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FROM THIS EPISODE

Congressional investigators say the national parks are short of money. On this archived edition of To the Point, what will travelers find--or not find--at Acadia, Yellowstone or Bryce Canyon? Are "energy" corridors to bring gas and electricity to the Southwest a threat to protection of public lands? Plus, a new "webisode" of Star Trek: the New Voyages. We hear about Dr. Sulu's labor of love. (This edition of To the Point will be pre-empted on KCRW by special holiday programming.)

Reporter's Notebook Star Trek, the Future is a Mr. Sulu Nation

CBS allows fans of Star Trek to produce and distribute new versions of what has become a cultural monument, as long as they don't make any money.  On the Internet, each webisode costs $70,000, but anyone can get it for free. William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy are not part of the production, but George Takei is--still playing Mr. Sulu as a labor of love.

Guests:
George Takei, Actor known for his portrayal of Star Trek's Mr. Sulu
Mark Zicree, Director and Executive Producer, (most recent) Star Trek

Main Topic America's National Parks under Pressure

From Maine to California, America's most popular government program is in trouble, just as vacation season gets under way. Some 300 million people visit national parks, monuments and other federally protected places every year. Despite increased appropriations, almost 400 of these may cut services to meet increasing costs, and managers at 12 of the most highly visited facilities say they can't meet their budgets.  Meantime, Congress has told the Department of Energy and Bureau of Land Management Congress to speed approval of "energy corridors" to bring gas and electricity to the booming Southwest. On this archived edition of To the Point, will Yellowstone, Bryce Canyon, Shenandoah, and Acadia offer travelers what they expect?  Do energy corridors threaten protection of parks and other public lands for future generations?

Guests:
Ron Tipton, Senior VP for Programs, National Parks Conservation Association
Steve Martin, Deputy Director, National Park Service
Bill Corcoran, Senior Regional Representative, Sierra Club in Los Angeles
Jim Owen, Spokesman, Edison Electric Institute

Making News Secretary Rice Plays Supporting Role in Iraq Study Group

President Bush says he'll consider any suggestions made by the Iraq Study Group, led by James Baker, Secretary of State for the current president's father. There have been reports that Baker was sent in to clean up the mess in Iraq, but the White House firmly denies that. Now, the online magazine Salon.com says the impetus for the Iraq Study Group came from a surprising source, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Guests:
Mark Benjamin, National Correspondent, Salon.com

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