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Stories for December 11, 2008

City Attorney Jan Goldsmith's New Pencil Box

Dec. 11
By Gloria Penner and Political Fix by Gloria Penner

After my interview (listen above) with Jan Goldsmith late in the afternoon of his second day as city attorney, I had a flashback memory. I remembered the feeling I had at the beginning of each new school year during my early education at P.S. 62 in Ozone Park, Queens, New York. As I entered my second or third grade classroom, I felt ready to tackle whatever scary challenges lay in store because I was equipped with a brand new, unsullied, untouched, pristine pencil box. Inside were my fresh, not-yet-sharpened No. 2 pencils with no tooth marks from nervous gnawing. With that kind of preparation, I was eager to confront the beat-up desk, tattered schoolbooks, chipped chalkboard, and scribbled-on walls left behind by last year's class.

Political Fix by Gloria Penner

Dec. 11
KPBS Public Broadcasting

Repo! The Genetic Opera

Dec. 11
By Beth Accomando and Cinema Junkie by Beth Accomando
Tease photo

Sarah Brightman in Repo! The Gentic Opera (Lionsgate)

Some Culture Lust Movie Recommendations: The Matador, Wendy and Lucy, and The Visitor

Dec. 11
By Angela Carone and Culture Lust by Angela Carone

I've watched some great movies in the last couple of weeks and thought I'd make some recommendations.

San Diego City's Pension Contributions Drop

Dec. 11
By Alison St John and KPBS Public Broadcasting

San Diego city’s pension actuaries have released their analysis of the state of the city’s pension fund. It includes good news and bad news for next year. KPBS reporter Alison St John has more.

Jan Goldsmith moves into the City Attorney's Office

Dec. 11
By Alison St John and KPBS Public Broadcasting

New San Diego city attorney Jan Goldsmith says he assessing whether to continue to fight the legal battles picked by former city attorney Mike Aguirre, or let them drop. KPBS reporter Alison St John has more.

Culture Lust by Angela Carone

Dec. 11
By Acarone and KPBS Public Broadcasting

Dem. Lawmakers Promise Budget Vote Before Christmas

Dec. 11
By Jenny O'Mara and KPBS Public Broadcasting

A budget vote before Christmas…. That's what state Democratic legislative leaders promised Thursday as they emerged from a meeting with Governor Schwarzenegger. The Governor's office has confirmed that the state's budget deficit now tops 41-billion dollars over the next year-and-a-half. It's nearly fifteen billion in the current fiscal year alone. Democratic Assembly Speaker Karen Bass says she's not ruling out the possibility of a lockdown in the Assembly chamber to get the Republican votes necessary for a plan.

Public Meeting Planned to Discuss Jet Crash

Dec. 11
By Katie Orr and KPBS Public Broadcasting

University City Neighborhood residents will get a chance tonight to ask questions and get information about this week's crash of a military fighter jet in San Diego. KPBS reporter Katie Orr has more.

Marines Defend Decisions Before San Diego Crash

Dec. 11
By Erik Anderson and KPBS Public Broadcasting

Marine Corps Generals defended the decision to try to land a disabled jet at a San Diego military base. Military investigators are still combing through the neighborhood wreckage. Two infant girls, their mother and grandmother died when the jet slammed into their home.

State Regulators Fine Energy Company for Failing to Clean Water Pollution

Dec. 11
By Amita Sharma and KPBS Public Broadcasting

The state has fined energy company Kinder Morgan $222,000 for exceeding pollutant limits in the water it dumps into Murphy Canyon Creek. It's the third time fine for the company on its discharges into the creek. KPBS Reporter Amita Sharma has details.

Expanding Lindbergh Without Blocking the Bay

Dec. 11
By Alison St John and KPBS Public Broadcasting

San Diego civic leaders are struggling to find a way to expand Lindbergh Field, without building a new multi-story concrete parking garage on the edge of San Diego Bay. KPBS reporter Alison St John has more.

Experts on Sleep Discuss Insomnia, Napping, Irregular Sleep Schedules

Dec. 11
KPBS Public Broadcasting

Have you been experiencing problems sleeping lately? Do you lie awake for hours at night, and end up feeling tired the next day? What are the common causes, and most effective solutions to sleep-related problems? Host Tom Fudge speaks to a pair of guests from UCSD about sleep deprivation, napping, and the overall importance of getting enough sleep.

Border Crossers Driving Armored Vehicles for Better Protection

Dec. 11
By Amy Isackson
Tease photo

The battle between drug cartels in Tijuana has been so gruesome and so brazen recently, at times, it seems like something out of a movie. Some of the vehicles people have begun driving, in attempt to stay safe south of the border, also seem like they're straight off the big screen. KPBS Border Reporter Amy Isackson joins us this morning to talk about these cars that people on both sides of the border are buying.

Reporters Discuss Life in Tijuana's Drug War

Dec. 11
By Vicente Calderon

A battle's been brewing in Tijuana for years - it's the drug trafficking war. But the battle has escalated recently as more than 350 people have been died in Tijuana since September in drug-related deaths. We'll take you behind the scenes of the devastating drug war along our border with Mexico as part of a special KPBS-TijuanaPress.Com series "Border Battle: Bringing Home the Drug War."

Governor Puts Pressure on Lawmakers with a Deficit Clock

Dec. 11
KPBS Public Broadcasting

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger had some harsh words for lawmakers in a hastily called news conference Wednesday. He says the current year deficit has grown and he chastised lawmakers for not fixing the problem. Jenny O'Mara reports.

Carlsbad Desalination Plant Moves Ahead

Dec. 11
By Ed Joyce and KPBS Public Broadcasting

A state agency approved plans that would offset environmental damage from a proposed desalination plant in Carlsbad. Several legal challenges remain, but the company building the plant doesn't expect any delays. KPBS Environmental Reporter Ed Joyce has details.

Nostalgia for the 1980s and the La Jolla Playhouse's Xanadu

Dec. 11
By Angela Carone and Culture Lust by Angela Carone

If someone were to ask me what movies would make good musicals, never in a million years would I say the 1980 film