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Stories for December 17, 2009

County Supervisors Cut The Ribbon On A New Morgue

Dec. 17
By Tom Fudge

San Diego County supervisors officially opened a new medical examiner's office. The office, located in Kearny Mesa, is about three times the size of the old facility, and it cost $73 million.

NATURE: Drakensberg: Barrier Of Spears

Dec. 17
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The Drakensberg Mountains are southern Africa’s Alps, rising more than 11,000 feet into the sky. But beneath their shimmering beauty lies an incredibly hostile environment for the surprising number of creatures that manage to live there. Each spring, drenching rains destroy the grasslands at the base of the mountains, and those who would survive must climb straight up sheer cliffs of volcanic rock, through gauntlets of storms and snow, to reach the carpets of grass on the plateau. The baboons that make this astonishing annual journey may have the advantage of agility, but eland, the world’s largest antelope, have long, spindly legs and heavy bodies, which make the climb all but unbelievable. All have babies at their sides. And the vultures circle overhead.

Simply Ming: Ginger/Thyme

Dec. 17
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In a sweet twist, this week's helping of "Simply Ming" starts with dessert, a delicious Ginger-Thyme Cake with Ginger Cream that highlights the East-West ingredient pairing. Next, Chef Ming Tsai cooks up Seared Scallops with Ginger-Thyme Pan Sauce, a recipe bursting with flavor. To enhance these dishes, Ming prepares a Ginger-Thyme Soju Martini. Joshua Viertel, president of Slow Foods USA, joins Ming in the kitchen to put his spin on the East-West ingredients with a Thyme and Ginger Roast Chicken.

Construction Begins At San Diego Border Crossing

Dec. 17

The federal government has begun replacing the nation's busiest border crossing, promising shorter waits into California for tens of thousands of people who enter daily from Tijuana, Mexico.

S.D. School Trustees Map Out Budget Dilemma

Dec. 17
By Ana Tintocalis
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San Diego Unified school trustees are urging county legislators to protect a pot of state education funding that could be used to help fix the state's money problems for next year.

Arthur's Perfect Christmas

Dec. 17
By Jennifer Robinson
Tease photo for Arthur's Perfect Christmas

Everyone’s favorite aardvark gives kids a new spin on seasonal traditions in his one-hour special, showing children many ways to celebrate “the holidays.” Plans are underway in Elwood City for the best holidays ever as Arthur, D.W., their family and friends make preparations for perfect gifts, perfect parties and perfect family traditions for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and even “Baxter Day” (Buster and his mom’s special celebration).

Christmas At St. Olaf: Where Peace And Love And Hope Abide

Dec. 17
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This Christmas special features the five choirs and orchestra of St. Olaf College performing in the college's annual Christmas Festival, a tradition begun by F. Melius Christiansen in 1912 and continued today under the direction of artistic director, Anton Armstrong. More than 500 students in five choirs will perform hymns, carols, choral works and orchestral selections celebrating the Christmas season.

Faith Hill, Joy To The World: A Soundstage Special Event

Dec. 17
Tease photo for Faith Hill, Joy To The World: A Soundstage Special Event

Faith Hill, backed by an orchestra led by esteemed conductor David Campbell, sings favorites from her holiday album, "Joy to the World," a collection of standards amped up with challenging vocals and ambitious melodic structure. This SOUNDSTAGE special features booming orchestral arrangements on the title track, “Joy to the World,” and swinging, big-band versions of more lighthearted fare such as “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” and “Holly, Jolly Christmas.” A choir joins Hill and the orchestra on more spiritual songs such as “O Come All Ye Faithful,” “Silent Night” and “A Baby Changes Everything.” The program was taped over two nights at the Chicago-area Sears Centre Arena.

Legislation Would Designate Wilderness In San Diego County

Dec. 17
By Ed Joyce / Capital Public Radio
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Vista Republican Congressman Darrell Issa introduced a bill this week to set aside more than 20,000 acres in North San Diego County as protected wilderness.

Great Performances: La Bohème

Dec. 17
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Giacomo Puccini's enduring 1896 blockbuster now makes its way to the big screen in a lushly atmospheric movie adaptation directed by Robert Dornhelm. The operatic "dream couple" -- sensational Russian soprano Anna Netrebko and dashing Mexican tenor Rolando Villazon --reunite as the doomed lovers Mimi and Rodolfo, joined by George von Bergen (vocals by Boaz Daniel) as Marcello, Adrian Erod as Schaunard, Vitalij Kowaljow as Colline, Tiziano Bracci as Benoit and Nicole Cabell as Musetta.

Scientists Watch Deep-sea Volcano For First Time

Dec. 17

Scientists have witnessed the eruption of a deep-sea volcano for the first time ever, capturing on video the fiery bubbles of molten lava as they exploded 4,000 feet beneath the surface of the Pacific Ocean in what researchers are calling a major geological discovery.

Weekend Preview: The White Buffalo, Happy Houred, Pointsettia Display, And Whale Watching

Dec. 17
By Angela Carone, Maureen Cavanaugh

We have holiday and non-holiday options for your weekend, including a singer-songwriter who goes by The White Buffalo, the Pointsettia display at Balboa Park, and the start of whale-watching season.

And the Oscar for Best Song Goes to...

Dec. 17
By Beth Accomando
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The part of the Oscar show that always proves most painful to endure yet also the most irresistible to make fun of is the Best Song Category.

Todd Gloria Talks About San Diego's Budget Challenges

Dec. 17
By Maureen Cavanaugh, Natalie Walsh

Todd Gloria, who represents San Diego City Council District 3, talks about the past year as a brand-new council member, the challenges ahead for city government under major budget constraints, and relations with the Mayor's office.

U.S. To Help Raise $100 Billion Climate Aid Fund

Dec. 17
Associated Press
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As hopes faded for a strong climate deal, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced Thursday the U.S. would join others in raising $100 billion a year by 2020 to help poorer nations cope with global warming.

Music Therapy Enriches Lives of Local Youth

Dec. 17
By Maureen Cavanaugh, Josette Herdell

Music therapy is an alternative approach for helping people of all ages with emotional, physical and mental disorders. We speak with a music therapist and a health rhythms facilitator about their experience healing others through music.

Tijuana Police Accused Of Torture In Drug War

Dec. 17
By Maureen Cavanaugh, Natalie Walsh

As part of our ongoing Border Battle series, we look at how Tijuana's police chief is tackling corruption and we explore allegations of torture by police and the military.

Uncertainty and Rashomon

Dec. 17
By Beth Accomando
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The new film “Uncertainty” ponders two different fates for its characters, and the re-release of Akira Kurosawa's "Rashomon" presents a crime and four different versions of the truth.

Three Dozen Tijuana Police Officers Accuse Chief And Army Of Torture

Dec. 17
By Amy Isacksonand Vicente Calderon,
Tease photo for Three Dozen Tijuana Police Officers Accuse Chief And Army Of Torture

Our series "Border Battle" continues with a story about alleged torture. Three dozen Tijuana police officers accuse the city’s police chiefs, and soldiers in the Mexican Army of using torture to try to force them to confess their ties to organized crime.