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Latinx Artists Promote Covid-19 Vaccination, Saying Goodbye to 'Roadrunner,' Birds Helping CA Farms

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A person stands in a field looking off camera.
Farmer Dennis Tamura stands in one of is farm's fields on June 10, 2021. Tamura says having the barn owls, tree swallows and Western bluebirds nest in boxes on his farm has done more than just offer pest control. They help him see his farm more deeply. (Lisa Morehouse/KQED)

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'Come on Papi, La Vacuna!': New Arts Campaign to Boost San Joaquin Valley Vaccine Rates

More than 60 percent of Latinos in some Central Valley counties are still not vaccinated. The numbers are even more dramatic for younger folks, especially teens and those in their 20s -- and for indigenous farmworkers. Now former U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera, along with famed Ranchera singer Carmencristina Moreno and other musical groups, are trying to get the word out through original songs, radio dramas, and poems in Spanish, English, and Mixteco. Sasha talks with Hugo Morales, founder of Radio Bilingüe, and Amy Kitchener, of the Alliance for California Traditional Arts, about the new campaign, with excerpts from the music and poetry.

‘Always On the Move:’ Remembering Traveling Notary, Athlete Tony Escobar

“He was a shark in many ways. He didn't want to move backwards. He just always wanted to move forward.” That’s how Tony Escobar’s son describes his dad, who died of Covid-19 earlier this year. Tony, who immigrated to San Francisco from Nicaragua, was 68 years old. One of his many jobs was as a traveling notary. His family thinks that’s why he got sick. For them, it was heartbreaking to see Tony -- a star athlete from Mission High School, salesman and all-around family man -- forced to stop moving. As part of our ongoing series on remembering Californians who’ve died from Covid-19, KQED’s Brian Watt and Alexander Gonzales bring us the voices of Tony's family members paying tribute to a man they called "The Energizer Bunny."

Owls, Swallows, and Bluebirds: Secret Allies of California Farmers

Maybe you’re one of the people who started noticing birds more during the pandemic. A lot of us spent time in our yards, or looking out windows, seeing these creatures in a new way. Even though we’re noticing more, there are fewer birds now than there were 50 years ago. For her series California Foodways, Lisa Morehouse visits farms in Napa and near Watsonville to learn how farmers can help these birds, and some new research that shows how those birds are helping farmers.


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