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Stories for May 12, 2011

These Days Weekend Preview: 'The Beaver'

May 12
By Beth Accomando
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Sometimes what happens offscreen can't help but inform what's onscreen. Take Mel Gibson's performance as a man caught in a downward spiral in "The Beaver" (opening May 13 at Landmark's Hillcrest Cinemas).

Insight: The Vacancy Sign Has Gone Up Across California

May 12
By Tom Fudge | On-Ramp

The 2010 census is sharpening our view of housing trends in California. Now, we see the economy and foreclosure trends are creating a lot more empty houses and apartments.

Budget Cuts Hurt Autism Program

May 12
By Peggy Pico
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An after-school program for autistic kids in San Diego struggles to stay open after budget cuts.

San Diego County Population Aging

May 12
By Kyla Calvert
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Children made up about 23 percent of San Diego County’s population last year new Census data show, down from more than a quarter 10 years ago.

Insight: Is The Housing Market Crimping The Economy?

May 12
By Tom Fudge | On-Ramp
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The continuing slide of the U.S. housing market is a good-news bad-news scenario. But is it bad for the economy?

Culture Lust Weekend: Quilts, Art Meets Surveillance, and Sushi

May 12
By Jocelyn Maggard
Culture Lust Weekend: Quilts, Art Meets Surveillance, and Sushi Tease photo

See some geometric art, learn how to cook veggies like a pro, or listen to a one-man-band during this Culture Lust Weekend.

Neighbors Seek To Reduce Energy Use, Increase Home Values

May 12
By Ed Joyce

San Diego's Del Cerro neighborhood could serve as a model for a plan to save energy while creating jobs and increasing home values.

Teacher Evaluations Could Change With New Bill

May 12
California Capitol Network

A state Senate committee heard a bill that would change the way some teachers are evaluated Wednesday and the backdrop was the week-long teachers’ protest at the Capitol.

April Home Sales Down In SD

May 12
City News Service

Home sales in San Diego County dropped 0.5 percent in April, compared to the same month a year ago, as Southern California sales fell to their lowest level for an April in three years, a real estate information service reported today.

San Diegans With Southern Roots To Hold Fundraiser For Tornado Victims

May 12
City News Service

San Diegans with roots in tornado-ravaged Tuscaloosa, Ala., organized a fundraiser for victims that will be held this evening in the Gaslamp Quarter.

DA Files Lawsuit To Void Commutation Of Esteban Nunez's Prison Sentence

May 12
These Days
DA Files Lawsuit To Void Commutation Of Esteban Nunez's Prison Sentence Tease photo

There's a new wrinkle in a story that caused a stir early this year - the commutation of the sentence of Estaban Nunez. He was sentenced to 16 years for the fatal stabbing of a student near SDSU. But right before he left office, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger used his constitutional power and cut Nunez sentence in half.

Silver Age Yoga Aims To Improve SD Seniors Health And Well-being

May 12
These Days

How do you, or your older family members keep fit? Do you think there should be more fitness programs geared toward seniors?

White House Update: Mideast Policy, Immigration Reform, Federal Debt

May 12
These Days
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How could U.S. policy in the Middle East change following the killing of Osama bin Laden? Could reforming immigration policy be the next goal for President Barack Obama? We speak to NPR White House Correspondent Scott Horsley about the big stories coming out of Washington, D.C. this week.

Will Bin Laden's Death Affect Afghan Insurgency?

May 12
Rachel Martin, NPR
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The Obama administration plans to pull some troops out of Afghanistan in July, but administration officials say the overall strategy will remain as is — in part because it's still unclear what effect bin Laden's death is going to have on the insurgency.

Performing In 'Carmen' At San Diego Opera

May 12
These Days
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The San Diego Opera ends its season with the beloved and passionate opera "Carmen" by Georges Bizet. We'll talk with an up-and-coming soprano and the baritone behind the bullfighter, Escamillo.

The Old Globe Scores With 'The Scottsboro Boys'

May 12
These Days
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The Tony nominated, controversial musical "The Scottsboro Boys" is just one of the surprises in the newly announced season at The Old Globe. The theater in Balboa Park will stage four world premieres starting this fall. The Union-Tribune's theater critic Jim Hebert joins us to talk about the Globe's announcement.

Events: North Park Festival, Crystal Castles And 'The Beaver'

May 12
These Days
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Street festivals are in full swing in San Diego now that spring has arrived. We'll talk about options for your weekend and get the behind-the-scenes scoop on Mel Gibson's new movie, "The Beaver."

Feature: Portrait of a Sound Designer

May 12
By Beth Accomando
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Martin Lopez went to UC San Diego as a pre-med student but left as a filmmaker. Now he's a sound designer in LA and he gives us the lowdown on designing sound effects for summer blockbusters like "Priest" (opening May 13 throughout San Diego).