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Stories for August 30, 2010

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Plan For Car-Free Plaza De Panama Unveiled

Aug. 30, 2010
By Kyla Calvert

A preliminary plan to transform Balboa Park’s Plaza de Panama into a pedestrian mall was unveiled Monday. Returning the Plaza to it’s pedestrian-only roots has been part of the park master plan for more than 20 years.

To Cut Costs, Local Organization Forms Own HMO

Aug. 30, 2010
By Kenny Goldberg

Businesses across the board are facing steep increases in health insurance costs. One local group that represents 80,000 school employees has found a way to save money by forming their own HMO.

More Drones Sent To Southern US Border

Aug. 30, 2010
By Amy Isackson, Renee Villasenor

The U.S. government will begin flying unmanned aircraft along the Mexican border in East Texas on Wednesday.

Money For Water Quality Testing Is In Jeopardy

Aug. 30, 2010
By Tom Fudge

San Diego County continues to test for water contamination at 44 beach locations. But state funding for the testing is at risk.

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Great Performances: Renée Fleming & Dmitri Hvorostovsky: A Musical Odyssey In St. Petersburg

Aug. 30, 2010

Reigning American soprano Renée Fleming travels to Russia for a special visit to St. Petersburg with her friend and frequent co-star, Russian baritone Dmitri Hvorostovky. There, in the “Venice of the North,” they explore and perform in some of the most spectacular locations of a city that was born in the remarkable mind and imagination of the young Czar Peter the Great (a city that he named not for himself, but for Saint Peter).

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NPR's StoryCorps As Animated Short Video

Aug. 30, 2010
By Angela Carone

The beloved public radio series StoryCorps has transitioned to television in the form of animated short videos based on the radio stories of everyday people talking with their loved ones.

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Carrier: True Believers

Aug. 30, 2010

This episode explores the many expressions of faith onboard the "USS Nimitz:" faith in self, faith in one's shipmates, faith in the mission of the ship and the president's call to arms. The major religious groups on board are Catholic and Protestant, but there also is a coven of Wiccans, as well as a Pentecostal group whose newest member is challenged by the duality of his beliefs and the temptations of liberty as the ship drops anchor in Perth, Australia.

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FRONTLINE: Law And Disorder

Aug. 30, 2010

Behind the enduring images of heroic rescues undertaken by the New Orleans Police Department in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, there is another story of law enforcement in crisis, even out of control. "Law And Disorder," a year-long, ongoing collaboration among FRONTLINE, ProPublica and the New Orleans Times-Picayune, investigates charges that NOPD officers inappropriately used lethal force against New Orleans citizens and then tried to cover up their actions.

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Visual Art: Richard Gleaves' Life Aquatic

Aug. 30, 2010
By Meredith Hattam

Artist and life-long surfer Richard Gleaves has always been in the water, from Sunset Beach to San Diego - so it's no surprise that his newest exhibit, "Liquid," at the Oceanside Museum of Art, takes gallery-goers for a dive. Culture Lust contributor Meredith Hattam spoke with him about what's now and next (hint: it involves mingling in the dark).

Calif. Rare Fruit Growers Meet To Swap Seeds, Tips

Aug. 30, 2010
Raquel Maria Dillon, Associated Press

Persimmon grower Jim Bathgate handed out tiny yellow peaches to others at the California Rare Fruit Growers' annual "Festival of Fruit" and watched with anticipation as they bit into the sweet and juicy flesh.

Rooting Out Corruption In Tijuana's Police Force

Aug. 30, 2010
By Alison St John, Natalie Walsh

In its fight against violent drug cartels, Tijuana officials have been engaged in a massive effort to weed out corruption in the city's police force. But some are accusing the city's top law enforcement officials of engaging in human rights violations such as torture against police officers they suspect of being corrupt.

Home Sales Drop. Will Prices Follow?

Aug. 30, 2010
By Alison St John, Hank Crook

The National Association of Realtors reported last week that sales of existing homes dropped by a record 27 percent in July. We'll discuss how the expiration of the federal homebuyer tax credit is impacting the local and national housing markets, and we'll talk about the pros and cons of the record-low interest rates that are available right now.

SDSU President To Retire

Aug. 30, 2010
By Alison St John, Natalie Walsh

SDSU President Stephen Weber announced that he will retire in July, 2011. Weber came to SDSU in 1996 as the university's 7th president. We'll talk about his accomplishments at the helm of the region's largest university and how the state's budget crisis is impacting public higher education.

Chelsea's Law Up For Final Vote By State Assembly

Aug. 30, 2010
City News Service

The state Assembly was expected to take a final vote on a proposed law named for slain Poway High School student Chelsea King.

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Jailed Tijuana Police Back On Street, Not On Beat

Aug. 30, 2010
By Amy Isackson, Vicente Calderon

The case of 13 Tijuana police who were jailed for a year-and-a-half calls into question the Tijuana police chief's unprecedented crusade to fight police corruption. (A collaboration between KPBS and Tijuanapress.com)

Bill Would Restore Cancer Screenings For Poor Women

Aug. 30, 2010
By Kenny Goldberg

A bill supporters say is essential to women's health is awaiting a decision by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. It would fully restore a program that provides free cancer screenings to low-income women.

New Rules On Anti-Fraud Measures For In-Home Care Program Anticipated

Aug. 30, 2010
By Amita Sharma

The elderly and disabled in the state's in-home care program are awaiting new rules -- to be unveiled next month -- on how counties should check for fraud. The new anti-fraud measures have sparked fear among some receiving the care.

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Food Bank Distribution At All-Time High

Aug. 30, 2010
By Alison St John

The San Diego Food Bank’s annual status report shows the demand for their services continues to soar. Their food distribution has tripled in San Diego County since the recession began, and quadrupled in certain cities.