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Stories for February 18, 2010

NATURE: Invasion Of The Giant Pythons

Feb. 18
By Jennifer Robinson
Tease photo for NATURE: Invasion Of The Giant Pythons

Follow teams of scientists and hunters as they use their vast knowledge of snakes and their prey to uncover the impact of the pythons on the park’s fragile ecosystems. Herpetologist Shawn Heflick uses some innovative techniques to observe the mechanics of the snake’s bite, while scientists Stephen Secor and Skip Snow employ advanced technology to analyze the ways in which pythons swallow and digest animals that can be more than half their own body size.

Lawmakers Denounce UC San Diego Race-Themed Party

Feb. 18
Steve Shadley, CCN

State lawmakers say they are angry and saddened by a racially themed party near UC San Diego that mocked Black History month. The party was promoted as the “Compton Cookout” and invitations encouraged students to dress and act like African-American stereotypes.

Nationwide Education Compact Benefits Military Children

Feb. 18
By Alison St John

A new law removes obstacles that hindered the educational career of children in military families. State Assemblywoman Lori Saldaña sponsored a bill in California to make it easier for military kids to transfer from one school to another.

RICK STEVES' EUROPE: Barcelona And Catalunya

Feb. 18
Tease photo for RICK STEVES' EUROPE: Barcelona And Catalunya

The creative spirit of Spain’s Catalunya--the land of Picasso, Gaudi, and Salvador Dali--is on a roll. We’ll get caught up in the festivity of Barcelona, enjoying the vibrant street scenes, tasty tapas, and pedestrian-friendly Gothic Quarter. Then we’ll take a scenic side trip to mountaintop Montserrat, and finish with an artist’s pilgrimage along the Costa Brava to Salvador Dali country. In seaside Cadaques, we'll visit Dali's home, and in nearby Figures, we'll experience his playfully surreal mausoleum/museum.

Mexico - One Plate At A Time With Rick Bayless: Triple Torta-Thon

Feb. 18
Tease photo for Mexico - One Plate At A Time With Rick Bayless: Triple Torta-Thon

Over a breakfast of tortas – Mexican sandwiches filled, in this case, with Rick’s quick Mexican scrambled eggs, beans, and avocados – Rick and his daughter, Lanie, plan an all-day torta marathon in Mexico City. Their quest beings at the city's charming Sunday flea market, Lagunilla. Next stop: Don Polo, a gleaming 1950s-style chrome and neon diner, famous for its menu of griddled tortas. Then it's on to El Pialadero - The Cattle Roper - for the famed Guadalajara specialty, Tortas Ahogadas, or "drowned" sandwiches, stuffed with juicy braised beef and smothered in a brothy tomato-oregano sauce.

Texas Plane Crash Pilot Apparently Left Web Note

Feb. 18
Tease photo for Texas Plane Crash Pilot Apparently Left Web Note

A federal law enforcement official has identified the pilot in the Austin, Texas, plane crash as Joseph Stack and says investigators are looking at an anti-government message on the Web linked to him.

Animated Fare

Feb. 18
By Beth Accomando
Tease photo for Animated Fare

If live action films aren’t living up to your expectations, there’s plenty of animated fare on hand to entertain you. There are no new animated features opening but there are two programs featuring short animated works in town. "Spike and Mike's New Generation of Animation" continues at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego in La Jolla and Landmark's Ken Cinema hosts the "The Oscar Nominated Short Films 2010" (opening February 19). You can listen to my Film Chat.

Culture Lust Weekend: One Book, One San Diego, Steve Poltz and 'Nabucco'

Feb. 18
By Angela Carone, Meredith Hattam

This Culture Lust Weekend: meet the author of this year's winner of One Book, One San Diego, Celebrate Steve Poltz's 50th, a night at the opera with Nabucco, and the prince of darkness takes La Jolla (Ozzy, Ozzy, Ozzy!)

The Softlightes, CECUT, And Magic: The Gathering On Weekend Preview

Feb. 18
By Angela Carone, Maureen Cavanaugh

San Diego pop band The Softlightes play the Casbah with Anya Marina, a magic card convention takes over downtown, and cross the border for some compelling contemporary art and music. These recommendations and more from our guests.

Steve Poltz Performs Tracks From New Album

Feb. 18
By Angela Carone, Maureen Cavanaugh
Tease photo for Steve Poltz Performs Tracks From New Album

Singer-songwriter and raconteur Steve Poltz went all the way to Nova Scotia, where he was born, to make his latest album, produced by Canadian indie star Joel Plaskett. Poltz, who was recently awarded "San Diego's Most Influential Artist of the Decade" at the San Diego Music Awards, will perform songs from the new album titled "Dreamhouse" in the KPBS studio. We'll also get the scoop on his big birthday bash at the Belly Up where he'll reunite with The Rugburns.

Television Icon Ed Asner Comes To Poway As FDR

Feb. 18
By Angela Carone, Maureen Cavanaugh
Tease photo for Television Icon Ed Asner Comes To Poway As FDR

He may be best known as the crusty newsroom editor Lou Grant from the old Mary Tyler Moore show, but these days he's acting more presidential. Ed Asner is currently touring the country in a one-man show called "FDR." We talk with him about playing presidential and his voice work for the recent Pixar hit movie "Up."

S.D. Home Prices Fluctuate, Sales Still Down

Feb. 18
By Maureen Cavanaugh, Hank Crook

San Diego home prices are down from last month, but still $25,000 higher than one year ago. What does the latest data tell us about the local real estate market? We speak to the real estate reporter for the San Diego Union-Tribune, and a real estate broker about the latest news on the local market.

Carlsbad's Shaun White Takes Gold In Halfpipe

Feb. 18
Associated Press
Tease photo for Carlsbad's Shaun White Takes Gold In Halfpipe

Putting on a show when he didn't even have to, Shaun White capped his gold-medal night on the halfpipe with his signature trick Wednesday — the dangerous, spiraling Double McTwist 1260 — during a victory lap that will go down as nothing short of epic.

U.S. Consul In Tijuana Says Daily Life Is More Than The Drug War

Feb. 18
By Amy Isackson

The U.S. consul in Tijuana says his top priorities include modernizing the border crossings, collaborating with Mexico on security issues, and correcting many of Americans' negative views of Tijuana. Stephen Kashkett spoke to business leaders in Tijuana.

Interim Schools Chief Calls For A New Sense Of Teamwork

Feb. 18
By Ana Tintocalis

The San Diego Unified School District's interim superintendent says the district is in a state of transition but local schools remain strong. He's calling for a new, deeper sense of teamwork.