Big Blend Radio & TV Magazine – Jan/Feb 2016

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Rockin’ The Blues • Foodie Destinations Recipes • Art • National Parks • Nature Travel • History • Climate Change Action Steps for 2016 • Education Health & Wellness • Family & Home

Historic Coronado Motor Hotel Yuma's Destination Hotel Celebrating Over 75 Years of Tradition Where The Past Makes History

Ideal Location Close to Shopping, Restaurants, Attractions & Activities Over 120 Clean & Comfortable Guest Rooms Full Cooked Breakfast at Yuma Landing Bar & Grill Free Hi-Speed Internet & WiFi ~ Work Desk Flat Screen TV & DVD Player Fridge ~ Microwave ~ Coffee Maker Iron & Ironing Board ~ Hair Dryer ~ In-Room Safe Two Swimming Pools ~ 1 Fitness Center 2 Business Centers ~ Guest Laundry Facilities Free Parking for Cars, Boats, Buses, RVs & Trucks Group Rates & Government Per Diem Rates

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233 4th Avenue, Yuma, AZ 85364 Toll Free: (877) 234-5567 Local: (928) 783-4453 PAGE 2

Contents… 5. Editors Block

Rants, Raves & Rock ‘n Roll 6. Johnny Mastro & Mama’s Boys 9. News & Interviews 12. Yuma River Daze Boogie, Brews & Blues Festival

A Toast to the Arts 14. Transforming Light 18. Degrazia Gallery in the Sun 19. Author Emily Ross 20. Hollywood History

Creative Celebrations 22. Celebrating January & February

Eat, Drink & Be Merry! 24. Food Halls 30. Yuma AZ, Farm-to-Table Fun 33. Raise a Glass! 34. Sensuous Seafood 36. Get Your Granola On! 37. Get Your Coffee Cake On!

Garden Gossip 38. Healthy Family Kitchen 40. Bedroom Love 42. Organizing Your Wardrobe 43. Pollinator Victory Gardens PAGE 3

Contents Cont’ … Nature Connection 44. The Galapagos Islands 46. Birding in Yerington NV 48. Action Steps for Wildlife 50. Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep Recovery 52. Climate Change Action Steps

Vacation Station 54. My Favorite Luxury Spas 56. Norfolk, England Winter Wonderland 58. National Park News & Interviews

Way Back When 62. Timberrr….. Sequoia Fallen Trees 65. Hero Appreciation Months 67. Historic Julian, CA

Success Express 70. New California Labor Laws 2016 72. Conference at Sea

Quality of Life 76. 2016 Education Action Steps 78. Ten Ways to Cleanse Every Day 80. Herbs for Mental Clarity 81. Positive Peridot PAGE 4

EDITORS BLOCK A new year is upon us, and we’re thrilled to announce some exciting new changes! Per many reader requests and in honor of the centennial of the National Park System on August. 25, 2016, this June we will resume publishing our Spirit of America Magazine that covers national park destinations. This publication will come out every four months, and Big Blend Radio & TV Magazine will come out every two months. Be sure to subscribe to our monthly Big Blend e-Newsletter to get your copy of both our magazines in your inbox, as well as news about our Big Blend Spirit of Front Cover Photo: Johnny Mastro & Mama’s Boys America Tour, our quest to visit and cover all 409 Blues Band. Photo by Freddy Vandervelpen. National Park units and their gateway communities. Join us on January 3 for our Big Blend Radio 9 Year Anniversary Show that kicks off our new lineup of shows that includes our popular Champagne Sundays and Happy Hour variety shows, as well as special themed shows and radio festivals that cover everything from Music & The Arts, to Nature, National Parks, Travel, Food & Drink, Quality of Life, Home & Garden, Business, and more. Listen to the live or on-demand episodes on This issue of Big Blend Radio & TV Magazine focuses on goals and action steps we can individually take for a better future. We have a great selection of expert articles and interviews, videos and event news covering music and the arts, holidays and celebrations, foodie destinations and recipes, travel and national parks, nature and the environment, history, business and education, health and wellness, family and lifestyle. Happy New Year! Nancy J. Reid and Lisa D. Smith Big Blend’s mother-daughter publishing, radio and travel team; along with Priscilla - Big Blend’s pink sock monkey travel mascot.

This magazine is developed by Big Blend Magazine™. copyrighted since 1998. No part of it may be reproduced for any reason, without written permission from Big Blend Magazine, P.O. Box 87633, Tucson, AZ 857547633. Opinions expressed by contributors are not necessarily that of this publication or any of its staff. We reserve the right to edit submittals. All subject matter is intended for general information only and not to be taken as personal advice in any matter. Although every effort is made to be accurate, we cannot be held responsible for inaccuracies or plagiarized copy submitted to us by advertisers or contributors.




Powerful, heavy and bluesy! People say Johnny Mastro & Mama’s Boys are the toughest sounding band around. The band with the original, raw sound, hails from New Orleans, Louisiana. Johnny leads the ensemble and has racked up 11 records, countless festival appearances, over 30 European tours, a feature in a 2013 film as well as recording for the BBC in London, German National Radio in Bremen, and Belgian National Radio in Brussels. Founded by Johnny Mastro (vocals and harmonica) and made up of Smoke (guitar), Dean Zucchero (bass), and Rob Lee (drums and percussion) Johnny Mastro & Mama’s Boys’ music is a blend of new and old at the same time. Roots run deep as Johnny spent 16 years (and Smoke 6 years) at the blues shrine "Babe's & Ricky's Inn" under tutelage of Laura Mae "Mama" Gross. She taught them the only color that mattered was blue and encouraged them to develop their own sound. The new is living in the present and absorbing sounds coming from music they enjoy today! The results are apparent at every show and every recording "Mama's Boys" make. Keep up with them at

Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Johnny Mastro about the band’s rockin’ new album ‘Never Trust the Living’, and check out his answers to our 10 questions below!


1. What led you to become a blues musician? I grew up with a love of music from my Dad and brother and played a harmonica since I was nine, but I never thought of being a professional musician. It just happened and Mama Laura at Babe's & Ricky's really encouraged me to develop. It’s like my life was just a series of events that led me to this path and seems out of my hands. I can't believe it sometimes when I look back at the last 20 years!


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6. What personal changes have you had to make to achieve success? That's a very good question. It has been a real challenge to have longevity and keep sanity. I had to find a spiritual path that helped give me perspective and added depth to my life and music. I look at music like art now. Primitive and a bit derivative, but still my art at least. What really changed was that I now define success and music on my own terms. Now I feel like the luckiest man in the world because I live in New Orleans and make my living from music! 7. What do you consider your biggest challenge? Finding the audience (both fans and music professionals) that dig our music. I know they are out there somewhere! 8. If you could have a dinner party with three people (alive or passed), who would they be? My Dad, Max Bangwell and my wife Lisa Cee. A lot of the people I admire might not be the ones you want to hang with at a dinner party.

Blues Insider Continued‌ 2. What attributes do you have that makes you a good fit for your career? None of the ones you would think of really. I have a desire to make good music and get better at singing and playing. The rest of it I look at as a necessary evil to those means. I had no natural talent and came from an awesome middle class family in upstate New York where I played sports and chased girls, although I was considered a bit of a freak for my love of music and blues since I was in grade school.

9. If you could switch careers for a day, what would you choose? Chef. 10. What is the most important tip you would pass on to another person just getting started in music? If you believe in what you are doing, listen to yourself and no one else. You might have to bend a little now and then but stick to what you want!

Visit 3. Who or what inspires you? Photo credit for cover is: Freddy Vandervelpen People who are really good at what they do. Whether it's a mother or housewife, dog trainer or a jazz musician. I dig people who either honed a natural skill or worked hard to operate at a high level. 4. Describe your ideal audience. Really all kinds of people who like our music. Females are always a plus. 5. What is your pet peeve in regards to the music industry? Well it is what it is! But I guess I had to get used to the disconnect between talent and success and I see some really talented people left behind. It's a crapshoot if someone will be successful or not in the music business and I've seen many great musicians heartbroken and broke because they did not get the breaks.


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ROCK ‘N ROLL NEWS & INTERVIEWS GUITARIST MICHA SCHELLHAAS Double Take Guitar virtuoso Micha Schellhaas released his full-length debut album “Double Take” on December 1, 2015. The album features Supertramp guitar legend Carl Verheyen and drummer Chad Wackerman, who is best known for his work with Frank Zappa and Allan Holdsworth. Says Micha, “‘Double Take’, my first full length release, reflects my relationship with the US and my journey to come and in the end live here. After I was already established in Europe with steady gigs and my own recording studio, the artist in me was still not happy and I needed to go and check out the source and birthplaces of the music and ‘sound.’ I was most inspired by: Jazz, Blues and Rock.


My first trip was a 3 month driving loop starting and ending in NYC all the way through New Orleans, Austin, LA, San Francisco and back. Songs like ‘Travel Song’ and ‘Texaleans’ reflect that time. Later I lived in Austin/Texas for a while and you can hear that ‘Stevie Ray’ sound in my songs ‘Ford F-150’ and ‘Your Turn’ that also features a blazing solo by Carl Verheyen. Now living in LA more fusion influences came back to my writing in compositions like ‘Velocity’ and ‘5&6’.” “Micha Schellhaas has a unique touch on the guitar that sets him apart from everyone playing the instrument today. That feel, in combination with his beautiful composing is what makes him a joy to listen to.” – Carl Verheyen

Listen to Micha Schellhaas on Big Blend Radio!

Heavily influenced by classic rock, blues and jazz, Micha has been playing guitar since he was 9 years old. Born in Germany, his musical career began in Europe where he gained a Master’s degree in jazz guitar from the prestigious Dutch ARTEZ conservatory, and produced music from his former recording studio, TRINIX Studio, in the Netherlands. Having performed and toured in numerous European countries, he took on the U.S. for the first time in 2008, to explore the home of original blues and rock ‘n’ roll music and the main inspiration for his artistic journey

Micha settled in California in 2013, where he operates from his private recording studio in Venice Beach. With a top selection of classic vintage Micha Schellhaas is an LA-based guitarist living his instruments, amplifiers and state of the art dream and fulfilling his mission to make music as a recording equipment, the MichaMusic Studio is a solo artist, accompanist and composer. In 2013, he home base for recording guitars on his own released his first EP, “Wings of Fire”, recorded at projects, collaborations and hired recording work. the renowned Sunset Studios in Hollywood. “Wings Micha is recording instruction videos and gear of Fire” was produced by Carl Verheyen demos from his studio as well, most notable is his (Supertramp) who also performed on the tracks, recent work for the top class, southern California and featuring several other industry veterans (Chad boutique guitar builder Ian A. Guitars and Electric Wackerman (Frank Zappa), Dave Marotta Alchemist Pickups. (Manhattan Transfer, Burt Bacharach), Jim Cox (Mark Knopfler, Robben Ford). To purchase Double Take and to keep up with Micha, visit



CHARLES WRIGHT Up From Where We’ve Come


Soul Music great Charles Wright has taken up his pen to complete the first in a planned series of autobiographies that detail his profound life story as a southern Black man that miraculously brought himself from poverty to prosperity. The inaugural installment is “Up From Where We’ve Come: An Eventful Journey,” an up-close and intimate telling of the Wright family’s struggles as sharecroppers near Clarksdale, Mississippi through the 1940s.

Listen to Charles Wright on Big Blend Radio!

Charles Wright is a world-renowned musician and songwriter best known as the leader of the ’60sfounded Charles Wright & The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band, and for recording the enduring 1971 classic “Express Yourself.” Wright’s forthcoming CD features the already released first single, “Lookin’ For An Ugly Woman!” Visit

Through Wright’s eyes, you will meet his long put upon father, his wily but loving mother, his young brothers, sisters and cousins, and two different White land owners that overworked and underpaid them all with enough utmost disrespect to go around. Along with the strife and struggles, are visions from a wide-eyed child of the natural world around him and the industrial changes happening on that very land. There’s the warmth and play of a family coexisting in a shabby home in spite of hard times. And then there’s a love story between a woman and a man that blossoms against all odds and challenges as they fight to understand each other, support each other and still find a way to romance each other.


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Listen to The Humble Grapes on Big Blend Radio!

THE HUMBLE GRAPES NYC Indie Duo Brie Capone & David Kaufman The Humble Grapes’ sound is a rock, pop, and soul combination that's completely original. Whether frequenting night clubs like New York City's legendary Bitter End or in the studio working on new material, The Humble Grapes have been carving out their own way since forming in 2013. The duo bring a breath of modernity picking up where other NYC songwriting duos have left off. Brie Capone's incredibly rich, throaty voice that interplays over David Kaufman's brilliance on the piano into a rock infused, luscious romp through their many original compositions and songs are a joy to listen to and watch.

Only together for two years, this talented duo has a synergistic approach to collaborating and pushing themselves to release quality songs inspired by both their tastes for classic and contemporary music. Always with a strong vision behind every song, Kaufman and Capone work seamlessly together involved in every aspect of production to songwriting to deliver one of a kind performances. They will continue playing in the NYC area and have plans to expand touring throughout the tristate area. Their latest singles include ‘Garden in Harlem’, ‘Brooklyn Bridge’ and ‘Young and Alive,’ all to be included on their forthcoming EP scheduled for release in January 2016. Keep up with them at

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Yuma River Daze Boogie, Brews & Blues Festival February 6, 2016 in Yuma, Arizona Zac Harmon

The Yuma Boogie, Brews and Blues Festival happens on February 6, 2016 at Gateway Park within the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area, in Yuma, Arizona, historically referred to as the 'Gateway to the Great Southwest'. Zac Harmon is the headliner of this year’s festival, and his new CD "Right Man Right Now" was recently nominated for a Grammy! The Daniel Castro Band from San Jose, California will also be performing, along with The Moanin' Blacksnakes from Las Vegas, and San Diego’s Bayou Brothers ‘Blues’ Band with their special guest guitarist Billy Thompson. Come out and enjoy a day full of memorable music, food, libations, crafts and fun for the whole family, all alongside Yuma's beautiful Billy Thompson Colorado River at Gateway Park. Yuma is located between San Diego and Tucson. For more about the performing bands, tickets and travel information, visit


The Moanin’ Blacksnakes Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with organizer Robb Bower, and some of the blues musicians performing at the festival including headliner Zac Harmon, guitarist Scott Rhiner from The Moanin’ Blacksnakes, drummer Ric Lee from The Bayou Brothers Band, and guitarist Billy Thompson.

Daniel Castro Band


Yuma Landing Bar & Grill Come Eat, Drink & Be Merry where the First Airplane Landed in Arizona! Hangar Sports Bar 24 Beers on Tap ~ Daily Drink Specials Appetizers & Entrees Televised Sports Events ~ Live Music & Entertainment

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Yuma Landing Restaurant American & South-of-the-Border Cuisine Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

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Win! Win! Win! Sign up on for our Captain’s Log e-Newsletter and you will be entered into our monthly drawing for a $25 Yuma Landing Gift Certificate, plus you'll get news on other great giveaways, specials, Yuma Landing recipes, events news & more! Located on the same property as the Historic Coronado Motor Hotel, the Yuma Landing Bar & Grill is the site where the first airplane landed in Arizona, and features a state monument, historic photos and memorabilia.

Groups of 15 or more diners get a 15% discount on breakfast, lunch and dinner. All Military Personnel Receive a 20% Discount on Meals!

195 S. 4th Avenue, Yuma, Arizona Tel: (928) 782-7427 PAGE 47 PAGE 13

By Victoria Chick, artist and early 19th & 20th century print collector


Technology to make glass existed as early as 1600 B.C. Originally, colored glass was an accidental occurrence produced as a byproduct due to random traces of minerals in the basic glass ingredients: silica sand and wood ash from trees that had absorbed minerals. Experimentation led to a better understanding of which minerals would produce particular colors. People probably first noticed glass that was naturally produced by lightning hitting sand and deduced that high heat was necessary for the glass result. Glass technology required effective furnaces as well as tools for handling glass in its molten state. Ancient civilizations built their glass technology after their pottery technology. Pottery vessels that were fired at temperatures higher than 2000 degrees were suitable to hold molten glass at its 2000 degree melting point. Most of what is known about medieval stainedglass making comes from a twelfth-century German monk named Theophilus. An artist and metalworker himself, Theophilus described in his writings how he studied glass makers and the artists who used glass to design windows. Glass work has not changed much since he wrote about it. Molten glass can be blown into an oblong shape; then, slit on the side while hot before being flattened into a sheet. It can also be spun with a pontil iron into a round sheet (crown). Both those methods produce fairly flat glass that is then cut to desired shapes. A window's pictorial image or design is created by arranging the different pieces of colored glass over a cartoon drawn on a board. If fine details such as shadows or outlines are required, the artist paints them on the glass with a mineral solution that turns black when heat is used to fuse it to the glass. To assemble the window, pieces of colored and painted glass are laid out on the cartoon board, with the edges of each piece fitted into H-shaped strips of lead (cames). These cames are soldered to one another so that the panel is secure. When a panel is completed, putty is inserted between the glass and the lead cames for waterproofing. The entire composition is then stabilized with an iron frame (armature) and mounted in the window. Medieval stained glass windows used in Romanesque churches and cathedrals were never extremely large because the frame could not prevent their warping if their own weight was too great. The lead that held the pieces together was a soft metal.

Medieval window at Troyes Cathedral, France (14th century)


Victoria Chick discusses Stained Glass on Big Blend Radio! An apogee in stained glass use began about 1180, with what is termed the Gothic Period and continued for a good 300 plus years. During this period, technology improved to make increasingly large windows of stained glass. The experimentation of color became a science, as craftsmen knew which minerals, what amounts, and the temperature differences necessary to achieve any desired color. They also found that glass needed to be cooled slowly from its molten state. Craftsmen built insulated annealing boxes for the glass to be placed in for many hours until it reach a temperature that could be handled. Slow cooling prevented cracking or shattering.


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Sainte-Chapelle taken by Michael D. Hill, Jr.

Transforming Light Continued… The underlying reason for the increase in stained glass production beginning in the late 12th century was a market response to a need begun by one man whose driving, transcendental goal was emulated in towns all over Europe in a frenzy of church building. Abbot Suget, who was in charge of the dark Romanesque Abby of St. Denis in France, envisioned a worship building that expressed the grandeur of God and the Biblical description of Christ as the “light of the world”. Suget hired masons to begin what was to be 100 years of remodeling to bring more light into the building. An unknown designer /mason commissioned by Suget created the beginnings of a lighter type of solid architecture that, as the Gothic era continued, pushed geometry and physics to the limits of the materials available, eventually allowing for greater and greater expanses of stained glass windows that were set into higher and higher walls. It was a risky period of construction and collapsing walls did occur. During the centuries that Gothic churches and, later, other buildings with Gothic style were being built all over Europe, stained glass craftsman continued to develop new techniques. Artistdesigners used the techniques to make windows that expressed pictorial advances in creating the illusions of space.

Linear detail became more complex. The increasingly large size of windows over the years put a demand on glassmakers to produce stronger glass that would not warp from its own weight. Certain minerals could be added to increase strength as well as to increase or decrease the transparency of glass. Supporting large glass windows with a network of iron rods outside the glass was commonly done. These rods were distracting to the pictorial design but were very necessary to keep the window glass together. Rose windows, where the glass designs appeared between stone tracery radiating out in a circle from a center point, were a type of window where support was also used, but hidden behind the tracery so as not to distract from the design. It was usual for a cathedral to take at least 100 years to construct making the stained glass window style and technology used in the first part, often quite different from later building additions. Continued on Next Page…


Transforming Light Continued‌ Besides letting colored light into churches, the stained glass windows had a teaching function. Their designs displayed people and events written about in the Bible. There were no Bibles in anything but Latin until 1382 when Wycliff translated a copy of the Roman Vulgate into English. It was against the law in all countries for private individuals to have Bibles, much less a Bible in their own language. They depended on the priests for information. Homilies and teaching were reinforced in peoples’ minds by stained glass images that depicted major theological concepts and Biblical figures in a beautiful and awe inspiring form. Sometimes donors, rulers, and church officials were also subjects. A type of medieval stained glass window called grisaille, was also done in the Gothic period where it was often used in monastic churches and chapels, although not limited to those uses. Grisaille is a French term meaning grey, usually a drawing or painting done in grey or subdued earth tones. In glasswork, the term describes uncolored, opaque or semiopaque glass, divided into geometric sections, each with fine linear patterns or washes of silver drawn on the glass. There would usually be a few small segments of blue, yellow, or red glass inserted to give some liveliness to the predominant pale effect. This was an abstract style felt to be more in keeping with a contemplative religious life than pictorial windows with emotion- producing color. It also had the practical aspect of letting more light in. Stained glass windows cannot be completely appreciated from the exterior of a building. Exterior views often look drab. One needs to be inside to experience the light coming through the glass which then gives the window a jewel-like effect, often reminiscent of kaleidoscopic geometry. The type of light also affects the stained glass. If the sun is too intense, stained glass is not as effective as daylight that is slightly overcast or mediated by water particles in the form of humidity which make a more evenly distributed light without glare spots on the glass. Intense sun combined with large glass expanse also can make the inside building temperature uncomfortable. These reasons may have contributed to the fact that the larger Gothic windows are in France, England, and Germany while the Gothic churches of southern Italy have smaller stained glass windows.

Prophet Jonas in Augsburg Cathedral, early 12th century. Photo courtesy of Hans Bernhard

Victoria Chick is the founder of the Cow Trail Art Studio in southwest New Mexico. She received a B.A. in Art from the University of Missouri at Kansas City and awarded an M.F.A. in Painting from Kent State University in Ohio. Visit her website at PAGE 17

DEGRAZIA GALLERY IN THE SUN New & Current Exhibits A true Renaissance man, Ettore “Ted” DeGrazia experimented with oil paintings, sculptures, ceramics, and water colors. Today, DeGrazia is known around the world for capturing the spirit of the Southwest and its people. DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun is a 10-acre historic landmark nestled in the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains in Tucson, Arizona. Opened in 1965, it is home to over 15,000 originals of Ted DeGrazia art pieces including oil paintings, watercolors, ceramics and sculptures.

Listen to Lance Laber on Big Blend Radio!


There are six permanent collections on display and several rotating exhibitions each year. A limited number of DeGrazia originals are available for purchase, while the gift shop and online store offers a wide variety of popular DeGrazia reproductions. The DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun is Open Daily (except for Thanksgiving and Christmas), from 10 am – 4pm. There is no admission charge. Tel: (520) 299-9191 or (800) 545-2185, or visit ON DISPLAY The Rose and the Robe: DeGrazia chronicles the travels of Fray Junipero Serra and the Franciscan missions he established in Spanish colonial California in the late 1700’s. On display until Jan. 27, 2016. Our Lady of Guadalupe: A new exhibit featuring a selection of images of the Virgin of Guadalupe by artist Ted DeGrazia. The exhibit includes works done in ink, watercolor, tempera, encaustic, ceramics, and glass. On display through the summer of 2016. DeGrazia After Dark: Nocturnal Paintings by Southwestern artist Ted DeGrazia are featured in the new exhibit ‘DeGrazia After Dark. The artist’s fascination with night scenes is revealed in this diverse selection of fifty paintings spanning more than forty years of his career. An opening reception for DeGrazia After Dark will be held at the Gallery in the Sun on Friday, Jan. 29, 2016, and will run through Aug. 24, 2016. Way of The Cross: The annual exhibit of the Way of the Cross series will also open on Jan. 29, 2016, and will run through May 18, 2016.

THE LITTLE GALLERY The Little Gallery hosts visiting artists annually from November-March. Dec. 27- Jan. 8: Silvia Hogue: Watercolor, Pen and Acrylic Jan. 10-22: Mary Alice Kellogg: Paper and Acrylic Jan. 24-Feb. 5: Del Livingston & Christine Stabile: Watercolor, Oils, Clay and Glazes Feb. 7-19: Caleb Gutierrez: Artwork with String Feb. 21-Mar. 4: Noel Michelson: 50 Year Collection of Rare Antique Eclectic Beads, Metals, Precious Stones, Findings and Antique Buttons



Half in Love with Death Big Blend Radio interview with Author Emily Ross It's the era of peace and love in the 1960s, but nothing has been peaceful in fifteen year old Caroline's life since her beautiful older sister Jess disappeared. Caroline feels invisible to her parents, who can't stop blaming each other for not taming the wild Jess. The police keep following up on leads even Caroline knows are foolish. The only one who seems to care about her is Tony, her Listen to sister's older boyfriend, who soothes Caroline's Emily Ross on desperate heart every time he turns his magical Big Blend Radio! blue eyes on her. Tony is convinced that Jess ran off to California. “Come with me and we’ll find her together,” he says to Caroline. Seduced by his ‘Half in Love with Death’ is available on tenderness, his affection and his promises of a happy ending, Caroline follows, oblivious to the dark trap he is setting riddled with obscure clues Author Emily Ross received a 2014 Massachusetts she’d rather not see. Cultural Council finalist award for the manuscript. Inspired by the eerie, true story of serial killer Her fiction and nonfiction have been published in Charles Schmid, aka “The Pied Piper of Tucson,” Boston Magazine, Menda City Review, and The Half In Love With Death is a beautifully Smoking Poet. A 2012 graduate of Grub Street’s transporting, heartfelt thriller that never lets up. Novel Incubator program, Emily is an editor and contributor at the writing blog Dead Darlings and works as a software developer by day. Learn more at



Hooray for Hollister! Listen! San Benito County, Hollister! Hollywood History of San Benito County, the ‘Birthplace of the America Biker’ So many wonderful movies were filmed in and around Hollister and San Benito County, central California! Listen to Steve Schneickert as he recalls the Hollywood History of San Benito County, including: - The early Clara Bow film "Primrose Park" (1925). - "The Wild One" (1953), a motorcycle movie featuring Marlon Brando and Lee Marvin. - "East of Eden" (1955), based on John Steinbeck's epic novel and featuring James Dean, Raymond Massey, Jo Van Fleet and Julie Harris. - "La Bamba" (1987), a rock ‘n roll film featuring Lou Diamond Phillips and Esai Morales. - Japan's touching 1990 film "Strawberry Road". - Alfred Hitchcock’s "Vertigo" (1958) starring James Stewart, Kim Novak, and Barbara Bel Geddes. - "Topaz" (1969), another Hitchcock film starring John Forsythe. - "Little Fauss and Big Halsy (1970), starring Robert Redford and Michael J. Pollard. - Blake Edwards' western film "Sunset" (1988) starring Bruce Willis and James Garner. - PBS's "La Pastorela" (1991), written and directed by Luis Valdez. Less than 2 hours from San Francisco and 4 ½ hours from Los Angeles, San Benito County is an upcoming travel destination with outdoor activities in Pinnacles National Park, golf and tennis, a wine tasting trail, a variety of dining options, boutique shopping, historic parks and museums, and a full calendar of events. Learn more at

East of Eden House

Johnny’s Bar & Grill

Mission San Juan Bautista (Vertigo) PAGE 20


By Nancy J. Reid

As the door closes on Father Time on New Year’s Eve, it is only moments before the symbolic baby opens the door to a New Year, bringing with it the hopes of health, wealth and happiness. In the space of a year, the baby will age until December 31, where he will had over his hat and sash to the new Baby New Year. January 1 marks the start of a new year on the Gregorian calendar, first introduced by Pope Gregory XIII way back in 1582. The month of January is thought to be named after Janus, the Roman god of gates, doors and new beginnings. Janus was a two-faced god, having one face that looked forward to the future and the other facing backwards to the past, sculpture pictured below. This Roman god presided over conflict and peace, with the temple doors being open in time of war and closed in times of peace.

January 18, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, is celebrated on the third Monday in January. King was a Baptist minister and activist that symbolizes the American civil rights movement from the mid 1950s up to his assassination in 1968. He believed in non-violent, peaceful protest while working to secure equality for African Americans and others that were economically disadvantaged through prejudice. He helped organize the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the March on Washington, which helped bring about the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. He became the youngest person ever awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. King was assassinated in Memphis while attending a workers’ strike. His death sparked riots in major cities and President Johnson declared a national day of mourning which became a U.S. Federal holiday after years of campaigning by activists, members of Congress and Coretta Scott King. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site Atlanta, Georgia


February 8: Chinese New Year: The date of Chinese New Year changes every year. It is a 15 day celebration, beginning on the first day of the new moon, and ending on the full moon with the Chinese Lantern Festival. This year, 2016, is the year of the Monkey, the ninth Chinese Zodiac animal figure that is Yang or ‘Positive’. The Monkey represents the element of Fire and is characterized by a clever and creative mind that is always interested in learning and new experiences.

Celebrating Continued… February 2: Groundhog Day marks the midway point between the winter solstice and the vernal equinox. It is a derivative from the early Roman Christian holiday of Candlemas Day, where priests blessed candles for their parishioners, symbolizing the baby Jesus as the light of the world. Traditionally February marks that time of the year as winter’s “halfway point” while waiting for the spring, a time when hibernating animals leave their burrows to test the weather. In the early 1840s, German immigrants that settled in Pennsylvania introduced the tradition of weather prediction. In their homeland the animal of choice was a hedgehog, but since there were no hedgehogs in Pennsylvania, they chose the groundhog or woodchuck. Punxsutawney, 80 miles northeast of Pittsburgh, has taken advantage of the custom over the years, turning itself into the center of the annual Groundhog Day. A groundhog named "Punxsutawney Phil" will emerge from his burrow in front of crowds of onlookers, and if he sees his shadow, (a bad omen), there will be six more weeks of winter. If not, spring will come early.

Famous people born in the year of the Monkey include: Leonardo da Vinci, Gaugin, Julius Caesar, Byron, Harry Houdini, Charles Dickens, Little Richard, Joe Cocker, Ted Kennedy, Will Smith, Tom Hanks, Elizabeth Taylor, David Copperfield, Johnny Cash, Harry S. Truman, Eleanor Roosevelt and Susan B. Anthony. February 9: Mardi Gras: Although the holiday is rooted in the Christian calendar, not many churches observe it with a worship service. Most observances include festive parties, balls, and parades. Green, gold, and purple are the official colors of Mardi Gras, and they all have roots in Christianity. Green represents faith, purple symbolizes justice and gold stands for power.

February 14: St. Valentine’s Day is the most romantic holiday in the US, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France, Australia, Denmark, Italy and Japan. It is based on the martyrdom of a man named Valentinus on February 14, late in the third century A.D. It is possible however, the legend of Valentinus and his deeds, may have actually been the stories of two different men. Enough confusion surrounds the true identity of St. Valentine that the Catholic Church discontinued liturgical veneration of him in 1969, though his name remains on its list of officially recognized saints. (Photo: Saint Valentine

This tradition has not always been without consequences. In 2015 Jimmy the groundhog bit former Sun Prairie, Wisconsin Mayor, Jon Freund's ear; in 2009, Staten Island Chuck bit NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg's hand; and in 2014, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio dropped Chuck, who later died of internal injuries. It sounds like it is time we gave of Terni and his disciples) more thought about how we celebrate this tradition, February 15: Presidents Day: According to the one where wildlife remains in the wild and no one Julian calendar, Washington was born February 11, gets hurt. 1732. When the Gregorian calendar was adopted in 1752, it changed Washington's birthday to February 22. In 1968, Congress enacted the For more about holidays, traditions and Uniform Monday Bill, to give workers as many long observances visit weekends as possible. Abraham Lincoln's birthday, February 12th, and George Washington's birth date Creative Celebrations were combined to make one federal holiday, on Big Blend Network. celebrated on the third Monday of February. PAGE 23

Food halls are popping up from right coast to left coast like wildfire. Long a tradition in Europe, the multi-faceted, typically indoor markets showcase a variety of local food vendors and artisans, generally built around a central bar or two or three. Think gourmet warehouse décor with a chic ambiance. You should know up front, it is a 21st century invitation to over indulge. Just sayin’. Food halls are a foodie's dream mall concept complete with small production vendors. Think several restaurant and specialty spaces – ranging in size from 150 to 3,000 square feet. My experience with Southern California food halls tells me you won’t find McDonalds, Yard House or any other chain in the mix. The developers are very careful to make sure “artisanal” and “unique” come to mind as visitors stroll the venue. You won’t be using your gold Starbucks card here. This is good. Try new things. Support small local businesses.


Linda Kissam discusses Food Halls on Big Blend Radio! The vendors that fill the food halls are mostly tiny restaurants, cupcake counters, spice merchants, specialty beverages and other complementary retailers. Some vendors have a big bodacious look and feel, but most are simple counter to customer outlets staffed by either the owner or passionate staffers. You will notice immediately the exception to the rule is the bar. It is big and wild and serves as the anchor to all other shops.

Welcome to a brand new upscale food and As Americans (but especially Californian’s) become beverage dining, grazing experience where no increasingly obsessed with all things culinary and eater/ drinker is left behind. Come hungry, leave where their food comes from, this kind of dining and stuffed. shopping is a life raft facility. In some ways it is a Twenty or so more food halls are poised to open return to the old-school way of food shopping by across the country, several in my hometown of visiting multiple specialized shops instead of Southern California. All good, but why now? making one big purchase at a big-box store or chain supermarket. It’s kind of a natural foodie Continued on Next Page… evolution. PAGE 24

Food Halls Continued… Many feel the tired fast-food court is a thing of the past. Customers are looking for specialty foods at a good price in a cool place with a non-existent dress code. It appeals to every generation in terms of price, types of cuisine and on-demand dining features. Pretty much arrive any time after 10 am and stay late. Annie can get sushi, Rick can order interesting Bourbon drinks and Amber can order gourmet Popsicle sticks. As they say, divide and conquer. Avoid peak times like lunch, dinner and weekends as crowds can be distracting.

Now we are an upscale place for locals and visitors to hang out at.” It should also be noted that these kinds of culinary walkabouts are proven job providers and incubators for zealous chefs creating eclectic fare from steamy Asian hot pots, French pastries to soul food and beyond. How about a booth that features local beers and waffles? It’s a sultry, spicy, sweet kind of foodie stroll.

Many of the halls offer weekly Farmer Markets– usually outside at an easily walkable distance. I look forward to seeing fresh produce, fish and meats daily inside of the hall, integrated as a full part of the vendor mix. The contemporary food hall seems to find its groove in long neglected neighborhoods and aging retail centers – like downtown Anaheim’s historic Packing House location or the revitalized Grand Central Market in Los Angeles. As one diner told me,” This place used to be a big eyesore for our community. PAGE 25

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Central Bar: This is the anchor client. Sharp, sassy and forward thinking, you’re likely find anything your heart desires here. The Spiced Cuban cocktail and Berry Shrub are inspired. Linger. Crepe Coop: Beauty and flavor combine here for one of the most luscious tasting – and best lookingcrepes in town. Each one is a work of gigantic piece of art. Portola Coffee Roasters: Who needs Starbucks when you have this local roaster using directly sourced beans roasted in Costa Mesa. The milk is organic, grass and certified non-GMO. You’re looking at a one-of-a kind smooth and creamy cappuccino.

Food Halls Continued… The best way to experience what I am talking about is to get out and share some quality time at a food hall near you. If you’re in Southern California, here are two halls that have captured my attention. And remember…many more are on the drawing boards both in California and across the nation.

Cubed: A modernized family recipe take on poke. Fresh herbs and spices and a flair for presentation makes this place a must for those who enjoy Asian inspired cuisine. Besides the above, also stop-worthy are Rolling Boil, Kettlebar, Front Porch Pops, Hatch, Belage Bakery, Torch, Hatch (in a tiki-type bar) and Market 2 Plate

Union Market Located in Orange County at 2493 Park Avenue, Tustin, California. There are some interesting boutique retailers here, but Union Market’s key focus is creating a food-centric village for everyone from the all-about-me millennials to experienceseeking boomers. There’s a great rustic vibe inside this hall and larger hipster stores on the pathway from the (plentiful) parking lot to the hall. If you’re looking to find the next best restaurant, chef or bar master, it/he/she is probably incubating here. Standouts include: The Kroft: A fast-casual eatery specializing in Canadian-style poutine dishes and gourmet sandwiches Anaheim. Your order comes in a brown bag – no plates here. Specialty beers and a killer mint lemonade drink make this a great spot to spend some time at. Dirty Cookie: Think decadent chocolate chip cookie cup filled with creamy milk. Try the “cream shot” which is a chocolate cookie with rich chocolate chips, a white chocolate coating and smooth cool cream inside. If this doesn’t cure your sweet tooth cravings, you just aren’t trying.


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It appears at this facility, visitors prefer the large variety of restaurant choices sprinkled by a few complementing businesses. Initial concerns over limited parking were addressed early by adding a valet service during peak hours. Valet is $3.00, available Tuesday through Friday from 4 p.m. until closing and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. until closing. As with other food halls, talented but budgetstrapped chefs have eagerly embraced the open, flexible and affordable model of doing business. The idea of keeping costly Orange County rent fees at a somewhat controllable level by taking smaller spaces that range from $4 to $8 per square foot present a unique opportunity for burgeoning entrepreneurs. Some restaurateurs are sharing prep and kitchen spaces to reduce permitting and construction fees. Saving on rent and prep space is pumped back into food costs, and where there is high-quality seasonal produce involved, this is critical. This small but mighty strategy seems to be working. This is a good thing for the customer. Prices are kept reasonable and the chance to “discover” the next big chef is pretty much a certainty.

Food Halls Continued… Anaheim Packing House Located at 440 S. Anaheim Blvd in Anaheim, CA. Open for breakfast at 9 a.m. Bars (four) are open until Midnight. Startup shops offering haute couture meals and treats like fresh Indian flavors, a grilled cheese bar, an underground wine society, waffles and beer, a gourmet chocolate bar and southern seafood and cocktails. Whatever your pleasure, you’ll find it here. The two level Packing House features a large central atrium with communal dining surrounded by cafes and kiosks of varying sizes as well as outdoor picnic gardens and a building-length dining porch looking out to the outdoor marketplace known as Farmers’ Park. Shaheen Sadeghi is the visionary behind this venue. Word has it that he sought inspiration for the packing house from classic food markets like the La Boqueria in Barcelona. Since opening May of 2014, the 42,000-square-foot dining hall has received mixed reviews and has gone through the normal shake-down process finding which retailer’s customers will return for. To my surprise, the gourmet tail to snout butcher did not make it. It had some of the highest reviews from the media, but failed to connect with the diners. On the other hand there is an outside Farmers Market component on select evenings.


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Indie shops worth visiting include: Black Sheep: Grilled cheese bar. Need I say more? Its flagship is The Cellar in San Clemente. Black Sheep is a paired down version of its parent featuring a paired-down list of comfort-grounded sandwiches. Let me make this easy for you. Imagine gourmet layers of prime ingredients on bread from Dean Kim’s OC Baking, toasted in a professional-grade press. The sandwich that emerges is exquisitely golden-brown outside and gooey smooth in the center. The aroma will bowl you over. Sit at the counter in front of the presses for a clear view of the action. Popbar: Fine-looking gelato on a stick (Popsicle) in a ton of gourmet choices. Popgelato are made every day from fresh fruit and natural ingredients in small batches. Line up for coconut (my favorite), pistachio, assorted berry flavors and more. The ones dipped in dark chocolate are outstanding. Sawleaf Café: Look downstairs, for a hearty menu of Vietnamese pho and bánh mì sandwiches. Adult and kids’ menus are available. Ordering is via iPads installed around the restaurant stall. Loved the energizing Vietnamese iced coffee, pho rice chicken noodles, the bánh mì 6-inchers, crispy egg rolls and tangy summer rolls.

Dark 180: A cool chocolate bar is located on the upper level offering high-quality, hot and cold chocolate drinks and desserts made to order. The fresh selection of truffles are killer, available individually or in boxes of 6, 12 and 24. A vegan menu, complete with home-made, preservative-free affogato, frozen hot chocolate and truffles is available. Collaboration is a strong point for this retailer. Their affogatos (a coffee-based dessert) are made with Han’s Homemade Ice-cream, the mochas and C3 Bombs use Cafecito Organico’s hand-sourced beans, the Chai Truffle is infused with spices mixed by the owners of Adya Indian Cuisine, and the Mocha Truffle develops its intensity from Portola Coffee Lab’s espresso. It’s a coffee/chocolate lovers dream. Linda Kissam 'Food, Wine & Shopping Diva' is a professional travel, food, and wine writer based out of Southern California, who specializes in easy, breezy destination stories sharing her favorite things about the places she visits. Visit

Iron Press: Serving up mouthwatering savory and sweet waffle sandwiches and loads of specialty local and imported beers. They are focused on fresh ingredients, and working with the local community to create a top casual dining experience.



In Julian, San Diego’s Four-Season Mountain & Back-Country Destination Fresh, Seasonal & Outstanding Farm-to-Table Cuisine prepared by Executive Chef Jeremy Manley Seasonal Menu & Favorites Steak, Seafood, Burgers, Salads, Sandwiches Desserts & After Dinner Beverages Vegetarian, Vegan & Gluten-Free Options

Click to Watch Video!

Open Daily for Lunch & Dinner Indoor, Fireside & Patio Dining Live Music on Weekends Wine & Beer Pairing Dinners Private Banquet Rooms Thanksgiving & Christmas Holiday Menus Catering & Group Events for all Occasions

Wine Bar featuring Local & Regional Wines & Champagne Micro-Brews & Specialty Beers

Visit and sign up for our e-Newsletter for Recipes, Special Events, Giveaways, and more! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. PAGE 29

Farm-To Table Fun in Yuma, Arizona Field-To-Feast & Progressive Dinner Tours, Yuma Lettuce Days, Foodie Festivals & More! With mild winters, little danger of hard frost and more than 350 days of sunshine a year, Yuma County enjoys the longest growing season in the country. Known as ‘The Nation’s Winter Vegetable Capital’, the region supplies more than 90 percent of North America’s leafy vegetables during the winter months. Besides lettuce and leafy greens, the area is also known for growing Medjool dates. Bordering Mexico and California, Yuma offers a diverse variety of dining opportunities that range from street tacos from a food truck to pub fare in a craft brewery, wine tasting, fine dining, and more. To plan your culinary adventure in Yuma including festivals and events, restaurants, shops and lodging destinations, check out


Big Blend Radio interview with Dustin Mylius, Yuma Visitors Bureau

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Yuma Farm-to-Table Continued… Don’t Miss these 8 Great Culinary Celebrations. 1. Savor Yuma is a “progressive dinner” tour of select culinary destinations where you’ll sample field-fresh Yuma bounty and fare prepared with border flair. Upcoming tours: Jan. 5, 19, Feb. 9, 16, Mar. 3, 22, Apr. 7. Info: 800-293-0071 or 928-7830071. 2. Field to Feast Tours feature a tour of University of Arizona’s research farm, with lunch prepared from freshly picked produce. Upcoming tours: Jan. 6, 7, 9, 13, 14, 16, 20, 21, 27 & 28; Feb. 3, 4, 6, 10, 11, 13, 17, 18, 23 & 24. Info: 800-293-0071 or 928783-0071. 3. Mexicali Expo: Get a taste of Mexico at this “Real Mexican Fiesta” that celebrates the vibrant culture and gracious hospitality of nearby Mexicali, Los Algodones and San Felipe. Come for food, entertainment and prizes. Held on January 17, at the Yuma Civic and Convention Center. Tel: 928373-5040. Continued on Next Page….


Yuma Farm-to-Table Continued… 4. German Fest on Madison: Madison Street in downtown Yuma comes alive on January 23, with an Oktoberfest-style street festival featuring German music, traditional German dancers, German food, a Kiddie Land Play area, and various vendors. Tel: 928-329-4777. 5. Yuma Medjool Date Festival: Held in historic downtown Yuma on January 30, this annual event celebrates the region’s Medjool date production with date demonstrations, recipe contests, speakers, food booths and vendors, family activities, plus, scheduled bus tours to a local grower’s farm. Tel: 928-373-5028 6. The 15th Annual Dining with the Dead event takes a step back in time with a walking tour of the Yuma Pioneer Cemetery, and dinner with the Colorado River Riders re-enactment group who portray early citizens of Yuma. Held on January 30. Tel: 928-247-3924. 7. The 14th Annual Scandinavian Festival features a delicious variety of Scandinavian cuisine including lefse, aebelskivers, Swedish waffles, coffee and cookies, and special luncheon plate. There will also be Genealogy experts, music and dancing, and traditional arts and crafts on display. Held at the Yuma Civic Center on February 20. Info: 928-373-5040. 8. Yuma Lettuce Days Festival: Go “down on the farm” on February 27 & 28, at the University of Arizona’s research farm, and enjoy live cooking demonstrations by Celebrity Chef Michael Cairns of the Omni Scottsdale Resort and Spa (pictured), cooking contests, product samples, music and entertainment, kids ag-tivities, ag-related vendors, and plenty of food and drink. Other activities planned for Yuma's homegrown celebration include a ginormous salad bar, Recipe Box tasting event that showcases specialties from local restaurants, plus beer and wine. There will be a Sunday "Salud to Field Workers" event spotlighting the hard work that goes into producing Yuma's agricultural bounty. Also on the Lettuce Days menu are farm tours, demonstrations of high-tech farming equipment and methods, a “test planting” of numerous strawberry varieties and a giant flower garden that Yuma's Master Gardeners will utilize for demonstrations. An annual culinary celebration of Yuma’s role as the nation's winter vegetable capital, Lettuce Days has earned a Governor's Tourism Award as Arizona's best special event. For full details visit PAGE 32

Raise a Glass! Champagne and Pineapple Party Cocktail Recipes The Yuma Landing Bar & Grill is located on the site where the very first airplane landed in Arizona. It is a popular watering hole with a weekday happy hour, daily cocktail and food specials, along with televised sports games, Tuesday Trivia Night, Wednesday Wine Party and Karaoke, and live entertainment on Fridays. If you want a classy cocktail in Yuma, this is the place to go. Enjoy these two recipes from mixologists Tyler Johnston and Heather Witherington, and check out their other cocktail recipes at Tyler’s Champagne Cocktail This sparkly cocktail is ideal for a romantic rendezvous or Valentine’s Day date. 3 oz. Champagne or sparkling wine 1/3 oz. Cognac 2 dashes Angostura Bitters 1 Sugar Cube Add bitters to a sugar cube and pace into champagne flute or glass. Add cognac and champagne. Garnish the drink with an orange slice. Listen to Tyler Johnston on Big Blend Radio!



Listen to Heather Witherington on Big Blend Radio!

Heather’s Pineapple Party Cocktail This vibrant and tropical cocktail is perfect for Mardi Gras or any party! 2 parts Rum 1 part Triple Sec Pineapple Juice Grenadine Build in a flute glass. Add a splash of grenadine first, then add ice. Pour in the rum and triple sec, then top with pineapple juice. Garnish with a cherry and orange slice. PAGE 33

Planning a romantic dinner? Try these succulent seafood recipes from Chef Ivan Flowers and Chef Jeremy Manley!


King Crab Legs By 5-Star Chef Ivan Flowers Listen to Chef Ivan Flowers on Big Blend Radio!

Serves 6 6-8 Lbs. King Crab Legs ½ Lb. Unsalted Butter 3 Tbsp. Garlic Puree 2 Cups Chardonnay 1 Tbsp. Fresh Thyme, chopped Juice of 2 Lemons Salt Pepper 1 Tbsp. Sweet Chili

Remove crab legs and return roasting pan, uncovered, to the oven and cook liquid for 3-5 minutes. Using kitchen shears cut the shells of the crab legs. Serve in a large bowl with cooking liquid spooned over.

Thaw crab legs overnight in the fridge. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the thyme, butter, sweet chili, garlic puree, dash of salt, dash of pepper and one cup of the chardonnay. Heat until it is at a simmer. Pour this liquid into a roasting pan and add the remaining cup of chardonnay. Put in the crab legs and cover tightly with plastic wrap and then foil. Cook 15-20 minutes.

Photo by Larisa Valenzuela/



Listen to Chef Jeremy Manley on Big Blend Radio!

Crispy Pancetta 4 oz. pancetta sautéed on high heat for a minute each side Cook longer if you desire a more "bacon" crunch to your pancetta. Reserve the fat that comes off the pancetta while cooking for another use.

Champagne "Pickled" Chard Stems 10 chard stems cut into 3” spears ½ red onion or 1 shallot ½ cup of Champagne vinegar 1 ½ cups of water 2 Tablespoons sugar 1 bay leafs 3 black peppercorns 1 teaspoon salt A pinch Cayenne pepper

Oyster Ceviche Served with Crispy Pancetta and Champagne "Pickled" Chard Stems By Chef Jeremy Manley ‘San Diego’s Sustainable Chef’ and owner of Jeremy’s on the Hill California Style Bistro, in Julian, CA. See more of Chef Jeremy’s recipes at

Oyster Ceviche 1 dozen oysters shucked and cleaned 1 tablespoon of juiced ginger 1 clove of garlic, minced or mashed as fine as possible Juice of 2 limes Combine all ingredients and let the oysters marinade for 3-5 minutes.

Combine ingredients 3-9 in a 2 quart pot and bring to a boil. While you are waiting for your liquid to boil, slice your onions thinly and cut your chard stems into 1 inch pieces. Once your poaching solution comes to a boil, remove from heat then add your red onions and chard stems. Allow to sit for 45 minutes before placing in the refrigerator. Store in liquid for up to 3 days. This makes a great condiment on seafood dishes, burgers and whatever else you can create. Substitute chard stems for pickling cucumbers and experiment!.


Bear Mountain Lodge Granola Served with fresh fruit, this tasty granola recipe is from artist Linda Brewer, innkeeper of Bear Mountain Lodge in Silver City, New Mexico. Watch her recipe video and visit to learn more about the lodge and her artwork. 6 cups rolled oats 2 cups maple syrup 1 cup olive oil 3 cups chopped dried apricots 4 cups dried cranberries

Warm Granola with Banana Chips These breakfast recipes are from Donna George, owner of The Peanut Patch in Yuma, Arizona. For more recipes visit 1 cup apple cinnamon granola 1 cup warm milk ½ cup dried banana chips Warm up milk. Pour into cup of granola and top with banana chips. Enjoy!

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Mix ingredients and spread onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for 1 hour, but flip/stir the granola in the pan, every 12 minutes. Cool and bag. Freezes very well. Orange Granola Yogurt 1/3 cup granola 1/3 cup flaked coconut 1/3 cup chopped cashews 3 cups orange yogurt Mandarin orange (fresh or 1 can)

Click to Watch Video!

In a bowl combine granola, coconut, and cashews. Layer half of the bowl with yogurt. Add 2 tablespoons of granola mixture, 6 mandarin orange segments, and balance of granola mixture. Top with rest of mandarin orange segments. PAGE 36

By Leah Launey, who along with her husband Peter, owns and operates Three Rivers Bed & Breakfast in California’s Sequoia Country. See This is a simple versatile recipe. By adding 1/2 cup of nuts or fruit along with your favorite spice, you can change the recipe to reflect the time of year, the event that requires a cake, or simply to please your family.

Method: Sift the dry ingredients. I always sift everything twice, just in case. In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients. Blend together. Stir in your optional fruit or nuts, and any spice or grated citrus rind you might care to use. Grease your pan and pour in the batter.

Peter loves cranberries and I love oranges, so I stirred in a 1/2 cup of cranberries, along with the grated rind of one small navel orange, when making the version pictured here. Enjoy!

At 350 degrees Fahrenheit, the glass 8 inch round pan used here took 40 minutes to get a light golden brown, but a toothpick inserted into the middle did not quite come out clean.

Ingredients: 2 cups unbleached flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 cup local honey 1 cup homemade nonfat yogurt 1 extra-large brown egg (I use Glaum's organic, free range)

Then I covered the cake with foil and put it back in the oven until the cake turned the color of peanut butter (approximately another 10 minutes). At that point, the toothpick came out clean.

Optional: 1/2 cup nuts or fruit 1/2 teaspoon or more of your favorite ground spice Pictured here: 1/2 cup cranberries Grated rind of one small navel orange

Ovens and pans vary widely, so watch this cake closely and figure out the best temperature and pan for you, the first time you make it. Peter says the texture of this cake reminds him of Chinese tea cakes back home in Malaysia - and of course, he loves the cranberries.


By Ruth Milstein, author of the Gourmand award-winning book ‘Cooking with Love: Ventures Into the New Israeli Cuisine’. See her recipes at Plastic items are marked with a resin identification coding system which stands for: 1. PETE - Polyethylene terephthalate 2. HDPE- High-density polyethylene 3. PVC - Vinyl, polyvinyl chloride 4. LDPE - Low-density polyethylene 5. PP - Polypropylene 6. PS - Polystyrene 7. Other - Includes polycarbonate, acrylic, poly lactic acid, fiberglass The safer choices to use with food are numbers 1, 2, and 5. The rest contain chemicals!


Listen to Ruth & Howard Milstein on Big Blend Radio!

● Avoid plastic sandwich wrappers and food storage bags. This puts the adhesive in direct contact with food. For sandwiches use unbleached parchment paper secured with rubber bands. ● Replace plastic cooking utensils with those made from wood, silicone or stainless steel. Plastic has the potential to melt. Replace plastic dishware with porcelain, glass or stainless steel. ● Replace plastic water on­the­go bottles with those made from aluminum or stainless steel. At home, install a water filter on the kitchen tap which will turn the tap water into healthier water and can help save money otherwise spent on bottled water. Continued on Next Page…


Healthy Family Kitchens Continued… ● Avoid reused commercial food packaging and drink bottles. ● Never microwave food in any plastic wrap or microwave safe containers. ● Use only wooden cutting boards. ● Use glass bottles for infant feedings, salad dressing, cooking oil, soda and juice bottles etc. Transfer bulk goods like spices, grains and nuts into glass jars. ● Raw meat trays and take­out food containers made from polystyrene contain materials that can damage the nervous system. Do not use them. Freeze the raw meat immediately and transfer the take-out food to a safe dish. ● Ziploc freezer bags can be used to freeze cold or room temperature food. Discard immediately when taken out of the freezer.

Cookware Good cookware is worth the investment! ● Glass and Corning ware are the most inert of all cooking ware; they don't adhere to metal or any other ingredients in the food. ● Cast iron provides great conductivity and heat retention. They are heavy and non-stick. They hold heat and when the food is properly seasoned, oil can be used sparingly. ● Enamel Cast Iron is ideal for dishes where heat retention and balance are required. The surface is non-stick which makes it easy to use and clean. ● Stainless Steel can be used for any type of cooking; especially for quick dishes. Browning meat, cooking broth or sauce dishes are easier to clean and far less expensive than ceramic.

Worst Materials ● Teflon is a nonstick cookware. It has a plastic coating, an inexpensive price point and is easy to clean. Ironically, it is made of one of the most persistent synthetic chemicals known to man! This chemical is known as PFOA. Animal studies have shown it to cause cancer, liver damage, growth defects and immune system damage. ● Copper is not recommended due to its leaching concerns. An excess of copper can cause a variety of health problems such as behavior disorders, depression, eczema, acne, headaches and poor immune function. Most of the copper cookware these days is coated with stainless steel which improves durability and ease of cleaning. The older Copperware may be coated with tin or nickel which is unsafe and should not be used for cooking. Copper should never be used to cook acidic food because over time the acid can cause copper to adhere to food. ● Aluminum, which is made of anodized aluminum, has a thin and smooth surface. Aluminum does not adhere to food unless acidic food is used. Studies have shown (but are inconclusive) the adverse side effects of aluminum on the human nervous system as well as a link between aluminum and Alzheimer's disease.

● A Wok cooks food evenly as it stir fries. They are inexpensive but make sure it is a cast iron version, not Teflon. ● Green Pans are a non­stick line called Thermolon. It minimizes or voids the use of oil. It is environmentally friendly and can be cleaned with a wet towel. Today they can be found in all rainbow colors. I have been using them for a while and like to cook with them. However, be aware that their safety is open to debate! PAGE 39

By Regina Leeds 'The Zen Organizer' Remember when Justin Timberlake wanted to bring sexy back? I know Justin never once considered organizing as sexy but I do, so this article is devoted to the little things you can do that will spice up your bedroom and your life.

- Is there an office in the room? Do you sneak out of bed at night to work? Or is that your laptop on the bed waiting to disrupt your sleep?

There’s no better time than now to examine your relationship with your space. You can’t love another until you love yourself, right? How we love ourselves is expressed in our environments as personally and uniquely as any fingerprint. It would be overwhelming to look at the entire house so let’s concentrate on the bedroom.

The antidotes appear … I could go on in fact I do in my book ‘One Year to an Organized Life’. Did I nail at least one or two of your issues? Take heart. I’m not psychic; I’ve just been in a lot of homes over the past 28 years. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to tell you that the cure for each of these issues is the opposite.

Here are a few questions to get the selfdiscovery ball rolling: - When you walk into the room do you feel invited in to rest and play? Or does the chaos literally keep you awake at night?

To wit: - The bedroom is for sleeping and sex. It shouldn’t be your de fact office. It isn’t a playroom for the kids. If the home is meant to offer respite from the chaos and stress in the world, your bedroom is intended to be your ultimate sanctuary.

- Can you and your partner get into bed without pole-vaulting over piles of books, toys (kid and pet variety) or other miscellaneous debris?

- Bookcases and baskets, anyone?

- Is the bed made? - Are the sheets clean? - Do you have so many pillows on the bed that it takes extra time to make it in the morning? Photo: Lotus head /

- Do clothes litter the chair?

- When you make your bed, you are putting a period on the night’s experience. It is the gesture that ushers in a new day. If it’s never or rarely made just entering the room will make you sleepy and not infrequently a bit depressed. - I know people who launder the sheets every morning. That’s too much for me so let’s just say at least once a week, OK?


Bedroom Love Continued… - My mother loved ‘military corners.’ You could snap a quarter on those tight sheets in every bed in my childhood home. Me? I have a really beautiful duvet. I put the top sheet back into place, fluff the pillows and smooth the duvet. Case closed or rather bed made! - If you live in a tiny apartment and must turn a corner of the bedroom into your work area, put a screen in front of your desk so that you don’t have to be reminded of your work life when it’s time to sleep. If you have a wood floor, you can also mark off the work area by putting the desk and chair on an area rug. Please leave the laptop in the family room! I am a purist who prefers no electronic devices in the bedroom hence no TV, radio or even a source for music. I find there is magic in silence just as I find peace in empty space. You don’t have to go this far but if you try it, you might be pleasantly surprised. And yes battery operated devices are absolutely the exception to the rule. - When the closet is organized, you’ll find it’s just as easy to hang up a garment, as it is to toss it on a chair. In fact why not claim the chair as your ‘reading nook?’ The piles of books long to entertain you! Whatever floats your boat …. In the end life is what we make it. I have a friend who complains about everything. I don’t think she remembers how to be happy. Does that sound like you? What does your environment tell you about your habitual mental state? I taught a class a few years ago to a small group. One young woman was impossible to read. I couldn’t tell if she hated me, loved me or was bored to tears.


Regina Leeds talks about Organizing The Bedroom on Big Blend Radio!

When the class ended she didn’t move a muscle. She stared into space as if I had hypnotized her. Finally she looked at me and said: “I thought this class was going to be about what containers to buy. Instead it was about my life.” Organizing always is. Love yourself. And remember there are detailed instructions in ‘One Year to an Organized Life’ to help you transform every square inch of your home into a personal sanctuary. What are you waiting for? What have you got to lose? Professional organizer Regina Leeds, known as The Zen Organizer™ has brought order and peace to home and work environments across the country for over 28 years. She is the author of 10 books on organizing including New York Times bestseller ‘One Year to an Organized Life’ and the newest release ‘Rightsize! Right Now!’ The latter presents a sane plan for rightsizing your possessions to fit your home and life and craft a move in 8 weeks. A former actress Regina delights in giving lectures on the benefits of Zen Organizing™. A native of Brooklyn, New York she now lives in Los Angeles with her rescue pup Charlie. Visit


Now you have to make decisions on what to do with these clothes. I have some suggestions. For clothes that don’t fit or are no longer your style you have the option of taking them to a consignment shop where you can recover some of the money you spent, or you can donate them to a woman’s shelter where the less fortunate will benefit. You can also take advantage of the tax credit with donations.

By Aggie Garcia


It was a great day of shopping. You got some terrific deals at the after-Christmas sale. You go to your closet to put away your newly acquired purchases only to find your closet is packed so tightly that you can’t possible squeeze one more thing in.

Clothes that fit well but need repairs should be taken as soon as possible to a tailor for mending. If you can do the mending yourself, be sure you make the time and set a deadline to complete this project. It will feel like you have brand new clothes without breaking the bank. Once you have completed this process, you can organize your closet by having all your dresses in one area, pants hung together and the same with blouses and jackets. Organizing your closet will help you make better decisions with future purchases, and will save you money. Aggie Garcia is a San Diego based fashion designer who specializes in designing bikini and figure competition suits, and is the owner of Illusions by Aggie. Visit:

You also notice how disorganized your closet is. Jackets are mixed in with pants, dresses and blouses. You decide to try on a dress you managed to pull out and you can’t even remember the last time you wore it and now you discover it doesn’t even fit. You then find blouses and pants that you don’t even like. Soon, your bed is covered in clothes in one big pile. You do put on a pair of dress pants that you really love only to find the zipper is broken. Now, what do you do? During the shopping trip, you and your friend were discussing New Year's resolutions. Well, it looks like you now have one. Organize that closet and get rid of clothes you don’t wear! Choose a day you can spare and start by trying EACH piece of clothing. From my own experience, I advise you to have a glass of wine nearby. Separate your clothes into piles on the bed as follows: 1. Doesn’t fit (too small or maybe even too big). 2. Fits well but needs repairs (hems, seams undone, broken zippers or missing buttons). 3. Haven’t worn in over a year and it is no longer your fashion style. 4. Be honest with yourself during this event. PAGE 42

Action Steps to Help Save Honey Bees, Butterflies and Pollinators Piggybacking off the White House's Pollinator Research Action Plan, environmental horticulturist Kim Eierman has launched a campaign to make American homeowners and gardeners aware of strategies they can implement in their own gardens and yards in support of pollinators. Eierman will be speaking about pollinators at workshops, classes and events across the country to spread her message.


Listen to Kim Eierman on Big Blend Radio!

"The White House has taken the lead with the recent Pollinator Research Action Plan, but individual actions are just as important," added Eierman. "During World Word II Americans rallied to create over 1 million Victory Gardens -- food gardens for defense. Americans can do it again this time creating Pollinator Victory Gardens to defend pollinators and our food supply. Every garden counts!" Kim Eierman's Basic Tips for Creating a Pollinator-Friendly Home Garden 1. Plant for a succession of bloom from spring through fall. Different pollinator species emerge at different times of year, and have different life spans. Create an ongoing "pollinator buffet" throughout the growing season. 2. Skip the double-flowered plants - they have little, and sometimes no, nectar or pollen. What is beautiful to the human eye may be a source of starvation for a bee or other pollinator. Find the beauty in what a plant does, not just how it looks.

3. Don't forget to include trees and shrubs in your landscape - pollinators need them. Many "woody" "The European honey bee and our 4,000 species of plants are important for pollinators, and not just those with showy blooms. Some early blooming native bees in the U.S. have suffered dramatic native trees and shrubs can be a source of nectar losses to their populations. Since bees pollinate a or pollen to early emerging bees. Some trees even significant portion of our food crops, this is a provide habitat to pollinators. problem that affects all of us. Without bee pollination services, many of our common fruits, nuts and vegetables would no longer be available," Kim Eierman is an environmental horticulturist said Eierman. "Most of our landscapes offer little in specializing in ecological landscapes and native plants. She is the Founder of EcoBeneficial!, a the way of nectar and pollen sources, which bees depend upon. To make things worse, our frequent horticulture communications and consulting use of pesticides, including seemingly benign lawn company. Eierman is also a Master Gardener, a Master Naturalist, an Accredited Organic Landcare care products, is devastating to bees and other Professional. Learn more at pollinators." PAGE 43

By Henry Biernacki, ‘The Global Henry’

The more difficult it becomes to arrive at a destination, the more isolated a traveler is from tourists. Galapagos is not isolation among travelers or tourists, but rather isolation among the modern world.


You immediately understand, upon arrival on any of the islands, you are a guest to this world; not the traditional guest of being invited into people’s Listen to homes or seeing something new that you have Henry Biernacki always dreamed of seeing. You are a guest in this on Big Blend Radio! animal kingdom, where they truly adapt to the world around them, not to our human world. We give way to their world, adjust to their daily rituals, and move out of their way, as they evolve. Animals simply Henry Biernacki ‘The Global Henry’ is a world look at us walking among them and certainly do not traveler who has visited over 130 countries, is a fear us; their main predator is the Galapagos Hawk. pilot, airline captain and line check airman, and also the author of the novel ‘No More Heroes.’ The Galapagos Islands are a world between animal Keep up with Henry’s travels and writing at kingdom and animal heaven and for a brief few days you adapt to their world, swim among them, walk around them, and exist with them, all in their world.

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The mountain bluebird is the Nevada state bird, and it’s a beautiful and bright one to see. It lives year-round in the northwestern portion of the state, and if you’re visiting the Yerington and Mason Valley region, you might get lucky enough to see some flying around the agricultural and wetland areas, along with magpies and yellow-headed blackbirds.

Songbirds that regularly nest include common yellowthroats, horned larks, marsh wrens, redwinged and yellow-headed blackbirds, Savannah sparrows, and song sparrows. Other less common include blue grosbeak, ash-throated flycatcher, black phoebe, and western bluebird.

Fort Churchill State Historic Park, just thirty minutes north of Yerington, is another birding destination East of Yosemite National Park and south of Reno, with a 1.6 mile interpretive nature trail that runs from the Fort, along the Carson River to historic Yerington is located on the Pony Express and Buckland Station. Keep your eyes peeled for California National Historic Trails. Boasting four beaver, fox, mule deer, wild turkey and Canadian gentle seasons, this valley region is a haven for birdlife with green agricultural fields, surrounded by geese. Another forty-five minutes drive northeast of Fort Churchill, Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge is high desert mountains and shrub lands, lush an area of International Importance within the wetlands, meadows, and lakes. Western Hemispheric Shorebird Reserve Network, A five minute drive from and is a popular birding site to view shorebirds, downtown Yerington, the wading birds, songbirds, blackbirds, raptors and Mason Valley Wildlife Management Area is home waterfowl. to a series of wetlands. It’s a terrific bird watching location that is home to a variety of wildlife and birds that range from tundra swans in the winter to over 21 species of duck, pelicans, California quail, ring-necked pheasants, magpies, and osprey. Nesting species of raptors in the area include great horned owl, short-eared owl, Cooper’s hawk, redtailed hawk, American kestrel, Swainson’s hawk and northern harrier. Other species include bald eagles, golden eagles, prairie falcons, Peregrine falcons, and merlins. PAGE 46

The Bakery Gallery – Popular destination offering a delicious variety of cakes, pies, cookies, cupcakes, muffins, Danish pastries, coffee cakes, biscotti, chocolate truffles, desserts, and breads. They serve coffee and espresso and pre-fixe to-go dinners. 215 W. Goldfield Ave., Yerington, NV 89447. Tel: (775) 463-4070,


Action Steps we Can Take for Wildlife in 2016


By Adam Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA and Born Free Foundation This New Year, we should all commit to becoming compassionate travelers. When we take a holiday—whether it’s over the winter break, spring break, or summer break—we must make sure that all of our choices are humane. If we’re traveling afar, we must not bring back any souvenirs that are made from animal parts (like sea turtle jewelry, ivory chopsticks, or anything with animal fur or feathers). And, if we’re going on a cruise, we should refrain from swimming with dolphins or getting a picture taken with a chimpanzee ashore. Even if we stay closer to home for our days off, we want to avoid venues that exploit animals, such as zoos, circuses, or marine parks.

Listen to Adam Roberts on Big Blend Radio! If, for instance, you see animals languishing on a chain in a substandard zoo or otherwise being exploited and deprived, please contact Born Free USA through our Zoo Check program. Let us know what you’ve seen (and send photos, if possible)— and, if appropriate, file a complaint. By taking the initiative to travel responsibly, you can make a real difference in the lives of animals around the globe.

Born Free USA is a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, But, it’s not just legislation, and public education, Born Free USA about abstaining leads vital campaigns against animals in from behaviors that entertainment, exotic "pets," trapping and fur, and will cause suffering the destructive international wildlife trade. Born to animals; it’s also Free USA brings to America the message of about being active "compassionate conservation"—the vision of the participants in U.K.-based Born Free Foundation, established in ensuring that the 1984 by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, stars of cruelty does not the iconic film Born Free, along with their son, Will continue. Travers. Learn more at PAGE 48

Victory at Last for The King of the Jungle African Lion Protected Under Endangered Species Act "It has been a very long four years waiting for this decision." - Adam M. Roberts, Born Free USA CEO. In March of 2011, Born Free USA, along with partner organizations, filed a petition with the Department of the Interior to list African lions as Endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA). More than four years later, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) announced its final decision on December 21, 2015, listing the African lion as Endangered in Western and Central Africa and Threatened in Eastern and Southern Africa, with a special rule pending that would require certain conditions to be met for importation of any lion trophies from countries with a threatened population. According to Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA and Born Free Foundation, "It has been a very long four years waiting for this decision, with each year seeing more lions slaughtered by hunters for trophies. This is a victory and we applaud USFWS for agreeing that these animals deserve significant international protection under the ESA: popularly considered one of the world's most important conservation laws. There is now hope for future generations to be able to witness the beauty of the lion in the wild." While the USFWS was delaying action, a minimum of 2,232 African lions were killed and imported into the U.S. over the past four years—including Cecil, who made headlines this year when he was killed in Zimbabwe by an American trophy hunter. Born Free USA hopes that the ruling will spare other lions such a cruel, barbaric fate.

Despite the significant and continued declines in population and range, the number of lion trophies imported to the U.S. is increasing. In 2014, trophy imports to the U.S. were greater than any other year in the preceding decade and more than twice the number it was in 2005. "We are hopeful the USFWS will be rigorous when investigating any management plans in lion range states and proposed trophy imports, and that the U.S. government will set the bar incredibly high before allowing any trophies to come in," Roberts adds.

Over the past three decades, the number of African lions has declined by more than 50% as a result of retaliatory killings, loss of habitat and prey species, over-exploitation by recreational trophy hunters and commercial trade, disease, and other humancaused and natural factors. Today, experts believe there are fewer than 20,000 lions remaining, living in a fragmented 8% of their historic natural range. Due to the dire situation facing the African lion, both Australia and France banned the import of lion trophies this year. PAGE 49

Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep Recovery

Yosemite Conservancy funded equipment and experts to bring the new herd into Yosemite National Park, as well as the GPS collars to track the animals’ movements and locations. Over the The Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep is the only past 20 years, Yosemite Conservancy has funded federally endangered mammal in Yosemite, Sequoia, and Kings Canyon. This animal was listed nearly $630,000 to help protect bighorn sheep by supporting research, translocation efforts, radio and in 2000 after the population plunged to a low of GPS collars. about 100 individuals. The population has since increased to over 600, which marks an important milestone towards their recovery. Prior to the arrival Learn more about Yosemite National Park at of western settlers, which brought unregulated hunting and diseases in their livestock, bighorn sheep populations likely numbered in the thousands.

Yosemite Nature Notes Video Features Rare Footage of the Recovery Effort

In order to bolster the population of bighorn sheep, as part of a multi-year recovery effort, Yosemite National Park worked with several other agencies on reintroducing bighorn sheep to Yosemite’s backcountry. Working collaboratively with Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, the Inyo National Forest, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, ten ewes (females) and three rams (males) were moved to the Cathedral Range in Yosemite National Park in March of 2015. Overall, the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep are doing well. Wildlife biologists conduct periodic field surveys and all of the animals are equipped with GPS collars. Lambs were born in early summer and the herd is adapting well to their new surroundings.


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Three Big Blend Radio expert interviews and advice on how we as individuals, communities and organizations, can create a cleaner, greener and more sustainable future for the planet and its inhabitants.


COMBAT CLIMATE CHANGE Les McCabe, Executive Director of Global Green USA Don’t assume that as one person you As citizens of the world we have a special can’t make a difference, when in fact obligation to take care of our planet in order to you can. If you lead by example and insure that future generations that follow will have educate your family and friends to take the same opportunities that we have had to live similar steps the cumulative effect of healthy and productive lives. With the increasing these collaborative efforts will impact of climate change on our world, country, and significantly help mitigate the increase communities in which we live, taking a moment to in temperatures that produces climate assess what each of us can and should do individually that will make a difference is important. change phenomena that impact us all. Learn more at The old adage of “Reduce, reuse, and recycle” is now more important than ever. Doing so plays an important role in conserving energy and reducing pollution and greenhouse gases. Something as simple as changing 5 frequently used light bulbs to “energy star” labeled bulbs not only saves on your utility bills, but also uses about 75% percent less energy. Likewise, reducing water usage is not only important in drought areas like California, but in all parts of the country because of the significant amount of energy that is used to pump, treat, and heat water, which again adds to greenhouse gas emissions. Finally, “buy green”. When you purchase green certified products you are reducing your household’s carbon impact. PAGE 52

UNITY FOR THE ISLANDS Carlisle Richardson, United Nations economic-affairs officer and author of “Island Journeys: The Impact of the Island Way of Life at Home and Abroad”

POWER SHIFT TO SOLAR Robert Arthur Stayton, author ‘POWER SHIFT: From Fossil Energy to Dynamic Solar Power’


In 2016 the goals of island communities will be to pursue initiatives to reduce the impact of climate change, promote renewable energy, and explore the sustainable use of the oceans and seas. For the islands, these are priorities. In helping the islands in these pursuits, the establishment of partnerships will be necessary action steps. The partnerships can include citizens, governments, businesses, academia, and the scientific community, all bringing their knowledge and skills together to produce sustainable solutions for the future of islands. The idea of all persons working together to help the islands implement innovative approaches to sustainable development remains the best strategy for success. It is through partnerships in 2016 that the islands will find innovative ways to address climate change, renewable energy, and ocean management for a better future of their people. Learn more at


It's clear that solar will continue to surge in 2016. All the pieces are falling into place. Prices for panels continue to come down, so installing solar can be justified simply by being cheaper. Energy storage is starting to come online to match the supply to the demand, both at the utility level and with individuals. And, awareness of the urgent need to take action on climate change has taken hold. It seems that almost everyone in the world understands that the path forward is to replace fossil fuels with solar power. People are taking direct action and adopting solar themselves. It's fortunate that solar is available in all countries and all cities, and can be installed by individuals, businesses, and institutions to fix their own contribution to global warming. Visit


by Sandra Chambers As a freelance travel writer I've had the opportunity to experience quite a few luxury spas during my travels. Below are three of my all-time favorite spa experiences. Laniwai Spa at Disney's Aulani Resort in Hawaii My #1 favorite spa adventure is Disney’s Laniwai Spa at Disney’s Aulani Resort & Spa in Olina, Hawaii. The word laniwai means "freshwater heaven" in the Hawaiian language and this spa truly delivers that for guests. The 18,000-squarefoot indoor spa area includes a Mikimiki Fitness Center, 15 treatment rooms, men and women’s dressing rooms with eucalyptus-infused steam rooms, dry saunas and relaxation rooms.

Also, Laniwai is a trendsetter offering the first teen spa in Hawaii, Painted Sky. The separate spa area features a yogurt bar, perfume bar, massages, manicures/pedicures, body therapies and teen events. The Spa at the Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC My second favorite spa is in my very own home state of North Carolina. Located in the mountain town of Asheville, the 100+ year-old, AAA FourDiamond Omni Grove Park Resort & Spa is known for its elegance and southern charm.

The 43,000-square-foot unique subterranean spa has twenty water features including numerous mineral-based pools, underwater music and In the ladies relaxation room, I couldn’t resist the chocolate covered blueberries and raspberries from cavernous rock walls and arches. The large outdoor whirlpool overlooking the Blue Ridge the Honolulu Chocolate Company. My Mountains was a surreal experience, especially in manicure/pedicure was in the salon area where I the winter with snow falling all around. relaxed in a massage chair while sipping Mamaki Tea (local Hawaiian tea) and eating a carrot zucchini muffin. Next, I chose to have the traditional LomiLomi massage that is unique to Hawaii. This heated stone massage combines rhythmic gliding with soothing hot stones to relax the muscles. The 5,000-square-foot Kula Wai Hydrotherapy Garden featuring vitality baths, herbal pools, a reflexology path and six unique Waterfall Rain Showers is my very favorite part of Laniwai. There’s also a Pula Bar (outdoor mixology station) where I combined herbs and essential oils to make a customized body polish/scrub to take home with me as a remembrance of my visit to Laniwai. PAGE 54


Listen to Sandra Chambers on Big Blend Radio! Several spa services are available but one of the most popular is the rejuvenating rose ritual named after the state flower of Hawaii, the Lokelani rose. This luxurious body treatment uses organic roses and decadent rose scented oils. It begins with a gentle exfoliating milk scrub followed by a relaxing massage and rejuvenating facial mask. When I returned to my cottage, I caught a whiff of a plumeria flower that had been placed by my bedside along with a postcard-size relaxation card that encouraged me to take 10 minutes for meditation before bed. As I slipped beneath the organic linens on my bamboo platform bed, I felt the gentle trade winds blow through the cottage. Soon, the nightly tropical rain showers lured me to One of the spa’s signature services is the Mountain sleep where I dreamed of staying in this idyllic place so far removed from the hustle and bustle of View Massage offered in their outdoor pagoda the world. overlooking the mountains. Another signature treatment is Fire, Rock, Water and Light, a Publisher of, rejuvenating full body exfoliation, softening soak, healing body masque and Vichy waterfall massage. Sandra Chambers is a freelance writer for several regional and local lifestyle publications, and is a Even if you’re not staying at the resort, weekday member of the International Food, Wine & Travel spa passes can be purchased. A day lounging in Writer’s Association. Sandra has been both a writer this unique spa is one of my favorite things to do. and an educator for most of her life. In addition to travel writing, Sandra has written hundreds of cover The Spa at Travaasa Hana, Maui, HI stories, features, profiles and news stories and We head back to Hawaii to the island of Maui and taught journalism in high school. to the small town of Hana, one of the “last truly Hawaiian places” for another favorite spa adventure. The beautiful setting and low-key atmosphere of this resort is what makes it my third choice. After a long day’s scenic drive over the famous Hana Highway, I arrived at Travaasa Hana and was escorted from my private ocean bungalow to the spa via a golf cart (the only mode of transportation throughout the resort). The most stunning aspect of the spa is the lava-rock whirlpool and garden setting with lounge chairs that overlook Hana Bay. After a soak in the whirlpool, I sank into the comfortable lounge chair and was almost lured asleep by the quietness of my surroundings. PAGE 55

By Glynn Burrows, Norfolk Tours

Generally speaking, a Winter Wonderland ought to be snow-covered mountains, skiing, iceskating and people wrapped up against temperatures ten degrees below zero, but England isn’t like that. We have winter, we have snow, but we don’t have that many snowcovered mountains and very few outdoor skating rinks. We don’t have ski resorts and we don’t have temperatures much below freezing for very many weeks of the year.


Listen to Glynn discuss Winter in England on Big Blend Radio!

What we do have is a few months of the year which are fresh, with beautiful clear blue skies, sharp frosts and lots of wildlife. We are a stopping off Other creatures are often spotted more in the point for many migrating birds and what Christmas Winter months as they have to venture out more to card is complete without the pretty red-breasted get food. Deer, badgers, foxes and other wildlife robin? are often to be seen foraging in the woodlands and on the roadsides. We are so fortunate that the weather isn’t too extreme, most years and it seldom interferes with Winter is also a good time to visit England as there our everyday life. If you are a photographer or are less visitors about. Game is in season and artist, this is the best time to visit as the skies are what could be better than a lovely roast dinner with so blue and the air is so clear. gravy and Yorkshire puddings, followed by apple crumble and custard? You are less likely to find a If you are a birder, our gardens are full of tiny, favourite restaurant or that really popular hotel fully colourful tits, robins and finches, and our lakes, booked, and walking along deserted beaches in the fields, rivers and woodlands are alive with many winter is a special treat, just as long as you’re well species of birds, many of which are taking a break wrapped up! in their long journeys. Continued on Next Page…. PAGE 56

Going back to those skies. The winter months are my favourite time to photograph this beautiful area because the trees are bare and the skies are clear and bright blue. Such gorgeous backdrops for the starkness of our many ruins! The one thing which is important to remember is that England isn’t “open all hours” and many attractions have short opening hours or may even close for the winter. Her Majesty The Queen spends Christmas at Sandringham and the house is usually closed from November to Easter but there is the extra special opportunity to actually get to see the Royal Family as they make their way to Church on a Sunday.

Public access to the Park at Sandringham is usually allowed and it is great to watch the family as they walk to Church from the House. So, is England your typical Winter Wonderland? No it isn’t but it has many other, less typical things to offer! Glynn Burrows is the owner of Norfolk Tours in England. For help or advice about tracing your family history, or if you are thinking about taking a vacation to England visit



National Parks Conservation Association Omnibus Budget Boosts Funding for Update National Parks Listen to the Big Blend Radio panel discussion reflecting on park issues and highlights in 2015, and the future of the parks including the fiscal year 2016 Omnibus Appropriations bill that includes significant increases in funding for national parks, plus, the actions steps individuals can take for parks, especially with the centennial of the national park system coming up on August 25, 2016.


The fiscal year 2016 Omnibus Appropriations bill announced on December 16, 2015 includes significant increases in funding for national parks. Says John Garder, Budget Director for the National Parks Conservation Association, “The deal clearly shows that congressional appropriators and leadership recognize that our national parks need and deserve an increase in federal resources, and we commend them for reaching such a promising agreement. These are unquestionably the best funding levels for parks we have seen in years, and will be critical for providing needed rangers and making needed repairs in preparation for the expected influx of visitors for next year’s Centennial of the National Park Service.”

Special guests from the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) include: John Garder - Director of Budget & Appropriations, Government Affairs; Alan Spears - Director of Cultural Resources and Government Affairs; Mark Wenzler - Mark Wenzler is the Senior Vice President of Conservation Programs. NPCA has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its members and supporters work to protect and preserve our nation’s natural, historical, and cultural heritage for future generations. For more information, visit PAGE 58

Educational National Park Group Tours

16 Fee-Free Days for all National Park Units


From the Great American West to Glacier Bay and the Inside Passage, Isle Royale Wilderness to the National Parks of Hawaii, the National Parks Conservation Association’s (NPCA) small group travel program through Off The Beaten Path offers the best in educational travel to the National Parks. Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Ben Sander, NPCA’s Travel Program Manager, who discusses some of the upcoming tours including: Seasons of Yosemite, Joshua Tree and Death Valley, Deep in the Everglades, Splendor in the Smokies, North to Alaska, Grand Canyon Medley, America Samoa, and Big Secret Big Bend. Learn more about the 80 different trips scheduled for 2016 at

The National Park Service turns 100 years old in 2016 and wants everyone to celebrate! All national parks will waive their entrance fees on 16 special days in 2016. The 16 entrance fee-free days for 2016 will be: January 18: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day April 16-24: National Park Week August 25-28: National Park Service Birthday week September 24: National Public Lands Day November 11: Veterans Day Usually, 127 of the 409 National Park Service sites charge entrance fees that range from $3 to $30. The entrance fee waiver for the fee-free days does not cover amenity or user fees for things like camping, boat launches, transportation, or special tours. See


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Action Steps For National Parks National Parks Continued…

Petition to Establish First National Park Site Dedicated to LGBT History The country’s first national park site dedicated to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) history is one step closer to becoming a reality with the introduction of key legislation in Congress. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer introduced in the Senate and Congressman Jerrold Nadler introduced in the House of Representatives identical legislation that would create a national park site for historic Stonewall. The area around Stonewall in New York City’s Greenwich Village, including Christopher Park, is often considered the birthplace of the modern LGBT equal rights movement, when a rebellion broke out there in the summer of 1969.

Elected officials representing all levels of government in New York, as well as LGBT organizations, and many thousands of individuals have sent letters to President Obama in support of designating Stonewall a national park site. Learn more about the push to create a national park for Stonewall and add your support by signing the petition at:

9 National #ParksinPeril The crown jewels of our National Park System are at a crossroads. And it is up to each of us to determine which path they take. Decisions made now about development just outside their borders could forever change these incredible places. The Obama Administration has an opportunity to ensure outside interests do not forever mar our national parks. At the Grand Canyon, would you rather immerse yourself in its vastness and hear your voice echo back at you—or immerse yourself in a sea of blinking lights and booming sounds at a nearby mega-mall? At Yellowstone, do you want to watch herds of bison graze and roam—or do you want to watch them get loaded onto trucks and shipped to slaughter as they leave the park each winter?

The Obama Administration has the opportunity to take action and make sure outside interests don’t forever mar the national parks. But the clock is ticking down to the end of the president’s term. The National Parks Conservation Association is fighting for these #ParksInPeril—and they need your help. As we celebrate our National Park Service’s 100th birthday in 2016, do we stand up for our national parks, which belong to all of us? Or do we stand by and let them be forever harmed?

At Mojave National Preserve, do you want to witness endangered desert tortoises paint their Visit to learn more mouths red with spring flowers—or do you want to and to sign the petition. Now is the time to take witness their habitat being swallowed up by miles of action. solar panels right next to the park? PAGE 60


The Fallen Giants of Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks By Nancy J. Reid It is said that the Giant Sequoia trees never die of old age, they only die from disease, bug infestation, lightning strikes, or falling over. Erosion, fire and wet soil can compromise their shallow root systems.

Another great giant near Crescent Meadow, the Tunnel Tree, is pictured above. This fallen giant was hollowed out to allow vehicles through, possibly the only place you can driver through a giant sequoia tree. This tree fell in December of 1937. It was 21 feet in diameter and over 275 feet tall.

Imagine being the first Non-Native American to cross a lush meadow to walk among trees so tall and wide that they dwarfed any other trees you had ever seen. Trees so wide it would take days to fell one, sawing through them for hours at a time.

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Hale Tharp, a miner during the California Gold Rush, was exploring what is now Sequoia National Park, hoping to find summer pasturage for his cattle. He was led to what is now Crescent Meadow and Log Meadow near the Giant Forest, by the Yokut Indians, and he immediately claimed grazing rights there for several years. Although he already had a cabin in what is now the Three Rivers area, the lush meadows made this area perfect for his cattle. Tharp built a summer home in the 1860s in a fallen Giant Sequoia that had been hollowed out by fire. Tharp’s Log is on the National Register of Historic Places, and it is the oldest pioneer cabin in the park. The photos to the right show the inside of Tharp’s Cabin, and the outside. From here he could watch over his cattle in relative comfort during the summer months.


Timberrr‌ Continued On June 3, 1959, during a quiet summer day, a 2300 hundred year old tree fell. It measured over 272 feet tall and 20 feet in diameter. The Buttress tree gives you the opportunity to view the root structure. This tree is also near Crescent Meadow. The General Sherman Tree, reportedly the largest living tree on the planet by volume, is also in the Giant Forest. It is approximately 2200 years old with its largest branch being seven feet in diameter. Every year it grows enough new wood to produce a 60 foot tree of usual size. It is over 275 feet tall and over 103 feet in diameter. Its weight is an estimated 1,385 tons and luckily, this tree is still standing.

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Timberrr.. Continued… The Grant Grove in Kings Canyon National Park is home to the General Grant Tree, still standing, and the only living thing designated by Congress as a national shrine. This tree is known as ‘The Nation’s Christmas Tree’, and the second largest tree, by volume, on the planet. The Grant Grove is also home to the Fallen Monarch Tree. This huge tree was used by the Native Americans for shelter. Eventually two cattle ranchers, the Gamlin brothers, lived in it while they built their cabin, grazing their cattle in the mountains. The Gamlin family completed their home, the first permanent settlement in Kings Canyon in 1872. After the Gamlin brothers left in 1878, the cabin served a variety of uses, including storage for the U.S. Cavalry, charged with protecting the newly formed National Parks. The Calvary used the Fallen Monarch to stable their 32 horses. Eventually the Gamlin Cabin became a ranger station and residence of the first park ranger, Mr. Lewis L. Davis from 1902-09. The cabin was actually relocated at one point, to act as the Grant Grove Visitor Center, but it has been returned to it’s original location and in 1977, it was inducted into the National Register of Historic Places. Learn more at


January-March in Three Rivers, Gateway Hero Celebrations: Individuals being honored tell us stories, and each honoree goes home with a to Sequoia & Kings Canyon National unique piece of art from a Three Rivers artist! Held Parks Every year, from January 1st- March 31st, local participating businesses in Three Rivers, California offer 20% off, of whatever they produce or provide, to anyone who has ever served in the military, or as a first responder. This includes firefighters, EMS, law enforcement and peace officers. Special events are also held. Visit SPECIAL EVENTS Jan. 16: Annual Snowman Building Contest at Wuksachi Lodge in Sequoia National Park, free spiced hot cider for participants and prizes for the best entries. Individuals, couples, and families are invited to build a snowman. 11 am to 4 pm. Free. Open to the Public. Park entrance fee required. Note: Event will be postponed if there is insufficient snow. Info: 559-561-4270

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at Three Rivers Historical Museum in Three Rivers, CA with free wine, beer, hot soup, homemade bread, and desserts. 7 pm. Free. Open to the Public. Info: 559-561-4270 - Jan. 29: Annual Firefighters/EMS Celebration honoring Ben Jacobs and Tyson Lewis. - Feb. 26: Annual Law Enforcement Celebration honoring Dot Crain and Mark Frick. - Mar. 25: Annual Armed Forces Celebration honoring Tony Harris, Lisa Harris and Gary Potter. Annual Learn to Square Dance Parties in February: Taught by professional Square Dance caller Rick Hampton. Held 7-9 pm at Three Rivers Memorial Building with free light refreshments. Free. Open to the Public. Info: 559-561-4270. Held on Feb. 4, 11, 18, 25 with plus a pie social to celebrate our last dance on the 25th! Mar. 26: Annual Picnic with Bathtub Race at Lake Kaweah. Pre-registered Teams build floatable steerable boats from cast iron bathtubs and the raw materials provided, then race across Lake Kaweah and back, for charity! 11 am to 4 pm. Free for attendees. Open to the Public. Racing Teams pay a registration fee in advance. The Army Corps at Lake Kaweah has waived their day use parking fee for the duration of the event. Info: 559-561-4270



Julian is a quaint, mountain and gold-mining town in the back-country of San Diego county, California. A strong sense of early California will guide you down the wooden sidewalks embracing delightful shop windows, all typical of an old gold mining town. Wineries, horse and carriage rides, blossoming apple orchards, star gazing and cultural events are just a few of the area's highlights. After the Civil War, displaced Confederate veterans seeked their fortunes in the unsettled West. Drue Bailey and Mike Julian (two cousins) were amongst them. On their journey, a meadow between Volcan Mountain and the Cuyamacas spiked their interest and thus became home. While they were still there, a cattleman called Fred Coleman, a black man, was the first to find gold in Julian. This was San Diego’s first gold rush, but alas, also the last! In honor of Mike the town was named Julian. He was later elected as San Diego County’s Assessor. The town had a population not bigger than 600.

The Julian Historic Walking Tour map is available for self-tour at the Chamber office located in the historic Julian Town Hall, that showcases historic photos and is often used for community events. The Grosskopf House, a replica of an original pioneer house, is adjacent to the Julian Pioneer Museum which boasts the finest lace collection in California, plus 1896 to 1913 clothing, photographs, household and mining equipment, Victorian era pianos, an original Julian City buggy and sleigh, an extensive exhibit of Indian artifacts, and animal and bird mountings all indigenous to the area. Another historic downtown site is the two-cell jail which was built in 1914, and served as classy overnight accommodations for town drunks. The Julian Pioneer Cemetery is home to the graves and headstones of many Julian pioneer family members. Continued on Next Page‌

The gold rush was over within nearly a decade but the pioneers discovered the rich land and began planting crops and pasturing animals. It was then found out that Julian was a good place to grow apples and pears. To date, Julian is known for its apple pie, wineries, orchards, historic downtown walking tours and heritage sites. Plaques placed on historic buildings in the downtown district reveals Julian history from Gold Rush times to the 1920s. PAGE 67

Julian history comes to life on Sunday afternoons when you can see the Julian Doves & Desperados, Julian’s own re-enactment group perform historic comedy skits. Authentically dressed in early western attire dating from the late 1800s, the years gold was discovered and mined from the local mountains, the group performs at their stage area in the historic downtown district.

Julian Continued‌ Julian Historical Society Office is located in a oneroom school house which served students from 1888 to 1954 in the Witch Creek community. It was moved to Julian and opened as a library in l974 and is now used by the Julian Historical Society.

One can also tour one of Julian's original gold mines where guides lead you through the intricate path of tunnels in the hard rock mine and share tales of the life of early residents of Julian. For family fun there is gold-panning, horse drawn carriage rides, and even a 1 mile train ride to enjoy!

The Spencer Valley School House in nearby Wynola was built in 1906. The original was built in 1876 as a one-room school, but was either torn down or burned. This unique school (now with more than one room) continues to serve youngsters in the area as a single-school district, one of the few remaining in California.


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By S. Ward Heinrichs Esq., Backstrom & Heinrichs Attorneys at Law, APC Minimum wage increase. The minimum wage in California will increase to $10 per hour. The law that made that change was actually passed in 2013. It caused the minimum wage to rise from $8 per hour to $9 per hour on July 1, 2014. The final increase from that law will happen on January 1, 2016. A few cities in California have higher minimum wage rates, but, no matter where you live in California, as of January 1, 2016, all employees will make at least $10 per hour.


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Gender Pay Equality. California has had gender equality pay under Labor Code §1197.5 since 1949, however the law will become more employee friendly in 2016. First, the law will allow an employee to file suit if the Protection for family members of whistle employee believes that the employer retaliated blowers. against the employee for making a claim of unequal Whistle blowers have protection from adverse pay. Second, the law no longer requires that pay employment actions, but now their family members inequality happen in the same establishment and do too. If family members work for the same does not require that the employee be compared to employer, and one family member blows the whistle opposite sex employees who engage in “equal on that employer, the employer may not retaliate work”. Rather, an employee can make a claim for against the non-complaining family member. unequal pay when opposite sex employees get Additionally, an employee may now file claims of paid for “substantially similar work, when viewed as whistle blower retaliation against employers who a composite of skill, effort, and responsibility.” contract for labor. Presumably, that new standard will make it easier to make equal pay claims. Finally, the employers Continued on Next Page… have more specific requirements to show that unequal pay is not based on sex but is a true “business necessity.” PAGE 70

Labor Laws Continued… Asking for a disability or religious accommodation is protected activity. The court in Rope v. Auto-Clor System of Washington, Inc., (2013) 220 Cal.App.4th 635 found that merely asking for a disability or religious accommodation is not protected activity. The legislature made clear in a new law that asking for such accommodations is protected activity and that retaliation is illegal.

The new law grants such employers an affirmative defense if they pay the employees for unpaid rest periods and unproductive time for all unpaid time from July 1, 2012 through December 31, 2015. The employer must also pay accrued interest and inform the Department of Industrial Relations that it will pay all the employees for unpaid rest and recovery periods and unproductive time no later than July 1, 2016.

Uber must now provide the DMV with driver information to allow investigation or driving records. Employers have the right to cure minor pay Until now, ride-sharing services did not necessarily stub violations. Recently, employers have faced huge penalties for need to participate in the DMV’s pull-notice not putting accurate pay period dates and employer system. Now, Uber and other ride-share services must identify who their drivers are, whether they addresses on pay stubs. The governor signed are employees or independent contractors. This emergency legislation that gave the employer the gives the DMV the ability to review the records of right to “cure” those inaccuracies before an those drivers to check for unsafe driving, such as employee can file an expensive lawsuit. Those accidents, suspensions, DUI’s, etc. changes became effective on October 2, 2015. Motor carriers can avoid misclassification lawsuits if they reclassify within a year. Motor carriers who are “port transportation companies” have faced many class action lawsuits for misclassification of their drivers as independent contractors. The new law gives them until January 1, 2017 to reclassify their drivers as employees through a settlement with the Labor Commissioner. If they do so, they will avoid liability.

Ward Heinrichs is a shareholder and named partner of the San Diego based employment law firm, Backstrom & Heinrichs, Attorneys at Law, APC. The firm represents both employers and employees in almost all areas of labor law. He and his firm litigate cases that have been filed in many different parts of California. Visit

Potential Safe Harbor for employers who failed to pay piece rate employees for rest and recovery periods and unproductive time. Piece rate workers must be paid for all time at work. Sometimes, employers only pay the workers piece rate and do not specifically pay them for rest periods or unproductive time, such as driving between jobs.

CAREER STRATEGY Big Blend Radio interview with Donn LeVie Jr.


Donn is an award-winning author, speaker, and former Fortune 500 hiring manager with over 25 years of experience. Author of ‘Confessions of a Hiring Manager,’ his latest book is ‘Strategic Career Engagement: The Definitive Guide to Getting Hired and Promoted.’ Learn more at PAGE 71

By Linda Kissam ‘Food, Wine & Shopping Diva’

How did I know you just got appointed to plan this year’s conference? Could it be the constant eye rolling, head spinning or sweaty palms? Not to worry – if you think domestic cruise ship.


The benefits of holding a corporate event, company meeting or retreat on a cruise versus land are remarkable. Most cruise lines provide everything a group of 5-2,000 need for a faultless and cost efficient meeting, event or retreat. I just returned from one on the Holland America line from Boston to Montreal. Best darned cruise I ever signed up for …and you can easily sell it to your committee or boss for approval. Hand over the itinerary and benefits below and its easy cruising for you and good times for your group.

Linda Kissam discusses Conferences at Sea on Big Blend Radio!

Start in Boston, Massachusetts, USA Encourage your group members to come in one day early. This allows the opportunity to intimately discover this pulsating, thriving city. Known for its cultural facilities, culinary trends, world-class educational institutions, round-abouts and the What I really liked about this particular cruise were Freedom Trail, you can’t find a better place to kick off a cruise. Buy a CityPass for activity discounts the port stops – a mix of domestic and international. We only had two sea days. All other and do some walking tours (historical and culinary) days we were scheduled in fascinating ports of call. to get the most out of your time there. The first night aboard the ship plan a welcome There were no tacky souvenir stands or hawkers rushing passengers to buy things. On the two days cocktail party as you cruise to your first destination. of sea cruising, there were conference activities. Cruise to Bar Harbor, Maine, USA A picturesque Farmers Market, great restaurants and an easy-strolling downtown locks forces with a rock-bound coast and soaring granite cliffs creating a mystical aura. Be sure to have lunch at the Looking Glass Restaurant for the best views and upscale dining options. Chef McPherson is one to watch. Continued on Next Page…. PAGE 72

Conference at Sea Continued… Cruise to Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada Although it is the economic and cultural capital of eastern Canada, it is small enough to be laid-back and welcoming. Soak up the sights, history and maritime legacy of Halifax by taking one of many unique organized tours like a trip to Peggy’s Cove, a food and wine excursion, a photo-tour, or an Anne of Green Gables excursion. There is something for everyone here, including a relaxing stroll and lunch through town. Cruise to Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada My group missed this port due to stormy weather, but the description from Holland America sounds intriguing. “A hundred thousand Gaelic welcomes await you in Nova Scotia, Latin for "New Scotland." At the northeast end of the province sits Cape Breton Island, whose wild and lovely topography includes Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Bras d'Or Lake, and miles of rugged coastline. Sydney is the gateway to it all. There are highland villages for cruise visitors to see, the scenic Cabot Trail to explore, golden inland seas to sail, and the Fortress of Louisbourg to inspect - where every barn, barracks and pipe and drum corps appears just as it did when King Louis' troops occupied the site in 1744.”

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Cruise to Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada The largest city on Prince Edward Island as well as its capital, Charlottetown features Victorian architecture, golf experiences, boat and walking tours, local markets and shopping, parks and harbor side dining making it an idyllic stop. Cruising Gulf of St Lawrence, Canada Plan conference events all day. Have a mixer at night.


2. Self-contained venues mean better attendance. It is hard to wander off a cruising ship. It is also much easier to round up the slackers. 3. Spouses, significant others and kids will have plenty to do while the conference is going on. No down time or sad faces waiting for the conference goer to do his/her thing. 4. Complimentary meeting space and venues can be negotiated. The larger the group, the more bargaining power you have. If you’ve ever paid for meeting space, you know this is a big budget saver. 5. Complimentary audio/visual equipment. Again, if you have to pay for this yourself it quickly sucks up your budget. 6. Meals, snacks, accommodations, swimming and entertainment are included in the price of each fare—no matter how big or small your group is. 100 Internet minutes are usually given to each cruiser. Now, if they would only make the coffee bar and Internet Café free… 7. The ship’s atmosphere is conducive to networking and bonding. Cruise to Quebec City, Canada This is THE premiere shopping stop. Along with an extravagant shopping spree, there are some enticing stops to make. It is a short walk from the ship to Musee de las Civilisation, lunch at Initiale – Relais & Chateaux, and definitely make time for dessert at the famous (and worth it) Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac. Quebec is a magical city and the highlight of the ports of calls. Cruising the Saint Lawrence River, Canada Plan conference events all day. Have a mixer at night.

8. Easy to bring partners and kids.

Cruise to Montreal, Canada Disembarking by 11 a.m. and booking a late flight home leaves your group time to stroll along the historical streets of Old Montreal, have a sip of Champagne and generally unwind. French is the local language, but fear not…the shopping and dining are international. Benefits to using a cruise ship as your conference base: 1. Accommodations, food, entertainment and business needs are included. Every group with over 5 paid cabins receive some additional perks like upgraded or free cabins, cocktail parties and more. This is where your negotiating skills come into play. PAGE 74

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Conference at Sea Continued… 9. High satisfaction level. The return rate and satisfaction rate is very high. 10. Dedicated Group Services Coordinator aboard ship. This really becomes important when something goes wrong or you need an “extra” something and you need an answer immediately. If you have ever planned a company meeting at a hotel, then you know that everything adds up quickly. Companies are charged for meeting space, refreshments, and renting any AV equipment. Plus, the room costs for each individual begin to really add up. Think about all the meals you need to provide, including the meals at the meeting site or off-site which your company or association has to pay for. Pay the price of a cruise…and all this is included in the price. With reduced budgets for corporate and association meetings, event planners need the best bang for their buck. For many, that means a cruise. For me, that means a cruise on Holland America aboard the ms Maasdam, Boston to Montreal. Linda Kissam 'Food, Wine & Shopping Diva' is a professional travel, food, and wine writer based out of Southern California, who specializes in easy, breezy destination stories sharing her favorite things about the places she visits. Visit



Goals & Action Steps for 2016


What is The Goal of Education? By Bobbi DePorter I believe the main purpose of education is to prepare our youth for life. To open their minds. To teach them to think independently and creatively. To nurture their self-worth and independence. To teach them to reflect. To reawaken the love of learning, joy, and curiosity they were born with. To teach them to strive for excellence in all areas of their lives.

Bobbi DePorter discusses Education on Big Blend Radio!

Education is not about imparting information. Education is about conveying the value of knowledge. Education is not about achievement, test scores, and competition. Education is about personal excellence. Education is about inspiring and empowering happy, healthy, and productive citizens for our world. One thing parents and teachers can do to develop a love of learning in students is to acknowledge effort. Students don’t have complete control over getting an “A” grade. What they do have control over is giving their best effort. Acknowledging effort encourages participation and curiosity in students and leads to joy and satisfaction in the learning process.

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Bobbi DePorter is the President of SuperCamp and Quantum Learning Network, a U.S.-based educational firm producing programs for students, teachers, schools, and organizations across the United States and worldwide. With over 64,000 graduates, SuperCamp is the leading academic summer camp in the world. Visit


Inspired Youth in Norfolk, England By Glynn Burrows, Norfolk Tours in England


Inspired Youth is an organization which takes businesses into schools to work with students, to enable them to understand what businesses need. Learning about English and Math is obviously important but working as a team, communication, speaking on a telephone, putting forward an idea, forming a business plan and marketing, are all skills which we show young people by giving them a business problem. We hold regular events, aimed at specific areas of work. Students get to talk, ask questions and network with the businesses which could be employing them in the future. Getting businesses into schools and colleges is good for both sides as teachers have often gone straight into teaching and know little about industry. Industry needs young people. Young people want to work.

THIS IS IT! Make the Most of Every Moment! Focus your attention on the present moment. Keep a positive attitude. This Is It! is about focusing on NOW instead of later, or next week, or next month, or next year, or yesterday, etc., and making the most of it. A positive This Is It! attitude can make everything we do and every day productive, fulfilling, and fun! When we live in the NOW we have power! With a This Is It! attitude we make the present “it” and find joyful moments that we might otherwise have missed! The 8 Keys of Excellence Are: 1. Live in INTEGRITY. 2. Acknowledge FAILURE LEADS TO SUCCESS. 3. SPEAK WITH GOOD PURPOSE. 4. Live in the now. THIS IS IT! 5. Affirm your COMMITMENT. 6. Take OWNERSHIP. 7. Stay FLEXIBLE. 8. Keep your BALANCE.

Glynn Burrows discusses Education on Big Blend Radio! The skills needed for work need to be taught and the best people to talk about the skills required are the people who will be interviewing the young people. There is a skills gap and by getting businesses into schools, we can narrow that gap. Learn more about Inspired Youth at

Watch the video featuring Cathe Faretto telling her ‘This Is It!’ story. Cathe is the founder of Through a Child’s Eyes Foundation in Yerington, Nevada. The foundation’s mission is to give children both young and old the opportunity to experience the magic of the theater through participation as either a performer or audience member. Learn more at

As ambassadors for Quantum Learning Network's “8 Keys of Excellence Character Education Program”, the Big Blend Spirit of America Tour embraces the challenge of bringing excellence to 50 million children and young adults. This free program guides young people and families, toward a positive future full of confidence, motivation, creativity, team work, leadership and valuable life principles. See PAGE 77

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Listen to Elissa Goodman on Big Blend Radio!

By Elissa Goodman, Integrative Holistic Nutritionist January is undoubtedly the busiest time of the year in my office. In fact, as I write this, my email inbox is full of requests for a spot on one of my popular cleanse programs. It happens every year, yet by March, the motivation to “cleanse” has greatly diminished. Because of this, I decided to change the way we cleanse, to turn cleansing into a lifestyle and redefine the experience. Cleansing isn’t deprivation, starvation, and rigidly scheduled. You can cleanse every day, any day, and any time of the year. This month, instead of over committing to a resolution that will be long forgotten about come springtime, commit to every day ways you can cleanse your body. As easy as starting your day with lemon water and ending it by releasing your fears and anxieties, my every day ways to cleanse will help to keep your energy up, your weight gain down, your immune system strong, and your attitude positive all year long…

2. Sleep Focus on restorative sleep. It is during a good sleep that our body is able to heal and restore itself. During this time our brain also organizes and stores information of the day, helping you process stressful events more efficiently. If you prioritize getting good sleep, your chances of staying well improve immensely. Bedtime by 10pm guarantees that you will get maximum restorative sleep (happens between 10pm-2am) and 8-9 hours per night is a must. 3. Start the Day with a Detox Tonic This blend of filtered water, lemon, aloe vera, Bragg’s apple cider vinegar, coconut kefir, and ginger can do wonders for digestion. Aloe vera is rich in nutrients and fiber, lemon is alkaline and detoxifying, Bragg’s apple cider vinegar is full of enzymes and friendly bacteria, and coconut kefir is full of beneficial bacteria and hydrates the body while cleansing the liver and intestines. This combination of ingredients helps to stop sugar cravings, promotes healthy digestion, and balances blood sugar.

1. Probiotics and Fermented Foods See recipe: Probiotics boost the healthy bacteria ratio in your tract, help heal your gut, boost your immune system and your happiness too. cleanse/ Fermented foods are probiotic powerhouses. Eating them daily and taking a probiotic daily is one easy way to keep your gut and digestive system Continued on Next Page… balanced during times of overindulgence, rich foods, and travel. Staying consistent and taking daily is key! PAGE 78

8. Let Go of Fears and Anxiety Cleansing isn’t only about your food, for full benefit, cleanse your body and soul. Letting go of your fears and anxieties can be very emotionally cleansing. Write down a daily list of feelings; list what made you sad today, what made you angry today, and what made you happy today. After acknowledging these feelings, release them into the universe and let go of the anger and sadness. 9. Fiber – Eat in natural form is crucial (fruits, veggies, beans, legumes, whole grains). While fiber is not digestible, it is a great way to help your body digest and pass the foods we eat. It clears out the digestive system and takes toxins, 4. Green Juice or Smoothie cholesterol, waste and extra hormones with it. Fiber To make sure you get the nutrients you need to also supports a strong immune system, proper stay well, have a green juice or smoothie with ingredients like: romaine, spinach, parsley, cilantro, colon health, intestinal bacterial balance, a faster metabolism, weight control, diabetes prevention lemon, ginger, turmeric and apple. You can add and cardiovascular disease prevention. It also flax seeds for fiber and hemp hearts for protein. feeds the good probiotic bacteria in your gut. Both will help keep you satiated and feeling Eating fiber in natural form over taking a energized – especially important to keep up with supplement is crucial (beans and legumes, fruits, your busy schedule and to keep you from overvegetables, and whole grains are your best eating! sources). 5. Cruciferous Foods 10. The 12-18 Hour Fast Cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, Intermittent fasting accelerates the cleansing of collard greens, spinach, collard greens, kale, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts contain antioxidants waste products in your body. The basic principle that increase the production of detoxifying enzymes here is to stay hydrated with water, green juices, or herbal tea while abstaining from food for a 12-18 in the body. These veggies also contain sulfur hour period. It’s not as hard as it sounds. If you compounds that protect the liver and improve its eat your evening meal at 7pm, you could complete ability to eliminate toxins. an 18-hour fast by 1pm the next day – not that difficult if you’re staying hydrated! Fasting 6. Dry Brushing accelerates the cleansing of waste products left by This is one of my favorite cleansing secrets. Dry brushing your skin may sound a bit weird but it’s a dead and damaged cells, a process known as autophagy. A failure of autophagy to keep up with fantastic way to boost circulation and lymphatic drainage to help rid the body of toxins. Your skin is accumulated cellular waste is believed by many your biggest organ and toxins in your body need a scientists to be one of the major causes of the chronic. Choosing one day per week to fast, can way out. Dry brushing clears dead skin cells and allows your cells to breathe, giving the toxins you’re be beneficial for your blood sugar, metabolism, and counterbalance weight gain. getting rid of an escape path. Health benefits aside, dry brushing your skin feels great! I Elissa Goodman is an Integrative Holistic recommend spending five minutes in the morning Nutritionist and cleanse expert based in Los brushing your skin in circular motions. You’ll feel Angeles, California. As a holistic health coach, (and ultimately look like) a million bucks. Elissa offers complete personalized nutritional counseling programs and individual sessions, and 7. Stay Hydrated works with clients suffering from Small Intestinal I know you know how important drinking water is, Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), auto-immune but for daily cleansing, it is more than important: it disorders, anxiety, thyroid irregularities, weight is crucial. When your body cleanses, it pushes gain, respiratory problems and allergies. toxins into the bloodstream. The more water you Additionally she offers nutritional based integrative drink, the faster the toxins are pushed out. And that’s the point of cleansing, isn’t it? Make sure the cancer therapy (incorporating both conventional and holistic treatment methods). Visit water is filtered (you don’t want to use toxins to push out toxins, right?) and drink at minimum of half your body weight in ounces each day. PAGE 79

Additionally, I must mention that “mental clarity” comes, not only from a sharp brain, but also from high functioning adrenal glands.


Modern society is fraught with people who are going too fast, are stressed out and staring at screens, far to often. This stresses our adrenal glands and not only gives us “foggy thinking” but makes us anxious, impatient, depressed and panicky.

Listen to Cynthia Johnston on Big Blend Radio.

When I think of keeping the brain sharp, I immediately go to Ginseng, Gingko, and Gotu Kola. These adaptogenic herbs are wonderful brain tonics. They have a rejuvenating capacity that seems to “sharpen the synapses” of the brain. These roots help the body to “ground” and with proper nourishment accompanying an herbal regime, the body is assisted in building stamina hence experiencing less fatigue and clearer thinking. The preferred method of using these herbs is in a tincture form. Herbs in capsules are the least preferred method unless they are a gel cap, like those produced by Gaia herbs. Another fun thing to do with these three herbs specifically is to create a “brain ball.” Here is a recipe I conjured up • ½ nuts chopped very fine, set aside • 2 T. cacao powder • 2 T. maca root • 1 T. each powdered ginseng and gotu kola root. Really powder them finely with a blender. (Find dry bulk herbs at most natural food stores.) • 2 – 3 dropperfuls of gingko tincture or glycerite • Separately mix together honey and sesame tahini to make about 1 cup paste. I generally use a bit more tahini then honey. • Add the powdered herbs, cacao and maca. Mix well. • On a sheet of wax paper roll small fingerfuls of this paste into the nuts. Cooling in refrigerator will “set” them a bit more firmly. Enjoy!

Proper mineral balance is critical to the optimal functioning of the adrenal glands, as are Stinging Nettles (Urtica dioica). This plant is packed full of absorbable mineral when consumed in an infusion form. This herb nourishes and tonifys and nothing could be finer in this fast passed world. Find instructions for an infusion on Note: Did you know that Ginseng is an endangered plant? A large conservation effort is underway at the helm in United Plant Savers. MoonMaid’s land is part of their botanical sanctuary network. We have ginseng growing abundantly. We also have wild yam (Diocorea villosa), one of the main herbs used in MoonMaid products, that is also an endangered woodland medicinal species. To further support conservation efforts, MoonMaid has “adopted” wild yam in hopes of increasing awareness about this important phyto-hormone plant. Cynthia Johnston is an herbalist and founder of MoonMaid Botanicals, a small herb company that is dedicated to providing high quality herbal products that are free of chemical preservatives, propylparabens or synthetics of any kind. Products include remedies for menopause, PMS, yeast infections, common women’s health issues, and herbal products for the family. Learn more or shop online at


It supports the heart and circulatory system, and can help one quit smoking. Peridot strengthens the immune system, metabolism and skin, alleviates fatigue, releases and neutralizes toxins on all levels.


Peridot can help a child mend a broken friendship, de-stress a hyperactive pet, deter a pickpocket, attract money and luck, and is said to be good for marriage and fidelity. It is the Zodiac stone for Gemini, Leo, Virgo, Scorpio, and Sagittarius.

Listen to Marilee Strech on Big Blend Radio.

Peridot, the gem form of olivine, is a beautiful lime-green stone best known as the birthstone for August, but there is a lot more to learn about this crystal. It is formed in nature as phenocrysts in pockets of black basalt during periods of volcanism. Olivine crystals are said to be the tears of Hawaiian volcano goddess Pele, while ancient people thought peridot to be visible only after dark. In the southeastern corner of Arizona, you can find peridot by looking for small grains in the soil surrounding anthills, an indication of the nearby occurrence of a deposit. Little green nuggets of positive power, peridot crystals bring a sense of well-being and warmth, creating an integration of Love and Will. They bring both financial and spiritual abundance into our lives, inspiring generosity to others. A general healer, peridot will cool fevers, relieve allergic reactions, and will flood your mind, body and spirit with a sense of peace and well-being.

If you are in the area of a basalt flow, take a little time to examine the cavities in the black basalt, you may get lucky and find those little green gems just waiting for you to take them home. In Northern California, the Blackrock flow near Independence has yielded some peridot crystals just look in the book ‘Gem Trails of Northern California’ by James Mitchell for a map of the site! Another occurrence in Southern California is Amboy Crater along Interstate 10 between Ludlow and Needles, just check your ‘Gem Trails of Southern California’ guide for this area.

An avid rock hound, Marilee Strech owns Crossroads Treasures, a gift shop that features a variety of rocks and gems, beads and jewelry, plants and books, and is just down the hill from Julian, a popular mountain destination Southern California. Visit