Patt Morrison for April 22, 2010

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San Juan Capistrano Unified strikes

Teachers in the Capistrano Unified School District (CUSD) are on strike today after reaching an impasse with the school board over a 10% salary cut. The district says the pay cuts are necessary to help close a $54 million budget shortfall caused by a drop in state funding and will save $19.9 million. The teachers union says they’ll agree to the pay cut so long as it expires by June 30th of next year, but that they’ll stay out of the classroom until that condition is met. All 56 schools in Orange County's second-largest school district remained open today, staffed by substitute teachers, but many students stayed home and the school day was shortened. Patt checks in for an update before the union and district meet at 2:00 pm today.
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Happy 40th Earth Day

How is Speaker of the Assembly John Perez celebrating Earth Day? By pushing 3 assembly bills that he says will not only create jobs but spur green building upgrades and preserve artificial reef ecosystems. From carpet waste reduction to water conservation technologies we check in with the Speaker’s office and discuss what these assembly bills would mean for you.
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Cash for clunky appliances program kicks off today

Cash for Clunkers is long gone, but Cash for Appliances kicks off today in California. The rebate program, funded through the Federal stimulus, will distribute $35.2 million in rebates to consumers who buy an Energy Star-rated Tier 2 or 3 appliance, mail in a sales receipt and prove they disposed of their old appliance with a recycler, retailer or municipality. Rebates run from $200 for refrigerators; $100 for clothes washers; $50 for air conditioners, should cover about 300,000 appliances and generate at least $100 million in economic activity. If that’s not enough, the state Energy Commission promises that your new appliance will more than pay for itself in the money you’ll be saving in utilities bills. Interested? You’ll have to act fast—sister programs in Texas and Florida burned through their vouchers in less than two days.
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The Indian Film Festival comes to Los Angeles

The eighth annual Indian Film Festival kicked off Tuesday at the ArcLight theater in Hollywood. Five countries and 33 films—including India's entry for the foreign language Oscar "Harischandrachi Factory" and "Vihir," as well as the documentaries "At My Doorstep," "Nero's Guests" and "Babies Made in India”—will be featured at the Festival, which runs from April 20th through the 25th. The festival’s founder and chairman join Patt and Kiran Deol, director of the featured film “Woman Rebel,” for a preview.
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Adoption: the statistics may surprise you

Adopting a child isn’t an easy process, but many thousands of would-be parents do the paperwork, sit in interviews, pay the fees, and take the chosen child into their homes with the full expectation that their story will have a happy ending. Unfortunately that’s not always the outcome. For a variety of reasons, adoptions have a significant failure rate. And a Caltech researcher finds clear patterns in which children parents choose to adopt and not to adopt. We look behind the scenes for the reasons why.
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Earlier this month, a divided California Public Utilities Commission approved Southern California Gas Co. to charge customers $1.05 billion to install radio-controlled smart meters on 6 million homes throughout the state, despite complaints that the technology just isn’t necessary. Mike Peevey, the man who heads that commission—which regulates privately owned electric, natural gas, telecommunications, water, railroad, rail transit, and passenger transportation companies throughout the state—clues us in on those smart meters; weighs in on the DWP hikes; answers your questions about cell phones; and explains just who knows when you turn the lights on and off—it could soon be Microsoft. He answers Patt’s questions and yours.
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