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Stories for June 6, 2007

Safeguarding Your Home From Wildfire

June 6
By Rebecca Tolin and KPBS Public Broadcasting

We're hearing this could be one of the worst fire seasons in a century. Drought and a winter frost have turned trees and brush into kindling. But after the devastating 2003 fire storms, you might assume San Diegans are better prepared, right? Rebecca Tolin is here with a surprising answer.

North Embarcadero Visionary Plan Finally Coming to Fruition

June 6
KPBS Public Broadcasting

Imagine this: stepping through a grand entrance near the Santa Fe depot to a picturesque esplanade running along San Diego's downtown, northward to the airport. A place to walk, jog, or just sit to enjoy the view. Quite a change from the current hodgepodge of non-amenities. The North Embarcadero Visionary Plan was initiated almost 10 years ago, and now it looks as though it might really happen.

California Moves to Eliminate Dangerous E-Waste, Like Cell Phones

June 6
By Heather Hill and KPBS Public Broadcasting

We know talking on cell phones can be dangerous while driving, and some people believe using them could be hazardous to your health. But are they still a concern when they are tossed out and replaced with newer gadgets? Full Focus reporter Heather Hill has more on a statewide move to eliminate the environmental dangers of electronic waste.

California Senate Approves Bill to Put Iraq Withdrawal on Feb. Ballot

June 6
By Capital Public Radio, Marianne Russ and KPBS Public Broadcasting

The California State Senate voted on Wednesday to put the question of ending the Iraq war to voters. On a party-line vote, they approved a bill that would put a measure on the February ballot. From Sacramento, Marianne Russ reports.

Measure Means State Funds Can Be Used to Buy Clean Needles

June 6
By Kenny Goldberg and KPBS Public Broadcasting

The California Assembly has approved a measure that would remove a ban on using state funds to buy needles for clean syringe exchange programs. Supporters say the bill would help ease budget woes that many programs face. KPBS reporter Kenny Goldberg has the story.

Study Shows Big Achievement Lag for ESL Students

June 6
By Ana Tintocalis and KPBS Public Broadcasting

A national report finds students who are learning English as a second language lag far behind blacks and Latinos in academics. KPBS reporter Ana Tintocalis has more.

Mexican Wildfire Spreads, Burns 1,100 Acres East of Anza-Borrego

June 6
KPBS Public Broadcasting

A wildfire that began in Mexico spread north across the U.S. border Wednesday, burning over more than 1,100 acres of rugged terrain in southeastern San Diego County.

Demonstrators Block Traffic to Protest Mexican Pension Laws

June 6
KPBS Public Broadcasting

Demonstrators protesting changes to Mexico's pension laws briefly blocked traffic in both directions at the nation's busiest border crossing Wednesday, officials said.

Emissions Standards Trump Automakers' Healthcare Cost Concerns

June 6
By Capital News Connection, Matt Laslo and KPBS Public Broadcasting

The CEOs of the three big US auto manufacturers were at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. They complained that healthcare costs are hurting their global competitiveness, but senators wanted to talk emissions. Matt Laslo reports from Capitol Hill.

Salk Institute Named one of Earth's Most Endangered Cultural Sites

June 6
By Ed Joyce and KPBS Public Broadcasting

A San Diego landmark is on a list of the 100 most endangered cultural and architectural sites in the world. The World Monuments Fund says the Salk Institute is on the list because of a planned construction project that would partially obscure the view of the Pacific Ocean from a stone-paved courtyard.

Kyocera to Ramp Up Solar Panel Production With New Tijuana Plant

June 6
By Amy Isackson and KPBS Public Broadcasting

Kyocera plans to quadruple its capacity to manufacture solar panels in Tijuana during the next four years. The Arizona based solar company broke ground on a new plant south of the border on Wednesday. KPBS reporter Amy Isackson has details.

Bill Would Eliminate Dangerous Chemicals From Kids' Toys

June 6
By Ed Joyce and KPBS Public Broadcasting

The California Assembly passed a bill that would phase out the use of a dangerous chemical found in kids toys. KPBS reporter Ed Joyce has more.

In Letter, City Asks County to Forgive $16k Late Water Bill

June 6
By Alan Ray and KPBS Public Broadcasting

In some ways, the city of San Diego is like the rest of us. Occasionally, we're all late making a payment. The difference in this case is the size of the late payment fee. The story from KPBS reporter Alan Ray.

Contemporary Ensemble NOISE Performs in Studio

June 6
KPBS Public Broadcasting

San Diego is home to an ensemble tirelessly devoted to modern music. They are called NOISE and this year they are launching a festival of modern music featuring composers and performers from around the world. The four members of NOISE join us in studio to perform and talk about the state of modern musical composition.

Controversy Surrounds New San Diego County Registrar

June 6
KPBS Public Broadcasting

San Diego County's new registrar of voters begins her job amid controversy over her hiring. She joins us in studio to address her past work as a sales representative for a company that sold the county 10,000 voting machines.