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Stories by Pat Finn

California Coastal Commission May Toss Chief Overboard

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The panel charged with protecting 1,100 miles of California's coastline meets Wednesday in Morro Bay to decide if its executive director, Charles Lester, should stay or go.

San Diego's City Charter Under Review

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It's 149 pages long and sets the rules for how the city governs itself in almost every area. But it has no way to remove a sick or misbehaving mayor, and that's something the City Council hopes to change.

Roundtable Spotlights Foster, Spanos, Televangelist and Body-Cam Videos

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Marne Foster pleads guilty and resigns as San Diego school trustee. Chargers' Dean Spanos reconsiders San Diego. The district attorney deals with tons of body-cam videos. And a televangelist wants to build a Christian resort in Mission Valley.

Women's Professional Cycling Making Headway

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The most famous event in cycling, the Tour de France, is for men only. Now women are trying to move up from the back of the pack to increase their presence, number of events and prize money.

Blowing In The Wind? Spending Millions On Disappearing San Diego Beach Sand

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Much to the dismay of beach lovers, San Diego beaches are not so sandy any more. King tides and El Niño have made them more pebbly than ever. SANDAG has spent millions trying to stem this tide. Is it worth it?

San Diego's Image Problem With Big Tech

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When big tech companies like Google and Facebook are asked to consider locating offices in San Diego, they decline. Why? San Diego's workforce lacks the scientific, engineering and tech talent they need.

Roundtable: San Diego Mayor's Race, Methane Leak, Fish Farm

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There's a new face in the San Diego mayor's race, new stats in the mega-methane leak in Los Angeles, and new information on Hubbs-SeaWorld's experiment with farming fish.

28 Years Of Malashock Dance In San Diego

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Sometimes it's been a struggle, but after 28 years of leading San Diego's premiere modern dance company, John Malashock still finds the creative experience exciting and fulfilling.

San Diego Black Film Festival Opens This Week

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With more than a hundred films — documentaries, shorts, feature films — showing over five days, the San Diego Black Film Festival is a vital venue for filmmakers and actors to tell stories about the black experience.

Roundtable: Many Questions Remain In San Onofre Debacle

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There have been charges, counter-charges, a criminal probe and a lot of silent avoidance since the radiation leak that eventually closed the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station was discovered.

North County Cities Explore Choosing Their Energy Sources

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Several North County cities and the city of San Diego are considering switching to an alternative energy program that would give them the power to choose where their electricity comes from.

Carlsbad Voters Will Soon Decide On Shopping Center Proposed For Lagoon

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Next week, after months of forums, debates, and big campaign spending, Carlsbad voters will finally weigh in on whether they want an upscale retail center on the Agua Hediondo Lagoon.

Roundtable Tackles Chargers, Flooding, State's Budget, City's State

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The Chargers are still here, for now; some residents in San Carlos are flooded out; the details of the governor's conservative budget; and the mayor's take on the state of the city.

Churches Pitch In To Help San Diego Homeless

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When a Midday Edition guest lamented last week that he didn't see churches stepping up to help the homeless, that didn't sound quite right. We looked into it and found lots of helping hands in area churches.

Ron Roberts Takes Charge

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From the Chargers to land use, infrastructure to transportation, Ron Roberts — as chair of the Board of Supervisors and the board of SANDAG — will be right in the thick of 2016's biggest issues.

Flood Insurance: What Good Is It?

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If any year was a good year to purchase flood insurance, this is it, says the California Department of Insurance. So what good is it to homeowners and renters?

Roundtable: Deluge in Tijuana, City Pension Woes, SeaWorld's Legal Trials

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San Diego wasn't the only place hard hit by this week's rains. So was Tijuana. San Diego's pension problems still aren't settled. And SeaWorld spends a lot of time in court.

James Chute Is Bullish On San Diego Arts Scene

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After 25 years of writing about music and art in San Diego, James Chute has left The San Diego Union-Tribune. He looks back and ahead to an arts scene he believes is on the brink — in a good way this time.

Governor Declares State Of Emergency As Disastrous Methane Leak Continues

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In October, 67,000 pounds of climate-changing methane gas began spewing into the air each hour from a gas storage field near Los Angeles. Work on a relief well is on schedule, and SoCalGas is working on a plan to capture the methane.

Can You Retire Comfortably? Maybe Not

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More than a third of all private sector workers in the U.S. have no retirement benefits. Social Security helps a little, and some say it is in trouble itself. But there are simple initiatives the government could take to remedy the situation and ease minds.

Roundtable: The Big Stories of 2015

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Much of what made news in 2015 — the Chargers, Mayor Kevin Faulconer, lawyer Cory Briggs, D.A. Bonnie Dumanis, Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman, SeaWorld and the Padres — will be center stage again in 2016.

Roundtable On LA Methane Leak, Police Shooting Video, SDPD Review Board

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A methane leak in Los Angeles is a huge, dangerous, environmental disaster. A judge allows a police shooting video to be released to the news media. The civilian watchdog for the SDPD is pretty toothless.

San Diego Doctor On How Sports-Caused Brain Trauma Affects Kids

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Dr. Alan Shahtaji, director of the Sports Concussion Clinic at UC San Diego Health, sees six to eight kids each week who have suffered brain trauma while playing football or other sports.

San Diego's Navy Broadway Complex Still Not A Done Deal

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The $1.3 billion downtown development project now called Manchester Pacific Gateway received final approval from the city of San Diego last week. Still to come: an appeals court ruling and possibly more lawsuits.

Editors Roundtable

Roundtable Visits Pendleton, Carlsbad, Tijuana Airports And Silicon Valley South

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The proposed airport at Camp Pendleton, the expanding airport in Carlsbad, the new, convenient bridge to the international airport in Tijuana -- all could be used when San Diego becomes the new Silicon Valley.

Camp Pendleton International Airport? The Economics

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MBA students at Cal State San Marcos studied the economic impact of siting a dual-runway, international airport at Camp Pendleton. Hint: It's big.

Roundtable: Gun Violence, Climate Action, Electricity Choice & Tony Perry

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The San Bernardino shooting is still shaking up everyone. San Diego's climate plan is heading for a council vote. The prospect of choosing electricity sources excites some people. And a well-known local journalist turns a page.

Chula Vista's Mayor In Paris For Climate Talks

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Chula Vista Mayor Mary Casillas Salas is one of 11 U.S. mayors attending COP21, the climate conference in Paris. She's there because her city has been a leader in carbon reduction for over a decade.

Scripps Scientist Who Advised Pope Is In Paris For Climate Events

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Veerabhadran Ramanathan discovered the greenhouse effects of CFCs in 1975. Decades later he persuaded Pope Francis to raise awareness of the effects of climate change on society, especially the poor.

California Western Celebrates 10 Years Of Community Law

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From immigration issues to family law and housing disputes, student volunteers from California Western School of Law have provided legal services and advice to those who can't afford them for the last 10 years.

Renowned International Journalist Robin Wright In San Diego

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It goes without saying that parts of the Middle East are dangerous and deadly. How, then, does Robin Wright get at the truth of who, what and how — let alone the most important question: why?

Roundtable Investigates Investigative Reporting

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We shine a spotlight on local investigative reporting: The fallout from an ineffective whooping cough vaccine; how the cozy relationship of SoCal Edison with the CPUC affected customers; and ineffective fire alarms in Sweetwater schools.

Big Plans for San Diego's Lindbergh Field

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The recently approved $2.2 billion plan to expand the San Diego International Airport will increase its capacity to 61 gates and replace the ancient (in airport terms) Terminal One.

Roundtable On Water Rates, Navy Bribery Scandal, Longest Lawsuit

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San Diego's water rates are rising. "Fat Leonard" is singing about bribery and kickbacks to Navy personnel. Roque de la Fuente's marathon lawsuit against the city is finally settled.

High Tides, El Niño And 'The Blob' In California

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The weather will be big news in San Diego this winter, as strong El Niño-driven storms encounter already-high tides, and a warm water zone (known as "The Blob") sitting off the Northern California coast causes more trouble.

Roundtable On SeaWorld Changes, Dumanis Decision, Airline Curfew Violations

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SeaWorld says orcas will no longer jump through hoops. Bonnie Dumanis says no charges for Officer Neal Browder. Residents near the airport say enough with the airline curfew violations.

Chargers Drama Stars San Diego Mayor On New York Stage

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San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer made his case in New York. The Chargers and Raiders hired Disney's CEO. A sports columnist said San Diego could have a pro football team: the Raiders.

Poet and U.S. Veteran Brian Turner On 'Incoming'

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Brian Turner's extraordinary poems convey the adrenaline rush, the boredom, the flash of fear and horror of war. Turner was deployed to Bosnia and Iraq. A teacher now with a peaceful life in Florida, he continues to tell the story of war through his words.

New Book Explores All Things Pacific

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Author Simon Winchester likes big topics. He has followed up on his 2010 book on the history of the Atlantic Ocean with an even more enormous subject, the Pacific.

Roundtable: 2016 Tax Proposals, Clearing Storm Drains, Future Of Rural Metro

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Numerous tax measures on next year's ballot could confuse San Diego voters. Many storm drains are choked with overgrowth and debris as we head into a big El Niño winter. And, the city's troubled ambulance service that's been missing response-time targets has been sold.

Roundtable On Briggs Initiative, San Diego Democrats, SeaWorld's Battles

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Cory Briggs takes the initiative -- and then changes it. For next year's primary, there are either too many Democrats running, or not enough. And SeaWorld is putting up a whale of a fight.

Roundtable Looks At Street Repair, Big Solar, Shaken-Baby Prosecutions

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The mayor wants to repair 1,000 miles of streets over five years, but the current backlog is in the billions. Big solar is encamped in a big portion of the Imperial Valley. So who's benefiting? The evidence in shaken-baby cases is sometimes far from concrete, yet prosecution is relatively easy.

Roundtable Analyzes Trolley Density Study, New California Laws, Latest Opera Chapter

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It's not that San Diego's trolley stops are bad, it's the lack of density around them, says a new study. There was a huge landslide in Sacramento this year — of new laws. And the new executive director of the San Diego Opera is accused of causing the Gotham Chamber Opera to shut down.

Roundtable: The Marne Foster Mess, Women Marines, New CPUC Head, Nuclear Waste

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The San Diego Unified School Board President is in some hot water. Women Marines fighting for combat-readiness. The California Public Utilities Commission has a new chair, if that makes a difference. San Diego County Supervisors want nuclear waste out of San Onofre — now.

Roundtable: Publisher's Firing, Press Freedom Suit, El Niño, Drought

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Austin Beutner leaves the newspaper biz unwillingly. Cory Briggs' lawsuit against INewsource is thrown out of court. This year's El Nino still looks really big -- could it bust the drought?

Roundtable On Navy Broadway, Toni Atkins, Poway Unified

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Manchester's Navy Broadway complex is one step closer to breaking ground. Toni Atkins has lost her speakership. Two county supervisors find themselves fighting for their seats. And Poway Unified's superintendent altered a critical report.

Roundtable Looks At How The Police Deal With Parole, Transparency, Mental Illness

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Local police departments have issues to deal with. The killer of SDPD officer Archie Buggs is up for parole — again. Chief Shelley Zimmerman's efforts at transparency, especially with videos, have come up short. A lethal shooting in Oceanside highlights how little cops know about mental illness.

Roundtable Digs Into Coastal, Backcountry Development Controversies

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Huge planned developments are riling up residents of Carlsbad and the rural backcountry near Valley Center. Meanwhile, three luxury hotels on Harbor Island may not be built at all, unless developers can comply with a little-known law.

Roundtable: Edison-Mitsubishi Fight; Stadium Financing; Formidable Drug Prices

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Southern California Edison vs. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries over who's to blame for San Onofre. The city's stadium financing plan may (or may not) be moot. And new life-saving drugs are available, but cost as much as a house.

Roundtable Dissects San Onofre Settlement, Transit District Discrimination Suits

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Edison's in hot water over secret meetings with utility regulators, while ratepayers foot a huge bill for San Onofre's closure. The CEO of the North County Transit District is under fire and in court over charges of age and gender bias.

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