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Stories by Claire Trageser

Straw Bale Homes In San Diego Are Not Just For Three Little Pigs

Straw Bale Homes In San Diego Are Not Just For Three Little Pigs

Aug. 8
By Claire Trageser

Builders in San Diego County are turning to straw bales as natural and energy efficient insulation. So far there are 60 permitted straw bale buildings in the county and one in the city of San Diego.

Advocacy Group Organizes Conference To Fight California's Gang Cons...

Advocacy Group Organizes Conference To Fight California's Gang Conspiracy Laws

July 31
By Claire Trageser, Matthew Bowler

Organizers from the advocacy group Pillars of the Community are planning a conference this weekend to give attendees tools to fight gang documentation laws.

San Diego County Holding Workshops About Outsourcing Animal Services

San Diego County Holding Workshops About Outsourcing Animal Services

July 19
By Claire Trageser

Starting Wednesday, San Diego County will hold a series of three workshops to get input from unincorporated residents about the possibility of outsourcing the Animal Services Department.

San Diego Nonprofit Gets Big Grant To Use Food Truck To Teach Culin...

San Diego Nonprofit Gets Big Grant To Use Food Truck To Teach Culinary, Business Skills

July 25
By Claire Trageser

Paving Great Futures, a nonprofit that teaches people culinary and business skills, has received a $25,000 grant from the international charity Chef Works Cares.

7 Things To Understand About Community Choice In San Diego

7 Things To Understand About Community Choice In San Diego

July 21
By Claire Trageser

An alternative energy program that would bypass San Diego Gas & Electric is possible and cost-effective, according to a study published this month. But the study is more complicated than that, and there are a variety of terms and concepts to understand that show how the authors arrived at those answers.

What Are The Rules When It Comes To Flying A Drone In San Diego?

What Are The Rules When It Comes To Flying A Drone In San Diego?

July 17
By Claire Trageser

The number of airports, military bases and heliports at hospitals in San Diego mean there are few options for where people can fly.

New Study Finds Use Of Community Choice Energy Feasible

New Study Finds Use Of Community Choice Energy Feasible

July 13
By Claire Trageser

Switching to an alternative energy program called community choice will help the city of San Diego use more renewable sources of energy and could lower electricity costs, according to a study published this week.

Battle Over San Diego's Energy Future Will Heat Up Soon

Battle Over San Diego's Energy Future Will Heat Up Soon

July 12
By Claire Trageser

For more than two years, the city of San Diego has been considering switching the way it buys energy, and Thursday is a big day in that decision-making process.

New California Law Requires Boating Licenses, Except For Renters

New California Law Requires Boating Licenses, Except For Renters

July 10
By Claire Trageser

Right now, almost anyone in California can hop on a boat and drive away without any training or a license. That will change this January when a new law goes into effect requiring boaters to pass a written test and get a California Boater Card.

La Jolla Cove Named Fifth Most Bacteria-Ridden Beach In State

La Jolla Cove Named Fifth Most Bacteria-Ridden Beach In State

July 3
By Claire Trageser

La Jolla Cove has been named the fifth-most polluted beach in California by the annual Beach Report Card from the environmental nonprofit Heal the Bay.

San Diego County Microchipping Dogs For Free Before July 4

San Diego County Microchipping Dogs For Free Before July 4

June 30
By Claire Trageser

Pets are more likely to run away on the Fourth of July holiday. To prepare, San Diego County Animal Services is offering to microchip dogs for free this week through Sunday.

New Policy Limits San Diego Shelter Dogs To One 15-Minute Walk A Day

New Policy Limits San Diego Shelter Dogs To One 15-Minute Walk A Day

June 22
By Claire Trageser

The change was made in the hopes of ensuring all dogs get out at least once a day. But some volunteers at the shelter have concerns that the new rule will hurt bigger dogs who need more exercise.

San Diego Set To Make It Easier To Build 'Granny Flats'

San Diego Set To Make It Easier To Build 'Granny Flats'

June 16
By Claire Trageser

The San Diego City Council's Smart Growth and Land Use Committee has unanimously recommended the city make it easier for homeowners to build granny flats.

El Cajon Chooses District Map, But Some In Minority Communities Are...

El Cajon Chooses District Map, But Some In Minority Communities Aren't Happy

June 12
By Claire Trageser

The city of El Cajon has finished a process of drawing council districts for the first time, which was meant to increase diversity on its City Council. But the chosen map does not create any districts where minorities are the majority.

County Animal Shelter Puts Freeze On Hiring Volunteers

County Animal Shelter Puts Freeze On Hiring Volunteers

June 6
By Claire Trageser

For more than a year, San Diego County Animal Services has not accepted any new volunteers, and some volunteers still at the shelter said this has left animals without enough care or attention.

San Diego City Council Kills Funding For SoccerCity, Convention Cen...

San Diego City Council Kills Funding For SoccerCity, Convention Center Expansion Special Election

June 5
By Claire Trageser

The City Council voted 8-1 to cut funding for a special election on a new soccer stadium in Mission Valley and a convention center expansion. Mayor Kevin Faulconer said he will veto the decision.

The Fate Of SoccerCity And Convention Center Expansion Could Be Dec...

The Fate Of SoccerCity And Convention Center Expansion Could Be Decided Monday

June 5
By Claire Trageser

The City Council could effectively kill a special election on funding for a convention center expansion and a soccer stadium in Mission Valley during their meeting Monday.

In Search Of Cheaper Costs, San Diego Seniors Try Assisted Living I...

In Search Of Cheaper Costs, San Diego Seniors Try Assisted Living In Mexico

June 1
By Claire Trageser

The average cost of assisted living in California is $5,000 a month. Since this is out of reach for many retirees, they are choosing other options across the border.

Find Hidden Parks In San Diego County

Find Hidden Parks In San Diego County

May 30
By Claire Trageser

The website called, "Get Outside San Diego," is funded by The San Diego Foundation to increase access to public parks and open spaces.

Solana Beach Becomes First In County To Opt For Alternative Energy ...

Solana Beach Becomes First In County To Opt For Alternative Energy Program

May 25
By Claire Trageser

The city of Solana Beach became the first in the county to move forward with a program that allows local governments to bypass San Diego Gas & Electric and buy their energy directly.

Downtown San Diego 'Quartyard' Park Moving To New Location

Downtown San Diego 'Quartyard' Park Moving To New Location

May 22
By Claire Trageser

The East Village project that features a coffee shop, concert space and a dog run, will move out of its current location next month to make way for a new highrise.

San Diego Animal Shelter Workers Rally Against Potential Outsourcin...

San Diego Animal Shelter Workers Rally Against Potential Outsourcing Of Their Jobs

May 8
By Claire Trageser

San Diego County is considering hiring either the city of Chula Vista or the San Diego Humane Society to take over its animal services department, including the county animal shelter.

For Many San Diegans, Food Stamp Challenge Lasts More Than A Week

For Many San Diegans, Food Stamp Challenge Lasts More Than A Week

May 8
By Claire Trageser

All this week, San Diegans will be attempting to live on a food budget of $4.18 a day, as part of the #CalFreshChallenge.

San Diego County Mulls Outsourcing Animal Services Amidst 'Getting ...

San Diego County Mulls Outsourcing Animal Services Amidst 'Getting To Zero' Policy Criticism

May 4
By Claire Trageser

When there is a problem with a wild animal or you want to adopt a dog, you most likely call San Diego County Animal Services. But that could soon change.

San Diego Nonprofit Prepares To Fight For People Listed In Gang Dat...

San Diego Nonprofit Prepares To Fight For People Listed In Gang Database

April 27
By Claire Trageser

Right now, you could be listed in the state's gang database and not even know it. But a new state law will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2018 requiring law enforcement to inform everyone who is added to the database after that date.

San Diego's Open Data Website Allows Residents To Search Police Sto...

San Diego's Open Data Website Allows Residents To Search Police Stops, Water Quality

April 26
By Claire Trageser

Since it launched last July, the website has published 46 data sets and seen more than 100,000 downloads.

El Cajon Residents Weigh In On Districts Meant To Boost Diversity

El Cajon Residents Weigh In On Districts Meant To Boost Diversity

April 20
By Claire Trageser

For the first time in its history, the city of El Cajon will have council districts, instead of electing council members in a city-wide vote.

Annual Hubbell House Tour In Julian Will Showcase New Foundation Bu...

Annual Hubbell House Tour In Julian Will Showcase New Foundation Building

April 18
By Claire Trageser

On Father's Day, the public can visit the Hubbell property near Julian, which is filled with examples of the architect's designs, including a brand new building for his Ilan-Lael Foundation.

San Onofre Waste Challengers Prep For Settlement Talks

San Onofre Waste Challengers Prep For Settlement Talks

April 14
By Alison St John, Claire Trageser, Michael Lipkin

Parties in the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station waste lawsuit were to meet in court Friday, kicking off a trial to determine whether plans to store more than 3 million pounds of nuclear waste close to the ocean violated state environmental laws.

SDG&E's Affiliate Approved To Lobby On Community Choice Amid Ongoin...

SDG&E's Affiliate Approved To Lobby On Community Choice Amid Ongoing Investigation

April 12
By Claire Trageser

The California Public Utilities Commission approved plans for the marketing district called Sempra Services, in a letter sent last week.

How Unpicked Fruit In Your Yard Can Help Refugees In San Diego

How Unpicked Fruit In Your Yard Can Help Refugees In San Diego

April 11
By Claire Trageser

One of the unique things about Southern California is that many of the homes have fruit trees. But those trees can sometimes bear so much fruit that homeowners don't know what to do with it all.

Sempra Services Lobbyists Also Met With San Diego County Supervisors

Sempra Services Lobbyists Also Met With San Diego County Supervisors

April 4
By Claire Trageser

California officials said an investigation is still ongoing into whether lobbyists for Sempra Energy's new marketing division, Sempra Services, violated state law by meeting with some San Diego elected officials.

After Being Closed To Public For 20 Years, Trail Through MCAS Miram...

After Being Closed To Public For 20 Years, Trail Through MCAS Miramar Will Soon Open

March 29
By Claire Trageser

For 20 years, bikers have not been allowed on the 3.4-mile Stowe Trail, but that will change next month when the Marines open it to anyone who has a permit.

Poverty High In National City, Imperial Beach, Report Finds

Poverty High In National City, Imperial Beach, Report Finds

March 24
By Claire Trageser

In National City, the median income in 2015 was $44,694 a year, and in Imperial Beach it was $43,132 a year. Both fall far below the median income of $67,320 a year in all of San Diego County.

Hip Hop Artist Encourages San Diego College Students To Get Involved

Hip Hop Artist Encourages San Diego College Students To Get Involved

March 22
By Claire Trageser

Pittsburgh-based artist Jasiri X is known for his songs about political issues, including "What if the Tea Party was Black?" and "Trayvon."

Sempra Services Lobbyists Met With San Diego Elected Officials, Pot...

Sempra Services Lobbyists Met With San Diego Elected Officials, Potentially Violating State Ban

March 17
By Claire Trageser

Some San Diego elected officials have met with lobbyists from Sempra Energy's new marketing division, Sempra Services, potentially violating state law.

New Voices: A Younger Generation's Urgent Quest For Change In South...

New Voices: A Younger Generation's Urgent Quest For Change In Southeast San Diego

March 15
By Claire Trageser

These young leaders said they have not seen enough change in their community from the time of their parents or their grandparents. That makes their work urgent and their patience low.

Where To Find Wildflowers During San Diego Desert's 'Super Bloom'

Where To Find Wildflowers During San Diego Desert's 'Super Bloom'

March 10
By Claire Trageser

San Diego's heavy rains this winter have led to what's expected to be the biggest bloom in two decades.

San Diego Class Shows Dogs Are Naturals At Meditation

San Diego Class Shows Dogs Are Naturals At Meditation

March 7
By Claire Trageser

Meditation is becoming more common in helping people learn to calm down and worry less. But a six-week Wellbeing for Dogs + Their Humans class in La Jolla is taking the practice a step further, teaching meditation to dogs alongside their human companions.

State Commission Investigating SDG&E For Lobbying Against Community...

State Commission Investigating SDG&E For Lobbying Against Community Energy Program

March 3
By Claire Trageser

The state agency that oversees utilities has confirmed it is investigating San Diego Gas & Electric for potentially violating a state law on lobbying. But the utility argues it is doing no such thing.

Which San Diego Mushrooms Are Poisonous?

Which San Diego Mushrooms Are Poisonous?

March 1
By Claire Trageser

The heavy rainfall in San Diego County this winter has brought an unusual site: lots of mushrooms. Local experts are excited, but also warn that some are not safe to eat.

Sempra May Have Broken State Rules By Lobbying On Energy Program

Sempra May Have Broken State Rules By Lobbying On Energy Program

Feb. 23
By Claire Trageser

Employees affiliated with SDG&E and its parent company Sempra Energy may have been in violation of a state law by speaking at a county meeting last week.

El Cajon To Begin Workshops For Drawing District Boundaries

El Cajon To Begin Workshops For Drawing District Boundaries

Feb. 20
By Claire Trageser

The El Cajon City Council has set up a series of five public workshops and published criteria for drawing council boundaries in the city for the first time.

Vacant Church In San Ysidro To Become Community Center, Park

Vacant Church In San Ysidro To Become Community Center, Park

Feb. 20
By Claire Trageser

For people who live in San Diego's southernmost neighborhood, San Ysidro, there are not many public spaces to gather. But that will soon change.

San Diego County Will Not Pursue Community Choice In Unincorporated...

San Diego County Will Not Pursue Community Choice In Unincorporated Areas

Feb. 15
By Claire Trageser

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors will not move forward with an alternative energy program known as community choice aggregation.

County To Decide Whether To Begin Pursuing Community Choice Energy

County To Decide Whether To Begin Pursuing Community Choice Energy

Feb. 14
By Claire Trageser

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors will decide Wednesday whether to take the first step toward pursuing the alternative energy program community choice aggregation.

Calls Grow For San Diego Union Boss To Step Down Amid Sexual Harass...

Calls Grow For San Diego Union Boss To Step Down Amid Sexual Harassment, Gender Discrimination Allegations

Feb. 13
By Claire Trageser, Ebone Monet

Calls for Mickey Kasparian to step down or go on leave are amplifying. Two months ago, Kasparian, who is the head of one of San Diego County’s biggest unions, was sued by two former employees for sexual harassment and gender discrimination, among other claims.

Two San Diego Women Launch National Ridesharing Service For The Eld...

Two San Diego Women Launch National Ridesharing Service For The Elderly

Feb. 6
By Claire Trageser

Two San Diego natives have created a national service that connects those without smartphones, to a ride from Uber or Lyft.

Report Finds One Third Of Working Families In San Diego Can't Make ...

Report Finds One Third Of Working Families In San Diego Can't Make Ends Meet

Feb. 2
By Claire Trageser

A report from the nonprofit Center on Policy Initiatives found that a single adult with two children would need an hourly wage of $31.32 to cover the basics.

Meet District 1's New Councilwoman, Tech Entrepreneur Barbara Bry

Meet District 1's New Councilwoman, Tech Entrepreneur Barbara Bry

Feb. 1
By Claire Trageser

Barbara Bry represents La Jolla, Carmel Valley, University City and other northern San Diego neighborhoods. She plans to focus on addressing homelessness, building more housing and boosting public safety.

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