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The Coronado Tortilla Incident

Cover image for podcast episode

Above: Local community groups hold a news briefing regarding an alleged racist incident at an Orange Glen and Coronado High basketball game in front of Coronado High School. June 22, 2021.

ROLAND LIZARONDO

The Coronado Unified School District Board fired the high school’s basketball coach on Tuesday night following a racist incident that occurred after a CIF final. Last Saturday, some Coronado high school basketball players threw tortillas at Orange Glen high school players. Orange Glen is an Escondido school that is largely Latino; Coronado is mostly white. Plus: A little slice of classic Southern California habitat is getting long-term protection in San Diego’s North County, COVID-19 vaccines at McDonald’s and more of the local news you need.

San Diego News Now is KPBS’ daily news podcast. Show your support by becoming a member today. www.kpbs.org/donate

Good Morning, I’m Kinsee Morlan, in for Annica Colbert….it’s Wednesday, June 23.

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So what exactly is being done about the tortilla throwing incident at a Coronado high school basketball game?

More on that next, but first... let’s do the local headlines….

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How about a side of COVID vaccine with your burger?

All this week, eight local McDonald’s are hosting popup COVID-19 vaccination sites throughout San Diego County.
As an extra incentive, McDonald’s is giving everyone who gets a vaccine a coupon for one free menu item.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY’S COVID-19 VACCINATION RATE IS NOW AT 86 PERCENT. BUT THE COUNTY IS STILL LOOKING FOR MORE WAYS...like experimenting with different vaccine pop-up sites like this one….TO GET VACCINES TO MORE PEOPLE.
At the eight Micky D’s...thre will be people on site with vaccine information for those who are still hesitant to get vaccinated.
Go to C-A-Mc-D-Events dot com to learn more.
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Remember that big hack at Scripps last month?
Well, now PATIENTS ARE SUING SCRIPPS HEALTH, ALLEGING the healthcare provider DIDN'T DO ENOUGH TO PROTECT THEIR PERSONAL MEDICAL DATA
TWO LAWSUITS FILED IN SAN DIEGO FEDERAL COURT THIS WEEK argue THAT SCRIPPS SHOULD HAVE KNOWN ABOUT THE POTENTIAL RISK of a ransomware attack, BECAUSE OF SIMILAR INCIDENTS IN THE HEALTHCARE INDUSTRY.
SCRIPPS HAS yet to comment ON THE LAWSUITS, BUT SAID EARLIER THIS MONTH THERE HAS BEEN NO INDICATION yet THAT ANY STOLEN DATA WAS USED TO COMMIT FRAUD.
Scripps ALSO OFFERED COMPLIMENTARY CREDIT MONITORING AND IDENTITY PROTECTION FOR THOSE WHOSE SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS AND DRIVER'S LICENSE NUMBERS WERE compromised..
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And….MARITIME SMUGGLING EVENTS OFF THE COAST OF SAN DIEGO INCREASED BY 93 PERCENT BETWEEN 2019 AND 2020.
SO FAR IN 2021, MORE THAN 12-HUNDRED PEOPLE HAVE BEEN APPREHENDED WHILE BEING SMUGGLED AT SEA.
That’s why THE BORDER PATROL IS LAUNCHING ITS OWN MARINE UNIT… IN RESPONSE TO THIS NEW TREND FOR SMUGGLERS.
BORDER PATROL AGENT KURTIS KANTURA SAID THE TWO NEW BOATS WILL SUPPLEMENT THE WORK OF THE COAST GUARD AND CUSTOM AND BORDER PROTECTION’S MARINE UNIT.
BPBOAT 2A (0:15): WE’RE BY NO MEANS THE EMS OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT, BUT WE’RE A FIRST-RESPONSE PLATFORM. WE DO HAVE FIRST AID THAT WE CAN RENDER, WE DO HAVE EMERGENCY EXTRACTION . WE CAN GET PEOPLE OUT OF THE WATER TO SAFETY, AND INTO EMS WHERE THEY CAN BE FURTHER EVALUATED
IN MAY, THREE PEOPLE DIED AFTER A BOAT CAPSIZED OFF OF POINT LOMA.
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And...in a bit of good news to file under ‘the continued return to normalcy..”
The popular San Diego Big Bay Boom fireworks event will return on July
4.
The Port of San Diego made the announcement yesterday, saying the 20-minute fireworks extravaganza will start at 9 p.m.
Last year, of course, the big boom event was canceled due to the pandemic.
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From KPBS, you’re listening to San Diego News Now.

Stay with me for more of the local news you need.MIDROLL 1
TENSIONS ARE STILL RUNNING HIGH AFTER AN INCIDENT OVER THE WEEKEND AT A BASKETBALL GAME BETWEEN CORONADO HIGH AND ESCONDIDO’S ORANGE GLEN HIGH SCHOOL.
TORTILLAS WERE THROWN AT ORANGE GLEN players -- and orange glen is A PREDOMINANTLY LATINO SCHOOL.
KPBS RACE AND EQUITY REPORTER CRISTINA KIM was in Coronado last night outside a special meeting of the school district board where they were discussing how the school should address the incident….
CORONADO RACE
I’m standing right outside where the Coronado Unified School District Board is holding a special meeting to discuss how the school should address the incident...in what’s expected to be a packed meeting.
SOT
I'm in disbelief. My brother's in disbelief. So is my mom. We're not one, you know, make a big deal out of certain things. But this one kind of just had different with us being Hispanic.
Kassandra Garibay says she wants to see the Coronado High School head Basketball coach fired, but she has compassion for the student players, some of whom have reached out to Orange Glen players since the incident.
SOT
I just don't feel like they should be punished as a whole because it wasn't every single player participating in those actions.
That’s something Andres Rivera an Orange Glen parent agrees with. At a rally earlier today in front of Coronado High School he says the coach was an instigator, who allegedly yelled profanities at Orange Glen’s head coach.
L3: Andres Rivera, Orange Glen Parent
National organizations like the League of United Latin American Citizens and CAIR have also called Coronado’s coach to be fired and have asked California Interscholastic Federation or CIF to consider stripping Coronado High School of it’s championship title.

CIF has said they will take next steps after reviewing incident reports from both schools.
In a statement to KPBS Escondido Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Anne Staffieri denounced the incident , but says healing for students and the surrounding community is necessary. She said, “This is an opportunity for restorative justice. An opportunity to reflect, to learn, and to adjust behaviors.”
David Carp is the director of the center for restorative justice at University of San Diego. He says restorative justice, which is about addressing harms and centering those most impacted, can start with a simple question.
What would it take for the impacted school community to want to play basketball with Coronado in the future? Like what would make them excited about meeting up with this team again?
This is just the most recent case of racism in high school sports. Cathedral High School was placed on a two-year probation after the football team posted racist photos targeting Lincoln High School. Cathedral and Lincoln High are participating in restorative justice meetings.
The Coronado Unified School District immediately issued an apology to Orange Glen and School leaders have said they are committed to conducting thorough investigations and supporting healing dialogue.
After an hour’s worth of public comment, ….the school board voted unanimously to fire Coronado’s head basketball coach - J.D. Laaperi. (lah-PEAR-ee) The incident remains under investigation by the school district, the Coronado Police Department, the California Interscholastic Federation and Escondido Union HIgh School District.
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YOUNG PEOPLE ACROSS CALIFORNIA ARE CALLING ON THE STATE TO DO MORE TO PREVENT THEIR FAMILIES FROM BEING EVICTED.
KPBS REPORTER ALEXANDRA RANGEL (ran-HELL) HAS this report ON THEIR CALL TO ACTION.

EVICTION
Ilene Toney, Facing Homelessness in Sacramento
“Our landlord just raised our rent another 200 dollars for the third time this year and im scared, I don't want to put my kids back on the street.”
The Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, also known as ACCE Action, is raising awareness about the thousands of children currently facing displacement from their homes if the state's eviction moratorium isn’t extended past June 30.
ACCE Action says, estimates show, nearly 700-thousand households in California are behind on rent.
Francisco Duenas, Housing Now!
“Especially for single parents, they are more likely to be behind on rent here in California.”
But in San Diego, AH 60 day extension to the county’s eviction ban was approved by the county board of Supervisors earlier this month, giving local renters extra protection from being evicted.
Francisco Duenas, Executive Director for Housing Now, says families with children are most at risk.
Francisco Duenas, Housing Now!
“For young people in particular, the impacts of an eviction are real and long lasting.”
Alejandra Mendoza just graduated from Mar Vista High School in Imperial Beach
Alejandra Mendoza, Imperial Beach
“All I can think about is what am I going to do, I feel like I needed to be the support system for my family.”
While most seniors are able to enjoy and celebrate their final year in high school, Mendoza and her family have been facing eviction throughout the pandemic.
Alejandra Mendoza, Imperial Beach
“We have been through three different eviction notices from three different landlords.”
Fortunately we have fought two of them with the help of ACE.”
As state leaders debate extending the eviction moratorium, youth across the state are urging the governor to extend the moratorium and improve the state’s rental assistance programs to make it easier for families to apply.
Elysha Castillo, UC Riverside Student
“These are people’s lives at stake and that in itself should frustrate everyone.”

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Coming up…
Preserving a slice of habitat in San Diego County. A look at protected north county habitat is after a quick break.
MIDROLL 2
A little slice of classic Southern California habitat is getting long-term protection in San Diego’s North County.

KPBS Environment reporter Erik Anderson says The Escondido Creek Conservancy has wrangled more than two million dollars to buy 79 acres of hilly land.

PRESERVE
People walking in this hilly undeveloped pocket of land, might catch a whiff of sage and mint. Short stubby flowers reach skyward from the rock hard earth dried out by the sun. Golden grasses catch the wind and off in the distance a bird or two makes its presence known. This pocket habitat sits pretty close to home sites trying to take advantage of the lofty views.

00:01:19 – 00:01:25 “As everyone know. There’s lots of development. Lots of human activity in Southern California.

Leonard Wittwer’s hat shades his eyes from the early morning sun. He’s the Escondido Creek Conservancy’s board president.

00:01:26 – 00:01:33 “But there are patches of what California was and this is one of them And we’re trying to preserve those for the wildlife but also for the human residents.”

This patch of “what was” is idyllic habitat for the endangered California Gnatcatcher. The tiny bird forages for insects in the low-lying shrubs. Gnatcatchers raise their young in nests just a few inches off the ground, but those nests are tucked inside dense shrubbery. It’s the bird’s presence that helps make this preserve possible.

00:02:01 – 00:02:16 “The money that purchased this property came from the largely from the state of California, the wildlife conservation board. And the federal government through the endangered species act. So as a society we’ve decided to set money aside to conserve land like this.”

Overall the Escondido Creek Conservancy has helped buy and protect roughly seven thousand acres of wild habitat in the creek’s watershed. Conservation director Hannah Walchak says this plot of land is a great slice of coastal sage scrub habitat, but it is also much more.

01:50:57 – 01:51:06 “It’s a 79 acre preserve so it’s not enormous, but it functions as a puzzle-piece linking larger preserved pieces of land.”

Fitting an important puzzle piece into the interwoven lattice of homes and habitat helps create bridges for larger species.

00:00:30 --- 00:00:42 “It is a piece that will facilitate a connection between thousands of acres of open space in the city of Carlsbad and thousands of acres of open space along Escondido creek in the county of San Diego.”

Mountain lions, bobcats, and coyotes all require room to roam, hunt and breed. Habitat like this strengthens the connections. It also builds a connection with the people who live near the preserve. The Conservancy’s Ann Van Leer says this plot of land captures a slice of the region as it used to be.

00:03:30 – 00:03:40 “All of California, Southern California used to look like this. At least this part of coastal California and this will give them a picture of the past. And also a picture of the future.”

Coastal sage scrub habitat is being squeezed out of the region by housing developments. And that pressure is not diminishing.

00:02:28 – 00:02:45 “ It just inspires me to continue on. 00:02:30 I’m a native Californian and this is one of the times I can feel like I’m giving back to California. Ah, sorry. I didn’t know that would make me so emotional. This is a place that’s very…, Southern California is very special to me.”

Coastal sage scrub habitat is found in dry coastal zones and inland valleys that are close enough to the ocean to be exposed to the marine layer. A utility service road has brought invasive weeds and grasses to part of the preserve, but Van Leer says that’ll be addressed.

00:02:59 – 00:03:09 ”We will be doing the very fundamentals. We will be weeding. Removing what doesn’t belong here and letting the natural native habitat replace itself.”

Cleaning up this preserve is an immediate priority for the conservancy. Adding to the collection of preserved land and teaching people the importance of natural habitat is on the long term agenda.

And that story from KPBS environment reporter, Erik Anderson.
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That’s the show for today..thanks for listening.. Its pledge time at KPBS -- the end of our fiscal year. If you like what you hear, please consider a donation at KPBS.org. Soyou have me sitting in for Anica for one more day, because she’s involved with pledge!~
so I will be back...but hey, while I have you, the Port of Entry podcast I help produce is hosting a YouTube Live event tonight, Wednesday, June 23, at 5:30 pm….Host Alan Lilienthal will interview famed animator, artist, and director Jorge R. Gutierrez live on the KPBS YouTube channel for an upcoming episode of the “Port of Entry” podcast. An Audience Q&A will follow the interview and Spanish captions will be provided. It’s free, all you have to do is open up youtube and search for kpbs...or go to port of entry pod dot org and look for the link to the event. We’d love to see you there!

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San Diego News Now

San Diego news; when you want it, where you want it. Get local stories on politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings. Hosted by Anica Colbert and produced by KPBS, San Diego and the Imperial County's NPR and PBS station.