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Stories for September 9, 2009

Obama's Plea: 'Deliver On Health Care'

Sept. 9
Liz Halloran, NPR
Obama's Plea: 'Deliver On Health Care' Tease photo

President Obama used the power of his bully pulpit Wednesday night to take on critics of his beleaguered health care plan, decrying scare tactics used by opponents and pushing again for a non-profit public insurance option.

No Extension of Discharge Permit for South Bay Power Plant

Sept. 9
By Ed Joyce / Capital Public Radio

Opponents of the South Bay Power Plant in Chula Vista applauded a decision Wednesday by the California Regional Water Quality Control Board. The board rejected a staff recommendation to extend a water quality discharge permit for the facility.

Law Enforcement Raids Marijuana Dispensaries

Sept. 9
City News Service

Law enforcement officers raided an undisclosed number of medical marijuana dispensaries in the San Diego region today.

History Detectives: PsychoPhone, War Dog Letter, Pancho Villa Watch Fob

Sept. 9
History Detectives: PsychoPhone, War Dog Letter, Pancho Villa Watch Fob  Tease photo

"PsychoPhone" - 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. "War Dog Letter" - A World War II collector from Kansas City, Kansas, has a cryptic letter from a soldier to another military man. The soldier explains that military investigators have questioned him about a man named Prestre - specifically about his character and qualifications as a dog trainer. The contributor wants to know why the military was investigating Prestre and what the dogs were being trained to do. "Pancho Villa Watch Fob" - Just before he died, a man gave his neighbors a most unusual gift: a watch fob commemorating Francisco "Pancho" Villa's murderous raid on the border town of Columbus, New Mexico. The man says he was a boy when the raid occurred in 1916, and he and his parents survived by hiding under a train car.

O.C. Assemblyman Resigns After Lobbyist Affair

Sept. 9

A Republican State Assemblyman resigned today after reports he was having an affair with a lobbyist. Mike Duvall was Vice-chair of a committee that handled utility-related legislation and the lobbyist apparently worked for a utility company.

Calif. Passes Bill To Make it Harder for Insurers to Cancel Coverage

Sept. 9
By Kenny Goldberg

The California Legislature has approved a bill that will make it tougher for health insurers to cancel a policy after a person becomes sick. Supporters say it addresses a practice that's all too common.

Regulators to Decide on SDG&E Shut-Off Plan

Sept. 9
By Katie Orr / Capital Public Radio

People living in San Diego’s backcountry could find out tomorrow whether San Diego Gas and Electric will be able to turn off their power on high-risk fire days. State regulators will discuss the plan Thursday.

More Spamalot

Sept. 9
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"Spamalot" continues through the weekend at the San Diego Civic Theater. I had a chance to speak with actor Ben Davis about playing multiple parts in the play inspired by "Monty Python and the Holy Grail."

Senate Democrats, Obama Lay Out Health Plans

Sept. 9
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Hours before President Obama was scheduled to restate his case for overhauling the nation's health care system, Senate Democrats said Wednesday they were prepared to move ahead before the end of the month on legislation — with or without support from their GOP colleagues.

Pro Surfer Rob Machado Discusses Importance of Being Green

Sept. 9
By Maureen Cavanaugh, Hank Crook
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Most surfers are environmentally-conscious people, who oppose pollution and advocate for clean oceans. Yet, the process for making surfboards, especially the foam cores, can be very toxic and hazardous to the environment. We speak to world-renowned surfer Rob Machado, and other members of the local surf community about what can be done to clean up the surf industry.

High Court Weighs Upending Campaign-Money Rules

Sept. 9
Nina Totenberg, NPR
High Court Weighs Upending Campaign-Money Rules Tease photo

Wednesday's argument is a double first: The first argument to be heard by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, and the first time new U.S. Solicitor General Elena Kagan will argue a case before the Supreme Court.

Obama to Address Nation on Health Care

Sept. 9
By Maureen Cavanaugh, Natalie Walsh
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We'll get a preview from NPR White House correspondent Scott Horsley of President Obama's major speech to the nation on health care reform. The speech will be live on KPBS Radio at 5 p.m.

Autistic Teen Shares Memoirs of A Unique Life

Sept. 9
By Maureen Cavanaugh, Josette Herdell
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A local, 22-year-old high functioning autistic student joins us to discuss his memoir, Episodes - My Life as I See It. It's a unique glimpse into an adolescent mind that is just wired differently.

Researchers Study Ocean Pollution Off Imperial Beach

Sept. 9
By Ed Joyce / Capital Public Radio
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UC San Diego researchers are trying to find out how pollution travels in the ocean off of Imperial Beach. The area has a history of water quality problems after rainstorms.

Harvard Study: Businesses Not Ready for Swine Flu

Sept. 9
Associated Press

Many American businesses are unprepared to deal with widespread employee absenteeism in the event of an outbreak of swine flu, according to a Harvard School of Public Health study released Wednesday.

9: Interviews with Shane Acker and Elijah Wood

Sept. 9
By Beth Accomando
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It's not often that a film finds a perfect date for its release. But the animated feature "9" opens today, which is 9-9-09. I spoke with the director about the new feature and the short film that inspired it.

Grier Says "Smoothest" First Day of Classes

Sept. 9
By Ana Tintocalis

San Diego city schools opened their doors yesterday to thousands of students on the first day of the new school year. KPBS Reporter Ana Tintocalis says district officials didn't hear of any major problems.