Saint Mary’s College professor inspired by Gandhi


Kusum Singh sits in a sun-kissed corner of her kitchen with the warmth of a woman completely at peace. At 78 and newly-retired from a 27-year teaching career at Saint Mary’s College, she’s entering a stage where she can listen more clearly to her heart. “In every little thing, I find peace and joy,” said Singh, who spent much of her academic life studying the work of Gandhi. “I used to have to prepare so much for class. Now I just sit and enjoy my reading and writing.”  Continue reading

Oakland immigrant achieves American dream

OAKLAND TRIBUNE: June 24, 2011

Alice Ly lives to make people happy. In fact, it’s been her life’s dream since coming to America from Vietnam at the age of 19. Last month, it all came together when she opened Natural Nails Plus on Grand Avenue in Oakland.

What makes this shop different from the dozens of other nail salons in Oakland is Ly’s story. She was 9 when her father left Vietnam on a small, crowded boat for America. He would carve out a new life on Oahu, then send for his wife and three daughters. Ly thought the day would never come, but her family was finally reunited a decade later. Continue reading

Men’s Health Week – Something to Celebrate?


National Men’s Health Week is June 13-19. If only there were more to celebrate.

Consider the facts: Men die more than five years younger than women; Men are at greater risk of getting a serious disease or life-threatening injury; Men are fatter than women, use more tobacco, make fewer doctor visits and have less healthy diets.

So what’s the good news? “Nearly all of these key factors can be modified or controlled,” says men’s health expert Dr. Will Courtenay. Continue reading

Oakland clothes retailers take indie fashion online

OAKLAND TRIBUNE: June 11, 2011

In the world of fashion, nothing is more basic than the classic white blouse. Yet, for Oakland businesswoman Dawn Wheeler, it was as elusive as a pair of comfortable stilettos, until she decided to start her own clothing business.

Meet the online indie fashion site BobbePin (, featuring clothing and accessories from independent designers hand-picked by Dawn and co-owner Lisa de la Sol. Continue reading

The Six Questions


Who:  Thierry Attias, 47, of Alameda

What: He’s an Oakland bike shop owner (Cycle Sports) who, along with his friend and business partner Greg Raifman, owns one of the world’s top professional cycling teams — United Healthcare Pro Cycling Team.

When: Attias and Raifman formed the team and Momentum Sports Group LLC after sitting down with a group of pro cyclists and brainstorming. “When you own a bike shop, you have a lot of groups of clients coming in and
you support them. Bike clubs want sponsors.  It kind of got my gears going.”
Continue reading

Making dough in the pizza business

Red Boy Pizza family owners with Oakland Citycouncilwoman Libby Schaaf


If you want to make dough in the pizza business, it helps to have a hook. For the Oakland hills family who owns the Red Boy Pizza franchise, it begins with the sourdough crust.

“The mother dough was started in Italy in 1942,” says Farid Radwan, an Egyptian-born restaurateur who goes by the name “Fred.” He came to this country in the mid-1970s and fell in love with his Italian wife, Antoinette, when they were going to Cal State Hayward. They married, had children and bought Bordenave’s Bakery in San Rafael in 1996. Continue reading

The Six Questions


Who:  Greg Raifman, 51, of Piedmont

What: He’s a husband, father and an avid cyclist who, along with his friend and business partner Thierry Attias, owns one of the world’s top professional cycling teams – UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team. Continue reading