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Stories for January 11, 2010

INDEPENDENT LENS: Young@Heart

Jan. 11
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INDEPENDENT LENS: Young@Heart  Tease photo

The surprising, delightful, entertaining and inspiring members of the Young@Heart Chorus, a New England senior citizens chorus, has charmed audiences worldwide with their renditions of songs by everyone from the Clash to Coldplay. As Stephen Walker’s critically acclaimed documentary begins, the retirees, led by their demanding musical director, are rehearsing their new show, struggling with Sonic Youth’s dissonant rock anthem “Schizophrenia” and giving new meaning to James Brown’s “I Feel Good.” What ultimately emerges is a funny and unexpectedly moving testament to friendship, creative inspiration and expectations defied.

Stephen Fry In America: The New World

Jan. 11
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Stephen Fry In America: The New World  Tease photo

Stephen hires a London-style taxi and sets out to visit all 50 of America's states, beginning with those that make up New England. In Maine he learns about lobstering and in New Hampshire he catches up with the Romney campaign for President. In Vermont he helps develop a new ice cream flavor at Ben & Jerry's and he attends a tea party at Harvard University. Stephen visits the other New England states as well as New York and New Jersey before traveling to the nation's capital Washington DC.

Young People Today More Stressed Out, High-Strung

Jan. 11
By Ana Tintocalis
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A San Diego State University researcher says high school and college students today are more stressed-out and high-strung than ever before.

Boxer Says Route 905 Is Putting Stimulus Funds To Work

Jan. 11
By Tom Fudge
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Senator Barbara Boxer paid a visit to Otay Mesa today to see the project to expand route 905, which received $74 million in stimulus funding.

Gazans Fear New Barrier; Egyptians Hope For Relief

Jan. 11
Peter Kenyon, NPR
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Violent protests erupted in the southern Gaza Strip last week over Egypt's construction of a new underground barrier aimed at blocking hundreds of smuggling tunnels that snake under the border.

Carlsbad Group Opposes Encina Power Plant Expansion

Jan. 11
By Ed Joyce
5 Comments
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The operators of the Encina Power Plant in Carlsbad want to modernize the facility. But a group of Carlsbad residents is against the project.

San Diego Makes 6-fold Hike In Solar Power Fees

Jan. 11
Associated Press
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Critics say San Diego may have dimmed the enthusiasm for solar power by increasing fees 600 percent. The city last month raised solar system inspection and plan approval fees to $565 from $93.

New Landscaping Regulations Mandate Water Conservation

Jan. 11
These Days
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California cities were mandated by the state to have new water landscaping regulations in place by January 1. 2010. We discuss what these new regulations entail, what effect they will have on the state's water usage and which San Diego communities are in compliance.

UCSD Artists Develop Tool To Guide Illegal Border Crossers To Water

Jan. 11
These Days
5 Comments

Researchers at UCSD are developing a tool that can be installed in cell phones to help guide illegal immigrants to water and safety while crossing the border from Mexico to the United States. We discuss the tool and how it might impact those trying to cross the border and those trying to stop them.

California's Costly Prisons

Jan. 11
These Days
2 Comments

California spends 11 percent of its budget on its overcrowded prisons. We'll look at why costs continue to rise particularly for the aging prison population.

Under Pressure, Al-Qaida Reaches Out To Affiliates

Jan. 11
Dina Temple-Raston, NPR
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Last year was a busy one for terrorism. Law enforcement officials battled an unprecedented number of cases — from dozens of young men decamping from the U.S. to train for jihad to the case of a Denver shuttle bus driver and at least two of his friends who are charged with training with al-Qaida in a plot to blow up transportation targets in New York.

Critics Say Governor's Budget Would Shred Health Care Safety Net

Jan. 11
By Kenny Goldberg
1 Comment

Negative reactions to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's budget plan continue to pour in. Public health advocates say the governor's proposed cuts would be catastrophic.

S.D. Small Businesses May Soon Have Competitive Edge

Jan. 11
By Katie Orr
1 Comment

Small businesses in San Diego could soon have an advantage when biding on city contracts. The city council will decide today whether to adopt a program designed to give smaller companies a competitive edge.