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Stories for December 22, 2009

Are Recall Elections Worth the Expense?

Dec. 22, 2009
By Gloria Penner

The city of Oceanside just went through a special election which cost the taxpayers half a million dollars. This is not chump change for a city facing a $10 million budget shortfall over the next two years and facing contract negotiations with the Oceanside Firefighters Association.

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Flying For The Holidays? Pack Light, Bring Cash

Dec. 22, 2009
Adam Hochberg, NPR

The days between Christmas and New Year's are among the busiest travel days of the year. But if the airline industry's projections come to pass, this will be the second holiday season in a row where the number of people flying has decreased.

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San Diego New Year's Fireworks Canceled

Dec. 22, 2009
Joe Britton, CNS

The annual New Year's Eve fireworks show over San Diego Bay has been canceled after an environmental group threatened to sue over pollution concerns, it was announced today.

Lawmaker Proposes Expanding Mission Of Community Colleges

Dec. 22, 2009
By Ana Tintocalis

San Diego Assemblyman Marty Block wants community colleges to begin offering four-year degrees. He says California has to rethink the way students access higher education.

California Workers Likely To Pay More For Health Coverage

Dec. 22, 2009
By Kenny Goldberg

Millions of working Californians may have to pay more for their health insurance next year. A new survey finds nearly half of all large employers say they'll likely ask employees to make higher co-payments.

Calif. Settles Claims Over Sidewalk Accessibility

Dec. 22, 2009
Associated Press

The California Department of Transportation has agreed to spend $1.1 billion over 30 years to make sidewalks, curbs and walkways more accessible to the disabled.

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Sen. Graham: Democrats' Health Care Deals A 'Joke'

Dec. 22, 2009
Scott Neuman, NPR

As Senate Democrats on Tuesday pushed their health care bill closer to final passage, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina derided the legislative process as "a joke" but told NPR that lessons learned could foster renewed bipartisanship on the issue of energy independence.

Coastkeeper, Surfrider Foundation File Another Appeal On Desal Plant

Dec. 22, 2009
By Katie Orr / Capital Public Radio

San Diego environmental groups aren’t taking no for an answer when it comes to the Carlsbad desalination plant. San Diego Coastkeeper and The Surfrider Foundation have filed an appeal of a Superior Court decision that backs the State Lands Commission’s 2008 approval of the plant.

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When Senate's Done, Health Bill Work Continues

Dec. 22, 2009
Julie Rovner, NPR

As the Senate lurches towards a final vote on its health overhaul bill, some people are daring to look ahead to the last step in the painstaking process: marrying the Senate and House bills. Like everything else about this bill, putting the two measures together won't be easy.

Three Admit Violating Probation In 'Bird Rock Bandit' Case

Dec. 22, 2009
Kelly Wheller, CNS

Three young men who served jail terms for a La Jolla street brawl in which a professional surfer died admitted today that they violated terms of probation by testing positive for marijuana and being in each other's company.

California Cities Passing Cat Declawing Laws

Dec. 22, 2009
By Doug Myrland, Nick Stoffel

Some California cities are passing cat declawing laws before a new state law takes effect on January 1st.

College Football Bowl Games Mean Big Bucks for San Diego

Dec. 22, 2009
By Doug Myrland, Nick Stoffel

Two college football bowl games will be played in San Diego, and that means much-needed tourist dollars for the region.

Futurists Reflect On The End Of A Decade

Dec. 22, 2009
By Doug Myrland, Hank Crook

What are the most significant things that have happened over the last decade? Did the 2000s live up to our expectations? And, what are the predictions for the next decade? We speak to a futurist and an expert on computer science about the 2000s and beyond.

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For U.S., Vast Challenge To Expand Afghan Forces

Dec. 22, 2009
Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson, NPR

Christmas came early this year for American and NATO military commanders advising Afghanistan's national security forces. Twice as many recruits joined the Afghan army in the first two weeks of December as during the entire previous month.

Researchers Explore The Cancer Genome

Dec. 22, 2009
By Tom Fudge

San Diego scientists are involved in an international effort to map a human genome that's sick with cancer. Cancer is built on cell mutations that alter the genome we inherit from our parents.