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Stories for April 10, 2007

San Diegans Debate Blackwater Welcome

April 10
KPBS Public Broadcasting

Blackwater USA is a private military contractor with a big role in Iraq. Now, in the rural community of Potrero -- a backcountry community in San Diego County -- people are getting riled up over now-peaceful meadows being sold to create a para-military training camp.

Local Scientists Taking the Lead in Global Warming Research

April 10
By Ed Joyce and KPBS Public Broadcasting

Global warming has been a popular topic of conversation recently. But researchers at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography have been talking about it for more than 50 years. The UC San Diego marine laboratory is recognized for sounding early alarm bells about greenhouse gases warming the planet. KPBS Environmental Reporter Ed Joyce introduces us to three Scripps scientists playing lead roles in global warming research.

WPA Left Its Mark on San Diego

April 10
KPBS Public Broadcasting

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the New Deal, President Franklin Roosevelt's plan to put people back to work and put food on their tables. Producer Pat Finn set out to discover if there was anything left in San Diego from one famous New Deal initiative -- the Works Progress Administration (WPA).

State Lawmakers Want to Clean up the Sea

April 10
KPBS Public Broadcasting

Trash in the ocean is killing off sea life, making people sick and hurting California's coastal economy. Now state lawmakers have put together a package of bills they hope will help clean up the sea. Full Focus reporter Amita Sharma has more.

Rally Anniversary Marks Renewed Calls for Immigration Reform

April 10
By Amy Isackson and KPBS Public Broadcasting

Two immigrants rights coalitions used Wednesday’s anniversary of the massive immigration march in San Diego to call, again, for Congress to pass realistic immigration reform. The groups advocate different kinds of reform, but say they have the same end goal in mind. KPBS reporter Amy Isackson has details.

State Assembly Judiciary Dems Approve Pro Same-Sex Marriage Bill

April 10
By Jenny O'Mara and KPBS Public Broadcasting

On a strict party line vote, Democrats in the Assembly Judiciary committee have approved a bill that would allow same sex marriage in California. Despite threat of a veto if the bill makes it through the legislature, its author says he's making progress. From Sacramento, Jenny O'Mara reports.

Health Insurers May Soon Need State Permission to Raise Premiums

April 10
By Kenny Goldberg and KPBS Public Broadcasting

A bill will be introduced in Sacramento Wednesday that would require health insurers to get permission from the state before raising premiums. It's modeled after California's law that regulates auto insurance. KPBS reporter Kenny Goldberg has the story.

High Tech High School Officials Want New Mission Valley Campus

April 10
By Ana Tintocalis and KPBS Public Broadcasting

Mission Valley has lots of apartments and condominiums, but few kids and public schools. But administrators at San Diego's High Tech High would like to put a campus there. KPBS reporter Ana Tintocalis has more.

Council Continues Struggle to Define Budget Authority of Mayor

April 10
By Alison St John and KPBS Public Broadcasting
Tease photo

The San Diego City Council struggled once again today with the question of how much the mayor can change the budget after the council approves it. Two competing proposals were discussed, but the power struggle at city hall appears to have dissolved into a decision to continue with the status quo. KPBS reporter Alison St John has more.

Organic and Natural Foods Now Available in Vending Machines

April 10
KPBS Public Broadcasting

Not all snack foods from a vending machine are unhealthy. A Solana Beach-based vending company offers only organic and natural products from its machines -- and the business is growing. The founder and CEO of YoNaturals, Inc. discusses how he came up with the idea for healthy vending machines and why they are gaining popularity.

Harmful Affects of Aerosol Pollutants May Be Underestimated

April 10
KPBS Public Broadcasting

A local UCSD professor has been studying how air pollution impacts our daily lives, as well as how it impacts our local and global climate. We speak with Kim Prather about her research and why she believes that we should not only focus on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, but also the impact of aerosols.

Mayor Sanders Unveils 2008 Budget Proposal

April 10
KPBS Public Broadcasting

San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders is expected to release his 2008 budget proposal this Friday. Guest host Maureen Cavanaugh talks to Sanders' spokesman Fred Sainz about the details of the mayor's budget proposal, which calls for more than $200 million to be spent on the pension debt, street repairs and storm drain maintenance. We also speak to KPBS News reporter Alison St. John about some of the other hot topics that are circulating around City Hall this week.