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Stories by Pat Finn

Roundtable: School Bond Donors; San Onofre Hearing; Homelessness Discussion; Trestles Tussle

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School districts award contracts funded by school bonds to donors that fund the bond campaigns. The CPUC holds a public hearing on San Onofre costs. Voice of San Diego gives homelessness a public airing. And it's the Marines versus the surfers at a famous San Onofre beach.

Roundtable: Border Patrol Hiring; Guest Worker Program; Gregory Canyon; Plaza de Panama; Coastal Commission Sues Navy

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The Border Patrol's hiring and training practices scrutinized. Local farmers don't use the guest worker program. The Gregory Canyon Landfill Gets Another Airing. The Coastal Commission sues the Navy. SOHO sues over Plaza de Panama.

The Big Banks: Truth, Trust In Short Supply

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More than four years after the 2008 financial meltdown, the big banks that caused the crisis are behaving as before -- taking big risks and hiding the facts from investors and the public, says University of San Diego's Frank Partnoy.

Salk Scientists Find Diabetes Drug Treats Lung Cancer

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Who'd have thought that a diabetes drug pulled from the shelves because of harmful side effects would shrink lung-cancer tumors? Scientists at Salk Institute's new Helmsley Center for Genomic Medicine had that very idea, and it's panning out.

Film Documents Renewal Of Ciudad Juarez

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When filmmaker Charlie Minn began documenting the war between rival drug cartels in Juarez, Mexico, the city was on its way to becoming the murder capital of the world. His latest documentary, the New Juarez, tells a different story.

Roundtable: Oaks Falling To Beetles; District 4 Race; Immigration Reform; One Paseo Is Huge In CV

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A little bitty beetle is making a meal of San Diego's oak trees -- and could kill them all. The race for City Council District 4 is wide open. Immigration reform may really be coming. And a proposed development is stirring up Carmel Valley folks.

Roundtable: Filner Speaks; Local Gun Control; Building Heights; Chargers Hires

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Mayor Filner's had a very busy week. Local gun control advocates are speaking up. A limit on building heights in coastal San Diego has shaped the city. And the Chargers are staying for awhile, at least, with a new coach and general manager.

Roundtable: Sara Kruzan Update; Surviving School Shootings; DIY Drones; Filner & Marijuana

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There may be a settlement in the case of a woman who killed her pimp. SDSU stages training for educators -- on how to survive school shootings; Local engineers build drones for hobbyists; Mayor Filner strongly supports medical marijuana.

Roundtable: Qualcomm Stadium, District 4 Election, Filner And Transparency, Desert Energy Plan

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Qualcomm Stadium may not be on its last down; some voters in District 4 will be disenfranchised; Mayor Filner is having transparency problems; and a new inter-agency plan tries to balance development and environment in the desert.

Second Chance Is Lifeline For Job Seekers

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Students at San Diego Second Chance--the homeless, the jobless, the under-educated, even those with a criminal record--can become productive members of society if they can learn to follow the rules.

Roundtable: Guns, City Budget, Redevelopment, Homelessness, UC & East County Images

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San Diego law enforcement agencies exchange guns for gift cards. No city budget surplus after all. City redevelopment gets smacked down. San Diego's homeless getting attention. East County and the University of California have image problems.

Todd Gloria Says He Has Not Proposed Sales Tax Increase

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Newly elected City Council President Todd Gloria told KPBS today he did not propose a tax increase to fund infrastructure repairs.

Roundtable: SANDAG's Loss, Zombie Spending, Infrastructure Ideas, Oceanside Feud

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Sandag's big, big plan gets deflated. A Senator questions Homeland Security's San Diego zombie event. Todd Gloria wants to fix your streets. And Oceanside's mayor is pretty ticked off.

Horton Plaza: Wilson's Grand Plan Gets An Update

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When Pete Wilson was elected Mayor of San Diego in 1971, downtown was a haven for tattoo parlors, seedy bars and burlesque houses, a place no respectable person wanted to visit. Times have changed.

Roundtable: Military Suicide, Women In Combat, Dogs & PTSD, City Hall Transitions

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Military issues front-and-center this week include women in combat, punishment for attempted suicide, and retraining combat dogs with PTSD. Transition issues in City Hall involve new staff, new council members and lack of space.

Demolition Begins To Make Way For Horton Plaza Park

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Work crews today began demolishing the old Robinsons- May/Planet Hollywood building at Westfield Horton Plaza in downtown San Diego to make room for a new public park.

Tourism Marketing Tax Approved, But Is It Legal?

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The San Diego City Council voted on Monday to extend for 40 years the pilot program taxing hotel rooms by up to 2 percent. The funds collected in the Tourism Marketing District will go exclusively to marketing San Diego and its amenities to tourists.

Why Did San Diego's LGBT Community Support Filner?

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San Diego's LGBT community activists are immersed in politics these days, sometimes in surprising ways. Many supported mayoral candidate Bob Filner over Carl DeMaio, who is gay.

Business Expert Explains How To Avoid Charity Scams

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When you give a donation to someone at the door or round-up your grocery bill for charity at the cash register, who gets the money? How can we tell which charities are well-run and effective?

Roundtable: Border Agent Shooting; SD Economy Improving; Salk Fundraising; La Jolla Cove Stinking

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More information surfaces about the checkered career of a Border Patrol agent who shot a mother of five; the San Diego economy is looking up; the Salk Institute needs research funds; and birds are stinking up La Jolla Cove.

Using Twitter To Predict Elections—Or The Flu

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An SDSU project is discovering how social media and websites can be mined for key words and timelines. The resulting mass of information can be used to predict events such as a presidential election.

Roundtable: Democrats Clean Up. So What Happens Now?

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Democrats have a super-majority in both state houses; they have the mayor's office and a majority on the San Diego City Council; and both the electorate and officeholders are more diverse.

Roundtable: SD Mayor, 52nd Congressional, District 3 Supervisor Races Getting Personal; Sweetwater Getting Weird

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As election season winds down, ads get emotional; Dave Roberts and Steve Dannon duke it out for supervisor sear. And a candidate for the Sweetwater school board has been indicted for various felonies.

State Superintendent Visits Patrick Henry High, Touts Prop 30

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California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson is on a statewide "Strong Schools for a Strong Economy" tour in part to promote Prop. 30.

North County Cities Facing Big Election Issues

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Three candidates want to be Oceanside's mayor; Escondido voters must choose whether their city will become a charter city with more power; and Del Mar will decide whether or not to completely change the way in and out of downtown.

Roundtable: Mayoral Polling; Chargers Fans Moping; Yoga Indoctrinating; BBC Traveling

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Polling in the San Diego Mayor's race is all over the place. The Chargers have lost their last two games in embarrassing fashion. A few parents are tense over yoga in their public schools. And the BBC program "World Have Your Say" comes to Oceanside.

Sandra Fluke Campaigns For Women's Reproductive Rights

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In San Diego for a Planned Parenthood rally on Friday, Sandra Fluke believes the November election is particularly important to women.

San Diego Real Estate Looking Less Anemic

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Short sales are up, and default notices are down in San Diego. Can we see a rebound for real estate around the corner, or will real improvement prove elusive?

Roundtable: Navy/Broadway; Orchestra Nova; Bilbray/Peters; Lightner/Ellis

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The Navy's waterfront project gets a go-ahead; Jung Ho Pak leaves Orchestra Nova behind. Brian Bilbray and Scott Peters turn on each other; Sherri Lightner and Ray Ellis take it to the wire.

Politicos, Journalists, Friends Remember Gloria Penner

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Today's Midday Edition Roundtable is devoted to Gloria Penner, who died on October 6. Local politicians, journalists whose careers she impacted and former colleagues remember her persistence, preparation and high standards.

Broadcasting Pioneer Gloria Penner Dies At 81

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Gloria Penner, a San Diego broadcasting pioneer whose distinctive voice and reassuring presence graced the KPBS airwaves for nearly half a century, died Saturday.

Roundtable: DeMaio's Calendar, Convention Center Finances, Tuite's Case, "Conversion Therapy"

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Questions of the week: Why does DeMaio's calendar matter? Will the Convention Center expansion really be funded? Will Richard Tuite be retried? Will the local lawsuit against California's "conversion therapy" ban prevail?

San Diego's US Attorney Going After Prescription Drugs From Mexican Cartels

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Pharmaceutical drug trafficking has become so lucrative that Mexican drug cartels are trying to get in on the action. As prescription drug abuse among adults and teenagers rises, San Diego's U.S. Attorney is concerned about the associated rise in violence.

Grant Barrett On The Presidential Debate And Debaters

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Are Republicans or Democrats better at framing the debate and getting their message out? Is Obama or Romney likely to do a better job of persuasion?

Roundtable: Manchester And The Port; Dueling Mayoral Endorsements; Judges Ride Free

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Doug Manchester and John Lynch are pulling out all the stops for a sports-entertainment complex downtown. Mayoral candidates DeMaio gets big endorsements while Filner counters with endorsements of his own. Courtrooms are closing, employees are laid off, but judges keep their car allowance.

Are College Rankings Bogus?

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The US News college rankings came out this month. So did the Forbes college rankings, the Washington Monthly college rankings and no doubt several others. But who participates in these subjective rankings and what are the numbers based on?

Roundtable: City Council District 1, Mayor's Race, SDG&E vs. Ratepayers, Abandoned Property

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Will the San Diego City Council lean right or left? Will the LGBT community warm up to Carl DeMaio? Will customers pay for SDG&E's wildfire costs? And will the city's new definition of abandoned property ease blight?

Roundtable: Manchester Buys North Co. Times, Orchestra Nova's Labor Dispute, Vets And Martial Arts

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Doug Manchester doubles down on print media, sewing up the county's two daily papers. Orchestra Nova seeks an unusual concession from its musicians. And returning vets find mental health in the violence of mixed martial arts.

Roundtable: Mayor's Race, San Diego Hate Groups, Crowdsourcing Emergency Aid

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The never-ending round of mayoral debates continues -- with some new twists. Hate groups hang on in San Diego County by changing their message. A local company discovers how to use crowdsourcing to find lost hikers 4,000 miles away.

13 Hate Groups Tracked In San Diego County

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The Southern Poverty Law Center has identified 13 hate groups in San Diego County and another 12 which are statewide. An eclectic bunch, they include white racist skinheads, patriot groups, black separatists, anti-immigrant groups, and Christian identity groups.

Legislature Swamps Governor In Bills

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As per usual, a veritable whirlwind of legislation landed on Gov. Jerry Brown's desk at the close of the Legislative session last week, including many bills that were unread by the legislators voting on them. But this way of doing business may change.

Roundtable: Vets Want Benefits, State Wants New Fees, Lindbergh Wants Air Traffic

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Veterans face a long wait to find out their eligibility for benefits. The last day of the legislative session finds Sacramento lawmakers making new rules for San Diego and new fees for all. And San Diego International Airport is having trouble finding enough air traffic.

San Diego CityBeat: 10 Years Of Wit And Fury

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San Diego CityBeat, a crusading alternative weekly with its own mix of outrage, investigation, wit and in-your-face opinion on everything from politics to fashion, celebrates its 10th birthday this month.

Roundtable: 2,000 U.S. Dead in Afghanistan, Criminal Cases Pose Challenge, No Jail Mail

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U.S. troops reach an unwanted milestone in Afghanistan. A man the D.A. declined to charge with kidnapping and raping his wife has been arraigned for murdering her. An 11-year-old accused of killing his friend is found incompetent. The Sheriff's Department says postcards only -- no envelopes -- to prisoners.

Is Wildlife Services Killing Too Many Animals In San Diego?

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Voice of San Diego's investigative series on the USDA's Wildlife Services discovered the agency kills thousands of animals each year to protect endangered species or humans, but often information on why or what danger they posed was unavailable.

Roundtable: Mayor's Race Gets Ugly; Port Gets Tenant; Escondido Gets Rights Issue

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The Mayor's race is getting as hot as the weather. The Port of San Diego gets a long-term delivery of fresh fruit. And the City of Escondido is wrestling with a voting-rights lawsuit.

Pendleton Marines Among Those Killed This Week In Afghanistan

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As the War in Afghanistan winds down for U.S. troops, it is taking a frightening turn into uncertainty. Afghan soldiers have attacked and killed members of the U.S. military, foreign troops and even their own compatriots in recent days.

Meteorologists Say Current Heat Wave Is Sign Of Climate Change

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The San Diego summer suddenly got a lot hotter, but nowhere near as steamy as it is in the middle of the country. We look at what's up with the weather (the temperature), what's going on with the climate (change), and whether they are related (maybe).

Roundtable: Poway Unified's Big Bond; Padres' Big Sale; San Onofre's Big Trouble

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Last night's mayoral debate got testy. Poway Unified School District must pay back almost $1 billion on a loan of $105 million. The Padres' sale includes more than the team and part of Petco. San Onofre Nuclear Generation Station is on thin ice with regulators.

What's The Solution To High College Costs?

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Most parents looking for a college that suits their child financially and academically have no idea how to go about it. Neither, says author Lynn O'Shaughnessy, do high school counselors.