Print/Online

The following articles were published on KPBS and The Daily Aztec.

Mexico Drug War Survivors Urge The U.S. To Change Strategy

Article and radio story by Jose Luis Jiménez. English and Spanish videos by Diana Crofts-Pelayo.

Mexico Drug War Survivors Urge The U.S. To Change Strategy

published on KPBS, Fronteras Desk

August 2012

SAN DIEGO — Javier Sicilia expected to be remembered more for his words than for sparking the Caravan For Peace and Justice movement.

The poet dived into the dark world of Mexican politics and narcos after his son was killed in March 2011. Juan Francisco – a student who worked with drug addicts – was tortured and killed, along with six others. Apparently the killings were to retaliate for two of the men telling police about a drug gang’s activities.

Sicilia did not wallow in his grief. He decided the drug war Mexican President Felipe Calderon was prosecuting hurt the people it was supposed to help: innocent civilians.

So he took to the streets in Mexico. In one march, he led about 100,000 people into the main square in Mexico City.

Local Mourners Gather To Remember 67th Anniversary Of Nagasaki Bombing

Web, radio and TV stories written, filmed and edited by Diana Crofts-Pelayo.

Local Mourners Gather To Remember 67th Anniversary Of Nagasaki Bombing

published on KPBS

August 2012

On a warm, sunny day with a welcome breeze off the sea, mourners gathered to remember a horrific event – the atomic bomb that was dropped on the Japanese city of Nagasaki 67 years ago.

In the bombing of Nagasaki alone, more than 70,000 were killed and a like number injured.

Today’s calm ceremony on Shelter Island in San Diego was a stark contrast to the pain the people of Japan experienced. Survivors from Nagasaki and from Hiroshima, which was bombed three days before, were in attendance.

Akiko Mikamo, president of the humanitarian organization San Diego WISH, said people should take time to remember the victims and learn from the past.

“It’s very important to take a day to thank for friendship and peace and remembering the past and history, not for the blame, not for the criticism, but just learning from the past and also not wasting the very valuable lives that were lost,” she said.

Undocumented Immigrants Applying For Deferred Action Targets Of Scams

Article and radio story by Diana Crofts-Pelayo.

Undocumented Immigrants Applying For Deferred Action Target Of Scams

published on KPBS, Fronteras Desk

August 2012

SAN DIEGO — Undocumented immigrants applying for permission to remain in the United States under President Obama’s new deportation policy should beware of scammers, said Andrea Guerrero, executive director of the social advocacy groupEquality Alliance San Diego.

She said some lawyers and notarios (notaries) are dispensing lies.

“One of the many misconceptions which is perpetuated by people committing fraud in the community is that this is an amnesty or that this is a path to citizenship or that this is a bridge to another status,” she said.

Guerrero said this is not true. It’s a suspension of deportation, only a temporary status.

Nearly 90 Foster Siblings Reunited At Camp Connect

Article and radio story by Diana Crofts-Pelayo.

Nearly 90 Foster Siblings Reunited At Camp Connect

published on KPBS

August 2012

Imagine a weekend filled with swimming, rock climbing and horseback riding. Sounds like any kid’s dream vacation.

However, this camp trip is even more special for foster children because they are reuniting with their brothers and sisters who are in different foster homes.

Today, nearly 90 kids arrived at the four-day Camp Connect, a program organized by San Diego County Child Welfare Services. This year’s reunion is the largest since the camp trip started five years ago.

Margo Fudge, program manager with Camp Connect, said although it’s the county’s priority to place siblings together in foster homes, it is not always possible.

“But we live in a very large county and sometimes transportation is an issue or other things may come up where the children don’t see each other on a regular basis,” she said. “So, our program is designed to make sure those children have the opportunity to see each other.”

Mexico Launches Fundraising Campaign For Mexican Students In The U.S.

Web, radio and TV stories written, filmed and edited by Diana Crofts-Pelayo.

Mexico Launches Fundraising Campaign For Mexican Students In The U.S.

published on KPBS, Fronteras Desk

August 2012

Our neighbors south of the border are starting a fundraising campaign to support Mexican and Mexican-American college students in the United States.

The Mexican Consulate in San Diego launched the three month IME BECAS campaign called “For a Better Life.”

Until October 31, it allows the public to donate $5 or $10 through text messages to support university students and adults to continue their education.

Every year the Mexican government provides 10 million pesos to place in the fund. The fundraising campaign works with two non-profit organizations in the United States: Mobile Giving Foundation andHispanic Scholastic Funds Consortium.

The Consul General of Mexico in San Diego Remedios Gomez Arnau said it’s important to note that the Mexican government will not receive the donations and will not manage the funds received. The two non-profit organizations will receive, collect and deliver the money to students.

Governor Brown, Schwarzenegger Dedicate Sunrise Powerlink Amid Protests

Article by Erik Anderson and timeline by Diana Crofts-Pelayo.

Governor Brown, Schwarzenegger Dedicate Sunrise Powerlink Amid Protests

published on KPBS, timeline by Diana Crofts-Pelayo

July 2012

Gov. Jerry Brown joined former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and federal, state and local officials today to dedicate the Sunrise Powerlink at the Suncrest substation in Alpine, as opponents of the new transmission line staged a protest nearby.

The 117-mile line, which connects San Diego with the Imperial Valley, was put into service June 17 after a five-year environmental review and permitting process and 18 months of construction of the overhead and underground technology, according to SDG&E.

“The Sunrise Powerlink is an extraordinarily sophisticated technology that will bring solar and wind energy from the Imperial Valley to San Diego,” the governor said. “Most immediately, it will help keep the lights on during this year’s hot summer with the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant offline.”

Federal Subsidies Support Junk Food Instead Of Fresh Food, Report Says

Article and photograph by Diana Crofts-Pelayo.

Federal Subsidies Support Junk Food Instead Of Fresh Food, Report Says

published on KPBS

July 2012

Citing the obesity epidemic among America’s children, a California consumer group says federal subsidies support junk food instead of fresh food.

CALPIRG’s report is called “Apples to Twinkies 2012” because it says producers of corn syrup are financially favored over apple growers.

Twinkies and apples were used as props at a San Diego press event stating subsidized junk food is cheaper than healthy fruit and produce.

The report finds that between 1995 and 2011, $18.2 billion in tax dollars subsidized corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, cornstarch and soy oils. That equals $7.58 per taxpayer per year. It also said taxpayers spent only $637 million since 1995 subsidizing apples.

Lemon Grove Honors Past With New Downtown Promenade

Article by Diana Crofts-Pelayo and pictures courtesy Lemon Grove City Manager Graham Mitchell.

Lemon Grove Honors Past With New Downtown Promenade

published on KPBS

July 2012

Evoking images of the past, Lemon Grove is constructing a Downtown park and plaza.

The Main Street Promenade is a $4.9 million makeover of Main Street between North Avenue and Broadway in Lemon Grove. This area will feature a plaza, park, playground, amphitheater and several artistic pieces.

With agriculture being an important legacy for Lemon Grove, City Manager Graham Mitchell said this was the inspiration to create a central area in the city.

“One of the challenges lemon grove faces is there’s not a central gathering place in the heart of our city and this project actually accomplishes that,” he said. “We will have a place right in our core of our downtown for people to spend time.”

Weather Conditions Perfect For Future Brushfires In San Diego County

Article by Diana Crofts-Pelayo.

Weather Conditions Perfect For Future Brushfires In San Diego County

published on KPBS

July 2012

With wildfires ravaging parts of Colorado and the Western states, San Diego Fire Department officials are concerned a similar situation could occur here.

Looking toward late summer and early fall, the National Weather Service is predicting above average temperatures and near average precipitation, which means a mixture of high heat, windy conditions and dry brush. A perfect combination for wildfires.

Because of a dry winter and spring, brush in the county can very easily perpetuate a fire, according to meteorologist Roger Pierce. He says with Santa Ana winds, homes that are far away from an initial brush fire may still be at risk.

“That is one of the terrible things of the Santa Ana winds, that they actually do bring that, not only very dry air and very warm air, but they potentially could blow debris that’s on fire further down stream,” he said.

Mexican Migrant Seeks Retribution Against U.S. For Shooting

By Roxana Popescu, Investigative Newsource. Spanish translation by Diana Crofts-Pelayo.

Mexican Migrant Seeks Retribution Against U.S. For Shooting

published on KPBS and Investigative Newsource

July 2012

Castro lives in a neighborhood called Colonia Esperanza, which is one mile south of the border as the crow flies. You can’t see the United States from his patio, but a quick drive brings the border wall into sight. His house, like others on his sloping street, is a pale pastel that stands out against the rocky hillside. That’s where he lives with his two children — the youngest named after him, Jesus — and his wife. He has two grown children from a previous marriage. He’s already a grandfather.

Many of the men in this border city of about 210,000, directly south of Nogales, AZ, work in construction or other manual labor. Castro did, too. He started working in a “dompe,” or dump truck, when he was 14. Whenever work dried up, he would put his life in Mexico on hold, head to the U.S. for a job and then come home. He has been previously deported, but continued to return.

Family: Grand Jury Investigating Death Of Immigrant

Web, radio and TV stories produced in collaboration with Adrian Florido.

Family: Grand Jury Investigating Death Of Immigrant

published on KPBS, Fronteras Desk

July 2012

An attorney for the family of a man who died after an encounter with San Diego border agents said a federal grand jury has been called to investigate the incident.

The family of 42-year-old Mexican immigrant Anastasio Hernández Rojas has been calling for a federal investigation since Rojas’s death two years ago.

He died in May of 2010 after he was tazed multiple times by border agents who were deporting him. The agents said they used a stun gun because Rojas was combative.

Recently, a witness’s video emerged that appears to show Rojas lying motionless on the ground as he’s being stunned. Humberto Navarrete, who shot the video, told the Associated Press he was called to testify at the grand jury.

 

Military Members Become U.S. Citizens On USS Midway Museum

Web, radio and TV stories written, filmed and edited by Diana Crofts-Pelayo.

Military Members Become U.S. Citizens On USS Midway Museum

published on KPBS

July 2012

Thirty-five military service men and women will have an extra reason to celebrate this upcoming 4th of July. They are now U.S. citizens.

The all-military naturalization ceremony took place this morning aboard the USS Midway.

“It’s very appropriate that here on the 4th of July, which represents the birth of our nation, we celebrate the young people that are coming in to continue this legacy of service and sacrifice and commitment and a willingness to fight when our freedoms are challenged, which is really the genesis of our nation,” said Mac McLaughlin, president and CEO of the USS Midway Museum.

The men and women come from 18 countries, like China, Cuba, Belize, Mexico and the Philippines.

San Diego Superior Court Facing $14 Million In Cuts

Radio and web article written by Diana Crofts-Pelayo.

San Diego Superior Court Facing $14 Million In Cuts

published on KPBS

June 2012

You may see longer lines and delays in service in the next two years at the San Diego County Superior Court.

That’s because the court faces $14 million in reduced funding from the state when the fiscal year begins on July 1.

The cuts could result in 250 layoffs, six downtown criminal courtrooms being closed and the shuttering of the North County probate court and juvenile dependency courtroom, a downtown civil department and the Ramona branch.

“The cuts envisioned by our budget reduction plan will affect every judge, court employee and ultimately the litigants, court users and citizens of San Diego County,” Presiding Judge Robert Trentacosta said in a released statement.

Linda Vista Homes Stripped Of Hazardous Lead Paint

Web, radio and TV stories written, filmed and edited by Diana Crofts-Pelayo.

Linda Vista Homes Stripped Of Hazardous Lead Paint

published on KPBS

June 2012

A low-income San Diego community is getting stripped of hazardous lead paint.

Linda Vista was originally built in the 1940s as a government project to house aircraft workers and still has many homes with lead paint.

Residents cannot afford to remove the lead paint, so a grant is helping cover the costs.

The federal government gave the San Diego Housing Commission $2.48 million to continue removing lead paint and test children for high levels of lead.

The president and CEO of the SDHC, Richard Gentry, said with the “Home Safe Home” program, close to 600 children have been tested for lead poisoning.

San Diego Election 2012 coverage for KPBS. Specifically, Diana profiled the San Diego City Council District 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9 candidates and opponents of Proposition B. In addition, helped with the June 5 coverage in San Diego’s Golden Hall political headquarters by reporting, tweeting and taking pictures of the candidates. 

Showdown Between DeMaio, Filner In SD Mayor’s Race

Carl DeMaio photograph by Diana Crofts-Pelayo

Showdown Between DeMaio, Filner in SD Mayor’s Race

– Photograph published on KPBS.org, Election 2012 – Written by Katie Orr.

– Photo of San Diego mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio taken at 11:30 a.m., on the front page of KPBS.org after results were finalized by 12 a.m.

Councilman Carl DeMaio, a Republican, will advance to a November contest against Democratic Congressman Bob Filner, who beat Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, an Independent, for the second spot in the race for San Diego Mayor.

DeMaio won 32 percent of Tuesday’s vote, followed by Filner with 30 percent. Fletcher won 24 percent of the vote in his independent bid. San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, a Republican, finished with 13 percent.

Ellis Edges Incumbent Lightner In District 1; November Contest Looms

Ray Ellis photograph by Diana Crofts-Pelayo. Article cooperation with staff and Diana Crofts-Pelayo.

Ellis Edges Incumbent Lightner In District 1; November Contest Looms

published on KPBS, Election 2012

June 5, 2012

Ray Ellis leads the race for San Diego City Council District 1 with 45 percent of the vote. Incumbent Sherri Lightner is second with 41 percent in what’s shaping up as a run-off in November.

Bryan Pease had 6 percent of the vote and Dennis Rida had 5 percent.

Ellis said he was not surprised he was leading the race.

“Our message was thoughtful, measured and put taxpayers first,” he said.

“Well I think it just speaks loud and clear that the voters in District 1 are interested in a change, someone more proactive, engaged on the city’s ongoing issues of financial problems with the city.”

Gloria Unopposed, Re-Elected in Council District 3

Article by Diana Crofts-Pelayo

Gloria Unopposed, Re-Elected in Council District 3

published on KPBS, Election 2012

June 5, 2012

Todd Gloria is the current representative for the San Diego City Council District 3. He is an unopposed incumbent in this race so is guaranteed another four years in office.

Gloria is a third-generation resident of this district. Before his election in 2008, he was the District Director to U.S. Congresswoman Susan A. Davis and worked for the County of San Diego’s Health and Human Services Agency.

He is a graduate of the University of San Diego and currently lives in Hillcrest. According to his website, his dedication to public service comes from his parents.


Unopposed Candidate A Rarity In District 5

Article and photograph by Diana Crofts-Pelayo

Unopposed Candidate A Rarity In District 5

published on KPBS, Election 2012

June 5, 2012

The race to elect a councilmember for District 5 is unique. Not only is Mark Kersey running unopposed, but he is a non-incumbent. The last time this happened in the city of San Diego was when Harley Knox was elected to this seat in 1932.

Kersey wins by default by running unopposed in a district formerly served by Carl DeMaio, current San Diego mayoral candidate. The district includes the northern San Diego neighborhoods of Rancho Bernardo, San Pasqual, Sabre Springs and parts of Scripps Ranch and Rancho Penasquitos.

Kersey owns Kersey Strategies, an independent research and consulting firm. But he is also considered by many to be a rising star in the Republican Party

Sherman Wins Outright In Council District 7

Mat Kostrinsky photograph by Diana Crofts-Pelayo. Article cooperation with staff and Diana Crofts-Pelayo.

Sherman Wins Outright In Council District 7

published on KPBS, Election 2012

June 5, 2012

Insurance-business owner Scott Sherman avoided a run-off by taking 51 percent of the vote over challenger Mat Kostrinsky in the San Diego City Council’s District 7 race.

He bested home-health advocate Mat Kostrinsky, who took just under 40 percent of the vote in the multi-candidate field.

“What tonight is really showing is what a great night this is for reform in San Diego,” Sherman told supporters.

The area has been represented by Councilwoman Marti Emerald, who is moving over to the newly created District 9, which runs from the College Area through part of City Heights to Southcrest. Emerald won that seat outright over challenger Mateo Camarillo.

Marti Emerald Wins New District 9 Seat

Article cooperation by staff and Diana Crofts-Pelayo.

Marti Emerald Wins New District 9 Seat

published on KPBS, Election 2012

June 5, 2012

Marti Emerald won the new District 9 seat. The incumbent from District 7 got three-quarters of votes cast, trouncing challenger Mateo Camarillo.

The new 9th District extends from Kensington and Talmadge to the north through City Heights down to Mountain View and Southcrest. Centered in City Heights, the majority of residents are Latino. It was drawn that way during last year’s redistricting process to give Latinos – who make up almost 30 percent of the city’s population – an edge on gaining a second seat on the council.
Although the majority is Latino, only 26 percent are registered to vote, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Whites make up 23 percent of the district’s population, but 45 percent of them are registered to vote. The numbers show the challenge that Latinos face in bringing together political power in the city.
Firefighters Fight Against Proposition B

Article written by Diana Crofts-Pelayo

Firefighters Fight Against Proposition B

published on KPBS
June 2012

Imagine San Diego spending thousands of dollars to train eligible firefighters, but they ultimately leave the city because they will be better paid and benefited elsewhere. That’s the scenario firefighters envision if Proposition B is passed.

On Friday, firefighters came out against the pension reform proposition.

Frank De Clercq, president of the San Diego Fire Fighters IAFF Local 145, said he hopes citizens vote no on Proposition B.

“There is no savings in this for the citizenry,” he said. “The tax payers in fact are going to spend more money.”

He said firefighters have gone eight years with no real salary increase, which has saved the taxpayer $1.6 billion.

___________________________________________

Solana Beach Looks At Issuing Letter Of Concern Over San OnofreSolana Beach Looking At Issuing Letter of Concern Over San Onofre

published on KPBS

April 2012

The San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant has been out of commission since January and there is a movement to keep it closed or phase it out completely.

Earlier this week, the city of Irvine in Orange County voted to send a letter to federal regulators opposing the relicensing of the plant. Solana Beach officials are urged to follow Irvine’s lead and vote to oppose relicensing San Onofre.

A rally by anti-nuclear activists is planned this weekend at the plant.

Palomar Campgrounds Reopen After Successful Fund DrivePalomar Campgrounds Reopen After Successful Fund Drive

published on KPBS

April 2012

Good news for campers: At least eight campgrounds at Palomar Mountain State Park opened today after being closed for months.

The campgrounds were closed by the state in October due to budget cuts.

Palomar was among 70 parks across California with facilities slated for closure. But a nonprofit has raised $78,000 so far to keep Palomar’s campgrounds open.

published on KPBS, Culture Lust

April 2012

Representatives from the USS Midway Museum announced today they’ve raised $600,000 of the estimated $900,000 necessary to build and install a permanent bronze version of “Unconditional Surrender.” The new version will be installed in the G Street Mole Park, in the shadow of the USS Midway, where the current statue stands.

The 25-foot-tall statue of a sailor and nurse embracing in a kiss, is on loan to San Diego and has to be returned to its owner by mid-May. The 6,000-pound sculpture, which is a rendition of an iconic photograph taken in Times Square in New York, has been on loan to the Port since 2007. The statue has divided public opinion in San Diego about standards for public art.

Tiger Cubs Get Hands-On TreatmentTiger Cubs Get Hands-On Treatment

published on KPBS

April 2012

Two critically endangered species are getting special hands-on treatment from keepers at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

They are desensitizing the male Sumatran tiger cubs from human touch in order easily handle them for veterinary care.

Tina Hunter, senior keeper at the Safari Park, said she is acclimating them to human touch to reassure the cubs it is not bad when humans are near them.

Randy Rieches, curator of mammals at the Safari Park, said it’s a long process of seeing how the mother is reacting to the keeper’s being close to the cubs.

Aztecs support ENS professorAztecs support ENS professor

published in The Daily Aztec

April 2012

Amidst the ever-growing concern of budget cuts at San Diego State, not only are students being affected, but cherished faculty as well.

Students in the athletic training program are fighting the school’s decision to cut their clinical coordinator by writing letters and making t-shirts expressing their opposition to the decision.

Marcia Klaiber was hired in 2006 to teach the hands-on evaluation and therapeutics exercise classes. When Dr. Robert Moore, who founded the athletic training program in 1968, retired, she took over his classes.

Japanese Cherry Blossoms Adorn San Diego's WaterfrontJapanese Cherry Blossoms Adorn San Diego’s Waterfront

published on KPBS

March 2012

With a serenade of Japanese music, San Diego’s waterfront got a touch of pink today.

The Port of San Diego dedicated 15 cherry trees near the USS Midway Museum, a gift from the Japanese consulate in Los Angeles.

The dedication ceremony celebrates the 100th anniversary of the first gift of cherry trees from Japan to the United States.

Students Play Scientists At Salk LabsMama’s Kitchen Served Its 6 millionth Meal

published on KPBS

March 2012

SAN DIEGO — The Salk Institute is opening its labs tomorrow to more than 200 San Diego County students and teachers to expose their passion for science.

The 22nd March of Dimes High School Science Daywas created to give students the chance to visit some of the world’s leading labs.

Participants from 18 different high schools will be visiting the institute.

ISCOR co-founder gives revealing lectureISCOR co-founder gives revealing lecture

published in The Daily Aztec

March 2012

If one final lecture was all that remained to show a lifetime of learning, what would it say?

This is the basic premise of the sixth annual Dr. Henry L. Janssen Last Lecture Series. On Monday, Dr. Dipak Gupta, distinguished professor emeritus of political science, was this year’s honoree.

Gupta’s lecture was titled, “Random Walk: Life’s Journey of an Undisciplined Academic.”

Guardian Scholars excelGuardian Scholars excel

published in The Daily Aztec

March 2012

Before attending San Diego State, James D. Hake, a 19-year-old native from Mount Shasta, had not planned a future because he lived day-to-day in survival mode. A violent home life with his biological parents caused him to run away and seek refuge with his friends and extended family.

Hake, now a recreation and tourism management sophomore, was given a lot of responsibility as a young child. He would work on his parents’ property tending the land and caring for the animals.

He avoided going home by becoming heavily involved in school and participating in outdoor sports.

Local Colleges Organize Rallies To Protest Tuition HikesLocal Colleges Organize Rallies To Protest Tuition Hikes

published on KPBS

March 2012

SAN DIEGO — Students, professors and faculty across the nation participated in the National Day of Action for Education, protesting budget cuts and tuition hikes.

San Diego State University, UC San Diego and City College organized their own rallies and walkouts.

At SDSU, the M1 Coalition, the group that organized the event at Scripps Cottage on campus, encouraged students to walk out of their classes at noon and meet them to discuss the problems in the education system and find solutions.

Professors, representatives from various student organizations on campus and community members spoke out at the event.

Will The San Diego Pension Reform Initiative Make It To Ballot?Will The San Diego Pension Reform Initiative Make It To Ballot?

published in KPBS

February 2012

Councilman and mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio said the San Diego Municipal Employees Association’sunfair practices claim against the pension reform ballot initiative is not valid because the measure currently headed to the June ballot is a separate entity from the one originally proposed by Mayor Jerry Sanders.

“What they’re referencing in their complaint is the wrong ballot measure,” DeMaio told KPBS. “The mayor, yes, announced he wanted to do a ballot measure in December and January of 2010 and 2011. But that ballot measure went by the wayside in favor of the citizens’ initiative that the broad coalition worked on.”

published on KPBS

February 2012

Two UC San Diego political science majors introduced a way to increase voter registration and student participation on campus.

Arshya Sharifian and Dean Searcy are the founders of Student Organized Voter Access Committee, or SOVAC, which is a student organization that tries to make voter registration easy and accessible for all UCSD students.

According to Searcy, the group has two missions: to provide access to voter registration and to create turnout for the June primary and the 2012 presidential elections.

1,200 solar panels installed on ARC's roof1,200 solar panels installed on ARC’s roof

published in The Daily Aztec

January 2012

The Aztec Recreation Center is in the process of installing almost 1,200 solar panels on its rooftop, which will save the school more than $2 million throughout the next several decades.

This means a savings of $79,800 per year in energy costs, with a solar panel lifespan of at least 30 years. The total cost of the project is $1.2 million, but because of a California Solar Initiative rebate of $700,000, the school’s net cost is $500,000.

The installation is a 250-kilowatt system, which produces 475,000-kilowatt-hours. One kwh is equal to 10 old-fashioned 100-watt lightbulbs.

SDSU receives record number of applicantsSDSU receives record number of applicants

published in The Daily Aztec

January 2012

an Diego State received a record number of applications for the fall semester.

As of Jan. 6, 69,335 potential undergraduate students applied to the university, almost 10,000 more applicants than last year during the same time period. The number reflects first-time freshman and transfer students; local, non-local, out-of-state and international.

Among the applicants, 50,806 are first-time freshmen and more than 18,384 are upper-division.

Fletcher calls for a new generation of leadersFletcher calls for a new generation of leaders

published in The Daily Aztec

December 2011

 Before beginning an hour-long interview, Nathan Fletcher had his belongings organized on a conference room table. He quickly put away his white headphones plugged into his Apple computer, took a sip from his mug and straightened his tie.

Fletcher, the 37-year-old State Assemblyman of California’s 75th district, is running for mayor of San Diego, because he considers himself the new generation of leadership San Diego needs. He said he hopes to reenergize the government and bring it to the current generation’s standards.

“I think generationally … (it’s) a little easier for me to connect with college students,” he said.

Occupation shifts roots around San Diego

Occupation shifts roots around San Diego

published in The Daily Aztec

October 2011

An Occupy San Diego participant, who did not want to give his name, stood patiently answering questions for reporters.

One week ago, the San Diego Police Department asked participants camping out in the Civic Center Plaza to remove their tents and property by midnight. By last Friday morning, there were still several tents remaining. Officers arrested two men and used pepper spray as others attempted to remove tents from a circle of protesters.

Former president urges partnershipFormer president urges partnership

published in The Daily Aztec

April 2011

Vicente Fox, former president of Mexico, visited University of San Diego last Thursday as the keynote speaker for the 15th annual Sister Sally Furay Lecture at the Joan B. Kroc Theater.

Fox was elected president in 2000 with 42 percent of the public’s vote. He was the first opposition candidate from the National Action Party to be elected after 71 years of single party rule by the Institutional Revolutionary Party.

Although he recently ignited controversy for believing in drug legalization, Fox emphasized a need for the United States and Mexico to behave as partners instead of traders.

Fox explained that in order for Americans to understand Mexican culture, they must first change their perception that migrants are a problem. He said Mexicans living in the U.S. are his heroes and he respects them. He believes they are making great contributions to the country and are simply trying to improve themselves and their families.

SDSU Month: Professor remembers six decades at SDSUSDSU Month: Professor remembers six decades at SDSU

published in The Daily Aztec

March 2011

Dr. Henry L. Janssen comes to work at campus nearly every day, hikes in the Sierra Nevadas and has sampled more than 100 types of scotch. He is also 89 years old.

He is a professor emeritus of political science, founder of the Honors Council and has worked at San Diego State for 58 years.

In nearly six decades, Janssen has witnessed many stark changes on campus.

“There were a total of about 4,000 students and tuition was only $25 a semester,” Janssen said. “There was hardly an excuse for not going to college.”

Kepler satellite searches for new EarthKepler satellite searches for new Earth

published in The Daily Aztec

February 2011

Professors at San Diego State have been working with NASA on the Kepler Mission since 2009, but recent discoveries have them excited.

Jerome Orosz, William Welsh and Donald Short, former dean of the College of Sciences, are part of the team that is analyzing data from the Kepler Mission.

The Kepler Mission was launched to survey a portion of the Milky Way to find terrestrial planets in the habitable zone with their stars. Scientists analyze which planets are the right size and temperature for sustaining life.

According to Orosz and Welsh, the most interesting finding has been the recent discovery of Kepler-11. It is a system about 2,000 light-years from Earth and is the most tightly packed planetary system yet discovered. All six of its confirmed planets have orbits smaller than Venus’.

The search for SDSU's new president begins by Diana Crofts-PelayoThe search for SDSU’s new president begins

published in The Daily Aztec

February 2011

The meeting process to select San Diego State’s next university president began Tuesday, and confidentiality and student accessibility were top priorities.

The search committee emphasized privacy. At the meeting, attendees were informed that members will have access to candidate information through a special website. They were instructed not to speak to anyone about the content.

“The reputation of SDSU, the California State University and my own will be on the line,” CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed said. “I have to commit to candidates that I will be absolutely confidential because if not, it can ruin their careers.”

Reed also said that in the past, sitting presidents from other universities, provosts, deans and faculty have applied. If their names were to be revealed, it could cost them their jobs.

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