Talkin’ bout the birds and the bees…

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Laurel Ace Hardware garden team member Miguel Ruiz, left, appears recently with Lisa Ratusz of the Our Water Our World program through the Alameda County Clean Water program. Ratusz taught visitors about integrated pest management and helped with pollinator-friendly gardening tips. Laurel Ace Hardware staff held a pollinator event earlier this fall.

MONTCLARION: November 16, 2018

We’ve always been a one-pet family. But these days we have dozens of birds to add to our brood — wrens, sparrows, jays and dark-eyed juncos — all feeding at our seed stations. Anna’s hummingbirds sip from our Dollar Store nectar bottle. Nuthatches balance on the wire basket, binging on peanut butter suet. And I sit inside with my field guide, logging bird varieties as I sip my morning coffee. Often my cat will lay blissfully on my lap, as if watching a reality show. Continue reading

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Happy Wanderer: Oysters steal the cuisine scene in Morro Bay

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Ginny Prior/for Bay Area News Group Autumn is called the “secret season” in San Luis Obispo County’s Morro Bay, above.

EAST Bay Times: October 19, 2018

New Orleans, New York, Morro Bay. When it comes to oysters, the coastal town with the famous Morro Rock wins, hands down. Autumn is called “secret season” in San Luis Obispo County’s Morro Bay. The warm sun and mild coastal breeze are perfect for dining seaside al fresco. And for foodies, the choices are impressive. Continue reading

Town Crier: Oakland hills, state fall colors beautiful too

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courtesy of Bruce Wendler Fall leaves appear along Dunderberg Road in Mono County. Whether you take a road trip to the Sierra or leaf-peep in your neighborhood, California’s fall colors are showing.

MONTCLARION: October 12, 2018

It’s mid-October, and all these swirling leaves have put me in a mood. It’s not a Sinatra mood, where I liken my life to a vintage wine, (although I am a fan of late harvest zins) but more of a Guess Who mood, as in “seasons change, and so do I.” Continue reading

Happy Wanderer: Surf’s always up in Huntington Beach

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Eastbaytimes.com: Sept. 1, 2018

It’s not just a SoCal thing. Interest in surfing and skateboarding is reaching new heights now that the 2020 Olympics have added both sports to its summer competition. One of the best places to celebrate surf culture is Huntington Beach, the officially trademarked “Surf City USA” and home to ’60s surf rock icon Dean Torrence of musical act Jan and Dean. Continue reading

Town Crier: Not one but two ladies mark 95 years at Oakland’s Fentons

courtesy of Carmelita Mills
Oakland resident Lola Fitzgerald celebrates her 95th birthday at Fentons Creamery with her daughter, Carmelita Mills, left, and granddaughter, Melia Mills Claybrooks.

MONTCLARION: August 10, 2018

What will you do when you reach the ripe age of 95? Not one but two golden-oldie birthdays were celebrated recently at Fentons Creamery. Reader Trish Brennan says the birthday gals didn’t know each other until their parties were seated nearby. Continue reading

Happy Wanderer: Seattle’s music scene not slowing down anytime soon

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One of more than 200 musical acts takes the stage in June at Seattle’s Upstream Music Fest + Summit. Photo by Ginny Prior

EAST BAY TIMES: July 5, 2018

Austin, Nashville, Seattle — these cities are defined by their live music scenes. But before you dismiss the Puget Sound “sound” as being too grunge, consider this. Seattle is a hot spot for all kinds of live music, in walkable neighborhoods with majestic views and cutting-edge cuisine. Continue reading