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NFL sued over Chargers' relocation from San Diego

 January 26, 2022 at 4:23 PM PST

Speaker 1: (00:01)

A new lawsuit against the NFL over the chargers, moved to LA

Speaker 2: (00:05)

San Diego. Didn't lose the chargers. The chargers just lost San Diego.

Speaker 1: (00:10)

I'm Jade Henman with Maureen Kavanaugh. This is KPBS midday edition, A big change in vaccine mandates for businesses. Those

Speaker 3: (00:28)

Companies that were struggling to get in line with the OSHA mandate can stop because they don't have to mandate vaccines

Speaker 1: (00:36)

A look at how the Navy is handling this phase of the pandemic and the threat acing Monarch butterflies that's ahead on midday edition Football fans are still buzzing after an exciting and memorable weekend of NFL playoff games. One team that was not involved in any of those games was the chargers and one city that definitely wasn't was San Diego. The chargers left town for Los Angeles back in 2017 here's then San Diego mayor Kevin Faulkner the day, the team announced they were leaving San Diego. After 56 years,

Speaker 2: (01:25)

San Diego didn't lose the chargers. The chargers just lost San Diego. They're losing out on our strong marketplace. They're losing out on our unmatched quality of life. And probably most importantly, they're losing out on 56 years of dedication of loyalty of family.

Speaker 1: (01:47)

A new lawsuit was filed Monday, accusing the national football league and its owners of violating relocation terms with the city of San Diego. The complaint was filed by former San Diego city, attorney Michael Geary and former deputy city attorney Maria Severson on behalf of San Diego resident, Ruth Hendricks here to tell us more is Jeff McDonald investigative reporter with the San Diego union Tribune. Jeff welcome. Good morning, Jade. So you write that the complaint filed against the NFL and team owners begins with a quote from chargers owner, Dean Spano saying only in the case of severe financial hardship for the team defined by very narrow, specific and confining conditions. Could we request to renegotiate with the city? Uh, can you tell us more about the complaint and what it's alleging? So

Speaker 4: (02:38)

I think the, uh, plaintiffs, uh, attorneys led their complaint with that quote because it's so, uh, aptly summarized is their allegations, which are that neither the chargers or the NFL and the other team owners satisfied the league relocation rules. One of the rules in the relocation policy states that the team has to not be, uh, financially viable in the, in the market it's choosing to leave. So it can't be profitable and make a legitimate argument for leaving a, a city according to the league's own relocation policy. So the plaintiff's attorneys are using that as exhibit a and in the alleged bad faith negotiations with city. And remind

Speaker 1: (03:19)

Us again, what led the chargers to leave San Diego?

Speaker 4: (03:22)

Well, the Spanos family wanted a new stadium. It's no secret. They worked with city officials for, uh, a dozen years or more trying to, uh, either upgrade, uh, Qualcomm stadium, Jack Murphy stadium, or find a new location somewhere in San Diego county. Uh, their argument was that they couldn't compete with the bigger market teams that have stadiums and lots of revenue from luxury boxes and things like that. The league shares a lot of its TV income and other regular income equally among all 32 owners, but the teams do make their own money on things like the luxury seating and other amenities that San Diego didn't enjoy at Qualcomm stadium. Hmm. So, so

Speaker 1: (04:05)

Did the chargers or the NFL pay the city when they left? No,

Speaker 4: (04:08)

That's part of the allegation is that the, uh, the city spent millions of dollars trying to accommodate the chargers, working with them on a number of fronts over a number of years, trying to keep the chargers in San Diego, they approved the ticket guarantee. They upgraded Qualcom stadium, they formed a, a citizen's task force. They presented the team, a development option in mission valley to offset construction cost for a new stadium on that, on that acreage, none of which the chargers ran with and they left for Los Angeles, uh, of course, five years ago, thinking they could, uh, make more money.

Speaker 1: (04:43)

Hmm. And interesting is the lawsuit wasn't filed by the city of San Diego. In fact, the city is named as a defendant. So who is the plaintiff? And how is the city involved? The plaintiff

Speaker 4: (04:55)

Is a taxpayer named Ruth Hendricks. She's, uh, represented by former city attorney, Micah, Gary, and his law partner, Maria Severson. They hope to recover damages that would go directly to the city. Now the city is named as a defendant, although that's a necessary legal procedure, uh, that's required in a taxpayer lawsuit. I don't believe the city will be adversarial in its, uh, relation to this complaint. In fact, the mayor and city attorney issued a joint statement yesterday, basically saying, you know, good luck to a Gary and Severson and

Speaker 1: (05:29)

San Diego. Isn't the first city, the NFL has left the Rams, also relocated to Los Angeles, leaving my hometown St. Louis after some 20 years. And they also filed suit against the Rams and the NFL. What happened in that instance?

Speaker 4: (05:44)

Well, the lawyer who litigated that, who came up with the legal argument, they won a nearly 800 million settlement from the NFL, which of course is huge news. And, uh, the lawyer who came up with that strategy, alleged that they violated the relocation policy, some of the same arguments that, uh, Mr. Gary and Ms, uh, seaman put forward in their complaint this week. So they're basically co-opting that legal strategy, this 800, 790 million settlement that the city of St Louis received last year basically was a, a, a huge motivator, uh, some lawyers in San Diego think why not us? So they're gonna try and get their share from the, uh, you know, the NFL and the

Speaker 1: (06:22)

Chargers. And is that why this suit, uh, is being filed now? You think,

Speaker 4: (06:26)

Yes, according to the complaint, they only learned about this misrepresentation and fraud late last year when they learned that, uh, union Tribu columnist, Bryce, uh, quoted a former charger's executive saying that, uh, Mr. Spano had made up his mind to leave San Diego as early as 2006. So their argument is going to be that, uh, the statute of limitations don't get triggered until you learn of the fraud. So in that way, they can, uh, explain to a court why they waited five years to file the his case. Mm.

Speaker 1: (06:59)

So what are legal experts saying about the lawsuit? Do they believe the lawsuit has merit?

Speaker 4: (07:04)

I haven't talked to a, a lot of lawyers outside the two that brought this complaint. I can tell you, they feel satisfied that they're on firm, legal footing based on the outcome in St. Louis and consultations. They've had with a number of other lawyers across the country. You know, it's a long shot. The NFL has the best paid lawyers in, in the nation. And, uh, it, it's a, it's a, it's a big lift. Uh, however, they're not reinventing the wheel here either. So it'll be interesting to see how it plays out. You know,

Speaker 1: (07:35)

How have city officials reacted to the lawsuit?

Speaker 4: (07:38)

They noted that it's a, that it's a tough legal sled, right? This is, uh, this is the NFL they're multi-billion dollar corporation. Uh, that said, I think the outcome in St. Louis has given them, uh, some confidence that they might succeed, although the city attorneys, uh, and the city officials have not dedicated any public sources to this effort, which I find interesting.

Speaker 1: (08:02)

Hmm. Uh, now we know how the legal process can take a long time to be resolved. What's the next step for this complaint?

Speaker 4: (08:10)

Uh, well, the entities will be, the defendants will be served, uh, and they'll have to respond and they'll be some hearing set. Probably the defendants will file a motion to who dismiss based on a number of legal, uh, grounds. And, uh, if the case surpasses that hurdle, uh, that's what happened in St. Louis. That's when the negotiations for settlement started, uh, this can take years. Of course, there's a lot of issues to run through. And of course the NFL would wanna limit any damages at all. Uh, the plaintiff, if we wanna look at damages along the lines of what St. Louis received. So there's a lot of money at stake. The big question will be whether it survives, whether the lawsuit survives its uh, initial motions to dismiss on whatever legal grounds the defendants put forward.

Speaker 1: (08:54)

All right. Jeff McDonald, an investigative reporter with the San Diego union

Speaker 5: (08:58)

Tribune. Jeff, thank you so much for joining us. Thank you Jade.

Speaker 6: (09:08)

After a loss at the us Supreme court, the Biden administration has officially withdrawn its vaccine man date for large businesses. The mandate would've applied to us firms with 100 employees or more requiring workers to receive COVID vaccinations or weekly COVID tests. The occupational safety and health administration says the rule may return in some form, but that format has not been decided. Meanwhile, the CDC reports just 63% of eligible Americans have been fully vaccinated. Only 40% have received booster shots. Johnny me is legal analyst. Dan Eaton, Dan, welcome to the program. Good

Speaker 3: (09:47)

To be with you again, ma

Speaker 6: (09:48)

Now that's 63 Supreme court ruling against the vaccine. Mandate was pretty much the death now for this rule, but the Supreme court allowed a vaccine mandate for healthcare workers and facilities that received federal funds. They allowed that to stand. So remind us why they did not allow the business vaccine mandate. The

Speaker 3: (10:08)

Reason that the Supreme court reached a different ruling in the challenge to the Medicare, Medicaid mandate requiring facilities who received those fundings to have their staffs vaccinated, uh, is because it was a different law. One law does not fit all specifically what the court said is that agencies routinely condition the granted federal funds on adhering to certain terms that are set by the agency. The court actually towards the end of the Medicare Medicaid ruling said two sentences. That pretty much reconcile both rulings. It said the challenges posed by a global pandemic do not allow a federal agency to exercise power that Congress has not conferred upon it. Referring to the Osher bowling at the same time, such unprecedented circumstances provide no grounds for limiting the exercise of authorities. The agency has long been recognized to have close quote. In other words, D different laws, different outcomes.

Speaker 6: (10:58)

So where does this leave us companies when it comes to requirements for COVID vaccines, where

Speaker 3: (11:04)

It leaves us companies is that those companies that were, uh, struggling to get in line with the OSHA mandate can stop because they don't have to mandate a vaccines because this rule is no longer in place. Snap, private companies may still require, uh, vaccines on their own, but the death now of the Osher rule means they no longer have to. And I'm not aware of any state that requires large companies or companies of any size to mandate vaccines, except in limited industry circumstances

Speaker 6: (11:33)

On another topic here, San Diego unified and other school districts have, have run up against similar court rulings saying that they don't have the authority to impose COVID vaccine mandates for students. Now a bill is being introduced in Sacramento to add COVID vaccines to the required school vaccination list. Is that likely to satisfy the legal challenges?

Speaker 3: (11:56)

Well, it's good to satisfy one aspect of legal challenges. And this gets to the point I made earlier about different laws, different outcomes. The issue in those school cases was that, uh, COVID 19 was not on the list of required vaccinations that the, uh, California legislature had enacted the California legislature is now going to change that by adding COVID 19, along with rubella and other diseases for which, uh, students, uh, and presumably staff have to get vaccinated again, a different law, a different outcome. The, the, the difference in these cases is the source of law. And whether the government agency that's exercising, this authority really has it.

Speaker 6: (12:33)

What could OSHA do to bring back some kind of worker safety requirements for COVID? Could they specify a vaccine mandate only for certain industries?

Speaker 3: (12:42)

Yes. And the Supreme court said as much, it said, look, there are going to be some workplaces where the risk of COVID is, uh, especially problematic. And, and you can issue regulations on that. What you can do is issue this broad regulation that applies to 80 million, some people across industries, without regard to specific hazards that are represented by, uh, COVID 19, that actually cuts across all industries and outside of the workplace. It's a public health crisis, not a workplace specific crisis. What

Speaker 6: (13:10)

Kind of precedent could the Supreme court ruling against vaccine mandate it's set for future decisions involving workplace health and safety,

Speaker 3: (13:18)

But that's the fascinating thing, Maureen. Now what the Supreme court has said is OSHA and by extension other federal agencies stay in your lane. Because if you go beyond the specific grant of congressional authority, with respect to the exercise of your power, we are going to block you from doing that. And that could mean that agencies are in issuing regulations are going to have to issue regulations, narrowly focused on their specific mandate of congressional power.

Speaker 6: (13:44)

And finally, Dan, I know you're an avid court watcher. What's your take on today's news that one of the three liberal justices on the us Supreme court, Steven Brier is retiring.

Speaker 3: (13:55)

It's huge Maureen, and it's huge for a couple of reasons first because, uh, obviously justice Byer was one of three members of the what's called the liberal block in the judicial, not the political sense of that. And it gives the democratic president, Joe Biden, the opportunity to replace him. And he's going to replace it apparently with a historical appointment, which he promised to make of an African-American woman. This is going to change the ideological composition of the court, but it means that one liberal justice who's the oldest member of the court is going to be replaced presumably by a much younger African American female justice before all the consequences that entails going forward in the decades to come.

Speaker 6: (14:34)

But the conservative liberal balance still six conservative three liberal justices.

Speaker 3: (14:40)

Yes, the, uh, conservative liberal balance is not going to change, except that the interesting about Supreme court appointments is that you never know what issues are going to crop up in the decades that a justice sits and you don't know whether those issues are going to be decided along traditional ideological lines. That's what makes court watching so much fun.

Speaker 6: (14:59)

I've been speaking with legal analyst, Dan Eaton, a partner with the San Diego law firm, melter Kaplan, McMann, and Vitech Dan as always thank you so much.

Speaker 3: (15:07)

Great to be with you, Maureen.

Speaker 6: (15:22)

This is KPBS midday edition. I'm worrying Kavanaugh with Jade Henman. The military is trying to manage this latest phase of the pandemic, PBS military and veterans reporter. Steve Walsh says it comes after two years of hard learned lessons.

Speaker 7: (15:39)

In the opening months of the pandemic, the Navy was caught off guard in April, 2020. It was forced to sideline the USS Roosevelt in Guam to stop a quickly spreading COVID 19 outbreak that infected over or a third of the sailors, the head of the Navy Admiral Michael Gilday scrambled the get the situation under control. Our goal is to get

Speaker 8: (15:59)

A clean ship, right? We have, uh, people assure that are isolated, that have tested positive. We have others that are, that are quarantined or isolated.

Speaker 7: (16:07)

One sailor on the aircraft carrier died. The commander was relieved and the situation and became a case study in how not to handle COVID 19. The

Speaker 9: (16:17)

Roosevelt was made much worse largely by self-inflicted wounds by the Navy.

Speaker 7: (16:22)

Brad Martin is a retired Navy captain who is now a researcher at ran corporation. He says the Navy underestimated the risk of COVID and was slow to react. They were

Speaker 9: (16:31)

Bled cause they were getting a lot of at the guidance. They would be huddled because a medical chain of command was telling people one thing the operational chain of command was telling 'em something else

Speaker 7: (16:41)

Fast forward to early January. The USS Lincoln was about to depart from San Diego sailors are required to wear a mask. Now the whole crew is vaccinated. Many had boosters with the carrier as a backdrop, the head of the strike group, R Admiral JT Anderson assured reporters that the Navy now has its act together. We do have some

Speaker 10: (17:04)

Positive cases within the strike group, but we're extremely confident that, uh, we can safely and effectively

Speaker 7: (17:10)

Execute our mission. But the Navy has eased up on some of the risk frictions that were put in place after the Roosevelt outbreak gone are the two weeks of isolation prior to boarding a ship. And the Admiral announced that the crew of 3000 included sailors who had active COVID cases, frankly,

Speaker 10: (17:27)

We've learned a lot over the course of the last couple of years. And we feel like we're in a, in a, a good place because we are highly vaccinated.

Speaker 7: (17:34)

The Navy has a 98% vaccination rate, but thousands of sailors have applied for exemptions so far. The Navy hasn't granted any religious exemptions though. A federal judge has blocked the Navy from taking action against 35 seals who are suing on religious grounds. Meanwhile, for the first time, in at least a decade, the Marines did recently grant a handful without listing a reason. BI Admiral Roy Kitner is in charge of Naval surface forces in the Pacific. The way we

Speaker 11: (18:02)

Deal with it now is it's more of an pandemic right than a pandemic. You know, for me personally, uh, I think it's gonna be with us over the next few years, maybe forever.

Speaker 7: (18:12)

I don't know. Kitchener says no one will deploy without being vaccinated. Ships are doing contact tracing on board and mirroring the center for disease control guidelines. Six sailors are spending five days in isolation instead of 10, there is no

Speaker 11: (18:29)

To getting 'em out quicker. There's just more tools to manage it. And that's really the key thing we look at. Do you have enough people, you know, that can operate that ship

Speaker 7: (18:39)

Safely? Martin says the Navy has made progress in keeping sailors healthy. Still. He says a lot of effort went into keeping ships at sea. Maybe he says a better answer was keeping the ships at home rather than sending them on non-essential missions. The Navy needs to think

Speaker 9: (18:55)

Seriously about what's really definite must do deployment and what, something that can wait, uh, creating all kinds of havoc in order to try to meet a commitment may

Speaker 7: (19:06)

Not be necessary. Andy says the Navy still has trouble anticipating in crisis instead of learning from its failures.

Speaker 6: (19:14)

Joining me as KPBS, military and veterans reporter Steve Walsh. Steve. Welcome.

Speaker 7: (19:20)

Hi Maureen.

Speaker 6: (19:21)

Now talk to us more about the mixed messages the Navy was getting in the early days of the pandemic.

Speaker 7: (19:28)

So, you know, of course the, the Trump administrative was in charge of the us government and that included his reaction to the virus. So the Navy will say that, uh, this is not their first rodeo, that they understand the importance of keeping outbreaks contained. You know, they do surveillance testing for a number of different potential diseases on board, you know, especially big ships like an aircraft carrier, but it does feel like the, as an overall kind of lax attitude toward COVID 19, there was a port stop in Vietnam that, uh, was mostly optics for the USS Roosevelt. You know, it turns out that that was their last port call for a while

Speaker 6: (20:03)

After the USS Roosevelt's failed response to COVID that you talk about in the feature, what measures did the Navy put into place before vaccines were widely available?

Speaker 7: (20:15)

So there was a much greater emphasis on testing. A couple of months later, there was an outbreak on board, the USS kid and the Navy immediately flew a medical team out to the ship. They immediately tested everyone on board. They put six sailors on helicopters and got them off the ship. They brought the ship into port and got it decontaminated. It was very much a medical first response, you know, and they set up, uh, isolated, safe ports in places like Guam. So sailors could have some leave while they're deployed without mixing with the local population. Sailors began isolating for two weeks prior to getting on board ships. Obviously everyone started wearing masks. Uh, they tried to limit the number of sailors in common areas like, you know, during meals, the Navy eventually started getting pretty high marks for how aggressively they were tackling the virus.

Speaker 6: (21:06)

Do we have any numbers on how many Naval personnel contracted COVID and uh, how many died?

Speaker 7: (21:13)

The Navy has had more than 71,000 cases of COVID since the pandemic began more than 11,000 cases are active right now. Now, many of those are asymptomatic or they, they show very mild symptom. That's one thing that the world really learned coming out of the Roosevelt is that you could have a whole population of people who didn't look sick, but they could still be spreading the virus, especially younger people with no other risk factors. We have had those 17 sailors who have died right now. We have a sailor, uh, in the hospital in San Diego, petty officer, first class, Ryan Denny. He's an avionics technician who is based on Coronado. He had, uh, re no recent sea duty. Other members of his family were sick. He was diagnosed late last month. And a short time later, he was hospitalized. He's now on life support system at a local hospital, but he's only 29 years old. He was vaccinated, no preexisting risk factors. That's what makes COVID so potentially dangerous. Even for the, an otherwise healthy population like the Navy.

Speaker 6: (22:19)

Did the Navy or the military in general ever perceive COVID as a security threat? Oh,

Speaker 7: (22:25)

I think after the Roosevelt, that was a real wake up call. The Navy started to see how potentially vulnerable they were and how hard it was to get that virus out of a ship's population. Once it got on board and started to spread a lot of effort, then started to get in, go into getting new guidance together, to keep the Navy afloat, so to speak.

Speaker 6: (22:45)

Now sailors on board, the USS Lincoln and up their ships are now required to wear a mask. And I, I'm trying to think about that is that all the time they're on the ship, they have to wear a mask.

Speaker 7: (22:57)

Yep. Uh, this is, uh, true. They, they have to do this at all times in all places. This is along with vaccines. One of the things that they, uh, they really have to emphasize as a sort of a long term protection protection against COVID 19

Speaker 6: (23:13)

And the vice Admiral told you no one deploys who is not vaccinated. So does that mean the 35 unvaccinated Navy seals and the other thousands of unvaccinated personnel have to stay stateside? No matter what.

Speaker 7: (23:30)

Yeah. I mean, that's a good question, Maureen. You know, they, haven't released a lot of details on, on what is happening with those seals that are the subject of that, that court order now that they cannot be compelled to become vaccinated. Now seals don't necessarily deploy with the surface fleet. So the Navy also hasn't taken any action against those thousands of other sailors who have applied for exemptions, including religious exemptions while they wait. I've been told that those sailors won't be deploying on board ships. Uh, you know, if they're not vaccinated today, actually the Navy is going to be officially releasing new guidance, which will point the way to treating the virus more as endemic putting in some precautions for the long haul while formally scrapping some of the other precautions. Like there was two weeks of isolation prior to coming on board of ship. I think that's probably going to go away.

Speaker 6: (24:22)

And considering that the Navy is now dealing with COVID as endemic, do you think COVID vaccines will be part of the standard medical requirements for recruits coming in?

Speaker 7: (24:34)

Well, you know, recruits have to be vaccinated just like the rest of the force. You know, some of the first people to be dismissed from the Navy were recruits who chose not to become vaccinated. There is a, a long process for putting those shot requirements, um, onto the list of, I believe, 14 other shots that are required, uh, for service in the Navy. So it could be a while before that is formally part of that, that protocol,

Speaker 6: (24:59)

The Rand corporation researcher, Brad Martin had an interesting take on the subject was all, all the effort to keep ships at sea during the pandemic really necessary.

Speaker 7: (25:11)

Yeah, that's, that's the thing. Martin thinks that there, there are a couple things there that the Navy did, did pretty well. When it came to reacting to the virus itself, they really did get their act together. The Navy is actually very good at kind of what is called lessons learned. They see a problem. They see a mistake when it's happened, they go back through and they, they look at the process and they look at ways of fixing it. They're much less able to, uh, to anticipate future problems, which is how they got into the issue with the Roosevelt in the first place. But yeah, he is very keen on the idea that, you know, maybe a major part of this response have been the whole world was in pandemic. We don't need to send ships to Japan. We don't need to show up in Indonesia or in parts of south America. Maybe we should have just kept more of the fleet at home and just not put them at risk. So then you're only doing those sort of critical missions.

Speaker 6: (26:06)

I've been speaking with K P B military and veterans reporter Steve Walsh. Steve, thank you.

Speaker 7: (26:11)

Thanks Maureen.

Speaker 1: (26:17)

One often overlooked part of the conversation around rising rates of suicide in this country is how youth are impacted. And in particular, how black youth are impacted a recent report from the California, nonprofit children now shows the suicide rate for black youth and young adults. Age 10 to 24 has doubled since 2014 while rates among other groups have remained the same. So what's driving this disturbing trend and where's help. Joining me is Dr. Monica Hinton, president of the association of black psychologists, San Diego chapter, Dr. Hinton. Thanks for joining us. Thank

Speaker 12: (26:53)

You. Thanks for having me

Speaker 1: (26:55)

So much of the research out there suggests that black youth are dealing with higher rates of suicide risk factors. Can you a bit about what those factors

Speaker 12: (27:04)

Are for one, we are seeing more youth being bullied because of their ethnicity, a lot more racial statements, a lot more name calling even a lot more happening just in the classroom, even with their instructors, with their teachers. And so our children are bringing those feelings home. And then if they're coming home to families where there are so socioeconomic challenges, there's impaired family functioning and having access to lethal means that even increases those chances of our youth attempting and even following through committing suicide,

Speaker 1: (27:47)

Despite being exposed to all of those risk factors, the suicide rate among black youth has historically been low. Why is that changing now with suicide rates doubling since 2014? I

Speaker 12: (27:59)

Believe it's been changing now because we historically have, have had support systems in place. And I feel as though those support systems are lacking in some way, they, the, our youth are feeling as though they're not being heard, not being supported, not being seen. We do have, um, youth that are L G B T Q and they're not being heard or seen. And I believe that that's some of the problems that we're seeing our connection with each other. A lot of it, I believe unfortunately, might be social media. You know, we, we think we're Mo more social when actually we're not. And, and we really need to see our youth and our families doing more social interaction, being with each other, more, doing things with each other more so as much as we are connected, we're equally as disconnected. And so some of the support systems we've had seems to who have fallen by the wayside. Uh, they're not gone. They're just diminished.

Speaker 1: (29:11)

What do those support systems look

Speaker 12: (29:13)

Like? So it would be the church. It would be your parents, kinship family members. So your big mama and auntie, and all of those people that typically we have around us need, we need to look at reassuring that within our families again, and really being able to listen to our children. I have a nephew and I often allow him time just to sit and talk with me, even if a lot of times what he wants to talk about are video games, or he wants to be a photographer or whatever stressors are happening at school, but just allowing that space for him to have those convers we're often so busy working, trying to put food on the table and really don't have time to sit with our kids. And I believe having more of that would be beneficial to our children, just having a place for them to go and just be heard, even if you may not be able to solve the problem, but at least being heard,

Speaker 1: (30:25)

We know there are disparities and access to mental health services. What are some of the challenges black youth face when getting mental health care?

Speaker 12: (30:33)

There are fewer mental health providers that really know how to work with African American families and some of the same types of therapy that's used for Caucasian children or other groups of children can be used with our kids. But in terms of working with our youth, you want to consider, always consider what are the intergenerational traumas that they may have experienced, um, even exploring the post traumatic slave syndrome and, and how that has exposed itself in their family and some things and behaviors that have occurred in their family that are still connected to the, those old, deep rooted, seated ways of being. And also we want to be able to really develop trust. We have a long history of being used and misused by medical systems, by healthcare systems, by research. And so there's this stigma and this sphere that goes along with re seeking mental health services. So definitely when you are in front of an African American and especially an African American child, really, really developing trust and creating a relationship is going to move you much further then taking on the stance of I'm the psychologist, I'm the therapist. I know what's best.

Speaker 1: (32:10)

You mentioned post traumatic slave syndrome. Talk a bit about what that is.

Speaker 12: (32:14)

So post traumatic slave syndrome was a theory, or is a theory that was coined by Dr. Joy Deru. And she has a book of the same title, post traumatic slave syndrome. And she talks about how there are some things that we still do as African Americans that are almost a direct descendant of our time as being slaves. Um, one example would be to diminish your child's abilities and during slavery, as many of us know families were pulled apart. So if you are with your child and your slave master comes along and says, you know, your son is looking really good. He's doing really well. Well, the mother may put him down, oh, he's no good. He's a waste of time. He's lazy because she doesn't want her child sold off. These are behaviors that I, our parents still do. And that is because of that, that unconscious way of thinking that we have passed down from generation to generation over time.

Speaker 12: (33:31)

And that's not to say all families do it, but many families have many parents will make these statements or caregivers will make these statements and not really realize what they're doing. Another example is this is spanking. Spanking comes from whipping. And many parents have said, well, I want to train my child. So then when they get out in the world, they can be ready. I wanna break them before the world breaks them. Well, the breaking them in many ways breaks their spirit. And we wanna try and move away from those old behaviors and practices that we once held during slavery that we learned during Jim Crow, that we practice and move away from that and allow our, our children to beat and allow them to grow and be, and flourish. And even with their mistakes, cuz they're gonna make mistakes, their children, how

Speaker 1: (34:30)

Can communities be more supportive of black youth and what resources are there for youth who may need help?

Speaker 12: (34:35)

So definitely in our schools, definitely, um, in our churches, it's really time for churches to accept and look at mental health as a way to help the community and teaching on mental health. And even if it's not taught in the pulpit, churches could still have space for providing support emotional here in San Diego, a mission of the association of black psychologists. We do something called emotional emancipation circles. And these are opportunities for people to come and look at the myths and dispel the lies that have been said for about us and to us, and to really help create a sense of worthiness and purpose and, and to, uh, help improve depression. So that is one resource, uh, and, and our organization is, is more than willing to come into your environment or host one where you can come and invite families and young adults and youth to share their concerns and their healing.

Speaker 1: (35:56)

And of course, for more information or to connect with those resources, you can go to kpbs.org. I've been speaking with Dr. Monica Hinton, president of the association of black psychologist, San Diego chapter, Dr. Hinton. Thank you so much for joining us. Thank

Speaker 12: (36:12)

You.

Speaker 1: (36:25)

You're listening to KPBS midday edition. I'm Jade Henman with Maureen Kavanaugh, Western Monarch, butterflies migrate to California each year to wait out the cold months, traveling hundreds of miles. Initial reports say that more than 200,000 monarchs have gathered along the coast of this winter, forming huge clusters and Gros to stay warm. But the monarchs are in danger. Scientists say that back in the 1980s, millions of monarchs came to California each year by 2020. That number dropped to fewer than 2000. The bakery's podcast team has been digging into the threats facing these essential pollinators reporter. Amanda STUI visited lake Mar in Oakland looking for answers.

Speaker 13: (37:11)

There's a lot of monarchs flying around. Yeah. Oh wow. This

Speaker 14: (37:14)

Is their I'm with Brooke Levin and Touro Rocha looking for butterflies. Lot of people know that bees play an important role in pollination in how plants reproduce. It's less well known that butterflies do the same thing.

Speaker 13: (37:28)

I would see there's one sunning on the bottom of that branch right there.

Speaker 14: (37:32)

Roche got interested in butterflies while working for the city of Oakland. She used to landscape its parks. She realized over a decade ago that a lot of the things her crews did to make parks safe and tidy for visitors were bad for the creatures living there. I realized that

Speaker 13: (37:47)

My landscape practices were destroying habitat for

Speaker 14: (37:50)

Pollinators and pollinators are crucial to the food chain. They helped plants reproduce and are a source of food for larger animals. Rocha decided to shift her practice to create habitat for creatures like bees and Monarch butterflies. They're mating right there in front of us. She shows me a patch of milkweed. It's a plant with long flat smooth leaves that are a vibrant green color.

Speaker 13: (38:14)

You know, the milkweed is sort of the cruising zone. The males just cruise around it, waiting for a female

Speaker 14: (38:19)

To come in Rocha. Co-found at a nonprofit called the pollinator posse that offers training and resources to people who want to protect pollinators. Like the Monarch butterflies. She says, monarchs are the flashy ambassador for pollinators, which is fine by her. Once

Speaker 13: (38:35)

You help one pollinator, you're really helping them all.

Speaker 14: (38:38)

And a lot of people don't realize how much humans are hurting pollinators.

Speaker 13: (38:43)

So we can't let the monarchs go because it means we're failing the rest of the pollinators that once the pollinators go, that songbirds go, then the songbird go, guess what? And the bees go, we're all gone. Cause you can have food.

Speaker 14: (38:59)

The last couple of years have been scary for Monarch lovers in 2020 observers counted fewer than 2000 monarchs along California's coast. That scary low in the 1980s, there were millions and even stranger. The butterflies behavior seems to be changing.

Speaker 13: (39:17)

We saw monarchs breeding throughout the year. My 37 years working in the parks in Oakland, never saw monarchs in may or June in this garden, mating or doing anything like that.

Speaker 14: (39:31)

Normally monarchs show up in the fall may and rest what's called over wintering. Then take off again in the spring. But recently bay area residents have been seeing caterpillars and butterflies year round. And what is folks best guess or hypothesis at this point as to why that's happening?

Speaker 13: (39:55)

That's the a controversy

Speaker 14: (39:57)

Roaches as scientists. Aren't sure what's going on. But some think if the Monarch population dips too low, monarchs will give up migrating all together. One thing is for sure, monarchs still need help. Loss of habitat, pesticides and climate change are all threatening. This beautiful butt.

Speaker 13: (40:17)

If we're willing to let an iconic species die, then we've really messed up. But

Speaker 14: (40:22)

Helping is trickier than it seems for years, well-meaning folks would raise monarchs in their homes or backyards.

Speaker 13: (40:29)

I was guilty of it. I reared a ton, you know, and I thought I was doing the right thing.

Speaker 14: (40:33)

Maybe you even raised monarchs in your elementary school classroom, but raising monarchs is actually illegal. Just like it's illegal to raise any wild animal.

Speaker 13: (40:43)

The problem with rearing them is if you rear them indoors, they don't get the cues from nature to know what part of the migration they are.

Speaker 14: (40:55)

There are two proven ways people can help pollinators like monarchs and they're legal. A big one is making your garden pollinator friendly by growing nectar plants. That's what adult monarchs be and hummingbirds eat. But plants have to be pesticide free.

Speaker 13: (41:11)

Ask the nurseries the hard questions because they'll tell us we use pesticides cuz no one wants to buy a plant that has aphids. Well, we want to see aphids because that means it hasn't been

Speaker 14: (41:23)

Sprayed. Monart caterpillars. On the other hand, only eat milkweed. Roaches says it really should be the native variety, not the tropical kind. That's because native milkweed goes dormant in the winter, which reinforces the monarchs. Traditional migration pattern and tropical milkweed can increase the spread of a deadly parasite that kills monarchs.

Speaker 13: (41:45)

We need to plant more native plants and more nectar plants in the winter here in the bay area for the monarchs. And um, we need to be gentler on the landscape.

Speaker 14: (42:00)

Roaches says the other big thing you can do to help Western monarchs is count

Speaker 13: (42:04)

Them. You know, we need to look into more observation. We just don't have the answers.

Speaker 14: (42:09)

This can be as simple as filling out an online form. When you see cat pillars or butterflies, or you can volunteer to collect data with other butterfly helpers at places like children's ferry land in Oakland,

Speaker 15: (42:21)

A voice on. So if I talk to you like I'm talking to first graders, it's not gonna price. Be

Speaker 14: (42:25)

There for the meeting. This is Jackie Salas. She's in charge of the gardens at children's ferry land. And it's teamed up with Terry Smith of the pollinator POS to train volunteers, how to identify Monarch eggs and caterpillars.

Speaker 15: (42:38)

So we're not gonna be moving any eggs or caterpillars. We're just gonna be identifying what's going on on the plants that

Speaker 14: (42:43)

We have, citizen scientists like these volunteers collect the data, researchers all over the country will use to keep tabs on population health and patterns. You can see it.

Speaker 16: (42:54)

It's so tiny though. Oh my gosh. Yeah.

Speaker 14: (42:57)

You see it?

Speaker 16: (42:58)

Yeah. That that's one of the eggs. Yeah.

Speaker 14: (43:02)

It's usually on without the information, these volunteers are collecting scientists. Wouldn't know where monarchs go or which habitat to target for restoration. Touro roaches says in the world of butterflies, citizen scientist have made a big impact.

Speaker 13: (43:16)

Scientists didn't know where monarchs went in the winter. It was citizen science that tagged them and found them in Mexico.

Speaker 14: (43:24)

These volunteers are committed. They come out once a week, searching for tiny, almost invisible specs on stems and leads. Rocha is inspired by the passion of citizen scientists working to say pollinators like the monarchs.

Speaker 13: (43:38)

I can't be any prouder than just sitting here watching them fluter by and knowing that, you know, we started this in 2011 and that they're still here

Speaker 14: (43:50)

Recently. Monarch enthusiasts got some hopeful news this year. The winter Monarch popular is way up from the dismal 2020 numbers, early estimates show more than 200,000 butterflies over wintering along California's coast. But one good year. Doesn't spell relief for the monarchs. Their long term survival still hangs in the balance. That was Amanda stew pie. I reporting for the bay curious podcast.

A new lawsuit was filed Monday accusing the National Football League and its owners of violating the Chargers relocation terms with the city of San Diego. Then, after a loss in the U.S. Supreme Court, the Biden administration has officially withdrawn its vaccine mandate for large businesses. Later, KPBS military reporter Steve Walsh reports on how the Navy is trying to manage this latest phase of the pandemic. After, a recent report from Children Now shows the suicide rate for Black youth and young adults ages 10-24 has doubled since 2014, while rates among other goups have remained the same. So what’s driving this disturbing trend? Lastly, Bay Curious looks into the threats facing butterflies.