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Stories for December 15, 2010

New Bikes Surprise First Graders In Logan Heights

Dec. 15
By Peggy Pico
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All of the first graders at Logan Elementary School in Logan Heights got brand new bicycles and helmets for Christmas this year. The pint-sized students were surprised on Wednesday morning at a school assembly.

Underwater Preserves OK'd Off San Diego's Coast

Dec. 15
By Ed Joyce
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The California Fish and Game Commission voted Wednesday to adopt a network of marine protected areas, or MPA's, from Santa Barbara to the Mexican border.

Xmas With X At The Belly Up

Dec. 15
Dave Walters
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Culture Lust contributor David Walters has seen the LA punk band X perform in venues all over San Diego for the last 20 years. His enthusiasm for the band continues, which is why he'll be seeing them on Sunday at The Belly Up.

Tavis Smiley Reports: Dudamel: Conducting A Life

Dec. 15
Tavis Smiley Reports: Dudamel: Conducting A Life   Tease photo

Tavis Smiley gives viewers an extraordinary look into the life and artistry of the Los Angeles Philharmonic's charismatic conductor. At 29, Dudamel is not only the youngest conductor of any major orchestra in the world, but is also being hailed by critics as the most exciting.

Great Performances: Celebracion! Gustavo Dudamel And The LA Phil With Juan Diego Florez

Dec. 15
Great Performances: Celebracion! Gustavo Dudamel And The LA Phil With Juan Diego Florez   Tease photo

"Great Performances" returns to the Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall for another concert with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and music director Gustavo Dudamel. Joined by superstar tenor Juan Diego Florez, the gala concert's repertoire offers a festive program of bel canto overtures and arias, as well as popular Latin American songs and orchestral dances.

Paving The Way: The National Park-To-Park Highway

Dec. 15
Paving The Way: The National Park-To-Park Highway  Tease photo

This two-part documentary details the story of twelve motorists who took a 5,000-mile epic road trip before there were gas stations and fully paved roads. In 1920, the inaugural tour of the Park-to-Park Highway connected all twelve National Parks in the American West. They promoted tourism to the Parks and better roads for motorists. Only the rich could afford travel by train or by horse to the National Parks, but the 1920 inaugural tour opened the door for the “everyman,” with his newly affordable automobile, to visit them as well.

Insight: Kids Get Bikes, But Will They Ride Them To School?

Dec. 15
By Tom Fudge | On-Ramp
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About 90 first-graders sat on the carpeted floor of an assembly room at Logan Elementary School when a stage curtain was drawn, showing them a gift of bikes.

Film Club of the Air: 'True Grit,' 'The King's Speech,' 'Black Swan,' 'Tron: Legacy,' 'The Fighter'

Dec. 15
These Days
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There are some nicely wrapped cinematic gifts as well as expensive coal in area theaters this holiday season. We'll ask our critics about the new Coen brothers movie "True Grit," see how "Tron" stacks up as a sequel, and find out if the hype is deserved for "The King's Speech."

Envision San Diego: When Immunity Fails: The Whooping Cough Epidemic

Dec. 15
Envision San Diego: When Immunity Fails: The Whooping Cough Epidemic  Tease photo

Thirty years ago whooping cough had nearly disappeared. Today, it's back. The epidemic has already killed 10 babies and infected thousands of children this year in California. KPBS and the Watchdog Institute at SDSU are working together to look at who’s getting sick, facts about the vaccine, and how public health agencies have responded.

Record Number of Military Families Sign Up for Holiday Toys

Dec. 15
By Kyla Calvert
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The first 400 families chosen to participate in the 24th annual SuperParent Shopping Day began choosing gifts for their children at 8 a.m. Wednesday. A room full of donated toys was waiting for them.

Rick Steves' Europe: Norway's West: Fjords, Mountains And Bergen

Dec. 15
Rick Steves' Europe: Norway's West: Fjords, Mountains And Bergen  Tease photo

For Scandinavia's most thrilling sightseeing, we sail under towering fjord cliffs, hike on powerful glaciers, and find surviving traditions in remote farm hamlets. Then we delve into the Hanseatic heritage and enjoy the salty hospitality of Norway's historic capitol, Bergen.

News: SDFCS Gives Best Film to 'Winter's Bone'

Dec. 15
By Beth Accomando
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The San Diego Film Critics Society often strays from other organizations in its awards choices. This year the top prize goes to the indie film 'Winter's Bone." You can see a complete list and listen to our discussion on the KPBS Film Club of the Air.

Cook's Country From America's Test Kitchen: Breakfast Show Stoppers

Dec. 15
Cook's Country From America's Test Kitchen: Breakfast Show Stoppers  Tease photo

Bridget Lancaster updates a lost recipe and shows host Christopher Kimball how to make Monkey Bread. then, equipment expert Adam Reid reviews toasters, and tasting expert Jack Bishop challenges Chris to a tasting of decaf coffee. Finally, Julia Collin Davison uncovers the secrets to making a Dutch Baby at home.

SECRETS OF THE DEAD: Sinking Atlantis

Dec. 15
SECRETS OF THE DEAD: Sinking Atlantis  Tease photo

The program explores, and discounts, all the usual theories about the disappearance of the Minoans -- from a massive volcano that buried them in ash, to Greek invaders who conquered and killed them. Drawing from the archaeological records, new revelations about Minoan language and religion, and shocking new geological discoveries, the film connects fact with fiction, and reveals the truth behind the reign and fall of the great Minoan civilization.

Ashes Hauled Away From Escondido 'Bomb Home'

Dec. 15
By Ed Joyce
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Cleanup continues at the Escondido home that was burned to eliminate explosives. The last of the soil, debris and ashes is expected to be hauled away from the property Wednesday.

Masterpiece Contemporary: Framed

Dec. 15
Masterpiece Contemporary: Framed  Tease photo

A reserved curator (Trevor Eve) from London's National Gallery is made responsible for the safe and secret storage of priceless paintings in rural Wales. Soon he finds it difficult to keep his low profile, as well as his secret, from the local villagers. Also starring Eve Myles ("Torchwood").

Political Battle Over Sunrise Powerlink Continues

Dec. 15
These Days

San Diego Gas & Electric held a groundbreaking for the 117-mile Sunrise Powerlink transmission line last week, but County Supervisor Dianne Jacob will not give up her fight against the project. KPBS Political Correspondent Gloria Penner joins us to discuss the history of the controversial project, and to talk about why Supervisor Jacob continues to oppose construction of the line.

Should Escondido Build Minor League Baseball Park?

Dec. 15
These Days

Tonight, the Escondido City Council will decide whether to spend $50 million to build a minor league ballpark for the Padres Triple-A team. What could the City of Escondido gain in return for the $50 million investment?

Pala Band Chairman Set To Attend Tribal Conference In Washington

Dec. 15
City News

The chairman of the Pala Band of Mission Indians, Smith, will be among the American Indian leaders scheduled to attend Thursday's White House Tribal Nations Conference in Washington.

Drug Cartel Leaders Extradited From Mexico Face Charges In San Diego

Dec. 15
By Amy Isackson

Mexico has extradited 15 people wanted for crimes in the United States. A dozen are charged with federal drug crimes and three face state charges for violent crimes.

Deportation Pushes Mothers Into Endless Cycle of Illegal Crossings

Dec. 15
By Ruxandra Guidi
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As deportations of undocumented immigrants have increased over the last year, so has the separation of mothers from their kids. But for many women, that reality is pushing them into an endless cycle of illegal border crossings and deportations.

Ethical Concerns Over Whooping Cough Vaccine

Dec. 15
Roxana Popescu, Watchdog Institute
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An investigation by the Watchdog Institute and KPBS has found that the two leading global makers of whooping cough vaccines have funded expert groups that recommend vaccine policy on the disease to government agencies.

News: Comic-Con Doing Registration Test

Dec. 15
By Beth Accomando
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If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Comic-Con will be testing their registration site today at 8am with 1000 badges going on sale.