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Stories for December 3, 2009

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Parents Unite Behind Race To The Top Funds

Dec. 3, 2009
By Ana Tintocalis

Groups of San Diego County parents are uniting behind an education reform strategy that could earn California $700 million of federal stimulus grants.

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Culture Lust Holiday Shopping Guide

Dec. 3, 2009
By Angela Carone and Meredith Hattam

Before you know it, you'll be up to your nose in wrapping paper and gift tags. To help you get a jump on the season's shopping, take a gander at our suggestions. We've kept your pocketbook in mind while hopefully leading you to the just-right, inspired gift.

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Schwarzenegger Speaks In S.D., Pushes For State Water System Overhaul

Dec. 3, 2009
City News Service

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger pushed for the overhaul of the state's water system during a speech today in San Diego before the Association of California Water Agencies.

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Iberdrola And PG&E Sign Wind Energy Deal

Dec. 3, 2009
By Ed Joyce / Capital Public Radio

Pacific Gas and Electric Company signed a contract to buy and operate a wind-energy project that will produce enough electricity for about 100,000 California homes. The deal is with Iberdrola Renewables, a company that wants to build a wind project in San Diego County.

Obama Administration Puts Up New Stem Cell Roadblocks

Dec. 3, 2009
By Tom Fudge

Stem cell researchers in San Diego are cheered by the approval of new cell lines for research. But the Obama administration has actually created some new regulatory headaches.

Free Sandbags Available From San Diego County

Dec. 3, 2009
By Ed Joyce / Capital Public Radio

San Diego County officials Thursday urged residents in the unincorporated areas to prepare for the upcoming winter rainy season by stocking up on free sandbags to prevent soil erosion and mudslides on their properties.

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"Avatar" Breaks Into New Territory

Dec. 3, 2009
By John P. Gamboa

If you've followed movie hype over the last few months, you would know that this holiday season isn't so much about Christmas, Kwanzaa or Hanukkah, but more about the release of James Cameron's "Avatar."

Escondido Bans Hookah Lounges

Dec. 3, 2009
By Kenny Goldberg

San Diego County's fourth largest city has decided to ban hookah lounges. The Escondido City Council cited concerns over second-hand smoke as a reason to turn away such businesses.

Mayor, Councilman Announce Plan To Help Small Local Contractors

Dec. 3, 2009
City News Service

An effort to help small contractors bid on city public works projects under $1 million was announced today by San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders and Councilman Tony Young.

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Comcast To Buy 51 Percent Stake In NBC Universal

Dec. 3, 2009
David Folkenflik, NPR

Comcast announced early Thursday that it will buy a controlling stake in NBC Universal in a deal valued at roughly $30 billion, setting up the Philadelphia-based cable company to achieve its ambition of becoming one of the nation's most powerful entertainment companies.

What Will It Take To Get San Diego Out Of This Water Crisis?

Dec. 3, 2009
By Maureen Cavanaugh, Megan Burke

A discussion of the $11.14 billion general obligation bond proposal that would provide funding for California's aging water infrastructure and for projects and programs to address the ecosystem and water supply issues in California.

Weekend Preview: Holiday Theater and December Nights

Dec. 3, 2009
By Angela Carone, Maureen Cavanaugh

The holidays always bring some yuletide warhorses to the stage along with some exciting new fare. We'll find out what San Diego theaters are offering in December and start off with some tips for this weekend's December Nights.

Why We Ignore Science In Favor Of Irrational Thinking

Dec. 3, 2009
By Maureen Cavanaugh, Pat Finn

Michael Specter believes we are living in a time where we fear science at least as much as we embrace it. In a fundamental shift in the way we approach the world in the 21st century, we view progress and discovery with antipathy, which harms the planet and threatens our lives.

How Are U.S. Immigration Policies Contributing To Border Crosser Deaths?

Dec. 3, 2009
By Hank Crook, Maureen Cavanaugh

How are U.S. immigration policies leading to an increase in deaths of people who cross the border illegally? We speak to filmmaker John Carlos Frey, and Dr. John Hunter about the risks undocumented immigrants face as they cross the border in search of opportunity in the United States.

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Culture Lust Weekend: December Nights, Santaland Diaries, And Morrissey

Dec. 3, 2009
By Angela Carone

Tis' the season for holiday theater and San Diego's stages are answering the call. There's also December Nights in Balboa Park, and start next week off with a little Morrissey and you can't go wrong. Here are some Culture Lust recommendations for your weekend.

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Twilight Mom on New Moon

Dec. 3, 2009
Penny Goodin

At the Starbucks I frequent each morning, there are always two tip containers labeled with opposing topics (e.g., beach or lake, Yankees or Phillies). It’s a clever way to encourage tipping from patrons who can, at the same time, air their daily opinions. On November 20, the day “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” opened in theaters, the tip cups read “New Moon” and “Don’t Care.”

San Diego DA Wants Rewrite Of Medical Marijuana Laws

Dec. 3, 2009
By Tom Fudge

The San Diego District Attorney says California needs to revisit the statutes that govern medical marijuana. She gave her comments following the acquittal of a marijuana dispensary manager.

Sobering Budget Hearing At The City

Dec. 3, 2009
By Alison St John

San Diego City Council held the first of three hearings yesterday on the mayor’s proposed budget cuts. In previous years councilmembers objected vociferously to many of the mayor’s proposals and has reversed some of them.

Study Reveals Most Hospitals Not Complying With Transparency Law

Dec. 3, 2009
By Kenny Goldberg

State law requires hospitals to provide uninsured patients with a price list upon request. A new study finds most California hospitals aren't complying with the law.

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Tijuana's New Force: The Battle Within

Dec. 3, 2009
Amy Isackson & Vicente Calderon, Tijuanapress.com

A year ago we brought you Border Battle, about two factions of Tijuana’s Arellano Felix Drug Cartel warring to control key drug smuggling routes to the U.S. That fight has calmed down, but the lieutenant who started it has a new enemy: Tijuana’s police. This morning, Border Battle continues with a profile of Tijuana’s police chief and his crusade that’s turned police officers into drug cartel targets.