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Joshua Tree prepares for another possible closure, border reunification, college and foster care




File: View of a Joshua tree in the 1,234-square-mile Joshua Tree National Park, April 7, 2008.
File: View of a Joshua tree in the 1,234-square-mile Joshua Tree National Park, April 7, 2008.
Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images

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Now that the government has been reopened for almost a week, we take a visit to Joshua Tree to see how the area is preparing in case the government shuts down against February 15th. Plus, we hear the story of a Honduran mother who was reunited with the daughter who had been taken from her at the U.S. border. Plus, helping more foster children prepare for college.

Joshua Tree Check-in

( Start at 2:14 )

During the government shutdown, Joshua Tree National Park was invaded with visitors who didn't pay to get in and, in some cases, damaged the trees and ecosystem. Now that the shutdown is over and the park has reopened, we pay a visit and talk to the park and meet with its supervisor as well as area businesses to see how it's recovering from the damage, and how it's preparing in case there's another government shutdown next month. 

Joshua trees in bloom at Joshua Tree National Park on April 6, 2013.
Joshua trees in bloom at Joshua Tree National Park on April 6, 2013.
/Dave Bezaire/Flickr Creative Commons

Separation and Reunification at the Border

( Start at 16:39 )

Last fall, a young mother from Honduras traveled north to the U. S with her children. She got separated from her husband and one-year-old daughter. The toddler was put in foster care once she crossed into the U.S. and her mother's been fighting to get her back since. This week, they were reunited in San Francisco.

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https://twitter.com/NewYorker/status/1090708474407895041

Foster Care College

( Start at 24:09 )

For decades, youth in foster care got little to no help applying for college. But that's changing for some foster children. Some foster organizations are hiring dedicated college advisers who help fill out applications, apply for financial aid, and even walk them to the campus.

SoCal SoCurious: What Happens To Orphaned Bumpers On The Side Of The Road?

( Start at 36:41 ) 

If you've ever been stuck in L.A. traffic, you've no doubt seen them on the side of the road. Sad. Forgotten. Discarded. The lonely bumpers are thrown to the side of freeways after car accidents. One listener asked us: Why aren't they cleaned up? We went looking for the answer.

Piles of bumpers at the Caltrans Altadena maintenance yard collected during the rainstorms in early January 2019.
Piles of bumpers at the Caltrans Altadena maintenance yard collected during the rainstorms in early January 2019.
KPCC/Lori Galarreta

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