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Stories for May 17, 2007

Actor Ed Begley, Jr. Details His Green Lifestyle

May 17
By Rebecca Tolin and KPBS Public Broadcasting

Ed Begley Jr. drives his electric car to San Diego to promote alternative fuel vehicles. The actor and environmental activist will speak Thursday evening at a fundraiser for the Center for Sustainable Energy. The star of TV shows like 'St. Elsewhere' and 'Six Feet Under', Begley is known for his avid green lifestyle, fueled by his passion for the environment.

Cinema Junkie by Beth Accomando

May 17
By Baccomando and KPBS Public Broadcasting

Top Insurers Threaten Coverage Cancellation to Cut Wildfire Risk

May 17
By Gillian Flaccus and KPBS Public Broadcasting

Spooked by devastating wildfire seasons, the nation's top insurers are inspecting homes in high-risk areas throughout the West and threatening to cancel coverage if owners don't clear brush or take other precautions.

Governor Promotes Budget Plans for Healthcare, Prisons, Education

May 17
By Joanne Faryon and KPBS Public Broadcasting

California's Governor came to San Diego today to drum up support for his state budget. At a town hall meeting in Balboa Park Schwarzenegger defended his economic plan with vigor and ease. KPBS reporter Joanne Faryon was there.

Local Reporter in Afghanistan: Attacks May Follow Poppy Harvest

May 17
KPBS Public Broadcasting

Last weekend, the bullet-ridden body of the Taliban's top operational commander in Mullah Dadullah, Afghanistan, was discovered after a battle in the country’s southern Helmand province. Earlier today, Full Focus spoke with Tony Perry, the San Diego bureau chief for the Los Angeles Times, who is in Afghanistan covering the increased Taliban activity in that country.

Councilmember Frye: City Still a Long Way From Surmounting Debt

May 17
KPBS Public Broadcasting

It's no secret the City of San Diego is strapped for cash. As the mayor and council continue hashing out a possible budget for next year, tough decisions loom over funding city services and payroll. City Councilmember Donna Frye is here with her ideas about making municipal ends meet.

Technology Grant Helps Disabled Kids Learn and Share Schoolwork

May 17
By Ana Tintocalis and KPBS Public Broadcasting
Tease photo

Disabled students at Lindberg Schweitzer Elementary School in San Diego have some new high-tech tools in their classroom. KPBS reporter Ana Tintocalis has more.

Assembly Approves Bill to Cut Red Tape For Emergency Workers

May 17
By Jenny O'Mara and KPBS Public Broadcasting

The State Assembly has approved a bill aimed at quickly bringing in out-of-state emergency workers to help in the event of a disaster like Hurricane Katrina. From Sacramento, Jenny O'Mara reports.

California Seniors Face Falls, Hunger, and Disability

May 17
By Kenny Goldberg and KPBS Public Broadcasting

Falls, disability, and hunger are common problems for California seniors. A new study from UCLA reveals nearly 800,000 older Californians are affected by at least one of these issues. KPBS reporter Kenny Goldberg has the story.

CA to Consider Strict Emissions Control Over Construction Industry

May 17
By Capital Public Radio, Marianne Russ and KPBS Public Broadcasting

Next week on May 25, the California Air Resources Board will consider stricter emission regulations for equipment such as backhoes and bulldozers. Environmentalists say it's overdue, but construction companies say it will cost them dearly. From Sacramento, Marianne Russ reports.

DOE Corridor Plan Faces Mostly Backlash at Local Hearing

May 17
By Ed Joyce and KPBS Public Broadcasting

A Department of Energy proposal to designate part of our region as a key transmission corridor drew mostly negative comments today. The plan would allow the federal government to override local and state land use decisions on energy projects. KPBS reporter Ed Joyce has more.

Governor in San Diego to Push Health, Prison, Education Initiatives

May 17
KPBS Public Broadcasting

California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was in San Diego today pushing his agenda to shape the state's future. The governor held a town hall meeting that included heads of state agencies in charge of health care, prisons, education, and natural resources.

Feinstein Helps Negotiate Bill to Give Illegals a Citizenship Path

May 17
By Capital News Connection, Benjamin Shaw and KPBS Public Broadcasting

A bipartisan group of Senators finished hammering out a deal on immigration on Thursday. Democratic California Senator Diane Feinstein was instrumental in negotiating the bill. Benjamin Shaw reports from Capitol Hill.

Weekend Preview: Music

May 17
KPBS Public Broadcasting

The Chicago band Sea and Cake cuts their first record in four years and plays the Belly Up Tavern this weekend. A new solo album from Albert Hammond , Jr., lead guitarist for The Strokes, brings him to the House of Blues. Good music is everywhere this weekend in San Diego.

Authors Argue a Messy Desk Can Actually Be a Source of Genius

May 17
KPBS Public Broadcasting

In honor of National Pack Rat Day, we ask the question, “Are you more productive and creative if you're messy?” Is being organized a hindrance to your workflow? We'll talk with the authors of “A Perfect Mess: The Hidden Benefits of Disorder -- How Crammed Closets, Cluttered Offices, and On-the-Fly Planning Make the World a Better Place.”

Ed Begley Jr. Promotes Alternative Fuel Vehicles in San Diego

May 17
KPBS Public Broadcasting

Celebrity environmentalist Ed Begley Jr. says it all boils down to economics. Eco-responsibility is good for the pocketbook. Begley is in San Diego promoting alternative fuel vehicles this week. And no, he didn't drive a Hummer to get here. Ed takes your calls on how to live an environmentally friendly lifestyle.

Booming Job Market Awaits Local College Graduates

May 17
KPBS Public Broadcasting

College graduation is right around the corner and San Diego's job market is booming as a result of a strong economy. We speak with San Diego State University's director of Career Services about what jobs are hot right now and how successful graduates are at finding their job of choice.

Federal Electrical Grid Construction to Impact San Diego Power

May 17
KPBS Public Broadcasting

The Department of Energy announced a new plan to address our nation's electricity needs, which promotes construction of major power lines in the southwestern U.S. What does this mean for our local power needs and the Sunrise Powerlink? KPBS environmental reporter Ed Joyce tells us the implications of this federal proposal.

Democrats Seek No-Confidence Vote on Attorney General

May 17
KPBS Public Broadcasting

Senate Democrats plan to seek a no-confidence vote on Attorney General Alberto Gonzales over accusations that he carried out President Bush's political agenda at the expense of the Justice Department's independence, they said Thursday.

Advocates for Homeless Push for Budget Funding

May 17
By Jenny O'Mara and KPBS Public Broadcasting

Advocates for statewide programs that help the homeless with mental health problems are criticizing the Governor's move to eliminate key services. Schwarzenegger's revised budget, released this week, did not include funding for a $55 million program. State Senator Darrell Steinberg wrote the legislation that funds county programs that help the mentally ill with housing, counseling and treatment.

Not All Agree Single Payer Health Care is Cure for Ailing System

May 17
By Kenny Goldberg and KPBS Public Broadcasting

The governor and other state lawmakers say reforming the state's troubled health care system is a top priority this year. One of the proposals they're looking at would create a single payer, universal health care system in California. KPBS Health Reporter Kenny Goldberg has the story.