In A Narrow Ruling, Supreme Court Hands Farmworkers Union A Loss
Speaker 1: 00:01 The U S Supreme court deals a setback to farm worker unions. Speaker 2: 00:05 Well, if the owners of the land have the right to exclude anybody, including human organs, Speaker 1: 00:10 I'm Andrew Bowen with Maureen Kavanaugh. Jade Heinemann has the day off. This is KPBS mid yeah. Natto high school's basketball coach has been fired after a display of racism at last Saturday's championship game. This outcome Speaker 3: 00:32 Is not exactly surprising with so many people looking for a decisive action from the Coronado Speaker 4: 00:37 Unified school district, California Speaker 1: 00:39 Lawmakers are trying to help students make up for a year of lost learning due to the pandemic, and a musician finds inspiration and crossing the U S Mexico border that's ahead on KPBS mid day to day, the Supreme court today struck down a rule in California that allowed unions limited access to farms to try and organize workers. The court's conservative majority found the rule violates constitutionally protected property rights. It's the latest in a series of legal setbacks for organized labor. Joining me to unpack what the ruling means is Dan Eaton, legal analyst and partner at the San Diego firm of seltzer, Caplan McMahon, and Vtech. Dan, welcome back to the program. Good to be with you, Andrew. Now there were limits as to when union organizers could access private farms in California prior to this Supreme court ruling, remind us what those limits were Speaker 2: 01:41 Well understands that the regulation that was an issue provided union organizers only access to these farms for the three hours a day, 120 days per year. And that was an hour before work an hour during lunch and an hour after work for the purpose of talking to a workers. The question is whether that access to the farmer's property constituted a taking under the fifth amendment of the United States, which requires the government to pay just compensation of property is taken either for itself or someone else. And that was really the issue. So why Speaker 1: 02:16 At a union organizers say that they need access to farms? Why did they deserve to get onto this private property? Well, Speaker 2: 02:23 The reason that the government wanted to appropriate this right of access or east meant to the property for the union organizers was because without it, they have a very difficult opportunity to gain access to these farm workers who may or may not be interested in organizing it effectively. At least according to the union, organizers eliminates their opportunity effectively to organize their workers. And therefore, as a practical matter, if this access to property is not allowed, the union organizers have no effective ability and the union and the workers themselves have no effective ability, uh, to organize for purposes of their wages hours and working conditions Speaker 1: 03:06 And farm workers, of course are famously very transitory. Don't spend a whole lot of time and may be moving from farm to farm. Now, this decision was a clean split between the court six conservative justices and the three liberal justices. What did the majority say in striking down this rule in California? Yeah. Speaker 2: 03:23 Well first let me note that, that is one of the fascinating things about the case is that you do have a clean split between the six conservative justice in three liberal justice, which we really haven't seen much, but basically what the conservative majority writing crew chief justice, John Roberts said is that this is a per se taking of land, even though the union organizers are not given permanent and continuous access, it still eliminates the owner's right to exclude, uh, these, uh, union organizers from their property. It doesn't matter if it's temporary. The fact is that the owner's rights that being interfered with, and that is a problem. And it requires a just compensation. The fact that the farm are not generally open to the public means that unlike in the case of a shopping mall, but the owners of the land have the right to exclude, uh, anybody including you're going to organizers and this regulation interfered with that, right? What Speaker 1: 04:20 Did it, the courts three liberal justices Kagan, Briar. And so to my, or say in their dissenting opinion, they Speaker 2: 04:27 Said, well, come on, let's, let's be realistic here. You are not talking about, uh, something that is a permanent and continuous intrusion. You're not talking about a taking, you're really talking about something that feels more like a regulation, a temporary regulation for a public purpose of that is, uh, not taking away any kind of real value or from the owners, uh, land. And therefore, uh, really, there's no reason to treat this as an absolute taking regulations are. Okay. Plus said the descent, you're going to start interfering with all kinds of other reasons that the government needs access to a land such as for example, a health and safety regulations. The majority opinion said, no, we're not that the hypothetical you've suggested, uh, doesn't apply here because the government can still take trespass actions for the purposes of public use. That's not what this is. And that was a distinction that was made. And the disagreement between the majority of the dissent. Now, the crux Speaker 1: 05:29 Of this decision as you noted, is whether allowing union organizers onto private property is an unlawful taking of that property without just compensation. So does this theoretically mean that unions could still access the farms if say they or the government pay the property owner for that access? Or is it just a defacto ban on that access altogether? Speaker 2: 05:51 Yeah. Uh, it's a very interesting and complicated question. That'll have to be resolved when the case is sent back to the district court. The issue of remedy was really not addressed by the majority opinion, and only briefly touched on up by the dissent, but at least theoretically, yes, a government may take property and it happens all the time. The fifth amendment requires and the 14th amendment has applied to the states or requires that they provide just compensation. Those are interesting questions that will have to be resolved below. If the state continues to want to have this regulation aware, it allows a union organizers access to farm property. Speaker 1: 06:27 Now this Supreme court has not been friendly to organized labor. What are some of the other recent Supreme court decisions that have rolled back the power of unions in the country? Speaker 2: 06:36 The one case obviously, which was written by a Lito a few years ago, said that public employees could not be required to pay agency fees if they were not members of, of the union. And, uh, justice Alito said, no, you can't do that consistent with the national labor relations act because these employees have the right not to have part of their paycheck, uh, put into union coffers. If they affirmatively choose not to, uh, join the union. Uh, and what the union said was that, wait, you're just allowing them to be a free loader. Cause they get all the benefits without putting in all of the money to pay for those benefits. Alito said, no, you just can't allow them to be forced to pay in violation of their free speech, right? To a stain from being members of the union. Speaker 1: 07:24 I've been speaking with Dan Eaton, legal analyst and partner at the San Diego law firm of seltzer, Caplan, McMahon, and Vtech. And Dan, thanks. It's always good to be with you, Andrew Speaker 5: 07:42 [inaudible] Speaker 1: 07:43 Last night, the Cora nada unified school board voted unanimously to fire their head basketball coach just days after an incident where tortillas were thrown at players from a rival predominantly Latino high school, the vote was taken behind closed doors and the board has not yet commented further on the decision. Joining me with more is KPBS, racial justice and social equity reporter, Christina Kim, Christina. Welcome. Hey Andrew, as we just mentioned, the Coronado unified school board voted unanimously to fire this head basketball coach. Do you think this was the expected outcome? Once the backlash really started to Mount in the wake of this incident, Speaker 3: 08:23 It's hard to say what's expected. But what we do know is that since the incident happened on Saturday night, there was a mounting call for coach JD Lee Perry to be let go just yesterday in front of coordinator high school, there was a rally of advocates, as well as orange Glen parents that were calling for his termination and really putting the onus of the incident on the coach. So in that sense, this outcome is not exactly surprising with so many people looking for a decisive action from the Coronado unified school district. Speaker 1: 08:49 And people saying that the apology wasn't really enough. So what do we know exactly about transpired at the basketball game on Saturday? What was the sequence of events Speaker 3: 09:00 Or what we know so far is that it was a championship game between orange, Glen and Cornetto high. These teams have previously faced each other and it was already kind of charged after Coronado high one coach, JD Lopez, allegedly approached orange Glenn's coach and shattered profanities to get his quote loser team out of the gym. At that point, it's believed some players and others did throw tortillas at the orange Glen players, which as you've said, is a predominantly Latino school, which then led into a scuffle and where we are today. Speaker 1: 09:30 Have there been any calls for further punishment or action beyond just the firing of the basketball coach? Speaker 3: 09:37 That's right. Well, we've heard from some organizations such as the local chapter of the council on American Islamic relations or care, ask the Coronado, implement ethnic studies and anti-racist courses. That's actually something that I heard echoed bike, a son that I got eBay. Who's the sister of an orange Glen basketball player. She says, if everyone had anti-racist curriculum, perhaps these types of incidents wouldn't happen. We've also seen LULAC and which is the league of United Latin American citizens and the NAACP urging CIF, the California interscholastic Federation to further investigate and even consider stripping Coronado high of its championship title for now, CIS is saying, it's just waiting to get the incident reports from both schools. And when I reached out for comment this morning about JD Lee, Perry's firing, they said they didn't have any further comment and haven't taken any further actions. Speaker 1: 10:28 So as we said, this incident targeted players from orange, Glen high, which is a predominantly Latino student body. What has the response been from the students there? Speaker 3: 10:39 Right? I mean, I think it's just when these incidents happen, it's a ripple effect of pain for the students, for the players and for their families. As I mentioned, Casandra Gotti bay, her brother, Anthony plays on the team. And what she said is that she identifies as Hispanic and Latina and that their family normally doesn't get involved or, you know, isn't really active, but that this event has really shaken their family. That they're really in disbelief. Her mother is just very emotional right now. And I think that's what we're seeing writ large. It's just very hard when these incidents happen. And I think we have to remember it was a basketball game, you know, for the orange Glen high school basketball players, they were already suffering a loss. So on top of this, and now this national attention, I think there's just a sense of, of pain and kind of looking forward to what's going to happen next. How Speaker 1: 11:28 Has the administration of orange Glen high school or other officials in Escondida where that school is based, uh, responded to this incident? Speaker 3: 11:36 I mean, of course they've denounced the incident and they've said that they're really working with their community to heal, you know, Dr. Ans to ferry, who's the superintendent of the Escondido unified school district told me that this is an opportunity for restorative justice and opportunity to reflect to, and to adjust behaviors. So what we're really seeing here is yes, you know, officials at orange, Glen denounced the incident. They really want to see accountability. They want to see Coronado unified school district and the Coronado high really take accountability for their actions. But I think what we've seen on both sides is that there's a commitment to opening the road for further dialogue of healing, restorative justice, again, is the practice of centering those impacted, but then creating a space and an opportunity for people to heal, to face accountability, and to talk to one another and grow. Speaker 1: 12:25 So there has been really widespread condemnation of this incident, which is pretty transparently racist, but some are saying that the gesture of throwing these tortillas at the opposing team was not meant to be racist or that the actions that were taken by Coronado unified school district and firing this coach are an overreaction. What can you tell us about that? Speaker 3: 12:46 Right. I mean, yesterday, the Cornado unified school district did have a special meeting and some people did speak up to that matter as what you're saying, they feel that the school is too quickly condemning these actions as racist that their apologies are throwing the basketball players under the bus, as opposed to doing a further investigation. So those sentiments definitely do exist. But what we heard at last night's meeting and what we've often heard when these incidents happen is that with racism, we often talk about intent, but in reality, it's not, it's not what's intended. If the tortilla throwing wasn't intended to be racist, it was still felt to be racist, right? It was perceived as such. And the harm that it's causing is that of a racist incident. And so what we heard from the Coronado unified school district governing board is that it's, it's not about intent. It's about how it's actually impacting the community. And that's how it's being treated. Speaker 1: 13:38 I've been speaking with KPBS, racial justice and social equity reporter, Christina, Kim, and Christina. Thank you for your reporting. And thank you for joining us. Thank you, Andrew. Speaker 6: 14:01 This is KPBS midday edition. I'm Maureen Kavanaugh with Andrew Bowen. Jade Heinemann has the day off the rushes on for a California assembly bill that addresses learning loss suffered by students during the pandemic AB 1 0 4, sponsored by San Diego assembly. Woman, Lorena Gonzalez has passed the legislature and is now awaiting governor Newsome signature. Some of its main provisions allow parents to request their child, be allowed to repeat a grade and provide students with credit recovery options. If last year had a bad effect on their grades, but schools will need some time to adjust to those new options. So the clock is ticking before next semester begins. Joining me is San Diego assembly, woman Lorena Gonzalez, and welcome to the program. Thanks for having me Marine, what have learned about how much educational loss was suffered by California students during the pandemic? Speaker 2: 14:57 I don't think we know the extent yet. I have learned, um, that there are kids who missed months and their kids who missed the entire year. So, um, we know bad internet connections, people having to work take care of younger siblings. I mean, the number of reasons kids have missed so much school vary from family to family, and some kids just couldn't deal with online education. Um, we knew that going into the pandemic, that it's not a good way to educate, especially young children. So what we found is every family is in a different position. Every kid is, um, suffering in different ways and we've got to have the flexibility to meet them where they are and to provide unique choices for those children and those parents to kind of deal with what happened last year. Speaker 6: 15:48 What groups of students were most effected, do you think? Speaker 2: 15:51 Well, I know in San Diego that, um, there are students in, in my district, which is of course the working class communities in south San Diego and Chula Vista national city, um, had unique problems, right? They had unique issues. We, we, um, had kids whose families were most effected by COVID, um, health wise kids who lost parents and grandparents. Um, we had kids who, uh, whose parents were essential workers. And so, um, they were watching younger children as well at home, trying to do their schoolwork and, and be caretakers at the same time. Um, we have bad internet connections in some of our neighborhoods still, we, we don't have universal broadband. And so, um, I think those kids in particular from working class families, um, Latino kids in particular were, were most effected. Speaker 6: 16:40 Now, if governor Newsome signs AB 1 0 4, what are some of the things it would do? Speaker 2: 16:45 So AB 1 0 4 does three things. Primarily one, it allows parents the opportunity to seek, um, a redo of the grade for their child. So that's not our preferred policy position in California when it comes to education, we believe in social promotion for a variety of reasons. So that was probably the most controversial. Um, but we know that some kids missed the entire year. What do you do with a child who missed the entire year, um, or got nothing out of school this year? Um, so it allows parents that opportunity to talk to the administrator and teacher about their child redoing the school year and that's in any grade. It also allows, um, our seniors who maybe just couldn't, couldn't finish up in time. Um, our juniors and seniors, who, who lost some credits to recover those in high school, we know that a high school diploma is much more valuable than a GED, and we want those kids to have the opportunity to finish up their schooling, um, this coming year. Speaker 2: 17:44 And so that they can actually graduate with a high school diploma. There are kids who, who dropped out of school to the workforce or kids who just couldn't handle the online education. And we know it's valuable to allow them that opportunity to have a fifth year senior, basically. And then the final thing it does, this is for, I think the majority of kids primarily in high school are only in high school who may have been really good students, right? They might've had, um, an a and B average headed to college, and then they just couldn't do one of their subjects or two of their subjects online. And we we've seen this. I think you can talk to just about anyone who said, I had a student, um, who couldn't figure out how to do Spanish online. And she got to see, well, if you get a C um, it, it really hurts your chances of actually getting into a UC or CSU. And so we want them to be able to convert, um, you know, one or two, not perfect seller grades to pass no pass so that their grade point average isn't hurt as a result. So if you pass a grade and that one grade is going to upset your entire transcript, let's give them that opportunity. Speaker 6: 18:47 Now there's an urgency to the signing of this bill because schools have deadlines for the coming semester. Tell us about that. Speaker 2: 18:54 Absolutely. I was thinking about this this morning, my, um, my little ones, this is their last day of school today. So, you know, um, when kids are in school is the best time to communicate with parents that they have these options. Um, my, my 18 year old is graduating on Friday and most of the school districts in south San Diego in Chula Vista, Sweetwater districts, they're coming back in July, already. They have year round. And so they start at the end of July. So we really need, um, there was an urgency on this. We got it through as quickly as we could given that it was semi controversial. Um, but it ended up getting through the assembly and Senate with, uh, no, no votes. In other words, it was completely bi-partisan. It was unanimous. That's unusual, especially for a bill that started with a lot of opposition. Um, and now we're just hopeful that the governor, um, you know, he has 12 days as of two days ago to sign it. So we have, I think July 3rd is the deadline, but we, we hope he realizes, you know, every day is, is a day that the schools need to implement this. Speaker 6: 19:55 Have you gotten any indication that he will sign the bill? Speaker 2: 20:00 I haven't. Um, I'm I am, um, you know, every day asking his staff, uh, if there there's more questions or answers they need, we've been working on this for so long. Um, you know, we're, we're still waiting. Speaker 6: 20:17 Okay. Then I've been speaking with San Diego assemblywoman, Lorena Gonzalez. Thank you so much for speaking with us. Thank you. Have a good day Speaker 1: 20:35 In 2019 on governor Gavin Newsome's first full day in office. He declared a war on wildfires. I hear you. Speaker 7: 20:44 I get it. Uh, we need to do and do better. These last two years, the stadium Speaker 1: 20:51 With that announcement Newsome signed a sweeping executive order that he said would overhaul the state's approach to wildfire prevention, but did it Capitol public radio reporter Scott rod spoke with California report host Lily Jamali about that question. Here's that interview. Speaker 3: 21:08 You found that after an initial spike, the state is actually doing less wildfire prevention work under governor Newsome than under his predecessor. Talk about what you've found. Speaker 8: 21:18 Our investigation found that in 2020, the worst fire season in California history, wildfire prevention work dropped by half of what was done the previous year. And at the same time, Newsome had cut funding for wildfire prevention in the budget by over a hundred million dollars. And it's worth noting. That was before COVID-19 hit this year through Memorial day. We also found that the state remains below its goal for fire prevention work Newsome. Didn't talk to us for the story, but we did talk to Cal fire, chief, Tom Porter. Here's what he had to say. Speaker 9: 21:49 It's not something that I'm comfortable with. It is something that, that I am working to reconcile and to, um, uh, correct for the future. But we had an exceptional fire year. Everybody knows that the environment to do this kind of work, uh, has been very challenging and has hampered our ability to get the acres that we do have planned for. But we haven't been able to put the attention to Speaker 8: 22:16 Our experts. I spoke to said that there's some credence to that. It was an extraordinary fire season. COVID-19 complicated things, but it also shows just how fragile the prevention infrastructure in California is, and the need to strengthen it. Because at the end of the day, fire doesn't take a break because of a pandemic or because the state's experiencing a different emergency. Speaker 3: 22:37 Yeah. And it sounds like what chief Porter is saying there is that they did less wildfire prevention work because they had so many wildfires last year and that those fires blocked Cal fire from doing that wildfire prevention work. That is a concerning precedent, you know, over the last year or two, we've heard governor Newsome again and again, boast about these welfare prevention projects that Cal fire had supposedly completed across the state. What has happened with those Speaker 8: 23:06 When Newsome first entered office, he asked Cal fire to give him recommendations on how the state could get its arms around the wildfire problem. Cal fire came back and they recommended dozens of fire prevention projects that would help protect some of the most vulnerable communities in California. Those projects at first represented about 90,000 acres that were going to be treated through our data review and, uh, records polling. We found that they had only completed about 12,000 of those acres, but nevertheless, Newsome claimed that the state had treated the full 90,000 acres. And that's important because it signals to those communities that they're being kept safe by this prevention work again in areas that are very susceptible to wildfires Speaker 3: 23:54 Markable to hear that difference. 12,000 acres completed versus 90,000 acres touted. It's hard to process how the governor could be, you know, touting those numbers when they're so far from reality, even talking to fire survivors about this, what's been their reaction. One person Speaker 8: 24:12 In particular, Mitch McKenzie, who has experienced quite a bit with wildfires in recent years, he lost his home to the Tubbs fire in 2017 and had about a third of his inventory at his wine business, uh, essentially ruined by fire and smoke. Last year, he told me that he felt like he was being deceived by what Newsome had told the public. Speaker 9: 24:33 When a politician can make a statement that he's treated, um, a hundred percent of a certain area that he lays out. And then the truth comes out that he's only treated 10% of it. I think that with the kind of fires and the fire day through that, we're in, in this area, that's my jockey Speaker 3: 24:52 Kenzie. They're a 2017 wildfire victim weighing in as we come off the worst fire season on record. And as we brace for the year ahead, CAPP radio, Scott rod, thank you so much for this reporting. Thank you. Speaker 6: 25:11 A case against one of California's gun reform laws, which could be a bellwether for the fate of many such laws was heard by the full panel of judges of the ninth circuit court of appeals. Tuesday. The issue was whether California's voter approved ban on large capacity magazines, which hold 10 rounds of ammunition or more violates the second amendment, the arguments for and against the ban may also apply to other California gun reform measures and a ruling in favor of gun rights. Advocates could open the door to a dismantling of the state's strict gun laws. And joining me is courthouse news, reporter Bianca, Bruno, and Bianca. Welcome. Hi, Maureen, how are you very well now tell us more about what this law bans gun owners from having. Speaker 2: 25:58 So proposition 63 was passed by two thirds of California voters in 2016. And it basically strengthened the state's ban on large capacity gun magazines, which hold 10 rounds of ammunition or more. And so the state had passed that ban in 2000, but it allowed for a grandfather exemption for gun owners who had purchased the magazines prior to that law to keep them so in 2016 voters decided they didn't like that exemption and that no one should be allowed to own these firearm attachments that are used in virtually all mass shootings. Speaker 6: 26:43 This case Duncan VBA, Sarah has already been decided in favor of gun rights advocates in a lower court and in a three judge panel of the ninth circuit. Now the full 11 judge panel of the ninth circuit is hearing the case. So tell us about the arguments that they heard yesterday first from the state defending the ban. Speaker 2: 27:04 So the state has argued that as part of its public health interests to protect Californians, that it means to ban firearm attachments that are most frequently used in mass shootings, but not only are they used in mass shootings, they increase the lethality of mass shootings by allowing a shooter to shoot multiple bullets in succession and harm or injure or kill more people in less amount of time. So really the state is focused on preventing those incidents from happening and preventing more people from dying when they do happen. And the state has argued that gun owners who own large capacity magazines do not even need them for self-defense because when it comes to, uh, someone defending themselves at home and incidents where people have needed to shoot their weapons, they typically shoot 2.2 bullets so far less than, than, than the 10 bullets allowed in the state. And certainly far less than what a large capacity magazine can hold. So the state's arguing essentially, you don't need that many bullets to defend yourself. And so this really is a minor inconvenience to gun owners. Speaker 6: 28:29 And what's the argument that's been successful so far from the gun owners about why that ban is unconstitutional. You know, Speaker 2: 28:37 That owners have argued that the large capacity magazine ban, um, was basically an arbitrary number, kind of picked out of a hat by the state of California that, um, the 10 number band, it doesn't really have in data showing that there's some magic number with 10. And the, their concern is that LCMS with, you know, 10 or 13 or 17 bullets are really commonly owned by gun owners. And they're commonly sold as a standard attachment when someone purchases a firearm. And so because of that commonality of how many people own them, they're really saying that this burdens the rights of, of gun owners, that it burdens the second amendment, Speaker 6: 29:26 Did the judges signal, how they might be leaning in this case, there Speaker 2: 29:31 Was kind of the lengthy interesting back and forth questioning with a circuit judge at the ninth circuit who was appointed by Donald Trump was actually the last judge to be appointed to the ninth circuit court of appeals before president Trump left office and his name was Lawrence van. And so he's kind of argued that the state's position that people rarely need more than a few bullets to defend themselves. Doesn't hold up because on the flip side, mass shootings compared to all shooting incidents are also rare. And so he kind of suggested that the state's argument hinges on the rarity of the mean to have more than a few bullets just doesn't hold up because mass shootings are also rare. And so the state's interest in preventing them from happening. It can't outweigh the interests of gun owners to own those attachments. According to that, judge, Speaker 6: 30:39 Large capacity magazine band was initially overturned by a federal judge here in San Diego judge, Roger Benitez, the same judge who recently overturned California's ban on assault weapons, that he has said some unusual things about these weapons hasn't he, Speaker 2: 30:58 He has, he has really come out in these very lengthy court orders. I think the first one was about 75 pages and a subsequent one was over a hundred pages. So very lengthy, almost manifesto type court orders that really appear to be written by someone who's not only sympathetic to, uh, gun owners, but who is, you know, almost using their position as a judicial officer to advocate for them. Um, when I first covered this case in 2018, he said in open court that he believed women would be raped and dead without access to more than 10 bullets, that they could shoot 10 bullets for a home invasion and run out of bullets and then, you know, be out of luck. And that position has really continued throughout his court opinions on the case. Now he no longer has jurisdiction over the case because the in blank panel of the ninth circuit has now taken over the case. And really this decision, uh, that they will come out with and about 60 or 90 days will be kind of the final say on the matter, unless the case gets appealed to the Supreme court. Speaker 6: 32:26 I have been speaking with the courthouse news reporter, Bianca Bruno beyond gov. Thank you. Thanks Maureen. Speaker 1: 32:38 A little slice of Southern California habitat is getting long-term protection in San Diego's north county KPBS environment. Reporter Eric Anderson says the Escondido Creek Conservancy has wrangled more than $2 million to buy 79 acres of hilly land Speaker 10: 32:58 People walking in this hilly undeveloped pocket of land might catch a whiff of Sage or mint. Short stubby flowers reached Skyward from rock hard earth. That's been dried out by the sun. Golden grass is catch the wind. And often the distance a birder too makes its presence known. This pocket. Habitat sits pretty close to home sites trying to take advantage of nearby lofty views. As everyone knows, lots of development, lots of human activity in Southern California, but Leonard Woodward's hat shades his eyes from the early morning sun. He's the Escondido Creek Conservancy's board president. There are patches of what California was and this, this is one of them. And we're trying to preserve those both for the wildlife, but also for the Hayman residents, this patch of what was his idyllic habitat for the endangered California. Gnatcatcher the tiny bird forages for insects in the low-lying shrubs, net catchers raise their young and nests. Speaker 10: 33:54 Just a few inches off the ground. Those nests are tucked inside, dense shrubbery. It's the birds presence that helps make this preserve possible. The money that that purchased this property came largely from the state of California, the wildlife conservation board and the federal government through the endangered species act. So the, as a society, we've decided to set money aside to conserve land like this overall, the Escondido Creek Conservancy has helped buy and protect roughly 7,000 acres of wild habitat and the Creek's watershed conservation director. Hannah Walchuk says this plot of land is a great slice of coastal Sage scrub habitat, but it is also much more. Speaker 4: 34:36 It's a 79 acre preserve. So it's not enormous, but it functions as like a puzzle piece, linking larger preserve to pieces of Speaker 10: 34:44 Land fitting an important puzzle piece into the interwoven lattice of homes and habitat helps create bridges for larger species. It is a piece that will facilitate a connection between thousands of acres of open space in the city of Carlsbad and thousands of acres of open space along Escondido Creek in the county of San Diego, mountain lions, Bobcats and coyotes all require room to roam, hunt and breed habitat like this strengthens the connections. It also builds a connection with the people who live near the preserve. The conservancies and van Leer says this plot of land captures a slice of the region as it used to be all of California, Southern California. So it looked like this, at least this part of the coastal California, and this will give them a picture of the past, but also a picture of the future. The scrubby habitat is being squeezed out of the region by housing developments and that pressure he is not diminishing. Speaker 10: 35:41 It inspires me to continue on I'm a native Californian and this is one of the times that I can feel like I'm giving back to California and sorry, I didn't know. That would make me feel much at all. Um, this is a place that's very special. Uh, California Southern California is very special to me. Coastal Sage scrub habitat is found in dry coastal zones in inland valleys that are close enough to the ocean to be exposed to the Marine layer that utility service road has brought invasive weeds and grasses to part of the preserve. But van Leer says that'll be addressed. We will be doing the very fundamental, we will be weeding removing what doesn't belong here and letting the natural native habitat replace itself. Cleaning up this preserve is an immediate priority for the Conservancy, adding to the collection of preserved lands and teaching people. The importance of natural habitat is part of the Conservancy's long-term agenda. Eric Anderson, KPBS news. Speaker 6: 36:53 This is KPBS midday edition. I'm Maureen Cavenaugh with Andrew Bowen. Phil Beaumont is the lead vocalist of the San Diego band, the color 49 strive to be Speaker 5: 37:11 Some times beyond that, Speaker 6: 37:14 The U S Mexico border has been a constant source of creativity for Phil's character-based semi-fictional style of writing lyrics. He first immersed himself in the two one art scene back in the mid nineties times, wake up, Phil is also the director of the museum school in San Diego, but not for long. He'll be stepping down at the end of the summer to focus on music. Full-time in a new episode of the KPBS border podcast, port of entry host Alan Lillian Thall taps into music from our border region. That's inspiring fields, new cross border projects, Speaker 11: 38:01 Bostitch, uh, particularly Polaris. That song is something that's often on a playlist for me, you know, growing up with a lot of the music that I did was kind of dark and Gothic, and I love it. Still love it, but then also to listen to music that is just there for the music, for the dancing, for the, for the movement of it is refreshing for me. Speaker 5: 38:32 [inaudible] Speaker 11: 38:33 Some of the new music that we're writing. I'm starting to use, um, electronic drums and trying to bring in a bit more electronic code just to play around with that because it's not something I've ever really worked with. It's a bit of a dream of mine to be able to maybe do a collaboration with rabbit. So Ellen is a, an amazing lead powerful band from Mexicali. Their live show is just pretty stunning. And so they put out this energy that, that is really pretty inspiring. One song in particular called a new slave. First of all, silent has an amazing drummer named CEO, but in this particular song, when they play it late young Singh, who is their singer, he comes out and he also plays a floor, Tom, and it just adds a really amazing kinetic energy to their show. Speaker 5: 39:55 [inaudible] Speaker 11: 39:56 And the cool thing about silent is there music is, is, is quite different than ours, um, because it's so heavy into very heavy punk oriented, but it's also kind of an elegant punk now. And so I I've, I've taken a compliment from our music when people have mentioned that our music's kind of elegant, you know, and so even though sonically, we don't pair up as far as rhythm and and power. Um, I think there is a sort of a connection with the kind of tone that they're doing, if not sonically, then visually and just kind of thematic CLI and so young. And I have talked about doing a collaboration as well to have him and I both sing on it on a song. Speaker 12: 40:51 One, collaboration has come to fruition for Phil recently with a musician. He always admired, but never dreamed he'd have the chance to work with ruin Albarran lead vocalist of [inaudible] Speaker 5: 41:09 [inaudible] Quba Speaker 12: 41:10 Is undeniably one of the most influential Latin rock bands over the past three decades. Speaker 5: 41:22 [inaudible], especially Speaker 12: 41:23 In Mexico, where they're from their iconic presence is on par with bands like U2 or something. It all came as a big surprise to Phil. He was searching for mariachi musicians to collaborate on a song called what would I know? So he called up mandala gummies and artist manager in Mexico city. And Marilla also happens to be Rubin's manager. And we got Speaker 11: 41:51 To talking about the song, um, that I wanted to find these musicians to help. And then I talked with her about perhaps doing a Spanish version of the song, and she said, oh, maybe you should ask Rubin, he's a fan of your music, which was a surprise to me, but a happy surprise. And I thought, oh yeah, that would be great, super, but I, I doubt he's going to do it. Why would he want to do that? He's a guy that sings in stadiums has Grammy's in his own Disney soundtrack, Speaker 12: 42:15 But the next morning, Phil woke up to a text saying that Rubin loved the song. And just a month later, Phil was on a plane to Mexico city to record at [inaudible] studio. Speaker 11: 42:29 So generous of him, he put so much time into it. And I thought we were going to be making a Spanish version of the song, but we all decided that because the song is about some cross border themes, that would be best if it was a bilingual song. Speaker 5: 43:09 [inaudible] Speaker 11: 43:10 What would I know your case here looks at some border issues, but it also looks at some, you know, larger themes of why do we judge one another? And we put these obstacles in the way of knowing one another better through borders or through judgment or politics. And when you get down to it, everyone has the same desire. And if we can just get out and, and experience others, we get a better understanding of this, particularly with our neighbors. So the framework of the song was addressing that [inaudible] Speaker 12: 44:01 What would I know y'all could say will be available to stream on all major platforms on July 23rd and the color 49. We'll also be having a record release show that same night at the castle. Okay. Speaker 6: 44:21 It was port of entry, host Alan Lillian Thall with Phil Beaumont lead vocalist of the color 49 to hear the full episode, got a port of entry, pod.org, or find port of entry on apple, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts. Speaker 5: 44:48 [inaudible].