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Stories for February 5, 2010

Jobless Rate Unexpectedly Drops To 9.7 Percent

Feb. 5
Scott Neuman, NPR
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A major revision in the data helped push the nation’s unemployment rate down to 9.7 percent even as U.S. employers shed 20,000 jobs in January, the government said Friday, in a report that offered some encouragement that the worst of the recession’s job losses could be over.

LaHood Avoids Toyota Talk At Port Summit

Feb. 5
By Katie Orr
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U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood was in San Diego Friday, but he stayed away from controversial issues.

Benefits Of Solar Water Heaters

Feb. 5
San Diego Week
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New rebates and tax credits are making it easier for San Diego residents to use solar energy to heat the water in their homes. KPBS reporter Sharon Heilbrunn discusses the benefits of solar water heaters.

History Of Downtown San Diego

Feb. 5
San Diego Week

How did downtown San Diego become what it is today? In her continuing series "San Diego's Evolving Downtown," KPBS Metro reporter Katie Orr looks at a variety of influences on the city's urban core.

County Services Questioned

Feb. 5
San Diego Week
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There have been numerous local news reports in recent years documenting the low food stamp enrollment rate in San Diego County. We discuss why enrollment is so low in several of the county's social service programs, and who's to blame.

Strong Mayor System Debated

Feb. 5
San Diego Week
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In June, San Diego voters will decide if they want the strong mayor system permanent and whether to add a ninth city council district. We discuss how the strong mayor system has worked for San Diego over the last five years.

Anthem Blue Cross Raises Rates Up To 39 Percent

Feb. 5
By Kenny Goldberg

Californians who have individual policies with Anthem Blue Cross will be paying much higher premiums. The insurer will raise rates up to 39 percent beginning next month.

New St. Vincent Video In Feminist Bookstore With ThunderAnt

Feb. 5
By Angela Carone
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Check out the new video from critical darling St. Vincent. "Laughing With A Mouth of Blood" is set in the feminist bookstore run by ThunderAnt duo Fred Armistad and Carrie Brownstein. St. Vincent plays the Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach next Wednesday, Feb. 10th.

Scripps Health CEO Talks About Organization's Medical Mission To Haiti

Feb. 5
By Dwane Brown, Pamela Davis

A 10-person team from San Diego is back home after a medical trip to Haiti. The president and CEO of Scripps Health tells us how the crew prepared for conditions in Port-au-Prince.

NOVA: Extreme Cave Diving

Feb. 5
NOVA: Extreme Cave Diving  Tease photo

This program follows the charismatic Dr. Kenny Broad as he dives into blue holes — underwater caves that formed during the last ice age when sea level was nearly 400 feet below what it is today. They are Earth’s least explored and perhaps most dangerous frontiers. With an interdisciplinary team of climatologists, paleontologists and anthropologists, Broad investigates the hidden history of Earth’s climate as revealed by finds in this spectacularly beautiful “alternate universe.”

Trailer For Frederick Wiseman's 'La Danse: The Paris Opera Ballet'

Feb. 5
By Angela Carone
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Master documentarian Frederick Wiseman's latest film, "La Danse: The Paris Opera Ballet," opens Friday at Gaslamp's Reading Cinemas. Check out the trailer on Culture Lust.

California Voter Sentiment Changing?

Feb. 5
Editors Roundtable

Californian’s are down on their nation and their state. What changes would shift voter sentiment with government?

Mobile Ticketing

Feb. 5
By Beth Accomando
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Mobile Ticket is the newest way to get tickets from Fandango, and this new process is being test marketed in San Diego starting this weekend.

County Social Welfare Programs

Feb. 5
Editors Roundtable

Our county's safety net for the poor sinks to the bottom of some charts. Is there resistance to helping the needy?

Strong Mayor Ballot Measure

Feb. 5
Editors Roundtable

In June, San Diego voters will decide if they want to make the strong mayor system permanent and whether to add a 9th city council district. We discuss why some city council members wanted to postpone the vote.

Behind The Weather: Strongest El Niño In A Decade

Feb. 5
Christopher Joyce, NPR
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Major snowstorms are set to bury the mid-Atlantic states this weekend after record snowfalls in December. Last month California was awash in rain. The Gulf states have seen heavy weather lately as well.

Film Club: The Last Station

Feb. 5
By Beth Accomando
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On this month's edition of the Film Club, we discussed "The Last Station" (opening February 5 at Landmark's La Jolla Cinemas), which just garnered acting nominations for Helen Mirren and Christopher Plummer. You can listen to our discussion.

Blue Whales Sing A New Song

Feb. 5
By Tom Fudge

Blue whales are changing their tune. That's what new recordings of these huge mammals indicate. This changing behavior is described in an article in the journal Endangered Species Research. Why it's happening is unknown. But one theory says they're singing in lower tones today because the species is coming back.

Watchdog Group Says Big Contributors Wield Influence In State Senate

Feb. 5
By Kenny Goldberg

A non-profit group that monitors money and politics says California lawmakers often vote with their campaign checkbook in mind. MAPLight.org says a perfect example is a recent vote on a single payer health care system in the state senate.