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Vaccination Deadline For Health Care Workers Is Today, But Many Are Still Not Vaccinated

 September 30, 2021 at 3:52 PM PDT

Speaker 1: (00:00)

The vaccination deadline for healthcare workers is today.

Speaker 2: (00:05)

It was any employees. I mean, you know, you'll hear from every healthcare organization, we have a lot of staffing shortages right now.

Speaker 1: (00:11)

I'm Maureen Cavenaugh with Jade Heinemann. This is KPBS mid-day edition, A disturbing incident at Valhalla high results in a staff member. Transfer

Speaker 3: (00:30)

My message to the student is this, I'm sorry, this should not have

Speaker 1: (00:36)

Questions. Remain about a police restraint device called the rap and R five song segments celebrates Latino musicians during Hispanic heritage month. That's ahead on midday edition

Speaker 1: (01:01)

California's vaccine mandate for healthcare workers has arrived. Employees of hospitals, nursing homes, doctor's offices, clinics, and other medical facilities have until today to get at least one dose of the COVID vaccine or lose their jobs here in San Diego, most hospitals report their staff vaccination rates are in the 90% range, but there are still hundreds of healthcare workers who remain unvaccinated. Local hospitals have developed policies that would allow those workers back. If they finally decide to get their shots. Joining me is KPBS health reporter, Matt Hoffman and Matt. Welcome. Hey Maureen. Now, how have hospitals been gearing up for this deadline? Have they seen an increase in workers getting their shots? Yes.

Speaker 4: (01:48)

The systems have been working on some contingency plans, should a lot of staff not get those shots, but you know, really just in the last couple of weeks, um, you know, go back, there was thousands of workers who had still not done it, but we've seen a very large increase. Um, for example, when this mandate was first announced in early August, um, sharp healthcare said they had 5,000 un-vaccinated employees and now that's down to just the hundreds. So, uh, really seeing a lot of people coming into compliance here, sort of at the last minute.

Speaker 1: (02:14)

And can you give us some statistics on how many unvaccinated workers there are in various hospitals around San Diego?

Speaker 4: (02:22)

So the vast majority of workers are getting vaccinated, but there are still hundreds that are not, or they don't have any approved exemptions, whether it be medical or religious. Um, so starting with some of the largest healthcare systems, so sharp health care, 18,000 employees right now, they have 480 who are not vaccinated and do not have any approved exemptions, uh, scripts. There's about 16,000 employees. They have about 140 who fit into that non-compliant category. Um, and then we're seeing some high vaccination rates around the county know UC San Diego health, really very high 98% of staff they're fully vaccinated. Palomar health is about 90% of employees are vaccinated or have one of those approved exemptions. And, you know, I think the majority of the major health systems are all reporting north of 90% of staff are either fully vaccinated or have one of those exemptions. And

Speaker 1: (03:08)

What is the criteria for getting an exemption? It

Speaker 4: (03:11)

Can be vague. So we know that there's religious exemptions and there's medical exemptions. So medical exemptions can be easy, you know, that can even be somebody who, you know, is going through a pregnancy right now, or maybe has some underlying condition or where they can't get it. Um, religious exemptions is where it gets a little bit tricky. Um, you know, talking to an attorney, it really hasn't been tested in the courts. And so, you know, systems can have staff fill out a form that says, you know, this is my religious belief. Um, and they can choose whether to, you know, accept that or deny that, um, you know, at sharp healthcare, for example, um, they told us that they being extremely liberal and approving those. Um, so that's sort of the process of how that,

Speaker 1: (03:45)

I think it still sounds strange to many of us that hundreds of healthcare workers, healthcare workers who spend their days around medical science would resist getting a vaccine. What kinds of reasons did

Speaker 4: (03:57)

You know, we are seeing some trends, um, you know, not a lot of systems are, you know, wanting to talk about this on the record, but sharpen scripts have been, uh, pretty forthcoming. And they saying that they're seeing a trend of people who are citing, um, you know, using old fetal cells and the testing of the vaccines. That's like the number one thing that they're seeing. Um, and you know, one thing to note too, is that places like scripts are reaching out to the attorney General's office, asking for more guidance about these exemptions, these religious exemptions, um, in that script specifically, they're giving temporary, uh, exemptions. So that, that means that, you know, if the AGS office says, Hey, this is a, what qualifies as a bonafide, a religious exemption. Those could later be rescinded.

Speaker 1: (04:35)

I spoke with script's CEO, Chris van Gorder, and he says script's health will terminate on vaccinated workers. Tell us about that.

Speaker 4: (04:44)

So at Scripps health specifically, they have about 140 employees who aren't vaccinated and do not have one of those religious exemptions and their policy regarding the mandate is those non-compliance will be let go at the end of today at Thursday, um, now, but there is going to be a 30 day window. So once they're let go, they're going to be terminated today. And then they have 30 days to sort of get in compliance. So that's either getting a religious exemption or getting fully vaccinated. And if that happens, then they'll be returned back to full status. Uh, but you know, letting go of staff is not easy, especially right now as script CEO, Chris van Gorder explained to me, I don't want to say

Speaker 2: (05:17)

Any employees. I mean, you know, you'll hear from every healthcare organization, we have a lot of staff

Speaker 4: (05:21)

Shortages right now, and we know that a lot of places are hiring scripts is hiring for many positions, but, you know, keep in mind. It's also tough because it's very hard to bring in travel nurses right now they're in very, very high demand. And the ones that these systems can find they're having to offer incentives like extra pay and benefits.

Speaker 1: (05:37)

Now, some hospitals here have decided not exactly to fire unvaccinated employees right away. Are they putting those workers on some sort of lead?

Speaker 4: (05:46)

Yeah. Majority of the systems are putting employees on leave and then, you know, giving them some time to sort of getting compliance. Obviously scripts is sort of doing it a little bit, uh, the other way around, just sort of terminating and then giving them chance again and compliance. Um, so like at Kaiser, for example, um, those noncompliance we'll have, uh, will be put on up to 60 day unpaid leave. And if they get in compliance, you know, they're welcome back, um, at Palomar health and sharp healthcare, um, it's going to be a 30 day unpaid leave for those, uh non-compliance. And I spoke to the chief operating officer at sharp healthcare, Brett McLean this morning. He says, as it stands about right now, hundreds of employees will be being put on unpaid leave,

Speaker 5: (06:20)

Got about 480 or so, uh, right now who have not been vaccinated or have a, uh, an exemption, uh, in place. Uh, so, uh, as of tomorrow, uh, they will go on administrative leave. We'll work with them as much as we can over the next 30 days, uh, to get them vaccinated if they so choose.

Speaker 4: (06:41)

And it's, it's worth to keep in mind, you know, many of these systems, they say, Hey, look, we have J and J Johnson and Johnson, this single dose of vaccines on hand. So there's still time for them to get vaccinated today and being compliant so that they don't go on unpaid leave, or they're not terminated at the end of the day today,

Speaker 1: (06:56)

Since kids can't get vaccinated yet the situation over at Rady children's hospital is slightly different and that hospital is taking a harder line on workers. Who've asked for a vaccine exemption, isn't it?

Speaker 4: (07:08)

They are, you know, Rady's officials have made the determination that unvaccinated workers can no longer be in a role that involves, uh, patient contact as they describe it. Um, basically saying that's because of a large portion of their patients are in vaccinated. So we're talking about kids who are under 12, uh, officials say they're that, that accounts for about 75% of the minors that they see and work with. Um, and basically they're offering a non-compliant employees, those unvaccinated, those that don't have these exemptions, uh, roles that do not involve patient care and, or they're going to be putting them on a short-term leave of absence.

Speaker 1: (07:39)

I've been speaking with KPBS health reporter, Matt Hoffman, Matt, thank you so much. Thanks

Speaker 4: (07:44)

Maureen.

Speaker 6: (07:45)

[inaudible]

Speaker 7: (07:56)

When a staff member placed his knee on the neck of a student to break up an altercation at Valhalla high school last month, there was outrage from the community and calls for his termination. Now an independent investigation of the incident has concluded and the Grossmont union high school district is assessing recommendations. KPBS education reporter mg Perez has been covering the story and joins us with more mg. Welcome. Good afternoon. So first remind us the details of the incident that led to the need for this investigation

Speaker 8: (08:27)

Incident happened on August 31st, just about a month ago on campus at Valhalla high school in the outdoor lunch area, two, uh, young ladies got into a fight and there was a campus supervisor who intervened. Um, the campus supervisor is a white man and the young lady that he tried to get to stop fighting is African-American. And what played out next is the video that was shared so much on social media and caused so much concern because of its similarity to the situation with George Floyd in Minneapolis

Speaker 7: (09:01)

And the community. As you mentioned, reacted strongly to the incident. Tell me more about that.

Speaker 8: (09:06)

Probably because of the, the comparison to George Floyd and that horrific incident that occurred in Minneapolis, in fact, many people promoted and push this meme where it is George Floyd, and it is the student who was involved in the incident. So those visuals are very disturbing and, uh, and I think ultimately, um, that's what caused such a commotion and rightfully so, uh, when this happened,

Speaker 7: (09:34)

Grossmont union superintendent, Theresa Kemper reacting to the findings of the investigation

Speaker 3: (09:40)

As a district, we own what's in this report, we have a board policy in place to prevent this from happening, but our training as robust as it was needed to be stronger. So my message to the student is this, I'm sorry, this should not have happened.

Speaker 7: (10:00)

So what was the investigator's recommendation in terms of the employee who put his knee on the neck of a student?

Speaker 8: (10:06)

So I want to point out that the investigator, uh, was a gentleman named Dominic Quiller, who is from a Los Angeles law firm, an outside entity that investigated this. So this was nothing internal. It was from the outside, in the hopes that we would get the true story. And the investigator had several, uh, recommendations. Um, probably the most important is the employee involved lacked training. Uh, there is a deficiency in training, according to his investigation. And so that needs to Bre, um, improved. He also recommended that the employee be transferred out of a Hala high school, which he was, and there was mentioned that there are other employees, although we don't know who they are specifically, that also need additional training to support situations like that. And finally, he said, students need sensitivity training. And we know from the video that the superintendent released that, that, uh, has already begun on campus. So

Speaker 7: (11:07)

What can you tell us about the victims in this incident? And

Speaker 8: (11:11)

Certainly because of confidentiality, we don't know much. We do know the victim was a female. We know that she was African-American. We also know that she was in foster care and, and, uh, that the guardian who was taking care of her at the time is the one that became aware of the situation and ultimately reported it at this point though. That's all we know. Uh, we don't know where she is right now. Um, but we do know, uh, that, uh, child protective services were part of this investigation. And what

Speaker 7: (11:41)

Do we know about the employee?

Speaker 8: (11:44)

Uh, all we know about him is that he's been transferred. Uh, the school district, um, has handled this case through video, uh, response and written statement. So we have not been able to have additional questions answered, like where has he been transferred to? Uh, but at this point we know that he is not at the high school, what's his background. Uh, what we know is that he was a retired Sheriff's deputy, um, and, uh, he had been a well-known campus supervisor, uh, for some time at the high school.

Speaker 7: (12:15)

Um, and despite what many in the communities says appears obvious. The investigator said he did not find evidence that the incident was racially motivated. What led the investigator to that conclusion

Speaker 8: (12:26)

Simply because of all of the interviews that he can, uh, conducted. Uh, and it just really does appear that, uh, ignorance on the part of the campus supervisor was a big part of this. And it seems to you and me, and maybe many people that this would be obvious that you don't put your knee on the neck of someone when trying to restrain them. And we should also point out that the superintendent did say it was a clear violation of their restraint policy. So, uh, for whatever reason he did what he did. And now the district is hoping that it never happens. Again,

Speaker 7: (13:02)

There are any other findings or recommendations that stood out to you within this report,

Speaker 8: (13:07)

Say that I am very impressed by how the district responded. Uh, this incident happened just about a month ago and already there was a complete investigation. It is rare that you actually get an apology in a case like this, which clearly the superintendent did, and also asked, you know, forgiveness in the sense that this, uh, victim, this young victim had been violated in this way. Uh, we also know that they're taking action. And so many people who have protested situations like this have said, we want action. And at least from what we have learned through this videotape, uh, that action seems to be underway.

Speaker 7: (13:46)

I've been speaking with KPBS education, reporter mg Perez mg. Thank you very much for joining us. Thank you.

Speaker 7: (14:01)

You're listening to KPBS mid-day edition. I'm Jade Hindman with Maureen Cavenaugh. Earlier this month, the family of Earl McNeil reached a settlement with national city and the San Diego county Sheriff's department following McNeil's in custody death back in 2018, during his arrest McNeil was placed in a restraint device called the wrap, which binds the legs and wrist. In addition, officers placed two spit hoods and a shirt over the head of McNeil, a move that was deemed a violation of procedure by the San Diego county's citizen law enforcement review board. Also something the medical examiner said contributed to his death. As of now, the family of Earl McNeil still has an active lawsuit filed against the maker of the device that was used to restrain him. The continued use of such devices raises over the restraint tactics used by officers who responded to the scene, as well as the tactics that law enforcement officers continue to employ across the country. Joining me now with Maura is Carl Tokay, a policing expert, and the senior staff attorney of ACL used Trojan center for justice and equality. Carl, welcome to the program. Thank you. Good

Speaker 9: (15:12)

To be here. What

Speaker 7: (15:13)

The litigation against national city and the San Diego Sheriff's department closed. Um, how do you look back on this case? I mean, what could have been done differently to avoid the death of rural McNeil?

Speaker 9: (15:25)

The first is how the police responded when you first walked into the police station and asked for help. I think it's shocking that their response, when somebody comes in and says I'm high and is in distress, that they would then turn to arresting him instead of investigating options for providing medical attention,

Speaker 7: (15:44)

The family still has an active suit filed against the makers of the restraint used on Earl McNeil. Have you seen lawsuits before that successfully take on the manufacturers of police restraint equipment?

Speaker 9: (15:56)

I don't recall any specifically targeting the makers of the equipment, but it's important to remember that any kind of restraint, whether it is a flexible Velcro device like this one or restraint chair, like many jails often use comes with inherent risks. And, you know, even in situations where the maker of their strength says that it doesn't restrict breathing, if you re you know, leave it wrapped around the lower body, that doesn't eliminate the risk of death,

Speaker 7: (16:30)

Any cases that you've litigated that bear similarities to what happened with Earl McNeil

Speaker 9: (16:36)

County jail actually is one suit that I was involved in that it involved a whole range of issues in that jail. And one of them involved the use of restraint chairs and the fact that they were using them in circumstances that were not justified, you know, based on the risk involved in using the restraint chair and, uh, you know, that they were not monitoring people once they were in the restraint chairs to make sure that, uh, they were not going into medical distress.

Speaker 7: (17:02)

And let's talk about the device, that restraint that was used in the arrest of Earl McNeil, just to recap, this is a system that binds the legs and wrists while someone is sitting upright, is this tactic commonly used by police officers?

Speaker 9: (17:18)

I mean, there are a whole range of different restraint devices that are marketed to law enforcement agencies. Uh, this is one of them and you know, it it's the practices vary from department to department in large part because the makers of these devices just market them at conferences or, you know, or through meetings of individual sheriffs and police chiefs. So there's not a lot of uniformity.

Speaker 7: (17:43)

Have there been other lawsuits associated with this kind of restraint?

Speaker 9: (17:47)

I'm not terribly familiar with this particular brand or restraint, but in general, yes, there have been a lot of lawsuits around the country involving various different kinds of restraints, again, because of the inherent risks of putting somebody in restraints, especially when they're under the influence of substances. When, you know, they have an underlying medical condition that makes it more dangerous, you know, things can go wrong very quickly. And the restraints exacerbate that

Speaker 7: (18:18)

Chemical restraints such as the case with Elijah McClain in Colorado, who was injected with ketamine by paramedics.

Speaker 9: (18:25)

Yeah, the Elijah McClain case is disturbing on a number of levels because when you're talking about chemical restraints that is injecting somebody with a substance that can have really unpredictable effects. And, um, it it's when it's done against the person's will, that's a severe invasion of bodily autonomy, and it can carry very serious risks. Um, and you know, paramedics and other medical professionals should really be exercising their own judgment about whether, you know, injecting somebody against their will is consistent with medical ethics guidelines, whether it's medically appropriate and not just doing it because a police officer says, so

Speaker 7: (19:09)

Do you think the use of restraints in general is dangerous? And if so, what policy changes are you advocating for in regards to the,

Speaker 9: (19:18)

Uh, you know, again, these, you know, the use of restraints curious, inherent risks. So, um, they should not be used if there is any other alternative available and if they are used, then, um, there needs to be very close monitoring of what's going on. Um, you know, because again, these, the signs that somebody's medical distress is starting or getting worse, or not things that, uh, a lay person or a police officer might be able to notice in time. Um, and, and so it just, it creates a very dangerous situation.

Speaker 7: (19:53)

I've been speaking with Carl Tokay, a policing expert, and the senior staff attorney at ACL use Tron center for justice and equality. Carl, thank you so much for joining us.

Speaker 9: (20:05)

Thank you. Glad to be here.

Speaker 1: (20:18)

More information is being developed from KQV continuing investigation, dangerous air. Today, we explore how some Californians are coping with the smoke created by wildfires and why the smoke hits some parts of the state harder than others. Kcrws Kaley Wells reports open it up. Adrian Vincent is opening an air purifier in her home. This gets the smaller parts and the smallest of particles. This is

Speaker 10: (20:47)

For

Speaker 11: (20:48)

A carbon. She's been selling them for 25 years, and she's gotten a lot more business lately. September the start of wildfire season in Southern California has become a big month for her

Speaker 10: (21:00)

Because that's when people line up to get machines, they can't

Speaker 11: (21:03)

Breathe. Arlene Fleck has started to see that change at her home. In Irvine, we found the number of smoke days has tripled to 30 days every year. She says, when it gets bad, she has a hard time breathing and gets headaches.

Speaker 12: (21:17)

And to the point where we have buyers so much that even like when we have fog, I'm like, okay, that's smoke now. Or is that fog

Speaker 11: (21:24)

Last year? Fleck evacuated her home, not because of wildfire, but because of the smoke that seeped through the walls of her home, the smoke and Irvine was pretty typical for Southern California in LA. The average days of smoke per year jumped from nine to 32. The smoke was especially incessant in Malibu and Brentwood home to some of the most destructive fires here and Castaic, which is a rural community, surrounded by dry brush. Health experts say that jump to a month of smoke every year can damage everything, including your lungs and your heart and PRS, California newsroom found in 2018, there were 30,000 more hospitalizations for cardiac and respiratory issues statewide than just two years before. If the smoke in Southern California sounds bad, our analysis found it gets even more persistent as you head north Fleck had to shoot a movie in Stockton recently. And she said, the Ash falling from the sky was great ambiance for her horror film, but not great for brief.

Speaker 12: (22:27)

It was a pretty rough while I was up there and I felt so bad for them. I'm like, how did they do this all the time? Like for us, you know, we have, um, but it's nowhere like it has been up there.

Speaker 11: (22:36)

We've found people in Stockton breathe wildfire smoke for 60 days every year on average go even farther north. And some communities are exposed to smoke for 90 days. So why isn't Southern California getting quite as much smoke UCLA environmental science professor, Michael Jared has part of the answer.

Speaker 13: (22:55)

The fuel load is much greater in Northern California because of the type of vegetation that

Speaker 11: (23:00)

In other words, the fires here usually burn fast through dry grasslands and shrubs. Northern California has big tall trees that burn a lot longer, releasing more smoke for each acre burned.

Speaker 13: (23:13)

So when those large trees start to burn, they put off more missions. And although we do get very severe wildfires in Southern California, the fuel load, if you think about it on a per acre basis, it's much less, oftentimes it's less than a 10th of what you would see if you're up in a very large forest with a lot of, uh, contract

Speaker 11: (23:34)

Plus much of Southern California includes desert and urban sprawl. So there's not nearly as many flammable acres as up north. So even if Chaparral is notorious for burning fast and threatening homes, there is an upside. It creates a lot less smoke than the redwoods and pine forests up north. And the result is that here in LA, we're only breathing smoke one month out of the year. I'm Kaylee Wells in Los Angeles,

Speaker 7: (24:08)

A recent survey found most Americans greatly overestimate. How many veterans have PTSD? Two thirds of survey respondents believe it's more than half, but the real number is fewer than one in five. As Chris Hexcel reports for the American Homefront project, the misperception can lead to problems for veterans with, and without post traumatic stress disorder,

Speaker 14: (24:31)

Brogan Faron spent 28 years in the army. She was a helicopter pilot and deployed to combat zones and on peacekeeping missions before she retired three years ago, now she's a professional organizer and she finds that sometimes people in the civilian world are curious about her past life,

Speaker 15: (24:49)

Thank you for your service. But then the next unanswered question is, are you okay? You know, can, can I talk to you without you, you know, getting mad.

Speaker 14: (25:02)

She gets it. People in the civilian world might not know many veterans. If their perception is driven by what they see on TV or online, they might associate the military with severe PTSD.

Speaker 15: (25:14)

You know, people have a perception that all of us, that we all have PTSD at the most severe level. And I don't really think that people understand that it's, it's a graduated scale. Just like almost everything in life.

Speaker 14: (25:29)

It's sort of a catch 22. If we ignore PTSD, people might not get the help they need, but overdramatizing, it can create a stigma.

Speaker 15: (25:38)

I don't think they show enough of the middle of the road or the well-treated PTSD. And I'm concerned in the long-term that that will hurt the working prospect of septum.

Speaker 14: (25:53)

It's pretty common for people to assume veterans have PTSD. Tracy Neil Walden is a clinical psychologist and chief clinical officer at Cohen veterans network. She says many patients describe awkward questions about combat. And when people find out Neil Walden deployed overseas with the air force, she gets that question herself.

Speaker 16: (26:14)

There's always an assumption that you've seen or done something horrific

Speaker 14: (26:20)

Through surveys. Cohen veterans network has found that Americans overestimate how many veterans experienced PTSD and whether people with PTSD are dangerous and they underestimate how treatable the disorder is

Speaker 16: (26:34)

Not surprised that there's misinformation, but the degree of individuals, the percentage of individuals who believe this was extremely surprising and really disheartening

Speaker 14: (26:48)

Iraq and Afghanistan, veterans of America is an advocacy group that focuses in part on mental health. Hannison away a vice-president there who is also a professional counselor, has spoken with thousands of veterans. She describes the stigma around veterans and PTSD as extreme, which means some people they meet might fear them just because they served.

Speaker 17: (27:11)

And it also creates difficulties and barriers for the individuals who are struggling. Right. You know, do you feel comfortable talking about this with your friends and family and your community? You know, sometimes not

Speaker 14: (27:25)

IVA she's helped run a program called Q RF that's military terminology for quick reaction force. And in this case, QRF is a hotline that veterans who need mental health care can call 24 hours per day. And the last two weeks of August calls to the hotline, we're up 70%.

Speaker 17: (27:44)

And the vast majority of those folks were calling as a direct result of what was happening in Afghanistan and their kind of personal feelings, um, feelings of stress and sorrow and confuse him. Um, so we definitely saw a very notable uptick, um, in the veteran community of people struggling and, and reaching out for help.

Speaker 14: (28:05)

She says the volume of calls is of course disheartening, but if there's a silver lining, it's the fact that so many people are willing to reach out when they need help. Some veterans might be wary of walking into a doctor's office to talk about mental health. So if the first step is a phone call or text message, that's okay, I'm Chris Hexcel in Kansas city.

Speaker 7: (28:27)

The story was produced by the American Homefront project, a public media collaboration that reports on American military life and veterans funding comes from the corporation for public broadcasting. You're listening to KPBS mid-day edition, I'm Jade Hindman with Maureen Kavanaugh tonight, Gaslight steam punk expo returns to an in-person convention at the mission valley Marriott hotel, KPBS arts reporter, Beth Armando previews, the event with its chair and director of programming and a Statia hunter who also explains what steam punk is.

Speaker 16: (29:14)

Anastasia. First of all, explain what steam punk is. But the easiest way to define steam punk I find is using Victorian science fiction. A lot of people are familiar with H G Wells and Juul river. And as much as in the time period, steam punk, as a word didn't exist, they wrote what were called scientific romances. You know, steam punk is really a sub genre of science fiction. And we have a long tradition of science fiction conventions here in San Diego. And once it was discovered that we could dress up and have all of our fun and make things, it really took off locally. So we've been doing it for a number of years now.

Speaker 18: (29:53)

And what is the Gaslight steam punk expo?

Speaker 16: (29:55)

So we're going to be hosting a three and a half day convention. We're going to have a lot of programming. A lot of it themed to our theme this year, which is the 1889. World's fair in Paris, where they built the Eiffel tower. So since we have a bunch of makers that are a part of our community, we also do post a bunch of workshops. We have a vendor hall. So a lot of things that you would normally do at separate events, we decided to kind of gather all together and lots of costuming as well. So don't be surprised if you show up in street clothes and you're like, wow, a lot of people are in costumes. It's totally okay. We everyone's welcome. You don't have to have a costume and explain,

Speaker 18: (30:33)

And people can expect from the expo in terms of panels or vendors or what they're going to get. If they come on any particular day.

Speaker 16: (30:40)

Well, our entire programming schedule is online right now. So if you go to our website, you can check it out. Some of the fun things that are unique to a steam punk convention is we have some silly competitions where we have, like, for example, teapot racing. So on Saturday you would get an RC car that has to fit like certain, you know, specific lengths and Heights. And we have an obstacle course and it's whoever has the best time. Um, we, two of our judges who have long been with us, a Madam rescue in the grand arbitrary, make it a very spectator sport. Even if you're not competing just to listen to them, describe how the racing is going. There'll be special obstacles, that'll be themed for the event. They also host T tooling, which is the only sport where you're guaranteed a cup of tea and a biscuit for every participant.

Speaker 18: (31:26)

So one thing about steam punk is it seems that people enjoy creating their own props and costumes. So will there be any kind of do it yourself, workshops or seminars about how to make costumes?

Speaker 16: (31:37)

Number of our workshops actually discuss different aspects of ways that you can integrate certain technology into your costume. Um, it's unfortunately already sold out, but we actually have a leather plague mask class that we are offering actually on Friday, which of course is a huge hit. They're going to bring extra kits along with them. They also have a teacup holster where you can travel around with your tea cup in case you, somebody suddenly challenges you to a duel can whip your tea cup out and you have it with you, but you can always stop in and see what they're doing. And a lot of these people are also in the community. So they're always happy to share what they're doing. Something else that we're going to be doing is, uh, how to make your own fairy light bottle. And the technology is available online so you can order it.

Speaker 16: (32:25)

But sometimes it helps to see how somebody puts something together to really make sense of what you're doing. And then we offer, you know, we call them, make intakes. So they're free for everyone. You don't have to pay to anything extra, you know, once you come to the event and you buy your ticket, we something where you can make, you know, decorate your own little Eiffel tower. Since that's part of our theme this year and the first one's free. And if you want to do more than one, it's like a dollar for each additional one. And we provide all the supplies. Our teachers bring all of their supplies for the workshops, and then we have free time in the evening. And you want to sit with other crafty people and work on your projects. You didn't finish. We've got time set aside in the evening. Although we have a lot of evening activities as well, including live music. I know the vintage dance people are very excited to come be part of the community. And I have actively always encouraged us to dance properly, but steam punks tend to be more rebellious than that. So there's a lot of free-styling out on the dance floor.

Speaker 18: (33:22)

Well, since you brought up plague masks, I might as well ask, are there any kind of COVID restrictions or safety guidelines going on?

Speaker 16: (33:29)

Thank you for asking him back. Someone sent me a beautiful Brocade plague mask for myself. Yes, we are instituting that. There's a mandatory mask policy while inside all of the indoor spaces in the event, we're going to be less than a thousand people. So we don't need to necessarily check people's vaccination cards, but we want everyone to be safe. And, and we will have masks onsite if you don't remember to bring one or, but we just need you to just make sure it's a mask that covers your nose and your mouth and leave it on while you're endorsed. If you need to go outside the San Diego mission valley Marriott has a beautiful grounds and you can go outside and air out as needed.

Speaker 18: (34:07)

And if people are interested, where can they find more information?

Speaker 16: (34:10)

Um, please visit our website. We've got all kinds of information online. It's at www Gaslight expo.org. That's where you can buy tickets and you can find information if you're it's your first time and information about teapot racing and our dances and live music. There's lots of great information online.

Speaker 18: (34:31)

All right. Well, I want to thank you very much for talking about the gas light steam punk expo. Thank

Speaker 16: (34:35)

You.

Speaker 7: (34:37)

That was Beth Armando speaking with Anastasia hunter Gaslight steam punk expo runs tonight through Sunday at the mission valley Marriott hotel.

Speaker 1: (34:51)

This month, we're celebrating Hispanic heritage month in our five songs. Music picks. We all spotlight five musicians and bands in the region who are either performing this month or just released new music. There's a broad range of styles coming out of the Latin X music scene in our region. And joining us to walk us through the playlist is KPBS arts editor and producer Julia Dixon Evans welcomed Julia. Hi Marine and midday edition producer Harrison Pitino. Hi Harrison. Hello, Maureen. Good to be here. So let's start with Julia. Your first pick is stars by two, one, a band who need borough. Let's take a listen

Speaker 6: (35:32)

[inaudible].

Speaker 19: (35:47)

So who NEPA is an Indy dream pop band. They're based in Tijuana and it's a duo, but they'll perform at the full band sometimes. And their sound is just super earnest full of layered melodies and vintage guitar sounds kind of has a beach house vibe to me may put out a five track EPE self-titled last April, and it is absolutely gorgeous. And from the CPS standout track for me is this one stars it's sweet and hopeful, but a little bit tragic too. I love the line. Stars will guide you back to my arms. Definitely checks all the boxes for me, rich songwriting, and a really lush and dreamy sound

Speaker 6: (36:29)

[inaudible]

Speaker 19: (36:38)

And they also recently released a live session on YouTube. That is absolutely worth a listen. They play a beautiful version of stars on that too. And their social media posts suggests that they are recording new music right now to

Speaker 1: (36:52)

That's stars by two one, a dream pop duo who need borough up next, we have the Logan Heights based surf punk trio beach goons, and Harrison, you say there's a melancholy to the energy of this band,

Speaker 20: (37:06)

Sorry, Maureen. So beach goons is the brainchild of Publix Advantis. Who's been the group sole members since the band's inception, their early work consisted of a lot of fi rough around the edges garage rock, but as sense mellowed out and matured a little bit, which isn't to say that their newer tracks don't still have that same frenetic energy of their earlier work.

Speaker 6: (37:28)

[inaudible]

Speaker 20: (37:40)

Their music still retains the fast pace and jangly guitar accompaniment that we see in a lot of surf punk today, but also has this distinct mournfulness and introspection from a songwriting perspective, the band performed songs in both English and Spanish. And on the Spanish side, I really like attract from their delicately named 2018 album hood rat scumbags. It's on the softer side of the repertoire, and it really captures these themes of sadness and youthful disillusionment that runs through a lot of their music. Here's the track shouldn't they

Speaker 6: (38:12)

[inaudible]

Speaker 1: (38:24)

That's 20 by Logan Heights, very own beach goons, who you can see live at the observatory on October 7th and out this week, a new remix of Latin pop artists, Gabby Aparicio song, cortisone remixed by nine theory. Julia, tell us about Gabby Aparicio and the story of this.

Speaker 19: (38:44)

Yeah, so it's a brand new remix of a 2019 track. So, uh, Gabby Aparicio is a pretty hardworking performer. It seems like she's constantly performing shows around town. Her family is from Uruguay and she was raised in Florida moving to San Diego about seven years ago and she was nominated for a 20, 20 San Diego music award for album Labella Evita for the best world music category. And I really enjoyed that album. It really shows off her range, the sounds, the seamless mix of Latin influence and pop structures. And her voice is fantastic. She sings this track Corazon in Spanish, but she does sing some of her music in English, too.

Speaker 6: (39:37)

[inaudible]

Speaker 21: (39:44)

[inaudible]

Speaker 19: (39:50)

So Corazon was on that 2019 album and this remix gives it a pretty chill house or electronic spin. This is producer nine theory who, who worked on the remix and it just dropped a few days ago. I really like how true to the original, this remixes. It maintains a lot of the delicacy and the quiet groove, but just ramps it up a bit. And Gavi has a bunch of performances in town this month, including as part of little Italy. Artwalk that's this Sunday at 11:00 AM for her performance.

Speaker 1: (40:40)

Okay. We've been listening to the nine theory remix of Gabby Aparicio is cortisone Harrison moving now to a mainstay of San Diego's Latin music scene. Tell us about the San Diego Latin jazz collective.

Speaker 20: (40:55)

Well, Maureen, as you can probably imagine the San Diego Latin jazz collective deals in you guessed it Latin jazz, although it's kind of not really easy to capture what you can expect from a typical show with just those two words. The genre itself is steeped in many different music styles and traditions from Samba to bossa Nova. And a lot of its DNA comes from the music of Cuba and the Zillow That said it's hard to overstate, just how great Latin jazz sounds in person cacophonous horn sections combined with driving rhythm and percussive make live shows a must see the San Diego Latin jazz collected performs really lively renditions of the classics of the genre that are so popular for a reason. Here's their addition to the Cinco Bondo classic. John John,

Speaker 1: (41:58)

John, John, by the San Diego Latin jazz collective, who can be seen live every Thursday tonight included at tin roof in the Gaslamp. And finally, Ramona MES squad known as Bostitch from the legendary electronic music group. Nortech collective will perform a DJ set as part of the front galleries, 15 year anniversary celebration in October and along with singer Ruben Elberon they produced a track in 2020 Julia. Tell us about these artists and about convince on may.

Speaker 19: (42:32)

Yeah, let's start with Ramon, Ms. CLA, otherwise known as [inaudible] this spring. He was featured in a special port of entry podcast. One of our moved by music episodes and he explored how he was on track to becoming a dentist until finally moving into being one of the most influential players in the, in the Mexico on border region, electronic music worlds, and as Nortech collective, they got to Latin Grammy nominations for their album, Tijuana sessions, volume three, that was in 2008. And they've recently been putting out a string of singles, including this one, convinced me with vocalist Ruben. Albarran convinced him a is lively with their really textured combination of folk, Sonic undertones, and then some really fuzzy beats and lyrics that feel almost haunting kind of playful, but a little dark edge tingle

Speaker 22: (43:33)

[inaudible]

Speaker 1: (43:40)

And Julia, you can see Nortech collective at the front gallery in San Ysidro on October 16th. Tell us a little bit about that.

Speaker 19: (43:49)

Yeah. The front is celebrating their 15th anniversary with a bunch of programming throughout October. It all revolves around a special exhibition that takes place that opens October 7th, but definitely get the 16th on your calendar for this Nortek DJ set. Tickets are free, but they're limited to just 50 people. And the RSVP list opens up on October 1st at 10:00 AM, and this'll be a chance to check out the art and hear some great music too.

Speaker 22: (44:32)

[inaudible]

Speaker 1: (44:34)

And we've been listening to Nortex, convince me, you can find a playlist of all these tracks on our website. I've been speaking with KPBS arts editor and producer, Julia Dickson Evans and midday edition producer Harrison Pitino. Thank you both so much. Thank

Speaker 6: (44:51)

You, Marine exploring

Speaker 22: (44:54)

[inaudible]

Speaker 6: (45:01)

[inaudible]

Speaker 22: (45:40)

[inaudible]

Speaker 6: (45:54)

[inaudible].

Health care workers have until today to be vaccinated, but many are not. Plus, an independent investigation into the incident at Valhalla High School where a staff member placed his knee on the neck of a Black student has concluded. The school district is moving forward with the recommendations. Also, “The Wrap” device that the Medical Examiner’s Office said contributed to Earl McNeil’s death continues to be used by law enforcement, raising questions about police tactics that officers continue to use across the country. Meanwhile, in the continuing investigation, we look at how some Californians are coping with the smoke created by wildfires, and why the smoke hits some parts of the state harder than others. And, a recent survey found most Americans greatly overestimate how many veterans have PTSD. In addition, a preview of the Gaslight Steampunk Expo as it returns in-person at the Mission Valley Marriott Hotel. Finally, five songs to highlight Latinx musicians as we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.