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Stories by Alison St John

TheNAT Botanist Uncovers 'Lost' Mexican Plants

TheNAT Botanist Uncovers 'Lost' Mexican Plants

Sept. 19
By Alison St John, Michael Lipkin

It's been more than 120 years since botanists in Baja California Sur have seen some flowers, ferns and shrubs. They're called "lost plants," with scientists in possession of only a handful of old specimens.

New Center Aims To Curb School To Prison Pipeline

New Center Aims To Curb School To Prison Pipeline

Sept. 19
By Alison St John, Marissa Cabrera

The Center for Community Cohesion is a partnership between the San Diego-based National Conflict Resolution Center, local law enforcement and the San Diego Unified School District.

Group Behind Defeat Of Carlsbad Project Lends Support To Anti-Measu...

Group Behind Defeat Of Carlsbad Project Lends Support To Anti-Measure B Campaign

Sept. 7
By Alison St John

A grassroots group that defeated a well-funded initiative earlier this year is now working with opponents of Measure B, a much bigger land-use initiative on this November’s ballot.

Lilac Hills Initiative Gives Voters An Important Choice

Lilac Hills Initiative Gives Voters An Important Choice

Sept. 8
By Alison St John

It gives voters a chance to weigh the dilemma of where to build homes for San Diego’s growing population.

As Cybercrime Grows, Does Anyone Care?

As Cybercrime Grows, Does Anyone Care?

Sept. 7
By Alison St John, Pat Finn

These days there seem to be hackers rummaging around in databases everywhere: department stores, banks, hotels, the Democratic Party, the Ukrainian power grid, even the formidable National Security Agency. So why aren't we more alarmed?

400 People Take Part In Oceanside Labor Day Pier Swim

400 People Take Part In Oceanside Labor Day Pier Swim

Sept. 5
By Alison St John

More than 400 people took the plunge Monday morning for the 87th annual Oceanside Labor Day Pier Swim.

Language Of Proposed Valley Center Housing Project Ballot Challenged

Language Of Proposed Valley Center Housing Project Ballot Challenged

Sept. 5
By Alison St John

Supporters of the Lilac Hills Ranch development ballot initiative, which would approve the construction of 1,700 homes on semi-rural farmland north of Escondido, say the arguments against the project “completely disregard the truth.”

Water Use Is Personal For San Diego Writer

Water Use Is Personal For San Diego Writer

Sept. 1
By Alison St John, Michael Lipkin

Tershia d'Elgin's family knows water. Her great-great-grandfather, Benjamin Eaton, was a Colorado homesteader in the 19th Century who created irrigation systems for barren land. He eventually became the state's fourth governor in the 1880s, and by championing irrigation technology, was known as the "father of irrigation."

San Diego Veterans Want To Ground Miramar Air Show

San Diego Veterans Want To Ground Miramar Air Show

Sept. 1
By Alison St John, Michael Lipkin

San Diego Veterans for Peace has started a campaign, "No MAS", hoping to shut down the air show in five years. They claim it perpetuates and promotes war.

TheNAT Showcases Citizen Scientists' Discoveries

TheNAT Showcases Citizen Scientists' Discoveries

Aug. 25
By Alison St John, Michael Lipkin

The San Diego Natural History Museum is highlighting hobbyists' work in a new permanent exhibit.

MiraCosta College Tries Again With $455M Bond On November Ballot

MiraCosta College Tries Again With $455M Bond On November Ballot

Aug. 23
By Alison St John

MiraCosta College will put a $455 million bond measure on the November ballot. The community college narrowly missed passing a bond four years ago and hopes a slightly lower goal will convince voters to approve it this time.

North County Roundup: Candidates Galore And A New Hotel

North County Roundup: Candidates Galore And A New Hotel

Aug. 22
By Alison St John, Pat Finn

In 2012, some cities in the region struggled to find enough candidates to make local races competitive. That's not the case now. Plus, an upscale hotel is coming to Escondido.

Gaspar, Roberts Pick Up Endorsements In San Diego County Supervisor...

Gaspar, Roberts Pick Up Endorsements In San Diego County Supervisor Race

Aug. 22
By Alison St John

Republican Kristin Gaspar and incumbent Democratic Supervisor Dave Roberts are collecting endorsements for the District 3 seat on the San Diego County Board of Supervisors.

North County Homeless Alliance Rebrands Shelter Network

North County Homeless Alliance Rebrands Shelter Network

Aug. 18
By Alison St John

About 30 percent of homeless individuals housed in North County’s winter shelter network last year were women, and almost half of them were victims of domestic violence.

Shelters For Homeless Families Shut Out From Federal Housing First ...

Shelters For Homeless Families Shut Out From Federal Housing First Funding

Aug. 17
By Alison St John

While one emergency shelter for families opens in Vista, another one is closing. That's because of the Housing First policy, which requires providers to offer shelter immediately, without setting conditions.

MiraCosta College's Security Training Proves Popular With Vets

MiraCosta College's Security Training Proves Popular With Vets

Aug. 10
By Alison St John

The community college offers a high-threat security training course that’s popular with veterans and others looking for a high-adrenaline career.

San Diego's Housing Crisis Squeezing The Middle Class

San Diego's Housing Crisis Squeezing The Middle Class

Aug. 8
By Alison St John

A housing crisis has taken hold in the region and the middle class is especially hard hit. More houses are being built for people at the top and the bottom of the economic ladder than for people in the middle.

North County Roundup: Encinitas Mayor, Lilac Hills, Homeless Shelte...

North County Roundup: Encinitas Mayor, Lilac Hills, Homeless Shelter, Oceanside Beaches

Aug. 1
By Alison St John, Maureen Cavanaugh

Three husbands jump into the Encinitas mayor’s race. The Lilac Hills development near Valley Center crosses a significant milestone. Second year-round shelter for homeless families opens in Vista. Oceanside beaches get a dredging.

Radioactive Fuel Storage Not Part Of San Onofre Environmental Report

Radioactive Fuel Storage Not Part Of San Onofre Environmental Report

July 28
By Alison St John

The indefinite storage of radioactive nuclear waste 100 feet from the beach will not be part of California’s environmental impact report on the decommissioning of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.

Lands Commission Seeks Input On San Onofre Decommissioning

Lands Commission Seeks Input On San Onofre Decommissioning

July 26
By Alison St John

The California State Lands Commission on Tuesday night will begin to collect public comments for a report on the environmental impacts of Southern California Edison’s plan to decommission the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.

Another Gaspar Steps Into The Encinitas Political Ring

Another Gaspar Steps Into The Encinitas Political Ring

July 21
By Alison St John

Paul Gaspar, the husband of Encinitas Mayor Kristin Gaspar, declared he will run for the job in November. Kristin Gaspar cannot run for a second term since she is challenging San Diego County Supervisor Dave Roberts for his seat.

San Diego Congressmen Propose Bill To Close Visa Loopholes

San Diego Congressmen Propose Bill To Close Visa Loopholes

July 20
By Alison St John

Republican Rep. Darrell Issa and Democratic Rep. Scott Peters have introduced a bipartisan bill that would close loopholes in the H-1B visa program.

Board Votes For Another Study On Valley Center Development Project

Board Votes For Another Study On Valley Center Development Project

July 19
By Alison St John

The precedent-setting Lilac Hills project would build 1,700 homes on semi-rural land zoned for 110 homes.

Election Issues Shaping Up In North County

Election Issues Shaping Up In North County

July 18
By Alison St John

Rep. Darrell Issa will likely have to fight harder to keep his seat. A housing project proposed for Valley Center could set a precedent for future growth. Carlsbad gears up for a more contentious election than usual.

New Round In Escondido Country Club Development Saga

New Round In Escondido Country Club Development Saga

July 15
By Alison St John

A developer has plans for an Escondido golf course that was closed down more than three years ago and has been in limbo ever since. New Urban West will hold an open house this weekend at the Escondido Country Club to explore options for building on the 110-acre site.

Password Sharing Can Be A Crime, Court Rules

Password Sharing Can Be A Crime, Court Rules

July 7
By Alison St John, Michael Lipkin

After a ruling upheld the conviction of a man for using a colleague's password to access his former employer's database, should people start second-guessing sharing a Netflix password?

San Diego Civil Rights Group Reacts To Recent Police Shootings

San Diego Civil Rights Group Reacts To Recent Police Shootings

July 7
By Alison St John, Marissa Cabrera

The San Diego chapter of the civil rights group National Action Network is organizing a rally Saturday in response to two deadly police shootings involving black men that made national headlines this week.

San Diego Transgender Vet On The Military's New Policy

San Diego Transgender Vet On The Military's New Policy

July 7
By Alison St John, Marissa Cabrera

The Department of Defense last week lifted the military's ban on transgender troops. A transgender woman from San Diego who served in Vietnam discusses her experience in the military and what she hopes its new policy can achieve.

How Scientists Are Pushing The Boundaries Of Our Senses

How Scientists Are Pushing The Boundaries Of Our Senses

July 7
By Alison St John, Michael Lipkin

Science journalist Kara Platoni wants to know more about how our brains interpret what we see, hear, touch, taste and smell, and whether current research can expand our ability to perceive the world.

ACLU Report Documents Struggle Of Deported Veterans

ACLU Report Documents Struggle Of Deported Veterans

July 6
By Alison St John, Jean Guerrero, Marissa Cabrera

The report released Tuesday highlights 84 cases of immigrants who served in the U.S. military and have been deported or are currently facing deportation.

Jane Austen Goes Musical At The Globe

Jane Austen Goes Musical At The Globe

July 6
By Alison St John, Nina Garin

This summer, "Sense and Sensibility" gets a musical treatment over at The Old Globe.

First Records Released On San Diego's Open Data Site

First Records Released On San Diego's Open Data Site

July 6
By Alison St John, Michael Lipkin

San Diego has been playing catch up in the open data movement. Cities including Chicago, Boston and Los Angeles share information on everything from crime reports to taxi data for anyone to see.

MiraCosta College Opens Vets Business Training Center

MiraCosta College Opens Vets Business Training Center

July 5
By Alison St John

MiraCosta College in Carlsbad opened a new center to help veterans start their own businesses on Tuesday.

Encinitas Settles Second Affordable Housing Lawsuit

Encinitas Settles Second Affordable Housing Lawsuit

June 29
By Alison St John

Encinitas has settled its second lawsuit with developers over how the city approves denser development and affordable housing. But the question remains: How will the city comply with state law on affordable housing?

San Diego Students Work On Safe, Sustainable Buildings For Nepal

San Diego Students Work On Safe, Sustainable Buildings For Nepal

June 15
By Alison St John

Students in San Diego's NewSchool of Architecture and Design are working on a project they hope will create a model for thousands of Nepalese who lost their homes after a powerful earthquake shook the country last year.

Supervisor Dave Roberts Says Encinitas Mayor ‘Doesn’t Have The Skills’

Supervisor Dave Roberts Says Encinitas Mayor ‘Doesn’t Have The Skills’

June 7
By Alison St John

With 100 percent of precincts reported — except for late mail and provisional ballots — Democratic Supervisor Dave Roberts has 39 percent and Encinitas Mayor Kristin Gaspar has 34 percent.

Del Mar Climate Action Plan Passage Could Influence Other Cities

Del Mar Climate Action Plan Passage Could Influence Other Cities

June 6
By Alison St John

Del Mar could be the first city in San Diego County to follow the example of San Diego's environmental goals.

PACs Outspend Candidates In County Supervisor Dave Roberts' Race

PACs Outspend Candidates In County Supervisor Dave Roberts' Race

June 1
By Alison St John

Seats on the San Diego County Board of Supervisors are seldom contested. But this year, hundreds of thousands of dollars are being spent by independent political action committees to unseat incumbent Democrat Dave Roberts.

Solana Beach Council Skeptical Of Del Mar Fairgrounds Study

Solana Beach Council Skeptical Of Del Mar Fairgrounds Study

May 26
By Alison St John

The Solana Beach City Council considered the final draft of the Del Mar Fairgrounds Fiscal Impact Report Wednesday night and picked holes in many of its conclusions.

#ShowUsYourMailers: In County’s District 3, Campaign Mailers Try To...

#ShowUsYourMailers: In County’s District 3, Campaign Mailers Try To Make Quick Impression

May 26
By Alison St John

Political slate mailers are arriving in the mailboxes of targeted groups of voters in San Diego County Board of Supervisors' District 3.

Homeless People Find Overnight Shelter In Oceanside Beach Bathrooms

Homeless People Find Overnight Shelter In Oceanside Beach Bathrooms

May 20
By Alison St John

The City of Oceanside recently invested about $2 million in new public bathrooms at the beach and upgraded bathrooms on the pier, a popular spot for fishermen, surfers, tourists, residents and the homeless.

Del Mar Gets Ready For A New City Hall

Del Mar Gets Ready For A New City Hall

May 17
By Alison St John

The Del Mar City Hall has been in an old brick school house since the 1970s. It will be torn down next month to make room for a new one that's estimated to cost $16 million.

Report Spells Out Financial Impact Of Del Mar Fairgrounds

Report Spells Out Financial Impact Of Del Mar Fairgrounds

May 16
By Alison St John

A new report details the financial costs and benefits of the Del Mar Fairgrounds on Del Mar and Solana Beach.

San Diego Chamber Backs Gaspar In County Supervisor Race

San Diego Chamber Backs Gaspar In County Supervisor Race

May 5
By Alison St John

San Diego’s Regional Chamber of Commerce has invested more than $100,000 to support Encinitas Mayor Kristin Gaspar in her quest for a seat on the San Diego County Board of Supervisors.

Marines From 'Darkhorse' Battalion Reunite At Camp Pendleton

Marines From 'Darkhorse' Battalion Reunite At Camp Pendleton

May 2
By Alison St John

Camp Pendleton hosted a reunion over the weekend for the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, which suffered more casualties during the war in Afghanistan than any other Marine unit.

Lone Democratic Supervisor Roberts Faces Two Republican Challengers

Lone Democratic Supervisor Roberts Faces Two Republican Challengers

April 28
By Alison St John

With two Republican challengers vying to unseat him, Democratic San Diego County Supervisor Dave Roberts won’t keep his position without a fight.

Stark Differences Emerge In First Forum For County Supervisor's Seat

Stark Differences Emerge In First Forum For County Supervisor's Seat

April 22
By Alison St John

Three candidates for a seat on the powerful San Diego County Board of Supervisors sparred in the race’s first forum Thursday night. Democratic incumbent Dave Roberts is challenged by two Republican mayors of North County cities.

Memoir Of A Young Camerawoman’s Adventures In Afghanistan

Memoir Of A Young Camerawoman’s Adventures In Afghanistan

April 19
By Alison St John

Melissa Burch was in her early twenties in the 1980s when she traveled to Afghanistan for the first time to shoot footage for CBS News. She chronicles her experience in "My Journey Through War and Peace."

Solana Beach Sends Seawall Fee Schedule To Coastal Commission

Solana Beach Sends Seawall Fee Schedule To Coastal Commission

April 18
By Alison St John

Solana Beach is one of the first cities in California to develop a schedule of fees for homeowners who want to build seawalls to protect property perched on eroding cliffs.

Stadium: Chargers Pointman Talks To KPBS; East Village Group Reacts...

Stadium: Chargers Pointman Talks To KPBS; East Village Group Reacts To Proposal

March 31
By Alison St John, Marissa Cabrera, Megan Burke

The Chargers will begin collecting signatures in three weeks in a bid to qualify a $1.8 billion downtown stadium and convention center annex proposal for the November general election.