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Stories for June 18, 2009

The Proposal

June 18
By Beth Accomando
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Tease photo

"The Proposal" (opening June 19 throughout San Diego) desperately wants to be a screwball comedy. But Sandra Bullock is no Rosalind Russell and Ryan Reynolds ain't Cary Grant – although he does have a better six pack.

County Health Officer Asks San Diegans to Remain Calm

June 18
By Tom Fudge
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A rush on a North County emergency room has the county health officer asking for calm, following San Diego's first death related to swine flu.

Record Number of S.D. Homeowners will Pay Less in Property Taxes

June 18
By Dwane Brown
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A record number of San Diego homeowners will pay less property tax this year. KPBS Reporter Dwane Brown says its a bigger loss than the County Tax Collector anticipated.

GAO Report Faults U.S. Efforts to Combat Gun Smuggling

June 18
By Amy Isackson
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A U.S. government watchdog says this nation's efforts to combat arms trafficking to Mexico face multiple challenges. As KPBS Reporter Amy Isackson explains, the new study by the Government Accountability Office says problems include a lack of coordination between federal agencies and insufficient firearms laws.

Long Term Care Unaffordable for Many California Seniors

June 18
By Kenny Goldberg
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A new report reveals the cost of long-term in-home care is unaffordable for many California seniors who need it. The study from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research offers a county-by-county breakdown.

INSIDE: FIFA Club Championships

June 18
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INSIDE: FIFA Club Championships  Tease photo

Once a year, the greatest soccer clubs in the world come together to knock heads and grab glory at the FIFA Club World Championship. Nerves are pushed to the breaking point as those behind the scenes struggle to do their jobs. As the final whistle sounds, viewers find out if the unsung heroes pulled off their own personal miracles … or not.

The Music Instinct: Science and Song

June 18
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The Music Instinct: Science and Song  Tease photo

This documentary provides a groundbreaking exploration into how and why the human organism is moved by music. New work in neuroscience is giving us clues to the mysteries of how and why music penetrates the brain and the emotions. The program follows visionary researchers and accomplished musicians to the crossroads of science and culture in search of answers to music’s deep mysteries.

FRONTLINE/World: Ghana - Digital Dumping Ground

June 18
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Tease photo

As this month's digital television conversion makes tens of millions of analog TVs obsolete, and Americans continue to trash old computers and cell phones at alarming rates, FRONTLINE/World presents a global investigation into the dirty secret of the digital age -- the dumping of hundreds of millions of pounds of electronic waste around the world each year.

History Detectives

June 18
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History Detectives  Tease photo

A couple in Cincinnati acquired a peculiar phonograph at an antiques auction. The machine, labeled “PsychoPhone,” included four grooved wax cylinders. The contributors think Thomas Edison invented the PsychoPhone to record messages from the afterlife. As early as the 1870s, Edison and other scientific minds explored psychic phenomena, believing every living being was made of atoms that could “remember” past lives. Did Edison make a machine to unlock the secrets of the dead?

Great Performances At The Met: Madama Butterfly

June 18
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Great Performances At The Met: Madama Butterfly  Tease photo

Patricia Racette is Cio-Cio San in a stunning production of "Madama Butterfly" . The late Academy Award-winning film director Anthony Minghella directed this new classic of the Met repertory. Patrick Summers conducts Puccini’s heartbreaking tale of a Japanese geisha betrayed by her American lover.

Carlsbad Students Cleared from Chinese Quarantine

June 18
Associated Press
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A school spokeswoman says a group of California students and teachers have been released after being quarantined for a week in China because some of their classmates tested positive for swine flu.

Community Colleges in Crisis

June 18
These Days
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As the state budget crisis deepens and deep cuts are made to the UC and CSU systems, there is increased pressure on the already-stressed community colleges. We look at how the San Diego Community College District is coping with the stress and what it means for prospective students and their families.

Parents Paying For Teachers Poses Problems

June 18
By Ana Tintocalis
2 Comments

School foundations are fundraising machines at campuses across San Diego Unified. But as KPBS Reporter Ana Tintocalis explains, their financial support of teachers is posing some problems.

Safeguarding California Judges from the Influence of Campaign Contributions

June 18
By Gloria Penner
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A recent U.S. Supreme Court decision put the spotlight on concerns that judges could be influenced by large campaign contributions. How large is large? In the case of Caperton vs. Massey Coal Company, the chief executive of Massey contributed $3 million to the election campaign of a West Virginia candidate to the state Supreme Court. Brent Benjamin won that election and just 3 years later overturned a $50 million claim against Massey. What a deal! Three million dollars to win $50 million. In a close decision, the high court ruled that judges have to recuse themselves from cases where substantial campaign contributions create the impression of bias. But the court didn’t establish how much money is too much money.

Carl DeMaio Discusses City Budget, Proposal to Build New City Hall, Convention Center

June 18
San Diego Week
These Days
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Should the City of San Diego build a new city hall? What are the arguments for and against expanding the convention center? How much will both of those projects cost the taxpayers? We speak to 5th District City Councilman Carl DeMaio about the city budget, and to find out what he thinks the city's priorities should be right now.

Critics Pick the Best Summer Reading

June 18
These Days
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Tease photo

The summer may be for vacations and trips to the beach, but you'll likely want a good book to accompany you. We'll talk with two local experts who spend their working days reading. They'll give us their picks for the best reads of the summer.

Homeowners to Pay Less Property Tax

June 18
By Dwane Brown, Alan Ray, Nick Stoffel
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If there's a bright spot to the housing bubble, it's that many San Diego County homeowners will pay less in property taxes. Joining us on Morning Edition is David Butler, Tax Assessor for the County of San Diego.

Opposition Protesters Fill Streets Of Iran's Capital

June 18
NPR
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Opposition Protesters Fill Streets Of Iran's Capital Tease photo

Hundreds of thousands of anti-government protesters poured into the streets in Tehran on Thursday, nearly a week after a disputed election returned President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to power in what officials said was a landslide victory over his reformist rival.

Moon

June 18
By Beth Accomando
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Tease photo

"Moon" (opening June 19 at Landmark's Hillcrest Cinemas) has been generating a lot of buzz. First, it's the feature-directing debut of David Bowie's son Duncan "Zowie Bowie" Jones. Second, NASA asked to screen the sci-fi film because the organization was interested in the idea of mining Helium 3 on the moon. And finally, it showcases actor Sam Rockwell in a dual role. You can listen to my radio feature or read the review.