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Week in Review: Death Penalty and Taxes

This election, there are 10 state propositions on the ballot covering everything from the death penalty to genetically modified food. Add in some local propositions on medical marijuana, and you have a healthy dose of complicated and controversial decisions to make when you cast your votes.

At KPBS, we are doing a few things to help you sort it all out. The first is our Voter Guide, which provides information on every race on your ballot and includes an easy-to-digest analysis of the state propositions.

We also are bringing you a TV, radio and written story on each of the props that spell out the issues at hand and present both the “yes” and “no” sides of the arguments. And then we’re bringing in experts to talk about the measures on KPBS Midday Edition and Evening Edition.

Here’s what we’ve done so far:

Props 30 and 38, the dueling ballot measures to increase taxes to fund schools. This piece explains the difference between the two measures, what would happen if they both pass and tells you why the San Diego School District wants you to vote for both.

Prop 33 to lower car insurance rates for people who’ve had continuous insurance coverage. Our report tells you who’s behind the measure, and why that might be important.

Prop 34 to end the death penalty and replace it with life in prison without the possibility of parole. Not surprisingly, this story and our other coverage of the ballot measure generated many passionate comments.

Prop 36 to change the Three Strikes Law, which hands down lengthy prison sentences for people who commit three felonies. Our story describes one family who would be reunited if the law changes.

Prop 39 to rewrite the state’s corporate tax rates to generate money for green jobs and the general fund. Supporters say it closes a tax loophole, opponents call it a tax hike.

Props Q, S, T and W would allow medical marijuana dispensaries in Imperial Beach, Solana Beach, Del Mar and Lemon Grove.

We will cover all the state ballot measures in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.

Other Stories This Week

Del Mar city councilman, Don Mosier, speaking at a news conference outside the NRC public meeting on San Onofre in Dana Point Oct 2012
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Above: Del Mar city councilman, Don Mosier, speaking at a news conference outside the NRC public meeting on San Onofre in Dana Point Oct 2012

-Our Alison St John provided extensive reporting this week on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s public hearing about San Onofre. Plant employees, local residents and a panel of experts turned out to—often enthusiastically—share their thoughts on the troubled nuclear plant.

-Mitt Romney told an emotional story this week about finding out a former Navy SEAL he’d met at a La Jolla Christmas Party was killed in the Libya embassy attack. The SEAL’s mother wasn’t so charmed by the story, as our military reporter noted. The blog post has video of the woman’s comments, which generated heated debate in the comments section.

“Romney does not have a heart! Just a fat bank account!” one person wrote.

“What an amazing story Romney told, and what an important meeting!” another responded.

-Finally, KPBS had some sad news to share this week. Gloria Penner, a San Diego broadcasting pioneer who graced the KPBS airwaves for nearly half a century, died Saturday. The comments on Pat Finn’s obituary for Gloria show how many lives she touched. Friday’s Roundtable on Midday Edition was also devoted to Gloria, including a reunion of the original cast of “Editor’s Roundtable,” one of the many shows Gloria hosted.

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