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Stories for October 30, 2012

Sandy Could Dent The Vote, But In Whose Favor?

Oct. 30
Frank James / NPR
Tease photo

With the death, destruction, flooding, power outages and transportation disruptions caused by Sandy the Superstorm, it may seem crass to ask about the impact on next week's election.

Dead Crow Found In La Jolla Tests Positive For West Nile

Oct. 30
City News Service
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A dead bird recently found in La Jolla was the first in San Diego County to test positive for West Nile Virus this year, the county Department of Environmental Health announced today.

California App Developers Not Complying With Privacy Laws

Oct. 30
Amy Quinton, California Capitol Network

The California Attorney General’s office is formally notifying mobile application developers and some non-tech companies that they are not in compliance with the state’s privacy laws.

Calif. GOP Lawmakers: Find Other Trigger Cuts if Prop 30 Fails

Oct. 30
Ben Adler, California Capitol Network

Republican legislative leaders say they’d be willing to reverse the California budget’s automatic trigger cuts to education if voters reject Proposition 30 next week.

'Covered California' the New Name for California's Health Benefit Exchange

Oct. 30
Pauline Bartolone, California Capitol Network

The board of the California Health Benefit Exchange has approved a new name and logo for the health insurance marketplace that will expand coverage under the federal health law.

Disney To Buy Lucasfilm, Make New 'Star Wars' Films

Oct. 30
RYAN NAKASHIMA, Associated Press
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The "Star Wars" saga will continue with another trilogy followed by a new movie every two or three years as Disney reached a deal with "Star Wars" creator George Lucas to buy his production company for $4.05 billion.

Filner Fights Back On Personality Attacks

Oct. 30
By Katie Orr
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Congressman Bob Filner fired back today at claims that he lacks the temperament to be San Diego’s mayor and is disrespectful toward women.

Man Pleads Guilty In Border Agent's Murder

Oct. 30
By Michel Marizco

A Mexican man charged in the murder of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry changed his plea to guilty to first degree murder Tuesday morning in U.S. District Court in Tucson.

U-T San Diego Circulation Drops 5 Percent In Last Year

Oct. 30
By Amita Sharma
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U-T San Diego has fallen out of the top 25 national daily newspapers, according to new numbers released by the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

The Political Odd Couple: Jersey Shore Edition

Oct. 30
Padmananda Rama / NPR
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The Tuesday before Election Day was not a day for presidential politics, at least not for Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey.

San Diego Home Prices Rise Again

Oct. 30
By Erik Anderson
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A survey of the nation's top housing markets showed another gain in home values in August.

'Dragon Fruit' One Answer To Farm Water Shortage

Oct. 30
By Tom Fudge
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San Diego farmers explore the possibilities of dragon fruit, a new cash crop that doesn't need a lot of water.

'Seattle Times' Under Fire For Free Political Ads

Oct. 30
Sara Lerner / NPR

Staffers at The Seattle Times are protesting the newspaper's decision to run free political ads for Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna and for the state's referendum that would legalize same-sex marriage. The company says the ads are part of a pilot project to prove that political advertising in newspapers can work. But journalists at the paper say giving away the space diminishes their journalistic integrity.

Power Outage From Sandy One Of Biggest Ever In U.S.

Oct. 30
Christoper Joyce / NPR

Sandy left 7 million customers without power across the East Coast, leaving many wondering what it will take to get the lights back on.

Much Of Atlantic City Still Under Water After Sandy

Oct. 30

Audie Cornish talks to Melissa Block about the damage from Sandy in Atlantic City, N.J.

New Jersey Starts Clean-Up Of Jersey Shore

Oct. 30
Joel Rose / NPR

Along the beaches of New Jersey, a dump truck driver spent hours trying to help people who were stuck.

Insurance Companies Already Feeling Sandy's Effects

Oct. 30

Audie Cornish talks to Ben Berkowitz, deputy companies editor for Reuters, about changes in hurricane and flood insurance. He says companies and the Federal Emergency Management Agency have been recalculating how to insure homeowners due to climate change.

Sneak Peek At War Dog Memorial Coming To California

Oct. 30
By Beth Ford Roth
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The final home of the first national monument to military working dogs will be in Texas. But before the U.S. Working Dog Teams National Monument makes its home near San Antonio, folks can get a sneak peek of the monument at the Rose Parade in Pasadena in January.

New Yorkers Woke Up To Strangely Quiet City

Oct. 30
Margot Adler / NPR

New York City residents awoke to a changed world on Tuesday morning. From a massive fire in Queens to flooding in many quarters, the extent of the damage isn't yet clear.

Romney Blurs Campaigning Line At Ohio Event

Oct. 30
Ari Shapiro / NPR

Governor Mitt Romney's campaign converted a Dayton, Ohio, campaign stop into a "relief" event for victims of Sandy. But it still bore many of the hallmarks of a traditional campaign event. The Romney campaign was also responding to questions about comments the Republican presidential nominee made last year about partially privatizing and devolving to states certain functions of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Sandy Floods New York City's Subway System

Oct. 30
Deborah Amos / NPR

The New York City subway system remained closed on Tuesday in the wake of Sandy. Millions of gallons of water poured into the subway's tunnels, overwhelming its pump system.

Sandy Leaves A Mess In Lower Manhattan

Oct. 30
Zoe Chace / NPR

Sandy took a big swipe at lower Manhattan on Monday, which is best known for Wall Street and the financial district. While the New York Stock Exchange will be back in operation on Wednesday, some small businesses took a much more punishing hit.

Large Power Outages Raise Concerns For Election Day

Oct. 30
Pam Fessler / NPR

The devastation from Sandy has raised questions about whether Election Day can, or should, be moved in some of the hardest hit areas. The law governing when the presidential election is held is not clear about what to do in an emergency.

Why Does The Stock Exchange Need A Trading Floor?

Oct. 30

The New York Stock Exchange was closed Monday and Tuesday because of Sandy. The CEO of the Exchange says everyone's pushing to reopen stock markets no later than Wednesday. Which raises the question -- why do we need a physical trading floor to conduct business? Robert Siegel asks that question of Professor Jeremy Siegel of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Rising Waters Leave Some Trapped in Moonachie, N.J.

Oct. 30
Jim Zarroli / NPR

The power was still out in northern New Jersey on Tuesday. Floodwaters from Sandy trapped people in their homes and spread debris over a large area.

Losses From Sandy Could Reach $50 Billion

Oct. 30
Yuki Noguchi / NPR

Damage estimates from Sandy started pouring in on Tuesday, leaving many wondering what's covered by insurance and what isn't. Early estimates are pegging total losses from Sandy at between $30 and $50 billion. That would make it a very costly storm, but not close to the economic damage wrought by Katrina.

Sandy Continues To Disrupt Lives As It Heads West

Oct. 30
Audie Cornish, Joe Palca

Audie Cornish talks to Joe Palca for the latest on where Sandy is and what she is doing.

The 2013 Student Writing Library Essay Contest

Oct. 30
By One Book One San Diego and Wendy Gay
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Each year, the Friends of the San Diego Public Library inviting all fourth, eighth and tenth graders in San Diego to submit essays addressing a number of literary-based prompts. Entries are judged by a panel and could win up to a $500 grand prize. Read on for more information and download an application.

Keeping Sandy's Economic Impact In Perspective

Oct. 30
Marilyn Geewax / NPR

When Superstorm Sandy slammed into the East Coast on Monday, the fragile U.S. economy was just sitting there, stuck in a sluggish-growth mode.

SDG&E Crew Heads East To Help Restore Power

Oct. 30
By Claire Trageser and City News Service
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San Diego Gas & Electric began sending equipment and repair crews today to storm-damaged areas along the East Coast to help restore electrical service.

Superstorm Shines A Light On Power Grid Vulnerabilities

Oct. 30
Scott Neuman / NPR

The storm that has spawned so many worst-ever superlatives managed a few more when it comes to electricity, with record-breaking power outages across 18 states stretching from Michigan and Indiana to Maine and North Carolina, according to a Department of Energy assessment.

Captain's Judgment Questioned After Sinking Of Tall Ship

Oct. 30
Scott Neuman / NPR

When the HMS Bounty set sail in 1787, Captain William Bligh had only his instincts to safely complete a journey from England to the South Pacific island of Tahiti. Last week, Robin Walbridge, captain of a replica of Bligh's ship of mutiny fame, had every modern weather-forecasting resource to plan a voyage from New London, Conn., to St. Petersburg, Fla.

Oregon State's New Cheese Plant Aims To Break The Rind

Oct. 30
Helen Thompson / NPR
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It's football season at Oregon State University. And that means tail-gating, grilling, and....cheese?

Sgt. Angie Johnson Signs Recording Contract (Video)

Oct. 30
By Beth Ford Roth
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Talk about "Rolling in the Deep"! Missouri Air National Guard Tech Sgt. Angie Johnson, who gained international fame when video of her singing to troops in Afghanistan went viral, has signed a recording contract with Sony Music Nashville.

Captain's Judgement Questioned After Sinking Of Tall Ship

Oct. 30
Scott Neuman / NPR

When the HMS Bounty set sail in 1787, Captain William Bligh had only his instincts to safely complete a journey from England to the South Pacific island of Tahiti. Last week, Robin Walbridge, captain of a replica of Bligh's ship of mutiny fame had every modern weather forecasting resource to plan a voyage from New London, Conn., to St. Petersburg, Fla.

DACA Applicants Deterred By Romney's Immigration Stance

Oct. 30
By Laurel Morales
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Young immigrants are watching the presidential election closely. There’s a lot at stake with two candidates who have widely differing views on the subject of immigration.

'Mars Is Heaven!'

Oct. 30
Midday Edition
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Listen to "mars is Heaven!" the second radio play from Ray Bradbury and performed by Circle Circle dot dot.

Coast Guard Still Searching For HMS Bounty Captain (Video)

Oct. 30
By Beth Ford Roth
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The Coast Guard is still searching for the captain of the HMS Bounty, a day after rescuing 14 members of the Bounty's crew from life rafts. The Bounty sank off the coast of North Carolina during Hurricane Sandy.

Proposition 31 Could Mean A Shift From State To County For Spending, Oversight

Oct. 30
Midday Edition
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There is so much going on in Proposition 31, a measure that would change the state constitution, some might find it hard to have strong feelings for or against it.

Spanish-Language Voter Awareness Campaign Launched To Combat Arizona Errors

Oct. 30
By Al Macias, John Rosman
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The Maricopa County Recorder’s Office is launching a Spanish-language voter awareness program, in hopes of avoiding possible confusion about the date of the Nov. 6 general election.

National Guard Mobilizes To Aid Sandy Victims

Oct. 30
By Beth Ford Roth
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At least 7,400 National Guard troops are aiding in the recovery effort after Superstorm Sandy slammed into the East Coast yesterday, leaving a path of destruction and flooding in its wake. The California Air National Guard has deployed roughly 100 of its members to the East Coast to help out.

Hurricane Sandy's Economic Impact Likely To Be Immense

Oct. 30
Midday Edition
Evening Edition
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Economists will need many days — maybe weeks or months — to assess the financial harm being done by Hurricane Sandy. But whatever the final figure, it will be huge, well into the tens of billions of dollars.

Two NATO Troops Killed In Possible Insider Attack

Oct. 30
Associated Press
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A man wearing an Afghan police uniform killed two NATO troops in southern Afghanistan on Tuesday, the international military alliance said.

NPR Poll Finds Presidential Race Too Close To Call

Oct. 30
Ron Elving and Mara Liasson, NPR
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The latest and last NPR Battleground Poll for 2012 shows former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney holding the narrowest of leads in the national sample, but trailing President Obama in the dozen states that will decide the election.

San Diego Supervisors Schedule Public Hearing On Increasing Political Contribution Limits

Oct. 30
City News Service

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors today scheduled a Dec. 4 public hearing on a plan to do away with a $1,000 limit on the amount of money political parties are allowed to contribute to candidates in county elections.

Last Day To Request Mail-In Ballot

Oct. 30
City News Service

Today is the last day to request mail-in ballots for next Tuesday's general election, according to the San Diego County Registrar of Voters office.

Error Invalidates National City Middle Academic Rating

Oct. 30
By Kyla Calvert and Kevin Crowe contributed to this reporting.

National City Middle School was among 23 California schools that had academic ratings invalidated by the state.

Job-Based Health Insurance Declines Dramatically In California

Oct. 30
By Kenny Goldberg
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A new report shows jobs with health benefits are shrinking in California.

Mission Bay Island Turned Into National Security Training Ground

Oct. 30
By Erik Anderson
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Mission Bay's Paradise Point is a laboratory for national security training this week.

Water, Fire And Darkness: NYC After The Superstorm

Oct. 30
Associated Press
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New York City awakened Tuesday to a flooded subway system, shuttered financial markets and hundreds of thousands of people without power a day after a wall of seawater and high winds slammed into the city, destroying buildings and flooding tunnels.

Superstorm Sandy Takes Toll On New York Hospitals

Oct. 30
Scott Hensley / NPR

When a storm hits, people count on the local hospital to be ready -- no matter what.

East Coast Reeling After Hurricane Sandy

Oct. 30

For an update on superstorm Sandy's impact on the East Coast of the U.S., Renee Montagne and Steve Inskeep speak with NPR reporters Joel Rose, Elizabeth Shogren, Jim Zarroli, and Zoe Chace.

A Morphing Storm: As Sandy Moves Inland, Snow And Winds Follow

Oct. 30
Andrew Prince / NPR

Even though Sandy has switched from hurricane to post-tropical cyclone, it's still a formidable storm. The latest forecast predicts strong winds and coastal storm surges up to four feet in some places. Areas from the eastern Great Lakes region to the mid-Atlantic and up to southern New England can also expect an additional inch of rain.

Sandy Deals New York City Flooding, Fire and Blackouts

Oct. 30
Scott Neuman / NPR

People across the New York metropolitan area confronted scenes of devastation from superstorm Sandy early Tuesday: widespread flooding, power and transportation outages and a wind-swept fire that tore through dozens of houses in the borough of Queens.

New York Stock Exchange To Reopen Wednesday

Oct. 30
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The New York Stock Exchange will reopen for regular trading Wednesday after being shut down for two days because of Hurricane Sandy.

More Tips For Feeding The Family, Hurricane Edition

Oct. 30
April Fulton / NPR
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Our readers were buzzing with ideas after yesterday's post on keeping the family well-fed during Hurricane Sandy-related power outages. What topped their list of topics? Egg safety, coffee preparedness, and what to do with pantry goods.

A Bright Light During Dark News: Bloomberg's Sign Language Star

Oct. 30
Mark Memmott / NPR
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Since we noted Monday that the sign language interpreter for New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) was becoming an Internet sensation, her fan base seems to have kept on growing.

Sandy Brings Blizzard Conditions To W.Va.

Oct. 30

Renee Montagne speaks with West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin about how Hurricane Sandy has affected his state.

Sandy Causes Power Outages, Flooding In N.J.

Oct. 30

NPR Jim Zarroli speaks with Steve Inskeep about how Superstorm Sandy has impacted parts of New Jersey.

Large Parts Of Manhattan Underwater

Oct. 30

Renee Montagne and Steve Inskeep talk with NPR's Elizabeth Shogren and Zoe Chace for a roundup of news on Superstorm Sandy.

Riding Out The Storm On A Sailboat

Oct. 30

For Jennifer Kaye, Hurricane Sandy is a threat to her livelihood. Kaye is General Manager and Captain of the Schooner Woodwind, a family-owned business based in Annapolis, Maryland. She and her crew are riding out the storm on board a 74-foot sailboat. Kaye explains how being on the boat is key to protecting it.

Maryland Governor Talks About How Sandy Is Affecting State

Oct. 30

Steve Inskeep talks with Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley about Hurricane Sandy and how it's affecting his state.

Shirley Sherrod Stands Up To The Politics Of Fear

Oct. 30

Shirley Sherrod was forced out of the Department of Agriculture because of a misleading video. An edited clip appeared to show her saying she didn't want to help white farmers save their land. But the entire speech made it clear that Sherrod was actually saying racism is wrong. She talks with host Michel Martin about her book The Courage To Hope.

The Psychological Damage From Superstorm Sandy

Oct. 30

As the East Coast struggles in the wake of superstorm Sandy, Tell Me More focuses on the psychological damage that natural disasters can cause. Host Michel Martin speaks with psychiatrist Dr. Carl Bell about who is most at risk, and how people can help each other survive the emotional trauma of disasters.

Why Do Election Polls Vary So Much?

Oct. 30

Election Day is a week away and it seems everywhere you look, there's a new poll on TV, online, or the radio. But they don't all say the same thing. Host Michel Martin takes a look at why the polls vary, and what they tell us. She talks with Stanford University professor Simon Jackman. He teaches political science and statistics.