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Stories for March 15, 2007

Country School Honors Past, Embraces Future

March 15
By Heather Hill and KPBS Public Broadcasting
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If you've ever traveled the well-worn road to Julian, you have probably driven past it, and missed it. Spencer Valley is the smallest school district in the county, made up of only one school and less than 30 students. Full Focus reporter Heather Hill has a special look at the 130-year-old schoolhouse that's survived the test of time.

Goats Prevent Fire

March 15
By Joanne Faryon and KPBS Public Broadcasting
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This time of year you might hear or see crews outside your neighborhood clearing brush in ravines and canyons. They're usually armed with chain saws. Some are armed with goats. Joanne Faryon has the story.

In Tijuana, Four Suspects Arrested for Kidnapping Philips Executive

March 15
By Amy Isackson and KPBS Public Broadcasting
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Law enforcement authorities in Tijuana have arrested four men who they say kidnapped an executive with the Philips company last week. Authorities say the leader of the group belongs to a kidnapping ring that made international headlines ten years ago. KPBS reporter Amy Isackson has details.

Consumer Confidence Up, But So Are Gas Prices

March 15
By Andrew Phelps and KPBS Public Broadcasting
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New economic data shows San Diego consumer confidence went up in January. But rising gas prices could turn that around. KPBS Radio's Andrew Phelps explains.

State Presidential Primary Bumped Sooner -- From June to Feburary

March 15
By Jenny O'Mara and KPBS Public Broadcasting
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California's presidential primary is moving from June to February. Gov. Schwarzenegger signed the legislation today. From Sacramento, Jenny O'Mara reports the switch means 2008 will be a hectic year for local elections officials.

New Health Concerns Over Common Chemical in Plastic

March 15
KPBS Public Broadcasting
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It's in our plastic water bottles, canned soup and infant formula. Some say Bisphenol A could be increasing rates of infertility, endometriosis, and various cancers. The plastics industry says there's no evidence to show the substance is toxic. But new government-funded studies show there could be valid safety concerns. Full Focus has more.

Anti-Gang Initiative to Distribute Seed Money to Grass Roots Orgs

March 15
By Alison St John and KPBS Public Broadcasting
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The city of San Diego will experiment with a new anti-gang initiative. The city's Gang Commission and the San Diego Foundation will give out seed money, designed to help existing grass roots efforts grow. KPBS reporter Alison St John has more.

Weekend Preview: San Diego Offers Celtic Rock and Southern Rap

March 15
KPBS Public Broadcasting
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Host Tom Fudge talks with AnnaMaria Stephens and Jessica Hanson about what's going on this weekend in San Diego.

Will La Jolla Charge Beach-Goers to Park?

March 15
KPBS Public Broadcasting
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Many people know that parking is a premium around coastal areas, but should beach-goers be charged to park? A local planning group in La Jolla is considering the controversial idea. We'll find out why this concept isn't based on generating revenue, how free parking can be expensive, and how residents are reacting to the proposal.

Bay Front is Booming in Chula Vista

March 15
KPBS Public Broadcasting
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What's the latest news on Chula Vista's plan to redevelop its bay front? We speak to Mayor Cheryl Cox about development plans, the city's interest in helping the Chargers build a new stadium, and the future of the South Bay Power Plant.

Biology Professor Creates Mini-Cell Vaccine Delivery System

March 15
KPBS Public Broadcasting
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San Diego State University researcher and biology professor Roger Sabbadini is part of a team that recently patented a vaccine system that will make vaccines more reliable, allow for fewer boosters of the same vaccine, combine several vaccines into one, and keep vaccines stable at room temperature -- facilitating cheaper storage with no refrigeration costs. He’s also founder of a company called Vaxiion Therapeutics. He joins us to explain his work and commitment to biological research.

West Coast Politicians use Scientific Knowledge to Further Environmental Policy

March 15
KPBS Public Broadcasting
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Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski has a long record of environmentally-motivated legislation during his political tenure. He tells us why climate change policy is so important to him, how West Coast states are fighting against emissions, and what the Western governors’ Global Warming Initiative hopes to accomplish.

Revising San Diego’s Lobbying Laws

March 15
KPBS Public Broadcasting
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If you make one dollar as a lobbyist in San Diego, you may soon have to register with the city. Under the proposed changes to the city's lobbying laws, a lobbyist must also disclose which officials they've met with, and if they helped to get a local official elected. Host Tom Fudge speaks to Stacey Fulhorst, with the City of San Diego Ethics Commission, and attorney James Sutton about the proposal to overhaul the city's lobbying laws.

Oceanside School Superintendent Announces Resignation

March 15
By Ana Tintocalis and KPBS Public Broadcasting
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Ken Noonan says he will resign as Oceanside School Superintendent at the end of the academic year. Noonan has been the district's leader for ten years. KPBS reporter Ana Tintocalis has more.

S.D. Health Officer: No Cause for Alarm Over Anemia Cases

March 15
By Alan Ray and KPBS Public Broadcasting
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The top health officer in San Diego County says a "cluster" of cases of a rare form of anemia is probably not evidence of a common cause, nor an indication that the cases are connected.

Unlocking the Language of Blue Whales

March 15
By Andrew Phelps and KPBS Public Broadcasting
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Tease photo

The language of animals mystifies us. There could be as many as 100 million species in the world. And we don’t know what most of them are saying to each other. But researchers at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UCSD have insight into one species. They’re studying the sounds of the largest creature in the animal kingdom. KPBS Radio’s Andrew Phelps has the story.