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Stories for December 4, 2007

Some State Lawmakers Decline Pay Hike, Citing Budget Gap

Dec. 4
By California Capitol Network, Marianne Russ and KPBS Public Broadcasting

Most state lawmakers started getting bigger paychecks this week. But more than a dozen are declining the pay hike in light of the state's looming budget gap. Marianne Russ reports.

California Sues Tobacco Giant Over Ad Allegedly Targeting Kids

Dec. 4
By Kenny Goldberg and KPBS Public Broadcasting

The State of California is suing tobacco giant RJ Reynolds for using cartoons and other kid-friendly images to sell Camel cigarettes. Attorney General Jerry Brown says an illustrated multi-page ad in a recent Rolling Stone magazine violates a 1998 agreement. KPBS reporter Kenny Goldberg has more.

Europe Deals With Its Own Set of Immigration Problems

Dec. 4
KPBS Public Broadcasting

What can the United States learn from the modern history of Muslims in France and Germany? We speak to Islamic studies scholar Frank Peter about immigration, multiculturalism and Islam in Western Europe.

Political Correspondent Analyzes History’s Presidential Debates

Dec. 4
KPBS Public Broadcasting

NPR hosts the democratic presidential candidate debate. The important caucuses are just around the corner, so we'll ask KPBS political correspondent Gloria Penner what we can expect from the candidates, how their strategies might change and why this is not even a debate in the first place.

Desalination Plant for San Diego Nears Final Approval

Dec. 4
KPBS Public Broadcasting

Is seawater desalination an affordable, efficient solution to San Diego's water supply problem? We speak to Peter MacLaggan with Poseidon Resources about his company's proposal to build a desalination plant in Carlsbad.

Exploring Direct Democracy in California

Dec. 4
KPBS Public Broadcasting

Californians often make decisions by voting directly on state and local initiatives rather than relying on a totally representative framework. It can be an effective way to circumvent legislative gridlock, but it has its pitfalls as well.

Researchers Say Ash From Wildfires Dangerous to Humans and Environment

Dec. 4
By KPBS News and KPBS Public Broadcasting

Federal researchers say the ash left behind by the Southern California wildfires is bad for both people and the environment. The U.S. Geological Survey collected samples from of ash left over from the Harris Fire in San Diego County and the Grass Fire in San Bernardino County.

NPR's Washington Editor Gives Preview of Democratic Presidential Debate

Dec. 4
By Dwane Brown and KPBS Public Broadcasting

Later this morning on KPBS, you'll hear a debate among the Democratic presidential hopefuls sponsored by NPR and Iowa Public Radio. We got a preview from NPR's Senior Washington Editor Ron Elving. He said this debate won't look or sound like the debates we're seen before.

Big Waves Expected to Pound San Diego's Coastline

Dec. 4
By KPBS News and KPBS Public Broadcasting

Surf's up in San Diego. The biggest waves in at least a year are expected to pound the county's coastline this afternoon. Forecasters say by tomorrow morning some areas could see waves of 15 feet or higher.

S.D. Council Votes to Move Forward with Recycling Wastewater

Dec. 4
By Alison St John and KPBS Public Broadcasting

The San Diego City Council has voted to go ahead with a scheduled plan to explore recycling wastewater into drinking water, despite objections from Mayor Jerry Sanders. Sanders vetoed the city's water reuse plan last month, because he said it was too expensive and that toilet to tap proposals are politically unpopular. KPBS reporter Alison St John has more.