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SPECIAL COVERAGE: Living With Wildfires: San Diego Firestorm 10 Years Later

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Stories by Amita Sharma

San Diego's Lawsuit Over Leaky Fuel Tanks Revived

San Diego's Lawsuit Over Leaky Fuel Tanks Revived

May 21
By Amita Sharma, City News Service

The city of San Diego's $300 million lawsuit against the owner of a leaky fuel tank farm in Mission Valley was revived by an appellate court, according to the City Attorney's Office.

Two Encinitas YMCA Board Members Forced Out Over Youth Membership D...

Two Encinitas YMCA Board Members Forced Out Over Youth Membership Dispute

May 21
By Amita Sharma

Board members Lizbeth Ecke and Bob Ayers say they were asked to resign from the board at the Ecke YMCA after objecting to a decision to eliminate discounted youth memberships at all of San Diego County's 12 YMCAs.

How California's New Environmental Regulations On Desalination Affe...

How California's New Environmental Regulations On Desalination Affect Carlsbad's Plant

May 12
By Amita Sharma, Maureen Cavanaugh, Megan Burke

California's water board adopted environmental guidelines for building and operating desalination plants. But critics of the process say the rules are not strict or clear enough to make sure desalination plants are environmentally sound.

Tribune Publishing To Buy U-T San Diego For $85M

Tribune Publishing To Buy U-T San Diego For $85M

May 7
By Amita Sharma, City News Service, Hoa Quach

The San Diego newspaper announced Thursday that it will join the parent company of the Los Angeles Times.

Scientists Investigate Mysterious 'Blob' At UC San Diego

Scientists Investigate Mysterious 'Blob' At UC San Diego

May 6
By Amita Sharma, Marissa Cabrera, Maureen Cavanaugh

Questions about a mysterious mass of warm water in the Pacific Ocean and its effects on marine life bring researchers to the La Jolla campus.

Let's Talk About Sex: San Diego Study Shows Shifting Attitudes On P...

Let's Talk About Sex: San Diego Study Shows Shifting Attitudes On Premarital Sex

May 7
By Amita Sharma, Maureen Cavanaugh, Neiko Will

An SDSU researcher found the Millennial generation is fine with hooking up before marriage, but may have fewer sexual partners than their parents.

San Diego Doctor Raises Stroke Awareness — Especially For Women

San Diego Doctor Raises Stroke Awareness — Especially For Women

May 6
By Amita Sharma, Maureen Cavanaugh, Megan Burke

The month of May is dedicated to stroke awareness and experts like vascular surgeon Dr. William Neil are working to get the word out about stroke risks and symptoms, especially for women.

Balancing Rights In College Sex Assault Cases

Balancing Rights In College Sex Assault Cases

April 15
By Amita Sharma, Maureen Cavanaugh, Neiko Will

As colleges scramble to do a better job dealing with assaults on campus, are they trampling on the rights of the accused?

Tax Day: Money Experts Examine Proposed California Earned Income Ta...

Tax Day: Money Experts Examine Proposed California Earned Income Tax Credit

April 15
By Amita Sharma, Marissa Cabrera, Maureen Cavanaugh

On this Tax Day, financial experts talk about a number of proposals aimed at addressing income inequality.

Chula Vista City Council Vote Count Upheld

Chula Vista City Council Vote Count Upheld

April 14
By Amita Sharma, Maureen Cavanaugh, Megan Burke, Patty Lane

A San Diego Superior Court judge upheld the vote count in Chula Vista's City Council race. Dozens of uncounted provisional ballots were not counted last fall in a race won by two votes.

Block Proposes Giving Grants To California Students Who Finish Coll...

Block Proposes Giving Grants To California Students Who Finish College In 4 Years

April 1
By Amita Sharma, Hoa Quach, Maureen Cavanaugh, Megan Burke

State Sen. Marty Block is proposing a bill that would invest millions into the University of California and California State University systems. The plan includes giving students money for finishing school on time.

Ex-SeaWorld Trainer Responds To Video Of Him Using Racial Slurs

Ex-SeaWorld Trainer Responds To Video Of Him Using Racial Slurs

April 1
By Amita Sharma, Hoa Quach, Maureen Cavanaugh, Patty Lane, Tarryn Mento

John Hargrove, an ex-SeaWorld trainer who released the book "Beneath the Surface," said the company is attempting to hurt his reputation by releasing a video of him using a racial slur.

Calls To Overturn San Onofre Settlement Intensify Amid PUC Revelations

Calls To Overturn San Onofre Settlement Intensify Amid PUC Revelations

March 31
By Amita Sharma

Consumer advocates say emails and seized notes expose a narrative they have long suspected: The California Public Utilities Commission colludes with the power companies it is supposed to regulate.

State Lawmaker Wants Process of San Onofre Nuclear Plant Settlement...

State Lawmaker Wants Process of San Onofre Nuclear Plant Settlement Reviewed

March 20
By Amita Sharma

Assemblyman Anthony Rendon’s call comes after revelations that the framework for the agreement was developed during a secret meeting in Poland two years ago between former California Public Utilities Commission President Michael Peevey and an executive from San Onofre majority owner Southern California Edison.

PUC'S Process For Hiring Defense Lawyers Amid Probes Challenged

PUC'S Process For Hiring Defense Lawyers Amid Probes Challenged

March 10
By Amita Sharma

Two San Diego attorneys sued the California Public Utilities Commission this week, arguing it was illegal for the agency to hire in secret a law firm to represent the commission in state and federal investigations.

Consumer Advocates Question State Regulator's Role In San Onofre Se...

Consumer Advocates Question State Regulator's Role In San Onofre Settlement

March 4
By Amita Sharma

Mike Florio is the second California Public Utilities commissioner — after former president Michael Peevey — to be implicated in email exchanges with Southern California Edison.

Mexican Millionaire Says Feds Told Him To Flee Amid Political Scandal

Mexican Millionaire Says Feds Told Him To Flee Amid Political Scandal

Feb. 24
By Amita Sharma

Businessman José Susumo Azano Matsura is accused of channeling $600,000 into the campaigns of San Diego mayoral candidates and others.

Travel And Adventure Show Comes To San Diego

Travel And Adventure Show Comes To San Diego

Feb. 12
By Amita Sharma, Maureen Cavanaugh, Patty Lane

It's never too early to start thinking about vacation. This weekend the San Diego Travel & Adventure Show returns with 1,500 travel experts to help attendees plan their next trip.

State Dept. Official: Heroin Smuggling Up Because U.S. Cocaine Use ...

State Dept. Official: Heroin Smuggling Up Because U.S. Cocaine Use Is Down

Feb. 11
By Amita Sharma

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State William Brownfield made the comments while in San Diego this week to build partnerships with state and municipal law enforcement.

San Diego Gangs Outsourcing Pimping Duties To Women

San Diego Gangs Outsourcing Pimping Duties To Women

Feb. 9
By Amita Sharma

The women serve as enforcers who still turn tricks — but they reap none of the profits and are used to shield pimps from police scrutiny.

Investigators Search Home Of Ex-CPUC Chief Michael Peevey

Investigators Search Home Of Ex-CPUC Chief Michael Peevey

Jan. 30
By Amita Sharma

The search comes one month after Michael Peevey stepped down as president of the powerful California Public Utilities Commission.

Will More Indictments Come In San Diego Campaign Scandal?

Will More Indictments Come In San Diego Campaign Scandal?

Jan. 21
By Amita Sharma

One year after federal prosecutors accused a Mexican tycoon and others of campaign finance crimes, a question remains: Is there enough evidence to charge the politicians who benefited from the money?

San Diego Professor Discusses New Book On Impact Of Drone Strikes

San Diego Professor Discusses New Book On Impact Of Drone Strikes

Jan. 19
By Amita Sharma, Marissa Cabrera, Tom Fudge

In her new book, "Drones and Targeted Killing," Thomas Jefferson School of Law Professor Marjorie Cohn includes a collection of writings that examine the "legal, moral and geopolitical" issues surrounding U.S. drone strikes overseas.

A Discussion On The Motivations Behind The Paris Terror Attacks

A Discussion On The Motivations Behind The Paris Terror Attacks

Jan. 12
By Amita Sharma, Hoa Quach, Maureen Cavanaugh, Megan Burke

The shootings in Paris last week renewed questions about the challenges nations face in identifying terrorist threats and preventing attacks.

Ex-San Diego Cleric And Al-Qaida Leader Tied to Paris Terrorists

Ex-San Diego Cleric And Al-Qaida Leader Tied to Paris Terrorists

Jan. 9
By Amita Sharma

Three years after Anwar al-Awlaki's death in a U.S. drone strike, his legacy lives on in the terror world.

California Regulator Michael Peevey's Legacy Debated

California Regulator Michael Peevey's Legacy Debated

Dec. 26
By Amita Sharma

Allies insist state Public Utilities Commission President Michael Peevey leaves an unsurpassable legacy, but critics say he had chummy ties with the power companies he oversaw.

Scripps CEO Discusses New Book On Leadership

Scripps CEO Discusses New Book On Leadership

Dec. 23
By Amita Sharma, Marissa Cabrera, Tom Fudge

Chris Van Gorder has been president and CEO of Scripps Health since 2000. His first book is titled "The Front-line Leader: Building a High-Performance Organization from the Ground Up."

San Diego's Independent Booksellers Thrive In Shadow Of Online Reta...

San Diego's Independent Booksellers Thrive In Shadow Of Online Retailers

Dec. 22
By Amita Sharma, Patty Lane, Tom Fudge

San Diego's independent booksellers are thriving, while larger brick-and-mortar book stores and retailers are losing out to online competitors.

Affordable Care Act: Deadlines And 2015 Changes

Affordable Care Act: Deadlines And 2015 Changes

Dec. 5
By Amita Sharma, Patty Lane

There are some open enrollment deadlines approaching for health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act. We have information on deadlines and changes you should be aware of for 2015.

San Diego's Convention Center Due For Repairs, Safety Upgrade

San Diego's Convention Center Due For Repairs, Safety Upgrade

Dec. 3
By Amita Sharma

Critics charge some of the delayed fixes have risked public safety and raise questions over how to maintain the current building in addition to expanding.

'Small Business Saturday' Keeps Money In The Local Economy

'Small Business Saturday' Keeps Money In The Local Economy

Nov. 28
By Amita Sharma, Patty Lane

The Saturday after Thanksgiving is celebrated as the day to buy local with pro-small-business campaign underway around the county.

FDA: Calorie Count To Help Americans Make Better Food Choices

FDA: Calorie Count To Help Americans Make Better Food Choices

Nov. 28
By Amita Sharma, Patty Lane

People in the U.S. spend more than 50 percent of their paychecks on dining out. New rules announced by the FDA could make it easier to track those calories.

Ventura Man To Go Free After Judge Overturns 1978 Murder Conviction

Ventura Man To Go Free After Judge Overturns 1978 Murder Conviction

Nov. 20
By Amita Sharma

California Western School of Law's Innocence Project says discovery of DNA evidence, fabricated testimony and sealed police reports helped reverse conviction.

4 Donors Fined $35K For Violating San Diego Campaign Finance Laws

4 Donors Fined $35K For Violating San Diego Campaign Finance Laws

Nov. 14
By Amita Sharma, City News Service

The cases involved people who made $500 donations to District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis' failed 2012 mayoral run and then were reimbursed for the expense.

San Diego Unified Opens Up About Support For Dyslexic Students

San Diego Unified Opens Up About Support For Dyslexic Students

Nov. 4
By Amita Sharma, Marissa Cabrera, Maureen Cavanaugh

A recent KPBS report on the challenges students with dyslexia face, sparked a conversation about the amount of help available to them at San Diego Unified School District.

Court Rules Against San Diego County Climate Action Plan

Court Rules Against San Diego County Climate Action Plan

Oct. 30
By Amita Sharma, Patty Lane, Quinn Owen, Tom Fudge

San Diego County will need to revise its Climate Action Plan after an appellate court ruled in favor of the Sierra Club, stating the plan "does not ensure reductions" of greenhouse gas emissions. We look at what's next.

November Election Spurs Question Of How Voters Should Judge Judges

November Election Spurs Question Of How Voters Should Judge Judges

Oct. 25
By Amita Sharma

Judicial candidates face little vetting even though — if elected — they wield tremendous power over people's lives.

Are California Hospitals Prepared For Ebola?

Are California Hospitals Prepared For Ebola?

Oct. 22
By Amita Sharma, Maureen Cavanaugh, Patty Lane

Some local nurses are concerned that hospitals aren't prepared for an infectious disease such as Ebola, and Tuesday the state's largest nurses union met with Gov. Jerry Brown to call for better preparation and training.

San Diego Judicial Candidate Omits Law Enforcement Ties On Jury Que...

San Diego Judicial Candidate Omits Law Enforcement Ties On Jury Questionnaire

Oct. 15
By Amita Sharma

Ken Gosselin, a candidate for San Diego Superior Court judge, has been endorsed by police groups, but when called for jury duty said he had no positive or negative experience with law enforcement.

San Diego War Reporter Reflects On Her Time In Iraq

San Diego War Reporter Reflects On Her Time In Iraq

Oct. 7
By Amita Sharma, Maureen Cavanaugh, Megan Burke

A personal history essay published in U-T San Diego is reminding us of the history of the U.S. conflict in Iraq, as witnessed by one journalist.

Mayor Faulconer On Terrorism, Services For Homeless

Mayor Faulconer On Terrorism, Services For Homeless

Sept. 29
By Amita Sharma, Patty Lane, Tom Fudge

In his monthly update on the business of the city, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer tackled a number of topics ranging from terrorism to services for the homeless on KPBS Midday Monday.

Bill Awaiting Governor's Signature Would Help Foster Youth In College

Bill Awaiting Governor's Signature Would Help Foster Youth In College

Sept. 26
By Amita Sharma, Megan Burke

New legislation awaiting Gov. Jerry Brown's signature offers help to foster kids in college by allowing them to live in transitional housing for one additional year.

San Diego County Sees Increase In Number Of Homeless Students

San Diego County Sees Increase In Number Of Homeless Students

Sept. 24
By Amita Sharma, Matthew Bowler, Maureen Cavanaugh, Patty Lane

San Diego County is in line with national numbers showing the number of homeless students enrolled in public school is on the rise. There are 20,000 homeless students in San Diego County.

Flow Of Unaccompanied Minors Has Decreased But What About The Child...

Flow Of Unaccompanied Minors Has Decreased But What About The Children Already Here?

Sept. 23
By Amita Sharma, Maureen Cavanaugh, Megan Burke

We no longer see daily headlines about the surge in unaccompanied minors and young families crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, but what is happening to the thousands of young people who did cross the border, surrendered to Border Patrol agents and claimed refugee status?

The Race To Contain The Ebola Outbreak

The Race To Contain The Ebola Outbreak

Sept. 22
By Amita Sharma, Maureen Cavanaugh, Patty Lane

Sierra Leone's weekend lockdown to contain the Ebola outbreak is being called a success with the discover of 150 new cases. What will it take to stop the spread and treat those infected? Are we any closer to a vaccine?

Report: Poverty Rate In San Diego Increases

Report: Poverty Rate In San Diego Increases

Sept. 18
By Amita Sharma, Patty Lane

New census data highlights some disturbing trends, like how 1 in 5 children in San Diego are living in poverty.

San Diegans Rally For Change: People's Climate March

San Diegans Rally For Change: People's Climate March

Sept. 18
By Amita Sharma, Maureen Cavanaugh, Patty Lane

Worldwide demonstrations known as the "People's Climate March" are planned for this weekend ahead of world leaders gathering at the U.N. for a climate summit. The march is based in New York, but an event is planned in San Diego.

Cost Of Doing Nothing At The Salton Sea May Be Higher Than Cost Of ...

Cost Of Doing Nothing At The Salton Sea May Be Higher Than Cost Of Repair

Sept. 18
By Amita Sharma, Maureen Cavanaugh, Megan Burke

A new report on the Salton Sea estimates that the volume of the lake will shrink by more than 50 percent in the next 15 years. If no mitigation or reclamation project is undertaken, the report projects the costs of the shrinking lake will include impacts to Southern California's ecology and public health.

'Life, Animated: A Story Of Sidekicks, Heroes, And Autism'

'Life, Animated: A Story Of Sidekicks, Heroes, And Autism'

Sept. 17
By Amita Sharma, Maureen Cavanaugh, Patty Lane

A book by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ron Suskind details his family's 20-year struggle with their youngest son's autism — and how his obsession to Disney movies opened his world and is helping others.

Zero Tolerance Policies' Impact On School-To-Prison Pipeline

Zero Tolerance Policies' Impact On School-To-Prison Pipeline

Sept. 16
By Amita Sharma, Maureen Cavanaugh, Patty Lane

KPBS Midday Edition takes a look at how "zero-tolerance" policies in schools might be contributing to the crowding of juvenile detention facilities.