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Stories for December 18, 2006

KPBS Commentaries

Dec. 18
By Tfudge and KPBS Public Broadcasting

Ruling Blocks Aguirre from Challenging Pension Hikes

Dec. 18
By Amita Sharma and KPBS Public Broadcasting

San Diego City Attorney Mike Aguirre’s plan to appeal a court ruling in a pension case has been delayed. Last week's ruling blocks Aguirre from challenging most of the pension hikes for city hall workers between 1996 and 2002. Reporter Amita Sharma has more.

S.D. Pension Trial Enters New Phase Next Year

Dec. 18
By Alison St John and KPBS Public Broadcasting

The city of San Diego’s pension trial will enter a new phase next year. There is even more at stake than the $900 million in pension benefits that city attorney Mike Aguirre is trying to roll back. KPBS reporter Alison St John has more.

Local Economist Predicts ‘Bleak’ 2007

Dec. 18
By Andrew Phelps and KPBS Public Broadcasting

University of San Diego Economist Alan Gin says San Diegans can expect a weaker economy next year. He says the slow housing market is to blame. KPBS Radio’s Andrew Phelps has details.

S.D. Judge Orders Realease of Man Captured with Suspected Drug Trafficker

Dec. 18
By Amy Isackson and KPBS Public Broadcasting

A federal judge in San Diego has ordered that one of the men captured along with suspected drug kingpin Francisco Javier Arellano Felix be released from jail. Cesar Niebla Lerma was being held for lying about his name. KPBS reporter Amy Isackson has details.

Local Poinsettia Grower Pushes Boundaries

Dec. 18
By Andrew Phelps and KPBS Public Broadcasting

The poinsettia is getting a modern makeover. Demand is rising for dazzling new colors. In Encinitas, the world's largest poinsettia producer wants to change our perception of a Christmas tradition. KPBS Radio's Andrew Phelps has the story.

S.D. Welcomes Poinsettia Bowl

Dec. 18
By Erik Anderson and KPBS Public Broadcasting

San Diego kicks off the college football bowl season when the fledgling Poinsettia Bowl is played on Tuesday. KPBS reporter Erik Anderson has details.

Smoking Bans: Public Health vs. Civil Liberties

Dec. 18
KPBS Public Broadcasting

This month, the San Diego Port Commission and the County Board of Supervisors adopted ordinances prohibiting smoking at parks and beaches. These bans are the latest string of ordinances to be adopted locally and statewide to protect the public from the dangers of secondhand smoke. We'll get the latest on the continued crackdown on where smokers can and cannot light up.

Critics Review the Best Music of 2006

Dec. 18
KPBS Public Broadcasting

If your iPod's getting stale or you're struggling to fill your friends' stockings, this segment is for you. We get the critics' advice on the best albums of 2006, Christmas albums, and sure-fire gift ideas with freelance music and entertainment writer, AnnaMaria Stephens, and San Diego CityBeat's film and pop culture critic, Anders Wright.

Film Critic Scott Marks on It's a Wonderful Life

Dec. 18
KPBS Public Broadcasting

Film Club of the Air critic Scott Marks shares his thoughts on the holiday classic "It’s a Wonderful Life" and one of his favorite holiday movies starring Bob Hope.

Viruses and Bacteria Contaminate Coastal Runoff

Dec. 18
KPBS Public Broadcasting

A new study examines the presence of viruses and bacteria along the U.S.-Mexico border after rainfall. We speak with Dr. Gersberg about what this means for indicator systems, public safety, and the oncoming El Nino season.

Imperial Valley Update: All-American Canal, E. Coli

Dec. 18
KPBS Public Broadcasting

We speak with the editor of Imperial Valley Press about the All-American Canal, the controversial plans to build a sludge plant in Niland, and how the Taco Bell E. coli scare is affecting farmers.

Embedded Local Journalist Reports from Iraq: Week 2

Dec. 18
KPBS Public Broadcasting

Tony Perry, the San Diego bureau chief for the Los Angeles Times, is embedded in Iraq with the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force out of Camp Pendleton. We get the second in our series of weekly reports.

Governor Seeking Private Donations for Inauguration

Dec. 18
By Jenny O'Mara and KPBS Public Broadcasting

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has announced a bi-partisan committee of political all-stars to co-chair his inauguration — ranging from Nancy Pelosi to Nancy Reagan. The governor is seeking private donations to pay for the festivities. But some say despite historical precedence, it's not a good practice. Jenny O'Mara reports.

More Smoking Bans Expected at State Level

Dec. 18
By Marianne Russ and KPBS Public Broadcasting

Next month a new law banning smoking from areas such as covered parking lots will take effect. Meanwhile, the measure's author is already moving forward with new bills to prohibit smoking in other places, including cars with kids in them, and state parks. Marianne Russ reports.

Holiday Shoppers Warned of Identity Theft

Dec. 18
By Marianne Russ and KPBS Public Broadcasting

In January some new state laws will strengthen penalties for identity theft. But the State Department of Consumer Affairs is reminding all of us the holiday shopping season means thieves are out shopping too ... for our personal information. Marianne Russ reports.