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Stories by Alison St John

Vista To Consider Changing From Citywide To District Elections

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Vista City Council will decide Tuesday night whether to change the way council members are elected. Vista could be the next city in San Diego County to make the change, but it won’t be the last.

Oceanside's Tri-City Medical Center OK'd For $85 Million In HUD Loans

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Tri-City Medical Center in Oceanside has obtained an $85 million loan, backed by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development or HUD. The money will help the health care district get out from under its long-term debt and start building new facilities.

Nonprofit Developers Strive To Preserve Affordable Housing

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While cities struggle to get approval for higher density and new affordable housing, older affordable housing is disappearing.

Proposed Federal Budget, Tax Code Changes Could Affect Housing

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Proposed budget changes from President Trump's administration may hurt access to affordable housing for people with the lowest incomes, the disabled and seniors, but could help more middle-income working families.

Oceanside, Losing Ground On Affordable Housing, Touts New Units

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The city of Oceanside will open a new affordable housing project later this year, the largest it has ever completed. But the city is losing affordable housing faster than it is building it.

Carlsbad Considers Ambitious Project To Put Trains In A Trench

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Carlsbad‘s downtown on Highway 101 is facing a noisy future, as the number of trains expected to travel along the coastline is projected to double by 2030.

San Diego Congressional Reps Hold Town Halls

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Republicans Darrell Issa and Duncan Hunter, and Democrat Susan Davis, all held town hall meetings on Saturday.

San Diego Seniors Living On Fixed Incomes Hit By Rising Rents

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Seniors who live on a fixed income are particularly hard hit by rising rents and shrinking rental vacancy rates.

Lack Of Stable Funding May Cause Slowdown In San Diego Roadwork

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Caltrans has 25 construction projects underway this year, but officials said spending on San Diego’s roads and public transit will slow in coming years without a more stable funding source.

Town Hall On Health Care To Go Ahead With Or Without Issa

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Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista, may not attend a town hall meeting on health care in Vista Tuesday night, but organizers said they will go ahead without him.

Seismic Research Explores San Onofre's Earthquake, Tsunami Risks

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New seismic research from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography explores the earthquake and tsunami threats to the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station site, where nuclear waste will be stored indefinitely. The results will be presented Thursday night to Edison's Community Engagement Panel.

Rep. Issa's Constituents Call On Him To Attend Town Hall On Health Care

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Constituents in the 49th Congressional District have invited Rep. Darrell Issa to a town hall meeting focusing on health care next week.

Oceanside Budgets $1 Million For Pier Upkeep

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Maintaining the longest wooden pier on the West Coast is not cheap — Oceanside has budgeted more than $1 million for repairs this year.

Waiting Lists For Affordable Housing, But Retail Space Sits Empty

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Mixed-use housing developments are supposed to make denser communities sustainable, convenient and affordable. But that vision is threatened by a trend emerging in some North County communities: new retail storefronts can’t find tenants.

CSUSM Challenges Higher Education Stereotypes

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The President of Cal State University San Marcos, Karen Haynes, said the 15,000 students now enrolled at the university defy stereotypes of students in higher education.

County Supervisor Stresses Serving Seniors In Annual Address

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Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Dianne Jacob outlined seven ways Wednesday to better serve the public in the annual "State of the County" address, including improving streets, building parks, tackling the pension problem, serving seniors, increasing technology, maintaining public safety and building bonds in the community.

North County Homeless Benefit From Gift, Stand Down

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Two pieces of good news for the homeless in North County this week: More than 100 veterans are registered for the first ever “Veterans Stand Down” in Vista this weekend. Plus a $3 million donation will help build a new Recovery and Wellness Center for homeless struggling with addiction.

Debate Over Nuclear Waste Storage Could Change With New Administration

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Plans to store San Onofre’s spent nuclear fuel in canisters 100 feet from the ocean are running a little behind schedule. But the new Republican administration in Washington DC won’t change the debate over where to store nuclear waste.

Brainstorming Session Searches For Solutions To High Housing Costs

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A new report finds lack of adequate housing and rising housing costs are resulting in growing inequality and limited opportunity for younger Californians. The state's Department of Housing and Community Development holds a public workshop in San Diego Monday to brainstorm for solutions.

New Affordable Housing In North County Defies Stereotypes

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San Marcos is one of the North County cities that has built the most new affordable housing in the last three years. Many of those units came with workout rooms and granite countertops.

San Diego Economist Alan Nevin Discusses America's 'Great Divide'

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In his new book, "The Great Divide: The True Story of America Tomorrow", Nevin details the demographic and economic future of California and other key U.S. states.

Rev. William Barber On The New Civil Rights Movement

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Rev. Barber, president of North Carolina's NAACP, was the keynote speaker at the 29th annual All People's Breakfast celebration in Balboa Park to honor civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

Despite Opposition, County Supervisors Vote To Increase Their Salaries

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The San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to increase their own salaries by more than $19,000 each year, despite public comment by about two dozen opponents.

County Supervisors Add To Their Pension Payouts During Last Term In Office

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On Tuesday, San Diego County Supervisors’ agenda will include the final reading of an ordinance that effectively increases their pay by about 12 percent within the next year.

North County Housing Development Opponents Sued For Attorney's Fees

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Attorneys for a San Diego developer of a proposed North County housing project are suing opponents for thousands of dollars after it was defeated at the polls in November.

Where To Eat On Christmas And Hanukkah

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Where do you go if you're not up for cooking a holiday meal? Two dining experts are here to help.

Jan Goldsmith Reflects On Time As San Diego’s City Attorney

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Goldsmith served as city attorney for eight years. During his time in office, he dealt with the resignation of a mayor, controversy over a plan to finance an expansion of the convention center and pension reform.

A San Diego Spinal Surgeon's Plea For Less Surgery

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Patients continue to demand spinal operations for back pain even when evidence shows non-surgical treatments, such as medically-supervised exercise, could be just as effective.

Comedian, Actor Leslie Jordan To Perform In San Diego

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Emmy award-winning actor and comedian Leslie Jordan is in San Diego to perform his stand-up comedy show "Stra?ght Outta Chattanooga" at Martinis Above Fourth.

San Diego Budget Deficits Could Be Bigger Than Mayor Planned

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Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s office released figures last month showing that spiking pension costs would create two years of budget shortfalls. But a recent analysis from the city’s independent budget analyst says the mayor left out some key costs and that the deficits could be even deeper.

Unpublished Writers Find Recognition From San Diego Book Awards

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San Diego novelists Chet Cunningham has written more than 300 published books, but started the San Diego Book Awards 22 years ago to inspire writers who were less fortunate in finding outlets for their works.

San Diego Councilwoman Georgette Gomez Takes Office

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Gomez, a community organizer who campaigned on the promise to shake up city hall, is the newly elected city council representative for District 9. The district includes City Heights, Kensignton, College Area and some neighborhoods in southeastern San Diego.

Tension Over Arts Renaissance And Gentrification In Barrio Logan

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Longtime San Diego arts reporter Kinsee Morlan explores the intersection of arts and gentrification in Barrio Logan.

San Diego Museum Of Art Brings Little-Known Masterpieces Out Of Storage

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More than 300 rarely seen paintings, sculptures and prints are now on display in the new “Visible Vaults” exhibition at San Diego Museum of Art in Balboa Park.

San Diego Councilwoman Barbara Bry Takes Office

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Barbara Bry, a former tech entrepreneur, is the newly elected city council representative for District 1. The district includes Carmel Valley, Del Mar Heights, La Jolla, Torrey Pines and University City.

Talking Food: How To Prepare Healthy, Holiday Desserts

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A new cookbook by San Diego fitness expert Laura Marquis puts a healthy twist on some favorite holiday season desserts.

San Diego County Organizations Working To End Homelessness

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On Thursday's Midday Edition, we talk to the CEO's of two groups that are working to end homelessness — Herb Johnson of the San Diego Rescue Mission and Chris Megison of Solutions for Change.

Rep. Duncan Hunter's 49K Campaign Repayment Sheds Light On Personal Finance

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Hunter came under scrutiny for spending campaign funds on groceries, oral surgery, an Italian hotel and other personal uses. Hunter later said the expenditures were unauthorized and that some were due to using the wrong credit card.

San Diego Defense Industry Served As Patron For Mid-Century Artists

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While San Diego defense contractor General Dynamics was building Atlas rockets in the late 1950s, the region’s developing art community became an unlikely beneficiary.

‘The Wholehearted’ Takes Stage At La Jolla Playhouse

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“The Wholehearted” is a one-woman show that tells the story of a world champion female boxer who is training for a comeback after being brutally attacked by her own husband. It runs Wednesday-Sunday at the Playhouse.

San Diego Councilman Chris Ward Discusses Priorities

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Chris Ward is among three new San Diego City Council members who took their oath of office Monday. Ward represents District 3, which includes neighborhoods south of Interstate 8 from University Heights to North Park and downtown.

Local Headphone Maker Earns Top Rating For Protecting Young Ears

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There are dozens of headphones that pledge to safeguard children's ears by limiting how loud they can listen to music, but a New York Times analysis found half of the 30 kid headphones they tested blew past their promised limits.

Giving A Pet As A Gift? San Diego Humane Society Wants To Help

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The San Diego Humane Society has a program that aims to make is easier to give a pet as a gift.

San Diego Considers Sale Of Recreational Marijuana

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A city proposal would allow San Diego's licensed medical marijuana dispensaries to sell recreational marijuana starting January 1, 2018. That's when recreational sales are set to begin in California under Proposition 64.

Study: 12% Of North County Residents Live In Poverty

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The city with the biggest increase in poverty since before the economic downturn is Oceanside, where the poverty rate has doubled in eight years

Delays Ahead: Construction Begins Soon Along I-5 In North County

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CALTRANS is giving drivers notice that major construction work is due to begin next month on widening Interstate 5.

Little By Little, San Diego's Coastal Rail Line Double Tracked

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Commuters who ride the train along the San Diego coastline are less likely to be bothered than car commuters by the major construction launching this month on the North Coast Corridor project.

Construction On I-5 North Coast Corridor Project Starts Next Month

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The project will expand Interstate 5 and the railway line running up San Diego’s North County coastline. It also includes lagoon preservation and 10 miles of bike and pedestrian paths.

Kristin Gaspar Wins District 3 Seat On San Diego County Board Of Supervisors

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Republican Kristin Gaspar has unseated incumbent county Supervisor Dave Roberts, a Democrat. It is the first time in more than two decades that an incumbent supervisor has lost his or her seat.

Following Defeat Of Measure A, SANDAG Leadership Structure Is Questioned

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Some members of SANDAG, the board that controls billions of transportation dollars for San Diego County, say the leadership does not reflect changing demographics in the region.

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