Town Crier: Sierra Club volunteers busy greening Montclair

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Sierra Club volunteers Jeremy Besmer and Robin Kutner plant a tree on Montclair’s Merced Avenue. (Ginny Prior/For Bay Area News Group)

Robin Kutner and Jeremy Besmer have been busy greening Montclair, one block at a time. I ran into the Sierra Club volunteers on Merced Avenue alongside Safeway recently. They were busting up some rock-hard soil to put in a tree that will “spruce up” the streetscape. It seemed like hard work, but Kutner said they were driven to do something meaningful. Continue reading

Town Crier: A Montclair Christmas story moral — trust, but verify

MONTCLAIR HOLIDAY STROLLMONTCLARION: Jan 3, 2017

Montclair can seem like a small town wrapped in a big city. Here’s a little story to illustrate: It was just before Christmas, when shoppers were scurrying to get through their checklists. Reader Conrad Bassett was scurrying too. He’d just been to his bank and was checking a transaction online — when what to his wondering eyes should appear but nine unauthorized charges. Continue reading

Town Crier: Duchess is welcome addition to Rockridge restaurant

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Chef Candice Caris and co-owner Caroline Conner pose with the regal, handmade front door of Duchess restaurant in Rockridge, which recently opened for business. (Courtesy of Duchess Oakland)

EASTBAYTIMES.COM: December 29, 2016

In the dimly lit days of winter, we look to make human connections. Rockridge strikes me as a good place to do this. College Avenue has a harmonic energy. Shop owners feed off the pulse of folks eager to support homegrown business. Continue reading

Happy Wanderer: Emotional exploration triggers ‘dream trip’

pie-artstravel-1209-022EASTBAYTIMES.COM: December 9, 2016

Who says you can’t go home? That adage (more recently, the refrain to a Bon Jovi duet) is just wrong. There’s no place like home when it comes to emotional exploration. With the benefit of hindsight and a dusting of memories, “home” can be a dream vacation, as I recently discovered on a weekend getaway to the Conejo Valley. Continue reading

Town Crier: Eve’s Waterfront makes waves near Jack London Square

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Bruce Paton, the “beer chef,” is the executive chef for Eve’s Waterfront, in the iconic, renovated site of the former Rusty Scupper in Oakland. (Courtesy of Eve’s Waterfront)

MONTCLARION: December 2, 2016

In a neighborhood known for its waterfront dining, a newcomer is making waves.Eve’s Waterfront Restaurant at 15 Embarcadero West has been steadily growing its fan base since its early fall opening. And let’s face it. What’s not to like about food prepared by a noted Bay Area chef in an iconic building perched over the estuary? (It was the Rusty Scupper for almost 30 years and then owned for a time by former Oakland Raiders quarterback Jim Plunkett). Continue reading