Tijuana migrants face increased danger since shelter closure
S1: After state authorities allowed an alleged sexual predator to job help around nursing facilities , his case could be headed for a retrial. I'm Jade Hindman with Maureen CAVANAUGH. This is KPBS Midday Edition. A check of conditions at the border for migrants seeking asylum.
S2: Conditions for them for for many of them went from bad to worse.
S1: And as Jenny unveils its decarbonisation roadmap , plus the rise and fall of a local record label. That's ahead on Midday Edition.
S3: It's been two months since Tijuana evicted hundreds of asylum seekers from a makeshift migrant camp just south of the San Ysidro border crossing. Many of those migrants were pushed to the outskirts of town where they face the prospect of homelessness in a dangerous neighborhood. KPBS border reporter Gustavo Solis has more.
S4: Rosa , who asked me not to use her last name , has been living in a constant state of terror. She and her two youngest children fled from their home in the Mexican state of Michoacan last year after members of a drug cartel stole her family's farm and kidnapped her eldest son. Now in Tijuana , Rosa still pays a monthly ransom of $60 a month to keep her son from being tortured.
S5: We really sort of yeah. We are called equal scale and interesting. But I'm sorry on this number.
S4: Rosa says that the cartel knows that she and her children are in Tijuana and she's terrified at the thought of being found. She's currently living in the outskirts of town , paying $150 a month to share a one bedroom apartment with five other people. She's waited nearly a year for a chance to request asylum in the U.S.. That delay is caused by Title 42 , a public health order from the Trump era that limits access to asylum seekers.
S5: But says middle , I'm lucky in Tijuana. I guess this person is going to say , Gwendolyn , it was an interpreter. You , them.
S4: So Warda Rosa says she felt much safer living at El Chapa , a makeshift migrant camp near the San Ysidro border crossing that was abruptly shut down by Tijuana authorities in February. For a month , she lived in this tent community with hundreds of other asylum seekers , mostly from Mexico and Central America. She knew her neighbors had access to social services and could even work in nearby stores. Her new apartment is isolated and in a dangerous neighborhood. It takes her an hour to get to downtown Tijuana , where most of the jobs and social services are. Pedro Rios is an advocate with American Friends Service Committee. He says the living conditions in the camp were by no means ideal , but migrants were safer there than they are now.
S2: So conditions for them for for many of them went from bad to worse.
S4: He says the migrants have been left to fend for themselves in one of the most dangerous cities in Mexico.
S2: They're going through some serious , troubling situations where they don't have housing , they lack access to information. They are much more susceptible to being robbed or or being apprehended by the authorities.
S4: Rosa's neighbors and Honduran woman named Darcy , she is also running from gangs and asked me not to use her last name like Rosa. Darcy used to live in El Chaparral.
S5: Not the name Ostrava. Is it ? Must see those kind of family cars. Very well. No , I said. I said I'm handoffs. A western North Dakota. Where there are Linnea.
S4: Darcy says there's no work in this part of Tijuana. She's applying for jobs at several maquiladoras , but they don't hire foreigners. She lives off whatever money she can make. Begging and washing cars at the long border , wait lines running out of options. Darcy is left waiting for U.S. border policy to change.
S5: Esperanto siempre , siempre. Stomaco like Lucien Dickey. Nobody sees it. And this is it that most telcos are buying up for their crusade. Okay , so you all are good enough for win it , but ends up with.
S4: Rosa and Darcy's frustrations have heightened over the last couple of weeks. The same border officials who use Title 42 to block their asylum in the US have allowed hundreds of Ukrainian war refugees to enter the country. Rosa understands that the Ukrainians are fleeing a war , but she says that living in Michoacan is almost like living in a war zone.
S5: I want to go. Although we are not going. Michoacan was together for me. One of the silke told.
S4: The US Department of State currently has a level four travel advisory for Michoacan. It is the highest level and advises people to not travel there because of crime and kidnapping risks. The same thing that Rosa is fleeing from. After a year of waiting and living in constant fear , Rosa feels abandoned by both the American and Mexican governments.
S5: Down annually , to be honest with them. More surprising. You know. No , that was one of us. Buenos dias. Is maybe physically ill. I would talk to those.
S3: Joining me is KPBS border reporter Gustavo Solis. And , Gustavo , welcome.
S4: Thank you , Maureen. Hello.
S4: And no one really disagrees that the camp was not an ideal place for children. I mean , there were rumors of assaults and open drug use on a nightly basis. But the shutdown did come as a big shock to the people who lived in the migrant camp , mostly because the mayor of Tijuana had specifically said she would never shut it down and force people to leave. But clearly now we know that she went back on that word. And even months later , the migrants still talk about the shutdown and as a traumatic event. It began at 4 a.m. in the morning. They were woken up by police officers and soldiers. They thought they were going to be arrested. And the authorities basically said , hey , you have half an hour to grab your things. And if you don't , we just going to throw everything away.
S4: The camp fluctuated in population. At its peak. It was over a thousand , but it had dwindled in size by then.
S4: And that's not new in Tijuana , unfortunately. I remember covering in 2018 when the migrant caravan came. I covered an anti-migrant march and it got it got pretty tense , not quite violent , but there was a tense confrontation between people of Tijuana who wanted the migrants out and the migrants who were just waiting , too , to have a chance to cross the border.
S4: I mean , Mexican nationals , the Mexican asylum seekers can find work if they have the right paperwork , which is relatively easy for them to get. The problem with that is , well , obvious , right ? They're fleeing. They're their asylum seekers. They're afraid to leave in their place of origin , which happens to be Mexico. So they just don't feel safe. I've talked to people from the interior of Mexico , states like Michoacan , who get text on an almost daily basis from the same criminals that they're running from saying like , Hey , I know you're in Tijuana , I'm going to find you. For Central Americans and Haitians , it is harder to find work. Local government of Tijuana says they have work permits available , but they're really difficult to access. And now , because most of the migrants live far away from the downtown areas , it's very hard for them to get to the government office where they need to get the work permits. And nearly every migrant , whether they're even the ones from Mexico , say they face discrimination in Tijuana. Also worth noting , though , that the people of Tijuana have been incredibly generous , helping with donations , camps , food , clothes , even some social services as well.
S4: Darcy , who's the woman from Honduras we talked about , has a really , really bad kidney infection. I mean , I did the interview with her laying in bed and you can kind of hear it in her voice how much pain she's going through. She hasn't left the house in days. And that's mostly because it's really hard for her to see a doctor. She'd have to take two public buses that cost $10 , which for her is a lot of money. And the one time she did go to a doctor , they gave her pain pills and told her to go back at the pain continues. She doesn't know anyone who has a car and it's really hard for her to go. And if she goes , who is going to take care of her two kids ? Right now it's night and day compared to the services they had at the camp. At the camp. Nonprofits from San Diego would have legal workshops. You know , mental health services volunteers would help with kids. They would run art and music workshops for them. None of that is available now. All the migrants are just kind of spread out throughout Tijuana and feeling isolated and left to their own devices.
S3: Earlier this month , the Biden administration confirmed that Title 42 will be lifted in May.
S4: I think I'd call it measured hope. Right. They're obviously stoked to hear that news and they're excited because Title 42 is the main reason that they've been blocked for over a year now to have a shot at asylum. But the the hesitancy to be really purely hopeful is that they have no way of knowing how they're going to be processed or what that's going to be like. Right. There's no waitlist currently or roster of migrants who have been waiting for a year. The federal government hasn't really announced a plan of how , where , when they plan to. Process to thousands of asylum seekers who have been waiting for months , if not years , to cross already. So they're just like , they're happy. But they don't know what that means for them in real terms , right ? There's no clear guideline to what will happen when it is finally lifted for them.
S3: I've been speaking with KPBS border reporter Gustavo Solis. Gustavo , thank you.
S4: Thank you. Maureen.
S1: Since 2020. KPBS investigative reporter Amita Sharma has been reporting about how local nursing homes have failed vulnerable residents. She has reported stories of senseless deaths , systemic failures and alleged sexual assaults. After a meet , those stories about alleged sexual assaults of three nursing home residents by a caregiver were published. San Diego's D.A. got the investigative documents from three local nursing homes where the caregiver worked. In December 2020 , the ex caregiver , Matthew Pfluger , was arrested and charged. And late last month , a jury found him guilty on three but not all counts. KPBS Amita Sharma joins me now with more on what's expected to happen next in this case. Amita , welcome.
S6: Thank you for having me on , Jade.
S1: So remind us about Fluky Archer.
S6: The fifth count was almost identical , but it didn't involve using force. And these were all related to three sexual assault cases that took place at three local nursing homes. One was San Diego post-acute and avocado post-acute nursing homes in El Cajon. And then there was Parkway Hills Nursing and Rehabilitation in La mesa. Fluke actually worked as a certified nursing assistant at all three of those nursing homes.
S1: And he was convicted last month.
S6: The jury found that Fluke actually was guilty on three sexual assault charges for acts on the woman who lived at Parkway Hills. But the jury actually hung on whether Fluke , a juror , sexually assaulted two other women at those two remaining nursing homes , avocado post-acute and San Diego post-acute.
S6: He would not talk about the case , but the motivator in retrying the case has to be how close the jury's verdict was on the deadlocked charges. 11 jurors said he was guilty. One of them disagreed. We don't know why this person disagreed. We do know that he was a man. We don't know what his issue was with the case. I think prosecutors are betting that if they take another stab at the case , they will get a guilty verdict.
S6: In cases like this , it can be a little bit tricky. You don't want to wait too long because the victims are seniors. They're older and many of them are infirm. Hmm.
S6: Girolamo , who we first interviewed back in 2019 or I'm sorry , back in 2020 , is very upset. She actually was upset that Fluke is your wasn't arrested and charged immediately after she reported that he had sexually assaulted her. She never really understood how he was allowed to get a job. Just weeks after he allegedly sexually assaulted her at another nursing home where he went on to attack another woman or reportedly attacked another woman. She didn't understand why she had to wait more than a year before he was arrested and charged and then to have the jury. Now , deadlock on the charge related to her case has has left her feeling very frustrated.
S6: I can tell you that as it happened last week on another story that I'm working on , I happen to look at the complaints that were filed against Avocado last year on the California Department of Public Health's website. This is a public website that allows consumers to find out , you know , what complaints have been filed by loved ones or residents at nursing homes. And last year alone in 2021 , this is two years after Cathy got her. Girolamo said that a caregiver had sexually assaulted her at avocado post-acute last year at avocado post-acute. There were nine reported sexual assaults. So it really is not clear what safeguards have been put in place. I can also tell you that connected to the case against Fletcher Flickinger , state regulators fined two of the nursing homes for violations related to how they handled the assault allegations. In one case , the California Department of Public Health fined Parkway Hills $16,000 for not screening job applicants for past abuse. They also fined Parkway Hills for not adequately monitoring behavior by its staff. And Cdpq also fined avocado post-acute $2,000 for failing to report Geronimo's sexual assault allegations immediately as a nursing home. As employees working for a nursing home , you are mandated by law to report allegations of abuse immediately. Avocado post-acute failed to do that. In Kathy's case , in Kathy's allegations against ligature.
S6: And the reason I say I don't know is that the owners of nursing homes make tens of millions of dollars. This is a very profitable business for them. They make tens of millions of dollars each year. So when you measure a $2,000 fine against tens of millions of dollars in profits , I don't know what kind of deterrent effect a fine like that has.
S1: I've been speaking with KPBS investigative reporter Amita Sharma. Amelia , thank you very much for joining us.
S6: Thank you , Jade.
S3: This is KPBS Midday Edition. I'm Maureen CAVANAUGH with Jade Hyneman. Just weeks before major cities in San Diego County switch consumers to community based energy. San Diego Gas and Electric has released its decarbonization roadmap. The study outlines ways the utility could get 100% of its energy from carbon free sources by the state mandated date of 2045. The Path to Net Zero report projects a massive increase in energy from solar , wind and battery storage , plus major changes in California's transportation and at home energy usage. But it predicts the average cost of energy to consumers will remain roughly the same. Joining me is San Diego Union-Tribune , energy reporter Rob Nicholas. And Rob , welcome.
S2: Thanks for having me on , Maureen.
S2: Statewide in California , it's expected that the state will have to decarbonize at about four and a half times the current pace by 2045. And 2045 is important because that's the goal that California policymakers have set to derive 100% of its electricity from non-carbon sources.
S3: So the study envisions a huge increase in consumer use of electricity from electric cars to appliances.
S2: Statewide , the report says that every year the state needs to add eight gigawatts of solar , two gigawatts of battery storage , one gigawatt of wind energy. Now in the San Diego Gas and Electric Service territory , it projects 3.4 million zero emission vehicles and 640,000 charging stations by 2045. By comparison , right now , we've got a little more than 100,000 zero emission vehicles and 7000 charging stations.
S3: And natural gas , which of course , is a fossil fuel , remains in this plan.
S2: It will include hydrogen and renewable natural gas. Hydrogen is an element that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions when added to things like natural gas systems. Renewable natural gas includes bio gas and bio gas. It's produced by organic waste like cow manure , dairies , farms , wastewater treatment plants and at landfills.
S3: And carbon capture is also part of the plan. Tell us about that.
S2: One possible route would be actively pulling carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. That's something that a number of companies have been working on. It's not finished yet. Another one is being able to capture emissions directly from industrial sites and power plants and finding places to sequester them.
S2: So Genie that they say they wanted to come out with a report that was very realistic in its projections. And in order to do that , they touted this report as being one that basically follows the same standards as the North American Electric Reliability Corporation , which is a nonprofit that sets standards for electric systems all over the continent.
S3: SD And he has gotten a lot of criticism this year for rate increases.
S2: The average residential electricity rate in San Diego Gas and Electric Service Territory went up on January 1st , 7.8% and natural gas went up 24.6%. The big reason why there was such a big jump in natural gas bills was because there have been constraints in the natural gas system and the price of natural gas has gone up all across the country. And you're also seeing this globally as well. Even before the Russian invasion of Ukraine , Europe was really feeling some major constraints in their natural gas systems. Even before the invasion , Europeans were paying four or five times more than they were paying in just the last couple of years on natural gas.
S3: With all the changes that are included in the path to net zero roadmap. The utility predicts costs may not go up much.
S2: And that's what I posed to the executives when they released this for talking about these many. Massive increases in the amount of solar , battery storage , wind energy. How is that not going to result in higher prices every month for utility customers ? And basically they were able to explain it by saying that this is really dependent if you want to make sure that utility bills don't go through the roof , it's really dependent on consumers who are able to adapt to higher electricity usage. So the report looked at the amount of residents pay each year for energy , and included in that was how much gasoline they put in their cars but that expensive. So while electricity bills would go up , the gasoline expenses if if you've adopted electric vehicle , zero emission vehicle they would go down the lower expenses on gasoline would offset the higher expenses and the utility bills. At least that's the theory. Also , see , Jeannie sees more electricity or consumption going into the system , but not going as fast as the pace of demand. And that means they don't have to build out their system as much because of the consumption increase. So all those things together , they say , at least in theory , that utility bills , if you're able to make these changes to electricity , electrifying , basically everything inside your home and also your car that you be able to pay roughly the same in 2045 as you do now.
S2: They've been a longtime critic , and they dismissed the study as a , quote , a wish list. And they said that one of the big reasons why they didn't like it was because Protect Our Communities Foundation said , yes , Jeannie wants to have natural gas in their system because they sell natural gas. It's part of their utility structure. And they also criticized the dependence or the increase that this report asked for and hydrogen , because they were very skeptical about whether hydrogen by 2045 will be the no all , be all and end all that Eugenie thinks that it might be.
S3: I've been speaking with San Diego Union-Tribune , energy reporter Rob Nicholas. Rob , thank you so much.
S2: Thank you , Maureen.
S1: For more than two years now , the closure of the US-Mexico border to most asylum seekers has left migrants in limbo. For young people especially , that means months without school or any way to fill their days. One organisation in Tijuana is trying to enrich the lives of young migrants by giving them a place to learn and deal with the mental toll their journeys have taken on them. From Tijuana , reporter Max Rivlin , Nadler has more.
S7: I'm in a canyon filled with informal housing a mile south of the US-Mexico border. Farm animals share space around a stream filled with household trash. For over two years , hundreds of migrants have crowded into a network of shelters here. On this morning , behind a wooden fence along the canyon , there's classical music playing as a teacher readies art supplies for her. Students at the school called The Nest. Many of the teachers and all of the students are migrants looking to enter the United States whenever that becomes an option. Ten year old Gabriel is one of the first through the door and gives us teachers a huge hug. He's especially excited because tomorrow is his birthday.
S5: I tango. There's a man I call blonde.
S7: He migrated to Tijuana with his mother and four year old brother from Michoacan , Mexico , in August. Michoacan is experiencing incredible levels of violence as the state government has ceded almost all control to organized crime. Gabriel started at the nest in September. He tells me at the nest what he likes most is the opportunity to help his friends learn.
S5: Can either kill him.
S7: He says his school in Michoacan was larger. The nest can be a bit cramped , but he likes this one better.
S3: Near school.
S5: In Michoacan.
S7: His favorite subject right now is math multiplication. Gabriel's math teacher today is 33 year old Walter Orlando Campos , who fled Honduras. He was an elementary school teacher there for over a decade , teaching every subject but how long it will last. He never wanted to leave Honduras , but the political crisis there gave rise to unchecked gang violence , and he saw no other option but to leave. I think the father of his friend was recently killed. Days after receiving threats from gangs.
S5: Near Arlington's young leader.
S7: He's been in Tijuana since July at the nest. He's able to earn money as a teacher and continue to help students. His life's work. It's also helped his own mental health after he uprooted his life.
S2: Empathy on Ryan Senior.
S7: He says when he got to Tijuana , he didn't have any happiness. He couldn't enjoy anything. But once he found the nest , he was refreshed. The children give off such positivity. Every morning they start with a song greeting every student the school stands for. Right now , there are nest locations serving migrants in Greece , the Democratic Republic of Congo , Zimbabwe and here in Tijuana. Starting in 2018 , the idea , says CEO Lindsey Weiser , is to give children a break from the stress of migration.
S6: All children deserve to feel valued , and our children deserve to have a space where they can just be children away from adult conversations where past.
S5: Violence against them may.
S6: Be retold.
S7: Right now , there are thousands of migrant children living in Tijuana. The Biden administration says it plans to end a policy next month that has stopped virtually all asylum processing , meaning the months and years of waiting might soon be over. But that probably won't end regional migration patterns that have been building in recent years , especially among Central Americans. So now the nest is expanding. Soon they'll serve kids from 3 to 10 years old. For Dorris , who fled domestic violence in Guerrero with her daughter , the Nest is giving her a chance to feel proud again , especially when the kids call out to her on the street.
S5: Iguala is where I am. I may , as I might say.
S7: Is the Nest hopes to finish its expansion later this spring.
S1: That was Max Rivlin Nadler reporting for the California report in Tijuana. And. Getting mental health care in North County is now as easy as getting an oil change or a nail appointment. A new crisis center in Vista opened in October of last year and is the first standalone crisis center in San Diego. It's already become the second busiest center in the county. It offers mental health care services on a walk in basis. The new approach highlights how important accessibility is. So what does it mean for the future of mental health care in San Diego ? Well , here to answer that and other questions is Paul Sisson , health care reporter with the San Diego Union-Tribune. Paul , welcome back to the program.
S2: Thanks for having me.
S2: Well , I suppose we should start with the idea of these crisis stabilization centers. It's kind of a technical term , but these locations have recliners instead of beds , and patients can stay in them if they're in crisis for up to 23 hours. At that point , the folks who run them have to decide whether or not they need to be admitted to a locked hospital ward or whether they're okay to go home. So they provide kind of a landing spot for folks who are having a mental health crisis to get some initial treatment and get a nice assessment of their condition before they end up in in a more constrained environment. So the county has been using these for several years now , but to date only attached to major hospitals that have generally inpatient units as well as adding on these crisis centers. So the idea is that you can kind of move from one to the other if you need to. The one in Vista is the first time the county has funded a project that's not directly attached to a hospital. So so that's the big difference here.
S2: We didn't get the number from the county through March. The numbers we got were only in February and it was up nearly 1400 in that period. But these folks generally before this facility opened in October. You know , folks from coastal North County who say we're picked up on what they call a 5150 hold , when a person might be declared to be a danger to themselves or others. They would be transported by law enforcement all the way out to Escondido. And in many cases , we're told , all the way down to the county facility on Rosecrans and in San Diego's Midway District. So this could be a long time on the road for law enforcement and and for the patients as well.
S1: And you write at the center , we're seeing a lot of patients from the get go.
S2: And , you know , they they had already been doing other treatment in the area. So they did about a month's worth of outreach , just talking to churches , law enforcement , all the different places where they know they might encounter people who need their services. So they did a fair amount of early outreach just to let people know that they're there.
S2: And they were talking about having just a massive reduction in the amount of time that their officers are spending on these cases. The key there is that when they bring someone in , they're no longer waiting in line at an emergency room with a lot of other emergency patients who might be suffering a broken arm or a heart attack or what have you. This facility is physically in a different location , and so they're able to go in and hand off directly to the clinician to who are specialized in this treatment. And that's that's all that this facility is serving. So it kind of creates a second place for law enforcement to hand off. And the one captain I was talking to said that , you know , they might spend an entire shift trying to hand one patient off at a hospital , but they can do it in 15 to 30 minutes at one of these standalone centers.
S2: Those are common treatment times in a in a inpatient facility. So by being able to avoid those and , you know , have some folks , you know , get 23 hours just to maybe get back on their medical. Station , get some therapy and get connected to some outpatient services back out in the community. The thought is that by doing that , you can actually lower the cost by. By not having as many people having long hospital stays. Hmm.
S2: You know , this is this is one of the cornerstones to their ongoing remaking of our local behavioral health system. Dr. Luke Bergmann heads that effort up. And , you know , they are really planning to push more of these crisis centers out deeper into the community , providing people more direct access than they've had before. So I think you'll see a lot more of these as time goes by and as they kind of analyze what's going on up in in coastal north county and kind of try to replicate that in other parts of the county.
S2: Generally , you had to wait until your condition got quite severe before you would really be able to get into the system. There wasn't much what you might call urgent care for mental health. Generally , they were waiting for someone to call 911 to get picked up by law enforcement or what have you. Or you would end up , you know , waiting for an appointment with your therapist , you know , and it might take a long time to get an appointment. This facility in Vista allows people to walk in and get some service before they're at a crisis stage. And that seems to be very key in terms of helping the entire system operate in a more preventive model instead of waiting for things to get bad before you get help.
S1: I've been speaking with San Diego Union-Tribune health care reporter Paul Sisson. Paul , thank you so much for joining us.
S2: Thanks for having me.
S3: This is KPBS Midday Edition. I'm Maureen CAVANAUGH with Jade Heineman. San Diego based music journalist Jim Rowland's new book , Corporate Rock Sucks The Rise and Fall of S.t Records , is a study of a single punk rock record label SS T and the bands like Black Flag , Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr that were integral to its story. KPBS arts editor and producer Julia Dixon Evans spoke with Rowland about the book.
S6: Corporate Rock Sex is your sixth book. Two of your other books have focused on punk rock , and you have also spent over 20 years writing about punk and music for zines like Razor Cake. Can you talk a little bit about how your experience shaped how you looked at this impact of one record label ? Absolutely.
S2: It all started with zines for me because that's where I learned how to write for an audience , but also how to , you know , literally get in the van before a gig and interview a band and deal with all of that and all the chaos that goes with that. I started writing record reviews , like most music writers do , and it was really all about access to the music that I love.
S6: Okay , so let's talk about Greg. Who was this young person in the late 1970s who planted the seeds for not just a record label and a band , but this entire scene , the L.A. South Bay punk scene.
S2: So Greg Allen was uniquely poised to launch a record label because he had this business called S.T. Electronics , and it was a mail order electronics company that he started in his early teens. And that gave him a foundation of knowledge in terms of , you know , how to how do you print a catalog ? How do you organize your mailing list ? How do you connect and communicate with your customers ? All of which would prove invaluable when S.T. Electronics became S t records. And it was really done out of necessity because as much as you wanted to bring Black Flag to Hollywood and get into the L.A. punk scene , they really weren't interested. So we had to do it on his own.
S6: And what kind of prison does it take to go from.
S1: Like an electronics.
S2: You know , creating music and bringing it. You're playing it with their band mates , bringing it to the masses. Gwen was , I don't want to use the word judiciously , but kind of a genius in that he really changed the way people thought about punk rock with his style and aggressive kind of music , but also in the way that he he paved the way for the touring network by getting in the van and bringing Black Flag to literally all over America when only a handful of other bands had even tried to do stuff like that , like D.O.A. up in Vancouver in America. Greg in a Black Flag were the first.
S2: It kind of was this third wave of punk rock that really flourished here for a lot of different reasons , because it really took off not only in Hollywood , but also in the suburbs who were really bored with the corporate rock that was on on the radio. But what was also really cool about the fact that they were kind of late to the party , is that getting signed to a major record label deal really wasn't an option. There were a few exceptions , like X was signed , but like all the early bands in New York , for example , were snapped up by major labels. So in L.A. , you had these bands had to create their own scene , and they really had to do it themselves.
S6: Over the course of the book. We see SST grow from relatively small , almost self-indulgent project to their major struggles. They signed major bands. They have lean years and then hugely prolific years.
S2: But they were not afraid of change. There's a lot of labels that came out that still operate today that are very focused on their genre. They have a very distinctive sound and that all the bands sound similar. That wasn't true of SSD records. They're completely very , you know , varied sounds , varied genres and very willing to experiment. So I think in every era and sometimes with every band that I researched , there were all kinds of interesting surprises waiting to be uncovered , especially towards the latter in the early nineties when. Greg in an s t , you know , first hand , you know , they they put out Soundgarden before anybody else , which surprises a lot of people who don't realize that. But that was really built on the back of the relationship that the label had with screaming trees when Mark Pickerel , the drummer , gave Greg in a demo of a Soundgarden performance. So it was really kind of fascinating in the way that this little label in Southern California that was starting to explode really anticipated the scene that came out of the Northwest in a big way.
S6: So at the end of the book , that index of SST , he really says , is 12 pages long.
S2: I don't know why , but I like listening to that when I'm on an airplane. There's something about the heaviness of the music and being up in the air goes really well together. But again , the just the fact that Saint Vitus , you know , had put four or five records out with T in the mid eighties at a time when hair metal was all over MTV , you know , this fast loose and very commercial style of heavy metal. And here saying Vitus , this band that is a throwback to Black Sabbath that plays slow and sludgy and today are considered one of the godfathers of of doom metal.
S6: Jim , thank you so much.
S2: You're very welcome.
S3: That was KPBS arts editor and producer Julia Dixon Evans speaking with Jim Ruland , author of the new book Corporate Rock Sucks to Celebrate the release rule and will appear at the book Catapult on Tuesday at 7 p.m. and at Chula Vista is three punk ales on Saturday at 4 p.m.. And to hear Jim's playlist of music produced by SS T Records , you can go to our Web site , KPBS dot org.