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Stories by Pat Finn

Debate Over Prop A: Should City Ban Project Labor Agreements?

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Is it a ban or isn't it? Is it constitutional or isn't it? San Diego Proposition A on the June ballot either bans or doesn't ban the city from engaging in project labor agreements on construction projects.

Roundtable: Junior Seau, Daniel Chong, Blackout Report

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The death of Junior Seau by suicide left many asking why and what role the sport of professional football played, if any. UCSD student Daniel Chong's ordeal of deprivation while in DEA custody has infuriated legislators and made national news. And the federal government's report on the September, 2011, blackout names the usual suspect -- lack of communication.

Chargers Great Junior Seau Dead From Apparent Suicide

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Oceanside Police confirmed that Chargers great Junior Seau was found dead at his Oceanside home of an apparent gunshot wound.

Report On SD Water Rates Is Flashpoint

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A report on San Diego County water rates sounds like dry stuff. But as far as the Metropolitan Water District and the San Diego County Water Authority are concerned, it's the latest salvo in a decades-long feud.

Roundtable: Leaving Political Parties, Voting on Rent Control, Raising Hotel Taxes

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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.

SD City Council Gets Labor Report Card

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The San Diego Labor Council Executive Board has issued a report card for the San Diego City Council members for their voting record on issues affecting working families. Most Council members wouldn't want to take this report card home to their parents.

Roundtable: Mayoral Debate, Border Death Video, AG Reverses Kruzan Position

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The mayoral candidates mixed it up in the KPBS studio this week. New video of a homicide shows a swarm of border agents in the mix around Anastasio Hernandez Rojas. And State Attorney General Kamala Harris was mixed up about the Sara Kruzan case.

Legal Update: Michael Crowe, Job Applications, Equal Pay

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It's been a busy week in the law. Michael Crowe is asking a court to find him factually innocent of killing his sister. The state legislature considers banning consideration of present employment in hiring. And in spite of the Fair Pay Act of 2009, women in the U.S. make 84 cents for every dollar earned by men.

Roundtable: Water Rates, County Supervisor Race, City Budget

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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?

Poet Thomas Lux Scans San Diego

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In the mid-90s, Thomas Lux, a poetry professor at Sarah Lawrence College in New York, was asked by Judith Moore, the late editor of the San Diego Reader, to write a series of pieces on San Diego. Lux was not only a total outsider, he had never before written non-fiction.

Roundtable: Fired Up! SDG&E Customers, Escondido Latinos, Mayoral Candidates

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SDG&E wants its customers to pay the uninsured costs for the 2007 wildfires as well as future ones. Escondido Latinos say the city's at-large election system disenfranchises them. And the candidates for San Diego's mayor want to do something about education.

Can We Be Civil, Please? Restoring Civility To Public Dialogue

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From squabbling, name calling and attack ads in the presidential race to condescension and mockery at San Diego mayoral debates, it seems clear that politics is becoming less and less civil.

Roundtable: Facebooking Marine, Pension Reform, Prisons Change

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Can a U.S. Marine criticize his top boss on Facebook? Is Prop B pension reform or a fraud? Is the realignment of California's state prisons going as planned?

Visible Meltdown Of Invisible Children

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When the San Diego-based non-profit Invisible Children released the video "Kony2012" a week ago, it had almost 40 million hits on YouTube four days later. But by week's end the group was beset with negative press, including the very public meltdown of one of its founders. How will the group's millions of young supporters react?

Roundtable: Congressional Debate, Dueling Water Boards, Big Kitschy Statue

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Brian Bilbray, Scott Peters and Lori Saldana talked immigration, healthcare and gas prices during their debate this week on KPBS. The San Diego County Water Authority says the Metropolitan Water District is gouging San Diegans. The Port of San Diego overrules its own committee on a big statue.

Are SDPD's Curfew Sweeps Doing The Job?

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In 2008, the San Diego Police Department began a series of curfew sweeps in urban neighborhoods in an effort to curb violent crime and protect juveniles. Four years later, has taken a look at the numbers to find out if the sweeps are doing the job.

U.S. Nuclear Safety One Year After Fukushima

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It's been one year since the triple disaster of earthquake, tsunami and partial nuclear meltdown hit Japan. Are U.S. nuclear plants any safer? Are we any closer to being able to predict big earthquakes?

Roundtable: San Diego's Mayoral Race

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Local editors give their takes on the race to be San Diego's next mayor and Katie Orr tells us what each candidate's hobby is.

Roundtable: Battle Over Birth Control

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Local editors discuss the battle over birth control and San Diego Congressman Darrell Issa's role in the debate.

Is California's Death Penalty At A Crossroads?

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State Senator Joel Anderson has introduced a bill which would eliminate automatic appeals for death penalty cases at a time when support for the death penalty in California seems to be waning.

Evening Roundtable: Trouble At UCAN And Schools

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The week began with news that the ratepayer advocacy organization UCAN was dissolving amidst an investigation. An anonymous author posted a press release on the organization’s website declaring “persistent legal challenges” prevented it from continuing.

Roundtable: UCAN Dissolves; SDUSD Fiscal Dilemma; Open Primary Confusion

Questions of the week: Is UCAN's dissolution a strategic ploy? Will SD Unified declare itself insolvent if the teachers' union won't negotiate? Will California's new top-two primary really make politics more moderate?

Explaining California's Open Primary

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This June, Californians can vote for anyone regardless of political party for most contested partisan races, such as statewide offices, state legislative offices and congressional races. What will this mean to voters and political parties?

Evening Roundtable: City's Budget Deficit And Del Mar Fairgrounds

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How did the mayor make enough money to move San Diego into the black? Why are the hotel workers suing their bosses? And what's happening with the Del Mar Fairgrounds? Local journalists discuss.

Roundtable: City Budget News, Fairgrounds Board Views, Water Users' Dues

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Everybody's Talking: The mayor says the city's budget deficit is history; an audit says the city has millions in unspent water and sewer upgrade funds; and the Coastal Commission says the Del Mar Fairgrounds Board is now doing the right thing.

Trouble At The Del Mar Fairgrounds

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The resignation of a prominent member of the fairgrounds board, an audit which found improper practices by management, and a recent agreement with the Coastal Commission which included a $5 million penalty are among the troubles faced by board members, some newly appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown.

Roundtable: Troubles For Pension Reform, Food Stamps, Homeless Students

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Could the pension reform initiative be kept off the ballot? Will San Diego County ever enroll all those who need food stamps? How do homeless students manage to get an education?

Students Registering Students To Vote At UC San Diego

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Last year, UC San Diego was dead last in student voter registration rates. This year, it's second only to UC Santa Barbara. The difference is easy and immediate access to voter registration materials the day freshmen move in.

Roundtable: Prop 8 Ruling, SDUSD Vs. Teachers Union, Food Trucks & Health

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Roundtable: The Ninth Circuit rules on Proposition 8; the teachers union rules on San Diego Unified's budget plans, and we find out if there are rules for food trucks in San Diego County.

Experts Discuss The Mystery Of Severe Depression

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The causes of severe or clinical depression are as varied as the current treatments for the condition. We look at what depression is and what can be done about it.


Roundtable: Money In Politics, Petco Park & Indian Tribes

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Panelists look at the large amounts of money swirling around local and national politics; the lack of it in East Village businesses during the Padres' off-season; and whether money caused the Pala Band of Indians to expel 154 tribal members.

Officials: Small Radiation Leak Possible At San Onofre Nuclear Plant

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A nuclear reactor at San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station remained off-line today due to an equipment problem that sent a small, non-hazardous amount of radioactive gas into an auxiliary building and possibly into the atmosphere, authorities said.

Campaign Finance Reform Advocates Face Uphill Battle

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The 2012 presidential election is expected to be the most expensive election in U.S. history. Observers say it should significantly outpace the $2.4 billion spent in 2008.

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Guest Review: 'Carnage'

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Can guest reviewer Pat Finn see past her dislike of director Roman Polanski to appreciate his adaptation of the play "Carnage" (currently playing at Landmark's Hillcrest Cinemas)?

Roundtable: Wuterich Resolution, Manchester's Grand Vision, Retiree Health Agreement

The trial of Marine Staff Sergeant Frank Wuterich comes to an end; Doug Manchester presents his vision for the San Diego waterfront in the pages of the U-T. The city reaches agreement with six unions on retiree health benefits, and the funding for an expanded convention center comes up for a vote.

What's Up With This Weird Weather?

Cool summer. Warm winter. Wind storms. High pressure. Not much rain. What in the world is going on with our weather? There's an explanation, of course, and it's called La Nina.

Roundtable: SDG&E's Solar Charge, State-Of-The-State, SD Mayor's Race

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.

Roundtable: Sanders' Speech, Wuterich Trial, Brown's Budget

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Today on Roundtable: Jerry Sanders tried to hit it out of the park with the State of the City speech, opening statements and first testimony in the manslaughter trial of Marine Staff Sergeant Frank Wuterich, and Jerry Brown's proposed budget is very lean and very mean.

Elizabeth George Tells All About Inspector Lynley

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Elizabeth George, author of 17 novels featuring British detective Thomas Lynley, is in San Diego to promote her newest book. We ask how an American writer gets into the head of an upper-class British sleuth.

Jose Vargas Reveals Life As An Undocumented Immigrant

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Journalist Jose Vargas revealed his status as an illegal immigrant a few years ago after living, attending school and working in the United States for nearly 20 years. His status is unchanged, and he talks with us about his life int he shadows.

Teresa Urrea's Amazing Adventure

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Luis Urrea wrote about his distant Aunt Teresa in the best-selling novel "The Hummingbird's Daughter." His new book, "The Queen of America," continues her saga, this time as a faith healer in the United States.

Roundtable: Mayor's Race, Pension Reform, Open Primaries, 52nd Congressional

Editors look ahead at some issues and candidates in this election year in San Diego, including the mayor's race, the Comprehensive Pension Reform Initiative, open primaries and the newly drawn 52nd Congressional District.

Grant Barrett's Annual Words Of The Year

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"Kardash" and "99-percenters" are just two of Grant Barrett's words of 2011. Which will last and which will die off?

Following The Money Trail Of Redevelopment Funds

Last week the court upheld a law saying the state may eliminate redevelopment agencies and threw out a law saying the agencies could exist if they paid a portion of their revenue to the state. We discuss the recent history of state revenues and and the consequences of piecemeal reform like Prop 22.

Roundtable: Redevelopment Ruling Plus Wrap-ups on Education, Public Safety, Media

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We look at the state Supreme Court's ruling on redevelopment agencies and wrap-up the year's top stories in education (SDUSD's budget woes); public safety (SDPD's bad apples) and media (the UT sale).

Vets Deal With Murky Medical Marijuana Rules

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Returning veterans who must deal with pain are finding it difficult to reconcile the different rules followed by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Justice Department.

Sweetwater In Hot Water

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Sweetwater Union High School District has had its share of troubles this year, including scandals involving grade-changing and misuse of credit cards, and now the homes and offices of several board members and contractors have been raided by the San Diego County DA's office.

Roundtable: Year's Top Stories In The Military, Economy, Healthcare

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At year's end, we assess the condition and outlook for the military in San Diego at the end of the War in Iraq; the economic climate and costs of and access to healthcare.

Roundtable: Education Cuts, Whistle-Blower's Troubles, Airport Concessions

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Public education is in trouble: More budget cuts in the works and Michelle Rhee was in town to ask for big changes. Also, a county whistle-blower challenges his firing, and The Regional Airport Board has some explaining to do on why they tossed out concessionaire evaluations.

Roundtable: Convention Center Expansion, Foiled Gadhafi Plot, Escondido Voting Rights

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San Diego's City Council is taking steps to create funding for the convention center; a Latino group pushes for district elections in Escondido; and an alleged plot to smuggle a Gadhafi into Mexico.