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Stories by Alison St John

Electricity Ratepayers Could See Millions In Refunds For San Onofre

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The power companies that operate the shuttered San Onofre nuclear power plant must refund ratepayers $94 million, under a proposal released this week.

Escondido Golf Course Dispute Could Become Landmark Private Property Rights Case

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A legal battle between the city of Escondido and a private developer over the future of a golf course is shaping up to be a landmark property rights case.

Escondido Residents Debate BMX Race Track At Kit Carson Park

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BMX racing is growing in popularity, but the idea of putting a commercial track in a public park has its critics.

Federal Government Is Major Employer Of Veterans

Veterans now make up almost 30 percent of the federal workforce and not surprisingly, 45 percent of Defense Department employees nationwide are veterans.

North County's Winter Shelter Network For The Homeless Up

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North County's winter shelter network for the homeless is in better shape than last year. But demand may also be higher.

Millions In Federal Funds Create Few Jobs For Veterans

A state audit shows hundreds of millions of federal dollars in veteran employment programs have resulted in only a few hundred jobs in California.

Widening Of Interstate 5 Could Begin In 2015

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Motorists heading north on Interstate 5 should see construction begin on two new lanes by 2015 as part of a $6 billion plan.

FEMA To Evaluate San Onofre Safety Procedures At Public Hearing

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Edison is proposing to move spent nuclear fuel into dry cask storage onsite, but the fuel rods will remain in cooling ponds for a minimum of five years.

Poway Considers Effects Of Turning Off Red Light Cameras

The Poway City Council has decided not to reinstate its red-light camera program.

Roundtable: Money And The Mayor's Race, Convention Center Vote, Development Developments

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From where is the money piling up in the mayor's race coming? The Coastal Commission says yes to the expansion of the convention center. San Diego's urban architect-developers think small and dense.

Solana Beach Impasse Over Alcohol Policy At Fletcher Cove Community Center

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Our Congressional representatives are not the only ones at an impasse this week; The city of Solana Beach is facing a deadlock that could result in a special election the city can ill afford.

Roundtable: The U.S. Powers Down, Obamacare Powers Up, Mayor's Race Powers On

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The U.S. government closed its doors. Obamacare opened for business. The San Diego mayor's race is going nonstop.

Encinitas Tackles Height Limits Again

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Encinitas city council will consider tonight possible 2014 ballot measures to address the state’s mandate to provide affordable housing.

Supervisors Receive McClellan-Palomar Airport Study

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San Diego County Supervisors received a study that concludes it would be feasible to extend the runway at McClellan-Palomar Airport in Carlsbad.

Oceanside Considers Puppy Pet Store Ban

Oceanside to consider banning the sale of puppies from pet stores.

County To Consider Extending Runway at McClellan-Palomar Airport

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Expanding the runway at McClellan-Palomar Airport in North County could allow direct flights to places as far away as China. A new feasibility study suggests a longer runway could improve safety and reduce noise for nearby residents.

Roundtable: Three Progressives Talk Filner; Barrio Logan's New Plan; Dangers Of Assisted Living

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Was the ouster of Bob Filner a well-orchestrated, carefully planned plot? Not really. Barrio Logan's new community plan has residents breathing easier. And assisted Living is supposed to care for and protect seniors, not kill them.

North County Cities Seek Regional Identity

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The five cities that lie along the Highway 78 corridor in San Diego’s North County are banding together to develop a regional identity to help attract more jobs.

Edison Posts Documents Related To San Onofre Online

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Southern California Edison has posted more than three thousand pages of documents relating to the faulty steam generators that resulted in the plant's closure

Preventing Wildfire In San Diego County

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The threat of devastating wildfires is a fact of life in California. CalFire says it has a prevention plan. But critics in Southern California say using prescribed burns to clear vast tracts of land isn't the answer.

BEERology, New Exhibit Explores The History of Beer

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From hunter-gatherers to hipsters, BEERology takes visitors through the science and history of beer making around the world.

San Diego Mayor: Who's In, Who's Out, Who's Undecided?

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The field of candidates to replace San Diego Mayor Bob Filner is shaping up fast. It’s defined by who is in, who is out and who is still undecided.

Former State Senator Christine Kehoe Will Not Run For San Diego Mayor

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Former Democratic California State Senator Christine Kehoe said she enjoys her current job, and will not throw her hat in the ring for San Diego mayor.

Ex-Race Horses May Get Second Life

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Owners of race horses too old or injured to continue may find their upkeep in retirement too expensive or onerous. A local nonprofit saves them from neglect or slaughter by finding them new homes.

Laura's Law: A Program For Severely Mentally Ill People Who Refuse Treatment

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People with serious mental illness such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder often refuse treatment because they don't know they're sick. We’ll hear about an involuntary treatment program, Laura's Law, the county is considering adopting to help the severely mentally ill.

San Diego Mom Offers Advice For Summer Road Trips

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San Diego mom Gretchen Breuner pulled her three kids out of school, put them in a used RV and took them on a 10,000 mile adventure across the United States.

The Privacy Risks Of Some Health And Fitness Apps

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Before you start putting important health data into your phone app, you will want to hear about a new study that finds some of that information may be used for purposes you never sanctioned.

What San Diegans Need To Know About California's Health Care Exchange

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California's health care exchange will begin enrolling individuals for health coverage on October 1. But there's still a lot of confusion over the new health care law. We get the answers to some key questions.

As Many As 800 State Prisoners May Be Heading To San Diego County

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We have the county's top law enforcement officials joining us to discuss the latest round of prison realignment with news that as many as 800 inmates may be released from state custody to county custody. District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore and Chief Probation Officer Mack Jenkins weigh in with their concerns as we learn some of these prisoners may have been violent or sex offenders.

South Park's Eliza Jane Schneider Presents Play In San Diego

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Eliza Jane Schneider has left Hollywood and is now starring in a one-woman, 34 character show in San Diego.

Scripps Institute Finds Designer Drug, Bath Salts Are More Potent, Addictive Than Meth

Bath salts is the name given a designer drug that got dozens of sailors expelled from the navy last year, and landed some users in the emergency room. Now researchers at the Scripps Research Institute have discovered the drug is more addictive than methamphetamine.

Biotech Incubator Opens In North County

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Carlsbad is hosting an innovative new business incubator that city leaders hope will eventually generate new high-paying jobs. But it’s a risky venture. Known as a “hackerspace” for biology in San Diego, 'Bio, Tech and Beyond' holds its grand opening this week.

LGBT Community Filled With Pride Ahead Of Weekend Celebration

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It's a big year for San Diego Pride Celebration this weekend with a historic shift in legal and public attitudes.

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Midday Movies: What Is Kaiju?

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Guillermo Del Toro's "Pacific Rim" opens on Friday and serves up a Western take on kaiju or giant monsters. But kaiju has a long history in Japan.

Federal Furloughs May Threaten Wildfire Response

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Sequestration begins to bite into the budgets civilian military contractors today. Federal furloughs may threaten emergency responses in California and force many San Diegans to rethink their lifestyles in response to the budget axe.

Big Bay Boom Promises Not To Be A Bust This Year

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Expectations are high for tonight's Big Bay fireworks display. The show over San Diego Bay went spectacularly wrong last year, as 15 minutes of fireworks went up in 30 seconds. Garden State is taking steps to make sure that does not happen again.

Lilac Hills Ranch Proposal Challenges County General Plan

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One of the largest new developments proposed for San Diego County’s rural back country reaches a milestone Wednesday: The Lilac Hill Ranch would add more than 1,700 homes in the hills north of Escondido, currently zoned for 110 homes.

Regional Water Agency Starts Fiscal Year With Bigger Budget

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San Diego County Water Authority starts this new fiscal year with a $1.5 billion budget that includes modest rate hikes on the price it charges member agencies for water. The increases are because more water is being used in San Diego and the cost to get it here is growing.

Camp Pendleton Partners With Japan, Canada, New Zealand Militaries For Training

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Marines and sailors stormed a beach on Camp Pendleton this week. This year‘s amphibious landing exercises involved new Pacific partners.

Ratepayer Advocates File To Stop Paying For San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant

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A ratepayer advocacy group is petitioning to stop the operators of the now closed San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station from charging ratepayers for the plant.

Lilac Hills Ranch Development Would Add Homes North Of Escondido

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A major new development is proposed for a rural area in Valley Center. The developer describes it as a sustainable, smart growth community. But opponents say Lilac Hills Ranch is zoned only for rural uses in the county's recently-adopted General Plan.

Encinitas' Right To Vote Initiative May Set Precedent

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Encinitas' Proposition A, which passed this week, could set a precedent for other communities looking for more local control over future growth. Some, however, worry about the effects of ballot box planning.

Permit for Foothills Toll Road Rejected

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The San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board narrowly rejected a permit for a five mile section of the Foothills toll road just north of the San Diego County line.

NCTD Restores Wi-Fi To Coaster Rail Line Cars

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Wi-Fi connections on the Coaster light rail line are back, though user discretion is required.

Sprinter Ridership Declines Following Shutdown

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North County’s transit agency is struggling to regain the ridership it had before the Sprinter light rail was shut down due to brake problems. The number of people using the train is significantly down from the same time last year.

Tesoro Toll Road Seeks Permit In San Diego

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Part of a toll road from Orange County that was rejected by the California Coastal Commission four years ago is before the Regional Water Quality Control Board in San Diego on Wednesday. Opponents of the Tesoro Extension say the project threatens the San Onofre State Park, a famous surfing spot.

Budget Bill Threatens Public Records Access In California

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An amendment added to a state budget trailer puts access to public records at risk.

Encinitas' Proposition A Attracts Thousands In Last-Minute Contributions

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Prop A, a voter initiative in Encinitas, has attracted thousands of dollars in last-minute contributions. The result of Tuesday's special election on what's known as the “right-to-vote initiative" will affect future development in the coastal community.

NRC Considers Voiding Key Ruling On San Onofre

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The Nuclear Regulatory Commission may reject a ruling that contributed to the decision to shut down the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.

Roundtable: Underground Market For Taxi Permits, Scathing NCTD Audit, Deported Parents

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There's a burgeoning underground market in San Diego taxi permits. The North Coast Transit District has received a scathing audit of its practices. Parents deported by the INS must leave their American-born kids behind.