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delta living JAN. – MARCH 2016

Inspiring stories across 1700 miles


ZACK MAJORS Soars with the eagles


Oakland Raider TJ Carrie


A Classic Man

Lady Washington on the Delta 1

January – March 2016



January – March 2016


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January – March 2016

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January – March 2016


in this issue…



Cover Feature Zac Majors Hang Gliding Instructor

Claremont Hotel Berkeley and Oakland’s Gem

Lady Washington on the Delta | Liz Ritchie


10 Let Happiness Rush In | Kristine Cataldo

22 Born for the Moment | Bubba Paris

12 Delta Dating – Nicole Matsutani

24 Living Presently | Charleen Earley

16 Delta Travels | Walter Ruehlig

26 Mississippi River | Stephanie Artz

17 Delta Books | Kathleen Hering

36 Delta Silver Linings | Vinny DiNicola

20 Delta Sports | Felicia Purcell 6

January – March 2016

dlm delta living magazine

from the editor and publisher…

CONTACT US P.O. Box 395 Knightsen, CA 94548


PUBLISHER Charleen Earley - GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Conrad Borba - EDITOR IN CHIEF Rita Caruso - WRITERS Rita Caruso • Vinny DiNicola • Felicia Purcell Stephanie Artz • Walter Ruehlig • William “Bubba” Paris Kristine Cataldo • Charleen Earley PHOTOGRAPHERS Carol Young • Charleen Earley COPY EDITORS Ana Hurt • John Hartmann • Rita Caruso Tammy Borba • Walter Ruehlig DISTRIBUTION Barbara Ellison-Smith • Walter Ruehlig SALES Senior Advertising Manager - Kristina Moldovan 925.565.9069

I must say 2015 was an amazing year for my family and I. Among the many fun things, I found myself as editor of an amazing publication - Delta Living Magazine! I emerge myself in uplifting material and find I am always reading this magazine from cover to cover and setting it down with newfound inspiration. With this edition, I enjoyed Living Presently by Charleen Earley (pg 24) as I practice this and sometimes forget! Bubba Paris (pg 22) delivers again with his moments of being forged by fire and I can relate to this. Now that we are beginning a new year, new hopes and new dreams, it is my hope you will be uplifted and inspired Editor-in-Chief Rita Caruso with Publisher Charas I have, with this wonderful is- leen Earley (sisters) wish you a Happy New Year and a prosperous and meaningful 2016. sue. Happy New Year! May all your hopes, dreams and aspirations come true!

I’m pretty excited for this NewYear’s issue to “take off ” especially with Zac Majors leading the way, a hang glider instructor in Knightsen (pg 34). If flying is on your bucket list, this is the man you’ll want to navigate the clouds with at 3,000 feet. Put the Claremont Hotel (pg 14) on your list too. I grew up in Oakland and here I am 52-years-later, enjoying my first staycation with my boyfriend at this beautiful, historical hotel and spa. I’ve got two semesters left before I claim a master’s degree in journalism from SJSU. It’s been my dream to earn this degree. And speaking of dreams, help a senior make their final dream come true, once you read Vinny DiNicola’s article on An Elderly Wish Foundation (pg 36). I pray 2016 will be a special year for you and your family!

Rita Caruso | Editor In Chief

Charleen Earley | Publisher

G D E LTA L IV IN Chef Mich Midgley

Advertise with Us


Author Kathy Hering Designs Murder Mysteries

Bubba Paris Helps Us Face our Fears




$5 each issue or $15 annual (4 issues a year) Mail check to: P.O. Box 395 Knightsen, CA 94548 Make check payable to: Delta Living Magazine

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Delta Living Magazine is published quarterly on recycled paper. Copyright© 2012 by Charleen Earley. Single copy price $5 in U.S.A. on 100% recycled paper. $15 for annual subscription. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission of the publisher is strictly prohibited. Printed in the U.S.A. E-zine version available. Contact, 925.383.3072 or visit

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All rights reserved. No part of any issue of Delta Living Magazine, be it editorial content, photographs or advertising design, may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means; electronic, mechanical, photocopy, or any other format, without the prior permission of the publisher. All facts, opinions and statements appearing within this publication are those of the writers and editors themselves and are in no way to be construed as statements, positions, views or endorsements by the publisher of Delta Living Magazine. Accuracy of all information cannot be guaranteed. Due to uncertain nature of U.S. Postal Service and third party freight services, Delta Living Magazine does not guarantee delivery of said publication by any specific date.

January – March 2016



Rita Caruso | Editor-in-Chief

Conrad Borba | Graphic Designer

Rita, a mortgage loan consultant for Guild Mortgage, has been in the mortgage industry for over 30 years. She served two terms as President of the Discovery Bay Chamber of Commerce. With a deep love for journalism and an avid reader, she brings a love to her role as Editor-in-Chief. She's also an avid runner, hiker, cycler and caterer, who loves to spend time with her husband, celebrating 20 years together. Reach her at

Kristine R. Cataldo, MSCIS, MAed | Writer/Blogger Kristine is a proud mama of two, a college instructor and curriculum developer. Her passion as a blogger, author and speaker is etched on her heart. She uses her story to inspire, motivate and empower women to live healthy, happy lifestyles through mind, body and spirit. Kristine is an avid cyclist, hiker and adventurous free-spirit. Reach her at or www.


Felicia, an East County resident for nearly 20-years, found her passion for writing when she won Student-of-the-Month honors at age 10. Her love for sports began early while sitting on her late dad’s knee watching football. A certified make-up artist and animal-lover, Felicia lives by her dad’s favorite quote: “Treat others the way you wish to be treated.” Follow her on Twitter @sportsinthebay_, Facebook: Sports in the Bay or

Charleen is a mom, comedienne, freelance writer, humor columnist, speaker, wedding planner and now graduate student at San Jose State University. She’s studying Mass Communications/Journalism and hopes to one day teach at the community college level. Known as “Charlie” to most, she’s also founder and publisher of Delta Living Magazine. Reach her at

Conrad is a graphic and web designer, who spent much time in his youth drawing and creating, with his earliest memories of working on a computer as a kindergartner. He studied graphic and web design at Modesto Junior College and the Institute of Technology of Modesto. With over 10 years experience in graphic design and six years as a freelancer, Borba stays abreast industry standards in order to provide his clients with fresh and new ideas. Reach him at

Walter Ruehlig | Writer

Stepahnie Artz | Writer

Walter graduated cum laude with a degree in English from the State University of New York at Albany and career counsels adults with disabilities. He’s the former President of the Antioch School Board, founded the Antioch Music Foundation, and is the 2012 Antioch Citizen of the Year-Lifetime Achievement award recipient. He regularly contributes to three local newspapers. Email him at

Vinny DiNicola | Writer

F.D. Purcell | Writer

Charleen Earely | Publisher/Owner/Writer

Stephanie Artz is a dancer, Trager Practitioner, yoga teacher and writer living in Lake village, Arkansas. She lived and worked in NYC from 1990-2012 as a performer and movement educator. Her interests are in rhythm, embodiment, creative states, dance improvisation and all things related, including canoeing the Mississippi River.

Carol Young | Photographer

Vinny is a Certified Senior Advisor® and owner of HomeLife Senior Care in Brentwood with wife Angela, a provider of professional, dependable in-home senior care. Vinny graduated with honors from Menlo College, Atherton, CA, earning a Bachelors degree in Management with a focus in International Management. Vinny’s passion is providing world-class home care for their elderly clients. Reach him at

Born and raised in the Bay Area, newlywed Carol Young is sought-after for her creative images and sparkling personality. With an uncanny way of putting people at ease and connecting with her subjects, whether at the studio or on location, Carol has a sincere enthusiasm for photography that is truly inspirational. Contact her at 925.586.0555 or

Del ta L i v i n g M a ga z i n e Vi s i o n Delta Living Magazine is an artery of hyper local and regional feature articles, photography and businesses, sharing information to promote improved lives to our families and environment. It specifically focuses on inspiring, motivating, educating and entertaining our surrounding communities to encourage dialog, build unity and reach a bit higher in creating our ideal lives. January – March 2016

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I’m dating a man, not a color Racism is still alive in America By Nicole Matsutani


have observed how interesting the reactions are when walking across a college campus as a JapaneseAmerican woman holding my black boyfriend’s hand. It doesn’t matter what race the onlookers are, they all seem to be staring at us as a couple. I can feel the thoughts of others, such as “What are you doing with him?” and “Taking our good black men away.” In the land of freedom, racism still hits hard on the issue of interracial dating. Of course, it is not just strangers who have issues with your dating choices, but family and friends too. My dating preference has always been black men. It just seemed to happen that way; it seemed they were attracted to me and I was attracted to them. I was set up on a blind date with one of my college roommate’s classmates, a black man who became my boyfriend. It never occurred to me that we would get so many stares 10

January – March 2016

from so many people from different racial backgrounds. As we walked across campus, there were looks of disgust from white people and disapproving looks from black women. Black women’s glaring eyes seemed to be saying to me, “You took one of our good black men away from us. You don’t belong with him.” I also experienced disapproval and disappointment from my Japanese family. I went to my aunt’s house over the

summer and my boyfriend called and wrote me while I was there. Quickly, my family caught on that he was black and immediately asked me to stop dating him, even though they had never met him or talked to him. Since I was under my aunt’s roof and my dad was paying my college tuition, I felt it was my Japanese obligation to respect my elders and I ended the relationship. I’ve talked to my white friends about my dating problems, and they’ve confessed that they would

never date a black man. Some said because their family would disown them or they didn’t want to deal with the racism they felt from society. I was horrified when I made this discovery. Later on in my dating life, I dated other black men and noticed very quickly how badly black men were treated. I now understood the term “white privilege” more than ever before. Even the people who are supposed to bring justice to this world, had hate in their hearts for black men. One evening, another black man I was dating, was pulled over and slammed against a police car. Police suspected he had robbed a local convenience store. They later realized they had identified the wrong person and eventually let him go. My eyes have been truly opened to the roots of racism that is still buried deep in this country. To this day, I still prefer to date black men and I still get the stares. I realize that you can’t control whom you are attracted to and whom you fall in love with. Now that I am 39 and still single, I am more conscious of the criticism in this world and understand a little more – a black man’s world.


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Let happiness rush in A

Photo and article by Kristine R. Cataldo, MSCIS, MAed

Reclaim your body, clear your mind, and ignite your spirit with happiness


January – March 2016

s holiday celebrations still echo in our minds and bits of glitter still shimmer from New Year’s Eve, we are already off to the races in our attempt to become healthier … body, mind, and spirit. This time of year is often thought of as a rebirth and time to start anew, yet we barely stop to breathe. Many of our resolutions include “live life fully” and “enjoy each moment as if it were my last,” but we are still laser-focused on the frantic search for the next best way to lose weight, gain muscle, eat healthier, stop aging, and become more positive and spiritually balanced. We are like hamsters on a wheel racing to get somewhere, anywhere but where we currently are. While it is still winter, we have already fast-forwarded our minds’ eye to swimsuit season. Fitness centers are overflowing with health “enthusiasts” waiting for their turn on the treadmill or searching for that last spot in the yoga class. In the midst of this frenzied behavior, we have completely overlooked what is important – the opportunity to be still, present and in the moment. Our eyes are so fixated on looking our best at the beach that we miss out on experiencing life’s journey as it gradually unfolds and as our transformations begin to take place. Our journeys and pilgrimages through life are unique and individual, and so are our dreams, desires, beliefs and goals. However, at the core of it all, we are all simply searching for ways to be happy.

Our personal definition of “happy” is different, but we use others’ lives to benchmark how we define the term “happy.” In the process, we struggle with not being “good enough,” and we continually beat ourselves up with negative self-talk and lacking self-love. In order for happiness to flow into every corner of our life, we must lose the comparisons, be present with our thoughts, increase self-love and embrace being “good enough.” Our beliefs are formed by a single thought that is repeated over and over. It vibrates and creates a new belief that is ingrained into our belief system. Remember, our hearts and souls are listening to everything we think and say. Therefore, it is crucial to make shifts in the way we talk with others as well as our own internal dialogue. In doing so, with a little bit of patience and practice, our belief systems can easily be changed. I invite you to shift your thinking. How would you like your life to be different this year? If you were to be truly “happy,” what would your life look like? Instead of beating yourself up with negative self-talk or comparing your life with others, use this exercise and allow yourself to immerse in a tranquil time of reflection, discovery, self-love and healing. It will allow you to reclaim your body, clear your mind and ignite your spirit as more happiness rushes into your life in 2016 and beyond. Kristine R. Cataldo, MSCIS, MAed, is an Educational Consultant, spiritual, wellness and happiness guide, columnist, author, inspirational speaker and healthy living advocate… body, mind, spirit.Visit her at


Berkeley and Oakland’s gem on a hill The Claremont Hotel in all its grandeur


ou can’t miss it – her regal, historical beauty, a castle-like silhouette perched on a Berkeley mountain overlooking the San Fran-

cisco Bay Area landscape. But even once she’s captured you for just a in her magnificence – her 276 rooms night, she knows you’ll be back. beckon you to come stay with her “It’s a 100-year-old building. Who – even if it’s for one night, because couldn’t fall in love with that much

By Charleen Earley

January – March 2016


advertorial history?” says Marshall Jones, Director of Sales and Marketing. Owned and operated by Fairmont Hotels, Claremont Hotel, Club & Spa was born in the Golden Era of the Gold Rush days, and has seen her ups and downs, literally, through fires and earthquakes, which has only made this white English castle what she is today – a pillar of beauty, comfort, peace and entertainment. “Our mission statement is to gain customer loyalty, exceed expectations and turn moments into memories,” says Jones, who came from San Jose’s Fairmont hotel with 11 years of service. Their mission is working per-


January – March 2016

fectly. A majority of their guests are repeat clients, hailing primarily from the Bay Area, celebrating a milestone in their lives - birthdays, anniversaries and weddings. Captivated is how you’ll feel the moment you walk into your room – especially if you book one with an incredible view. With a FourDiamond Rating by AAA, Oakland Magazine readers give the Claremont Best Place to Book a Shower/Party, Best Brunch and Best Hotel Bar. Nostalgia is the backdrop to its recent renovations and upgrades. “We’re changing everything! All 276 rooms are getting a facelift. We are creating a lobby bar in the hotel, renovating and repositioning the

advertorial restaurant that used to be The Paragon, it will be a French brasserie, and we’re revising the food concept the hotel to be something that’s a little more current, a little more fun and vibrant. Everything is being en-

hanced,” says Jones. Amenities abound within this architectural monument that sits on 22 acres to include a private club and health club (daily fitness classes and free weights, cardiovascular and

TechnoGym equipment), kids club (three hours of childcare), three outdoor swimming pools (water aerobics equipment), 10 outdoor tennis courts, and spa gift shop. The luxury rooms offer you the

comforts of home with flat screen HD TV’s that are Bluetooth-compatible, cordless phones with voice mail, mini-bar refrigerator, Keurig coffee makers, Bose alarm clocks, complimentary Wi-Fi, terry cloth robes and air-conditioning with individual climate control and more. Don’t be surprised if you even see a celebrity walking the halls either. “We’ve had presidents, prime ministers and various music entertainers, most recently John Legend and Baby Face,” says Jones. “The great thing about the Bay Area is that five markets cross in terms of music – so anybody who’s got a new album has to come to the Bay Area to promote what they do. Just the process of being one of the luxury products in the area, we’re going to see one of those guests!” When you leave, the one thing you will take away will be the memories. Oh, and possibly a beautiful, sleek pen on the house! “When I took the job, I was amazed at how many people I encountered who had a story about this hotel,” says Jones. “Everyone had something to say – their grandparents, parents or themselves, when they were younger – were all here.”

For more information, visit

January – March 2016


delta travels

Channeling your inner gypsy Planning is a traveler’s best friend By Walter Ruehlig Photos by Cynthia Ruehlig


raveling abroad, like most things in life, is part spontaneous art and part disciplined science. As an inveterate traveler who still suffers from the ‘how did I forget to buy the eggs’ malady, I’m herein committing to a checklist of what to bring and prepare for. Peace of mind trumps. For a reasonable price, typically 5-10% of trip cost, choose from an ala carte menu of trip protections that covers cancellations, missed transfers, lost luggage and even dreaded evacuation or expatriation. Companies like quote travelers good, better and best coverage. Europe has few muggings, but pickpocketing is rampant in some cities. Oliver Twist comes in various looks, including pairs of men acting as pretend tourists or well-dressed businessmen. Urchin gangs often plan distractions. Keep your distance and consider wearing a whistle. Xerox your cards and use the hotel safe. Stay especially alert at train stations and tourist beehives. Wear a money belt or have tight, deep pockets or well-zippered handbags. Be conscious 16

January – March 2016

of sidewalk-hugging scooters. As added precaution, my wife centers her handbag and I carry small bills and change in one pocket, so as not to constantly expose tempting fat wads. Combat long flights by organizing a shoulder bag with a toothbrush, skin cream for dehydration, maybe a neck pillow and hand-held massager. Few European hotels carry bedside clocks so bring one battery-run. Batteries are expensive too, so bring

t of the Notre Walter Ruehlig standing in fron Lady of Pari s.” r “Ou for ch Dam e de Pari s, Fren l, amo ng the edra cath holic Cat ric histo This exam ple of us velo mar a is wor ld’s larg est, ses relics hou and French Gothic arch itecture n of Thor ns Crow d orte purp the de that inclu and a piece of the Holy Cros s.

extras for the camera. An umbrella and binoculars may also prove useful. Call your bank in advance to notify them of your trip and carry an extra card and emergency cash for strike-happy Europe. Seen from the for tress at the Elv issa stle on top of a ma ssiv e Cheapest conversions are hill, Walter’s backd rop is the ha rbo rCa of Old Tow n on the of Ibiza, Spa in. isla nd via bank ATM withdrawals or credit cards. ATM usage might entail a 2-3% commission or a 4-6 for making an effort at saying hello or dollar transaction fee, but it avoids the thank you in their tongue. 8-10% fee banks charge for dollar exLastly, bid adieu to the ‘Ugly Americhange or the 10-20% fee businesses or can’ of judgment or arrogance. Bigger money exchangers typically charge for and faster is not always better and, yes, taking your dollars. you won’t find some habitual creature Some major museums book days in comforts. Let go, for now, of ice cold advance during season height. Save dis- drinks, bottomless buffets, king sized appointment and lessen long lines by beds and hotel full fitness facilities. advance booking. Also, check out multiEmbrace instead an Old World of venue City Passes, which can save you style, grace, comfort and leisure. Savor money. thousands of years of fascinating history A trip of a lifetime deserves fore- and culture. Take in breathtaking scenery, thought. Check the public library for stunning architecture and food and drink guides. I grew up on Frommer’s ‘Europe to die for. on $5.00 a Day’ (it was actually doable), Indeed plan, but allow too, for some but now favor Lonely Planet or Rick spontaneity. Wander off the beaten path. Steves, who has tons of free website Maybe get ‘lost’ a bit and live like the lovideos. cals. It’s, after all, the continent of la dulce Researching your destination enrich- vita and joie de vivre. Cappuccino, gelato es the experience and learning some lo- and aperitifs beckon. So does a suspencal phrases will endear you to the popu- sion of normal routine and everyday frets. lace. Yes, English is called the ‘universal Use then, your excursion as a golden oplanguage,’ but legions don’t speak it. portunity to reinvent yourself and release Even those who do will appreciate you your inner gypsy. Bon voyage!

Studs, Tools & Fools By Charleen Earley


met author Kathleen Hering of Albany, Oregon a couple of years back. I found her first book called Hammered, Nailed and Screwed (2012) in a coffee shop during my stay in Jacksonville, Oregon. I loved it so much that I was drawn to contact her, interview and write about her. She is such a joy to meet and read. I immediately read her second book, Ripped, Stripped & Flipped (2013), and couldn’t wait to get my hands on her third book, Studs,Tools & Fools (2015), which came out in November. Now that I’m done reading it I have to admit, I was both excited and let down at

the same time. Excited that the book did not disappoint; it was as fun a read as the other two before it, but I’m upset now that I finished the book, and my post-series depression has set in full force. I love the character Laura and her relationships with Russ, Esther, her cat Louise and Russ’s dog

delta books

Kathleen Hering delivers another great book Hammer. A big fan of fiction, especially light-murder mysteries, I’m also a big fan of authors who showcase a manageable handful of characters and not a laundry list of peeps to keep track of. Her characters grab you right away. You will identify with Laura’s down-to-earth yet spunky demeanor.You’ll also love the decorating tips author Kathleen leaves at the end of each short chapter. If you’re looking for a light-hearted, fun mystery read this spring, while curled up on the couch with a warm blanket, this book is for you.You won’t need her other two books in the series to thoroughly enjoy this one, but once you read it, you’ll want to go back and read her first two.

From her bio on, Kathleen is “married to noted print journalist and TV and radio news commentator Hasso Hering. They spend their leisure time riding a tandem bicycle, rowing a tippy canoe on the Willamette River, and enjoying their grandchildren—not necessarily in that order.” The only cure for this bookaholic’s bitterness is if Kathleen would just get back to her typewriter! And in hopeful news, I understand that while this book was to be the final installment in a trilogy series, I just might have convinced her to “screw” the trilogy, “hammer” out another book and “nail” it! Order her books at

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How to Have Better Communication Regarding School Issues H

aving ongoing communication with your ex about the children’s school is important. Parent-teacher conferences, fall festivals and holiday parties are among us. Here are some more tips to help you get through the rest of the school year.

it’s the school newsletter or a call from the teacher, unless you have a protective order, you should both be “in the know” about events, activities and news from the school.

Coordinate events The last thing you want is to embarShare information and arrange rass or humiliate your child with bad for duplicate notifications behavior toward one another. When it’s Open, proactive communication is key time for the school play or parent teacher to a successful school year. It benefits no night, be civil with one another if you one to hoard or hide information about both plan to attend. If you’re not able to your child and his or her school situa- do this, for whatever reason, arrange in tion. When you are open and generous advance who will attend what. When you create a plan, are open and with your co-parenting communications, you can avoid setting up a Mommy vs. communicative, and on the same page Daddy situation. Further, your child is with your ex, you will support your child less likely to “ask Mom because Dad said on his or her way to a successful school no,” hoping to get away with something year. If you know someone who is considthey want. Your child will know you are working together for his or her welfare ering or is ready for a divorce, a consulta(although they may not see it quite that tion with Silky Sahnan is the next step. way in the moment). A child who feels She is an expert advocate and can assist loved by both parents, rather than in the with handling the divorce and child cusmiddle between them, is more likely to tody arrangements. feel confident and be successful in school. In addition, arrange to have the school Contact: Law Offices of Silky Sahnan notify both of you in any parent com925.276.0789 munications they may send out.Whether

January – March 2016


A Classic Man

delta sports

Travis “T.J.” Carrie: Oakland Raiders cornerback from Antioch

56 returns with one touchdown. His passion for football translates on and off the field. His social media pages (with over 10,000 followers on Twitter), have motivating quotes and t a time when young athletes pictures of his loved ones, including are torching the news with fiancé and college sweetheart Tyisha, negative headlines, 25-year-old Car- whom he will marry this June. rie is a breath of fresh air. Born July 28, 1990, raised in Antioch, CA and a Delta Living Magazine (DLM): member of the state championships on What’s it like playing for the homethe De LaSalle football team in Con- town team? cord back in high school, Raiders corTJ Carrie: It’s a tremendous blessnerback #38 Travis “T.J.” Carrie is that ing, a tremendous opportunity that I man – a classic man. was given and I’m having fun out there. Selected out of Ohio in the 7th I think that’s the biggest most exciting round of the 2014 draft, Carrie fell in thing is being able to play in front of love with the game while watching his players you’ve watched and grown up three older brothers play. It never mat- with and there’s nothing better than tered where he played football – in the having this opportunity. mud, concrete or street – as long as he played. DLM: How do you deal with the T.J. was voted 1st Team All-Confer- ticket requests from your family and ence at De LaSalle High School and friends and what’s the biggest ticket was an honor roll student. According request? to his stats, he played four seasons at TJ: When I traveled to Cleveland Ohio University. He appeared in 50 last season it was about 35; with coachgames with 36 starts, contributing on es and players I played with in college, defense and special teams. He totaled aunts and uncles. It was probably one 165 tackles (108 solo), 9 interceptions, of the biggest ones I’ve had. That has 36 passes defensed, three sacks and definitely been something we had to two forced fumbles over his career. talk about as a family. They underHe also served as the team’s punt re- stand the situation that I’m going to turner, racking up 659 return yards on try to get everyone at each home game By Felicia Purcell Photos by Tony Gonzales Oakland Raiders



January – March 2016

within the season schedule. It’s been a dream getting drafted by my childhood team. My parents moved to Ohio to be closer to me while I was in college, but now I'm back here (Bay Area). (Laugh) I already have family in Cleveland and my fiancé is from there, so when we play them in Cleveland, it’s a big homecoming.

TJ: I have my masters in coaching and education, so coaching is definitely something I’d like to do. Something with kids (high school or younger), training them so they can be powerful and successful. Helping them to pave their future.

DLM: How does Tyisha like living in California and not having the cold winters? TJ: She loves it. What is amazing is, we were here visiting before I got drafted and she said, ‘Wouldn’t it be great to live here?’ Now we’re here and planning our wedding next June in Cleveland. It’s like she spoke it into existence.

DLM: What is your greatest Raiders memory thus far? TJ: The moment it happened (getting drafted) and getting a call from then head coach Dennis Allen on draft day and thinking in my mind, ‘Wow, I’m going back home.’ I’ve been away for so long, but having this opportunity is a tremendous blessing to go back home and play the sport I love – is really the biggest memory for me and still is today.

DLM: She did! I saw she did something great for your birthday this past summer? TJ: (smiles) Yes! We had a helicopter ride and we went to Napa. She really surprised me. Photos on his Instagram page leon18_tj

DLM: Any final words to the Raider Nation? TJ: Yes! I’m looking to stay here for the long haul. You can depend on me and look for me to make some big things happen this year for Raider Nation.

DLM: What would you be doing if you weren’t playing football?

Follow T.J. Carrie on Twitter @tj_carrie and Instagram leon18_tj.

Raiders cornerback #38 Travis “T.J.” Carrie was voted 1st Team All-Conference at De LaSalle High School and was an honor roll student. Photo by Tony Gonzales | Oakland Raiders

January – March 2016


Born for the moment By Bubba Paris


n Jan. 20, 1985, I faced one of my most challenging and defining moments — starting in Super Bowl XIX. This was the first of my three Super Bowls. I was 24, the youngest in a veteran-packed offensive unit that was one of the best in the NFL. I was also an aberration; being over 300 pounds in those days was considered a motivational flaw. How could a gifted athlete be so undedicated and allow himself to get that big? It was hard being one of the first truly big football players. Our opponent was the Miami Dolphins; their defensive unit was called the Killer Bees. One of the veterans of that unit was Kim Bokamper, the player that I would be facing. Prior to the game Bokamper made a statement that the media ran with. He proclaimed that the Dolphins would win because he would be able to exploit the 49ers’ weakest link — and the weakest link was me. I was angry, and offended, that he had called me out in such a public and disrespectful manner. I was forced to endure more than a week of his words being constantly echoed in every venue of my world. Bubba Paris, the San Francisco 49ers’ weakest link! When you face crucial defining moments, there will be those who believe that you are not capable of prevailing. They believe, and will proclaim with a resounding voice, that the moment is larger than you. They judge you by their perception of your demeanor and not by the truth that your demean22

January – March 2016

or comprises. When you face these pivotal moments, your past comes into focus. The true essence from all of your life’s lessons, which your demeanor has absorbed, become your truth — your ammunition. What is observed on the outside is not a true reflection of you, the competitor. Life’s experiences have made you ready — even if you are not aware of it. Life presents life, realities, dreaded experiences that are often called tests. They are a part of your journey — unavoidable happenings on your path to destiny that shape your resolve and reveal the nature of your character. These tests can be the source of overwhelming pain, heartache and sorrow. They may take you to the brink of extinction, but the fact that you are alive and reading this means that you are winning. All the pregame publicity was over, and I was now face to face with Bokamper – this Killer Bee who judged my demeanor as incapable and saw me as an inferior opponent for this world-class challenge. In that monumental moment, I reflected over lessons that my life had taught me. I embraced the person who had emerged from the sometimes difficult testing. I was forged in fire. I endured the shaping and sharpening. I was now polished and ready to do battle with my unique fighting instrument. I knew that I was born for this moment. In my book “Born for This Moment,” I chronicle life events and the significance they play in preparing you for your pivotal defining moments. Using hindsight, I help you navigate through confusing moments of life that test your resolve and

sometimes make you feel victimized. By using my story as an illustration, you will realize that at this moment, regardless of your test, all things are working together for your good. My motivational biography will help you navigate the challenges of life. I also explain how Edward DeBartolo Jr. and Bill Walsh built the 49er dynasty. You can find “Born for This Moment” at any online book source or purchase a signed copy on my website or on eBay.

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Living Presently – because life is too short By Charleen Earley


t’s something I’m beginning to work on in my own life – Living Presently. It’s where you shut out all other distractions to focus on the present project, conversation or goal at hand. I’m a Type A personality. Some might label me as ADHD (Always Doing, Highly Driven), but nonetheless, I was born this way. It’s a naturenot-nurture thing. It wasn’t something I was taught, signed up for or read in a book. The traits of a Type A person are not all great. It’s someone who is competitive, self-critical, continually striving towards goals, always has a sense of urgency, unable to sit still for very long (meditation - what’s that?), has a constant struggle against the clock, feels guilty relaxing during spare times, is impatient and aggressive. This person also schedules commitments too tightly, tries to do too many things at once, and is easily aroused to anger – probably because of all these lovely traits. While I’m in a waiting room or expecting a website page to load, if I’m waiting longer than 5 seconds, I HAVE to be doing something else during that “empty” space of time. 24

January – March 2016

I can’t just sit there, I have an inherent need to do something, anything, doesn’t matter what. Motion, not Barbara, has to be my middle name. Add today’s technology and social media to the Type A personality, and what do you get? The pink, double AA Energizer Bunny who “just keeps going and going and going.” But before we (somewhat) bash computers and Facebook, first reflect on some of the ways in which technology and social media has enhanced and advanced our lives: reconnecting and staying in touch with family and friends who live far away, obtaining college degrees online, health monitoring apps for smartphones and tablets, and emergency help from crime and danger. Did you know that according to website, “It is estimated that about 70 percent of 911 calls are placed from wireless phones, and that percentage is growing.” With the good, comes the not-sogood. Smart phones, tablets, computers, and social media sites – the use of them can suck your attention like a hungry leech. It does for me. I could be reading a book or having dinner with family and friends, when my Law & Order ringtone sounds and I simply MUST see who just texted me,

commented on a Facebook post, or event reminder from my e-calendar just popped up. Some people use their phones as a distraction, as a way to tune out – it’s called the “Security Blanket” approach. Brittany Walker, who is studying to become a licensed Mental Health Counselor in Wisconsin, writes about it in her article titled “The Positive And Negative Impacts Technology Has On Our Daily Lives.” “The security blanket approach can be defined as an individual using a source of technology to protect themselves from being interactive with another person or to simply occupy themselves in a situation that is not very interesting,” she wrote. I’ve done it – without even thinking about it – and I’m not proud either. It’s certainly far from Living Presently; it’s more like destructivelymulti-tasking. Look around – wherever you go, people are texting or surfing on their cell phones while walking, watching TV, at restaurants or even while driving. Technology and social media distractions can affect your health, work and even your relationships. I heard Pat Thurston, a KGO radio talk show host interview Dr. Tara Fields on Dec. 21, 2015. Fields has been practicing “mindfulness”

for decades in her work as a 28-year psychologist. She also talks about it in her new book entitled “The Love Fix: Repair and Restore your Relationship Right Now.” “I’m pleased to see that it’s [mindfulness] gaining such widespread popularity, because it’s an effective and powerful tool for managing reactivity and for getting in touch with our actual feelings,” she wrote. “We’re not so easily affected by outside triggers when we’re truly present in the moment. Being mindful can help us self-regulate, as well as manage our personal relationships in positive, more productive ways.” The problem is real – living UNpresently. Even while writing this article and researching various aspects of it, I found myself clicking on other sites – completely unrelated to my topic – displaying traits of what some call the “shiny ball syndrome,” where one sees a shiny ball out of nowhere and traipses off to fetch it. So what’s the fix? Here are some of the ways you might find helpful in your quest to Live Presently. I’m going to try them myself. 1. While engaging in a project, assignment or task, put your cell

phone in another room, on vibrate or even off. 2. While eating with friends and family, keep cell phone in your purse or pocket, turn it off or keep it on vibrate – although vibrating still has a way of getting to me, making me feel as though a child is tugging on my shirt for attention! 3. When researching online or

writing an article, bookmark or copy a URL link to an article you’d like to read later. 4. Challenge yourself by unplugging from technology, go off the “grid,” go screen-free (includes TV), Internet purge or go on a social media diet for a week (168 hours). For high achievers, try a month and record your experiences. Watch your

productivity levels soar and your back and neck feel better too. I’ll bet your communication and social skills improve as well! This technology “fast” does not include anything work-related. Don’t lose your job over this article! 5. Turn your sound notifications off and decide to check your emails and text messages on scheduled slots

throughout the day. By checking your messages 3-5 times a day instead of 50+ and at all hours (like me), you won’t lose rhythm or momentum in your projects. I’d love to hear from you (readers). What are some ways you are Living Presently and purging technology? What were your experiences in doing so?

January – March 2016


Mississippi River: Kind of place adventurous Delta people might be drawn

Quapaw Canoe Company Voyageurs exploring Mellwood Lake with 5th graders from Seattle, WA, in 30-foot long cypress strip voyageur canoes, handcrafted in Clarksdale, Mississippi. Mellwood Lake is an oxbow lake, a 10-mile old channel of the Mississippi cut off the river in 1924.

By Stephanie Artz Photos by John Ruskey


hen I graduated from the University of New Hamp-


January – March 2016

shire in 1990, I took a job in publishing in New York City as assistant to a literary agent and lived there for 23 years. From there I transitioned to life as a professional dancer, reclaiming dance that I had left behind as a teen-aged ballerina. I

now find myself with my husband in the rural Arkansas Delta, living with waters in the air and ground I could not have then imagined. On November 18, I went on the biggest water in North America, paddling

in a canoe for four days and a hundred miles, from Greenville to Vicksburg, Mississippi. John Ruskey, a Colorado native who has paddled anything that floats — including a log — down the mighty Mississippi River, led us.

Ruskey and his crew, which on my happy, soulful guides who followed trip included a former defensive back the lead of the river and wind, leadfor the New York Giants, a canoe ing us around its winding bends deracer, and a poet from Metarie, Louiciding where to camp, watching wasiana, want to restore the wild experiter movements and eddies, barge trafence of the Mississippi and save the fic and our direction around channel river from land interests within the buoys. Ruskey also had a radio with batture, the land between the Missiswhich he could communicate with sippi River and the levees. towboat captains. Since 1982, Ruskey has been phoThe crew paddled all day, cooked tographing, documenting and enon driftwood fires with excellent, abling paddlers to safely navigate the often times organic food and made shifting sandbars and flowing waters friendly conversation the whole time. of the Mississippi River. The river is Ruskey went to sleep in a canoe, on huge in every way. It is deep, wide, the sand or in a tent around 8:00 evwild, hypnotic, sometimes uncharery night and woke up early to walk, tered, unwitnessed and written off as photograph and check the weather or monstrous. It’s just the kind of place whatever else he wanted before makadventurous Delta people might be ing coffee over the renewed campfire. Sunrise over voyageur canoes in the back channel behind Smith Point, opposite the mouth of the White drawn. After years as an improvisational River. Quapaw Canoe Company leading a week-long trip for a group of 5th graders from Seattle, WA. A typical day on the trip has a slow dancer, I know the feeling of fluid start with ample time to watch the physicality performed in time, and of drum over our two beautiful handmade those who have seen it from high on a sunrise, warm up by the campfire and canoes, crafted from redwood and cy- bridge or over its ubiquitous levees. waiting and listening for the next right take a dip or splash in the river itself. press by Ruskey himself. We put on life The river and its banks on the wild decision. So, this trip was an intimidatOn the second morning of my trip, jackets, neoprene gloves and boots and section I was traveling offer unmolested ing but sturdily doable adventure for I crossed a little stream to sit on a wide pushed out. refuge for wildlife and birds using the me; one I just followed as best I could, part of the sandbar alone, plopping down On my trip was Chris, a young film- waterway for nesting, hunting and mi- not asking too many questions and staynext to a wildlife path leading to the maker and graduate of Boston College, gration. We saw white pelicans, deer, ing close to my own experiences. river’s edge. With the sun warming the shooting footage from the canoes and bald eagles, osprey, double crested corThe opportunity to learn on this back of my neck, whistling birds cho- at our stops. He interviewed two biolo- morants and noisy, high-flying geese. In river was deeply rewarding, providrused from the woods and a distant tow- gists who came on board in Mayersville November, the mosquitos weren’t one ing a real and gentle peace that comes boat advanced up the bend. A full moon and described the fossil life we found on of those in this category, and, luckily, from viscerally experiencing a geologihung in the sky as people behind me in sandbars. My contribution was a slate neither were snakes or other reptiles. cal feature such as an ocean, mountain the distance stood around a fire wearing “gorgette” which I found on a lunch My experience was of big sky, early dra- range, or section of redwood forest. I winter hats. I could hear their voices ris- stop sandbar. It was dated to 1200 BC matic sunsets and cold nights snuggled found these brave people — John, his ing and falling. I heard someone whis- and fashioned by the first civilization in in my tent listening to coyotes teaching crew, and my fellow travelers — to be tling, must be John, so I headed back. North America (Poverty Point). their pups things I did not want to go the most interesting people I have met Around 9, I guess, we took packed in this area. I was, day after day, ensconced in an out and see. dry bags to the canoes. John, or some- intoxicating mix of wet, sonic, bobbing What they do on the river so unThe best part was the crew. Ruskey one in the crew, beat a rhythm on a hand motion, from a viewpoint unavailable to and his band of paddlers were strong, known, I want to spread the word.

January – March 2016


coming soon

Photo by Stefan Leer In our next issue Delta Living Magazine presents the Limo Wine Tasting Tour with good friends visiting great wineries to include a little jaunt to Lodi Vintners. In photo (L-R), Diane Stockman, Kristine Cataldo, Kersti Evans, Gretchen Wolf, Rita Caruso, Lisa Taylor and front Publisher Charleen Earley all posing at Leer Vineyards. The gals tasted wines in Brentwood at Hannah Nicole Vineyards with Debbie Francis, Leer Vineyards with Stefan and Tanisha Leer, Becky Bloomfield's CoCo County Wine Co. with Crystal Rice, Lodi Vintners with Deborah Oliver and Dennis Orrey (owner Tyson Rippey). The wine tasting excursion was not possible without All In One Limousine Service driverJanuary and owner Cindy Patterson. 28 – March 2016 Full editorial will be in our April 2016 issue.

January – March 2016


Sail the tall ships on our Delta Lady Washington arrives in March Story and photos by Liz Ritchie


repare to join the excitement of an excursion aboard replicas of tall ships that sailed the west coast of North America in the 1780’s. Welcome Lady Washington: the modern marvels sail to 11 ports a year delivering handson living history education programs. Crewmembers are dressed in 18th century maritime attire and reenact the life of sailors aboard the 112-foot brig Lady Washington, a replica of one of two American trade flag ships that sailed the North West coast, and the 103-foot topsail ketch Hawaiian Chieftain, a replica of colonial passenger ships. The ships will be open to the public at Oakland’s Jack London Square February 20-27 and Antioch Marina, March 2-9 for tours and educational sails. Educators can schedule their students to experience the three-hour “hands-on”Voyages of Discovery sails that offer an experience that cannot be simulated in any classroom. After a 30

January – March 2016

brief safety class, students work cooperatively to set and trim the sails that carry their beautiful tall ship through the water. They rotate through three learning stations, each one focused on a different aspect of maritime history, including the food, conditions and skills that carried men across the sea for hundreds of years; the science of finding speed, depth, direction and keeping time in an age when many sailors couldn’t read or write; and about the cargo and trade routes of our ancestors that are still used today by container ships and bulk carriers. For an experience of a lifetime, the tall ships engage in a three-hour “Battle Sail” that features booming cannons and close-quarters sailing maneuvers. With synchrony of action, the crew prepares for battle as they climb the tall masts to unfurl the sails, prep the real cannons with gunpowder and fuse. The excitement mounts as the ships sail passed each other and crewmembers are lighting the fuse while shouting “Fire in the Hole” as each of the cannons explodes. Passengers are invited to join in manning the helm, raising and trimming the sails while taunting the adversary and singing a chorus of a sea shanty. Battle Sails are February 20 and 27 at Jack London Square and March 5 at Antioch Marina. Want to be a crewmember or learn how to be a sailor? Sign up for the “Two Weeks Before the Mast” training program for an opportunity to experience the life of a tall ship sailor. For two weeks, you live aboard one of the two tall ships and learn the basics of knots, sail theory, traditional and modern maintenance skills, and the maritime history of the tall ships. Once completed, you are eligible to be a crewmember volunteer in future sails. Grays Harbor Historical Seaport Authority, a 501 (c)(3) educational non-profit, provides hands-on educational opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds. With a focus on teamwork and empowerment, their programs are developed to explore our shared history and our daily connections to the world’s oceans. For more information about the tall ship tours and excursions, visit and view the YouTube Battle Sail https://www.

January – March 2016


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January – March 2016


Zac Majors soars like an eagle and plays with the clouds Story and photos by Charleen Earley


hile most people peg him as an adrenalin junkie, hang glider instructor Zac Majors opts for a more sophisticated, French traditional term. “I prefer to call myself an endorphin connoisseur,” said Majors, 41 and gliding since he was 18. Owner of Hang Gliding Academy in Knightsen, the six-time US National Champion also holds the current site record off Mt. Diablo with 5.5 hours of flight time and 190 miles, landing near Lost Hills to the south on I-5. He said most people don’t realize hang gliding is not simply a jump off a hill or cliff with very little control; glide a few minutes, then land. That was years ago. With tandem speeds averaging 20-35mph and solo glides around 60mph, today, he said the sport is more about skill, pleasure and length. “We can launch off a hill, soar up thousands of feet and have lots of control,” said Majors. “It’s really not an extreme sport. A lot of pilots are out there enjoying the scenery and peacefulness.” “I love the sense of freedom, being able to fly with the power of Mother 34

January – March 2016

Nature,” he added. “And I love being able to fly with the birds, do circles with the hawks and play with the clouds!” Majors teaches out of a flight park adjacent to Jeremy Newberry Estate Vineyards – but continues to compete on a regular basis in places like Guatemala, Brazil, Europe, Australia and more. From Portland, OR, he grew up ski racing and competed in the Junior Olympics. His competitive spirit also earned him a Team USA Silver Medal at the 2011 FAI World Championships in Australia. “I’m pretty proud to have been able to compete with the best, learn from them and eventually become that person myself,” said Majors. “Now as an instructor, having that background helps.” His introductory tandem lesson costs $325 for tandem on weekends and $275 during the week. Each lesson includes an HD GoPro video and still photos of the 15-20 minute flight. Complete certification courses are available for beginning to advance students. With a zero-accidents track record in tandem hang gliding, Majors always wanted to fly, and initially felt a normal career, like flying for an airline, would allow more opportuni-

Instructor Zac Majors (blue jacket), 41, is a sixtime US National Champion in hang gliding and third in the world. On Nov. 10, 2015, he took student Krishnamurthi Srinivasa Iyer, 71 up 3,000 feet above Jeremy Newberry Estates in Knightsen.

ties. He earned his commercial pilot license while working on an aviation science degree at Utah Valley University when destiny changed his course. “That’s when 9/11 hit and stopped my plans,” he said. “My school was shut down for awhile and that’s when I realized how happy I was teaching hang gliding. I eventually went back into competition too.” The fear factor is real for some of his students, that’s when a little bit of psychology helps. “I often think of it as managing people’s expectations. I give them simple tasks and tell them where to look, etc. It helps people to feel more relaxed and comfortable,” he said. Students range from ages four to 94, and their reasons for gliding fall into a milestone category such as birthdays, weddings, anniversaries or bucket lists, with the image of extreme sport gravitating towards tranquility. “Hang gliding is on the rebound,” said Majors. “Forty years is about where the memory of it being incredibly dangerous ends – there’s so much more videos of how relaxing and cool it is – the birdlike and dreamlike flight.”

Zac’s student Krishnamurthi Iyer (in the saddle, receiving final flight instructions from Zac) was visiting his daughter Latha in San Jose, and hails from Coonoor, India. He said hang gliding was on his bucket list to do.

View one of his videos watch?v=1-oy8G9GDLo

Contact Zac Majors

January – March 2016


delta silver linings

Joyful smiles for our elderly By Vinny DiNicola


n July 2000, Mary Chapman was asked by the founding Board of An Elderly Wish Foundation (AEWF) to help organize a new nonprofit in Antioch. Mary said yes, but she never imagined she would still be “organizing” as Executive Director 15 years later. For the last 15 years, and over 150 wishes later, AEWF has granted senior wishes in Contra Costa County for those 50 and older who struggle with a life-threatening or chronic illness. “We bring smiles and a little bit of joy into the lives of seniors and create lasting and happy memories for their loved ones,” said Mary. “The smiles, the tears and laughter are the rewards we enjoy by making a wish come true.” One wish recipient was Rudy, a train enthusiast, who wanted to see his daughter in San Diego. AEWF arranged Rudy’s trip to San Diego on Amtrak. Another recipient was Frances, who was housebound and wanted a new computer to communicate with family so she wasn’t so isolated. AEWF provided one. Wish number 151 went to Rita, who lives in Danville in an assisted

Keep AEWF in mind if you have a family member (age 50 or older) or know a neighbor or friend who develops a serious illness. Mary Chapman and AEWF would like to make a terminally ill senior’s “wish come true.” Contact Mary or complete the application found on their website.

ing community. “My one true delight is art, from the antiquities through the art of today. Books are nice, but the magic of being in the presence of the real thing is a thrill that lifts my spirits like nothing else, and this is only possible at a museum,” said Rita. Rita and her daughter were guests for the day at the De Young Museum in San Francisco on Nov. 11.They had a private docent, free admission and lunch at the museum. Wish number 152 was awarded to

Carolyn, a cancer patient, who wished to receive, desperately needed dental work. She longed to able to smile, laugh and sing again. AEWF worked with a dentist in Brentwood and her wish came true in January. Wishes are granted through Board authority and are funded through corporate and private donations and annual fundraisers.AEWF’s major fundraiser, their 14th Annual Heart-to-Heart Ball, “Enchanted Wishes” is slated for Feb. 27, 2016, at the Lone Tree Golf Course & Event Center in Antioch.Tickets are

$65 per person for an elegant gourmet dinner with wine and both silent and live auctions. Raffle and auction items will include trips to Las Vegas, Disneyland, Giants Spring Training in March, a week in Maui and a week in Puerto Vallarta! There will be gift baskets, tickets for theatre, opera and sporting events, to name a few. No tickets will be sold at the door. If you would like to attend or donate, please email or call Mary Chapman. Whether you attend or not, your donations of gift cards, gift certificates, gift baskets, sport tickets and getaways are appreciated and tax-deductible. Writer Vinny DiNicola is a Certified Senior Advisor® and owner of HomeLife Senior Care in Brentwood with wife Angela. Reach him at

An Elderly Wish Foundation Mary Chapman Executive Director 925.978.1883 January – March 2016


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Brentwood Embroidery & Screen Printing WE DO

• Letterman Jackets • Custom Embroidery • Patches • Banners • Screen printing • Vinyl lettering • Leather sewing • T-shirts

410 Beatrice Ct. Brentwood, CA 94513

Mon-Fri: 10 - 6 p.m. Sat: 10 - 2 p.m.

FaceBook: brentwoodembroidery 925.634.5268 - phone

925.684.4382 - fax


January – March 2016

Es t i m at e s a r e a lway s

Sunrise Grading & Paving Family-owned, third generation who are committed to quality service and customer satisfaction. Brentwood, CA 94513

925.513.7373 License & Insured • License #899856


Commercial, Residential & Industrial: • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Driveways Parking lots Private roads Apartments Resurfacing Grind outs Patch Paving Overlays Seal coating, Striping Curbs & berms Grading Excavating Hauling January – March 2016



January – March 2016

JAN '16 Delta Living Magazine  

The January 2016 issue is HERE! Enjoy!

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