrell Steinberg at a city council hearing last year. At that point, the city had issued 12 point $8 million in penalties for illegal cannabis cultivation. He said, collecting those fines should be a high priority because that's 12.8 million bucks and you know we're going to have a budget this year that is open $8 million. We're going to have a budget this year that is going to be lean. Since then, the city issued another $80 million in fines under the enforcement program. In a statement, Steinberg said illegal marijuana grows pose a danger to neighborhoods. Though he's willing to review the city's enforcement efforts. He did not respond to allegations that the fines are treated as a revenue stream. City attorney, Susanna Alcala would defend the large fines.

Speaker 9: 19:13 It's creating a lot of havoc in the neighborhoods in which these activities pop up, creating an increased danger because of the organized crime activity and the criminal activity that surrounds these illegal cannabis houses. Um, and so we are going to do everything in our power to protect our neighbors.

Speaker 7: 19:31 Let's take a step back. Everyone in this story agrees Sacramento has a problem with the legal marijuana grows and they agree something should be done, but they disagree over how to address it. The city solution is targeting property owners. They face a $500 penalty for each plant over the legal limit that often results in hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines. But many homeowners say their renters are the ones responsible and have challenged the penalties through the city's appeal process. That's why Sacramento has only collected about 6 million of the $94 million in fines issued so far would says she welcomes these challenges.

Speaker 9: 20:11 If they don't have the ability to question the action we're about to take against them, then you know this program pretty much falls apart. You

Speaker 7: 20:18 can't take the city to court right away. First, you have to go through their appeal process. The hearings are supposed to be loose, informal, modeled after the system for challenging parking tickets except here there's a lot more at stake. The May 31st, 2019 hearing for the cannabis related administrative penalties on behalf of the city of Sacramento will now come to order. The hearing examiner may have a gavel, but they're not a judge and until recently they didn't even have a background in law. Homeowners argue it's nearly impossible for them to Mount a defense against the penalties. That's because Sacramento holds property owners liable for the fines even if they can prove they didn't know about a tenant illegally growing marijuana. An attorney for the city made this clear during Wing's hearing. She said he

Speaker 1: 21:08 owned and leased the property upon which the illegal cannabis was found. Whether that was done so knowingly or unknowingly makes no difference to the factual determination today. Therefore, it's the city's position that the corresponding penalty is proper and should be upheld.

Speaker 7: 21:21 Translation, it doesn't matter if Wayne was unaware of the pot grow inside. It's his property so the city believes he should pay up. Sacramento based attorney Scott Radcliffe says the city has taken this position against his clients as well. He calls it a troubling legal argument for the city to hold a landlord responsible for the acts of a tenant and find them several hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines as grossly draconian and a clear abuse of government power. The hearing examiner will occasionally reduce a penalty if they believe the property owner acted responsibly. That's what happened in Wing's case. His penalty was lowered to $35,000 in a way, he's fortunate. Cap radio reviewed hundreds of cases and found other rental property owners took reasonable steps as landlords, sometimes the same steps as Wang, but they still face the full penalty after the city rejected their appeal and most appeals are rejected.

Speaker 7: 22:16 On the other hand, a $35,000 fine for something the city acknowledges, weighing, may not have even known about can be life altering. The hothouse psychological impact has been tremendous. You know, the, the, the way this has impacted my mood and the way I and my wife feel about this and it has caused us so much worry and I'm still worrying about it all the time, weighing paid the penalty, but it's challenging it in court. He's also the plaintiff in a separate lawsuit that claimed Sacramento's enforcement program is unconstitutional. Winning says he could have retired by now. Instead, he'll have to work for at least a few more years while also trying to clear his name in court in Sacramento. I'm Scott rod

Speaker 10: 23:09 [inaudible].

Speaker 1: 23:10 Today, we bring you the fourth installment in our series about a shooting at dr Jay's liquor on new year's day, 2003 in Southeast San Diego. And the impact it's still having on the community. It was a gang shooting. Two women on their way home from church were shot to death. KPBS investigative reporter Claire Traegers, who released the dr J's podcast back in February and she spoke with a man ultimately convicted of the shooting. To this day, he maintains his innocence. I've talked to James Carter several times on a cell phone. He says he's borrowing from a friend. I'm sure if that's actually

Speaker 11: 23:46 true, cell phones aren't allowed in prison because he's calling on a cell phone. The audio quality is pretty terrible. Yep. Can you hear me?

Speaker 12: 23:56 No, you did. You want to ask me some questions or you just want me to tell what happened

Speaker 11: 23:59 the first few times we talked, it seemed like no matter what I asked, Carter would just end up repeating the same thing, that there was no evidence against him.

Speaker 12: 24:09 There's no evidence, no fingerprints. I witnesses, no car, no gun or nothing.

Speaker 11: 24:17 So what is the evidence against him right here? I wish I could let you hear from Robert Hickey, the prosecutor on the case, but the district attorney's office wouldn't let me interview him. Instead, I can have a colleague read some of his statements from the trial transcripts. There wasn't much physical evidence against James Carter. Robert Hickey says this himself in his closing argument to the jury. As I've told you before, don't expect there will be no DNA in a drive by shooting rarely. Fingerprints. Hickey also doesn't have many strong eyewitnesses. He has a few people who are at the dr Jay's store testify that they maybe saw someone in the car with long hair, which Carter has only one says definitively. The shooter with the AK 47 had long hair long enough to get whistled at. He says, so what does Hickey have? Well, he has one thing many prosecutors have when trying people from Southeast San Diego, especially young black men, he can link James Carter to a gang and then use that link to establish a motive.

Speaker 11: 25:24 Here's what Hickey says. During the trial, what you have are the gang members who learned about the crime. It's not a perfect crime to commit a gang drive by shooting because as I've said before, a gang crime committed anonymously is committed in vain. You need to get your status and credit for committing the shooting so you can get your respect as a violent and notorious gang member and to check that box for revenge. Hickey also has an additional piece of emotive. One of James Carter's good friends had been killed by the rival Lincoln park gang the day before for Hickey. It's pretty easy to link Carter to a gang at the trial. He has police from the gang unit. Talk about how Carter was a documented gang member and that they found letters and rap lyrics in his room that say he was in a gang. Hickey also asked almost every witness about Carter's tattoos. He has several that say things like BK and NFL, which stand for blood killer. And a couple bad words about Lincoln park that could be in part to make sure there's no question what the tattoos mean, that it's not just policing. These are gang-related, but people who live in the area are saying it as well. But it also reminds the jury again and again that Carter was in a gang and sometimes that's the point.

Speaker 13: 26:48 [inaudible]

Speaker 14: 26:49 and then moving down the hall to Makins as I said, is a twin is 23 years in prison for, uh, a gang shooting that occurred in LA.

Speaker 11: 26:57 Michael. Symantec walks down a hallway filled with photos. He's the managing attorney for the California innocence project and is showing off cases where clients have been exonerated.

Speaker 14: 27:09 Wendy Cohen actually was one of the students assigned to his case and she found a, uh, one of the witnesses that claimed that Tim had done the crime. She found, uh, the witness and got her to come in and tell the truth, which was that Tim, uh, didn't have anything to do with the murder.

Speaker 11: 27:33 This is the outcome. James Carter dreams of, but it's unclear whether the California innocence project will take his case. They won't confirm they're looking into a case until they're sure they can represent the client and have a good shot of exonerating him or her. Although Michael Symantec isn't representing James Carter, he talked generally about the strategy prosecutors use to link people to gangs.

Speaker 14: 27:59 It doesn't take much to connect a person to a gang. If a, a suspect or a defendant is seen with a few, uh, known gang members and is photographed with known known gang members three or four times on like a street corner in, in gang territory, that might be enough to make the argument that that individual is an associate of the gang.

Speaker 11: 28:23 Symantec says associating someone with a gang makes a strong impression on the jury.

Speaker 14: 28:30 An expert or a gang expert would get up at, at trial and testify about all of the bad things that the gang has done. So then what ends up happening is the jury makes that, that leap. They think, Oh, well even if the evidence isn't super strong in this case, the defendant is connected to this gang and this gang has, has committed all of these other crimes, so if he hasn't done this one, he's probably done another crime at some point so we can feel comfortable with our conviction. Here.

Speaker 11: 29:01 You can listen to the entire dr J's podcast series@kpbs.org or on your favorite podcast app.

Speaker 15: 29:16 [inaudible]

Speaker 11: 29:21 incentive. Diego, finding a place to play roller Derby is hard, but as KPBS Beth echo, Mondo says, Derby United is taking steps to make roller Derby easier to play here nilly. Goldfarb loves to tell people what she does for fun. You tell someone you play roller Derby and they go, why? Hey, I'm

Speaker 16: 29:42 roller to replay. Or they're like, that's incredible. Tell me more. And all of a sudden they feel like by like being in your presence and hearing about what you do, that they somehow are brought up through that shared experience with you. Better known by her Derby name of Isabel ringer Goldfarb started with roller Derby in San Diego back in 2005 the organization used to be called the San Diego Derby dolls, but last year changed its name to Derby United to be more inclusive. The team plays bank cheque and flat track roller Derby and one thing has always been an issue. It is extremely difficult to find somewhere to play roller Derby. If you play a sport like basketball, soccer, a lot of those facilities are publicly provided. The city has places for you to play. Roller Derby does not. Roller Derby needs a very large space and we have activities every night of the week.

Speaker 16: 30:34 We need many hours every day. So having a dedicated facility is really what makes sense for this sport and no one's going to provide it for us. Goldfarb became general manager early on and wouldn't accept that there was nowhere for her team to play, so she took matters into her own hands and decided they simply had to build their own outdoor facility. We are at the new Derby United headquarters. We're on federal Boulevard and in Canto what these were, were four parcels of land, just dirt lots. And what we're doing is developing the place so we can have some roller Derby tracks out here and have a full time dedicated roller Derby facility. Kelly Garner, who prefers her Derby name of Kelly can Bay handles public relations for the organization. Now with us finding this property in this area, we want to make sure that we are fulfilling the community's needs as well.

Speaker 16: 31:24 And so that we're able to bring in the community, give them somewhere to go, give them something fun to do, something fun to watch where they don't have to go far, where they don't have to use their cars to drive down to the ballpark. Um, and then we've also been working with the city to try and get a bus stop in this area so that people can get here easier. Derby United runs multiple programs for women and girls bank track and flat and even a men's team. But women are definitely the focus of Derby. United and Goldfarb loves how it can empower them. Sometimes when you're navigating the world, you don't feel that powerful. You don't feel like you can make good on something like this because the folks around you don't keep telling you they, they keep telling you you really can't. You know this is too difficult.

Speaker 16: 32:05 It's too long, it's too hard, it's too expensive. You should stop now and make better use of your time and your, your lovely feminine skills or whatever it is. That's not what they say, but it is what they mean. Goldfarb and Derby United challenge that every day by simply doing what they love. That's one of the things I'm most excited about is to give all these folks who maybe don't know a ton about what we're doing. Some of that experience of coming out here and they see people, especially women putting themselves out there in a physical powerful way that is empowering just to be around, you know, our core values are athleticism, empowerment, inclusion, respect and in the outside world where everything is a hot mess and a lot of those things don't feel that valued. You come here and you see that as an ideal and something that is actually happening and getting lifted up. That feels awesome just to be around, even if you're not partaking, but this is a sport where people pay to play and pay to travel with a team across the country and even around the globe. The combination of member fees, gear expenses, and travel costs can run high. I mean all that being said,

Speaker 5: 33:12 I wouldn't change all of those credit card bills and all of that stuff from flying around for the last one.

Speaker 16: 33:18 Seniors for anything. Garner agrees. She says she needs Derby and escape size. Do you need to seal that? You know the wind in your hair. You need to get that aggression out cause yeah, real life is hard. If you want to see this passion and action, then check back in February as Derby United plans to kick off a new era of roller Derby in a facility they built themselves. Beth like Amando, KPBS news,

Speaker 1: 33:47 the band Laddie Abla combines traditional cumbia with the gritty spirit of Tijuana. They bring their binational dance party to a new year's Eve performance tonight. Earlier this year, they brought their moves to the KPBS studios and spoke with mid day edition hosts, Jade Heinemann, take a listen.

Speaker 13: 34:27 [inaudible],

Speaker 6: 34:51 [inaudible],

Speaker 13: 35:02 [inaudible]

Speaker 5: 35:02 and today the band behind that music LA Diablo joins us in the KPBS studio. Hey, welcome. I've been Rodriguez, Adrian Rodriguez on accordion and vocals. Jose Bolanos. You're running all the social media for the band and everything. Yeah. Welcome you all. Thank you. Thank you. We appreciate you joining us here on midday edition. Hey, first question, how did LA Diablo start?

Speaker 17: 35:27 We used to go down with the Juana Ivan, myself where brothers and we would go down at the [inaudible] to, to this youth group there. There was at a, at the seminary down there just to hang out with kids our age and they would do retreats in, in the city of Monterrey. Mexico. [inaudible] is one of the biggest cities for koombaya like in all of Mexico. What really caught our eye was one time we were at a little Plaza over there and there was a, like a battle kind of like when they do rap paddles, but it was one accordionist against another according to his who clinks basic. And they were, instead of fighting, they were actually playing against each other. And that was like music. Yeah. And there was a big culture shock and what they were playing was Colombian cumbia. So this is a sound unlike anything you guys had ever heard at the time.

Speaker 17: 36:10 We had nobody. Yeah. It didn't exist. It's still to this day, there's not many bands that play what we play right now in this region. Yeah. So I mean like how would you describe your sound? Was a very rustic, um, roots, Colombian goombas like the origins of Gambia. The sound itself is very traditional, very folk, but the essence of it is actually more inclined to like the, the punk rock. Like, because we're going against the current, we'll play in all kinds of events where you don't expect this. Like we've showed up at hip hop events that hardcore punk events, uh, reggae, um, we'll just play wherever and w and we don't care if it's one person or we played up to 50,000 people when everybody, it's just like, um, yeah, we just want to do a party and get everybody up. But what's so weird is like I hear punk rock, but when I listen to the music, I hear these, this African influence, like tell me about that.

Speaker 17: 37:02 What are the origins of Columbia? Well, the beginnings of what became Columbia were from Africa. Um, that's where the drum rhythms came from. Columbia actually has a first free, uh, African nation in America, which was Pelinka the city of Pelinka. They there, they had a style called [inaudible], which was a lot of drums, more progressive, more profession. Goomba has a lot of influence from Africa and its origins are African in part, but they're also indigenous because the sounds, the melodies are melodies that simulate the sounds that the birds of the region would make. So a lot of the melodies that we play now with the sour Nedo style are basically kind of emulating the sound of birds from that region and the way they sing. And also the, another part of it that's indigenous, like there's a instrument called [inaudible], it's the kind of like a Guido where you just scrape it and, and that's also a native instrument. But the community we play also has the European influence because as a diatonic accordion, which comes from Germany or from Italy, but mainly from Germany, the type of accordions that they use in Columbia, more German than, than anything. Interesting to get all of that unique sound together, you guys have to use unique instruments. So let me hear some of that. What do you have? You've got something called a out guy. He's got an accordion

Speaker 15: 38:35 [inaudible].

Speaker 17: 38:44 Very nice. And so what other instruments define this music? The style that we use is so narrow. So, um, it borrows insurance from Vienna, Apple music. There's an instrument called a [inaudible]. It's kind of like a larger version of a Bungo, but it's only a single drum. And the head is made of literally x-rays, so it has a very low pitch sound when you hit it in the middle, but a high, high end on the edges. So it has a big variety of of sounds. Usually for koombaya, they also use what's called a [inaudible], sort of like a conga. Yeah, like a [inaudible], which is kind like a fill drum fills and then there's a, yeah, my Lord, which gives a constant beat. What gives [inaudible] is just like the metronome. That's the, yeah. My daughter will do that sound and then they have the Tombarra, which is the lowest pitch sound we use a four times. We use actually drum kit like a a five piece drum kit floor time. But the way we play it is the way they played over there. I said, well, Hey, I know that there's one song that demonstrates all of that very well. It's called LA rasa and it means the powerful one. Let's take a listen.

Speaker 13: 39:57 [inaudible]

Speaker 18: 40:00 [inaudible]

Speaker 6: 40:24 [inaudible] [inaudible].

Speaker 17: 40:45 What does the dog, Hey, I can definitely see how that would get everybody up on their feet. Hey, what's it like being a binational band? It's very interesting because um, it gives us a whole different perspective. Um, us ourselves, we, we are of a specific subculture that kind of like Chicano but at the same time we have another part which is where trans border like we actually have contact every day, every day. Because I was going to ask, I mean how does your music reflect life? Uh, in a border region? It, it does because here there's a fusion of all kinds of cultures already in and what Goomba itself is, is a, is a fusion of three different cultures and that kind of reflects what we are. We're a mix also ourselves. Like we're, we are American but we are also Mexican. Even our nationality of some of us is not Mexican.

Speaker 17: 41:38 We are from both places, but we're from neither at the same time, which is kind of weird. Neither Kenya. Yeah. Yeah. That's what they say. [inaudible] which means not from here and not from there. Trust me. I understand. Hey, what's it like bringing music from Mexico? Do people here in the current border? Climate music is a, is a international language. That's something that it doesn't matter what, uh, you're from where you're from, as if you're just willing to have fun and are open to it. Um, you're gonna yeah. Music is universal language. LA Diablo. Thanks so much for stopping by y'all. No, thank you. Thank you.

Speaker 6: 42:37 [inaudible]

Speaker 17: 42:40 crazy music. So if you just want to have fun, you can catch led the other performing a new year's Eve show tonight, there at the Manhattan bar in Chula Vista.

Speaker 6: 43:19 [inaudible].

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KPBS Midday Edition

KPBS Midday Edition is a daily talk show hosted by Maureen Cavanaugh and Jade Hindmon, keeping San Diegans in the know on everything from politics to the arts.