Big Blend's Radio & TV Magazine May-Jun 2016

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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

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


TOAST TO THE ARTS 8. Calling Artists to Gettysburg - National Parks Arts Foundation’s artist-in-residency program. 10. Susan Priscilla Thew - A photographer with a mission to protect and expand Sequoia National Park. 12. Artist Mary Cassatt - Portraying the bond between mother and child. 15. Marion DeGrazia - Multimedia artist and wife of Ted DeGrazia. 16. Book News & Interviews – ‘No ‘Wurst for Were’ iBook by David Rose, ‘The Realmsic Conquest’ fantasy series by Demethius Jackson, ‘Imagine That’ fictional memoir by Mark Fins, ‘Designs to Color’ adult coloring-in book by Betty Schaffner. 20. Musical Excellence – Nine musicians share their songs and stories of excellence: Shelley King, Wally Lawder, Lizzie Harrah of The Madisons, Doreen Taylor, Josh Pfeiffer, Mae Edwards, Ryan David Orr, Lisa Sniderman ‘Aoede’, and Micha Schellhaas.

RANTS, RAVES & ROCK ‘N ROLL 26. Israel to Los Angeles – How guitarist Sean Hurwitz achieved his American dream. 28. Road Trip Tested & Approved - Six roots rockin’ albums to hit the road with this summer: ‘Something Real’ by Lukas Nelson & Promise of The Real’, ‘Nightly Suicide’ by RJ Comer’, ‘Running From Love’ by Soul Colossal, ‘Songs From The Mud’ by Zachary Kibbee, ‘Reason & Rhyme’ by David Fraser, ‘2 Tall’ by Tall Men Group. 37. Julian Blues Bash – Blues festival and interviews with organizer Robb Bower, and musicians Alastair Greene and Jerry Raney from The Farmers. 38. Lost Rockers – Steven Blush discusses his new rock book ‘Lost Rockers: Broken Dreams and Crashed Careers’.

CREATIVE CELEBRATIONS 40. Celebrate with a Difference – Beer pong to home brewing, limericks and the chicken dance. 45. Pass The Pancakes – Leah Launey’s pancake recipe for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. 46. Celebrate Shavuot – Howard and Ruth Milstein share recipes and wine pairing tips.


CONTENTS Continued EAT, DRINK & BE MERRY 48. San Antonio Winery – Linda Kissam visits the urban cowboy of premium wineries. 52. San Diego Wine Scene – Robin DohrnSimpson explains the renaissance of California’s oldest wine region. 54. Bacon, Brats & Sausages – Eva Eldridge shines a spotlight on the Sausage Shop Meat Market & Deli in Tucson. 56. Get Your Grill On – Recipes and tips: Chef Bodhi Werber – New York Strip Loin, Chef Ivan Flowers – Grilled Pork Chops, Chef Jeremy Manley - Grilled Bison Flat Iron Steaks, Donna George Southwestern Grilled Salmon, BBQ Corn on the Cob – Terri Bailey, Cowboy Quesadillas – Mike Moutoux.

GARDEN GOSSIP 60. The Power of Plants - Why Gardens Are Crucial to Our Survival. 65. Know Your H2O – Hope 2o Water Testing Kits for your home and garden. 66. Water Wise NOLA – Global Green USA community program.

NATURE CONNECTION 68. A New Hydraulic Society – Peter Neill explains the need to create citizens of the ocean. 70. Keep Wildlife in the Wild – Adam Roberts discusses current wildlife conservation issues. 72. Canine Connection – Erin Hunt explains the differences between wolves and coyotes.

VACATION STATION 74. Wild & Untamed Baja – Deborah Stone cruises the Sea of Cortez. 80. Traveling Jordan – Linda Kissam takes a trip of a lifetime.

SUCCESS EXPRESS 86. Employment Leave Laws – Attorney Ward Heinrichs explains the changes in California and federal laws. 88. Important Innovation or Lipstick on a Pig? Patrick J. Stroh lays out three big questions leaders should ask regarding innovation. 90. PR Insider - Interview with Gwendolyn ‘Makeda’ Smith, Jazzmyne Public Relations. 91: Happy Hour – A lawyer, a casino owner and a crime writer walk into a bar PAGE 4

CONTENTS Continued QUALITY OF LIFE 92. Students Who Excel – Bobbi DePorter shares five habits that excellent students have. 94. Teaching Kids Geography – E. Andrew Martonyi explains how to create a mind map. 95. Run The Nation – Ultramarathon runner Lisa Smith-Batchen embarks on a transcontinental journey for pediatric cancer families. 96. Health News & Interviews – Spinal expert Dr. Jonathan Donath, and multiple sclerosis discussion with Julia Schopick and Steve Schneickert. 98. Orbicular Ocean Jasper – Rock Talk with Marilee Strech. 99. Signs Of Life, Love & Other Miracles Stephanie Kirz shares her moving tale of love lost and found.

WAY BACK WHEN 100. Exploring Historic Yuma, Arizona – Melanie Kaminski experiences the rich western history of Yuma. 103. Hollywood History – Steve Schneickert recalls crime drama TV shows. 104. Behind Bars – Glynn Burrows describes the historic prisons of Norfolk, England. 106. Turning the Pages of the Past – Author interviews: J. H. Sullivan – ‘Against the Tide: The Turbulent Times of a Black Entrepreneur,’ Elizabeth Harris – ‘Mayhem: Three Lives of a Woman,’ Barbara Casey – ‘Kathryn Kelly: The Moll Behind “Machine Gun” Kelly,’ Ron Chepesiuk – ‘Crazy Charlie: Revolutionary or Neo Nazi’

TRAVEL, RELOCATION, EVENTS & SHOPPING GUIDES 108. San Benito County, CA – Five super summer experiences. 112. California’s Sequoia Country - Tulare County summer calendar of fun. 116. North San Diego Summer – Beach, mountain and festival fun. 120. Family Fun in Yuma, AZ – Sunshine, watersports, history and nature. 122. Giddy-Up to Yerington – Northwest Nevada’s Pony Express country. 124. The Marketplace – Crossbody Power Purse, PoniLox French Comb, Chat Light. PAGE 5

EDITORS BLOCK “At the Summer Solstice, all is green and growing, potential coming into being, the miracle of manifestation painted large on the canvas of awareness.” Gary Zukav It’s hard to believe we’re almost half way through the year! This issue we celebrate the start of summer by powering up the grill and whooping it up at holiday events and seasonal festivities, road tripping with roots rockin’ new music, wine tasting, Front Cover: Mexican Garden at San Diego and getting out into the garden to soak up the Botanic Garden. Photo by Lisa D. Smith. power of plants and the beauty of mother nature. Enjoy interviews, videos and expert articles covering art, music and books, world travel from Jordan to the Sea of Cortez, wildlife and water conservation, crime history and heritage destinations, education and excellence, business innovation and employment laws, integrative and alternative health, cool products for on-the-go, and travel and event news. Big Blend Radio broadcasts live online on Wednesdays at 4pm PT / 7pm ET, and Fridays and Sundays at 11am PT / 2pm ET. Listen to the live or on-demand episodes on Be sure to subscribe to our Big Blend eNewsletter to get your free digital copies of Big Blend Radio & TV Magazine and Spirit of America Magazine in your inbox, as well as news about our Big Blend Spirit of America Tour, our quest to visit and cover all 411 National Park units and their gateway communities. Have a Great Start to Summer! 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 85754-7633. 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. PAGE 6


Photo courtesy NPS

National Parks Arts Foundation’s Artist-in-Residency Program The National Parks Arts Foundation (NPAF has put together an Artist-in-Residency program in Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania. The mission is to create a nationally recognized and sustainable Artist-inResidency program that inspires artists, creates new educational opportunities, and encourages visitor stewardship.

Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Tanya Ortega - founder of the National Parks Arts Foundation, along with Thom Forsyth Deputy Superintendent of Gettysburg NMP and Chris Gwinn - Supervisor Ranger of Interpretation and Education.

With the cooperation of the National Park Service and The Gettyburg Foundation, NPAF is looking for artists who want to broaden their art practice while spending a full month at this historic battlefield park. NPAF is looking for any sort of art work, from traditional landscapes, photographers, to performers, installations, films and video, as well as NPAF’s Fine Art curator, along with their select as writers. Virtually any approach can find a place judges and panelists will consider solicited at Gettysburg -- what matters is vision and talent. proposals through a competitive application process to identify artists deserving of a residency The park consists of the main battlefields, at Gettysburg National Military Park. National Parks memorials, cemeteries, and historic buildings, Arts Foundation, through many generous partner support areas of the most famous battle of the donations, provides lodging and a venue for American Civil War. A lovely, idyllic Pennsylvania workshops and lectures and a possibility of pastoral setting that is starkly evocative of the living donating art to National Collections. history of the bitterest American conflict, but also a Continued on Next Page… potent symbol of reconciliation. Let it inspire and nurture your next art project at NPAF’s residencies. PAGE 8

Calling Artists Continued‌ In addition to their residency, the selected artist will have the opportunity to present lectures and workshops, exhibit their art and will donate art inspired by their stay in the park to Gettysburg National Military Park Museum Collections, through the NPAF. This program aims to fulfill and exceed goals for Park Arts Programs as indicated in the NPS guiding document issued for the Centennial of the Park Service to be celebrated in 2016. For Details Visit

Kingel House - Photos courtesy NPAF



Susan Thew at Muir Pass, photo courtesy NPS

A Photographer with a Mission to Protect and Expand Sequoia National Park by Allyson Eldredge, volunteer and former archives technician at Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks. Throughout her life, Susan Thew remained an advocate for preservation and understanding, but never more so than in her role in the expansion of Sequoia National Park. It was here that Susan found inspiration. "If you are weary with the battle, either of business or the greater game of life, and would like to find Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with your way back to sound nerves and a new interest Dana Dierkes, Public Affairs Specialist for in life, I know of no better place than the wild Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks. loveliness of some chosen spot in the High Sierra in which, when you have lost your physical self, you Susan had originally come to California to escape have found your mental and spiritual rethe harsh Ohio winters with her father, Richard awakening." – Susan Thew Thew, a wealthy industrialist and inventor. In the summer of 1918, having determined to stay yearSusan Priscilla Thew embodied the new-found round, she drove the rough dirt road to Giant Forest liberation, enthusiasm, and energy of the Golden in Sequoia National Park and encountered the Twenties. This era was marked by economic giant sequoias for the first time. Although she only prosperity, the rise of commercialism, the spent a limited amount of time within the park, she emergence of jazz, and the advancements made was instantly captivated by its beauty and serenity. towards women's rights. With her passion for the outdoors and boundless energy, Susan Thew left a lasting impact on Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Continued on Next Page‌ PAGE 10

With little experience but great motivation, 40-year-old Susan Thew left Giant Forest in Sequoia National Park in August 1923 to explore the rugged terrain of the Sierra. Thew hoped to capture a still untouched landscape in images and words that would make clear the need for its preservation. Thew did not know that her work would succeed in nearly tripling the park's acreage - making her one of the most prominent female figures in the history of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. She soon acquainted herself with the superintendent of the park, Colonel John R. White, and learned of various efforts to create a greater Sequoia National Park. It was then that the idea of promoting for park expansion began to take hold of Susan Thew, and she began her travels into the high country east of Sequoia - the High Sierra. For the next several years, with determination and ambition, Susan applied herself to the campaign to preserve the grand wilderness of the Southern Sierra. She spent several summers traversing some of the most rugged terrain in the continental United States. With one companion and small packtrain, she covered hundreds of miles and photographed the landscape in hopes of conveying something of its beauty.

Harold & Susan Thew, photo courtesy: NPS

In 1918, Susan Thew discovered something she loved and devoted all her efforts to making a change. She not only found a new source of personal energy in the parks, she ensured that generations to come would have the same opportunity. Learn more about Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks at

With these images, she compiled the largest and most complete photographic record of the region to date. Thew produced a publication for distribution to members of Congress promoting the park idea. Entitled "The Proposed Roosevelt-Sequoia National Park," this gazetteer gave a vivid sense of the grandeur of the land needing protection. Since the founding of Sequoia National Park in 1890, numerous bills to enlarge the park had been introduced, but none had succeeded. Not until the 1926 proposal, when Susan Thew submitted her gazetteer, did an enlargement bill succeed: The boundaries of Sequoia National Park were extended to include the Great Western Divide, the Kaweah Peaks, the Kern Canyon, and the Sierra Crest. After passage of the bill, the director of the National Park Service sent a telegram to Susan in recognition of her efforts. Although many factors were included in the passing of the bill, her persuasiveness and ardor were undoubtedly the deciding factor in the push for park expansion. Her dedication had paid off. During the campaign to create Kings Canyon National Park in 1940, Thew's approach was used again. Photographer Ansel Adams created a portfolio of stunning images for distribution among members of Congress and, like Thew, his efforts contributed to success in passing an expansion bill. PAGE 11

Artist Mary Cassatt Portraying the Bond Between Mother and Child By Victoria Chick, Figurative Artist and early 19th / 20th Century Print Collector Born in 1844 and renowned especially for her paintings and etchings depicting the bond between mother and child, Mary Cassatt was an artist who overcame difficulty in achieving her goal to become a professional artist. Her parents were upper middle class people bound by East Coast traditions and perceived propriety. Travel was seen as an important part of education but needed to be accomplished within the family unit. Her parents took the Cassatt family abroad for several years while she was a young child. Her education, back in Philadelphia, was typical for a young woman expected to become a wife and mother. Art was included, but instruction was aimed toward painting and sketching as a suitable hobby, not as a profession to be undertaken by women. Continued on Next Page…

At 16, Cassatt’s talent and desire led her to take, with her parent’s misgivings, classes at the Pennsylvania Fine Arts Academy. She did well but, as a girl, was not truly encouraged and, in fact, felt dismissed by both faculty and fellow students. Women were not allowed to take faculty and fellow students. Women were not allowed to take life drawing classes at PFAA at that time. Instead, they drew from plaster casts or sculpture. When she was 20, Cassatt went to Paris again. It is said her father objected strenuously, saying he would rather see his daughter dead than living abroad as a “bohemian”. But her mother was more sympathetic. Louise Havermeyer, her childhood friend, reminisced that “whatever talent and… she had, she inherited from her mother”. Cassatt never married, so maybe the Mother/Child paintings for which she became noted had the roots of its subject matter in the warm relationship she shared with her own mother. During this trip she took private art lessons at the Louvre. Her one success while on this Paris sojourn was having a portrait painting selected to be shown at the Paris Salon in 1868. PAGE 12

Victoria Chick discusses Mary Cassatt on Big Blend Radio! The outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War in 1870 forced her to return to Philadelphia to live with her parents. Although her father supported her basic needs, he refused to buy any kind of art supplies. This was a very difficult time for her. An attempt to sell some of her finished paintings in New York failed and, after sending paintings to a dealer in Chicago, she learned they had all been destroyed in the Great Chicago Fire. Her fortune changed when the Archbishop of Pittsburgh commissioned her to paint copies of two works by Correggio in Parma, Italy. Her travel costs were paid to Italy in addition to her commission fees. She was now in a financial position to remain in Europe, studying and painting in Spain, Belgium, and Rome before taking up residency in Paris. She was invited to exhibit in the Paris Salon three years in a row, recognition that established her as a professional painter. She now began a period of experimentation. She was encouraged by Edgar Degas and began, out of admiration for Degas, to work using pastels. Degas, who was also a master etcher, taught her the techniques of etching. She began exhibiting her work with the Impressionists. Her work was selling very well but she withdrew from art for a time to care for her sister and her mother who were ill. Her sister, with whom she was very close, died in 1882, but her mother recovered and Cassatt resumed painting. Mary Cassatt, like many Impressionist and PostImpressionist artists in France, was influenced by the imported Japanese woodcuts during the latter part of the 19th Century. She experimented with their bird’s eye perspective and simplified forms that suited her preference for human figure subject matter. The mid 1880’s is the time she really began to focus on the mother/child theme with an emotional emphasis of the bond between mother and child in everyday scenes. The paintings and etchings done from this time and up to 1910 are the works for which she is renowned. They show genuine warmth, not saccharine sweetness. PAGE 13

Continued on Next Page…

Mary Cassatt Continued‌ Cassatt’s 1910 Egyptian vacation with her brother and his family turned out to be a wrenching experience that affected her attitude toward her own art, as well as her physical well-being. Egyptian art was so overwhelming and beautiful to her that she began to question herself as an artist. Then, her brother contracted an illness and died shortly after returning home. Grieving further affected her emotions. She became frail and depressed.

For two years she did no art. After this, she painted again for several years, but diabetes was slowly destroying her eyesight. Almost total blindness was her condition for the last 11 years of her life. 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



MultiMedia Artist and Wife of Ted DeGrazia Born in 1905, in Upstate New York, Marion Sheret DeGrazia was a fine artist who had attended State Teachers College in Buffalo New York, and studied sculpture and modeling at Columbia University. Marion moved from the East Coast to Tucson, Arizona in 1941 with her young son Harold. Marion met southwest artist Ted DeGrazia at his first Tucson, Arizona studio, in 1945. As she recalled, his first words to her were “Where have you been?” In 1947, they married in Mexico. Marion was instrumental in the success of DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun, by managing the studio and allowing DeGrazia to travel and show his art, knowing that the gallery was always in good hands under her watchful eye. After DeGrazia’s death in 1982, Marion continued the work of the foundation until her death in 2002 at the age of 97. Her work, which includes sculpture, paper mache reliefs and paintings, are on display throughout the Gallery in the Sun.

Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Lance Laber, Executive Director of DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun, about Marion DeGrazia.

DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun is a 10-acre historic landmark is 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. There are six permanent collections on display and several rotating exhibitions each year. Learn more at PAGE 15

BOOK NEWS & INTERVIEWS Four Distinct Books that Spark Creativity, Accentuate Adventure & Ignite Inspiration! “And Now For Something Completely Different!” ~ Monty Python

NO ‘WURST FOR WERE First in Planned Interactive iBook Trilogy by David Rose This captivating tale describes a young boy's chance encounter with a werewolf -- and the hilarious mayhem that ensues -- through engaging interactive learning devices, fun rhymes, and state-of-the-art animation. The story recounts nine-year-old Aaron Dorper’s harrowing encounter with a werewolf in his kitchen one evening. After devouring everything from lemon meringue pie, to buffalo wings, to crème brulee, and kidney bean soup, the werewolf is finally stopped by a unique twist on the ubiquitous silver bullet: bratwurst. Claiming to be the only R.A.T.P.E.E. (Regulative Association for Thwarting Paranormal Entities with Edibles)-certified werewolf-fighting bratwurst product on the market, its motto is, "A 'Wurst a day keeps the Were away." No 'Wurst for Were is "written" by Sir Wilhelm Lexicon Withershins I.I.I, the nom de plume for Los Angeles-based illustrator and author, David Rose. Sir Wilhelm is an eccentric and scholarly man who purportedly dabbles in pickling, pondering the mysteries of the universe, and creating neo-impressionist snow art from his home in Potemkin, Alaska. This marks Sir Wilhelm's first foray into the world of children's books, but it certainly won't be his last.

Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with David Rose! No 'Wurst for Were can be downloaded as an iBook in the children's fiction section on iTunes. It can be read with iBooks on a Mac or iOS device. Visit

No 'Wurst for Were includes two versions within the same book -- both of which feature vibrant graphics and take readers on a wild and zany excursion through the overactive imagination of Aaron Dorper. "Feed Me" is an enhanced version that engages sight, sound, and touch with animated graphics, interactive controls, professional voice narration, sound design and interactive pop-up vocab cards. "I Can Feed Myself, Thank You Very Much" is a standard version of the book with page swiping and vocab glossary. PAGE 16

BOOK NEWS & INTERVIEWS THE REALMSIC CONQUEST Self-Help Fantasy Series by Demethius Jackson Penned by award-winning author Demethius Jackson, The Realmsic Conquest is a “self-help fantasy” series that offers lessons in personal development, presented in a vast and fascinating world of wizards and magic. Readers will find themselves identifying with the characters of the Realm, and receiving motivation and guidance for the challenges in their own lives. Realmsic was first published as a fully rhyming epic-adventure. After spending the following years expanding the story of the Realm, Jackson’s much anticipated full-length novel, The Hero of Legend is now available, as is his follow up novel, The Icon of Earth. The Realmsic Conquest: The Hero of Legend (Volume 1): From its establishment, The Realm has remained the only magical kingdom in existence. As a result, it has never known peace. For centuries, conquerors have sought the Realm’s power for themselves, while non-magical people known as Laymen have fought to eradicate magic from their lives. Although the kingdom has never fallen, it must now defend against the Warlord Damian – a brilliantly merciless conqueror who uses history as a weapon. Rallying those resentful of the Realm’s magic, Damian has amassed a Legion of Warriors – the largest military force ever assembled. The Kingdom’s defeat is eminent! Maebus, the Realm’s newest King, has only ruled for six days. Yet he must now lead the magical Realmsic Kingdom through its most perilous conflict ever.

Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Demethius Jackson!

The Realmsic Conquest: The Icon of Earth (Volume 2): The compelling saga of the world's only magical kingdom continues... The Realm cannot celebrate peace. War ignites yet again when an advanced enemy invades the kingdom. During the attack, the Realmsic King is critically injured, which unleashes a power that will destroy the kingdom. Only the Icon of Earth – a candle that heals wounds when lit, can save him and the Realm. Grand Wizard Kelm, the Realmsic Advisor, accepts the responsibility of locating the Icon. But time, and an unknown enemy, are against him. Visit



Listen to the Big Blend Radio Interview with Mark Fins!

IMAGINE THAT Heartwarming Fictional Memoir by Mark Fins There’s nothing like that feeling of knowing you’re about to get caught in whatever shenanigans you’ve just created! This coming-of-age story about big-hearted firebug Mark Leonard will most likely find you taking a daydreaming trip or two down memory lane, where you’ll remember your own childhood antics as well as those chin-up, ‘time-togrow-up’ moments. In Imagine That Mark lives between two postWWII worlds: one where his family is steeped in financial woes, the other where he is buoyed by his fantasies of heroism and daredevilry. When his father pulls them from Queens, New York to start afresh in Massachusetts, Mark finds refuge and camaraderie with Mr. Hawkins, an eccentric, wealthy, elderly wheelchair-bound neighbor. Together, they bond in an unlikely friendship based on their mutual gift for conjuring up imaginary worlds. Their reality -- which for Mark includes the confusing teachings of his Jewish faith, and for Mr. Hawkins, his isolation and loneliness -- leads them to explore the fine line between love, imagination and the existence of God. Mark’s inner dialogue rings so true, and the external dilemmas are so ordinary on the surface this unforgettable narrative approaches magical realism in its powerful sorrows and joys. Imagine That would make for a delightful movie or family TV series! Visit PAGE 18

BOOK NEWS & INTERVIEWS DESIGNS TO COLOR Revision and Re-release of Betty Schaffner's 1960s Top-selling Coloring-in Book Series for Adults In 1959, Betty Schaffner knew she was on to something when she heaped single page drawings of her designs in a box to sell for 25 cents each at her local Community Art Bazaar and sold out in less than an hour. Mother of four - Betty would doodle when on the phone and her children would take the doodles away and color them. Soon neighborhood kids were asking for the doodles. Inspired, Betty colored in kid’s white tennis shoes, the front door of the house, the fence, the shed, garbage cans, the fridge, and even a car! She put her designs in a book, loaded up that car, and drove them around to bookstores in eastern Texas. Then, publisher Price Stern Sloan joined the fun with a first printing of 500 copies, which sold out quickly. The six-volume series went on to run from 1965 to 1987, selling over a million copies and making Price Stern Sloan the first to publish what was probably the original coloring book for adults as well as kids. Designs to Color was created by Betty Schaffner who believed that people of all ages Listen to the Big Blend Radio had an innate imagination and artistic talent interview with Deborah Merriman, that conventional coloring books failed to spark daughter of Betty Schaffner! and nurture. Her varied line drawings, sometimes abstract and sometimes recognizable - flowers, faces and animals lead any "color-er" into winding paths and jungles of form and into their own worlds of imagination. And she was right. People from all over the word mailed their completed Betty Schaffner was way ahead of her time! Betty was a artwork to Betty. registered nurse, Texas housewife, and mother of 4, who studied at the Museum of Fine Arts and the Larry Sloan’s daughter, Tallfellow publisher University of Houston. Sadly, Betty is no longer with us, Claudia Sloan, is bringing the designs back into wide circulation. Betty Schaffner’s children having died of cancer in April, 1972, age 46. Betty’s children are grown up now, and want to keep alive their have gone through the collection, and discovered never-before-seen designs for the Mom’s passion for art (and nourish the belief that we are compilation. And new to this edition are “Finish all creative). From her daughter Deborah: “So beautiful that she left such a legacy. We all have felt her Your Own” designs, allowing imaginations to presence very much with us, especially through her run wild. All the designs are sure to be designs.” appreciated by coloring aficionados old and new.

Designs to Color is available on






The Excellence Effect Movement

Embracing ‘Grace’ and Excellence in Life and Music

Quantum Learning Network's “8 Keys of Excellence Character Education Program” is a free program that guides young people and families, toward a positive future full of confidence, motivation, creativity, team work, leadership and valuable life principles. Created by education expert Bobbi DePorter – Cofounder of SuperCamp and President of Quantum Learning Network, and author of numerous books on education including ‘The 8 Keys of Excellence: Principles to Live By,’ the 8 Keys of Excellence program embraces the challenge of bringing excellence to 50 million children and young adults. Join the Excellence Effect Movement at

Since quitting a sales job to pursue music full time in 1998, Shelley King, acclaimed Austin-based singer-songwriter, has served as the first female Texas state musician, performed with Levon Helm, toured the United States, Europe and Japan, and cut seven albums including her latest ‘Building a Fire’. She also formed her own label, Lemonade Records. “I always liked that saying, ‘If life hands you lemons, make lemonade,’” King says. “And I felt like my corporate gig was a lemon and I split and I made lemonade.” Visit

Watch the video below where Bobbi DePorter explains each of the 8 Keys of Excellence.


Listen to Shelley King’s Big Blend Radio interview about the 8 Keys of Excellence and how her song ‘Grace’ connects with Excellence.




INTEGRITY: Match Behavior with Values


Wally Lawder is a prolific award-winning singersongwriter with 5 albums of original music under his belt, including the latest release, ‘This Dangerous Life.’ Based in Tucson, Arizona, Wally performs solo, sometimes as a duo with Suzy Ronstadt, and is often backed by several Tucson musicians under the name Acoustic Sky. He occasionally performs in Silver City, with his New Mexico band the Raptured Coyotes. Visit

Listen to Wally Lawder’s Big Blend Radio interview about how his song ‘Mantra’ connects with INTEGRITY.

Nestled in the Tennessee Smoky Mountains, The Madisons left behind gritty Texas city life to find something greener. Today the band is made up of Lizzie Harrah – keys, vocals and musical engineer; Ruel Russell – bass and vocal, Lee Hamilton – drums and vocal, and Pete Gorisch – guitars. Their newest project, ‘Err On The Side of Love’, the band’s fifth collection of songs, blends American music forms with varied instrumentation. Visit

Listen to Lizzie Harrah’s Big Blend Radio interview about how The Madisons’ song ‘Err On The Side of Love’ connects with FAILURE LEADS TO SUCCESS.





SPEAK WITH GOOD PURPOSE: Speak Honestly THIS IS IT: Make the Most of Every Moment and Kindly World-renowned vocalist Josh Pfeiffer is drawing In February 2016, award-winning adult/pop favorable comparisons to current artists Michael contemporary recording artist Doreen Taylor Buble’ and Matt Goss. Original compositions “Life” released her single, "Shooting Star". Following the and “Beautiful Girl” have boosted the music sales of significant momentum that was created in 2015 by the award-winning singer-songwriter’s debut album her Billboard charting song "TOY" and holiday song “American Crooner Act:1,” which is distributed in 25 "My Christmas Wish", "Shooting Star" has garnered countries worldwide. Pfeiffer has worked with an overwhelming amount of response, and has legendary producer Joe Chiccarelli (U2, Jason also been selected by QVC and BOSE, as well as Mraz), as well as an A-list of musicians, including by Sharp Electronics, to be played on air and online Gigi Gonaway (Mariah Carey), Mic Gillette (Tower QVC and through at least July 2016. On of Power), Stu Hamm (Joe Satriani), Marvin May 5, Doreen Taylor will be honored with the McFadden (Huey Lewis), and Paul Hass (Prince, Inspiration Award from the Boys & Girls Club of Lifehouse).Visit Camden Country, New Jersey. Visit

Listen to Doreen Taylor’s Big Blend Radio interview about how her single ‘Shooting Star’ connects with SPEAK WITH GOOD PURPOSE.


Listen to Josh Pfeiffer’s Big Blend Radio interview about how his song ‘Life’ connects with THIS IS IT!




COMMITMENT: Make Your Dreams Happen

OWNERSHIP: Take Responsibility for Actions

Mae Edwards is a singer-songwriter, violinist, recording artist, self-help and culinary author, video content creator, film and TV editor, as well as the creator of the multimedia work of art ‘Starlette & Saint: A Memoir on Dualism’. Much like art therapy brings catharsis, Mae wrote lyrics set to alternative rock music, to work out the tumults in her life. Her four CDs "No Prayers", "Hieroglyphs of Emotion", "Elements of Continuity" and "Grace" are her autobiographical progression, a journey through the struggles of her youth to her present state of Grace. Visit

For almost two decades, experienced singersongwriter and musician Ryan David Orr has been a major player on the American folk scene. Now based in Northern Arizona, he has traveled all over the United States playing in many of folk music’s legendary venues. Ryan’s sixth full-length album "kopascetic" releases in mid-June 2016, and his latest EP 'For My Mother Who Truly Loved The World' features a collection of seven songs created as a gift for his fans, and is dedicated to his late mother, Dr. Teresa Dismuke. Visit

Listen to Mae Edwards’ Big Blend Radio interview about how her song ‘I Am There’ connects with COMMITMENT.

Listen to Ryan David Orr’s Big Blend Radio interview about how his song ‘A Mantra for Driving Alone’ connects with OWNERSHIP.





FLEXIBILITY: Be Willing To Do Things Differently

BALANCE: Live Your Best Life

Lisa Sniderman is an award-winning singersongwriter, performer and playwright known as AOEDE. Known for her quirky folk/pop music, she also records fantasy musicals on audiobooks for tweens, teens and all “kids at heart,” and adapts them to musical theater. Lisa’s latest fantasy musical/rock opera “Do You Believe In Magic?” is the recipient of 6 Children’s awards. Visit

Heavily influenced by classic rock, blues and jazz, guitar virtuoso Micha Schellhaas’ musical career began in Europe where he gained a Master’s degree in jazz guitar from the prestigious Dutch ARTEZ conservatory. Having performed and toured in numerous European countries, Micha is now based in Los Angeles, where he recorded and released his EP ‘Wings of Fire’, and album ‘Double Take’. Visit

Listen to AOEDE’s Big Blend Radio interview about how her song ‘What You Got’ connects with FLEXIBILITY.

Listen to Micha Schellhaas’ Big Blend Radio interview about how his song ‘Velocity’ connects with BALANCE.



ISRAEL to LOS ANGELES How Guitarist Sean Hurwitz Achieved His American Dream Guitarist, producer and songwriter Sean Hurwitz talks with Big Blend Radio about achieving his American dream and touring the world with Smash Mouth and Enrique Iglesias. While keeping guitar work for other artists the focus, Hurwitz achieved concurrent success writing, producing and recording hundreds of songs that have been licensed to TV, film and radio worldwide. His credits include “Jersey Shore,” “American Pie Presents The Book of Love,” “The Voice” and “Last Call with Carson Daly.”

Listen to Sean Hurwitz on Big Blend Radio!

When Sean Hurwitz left his native Israel in April 2003 to chase his musical dreams in Los Angeles, he gave himself a generous timeline of 10 years to make it, and ended up achieving his goals way ahead of schedule. After paying his dues, he networked and gigged with indie artists like crazy while working at Guitar Center and for its corporate affiliate GC Pro. Within three and a half years, the multi-talented 36-yearold guitarist, producer and songwriter had scored his first signed artist touring gig with Anna Nalick. Since then, he’s amassed a genre-expansive list of credits, adding his melodic soul and rhythmic muscle to studio dates and tours by Judith Hill, Jordy Towers (SomeKindaWonderful), Gin Blossoms, Chris Wallace, Ferras and many others.

After several years recording and touring the globe with Smash Mouth (since 2011), including shows in Iraq and Kuwait, Hurwitz joined forces with global Latin superstar Enrique Iglesias in the summer of 2015. Playing electric and acoustic guitar along with some flamenco and classical nylon string guitar, the self-described “rock/funk/blues” driven musician has been on the road extensively, playing throughout Latin America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East – including two dates in his native Israel. Recent and future dates with Iglesias include stops in Mexico, Ecuador, Croatia, Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria. Though his touring with Smash Mouth helped introduce Hurwitz to global audiences, his career is now in official high-profile overdrive with Iglesias, who was recently honored with two Guinness World Records – the most singles on the Hot Latin Songs Billboard Chart (26) and longest stay (41 weeks) at #1 on the Latin Songs chart for “Bailando.” Hurwitz attributes his success as a musician to two basic personal attributes: strong work ethic and attention to detail. His early work in audio, lighting and recording studios helped lay the foundation for his career as a musician because he developed an affinity for learning quickly and rising to steep challenges. He remembers when he got the first call from Smash Mouth telling him they needed him to come with them to Iraq in a week. He had five days to learn 23 songs. He recalls that being the moment where his work ethic and attention to detail came to fruition. He eagerly embraced the next step of his journey. Keep up with Sean at


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Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real. Photo: Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images

Like Energy, Music Does Not Die. It Transforms. Compiled by Lisa D. Smith

Quite simply: A road trip does not exist without crossing a state line, and roots rock needs to jam in different genres to add the spice and flavor to its musical muscle. Your best friend on the road is a good album – one that can caress you through the introspective open road and give you wings to fly through a traffic jam. Roots rock is a primal call from the past and a rebel for the future. It’s timeless and it doesn’t care about age, race or spiritual preference. What it does care about is crossing borders, soul connection, and downright revelry.

From innovator Prince to inventive David Bowie, legendary outlaw Merle Haggard to guitar great Lonnie Mack, brass man Mic Gillette to soulful funkster Maurice White, this has been a sad year for us music lovers. The list of musicians who have crossed over this year is long, and the tribute performances and concerts have not only touched us and rocked our grieving souls, they lay credence to the fact In other words…..roll the windows down, turn up the volume…and ditch the GPS! Oh, and don’t that music has no boundaries….and like worry about the déjà vu…that’s normal. energy, music never dies, it transforms. So what does this have to do with road trips and roots rockin’ new albums?

ROAD TRIP TESTED + APPROVED: 6 Roots Rockin’ Albums to Hit the Road with this Summer! Continued on Next Page…

Road trips, like good music, revolutionize us. The ups and downs become part of our life story, just like an album that deeply connects with you becomes your personal soundtrack. It’s about an experience. An unforgettable moment that morphs into a journey and gets trapped in time. Road trips and music remind us to escape the mundane. Like love, they are a power source for our senses, a recipe for living: just add a dash of fear, a spot of courage, an ounce of excitement and a teaspoon of anxiety, and most importantly – shake it all up with an endless amount of free will. PAGE 30

“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.” Bob Marley

Photo by Ueli Frey

LUKAS NELSON & PROMISE OF THE REAL Album: SOMETHING REAL Photo by Jim Eckenrode When Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real say they’re going to give you ‘Something Real,’ they do it. Their latest album on the Royal Potato Family imprint kicks off with ‘Surprise,’ a supernova of a track that epitomizes their “cowboy hippie surf rock” style with a rockin’ overture of guitar riffs that dive into a current of heavy bass, jammin’ percussion and jolting lyrics. It’s the perfect set up for their explosive title track, where Nelson challenges, “I want to see you get mad, I want to see you crying for me. Give me something real!” Like all the songs on Something Real, the video for “Something Real” was recorded at San Francisco’s William Westerfeld Mansion, whose previous residents included Janis Joplin, jazz saxophonist John Handy and a group of exiled royalists in the wake of the Russian Revolution. The result is an album infused with the myriad of emotions that evokes San Francisco; complex yet candid, from the haunting cloud of heartache in ‘Georgia’, to the groovy swagger of J.J. Cale’s ‘I’ll Make Love to You Any Ol’ Time’, and the closing sunshine kiss of Scott McKenzie’s ‘San Francisco’.

Listen to Lukas Nelson on Big Blend Radio! An epic blend of stellar musicianship and lyrical prowess, Lukas Nelson & POTR have given us a timeless album that grooves with an ocean rhythm, and connects the free spirit of rock ‘n roll with the sentimental soul of country. Anthony LoGerfo, Corey McCormick and Tato Melgar are the core of Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, with Lukas’ brother Micah Nelson serving as a guest and honorary member. Micah was part of the recording of Something Real and often joins on the road when not fronting his own band Insects Vs. Robots. Additionally, Lukas, Anthony, Corey, Tato and Micah are always present in the Promise of the Real part of Neil Young + Promise of the Real. Occasionally, Lukas finds himself in an acoustic-only pairing with Shooter Jennings, and their cover of “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys” is the theme for Netflix’ new series The Ranch starring Ashton Kutcher and Danny Masterson. Continued on Next Page…


Roots Rockin’ Road Trip Continued…

RJ COMER EP: NIGHTLY SUICIDE Formerly known as the front man of Dance Hall Pimps, RJ Comer returns with a solo project and his second EP release, Nightly Suicide. From the reflective first track ‘Steppin Down’ to telltale ‘Ex’s & Oh’s’, he takes you on a rockabilly ride through addiction, relationships and redemption. It’s a personal and forthright collection of songs that grooves with a gritty edge, struts with a ‘beenthere-done-that’ attitude, and kicks up dirt with raw soul. The metaphorical title track is RJ’s homage to Charles Bukowski — the poet laureate of barflies. The song also illustrates RJ’s early life, which he describes as “a lot of heavy drinking and nightly self-destruction.” Comer’s gritty, soulful vocals and dark riffs authentically convey the stark and sometimes surreal lyrics and imagery of the song.

Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with RJ Comer

A master storyteller, RJ’s words and voice command one’s listening attention and at the same time, conjures a visual experience. He has toured as a solo artist from British Columbia, Canada to New Orleans. His powerful voice, his captivating and emotional live performances, and his infectious songs have garnered fans in biker bars, on Bourbon Street, and in coffee houses and opera houses. Talents as diverse as A.J. Croce, C.C. Adcock, and Grammy-winner Matt Hyde have produced tracks with RJ.

The music video is inspired by Bukowski’s screenplay Barfly. Marcos Tinez plays the younger RJ, a lonesome alcoholic who is wearing the identical hat RJ is wearing in other clips of the music video to connect past and present. Directed by Guillermo Rodriguez, “Nightly Suicide” was filmed in Granada, Spain and at Los Angeles’s legendary music venue, The Mint.


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Roots Rockin’ Road Trip Continued…


Listen to Josh Hoyer on Big Blend Radio!

Album: RUNNING FROM LOVE Sensually soulful and fueled by a fiery swirl of funk, Running from Love is the third full-length album by Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal. From the electric tracks ‘Searchers’ and ‘Soul Mechanic’ to the intimate and tender ballads like ‘Parts of A Man’ and ‘Evening Train,’ get ready for a groove-laden journey of love with a hip and funkalicious band, led by the passionate vocal powerhouse and keyboardist Josh Hoyer. "We are constantly writing our future history. We believe that it's our work, ideas, drive and conviction that will continue to show that love is the only path to righteousness," Hoyer said. "This album is representative of that; if there's any hope for humanity, you gotta know that my heart lies in yours and your heart lies in me."

Produced by Ken Coomer (Wilco, Uncle Tupelo) and released on Silver Street Records, Running From Love was recorded at Nashville's Sound Emporium. The project began after Coomer heard about the band's live show - a high-energy display of musicianship with one goal each night, to have the crowd dancing so much they forget even their smallest troubles. Inspired by Stax, Motown, New Orleans, Philly and San Francisco, the six-piece continuously crosses musical boundaries both in style and era.


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Roots Rockin’ Road Trip Continued…

ZACHARY KIBBEE Album: SONGS FROM THE MUD From the fervent intensity of ‘See Right Through You’ and ‘Pull Me Off This Train’ to the rhythmic ‘I’m a Man’ and ‘Little Clocks’, Zachary Kibbee’s debut album ‘Songs From the Mud’ is a catchy collection of bluesy tracks with strong hooks and memorable lyrics. A Los Angeles native influenced by a variety of genres, Kibbee first picked up a guitar at age 14, and quickly adapted to the 12-bar blues and set his sights high. Three years later, he experienced a definitive moment as his blues band opened up for the legendary BB King at the Abbot Kinney Music Festival in Venice, California. As his sound changed, his band hit the road and toured the West Coast and mid-West territories. His experiences taught him that he had to go solo to recapture the classic blues progressions of his earlier years. Zachary Kibbee is now rockin’ under his own name and brings a charging and seductive swagger back to the classic genre.

Listen to Zachary Kibbee on Big Blend Radio!

‘All Tied Up’ off the album "Songs From The Mud" was used in the Joe Dante's 2015 film "Burying The Ex" and is featured on the film's soundtrack. He also write the main title theme for The Night Shift on NBC.

A prolific songwriter, Kibbee’s music has been licensed over 50 times in the past 2 years for many television shows, movies and commercials. ‘My Own Two Feet’ off his debut EP ‘Little Clock’ was used in a national Microsoft Surface Pro 3 campaign; ‘Little Clocks’ was used in the 2014 film "The Drop" and is featured on the film's soundtrack.


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Roots Rockin’ Road Trip Continued…

DAVID FRASER Album: REASON & RHYME From rollicking ‘Good Friends’ to the shuffle of ‘The Right Way’, David Fraser’s roots rockin’ album ‘Reason and Rhyme’ will take you from the swamps of New Orleans to the countryside of Tennessee, and out to the beaches of Southern California. It’s a feel good album with a whole lotta of rhythm, with some tender and nostalgic tales likes ‘Dad Said’ and the bluesy ‘River of Tears’.

Listen to David Fraser on Big Blend Radio!

A veteran musician (keyboards, accordion and harmonica) and singer-songwriter with roots based He also has a wide experience in acting, having in blues, R&B, country and rock, David has a wealth of experience having shared the stage with taken part in many shows produced by the Disney Company. such acts as The Beach Boys, Glen Campbell, Journey, Tower of Power and Johnny Rivers. While Continued on Next Page… working on his own original recording projects, he's done extensive tracking for many other CD artists.


Roots Rockin’ Road Trip Continued…

TALL MEN GROUP Album: 2 TALL What happens when a six-pack of tall men meet every month for dinner and songwriting challenge? Musical magic that explodes with eloquent lyrics and distinctive melodies. Based in Los Angeles, the Tall Men Group is founded by musician, singersongwriter and producer (and head chef) Jimmy Yessian, and include veteran singer-songwriters and musicians Marty Axelrod, Severin Browne, Jeff Kossack, John Stowers, and Ed Tree. The follow-up to their debut album ‘12 x 6’, ‘2 Tall’ features another impressive collection of songs inspired by their monthly songwriting challenges. From ‘Out of My Window’, a jammin’ road trip flavored track by Severin Browne, to the rich harmonies in ‘I Hear You’ by John Stowers, or Marty Axelrod’s hilarious ‘The South’, Jeff Kossack’s poignant ‘One Wish’, Ed Tree’s provoking ‘Write a Freakin’ Book’, and Jimmy Yessian’s beautiful ‘One Maui Sunset’ – ‘2 Tall’ is a tasty stew of well-crafted songs with just the right amount of spice and variety to please all musical palettes. Visit


Listen to the Tall Men Group on Big Blend Radio!

JULIAN BLUES BASH 18th Annual Blues Festival on June 18, 2016 in Julian, California Julian, San Diego’s popular mountain town will be rockin’ with the blues from 11am-7pm, at Menghini Winery. British blues and rock pioneer Kim Simmonds & Savoy Brown celebrate 50 continuous years, 45 albums, and more than 5,000 gigs from the Royal Albert Hall to Carnegie Hall to the Fillmore East and West, and will now be headlining the Julian Blues Festival! This will be their only Southern California performance this year. The Alastair Greene Band, a powerful blues rock trio from Los Angeles will also be taking the stage. When not performing with his band, Alastair tours as the guitarist for The Alan Parson's Project. From local San Diego County, Jerry Raney and The Farmers will be jammin’ their explosive boogie and blues, as will ‘Southern Fried’ rockers The McCoy Brothers. The new ‘Back Porch’ stage will be manned by The Jerry 'Hot Rod’ DeMink Band, a high energy rock trio who blend rockabilly, blues and rock ‘n roll. The festival will kick off with the young and talented The Kids are Alright Band.

Listen to guitarist Alastair Greene and Robb Bower (The McCoy Brothers & Festival Organizer) on Big Blend Radio!

For tickets, travel details and performance schedule, visit

Listen to Jerry Raney (The Farmers) and Robb Bower (The McCoy Brothers & Festival Organizer) on Big Blend Radio!


Listen to Steven Blush on Big Blend Radio!

Coinciding with the release of a documentary film of the same name by acclaimed writer/filmmaker Steven Blush, Lost Rockers offers a compelling narrative connecting the lives of different musicians and their strangely similar adventures in the entertainment industry. All of these almost-famous musicians have gripping backstories; they've also recorded some powerful music that you won't believe you've never heard.

LOST ROCKERS Broken Dreams and Crashed Careers New Rock Book by Steven Blush, co-written with Paul Ranchman and Tony Martin, published by powerHouse Books.

Steven Blush has written three books about rock music: American Hardcore (2001), .45 Dangerous Minds (2005), and American Hair Metal (2006). His journalism has run in publications including Spin, Details, Interview, Village Voice, and The Times Of London, and he is a contributing editor to Paper magazine. Blush got his start promoting punk shows in Washington, DC in the early 80s, and then moved to New York in 1986, where he Lost Rockers is about those musicians who at one published 52 issues of Seconds magazine through point in time were on the verge of success but who 1999. He worked as a New York nightclub never quite "made it." Some of them were so close DJ/promoter, noted for his early-90s sound designs they could taste it, and others never had a chance. for fashion designer Stephen Sprouse, and longrunning "Röck Cändy" parties at Don Hill's (1999To become a star you need talent, charisma, dedication, intelligence, energy, intensity, and a lot 2006). He also wrote and co-produced the of luck. For the musicians featured in Lost Rockers, documentary American Hardcore (Sony Pictures the stars either never quite aligned or even maybe Classics, 2006). Visit never gave a ‘F%*&!’ But hope springs eternal, and with new technologies offering easier ways of finding and listening to music, a reality TV show on All photos are from Lost Rockers by Steven Blush, published by powerHouse Books losers, or heck, even a photo book, these artists might just be discovered anew. Hit songs, record deals, private jets, stretch limos, and wealth: these are the trappings of musical success. But the pop stars living these seemingly glamorous lives are the exceptions in the music business and not the rule. Standing in the wings, just off stage and waiting, are those many talented and deserving musicians who just missed their big break.


Rik Fox, hair metal hero, Surgical Steel, 1986. Photo by Michael Richard Sneeburger. Courtesy of the Rik Fox Archives.

Bobby Jameson, home in San Luis Obispo, CA, 2009. Collection of Bobby Jameson Chris Robison and David Johansen with Andy Warhol, Max’s Kansas City, 1975. Photo by Bob Gruen.

Betty Davis, They Say I’m Different photo shoot, Just Sunshine Records, 1974. Photo by Mel Dixon. Courtesy of Light in the Attic Records.

Gloria Jones, Los Angeles, 1973. Photo by Jim Britt. PAGE 39

by Nancy J. Reid

Most of us know about Mother’s Day, Memorial Day Lei Day, May Day and Cinco de Mayo, but there are a host of other celebrations in May that are worth celebration. World Beer Pong Day is the first Saturday in May, and quite fittingly, so is National Homebrew Day. This year is special as it marks the 500 year anniversary of the Reinheitsgebot, the German Purity Law. Officially released April 23, 1516 in Bavaria, this law spread throughout Germany in an attempt to control the price of grain used in brewing by allowing just three ingredients in beer - water, hops and barley.

Photo:Ozseeker the Clown by Villwock

From Beer Pong to Homebrewing, Limericks & The Chicken Dance

In May 2015 there were 484 Homebrewing events held, with 11,004 participants that collectively made 2,722 batches of brew that equaled 19,631 gallons of beer. All 50 states plus 14 countries joined in the fun - must have been quite a Simultaneous Toast. If you are not familiar with Beer Pong, you should be. It is a fast growing sport and events are held all over. There is even a World Series with large cash prizes. Beer pong, is a drinking game that usually has two teams with two or more players per side.

In honor of this tradition, the American Homebrewers Association is encouraging homebrewers world wide to visit their website and pick one of two recipes to brew. One recipe uses only malted barley, hops, water, and yeast, the “Strike Team Chanukah Altbier” staying in line with the Reinheitsgebot’s centuries-old regulations. The other recipe, allows ingredients that violate the German Purity Law – such as wheat, honey, and ginger and is a “Summertime Ginger Ale.” Sounds like a party to me, and of course, there is the Simultaneous Toast noon CDT on May 7, 2016. If you are having a public function, the AHA will help you with promotional materials, or you can find a rally near you and just join in. PAGE 40

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Celebrate Continued… The challenge is for a player to throw a ping pong ball over the net on the table, and land it in one of six to ten cups of beer at the other side. The cups are set up in a triangle, much the same as racking the balls up for a game of pool. If the throw is successful, the contents of that cup must be consumed by the other team. The cup is taken off the table, and it is then other team’s turn. The game goes on until one team has eliminated all of their opponents cups. There are “house rules,” making each game unique. Sometimes teams are allowed to swat at the incoming balls, sometimes not. How the cups are re-racked after a removal, also depends on house rules. Of course, sanitation and drunkenness are considerations. Over-imbibing can lead to public displays later regretted - like joining in on the Chicken Dance! The Chicken Dance is celebrated as National Chicken Dance Day on May 14th. This crazy dance actually began as a Swiss drinking song sung during Oktoberfest celebrations back in the 1950s. It was first recorded by Werner Thomas, an oompah accordion player and it was originally called the The Duck Dance. It took a long time to catch on but eventually it made its way to the USA, with the help of Walt Disney Records. There are plenty of versions of the song, but perhaps the biggest change introduced itself at a Tulsa, Oklahoma Oktoberfest. It seems the organizers really wanted a duck costume to liven up the festivities, but there wasn’t one to be found anywhere near the event - but, a chicken costume was. Now we have The Chicken Dance, also known as ‘the stupidest dance in the world.’ Having seen it, and danced it, I have another candidate for that title, The Clap Clap Dance. The videos below are not high quality but are definitely worth watching.

May 12 is National Limerick Day and it honors the birthday of English artist, illustrator, author and poet Edward Lear (May 12, 1812 – Jan. 29, 1888). Although a very talented artist, this reclusive man is best known for his nonsense and popularizing limericks in his ‘Book of Nonsense’ and his poetry for children, like The Owl and the Pussy-cat. The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea In a beautiful pea green boat, They took some honey, and plenty of money, Wrapped up in a five pound note. The Owl looked up to the stars above, And sang to a small guitar, O lovely Pussy! O Pussy my love, What a beautiful Pussy you are, You are, You are! What a beautiful Pussy you are!


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Photo by Kamalnv, CC BY 3.0

Last Supper, Artist Da Vinci, in public domain

Celebrate With a Difference Continued… After all this drinking and nonsense, comes a celebration that clears up your reputation National Blame Someone Else Day, this year to be celebrated May 13th. This is an unofficial holiday credited to Anne Moeller of Clio, Michigan in 1982. Apparently Anne was having one of those bad hair days, waking up late because her alarm clock failed her, initiating a string of bad luck throughout the day, and it just happened to be Friday the 13th. So what’s up with the number 13 and Fridays accused of being unlucky? And why is it a double whammy when the 13th day of the month falls on a Friday? Maybe the belief is a carry over of these ancient biblical happenings: Jesus was crucified on a Friday; Abel was slain by Cain on Friday the 13; The Great Flood began on a Friday; God tonguetied the builders of the Tower of Babel on a Friday; The Temple of Solomon was destroyed on a Friday, and The Knights Templar, and other French Templars were slaughtered Friday, October 13, 1307. In ancient Rome, Friday was execution day and in Britain, Friday was Hangman’s Day. We like 12’s. After all, there are twelve months in a year, we measure time in two groups of 12 hours, there are 12 signs of the zodiac, twelve tribes of Israel, twelve gods of Olympus, and twelve Apostles of Jesus. Thirteen is an odd, uncomfortable number whereas 12 seems even, stable and complete. There is an Old Norse myth that warns thirteen people seated at a table will result in the death of one. There were thirteen diners at the Last Supper, and Jesus proclaimed one would betray him.

Celebrate With a Difference: June Shout “Fudge” at a Cobra Day is celebrated on June 2 at 12 noon, your time. This ensures the shouts to happen all through the day. Reportedly, fudge makes cobras gag, so yelling at them once a year in June has kept North America cobra free. You yell fudge and off slithers this dangerous snake. The cobra is related to taipans, mambas, and coral snakes, the coral snake being the only snake of the group that is actually found in North America. The cobra has a hood that expands when the snake is riled and they have the ability to rear up the upper third of their body. This intimidating posture comes along with a growl-like hiss and given the length of some types of cobras, 10 -18 feet in length, you could be staring into the eyes of this snake. It is also true that they can spit or spray venom and that their aim is pretty good. The venom is intended to hit the intruder in the eyes, blinding them so the snake can escape. Like most snakes, they would rather not meet you at all, so if you are aware when walking or hiking you should not have a problem. But, I see no harm in purchasing some really nice fudge, especially on June 2, take it outside at noon, yell fudge… since you have now done your duty, I would definitely eat the fudge.

No wonder some will stay home, not make decisions, and not shop on Friday the 13th. This is why today most high rise buildings don’t have a 13th floor, some airports lack a 13th gate, and hotels and hospitals usually do not have a room number 13. But, the good news is, if you do venture out and something bad happens, you can just blame it on someone else. Next year, Friday the 13th will fall on January 13, 2017. PAGE 42

Fudge at The Peanut Patch in Yuma, AZ

1903 Wiltshire Moorakers postcard public domain

Celebrate With a Difference Continued…

Another fun but unofficial celebration is Kitchen Klutzes of America Day that falls on June 13, a Moonshine, White Lightning, Hooch, Bush Whiskey toast to all those who keep on trying no matter what or Skull Cracker, no matter what you call it, it has happens in the kitchen. it’s own national day, National Moonshine Day on June 5th. Legend has it that the word moonshine I blame the Food Network and people like Rachel originally comes from an early English term for Ray and Bobby Flay that tell us how easy it is. After smugglers who worked by the light of the moon, all, what is the difference between baking powder known as ‘Moonrakers.’ and baking soda? The story goes that some villagers hid some contraband barrels of French brandy from customs officers in a local pond. They chose a night with a full moon, and with rakes in hand, they set out to retrieve the barrels. They were caught red-handed right in the middle of their nefarious act by the revenue men. The quick thinking villagers pointed to the reflection of the moon on the surface of the pond. They explained that they were merely trying to rake in what they thought was a round of cheese. The revenuers made fun of the locals and left - but it was the ‘moonrakers’ that had the last laugh. This celebration is closely followed by National Name Your Poison Day on June 8th. This is the day when you are to make a decision, and encourage others to follow suit. Don’t worry about the outcome, just choose your poison. There is an old stage stop named Poison Switch near Yerington, NV, so-named because the liquor in the saloon there was so bad. PAGE 43

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Photo by Harald Olsen CC BY SA. 3.0

Celebrate June Continued…

National Paul Bunyan Day - June 28th: ‘Fakelore’ or folklore, Paul Bunyan and his faithful companion, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, and guess Babe the Blue Ox, are heroes Americans and what, it was the cuckoo itself. Cuckoos are known for repeating their two note calls (just like you hear Canadians embrace. Stemming from the oral traditions of lumberjacks working in the Wisconsin in a cuckoo clock) incessantly throughout the day, camps at the turn of the 20th century, the feats of and laying their eggs in the nests of other birds. Because of this, the word cuckoo began to describe this giant, skilled woodsman were remarkable. a fool or someone crazy as early as 1581. Legend has it that it took five storks to deliver a baby Paul to his parents, and as he grew his laugh The young cuckoo are fed by the unsuspecting broke windows. He learned lumberjack skills at an foster parents, and are often bigger than the nest early age and at just 7 months old sawed the legs can hold, so they end up pushing the parents’ real off his parent’s bed in the middle of the night. chicks out of the nest. However, since European medieval times the cuckoo has been the herald of spring time. Here in North America we celebrate National Cuckoo Warning Day on the first day of summer or the summer solstice, June 20 - 21. It is said, on this day if you hear a cuckoo, your summer will be wet.

Paul rescued young Babe during a bad snow storm, in fact Babe was stained blue by the snow. Any creature raised in Paul Bunyan’s camp grew to massive proportions, as did Babe. In fact, the two formed the Grand Canyon as they walked through, dragging Paul’s axe behind them. Later, they formed the Great Lakes when Babe needed a water hole.

Most Americans have seen the Wile E. Coyote and The Roadrunner cartoons by Looney Toons. The insane Beep Beep! call of the the roadrunner Suffice it to say where there are great trees, there makes sense when you find out that the roadrunner was a visit by Paul and Babe. The sculpture above is in the cuckoo family. is in front of the Three Rivers Historical Museum in Three Rivers, California, gateway to the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. PAGE 44

A Perfect Recipe for Mother’s Day or Father’s Day Brunch By Leah Launey, Innkeeper of Three Rivers Bed & Breakfast in California’s Sequoia Country

This is the tried and true yogurt/honey pancake recipe I've made for years. Once we started our bed and breakfast, I simply added some favorite spices, encouraged by my sister Domonique who was already using ginger in her pancake recipe. I wanted something spicy, but a little more complex. I wanted something to make our guests say "yum", at the same time they tried to guess the ingredients! Also, while living in Jamaica, I had fallen in love with allspice.

I set my burner at 5 (halfway) and it takes about 50 seconds to brown each side. All I want to do is brown the cake. Then I lift the cake from the skillet and place it onto a plate, baking it in the oven on warm (170 degree Fahrenheit) until it is cooked through..

Three Rivers B&B Yogurt/Honey/Spices Pancake Recipe Serves 2 adults, with 3 very filling medium-sized pancakes each.


Afterwards, I stack the pancakes, 3 per adult, and cover them, leaving them in the oven on warm until our guests are ready to eat them.

1 extra-large organic free-range brown egg (I use Glaum's), well-beaten a scant 1/4 cup toasted wheat germ a scant 1/2 cup homemade nonfat yogurt 2 Tablespoons local honey 1 Tablespoon oil (or butter; I use canola oil) ½ cup unbleached flour ½ teaspoon baking powder ¼ teaspoon baking soda ¼ teaspoon ground ginger ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg ¼ teaspoon ground cloves 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice Beat egg well. Add ingredients in order. Beat until smooth. Spoon out 1 soup spoonful at a time, using the same spoon to carefully spread the batter out in the center of a lightly greased cast-iron skillet. After 1 side is brown, lift the cake and brown the other side.


Husband-and-wife team Howard and Ruth Milstein discuss the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, share recipes and wine pairings and have another lively conversation on Big Blend Radio. Howard is a wine expert, and Ruth is the author of the Gourmand award-winning cookbook 'Cooking with Love: Ventures into the New Israeli Cuisine.' Learn more at We eat many cheese dishes during the Jewish holiday of Shavuot (Giving of the Torah) which is celebrated on the sunset of Saturday, June 11, 2016. See pictured: "Ruth in Boaz's Field", by Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld, 1828.

Listen to Ruth & Howard Milstein on Big Blend

Fruit Cheese Blintzes in Orange Sauce The thinly wrapped sweet dough is stuffed with cheeses and then topped with a citrus sauce. Makes 12 blintzes. Ingredients: 2 eggs 1 cup flour 1 ½ cups milk 2 tablespoons oil ½ teaspoon salt 1 ounce margarine or oil spray Continued on Next Page….


Blintzes Recipe Continued…. Stuffing and Sauce: 6 ounces preserved fruits (strawberry, mango, peaches, or apricots) 4 ounces cream cheese 12 ounces, 1 ½ packets unsalted farmer cheese 6 teaspoons sugar 1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice 3 tablespoons corn flour dissolved in a bit of water Method: In a medium-size bowl mix all the ingredients for the blintzes except the margarine. Lubricate a non-stick frying pan with a bit of margarine or oil spray and warm up. Spread a thin layer of the mix (about 3 tablespoons) into the pan. Sauté until the blintz turns golden brown (for about 30 seconds). Turn over, and sauté lightly. Continue to cook the remaining blintzes the same way. * At this stage you may freeze the blintzes up to 2 weeks and prepare the stuffing at a later time. Stuffing: Cut the fruit into small cubes; mix the fruit, the 2 cheeses and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Spread 2 full tablespoons stuffing at the center of each blintz and roll the blintz. Lubricate a baking pan with margarine. Arrange the stuffed blintzes side by side. Sauce: In a small pot, boil the orange juice with the remaining 4 tablespoons of sugar. Add the dissolved corn flour and stir until the sauce turns thick and halfway translucent. Pour the sauce on the blintzes and warm up in the oven for few minutes or in a microwave with a microwave-proof plate. Tip: Double the amount of batter and make a 2 month supply. Can be stuffed with different fillings (mushrooms, onions etc.).

Cheese Mousse Cake and Pineapple A wonderful cake that requires no baking! Just chill and serve. Makes 8 servings in a 9 ¼ X 2 l/2 inch round spring form pan. Ingredients: 1 14-ounce can pineapple 1 egg, separated 4 egg whites ¾ cup powdered sugar 3 envelopes unflavored gelatin, ¼ ounce each 10 ounces farmer cheese, unsalted 10 ounces cream cheese 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice 2 pints heavy cream Method: Drain the pineapple and keep the juice. Cut the pineapple into 1/2 inch pieces. In a double boiler, whip up the egg yolk and 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar until the egg yolk turns thick. Remove from the heat. Mix the gelatin in half a cup pineapple juice and some boiling water. Add to the egg yolks and mix. With an electric mixer, whip up the cheeses and the lemon juice. Gradually add the egg yolks and the gelatin mixture. Add the pineapple pieces. Whip up the 5 egg whites with ¼ cup powdered sugar until you get a thick whip. Add into the cheese mix. Whip up the heavy cream and add to the mix. Pour into the pan and chill for 6 hours before serving. Tip: Substituting egg whites and farmer cheese does not decrease the quality of taste and flavor. Eggs will age more in one day at room temperature than in one week in the refrigerator.


The Urban Cowboy of Premium Wineries Article by Linda Kissam ‘Food, Wine and Shopping Diva’, photos by San Antonio Winery and Allan Kissam There is an urban wine-country experience complete with premium wines, adventurous events, and a food-centric spirit waiting for wine lovers at San Antonio Winery – in Los Angeles, CA. Who says you need to go to a faraway wine country to have a memorable wine experience? This unforgettable wine adventure is available to wine lovers in downtown Los Angeles. It’s true. I am perfectly serious. The winery produces 18 different labels, including the popular San Simeon, Maddalena, and the newer Stella Rosa brands. Its premium vineyards are located in Paso Robles, Monterey, and Napa Valley. The Riboli family has been producing wine for four generations. It is the most awarded winery in Southern California. I know most tasters are looking for hidden gems within Napa Valley, Paso or Southern Oregon and by that I don’t mean just good wines. While wellcrafted wines are certainly valued, it is the entire experience a winery provides that has guests wanting to return, celebrating special occasions and inviting friends and family to visit. San Antonio Winery has a special draw, a blend shall we say of ambiance, compelling history, a first-class wine program, outstanding service and engaging special events.

Listen to Linda Kissam on Big Blend Radio! Don’t expect vineyards as this is a winery oasis situated in an industrial area. Do expect a beautiful wine oasis, however. Unfortunately, its former vineyards have disappeared, but I applaud the owners for sticking to their guns and keeping this lovely outpost of wines where it started. It can take a change or two of freeways to get to. If you haven’t driven on some of the fast paced Southern California freeways in a while, it could feel like you’re a player in the Wild West of fast cars and urban insanity. Not to worry, once you are there, take a deep breath and enjoy.

Background The San Antonio Winery is a working winery in the city of Los Angeles. It has operated since 1917. It is located in the Lincoln Heights district just eastside of downtown, at 737 Lamar Street just south of North Main Street.

The winery imports their grapes from Napa, Monterey and the trendy Paso Robles region on California's Central Coast. They do make, blend and age their wines on site. Bottling and distribution are handled at the winery. Daily tasting and tours are available daily. Check out their monthly events for great memory making opportunities. Continued on Next Page…


San Antonio Winery Continued… Restaurant When you visit, expect to experience fine signature wines, a service-oriented tasting room experience, a killer gift shop, tasty deli and a family style restaurant. The Maddalena Restaurant is a standout with a unique concept where guests walkup and order from a weekly changing menu. Guests look at a table of entrees (no printed menu), then order. Sounds odd, but works well. The locals and tourists love this place and with good reason. When you dine among redwood casks at the trattoria-style restaurant you’ll feel like you are in Italy. They offer a variety of hearty Italian and American dishes that range from fresh pastas, grilled meats, gourmet salads and sandwiches, and tempting desserts. My recommendations are the calamari, the caprese salad, the ravioli of the day and the homemade Tiramisu. There are vegetarian choices available as well. Blending Event I recently attended a wine blending event with 60 enthusiastic supporters of the winery. This is one of the most interesting and unique wine tasting events at San Antonio Winery - even for someone like me who has done this a dozen times or someone who has no idea what “blending means.” In the Blend Your Own Wine Event, participants get the ultimate interactive wine tasting experience by mixing small samples of various varietals to create a wine that works for their palates. The finished wine is labeled and bottled then handed back to the guest to take home as a drinkable reminder of an exceptional experience.

Do I need to say that again? Guests like finding themselves as the center of attention.

In this case, participants were learning the art of blending their own wine. San Antonio Winery gets the Smart Cookie Award for understanding establishments that exude an upbeat ambiance where their staff (including owners, winemakers and PR people) obviously love meeting people, are experts at what they do, are knowledgeable about During one of the breaks I asked several guests their wines and find a way to blend this all together why they were there. I thought I would hear the to make their guests the star of the day, stand out usual – great wines, something different to do and so on. Nope. Instead of hearing about the caliber of every day as a wine centric community winner. wines, the most enthusiastic comments came from Continued on Next Page… guests finding themselves at the center of attention. PAGE 49

San Antonio Winery Continued… The Wines In the end, we come to wineries for the wine. This winery “gets” that people like all kinds of wines – sweet, medium and dry. Reds, whites, rosés and sparklers too. They also like a range of prices. Whatever it is you want, you’re likely to find it here done in a first-class effort. Here are three standouts for me in various price ranges. STELLA ROSA ROSSO: Lightly sparkling, semi-sweet, refreshing on a warm summer day. From the lovely village of Santo Stefano Belbo in Piedmont. Served chilled with fresh fruit and cheese. Awards: Bronze Medal, Los Angeles International Wine Competition (2010) RIBOLI FAMILY VINEYARD CABERNET About $9. About $18.95. SAUVIGNON 2011: Think premium flavors of wild berry, black cherry, SAN SIMEON MONTEREY, PINOT NOIR 2013: and ripe plum. Aromas of sweet oak, vanilla, and Gold Medal, 2013 Central Coast Wine Competition, spice complement a fruit-driven nose. Soft tannins 93 Points. Aromas of bright red fruit, cinnamon, and produce a full, round mouth. The wine can be drunk oak spice on the nose. Rich, and fruit-driven wine now or will benefit from several years of cellaring. with ripe flavors of black cherry and raspberry on the palate. The mouth is soft and round with a Each bottle is a celebration of the many lingering finish. generations of the Riboli winemaking family and shows what can be done through patient viticulture and enology practices. Awards: Gold Medal, Sunset Intl. Wine Competition, Gold Medal, San Francisco Intl. Wine Competition, Silver Medal, 92 Points, California State Fair, 92 Points, Wine Spectator, 92 Points, Wine Enthusiast. About $59. Visit 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



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 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 51

Renaissance of California’s Oldest Wine Region By Robin Dohrn-Simpson What is the oldest wine region in California? What is the newest wine region in California? If you answered San Diego to both of those, you’d be correct. Father Junipero Serra, a Spanish missionary, planted mission grapes in 1769 and winemaking began. But along came Prohibition in the 1920’s and all winemaking halted. After its repeal, Napa Valley took the lead in winemaking, but recently a change in the laws has allowed San Diego to come roaring back. With 115 wineries and more all the time, San Diego’s reputation for fine wine now rivals the fame of its craft beer scene. And we’re not just talking Cabernet and Chardonnay, we’re talking the full range of Iberian, French, Italian and even some Argentinian varietals. You can sip a Ramona Ranch Tannat while enjoying an ocean breeze. You can dine on fresh oysters with a glass of Muscat of Alexander. How about an organic Bison Burger with a double gold award winning Cabernet Franc from Woof n’ Rose Winery fifteen miles away. Nothing rivals the Tempranillo from Scaredy Cat Ranch. Nothing else required.

Robin Dohrn-Simpson talks San Diego County Wineries and World Travel on Big Blend Radio! Alysha Stehly, Assistant Winemaker at Vesper Vineyards and Winemaker at Stehleon Winery says “All of our grapes are from San Diego. San Diego wines have their own terrior. They need to speak to being from San Diego.” Alysha and her husband, Chris Broomell, make Southern Rhone varietals and have the potential to bring San Diego into the international wine conversation. You don’t want to drive to the country? San Diego has many urban wineries scattered throughout the county. If you’re really pressed for time, San Pasqual Winery has a waterfront tasting room in Seaport Village. Tourists can get off a cruise boat and be tasting wine in five minutes. La Jolla Wine Tours will gladly take you on a wine train tour to a few urban wineries alongside breathtaking coastal scenery. Enjoy an Italian lunch, and if you really insist, they’ll take you to a brewery also! Continued on Next Page…


Beautiful barrel at the Ramona Art and Wine Festival

Joe Cullen, owner and winemaker at Scaredy Cat Ranch San Diego Wine Scene Continued‌ The beauty of winetasting in San Diego is that it is still small. Most of the time you will be tasting wine directly from the winemaker on his patio. You won’t find the crowds like other wine regions. No buses. No hordes of people. You can go into the wine caves and see how and where their wines are made. There is nothing like sitting on a patio, listening to some guitar music and enjoying the fruits of the labor of serious winemakers. Robin Dohrn-Simpson is a San Diego based freelance food, wine and travel writer. When not sitting at her desk she can usually be found exploring the corners of San Diego or the world. Robin is a member of the International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association. To see where she is currently exploring check out her website at: PAGE 53

Sausage Shop Meat Market & Deli in Tucson, AZ By Eva Eldridge Quite a few years ago I was looking for casings to make my own sausage. After asking around, because this was before you could find everything on the internet, I was sent to a corner shop in a small shopping center. From the first time I opened the door to this place I knew the Sausage Shop was special and I’ve been going there ever since. Over the years, I’ve been chatting with the owner, Kent Koecheler. I have come to appreciate his wry sense of humor as much as I enjoy his products. He moved to Tucson from the Minneapolis area in 1982. The Sausage Shop opened its doors in 1984 and has been located in the same place at 1015 W. Prince Road ever since.

Kent makes summer sausage, soppressata, calabrese, dry cured Spanish chorizo, and a myriad of other deli meats. He smokes pork chops and cuts them to order, and the hams are flavorful without being too salty. He has ham hocks which make great soup stock. At Thanksgiving and Christmas you can order smoked turkey. And let’s not forget the bacon. The popularity of bacon has increased over the last couple years and Kent says he had to up his bacon production from 60 pounds a week to 200 pounds a week.

Kent said he moved to Tucson because his mother and step father lived here. His family and close friends work behind the counters. If you go there often enough, you can see how well his family works together to provide their customers with a wide variety of products. One of my favorites is the Italian sausage which comes in mild, medium, and hot. If Italian sausage isn’t your thing, then you can find a huge selection of bratwurst like beer brats made with beer from the local Dragoon Brewery, cheese brats, Chicago brats, habanero brats, whisky fennel brats, kielbasa, and more. I’ve had lamb sausage and homemade hot dogs from the Sausage Shop as well as Louisiana hot links, dry cured Spanish chorizo, and Mexican chorizo in beef, pork, and chicken varieties. If you prefer a smoked sausage, the andouille can’t be beat. Its flavor is rich with garlic and spices which adds layers of flavor to gumbo.


Continued on Next Page…

Bacon, Brats and Sausages Continued… I wondered where all the recipes came from. Kent said the Italian sausage recipe came from a friend of the family, Dominic Spicola. The other recipes are a result of research, the library, the internet, and experimentation. Suggestions by Kent’s customers can result in new and different sausage flavors. One of the advantages of going to a butcher shop versus buying meat at the grocery store is that I can get almost anything to order, like bacon. The staff slices the bacon when you order it rather than the prepackaged bacon you find in the grocery store. Pork belly is popular these days and I’ve rarely seen it offered in a regular grocery store. I buy whole duck and duck breasts here and I can have beef cut specifically for certain dishes like rouladen. Another advantage of the butcher shop versus the grocery store is the freshness and quality of the meats. I asked Kent about meat storage. He says that he keeps his meats at just above freezing, around 34 degrees. A home refrigerator is usually set between 36 and 38 degrees. One of the reasons it’s so important to keep the meat cold is because Kent doesn’t use preservatives or extra flavor enhancers like MSG in his products. He uses the appropriate spices, salt, and sugar in his sausages and nothing else. When it comes to nitrates in the bacon, he uses forty percent less than normal. This is one of the reasons you want to store his products properly and use them within a few days. They don’t keep long. Kent recommends if you don’t use it right away, either vacuum pack it or wrap it as airtight as you can and freeze it. The Sausage Shop uses freezer paper with a poly lining which will protect the meat from freezer burn for a few days, but it’s not recommended for long term storage. Kent makes a lot of sausage, both fresh and smoked. He uses pork without added antibiotics and sources his meat for the best quality possible. I wondered how he managed to grind and stuff that much meat. As I mentioned at the beginning of the article, I’ve made my own sausage, Italian, chorizo, breakfast, and bratwurst. I know how much work is involved. Kent uses a machine that can grind one hundred pounds of meat a minute. Once the meat is ground, seasoned, and stuffed into casings, it’s ready to go out to the display case—unless it’s a type that is headed for the smoker that uses hickory chips. So, when you open the door to the Sausage Shop you know where that sweet smoky aroma comes from.

The Sausage Shop Meat Market and Deli serves made-to-order sandwiches that are stuffed full of good things. Do you want to try a Rosko? How about the Tubby? The Drunken Swine is made with homemade barbeque sauce. Does the Spoiled Child catch your interest? Well, if those don’t sound interesting, you can order a ham and Swiss on rye or a beef and cheddar on white. Do you want more than potato chips with your sandwich? The coleslaw, pickles, and German potato salad are also made onsite. If you stop by during the lunch hour, be prepared for a packed house. There aren’t any tables inside but there is an assortment of tables and chairs just outside and around the corner where you can enjoy that P.B.R., grilled prime rib, bacon, mayo, and corn relish. I asked Kent what was the biggest challenge was for him. He said keeping up with the terminology that the food channels put out. For example, Kent said a flat iron steak is just a chuck steak cut sideways. I didn’t know that. And what does he enjoy about his business? Kent said he loves the customers and when a customer leaves happy, that makes his day. Follow the Sausage Shop Meat Market and Deli on Facebook. Eva Eldridge is a contributing writer for Big Blend Radio & TV Magazine. She also writes fiction and poetry. Visit


Whether you’re campfire cooking, barbecuing poolside or firing up a romantic feast, get ready to sizzle up your griddle with some corn on the cob, cowboy quesadillas, grilled salmon, pork chops, New York strip loin and bison flat iron steak.

New York Strip Loin Watch this video of Chef Bodhi Werber, from Diane’s Restaurant & Parlor in Silver City, New Mexico, who shows how to sharpen your knife, then butcher and grill New York Strip Loin Steaks to perfection! Visit Continued on Next Page…


Grilled Pork Chops with a Citrus Garlic Vinegar Glaze This recipe from Chef Ivan Flowers, is served with Herb Mascarpone Whipped Potatoes, Sautéed Escarole with Parmigiano. Serves 4.

Listen to Chef Ivan Flowers’ Big Blend Radio interview about Grilling Pork Chops!

Ingredients 4 Pork Chops, 10 ounce center cut, bone-in Juice of three lemons ½ cup orange juice 1 Tablespoon garlic puree ¼ cup white vinegar 1 tsp. sugar 1 pound russet potatoes ¼ cup Mascarpone or cream cheese ½ cup cream 2 Tablespoons fresh chopped herbs (thyme, rosemary, chervil) 2 heads escarole 2 Tablespoons olive oil 3 Tablespoons butter 1/8 cup freshly grated parmigiana 3 garlic cloves 1 tsp. black peppercorns 2 bay leafs

Cut escarole into large leafs. Plunge into boiling water for 20 seconds, then into ice water. Take out and dry with paper towels. Heat a large sauté pan with some olive oil and smashed garlic cloves. Sauté escarole for 1 minute then finish with salt/pepper and parmigiana. Glaze pork and place back on grill for 1 minute each side. Eat! Continued on Next Page…

The Glaze: Place orange juice, lemon juice, vinegar, sugar, garlic puree in a sauce pan. Over low heat reduce to a syrup (8 minutes) then season with salt and pepper. Reserve. Salt and pepper pork chops and place on medium hot grill. Grill on each side for 8 minutes. Place on a plate and cover with foil. Place potatoes in boiling water, add three garlic cloves, black peppercorns and bay leafs to the water. Boil until tender (40 minutes). Hold warm in water. Heat butter and cream together to a simmer. Place potatoes in a mixer and slowly drizzle in mixture. Then add Mascarpone, herbs and season with salt and pepper. PAGE 57

Get Your Grill On Continued…

Grilled Bison Flat Iron Steaks with a Jack Daniels Marinade Chef Jeremy Manley explain how to grill bison for your perfect occasion. Chef Manley is the executive chef and owner of Jeremy’s on the Hill California Style Bistro in Julian, California. Download his free recipe e-book at

Listen to Chef Jeremy Manley’s Big Blend Radio interview about Grilling Bison! Grass-fed bison is to be treated very delicately. Because it is grass-fed the way God intended us to eat red meat, it doesn't have as much fat as cornfed beef or bison. Corn-fed animals have more fat and contributes to what we call marbling. Grass-fed bison is high in omega three fatty acids and is much cleaner for your body to digest. When grilling bison be sure to not over-cook it. Medium rare is perfect. Rare is divine! Medium begins to turn chewy and well-done means you are going to be chewing your steak five times longer to break down the protein. We included 2 recipes for your steak below. The first is great and simple. We grill all of our red meats this way at Jeremy's on the Hill. Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper is the best. The Jack Daniels marinade has a nice kick, and is ideal if you want your steaks to be cooked well-done. Salt & Pepper Rub Salt and black pepper Safflower oil or coconut oil 1 bison flat iron Turn your grill on to 350-400 degrees for preheating. Once your grill is finished pre-heating, lightly oil your bison flat iron and season with pinch of salt and pepper. Place on your grill slightly crooked to the right. Let cook for 3 minutes and rotate slightly to the left.

This will give you even cooking and those great grilling score marks you see at restaurants. Allow to cook for another 3 minutes and flip your bison flat iron over. Allow to cook for another 6 minutes: 3 minutes slightly to the left, and 3 minutes slightly to the right. Remove from the flame and allow to rest 2-5 minutes so your juices will evenly distribute inside your steak. Jack Daniels Marinade 1/2 cup of low sodium soy sauce 1/2 cup of Jack Daniels 2 tablespoons Dijon 1 tablespoon of hot sauce Mix well and combine all ingredients. Add your flat irons and let marinade for 4-6 hours. This will give your steaks a kick and allow a well-done steak to have more tenderness. Remember-alcohol catches on fire so be sure to use an outdoor BBQ or take extra precaution when grilling inside. Grill following the instructions above. Most important when grilling your meat, is to enjoy time with friends and family around the BBQ. Food brings us together and I hope these recipes will contribute to quality time with the people you love the most. Continued on Next Page…


Southwestern Grilled Salmon

Cowboy Quesadillas

This tasty recipe is from Donna George, owner of The Peanut Patch in Yuma, Arizona. For more recipes visit

This campfire recipe is from cowboy poet and western entertainer Mike Moutoux ‘New Mexico’s Enchanting Cowboy’, who is based in Silver City, New Mexico. Read some of his poetry at

2 lbs. salmon cut into 4 pieces 1 Tbsp. olive oil 1 tsp. salt 1 tsp. ground cumin 1 tsp. onion powder 1 tsp. paprika ½ tsp. ancho chili powder 1 tsp. black pepper 1 jar Avocado Salsa (optional) Mix salt, chili powder, cumin, paprika, onion powder and black pepper together. Rub the mixture over the salmon pieces using the olive oil. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Preheat grill. Grill until desired doneness (around 5-10 minutes). Tastes great topped with Avocado Salsa!

BBQ Corn on the Cob This summer favorite is from Terri Bailey, co-owner of Bailey’s Palomar Resort in Palomar Mountain, California. For more of Terri’s recipes visit

When we are entertaining around the fire we find these quesadillas easy to prepare ahead of time and cook when the guest have all arrived. Ingredients: flour tortillas, cooked meat (ground beef, chicken or pork) seasoned, El Pinto Green Chili Sauce, shredded cheese, black olives. Build the quesadillas by buttering one side of a tortilla and laying it face down on a paper plate. Spread the meat and other ingredients over the tortilla and cover with a second tortilla. Butter the top side and cover with another paper plate. Continue building and stacking until you have enough. Store in the fridge until guests arrive. To cook, heat up a griddle over the fire and lay a quesadilla on it. Cook about two minutes until just crispy, flip and cook the other side. Cut into wedges with a pizza cutter and serve immediately.

8 Ears of corn, grilled 4 Tbsp. melted butter 1½ tsp. lemon pepper 8 drops lime essential oil ¼ tsp. salt ¼ tsp. garlic powder 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper ½ bunch of Cilantro 1 Lime Cotija Cheese Mix all dry ingredients and oil together and brush over the buttered corn. Top with Cotija cheese, cilantro and drizzle lime juice over the top. Note: Soak the corn cobs in water first, so they don’t burn! PAGE 59

Why Gardens Are Crucial to Our Survival By Nancy J. Reid

It is estimated that there are over 400,000 species of plants on Earth. That’s a good thing since neither man or animal could survive without plants. Plants grow underwater, in deserts, in the Arctic, in forests and jungles and there are even airplants that grow without needing soil. Almost all the air we breathe comes from green plants that produce oxygen. While plants produce the oxygen that animals need, in return, animals produce carbon dioxide that plants need to mix with water and the Sun’s energy to survive. Plants manufacture their own food where animals need to get their energy from the food they eat - and that can be plants and/or other animals. Scientist’s have told us since the 1850s, that the Earth is a closed system, with nothing coming in and nothing going out - everything is automatically recycled, like oxygen and carbon dioxide, as part of our natural existence. It makes sense then, that not only do we enjoy strolling through gardens, but we need to be careful about what happens to the plants in our environment.

Listen to our interview with Julian Duval, Executive Director, of the San Diego Botanic Garden. Besides providing the oxygen we need to survive and a lot of the food we need, plants and trees provide shelter and shade, and prevent soil erosion (which costs the USA several billion dollars every year). In addition, not only do native plants and rain gardens have deep root systems that anchor soil, they act as filters, cleaning up dirty run-off water from rooftops, streets, and concrete by pulling out pollutants, absorbing and returning water to the water tables, and slowing down flooding.

It takes one acre of trees to produce enough oxygen to keep 18 people alive for one year. Each of those trees will absorb about 13 pounds of The power of plants goes even further…. They are carbon dioxide each year. The same acre of trees the antidote to the crazy lifestyle we have created will absorb 2.6 tons of carbon dioxide, enough to for ourselves. Gardening or enjoying a walk clean up the emissions of just one car that has through a beautiful garden connects us to who we been driven for 26,000 miles. There are over 7.4 are… a species dependent on other species for our billion people on Earth. Knowing that, do the math very breath, our food, and our sanity. and you realize we should absolutely think before Continued on Next Page… destroying forests, no matter their location. PAGE 60

Studies have shown that enjoying a garden reduces the stress hormone cortisol, reverses ‘attention fatigue’, reduces depression, and can actually increase the metabolism of serotonin, the chemical thought to maintain our mood balance. Enjoying a garden also gets you out into the sun and fresh air for some gentle exercise. And what about our video game addicted youth? How far removed are they from their food source and the natural world? According to Anne Palmer, program director of Eating for the Future, a program based at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health Center for a Livable Future, in Baltimore, “Studies of after-school gardening programs suggest that kids who garden are more likely to eat fruits and vegetables, and they're a lot more adventurous about giving new foods a try.” We recently traveled to the Leucadia/Encinitas coastal communities of San Diego County in Southern California. There are two magically wonderful gardens in this area that should be on everyone’s visit list.

There is a wide selection of fruits that are grown in Southern California and you can view the trees in the Subtropical fruit garden.

The San Diego Botanic Garden, formerly Quail Gardens, is open 364 days a year from 9 am to 5 pm with Continued on Next Page… extended hours to 8 pm on Thursdays during summer. You are free to wander The San Diego Botanic Garden is home to the nation’s throughout the 4 miles of trails on 37 largest public collection of bamboo. acres exploring over 20 different garden types. This is definitely an amazing garden that cleverly combines plants, art, music and the opportunity to explore and discover the world of plants for yourself. There is something wonderful waiting for visitors here. No matter which area of the garden you are in, whether you are young or young at heart, with others or walking alone, you will want to visit again. There is no way you can take it all in in one visit.


Power of Plants Continued… With over 4000 plant species at the San Diego Botanic Garden, you can experience Mediterranean, Mexican, African, Central American and Australian Gardens, as well as the nation’s largest public collection of bamboo. From desert plants, tropical fruits, Native Californian plants, to a fully interactive Children’s Garden, the natural beauty here also provides the perfect setting for the annual display of 40 or more sculptures. The Hamilton Children’s Garden is an innovative place to play. Vultures hang out and watch the kids climb and explore the tree house or discover their musical talent playing a giant xylophone, steel drum or bamboo vibes. With whimsical sculptures as an audience, even adults can’t resist playing a tune or two. This is also the perfect place to learn about growing vegetables and running a water-wise garden. As you stroll the gardens you come across sculptures as well as living sculptures like the photo on our front cover. The Mexican garden display is one of the most interesting and beautiful. Life size Mariachis and Senoritas grown from varieties of succulents are a popular and novel exhibit. The Hamilton Children’s Garden provides a place to discover music and art as well as hone your climbing skills.


The Mexican garden features Mariachis and Senoritas grown from succulents.

There are sculptures artfully placed throughout the gardens, an exhibit that changes annually. Continued on Next Page‌


Power of Plants Continued‌ There are plenty of unusual plants to see, many from other parts of the world like Australia, South America and Africa in addition to several kinds of landscapes from tropical rain forest to desert. Because of time and weather constraints we could not visit them all, which means, of course, return visits will be scheduled. For more information visit Another great garden destination is the 50 acre Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch in Carlsbad, just a few minutes down the road. This garden is a great example of how to augment agriculture for an educational and tourism benefit. Although they are a working farm, they open up to the public from March through to Mother’s Day every year, so all can see the thousands of Ranunculus blooms before they are harvested. There are demonstration gardens, greenhouses, flower mazes and more to see. There are Master Gardeners on hand to answer questions and group tours for 20 or more are available. The Flower Fields is also home to a one acre replica of the American Flag as a tribute to those lost during 9/11. This flower flag has 18,989 red, blue and white petunias that bloom in spring. Visit for information.

There are many plants from Australia, South America, Africa and other parts of the world on display. Listen to our interview with Fred Clarke, Executive Director, of the Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch.

Both garden destinations are perfect venues for tours, weddings, life celebrations and special events.

There are 50 acres of Ranunculus, demonstration gardens, greenhouses and more at The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch.

Have we lost touch with nature so much that we threaten our own well-being and future? Love Thy Nature is a brilliant documentary by award winning filmmaker Sylvie Rokab, narrated by Liam Neeson. It is a thoughtful film that reveals how important and urgent it is that we take a strong look at the benefits of re-connecting and learning from nature. Love Thy Nature examines the collective mindset of today and the results of that mindset. The film is beautifully done, well thought out and extremely inspiring and uplifting. I think it is a film everyone would gain something from watching. For more information visit PAGE 64

Hope 2o Water Testing Kits for Your Home & Garden

Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Dr. Andrea Neal, Founder of Blue Ocean Sciences.

Many consumers are working to avoid phthalates, the toxic compounds used to make plastic hard or soft, by switching to glass containers or buying water filters. However, scientist and professional water researcher Andrea Neal, Ph.D. is concerned about what she is seeing in her water testing lab. Specifically, she is seeing very high levels of phthalates in the samples her lab tests. “Every sample we have looked at, whether environmental or a home test, has had some level of phthalate compounds in it. Often times the levels are very high (from 50-700 PPB).” Dr. Neal says. Dr. Neal has a Ph.D. in molecular genetics and lipid biochemistry and a Ph.D. from Swedish Agricultural University where she studied the effects of toxins on our soil. “I truly believe that as consumers, we have the biggest role to play in activating this change by putting our vote where our money is,” says Dr. Neal.

Hope2o provides water testing kits to consumers, businesses, and non-profit organizations. They offer people, companies, municipalities, government agencies and academics tools, state of the art technologies, and validated scientific information for rapid detection and assessment of harmful chemicals and heavy metals in water, soil, urine, breast-milk, sweat, food products, nutritional Interesting background from her: “Recently, our lab supplements, and pharmaceuticals. Visit looked at 100 pristine miles of the Alaskan coast. This coastline, while very remote and hard to get to, is littered with our plastic trash. We were looking for radioactive heavy metals riding on currents from Fukushima in Japan. However, what we found was leaching of Phthalates from the accumulated plastic in the area in significant levels in open water. This is just further indication of how widespread the issue of Phthalates affecting our resources is. While still in its infancy as a product, plastics are something we use in our everyday lives and the sheer number of items and infrastructure we use on a daily basis is astounding. “While we can’t pinpoint the exact problem of where the Phthalates exposure is happening, we think that some may be due to the changeover from metal to plastic pipes in our homes,” Dr. Neal says. PAGE 65

New Orleans sits below sea level and is one of the wettest cities in the nation. Communities are forced to pump their storm water out through large pumping stations; however, they experience flooding often because the pumps cannot keep up with the amount of rainfall received. Also, because the water is continuously pumped out of the system, the soils do not stay as wet as they should--when they dry out they actually compact, and parts of New Orleans sink further below sea level. Water Wise NOLA was created by Global Green USA to show residents how they can be a part of the solution. By installing green infrastructure (rain gardens, bioswales, rain barrels, etc.), residents can manage storm water that falls off their roof before it reaches the pumping system. Because rain gardens and bioswales are aesthetically pleasing and provide an opportunity to re-introduce nature back into the urban environment, they are also seen as a tool for neighborhood beautification. Therefore, most of Water Wise NOLA’s work occurs in neighborhoods who have seen a disinvestment in neighborhood beautification. They are usually considered low income neighborhoods.

Photo to the right: Rain Gardens at Holy Cross Project PAGE 66

Big Blend Radio interview with Jeff Supak, Community Resiliency Program Associate, Global Green USA.

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1. Water Wise NOLA Continued‌ 3. Water Wise NOLA applies their work through: 1. Educating the community through on-the-ground community outreach. They table at local community events, present at neighborhood associations, and hold workshops in different neighborhoods promoting DIY green infrastructure strategies. 2. Demonstrating how green infrastructure works by having residents build their own rain barrels out of food grade barrels and building rain gardens and bioswales. They incorporate residents and elementary school students in the building process so that they can take these projects on in the future.


Not only is Water Wise interested in reducing flooding and subsidence, they are interesting in creating healthy neighborhoods by incorporating nature back into the system. Learn more about Global Green USA at Photos: 1. Community Outreach Day 2. Planting the Treme Rain Garden 3. Make a Difference Student Program 4. Broadmoor Water Wise Workshop 5. Rain Barrel Build

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At a time when the world faces a multitude of potential calamities – ranging from climate change to a struggling oil industry to rapid population growth – the solution could be all around us. Water, the world’s most valuable element, is the key ingredient to solving Earth’s most vexing problems, says Peter Neill, director of the World Ocean Observatory and author of “The Once and Future Ocean: Notes Toward a New Hydraulic Society.” It’s urgent that we stop lamenting our current condition and start focusing on doing something about it, he says. “It’s past time that we look to creating a hydraulic society, organizing our social, financial and political order around water in all its forms, places and uses,” Neill says. “The old paradigm of unlimited growth based on consumption, driven by fossil fuels, is exhausted and on the verge of collapse. “We see it all around us – in international conflict and migration, the volatility of the world economy and employment, and at home where the decline underlies so much of what concerns us.” He says Earth’s population – at 7.4 billion and counting – is putting extraordinary demands on the planet’s resources, which means it’s crucial that the world’s leaders and its citizens need to look to the ocean and the water cycle as vital resources that must be protected. PAGE 68

Big Blend Radio interview with Peter Neill, Director of the World Ocean Observatory.

Neill offers these reasons why that precious water holds the solution to humankind’s survival:

• Water is everywhere and is essential for life. Water covers 70 percent of the Earth. It exists in the ocean, in the atmosphere, on and in the Earth and even in the human body, Neill says. “Without it, regardless of how rich or poor we are, what economic class we’re from, or the color of our skin, we die,” he says. • The ocean contains a wealth of resources. Food is the obvious one, as evidenced by seafood restaurants that play a prominent role in the dining experience in most cities. But there’s plenty more, Neill says. Salt water can be converted to fresh water, providing a potential solution to droughts like the one now confounding California. “California has made enormous changes in their water habits because they had to,” Neill says. The ocean’s water also can be harnessed as an energy source, giving us an alternative method for producing electricity and allowing us to eliminate our dependence on fossil fuels. The ocean even holds possible cures for diseases, Neill says. “It’s also a place for recreation and personal renewal that, if treated with a respect that we haven’t given the land, will sustain us for generations,” he says. • The ocean helps drive the economy. Globalization can be traced to the first time someone boarded a boat and sailed off with goods to trade with people in some far off land, Neill says. Even in an age of air travel, the ocean remains the major player when it comes to transportation of goods. Roughly 90 percent of the world’s goods are transported by sea.

Neill worries that, as nations, communities and individuals, we will be too slow to recognize the ocean as our refuge from the multiple problems troubling the planet, and as the organizing principle around which our lives need to revolve. “The threats are real and the consequences devastating of continuing forward using the same systems and tools,” Neill says. “We can easily avoid catastrophe by using our imagination and the technologies that are available.” Inevitably, he says, the ocean is where we must go for fresh water, food, energy, health, political stability, community development and personal renaissance. “With another 2 billion people expected to be added to the world population by mid-century, with the exhaustion of the land, with the effects of climate change and extreme weather already evident, we must look for answers,” Neill says. “Where can we find them? In the ocean. We have no choice.” Click Here & Take the Pledge to Be a Citizen of the Ocean!

Peter Neill is founder and director of the World Ocean Observatory (W2O), a web-based place of exchange for information and education about the ocean. Neill previously served 20 years (19852005) as President of the South Street Seaport Museum, New York. He is the author of several books, including his latest, “The Once and Future Ocean: Notes Toward a New Hydraulic Society.” Visit PAGE 69

News, Action Steps & Legislation for Wildlife

Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Adam Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA and Born Free Foundation, about current wildlife conservation bills and issues including the END Wildlife Trafficking Act (S. 2385), EU Action Plan Against Wildlife Trafficking, SHARE Act (H.R. 2406), Sanctuary Fairness Act (H.R. 3294/S. 1898). Plus, listen to conservation news and issues concerning Pangolins, Lions, Elephants and Orcas in SeaWorld.

Wildlife trafficking has also been linked to other transnational organized criminal activities, including trafficking in narcotics, weapons, and humans. This scale of poaching poses a dire threat to the very survival of some of the world's most iconic wildlife species, including elephants and rhinos.

S. 2385: Eliminate, Neutralize, and Disrupt (END) Wildlife Trafficking Act: The Eliminate, Neutralize, and Disrupt (END) Wildlife Trafficking Act recognizes that wildlife trafficking is no longer only a conservation issue, but has rapidly escalated in scale, sophistication, and violence to threaten stability and security in multiple countries, and impact U.S. national security as well.


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EU Action Plan against Wildlife Trafficking: An initiative which demonstrates the importance of working together, Born Free has been at the forefront of efforts to encourage the European Commission to take meaningful action, both at home and abroad, to curb the illegal wildlife trade. In April 2015, Born Free launched a report entitled End Wildlife Trafficking, containing recommendations for an EU Action Plan. The Foundation has also been working closely with MEPs for Wildlife in support of the Action Plan, and coordinating input from like-minded groups and civil society. Sanctuary Regulatory Fairness Act (H.R. 3294/S. 1898): A glaring oversight in America’s federal legal code has prevented captive primates around the world from being rescued and receiving humane, lifetime care here in the U.S. Fortunately, Representatives Renee Ellmers (R-NC) and Peter DeFazio (D-OR), along with Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA), just introduced compassionate legislation that will give abused primates around the world a second chance at lives worth living! The Sanctuary Regulatory Fairness Act (H.R. 3294/S. 1898) would allow certified U.S. sanctuaries to rescue primates from captivity overseas. Please speak out to support this bill! S. 405/S.659/S. 556: The Sportsmen's Act of 2015: Born Free USA Position: OPPOSE. This bill is related to the SHARE Act (H.R. 2406) in the House, but the House bill contains several different/additional provisions. This omnibus bill combines many bad bills related to environmental resources into one. There are several problematic portions with dire implications for wildlife and the ecosystems they need to thrive. This is Congress at its worst: pandering to special interests and sacrificing smart conservation policy for political cache.

Pangolin Photo at top courtesy Piekfrosch at German Wikipedia

Keep Wildlife in the Wild Continued…

Protection for Pangolins: Responding to a scientific petition by conservation groups, on March 15, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Endangered Species Act protections may be warranted for seven species of pangolin, one of the most sought-after and poached wild animals in the world. With more than 1,100,000 pangolins estimated to have been trafficked globally from 2006 through 2015, Born Free USA, the Center for Biological Diversity, Humane Society International (HSI), The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) petitioned to protect the species in July 2015. 2016: The Year of the Lion: 2016 marks the 50th anniversary of the award-winning 1966 film Born Free, which captured the hearts of a worldwide audience with the story of Elsa the lioness. Our Year of the Lion campaign celebrates the film's anniversary and shines a spotlight on the urgent plight of lions. Experts believe that fewer than 20,000 lions exist across Africa today. The decline of the lion has been rapid and steep—and, without global action, the species could disappear from significant parts of Africa during our lifetime. Born Free USA and the UK-based Born Free Foundation are global leaders in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation and public education, they lead vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic “pets,” trapping and fur, and the destructive international wildlife trade. Learn More & Take Action to Keep Wildlife in the Wild at or visit


CANINE CONNECTION What’s The Difference Between a Wolf and a Coyote?

Big Blend Radio interview with Erin Hunt, Director of Operations at California Wolf Center in Julian, CA

A keystone species, wolves recovering in the Northern Rockies are known as the "engineers of biodiversity.” In a recent interview on Big Blend Radio, Erin Hunt explains the crucial roles wolves and coyotes play in creating a healthy and biodiverse ecosystem, as well as the differences between the species for identification including appearance, habitat, and diet. Wolves once roamed North America in countless numbers, but were hunted nearly to extinction in the lower 48 United States. This effects the population of coyotes of foxes, and other wildlife species such as elk, pronghorn, deer, and bison. The California Wolf Center is working to bring wild wolves back to suitable habitats and ensure successful coexistence. Located in Julian, San Diego’s historic mountain destination, the California Wolf Center is home to several packs of gray wolves, including an impressive pack of Rocky Mountain gray wolves as well as multiple packs of Mexican gray wolves. The Center offers educational tours and programs. Learn more at Top Photo: Wolf at the California Wolf Center, courtesy California Wolf Center Bottom Photo: Coyote at Point Reyes National Seashore by Lisa D. Smith



Cruising the Sea of Cortez by Deborah Stone I’ve seen many Oscar-worthy productions in my life, but perhaps the most memorable was performed by a pod of gray whales at Lopez Mateos in the Sea of Cortez. Our panga, or small boat, was surrounded by these magnificent creatures as they spy-hopped, spouted, rolled over, and displayed their distinctive flutes to an audience of star struck onlookers. The dramatic show reached its climax when several of the moms proudly brought their seven week-old calves to the side of our craft and we reached out to touch them. It was pure magic and I like to believe that both whales and humans shared in the joy of this incredibly special moment together. While whale watching is definitely one of the highlights of a trip to Baja California, there are so many other noteworthy experiences to be had in this unique region of Mexico. Located in the northwest section of the country, Baja California is an 800-mile narrow peninsula that separates the Pacific Ocean from the Gulf of California, also known as the Sea of Cortez. Despite proximity to the U.S. and rapid growth in tourism, the vast majority of the area has remained a wild and untamed paradise with an air of isolation that sets it apart from the rest of Mexico. Graced with mesmerizing desert landscapes, lush oases and rich marine life, Baja is an enticing destination that begs to be explored in a myriad of ways.

Deborah Stone talks about Cruising the Sea of Cortez on Big Blend Radio! The most optimum scenario is to ply the waters in a boat, allowing you to appreciate the beauty of the sea and its vibrant life, while also offering opportunities to enjoy adventures on shore. Aboard Pacific Catalyst II’s M/V Westward, passengers spend time discovering both milieus from the comfort of a treasured wooden vessel. The company’s eleven day “Baja and the Sea of Cortez” trip gives travelers the best of both worlds. And with only eight passengers and a crew of four, you are guaranteed to have an intimate experience with like-minded companions. Designed by Northwest Naval architect, L.E. “Ted” Geary, the Westward is modeled after a salmon cannery tender and constructed around a 1923 Atlas engine. It was launched in 1924 as the flagship of the Alaska Hunting and Cruising Company and pioneered hunting, fishing and adventure travel in remote regions of Washington, Alaska and British Columbia. Continued on Next Page…


Baja Continued… Over the years, the Westward served an esteemed clientele including such well-known personalities as Bing Crosby, Walt Disney, John Wayne, E.F. Hutton, George Eastman and Marjorie Merriweather Post. In the mid-70s, the boat was purchased by Donald and Anna Louise Gumpertz and moved to L.A. where it cruised the world, doing a 47,000 mile circumnavigation of the globe. Later, Hugh Reilly bought the Westward and returned it to the Pacific Northwest to resume her career as a charter and expedition vessel in Southeast Alaska.

The Westward is still powered by her original Atlas engine and is listed with the U.S. National Register of Historic Places for her contributions to maritime history. It has recently been completely upgraded and renovated with an eye to preserving the style and décor of its bygone roots. The vessel is very comfortable, with four staterooms, each containing a double and a single bunk, settee, sink, toilet, shower and closet. Though small, the cabins are cozy and contain the basic necessities. The rest of the boat consists of a salon, dining area, kitchen, outside deck, engine room, wheelhouse and crew quarters, which are located down below. Trips either begin in La Paz and end in Loreto or go in the reverse direction, but the exact itinerary of specific stops along the way can fluctuate, depending on weather conditions, interests of the passengers, wildlife observation opportunities and other factors. The crew’s mantra regarding this aspect of flexibility is simply, “It’s the plan until it changes.” With that attitude, it’s easy to adapt to whatever situation arises. And with its small capacity, the boat can enter areas that larger crafts cannot, allowing passengers to explore hidden locales in great depth.

Today, the boat is owned by Bill and Shannon Bailey, who run Pacific Catalyst II, an adventure travel business that operates small ship cruises in the Pacific Northwest, Southeast Alaska and Baja. The couple also own the M/V Catalyst, another historical craft that had its beginnings as the University of Washington’s first oceanographic research vessel back in 1932. Captain Bill views himself as a “steward” of an important piece of history and believes he has a responsibility to preserve a legacy of the past. He says, “I want to keep the old boats going. Besides, I can’t think of another job I’d rather be doing. I have the best cubicle on the planet.” PAGE 75

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Baja Continued… During the day, you’ll spend time viewing the many species of birds and sea creatures from the boat’s deck. It’s very common to see a pod of bottlenose dolphins racing alongside the vessel or soaring mobula rays jumping out of the water and putting on an astonishing aerobatic display, only to land with a loud bang as they belly-flop back into the sea. Frigatebirds, Great Blue Herons, Heermman’s Gulls, Grebes, Petrels, Hawks, and countless number of birds grace the skies and the water. My head was spinning from looking in every direction at the magnificent array of wildlife. It’s no wonder this region is known as the “aquarium of the world” and has often been compared to the Galapagos Islands. You’ll also visit pristine beaches on deserted islands, hike in the otherworldly landscape, kayak along picturesque shorelines and snorkel in the crystal clear waters amid schools of multi-colored fish. Activities are led by onboard naturalist Carlos Gajon, a personable La Paz native whose grasp of the regions, people history and ecosystem is encyclopedic. Carlos was key to our group’s understanding of the region and its unique ecosystems, and he never ceased to amaze us with his wealth of knowledge and fascinating stories. In addition, he is an accomplished kayaker and diver, often supplying the boat with fresh fish, clams and scallops, which later found their way to our plates at mealtime, courtesy of the superb talents of Chef Tracie Triolo. Each evening or late afternoon, the boat would anchor at a different locale, typically in a secluded and protected bay. The idea is not to travel during the night, but rather the day, allowing passengers to fully experience the journey. And, in case you’re wondering about noise at night, rest assured the boat is quiet, as it has an electrical system that allows the captain to go twelve hours at anchor without running a generator. Under the starlit skies, it’s often so quiet that you’re able to hear the humpbacks thumping or “pec slapping,” along with the panting breaths of the sea turtles. I found myself fixated on the color of the water, which ranged in hues from azure and aquamarine to emerald and turquoise, depending on time of day, vantage point and the winds. Everyone onboard had different descriptions for the sea, but we all agreed it was a constantly changing beast that could be calm and inviting one minute, then choppy and inhospitable, the next. We were fortunate during our cruise that the weather gods were in a good mood. PAGE 76

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Isla San Francisco proved to be one of the best snorkeling spots for our group, as we saw schools One of the most memorable activities you’ll have of colorful king angelfish, spotted grunts, gold and the chance to participate in is snorkeling with the blue snapper, trumpeters and even a boldly striped sea lions at Los Islotes, two guano covered rock zebra moray eel. For kayaking, San Jose Island islets, one with a large sea lion colony. More than provided a picture-perfect setting to paddle around, 400 California Brown sea lions make their home followed by a walk on Oyster Beach to a lighthouse here. You’ll find these sleek and intelligent and saltwater lagoon. The latter was particularly creatures lolling on rocks catching the rays, barking interesting as it had huge amounts of foam lapping to one another, asserting dominance in “king of the at the edges of its body of water, as well as in the hill” fashion and frolicking in the water. If you’re crevices of the surrounding vegetation, making the lucky, the young’uns will come right up to you, plants look like they were decorated with cotton wanting to play. They’ll do flips, spin around and try balls. The lagoon also appeared to have a copper to get you to mimic their antics. These consummate bottom, which we were told was due to the rust comedians are guaranteed to make you laugh. affect from the algae in the saltwater. Baja Continued…

Another island of note is Isla Pardito, a tiny fishing village with only twenty residents. Located about fifty miles north of La Paz, this community has been the home of five generations. Years ago, the first inhabitants came to the island, searching for a peaceful place away from the negative influences of town, where they could make just enough money to live simply. They chose the spot because it lacked no-see-ums, the pesky, almost invisible mosquitos that can drive a person crazy, as well as the fact that it had ideal access to prime fishing waters. On our visit to Pardito, we met Sylvestre, one of the few residents remaining on the island, who greeted us and showed us how to fillet the trigger fish he caught the previous night. This mellow and tasty fish subsequently turned up on our plates at dinner that evening.

A walk through the arroyo and down into the canyon at Punta Ballena provided good examples of some of the many types of cacti that are found in Baja, such as cardon, choya, barrel, agave, organ pipe and tiny mammillaria. The variety is extensive with a multitude of shapes and sizes. Some of the cacti looked distressed due to lack of water or because animals had gotten to them. One or two were in early bloom, presenting colorful flowers to enliven the environment. It’s interesting to note that the more arms a cactus has, the older it is. We saw plenty of “senior citizens” in residence!


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Baja Continued…

Exploring the islands is also akin to taking a walk back in history, as many of them contain prehistoric On our trip, we were fortunate to be able to visit middens associated with past human occupation. Santa Catalina Island in Loreto Bay National Park. On Puerto Gato, for example, you can find shards Due to its remote location and often prevailing of rocks that were most likely used to sharpen strong winds, this island can be a challenge for tools. Other islands are known to have bones that boats to reach. Catalina is known as the land of the possibly belong to the mysterious Pericú, a fierce, giant barrel cacti and walking among these independent tribe that disappeared over a century behemoths made me feel very small and ago after being exposed to European disease. insignificant. The plants grow in larger proportions because the island has its own microclimate. They Mealtimes are a delight on the Westward, with the stand as grand sentries in this unique landscape, crew joining passengers at the table to see what where the endemic rattleless rattlesnake roams. delectable culinary surprises the chef has whipped Another dominant feature of the island is Elephant up. Chef Tracie is a magician in the kitchen. She Rock, aptly named for its likeness to an elephant utilizes ingredients from local providers whenever whose trunk is hanging down into the sea. On the possible to create wholesome, yet tasty dishes, beach was a dead sea turtle that had most likely making use of spices and herbs she grows in pots been washed ashore many months ago. Joining it onboard the boat. Know that you will eat well and was a dead sting ray with its stinger still intact. that the food is a definite highlight of the trip. One Seeing this sharp, serrated “knife” up close gave night you might have broiled clams as an appetizer, me a newfound respect for the ray’s lethal weapon. followed by turkey enchiladas with mole sauce. The pièce de résistance, however, was when we Another night it could be prosciutto-wrapped were heading back to the Westward and spied a chicken or pork loin with sweet potato and Brussel hammerhead shark leisurely cruising through the sprout hash. water. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 78

Baja Continued…

For more information, contact AdventureSmith Explorations at: Seafood reigns supreme, as fresh fish and shellfish are conveniently available. Lunches are equally as AdventureSmith Explorations is the world’s leading varied, from homemade pizza to lobster rolls and online resource for small ship cruises, adventure ceviche. Tracie even makes her own sushi! And the cruises and adventure travel. desserts are heavenly, especially if you’re a Deborah Stone is a travel and lifestyle writer, who chocoholic. explores the globe in search of unique destinations and experiences to share with her readers. She’s The fourth member of the crew, Randy Good, an avid adventurer who welcomes new serves as the ship’s carpenter and engineer. He opportunities to increase awareness and was equally instrumental as the other three crew enthusiasm for travel and cross-cultural members in creating a warm and hospitable connections. Her travels have taken her to all seven environment on the boat. On our trip, Randy was continents, over 65 countries and 45 U.S. states. mainly occupied with putting on some finishing touches to the Westward, though he was never too Debbie’s stories and monthly columns, which have busy to stop and chat or lend a hand helping with a featured everything from rafting the Grand Canyon and seeing polar bears near the Arctic to cycling variety of duties. And come mealtime, he was always ready with a witty remark or humorous tale through Belgium and trekking in the Annapurna’s of Nepal, appear in a number of publications as well to recount, often sharing the floor with the everas on various travel websites. Deborah is a entertaining Captain Bill. longtime Seattle area resident, who currently During the journey, I saw the ease in which resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Read her stories passengers and crew formed bonds and became a at close knit family. There’s a wonderful sense of camaraderie that exists on this type of trip, as those who choose such an experience are generally open and friendly individuals, curious about their surroundings, while possessing a deep and abiding respect for nature. And because there are no T.V.s or computers, or cell phone service that works while you’re cruising the Sea of Cortez, you will be totally unplugged, leaving more time to cultivate friendships and become connected to this remarkable and idyllic region.


A Trip of a Lifetime By Linda Kissam ‘Food, Wine & Shopping Diva’

When I announced to my family and friends I was going on an 11-day press trip to Jordan, there was, in general, dead silence. Then came the doubts, the questions, the suggestion that I “pass” on this particular opportunity. I could have, but I didn’t. This was likely to be the trip of a lifetime. It was.

Listen to Linda Kissam on Big Blend Radio! Safety Concerns If you’re considering visiting the Middle East anytime soon, you might want to start with Jordan. Jordan is on friendly terms with everyone that surrounds them, making it the safest destination to travel to in the Middle East. Based on my experience there, I can totally recommend it as a safe place to start your exploration to the Middle East. So if safety has been a concern for you and is a reason why you haven’t ventured out into that part of the world, you should definitely reconsider. The crowds are down and the Jordanians are pleased to see you. What are you waiting for? Continued on Next Page…


Traveling Jordan Continued… I will suggest that you work with a tour company for accommodations, tours and a personal guide for the first few days. Get the feel of the place before you venture out on your own, BUT once you decide to do so, you can safely wonder around on your own. Rent a car, go see the sights by yourself or with others. Although there are no “legal” dress codes, leave the tight leggings, short shorts and skimpy tank tops at home. Ask before you take the photo of any Jordanian lady. Eat local foods and you can drink the water, but stay on the safe side and drink bottled water if given a choice. Wine and spirits are available everywhere. Did you know, wines are made in Jordan? What to Expect You are not likely to see beggars or have shop owners harass you. I rarely saw a child (of any age) without a parent. There is an active presence of what is called the “Tourism Police.” They are “on” 24 hours a day, generally seen around popular tourism spots. They all speak excellent English and are there to assist as needed and to protect Jordan archeological sites from thieving tourists. If you’re looking for extraordinary scenery, a surprising educational experience, heaps of history and millennia-old archaeological sites, Jordan is the right place to visit. The culture is very different from ours, but then again, that’s the point of travel, life experiences. You get to learn about different cultures first-hand. While you can always read a book or watch a video about Jordan, there is something special about tasting the place in person. Once you experience cultural differences firsthand, you can begin to understand where other people are coming from and how they got there in the first place. Continued on Next Page…


Top 10 Things to Experience The beauty of Jordan is that it is ancient history meets 21st century development, age old cultural values meet contemporary change. One minute you can be in a large city, 60 minutes later you can be out in the wilds of the desert riding a camel. One day you’re shopping the city souks for gold, next day making Arabic coffee with a local in a Bedouin tent. One morning you’re learning how to bake bread in a dirt fire pit, that afternoon you are eating in a fancy restaurant, that evening you’re taking a modern cooking class in traditional cooking practices. Jordan is unexpected and spectacular, just saying.

Traveling Jordan Continued… Here are my top must do’s on your first visit to Jordan. 1. Fly into Amman. Stay at the modern Sheraton Amman Al Nabil Hotel and Towers. Great value, attentive staff, nice in-hotel restaurant serving traditional local foods and Western style dishes. Try dinner at Sufra (about 10 minutes away in the Rainbow District) featuring Jordanian homemade dishes in a traditional setting. Get used to having to go through security and a bag/body scanner/check upon entrance to all hotels. 2. Visit Jerash. Near Amman, it is considered the cross roads of civilization, this is a touching easy walking introduction to the many archeological sites in Jordan. Two hours spent here is a quick but powerful shot of Jordanian culture and history. Bring a hat, walking shoes, sunblock. Continued on Next Page…


Traveling Jordan Continued… 3. Check out the local Amman scene. Zumot Winery headquarters is worth a tasting trip. Jordanian wines are in their development stage for contemporary tastes, however you will find the biodynamic farming efforts paying off. Try the Saint George Merlot and Cabernet. Also, go downtown to try the world famous Hashem Restaurant located on a bustling stretch of King Hussein Street. You will be knocked out by their falafels, promise. Love that local sweet tea with floating mint as well. 4. Mount Nebo is quite moving. It is where Moses saw the Holy Land and is said to be buried. Enjoy the breathtaking, inspiring view across the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea to the rooftops of Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Seeing what Moses saw is priceless. 5. Stay at Feynan Eco Lodge. Touted as one of the top 50 eco lodges in the world, it is a truly unique experience. Arrive way before sundown, as the candle-lit lodge provides a low light, limited electricity environment that can be disorientating at first. The drive from town to the lodge is challenging, really best for four-wheeled vehicles. Once there and orientated, you’ll thrive in the day and nighttime views. Star gazing is amazing. Vegetarian only cuisine. Sign up for an eight-hour hiking tour with a real local shepherd and his flock. Or, ask to participate in an authentic Bedouin experience with a local Bedouin family. Mine was learning to make Arabic coffee and bread over a fire pit. Something I will cherish forever. 6. Petra. A smallish city with a big WOW factor. Stay at the stylish Moevenpick Petra Hotel. Walk across the street to start your tour of 5-hour walking tour of Petra (think Indian Jones in The Last Crusade). This is an archeological rich site. You either walk it, take a horse and carriage ride through it, or ride on horseback or donkey around it. I did the 2.5 hour walk in, the donkey ride and a carriage ride back. Fascinating. There is a nighttime “light show” tour offered. Pass on it. Not worth the money. All the experiential good stuff happens in the day tour. Sign up for dinner at Petra Kitchen. It’s just two blocks from the hotel. Working alongside local women under the supervision of a local chef, expect to learn how to make Jordanian favorite foods. I love this place. Highly recommend. About $50 a person for class and dinner.


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Traveling Jordan Continued… 7. Wadi Rum. This will be your immersion into the desert. Book a tour that includes a 3 hour jeep trip over around and through Wadi Rum, an overnight at a Bedouin tent camp at a Captain’s Desert Private Camp, and a 45 minute camel ride. Nothing you’ve done before can top this. Bring your own wine/spirits. BBQ included. No electricity. 8. Aqaba. This is your water experience. Stay at the contemporary Kempinski Hotel Aqaba Red Sea. Book a lunch cruise. Sun bath, snorkel or just float in the glorious Red Sea just a few minutes from the hotel. Later, take time to walk (or golf cart) down from the hotel to the Dead Sea. It’s true, you can’t sink. Quite the feeling …being as buoyant as a cork. Be sure to check out the hotel’s spa. All the high end services you’d expect, or just buy a day pass and use the facilities. The Dead Sea filtered pool is a must. The large indoor pool with the most distinctively amazing jet and whirlpool features is going to rock your world. 9. End your trip with the Bethany Beyond Jordan experience. Bethany is where John baptized Jesus Christ. You will be moved beyond words and spirit. Put your feet in the Jordan River, see others being baptized. All that stuff you learned in Sunday school comes forward to once again enlighten, renew and inspire. 10. Enjoy your Soul Hitches. Soul hitches are the small or large moments in life that change how you view yourself, an event or the world. It is the ability to hitch a ride on someone’s inner spirit and come out on the other side with a changed perspective. It can come from simply observing another person’s life, listening to a different point of view, or looking at something through someone else’s persona. It alters something in your thoughts that day as you literally hitch a ride on someone else’s highway, changing you forever because, as author Robert Clancy puts it, “…you hitch a ride on someone else’s soul and are changed forever because a piece of the other person stays with you and resonates with your spirit.” This is the essence of traveling Jordan. Thanks to Visit Jordan for hosting me during my visit. All opinions are my own and this article should be used for informational purposes only. For safety, always consult your government’s official travel advisory before visiting any country. Continued on Next Page…



Mandatory employment leave laws are nothing new. However, recently, legislatures have passed new leave laws or expanded old ones. It’s a trend that will likely continue. Below is a list of mandatory employment leave laws under both California and Federal statutes. Many states have leave requirements that are similar to the ones in California. CALIFORNIA: 1. California Family Rights Act (CFRA) 2. Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDLL) 3. Paid Family Leave (PFL) 4. Sick Leave 5. Kin Care 6. Juror Duty/Court Attendance 7. Crime Victim Leave 8. Organ/Bone Marrow Donor 9. Civil Service/Emergency Responder 10. Voting 11. Civil Air Patrol 12. Military Reserve Duty 13. National Guard and Active Duty Military 14. Military Spouse Leave 15. School Visitation of Parent/Guardian 16. Workers’ Compensation 17. Disability Reasonable Accommodation 18. Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, Stalking 19. Literacy Assistance

Listen to Ward Heinrichs on Big Blend Radio! CFRA/FMLA The CFRA is very similar to the federal FMLA. For the most part, it gives employees more rights than FMLA, but not all employees have access to either. The employer must employ 50 or more employees within 75 miles. The employee must be employed at least one year and have worked a minimum of 1,250 hours during the year. Assuming eligibility, then an employee may take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for a serious health condition, serious health condition of a family member, birth and bonding of/with a child, placement of a foster child. Continued on Next Page…

FEDERAL 1. Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) 2. Pregnancy Discrimination Act 3. USERRA (Military return to work) Most leave laws are state laws. Some important and/or new ones in California are: CFRA/FMLA, Pregnancy Disability Leave Law (PDLL), Paid Family Leave (PFL), Sick Leave, Kin Care, Disability Reasonable Accommodation, and Domestic Violence. PAGE 86

SICK LEAVE All employers, with very few exceptions, must give employees at least three days of paid sick leave. The employee must have worked at least thirty days for the employer and can only take this leave after completing 90 days of employment. Kin Care is tied to the sick leave law. An eligible employee may take up to half of any accrued sick leave to care for an ill family member.

Leave Laws Continued‌ PDLL The employer must employ at least 5 employees. Pregnant employees may take 4 months of unpaid leave for disabilities caused by pregnancy, child birth, or related medical conditions. The federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act requires employers to give the same leave rights that it gives to other disabled employees to employees who are disabled due to pregnancy, child birth, or related medical conditions. PFL Employees who pay into the State Disability Insurance (SDI) fund may receive up to 6 weeks of pay for bonding with a baby within one year of birth or for caring for a family member with a serious health condition. It does not grant time off or protect reinstatement rights. SDI also pays for time off during pregnancy and after child birth, in addition to PFL payments.

DISABILITY REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION In California, an employer who has 5 employees, must engage in an interactive process with disabled employees who need a reasonable accommodation to perform the essential functions of their jobs. An employer must grant a reasonable accommodation. Reasonableness includes analyzing the burden to the employer. Depending upon the circumstances, unpaid leave may be a reasonable accommodation. The length of reasonable leave also depends on the circumstances. DOMESTIC VIOLENCE/SEXUAL ASSAULT/STALKING Employers who have at least 25 employees must give unpaid leave to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking to get medical, psychological, and crisis treatment and to make court appearances. 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


Three Questions to Ask to Decide Which Ideas to Keep and Which to Toss Don’t just innovate—innovate with intent. Patrick J. Stroh lays out three big questions leaders should ask when evaluating which ideas and solutions generate real value for their company—and which ones are innovation just for innovation’s sake. All organizations want to foster innovation. After all, it’s how we grow, improve, delight our customers, and—yes—keep getting paid. In today’s rapidly changing global landscape, our ability to come up with new ideas is what keeps us relevant. Organizations are augmenting their business value proposition on average every three to five years, and we can do that only with a focus on and widespread commitment to the I-word. Yet, all innovations are not created equal. So, how to separate the “WOW!” from the “Eh, not now”? This is a question that confounds many leaders, says Patrick Stroh. And the answer is (ironically) to ask more questions. “When I talk with organizations about innovation, I ask them to answer, ‘Define what important innovation means to you,’” says Stroh, author of Advancing Innovation: Galvanizing, Enabling & Measuring for Innovation Value! “It sounds pretty basic, but you’d be amazed at how few people can answer it.

Patrick J. Stroh talks Advancing Innovation on Big Blend Radio! The truth is, if you don’t have a measuring stick to evaluate important ideas from so-so ideas or even poor ones, then it’s hard to expect your employees and others to innovate,” he adds. “Every company needs a set of questions and a repeatable method for considering innovations. It’s the answers to these questions that will determine which ideas drive innovation impact faster—and which ones are just noise.” So what types of questions should you ask? Well, whether you’re creating or evaluating the innovation ideas or projects, Stroh says it’s important to start with the following three overarching queries: 1. Is the idea or project core to your value proposition? 2. Is it either big or leverageable? 3. Will it take priority?


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Innovation Continued… These three questions can help you determine which ideas are worth pursuing and which ones just sound interesting. Still, you need to go deeper into each one if you’re seeking to truly create value in your business. Here are some questions to guide that deeper dive as you decide whether something is an important innovation—or just lipstick on a pig: Is the idea or project core to your value proposition? • If it isn’t core to your value proposition, why would you want to spend resources on it? • Are you innovating just to say you are trying something new? • Is there a market and customers for this? (It can be a new market, of course, but define it.) • Would we be willing to add or divert existing, core business sales and marketing dollars to promote this new product/service? • How will you launch and service this offering with existing and new customers? Is it either big or leverageable? • Is this a big opportunity in market size? • Is this a key area or opportunity for our industry or market? • Is this a highly leveraged initiative that has cumulative impacts across our value proposition? • Do we have suppliers or partners that could do this for us already? • What is the impact if we don’t do this? Will it take priority? • Would I stop other priorities that we are currently working on to take on this initiative? • What would our board of directors or customers say if they knew this was moving to the top of the priority list? • Considering our current operating plan, can we execute on this new initiative? • Will this initiative survive the resource and implementation gauntlets in our organization?

“If you take a ‘judging’ approach, you’ll be seen as putting up barriers, and your efforts to encourage innovation will be poorly received,” he warns. “Ask questions and do due diligence, but have a mantra of finding ways to ‘get to yes’! And don’t make these questions a secret. Tell employees how you evaluate ideas. Tell them the rules to the game so they can play—and play to win for all.” Patrick Stroh is president of Mercury Business Advisors, providing management advisory services in business strategy, innovation, and product development, and author of Advancing Innovation: Galvanizing, Enabling & Measuring for Innovation Value! and Business Strategy: Plan, Execute, Win! He serves on the board of directors for the Institute of Management Accountants and was also appointed as a fellow in Palladium’s Positive Impact Research Institute. Visit Advancing Innovation: Galvanizing, Enabling & Measuring for Innovation Value! is a must-read how-to guide for fostering innovation in your organization. The book explains the significance and undeniable need for a yin and yang relationship referred to as “innovation governance.”

Patrick Stroh outlines “Keep in mind that these are meant to be clarifying practical execution steps, downloadable forms, questions, not disqualifying ones,” adds Stroh. “Clarifying questions keep digging into the idea with innovation insights, and introduces Innovation positive intent. You are digging to find the sweet Value Score® (IVS), a spot, the spot where the idea can be unleashed proprietary measurement and add value to your organization. If you are asking questions in a disqualifying manner, you are system to calculate, compare, and improve questioning as a means of judging before fully innovation value creation— understanding. which is now a must-have for organizational survival. The book is available at PAGE 89

PR INSIDER Gwendolyn “Makeda” Smith Hundreds of clients have benefited from the magic touch of Gwendolyn “Makeda” Smith and her agency, Jazzmyne Public Relations, in the past three decades. A-list celebrities, athletes, authors, filmmakers, music producers, rappers, special events and businesses alike have received not only expert publicity service, management and consulting but a caring ear and kind heart from the agency head, popularly know as just “Makeda.” Now celebrating almost 30 years in business, Makeda is still proudly and diligently pushing forward. Surprising to many, Makeda is a veteran entertainment industry publicist who also practices the art of pole dancing to stay fit. She began her pole practice almost five years ago at the age of 50 and is now 55 years old. She views her inner dance alter ego, “Sheba,” as a testimony to the goddess within every woman, fluidly mixing her pole practice with liquid sensuality, stamina and strength while maintaining her professional persona as one the industry’s most respected public 6. What personal changes have you had to relations experts. make in order to grow your company? As a female entrepreneur I had to 'get tough' long time So what does it take to be a successful ago. Most of my business was from men - and publicist? Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview often they felt like they could take advantage of me with PR pro Makeda Smith, founder of Jazzmyne as a business owner. So I had to learn to 'do Public Relations, and read her answers to our 10 business like a man' and be less emotional. PR Insider Questions about her career, including the challenges she faces and her inspirations. 7. What do you consider your biggest challenge? My biggest challenge is staying 1. Why did you choose to work in the PR industry? I was in high school and looking through positive when business slows down, and always affirming more business is on the way! a career journal in preparation for attending college. The description for public relations just 8. If you could invite any three people (alive or resonated with me and sounded like a perfect passed on) for a dinner party who would they career choice! be? Makeda, the Queen of Sheba; Mary 2. What attributes do you have that make you a Magdalene and Oprah. good fit for running a PR agency? My attributes include great writing skills, good listening skills and 9. If you could switch careers for a day, what would you choose? I would operate a dance compassion for people and their stories. studio and teach older women exotic movement 3. Who or what inspires you? dance classes. I would have to say that people in general inspire me. I honestly believe we are all reflections of a 10. What is the most important tip you would greater power. pass on to another person just getting started in the same career? I always advise newcomers 4. Describe your ideal client. That's easy - one to the business to intern. Internships are the best who pays upfront and on time – lol! learning ground. 5. What is your pet peeve in regards to your business? People who don't pay their bills!

For more about Makeda Smith and Jazzmyne Public Relations, visit PAGE 90

A Lawyer, a Casino Owner and a Crime Writer Walked into a Bar…

They each sat down, ordered a drink and amidst some witty remarks and humorous banter, started discussing life, business and success. Wonder what they had to say? Wonder what their similarities are and what challenges they face in their careers?

Attorney S. Ward Heinrichs, Esq. – Partner of Backstrom & Heinrichs Attorneys at Law in San Diego, CA. Ward is a regular Big Blend Radio guest and contributor to Big Blend Radio & TV Magazine.

Jay Dini - Owner of Dini’s Lucky Club Restaurant & Casino Yerington, Nevada. Established in 1933, Dini’s Lucky Cub is the oldest family owned casino in Nevada. Visit

Grab your favorite after-hours beverage and listen to this lively Big Blend Radio Happy Hour conversation!

Ron Chepesiuk – Award-winning author of over 26 books, investigative journalist, screen writer and movie producer, publisher at Strategic Media Books, host of Crime Beat Radio and a consultant to the History Channel’s Gangland TV series. Visit


Over our 35 years of operating SuperCamp and Quantum Learning school programs, we’ve found that excellent students share many traits and strategies. In an effort to share the most important, we’ve boiled them down to five basic habits: #1 – PREPARE Prepare yourself by cultivating a winning attitude. Listen to the Big Maintaining a positive attitude is a vitally important Blend Radio learning asset, and has a tremendous effect on your interview with success. Henry Ford once said, “Whether you Bobbi DePorter believe you can, or you believe you can’t, you’re right.” Remember, your attitude is your choice—you can choose to keep it positive. Maximize memory by creating mental images of the content. Make content meaningful by connecting it Prepare your space by creating a “home office” for to something you already know. study. Make sure it’s comfortable, quiet, and well-lit in an area where you can limit interruptions. Play Maximize motivation by finding the WIIFM (what’s baroque music softly in the background while you’re in it for me). When you come up with ways the studying, and upbeat music for breaks. Hang lesson will benefit you, your ability to focus and inspirational signs to remind yourself: I am an learn increases, it’s more fun, and time goes faster! excellent learner! Remember that school is only one Maximize your thinking by analyzing the content. place where you will be learning. Make sure your Ask yourself questions. Do I agree? Is this fact or home study area supports your learning. opinion? What do I think about this material? #2 – FOCUS Actively participate in your learning. Focus by being clear on your outcome. Define what #4 – REVIEW you want to achieve and in how much time. Chunk Use the 10-24-7 strategy to review your learning. your content into small sections then focus your attention on one piece at a time. Take short breaks Quickly review small chunks after 10 minutes, review important points and sub-points within 24 between sections of content. hours, and review often during the next 7 days. #3 – MAXIMIZE Maximize your learning by utilizing strategies for all Use the theta scan strategy. Your brain moves information from short-term to long-term memory learning styles—visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. during sleep so just before you turn off your light, Use visual notes and posters, use color, talk to scan your notes and think about what you learned yourself (yes, out loud), and move around while during the day that you want to transfer to longyou’re learning, making up motions to remind term memory. yourself of main points.


5 Habits Continued… #5 – GIVE YOUR BEST EFFORT – and CELEBRATE YOUR LEARNING! Don’t settle for less than your best! Track your progress, analyze your results, and consider what you can do differently next time. And always celebrate your successful outcomes as well as your progress along the way. When you give your best effort, learn from your results, and celebrate your learning, you succeed as a student! CULTIVATE THESE 5 HABITS AND YOU WILL BECOME A STUDENT WHO EXCELS! 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


How to Create a Mental Map of the United States of America By E. Andrew Martonyi, author of the awardwinning ‘Little Man in the Map’ children's geography book series. We create mental maps every day as we go about our usual business. For example, when you take your child to a school for the first time you automatically create a mental map of the school, the playground, the cafeteria, and of course your child's classroom. Later, when you think of your child at school, you don't see the playground as an imagined field, but in your mind's eye you see the swings, the monkey bars, the sports fields and the hopscotch area in the corner of the sidewalk. The same holds true of your child's classroom and the cafeteria. You can see where your child sits, where the teacher's desk is, and the bookracks. In the cafeteria you see the rows of tables and the serving line. By remembering what is unique about each place, you have created a mental map of that school.

Listen to E. Andrew Martonyi discuss Mental Maps on Big Blend Radio! Each state becomes unique in our minds. Going further, if that visual information has a direct relationship with the shape of that state and with the states around it your mental map can immediately place it in its proper location. The uniqueness of each state and its proper location can be reinforced with both rhyme and song, a time-tested and fun way to aid memory. Should your mental map become a bit hazy the rhyme related to that state or states, can easily bring it back. For an example, watch this video below.

If you have a child at another school, you have an entirely different mental map for that place, and will not confuse the two. This is how our memory works, by distinctly mapping each playground with its unique characteristics. However, if all playgrounds were just large open, empty fields with nothing in them or anything surrounding them except more open fields, how would you distinguish one from the other? If you think of a map of the United States, the states are like the empty playgrounds with no E. Andrew Martonyi is the author of the awarddistinguishing information for your mental map winning ‘The Little Man In the Map: With Clues To except that of their shapes. But if we put visual Remember All 50 States’ and ‘The Little Man In the information (not unlike the playground equipment) Map Teaches the State Capitals!’ Learn more at into each state, that allows us to create a mental map to distinguish one from the other. PAGE 94

Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with ultramarathon runner Lisa Smith-Batchen about her Commitment to run across country to raise money for Grammy award winning artist Imagine Dragons’ public charity for pediatric cancer families, The Tyler Robinson Foundation! Her accomplishments as an endurance runner and ironman athlete have made her one of the most revered athletes in the world.

One Goal. Break the 36-year-old 3100 Hundred Mile Overall Coast-To-Coast Foot Speed Record while raising money for Pediatric Cancer, Lisa Smith Batchen will RUN THE NATION and raise money for Grammy award winning artist Imagine Dragons’ public charity for pediatric cancer families, the Tyler Robinson Foundation. On April 24, 2016, 55 Year Old, Lisa Smith Batchen embarked on a transcontinental journey that started in Los Angeles and will conclude in New York City. To break the current foot speed record, Lisa will have to average 68 miles per day. The current Guinness Book of World records overall transcontinental coast-to-coast foot speed record is 46 Days, 8 Hours record set by Frank Giannino in 1980. The female record is 69 days, 2 hours and 40 minutes, achieved by Mavis Hutchinson in 1978. Lisa plans on breaking both. A famous Ultramarathon runner, Lisa has competed and won some of the world’s most difficult competitions including the Sahara’s “Marathon Des Sables” and the United States Badwater Ultramarathon twice. She has competed in 35 ultramarathons, 90 marathons, and has completed 5 Hawaii Ironman World Championships.

Lisa has raised millions of dollars to help women and children in need for various organizations throughout the world. Lisa will be running as a Tyler Robinson Foundation (TRF) Ambassador, raising money for families who are financially struggling due to their child’s cancer diagnosis. Through the TRF Ambassador Program Lisa continues to use her gifts of physical endurance and mental fortitude to help TRF families. She encourages those watching and cheering her on to donate, every little bit helps. The mission of The Tyler Robinson Foundation is to strengthen families financially and emotionally as they cope with the tragedy of a pediatric cancer diagnosis by providing hope, information, and relief through financial services, caring volunteers, and monetary grants. For more information or to donate directly, visit Numerous sponsors have graciously stepped up to participate including: Gatorade Endurance, Garmin, 1212 Group, Nuu Muu, Conway Electric, Fasano Pies, Pharmanex Nu Skin, Damascus Bakery, Zensah, HOKA, Lou Malnati’s, WiFi Ranger, Multisonus Audio, Tonez Audio, Selko Photo, Injinji socks Cocoa Elite, Coco5, Saltstick, Roobar, Tire Trainer, Trail Toes, Seton & Associates, Everything Smart, Crystal Wealth, Oblique, Shore Chan DePumpo LLP, Endurance Review, Gravity Pro, and USA Crossers. Every day Lisa Smith Batchen and her team will be posting photos, commentary about the run, and documenting Lisa’s progress. The national event will be produced by 1212 Group and will be streamed live on


HEALTH NEWS & INTERVIEWS Alternative and Integrative Treatments for Neck and Back Pain, and Autoimmune Diseases Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with spinal expert Dr. Jonathan Donath, author of ‘The Neck & Back Pain Solution: Everything You Need to Know About Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression Therapy.’

THE NECK & BACK PAIN SOLUTION When doctors themselves have serious neck or back pain, where do they turn for help? In many cases, it's renowned spinal expert Dr. Jonathan Donath and non-surgical spinal decompression therapy. This cutting-edge, FDA-cleared treatment is effective for the most severe herniated discs, sciatica, degenerative disc disease, and failed back surgery cases.

Dr. Donath is also certified in other techniques such as Active Release Technique (ART), a hands-on, non-invasive solution for soft-tissue injuries and the Graston Technique, a patented form of instrumentassisted, soft-tissue mobilization that enables clinicians to effectively break down scar tissue and fascial restrictions. Some conditions commonly improved by these two treatment techniques include headaches/migraines, back and neck pain, Conventional medical treatments for back and neck tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, plantar pain often don't work or only temporarily ease the fasciitis, TMJ pain, as well as most types of pain. Most of the more severe spinal pain cases tendonitis. can be attributed to bulging, herniated and Dr. Donath is an adjunct assistant professor at the degenerated discs. Customary medical treatment School of Medicine at New York Medical College overlooks the central problem: pressure on the nerves leading out of the spine, or pressure on the and is a frequent lecturer at Jacobi Medical Center in New York. Dr. Donath graduated Summa Cum spinal cord itself. Non-surgical spinal decompression therapy helps a high percentage of Laude from the University of Bridgeport College of patients who have failed to improve using all other Chiropractic, and was the valedictorian of his class. He also has a Masters degree in Human Nutrition. forms of traditional treatment. His book ‘The Neck & Back Pain Solution: Everything You Need to Know About Non-Surgical "I have treated thousands of patients and enabled them to obtain long term relief from crippling pain in Spinal Decompression Therapy,’ is available on their back, neck, legs, and arms,” says Donath. "Before anyone with severe back or neck pain For more information, please visit: considers surgery, with all its associated risks and problems, they should have an examination with a doctor who specializes in spinal decompression therapy to find out if they are a candidate for this treatment.” PAGE 96

Listen to our Big Blend Radio interview with Steve Schneickert and Julia Schopick, covering what MS is, what it’s like to live with it, and various treatments including Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN), a little-known yet proven treatment for autoimmune diseases that could save millions of lives, and hundreds of millions of dollars in health care costs.

HONEST MEDICINE Autoimmune diseases afflict over 50 million Americans, and exceed $100 billion in direct health care costs every year. The drugs commonly used to treat these diseases — a "terrible hundred” that includes multiple sclerosis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, and Crohn's — are expensive, often ineffective, and wreak havoc on patients, often with damaging side effects. For thirty years, lost-cost Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) has proven effective against these diseases.

Patient education has never been so important — and no more so than with autoimmune diseases, according to Schopick. But there's good news: a growing network of patients are learning about LDN and trying to break through the wall between Big Pharma and a known solution.

Julia Schopick is an award-winning blogger on health care and healing, and is the author of ‘HONEST MEDICINE: Effective, Time-Tested, Inexpensive Treatments for Life-Threatening Diseases’. Available on, Honest Medicine received the First Place Indie Excellence Award for Alternative Medicine, and after receiving Julia Schopick is the author of a blockbuster book several excellent reviews from doctors, is now on innovative medical treatments, Honest being translated into other languages. See Medicine. She was driven to search for better treatments after her husband was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor decades ago. Inspired by his Steve Schneickert is an actor, survival years beyond his doctor's predictions, she performer, voiceover artist saw firsthand just how effective treatments, can be and public relations — and how important it is to get the word out about specialist known for his them. She's now a passionate expert on a whole popular Hollywood History range of low-cost, non-toxic, effective treatments segments on Big Blend — "as well as the truth behind why doctors don't Radio. prescribe many of them. LDN has had tremendous success treating people with many autoimmune diseases. In fact, it's so promising that patients themselves underwrote a medical study. Yet doctors as well as patients are often in the dark,” she adds. "What keeps it on the outskirts of our awareness?” asks Schopick. "A terrible, medical Catch 22, in which most doctors only prescribe the drugs that are manufactured and marketed by pharmaceutical companies who have a stranglehold on the megastudies used for FDA approval.” PAGE 97

Ocean Jasper from Madagascar is actually chaldedony (a form of agate) which is characterized by orb-like patterns and a wide range of colors in fanciful patterns. It is commonly called orbicular jasper or sea jasper, and was found first on the coastline of Madagascar in 2001. At first it was thought that the deposits were primarily below the low tide line, but the deposits being mined now are actually on dry land nearby the original discovery. Jasper is an opaque form of quartz and being orbicular means it has an eye-like or orb patterns throughout the rock. Ocean Jasper is particularly colorful with wild patterns formed by the eyes, with colors of green, orange, red, yellow, white, black, brown, pink, blue and gray. It is hard to get good patterned pieces now as the primary deposit has been almost completely mined out since its discovery in 2001.

Listen to Marilee Strech discuss Ocean Jasper on Big Blend Radio!

This beautiful material is a stone of joy and high spirits, It relieves worry about the future and regrets about the past, helping one to value the here and now. Ocean jasper supports the expression of love and helps one to speak, think and act positively, releasing negativity. It promotes physical and emotional healing, easing respiratory problems and viral infections such as the flu and colds. In the environment, ocean jasper can be used for healing polluted seas and marine life and may be useful in a home aquarium as well. It gradually attracts money or good luck, and can be used for visualizations or journeys beneath the sea. The Zodiac sign is Pisces, the chakra is the heart, and it associates well with bloodstone, leopardskin jasper and moss agate. 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 PAGE 98

Signs Of Life, Love And Other Miracles Stephanie Kirz Shares Her Moving Tale of Love Lost And Found Similar to the bestselling Eat, Pray, Love, Stephanie Kirz pens an emotional tale of the love she lost when her husband unexpectedly passed away and how she found him again in special moments throughout the world. She documents her 5-year journey in Signs of Life, Love and Other Miracles, published by White Dog Press. When a 30-plus year marriage is shattered by tragedy, something compels author Stephanie Kirz to pack her bags and embark on a mysterious journey to faraway places that changes her life and fulfills her destiny, but not without a few bumps in the road.

Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with author Stephanie Kirz.

A travel writer and now a widow, she visited five countries searching for a sign, any sign of life from her late husband, and unexpectedly discovers death is not the end. His presence and enduring love were marked by reoccurring miracles placed in After a successful thirty-five year, award-winning her path. career in advertising and public relations, Stephanie started a small publishing company, As she wandered heartbroken through Egypt, White Dog Press, Ltd. Avid cyclists, she and her Thailand, Wales, Mexico and Italy, she found late husband pedaled 4000 miles across America, solace in the traditions of ancient cultures that through China, Bali, Scotland, Ireland, Italy, France, celebrate the life of someone that has passed Sicily and Costa Rica. Stephanie wrote travel away, not mourn their death. Her unrelenting quest articles and her husband, a photographer, provided to find answers led her to surprising knowledge of photos S tephanie makes her home on the west cultures rich in honoring, and connecting with the coast and continues to travel throughout the world. deceased, which she shares in this book. Now a practicing couch potato, she is working on her next book, MORE Signs of Life, Love, and Realizing she was not alone in feeling or sensing Other Miracles. For more information about that her husband was still with her in spirit, she Stephanie, visit her website at found many others who shared her secret. Friends, neighbors, and complete strangers contributed enlightening stories about seeing or sensing a sign of life from a loved one who had passed on. These inspiring accounts from the author as well as those people she met on her path offer insight into how to stay open to these miraculous signs of life, and hope that there is a way to reach into the hearts of lost loved ones on the other side and connect gloriously into the unknown. "Signs of Life, Love, and Other Miracles offers heartwarming, inspirational words to heal a grieving heart," comments Kirz. "My story is a love story about lost love and found love in the most unusual places.� PAGE 99

A Place Steeped in Western History By Melanie Kaminski When I told people I was going to travel to Yuma, Arizona I was met with a bit of skepticism. "What's to see in Yuma?" they'd ask. "Don't only snowbirds go there?" While it is true that snowbirds (people who live in cold climates who travel south for the winter) do make up much of the seasonal population there is much more to the area than its sunny skies. Having never visited before I was eager to learn more of the town 4 hours southeast of Los Angeles. With an open mind I headed there one recent February afternoon and discovered a place steeped in Western history. Yuma lies just east of the California border on the banks of the Colorado River whose current calm waters belie its wild history. When settlers first came West, the Colorado was a raging river seemingly impossible to cross. In Yuma the natural landscape led to a narrowing of the river and travelers began to cross by ferry. As technology progressed the ferry gave way to the train which begat the automobile. As the population of the West grew so did the need for water. The damming of the Colorado began and now it runs through Yuma at 10% of its original capacity but throughout its varied history it's turned this small settlement into a booming city.

Melanie Kaminski talks about Historic Yuma on Big Blend Radio! Although its population has expanded far beyond the banks of the river, Yuma has not forgotten its pioneer past and there are several historic sites scattered throughout the area. On my visit I made sure to visit as many as I could. Nestled on the banks of the river is the Quartermaster Depot - a US Army warehouse that stocked supplies for the forts of the West. Because of its location on the Colorado it was the ideal spot to unload supplies that were shipped via the Gulf of California. The site is now a state historic park and contains five building that are some of the oldest in Arizona. You can visit the Commanding Officer's residence which has been recreated to appear as it was during his tenure and there is also a large storehouse which houses an exhibit devoted to the steamships of the Colorado. Continued on Next Page‌

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Exploring Historic Yuma Continued‌ Located a few blocks from the Quartermaster Depot is the Sanguinetti House Museum and Gardens - the home of one of Yuma's most prominent residents. E.F Sanguinetti came to Yuma as a teenager with few resources. Luckily, what he lacked in funds he made up in intelligence and he quickly saw the town's need for retail goods. At the time people had to order their goods and wait for them to be shipped from the east via the Panama Canal through the Gulf of California and up the Colorado River. Sanguinetti changed all that introducing retail shops with a variety of merchandise on hand. He pioneered the concept of cash and carry and made his fortune in Yuma.

Quartermaster Depot

His residence has been preserved and you can currently take a guided tour. You'll view the parlor, dining room and kitchen of the historic adobe structure. In addition, there is an accompanying exhibit on the many ghost towns surrounding the city. One of these towns, Castle Dome, is located about 30 miles north of town and has been preserved. The home of a silver mine that operated from 1862-1978 it now houses the Castle Dome Mine Museum. It's located off a bumpy dirt road, has no cellular service and is in a desolate area. Despite this, it houses an amazing collection of authentic artifacts from the mine's past. There are approximately 50 structures that have been beautifully preserved in the arid landscape. You can view as many or as little of these structures as you'd like during a self-guided tour of the town. Due to the mine's long history there are artifacts dating from as far back as the 1800's to as recent as the 1970's. It's certainly off the beaten path but well worth the extra effort to visit it.

Sanguinetti House Museum and Gardens

While many of the historic sites celebrate the prosperity of the region, the Yuma Territorial Prison offers a glimpse into a harsher portion of Yuma's past. Continued on Next Page‌ Castle Dome Mine Museum PAGE 101

The prison was built in 1876 by the first seven inmates it held. Called the Alcatraz of the Desert it was located in an unforgiving climate and offered little respite for its residents. It housed a diverse array of criminals for a variety of offenses and even contained a female population. It was a harsh place that quickly filled with inmates. After 33 years it closed due to overpopulation but the structure remained a significant part of the town. At one time it housed the local high school and at another it was a refuge from a devastating flood. During the depression it offered shelter to families with nowhere else to go and by the 1940's it became a museum. It remains one to this day and offers and glimpse into the darker side of Yuma history.

Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park

Much of Yuma's historic sites focus on the days of the old west but there is one museum that presents a more recent history of the town. Casa de Coronado is located at the Historic Coronado Hotel founded in 1937. This historic site was the first motel located in Arizona and was one of the original members of the Best Western Chain (although it is no longer affiliated with the brand). Its current owners, John and Yvonne Peach, remain ambassadors for the site and created the museum on the premises. Inside you'll find exhibits devoted to the history of Best Western, the town of Yuma and the founders of the hotel. It's filled with artifacts and the Peaches are happy to offer a tour to anyone who wishes to visit. It's a true glimpse into the everyday lives of the area's residents.

Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park Casa de Coronado Museum

Yuma is a town rich in history. It's played a significant part in every aspect of the creation of the West from transportation to mining. It's a fascinating place to visit and learn about our nation's past. Learn more at Melanie Kaminski is a California native who loves the Golden State. Currently living in Southern California she spends much of her free time exploring the area. At other times you'll find her traveling - usually on an epic road trip. Keep up with her adventures on her blog PAGE 102

CRIME DRAMA TV TV crime drama continues to entertain millions of viewers all over the world. It allows the public to understand how crime investigation works, that detectives and police are real people with real lives, and how all different sorts of crimes can be solved and affect people. They, also, intrigue and excite audiences, and keeps us guessing to the very end! From ‘Dragnet’ to ‘Perry Mason’ and ‘The Untouchables’, listen to the Big Blend Radio segment with Steve Schneickert as he recalls the Hollywood History of Crime Drama TV!

Perry Mason 1959 William Hopper & Raymond Burr

Dragnet 1968 Jack Webb & Harry Morgan

The Untouchables 1962 Robert Stack PAGE 103

Historic Prisons of Norfolk, England By Glynn Burrows, Norfolk Tours

Many of us have extremely interesting ancestors, in fact, I would go so far as to say that we ALL have extremely interesting ancestors. In May 1882, my great, great grandmother was sitting on a step on North Street, King’s Lynn, pregnant with an illegitimate child and listening to some children who lived in the same yard, enjoying themselves at a table set up between the houses. My great-great grandmother had younger siblings and they wanted to join in the frolics but the other children wouldn’t let them. A disagreement arose and among other things, chamber-slops were thrown over the table by my relatives! Later on, the elder brother of my ancestors’ neighbours arrived home and, upon hearing the story, went to his neighbours and remonstrated.

Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with historian Glynn Burrows.! A fight ensued, involving most of my relations living there and the young man went home badly beaten. Over the next few days he deteriorated and passed away, a post mortem showing he died from being beaten about the head by various objects, (including a baby’s shoe!). Four members of the family were prosecuted and sent to Norwich Castle Prison, the three women; (my great-great grandmother, her sister and their mother) getting nine months hard labour and the man; my great great-great grandfather, twelve months. (A younger sibling of my great-great grandmother was let off as she was only 13 at the time!) The baby was born while my great-great grandmother was in Norwich Castle and this shows Norwich Castle Prison as his birthplace on his birth certificate.

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So what were prisons like in the earlier years on the C19th? Prisons in 1825. Those who work have two pounds and a half of household bread per day, and half a pound of cheese per week; and also those committed for six months are allowed to purchase a pint of milk, and all are given hot water and salt; and when of a costive habit, greens and other vegetables. Those who do not work were allowed two pounds of household bread, and half a pound of cheese, with the like allowance of milk and hot water, salt and vegetables. Allowance of clothing was a jacket, waistcoat, breeches, shirts, handkerchiefs, stockings, shoes, and cap. Allowance of bedding was a rush bed, rug and two blankets, in the winter an extra blanket. All prisoners were employed at the treadwheel who were committed for hard labour, except at chance times, when they were employed in their various trades such as carpenters, bricklayers, Are any of the above people related to you in any cordwainers, and tailors. way? By checking the 1881 census we could find out a lot more about these people. For example, Hours of labour and of exercise: Nine hours per Humphrey Hall was living in Curbar, with his day in summer, out of which time the resting off the widowed mother, Rosannah and Isaac Unwin was wheel is about a third of the time; in winter, worked living in Eyam, a seventy year-old blacksmith. (If according to daylight. Prisoners not at work were you think you recognise the name “Eyam” it is exercised from six o'clock to eight o'clock in the because it was a “Plague Village”, where the village morning, and from four o'clock till six o'clock in the was decimated in the 1660’s but that’s another afternoon: half an hour at each time. story.) When you consider that a servant’s wages, at this time, were around five shillings a week and a By the time my ancestors were committed in 1882, farm labourer would earn about twelve shillings a the prison wasn’t a palace and in lots of ways, the week, you can see the value of the goods stolen. conditions were probably worse as, for general What would the periods of incarceration today for prisoners, the food was not up to the 1825 stealing one or two week’s wages worth of goods? standards. The treadwheel had been going out of Not in the UK! favour but it wasn’t outlawed till 1898 and I can be pretty sure that my great, great, great grandfather Glynn Burrows is the owner of Norfolk Tours in was put to work on the treadwheel for at least some England. For help or advice about tracing your of his time there. family history, or if you are thinking about taking a vacation to England visit What about the people who were not guilty of manslaughter, as my ancestors were but who were guilty of lesser crimes? These newspaper reports are from 1882, the same year my ancestors were in prison. Penal servitude is transportation and, when you see that this man gets seven years for stealing under seven shillings worth of goods when another man stole goods worth £4 and got six months hard labour, it does appear that the system wasn’t totally fair. The man at Baslow, stole geese valued at £1 and got two months hard labour, yet the man at Eyam stole goods valued at 16s got six months.

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Turning the Pages of the Past Four Books that Capture America’s Criminal, Courageous and Entrepreneurial History from the Late 1800s to the Late 1980s

MAYHEM: Three Lives of a Woman Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with award-winning author Elizabeth Harris.

AGAINST THE TIDE: The Turbulent Times of a Black Entrepreneur Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with author J.H. Sullivan. Against the Tide is a true story that captures the fear and hardships faced by African Americans during a disturbing time in American history, the post-Reconstruction period that led to the introduction of Jim Crow laws. Through hard work and determination, Hansford C. Bayton would rise from humble beginnings to become the captain and owner of five excursion and mail delivery steamboats that plied the Rappahannock River during the late 1800s and early 1900s. Unusually for an African American, he would acquire wealth and the respect of both blacks and whites. Nevertheless, his boats were burned one by one. But with each malicious burning, and with lynching on the rise, he would build again.

A violent and unusual crime is committed in a frankly imagined rural Texas of 1936: two ranchers attempt to castrate a neighbor under circumstances deriving from standard gender and social relations. The daughter of prominent landowners, regarded as the cause of this crime, is outcast from home and family, rescued by clergy in the role of plot angels, and becomes a paid laborer in other people's homes, where she undergoes a muted, nearly twenty-year recovery from trauma. An authorial narrator who as a girl observed women nursing the elderly, as this character does, invents her story for reasons of her own. A read both absorbing and stylish. Although award-winning author and retired University of Texas at Austin fiction professor Elizabeth Harris is a bona fide expert on story craft, her new novel also exposes women’s history (herstory) in an entertaining way. Learn more at

This book illuminates a time in American history when the surge of progress made by freedmen was sharply curtailed through the enactment of segregation laws and the activities of the Ku Klux Klan. As a result Hansford C. Bayton died poor, but his story is one of dignified courage and determination when faced with overwhelming odds. Truly, he was a man who swam against the tide.

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KATHRYN KELLY: The Moll Behind “Machine Gun” Kelly

CRAZY CHARLIE: Revolutionary or Neo Nazi

Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with award-winning author Barbara Casey.

Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with author Ron Chepesiuk.

The 1930’s produced some of the most violent crimes known in the history of the United States. Fed by need and greed during the era of Prohibition, some of the notorious criminals included women, one of which became a legend in her own right for establishing the feared persona of her husband—Machine Gun Kelly. Her name: Kathryn.

Born in 1949, Carlos Lehder rose from a struggling, small time pot dealer to become a major godfather in the Medellin cartel, the crime syndicate largely responsible for initiating the cocaine epidemic plaguing American society since the late 1970s. Federal U.S. prosecutor Robert Merkle, who successfully prosecuted Lehder in 1988, said that the drug lord was to cocaine transportation what Henry Ford was to automobiles because he was the mastermind behind the transportation network that revolutionized the international drug trade. Lehder's genius was to devise a sophisticated transportation system that allowed the Medellin cartel to transport huge quantities of cocaine from Colombia, the source country, to the U.S., the world's major illegal drug market.

Kathryn Kelly: The Moll Behind Machine Gun Kelly is a biography of the woman who made a career of crime. With a lust for danger, she masterminded the crimes that took her and her husband, and others who included her own mother and stepfather, on a spree across Tennessee, Oklahoma, and Texas. Starting with smaller crimes that included bootlegging, smuggling liquor onto an Oklahoma Indian reservation, and robbery, the seriousness of their criminal activity escalated into kidnapping and extortion. Some believed, including FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, that the two were somehow connected in the Lindberg kidnapping. When Kathryn and her husband were finally captured, she remained unrepentant, smiling and primping for the cameras, and writing threatening letters to the judge assigned to the case as well as her victims. Convicted in 1933, Kathryn served twenty-five years of her life at FPC Alderson, West Virginia, when in 1958 she was finally released into obscurity. This is the first book to be written about Kathryn.

By 1987, the DEA and the Colombian government had put Lehder's net wealth at more than $3 billion. A great admirer of both Nazi icon Adolph Hitler and Marxist Che Guevara, Lehder hated the U.S. and viewed cocaine as a kind of atomic bomb that could destroy Uncle Sam from within. Lehder got the nickname, Crazy Charlie, because of his bizarre and often unpredictable behavior. Once again, Ron Chepesiuk opens up the world of gangsters to his readers in a style that is rich both in historical facts and entertainment. Crazy Charlie is a book not to be missed by either the casual reader or the aficionado of the Prohibition era. Learn more at

Learn more at PAGE 107

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SAN BENITO COUNTY, CA 5 Super Summer Experiences! Located in central California, east of Monterey and Salinas, San Benito County is the eastern gateway destination of Pinnacles National Park. This picturesque region is made up of the historic communities of Hollister, Tres Pinos, San Juan Bautista, Aromas, Paicines and New Idria. Less than 2 hours from San Francisco and 4 ½ hours from Los Angeles, San Benito County makes for an ideal travel destination with outdoor activities such as bird watching and hiking, golf and tennis, as well as a wine tasting trail, a delectable selection of dining options, boutique shopping, historic parks and museums, and a full calendar of events, fairs and festivals, and parades. CAVES, TRAILS & NATURE TRIPPIN’ Pinnacles National Park, the 59th and newest National Park, is one of the most fascinating, diverse and stunning natural areas. From rock spires and giant monolithic boulders to rolling hills, cool caves, wildflower meadows, meandering creeks and springs, Pinnacles is a place for anyone ready to experience something really different. There are 32 miles of hiking trails to explore, and you can go caving, rock-climbing, picnicking and camping. The biodiversity of this park is incredible, ranging from over 600 flowering plant species to 160+ bird species including the California Condor, 14 bat species, 400 bee species and 500 moth species! This time of year is a popular time to visit, so it’s wise to plan a mid-week visit, and also go early in the morning or in the late afternoon. For more information including ranger programs and events, visit GET YOUR MOTOR RUNNIN’ With the area’s scenic winding roads and beautiful weather, it’s no surprise that San Benito County is a popular destination for bikers and day drivers. In fact, the region was a film location for "The Wild One" (1953), a motorcycle movie featuring Marlon Brando and Lee Marvin.

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Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Juli Viera, Executive Director of San Benito County Chamber, about summer events and activities in San Benito County.

Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Donnette Silva Carter, about camping and summer events at Bolado Park Event Center.

TRAVEL & RELOCATION GUIDE: San Benito County, CA San Benito County Continued… This summer, celebrate Hollister as the ‘Birthplace of the American Biker’ at the Hollister Independence Rally (July 1-3), the largest of its kind in California and one of the top ten in the United States. The top motorcycle parts, accessories and apparel vendors and major motorcycle manufacturers from across the country will be showing off and selling their latest and greatest products. Enjoy live entertainment, poker runs and poker walks, food and beverages and more with other motorcycle enthusiasts from all over the country. Admission is free. If you’re ready to pitch a tent or you’re rolling with your RV, Bolado Park Event Center has the spaces. Info: Randy Burke of Roadshows, Inc. at (775) 690-2035.

San Benito Historical Park

Every first Saturday of the month, the park hosts Living History Days. Don’t miss the park’s Annual Other motor-infused happenings include the 13th Early Days in San Juan Bautista (June 18 & 19), Annual Country Canyon Cruz & Car Show (May 13) with a look at life in the 1800s, a Mountain Men in San Juan Bautista featuring over 140 pre-1972 encampment, 1860-1870 buildings, clothing, and cars and trucks, a poker walk, and music. an 1890 Barroom. Meet the people of early Info (831) 676-6915. The 30th Annual Street California, see craft and cooking demonstrations, Festival, Car Show and Swap Meet (July 16) in ride in a horse drawn wagon and drink an old Downtown Hollister features over 200 cars on fashioned soda in the saloon. display, plus, two stages with live entertainment Info (831) 623-4881. and music, vendors and food booths, restaurant and merchant sidewalk sales, raffle prizes, chili cook-off, and a kids zone. Info: (831) 636-8406 A STEP BACK IN TIME From Native American heritage to miners, pioneers and ranchers, history runs deep in San Benito County. Boasting a variety of historic architectural styles, historic downtown Hollister makes for a beautiful walk. The San Benito County Historical Museum is located in the downtown, and is worth making an appointment to visit and to learn about history of the area’s early families such as John Steinbeck, as well as the heritage of the local Native American culture. Info: (831) 635-0335 San Benito Historical Park, a historical village on 33 acres within San Benito County Historical and Recreational Park in Tres Pinos, is a ‘must-visit.’ Here you can tour 10 historic buildings and see a diverse collection of historic homes, vehicles, farm and household implements, old medicine bottles, a rose garden, and firehouse. Guided and group tours are available, and it’s a great place to stop for an afternoon picnic. Info: 831-902-9349. Nestled within the historic village of San Juan Bautista and part of the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail, is the San Juan Bautista State Historic Park. PAGE 110

TRAVEL & RELOCATION GUIDE: San Benito County, CA CELEBRATE SAN BENITO COUNTY CULTURE San Benito County loves to celebrate their culture and heritage with festivals and parades! Hollister’s Portuguese Festival features the “Queen Coronation” and dance on May 14, followed by the parade and mass on May 15. After Mass enjoy traditional Portuguese sopas, games and an auction, and a dinner and dance that evening. Info: Anthony Silva (831) 801-5584. Celebrate the region’s horse and ranching culture at the San Benito County Saddle Horse Show & Rodeo. Festivities kick off on June 18, with the Rodeo's Memorial Roping and Miss San Benito Rodeo Contest at the San Benito County Fairgrounds. The Saddle Horse Show Parade "Boots, Broncs & Bandannas”, a San Benito County tradition for over 80 years, is on June 23. Info: (831) 637-5315. And, the San Benito County Saddle Horse Show & Rodeo runs June 24-26, at the San Benito County Fairgrounds, which is also home to the San Benito County Saddle Horse Association Museum that displays equestrian art, historic photos, saddlery and riding apparel. Info: (831) 628-3421 A TASTE OF PLACE A culinary paradise for foodies and wine lovers alike, San Benito County has a wonderful wine tasting trail, a number of organic farms and historic cattle ranches, and diverse variety of restaurants that range from hearty country cooking to decadent baked goodies, and tasty Mexican dishes to fresh farm-to-table fare. Wines range from elegant pinot noirs to light pomegranate wines, plus, there are fun pubs and taverns to enjoy your favorite cold beverage along with local banter. Another way to enjoys the area’s wine and brew scene is at the Annual Downtown Hollister Wine & Beer Stroll (May 7) that pairs businesses with a local winery or brewery, providing attendees a variety of tasting and shopping options. Info: (831) 636-8406

San Juan Bautista State Historic Park.

Another fun event in San Juan Bautista is the Annual Rib Cook-off (May 21 & 22), where seven teams from all over California, Oregon and Nevada will compete for cash prizes as a panel of judges select the best ribs and sauces. For travel and up-to-date event information call the San Benito County Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau at (831) 637-5315 and visit

"Ever wondered what to do with Grandma's old cast iron pot?" On May 7, San Juan Bautista Historic State Park is hosting Historic Dutch Oven Cooking Demonstrations, teaching historic cooking techniques and recipes focusing on Dutch Oven cooking and its role in everyday life in the past. Docents will be making several different dishes. Info: (831) 623-4881

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TRAVEL & RELOCATION GUIDE: California’s Sequoia Country

CALIFORNIA’S SEQUOIA COUNTRY Tulare County Summer Calendar of Fun! Tulare County is home to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, Sequoia National Forest and the Giant Sequoia National Monument, as well as the community destinations Visalia, Exeter, Three Rivers, Porterville, Tulare and Dinuba. The region is approximately a 4 hour drive from the San Francisco Bay Area and 3 hours from Los Angeles. To plan California Sequoia Country summer adventure, visit KINGS CANYON & SEQUOIA NATIONAL PARKS Home to the world’s largest trees (by volume) Sequoia National Park is the nation's second national park and is connected to Kings Canyon National Park, that is home to the Nation’s Christmas Tree and a national shrine in memory of the men and women of the Armed Forces. From rock climbing to hiking, bird and wildlife watching to camping, these parks offer a plethora of outdoor activities. For full details and for up-to-date event news, visit

Hear about Summer in California’s Sequoia Country! Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Dana Dierkes – Kings Canyon & Sequoia National Parks, Sandy Blankenship – Exeter Chamber of Commerce & Sequoia Tourism Council, Leah Launey – Three Rivers Bed & Breakfast.

Crystal Cave Tours - Explore the underground world of Sequoia National Park! A Crystal Cave tour takes you deep into a marble cave with stalactites, curtains, and other formations. Purchase tickets online at least 48 hours in advance, and bring a jacket! Offered from spring to fall. May 21: Centennial BioBlitz: Team up with scientists to find and identify terrestrial invertebrates, aquatic invertebrates, plants, bats, owls, and more. June 4: National Trails Day: The perfect weekend to learn about the various park trails. June 18: The Legacy of the Buffalo Soldiers: Come celebrate the legacy of the Buffalo Soldiers with a re-enactment of the soldiers’ encampment, ranger-led programs, exhibits, short movies, and more. Aug. 5-7: Dark Sky Festival: Held in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, Lake Kaweah, and in Three Rivers, CA.

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TRAVEL & RELOCATION GUIDE: California’s Sequoia Country FLOWER POWER IN EXETER A charming agricultural community between Visalia and Sequoia National Park, Exeter has a beautiful historic downtown that’s known for its spectacular series of murals. For travel and event information call (559) 592-2919 or visit May 1: 15th Annual "Garden Party": Exeter-A Festival of Arts, "Garden Party" fundraiser for Exeter's beautiful murals, dinner and auction. May 7: 13th Annual "Full Bloom Garden Walk": Refreshments will be hosted by By the Water Tower Antiques.

MUSIC & THE ARTS IN THREE RIVERS Gateway to Sequoia National Park, Three Rivers is a vibrant art community that runs along the Kaweah River. For travel and up-to-date event information, visit 1st Saturday Three Rivers Art Day: Enjoy a day of food, fun, and fabulous art. Featuring a different theme each time (May 7th is ‘Find Your Flowers’), it is held on the 1st Saturday of every month, and specials are promoted throughout the town – by artists, restaurants, gift shops, galleries and more. You can watch artist demonstrations, eat good food and listen to local musicians or entertainers.

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TRAVEL & RELOCATION GUIDE: California’s Sequoia Country Events in Three Rivers Continues… May 6: Earth Jam 2016: A music and arts festival held at the Three Rivers Lions Roping Arena. Bands includes The Motet, Young Dubliners, Poor Mans Whiskey, Tropo, and the local Green Machine. May 7-8: 42nd Annual Redbud Festival: Runs concurrently with 1st Saturday Three Rivers Art, with artists and artisans from all over the Valley showing their art at the Three Rivers Veterans Memorial Building. Enjoy food, fun and art. May 14: Calidore String Quartet, Three Rivers artists-in-residence, perform a Chamber music concert. 7pm, Community Presbyterian Church. Center Stage Strings' Music Festival: Featuring world-class violinist Danielle Belen along with her CSS colleagues Elbert Tsai, violin, Lauren Chipman, viola, Sarah Koo, cello, and pianist Yi-Ju Lai. Several CSS student alumni will also join these fabulous musicians. The festival will consist of three concerts held at St. Anthony Retreat Main Chapel in Three Rivers, CA. June 2: Sting Showcase: 7pm, $15; June 5: Benefit Concert for CSS Student Scholarships: 4pm. $15.00 (Concert Only); $50.00 (Includes a Wine & Cheese Reception following Concert - Purchase by 5/22); June 7: Chamber Music Extravaganza: 7pm, $15. BLUES, BREWS & BBQ IN VISALIA Visalia is the largest city in Tulare County, and has a wonderful historic downtown district to explore. Every Blues, Brews & Blues event is free. Bring money only if you want to enjoy savory BBQ’d meals, thirst-quenching drinks and souvenirs from the lineup of outstanding blues performers. Blues Brews & BBQ 2016 Schedule: May 20 - Blue Collar Men: A Tribute to STYX and Great Rock Classics; June 3 - Brad Wilson; July 8 - Glen Delpit & the Subterraneans; Aug. 5 - John Clifton Band; Sept. 9 - AJM Band. For Visalia travel and up-to-date event information visit

TULARE CONCERTS IN THE PARK Every Wednesday from May 18 - August 17, starting at 6pm, the City of Tulare Parks and Recreation Department in Tulare, sponsors a weekly concert. Enjoy live music, a beer garden and vendor booths. For travel and up-to-date event information visit ART & MUSIC IN DOWNTOWN PORTERVILLE Every Thursday, from 6pm, historic downtown Porterville’s Centennial Park comes alive with live music. The concerts are free, and family-friendly. Another family-centric event that celebrates the arts, is the 1st Friday Porterville Art Walk! It starts at 5pm and brings together art lovers and community friends to Porterville’s downtown. For Porterville travel and up-to-date event information visit

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Pack Your Flip Flops, Kilt and Hiking Boots for these Four Summer Experiences in North San Diego County, Southern California! LAID BACK BEACH LIFE IN LEUCADIA Nestled between Carlsbad and Encinitas, Leucadia is a laid back and colorful beach community located off historic North Coast Highway 101. It’s the ideal getaway for surfers, families, beach lovers, and romantic getaways. Check into Leucadia Beach Inn, a historic yet remodeled Hacienda-style lodging destination that offers spacious rooms and kitchenettes. From here, you can walk to the local beaches, restaurants, boutique and antique shops, or take a short drive to some of the other local attractions such as Legoland, Oceanside Pier and Harbor Village, Old Mission San Luis Rey, San Diego Botanic Garden, Self-Realization Fellowship Meditation Gardens, Swami’s Surf Break, Moonlight Beach, and more.

SAN DIEGO SCOTTISH HIGHLAND GAMES Get Your Kiits on for the Annual San Diego Scottish Upcoming Events include: Battle of the Bands (May Highland Games and Gathering of the Clans, held 22); Summer of Fun on 101 – Leucadia’s Music June 25 & 26, in Brengle Terrace Park, Vista. Festival (June 26); LeucadiART Walk (Aug. 28); Celebrating Scottish culture and heritage, this lively Classic Car Cruise Nights in Encinitas (May 19, festival features live music, bagpiping and June 16, July 21, Aug. 18 & Sept. 15); 28th Annual drumming, drum major workshop, highland Taste of Main Street, Encinitas (Aug. 16). dancing, heavy athletics, sheepdog trials, genealogy seminars, whisky tasting and Scottish foods, Celtic Marketplace, Scottish country dancing, storytelling and children’s activities. Live Listen to Big Blend music features the bands Highland Way, The Radio interview with AnGry Brians, Blackwaterside, and Molly’s Todd Derr, Manager Revenge. For full details, tickets and festival of Leucadia Beach schedule, visit Continued on Next Page… PAGE 117

North County Continued… MOUNTAIN MAGIC IN JULIAN Julian is a popular mountain hamlet known for its gold rush history. Check in at the Julian Lodge Bed & Breakfast in the historic downtown. The rooms are comfortable and tastefully furnished, and a continental breakfast is included in your stay. From here you are just steps away from the downtown shops and restaurants. If you like farm-to-table cuisine, Jeremy’s on the Hill California Style Bistro in nearby Wynola is the place to go. Spend the day picnicking, boating or fishing at Lake Cuyamaca, or take a hike at Rancho Cuyamaca State Park, Volcan Mountain Wilderness Preserve, Santa Ysabel Open Space Preserve, and William Heise County Park. Other local attractions and activities include wine tasting, the California Wolf Center, Julian Pioneer Museum, and tours at the Eagle & High Peak Gold Mine. Upcoming Events include: Julian Doves & Desperados Historic Re-enactments (Sundays, weather permitting); Julian Wildflower Show (May 4-7); Julian Arts Guild Spring Art Show (May 7-8); 3rd Annual Julian Fiddle and Pickin’ Contest (June 3-5); Apple Blossom Tea (June 10); 18th Annual Julian Blues Bash (June 18); Heritage Quilt Show (June 25-July 4)

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CAMPING & STAR GAZING ON PALOMAR MOUNTAIN Palomar Mountain in the late spring and summer makes for a peaceful respite within a tranquil and natural setting. Stay at historic Bailey’s Palomar Mountain for a luxury camping / glamping experience in the forest. The 60 acre property spans cool old growth forests and rich green meadows, and features the spacious Bailey House for group gatherings, cabins and cottage rentals for quiet and private getaways, and group camping areas. Enjoy nature walks on the property or at the nearby Palomar Mountain State Park, and visit Palomar Observatory world famous for housing the 200-inch Hale Telescope. Visit

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Located between San Diego and the Arizona cities of Phoenix and Tucson, Yuma is home to the lower Colorado River and Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area that encompasses the Yuma Wetlands and Gateway Park, Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park, and Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park, and the historic downtown district complete with shops, restaurants and Yuma Art Center & Historic Theatre. Summer is sunny and warm with watersport fun including kayaking, paddle boarding, canoeing and tubing down the Colorado River, as well as boating and fishing in the river and area wildlife refuges.

On Big Blend Radio: Dustin Mylius, Yuma Visitors Bureau, talks Family Fun in Yuma!

Other activities include bird and wildlife watching, hiking and geocaching. To plan your Yuma Summer Vacation visit

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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

Captain’s Lounge Top-shelf Cocktails ~ Fine Wines ~ Specialty Coffees

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

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 121

South of Reno and east of Yosemite National Park, Yerington is located in northwestern Nevada, just off the Pony Express National Historic Trail and on the California National Historic Trail. Fort Churchill State Historic Park is a 30 minute scenic drive from Yerington. It was built as a U.S. Army fort in 1861. Tour the ruins, visit the museum and cemetery, picnic, go camping and hike the nature trail, and enjoy various ranger programs. Buckland Station is just down the road from Fort Churchill, and was a supply center and boarding house. You can tour the house and picnic outside. Both sites are part of the Pony Express National Historic Trail and California National Historic Trail.

Yerington’s historic downtown district is charming with shops, restaurants and casinos. The surrounding Mason Valley and Smith Valley areas are beautiful with lush farm lands that stretch out to natural areas complete with rugged high desert hillsides and desert shrub lands, wetland ponds and meadows active with birdlife, and wind carved canyons that dip down to cool running waters. The region is popular birding, geocaching and hiking destination. Other area highlights include: Lyon County Museum, Yerington Theatre for the Arts, Mason Valley Wildlife Management Area, Walker River, Walker Lake and Wilson Canyon.

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, PAGE 122

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THE MARKETPLACE Three Smart Accessories for On-The-Go Living Compiled by Lisa D. Smith In today’s fast-paced and mobile society, function and style are a must when it comes to products that help us keep on-the-go and stay connected. As a full-time traveler I need all the help I can get when it comes to bad hair days, keeping my phone charged, and working on a deadline in a dark hotel room. These three products have solved some of those pesky and unexpected issues that by usual standards, would throw one’s game off.

CROSSBODY POWER PURSE Seriously – a purse that charges your smartphone? Oh heck yes! Does it have style? Yes, again! My Crossbody Power Purse by Chic Buds arrived just in time to save me from a technical meltdown. We were busy streaming one of our Big Blend Radio shows live online, when the power went out. That meant the internet and hotel phones we were using to air the show went down too. I quickly grabbed my smartphone to call back into the show and continue the discussion with our guests. However, to bring our other guests onto the show I needed to control the radio switchboard which is done via the web. I jumped to get our second smartphone to use the data to go online. You guessed it, the battery was dead. I was stuck in talk radio land with guests who were done with their segment and the next set of guests who were ready to be introduced – but I was powerless and could not make that switchover. Crossbody Power Purse to the rescue! It was still in its packaging and I didn’t even have time to read the instructions. I just saw the USB port, plugged the phone in, and voila! I was back in control of our radio show! Who knew you could run a radio show from a purse and a phone! Available in a variety of colors, the Crossbody Power Purse by Chic Buds provides more than a full charge to smartphones. Crafted in vegan leather, the purses are lightweight but have room for a wallet, keys and makeup. Purchase online at $69.99 at

Click to visit Big Blend Magazine’s Vimeo Channel for recipe, travel, art and nature videos! PAGE 124


CHAT LIGHT Tired of video chats in the dark? This compact and mobile light source was the first light made just for video conversations and to light up selfies. All you do is clip it onto your smartphone, tablet or laptop, and turn it on. You can adjust the bulb’s brightness level and its direction of shine. I love its versatility! I use it on my laptop to light up my workspace in dark hotel rooms, and it works great on a kindle for easier reading. Rechargable – just plug it into the wall or a USB outlet for about an hour - the bulb lasts about 50,000 hours and the battery lasts around 2 hours per charge. Available in black, PONILOX white or silver, you can purchase it online for Bad hair days are a common thing as a traveler. And, having fine straight hair does not help! Always $29.99 at being on-the-go, I’m not the kind of girl who likes to spend time in front of mirror. PoniLox is a French comb that’s quick and easy to use, and far kinder to my hair than other accessories I’ve used in the past. In just three steps my hair is up in a nice style and I’m out the door. PoniLox is one of the first combs that actually locks my hair in – usually combs just slide right out after a few minutes or they are super tight and damaging to my hair. Plus, there are all kinds of hair styles you can try. PoniLox combs are available in a variety of colors, and can be purchased online for $8.95 each at

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