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Stories for April 15, 2010

MASTERPIECE CLASSIC: Small Island

April 15
By Jennifer Robinson
MASTERPIECE CLASSIC: Small Island Tease photo

Adapted from Andrea Levy’s best-selling, award-winning novel, “Small Island” tells the moving saga of two couples — one Jamaican, one English — whose lives intertwine in both friendship and tragic misunderstanding in post-WWII Britain. Naomie Harris ("Pirates of the Caribbean") and David Oyelowo ("The Last King of Scotland") star as the Jamaican immigrants, with Ruth Wilson (“Jane Eyre”) and Benedict Cumberbatch (“The Last Enemy”) as their English landlords.

San Diego Facing $28 Million Budget Gap

April 15
By Katie Orr
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Mayor Jerry Sanders says ballooning pension payments and lagging tax revenue mean the city is spending $28 million more than it’s taking in, but he says the city was right in its conservative approach.

Activists Hold Anti-Tax Tea Parties In San Diego

April 15
By Susan Murphy
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Tea party activists gathered for Tax Day protests around San Diego County Thursday. They rallied for lower taxes and less government. A crowd of a few dozen people waved American Flags and held up anti-tax signs at an Anti-Tax rally Thursday morning at Tuna Park, near the Embarcadero.

NASA's Flight Plan Gets Small Course Corrections

April 15
Mark Stencel, NPR
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President Obama took one small step backward Thursday afternoon, announcing subtle changes to his new space strategy while also defending his approach during a speech at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Audit: Calif. Wasted Millions On Drugs For Inmates

April 15
Associated Press

A report says California wasted at least $13 million last year through inefficiencies in the way it delivers drugs to prison inmates.

NATURE: Frogs: The Thin Green Line

April 15
NATURE: Frogs: The Thin Green Line  Tease photo

Frogs have been hopping the planet for more than 350 million years. They've evolved into some of the most wondrous, diverse and beloved animals on earth. Suddenly, they're slipping away. We've already lost one-third of our amphibians and more are disappearing each day. Some say it's the greatest extinction since the dinosaurs. Ecosystems are beginning to unravel, important medical cures are vanishing and we're losing a dear old friend. It's a global crisis, mobilizing scientists around the world to stem the tide — before the next frog crosses the thin green line.

Fashion: Coachella's Closet Conundrum

April 15
By Meredith Hattam
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It's Coachella weekend, and though all you survivalists may be pondering what to pack, Culture Lust contributor Meredith Hattam has bigger things on her mind (wardrobe, people!)

Culture Lust Weekend: Calder Quartet, Mike Hynson, and Ordover Gallery

April 15
By Angela Carone, Meredith Hattam
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Coachella may be officially sold out, but there's still plenty of stuff to do here in town. This Culture Lust Weekend, the S.D. Fine Art Society announces the nominees for its art awards, an infamous surf legend visits D.G. Wills, and Dum Dum Girls debut at The Casbah.

NWS Changes San Diego Area 'Red Flag' Criteria

April 15
Associated Press

The National Weather Service is changing the criteria for so-called red flag warnings of fire danger in southwestern California to make them more meaningful.

Calif. Smoking Ban At State Parks On Governor's Desk

April 15
Associated Press

Legislation seeking to ban smoking at state beaches and parks throughout California is on its way to the governor's desk. The state Senate voted 21-15 on Thursday in favor of the ban, which was approved previously by the Assembly.

RICK STEVES' EUROPE: Czech Republic Beyond Prague

April 15
RICK STEVES' EUROPE: Czech Republic Beyond Prague  Tease photo

Few travelers venture beyond Prague to experience the Czech Republic's many cultural riches and offbeat delights. We'll get you started with a whirlwind of Art Nouveau, local pub music, stinky cheese-tasting, river-rafting, and peat-bathing in places like Olomouc, Moravsky Krumlov, Telc, Trebon and Konopiste. We'll also tour a remarkable memorial to the holocaust in Terezen, and the charming castle town of Cesky Krumlov.

Ask This Old House: Remodeling Kitchen Area/ Improving Drainage In Planters

April 15
Ask This Old House: Remodeling Kitchen Area/ Improving Drainage In Planters  Tease photo

Plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey and general contractor Tom Silva head to Detroit to help a homeowner remodel her kitchen with new appliances, countertops, a backsplash, and kitchen sink. Then, landscape contractor Roger Cook shares a viewer tip with host Kevin O'Connor on how to improve drainage in the bottom of a flowerpot.

Quake-Damaged Downtown Opens In Calif. Border City

April 15
Elliot Spagat, AP

Downtown Calexico is open for business, 11 days after a strong earthquake caused major damage along the California-Mexico border. About a dozen stores were allowed to reopen Thursday as the city attempts to recover from the 7.2-magnitude quake.

Events: Coachella, Dum Dum Girls, Edward Sharpe And The Magnetic Zeros

April 15
By Angela Carone, Maureen Cavanaugh
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Coachella is this weekend and we have some tips and a preview for you. But we also have some great music recommendations even if you're staying right here in San Diego.

Books: Anne Lamott Talks About Her New Novel

April 15
By Angela Carone, Maureen Cavanaugh
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Anne Lamott, author of "Bird by Bird," "Traveling Mercies," and "Operating Instructions," has a new work of fiction. "Imperfect Birds" is the third novel Lamott has written about mother and daughter Elizabeth and Rosie, but this time Rosie is a teenager. The novel explores the anxiety of parenting a teenager, especially one that battles addiction.

Michelle Obama Visiting San Diego Community Farm

April 15
Associated Press

Michelle Obama is visiting San Diego to promote her campaign against childhood obesity. The first lady will tour the New Roots Community Farm in City Heights this afternoon as she promotes her campaign to encourage healthy eating for youngsters.

City Schools CFO Resigns During Budget Overhaul

April 15
By Maureen Cavanaugh, Hank Crook

What caused the San Diego Unified School District's Chief Financial Officer, James Masias, to resign? We speak to KPBS Education Reporter Ana Tintocalis about the factors that might have led to his departure from the district. And, we discuss the challenges the district will face as it searches for a new superintendent and CFO.

Building A Healthy Community In City Heights

April 15
By Megan Burke, Maureen Cavanaugh
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First Lady Michelle Obama is in San Diego today. She's here to promote her anti-obesity campaign - but more specifically to help launch an effort to transform more than a dozen California neighborhoods into healthy communities - including City Heights.

Ash Cloud From Iceland Volcano Halts Air Traffic Across Europe

April 15
ROBERT BARR and JILL LAWLESS , AP
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An ash cloud from Iceland's spewing volcano halted air traffic across a wide swathe of Europe on Thursday, grounding planes on a scale unseen since the 2001 terror attacks as authorities stopped all flights over Britain, Ireland and the Nordic countries.

Cal State System Prohibits Students From Studying In Tijuana

April 15
By Amy Isackson

San Diego State University officials say students are not allowed to study in Tijuana until the U.S. State Department lifts its travel warning for Mexico.

Small Amusement Parks Doing Big Business During Recession

April 15
By Katie Orr
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Summer’s coming up and many people might be planning a trip to an amusement park. That trip could get expensive with tickets for large amusement parks hovering around $70, but smaller admission-free amusement parks are seeing their crowds and revenues go up.

UCSD Renews Efforts To Recruit Minority, Transfer Students

April 15
By Ana Tintocalis

Community college students packed a lecture hall at Mesa College on Wednesday to meet with UC San Diego Chancellor Marye Anne Fox. It was part of UCSD's renewed effort to recruit minority transfer students.