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Stories by Maureen Cavanaugh

What Pfizer's Stand Against Lethal Injections Means For California

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Drugmaker Pfizer on Friday said it would work to block the use of its drugs in lethal injections. The announcement comes as California seeks to change its capital punishment process.

Report: San Diego County Rents Have Skyrocketed 32% Since 2000

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The California Housing Partnership says the county has lost more than $109 million annually in federal and state funding for affordable housing projects since 2008.

San Diego Zoo Celebrates 100th Anniversary

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In its 100 years, the zoo has grown from a few abandoned animals in the park to a global zoological society.

Forestry Officials Ramp Up Fight Against Invasive Beetles

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One species that originated from Arizona has infested more than 100,000 acres across San Diego County. One thing campers can do to help curb the beetles’ spread: buy firewood locally.

After Bullying Complaint, Mom Says District Offered Money To Send Kids To New School

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A parent who said she complained to the Santee School District that her children were being bullied now says the district responded by offering her money to drive her kids to another school district.

San Diego Law Enforcement Holds Town Halls On Video Release Policy

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San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis discusses changing the policy on the release of officer-involved shooting videos.

Report: California Voter Registration Experiencing 'Historic Growth'

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More than 850,000 Californians registered to vote in the first three months of 2016, according to a new report from the National University System Institute for Policy Research.

New Documentary Explores The Changing Face Of Peace Officers

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A former sheriff who helped establish Utah's first SWAT team raises questions over tactics and use of force in "Peace Officer."

City Council Scrutinizes Mayor Faulconer's Proposed Budget

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Council members Chris Cate and David Alvarez take a break from the ongoing public hearings on San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer's $3.3 billion budget proposal to discuss their priorities.

First-Known Hijacker Gives Personal Account Of His ‘Freedom Flight’

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The book "Freedom Flight: A True Account of the Cold War's Greatest Escape" describes how San Diego author Frank Iszak escaped from the Iron Curtain with his wife and five co-conspirators by completing the first documented commercial airplane hijacking in 1956.

What Role Does Race Play In Academic Achievement In California?

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Research on the academic achievement gap is often based on comparing test scores. One sociology professor went straight to the source: students at a Southern California high school.

Democrat Mayoral Candidate Ed Harris On His Uphill Battle Against Faulconer

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Harris heads the city's lifeguards union and served as an interim city councilman for District 2.

San Diego Scientists Weigh Body Camera Ethics

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Data from wearable cameras and GPS trackers can reveal private information about their study subjects’ lives and the people they meet.

Lori Saldaña Discusses Her Run For San Diego Mayor

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The former Democratic assemblywoman is running as an independent.

San Diego Officials Outline $130M Budget For Climate Action Plan

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Mayor Kevin Faulconer on Monday called for more bike lanes, solar power, natural gas garbage trucks and smart streetlights as part of San Diego's Climate Action Plan.

16th Street Baptist Church Bombing Survivor Advocates For Forgiveness

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Sarah Collins Rudolph was 12 years old when her sister and three friends were killed by a bomb planted by the Ku Klux Klan at a church basement in Alabama.

Chef Takes Food Prep To New Level With 'The Portable Feast'

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An edible garden expert shares an easy recipe for roasted spiced carrots with quinoa, green ribbons and turmeric vinaigrette that you can take wherever you go.

PETA To Announce Plan For Orca Seaside Sanctuaries

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The animal rights group is hosting a news conference in San Diego Wednesday protesting SeaWorld's continued practice of keeping orca whales in captivity.

Poway Unified Superintendent Put On Administrative Leave

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There's a shake-up going on in one of San Diego County's most highly regarded school districts.

Former SDPD Officer Files Wrongful Termination Claim

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A 16-year veteran of the San Diego Police Department says he was fired for asking questions about the satellite system installed on Mayor Kevin Faulconer's city vehicle.

Report: Homicides Up In Mexico For First Time Since Peña Nieto Took Office

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Homicides in Mexico jumped 8 percent from 2014 to 2015 after three years of decline, according to a new report from the University of San Diego.

Barrio Logan's Chicano Park: The Efforts To Cement Its History

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The Chicano Park Steering Committee has its sights on establishing a museum and cultural center.

Opening Of Second Pedestrian Border Crossing At San Ysidro Delayed

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Known as Ped West, the crossing was to open in June but has been delayed until August. That's one of the announcements made after a delegation of San Diego business and government leaders visited Mexico City this week.

Wrongful Death Claim Filed Against SDPD Officers

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The claim is over the October killing of 39-year-old Lamontez Jones in downtown San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter. The San Diego County district attorney has said the shooting is legally justified.

Life Insurance Companies Fail To Pay Out $5B In Death Benefits

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The California Insurance Commissioner said more than $400 million in settlement has been paid to California beneficiaries alone.

San Diego Gallery Spotlights Art By Prison Inmates

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"Art Exonerated" will feature 50 pieces created by prison inmates. The gallery's owner, whose late father was shot, discusses how the exhibit has helped him heal.

Political-Analyst-Turned-Cooking-Show-Host Shares Her Favorite Recipes

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Born and raised in Mexico City, Pati Jinich left her career as a political analyst to pursue her passion as a chef.

Bill Aims To Help Human Trafficking Victims Make A Fresh Start

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A bill that's advancing through the California Legislature would create a legal pathway to erase any non-violent arrest or conviction put on a person's record while he or she was a victim of human trafficking.

How Do We Restore Civility In Politics?

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From "Lyin' Ted" to "short fingers," the 2016 presidential race has seen no shortage of name-calling and insults. A conference kicking off next Monday at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice aims to address over-the-top political rhetoric.

Report Connects Race To Higher Rates Of Suspended Licenses In California

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A report published this week by a consortium of California civil rights groups documents racial disparities in the number of Californians whose drivers licenses were suspended because of unpaid tickets.

Water Wars Between San Diego And MWD Boil Up Again

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There is no love lost between the San Diego County Water Authority and its biggest supplier, the Metropolitan Water District. Their latest hostilities are over a rate hike.

Rita Coolidge's Life Story Would Make A Great Country Song

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Now a resident of quiet Fallbrook, Rita Coolidge's memoir of her days as a folk/rock singer includes tales of her Tennessee upbringing, marriage to Kris Kristofferson and her many friendships with rock icons of the '70s and '80s.

How Video Games Can Be A Force For Positive Change

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Award-winning video game creator Asi Burak from Israel developed Peacemaker, a game won by peacefully resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He's giving a lecture at the University of San Diego's Joan Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice on Tuesday.

Is Housing Discrimination A Problem In San Diego?

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A majority of San Diego County residents surveyed last year about housing discrimination said they don't consider it a problem in their neighborhood. For those who have experienced discrimination, 33 percent said it was because of their race.

Artist Jake Shimabukuro On The Ukulele’s Significance In The Hawaiian Culture

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Jake Shimabukuro says his mom began teaching him how to play the ukulele when he was 4. He performs Thursday night at the California Center for the Arts Escondido.

Blackouts This Summer? SDG&E, Energy Expert Weigh In

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A massive natural gas leak last year near Los Angeles could lead to 14 days of power outages this summer in Southern California, including San Diego County.

'A Growing Passion' Springs Into 4th Season On KPBS

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From water-wise gardening to beneficial insects and California's citrus industry, the new season of KPBS' television series "A Growing Passion" brings a lot of variety.

Family

San Diego Author Discusses Ways To Combat Nature Deficit

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Richard Louv, whose New York Times best-seller introduced the concept of nature deficit, is out with a new book with tips to reverse that deficit.

Jorge Meraz Tackles The History Of Football In Baja

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Whatever unique adventure Jorge Meraz discovers in Baja California, it's a safe bet he will tackle it with gusto. Of course, he'll follow it up with regional food and drink — consumed with even more gusto.

Tijuana's Controversial Ex-Police Chief Subject Of New Film

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Julian Leyzaola has lived through multiple assassination attempts as the ex-police chief of Tijuana. A new documentary about him will be screened at UltraStar Mission Valley at Hazard Center on April 10.

A San Diego Primary Primer And A Proposal To Change The City Voting Process

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The Independent Voter Project wants the city of San Diego to adopt the top two vote-getter system currently used by the state. That would mean that no candidate could win outright in the June primary.

Marine Veteran Shares Her Battle Against An Eating Disorder

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In her memoir “Warrior,” U.S. Marine Lt. Theresa Larson of San Diego redefines the meaning of a warrior and the stereotypes behind it.

Why John Leguizamo Thinks Trump Is ‘Doing A Great Thing’ For Latinos

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In a new solo act titled “Latin History for Morons,” which premieres Tuesday night at the La Jolla Playhouse, the comic takes on five centuries of Latin history.

San Diego Nonprofit Helps Ex-Offenders Get Jobs

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San Diego County's unemployment rate has held steady this year at about 4.7 percent. But for people released from jail or prison who are trying to re-enter the workforce, the estimated unemployment rate is 40 percent to 50 percent.

San Diego NAT Hosts Event On Importance Of Bees

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Biologist Joseph Wilson, who's giving a lecture at San Diego Natural History Museum Thursday night, says folks who fear the little insects usually have the wrong impression.

Details Of Chargers' Stadium Plan Leaked

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The San Diego Chargers are preparing to announce their own ballot initiative proposal to finance a downtown stadium and convention center expansion.

San Diego Politics: Do Endorsements Matter?

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Presidential hopeful Donald Trump has done well without support from the establishment. But in local races, a party endorsement could give candidates a boost.

Study: San Diego Graduation Rates Expected To Drop

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UC San Diego researchers found that while more high school seniors at San Diego Unified School District may be eligible for college this year, more students may not graduate at all.

Syrian Refugee In San Diego Talks About Life 5 Years Into Crisis

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The Syrian refugee crisis has entered its fifth year this month, and San Diego has welcomed fewer refugees than expected since President Obama announced a national increase in the number of approved asylum seekers last year.

Ballot Measure Proposed To Reform San Diego Citizens Police Review Board

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A San Diego City Council committee this week will hear a proposal to increase the power of the San Diego Citizens Police Review Board. The proposal includes giving the board subpoena power and the ability to work with independent investigators and independent counsel.