Pressure On Biden Administration After Judge’s DACA Ruling
Speaker 1: 00:00 DACA recipients suffer a defeat in federal court. Speaker 2: 00:04 We're being told again that our lives are still in limbo. I'm Speaker 1: 00:09 Maureen Kavanaugh with Christina Kim. This is KPBS midday edition outside legal help is proposed to draft the new police oversight ordinance. Speaker 3: 00:29 When I saw the proposed ordinance at the city of attorney road, I was shocked because it was clearly written from the perspective of the police department. Speaker 1: 00:40 Solar farm in the small town of Macumba is moving forward despite growing opposition and a preview of the second year of virtual Comic-Con that's ahead on midday edition. Yeah. President Biden says his administration plans to appeal a federal judge's ruling that the DACA program is illegal. The deferred action for childhood arrivals program allows young people brought to this country as children to receive protection from deportation and permission to work and attend school in the U S a lawsuit brought by Texas and several other states argued that DACA was an overreach of executive authority by president Obama. The federal judge's ruling on Friday allows 600,000 present recipients to remain on DACA, but restricts new applicants and invalidates the program. Joining me is Dulce Garcia, the executive director of border angels, and a recipient of DACA. And we'll say welcome back to the Speaker 2: 01:46 Program. Thank you so much for having me, Marie, what does Speaker 1: 01:49 Judge Andrew Hannon's ruling actually do to the DACA program? Speaker 2: 01:54 What this decision means to us, aside from the legal aspect is that we're being told again, that our lives are still in limbo. There's still litigation where the state of Texas and others want to see us deported. They don't want us in this country. And we're being told once more, what we need is a path to citizenship. Otherwise we're going to be here yet again in the future where we're fighting for our stay here in this country. What it means legally for a lot of people is they're going to have to wait to submit their applications, and you're going to have to wait even longer and Speaker 1: 02:32 What will not being able to apply and be accepted for DACA. Stop those young people from doing. Speaker 2: 02:38 I remember when I was in high school. And I remember when I was undocumented, trying to figure out what the rest of my life, trying to figure out where to go to school and try to figure out whether I could apply for a job. Now, here fast-forward many years later, these young kids are put in the same position where they remain undocumented and have to question what their future is going to like. Now that the DACA program has been yet again, it's hacked the 60,000 plus applications that are now going to have to be set aside. We're talking about children that are trying to figure out the rest of their lives Speaker 1: 03:12 And what do and the judge say that DACA is illegal. What does it mean? President Obama overreached his executive office Speaker 2: 03:20 From day one. The prior administration had attacked the backup program and said that Obama should not have started the program in the first place that it needed to have a process where public comment would be submitted. The president always had the authority to exercise discretion in cases, such as ours and say, we're not going to put resources to deporting this population. And so the DACA program has always been lawful. What this judge is saying is that the way that the Obama administration went about creating a program was unlawful during the last lawsuit that we took to the Supreme court. It became evident that the way that the rescission of the DACA program went about violated the APA, the administrative procedures act. Now with this lawsuit, they're saying the creation of the DACA program violated that same act. Uh, of course, uh, for us, that benefit from DACA. We continue to say that what we need is a path to citizenship. DACA was never the end, all of it. We wanted a path to citizenship and DACA was a way to keep us in the U S while we continue fighting for that path to citizenship. So Speaker 1: 04:31 As you say, president Biden is basically saying this same thing that you just said about the fact that Congress should provide a path to citizenship while his administration plans on defending DACA. He says the larger issue, is it a permanent solution for the young dreamers helped by DACA, but is there any legislation in the works that would make that possible? Speaker 2: 04:54 Well, there is a budget or conservation process right now that is being discussed in DC. We're urging and advocates are pushing for pass to citizenship to be included in, in those negotiations. Unfortunately, as DACA recipients, we have been politicized from day one and we saw how we were being used as political bargaining chips. And we're in this position again, where we have to defend our livelihoods in this country and prove once more, that we are good economically for this country, that we have so many contributions to this country. And we want to continue contributing to this country fully by being a part of the society as a us citizen, you mentioned Speaker 1: 05:34 The U S economy and supporters of DACA are saying that this ruling couldn't have come at a worst time for the U S economy because new DACA recipients could fill jobs in the service industries that are hurting for workers right now. Do you see that as one of the results of this, a legal opinion? Speaker 2: 05:52 Yes. We saw it during the pandemic over 200,000 DACA recipients were on the lines as essential workers. And more than that, do you want to, in 50,000 DACA recipients have already us citizen children here in the us. And so we're talking about not just the potential removal of those of us who are undocumented in this country, but the removal of so many contributions in our communities, do you believe the Speaker 1: 06:16 Biden administration will find a permanent solution for the dreamers? Speaker 2: 06:20 The bad administration has to find a permanent solution for dreamers. It was something that the prior administrations had promised to us. We've been waiting for decades. This is long overdue in the bottom administration has to do its best to negotiate something for us. And it was one of the promises that the current president made to us a long time ago. I understand that there's a long list of things that the administration is working on, but finding a permanent solution for DACA recipients should be at the top of the list, because that was one of the promises made during the campaign speaking Speaker 1: 06:53 With Rosa Garcia, executive director of border angels and a DACA recipient dosa. Thank you. Thank you. Again, Speaker 4: 07:13 The San Diego city attorney is proposing using outside legal counsel to help draft an updated ordinance that will create the city's commission on police practices. The overwhelming passage of measure B last November called for the creation of a commission that would be independent of the police department and oversee police practices. A draft ordinance to set up the commission was met with criticism from advocates and sent back to the drawing board earlier this month for more on how community members are reacting to this news. We're joined by Andrea St. Julian, an attorney and founder of San Diego for justice. Welcome. Thank you, Andrea. I know you were instrumental in helping shape measure B and the creation of the commission on police practices, and you were not pleased with that initial draft. What do you think of the city's attorney's recommendation to seek outside counsel? Speaker 3: 08:00 I applaud the decision. It was definitely the right decision and we have to look at next steps in terms of who that outside counsel is going to be. Speaker 4: 08:10 I think it's important for there to be outside counsel on this matter, because Speaker 3: 08:14 There is in fact, a conflict of interest, uh, within the city attorney's office. The city attorney represents the police department. When I saw the proposed ordinance at the city attorney road, I was shocked because it was clearly written from the perspective of the police department made you feel Speaker 4: 08:35 Like it was written in the perspective of the police department. It was written Speaker 3: 08:39 For the benefit of the police department, and it was written in a way that did not benefit the community. The proposed ordinance did not fulfill the duties and promise of measure B. And that is why I say that the ordinance was clearly written from the perspective of the police department. Speaker 4: 09:01 And I know one of those things was that all of the commissioners would be appointed by the city council. And that's something that you've really thought should not be the case, is that right? Speaker 3: 09:09 Uh, that is true, but it is not simply me. We had forums over the past many months from community members and actually for years, we've had community forums to find out what best meets the community's needs. The one thing that the community was most adamant about is that the new commissioners should not be appointed by the mayor or the city council's office. Speaker 4: 09:34 You mentioned really the next step. What you're looking for is what is this outside legal counsel going to look like? So city attorney Mara Elliot has outlined two options for seeking outside legal counsel. One is extending a contract with a law firm that already works with the city. And the second is having the commission on police practices. Finally hire its own general counsel. What do you think is the right course of action here? Speaker 3: 09:54 Well, I think the first problem, if the city were to use the attorney for the commission, you would have a clear conflict of interest. I don't think it would be possible to use them. The attorney for the commission is hired to represent the commission's interests, and that could be at odds with what the city council is recommending for the new ordinance. And so that's a conflict. I don't think that that can even happen. I think there needs to be a considered search for outside counsel and it needs to be outside counsel that has experience in not only writing legislation, but in civil rights and public interest work. Speaker 4: 10:45 The attorney is also recommending seeking outside counsel to legally review the protect ordinance, which seeks to end pretextual stops and consent searches. It was drafted by the coalition for police accountability and transparency of which San Diegans for justice, as part of what do you make of this decision. And this recommend, I Speaker 3: 11:02 Applaud that decision as well. I think that that is a really important decision. The, uh, conflicts that exist between the, the, the city attorney and, um, you know, writing this ordinance exists with respect to the CPP ordinance, as well as to the protect ordinance. People have to understand and, and keep in mind, the city attorney represents the police department. They cannot be independent and objective in writing any legislation having to do with the police department. And where Speaker 4: 11:35 Does the protect ordinance stand right now? I mean, what really needs to happen in order for this to even be a new law in the city? Well, Speaker 3: 11:41 It has to pass through city council. Uh, I think it's an extremely well-written ordinance, and I think that it is an extremely important and necessary ordinance. And, uh, the only thing that has to happen is for the city council to say, yes, and Speaker 4: 11:58 This legal review is part of that process, is that right? Speaker 3: 12:00 Of course, the city does want a legal review of the ordinance and, uh, that should take place and be part of the normal process. Speaker 4: 12:09 When we last spoke, it was actually in may for the anniversary of George Floyd's death. And at the time you were disappointed at the speed in which this commission is being formally set up, but you were still hopeful. Is that still the case? Speaker 3: 12:23 Oh, I'm extremely helpful. I'm actually more than hopeful. The community has shown up every step of the way. And if the community keeps showing up, we will get the ordinance that measure be promised Speaker 4: 12:37 As we continue to move forward as a city, talking about police reform and accountability. What do you want to see our leaders do in terms of keeping people engaged in the subject, but also trusting of this process? Actually, Speaker 3: 12:49 That's a pretty simple answer. Elected officials need to start listening to the community in their voters measure. Bead was passed with 75% of the vote. That is incredible. And despite that overwhelming support elected officials are still refusing to listen to what the voters want into what the community wants. We have given elected officials, everything that they need to write a inappropriate ordinance. We've had forums where it's very clear what the community wants. I took all of the information that we got from the, the community. And I wrote a voter voters ordinance, which has a tremendous amount of support. Even the new commission is very supportive of most parts of the voters ordinance. There really isn't much disagreement from the community side yet the elected officials are not just simply taken what has been prepared and given to them and doing the right thing. They want to make this really difficult. And that is not going to do anything more than make things difficult for them. Speaker 4: 14:04 Speaking with Andrea St. Julian attorney and founder of San Diegans for justice. Thank you so much for your time today. Thank you. Speaker 1: 14:29 This is KPBS midday edition. I'm Maureen Kavanaugh with Christina Kim Jade. Heinemann has the day off the heat waves that have rippled across the Western us this summer, uh, causing problems for a wildlife researchers in the desert, outside San Diego and annual big horn sheep count is canceled. KPBS reporter Claire Treg is her says the decision was made after a volunteer died. Speaker 2: 14:56 It was supposed to be the 50th anniversary of a citizen scientists tradition every year for three days in early July, volunteers hike into the desert, sit in the shade all day and count sheep. Speaker 5: 15:09 Okay, I've got the mail and the mail is going down, down, down, down to water rate. Speaker 2: 15:13 That's a video made at last year's count. Volunteers like Kelly Mac say their efforts help keep tabs on the peninsula, big horn sheep, which are endangered. You hike Speaker 6: 15:24 Up there and you're all hot and sweaty and you're carrying some gear and you're saying to each other, oh, why do we do this every year? It's this is just miserable. Speaker 2: 15:34 Mac has been going to the count for 35 years and says it's worth it. Speaker 6: 15:38 But then all of a sudden, you start seeing sheep coming down to, to get a drink, or maybe coming into your account site and everything changes. You're just energized. It's like the sun coming up, Speaker 2: 15:51 Not this year, right before the scheduled count, a volunteer was out in the 116 degree heat stashing water for sheep counters to use. He died of heat stroke. The state parks department decided to cancel the count. Volunteers like Mac were not happy. Speaker 6: 16:10 Honestly, we felt like we'd been slapped hard in the face by state parks. They might've made some modifications. They could have gathered us all together beforehand and said, look, we don't want this to happen again. Be extra cautious. Speaker 2: 16:23 The California state parks department wouldn't do an interview about the decision, but here's part of a prerecorded statement. Spokesman. Jorge Moreno sent Speaker 7: 16:31 Well, California state parks appreciate the citizen science surveys. It should be noted that the data set is only one piece of the overall big horn sheep recovery plan. Speaker 2: 16:40 He says the extreme heat makes the count, just not worth it. And there are other ways to count sheep, including using helicopters, cameras, and GPS callers. But researchers at Oregon state university say a combination of all methods, including firsthand observation is best. Speaker 8: 17:00 And I'm speaking quietly because we're watching a group of big horn sheep there probably not four or 500 yards away. Speaker 2: 17:08 Professor Clinton, Epps monitors, big horn sheep populations by checking for parasites in their droppings. Speaker 8: 17:15 Okay. We've been here about 20 minutes and she'd our collard. You did just drop pellet. So we're going to go collect the samples and then move on and try to find a different group sheep. Speaker 2: 17:26 He says an annual census done in the same way. Every year is also important. That's Speaker 8: 17:32 A long data set. We don't have many long datasets in this business. Speaker 2: 17:37 And that data set helps researchers like him know whether conservation efforts are working. He says cameras and collars also help. As long as you have someone to review all the footage, Speaker 8: 17:49 It's expensive and it's hard. And you know, it's one thing to put out cameras. It's another to sit there and review hundreds, maybe thousands of hours worth of videos, or, you know, thousands of gigabytes worth of photos. Speaker 2: 18:01 App says in-person counting can also spot issues like disease, but that won't be happening this year. The state parks department says they'll work on safety plans. So the count may return in the future. If it doesn't volunteer, Kelly Mac says more will be lost than just a sheep census. Does. It Speaker 6: 18:21 Makes more ordinary citizens aware of why the big horn needs protection. Speaker 2: 18:28 At last count, there were less than 800 peninsula, big horn sheep, Claire Trek, Asser KPBS news. Joining me is mark Jorgenson, Speaker 1: 18:39 Former superintendent of Anza, Borrego, desert, state park, and mark. Welcome to the program. Speaker 2: 18:46 Thank you very much. Speaker 1: 18:47 And we just heard that dangerous weather conditions forced the cancellation of this year. Civilian volunteer count of big horn sheep and Anza Borrego. One volunteer actually tragically died from heat stroke. Do we know if animals are dying as well because of the heat? Speaker 2: 19:06 We do know that last September four big horn were found near one of our water rain collection devices that had gone dry. Speaker 1: 19:16 Any other source of water for these big horn sheep, if these water collectors dry up, is there any way of getting Speaker 2: 19:23 Them any water? That's what we're hoping to do, uh, fairly soon is to actually fly some water in on an emergency basis by helicopter to two of the so-called guzzlers. Each of them stores 5,000 gallons of water. And we feel that if we can get about 2000 gallons into each of them, that that'll probably get the big horn through the summer or about 150 sheep altogether in that mountain complex. And we probably have about 30 or 40 sheep that are in this, uh, whale peak subpopulation. And they, they really have no alternate sources. So that is our top priority. We, we hope to put funding together and find a helicopter that is able to lift water in much like a firefighting, uh, helicopter would, would do to deliver water to a fire. What Speaker 1: 20:16 About the vegetation that the sheep eat is that still available in this drought? Speaker 2: 20:21 The vegetation is plentiful, but as you can imagine, with only two inches of rain last winter, there was not a lot of good Greenup in the springtime, which would normally, um, you know, put a lot of good nutrition on and also hold some level of moisture for the big warrant. Once the air temperature reaches up in the upper nineties and goes over a hundred, the big horn, uh, we'll need free water of some sort during during the week, they can go several days without a drink of water. And during the winter, they can go six or seven months without a drink, uh, obtaining the moisture they need from the vegetation as you pointed out. But during hot times, and during droughts at vegetation is not able to just sustain them all on its own. So we, we do have to have natural water sources or, or human made water, no other wildlife Speaker 1: 21:19 In the area must also be affected by this heat and the lack of water. What can you tell us about that? Speaker 2: 21:26 Well, many things like, like species of birds often migrate through and they're gone during the summer, a lot of desert animals avoid that he, by living underground or in caves during the day and being nocturnal, um, animals like foxes, coyotes, Jack rabbits, cottontails, uh, their numbers will fluctuate greatly during hard times. So we will see a decline in things like rabbits and coyotes and Bobcats as the food sources, uh, declined. So while those populations they're tied very closely together, so large mammals like mule deer, big horn sheep can move up and down in elevation and along mountain ranges, but can in this kind of country there, they're unable to migrate long distances. Like they might up in the Rocky mountains, mountain lions. We know from having radio telemetry and satellite collars on them, many of the mountain lions actually moved from the desert back into the Quia MCAS in Palomar mountain area for the summer. And then they'll come back down into the desert during the winter, Speaker 1: 22:39 Besides the numbers of big horn sheep, what kind of information will be lost because the count won't be taking place this year, Speaker 2: 22:48 We'll end the big picture when we lose one or two years of data. It's, uh, it's not a devastating loss since we have 49 years of consistent data, we're able to analyze that. Uh, so one or two years taken out of the context of the entire cow is not, uh, a drastic loss, but what it does is, um, we have a group of people who are so dedicated, many of them have volunteered for this citizen science census, 30 to 40 years. And so you, you know, I think we all lost a lot in, in our normal lives due to COVID and this being the 50th anniversary of the big orange sheep count, there were a lot of people really looking forward to this and to celebrating the 50th anniversary and making it a special event. Uh, I think our, is that working within the state framework of bureaucracy, uh, we have suspicions that maybe the state of California and ends of Borrego desert state park will not be willing to accept the, the liability of putting 60 or 80 volunteers out in the desert. On the 4th of July weekend in the future, they have made a statement that they, they plan on making it better and safer, and they don't plan on canceling it in the future. And I hope that is the case. I've been speaking Speaker 1: 24:21 With mark Jorgensen, former superintendent of Anza, Borrego, desert state park, mark. Thank you very much for your time. Speaker 2: 24:30 Thank you for your interest in big horn sheep, or appreciate it Speaker 4: 24:39 Staying with the topic of drought, the Colorado river supplies, drinking water for some of the west biggest cities, but a lot of them like San Diego county lie outside the watershed canals, tunnels and pipelines from the river, keep water flowing to their taps, but the infrastructure also puts pressure on the fragile river, especially in dry times from Aspen public radio in Colorado, Alex Hagar explained Speaker 7: 25:03 High up on independence pass on the continental divide at more than 10,000 feet. The winding road passes by a critical piece of water infrastructure hidden off among the trees. Speaker 9: 25:14 As we look upstream, we see the headwaters of the roaring fork river coming in. Speaker 7: 25:20 Christina Metta bed is with the roaring fork Conservancy Speaker 9: 25:22 And to our left right here. This is the water from the lost man canal coming in here. Speaker 7: 25:29 Okay. About 80% of Colorado's water falls on the Western side of the state where snow melt in the mountains trickles down into rivers, but about 80% of Colorado is people live east of the mountains. And thanks to gravity that water doesn't flow to them naturally. So for the last 150 years, engineers have created a massive plumbing system to fix that. And up at this dam, it's really easy to see and hear how the water gets split up mid bed. And I hike upstream from the dam, right alongside a rushing river of mountain snowbelt. Speaker 9: 26:02 So the sound that we hear right now is of the undammed portion of the roaring fork river, Speaker 7: 26:08 Just a short stroll downhill, it's a little more tranquil where the dam has reduced the flow to a much narrower, calmer stream. Speaker 9: 26:16 And now we're on the other side of the roaring fork diversion dam. So the sound that you're hearing here is what's passing through making its way down to Aspen and the rest of the roaring fork valley, Speaker 7: 26:29 The water that gets pulled away into the tunnel flows into a reservoir then into another reservoir then into the Arkansas river. And finally onto the front range, it's called a trans mountain diversion. These systems provide drinking water for some of the front ranges. Biggest cities, same is true for canals and tunnels that keep salt lake city Albuquerque and Los Angeles well watered, but these systems aren't without credit. Speaker 10: 26:53 When you first learned about it, that the concept of a trans mountain diversion is crazy. It's it's, it seems wrong. It seems, um, antithetical to the health of the river. And, and I have to say all of that's true. Speaker 7: 27:06 That's Andy Mueller, the general manager of the Colorado river water conservation district. His group was set up in the 1930s to oppose these diversions and make sure that there's enough water for the people on the Western side of the state. Speaker 10: 27:19 The idea that that large population center, hundreds of miles away can pull water out of a stream and bring it to their, uh, their city for their use is, is hard to accept under our current, um, ecological environmental values that our society holds. Speaker 7: 27:35 Mueller says the issue is those current values aren't written into law and the way the rules are now, if you want to put a river's water to use hundreds of miles away from its source, you have every right to do so it might just require a plumbing system to get it there. But right now there's just less water to go around. Period. The front range is currently drought free, but those places in the mountains that provide a dependable source of water for everyone in the state, they are deep into a drought that's left snowpack and river flows way lower than they should be. Speaker 10: 28:06 I think that we need to work on, um, making sure that the water balance occurs, um, and in a time like this, where we have an imbalance that, that those, uh, front range diverters really do a good job of coming back and making sure that we, um, that they reduce their uses when they're damaged is so significant. Speaker 7: 28:26 But on the front range, those diverters say they're getting better at listening to the folks. On the other side, when they put up a distress signal, Nathan elder is the water supply manager for Denver water. He says over the last two decades, their per capita water use is down by more than 20%. Speaker 2: 28:40 Everyone in Colorado, you know, needs to decrease their use. And we have seen that and we have been successful with our conservation efforts and customer messaging and watering rules. The fact of the Speaker 7: 28:54 Matter he says, Colorado is into deep. The plumbing is there. The demands are still high. And until foundational laws on Western water management change, this is what we have. Speaker 2: 29:06 It has to work together with, you know, water from the west slope, um, moving over to the east slope because Speaker 7: 29:14 He says you can't just pick up whole cities and move them to where the water is. I'm Alex Hagar and Aspen, Colorado, uh, Speaker 4: 29:28 By overwhelming community opposition, a 600 plus acre solar farm in the small town of Macumba is moving forward. The solar project would be the largest in San Diego county after months of back and forth residents calls to decrease the size of the solar farm have largely gone unheated. Joining me now to talk about the project is I knew source reporter can leave on canal. Thanks for joining the program can be thanks. Okay. So in case some of our listeners don't know of tacumba, can you tell us a little bit about it? Speaker 2: 29:58 Sure. So Kumba is a small town at the south Eastern corner of the county right next to the U S Mexico border. Um, it has around 500 people. Now. It had 10 times that in its heyday a century ago, as a tourism destination for its hot Springs, and it's just a, a beautiful area with beautiful mountains and desert. So early Speaker 4: 30:16 This month, the San Diego county planning commission voted five to two to recommend the county board of supervisors approve the solar farm project. How did the project that they recommend compared to what the developers were? Speaker 2: 30:28 Sure. So one of the main things to understand that's changed since the developers first proposed this project is that they've signed a contract to provide the power to the San Diego community power, which is a group that serves the coast, the cities along the coast with power. So that, that power that's going to be produced at the solar project has a destination. Now, the original proposal that the developers had in mind covered 643 acres in hook Kumba they voluntarily reduced it around 20 or so acres before bringing it to the planning commission and the county staff recommended a further reduction in size to around 604 acres. Um, the main difference there is that there would be a, uh, increased buffer between the homes and the community park and the solar panels themselves. So previously it was 30 feet. And the proposal that the San Diego county planning commission recommended for approval would have that buffer it's 300 feet, but the output remains the same, uh, in terms of the amount of electricity generated. Speaker 4: 31:32 Got it. And that's still not what community members were really asking for. Right. What, what have they been advocating? Speaker 2: 31:37 Yeah, so it seems like most of the community has coalesced behind this alternate vision that would cut the project in half in size. So down to around 300 acres, and that would leave space for the community to grow either residential or commercial development, sort of next to the town. And they also want a wildlife and hiking corridor and backup power for the community because they do experience shutoffs from a San Diego gas and electric during periods of high wind and fire risk. But the developer has said no to those things. Speaker 4: 32:14 Residents say that the project recommended by the planning commission doesn't provide the community with power or any other benefits, and actually only detracts from it. Like, as you're saying, the commission told the developers to work with the community on this, is that a common approach? Speaker 2: 32:27 Yeah. So these community benefits agreements are pretty common for developers, whether it's developers of renewable energy or housing or stadiums. We see it a lot with big projects like that. Sometimes the agreements are championed by the community, and sometimes they're not. Um, an example of one of these benefits packages in the back country is that it [inaudible] renewables committed more than 2.1 million to the community when it developed truly wind, which is a 57 wind turbines that you can see from I eight. And so that money went to health programs, cultural preservation programs. Um, so that's an example of something that has taken place before what community benefits have been agreed upon thus far. Yeah. So there's been two deals that have been signed between the developer of this solar project and her Kumba and local community organizations. One of them is a $250,000 deal with the Hucklebuck community services district, which is the water utility in town. Speaker 2: 33:31 And it also owns the community park. So that money would go to improve that community park. The other deal that's been signed is with the Imperial valley desert museum and [inaudible], um, and that is worth $75,000 and it will go to a special exhibit, um, and also just general support, but there's a little bit of a catch to those benefits. Right? Right. So I read through the copy of the agreement with the combat community services district. And it includes a clause that requires the utility to support the project, to not challenge it, including in the form of a lawsuit and to S to pen a letter of support, if the developer asks, asks for that and the deal with the museum, um, also requires support. Although I haven't seen that specific language. Speaker 4: 34:20 Got it. And how has the community reacting to these proposals for community benefits? Speaker 2: 34:24 Yeah, so most of the most vocal critics are panning. The donations so far is just not good deals. So here, for example, is Jeffrey Osborne. And he owns the historic hotel and spa in town, a few hundred thousand dollars. Can't replace the future in hope of our community and the devastating effect. This is going to have on everybody here for generations to come. So what's next for this project to me. Yeah. So the next immediate step is that it is scheduled to go before the board of supervisors on August 18th, and they will vote whether to approve the project or not. And then we'll see, there's been a lot of money spent on lawyers and consultants on both sides so far. And we'll, we'll keep an eye on it a lot to keep following Speaker 4: 35:13 As this project moves forward. I've been talking with, I knew source reporter. Can me on canal. Thank you. Thank you. You're listening to KPBS midday edition. I'm Christina Kim with Maureen Kavanaugh in for Jade Heideman today. Comic-Con international. The massive celebration of pop culture has once again, been forced to substitute an online version of the show for an in-person one. The event begins this Friday and runs through Sunday KPBS arts reporter. Beth Amando speaks with spokesperson David Glanzer about what people can expect from the virtual Comicon. Speaker 6: 35:55 David Comicon is doing their second virtual edition. So how does it feel going into it this time? Do you feel like you've learned anything or applied any new ideas to the online experience? It gets, uh, Speaker 11: 36:09 A lot less stressful, which should not be confused with not stressful, but now we have, we learned a lot, I think in our last iteration. It's interesting because when we first started last year, I think we were probably in terms of, uh, fan-related events. We're probably one of the first that really mounted something like this. And, uh, now that the pandemic seems to be lessening, you know, we may very well be one of the last, so we kind of bookend it. So we're excited. We think we have some cool stuff coming up and, um, fingers crossed that people have a Speaker 6: 36:43 Good time. And how are people going to be able to access it this year? Is it also going to be free? Like it was last year, be Speaker 11: 36:50 Free. One of the things that, uh, we have done is a lot of the sponsorship involves, so that has really defrayed the costs of the hard dollar costs of what we've had to do. So it'll be, it'll be free again, they can go to our website and there are portals there to take them to whichever, uh, part of the, uh, event they want to attend. Speaker 6: 37:09 And is it going to be like last year in the sense that panels would start at a specific time, but then become available afterwards for you to like check back in with later? Yeah, Speaker 11: 37:20 That, that is the plan right now. One of the great things about being, um, virtual was, uh, and we'd mentioned this last year, you know, during a real show about, I don't mean real show, but real in-person show, uh, you have to decide sometimes, you know, what do I want to see? The great thing about being virtual is that you just have to decide what you want to see first. So the plan is again, to have times when the panels drop, but those panels should remain online for, you know, a period of time. For Speaker 6: 37:47 The first time in my life, I went to 70 hours of panels with the virtual Comic-Con and it was, it was wonderful. Actually, I have to say Speaker 11: 37:56 Agreed. And we got a lot of contact from people, you know, globally. Who've never been able to attend Comic-Con who were very grateful to be able to see, uh, what some of the excitement is about. And I, for one was able to actually attend the Eisner awards, which falls under my department, but I usually have to be in bed by the time the award ceremony gets underway because I have to be up so early the next day. And it was wonderful to be able to watch the Speaker 6: 38:18 Ceremony, to remind people the Eisner's are considered the Oscars of the comic industry. And they will again be online this year and explain to people what these are. So this is, Speaker 11: 38:28 Uh, an acknowledgement and recognition of people who work in the comics and related comic book industry. So people who do graphic, I think there's a, the web comics, things of that nature. You know, it's interesting because the in-person shows some times can, can run long. It's a, it's a great time for, uh, people within the industry, their peers to, uh, acknowledge their contributions in their work. You know, some people who said, oh, you should really, you know, eliminate some categories or reduce the timeframe. So it's, you know, it's, it's, uh, it doesn't take as long. And the reality of the situation is it's. I think it's completely appropriate to acknowledge those people who oftentimes people don't know who they are. And this is their one time really in terms of, you know, uh, peer acknowledgement that they get to bask in the, in the, in the glow of, of that. And so I think it is as long as it needs to be, it's, it's an amazing event. I, I I'm, I'm trying to figure out once we get back to in-person shows how I can maneuver actually attending the Eisner. And I was supposed to still be able to get up, you know, the next morning at three o'clock. Speaker 6: 39:34 And one of the great things about the Eisner awards is it really gives you a great reading list. I mean, once it's over, you can just compile a list of all the nominees and go out and seek these from your comic books. This Speaker 11: 39:45 Is a great way. If you're new to the medium, if you want some pointers, it's a great way to start. I hear stories of people who ended up, you know, reading a comic because it was an Eisenhower nominated comic or one in Eisner. And then they discovered that, you know, that artist or that writer, they liked their work. So they looked at additional stuff that, that may have been produced by those people. So it can be a really great gateway to understanding and really appreciating a really, really very cool artwork. Speaker 6: 40:16 Now you mentioned artists, so in this virtual edition, is there also going to be a virtual version of the dealer's room and exhibit hall? Like there has been, there is. So, Speaker 11: 40:25 Uh, one of the things that we'll have again this year is, um, our exhibit hall again, which is great because you'll be able to, you know, shop and, and, uh, contribute to helping those people who've really been affected by COVID. I mean, we all have, uh, but this is a way to, you know, help us support them a bit. We're using a bunch of different platforms. I think last year we used a Tumblr, YouTube, I think discord scenar, but it's an opportunity for people to take part in various aspects of Comicon and on various platforms. Speaker 6: 40:57 That was much fun. As I had doing the virtual panels, I of course missed the in-person event and Comicon we'll be doing something in person in November. So what can people expect, or what do you know about what's going to happen in November at this point in time? Now that Speaker 11: 41:13 Again, the pandemic has seemed to, you know, be slowing down a bit and, and a lot of the restrictions are lifted. We're, we're going to have an event in November. It'll be over Thanksgiving weekend, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. We like to say, you know, spend Thursday with your family and then spend the rest of the weekend with, with your fan family. Uh, it'll be a much smaller, it's more of an intimate event. I don't want people to confuse, um, the special edition. We're calling it a comic con special edition with the July show, but it'll be an opportunity for us to kind of dip our toes back into the community interaction. I, there are so many friends that I miss seeing in person. I will have the opportunity to do that. There'll be panels and exhibit floor. Some of the things that, uh, you know, our conventions are known for, um, I expect that, uh, it'll be similar to our WonderCon show that we do in Anaheim. So it will be a smaller show, a more intimate show, but, uh, it, I think it'll be a lot of fun. I'm looking forward to it. Speaker 6: 42:13 And at this point, do you know if you'll be using the whole convention center and satellite hotels as well? Or is it still in this? Speaker 11: 42:21 We do a lot of planning on that. We will be at the convention center, I think, you know, depending upon, um, any number of factors, we'll, we'll be, we'll be determining what it is and how much space we use. You know, when we first, uh, discussed this, we didn't know if there would be a space restrictions, if there would be social distancing, all of those things. So it's, it continues to be kind of a fluid situation. So we don't have specifics. We do know we'll be at the convention center. We do know that we'll have programming and exhibit for space. Uh, we, you know, we'll be utilizing some of the hotels, at least certainly, uh, for room blocks and whatnot, whether there will be outside meetings and stuff site, we really don't know yet. I anticipate that we probably won't. I think most of all, we probably contained within the walls of the convention center, but it's certainly enough that things can change and it, and it could expand. I think the, uh, what we've learned over the course of, of this whole situation is, you know, be flexible and, uh, that's what we're trying to do. Speaker 6: 43:21 All right. Well, I want to thank you very much for talking about virtual and in-person Comic-Con. It was my pleasure, Beth. That Speaker 4: 43:28 Was Beth Armando Mondo speaking with David Glanzer. Comicon returns this Friday through Sunday with a completely virtual show.