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Stories for July 1, 2009

Marines Launch Assault In Taliban Stronghold

July 1
Tom Bowman, NPR
Marines Launch Assault In Taliban Stronghold Tease photo

Thousands of helicopter-borne Marines launched a massive assault early Thursday morning in southern Afghanistan's Helmand River valley, a Taliban stronghold and the main source of its cash crop, the poppies that produce heroin.

Nearly 4,000 People March in Fresno for Water

July 1
Associated Press

Thousands of farmers, farmworkers and their supporters rallied at City Hall on Wednesday, calling on federal officials to ease regulations that have cut water supplies to the nation's most prolific growing region.

Libertarians Woo Disenchanted Gay and Lesbian Democrats

July 1
By Gloria Penner
Tease photo

During his presidential campaign, Barack Obama appealed to the LGBT community with visions of what an Obama administration would accomplish on behalf of fair treatment and equality. But that’s not happening fast enough – if at all – for gay and lesbian Democrats who opened their wallets to Obama with high hopes.

State Regulators Sued For Allowing Insurers to Deny Autism Care

July 1
By Kenny Goldberg

A consumer group is suing California regulators for allowing health insurers to deny treatment for autism. Consumer Watchdog says thousands of children statewide are affected by the denials.

Public Enemies

July 1
By Beth Accomando
Tease photo

Dillinger has been a popular subject for movies. The best film to date has been the 1970s John Milius one called "Dillinger" that starred Warren Oates as public enemy number one and Ben Johnson as FBI agent Melvin Purvis who led the investigation to capture him. Now Johnny Depp stars as the Depression-era criminal in Michael Mann's "Public Enemies" (opening July 1 throughout San Diego).

State Budget Woes Worsen As Deadline Arrives

July 1
Deborah Tedford, NPR
State Budget Woes Worsen As Deadline Arrives Tease photo

California is on the brink of issuing IOUs instead of payments to vendors and state workers after Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and state lawmakers failed to strike a budget compromise Tuesday. Wednesday is the beginning of the fiscal year for most states.

Calif. Senate Fails to Break Budget Deadlock

July 1
Associated Press

The California Senate shut down at midnight Tuesday after failing to approve a stopgap plan to stave off the need for IOUs and ease the state's $24.3 billion budget deficit. Voting along party lines, the Senate rejected three bills designed to save $5 billion, including $3.3 billion in education funding cuts that had to be enacted by Tuesday. The new fiscal year started Wednesday.

Zombies Invade NPR

July 1
By Beth Accomando
Tease photo

I just wanted to share my national feature that ran on NPR this morning about zombies and pop culture. It was great to bring the undead to NPR but a bummer that it had to be such a short piece because there actually is a lot to discuss about the current popularity of zombies.

San Diego Filled with Good, Eclectic Restaurants

July 1
These Days

What's the best new dish being served up in San Diego's restaurants? We'll talk about great restaurants and the chefs behind them with culinary senior editor Troy Johnson, of RIVIERA Magazine.

How the US Can Build Bonds in Afghanistan and Pakistan

July 1
These Days

What can the U.S. military learn from the co-author of "Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace, One School at a Time"? We speak to Greg Mortenson about the work he is doing with the military to build stronger relationships with community leaders in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Why Libertarians Are Courting Gays and Lesbians

July 1
These Days

Gays and lesbians across the country are pressuring the Obama administration to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. We'll find out why the Libertarian party is coming to the aid of gays and lesbians on this issue.

Water Restrictions Start Today in Escondido

July 1
By Ed Joyce

Mandatory water-use restrictions start Wednesday in Escondido. Similar water-use restrictions went into effect last month in the city of San Diego.

Overview: How Does the Port Make Its Money?

July 1
By Amita Sharma
Overview: How Does the Port Make Its Money? Tease photo

The Port of San Diego’s budget is $151 million. About $86 million of its operating revenue comes from real estate waterfront leases each year. Most of the port’s remaining revenue – about $40 million – comes from Marine Operations. This division manages the Tenth Avenue, National City and Cruise Ship terminals.

The Port of San Diego

July 1
By Amita Sharma

The Port of San Diego manages the bay and is responsible for development and environmental protection of 33 miles of waterfront excluding tidelands administered by the United States Military. The port is made up of five cities: San Diego, National City, Chula Vista, Coronado and Imperial Beach. One of the port’s core missions is maritime trade.

California Bans Soda in Schools

July 1
By Tom Fudge

Soda pop is now banned from California school campuses. It's the latest move to keep unhealthy foods away from school kids.

FDA Experts Call For Ban On Vicodin, Percocet

July 1
Associated Press
FDA Experts Call For Ban On Vicodin, Percocet Tease photo

Government experts are calling for the elimination of prescription drugs such as Vicodin and Percocet as part of sweeping safety restrictions on the most widely used painkiller. Overdoses of acetaminophen is the leading cause of liver failure in the U.S. and sends 56,000 people to the emergency room annually.

S.D. Helps to Kick Off Read Across America

July 1
By Ana Tintocalis
S.D. Helps to Kick Off Read Across America  Tease photo

More than 300 San Diego County students were in Petco Park yesterday -- but not for baseball. The youngsters were there to help kick-off one of the country's largest childhood literacy campaigns called Read Across America. KPBS Education Reporter Ana Tintocalis says the focus is on what's called the summer reading loss.