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Stories for August 4, 2011

Unemployment Fund: Insolvent, Interest Coming Due

Aug. 4
Marianne Russ, California Capitol Network
1 Comment

California’s unemployment insurance trust fund is eight-and-a-half billion dollars in the red – and state officials are calling for changes to the system.

Two Charged With Starting Massive Eagle Fire

Aug. 4
By KPBS , City News Service
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The men, both 23, are accused of arson in starting the blaze that injured 18 firefighters and cost about $15 million to extinguish.

NATURE: Life In Death Valley

Aug. 4
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NATURE: Life In Death Valley  Tease photo

It is a visual wonderland, where imposing mountains rise almost two vertical miles above sprawling salt flats, and canyons are painted in strokes of blue, pink, violet and green from sunrise to sunset. This is Death Valley - one of the most inhospitable places on the planet. Nowhere else is a landscape so exquisite yet brutal, stunning yet harsh. Here, temperatures spike into the 130s, the earth cracks like broken clay and when the hot wind blows, all anyone can taste is dust and salt. Ironically, it is water that has shaped this super-arid home of true survivors.

Retirement Plans Shrink Along With Dow

Aug. 4
By Erik Anderson
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The market's free fall is squeezing retirement plans for tens of thousands of San Diego County seniors.

DeMaio Cries Foul Over Petition Gathering Tactics

Aug. 4
By Katie Orr
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A labor-backed group is fighting an effort by San Diego Councilman Carl DeMaio to eliminate city pensions for new employees by linking a petition-signature drive to the possibility of identity theft.

San Diego Company's Bluefin-Tuna Breeding A First

Aug. 4
By Ed Joyce
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A San Diego-based seafood company says it has spawned bluefin tuna naturally at their fish farm in Croatia.

Stocks Take Nose Dive On Global Economic Fears

Aug. 4
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
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Investors are increasingly worried about economic weakness in the U.S. and a debt crisis in Europe. Some traders are selling ahead of Friday's employment report, expected to stay at 9.2 percent.

Online Travel Communities In San Diego

Aug. 4
Midday Edition
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Would you rent out a room in your home to a complete stranger? One of the latest trends in online communities focuses on travel. Airbnb.com connects people who want to rent out their extra space to cost-conscience travelers. Couchsurfing.org does the same thing for free. We'll find out how many San Diegans are part of the trend.

Social Security - Is It Time For Reform?

Aug. 4
Midday Edition
3 Comments
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Many wonder if social security will be around when they're ready to retire - we look at whether it may be time to reform the program.

Bad Blood: A Cautionary Tale

Aug. 4
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Bad Blood: A Cautionary Tale  Tease photo

Through the eyes of survivors and family members, "Bad Blood" chronicles how a "miracle" treatment for hemophilia became an agent of death for 10,000 Americans. Faced with evidence that pharmaceutical companies and government regulators knew the product was contaminated with HIV and hepatitis from the 1960s through the early 1990s, they launched a powerful and inspiring fight to right the system that failed them and to make it safer for all.

Events: Summerfest, Hershey Felder, MCASD TNT

Aug. 4
Midday Edition
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A renown classical music festival begins and celebrates 25 years in business, Hershey Felder returns to the Old Globe as Leonard Bernstein, and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego opens a pop-up shop.

Truck Loaded With Radioactive Material Exits San Diego County

Aug. 4
By KPBS , City News Service
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During its trip, the truck was twice parked alongside North County thoroughfares, creating a roadside curiosity.

State Puts Together Committee To Create Jobs

Aug. 4
By Erik Anderson
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California is establishing a legislative committee to create high-tech jobs and a San Diego Republican will lead the effort. The state's unemployment is about 12 percent, one of the highest in the nation.

Review: 'Another Earth'

Aug. 4
By Beth Accomando
4 Comments
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The indie film "Another Earth" (opening August 5 at Landmark's Hillcrest Cinemas) reminds us that the best science fiction doesn't emphasize the science but rather the humanity in a story. Listen to my radio feature.