Stories by Gloria Penner
This week, several San Diego executives followed mayoral candidate Nathan Fletcher's lead by bailing on their political parties; Oceanside is deciding whether to phase out rent control on 17 mobile home parks; and San Diego hoteliers voted to raise taxes on hotel rooms -- if the courts will let them.
The Metropolitan Water District plans to raise rates by 5 percent in both 2012 and 2013, in spite of attempts by the San Diego County Water Authority to cap the increases at 3 percent; the three top candidates for the County's 3rd District seat square off; and has Mayor Sanders really balanced the budget?
SDG&E runs a separate charge to solar owners up the flagpole. No one salutes. Governor Brown's state-of-the-state address asks for temporary tax increases. Republicans are not impressed. The four major candidates for San Diego Mayor mix it up in debates. Sort of.
The tenth anniversary of 9/11 is about two weeks away. County officials, warning that the date could trigger some strong emotions which could lead to some dangerous actions, have listed eight things to watch for.
The primary election for mayor of San Diego is about a year away, but the race is already heating up. Several well known republicans and one high-profile Democrat are running.
The ACLU and some minority groups are preparing to challenge the San Diego County Board of Supervisors in court over redistricting. Every 10 years the census is taken, political boundaries are redrawn by the Supervisors themselves.
On Tuesday, the San Diego Unified Board of Education gave the green light to a new budget for the school year. One school board member put it this way: the budget is going to cause grave damage to our schools in San Diego.
On Monday, the San Diego County Grand Jury issued a report saying the costs of staying at City Hall rather than building a new civic center were exaggerated by the city and that the city can have a safe and functional city hall without spending almost 300 million.
Every 10 years San Diego City Council districts are redrawn. This time, a ninth City Council seat will be added. Seven citizens have been appointed to the influential San Diego Redistricting Commission. Both the committee and the process are generating some controversy.
It's been nine years since a federal court first declared the crowding in California's prisons an emergency. On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a 2002 lower court ruling that gave California two years to move tens of thousands of prisoners our of the state's overcrowded prisons.
Councilman Carl DeMaio has already announced his plans to run for mayor in 2012, but who will support him? The polarizing politician has few allies in city government after taking on some of the city's most powerful entities. We discuss DeMaio's disagreement with the mayor over eliminating free trash pickup, and his efforts to switch all city employees to a 401 (k)-style retirement plan.
The San Diego City Council recently was given a list of almost 300 options to cut its projected $56.7 million deficit for next fiscal year. We take a look at the budget cuts menu, and discuss how politics will play a role in what's decided. Plus, we talk about the disagreement between the mayor's office and the city's independent budget analyst over the amount of next year's deficit.
The San Diego Unified School District faces a budget hole of $120 million for 2011-12 academic year. The school board is considering two scenarios. If voters support a proposal to extend state tax increases, the debt could be cut in half. If not, as many as 500 teachers could be laid off. We discuss how the uncertainty is affecting the district.
The number of homeless sex offenders has increased dramatically since Jessica's Law passed in 2006. The law prevents convicted sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a school or a park. We discuss why the law's requirements are making it difficult for sex offenders to find places to live, and why some convicted sex offenders in San Diego are challenging the law's residence restrictions.
How could Governor Jerry Brown's proposal to eliminate redevelopment agencies affect Escondido's efforts to build a minor league ballpark? City leaders are concerned the redevelopment proposal could disrupt plans to sell $50 million in ballpark bonds. If redevelopment agencies are eliminated, what will happen to Escondido's ballpark?
Earlier this week, the San Diego City Council voted 7-1 to repeal its supercenter ordinance. The ordinance required supercenter retailers to conduct an economic impact study in order to get building permits. The council reversed its decision after Walmart's successful signature-gathering would have forced a public vote on the issue. We discuss why two councilmembers changed their vote.
A sewage spill in Playas de Tijuana just south of the border with Mexico reached imperial beach weeks ago, but residents only found out about it recently. The 31 million gallon spill is expected to be contained Friday. We speak to Ben McCue, conservation director for Wildcoast about the implications of this spill on San Diego.
Governor Jerry Brown has proposed that local redevelopment agencies be eliminated and their funds moved to counties, cities and schools. These agencies are mandated to devote 20 percent of their funding to develop affordable housing. Some say that if the redevelopment agencies go, affordable housing will as well. Susan Tinsky, executive director of the San Diego Housing Federation explains what's at stake.
The New Year brought with it a new superintendent of public instruction for the State of California. Tom Torlakson replaces Jack O'Connell who served in the position for nearly a decade. Torlakson faces the monumental task of lobbying the state legislature and Governor Jerry Brown to restore funding to state education that was victim to massive budget cuts. KPBS Education Reporter Ana Tintocalis talked with Superintendent Torlakson about education in this new year.
Maintaining the ability to drive is a sensitive issue for seniors because it contributes to their independence. But there's no getting around the fact that physical and cognitive issues can affect the ability to drive safely. To help keep seniors driving as long as they can, the California Department of Motor vehicles created a senior driver program. We'll hear about resources for senior drivers and what options are available to those who can no longer drive.
The talk about building a new NFL stadium in Los Angeles got more serious this week. First, billionaire Phillip Anschutz said he would be willing to finance a new stadium in downtown L.A. if certain conditions are met. Plus, Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn is leading efforts to fast track the Anschutz Entertainment Group's stadium proposal. What does this all mean to the Chargers? Which city will win the race to build a new NFL stadium?
The Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted to repeal the health-care-reform bill this week. While Democratic leaders in the Senate said they will not consider a repeal, the House's symbolic vote indicates that efforts to change the legislation will continue. We talk about why the Republicans want to change the law.
University of California regents met in San Diego this week to discuss how to close a $1 billion budget gap. UC President Mark Yudof said thousands of qualified applicants will be turned away because of a proposed $500 million budget cut for 2011-2012, and other "unavoidable" expenses. The California State University system is also facing massive budget cuts that could lead to layoffs, and higher tuition. We discuss how the budget cuts could impact California colleges.
North County 12-year-old Stephanie Crowe was murdered 13 years ago, but the Crowe family's civil lawsuit against Escondido and Oceanside police detectives could finally be moving forward in federal court. KPBS Senior News Editor Mark Sauer, who's covered the case since the girl's slaying in 1998, joins us to explain the latest legal ruling.
Mayor Jerry Sanders' priorities for his final two years in office include changing the pension system, allowing more managed competition for city projects and expansion of the downtown convention center.
In his first budget plan, California Governor Jerry Brown called for more than $12 billion in spending cuts and a restructuring of state government.
Accused mass shooter Jared Loughner has been assigned Judy Clarke, a San Diego attorney with federal death penalty experience. Larry Burns, a U.S. district judge based in San Diego was assigned to hear the case after Arizona judges recused themselves.
Hundreds of homeless San Diegans were at Golden Hall this week looking for help. They got an outpouring, from haircuts and dental care to blankets and toiletries, from more than 60 organizations and scores of volunteers. Tom Fudge, KPBS reporter and author of the blog On-Ramp, has the details on Project Homeless Connect.
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