Happy Wanderer: Fairbank’s Fall Color Seen Up, Down and All Around

The Yukon River in Alaska is seen at dusk. Alaska draws many visitors in September and early October. Fairbanks, Alaska, and nearby Denali National Park are under the Aurora Oval, with some of the world’s best viewing of the Northern Lights. Photo by Ginny Prior

 

HILLS NEWSPAPERS:September 6, 2019

One winter evening, in a town near the Arctic Circle, I was scouring the sky for the Northern Lights. Suddenly, I saw a splinter of light and felt a surge of energy that connected me surreally to the stars. What a letdown it was to discover, soon after, that it was a strobe light beckoning shoppers to a newly opened store in the village. Continue reading

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Town Crier: Under two months left to fly Oakland-Spain nonstop

Photo by Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group

 

MONTCLARION: August 29, 2019

Spain was never on my bucket list. I don’t speak Spanish, and summers there can be searing-hot. But here I am, on a Norwegian Air nonstop flight from Oakland to Barcelona. It seems everyone I know has been to Barcelona this summer. The route has been popular, according to Anders Lindström, Norwegian Air’s director of communications for North America. Yet sadly, Norwegian Air’s nonstops between Oakland International Airport and Barcelona and between Oakland and Paris will end Oct. 26. San Francisco International Airport (SFO) is getting these routes, just like they got our Oakland-London route. Continue reading

Town Crier: Ultimate Frisbee proves popular in parks of Oakland hills

courtesy of Chris Gulli
A group at an Oakland hills park enjoys a recent game of Ultimate Frisbee. There are four pickup games a week in Montclair and Shepherd Canyon parks, and players range in age from 7 to 70, says longtime player Chris Gulli.

MONTCLARION: August 16, 2019

Who knew a flying disc could bring so much joy to the hills? Ultimate Frisbee is bringing “kids” of all ages together and the organizers are looking for you. “You don’t even need a Frisbee to come out and play” says longtime player Chris Gulli. “All you need is a willingness to learn the game and have fun.” Continue reading

Concord Celebrates 50 Years of Jazz with Concert Series Aug 1-10

Salvio Pacheco Square in downtown Concord sits across from Todos Santos Plaza, which pulsates with everything from live Latin jazz to Concord’s world champion Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps. 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of jazz in Concord, and in a nod to the late Montclair and Concord Dave Brubeck is being celebrated Aug. 1-10 with Take 10 — 10 days of jazz events. – Photo Courtesy of Visit Concord

EASTBAYTIMES.COM: July 12, 2019

It was the first jazz standard in the country to sell a million records. Dave Brubeck’s syncopated 5/4-time hit “Take Five” is one of the most recognized songs in the jazz genre — but did you know Brubeck’s connection to Concord helped spawn the Concord Pavilion and the famed Concord Jazz record label? Continue reading

Happy Wanderer: Guerneville is Epicenter of Hot Russian River Culinary Scene

Old fashioned Guerneville 5 & 10 in downtown Guerneville. Photo by Ginny Prior

EASTBAYTIMES.COM: June 14, 2019

It’s the trifecta of topography — the redwoods, the river and the ocean. Add 130 wineries to the mix (from the Russian River Valley American Viticultural Area), and Guerneville comes up as the perfect setting for a culinary adventure. Continue reading

The big cheese appears in Montclair

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Ginny Prior/for Bay Area News Group Farmstead Cheeses and Wines’ chief cheese monger, Jeff Diamond, “cracks a parm” — slices open a giant Parmesan cheese wheel — for food and wine writers recently at his Montclair store.

MONTCLARION: May 20, 2019

As far as cheese goes, it was a beaut — 85 pounds of fresh Parmesan, a wheel so big it took a young clerk to flip it. Farmstead Cheeses and Wines’ chief cheese monger, Jeff Diamond, treated journalists to a show the other night. “Cracking a ‘parm’ is a very cool thing,” he quipped. “And I’m always excited when I can show folks how it’s done.” Continue reading

Four Days on Mount Diablo

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“Four Days Diablo” hikers dine recently at Curry Canyon Ranch in the shadow of Mount Diablo. At least three Montclarions participated recently in the soft-adventure hiking and camping trip along the 30-mile Diablo Trail linking Walnut Creek to Brentwood.

MONTCLARION: May 9, 2019

Montclarions Steve and Carolyn Balling have hiked all over the world. So has Oakland’s Shirley Langlois. But there’s a place in their own backyard that keeps calling them back — Mount Diablo. Continue reading