Happy Wanderer: Child of Alcatraz describes spectacular trail on ‘The Rock’

HILLS NEWSPAPERS: December 19, 2017

One of the Bay Area’s most spectacular trails is open to hikers, but just till the seagulls return to their rookery. It’s the little known Agave Trail along the backside of Alcatraz island, and it’s open during a time when Alcatraz Cruises is offering two-for-one tickets to locals. (More on that later.) Continue reading

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Town Crier: ‘East Bay Hills’ full of fun, colorful facts

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Amelia S. Marshall has just published “East Bay Hills:  A Brief History.” Marshall will be showing photos and telling stories from her book at Laurel Bookstore in downtown Oakland at 7 p.m. Nov,. 30 and at 7 p.m. Dec. 8 at A  Great Good Place for Books in Montclair Village.

MONTCLARION: November 17, 2017

It’s mid-November and fall is revealing its true colors. In my own garden, the Japanese maples are brilliant shades of amber and orange. The sweet gum and birch are delicious deciduous that pop yellows and reds through the filtered sunlight and even the East Bay Regional Park District gets into the act with Tilden, with its garden exotics like ginko biloba, and Redwood Regional Park, with its colorful non-native plants along the Stream Trail.  Continue reading

Town Crier: Precautions still ignored 26 years after hills firestorm

Aerial view show the scope of devastation in the Coffey Park neighborhood of Santa Rosa, California, Wednesday, October 11, 2017. (Karl Mondon/ Bay Area News Group)

MONTCLARION: October 21,2017

The horrific Napa and Sonoma fires remind us of our own Oakland hills firestorm 26 years ago this month. And sadly, it seems little has changed when it comes to lessons learned from our own disaster. Parked cars still hug the shoulders of narrow, winding roads, compromising the 14 feet needed for emergency vehicle access. Continue reading

Happy Wanderer: Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto ‘like Disneyland’ to Nico’s chef

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This cozy booth is one of the features of Nico’s 1508 (formerly Nico’s Hideaway) in Walnut Square on the corner of Walnut and Vine in Berkeley. (Courtesy of Nico’s 1508)

EAST BAY TIMES: October 13, 2017

When it comes to celebrated food districts, Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto takes the cake — and most every other food category. It’s one thing that convinced Chef Munther Massarweh to open Nico’s 1508 (formerly Nico’s Hideaway) in Walnut Square on the corner of Walnut and Vine. Another was the restaurant’s built-in charm. Continue reading

Town Crier: Bernie Sanders sighted at Peet’s in Montclair Village

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Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks at a rally of health care advocates, grassroots activists, and others outside the Capitol in Washington, on Sept. 19. Sanders was recently spotted at the Peet’s in Montclair Village in Oakland. (Associated Press)

EAST BAY TIMES: October 3, 2017

They say you can tell a lot about a person by their coffee order. So what kind of coffee does Bernie Sanders drink? We learned the answer when he popped into Peet’s on a recent Saturday. The September surprise came just before noon in Montclair and shift leader Dorothy Curry (no relation to Stephen) said he ordered a plain coffee. Yep —- no frills for Bernie — and he even turned down a patron’s generous offer to buy him a cuppa Joe. Continue reading