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Police Association, Mayor remain at odds over COVID-19 vaccine mandate

 November 18, 2021 at 4:34 PM PST

Speaker 1: (00:01)

Where the city stands as the vaccine deadline approaches.

Speaker 2: (00:05)

It's just a wait and see game to see how many people will leave the city rather than comply with these mandates.

Speaker 1: (00:11)

I'm Jade Hindman with Maureen Kavanaugh. This is KPBS mid-day edition. The border is open to vaccinated tourists, but not vaccinated. Asylum seekers.

Speaker 3: (00:30)

Something I heard at the camp this week was what is more essential than fleeing for your life and trying to claim asylum,

Speaker 1: (00:38)

What to expect during holiday travel this year. And our series on housing and racial covenants continues that's ahead on midday edition Yesterday marked a key date in the city's impending vaccine mandate for all city workers, city employees would have had to receive their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in order to be fully vaccinated by the final deadline of December 2nd, the San Diego police department has so far given the strongest pushback to this mandate, which has fueled an ongoing disagreement between police and the mayor's office over a potential staffing shortage that could result from the mandate. Joining me now with more is KPBS general assignment reporter Kibby Alvarado, kitty, welcome to the program.

Speaker 2: (01:36)

Thank you. Thank you for having me here.

Speaker 1: (01:37)

The deadline for city workers to receive their first dose of the COVID vaccine was yesterday. Do we know how many city workers got the

Speaker 2: (01:46)

I'm looking at the numbers right here and over 8,000 employees have been fully vaccinated and that's out of over 11,000. We've seen that

Speaker 1: (01:55)

The most resistance to get the shot from the city's police department. Do we have numbers on how many officers are vaccinated or unvaccinated?

Speaker 2: (02:03)

730 are not fully vaccinated. And 80 of them did not want to respond. We did speak with Jack Shaffer, the president of the police officers association, they did put out a recent survey that showed about 300 officers would rather be fired than get the vaccine and to make it clear. He does tell us that the union does support vaccinations and he's fully vaccinated, but what they don't support is the mandate. They do feel officers have the right to choose whether or not to get vaccinated. And he says a lot of them feel especially strong if they had prior infections. And even though that's contrary to the CDC recommendations that even people with previous COVID infections get vaccinated,

Speaker 1: (02:46)

SDPD has warned that mandating vaccination among its ranks could cause officers to seek employment elsewhere. Every seen any truth to that

Speaker 2: (02:54)

So far, no one, not that I know of, but from what Shaffer tells us again, the, of the union, he says that those who aren't going to comply really are considering very strongly going to neighboring departments. And that would be really easy for them to do because all departments are struggling with staffing.

Speaker 1: (03:12)

Have we been hearing from the police union on this impending deadline?

Speaker 2: (03:16)

You know, something that I did find really interesting is the way most of us understand that the mandate is a firm hard deadline of December 1st or second making this week, the deadline to get the first dose. But the union tells us they do have regular conversations with the mayor's office. And from what they understand is that as long as officers have at least one dose on board, by December 1st, they will not be dismissed. And that doesn't include the exemptions for religious reasons or medical reasons. And the city has to go through and decide on each one. So this could play out for a while.

Speaker 1: (03:49)

Has the union indicated how many officers could potentially leave because of these mandates

Speaker 2: (03:54)

On the survey they put out. And, uh, the president said he would just be guessing, but probably about 200, but maybe that is even a, a high number, but no one really knows. And these officers may comply last minute, but it's clear. The city is not going to change the rules. The mayor responded yesterday to us saying that they already have about 150 officers either starting the department or just about to start, which sounds good. But the union tells us that each hire will cost the city about $200,000 to train. And that's just the basic. So they won't have as much experience. And if you do the math on each, each replacement, it's really costly,

Speaker 1: (04:31)

Conflicting messaging from the mayor's office and the police department about staffing issues. What can you tell?

Speaker 2: (04:38)

The union tells us they're alarmingly, understaffed, and it's causing slow response times. They even included an incident that happened in Hillcrest as an example that took about two hours to respond to a car driving on the sidewalk. But the mayor disputes that. And he says that it's not because of understaffing and blames and increase in call volume saying that on that night calls were up about 90%. And again, he adds that they will continue to hire new officers and they will be able to handle this.

Speaker 1: (05:06)

The San Diego fire department has also had its own issues with vaccine hesitancy among the ranks. Is it anything we're seeing to the scale of what's going on with the police?

Speaker 2: (05:16)

It doesn't seem as big of an issue, but the numbers are still high. I did speak with chief Colin stairwell. He didn't, he did give me the numbers. He says about 12% of the fire department are unvaccinated and he does make it clear. They do support the mandate and are encouraging members to get vaccinated, but they like every other fire department across the state are struggling with staffing and they had to brown out a fire unit last month, but they did that at a double house. So they did have coverage. So anyone leaving at this point, it will hurt their staffing levels.

Speaker 1: (05:47)

Ultimately let's bring this conversation back to why the mandates are put in place in the first place.

Speaker 2: (05:52)

Well, I suppose that the mayor's office just believes that it's the right thing to do, especially with departments that deal with the community. One-on-one they just really want to be an example for maybe the rest of the country is what a mandate and what public health should look like. But ultimately it's just a wait and see game to see how many people will leave the city rather than comply with these mandates.

Speaker 1: (06:15)

I've been speaking with KPBS general assignment reporter, kitty Alvarado, kitty. Thank you so much for joining us. Thank

Speaker 2: (06:21)

You.

Speaker 1: (06:25)

Last week, the U S border opened for travelers vaccinated against COVID-19, but it didn't open for asylum seekers. Title 42 has presented a double standard keeping asylum seekers in limbo across the border. Joining me with more is KPBS border reporter Gustava Selise Gustavo. Welcome. Thank you. Did so first remind us what title 42 is and why it is so controversial.

Speaker 3: (06:52)

Title 42 is a public health order that the Trump administration started in March, 2020 because of the pandemic, right? They didn't want to let people into the country because of fear of spreading COVID-19. And it's particularly controversial in the context of asylum because title 42, essentially blocks asylum for people we're trying to cross through the us order.

Speaker 1: (07:18)

And in what ways does it do

Speaker 3: (07:20)

That? Well before title 42, the way people claimed asylum in the U S was they would present themselves at the port of entry, talk to a border patrol official who would determine whether they had what's called credible fear, right? They would say I'm being persecuted in my country of origin. And if I go back, I'm afraid that I'll be killed once that happened, they would be allowed into the U S and start their asylum process through the courts, right? To be clear, they wouldn't be given asylum right there. And then they would just have a chance to start the process. And this was the legal way for people to come to the border, present themselves and begin that process with title 42, when asylum seekers present themselves at the border and say, Hey, I have a reasonable fear of being sent back home border officials can simply point to title 42 and say, sorry, we can't allow you into the country because of the pandemic. They they're simply turned away with no screening, no talking to a judge, no verification that they do have credible fear.

Speaker 1: (08:20)

Um, you know, in many argue that this policy isn't about public health, including some 1300 medical professionals who signed letters to the CDC calling for an end to the policy. What can you tell us about that?

Speaker 3: (08:33)

Well, that's kind of the growing chorus of criticisms against this policy and specifically at the Biden administration for continuing the Trump era policy. I guess the main argument is that there are more vaccines available, more COVID testing that's available now. And if the priority really is public health, there are mechanisms in place to safeguard public health while still honoring the people's right to asylum.

Speaker 1: (09:02)

And talk to me more about the double standard here. Um, many say that the policy implies that a vaccinated asylum seeker is of a higher public health risk than a vaccinated tourist, which is not true. Uh, why is that a dangerous train of thought?

Speaker 3: (09:16)

Well, just the double standard is obvious, right? It it's obvious as soon as you allow vaccinated tourists into the country, why not asylum seekers, right. Something I heard at the camp this week was what is more essential than fleeing for your life and trying to claim asylum. And the fact that the administration prioritized vaccinate tourists over asylum seekers, who've been vaccinated. Asylum seekers just left the people at the camp feeling like they're being ignored. Like they're not prioritized like the administration doesn't really care about their plight. And back to what you said about the dangerous rhetoric of implying or suggesting that there's something inherently more dangerous about it, asylum seekers versus vaccinated tourists. I mean, it just goes back to history of really racist a scene, a phobic narratives around foreigners being inherently dangerous or dirty or spreading germs. Right? We we've seen that over and over again throughout history. And it's even almost a variation of some of the attacks that members of the Asian community face here in the U S connected to the pandemic and where it came from and different things like that.

Speaker 1: (10:27)

Um, and the Biden administration is being criticized for not ending this Trump era policy. Why is it being kept in place?

Speaker 3: (10:34)

The stated policy, the stated reason behind the policy hasn't really changed in different press calls, even as recently as, uh, CNN open forum with Anderson Cooper, president Biden said that this is in place because of public health and public safety. And the pandemic just this week though, I asked the CDC, the centers for disease control to just tell me why fascinated tourists are okay, but that's in it. Asylum seekers are not, they told me to go to the white house. So it seems like we're kind of getting the federal run-around over here.

Speaker 1: (11:07)

And back to the question we, I asked previously, you know, you have those 1300 medical professionals who signed letters to the CDC calling for an end to the policy. They're citing that there's just no data to support the policy,

Speaker 3: (11:20)

Correct? Correct. They're saying there's no data, which is something that lawyers, advocates and the migrants themselves are jumping on, right? There's no data to support it. And from the beginning, this is just kind of underscoring what they've thought all along that this was never about public health. This is about keeping migrants away. Some of the lawyers I've spoken to are quick to remind me that title 42 and using it in this way. What's the idea of Stephen Miller, the advisor to former president Trump, who has a very anti-immigrant background and PEs actually spoken publicly about ending or slowing down, at least the asylum process here in the U S

Speaker 1: (11:57)

Um, you know, when asylum seekers are expelled from the country, uh, and, or turned away, what kind of conditions are they facing in Mexico as they hope and wait for due process?

Speaker 3: (12:10)

Well, they they're, they're easy targets for gang members and in Mexico, right? In some of these places, particularly in the Texas border, uh, they're set being sent back to cities that are on the state department's travel watch list level for the highest level travel advisories that you shouldn't go to these places because they are dangerous. And the federal government is sending you back. People who are by definition among the most vulnerable in society. There's an organization, human rights first who published a monthly reports on what they see. And what's been happening to people who have been turned back and they've documented, uh, 7,600 kidnappings and attacks on migrants who are blocked from entering since Biden took office.

Speaker 1: (12:57)

Uh, where does title 42 stand right now? Is this something the Biden administration plans to end?

Speaker 3: (13:03)

Uh, if the administration plans to end, they haven't really indicated that they will they're, they're still timeline for it. There's no, there hasn't really been any language that says, you know, at the end of the month or at the end of the year, it will be over. It's just kind of indefinite. And that's one of the main sources of frustration for the migrants is that they've been waiting there, you know, at the migrant camp, the Quanah they've been waiting since February of last year, March of last year with no real end in sight. So that, that not knowing that uncertainty it's really starting to take its toll mentally. There's been a lot of cases reported of depression, anxiety, the different mental health issues, just because there is no an insight. There's no clear communication of how long it will last, how long it will stay. Uh, it's just kind of a letting them sit there in limbo.

Speaker 1: (13:51)

Um, I've been speaking with KPBS border reporter, Gustavo Selise Gustavo. Thank you so much for joining

Speaker 3: (13:58)

Us. Well, thank you, David.

Speaker 4: (14:10)

This is KPBS mid day edition. I'm Maureen Cavenaugh with Jade Heinemann planes, trains, automobiles. If predictions are correct, we're ready to use just about anything to finally get, to see friends and family. This Thanksgiving, the analysts at the automobile club of Southern California say this Thanksgiving will be the second busiest on record in our area. Just 3% lower than the all-time high of 2019. But this year along with traffic jams and airport crowds travelers will have to remember pandemic safety guidelines, such as masks and vaccination records. Joining me is Doug Shupe corporate communications and programs for the auto club of Southern California Douglas.

Speaker 5: (14:55)

Hi Maureen, thank you so much for having me on today.

Speaker 4: (14:58)

A says San Diego is the top destination for travelers in our region where else our Southern California is headed this Thanksgiving.

Speaker 5: (15:07)

Well, San Diego is always one of the very most popular spots for Southern Californians, but according to a survey of our auto club travel advisors, the number two destination is Los Vegas followed by the grand canyon. Yosemite national park comes in at number four in the Santa Barbara central coast area rounds out the top five. Now that's for Southern California. Nationally. AAA expects that Anaheim is going to be the second most popular destination. This Thanksgiving for travelers across the country. The number one destination will be Orlando, not a big surprise. The Disney parks play a big role in that.

Speaker 4: (15:48)

Now how many Southern Californians do you predict will be traveling?

Speaker 5: (15:53)

We're expecting 4.4 million people here in Southern California. We'll take a trip of 50 miles or more away from home during the five day Thanksgiving period, Wednesday through Sunday. Now the vast majority of them will go by automobile, uh, 3.8 million people traveling by car or truck about 494,000. We'll fly somewhere in about 79,000. We'll take another mode of transportation, like a train, a bus, or even a cruise of course, cruises just recently started up again.

Speaker 4: (16:28)

And can you tell us in it percentage wise, how much that's up from last year?

Speaker 5: (16:33)

Yeah, the overall travel volume is 16% higher here in Southern California from, uh, last year. And it's down just 3% from 2019 before the pandemic began, you know, for Southern California, this will be the second busiest Thanksgiving travel volume on record. And just below the all time record of Thanksgiving travelers, which we saw in 2019 pre pandemic.

Speaker 4: (17:03)

Now, for people who are traveling by automobile gas could be a real expense. Can you tell us about that situation?

Speaker 5: (17:11)

Yeah. Currently in the San Diego area, uh, drivers are paying on average, uh, 4 65 for a gallon of regular unleaded. That is about a dollar 50 more per gallon than this time. Last year, to put that into perspective, you know, someone driving the typical midsize sedan with a 14 gallon sized fuel tank paying a dollar 50 more per gallon means you're paying more than $21, uh, to fill up that tank of gas today than last year at this time. However, we don't expect that these higher gas prices will deter most people from traveling. We expect people are going to be traveling in very large numbers, taking road trips in very large numbers to reconnect with their loved ones this Thanksgiving.

Speaker 4: (17:59)

Yeah. What about the prices on air travel?

Speaker 5: (18:02)

Yeah. Well, air travel actually is, uh, you know, even with the boost that we are seeing in the number of passengers who are going to be boarding planes, this Thanksgiving, AAA finds that the average lowest airfare is actually a little more than 27%, less than last year. However, you know, we know that the pricing that is available right now and the availability, not just for airfare, but for cruises, for accommodations, that is going to go very fast. And so our advice is if you're planning to travel, you know, toward the end of the year for the holidays, or even anytime next year, go ahead and look at booking now book early because the availability and the pricing will not last, there has been so much pent up demand and auto club travel advisors are hearing from a lot of people who are ready to get out there again, you know, when we saw those vaccinations happen, as vaccinations increased the desire, consumer desire to travel increased as well.

Speaker 4: (19:03)

Let me talk about vaccinations and actually the pandemic safety precautions that are still in effect this year is different for traveling because of them. And I want to know what to travelers need to take with them to satisfy those precautions.

Speaker 5: (19:18)

Well, you're right morning, we are living in a different time and traveling in a different time. And so the auto club does remind that all travelers still follow CDC recommendations for safe travel. Also bring plenty of face masks and remember they are required to be worn on any form of public transportation. And we also remind you that they could be required for some indoor areas as well. Now, for those who are taking a road trip, you can always use triple A's COVID-19 travel restrictions map, really a great resource to find out what the restrictions are, not only at your destination, but also along your route.

Speaker 4: (20:00)

And AAA also says, it's a good idea for some travelers, at least to take along their vaccination cards, where might someone need to show a vaccination card

Speaker 5: (20:09)

And you're right. You never know. It depends on what you're doing and what kind of events, but some entertainment venues may require vaccination cards. So it's a good idea to bring that vaccination card actually have the actual printed vaccination card. Of course, some locations will accept the mobile vaccination cards that you have in your phone, but you just don't know. So the best bet is to have that printed vaccination card, just like you travel with your passport and not leave home without it. You may want to take your vaccination card as well.

Speaker 4: (20:42)

Now car travelers may also encounter the kind of gridlock they haven't seen for while when will roads be at their worst for Thanksgiving travel?

Speaker 5: (20:52)

Uh, well we know Wednesday is going to be a very busy day on Southern California freeways. We're going to see those candy cane lights that we typically see, you know, on, on television with the red and white lights, it's going to be pretty packed throughout the day on Wednesday, but it also could pick up on late Tuesday afternoon as well. Our best advice is if you can try to leave as early in the day as possible, because what you want to do is avoid that afternoon early evening commute time when commuters are heading home from work mixing with the travelers who are trying to get out of town or into town.

Speaker 4: (21:31)

Good advice. I've been speaking with Doug Shupe auto club of Southern California, corporate communications and programs manager, and happy Thanksgiving, Doug, happy

Speaker 5: (21:39)

Thanksgiving to you too, Maureen. Thank you

Speaker 4: (21:46)

For the second part of KPBS is three part series on racially, restrictive covenants, KPBS, race and equity reporter. Christina Kim takes us to one of the most exclusive areas in the country, Rancho Santa Fe, welcome

Speaker 6: (22:00)

Rancho Santa Fe, California 9 2 0 6 7. This is one of the most affluent zip codes in the country.

Speaker 7: (22:07)

That's a snippet from a 2019 episode of lifestyle, San Diego, a local real estate show. As you can hear the areas, exclusivity is a selling point nestled in the rolling Hills and eucalyptus groves, a few miles off of the north San Diego county coast. It is a quintessential slice of Southern California paradise, but there's something else that's drawn the rich and sometimes famous to Rancho Santa Fe for nearly a century, a highly restrictive covenant that governs the community, the covenant, which many residents point to with pride includes strict rules on the sizes of lots and the style of architecture and for much of its history, the race and ethnicity of who could live there. Well,

Speaker 8: (22:51)

The protective covenant as it was called at Rancho Santa Fe, um, was certainly in the Vanguard of this kind of restrictions in trying to use these mechanisms to control, not just who lived in purchase property in these areas, but what kinds of communities and neighborhoods that they might be.

Speaker 7: (23:09)

That's VB young historian at the university of Colorado and author of [inaudible] a book on the history of Southern California's architecture established in 1928, the protective covenant banned anyone of the quote, African or Asiatic race or anyone not white or of the Caucasian race from owning or renting in Rancho Santa Fe ranches.

Speaker 8: (23:30)

It's still working from the same basic covenant that was approved in 1928

Speaker 7: (23:35)

In 1948. The U S Supreme court ruled that racially restrictive covenants were illegal. The Rancho Santa Fe association. However, didn't remove the racist language until 1973. And to this day, people still refer to the neighborhood as the covenant. That's one thing that Rancho Santa Fe resident Mary bills wants to see change.

Speaker 9: (23:55)

We're just asking that, uh, they address these cold words. There, there really are still sendings signals of discrimination by using these words, by having this document, people of Goodwill, when they know something is wrong and don't change it, then, then I think there's a problem.

Speaker 7: (24:13)

The, with local real estate agent, Janet lawless, Chris Bill's ones, the Rancho Santa Fe association to rename the protective covenant and stop people from referring to the neighborhood. That way bill says these words into clear message that even today only the white and affluent are welcome.

Speaker 10: (24:31)

I still feel that sense of exclusivity. Well, if I went to some of the boutiques in Rancho Santa Fe, I would get a second look. I can guarantee you that

Speaker 7: (24:41)

Lisa Montez feels the exclusion that Bill's is referring to. She's a fourth generation daughter of Laconia, Eden gardens, a small community where Rancho Santa FES, gardeners and housekeepers all mostly Latino could actually live over the decades. Eden gardens became something rare in north coastal San Diego county, a thriving, largely Latino community. Something month is once people to remember, as the area begins to gentrify

Speaker 10: (25:08)

A couple come up in a very expensive car. And it was clear to me that they were scoping out the properties. And every time I see that I get very frustrated because they don't know this community. They are there to scope, scoop up a deal. That's the bottom line

Speaker 7: (25:30)

Back in Rancho, Santa Fe bills and lawless are facing stiff opposition to their effort to strike the covenant from the communities lexicon lawless. Chris says, she's had people ask her to stop

Speaker 11: (25:41)

People saying, just stop stirring the pot. What pot are we stirring? And why do we have to stop stirring the pot? We have not reached a place that there is not a racially charged connotation to the word. Covenant

Speaker 7: (25:56)

Christie Waylon is the Rancho Santa Fe association manager. She would not agree to an interview, but in a written statement to keep PBS said, covenant is a term meaning and agreement and does not have racial connotations. It merely describes the document and its purpose, both bills and lawless, Kris and knowledge, the symbolic nature of their effort. And no, I won't change what Rancho Santa Fe looks like, but they still think it's an important step.

Speaker 11: (26:22)

I'm not trying to erase history. I'm not trying to tell people not to know the history, know it and learn from,

Speaker 7: (26:27)

And that way they're fighting a similar fight as Lisa month. This whose family was locked out of living in Rancho Santa Fe so many years ago, a battle over what gets remembered and why that matters today. Do you see now, Kim KPBS news

Speaker 4: (26:42)

Tomorrow, we continue this conversation. How are San Diego is choosing to acknowledge the racial restrictions hidden in their homes? Join us tomorrow for the conclusion of our racial covenants series.

Speaker 4: (27:02)

It's not just big energy corporations that have a problem with methane. It's also in our garbage, the heat trapping gas. That's a major contributor to climate change has been found leaking from our landfills operators at San Diego's landfills have used various methods to control the emissions, but have not been able to stop them. And the consensus is that methane will continue to be a source of greenhouse gas emissions at landfills until the waste material that admits the gas rotting food and organic waste is disposed of in some other way. Joining me is voice of San Diego reporter Mackenzie Elmer McKenzie. Welcome to the program.

Speaker 12: (27:42)

Hi, thanks for having me.

Speaker 4: (27:44)

How big a problem are these methane emissions and San Diego landfills.

Speaker 12: (27:49)

They're pretty large source of methane emissions for the state on the whole and for San Diego as well in California, the largest point source of methane and globally methane accounts for 20% of all greenhouse gas emissions.

Speaker 4: (28:04)

Apparently some methane leaks are expected at landfills, but when do emissions exceed that limit?

Speaker 12: (28:11)

So the state air resources board sets a limit on landfill emissions and that's regulated by the local air pollution control districts. And that limit is 500 parts per million volume. And the way to think about that is if you have a million cubic inches of air, think about it in a little package, 500 inches of those are methane. And I'm told by landfill experts that it's pretty easy to exceed that limit, especially because landfills are constantly shifting and moving as rotting, trash, and garbage, you know, kind of decompose, it creates space for trash to move again. And that's part of the problem and reason why we're seeing lots of leaks of methane because you have a shifting sort of piece of land and cracks, uh, appear and methane can leak out that way. And so it's, it's difficult for us to capture that gas completely.

Speaker 4: (29:03)

So here in San Diego, some landfills have been fined for flaring. What is that?

Speaker 12: (29:09)

That's the process of actually burning off the methane that's found within the landfill landfills use that technique because they have to put the methane somewhere. Um, it can't be captured completely, I guess, by different resources that they use the methane for, like at the Miramar landfill, they capture that methane and put it into generators to create electricity. And that runs a couple of facilities there, but, uh, it's all sort of a balancing act of how much methane they can admit legally versus how much they need to burn off in order to actually get that out of the landfill, which has an important process for just keeping the landfill from becoming, uh, a potential burn, uh, hazard, actually

Speaker 4: (29:50)

Talk to us more about this gas, recovery and gas collection effort that landfills are using to try to control methane leaks and control the amount of methane at the landfill.

Speaker 12: (30:01)

One way that you can capture the methane gas is through a system of pipes that are basically vertically thrust into the many layers of trash in a landfill. And then there's a sort of pumping system, um, placed in these they're called Wells, these pipes. And what essentially is happening is the methane is being sucked from the landfill. And so there's a series of these pipes all over the surface of the landfill and, and, uh, landfill operators have to essentially kind of balance and figure out where the methane is coming from and suck a little bit from one side. Talk a little bit from another side and kind of keep an array of these, these different, uh, Wells taking out methane at an appropriate rate, um, and still trying to remain under that state limit of 500 parts per million volume.

Speaker 4: (30:50)

And so it seems the consensus is that E you can control the amount of methane leakage, but you can control methane from leaking entirely. Except if you get organic waste out of the landfills, there's an effort now to get organic waste out of the landfills in California, how is that going?

Speaker 12: (31:10)

Not going super well. Um, as far as I understand it, there's not really a convenient composting program for residents in the San Diego county, the various cities, uh, but yes, the best way to actually get this methane out is to just divert organic matter from the landfill in the first place, because that is the stuff it's that byproduct of that rotting of organic waste that creates the actual methane. And so, uh, the state has new regulations in place where cities and private operators are going to have to figure out a way to make composting available for residents and businesses. That's, uh, starting next year in 2022. And the state's going to start cracking down with fines and a couple of years after that, 2024. So we'll have to see how quickly San Diego can ramp up its composting efforts, right?

Speaker 4: (32:01)

So in January San Diego is, is set to start organic waste recycling. And what impact is that expected to make on methane emissions at landfills?

Speaker 12: (32:12)

Well, we'll have to see how, uh, expansive the composting programs are and the first place, you know, we're, again, we have a lot of private haulers here, like EDCO, they're going to be responsible for, uh, offering composting. Uh, I know the city of San Diego did tell me that their current estimate of methane emissions from landfills is 73%, uh, of that methane is leaking out and they hope to capture 90% of it by 2035 under a climate action plan that they just released. So we'll have to see how composting, um, affects that. I would imagine if it, if it does become as prolific as the state is hoping methane emissions should be reduced.

Speaker 4: (32:55)

I've been speaking with the voice of San Diego reporter, Mackenzie, Elmer, Mackenzie. Thank you.

Speaker 12: (33:00)

Thank you.

Speaker 4: (33:07)

This is KPBS midday edition. I'm Maureen Kavanaugh with Jade Heinemann earlier this year, we aired a series paying tribute to San Diego's great black musicians. Today. You'll hear from one of those artists, jazz soloist, Rebecca Jade, she's the winner of multiple San Diego music awards and performs in her own band, Rebecca Jade, and the cold fact, she's also a backup singer with Sheila E. We asked her to reflect on her, influences her childhood with a jazz singer for a mother, the songs that made her fall in love with music and the artists that shaped her style. She starts with how the pandemic has affected her.

Speaker 13: (33:48)

For me personally, it was like cancellation after cancellation, after cancellation of dates, right at the beginning, you know, so it's a bit of like, oh boy, okay, what am I going to do? What do we do? So there was a sense of that kind of, um, oh no, a little bit, but then it was like, okay, so, so now what, this is a reality, what can I do? And that's just so that's really where things kind of shifted mentally. It's hard to recognize your power when all the world seems to be bringing you. And I think some of it reflected also in songs, a lot of the songs I write are also very encouraging. I try to write songs that are like uplifting or, you know, and so some of the songs that came out of this pandemic has reflected that as well. So it's a matter of, you know, we can all be what was me, or we can be like, okay, this is our reality. What can we do about it?

Speaker 14: (34:53)

[inaudible]

Speaker 13: (35:17)

My, mom's a jazz singer. Shout out to my beautiful mom. And growing up, she helped expose me to a lot of different musical styles. Billie holiday was, was one of the icons, you know,

Speaker 14: (35:32)

Good morning, Hottie, you, oh,

Speaker 15: (35:37)

Saying good morning, Hardy thug. We said, good balance

Speaker 13: (35:44)

Her voice. There was something just so haunting. And so I, I can't even explain what it is. I couldn't even tell you technically, but there was something about her voice when I was, when I was first hearing her, that just drew me to her,

Speaker 15: (36:01)

But you are here to stay. It seems I met you when [inaudible] Written their stop saying to you, What's new.

Speaker 13: (36:23)

She lived a life, you know, there's, there's such sorrow and sadness and yet power and vulnerability. And there's so many layers that I think I hear when I hear her voice, her voice, and it just draws me to her. And so it kind of reflects in my writing. I don't know why, but I just, I always tend to write love songs or I try to write songs that are encouraging and empowering as well. But I also tend to have to have a lot of like love songs or heartbreak songs. And I think that being a fan of Billy holiday almost gave me the permission to be comfortable to do that. You know? Yeah. She was one of the first voices that, that just really stuck into my, my ear, my soul, my heart.

Speaker 15: (37:10)

Good morning. Hi,

Speaker 13: (37:24)

Whitney. Houston is definitely a big influence for me. I tried to sing like her. I was trying to learn her runs and she just had this pure voice that it was undeniable

Speaker 14: (37:41)

[inaudible].

Speaker 13: (38:01)

So all at once was just one of those songs. I just loved the melody and I just loved the way she sang. I love what she's saying, everything. I just remember that being one of the songs that was not really, you know, everybody knew I want to dance with somebody and greatest love of all, but I think this one was just one of those that was not as popular, but was such a great song when she passed. I remember going, you know, like a lot of people do, oh, I want to reminisce on. And I was like, gosh, she had so many amazing songs. And I knew so many of them. And she just really, really impacted me to be that voice to try to, to try to be like, I, I did try to sing like her. That's how that's how much she meant to me.

Speaker 14: (38:44)

[inaudible]

Speaker 13: (39:04)

Celia. Cruz is one of gosh, she, she was just, she's kind of more of a representation of the style of music that my, my mom and I listened to a lot. I was partly raised in Puerto Rico. Like I said, my mom was a jazz singer. She was a jazz singer there in Puerto Rico. So Latin music that where we can Cuban was just flowing everywhere. It was part of, it was part of my upbringing.

Speaker 14: (39:31)

[inaudible]

Speaker 13: (39:39)

When we moved to California, it was just one of those. Like, we always still played that music a lot when it was time to do something, to make dinner, to get ready for something, we were always playing Celia Cruz and Tico pointers. And it was part of the catalog of my upbringing.

Speaker 14: (39:59)

[inaudible] [inaudible]

Speaker 13: (40:23)

When I favorite top five movies is Amadeus. You know, that's, the soundtrack is, is all, is Mozart's Requiem. And the such a contrast, you know, you hear this wide array of instrumentation that is just powerful. And I, you know, and I, I can hear the melodies in my head and you just, for me physically, like my head moves when it's like these like low and big sounds

Speaker 14: (40:48)

[inaudible]

Speaker 13: (41:08)

And then the choir comes in and, and then, or there's a lead vocalist that, that is, takes this, you know, this part. And it's just, there's something that is just so moving and it's incredible to see it and feel it. I just, I just love it. My mom really helped me a lot with vocal harmonies. Oftentimes it would be just the two of us singing, you know, As I got a little older, she started to share with me bands like Manhattan transfer, where vocals are just almost instrumentation. You know, they are, they are the, the main instrument

Speaker 14: (42:07)

[inaudible]

Speaker 13: (42:25)

Anytime we would do go on car rides. Or if I go on car rides with my dad, I remember we drove one time, I think, to Texas. And we were listening to Manhattan transfer. And just, it's just, again, a different style that like classical, where, you know, you just have this wide range of instrumentation. I love how Manhattan transfer, like how they take vocal and put a wide range within that scope within that style. You know, I I'm so blown away by it. And I love listening to the vocal acrobatics, like man,

Speaker 14: (43:08)

[inaudible]

Speaker 13: (43:27)

I truly believe that the Mozart's in them take six and the, and the Manhattan transfer that all reflects still into the shows that I do either with Sheila E or my own stuff called fact, and all it all relates 100%. So I encourage people to keep at it, if there's any doubts within yourself of, you know, oh, I don't know how this is going to help or contribute. I truly believe it all contributes in some form or fashion, so to stick with it. And at some point it manifests itself to reveal that, that it was, it was part of your evolution.

Speaker 14: (44:11)

Yeah.

Speaker 4: (44:13)

That was San Diego musician, Rebecca Jade. You can find links to all the songs that influenced her as well as her own music on our website@kpbs.org.

Speaker 14: (44:30)

[inaudible].

The city's mandatory deadline for its employees to receive their first COVID-19 vaccination was Wednesday. Some police officers have objected to the requirement. Plus, last week the U.S. border opened for travelers vaccinated against COVID-19, but not for asylum seekers. Then, the analysts at the Automobile Club of Southern California say this Thanksgiving will be the second busiest on record in our area, just 3% lower than the all-time high of 2019. And, part two of KPBS' three part series on racial covenants looks at Rancho Santa Fe. Also, San Diego’s landfills are leaking planet-warming methane, just like the big energy corporations. Finally, we hear from one of San Diego's great black musicians - Jazz soloist Rebecca Jade.