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Stories for December 23, 2008

BackCountry Fire Stations To Remain Open

Dec. 23
By Alison St John and KPBS Public Broadcasting
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San Diego County and Cal Fire say they will juggle firefighting staff to make sure all 53 fire stations covering San Diego’s back country remain open.

SD Spends $7 Million on Legal Fees in Pension Debacle

Dec. 23
By Alison St John and KPBS Public Broadcasting
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The city of San Diego and its pension system have paid close to $7 million dollars so far in legal fees to defend elected officials, pension board members and administrators involved in the city’s long running pension investigations. KPBS reporter Alison St John has more.

Veterans Home Gets Wii's for Christmas

Dec. 23
By Katie Orr and KPBS Public Broadcasting
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Chula Vista Veterans Home residents now have something a lot of teenagers are dying to get this Christmas. KPBS reporter Katie Orr explains.

State Budget Crisis Halts Wetlands Work

Dec. 23
By Ed Joyce and KPBS Public Broadcasting
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California's budget crisis has caused a shutdown of wetlands recovery projects in five Southern California counties. San Diego County is especially hard hit because it has more wetlands than the others. KPBS Environmental Reporter Ed Joyce has the story.

More Californians Expected to Stay Home for the Holidays

Dec. 23
By Marianne Russ and KPBS Public Broadcasting
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More Californians will apparently be staying home for the holidays. Cynthia Harris at AAA says about 8.6 million Californians will travel 50 miles or more from home this holiday season. That's about a two percent drop from last year. Harris says it's an on-going trend:

State Controller Warns Calif. Could Soon Run Out of Cash

Dec. 23
By Jenny O'Mara and KPBS Public Broadcasting
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The State Controller is warning California could run out of cash in less than 70 days if the legislature doesn't act quickly to resolve the state's budget crisis.

Another Legal Action to Governor's Plan for Furloughs

Dec. 23
By Jenny O'Mara and KPBS Public Broadcasting
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It's another day and another legal action against Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. The challenges continue to his decision to furlough state employees and cut their pay ten percent to preserve cash. From Sacramento, Jenny O'Mara reports.

Companies Turn to Mother Nature for Design Inspirations

Dec. 23
KPBS Public Broadcasting
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Even if you haven't heard of biomimicry, you no doubt have heard of Velcro, the self-adhesion product. Velcro was inspired by nature. Swiss chemist George de Mestral copied the way cockleburs clung to his dog's coat in order to invent Velco. Today, scientists and engineers are exploring how to create everything from desert water collecting devices to fly-sized rescue robots - all inspired by nature's exquisite designs. We'll explore the science of biomimetics and how it may help create more sustainable, environmentally friendly products for the world.

Author and Poet Maya Angelou Talks About Race & Education In America

Dec. 23
KPBS Public Broadcasting
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Maya Angelou, the world-renowned poet, author, educator and civil rights activist, speaks to These Days about her life's work and the state of race and education in America today.

Trailer Tuesday: Will Eisner's The Spirit

Dec. 23
By Beth Accomando
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Frank Miller and Will Eisners were friends but they also argued all the time. Miller looked to Eisner as a mentor and now he's adapting Eisner's comic The Spirit (opening Christmas Day) to the screen. Miller's own graphic novels, Sin City and 300 have been two of the best adaptations of a comic to film. One of the reasons is the cinematic nature of Miller's graphic work. That may also be the reason that Miller, who co-directed Sin City with Robert Rodriguez, is now embarking on a directing career. Eisner's The Spirit is his first solo project and here's the latest trailer courtesy of Lionsgate. Based on the trailer and the Comic-Con panels, it looks like fun.