Town Crier: Hundreds of trees in search of takers in Oakland

MONTCLARION: February 16, 2017

If someone offered to plant a tree in your yard at no cost, would you take it? Most of us would say yes. After all, trees enhance property. They absorb carbon dioxide, provide shade and a home for birds, squirrels and other wildlife. Continue reading


Happy Wanderer: Winter in Napa Valley full of things to do


St. Helena’s Harvest Inn by Charlie Palmer was named No. 47 on the Condé Nast Traveler list of the world’s top 50 hotels in 2016. (Courtesy of Paige Green)

EASTBAYTIMES: January 17, 2017

Winter in the Napa Valley: Locals call this Cabernet season — when new vintages age gracefully in their barrels and vines await the first buds of spring. There’s nothing to see here — or is there? My husband and I booked a night in St. Helena recently to find out. Continue reading

Town Crier: Sierra Club volunteers busy greening Montclair


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 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


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