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Stories for May 16, 2007

Come July, Allstate to Stop Writing Homeowner's Insurance

May 16
KPBS Public Broadcasting

Allstate Corporation, California's third-largest home insurance provider, has announced it will stop writing homeowners insurance policies beginning July 1. Instead, Allstate agents will refer customers to a third-party insurance company. Full Focus reporter Heather Hill has the story.

California's Prison Crowding Salve: More Rehab, Beds, Exportation

May 16
By Capital Public Radio, Marianne Russ and KPBS Public Broadcasting

California has submitted a plan for dealing with the state's overcrowded prisons to a federal judge. It includes housing at least 8,000 inmates in other states, building more than 50,000 new prison beds, and creating new programs to rehabilitate inmates. Those are all part of the package of reforms lawmakers agreed on and the Governor signed this month.

What Now After Forbes Ranks S.D. Housing Most Overpriced in U.S.

May 16
KPBS Public Broadcasting

Forbes.com named San Diego the most overpriced real estate market in the country. This comes on the heels of the latest report that the county's housing market continued to cool in April. The median price for all homes was $490,000 in April, down 3 percent from a year ago. So has the bubble finally burst? We'll talk with SANDAG's senior economist to find out how the housing market is doing.

Princeton Professor Says Time is Now for Global Warming Action

May 16
KPBS Public Broadcasting

Princeton University professor Michael Oppenheimer says without significant changes, the earth's ice sheets will melt. If and when that happens, the sea level would rise up to 40 feet. That would mean catastrophe for many regions of the world, including the U.S. After studying climate change for some three decades, Oppenheimer says public and political opinion are finally shifting.

Federal Plan Would Hijack Local Control Over Power Grid Expansion

May 16
KPBS Public Broadcasting

The federal government is proposing to designate San Diego County part of a key electric transmission corridor. This would let the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission override local and state opposition to new transmission lines if the agency deems the lines necessary to eliminate power-grid bottlenecks.

Kids Pretend to be Planets Under New NASA Education Initiative

May 16
By Ana Tintocalis and KPBS Public Broadcasting
Tease photo

NASA experts are working with a group of San Diego teachers to craft lessons at their inner-city school. KPBS reporter Ana Tintocalis has more.

Surging S.D. Gas Prices Refuse to Descend From Record Highs

May 16
By Erik Anderson and KPBS Public Broadcasting

San Diego gas prices continue to hover near record territory. The Utility Consumer's Action Network says Prices peaked at $3.50 a gallon last week -- and they've only retreated about a nickel a gallon.

DOE Hearing Thursday on National Grid Corridor Proposal

May 16
By Ed Joyce and KPBS Public Broadcasting

The Department of Energy has proposed two electricity corridors -- one in our region. The proposals would allow federal power to trump local land use decisions. One of seven public hearings on the proposal is tomorrow in downtown San Diego. KPBS environmental reporter Ed Joyce has details.

SDGE Alleged to Have Hid Information in Order to Boost Rates

May 16
By Alan Ray and KPBS Public Broadcasting

Two major consumer groups are charging that San Diego Gas and Electric didn't provide all the information it should have when asked state regulators to approve a huge rate increase. KPBS reporter Alan Ray has the story.

Author Shares Views on Anti-American Sentiment in Europe

May 16
KPBS Public Broadcasting
Tease photo

It is no secret that the U.S. is not popular in Western Europe. But what is the origin of all this anti-Americanism? Dr. Andrei Markovits, a professor at the University of Michigan, explains the paradoxes of American hatred abroad, and tells us why America is "damned if it does and damned if it doesn't."

Local Disabled Sports Community Begins New Organization

May 16
KPBS Public Broadcasting

San Diego's vibrant Special Olympics community is splintered. Many athletes and volunteers have migrated to a new, competing organization: Sports for Exceptional Athletes. The new club faces a lot of challenges to get off the ground. One challenge is keeping a community of hundreds of disabled athletes together.

San Diego Plays Uncertain Role in Future Film Industry

May 16
KPBS Public Broadcasting
Tease photo

Lights, cameras, action. While the local film industry has shown growth over the last few years, the possible cancellation of "Veronica Mars" could signal a curtain call for many of the people who work on film productions in San Diego. Guest host Alison St. John speaks to Film Commissioner Cathy Anderson about the local film industry.

Local Embedded Journalists Shares Update from War Zone

May 16
KPBS Public Broadcasting
Tease photo

Tony Perry, the San Diego Bureau Chief for the Los Angeles Times, is an embedded journalist in Afghanistan. These Days gets a weekly update from Tony about life in a war zone as he lives with American forces abroad.

Local High School Students Learn Military History in the Kitchen

May 16
By Ana Tintocalis and KPBS Public Broadcasting
Tease photo

A group of San Diego students are learning about U.S. military history in the most unusual place -- their high school cooking class. KPBS Education Reporter Ana Tintocalis has this report.