Stories for September 28, 2007
The latest nationwide report from the Texas Transportation Institute shows that San Diegans spend an average of 57 hours a year sitting in idle traffic during rush hour.
Jamie Foxx plays FBI Agent Ronald Fleury. When a terrorist bomb blows up an American facility in Saudi Arabia, Fleury wants to take his crack team out into the field to try and find the necessary evidence to track down the terrorists. Fleury knew someone who was killed, so he's taking a personal interest in seeing justice done. Despite opposition from various sources, Fleury eventually gets the OK to bring Grant Sykes (Chris Cooper), Janet Mayes (
But we discover that all these people are real and the events relayed are true. Kohn connects his rural frog farmer from the opening to a famously corrupt politician Jder Barbalho. He also interviews a string of people about their various encounters with crime in Brazil and how they connect with each other. There's a woman who was kidnapped for a week and had her ears sent to her family. Then we see kids in the street playing "kidnapper" and "victim" and cutting off each other's ears. We also hear from a plastic surgeon who reconstructs ears from a victim's rib (detailed in a particularly graphic surgery sequence). There are also cops, bodyguards and people who want to create GPS chips into people so they can be tracked when -- not if but when -- they get kidnapped. Kohn even interviews someone who presents himself as a kidnapper and criminal. The man claims to suffer absolutely no guilt about any of the crimes or violence he's committed but he also talks about how he helps the people in his village out and that's why they protect him.
The California Air Resources Board is banning some air purifiers saying they're health hazards. California is the first state to prohibit the future sale of some ozone generators.
A proposed ballot measure to change the way California awards its electoral votes is losing steam fast. From Sacramento, Marianne Russ reports.
A proposal to build a toll road through the state park at San Onofre State Beach is getting a thumbs down from a state agency staff report. KPBS reporter Ed Joyce explains.
More than a dozen environmental bills have been passed by the California legislature. But those bills require the governor's signature to become law. KPBS reporter Ed Joyce has more.
Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi says California's economy will come to a standstill if state leaders don't invest in colleges and universities. KPBS reporter Ana Tintocalis has more.
Listen to the best musical interludes heard throughout the week on These Days. This week's picks include tracks from So Percussion, Aphex Twin, Grant Green, Tommy Guerrero, Eddie Harris, and Beastie Boys.
San Diego County growers may face mandatory cuts in water supplies next year. Those cuts could last several years. KPBS Environmental Reporter Ed Joyce tells us the water shortage could reduce farmland in the county.
This week, the San Diego Board of Supervisors send a $101 million invoice to the federal government to off-set the estimated cost of illegal immigration to the county. Also, the San Diego City Council rejects a cap on the number of condo conversions that can be built each year. And, the California Department of Social Services seeks to revoke the licenses of several Head Start centers operated by the Neighborhood House Association of San Diego.
Tijuana artist Jaime Ruiz Otis has found inspiration in Tijuana city's industrial trash piles. During art school, Ruiz worked at one of the border region's hundreds of factories, called maquiladoras to make ends meet. In his hands, old fax toner became paint. Defective respirator tubes became sculpture. Now, Ruiz is turning discarded TV monitors into a Zen garden. Ruiz has shown his art at museums and galleries around the world. KPBS Border Reporter Amy Isackson spoke with him at his studio in Tijuana.