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Stories by Megan Burke

The Science Of Comfort Food

The Science Of Comfort Food

Nov. 24
By Maureen Cavanaugh, Megan Burke

Any good meal can comfort hunger. But when it comes to those meals we call "comfort food," it means something more than just feeling full.

Protecting Torrey Pines Popular But Fragile Ecosystem

Protecting Torrey Pines Popular But Fragile Ecosystem

Feb. 16
By Maureen Cavanaugh, Megan Burke

The Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve has been drawing record crowds, but the popularity comes with challenges. Docents say visitors are breaking rules meant to protect the park's fragile sandstone ecosystem - oftentimes to take a selfie.

Love May Be Linked To The Bacteria In Our Mouths

Love May Be Linked To The Bacteria In Our Mouths

Feb. 10
By Maureen Cavanaugh, Megan Burke

If we find ourselves hopelessly attracted to someone this Valentine's Day, can we blame our microbiome? It turns out that the question of love and sexual attraction makes up part of cutting-edge research into the human microbiome.

Salton Sea Canoe Race Organizers Hope Recreation Can Help Save The Sea

Salton Sea Canoe Race Organizers Hope Recreation Can Help Save The Sea

Feb. 9
By Brooke Ruth, Megan Burke, Tom Fudge

The idea to host an outrigger canoe race on the Salton Sea began as a way to start the racing season earlier but has evolved into a dream of something much bigger. Event organizers said they hope bringing recreation back to the Salton Sea will help save the sea itself.

Should Women Be Required To Sign Up For The Draft?

Should Women Be Required To Sign Up For The Draft?

Feb. 8
By Maureen Cavanaugh, Megan Burke

San Diego Congressman Duncan Hunter introduced the Draft America's Daughters Act which would require women to register with the selective service.

Study: More Than 30 Percent Of American Attorneys Are 'Problem Drin...

Study: More Than 30 Percent Of American Attorneys Are 'Problem Drinkers'

Feb. 4
By Maureen Cavanaugh, Megan Burke

The study of 15,000 attorneys published this week by the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation also found 28 percent of American attorneys struggle with depression.

Are San Diegans Getting Mixed Messages About Water Conservation?

Are San Diegans Getting Mixed Messages About Water Conservation?

Feb. 3
By Maureen Cavanaugh, Megan Burke

San Diegans are being asked to continue water conservation efforts, in spite of all this rain, news of the Sierra snow pack at 130 percent of the historical average for this time of year, and the San Diego County Water Authority dumping half a billion excess gallons of treated drinking water back into Lower Otay Reservoir.

Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra Performs In Escondido Tu...

Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra Performs In Escondido Tuesday

Feb. 2
By Kurt Kohnen, Maureen Cavanaugh, Megan Burke

When you think about ukulele music what comes to mind? Gentle strumming on the beaches of Waikiki? Perhaps an old Elvis movie? Prepare to be re-introduced to this charming instrument, by the amazing repertoire of the Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra.

Are New California Solar Fees Unfair To Non-Solar Users?

Are New California Solar Fees Unfair To Non-Solar Users?

Feb. 2
By Maureen Cavanaugh, Megan Burke

On Thursday, the CPUC raised fees for solar panel owners, but did not approve the higher charges requested by the state's utility companies, including San Diego Gas & Electric. California's goal is to move the state toward the use of renewable energy sources, but how exactly do you charge for sunlight?

Are San Diego Chargers Fans Being Played Again?

Feb. 1
By Maureen Cavanaugh, Megan Burke

The San Diego Chargers announced on Friday that they will play at Qualcomm Stadium for the 2016 NFL season and try to reach a deal with local political leaders for a new stadium.

Former Filner Chief Of Staff Writes Tell-All Book

Former Filner Chief Of Staff Writes Tell-All Book

Jan. 29
By Amita Sharma, Marissa Cabrera, Maureen Cavanaugh, Megan Burke

Lee Burdick's book, "Bob Filner's Monster: The Unraveling of an American Mayor and What We Can Learn From It," is an insider's account of the sexual harassment scandal that brought down San Diego's mayor.

VA Seeks To Better Understand San Diego Veteran Homeless In Census

VA Seeks To Better Understand San Diego Veteran Homeless In Census

Jan. 25
By Megan Burke

Volunteers will fan out across San Diego County on Friday to count San Diego's homeless population, including veterans.

California Medical Association Sets Guidelines For Physician Aid In...

California Medical Association Sets Guidelines For Physician Aid In Dying Act

Jan. 25
By Megan Burke

The California Medical Association just published guidelines for physicians to understand how the law affects their practice, and for the public to understand how to work with their doctors.

Borrego Valley Quickly Depleting Its Only Water Supply

Borrego Valley Quickly Depleting Its Only Water Supply

Jan. 20
By Maureen Cavanaugh, Megan Burke

The community of Borrego Valley is using four times more water than is being naturally replenished in its underground aquifer according to a six-year study by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Carlsbad Man Goes Skydiving For 100th Birthday

Carlsbad Man Goes Skydiving For 100th Birthday

Jan. 20
By Maureen Cavanaugh, Megan Burke

Carlsbad resident Glenn Quillin celebrated his 100th birthday by jumping out of an airplane.

How Will Suspension Of U.S. Episcopal Church Affect San Diego?

How Will Suspension Of U.S. Episcopal Church Affect San Diego?

Jan. 19
By Maureen Cavanaugh, Megan Burke

Members of the Episcopal Church in San Diego and across the nation are still trying to grasp the scope of a decision made last week. The leadership of the entire Anglican Church voted to suspend the U.S. Episcopal Church.

'Dear Black Body' Essay Contemplates Avoiding Becoming A Statistic

'Dear Black Body' Essay Contemplates Avoiding Becoming A Statistic

Jan. 18
By Maureen Cavanaugh, Megan Burke

KPBS Midday Edition speaks to Anthony Conwright, an African-American writer and teacher who grew up in Southeastern San Diego. His autobiographical essay, "Dear Black Body," was published by the Huffington Post and on his blog, Black and Wordy, in December.

Study: Poverty In San Diego Suburbs Increasing

Study: Poverty In San Diego Suburbs Increasing

Jan. 14
By Maureen Cavanaugh, Megan Burke

Poverty in San Diego is not confined to the urban core of the city. New research from National University found concentrated pockets of poverty have increased in suburban neighborhoods.

How Are California's Children Doing Overall?

How Are California's Children Doing Overall?

Jan. 14
By Maureen Cavanaugh, Megan Burke

Do state policies get a high mark or a low grade when it comes to kids? Midday Edition learns more about the data behind a new report card and what it means for the future of California's kids.

What’s For Dinner? San Diego Experts Examine New USDA Dietary Guide...

What’s For Dinner? San Diego Experts Examine New USDA Dietary Guidelines

Jan. 11
By Megan Burke, Tom Fudge

The new American Dietary Guidelines were published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture last week. Based on the guidelines, what should the be on the average San Diegan's plate at breakfast, lunch and dinner?

Ruling On San Diego's Pension Reform Initiative Not End Of Debate

Ruling On San Diego's Pension Reform Initiative Not End Of Debate

Jan. 4
By Maureen Cavanaugh, Megan Burke

The Public Employment Relations Board has ruled the city of San Diego violated state law by not negotiating with employee unions over Proposition B, which eliminated guaranteed pension benefits for most employees.

San Diego Experts Discuss Police Interactions With Mentally Ill People

San Diego Experts Discuss Police Interactions With Mentally Ill People

Dec. 23
By Maureen Cavanaugh, Megan Burke

In a news conference this week, San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis said an estimated 50 percent of people shot by the police in the United States are mentally ill.

San Diego Doctor Offers Healthy Holiday Travel Tips

San Diego Doctor Offers Healthy Holiday Travel Tips

Dec. 22
By Maureen Cavanaugh, Megan Burke

A San Diego doctor provides travel tips to stay healthy while traveling to and from your holiday destination. Hint: wash your hands.

A Physicist, An Engineer And A Cosmologist Discuss The Science Of '...

A Physicist, An Engineer And A Cosmologist Discuss The Science Of 'Star Wars'

Dec. 17
By Maureen Cavanaugh, Megan Burke, Neiko Will

Is it possible that light could be contained in a lightsaber? Could a weapon destroy a planet? How long would it take to hop around a galaxy, even one far, far away?

San Diego Scientists Hope To Raise Ocean Consciousness At UN Confer...

San Diego Scientists Hope To Raise Ocean Consciousness At UN Conference

Dec. 1
By Amita Sharma, Megan Burke, Steve Walsh

A team from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego are in Paris attending the 21st United Nations Conference on Climate Change. They are there to educate conference delegates on the role the ocean plays in climate change.

Cyber Monday Sales Still On Top, But Losing Some Luster

Cyber Monday Sales Still On Top, But Losing Some Luster

Nov. 30
By Associated Press, Megan Burke

Shoppers traded bricks for clicks on Monday, flocking online to snap up "Cyber Monday" deals on everything from cashmere sweaters to Star Wars toys.

San Diego County Food Pantries Struggle To Keep Up With Need

San Diego County Food Pantries Struggle To Keep Up With Need

Nov. 19
By Amita Sharma, Maureen Cavanaugh, Megan Burke

It's the time of year when many charities ask people to open their hearts and their wallets to those less fortunate. Some of the most urgent appeals come from groups providing food.

Jerusalem Documentary Takes San Diego On Eye-Opening Tour

Jerusalem Documentary Takes San Diego On Eye-Opening Tour

Nov. 18
By Maureen Cavanaugh, Megan Burke, Peggy Pico

"Jerusalem" opens Friday at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center. The IMAX film includes aerial images of the Western Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Dome of the Rock in the Old City.

Hearing At San Diego State Examines Student Homelessness

Hearing At San Diego State Examines Student Homelessness

Nov. 16
By Maureen Cavanaugh, Megan Burke

Members of a state Assembly committee will convene at San Diego State University to hear about how housing and food insecurity are affecting college students.

Journalism Changing In 'The Post-Kardashian Era'

Journalism Changing In 'The Post-Kardashian Era'

Nov. 11
By Maureen Cavanaugh, Megan Burke, Peggy Pico

Journalists and public relations experts wrestle with how traditional journalism is contending with "click-bait" news. A forum will be held Thursday night at Point Loma Nazarene University on the topic.

San Diego Nonprofit Launches Online Course About Helping Veterans

San Diego Nonprofit Launches Online Course About Helping Veterans

Nov. 11
By Maureen Cavanaugh, Megan Burke, Peggy Pico

San Diego-based nonprofit PsychArmor launched the "One, Five, Fifteen Campaign" on Veterans Day with a free hour-long online course to educate all Americans about what they can do to help veterans.

San Diego Writer Shares Her Experience With Depression

San Diego Writer Shares Her Experience With Depression

Nov. 4
By Amita Sharma, Maureen Cavanaugh, Megan Burke

This week in her long-running San Diego Reader column, Diary of a Diva, Barbarella Fokos decided to write about something she never has before. She described what it's like for her to live with depression.

San Diego Asian Film Festival Opens Thursday

San Diego Asian Film Festival Opens Thursday

Nov. 5
By Maureen Cavanaugh, Megan Burke

Women directors, masters of cinema, pop culture and a 105-year-old Disney artist. The 16th annual San Diego Asian Film Festival, which opens this week, celebrates films from Asia and by Asian-Americans.

Author William Joyce Discusses 2015 KPBS One Book Kids Selection

Author William Joyce Discusses 2015 KPBS One Book Kids Selection

Nov. 2
By Maureen Cavanaugh, Megan Burke

William Joyce is the author of the KPBS One Book Kids selection for 2015, "The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore." KPBS spoke to him about his book in November.

Study Shows Scope Of Sex Trafficking In San Diego County

Study Shows Scope Of Sex Trafficking In San Diego County

Oct. 28
By Maureen Cavanaugh, Megan Burke, Peggy Pico

San Diego County law enforcement has long known that human sex trafficking was a significant problem here. Now, for the first time, instead of just anecdotes there are numbers to reveal the scope of the problem.

Sci-Q: San Diego Experts Explore Science Of Fear

Sci-Q: San Diego Experts Explore Science Of Fear

Oct. 27
By Hoa Quach, Maureen Cavanaugh, Megan Burke

What happens to people when they get frightened? What's the line between exploring their fears and being paralyzed by them?

Preparing For El Niño: Tips To Protect San Diego Homes

Preparing For El Niño: Tips To Protect San Diego Homes

Oct. 26
By Maureen Cavanaugh, Megan Burke, Peggy Pico

Tips for homeowners to protect their property both inside and out from the rainstorms that might accompany El Niño.

Friend Remembers Baseball Great Tony Gwynn In New Book

Friend Remembers Baseball Great Tony Gwynn In New Book

Oct. 23
By Megan Burke

One of the most beloved figures in San Diego sports history was honored this week when a stretch of Interstate 15 in North County was named the Tony Gwynn Memorial Freeway. The long-time Padre is also the subject of a new book.

Report: San Diego Economy Taking $1B Hit From Low Safety Net Enroll...

Report: San Diego Economy Taking $1B Hit From Low Safety Net Enrollment

Oct. 22
By Maureen Cavanaugh, Megan Burke

A new report says San Diego County enrollment rates in CalFresh, CalWORKs and Medi-Cal remain among the lowest in the state.

Why Immigrant Spouses Are Uniquely Vulnerable To Domestic Violence

Why Immigrant Spouses Are Uniquely Vulnerable To Domestic Violence

Oct. 21
By Maureen Cavanaugh, Megan Burke, Peggy Pico

"He told me, 'If you’re not back in 15 minutes I will call the police and say that you kidnapped my son, because you have no rights.'"

'Mathemagician' Arthur Benjamin To Perform In La Jolla

'Mathemagician' Arthur Benjamin To Perform In La Jolla

Oct. 13
By Maureen Cavanaugh, Megan Burke

In his new book, "The Magic of Math: Solving for x and Figuring Out Why," Arthur Benjamin uses mental magic tricks to engage his readers in solving math problems.

Does California Coastal Commission Have Authority To Ban Breeding A...

Does California Coastal Commission Have Authority To Ban Breeding At SeaWorld?

Oct. 12
By Maureen Cavanaugh, Megan Burke

The California Coastal Commission approved SeaWorld's request to expand the holding tanks for its killer whales on the condition that it halts its breeding program.

San Diego Food Justice Organization To Hold Fundraiser This Week

San Diego Food Justice Organization To Hold Fundraiser This Week

Oct. 5
By Maureen Cavanaugh, Megan Burke, Neiko Will

Project New Village promotes healthy eating in Southeast San Diego and will honor civil rights leader Fannie Lou Hamer during its annual fundraising gala on Wednesday.

Proposal To Ban Styrofoam Food Containers In Encinitas Heats Up

Proposal To Ban Styrofoam Food Containers In Encinitas Heats Up

Oct. 2
By Amita Sharma, Megan Burke

The City of Encinitas has extended the public comment period on a proposal to restaurants and other businesses from using styrofoam containers for take-out food and drinks.

San Diego's Dueling Transportation Plans Under Fire

San Diego's Dueling Transportation Plans Under Fire

Oct. 1
By Mark Sauer, Megan Burke, Peggy Pico

A report co-authored by two San Diego environmental groups finds a disconnect between the city of San Diego's Climate Action Plan and the San Diego Association of Government's regional transportation plan.

San Diego Notifies Customers About Proposed Water Rate Increases

San Diego Notifies Customers About Proposed Water Rate Increases

Sept. 30
By Maureen Cavanaugh, Megan Burke, Peggy Pico

City of San Diego customers are about to get a letter telling them the City Council will vote on Nov. 17 on a plan that would raise water rates by more than 40 percent in less than four years.

Educating San Diego LGBT Community About Social Security Rights

Educating San Diego LGBT Community About Social Security Rights

Sept. 29
By Maureen Cavanaugh, Megan Burke, Peggy Pico

Town hall-style meetings are being held in San Diego on Wednesday to educate the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community about their rights to benefits from Social Security.

Sci-Q: San Diego Experts Talk About The Science Of Cheese

Sci-Q: San Diego Experts Talk About The Science Of Cheese

Sept. 28
By Maureen Cavanaugh, Megan Burke

A new lab moving to UC San Diego is using cheese as a way to understand the way microbes work. So in this edition of our SCI-Q series we are exploring the science of cheese.

Poverty Among San Diego Seniors Increases

Poverty Among San Diego Seniors Increases

Sept. 23
By Maureen Cavanaugh, Megan Burke, Peggy Pico

More than 212,000 people lived in poverty in the city of San Diego in 2014, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

San Diego Artists Take On Drought In New Central Library Exhibit

San Diego Artists Take On Drought In New Central Library Exhibit

Sept. 22
By Maureen Cavanaugh, Megan Burke

A new exhibit called "Rainmaker," now open at the San Diego Central Library, presents the work of 12 artists offering perspectives on drought and climate change.