A Plea to Home-owners: Leave the Lights on

 

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MONTCLARION: January 11, 2019

January is a tough month. Let’s face it — the holidays are over and tax season is on the horizon. It’s easy to slip into a funk, But here’s a way to spread joy without lifting a finger. Leave your lights on. Continue reading

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Town Crier: Old Oakland offers diners from hills amazing food, vibe

MONTCLARION: December 14, 2018

On the 12th day of Christmas my true love gave to me: a night out in trendy Old Oakland. What a dazzling display as we strolled past handsome Victorian buildings outlined in holiday lights. The streets were crowded with mostly millennials savvy about the restaurant scene and eager to be out on a starry night. Continue reading

Town Crier: Go-to Montclair eatery marks 25 years

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Ginny Prior/for Bay Area News Group Italian Colors, a go-to restaurant for many Montclarions, is celebrating its 25th anniversary. Guitarist Michael Wollenberg, above, who has played at the restaurant since it began, performs Christmas tunes for diners on a recent night.

EASTBAYTIMES.COM: DECEMBER 28, 2018

Italian Colors has beaten the odds. The go-to restaurant for so many Montclarions is celebrating its 25th anniversary — remarkable when you consider 90 percent of independent restaurants close during their first year and the rest last an average of just five years. For owner/chef Alan Carlson, it’s a matter of pride. Continue reading

Happy Wanderer: Yosemite offers classic holidays ambience Archetypal winter images abound at Mariposa Grove in the Sierra

 

Courtesy of Tenaya Lodge

EASTBAYTIMES.COM: December 7, 2018

It’s early December and the search has begun for the picture-perfect, Currier-and-Ives holiday experience. You know the scene — the horse-drawn sleigh gliding through snow-covered meadows, the mirrored skating pond and the pines draped in twinkling lights. John Muir knew where to find the magic. It’s still here today — in Yosemite. Continue reading

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

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