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SPRING/SUMMER 2015

east bay local Your East Bay Connection

M A G A Z I N E

LIVING THE LIFE OF A DREAM

MEET MIKE CROWLEY, PRESIDENT OF THE OAKLAND A’S AND MANAGING DIRECTOR OF THE SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES


CONT ENTS Inside MIKE CROWLEY: LIVING THE LIFE OF A DREAM ARE LIVE CONVERSATIONS MAKING A COMEBACK? KRISTIN CONNELLY: EAST BAY LEADER

OAKLAND ELITE AMONG THE HALL OF FAME WEEKEND GETAWAYS LEW WOLFF A Special Kind of Magic Surrounds the Owner of the Oakland A’s

A HAPPY HOMECOMING A’s Manager Bob Melvin Northern Cali

fornia Chapter

JEAN-MICHEL COUSTEAU The Great Ocean Adventure

2013-2014

Photo: © Carrie Vonderhaar, Ocean Futures Society

abundance, improve biodiversity and provide a nursery for species that will spill over into areas open to fishing. It is a win-win situation for us all. Ninety percent of all large fish populations are at risk from overfishing and most commercial fisheries are in decline. The problem is enormous but the solution is clear, quickly effective, and costs little. But this is where the heart comes and where we must remain hopeful for the future; otherwise I would not keep traversing the planet, sharing the mission of Ocean Futures Society, empowering people to take personal responsibility for the long-term sustainability of our oceans. It starts with the individual; it starts with the heart and a

The more I learn about the ocean, the more I realize how little I truly understand it. Even after all these years, a sense of exploration and wonder still fills me each time I dive into the ocean’s depths. We owe it to ourselves--we owe it to our water planet—to do all that we can to protect our life support system. We must connect the ocean to the existence of every human being. This is the only way for people to understand that the quality of each and every one of our lives depends on water, depends on the ocean. My father said, “People protect what they love,” and so we want more people to fall in love with water. And I say, “Protect the ocean and


Edwards Luggage has currently re-branded our 68 year old family business with the new name of Edwards Everything Travel. Featuring more travel accessories than ever before, Edwards is the destination travel store in the San Francisco Bay Area. Along with the new branding, Edwards is currently updating our stores to a fresh, new, contemporary look. All NEW Shop-in-Shops from Tumi, Rimowa, Briggs and Riley, and Victorinox create a customer-friendly shopping experience. If you are planning a trip,visit one of our stores for all your travel needs. Or, come to one of our Packing Seminars and learn how to pack in a carry-on for a 10 day trip. Yes, it can be done! See our website at EdwardsEverythingTravel.com for more information about the upcoming packing seminars. They're Free! Our holiday gift items have just arrived, so let us help you fill your gift list with the best items for 2014. We hope to see you soon!

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Walnut Creek

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east bay local SPRI NG/S UMM ER 2015

Your East Bay Connection

M A G A Z I N E

LIVING THE LIFE OF A DREAM MEET MI

KE CROWLEY, PRESIDENT OF THE OAKLAND A’S AND MANAGING DIRECTOR OF THE SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES

Rich Borell Founder & CEO

Board of Advisors

Ken Packer

President & CEO, SAMCEDA San Mateo County Economic Development Association

Publisher & Executive Editor

Daniel Considine

Founder, Boone Energy

Rosanne Foust

Harry Kellogg

Vice Chairman, Strategic Relationships Silicon Valley Bank

Gay Krause

Executive Director, Krause Center for Innovation Foothill College

Joe Parisi

President, Therma Corporation

Larry Schreiber

President, NFL Alumni Northern California Chapter

Karen Tucker CEO, Churchill Club

East Bay Local Magazine is a community magazine published by Bay Area Mags LLC. Reproduction in whole or in part of any text or photographs without the written permission from the Publisher is strictly prohibited. The magazine is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts, artwork or photographs. The opinions expressed in East Bay Local Magazine are of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Board of Advisers, Management or Owners. The magazine assumes no responsibility or liability for claims made by advertisers in the magazine. All rights reserved. Publisher and/or Advertiser shall be held blameless for any and all pricing errors, along with any expired dates typing errors or trademark infringements. If any errors are found, we will correct when brought to our attention within 48 hours. For advertising and editorial inquiries, contact us at info@bayareamags.com


LOCAL AGENT NAPA/SONOMA EDITION

SPRING/SUMMER 2015

MAGAZINE


BAY AREA LEGENDS A WALK & TALK DOWN MEMORY LANE WITH

AL ATTLES W

e met in what was a different day and age. Yet, it seems like yesterday. I remember the team arriving … It was amid a lot of excitement back then. It was 1962. Professional basketball was coming to San Francisco and the Bay Area! Meet the NBA … Meet the Warriors … Meet Al Attles. It was just a few years before, in 1958, Major League Baseball had just successfully moved the Brooklyn Dodgers to Los Angeles and the New York Giants to San Francisco, becoming the first two professional baseball teams west of the Mississippi. In 1962, the National Basketball Association (the NBA) followed, and successfully moved the Minneapolis Lakers to Los Angeles and the Philadelphia Warriors to San Francisco, becoming the first two professional basketball teams west of the Mississippi. It was quite an era here back then. John Kennedy was President, no sign yet of the Beatles (and their concert at Candlestick Park coming just a bit later in 1964) and our San Francisco Giants, in just their 5th year here and playing in what was a “beautiful” new Candlestick Park, were playing the New York Yankees in the World Series. It would be two years later, in 1964, San Francisco would host the GOP National Convention here at the San Francisco Cow Palace, starring Barry Goldwater. It would be 23 years later, in 1985, for Super Bowl XIX at the older Stanford Stadium and 54 years later, in 2016, for Super Bowl 50 to return to the Bay Area. During this time, the 49ers have won 5 Super Bowls, the Giants have won two World Series and the Warriors have won one NBA Championship, in 1975, with Al Attles as the Head Coach. Fast forward to the present day and it’s the same wonderful Al Attles. The same warm, friendly smile, the same positive endearing energy and the same unforgettable and most recognizable voice. And, now, there’s all this wonderful history, stories and people we can talk about, too. Al is everyone’s best friend and everyone is Al’s best friend. Case in point, to this very day, his North Carolina A&T basketball teammates are all still extremely close. They won championships playing together as a team some 50+ years ago and they still talk with one another, frequently, all the time, and as recently as just yesterday … To read the rest of Coach Al Attles’ great article, please go to our Silicon Valley Talk website (www.siliconvalleytalk.com) and enjoy the balance under the category “Sports”.


Are Live Conversations Making a Comeback? By Caroline Moriarity Sacks Director of INFORUM

I

n the technology capital of the world, San Franciscans know better than most about the latest messaging or communication apps. In a city turning conversations more virtual by the minute, a phenomenon is also developing: its citizens are wanting more interactions offline, with real people. At INFORUM, The Commonwealth Club’s Innovation Lab, we’re constantly seeing the benefits that come from live interactions. While some may argue that social media, forums, podcasts or live video streams are just as useful as the real deal, you miss the events that aren’t captured by film or social media. These are the experiences that can only be seen or heard firsthand. Notice the facial expressions on the executives on stage? Or, the way a panelist lights up because he/she noticed their family in an audience? These cues provide more color and context that can

add to a person’s individual experience. Let’s not forget the benefits of making real human connections. Sometimes the best part of an event is simply hearing the commentary from attendees. Conversations that happen before and after a program is just as impactful, if not more rewarding. Plus, these conversations often open up doors to meeting new people who can become a connection in the future. There’s also a difference between witnessing it online vs. in-person. Yes, we can listen to audio from a conversation between Marissa Mayer of Yahoo! and Marc Benioff of salesforce.com, but being there to laugh with the audience, feel the tension or witness history is something that you can always look back on. That experience is one of a kind. There are more benefits and we encourage you to see for yourself at our next INFORUM event. Check out our site for the next program; we hope to see you there: inforumsf.org

Salesforce Chairman and CEO Marc Benioff and Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer photo by Ed Ritger


INNOVATION. EDUCATION. HERITAGE. A HOME FOR 49ERS FANS OF ALL AGES. OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK

Monday through Sundays (10am - 6pm) Gamedays: Open - 2 hours prior to kickoff Close - 30 minutes prior to kickoff

WWW.LEVISSTADIUM.COM/MUSEUM


Mike and A’s Owner, Lew Wolff, are enjoying this view from their “office away from the office”, in the Oakland A’s dugout prior to a game.

MEET MIKE CROWLEY:

PRESIDENT OF THE OAKLAND A’s AND MANAGING DIRECTOR OF THE SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES Living the Life of a Dream

M

ike Crowley wears two very different hats. Two different sports, two different teams, two different cities, two different stadiums. We just had a wonderful conversation. He’s totally on top of everything. He’s very excited and optimistic about both programs; he loves every minute of what he does and all that they together are doing … and it shows! On the one hand, Mike is the President of the Oakland A’s Baseball Team, working very closely with the owner Lew Wolff, General Manager Billy Beane and Manager Bob Melvin. They have made the playoffs the last three years, since Bob Melvin arrived as manager. They all work very closely and very well together. Mike is also the Managing Director of the San Jose Earthquakes Soccer Team, working very closely with the owner, Lew Wolff and his son Keith Wolff, who is the Managing Partner, also Dave Kaval, who he hired to be President, General Manager John

Doyle and Coach Dominic Kinnear. (For the past nine years, Dominic had been the Coach for the Houston Dynamo; He was born in Scotland, raised here in San Jose. His 15 playoff wins places him third most among head coaches in MLS history. He and everyone’s very happy about his coming home to San Jose and the Earthquakes). Indeed, both organizations are very well run. They have a good eye for recognizing talent. Mike Crowley may not be the star player that you’ll see on the baseball diamond or soccer field, but he is behind the wonderful success we are seeing in Oakland and


in San Jose, both on and off the field. fact, shortly thereafter, Sandy left the A’s as he was Mike’s was born in Southern California, where hired by the Baseball Commissioner to work for Major his father was in the United States Marine Corp. His League Baseball, in the Executive Offices, in New first few years were there, and then the family moved York. Suddenly, Mike was promoted to fill Sandy’s briefly to the Midwest and then to Northern California, position, becoming Team President in September here, where he considers himself a native. Mike 1998. At the time, Mike felt it wasn’t enough time to grew up in Los Altos and attended Saint Francis High prepare … but, in all actuality, Sandy prepared him School, which he loved. Last night he had dinner with very well for the transition. three close friends of his; all four have been friends “I came in around the same time Billy became since elementary school. Assistant General Manager. From the beginning, we Upon graduating from Saint Francis, Mike went to have always worked very well together. We have the University of Notre Dame. He graduated in 1985 daughters who are about the same ages, the girls with a degree in Accounting. He went to work at Price spent time together especially at Spring Training.” Waterhouse in San Jose where he earned his CPA license. We talked about the movie, ‘Money Ball’. “It He was there for three years and then left to work eight certainly helped our brand,” Mike said. “Seven years in the family business (Fuller O’Brien Paints). months after the movie premiered, we opened the During his time with Fuller O’Brien, Mike went to regular season in Japan and there were so many graduate school and got his MBA at Duke University Japanese fans who had seen the movie and greeted us in Durham, NC. There he focused on Marketing, wearing A’s hats!” Operations and Finance. It complemented his Mike also shared about Spring Training. “Spring degree in Accounting and his being a CPA. As he Training is the best. You’re right on top of the playing put it, “to fill out my skill set”. Mike loves his sports. field, the players are more accessible, the score He loved it when he was at Notre Dame and also, doesn’t matter, they’re all day games, the weather is as it so happened, Duke won two NCAA Basketball beautiful … everyone loves being there. Bob does a Championships the two years he was there. Did he great job getting the players ready. We are all excited meet Coach K (now the winningest basketball coach and optimistic entering the regular season. in college basketball history)? “Yes, as a matter of “In Oakland our fans are truly great. ‘Passionate fact, I did. There were a couple of occasions when and a little irreverent’, I think is a good way of putting he came and spoke to us at the Business School. As it. There will also be new scoreboards and ribbon you can imagine, it was very interesting, the special boards this year in Oakland; we put $10 million opportunity, of listening to him.” dollars into it, that we hope will enhance the fan Upon graduation in 1992 from Duke he returned experience even more. It’ll be great to see. to the family business until it was sold in 1996. It was “We are excited about this coming year. A lot of simple (or magical): “The A’s had posted a CFO job, I applied and I got the job.” That was 1997, Steve Schott and Ken Hoffman were the owners then (Lew did not buy the team until 2005; Lew originally was brought in, as the Vice President, Venue Development, to help Ken and Steve look at venue options for a new stadium). Mike was hired as the Chief Financial Officer by the Team President, Sandy Alderson, one of the most Mike and A’s Owner, Lew Wolff, are enjoying this view from their “office away respected executives in from the office”, in the stands with the fans. major league baseball. In


new players are coming in, adding a lot to our already It is a great University with fabulous people. It great core. I think we’re going to do well.” ended up being a great place to play and they were Regarding changing team players … “With the “so awesome” to work with. economics, we just can’t keep the players as we would Mike first approached Dan Coonan, the Athletic like. What people may not realize, if we were to keep Director, and also a Notre Dame graduate, and then our players from the 2001 team, as we all wish we Father Paul Locatelli, at the time, the President of Santa could have, we would have had a payroll in excess of Clara University. Both were so instrumental. They $300 million. It’s the nature of the business. We are offered them Buck Shaw Stadium, the football stadium a small revenue team, but we never use that as an that had housed the Santa Clara Broncos football team excuse. We expect to win every game. We try to win (and had ended in 1992). The Earthquakes put some every game … even the Spring Training games. It’s much needed improvements into the stadium including that winning attitude throughout the organization that new scoreboards, lights, practice field and seating. The perpetuates success.” Earthquakes had 10,000 adoring, happy and excited Talking about the playoff game vs. the Kansas City fans supporting them. It’s been a great relationship Royals, “Yes, that was a real punch in the gut, that’s during these years. for sure. It was disappointing. To be up 3 runs in the And now Mike looks forward to the Earthquakes 7th inning and lose it the way we did. There are certain games you’ll remember, this is one. There are great wins we all remember. There are some losses you’d like to forget, you wish you could forget, but it’s hard. We were so close. “I love my job. I get to go to the ball park every day, where I love it, and they pay me! I love going to the ballpark and working with such great people. The personalities. Some interesting people. Yes, Bill King, he was eccentric and a bit quirky. He was so knowledgeable about so many different subjects outside sports. He was a great announcer in all sports, Football (the Raiders), Basketball (the Warriors) and Baseball (the A’s) all Mike, along with the A’s Manager Bob Melvin, making a special prethose years … I grew up listening to sentation honoring future Hall of Famer, Mariano Rivera, during the last Bill King! I think it’s a shame he’s series he would play in Oakland. still not in the Hall of Fame. He should be. We’ll keep trying.” new home, the new state-of-the-art soccer stadium, Lew purchased the A’s in 2005. And, then, in many consider arguably to be one of the most September 2007, in an effort to bring Major League beautiful stadiums in the country, and one of the most Soccer back to the Bay Area, Lew also bought the beautiful anywhere in the world, Avaya Stadium. It rights to the San Jose Earthquakes Soccer Team. As seats 18,000 and is a sight to behold. It’s intimate, it turned out, when he did, there was less than eight every seat is a great seat, on top of the action, the months-time to get everything all together. The views are spectacular, it’s comfortable, very accessible upcoming season was about to begin, staff needed and the conveniences once inside are great. to be hired, players acquired and the question of Mike hired Dave Kaval from the Golden where to play, needed to be determined. It was State Baseball League to be the President of the critical. After some failed talks with San Jose State Earthquakes in October 2010, and continued on as University, Mike approached Santa Clara University. the Managing Director. Mike added, “Dave is terrific.


He has so many innovative and fun ideas and we work really well together.” “This year, if we can stay healthy, we’ll do well. It was a tough year last year. Last season, we lost a number of players to injuries. Seeing our team, the San Jose Earthquakes playing in Avaya Stadium will be beautiful, a dream come true.” Lastly, Mike was asked: If you could have a fantasy dinner, and could invite anyone (living or not) who would you like to invite, what would you like to ask them and what would you like to talk about? “Being a Notre Dame guy, I would like to ask Father Sorin, who founded the University, why the heck did you put it there? I’d like to invite JFK (he’d be very interesting), also Steve Jobs, he would be fascinating to talk to. I think Nelson Mandela is another I’d like to talk to. And I would like to invite my grandparents, now deceased, because I would love to see them again and tell them about their great grandchildren. “I am a local guy. This is not brain surgery, I’m part of a team and together we are providing entertainment. Sports are meant to be enjoyed by family and friends. When it’s said and done, it’s the experience that matter and the memories. How about people who have shaped who you are? “My parents are a big part, my father being an exmarine; he was a terrific role model doing things the right way. My wife, Kathy, is extremely supportive of a career that can take its toll on family life. Teachers, along the way, they give so much. I am a product of all my teachers. I am so very grateful. You draw from all these adventures and experiences – good, bad and indifferent. “People who have been in my life, sports, business and otherwise, have been wonderful. I’ll never forget Sandy was leaving for MLB and the owners called me in, saying: ‘OK, Mike, it’s now yours.’ “That was it. That was all. I thought, ‘Holy cow, I’m not ready for this; Sandy, you could have

given me a little more time, you know!’ (which, of course, I would have liked to have said). It’s all been and continues to be such a wonderful experience. Everyone has been so great to work with … and to date all has worked out so very well.” Charitable causes? “Why, yes, there are several that are very close to our hearts. My wife, Kathy, and I started the A’s Breast Cancer Awareness Day and to date the A’s have donated close to $1.6 million dollars. “Education is big for us, as well. Kathy and I dated at Saint Francis. She went to Santa Clara University and graduated with an Electrical Engineering degree from Santa Clara University. She worked for Hewlett Packard for 20 years. All three of our kids went to Saint Francis and Kathy served many years on the Board at Saint Francis, as well.” How about your children? “Our oldest, Meaghan, is a second grade teacher. Our son, Patrick, was a three year walk-on Basketball player at Notre Dame. He is now a consultant in the Washington DC area. Our daughter, Paige, is a sophomore at Notre Dame and is on the women’s soccer team.” Celebrities? “I’m not so infatuated with celebrities. I’m more impressed with people who change the world – using their God given talents to make change, making a positive difference. I remind Lew and Billy, all the time, ‘We have an obligation to our investors, of course, our fans, but also to our employees and their families to run a first class organization. “I feel it’s my job to train people well enough to take my job, like Sandy did for me. It’s scary, in a way, but it’s part of my job as the current steward of this great organization. So that it will continue to be a great organization long after I am retired. “Of course, we wish we could win every game. We always give it our best. And, in the end, we also want to have fun … its entertainment. It’s enjoyment. It’s family and friends. We want everyone to have fun.”


Marina Gavric

Marina Gavric Health & Fitness Training www.marinagavric.com

Age is Nothing But a Number Y

ou don’t spend 20 years in the fitness industry without learning a few things about numbers. A valuable term I learned early on, and attest to, is the age old adage that “Age is nothing but a number”. Each of us has a calendar age and a biological age. We’ve all seen this … Often I will see a 30 or 40 year-old who may look and feel considerably older than his or her actual age … or a 60 or 70 year-old who may look and feel considerably younger. How and why is that? Good health and well-being, so much of it is in our mind. Also our diet and exercise. It includes an attitude, our habits, our way of life. Healthy and vibrant, the good news is we don’t have to be stuck, where we might not be happy. The choice is ours and there are things we can do to improve. We should control our health rather our health control us. Health, fitness and wellness, no matter what our age, is a great recipe that works … and is everyone’s best reward. When and how did those years get stuck within layers of unhealthy fat, lining our frames? Can you pinpoint the time you became older than you really are? Think back. Was it when you were 12 trying to get out of gym class? Maybe in college when all your time was spent studying and socializing over noodles

and cocktails? Perhaps your fitness years were lost when the children began ruling your world or work sucked you in to the career abyss? Is it possible you just haven’t found your way out. Resolving when you began losing those years is key to getting them back. No matter what your current age or fitness level, taking action in changing your fitness age, to grow younger as you age, to become a fitter and wiser you, begins with some simple, clean life choices we can all make. Ask yourself: How old am I? How old do I feel? What is my fitness age? If I have lost years of vibrant life, when did I lose them? How can I get them back? And when do I begin taking action in the fight to take them back? Don’t let your “real” age rule or get the better of you. You can do it ... let your fitness age take the spotlight! … Stay Hydrated, Stay Focused, Stay Fit!


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wit hre se arc hsuppo rt e do by L S. F o rge t so me .We ’ re mak ing6 c ure appe nt o day .Are F i nd utL at l l s .o rg/ gba o rday c al l4 0 8.4 9 0 .2 6 6 . sh Make a donation. Volunteer your time. Be an ambassador for LLS areo fh o wc lo sewearet omanyne w lif e saving bre ak t h ro ugh s? O rh o wy o uc an h e lp? within your community. Help us make someday today. o utatl l s .o rg/ gba o rc al l4 0 8.4 9 0 .2 6 6 6 . Greater Bay Area Chapter San Francisco Office 221 Main Street, Ste. 1650 San Francisco, CA 94105 Silicon Valley & Monterey Bay Office 675 N. First Street, Ste. 1100 San Jose, CA 95112


FERTILITY PRESERVATION 5 Things You Should Know By Dr. Aimee Eyvazzadeh

Your fertility isn’t skin deep. It’s as simple as that. Just because you look like you’re 28 when you’re 42, doesn’t mean your ovaries are the same. Unlike men who don’t run out of sperm, it is totally normal and expected for every woman to run out of eggs by a certain age. The average age of menopause is 51 and it’s very difficult to get pregnant during the 10 years leading up to that age. Some of us are born with more eggs or run out at a slower rate but at the end of the day most women are not fertile in their 40’s. It’s unfair for women to be made to feel like there’s something wrong with them when they’re told they’re not fertile at the age of 40. Not many women are fertile in their 40’s. Empower yourself with knowledge about your fertility so you can learn more about your options. Running out of eggs doesn’t mean you also run out of options. Women in their 40’s often turn to more creative ways to grow their family: donor eggs, donor embryos and adoption just to name a few. I find that most of my patients who see me over the age of 40 say they wish they had frozen their eggs when they could have. Women today sadly learn that they’re running out of eggs at the same time that they decide to start a family. Egg freezing technology has changed dramatically over the past 5 years or so. Women don’t have to say that they wish they froze their eggs 10 years ago…..a time when egg freezing success rates weren’t as good as they are today. The time is now to ask your doctor whether egg freezing is for you. Here’s what you should know: 1. There are tests you can do to find

Dr. Aimee Eyvazzadeh Photos by Jennifer Crandall

out more about your fertility. Your doctor can order an Anti Mullerian Hormone level (AMH) as a guide regarding how much battery you have in your biological clock. Cycle day 3 FSH and estradiol levels and an antral follicle count (ultrasound looking at your ovaries often done by a reproductive endocrinologist) can also be used clinically as a guide. 2. If your Mom or other female family members had fertility issues related to conditions like endometriosis or early menopause, you should strongly consider preserving your fertility and seeing a doctor


to talk more about your options. 3. There are some medical conditions that require drug treatments that can be what we call “gonadotoxic” ie result in damage to eggs or sperm. Patients who are diagnosed with conditions like Lupus, blood disorders, and cancer are often put on chemotherapeutic Dr. Eyvazzadeh has been hosting “Egg Freezing Parties” designed to raise awareness of fertility issues since 2014. drugs. Freezing eggs/sperm Harvard Medical School, she completed a can give these patients a chance for pregnancy in the future fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility at University of Michigan. She after their treatment is over if they run out also completed a Masters in Public Health in of eggs earlier because of the treatments. Health Management and Policy at University 4. Freezing eggs for future use is best in of Michigan. She has a private practice in younger women because our eggs have a the SF Bay Area. higher chance of being viable the younger Each day she hears story after story we are. If you’re considering freezing your from women struggling to conceive. In her eggs in your late 30’s, you could still have a attempt to alleviate some of this heartbreak, good chance for pregnancy. Speaking with she has gone on a mission of “fertility a fertility specialist would be helpful before awareness”. Her hope is to empower you decide to freeze your eggs. women at an early age, making them more 5. Egg freezing involves a surgical aware of their own personal fertility levels procedure. Women have to take selfadministered shots in the skin of their lower and allowing them to be better educated about their options. Never again does she abdomen for about 10 days prior to the egg want to hear “If I had known 10 years ago extraction procedure. To hear more about the process of IVF or that my egg reserves were running low, I would have done things differently”. egg freezing, please read Dr. Aimee’s next In 2014, she launched her message with article. “Egg Freezing Parties”. These hosted parties Dr. Aimee Eyvazzadeh is a native of offer women a chance to learn more about the Bay Area. She is a graduate of UCLA egg freezing and ask their questions in a School of Medicine. After completing her comfortable, safe environment with likeresidency in Obstetrics & Gynecology at minded women. Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and


PREMIER HOME & DESIGN SPECIALISTS OF THE EAST BAY

BROTHERS HOME IMPROVEMENT A LABOR OF LOVE, PASSION AND FAMILY EBL: What is Brothers Home Improvement? Brothers Home Improvement: Brothers Home Improvement was incorporated in 1994. We are very proud to be celebrating more than 20 years in the window replacement business. Before then, one of the two original brothers brought in more than ten years of window installation experience and the other the business expertise. Coming from a close large family, both shared the dream of working with their siblings. Today each one of the nine brothers and sisters runs a different department and is involved in the day-to-day operations. At Brothers, we specialize in offering and installing a variety of window replacements from good quality manufacturers. With the mutual goals, eyes, and ears of the family members, we have evolved into a family business large enough to command the purchasing power necessary for competitive pricing, but not too large where we might lose sight of our customers. EBL: What do your customers, and you, love most about what you do? Brothers Home Improvement: Our customers love that we bring our showroom to them with our no-pressure in-home sales estimates. They love that we focus on educating our customers so they become well-informed consumers and minimize the potential confusion that often comes with window quotes. They often seem surprised to find a business, in this day and age, whose focus is to truly take care of people with the emphasis on our good name. Our hard work and caring ways have culminated in a tremendously high referral rate as our customers share their experiences with neighbors, friends and family. We are very proud that our ratings, customer reviews, and record reflect how we run the business. Our happy customers, in fact, make Brothers a great place to come to work at every morning. EBL: What’s so special about Brothers Home Improvement? What sets you apart? Brothers Home Improvement: Being a part of such a large family business is pretty unique and, through the years, the nine brothers and sisters have been joined by sons, daughters, nephews, nieces, cousins, and close trusted friends. When new employees join us, the excitement and hospitality of our family culture quickly becomes an

integral part of their day-to-day business practices. Secondly, from the onset, with longevity in mind, we structured our business for high volumes with low margins resulting in wins for our customers and for us. With so much family looking out for the business, managing the higher volumes became a no-brainer. Key to this goal was specialization; hence our commitment to window replacements rather than taking on different ventures. This goes hand-in-hand with having all our own employees rather than having subcontractors do the work for us. We know our customers will receive true TLC when all personnel entering their homes work for us, answer directly to us, are trained by us, and are insured by us. They are a part of our family business and this is in proud display when working with our customers.


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Ken Korach, Oakland A’s Radio Announcer A GREAT PASSION FOR THE GAME AND LIFE ITSELF

K

en Korach has been living the life of a dream come true. For the past 19 years he has been and is the radio voice of the Oakland A’s. He was born in Los Angeles in 1952. He is the son of a high school and junior college baseball and basketball coach. He has loved sports since the day he was born and remembers playing catch before he could walk. He grew up minutes from Dodger Stadium, but in his childhood grew up an Angels fan … because they were local and born then, too, in 1961. It’s as if real life angels have been watching over Ken and everything has been in an exciting and perfect alignment. Beyond a doubt, Ken grew up in a family and household that has always loved life, sports and broadcasting. As Ken puts it, he had heroes growing up. Growing up, “We were a CBS Family”. Every night, they would watch Walter Cronkite. He was certainly one. There was a book, The Morrow Boys … Ed Morrow was yet another … and the family tree of great broadcasters … also an inspiration. He grew up listening to the greats: Vin Scully and Chick Hearn and Dick Enberg … and another he loved listening to: Bill King doing the Warriors games. Also Bill King doing the Raiders games, and then Bill King and Lon Simmons doing the A’s games. “Indeed, I loved broadcasting as much as I loved sports.” Ken first went to San Diego State, where he was Sports Editor of the school newspaper, and then graduated from UC Santa Barbara. His broadcasting career began in Petaluma in 1980, doing a variety of things, including high school sports and eventually Sonoma State football and basketball in 1982. He went on to do A-ball part-time in 1981 and a full-season of A-ball (California League) in 1984. The team was in Rohnert Park … and then AAA-ball in 1986 in Phoenix. It was a distance, yet, from where he was heading. He was growing and so was his reputation. Unbeknownst to him, perhaps, it would be just a matter of time and he was enjoying it all. In addition to baseball, he would also broadcast both football and basketball for San Jose State and UNLV. He was also broadcasting AAA-ball (Pacific Coast League) in Las Vegas … that was when he got “the call” … To read the rest of this great article, please go to our Silicon Valley Talk website (www.siliconvalleytalk.com) and enjoy the balance under the category “Sports”.


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A LOOK BACK:

Jim Plunkett J

im Plunkett won the Heisman Trophy in 1970 at Stanford and was the #1 overall selection in the 1971 NFL Draft. He joined the Raiders in 1978 and led the Silver and Black to two World Championships of Professional Football with victories in Super Bowls XV and XVIII. Plunkett was named Most Valuable Player in Super Bowl XV, a 27-10 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. He set a then-record with an 80-yard touchdown pass to RB Kenny King. He was also named the Comeback Player of the Year in 1980. The San Jose, Calif.,-native finished his illustrious playing career in 1986 ranked #4 on the Raiders all-time passing list with 12,665 yards and 80 touchdowns through the air. Plunkett was inducted into the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame in 1992.

EBL: Who were some of your favorite teammates? Jim Plunkett: Dave Dalby, there’s no question about it. I also enjoyed playing with Bobby Chandler and Rich Martini. Lester Hayes was a fun guy to hang around. EBL: Are there any former teammates of yours that you feel should be in the Hall of Fame? Jim Plunkett: I think there are quite a few; obviously Cliff Branch would be one of them. I think Raymond Chester will get there. Dalby did a great job playing center for the Raiders, three Super Bowls worth, he should have a consideration. EBL: What was the most memorable game for you when you played for the Raiders? Jim Plunkett: There were so many but I think that first Super Bowl, there’s no question about it. After 10 years in the league, and two years sitting on the bench behind Kenny Stabler and finally getting my opportunity to win a Super Bowl. The way we

won it as a wildcard team and being the first wildcard team to not only get there but to win the Super Bowl. EBL: Is there one play that you can remember from your career? Jim Plunkett: Not one particular play, there have been so many that have been big plays through the course of my career that I can’t latch onto any one in particular. EBL: Which team did you like playing against the most? Jim Plunkett: I always enjoyed playing against the better teams in the league to see if we could knock them off if we were the underdog especially when I was in New England and San Francisco. You step on the field with the Raiders they expect to win every time, that was a great feeling that I hadn’t experienced when I was with those other teams because there was so much doubt they didn’t have the kind of confidence that the Raider players did. EBL: Can you describe what it was like to win


the Super Bowl? Jim Plunkett: It’s been so long but you certainly are filled with emotion. It’s something you shoot for as a professional football player. Your ultimate goal is to get to the Super Bowl and win it and I finally got to experience that and it was a great feeling. EBL: What was your favorite stadium to play in, other than home? Jim Plunkett: Always at home, if I was at New England it was at home, if I was at San Francisco it was at home. There’s a certain amount of comfort level that you feel when you’re playing in your own stadium. EBL: Can you compare today’s game to your playing experience? Jim Plunkett: I played into the age of specialization where on each down you’d have different players in so I got to see all of that, not quite to the degree that Raiders do today. They shuffle players literally every down, which requires some work by the

quarterback to stay on top of things. EBL: What are your impressions of Raiders fans both past and present? Jim Plunkett: There’s not a greater group of fans than Raider fans. In the old days when I first came to the Raiders you could walk out of the Coliseum and literally you could almost name everybody by their first name. That sense of community and that kind of feeling, it’s a little different now, the stadium is bigger and there’s a different fan base but all in all you can’t beat the Raider fans. EBL: Can you describe what it was like playing for Coach Flores? Jim Plunkett: I enjoyed it, we got along well, we had our own head to head battles where he’d want to do one thing and I’d want to do another. He did a very fine job, took us to two Super Bowls that we won. He prepared us for each and every game and it was up to us to get the job done.


A LOOK BACK:

Rich Gannon

Q

uarterback Rich Gannon played with the Raiders from 1999-2004. During his six years, he was voted to the Pro Bowl four times, where he was named Pro Bowl Most Valuable Player twice (2001-02) - an accomplishment that no other National Football League player had ever achieved, was named the NFL’s MVP after his record setting season in 2002, and led the Raiders to three straight AFC West titles, two AFC Championship games, and one Super Bowl appearance. During the 2002 season, Gannon set records in four different categories: pass completions (418), 300-yard passing games (10), single-game consecutive completions (21 vs. Denver), and single-game completions (43 vs. Pittsburgh). Gannon also set three Raiders franchise records: completions (1,533), 300-yard passing games (24), and completion percentage (62.6). Gannon finished his tenure with the Silver and Black as the second leading passer in Raiders history. EBL: When did you start playing football? Rich Gannon: I started playing organized football in 1972. I was in the second grade and I played in the 65-pound youth organization in Philadelphia, and I never missed a season until 1994 when I had rotator cuff surgery. EBL: How did you become a Raider? Rich Gannon: I finished the 1998 season in Kansas City and was an unrestricted free agent. I got a call from Jon Gruden and I flew out the next day; sat down and visited with him, Bruce Allen, and Mr. Davis. It felt right and I felt like it

was something that we could build and help turn around, and I think we did in a short time there. EBL: What did it mean for you to play for the Raiders? Rich Gannon: Well it was a great opportunity. It’s a great organization with a great history and I was proud of the fact that I left the place better than when I found it. We won three straight AFC West titles, we went to two AFC Championship games, went to the Super Bowl, but we didn’t accomplish all of our goals. EBL: Is there any one moment or play that stands out in your career? Rich Gannon: Not really. The thing I am most proud of is that I never took the game for granted; I worked extremely hard, and never disrespected the game. I realized how difficult it is and how hard you have to work at it and I was proud of myself, my preparation, and performance. EBL: Do you keep in contact with any of your former Raider teammates? Rich Gannon: Yeah, certainly. I sure do.


EBL: Which team did you enjoy playing against the most? Rich Gannon: I would probably have to say Kansas City. I played four years in Kansas City and the Chiefs let me go in terms of the free agency, but I always enjoyed playing not only against them, but at Arrowhead. It’s probably one of the more difficult stadiums to play at on the road and we went in there and we were able to have some success. I think we were 3-1 in my first four years going back there. I was proud that we had success there against a pretty good football team in the AFC West.

EBL: What are you doing now? Rich Gannon: I do color commentary for NFL games for CBS television and co-host a weekday radio show on Sirius XM. I also keep very busy with my wife and two daughters. Our daughters keep me real busy with their activities and things like that. EBL: Are there any messages that you would like to pass on to Raider fans? Rich Gannon: Keep the faith.


A LOOK BACK:

Tom Flores

T

om Flores the quarterback ranks sixth on the Raiders all-time passing list with 11,635 yards and 92 touchdown passes. Flores the head coach led the Silver and Black to two World Championships of Professional Football with victories in Super Bowls XV and XVIII. Flores currently serves as the analyst on the Raiders’ radio broadcasts each week during the football season. Flores was inducted into the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame in 2012.

EBL: When did you first start playing football? Tom Flores: The first time I ever handled a football was in the fifth grade. Somebody had a football that was half filled with air; I just picked it up and threw it. We had to wait sometimes for the air to fill back up in the ball before we could continue playing. It was never any organized ball at the time, we just kind of played pick up ball and I was probably about nine or 10. Then, when I went to junior high, I started playing flag football when I was in the sixth, seventh and eighth grade. I then continued on to high school where tackle was introduced. EBL: When did your coaching career start? Tom Flores: Coaching started in 1971 kind of by accident. I couldn’t find any team that I felt I had a chance to make as a veteran, so I decided that it was probably best to get on with the rest of my life. I had taken a job with a friend of mine in Oakland, [while I] looked around to see if there was anything available in football, but nothing

at the time was, so I did that; and was doing a little work trying to get into some sporting news on weekends on television. Then all of sudden in July, I got a call from Buffalo. The head coach there had quit about a day or two before training camp had started so they asked me if I’d come back to help coach for that year, because they knew I knew the system. So overnight I became a coach in the NFL. EBL: As a player, how did you become a Raider? Tom Flores: In 1960 when the league started, I had been in Canada for two months in ‘58 and had been released. I came back and had surgery on my throwing shoulder. In ‘59 I tried out with the [Washington] Redskins and failed because the shoulder just wasn’t ready. During that time I had gone back to school, I was working on my Master’s Degree in Education and the AFL started, and they were taking anybody who was warm and could walk. Oakland was the last franchise to be established and I got a call, I said ‘what the heck, I have nothing to


lose, I have the rest of my life to work,’ so I might as well give it one more chance to do something that I have always had a passion for. So there we were 11 quarterbacks in camp the first day. EBL: What was the pressure or competition like at that time with 11 quarterbacks at camp in 1960? Tom Flores: There was no real pressure, because we were a bunch of guys in a league that according to some experts had no chance to succeed. Everybody was either labeled a reject or a wannabe, the NFL had the established the name, so there was not a lot of pressure. We were having a good time in doing so and a lot of great stories came out of that. It was a low budget operation, but there was a lot of competition when you have 11 quarterbacks the first day, then all of a sudden in about two days it was down to four, then eventually it came down to just two guys that were left standing at the end. I ended up with Babe Parilli who was veteran at the time, he had just been released in Canada, he and I became the quarterbacks that year, and I became the starter. I started the very first game for The Oakland Raiders ever.

going to work and we started becoming more proud of what we were doing.

EBL: In your playing career, is there a moment or play that stands out? Tom Flores: There were two games, one in ‘63 when I threw six touchdowns. I was facing George Blanda with the [Houston] Oilers and at halftime it was 35-35, it was just a wild game. I threw six touchdown passes and I think he threw five. It was won with a field goal in the later minutes of the game by Mike Mercer, our kicker at the time. That was a memorable game for me because of all the different things we could do offensively. Then in ‘66 we were playing in Shea Stadium and Joe Namath is the quarterback and I’m the quarterback and we were driving at the end of the game, there was very little time on the clock and at Shea Stadium down in one end zone it’s so noisy because it’s right next to the airport, and were on the one-yard line, I’m trying to audiblize EBL: What did it mean to you to play for the and the players can’t hear me so I’m running Raiders? down the line of scrimmage yelling the audible Tom Flores: Well at that time, it just meant that I hoping they don’t jump offside, and then I get was doing something that I loved to do. We had up to the line and the backs hadn’t heard me so no way that we could ever possibly conceive that I had to turn around and tell them. Then we ran it would grow to be what it is today. Football as a the play, scored and won the game. We needed a whole wasn’t as big as it is [today], even the National touchdown to win. I looked up and there was like Football League, but because of television and only :06 left on the clock, I said ‘whoa, I could have one league, now all of a sudden a new league and we been standing here and the clock would have run were televised by ABC and eventually NBC, so we got down it would have been all over.’ After the game a lot of coverage of that respect. Then all of a sudden it was euphoria in the locker room, because it was with each year, you got the feeling that this was such a neat game.


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Our

Private Cooking Lesson With Alex Tishman

Regional Head Chef, Big City Chefs

Perhaps you like to cook. For my wife and I, cooking is the last thing we would ever want to do. Our feeling has been, if you want to eat good food, someone else needs to cook it- Boy was I wrong!

By Rich Borell, Founder & CEO of Bay Area Mags LLC

N

ow, you’re probably thinking I must eat a lot of junk food and be extremely overweight. Thankfully, I don’t indulge in junk food and I enjoy exercise - be it playing tennis or using my home gym. Still, it’s hard to believe I weigh 149 based on how I eat. For us, and as it is for many, cooking can be frustrating. You spend good money on ingredients. You invest time and effort to put a dish together, and the end result just isn’t as good as you thought, or hoped, it would be. Eating healthy can be a challenge. We have busy lives and are on the go all the time, so we don’t always set aside the time to prepare a healthy, flavorful meal. That being said, we decided to bring Regional Head Chef Alex Tishman from Big City Chefs into our home for a Sunday afternoon and teach us how to prepare a couple of delicious meals. While this sounds very exciting, my first question to my wife, when she suggested we should have a private cooking lesson, was: “We’re spending how much to do what?” Boy, was I wrong. If only I knew before what I know now … So, let’s get started. Our planned menu was based on what we wanted to learn along with some valuable suggestions from Chef Alex. He came up with the following: • Hanger Steak with mushrooms pan jus • Chicken (one whole, which we will butcher and then cook the different cuts) • Salad with English peas, shaved carrots and radishes, and simple shallot mustard vinaigrette. Preparing for Chef Alex was pretty painless. He requested that we take a few pictures of our cooking utensils, and simply make our kitchen counters, along with some space in the refrigerator, available to him. Once Chef Alex arrived, we kicked back and let him get things rolling. It was awesome that the price included the shopping of food and other needed ingredients. He sure saved us a lot of time and frustration. From the start, with his vivacious personality, you feel as if you’ve known him all your life. We knew right away we were in for a fun day of cooking, right in our very own kitchen. Chef Alex came so well prepared with a delightful customized class for us. He fully understood our busy schedules and our desire to create some great food from our own kitchen. He would teach us what we would like and not what we wouldn’t like.

As we started, his friendly, informal teaching style put us at ease. We immediately felt comfortable that we’ll be able to reproduce the same fantastic results later on. As the class went on, Chef Alex engaged us in the preparation of the entrées and salad. Most importantly, we learned tips on how to do all those little touches that make a big difference in flavor, texture and presentation; like, how to make carrots attractive and crunchy in your salad. Some of the items we went over during the three hour private-class included: • Proper cooking techniques along with presentation • A big concern of ours … timing of the entrée and side dishes • Some good tips on safety … those knives are very sharp – especially the “Mandoline” (a dangerous but highly efficient instrument) • We learned some tips on nutrition and other health information, including good answers to questions we had about Fish As time went on, we tested some of the Chicken, Hanger Steak, Mushrooms and sauce that we prepared. Delicious. We were amazed also how good our kitchen could smell. Next, our jaws we’re dropping - we couldn’t wait to dive in and reap the rewards of the last three hours. As the end of the class came, and my wife and I had just about finished everything we had cooked, Chef Alex had tidied everything up. Our kitchen was left squeaky clean. It was all a wonderful experience. In sum, indeed, for many people, cooking can be frustrating. We spend good money on ingredients. We invest time and effort to put a dish together, and the end result just isn’t as good as we thought, or hoped, it would be. What we learned and experienced is, with a little help and guidance, we all can create successful dishes packed with flavor and nutrition that are a joy to create. I encourage you to treat yourself and invite Chef Alex Tishman of Big City Chefs into your home, as we did. You will learn to have fun in your own kitchen and cook some great meals. Bon appetit!


Our

Private Cooking Lesson With Alex Tishman

Regional Head Chef, Big City Chefs

Perhaps you like to cook. For my wife and I, cooking is the last thing we would ever want to do. Our feeling has been, if you want to eat good food, someone else needs to cook it- Boy was I wrong!

By Rich Borell, Founder & CEO of Bay Area Mags LLC

N

ow, you’re probably thinking I must eat a lot of junk food and be extremely overweight. Thankfully, I don’t indulge in junk food and I enjoy exercise - be it playing tennis or using my home gym. Still, it’s hard to believe I weigh 149 based on how I eat. For us, and as it is for many, cooking can be frustrating. You spend good money on ingredients. You invest time and effort to put a dish together, and the end result just isn’t as good as you thought, or hoped, it would be. Eating healthy can be a challenge. We have busy lives and are on the go all the time, so we don’t always set aside the time to prepare a healthy, flavorful meal. That being said, we decided to bring Regional Head Chef Alex Tishman from Big City Chefs into our home for a Sunday afternoon and teach us how to prepare a couple of delicious meals. While this sounds very exciting, my first question to my wife, when she suggested we should have a private cooking lesson, was: “We’re spending how much to do what?” Boy, was I wrong. If only I knew before what I know now … So, let’s get started. Our planned menu was based on what we wanted to learn along with some valuable suggestions from Chef Alex. He came up with the following: • Hanger Steak with mushrooms pan jus • Chicken (one whole, which we will butcher and then cook the different cuts) • Salad with English peas, shaved carrots and radishes, and simple shallot mustard vinaigrette. Preparing for Chef Alex was pretty painless. He requested that we take a few pictures of our cooking utensils, and simply make our kitchen counters, along with some space in the refrigerator, available to him. Once Chef Alex arrived, we kicked back and let him get things rolling. It was awesome that the price included the shopping of food and other needed ingredients. He sure saved us a lot of time and frustration. From the start, with his vivacious personality, you feel as if you’ve known him all your life. We knew right away we were in for a fun day of cooking, right in our very own kitchen. Chef Alex came so well prepared with a delightful customized class for us. He fully understood our busy schedules and our desire to create some great food from our own kitchen. He would teach us what we would like and not what we wouldn’t like.

As we started, his friendly, informal teaching style put us at ease. We immediately felt comfortable that we’ll be able to reproduce the same fantastic results later on. As the class went on, Chef Alex engaged us in the preparation of the entrées and salad. Most importantly, we learned tips on how to do all those little touches that make a big difference in flavor, texture and presentation; like, how to make carrots attractive and crunchy in your salad. Some of the items we went over during the three hour private-class included: • Proper cooking techniques along with presentation • A big concern of ours … timing of the entrée and side dishes • Some good tips on safety … those knives are very sharp – especially the “Mandoline” (a dangerous but highly efficient instrument) • We learned some tips on nutrition and other health information, including good answers to questions we had about Fish As time went on, we tested some of the Chicken, Hanger Steak, Mushrooms and sauce that we prepared. Delicious. We were amazed also how good our kitchen could smell. Next, our jaws we’re dropping - we couldn’t wait to dive in and reap the rewards of the last three hours. As the end of the class came, and my wife and I had just about finished everything we had cooked, Chef Alex had tidied everything up. Our kitchen was left squeaky clean. It was all a wonderful experience. In sum, indeed, for many people, cooking can be frustrating. We spend good money on ingredients. We invest time and effort to put a dish together, and the end result just isn’t as good as we thought, or hoped, it would be. What we learned and experienced is, with a little help and guidance, we all can create successful dishes packed with flavor and nutrition that are a joy to create. I encourage you to treat yourself and invite Chef Alex Tishman of Big City Chefs into your home, as we did. You will learn to have fun in your own kitchen and cook some great meals. Bon appetit!


! o d e l o T Holy LESSONS FROM BILL KING: RENAISSANCE MAN of THE MIC

H

oly Toledo! Nobody could ever say it like Bill King! Nobody! The life and times of Bill King … a trip down memory lane … unlike any other … a great man who transcended sports … greatly … and life, too. So many pictures … so many memories. It’s funny how things come full circle. Oakland A’s Announcer, Ken Korach, in his childhood grew up in Southern California. He had his share of broadcast heroes right there: Vin Scully, Chick Hearn, Dick Enberg, three of the best ever. And, yet, there was one in faraway Northern California, Ken would listen to, never missing: Bill King. If you were to consider the best announcers of all-time, Vin, Chick and Dick would be in at the top of that short list. So, too, would be Bill King. One the very best of them all. Basketball (with the Warriors), Bill and Chick (with the Lakers) were the all-time best. Football (with the Raiders), there was no one better. Baseball (with the A’s), the broadcast team of Bill and Lon Simmons, couldn’t be beat. For thirty years, Ken listened to his hero, Bill King. And then in 1995, Ken was hired by the A’s and would be working together in the same booth, at home and on the road, with his life-long hero, Bill King. He was indeed a real-life hero of Ken’s and also a great influence. They worked ten years together – Bill was always great to him and made him feel comfortable, on and off the air. There was humility, never an ounce of standoffishness, as some might have been or might be. Not Bill, he could not have been kinder or more supportive. “During these ten years, he was the world to me. He was a wonderful friend. We had a great friendship and a great broadcast partnership.” In addition to Bill’s being perhaps the best

announcer of all time, there was so much more in so many ways. He really was ‘the most interesting man in the world’. After the passing of Bill, Ken felt compelled to write this book about him and his life lessons. He had had such an amazing life, his story needed to be told… To read the rest of this great article, please go to our Silicon Valley Talk website (www. siliconvalleytalk.com) and enjoy the balance under the category “Sports”.


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Meet Kristin Connelly East Bay Leader

BRINGING COMMUNITIES TOGETHER & MAKING A BIG DIFFERENCE

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recently had the pleasure of talking with Kristin Connelly, the President and CEO of the East Bay Leadership Council. It was a delightful conversation that covered so much about the East Bay. We shared insights about the past and present. Kristin’s view of the future is certainly full of energy, enthusiasm and optimism. Kristin works to bring people and organizations together to foster a better future for the East Bay, where businesses, nonprofits, government and individuals work collaboratively to create positive solutions to our region’s economic and social challenges. A policy advisor, strategist and former attorney, Kristin assumed leadership of the East Bay Leadership Council (EBLC) in June, 2014. A private-sector-driven public policy and advocacy organization with more than 250 members, EBLC represents some of the most important employers in the region. Its mission is to improve the economic vitality and quality of life for the East Bay region, specifically Contra Costa County and the Tri-Valley. Kristin also serves as executive director of the Contra Costa Economic Partnership, the Council’s non-profit (and non-advocacy) arm, providing outcome-based programs that create jobs, develop infrastructure and offer workforce training through STEM-related initiatives. The Partnership conducts public-policy research to authenticate the initiatives that the Partnership and the Council support. Kristin was born and raised in the East Bay. It is home for her and her family, and she loves it dearly. She attended College Park High School in Pleasant Hill before she went on to UCLA and graduated with a bachelor’s in political science. Before a career in non-profit fundraising, she went to Georgetown University, acquiring a master’s in

Kristin at the 2014 East Bay Leadership Council Installation and Awards Dinner. Photo by Basil Glew-Galloway

Kristin with East Bay Leadership Council Chair Keith Archuleta. Photo by Amy Sullivan

education policy. She earned her law degree at Fordham University, and practiced employment law at Sidley Austin in New York. It took her 18 years after finishing high


school to return full-time to the Bay Area, but it It’s funny how things come full circle. Kristin was Kristin’s goal. “I was very fortunate to have has never forgotten the spirit conveyed by been mentored throughout my education and in the scholarship, and the appreciation she felt my career by so many great people,” she said. receiving it. So she was particularly moved “Somehow, I have often managed to be in the when in November, as President and CEO of right place at the right time.” Kristin worked for the East Bay Leadership Council, along with coCalifornia Forward and was the executive director presenting sponsors Wells Fargo Bank and the of the California Forward Action Fund before East Bay Community Foundation, her organization serving as chief of staff to Contra Costa County presented the 4th Annual East Bay Philanthropy Supervisor Karen Mitchoff, the post she held just Awards. Some 250 people gathered at the prior to her current Blackhawk Automotive position with the Museum to honor this Council. year’s award recipients Who inspired Kristin and nominees across as she was growing nine categories, and up? Who were her role to be inspired by their models? “There have generous contributions been so many,” she to their communities. said. Growing up in the “I feel so privileged Bay Area, she recalled to have my job,” she being inspired by said. “There are so California’s U.S. Senator many people who have Dianne Feinstein while terrific ideas, energy she served as mayor of and optimism in this Kristin with Kristi Conner, honored as the Next GenSan Francisco. Kristin organization. I value eration Philanthropist at the 2014 East Bay Leadership remembered watching the breadth and depth Geraldine Ferraro on TV Council Philanthropy Awards event, and Awards Com- of the many business become the Democratic mittee Chair Mark Hughes. and community leaders Photo by Amy Sullivan Party’s first woman I work with to help U.S. Vice-Presidential companies thrive in candidate in 1984 during the convention held in the East Bay,” she said. “I also value being able San Francisco. It was a defining moment for her, to work with employers of all sizes, to identify seeing history, and progress, being made close to barriers to their success, so that we can advocate home. for policy that breaks down these barriers.” Kristin’s family was also a model for her. “We How does her past work and life experience always had lively conversations at the dinner table affect her current work? Kristin spent nine years as a family. We talked about the news of the day, living in New York City where she attended and it was common to discuss world events. It law school and briefly practiced at a large law was a positive household growing up, and there firm. The experience made her appreciate that were high expectations for all three of us, my two the top people from nearly every industry were brothers and me. My childhood memories are in New York. “It was very exciting, as the city really wonderful,” she said. encompasses all walks of life. The experience Upon graduating from high school, Kristin raised my consciousness, and I became very received a major scholarship from a private aware of the many challenges people face in family foundation based in Vacaville. This has business and in their communities,” she said. always meant a great deal to her because of “This is also true of people in the East Bay. Our the extraordinary opportunities the scholarship communities are very diverse. I believe most provided. The generosity of this family foundation people have little understanding of the diversity of further inspired her to excel, and fueled her the East Bay’s economy —and the importance of interest in a career in public service. advocating for the people, the businesses and the


organizations that make up our communities. “There are key challenges and issues facing our region, related to water policy, health care, transportation, education and housing,” she added. “An important area of concern is increasing our awareness of income inequality — recognizing that the East Bay is both an affluent area and also one with much poverty. Affordability of housing and transportation is an issue we will face for years to come. There is a lot of work to be done.” This is an exciting time to be thinking strategically about how to help our region thrive economically. The East Bay Leadership Council intends to pursue an ambitious agenda through its various task forces that consider the most pressing issues facing the region and the state. EBLC members with a presence here include Shell, Wells Fargo, Kaiser Permanente, John Muir Health, Chevron, CSAA Insurance, AT&T, Comcast, John F. Kennedy University and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland, to name a few who care deeply about this community and are willing to work on some of the region’s biggest challenges. “I’m very optimistic about our future,” Kristin said. “It’s important to confront challenges so we can make things better. Addressing rising income inequality is the right thing to do and it’s good business. “It is essential to increase economic development and to promote the extraordinary assets of the East Bay to potential employers at every turn,” she noted. When asked about her definition of leadership, Kristin eloquently responded, “Identifying the right thing to do and having the courage to do it.” One last question, if she could have a fantasy

dinner party, and could invite anyone, living or not, whom would she like to invite, what would she ask them and what would they talk about? She would invite Nelson Mandela, she said, recalling how impactful it was to study his life and see him speak at the Oakland Coliseum upon his release from prison. What would be his past and present perspectives about his life in South Africa, and also for the United States today and for the world? What would he like to see happen? She would also include President Obama and the First Family, Eleanor Roosevelt, the Grimké sisters (Sarah Moore Grimké and Angelina Emily Grimké), who were some of the nation’s first southern abolitionists, and women’s rights advocate, Elizabeth Cady Stanton. She would like to discuss Photo by Amy Sullivan with Stanton the process by which women were finally able to vote, nearly 100 years ago. “I would want my husband and children at the table to share in the fascinating conversation,” added Kristin. “This is an impossible question to answer because there are so many others I would want to join us, yet I would want this dinner party to be small so that we would be able to really listen to one another and enjoy each other’s company.” There have been many “pioneers” doing great things for great causes in our community. Kristin is one of these leaders. She recently made Diablo Magazine’s “40 Under 40” list … meaning, fortunately for the East Bay, yes, there is already so much good she has done, and she is just getting started. For more information about the East Bay Leadership Council, visit www.eastbayleadershipcouncil.com. EBLC is also active on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.


WEEKEND GETAWAYS

The Presidio: It’s What’s Going On!

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By Rich Borell

or many of us, the Presidio of San Francisco may only be 10-40 miles down the road. Perhaps you drive through it from Lombard to get over the GG Bridge. However, ever since the Inn at the Presidio opened a few years back, my wife and I have spent a few weekends each year staying at this historic hotel … right in the middle of the Presidio of San Francisco. This former military base has so much to offer - from its many hiking trails to enjoying the open space with your pet. This vast land has over 1,400 total acres and just under 1,000 acres of open space. If you’re looking for something to fill a day … or a weekend … or more, this vast open land sure has plenty to offer. For you history buffs, you can check out over 400 historic buildings. A good place to start is the Presidio Officer’s Club. There, you will get a good

taste of history through multi-media exhibits. One of our favorite pastimes is to hop on the PresidiGo Shuttle. One thing we really enjoy is seeing, and experiencing, the Presidio on foot. Each time we stay, we explore a different route … our favorite is going down to Crissy Field – and observing the spectacular views of the bridge. You can feel free to get off the shuttle anytime, as it has 40 stops. No matter what one’s age, one activity


WEEKEND GETAWAYS everyone would want to catch is The Walt Disney Family Museum. At the Disney Museum you will capture the true history and timeline of Walt Disney’s life and the Disney enterprise. I would suggest allowing at least four hours for this selfguided tour, as well as your hands-on experience with exhibits and taking in all the original artwork that’s there. Wish you could stay here? Well, you can. You can keep the car parked and stay at the Inn at the Presidio. This Georgian Revival-style hotel, built in the early 1900’s, was once home for bachelor officers when the Presidio was a U.S. Army post. Now you can stay here at this historic landmark. When we stay, we always put a request in for a room on the third floor. From here you get incredible views of the Golden Gate Bridge, also the fog rolling in and, on clear days, you can see many sailboats. Each room is extremely spacious, offering Wi-Fi, flat panel screens and mini-fridges. For a bit more, I would suggest getting a suite on the third floor. This has a large sitting area and a gas fireplace. The hotel offers an evening wine and cheese reception … usually there’s live music, as well. Or you can stroll outside with your wine and kick back on their outdoor deck that features a large fire pit with cozy rocking chairs. It’s truly delightful. You’re also within walking distance to some nice restaurants on base. Recently opened is The Commissary, a new restaurant by the awardThe Inn at the Presidio

winning chef, Traci Des Jardins, featuring Spanishinfluenced California cuisine. One of our favorite places to eat is the Presidio Social Club – which once was the home of the ex-military barracks. Inside the Presidio Officer’s Club, you can try out Arguello. This restaurant offers Mexican food with a contemporary bar. If you still have a little time on your hands, there’s plenty more to do in the Presidio, such as: A beautiful stroll along Baker’s Beach … perhaps a round of golf at the Presidio Golf Course with its enchanted forest setting … and, yes, there’s even a bowling alley. And think you might miss that latte or cappuccino at Starbucks? Not to worry, they have one of those, too. People would love coming from all corners of the world to experience this, and do. A far away distant world that’s literally just a few minutes away. There’s the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow … for us, this is a gem at the foot of the Golden Gate.


WEEKEND GETAWAYS

WEEKEND GETAWAYS

town Palm Springs. The views and grounds are awesome of the Golf Resort, they have a large pool with two hot tubs. We were also able to enjoy a little tennis. We had an early dinner reservation so we didn’t get too much activity in today. We did walk downtown and strolled the Palm Springs Walk of Stars … I heard that there are over 400 stars! Interesting and delightful to see and experience.

Palm Springs – Fun In The Desert Sun!

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By Rich Borell

ooking to relax? Perhaps a nice getaway and some sun, some fun, some R&R? How about a nice quiet desert resort? Sounded great to us. Just 100 miles east of Los Angeles was our recent long weekend getaway destination … Palm Springs. For this weekend destination we decided to do a road trip. Our journey started out early Friday morning with a quick cup for the road from Starbucks.

Along with its gift shop and Beef & Bakery store, it’s the best service along I-5 you can encounter.

Our first stop along the way was breakfast at the Harris Ranch, located in Coalinga, about two hours from Silicon Valley. If you’re traveling along Interstate 5, you may know the Harris Ranch is a welcome oasis for travelers.

After stopping off at a few rest stops to stretch a bit, our next encounter was going to be lunch. As we we’re driving, we saw a sign for a restaurant I didn’t even know still existed, so we pulled over and had lunch at Bob’s Big Boy... Yes, it was great to see them still around.

There are many amenities at this fine establishment including comfortable lodging, some of the best steaks you will ever enjoy, along with a café for that quick bite.

We arrived in the Palm Springs area around 2PM. Our stay for the next few nights was at the Desert Princess Inn. This Golf Resort is located about five miles from down-

If you’re in the Palm Springs area, then the Purple Room Restaurant & Stage is a must for dinner and a show. It all started in 1960 … The still popular venue is considered to be one of Palm Springs “Original“ Rat Pack Hangouts ... where Frank Sinatra would bring friends to Eat, Drink and Play. Saturday morning we were up early to meet our group for the Desert Adventure Tour. This is an open Jeep tour that takes you along the San Andreas Fault. The tour was great and very informative. You can experience the landscape of an active fault, walk between the steep canyon walls – we actually we’re able to have one foot on each of the two major plates in California. The tour took us through a natural Palm oasis. We also learned about the culture and lifestyle of the Cahuilla Indians and how they used the desert’s plants for food, medicine, tools, weapons, shelter and more. Our tour was about three hours. We had lunch planned at the Peaks Restaurant, located on top of the San Jacinto Mountain, over 8,500 feet up. The aerial tram will take you up the mountain. The gondola floor rotates while ascending and descending so that everyone sees everything. Yes, this is a “must” if you’re in the Palm Springs area.

Ticket prices are reasonable if you only want to take the ride up for photos and get some great hiking in. There are a couple of cool trails anyone can enjoy, and also a couple of cafés that offer a different price range, being considerate of people’s budgets. If you’re looking for entertainment in the evenings there certainly is no limit as to what’s available. You will find several high end Indian Casino Resorts close by. To fill our evening, we took in a few shows. At the Morongo Casino, we saw the very talented comedian, Lilly Tomlin. Saturday night at the Fantasy Springs Resort, we saw the very talented singer, Marie Osmond. With many points of interest, the World’s largest rotating Aerial Tramcars, over 130 Hotels & Resorts, over 100 Restaurants and sunny days practically every day of the year … If you’re looking for a nice relaxing and fun getaway, plan on enjoying a nice weekend in sunny Palm Springs. We sure did.


WEEKEND GETAWAYS

WEEKEND GETAWAYS

town Palm Springs. The views and grounds are awesome of the Golf Resort, they have a large pool with two hot tubs. We were also able to enjoy a little tennis. We had an early dinner reservation so we didn’t get too much activity in today. We did walk downtown and strolled the Palm Springs Walk of Stars … I heard that there are over 400 stars! Interesting and delightful to see and experience.

Palm Springs – Fun In The Desert Sun!

L

By Rich Borell

ooking to relax? Perhaps a nice getaway and some sun, some fun, some R&R? How about a nice quiet desert resort? Sounded great to us. Just 100 miles east of Los Angeles was our recent long weekend getaway destination … Palm Springs. For this weekend destination we decided to do a road trip. Our journey started out early Friday morning with a quick cup for the road from Starbucks.

Along with its gift shop and Beef & Bakery store, it’s the best service along I-5 you can encounter.

Our first stop along the way was breakfast at the Harris Ranch, located in Coalinga, about two hours from Silicon Valley. If you’re traveling along Interstate 5, you may know the Harris Ranch is a welcome oasis for travelers.

After stopping off at a few rest stops to stretch a bit, our next encounter was going to be lunch. As we we’re driving, we saw a sign for a restaurant I didn’t even know still existed, so we pulled over and had lunch at Bob’s Big Boy... Yes, it was great to see them still around.

There are many amenities at this fine establishment including comfortable lodging, some of the best steaks you will ever enjoy, along with a café for that quick bite.

We arrived in the Palm Springs area around 2PM. Our stay for the next few nights was at the Desert Princess Inn. This Golf Resort is located about five miles from down-

If you’re in the Palm Springs area, then the Purple Room Restaurant & Stage is a must for dinner and a show. It all started in 1960 … The still popular venue is considered to be one of Palm Springs “Original“ Rat Pack Hangouts ... where Frank Sinatra would bring friends to Eat, Drink and Play. Saturday morning we were up early to meet our group for the Desert Adventure Tour. This is an open Jeep tour that takes you along the San Andreas Fault. The tour was great and very informative. You can experience the landscape of an active fault, walk between the steep canyon walls – we actually we’re able to have one foot on each of the two major plates in California. The tour took us through a natural Palm oasis. We also learned about the culture and lifestyle of the Cahuilla Indians and how they used the desert’s plants for food, medicine, tools, weapons, shelter and more. Our tour was about three hours. We had lunch planned at the Peaks Restaurant, located on top of the San Jacinto Mountain, over 8,500 feet up. The aerial tram will take you up the mountain. The gondola floor rotates while ascending and descending so that everyone sees everything. Yes, this is a “must” if you’re in the Palm Springs area.

Ticket prices are reasonable if you only want to take the ride up for photos and get some great hiking in. There are a couple of cool trails anyone can enjoy, and also a couple of cafés that offer a different price range, being considerate of people’s budgets. If you’re looking for entertainment in the evenings there certainly is no limit as to what’s available. You will find several high end Indian Casino Resorts close by. To fill our evening, we took in a few shows. At the Morongo Casino, we saw the very talented comedian, Lilly Tomlin. Saturday night at the Fantasy Springs Resort, we saw the very talented singer, Marie Osmond. With many points of interest, the World’s largest rotating Aerial Tramcars, over 130 Hotels & Resorts, over 100 Restaurants and sunny days practically every day of the year … If you’re looking for a nice relaxing and fun getaway, plan on enjoying a nice weekend in sunny Palm Springs. We sure did.


WEEKEND GETAWAYS

A MEMORABLE WEEKEND TRIP TO JAMESTOWN AND YOSEMITE By Rich Borell

Hello Everyone, I want to share with you a recent long weekend getaway my wife and I took. This road trip took us to the Gold Country, where we enjoyed fascinating historic Jamestown and the most breathtaking views of Yosemite National Park. Our trip started out Friday around noon to beat the Bay Area getaway crowd. We had accommodations for Friday evening, just outside of Jamestown, at the Jackson

Rancheria Hotel & Casino. We really want to extend a warm thank you for a great room. While driving up to Jackson, my wife always wanted to visit Daffodil Hill located in Volcano, CA, a few miles outside of Jackson. It’s the perfect time of year since all the daffodils are in full bloom. If you’re in the area traveling, this is a great place to get out and stretch and walk through the gorgeous gardens. You will see some rather loud and colorful peacocks, too, as you walk along the path.


WEEKEND GETAWAYS Daffodil Hill is open only in the spring, usually from the end of March through the first three weeks of April … best of all, admission and parking are free. From there, we drove to the hotel to settle in for the evening, grab a bite; yes, pay our dues on the casino floor; and, of course, do some shopping in the gift shop. Our Saturday morning started out with a quick bite in the café, and then it was on to the Gold Country. Our first stop was Angels Camp, also known as the City of Angels. The story goes that Mark Twain based one of his short stories, “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County”, from a story he had heard here in 1865. Thus, a great reason to celebrate every year with the jumping Frog Jubilee each May at the Calaveras County Fairgrounds. Some say that Angels Camp other name is “Frog Town” – now you know why! Angels Camp is a very historic town … I’d suggest definitely stopping by the Angels Camp Museum to get the scoop on the town. The hours are Thursday – Monday from 10AM – 4PM. From Angels Camp we drove to Jamestown. This amazing town is filled with many historic homes and buildings near Main Street. The first gold here was discovered by Benjamin Wood, who had come from Oregon. The

crossing and also Woods Creek, which runs through Sonora and Jamestown, were named in honor of him. This was in the early summer of 1848; just a few months before, the famous gold discovery took place at Sutter’s Mill about 100 miles north, which started the Gold Rush. Jamestown is the home of the Railtown 1897 State Historic Park; and for you TV buffs, the TV shows, “The Wild Wild West” and “Green Acres”, were filmed in and near Jamestown. If you visit the Gold Country, I’d definitely make time to visit Jamestown, park your car, step back in time and walk the street. I’d suggest dining at the Willow Steak House (established 1864), where the builders of the Sierra Railway once hung out in the bar. If you decide to stay in Jamestown, there are several historic hotels, including the Royal Carriage Inn, the National Hotel and the Jamestown Hotel. After our stop in Jamestown, we continued for another hour’s drive to Yosemite National Park. There are several choices for lodging. We decided to stay at the Yosemite Westgate Lodge. Normally, you would want to spend 3-4 days in the park; however, we didn’t have that much time. We did work in some of the most famous areas like Half Dome which is Yosemite’s most familiar rock formation. A “must” is getting a view from the viewpoint at Valley View; there, visitors can take in Yosemite Valley in its entirety. Clearly visible are the original lines formed by the glacier which carved out the valley. Of course, there’s Bridalveil Fall. It’s just a short hike on a paved trail and you’re right up to the front of the waterfall. Another “must” is El Capitan – a giant granite rock that stands more than 3,000 feet from the base... a great thrill, I’m sure, for the rock climbers of the world. The beauty of Yosemite is astonishing, whether you have a day or a week. One visit and you’ll gladly want to come back again and again!


WEEKEND GETAWAYS

WHAT HAPPENS IN By Rich Borell

Hello Everyone, When we think about weekend getaways from the Bay Area, we may consider Monterey, Santa Cruz, Napa, Lake Tahoe … Ever think about parking the car and flying to Vegas? That’s exactly what my wife and I did recently. Our last trip there was very memorable since we spent New Year’s Eve celebrating with hundreds of thousands of people on the Las Vegas strip. This time we thought how fun to have a long weekend getaway there. Our trip started out on a Friday late-morning flight via Virgin America out of SFO. Once we landed, you can feel the party starting … Indeed, this city radiates so much energy. Cab fares are posted so you will have an idea of what to pay. With gratuity you can figure on $20, or a little more, for the fare.

Our stay was at Harrah’s Resort Hotel. They were very nice to work with, and we would like to thank them for the suite upgrade they gave us. We were early (about 3PM); yet, our room was ready and we could drop off our luggage. We had a few hours before our 5:15PM dinner at The Strip Steakhouse located inside the Planet Hollywood. Dinner was early since my wife wanted to get some shopping time in at the Hard Rock Café prior to seeing the Kiss Concert at 8PM. For our short time before dinner, we strolled the mall next door to Planet Hollywood. The Strip Steakhouse is a chain; however, it’s a great place to eat with excellent service. I don’t usually eat red meat; however, tonight I had the urge to have a nice Rib Eye Steak. My wife had the Filet along with her two favorites, Lobster and Crab. If you have time for a long dinner, with the urge to


WEEKEND GETAWAYS be catered to, then this is the place to come. We also had the opportunity during dinner to chat with their Operations Manager and want to send a thank you to her. BTW, if you enjoy Ports, you may want to cruise their exclusive selection. As I mentioned, the Kiss concert was at the Hard Rock Café - the band featured two of its original cast, Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley – and they played to a delighted full house. If you have a chance to see them, they put on a great show. On Saturday, we prepared a list of fun things we could choose from; however, since the weather was a sunny 70 degrees, we opted for a nice walk instead. Some suggestions of interest during the day might include: *An all-day visit to Area 51 *There are four thrill rides at the top of the Stratosphere Tower *At the New York New York you can hop on a 67 MPH rollercoaster *Drive a race car at Exotics Racing at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway *Crime Solving at MGM’s Grand CSI – The Experience We spent some time at the Mirage at Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat, which defines wildness in a whole new way. You can also catch a glimpse of several white Tigers and

Lions along with the Dolphin Habitat. The shows were awesome! Saturday, night we had two shows on tap, first, was a Murder Mystery Dinner put on by Marriage Can Be Murder. It was a great show and dinner was delicious. The cast of characters did a great job in getting the audience involved. Our main show was at 10PM, at the Mirage, to see Ray Romano from the very popular TV Show, Everybody Loves Raymond. Kevin James opened the show, getting the audience involved, and was hilarious. Of course, Ray Ramano was himself, and everybody was in stiches. I’ve seen some great comedians, and I would put Ray high on my list as one of my favorites next to Jerry Seinfeld. When he was closing the show and about to say good night, he said I have one more thing for you … He brought out Adam Sandler to sing a few songs. The lyrics we’re hilarious, so you guessed it, not your typical song to sing along to. After Adam played, Ray and Kevin came back out and, together, they did a Q&A with the audience. We also got to meet Ray’s twin sons, sitting near us in the audience. So if you’re looking for a weekend getaway, and don’t want to drive, check out sin city! Yes, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas … except for the great experience of it all and good memories.


WEEKEND GETAWAYS

WEEKEND GETAWAYS

there, the line was very, very long. It’s a big tourist spot. We moved on with our original plan to spend the day in Pioneer Square which was Seattle’s first downtown. You will see an area with character - lots of nineteenth century brick and stone buildings. You won’t find a shortage of things to keep you busy in this bustling district.

A visit to the Emerald City

By Rich Borell

About a month ago, my wife and I were thinking about a long August weekend. We’d already done an awesome road trip to South Dakota/Montana, so we thought this time we would maybe take a short flight. It didn’t take long for us to agree that we needed to go back to one of our favorite cities in the Northwest, Seattle Washington. Thursday: Our flight from San Jose was a bit delayed, but we were still able to arrive in Seattle around 2PM. The only problem, was that with the flight delay we had to miss afternoon tea at the Fairmont – But no worries, we just did it another day. We stayed at the beautiful Fairmont Olympic Hotel. It is a historic landmark and site of the original University of Washington. After checking in we strolled down for a late lunch at the Crab Pot located along the waterfront. After lunch we walked along Pioneer Square and did some shopping.

In the evening, we attended a really cool dinner event. It’s a cirque comedy cabaret called Teatro Zinzanni. Along with a multicourse meal this is one of the most entertaining performances you will ever see. Everyone- including the wait-staff and audience are a part of the show. The price per-person can range anywhere from $99 to $174 and additions can be purchased the night of the show. . They also have a really great gift shop and old time bar. It was fun and well worth the price. Friday: On Friday, I wanted to start my day at the very first Starbucks that opened in 1971 on Pike Street, but when we got

Most of the tourist attractions are within walking distance, so we walked to the Space Needle for dinner. The SkyCity Restaurant is located at the top of the Space Needle. If you ever want to dine there (and I do recommend you do) be sure to make prior reservations … they start taking them 3 months prior to your date. We had an awesome table, great service and excellent food. The restaurant rotates so you get excellent views of the city, waterways, landmarks and Mount Rainier. I had the wild salmon and my wife savored in the Prime Tenderloin. Thanks to Chef Jeff Maxfiled for a splendid dinner. Saturday: Some of our highlights today included the famous Underground Tour. There’s a few different versions and since we hadn’t been in a while, we chose the history tour. Our guide was a very passionate and extremely detailed story teller. It was great walking the underground streets hearing stories of the past underground city. We then walked back to our hotel and attended afternoon tea. This is one of my wife’s favorite things to do and I figured - if she was going to sit through a Mariners game with me on Sunday – that I’d have tea with her. Well, what’s a trip to Seattle if you don’t ride the Duck Tour? This is a combo land and water tour. Most likely your Captain will have a silly sense of humor and everyone on board will be blowing their quacker for the next 90 minutes. Highly recommended!

For dinner we went back to the waterfront to Ivar’s and had another great Wild Salmon dinner. Sunday: Today we enjoyed a leisurely morning then went for a nice long walk to SAFECO Field to watch the Mariners take on the Chicago White Sox. It’s a pretty awesome stadium … the home team crowd was very pleased as the Mariners made a great comeback to win the game. While walking back to our hotel, we remembered a great looking restaurant around the corner from the Fairmont called The Brooklyn Seafood Steak & Oyster House. They had availability and so we had another great dinner. Next thing we knew – it was Monday and we had to go home. We had a great long weekend trip and love Seattle. If you’re looking for a quick getaway, check out the Emerald City … it’s only a 2 hour flight from the bay area. Cheers


WEEKEND GETAWAYS

WEEKEND GETAWAYS

there, the line was very, very long. It’s a big tourist spot. We moved on with our original plan to spend the day in Pioneer Square which was Seattle’s first downtown. You will see an area with character - lots of nineteenth century brick and stone buildings. You won’t find a shortage of things to keep you busy in this bustling district.

A visit to the Emerald City

By Rich Borell

About a month ago, my wife and I were thinking about a long August weekend. We’d already done an awesome road trip to South Dakota/Montana, so we thought this time we would maybe take a short flight. It didn’t take long for us to agree that we needed to go back to one of our favorite cities in the Northwest, Seattle Washington. Thursday: Our flight from San Jose was a bit delayed, but we were still able to arrive in Seattle around 2PM. The only problem, was that with the flight delay we had to miss afternoon tea at the Fairmont – But no worries, we just did it another day. We stayed at the beautiful Fairmont Olympic Hotel. It is a historic landmark and site of the original University of Washington. After checking in we strolled down for a late lunch at the Crab Pot located along the waterfront. After lunch we walked along Pioneer Square and did some shopping.

In the evening, we attended a really cool dinner event. It’s a cirque comedy cabaret called Teatro Zinzanni. Along with a multicourse meal this is one of the most entertaining performances you will ever see. Everyone- including the wait-staff and audience are a part of the show. The price per-person can range anywhere from $99 to $174 and additions can be purchased the night of the show. . They also have a really great gift shop and old time bar. It was fun and well worth the price. Friday: On Friday, I wanted to start my day at the very first Starbucks that opened in 1971 on Pike Street, but when we got

Most of the tourist attractions are within walking distance, so we walked to the Space Needle for dinner. The SkyCity Restaurant is located at the top of the Space Needle. If you ever want to dine there (and I do recommend you do) be sure to make prior reservations … they start taking them 3 months prior to your date. We had an awesome table, great service and excellent food. The restaurant rotates so you get excellent views of the city, waterways, landmarks and Mount Rainier. I had the wild salmon and my wife savored in the Prime Tenderloin. Thanks to Chef Jeff Maxfiled for a splendid dinner. Saturday: Some of our highlights today included the famous Underground Tour. There’s a few different versions and since we hadn’t been in a while, we chose the history tour. Our guide was a very passionate and extremely detailed story teller. It was great walking the underground streets hearing stories of the past underground city. We then walked back to our hotel and attended afternoon tea. This is one of my wife’s favorite things to do and I figured - if she was going to sit through a Mariners game with me on Sunday – that I’d have tea with her. Well, what’s a trip to Seattle if you don’t ride the Duck Tour? This is a combo land and water tour. Most likely your Captain will have a silly sense of humor and everyone on board will be blowing their quacker for the next 90 minutes. Highly recommended!

For dinner we went back to the waterfront to Ivar’s and had another great Wild Salmon dinner. Sunday: Today we enjoyed a leisurely morning then went for a nice long walk to SAFECO Field to watch the Mariners take on the Chicago White Sox. It’s a pretty awesome stadium … the home team crowd was very pleased as the Mariners made a great comeback to win the game. While walking back to our hotel, we remembered a great looking restaurant around the corner from the Fairmont called The Brooklyn Seafood Steak & Oyster House. They had availability and so we had another great dinner. Next thing we knew – it was Monday and we had to go home. We had a great long weekend trip and love Seattle. If you’re looking for a quick getaway, check out the Emerald City … it’s only a 2 hour flight from the bay area. Cheers


BayAreaMags.com Greetings to all, Welcome to our new website BayAreaMags.com! For your convenience, we’ve established a single gateway to the information you seek via our various publications that include Silicon Valley Local, Peninsula Local, San Francisco Local, East Bay Local and Finally Friday Weekend Magazine, with more to come. We hope that you have shared in the excitement of some of our recent cover features that have included Jed York, Owner/CEO San Francisco 49ers, Larry Baer, CEO San Francisco Giants, Lew Wolff, Owner Oakland A’s and Congresswoman Jackie Speier. We simply couldn’t deliver without our terrific team of editorial contributors who lend their expertise and insight to what’s going on in the Bay Area. And what about what our readers have contributed? When you’re wondering what to do on a weekend in the Bay Area, be sure to visit FinallyFriday.com. Since October 2007, community members, like you and me, have been sharing what’s fun – old or new, refined or funky! Be on the lookout as we begin publishing our network of Webzines in selected cities throughout the U.S. Read us soon, Rich Borell, Founder & CEO and our discerning mascot, Hailey


BayAreaMags.com

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Jean-Michel Cousteau

President, Ocean Futures Society www.oceanfutures.org

The Great Ocean Adventure S

ince first being thrown overboard by my father, Jacques Yves Cousteau at the age of seven in 1945, I have been compelled to explore, to discover, to understand the secrets of the sea. An oftquoted fact is that we know more about the surface of the moon than we do about our own ocean. How can we protect what

We protect over 14 percent of our land and less than one percent of the ocean. It is time to demonstrate the same stewardship for the ocean.

we don’t yet understand? This is what has made me want to continue to support the philosophy of my father through our efforts at the Ocean Futures Society, my non-profit marine conservation organization based in

Santa Barbara, CA. Today we have the knowledge and technology to admit that we, humans, are the biggest threat to our oceans; but we are also 100% responsible for its long-term preservation and protection. Overfishing, pollution, climate change, ocean acidification are all impacting the oceans because of the misuse and abuse caused by humans. The ocean is our life support system. We need to stop harming it because what we do to the ocean we ultimately do to ourselves. It is ironic that the depletion of our ocean resources has accelerated at the same time we were personally donning dive masks and witnessing the richness of the ocean first hand over 50 years ago. Just as we started to dignify and appreciate the ecological role of individual marine species and how they contribute to the sustainability of the marine ecosystem they call home, we were improving our fishing technology to remove them faster than they were replenishing their populations. From an ecological standpoint, we now understand how everything is connected. We now appreciate the need to set aside protected areas in the ocean just as we have done on land. But we are over a hundred years behind terrestrial conservation measures when it comes to protecting our marine assets. We protect over 14% of our land and less than 1% of the ocean. It is time to demonstrate the same stewardship for the ocean and recognize the importance of marine protected areas as a way to increase


Photo: © Carrie Vonderhaar, Ocean Futures Society

abundance, improve biodiversity and provide a nursery for species that will spill over into areas open to fishing. It is a win-win situation for us all. Ninety percent of all large fish populations are at risk from overfishing and most commercial fisheries are in decline. The problem is enormous but the solution is clear, quickly effective, and costs little. But this is where the heart comes and where we must remain hopeful for the future; otherwise I would not keep traversing the planet, sharing the mission of Ocean Futures Society, empowering people to take personal responsibility for the long-term sustainability of our oceans. It starts with the individual; it starts with the heart and a desire to care.

The more I learn about the ocean, the more I realize how little I truly understand it. Even after all these years, a sense of exploration and wonder still fills me each time I dive into the ocean’s depths. We owe it to ourselves--we owe it to our water planet—to do all that we can to protect our life support system. We must connect the ocean to the existence of every human being. This is the only way for people to understand that the quality of each and every one of our lives depends on water, depends on the ocean. My father said, “People protect what they love,” and so we want more people to fall in love with water. And I say, “Protect the ocean and you protect yourself.”


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here’s no more perfect spot for an ocean view wedding than Monterey Bay. And there’s no more ideal Santa Cruz resort than Seascape Beach Resort. Rated a four-diamond resort with luxurious amenities, Seascape is the ultimate destination wedding resort with 285 suites and beach villas overlooking Monterey Bay. Rehearsal Dinners - Bring everyone together for a grand welcome reception or an intimate family affair. The property features numerous catering venues that make Seascape Beach Resort the memorable beginning to your California coast wedding event. Ceremonies - The staff at Seascape Beach Resort can create a dream Monterey Bay wedding for you on our magnificent wedding bluff. Ceremonies are scenic and special, lending natural beauty and casual elegance to the event of your lifetime here in spectacular Santa Cruz. Reception Packages - From an informal cocktail reception to a black tie wedding, let Seascape’s wedding coordinators create a memorable combination of food, wine and décor that reflects your image of the dream Santa Cruz wedding. The professional wedding coordinators specialize in creating receptions-of-a-lifetime for up to 300 guests. Bridal Showers - What better place to host your bridal shower than at Seascape Beach Resort? Whether you’re planning a reception for 300 or a bridal shower for 20, Seascape’s wedding

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HAPPINESS WITHIN REACH: The Open Secret By Carole Pertofsky

“I want to be happier. I just don’t know how.” In my work as faculty, presenter and leadership coach, I hear this confession from adults, 18-80. We live complex, stressful and often disconnected lives, often bombarded by media that convinces us that buying all kinds of stuff will make us happy, beautiful, successful, prestigious, and even more loveable individuals. Sometimes it does, in the short run. The Pertofsky real problem, however, is that this media-created trance can blunt our quieter universal quest for deeper joy and kindness. But there is very good news. Deep happiness is within reach. By peering into the lives of the happiest people, we can discover the research-based secrets about the quality of “happiness.” What makes the happiest people more joyful and kinder? Let’s begin with your unique life. Take a “timein” and think about this: What makes you happy? Stop reading, make your complete list, and when ready, place your experiences within these 3 categories: 1. SHORT TERM PLEASURES: Feeling the rush of sensory pleasures, such as great food and wine, great sex, sports, entertainment, is terrific. The happiest people intentionally organize their lives so they have time to kick back and enjoy life. But here’s the catch- these experiences are fleeting. We want more, we crave more, and we’re bombarded by media that encourage us to get out there and grab “more” pleasure. But the problem is that our brains have faulty wiring. The

harder and stronger that we pursue that great rush of pleasure, the more we want. The more we want, the more unhappy we become. And as unhappiness soaks into our day, the more we seek to avoid the discomfort and find another pleasure jolt. Whether the rush comes from food or drugs; money or prestige; gambling or overwork, this downward cycle inevitably leads to discontent, social comparison, restlessness, depression and even addiction. Enjoy those healthy fun pleasures, but understand that they alone will not result in sustainable happiness and contentment. Sorry! 2. FLOW: Does your “this makes me happy” list include experiences that lead to that zesty feeling of a “YES” fist pump? Maybe you love untangling complex coding problems, mastering a new level of communication skill or fixing a gnarly machine? This great feeling of accomplishment, called “flow”, sparks curiosity, adds vitality and helps us thrive. The happiest people deliberately seek out engaging challenging experiences and they love achieving new levels of mastery. But here’s the secret: Those happy folks also know how to fail! Why? Inevitably, the “flow” urge prompts us to take new risks and step out of our comfort zone. And what do we find there? When we outgrow our current competency level, we hit the “don’t know how” zone, which feels like incompetence or a setback. If we stick with it keep trying, and keep failing, until finally comes the day when we master a new skill set and we experience the great feeling of flow. The happiest people understand that gaining mastery requires resilience- to bounce back after a setback or failure, and eventually enjoy that great experience of flow. Nelson Mandela reminds us that “the greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” Flow, being fully engaged, mastery. These are powerful ingredients


for deep life satisfaction. MEANING: Did your list include connecting with others, offering compassion, being kind to yourself? Meaning is the real sweet spot for the happiest people. Happy people know how to notice and savor the good that surrounds us so often in our day. Think about this - if you hang out in the zone of negativity or threat or stress, you’ll find something to criticize in almost every second. The happiest people chose to be happy - they deliberately focus on and seek the positive benefits of each moment. We call this a positive mindset. But here’s the trick- life is never trouble free. Even the happiest people also struggle and face disappointment and adversity. They understand that pain is part of life too, and deep meaning and purpose arise when we deliberately reframe life’s difficulties into opportunities for meaning and compassionate action. Viktor Frankl, Holocaust survivor, reminds us: “Everything can be taken from us but one thing: the last of human freedoms - to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” Meaning isn’t an abstract or general life principle. It’s a vibrant, deliberate frame of mind that recasts life’s inevitable difficulties into purposeful thought and action. Almost nothing imbues our lives with meaning and purpose as intensely as when we contribute to the happiness of others and when we treat others and ourselves with kindness and patience. The Dalai Lama teaches,” If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” Happiness IS within reach. Enjoy life’s healthy pleasures. Challenge yourself to grow, engage with life and master new accomplishments and skills. Above all, discover your unique capacity to bring greater joy and meaning to your personal life, as well as to the greater good of our world. When you seek opportunities to help others and heal the world, you’ll find that you will truly flourish as your days will be imbued with wonderful sensual pleasures, inner peace, meaning and purpose. And that’s the open secret to deep, sustainable happiness.


TR TIP

WHERE TO STAY AND WHAT TO DO


RIP PS

O, SEE AND EAT ACROSS THE GLOBE


The

MagniFIcent

Wild Wild West

SATURDAY: Today was pretty much a driving day, with our destination being the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. After a long day, it was nice to have waiting for us a gorgeous roomy room, and an excellent fine dining experience. Now I know why this resort has such a wonderful reputation.

BY RICH BORELL

Hello Everyone, Well, with summer here, my wife and I were giving some thought to our bucket list. Yes, we do have a joint one. It’s to visit 50 countries and 50 states. Happy to say, we’re doing a good job so far, as we’re over half way on both. So, we thought to ourselves, let’s add a few more states to our list. We mapped out a pretty cool trip that I want to share with you in case you desire to see some of this beautiful countryside of our amazing nation. Our journey highlights will include: Yellowstone National Park and Mount Rushmore. Our itinerary will take us to Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho and South Dakota. Hold on … here we go!

Bear Country USA

FRIDAY: We started out with a 7AM flight from San Jose to Denver. We decided to go with Southwest Airlines. They had the best schedule to get us there early. I had some business to take care of, so we needed to get there as soon as we could. Our flight arrived right on time. Avis was nice

Rockies were so far behind, we chose not to hang around for what seemed destined to be a lengthy rain delay. We headed back to the hotel … knowing we had a long drive ahead of us the next day … and a nice warm shower Old Faithful waiting for us before bed that night.

enough to upgrade us to a Mercedes E Class, which had navigation. After a brief meeting, my wife had us scheduled for a 2PM Tea at our hotel … The Brown Palace Hotel and Spa. I’ve had the pleasure of attending some tea functions with her in the past, I usually walk away hungry after eating bits and pieces of finger food. I will say this, however: this time The Brown Palace did an excellent job in filling me up with delicious finger foods and desserts. If you’re into being spoiled, you don’t want to miss this luxury hotel that comes with all the fixings like spa and salon and nice restaurants. You will want to check out The Brown Palace, conveniently located in downtown Denver. After our Tea, we strolled the 16th Street Mall for some delightful shopping. This is when it got interesting. For our night time plans, we had great seats behind third base at Coors Field to see the Colorado Rockies play the Miami Marlins. At game time, the weather was picture perfect. By the 8th inning, the roar of thunder and hail came out of nowhere. From sunshine to being drenched … Fans in the upper deck were asked to vacate due to lightning. Unfortunately, the

SUNDAY: After breakfast at the hotel, we found a Starbucks … needed a good fix. Super, wherever we are. From there, we went to Teton Village to take the Tram. In no time, you will breeze up over 4,000 feet (actually just over 10 minutes) to the top of Rendezvous Mountain that stands over 10,000 feet. From there you can walk around and grab some awesome pictures. While up there I suggest you grab one of Mount Rushmore

their “Top of The World Waffles” - the scent alone will force you to eat one. Oh, did I mention, they also serve hot chocolate and Baileys … “yummy”! We then drove for two hours to West Yellowstone, Montana. We had plenty of daylight, so we paid a visit to the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center. While some may think it’s a zoo, it’s really animals who call the Discovery Center home due to injuries where they are incapable of living in the wild. We got to see birds like Bald & Golden Eagles and Peregrine Falcons. Of course, the Bears put on a great show. The guides at the Center are informative and will answer all your questions. MONDAY: Today we had scheduled the “Lower Loop Tour” of Yellowstone National Park. One of the more popular tour guides is Buffalo Bus Touring Company. I was really impressed; our guide, Graham, was very informative; plus, the motor coach seated around 18 and was very comfortable. The tour isn’t inexpensive, but you will get a good 11 hours of education along with some fun humor. You can order a bag lunch or, as we decided to do, you can have a very nice lunch at The Village Lodge Mammoth. The upper loop of the figure “8” circles Mammoth Hot Springs, Tower-Roosevelt and Canyon Junction and Norris Junction then back to Mammoth. It is roughly 70 miles in circumference. The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone is a must see. This is probably one of the most breathtaking sites in the entire park! At the Lava Creek picnic area through the Blacktail ponds area watch for two large bull elk which are often seen in this stretch; many bison frequent this area, too. We also saw some coyote along the road. We got back around 6ish, and based on a recommendation, we had a great dinner at the Madison Lounge. Fol-


The

MagniFIcent

Wild Wild West

SATURDAY: Today was pretty much a driving day, with our destination being the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. After a long day, it was nice to have waiting for us a gorgeous roomy room, and an excellent fine dining experience. Now I know why this resort has such a wonderful reputation.

BY RICH BORELL

Hello Everyone, Well, with summer here, my wife and I were giving some thought to our bucket list. Yes, we do have a joint one. It’s to visit 50 countries and 50 states. Happy to say, we’re doing a good job so far, as we’re over half way on both. So, we thought to ourselves, let’s add a few more states to our list. We mapped out a pretty cool trip that I want to share with you in case you desire to see some of this beautiful countryside of our amazing nation. Our journey highlights will include: Yellowstone National Park and Mount Rushmore. Our itinerary will take us to Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho and South Dakota. Hold on … here we go!

Bear Country USA

FRIDAY: We started out with a 7AM flight from San Jose to Denver. We decided to go with Southwest Airlines. They had the best schedule to get us there early. I had some business to take care of, so we needed to get there as soon as we could. Our flight arrived right on time. Avis was nice

Rockies were so far behind, we chose not to hang around for what seemed destined to be a lengthy rain delay. We headed back to the hotel … knowing we had a long drive ahead of us the next day … and a nice warm shower Old Faithful waiting for us before bed that night.

enough to upgrade us to a Mercedes E Class, which had navigation. After a brief meeting, my wife had us scheduled for a 2PM Tea at our hotel … The Brown Palace Hotel and Spa. I’ve had the pleasure of attending some tea functions with her in the past, I usually walk away hungry after eating bits and pieces of finger food. I will say this, however: this time The Brown Palace did an excellent job in filling me up with delicious finger foods and desserts. If you’re into being spoiled, you don’t want to miss this luxury hotel that comes with all the fixings like spa and salon and nice restaurants. You will want to check out The Brown Palace, conveniently located in downtown Denver. After our Tea, we strolled the 16th Street Mall for some delightful shopping. This is when it got interesting. For our night time plans, we had great seats behind third base at Coors Field to see the Colorado Rockies play the Miami Marlins. At game time, the weather was picture perfect. By the 8th inning, the roar of thunder and hail came out of nowhere. From sunshine to being drenched … Fans in the upper deck were asked to vacate due to lightning. Unfortunately, the

SUNDAY: After breakfast at the hotel, we found a Starbucks … needed a good fix. Super, wherever we are. From there, we went to Teton Village to take the Tram. In no time, you will breeze up over 4,000 feet (actually just over 10 minutes) to the top of Rendezvous Mountain that stands over 10,000 feet. From there you can walk around and grab some awesome pictures. While up there I suggest you grab one of Mount Rushmore

their “Top of The World Waffles” - the scent alone will force you to eat one. Oh, did I mention, they also serve hot chocolate and Baileys … “yummy”! We then drove for two hours to West Yellowstone, Montana. We had plenty of daylight, so we paid a visit to the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center. While some may think it’s a zoo, it’s really animals who call the Discovery Center home due to injuries where they are incapable of living in the wild. We got to see birds like Bald & Golden Eagles and Peregrine Falcons. Of course, the Bears put on a great show. The guides at the Center are informative and will answer all your questions. MONDAY: Today we had scheduled the “Lower Loop Tour” of Yellowstone National Park. One of the more popular tour guides is Buffalo Bus Touring Company. I was really impressed; our guide, Graham, was very informative; plus, the motor coach seated around 18 and was very comfortable. The tour isn’t inexpensive, but you will get a good 11 hours of education along with some fun humor. You can order a bag lunch or, as we decided to do, you can have a very nice lunch at The Village Lodge Mammoth. The upper loop of the figure “8” circles Mammoth Hot Springs, Tower-Roosevelt and Canyon Junction and Norris Junction then back to Mammoth. It is roughly 70 miles in circumference. The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone is a must see. This is probably one of the most breathtaking sites in the entire park! At the Lava Creek picnic area through the Blacktail ponds area watch for two large bull elk which are often seen in this stretch; many bison frequent this area, too. We also saw some coyote along the road. We got back around 6ish, and based on a recommendation, we had a great dinner at the Madison Lounge. Fol-


Grand Canyon

Yellowstone

Mammoth Site of Hot Springs, South Dakota

lowing dinner, we still had some time, so we went and saw “Yellowstone” which was playing at the IMAX Theatre. While in Yellowstone, we stayed at the Yellowstone Lodge, which is a few miles from the gate to the National Park.

We pulled in at the perfect time as a Ranger was about to give a 30 minute lecture on what happened that day in the field. Along with the monuments, you will see the gravesites of the soldiers who died on the battlefield.

TUESDAY: Today, we decided to drive the “Lower Loop” of the park. We were able to get into some areas that the tour bus couldn’t. The Lower Loop is the more popular loop as it has the bulk of Yellowstone’s thermal features … Old Faithful being one of them … as hundreds of people gather around to watch.

We pulled in around 5:30PM at the Holiday Inn Suites & Gold Dust Casino. Once you make your way through the casino, and take the elevator up to the Hotel Lobby, it’s like stepping into another world. We didn’t expect the hotel to be so elegant. We reserved a suite that had a bar and kitchen. If I ever get lost and end up in Deadwood, South Dakota … I’ll be staying here again.

Some other areas of interest you won’t want to miss along the loop include: Firehole Canyon Drive, Fountain Paint Pots and the Lower Geyser Basin, Firehole Lake Drive and Midway Geyser Basin.

THURSDAY: Today, we spent some time in downtown Deadwood. We also took in some local sites in Deadwood that included the following: Adams House Museum: The memorabilia here has been very well preserved. Lots of history in this old Victorian house. Mount Moriah Cemetery: About 100 yards from the opening you will find the burial place of Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane, Seth Bullock and other notable figures of the Wild West.

Be sure to check out the Old Faithful Inn Resort, as well … there are great restaurants in the area. Wednesday: Today, we’ll be doing a good share of driving … and we’ll end up in Deadwood, South Dakota. We decided on this route because we wanted to stop off and visit the Battlefield National Monument. This, of course, is where the Battle of the Little Bighorn took place … also commonly referred to as Custer’s Last Stand.

For lunch, we ate at a local restaurant owned by actor Kevin Costner called The Midnight Star. The food was excellent … if you can get in, I highly recommend it.

After spending most of the day in Deadwood, our journey continued to Rapid City, South Dakota, and the Marriott. FRIDAY: Today, we set out about 20 miles from our hotel to see a site my wife has been wanting to see for quite some time … Mount Rushmore. It is such a beautiful site. Rangers are there to answer your questions, you won’t have a problem getting a good picture, as well. There is a little bit of a wait to get into the park. While there, you can enjoy checking out a film on the history of the monument, along with visiting the museum and gift shop. We had lunch in the town, just outside the park, called Keystone. I highly recommend eating at the Powder House & Lodge. We also took a visit to Bear Country USA. Here, you will drive (with your windows up) through a park with roam-

Elk

ing bears close by. The drive will take about 45 minutes, and I predict you will get some awesome looking photos, right from your car. While there in the park, you may also see: Artic Wolf, Buffalo, Coyote, Elk, Grizzly and Black Bear, Mountain Lions, to mention a few. They boast around 20 species. The larger species roam freely throughout 250 acres of the drive-thru park. SATURDAY: Today, we start out on our final road trip, driving back to Denver. We took, however, a small detour to stop in at the Mammoth Site of Hot Springs, South Dakota. Many mammoth remains, preserved in an old sinkhole, are shown off at this museum and research center. Originally a sinkhole that trapped a lot of mammoths (and other animals) over the years, it is now one of the best excavation sites of mammoth remains on display. Here we are, back on Southwest Airlines once again, heading home, looking back, our journey now behind us. Our trip was more than beautiful and fun, exciting and safe. It could not have been nicer. If you’re planning to see some of the Western States, yes, the magnificent Wild Wild West, it’s a great experience that we thoroughly enjoyed. There are indeed many awesome reasons why I believe you and everyone else would, too. Until next time …


Grand Canyon

Yellowstone

Mammoth Site of Hot Springs, South Dakota

lowing dinner, we still had some time, so we went and saw “Yellowstone” which was playing at the IMAX Theatre. While in Yellowstone, we stayed at the Yellowstone Lodge, which is a few miles from the gate to the National Park.

We pulled in at the perfect time as a Ranger was about to give a 30 minute lecture on what happened that day in the field. Along with the monuments, you will see the gravesites of the soldiers who died on the battlefield.

TUESDAY: Today, we decided to drive the “Lower Loop” of the park. We were able to get into some areas that the tour bus couldn’t. The Lower Loop is the more popular loop as it has the bulk of Yellowstone’s thermal features … Old Faithful being one of them … as hundreds of people gather around to watch.

We pulled in around 5:30PM at the Holiday Inn Suites & Gold Dust Casino. Once you make your way through the casino, and take the elevator up to the Hotel Lobby, it’s like stepping into another world. We didn’t expect the hotel to be so elegant. We reserved a suite that had a bar and kitchen. If I ever get lost and end up in Deadwood, South Dakota … I’ll be staying here again.

Some other areas of interest you won’t want to miss along the loop include: Firehole Canyon Drive, Fountain Paint Pots and the Lower Geyser Basin, Firehole Lake Drive and Midway Geyser Basin.

THURSDAY: Today, we spent some time in downtown Deadwood. We also took in some local sites in Deadwood that included the following: Adams House Museum: The memorabilia here has been very well preserved. Lots of history in this old Victorian house. Mount Moriah Cemetery: About 100 yards from the opening you will find the burial place of Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane, Seth Bullock and other notable figures of the Wild West.

Be sure to check out the Old Faithful Inn Resort, as well … there are great restaurants in the area. Wednesday: Today, we’ll be doing a good share of driving … and we’ll end up in Deadwood, South Dakota. We decided on this route because we wanted to stop off and visit the Battlefield National Monument. This, of course, is where the Battle of the Little Bighorn took place … also commonly referred to as Custer’s Last Stand.

For lunch, we ate at a local restaurant owned by actor Kevin Costner called The Midnight Star. The food was excellent … if you can get in, I highly recommend it.

After spending most of the day in Deadwood, our journey continued to Rapid City, South Dakota, and the Marriott. FRIDAY: Today, we set out about 20 miles from our hotel to see a site my wife has been wanting to see for quite some time … Mount Rushmore. It is such a beautiful site. Rangers are there to answer your questions, you won’t have a problem getting a good picture, as well. There is a little bit of a wait to get into the park. While there, you can enjoy checking out a film on the history of the monument, along with visiting the museum and gift shop. We had lunch in the town, just outside the park, called Keystone. I highly recommend eating at the Powder House & Lodge. We also took a visit to Bear Country USA. Here, you will drive (with your windows up) through a park with roam-

Elk

ing bears close by. The drive will take about 45 minutes, and I predict you will get some awesome looking photos, right from your car. While there in the park, you may also see: Artic Wolf, Buffalo, Coyote, Elk, Grizzly and Black Bear, Mountain Lions, to mention a few. They boast around 20 species. The larger species roam freely throughout 250 acres of the drive-thru park. SATURDAY: Today, we start out on our final road trip, driving back to Denver. We took, however, a small detour to stop in at the Mammoth Site of Hot Springs, South Dakota. Many mammoth remains, preserved in an old sinkhole, are shown off at this museum and research center. Originally a sinkhole that trapped a lot of mammoths (and other animals) over the years, it is now one of the best excavation sites of mammoth remains on display. Here we are, back on Southwest Airlines once again, heading home, looking back, our journey now behind us. Our trip was more than beautiful and fun, exciting and safe. It could not have been nicer. If you’re planning to see some of the Western States, yes, the magnificent Wild Wild West, it’s a great experience that we thoroughly enjoyed. There are indeed many awesome reasons why I believe you and everyone else would, too. Until next time …


Forever Delightful CHRISTMAS IN LONDON … AND PARIS, TOO! By Rich Borell

Hello Everyone, Ever think about having a jolly holiday in London, England one of the most beautiful cites during Christmas time? We have … we just did it … and we loved it! Our trip starts Saturday, December 20th. It’s going to be a pretty quick turnaround trip; just a week, which will also include a night in Paris. We’ll be flying out of the Norman Mineta San Jose International Airport. We had already upgraded our tickets, but decided we wanted to live a little and had them upgraded yet again. This time, into business class. Booking through American Airlines directly, we were fortunate. It was a great price, only $499 per ticket. For those of you who travel a few times a year, here’s a suggestion. Ever thought about getting approved by TSA? Yes, you need to fill out an application and have a personal interview (and write a check). But it was a pleasure. You might think it’s worth it the first time you show your credentials … and are nicely directed through a separate line. This time, there’s nothing to take off … shoes, belt, etc. Plus, instead of waiting in the lines, we were promptly on board and on our merry way. Saturday: We had a 12:55PM flight from San Jose to Dallas that was late in taking off. The pilot fortunately was able to make good timing. When we arrived in Dallas, there was still a plane at our gate. We waited for 10 minutes, and then they found us another gate so that we could de-plane. The only problem, though, there was no outside agent to assist, so we sat still yet for another 10 minutes. Some people were going to miss their connecting flights. We were very fortunate … we had another hour-plus as our flight to London was delayed. On board once again, we fastened our seat belts - the champagne has been poured – and we toasted our trip ahead … on to London! Sunday: We arrived in London about an hour late, which was fine. We didn’t have a lot planned other than getting on the


city tour bus. For our trip, we would be staying at the Marriott London Square, right near the world famous London Eye. This is our favorite place to stay when we visit London, one of our favorite cities in the world. Here’s a few stops you may want to visit while on the city tour. • St. Paul’s Cathedral • The world-famous London Bridge • London’s number one attraction “The London Eye” • Buckingham Palace • Big Ben • Westminster Abbey • The Tower Bridge Monday: Today started with a complimentary breakfast at our hotel. We had a few hours before our tour was to begin, so we took a long walk along the River Thames enjoying some really beautiful sites. The holiday season is certainly in full swing as all the vendors were getting set up for the day. Today we had an afternoon tour planned at the Warner’s Studio where the blockbuster film Harry Potter was filmed. If you’re a Potter fan, as we are, this is a must when in the London area. The team behind the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London - The Making of Harry Potter wanted to preserve and showcase these iconic props, costumes and sets so that Harry Potter fans could experience the magic of filmmaking first-hand. Many of the original cast and crew returned to reassemble the sets and recorded their memories from filming, and on March 31st, 2012, the Studio


Tour opened its doors. After a greeting in the Grand Hall, you have a self-guided tour seeing all of the sets and original outfits worn. On the set adjacent to the working film studios, where all eight Harry Potter films were made, the studio tour offers visitors the unique opportunity to explore two soundstages and a backlot filled with original sets, animatronic creatures and breath-taking special effects. Here’s an interesting tidbit - The film studio where the Harry Potter film series was filmed was originally an old aircraft factory and runway where planes such as Mosquitos and Halifax Bombers were manufactured. Tuesday: Today we again start with breakfast at the hotel. We’ve set up for an 8.30AM taxi pick-up to take us to the train station for our 10:25AM departure to Paris. A brief note about the taxi system in London: It seems only 30 percent accept credit cards … so, be sure to inquire when making your reservation … and have some cash (pounds) on you. It was a quick two hour journey through the English Tunnel to Paris. For those of you who may not like the thought of taking a train underwater, rest assured, it goes pretty fast. The tunnel at its lowest point is 250 feet deep and it only takes about twenty minutes from end to end. Also, the good news is, they don’t even announce that you’re going through it. We arrived in Paris around 2PM. Our accommodations were at the Paris Marriott Opera Ambassador Hotel. We didn’t have a lot of time today, so we strolled the Avenue des ChampsElysees, which is one of the main shopping streets in Paris. On one end of the street, it offers a nice view of the Arc de Triomphe; and, on the other end, it offers a nice view of the Place de La Concorde. This evening we had tickets to see the world famous cabaret Moulin Rouge. I assure you, visiting Paris can only be complete if you see a performance at the Moulin Rouge. The cabaret is spectacular - with excellent dancers in an array of stunning outfits. There are two shows offered - One which includes dinner & champagne (which I would recommend) and another show excluding dinner. Tickets can be

expensive based on your seats … but most tickets do include a nice bottle of Champagne. Wednesday: Today we started out with a short walk to Starbucks for a lite breakfast. We had a private tour planned today to drive us through Paris. Although we’ve been to Paris previously, we wanted to capture more of the city. In our last trip we didn’t have time to visit the Pere Lachaise, which is the largest cemetery in Paris and is actually located right in the middle of the city. Although there are many famous people interred at this cemetery, the reason for our visit was to view Jim Morrison’s gravesite. We understood that there may be large crowds and also the site is regularly guarded; however, this day was neither. Our tour lasted about four hours with our driver taking us to the train station for our trip back to London. For some other site-seeing recommendations while in Paris, I can recommend the following: • The Louvre (I strongly recommend purchasing Fast Track tickets – lines can be rather long) • Versailles • Dinner at the Eiffel Tower • Notre Dame de Paris • Champs-Elysees • Disneyland Paris Thursday: For Christmas Day we had a 10 hour walking tour scheduled to start at 6AM. We arranged this several months in advance with our guide, Peter Berthoud. Peter is an excellent guideknowledgeable, perceptive and amusing. We met sharply at 6AM near the London Eye, along with 30 other people, who were also brave enough to get up this early morning in 35 degree weather … and it wasn’t going to get much warmer as the day progressed. After meeting with Peter and his assistant, Lindsey, everyone was given a bag with lots of


Jane Seymour. The castle is usually closed for tours on the weekend since that is when the Royal Family stays. Salisbury: Salisbury is a cathedral city in Wiltshire, England, and the only city within the county. This is definitely a “countryside” city that has much history.

goodies to munch on during our tour. Despite the frigid cold weather, we really enjoyed it and found out lots of interesting facts and saw lots of interesting hidden bits of Soho and Picadilly. We also visited other interesting areas which we never would have known about. This is definitely the best time to see London; there were empty streets, it was if we had the city to ourselves. We found out things that you would never discover in a guide book. Peter has a very good knowledge of London. We saw many interesting historical sites, plus having all these tidbits being thrown in. We also enjoyed making a few stops at some nice coffee shops, that were thankfully open on Christmas Day, as well as having a delightful lunch at a local pub. Friday: Today we had an all day tour that would take us to Windsor Castle, Stonehenge, Salisbury and Bath. We were picked up at our hotel promptly at 8AM for our journey to our first stop … Windsor Castle. Windsor Castle: Built high above the River Thames, Windsor Castle has been the home to the Royal Family for the past 900 years and is still the official residence of the Queen. You will enjoy strolling through the castle grounds and the fourteenth century St. George’s Chapel, the burial place of kings and queens, including Henry VIII and his third wife,

Stonehenge: Clouded in mystery, this ancient stone circle is the most pre-historic site in England. Going beyond its archaeological and even astronomical role, it’s a place of spiritual importance as early legends link it with Merlin and King Arthur, as it’s still one of Europe’s best known pre-historic monuments around. The stones are surrounded by several hundred burial mounds. They have recently opened a fabulous, worldclass Visitor Centre that includes a museum with extraordinary exhibitions, along with a spacious shop and café. Our tour included lunch at the Antrobus Arms Hotel located a few miles from Stonehenge. This is a gorgeous boutique hotel featuring 20 individually styled en-suite rooms, one of which is the Beatles Suite, where the Fab 4 stayed while filming “Help” on Salisbury Plain. Bath: The final stop of the tour is the beautiful Georgian City of Bath. We had a walking tour of some of the finest architectural sights in Europe including Bath Abbey, the Royal Crecent, the Circus, Assembly Rooms and the famous Pulteney Bridge. These Roman Baths, built around thermal springs, have been supplying water for over 2,000 years. Saturday: Well, today it’s back home with a flight to Dallas and then our connecting flight to the Bay Area, getting us in around 11PM. Spending the holiday in London, and Paris, was everything we thought it would be. Beautiful, interesting and most enjoyable. It was indeed delightful. Stay tuned as we look forward to sharing more trip tips with you during the New Year!


Scandinavian Splendor & Many Memorable Smiles

By Rich Borell

G

reetings Everyone! I want to share with you our recent trip to Scandinavia that included stops in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. This trip actually came together just a few weeks before we left. We had tickets to fly into Copenhagen, then on to Finland. From that point, we were going to take the train and spend most of our time in Russia. We had our Russian Visa and were ready to go. Unfortunately, due to the most recent events, we were advised not to go. I want to thank our tour guide in Moscow for all he did and we look forward in seeing him on a future trip to Russia. So, if you are considering a venture to Northern Europe, we certainly found it to be such a beautiful region. We loved all the natural scenery and European sights and, yes, the delicious food, too … and, what was extra nice, the people were always very friendly and hospitable. Even though the Danish, Norwegian and Swedish languages are known as Scandinavian languages, you can be well-assured most everyone understands and speaks English. You should travel with a money converter, and if you carry an iPhone, you already have the app. Contrary to popular belief, not all countries have converted to the Euro. Finland has; however, the other three countries have not. You will need to convert your USD in Denmark to Danish Kroner, in Sweden to Swedish Kronor and in Norway to Norwegian

Kroner. I also want to mention something about using your credit card. First, you should check with your credit card company to see if you have a foreign transaction fee. Indeed, it can add up. I can recommend Capital One Visa, as they currently don’t charge a fee. Since 2013, the EU went to a chip card and the US has not quite adapted to that as yet. Most businesses will accept your credit card; however, you need to let them know it’s a signature card … meaning you will need to sign. Most will ask you for a PIN based on this chip … I believe we will have new credit cards with chips sometime in 2015. Here are some ideas from our itinerary:


Friday: First of all, we would like to thank Frank & Teri over at Wireless Rides for the limo service up to SFO. Our trip began on Friday with a relatively short, very nice three-and-a-half hour flight to Chicago O’Hare. Once there, we enjoyed a brief hour-plus layover. From Chicago, our transfer flight was with Scandinavian Airlines (SAS), which departed on time. We had upgraded our seats and really enjoyed the plenty of extra leg room we had for the eight hour flight to Copenhagen. Saturday: We arrived in Copenhagen early afternoon the following day on Saturday. We took some time and strolled the Copenhagen Town Mall. From there, we enjoyed walking to Nyhavn, the popular 17th century waterfront, canal and entertainment district, and then shopping along the long streets of Stroget, experiencing this pleasant traffic free district. We stopped for a bite to eat at the Hard Rock Café, and along the way, we enjoyed some more shopping. Next, we went to the Visitor’s Center for some helpful info that would fill our day for tomorrow. Of course, we were on the prowl for our first local Starbucks … you will find a new one that recently opened at the train station.

Our first night was at a boutique hotel … the Grand Hotel Copenhagen … in a nice city central location. Sunday: Up early, we strolled back to Starbucks. We didn’t have a lot of time today, as most of our time in Copenhagen was reserved for when we would return towards the end of our trip. Today, we would have a 3:30PM flight to Helsinki, Finland, so we took advantage of our great location and enjoyed walking around. Our flight to Helsinki was short. We grabbed a cab (you will get a cab inside of the airport), which was approximately 30 Euros to our hotel. We stayed at Hotel Kamp, the only 5-star hotel in Finland. By the time we got in, it was time to find a place for a relaxing dinner. We didn’t have to go far, just outside of our hotel and about 100 yards to our left was an amazing restaurant called Kappeli. We had a fabulous two hour dinner … my only advice is that this may not be the place if you’re traveling on a budget. It boasted a great menu that included something for everyone … even that something special, if you wanted to try a plate of Reindeer. I went with their fresh Salmon, my wife enjoyed her Chicken mushroom and


stew dinner. For dessert, we had the traditional Blueberry cake and ice cream … everything was delicious. Since it was Sunday, most retail businesses were closed; however, we did come across the Helsinki Hard Rock Café and were able to enjoy doing some shopping there. Monday: Today, we started out with breakfast at the hotel and then took a nice walk through the city square in Helsinki. There was some light rain in the morning that later broke way for blue skies and sunshine. Our tour took us to some cool places... while in Helsinki, you may want to visit a few of these spots: Olympic Stadium (site of the 1956 Summer Olympic Games) Sibelius Monument Nature History Museum Parliament House (the guards are very friendly and not camera shy) Uspenski Cathedral Tuesday: Today is another travel day, so we enjoyed

Helsinki, Finland

strolling the very popular Stockmann’s, the largest department store in Finland and all Scandinavia. We had lunch back at our Hotel Camp … I’d highly recommend the Salmon Soup, and also a few other favorites, which were the Shrimp Sandwich and Club with Fried Egg. From our hotel, it was a 15-minute walk to the Viking Cruise Line Terminal. First stop was our Bon Voyage Picture, then going on board for our overnight cruise to Stockholm, Sweden. For an overnight cruise, the ship had everything you could ask for … There were several restaurants, bars, casinos, theatre, a kid’s game room, live shows and much more. I had another fabulous Salmon dinner. We enjoyed a stunning sunset, the weather was perfect. Our ship, the Marella, was filled with such the warm friendly staff. One red flag, going back to the credit card pin number situation, the ship is a stickler on the pin number. Good news, they do offer currency exchange, so as always, carry some cash with you. During the night, the seas did get a bit choppy. I’d suggest getting a room in the middle and upper floor.


Wednesday: Our ship arrived at 10:30AM, there were plenty of taxi’s at the terminal to take you to your hotel. Even though we arrived several hours before check in, our room was ready. We stayed at the “First Hotels” centrally located on the waterfront in old town. Our room had a large window with great views of the pier area and amusement park. We took a walk around old town, which looked a bit like Venice, once you’re away from the water. We stopped and had lunch at Sally’s. Service was a bit slow, they may not be used to the American’s fast pace. We had an authentic Swedish Shrimp plate with fish eggs. After lunch, we bought our ticket and went on the “Hop on Bus” tour which will take you throughout Stockholm for two hours. Stockholm, Sweden After our delightful city tour, Grenka, a chic hotel, comparable to the W Hotel in we put in another couple of hours San Francisco. on foot, enjoying going through the shops of old town. We wound our day down with a drink at our Friday & Saturday: hotel bar before turning in. We started the day with what was a great buffet breakfast at our hotel. Our hotel was nice; however, Thursday: our room was very small. So first thing this mornWe started our day with Breakfast at our Hotel. ing, we checked out and went over to the Grand We had purchased a two-day pass on the tour bus, so we got back on. While in Stockholm, you might Deluxe Suite Hotel. The price went up, up, up … but was well worth it. want to check out a few of these sights: While in Oslo, we dined at Café Christiania a Vasa Museum few times, delicious seafood soup. If you’re into Drottningholm Palace Abba – The Museum (everyone on our tour real- Starbucks, like us, you will find plenty of them around Oslo. ly enjoyed this stop) Nordic Museum Oslo is a great city … it is very clean, which we Museum of Medieval (one of our favorites) enjoyed, also such friendly people. If you make it Rosersberg Palace up to Viking country, I can highly suggest stopping Skyview off at a few of these sights: Viking Ship Museum After our tour, our stay in Stockholm wouldn’t Akershus Fortress (a must see) be complete without another round of shopping Nobel Peace Center (where the Nobel Peace and grabbing a bite at the Stockholm Hard Rock Prize is given) Café. Next up would be our flight to Oslo, Norway. Royal Palace We arrived in Oslo around 8PM. It was a long University Botanical Garden day, so we chose to take a taxi to our hotel. City Oslo Tramway Museum center is a bit distant from the airport, so expect a hefty cab fare... like $240 USD. Our hotel was the First Hotel Grims


Oslo, Norway

Sunday: Our day started with breakfast at our hotel. We then walked to the train station... Remember when I mentioned it was a $240 USD cab fare before? For both of us to take the train, it was only $29.00 USD … Yes, for both of us! Norway is a beautiful country; however, it’s one of the most expensive. Today, we flew back to Copenhagen, just a brisk 55-minute flight. We checked in at the Palace Hotel. We took a short walk over to the Visitors Bureau to book our tour which we planned for the next day. After that, we had a long leisurely dinner at the delightful restaurant, Il Petal. Monday: Today, our day started early with breakfast at our hotel. Then off for our Grand Day Trip, which will take until early evening. Our tour stared with our guide Andersen picking us up near the hotel. Our tour was with four other couples … Andersen was a very thorough guide and spoke English very well. Our tour for the day included:

Roskilde Cathedral (the astonishing church with burial places of no less than 39 kings and queens) Kronborg Castle (an impressive fortification that guarded the entrance to the Baltic Sea for six centuries, and is where Shakespeare’s Hamlet lived) Frederiksborg Palace (this is the largest and most beautiful renaissance castle in Scandinavia) Viking Ship Museum (modern rebuilt models and excavated original ships from the time when the Vikings conquered much of Western Europe and ruled the North Atlantic) Tuesday: Our last full day was jammed to get in as much as we could. So our day started with breakfast, a quick bite at Starbucks. From there, we joined the Copenhagen Walking Tour, which would be for three hours. Some of our stops along the tour included: Copenhagen Town Hall Tivoli Gardens Danish Royal Palace Hans Christen Andersen Danish Parliament


Academy of Fine Arts Stroget Shopping Mile After our tour, we got back on the “Hop on Bus”. While in Copenhagen, below are some places you might want to put on your list: Statens Museum for Kunst National Museum of Denmark Copenhagen Opera House Museum Erotica Royal Danish Playhouse We finished our day with what was again a delicious meal, this time at the Restaurant Barock in Copenhagen. Wednesday: Today’s our day to return home, we admitted we were very much ready to get back. Our non-stop flight was from Copenhagen back to SFO. Our flight was perfect and again we arrived on time. SAS is a great airline to fly, excellent on time schedule and with very courteous attendants. As always, I suggest paying to upgrade your seating, if you can, it makes a world of difference. Again, a big thank you to Wireless Rides for warmly welcoming us on time at the airport and taking us home. Scandinavian Splendor … & Many Memorable Smiles, indeed. It was such a great trip and such a wonderful time. We enjoyed sharing it with you. Until next time …

Copenhagen, Denmark


Europe’s LOW COUNTRY

HIGHLIGHTS

The triumphal arch at the Parc du Cinquantenaire, Brussels.


Story by Rich Borell, CEO & Founder

Hello Everyone, I want to share with you my itinerary from my recent trip to Europe. It was a whirlwind trip traveling to Belgium, Luxembourg, Amsterdam along with Hamburg and Berlin Germany. We booked our trip 6 weeks in advance using European Destinations Travel Agency. They had a very good website to navigate hotel upgrades and get enough info to plan our trip. We also spoke with one of their senior travel agents to put the final touches with private drivers to pick us up as we arrived in each of our destinations. What we like about them is they are available 24/7 which was a plus for us. Our trip started early on a Wednesday, with our flight originating from San Jose, our first plane change was in Denver, from Denver we flew to Chicago, then Chicago to Brussels. We had an uneventful flight, taking United Airlines along with their Star Partners. We arrived on time in Brussels the next day at 9:20AM. While in Chicago we checked in with United’s customer service and was able to purchase and upgrade for a modest fee for the long flight to Brussels … very cool. Thursday: We had a nice driver waiting for us –the drive to our hotel was about 45 minutes. We stayed at the Hotel Metropole in Brussels; a luxury hotel that was once a Palace. The staff at the Metropole were very welcoming, the hotel is in a good location close to major shopping areas, the rooms are good size and very clean. After lunch we took the hop on hop off bus to get acquainted with the city. Every two years the Grand Place comes alive in Brussels with a stunning flower carpet of begonias. They say there are over 100 volunteers and over a million begonias. This event brings out the locals and is a hot tourist spot. For dinner we wandered around and checked out various menu’s and ended up at nice local restaurant, we took a table outside so we could

The Atomium, Brussels

do some people watching. I started out with a standard in Brussels, a bucket of mussels and Salmon. Our waitress spoke excellent English who lived in L.A. for a number of years. For dessert, of course, we shared a Belgium Waffle. Friday: Our day started with breakfast which was included at the hotel. We started out getting back on the hop on trolley with our first destination being the Atomium, which was the main pavilion and icon of the 1958 World Fair. Representing an iron crystal, magnified 165 billion times; The Atomium offers the only true 360° panoramic view of the 19 municipalities. The whole thing is made up of 9 spheres (one at each of the 8 points and one in the middle) connected by 20 tubes


(12 cube edges plus 2 tubes for the 4 diagonals): the structure rests on 3 pillars (or bipods). After lunch we walked down to a park located at the foot of the Atomium called “Mini - Europe” Mini-Europe is the only park where you can have a whistle-stop tour around Europe in a few short hours. A truly unique voyage! Stroll amid the typical ambiance of the most beautiful towns of the Old Continent. While there you can enjoy some great shopping to bring home. For dinner we decided to check out the all new Hard Rock Café located in the Grand Place. The menu is complete with all your favorites like New York Steak, Twisted Mac, and Chicken & Anne Frank House Museum, Amsterdam Cheese to one of my stand by favorites, Grilled Salmon. While there, you can enjoy an upscale Flea Market where everyone brought some great rock memorabilia with some pieces their treasures out to sell; it was interesting so from John Lennon, The Sex Pistols, Jimi Hendrix we spent a few hours browsing around. We also and Elvis Presley. bought a pass for the hop on hop off to get a feel of the area. We had a 5:30PM flight out to Saturday: Amsterdam with a brief layover in Munich. Our Our day started out with breakfast at the hotel travel agent suggested flying as opposed to the train before our train to Luxemburg. Our train arrived on to save time, however it would have been nice to time; our driver met us and drove us to the Le Royal see more of the country. Resort Hotel. Our room was ready; the heat wave Our flight arrived on time around 10Pm we had we left in the U.S. has certainly followed us to Europe. a friendly driver pick us up; our drive was about Luxemburg was pretty warm, in the high 80’s. 30 minutes from the airport. Our driver gave us The hotel is ideally located, if you want to the low down on Amsterdam. We arrived at our walk around downtown to enjoy Plaza D’Armas, hotel around 11PM; fortunately, there were a few shopping on the upscale stores, sightseeing or for upgrades available so for our two nights we were eating at the numerous restaurants in the area. The able to get a nice room. breakfast buffet offers a great variety of choices of While in Amsterdam we stayed at the Convent fruits, cereals and breads etc. Amsterdam Hotel in one of their suites which Le Royal Hotel comes with a five star Spa if provided ample space and comfort. The room was you’re looking for a great place to relax. There’s very quiet with a view of the street. The staff was also a pool and sauna along with a fitness room. very friendly and polite … nothing was too much Things to check out while in Luxembourg include: trouble. The hotel is centrally located with access to Cathedral Notre-Dame all the major sites and all forms of transport. William Square Palace of the Grand Dukes Monday: St. Michaels Church Our day started out with breakfast at a nearby Starbucks, and a short walk where we stood in a Sunday: long line to get into the Anne Frank Museum. The We did a lot of walking today, they actually had museum opens at 9AM, if you get there around


8:30 the line goes pretty fast, again, even at 8:30 the line was quite long. If you remember the story of Anne Frank, you will enjoy the museum as there’s a large TV screen in most rooms that offers a narrative of the events. On display at the museum is the Academy Award Shelley Winters won and later donated to the mueum for her character performance of Petronella van Daan in the Diary of Anne Frank. You can see the award as it’s displayed in a bullet-proof glass case in the museum. After Anne Franks we found a quiet place for breakfast. After breakfast we – yes found the hop on hop off bus, bought a ticket and journeyed to the Van Gogh Museum. This museum boasts the world’s largest collection of Vincent Van Gogh which features over 200 paintings and several hundred drawings. If you happen to be there on the weekends, it can get crowded. Virtually across the street from the Hard Rock was the Heineken Museum. This was a cool attraction and a must see while in Amsterdam. You get to know everything there is about the history of the Heineken family, how they brew and of course the best part, sampling. It’s about a 90 minute tour from start to end, lots of interactive activities. You also get a couple of drinks included with the price of your ticket. During the evening after dinner we took in a guided tour of the Red Light District. We had a great time; all I will say is that the Red Light District of Amsterdam leaves nothing to the imagination.

and gives you a great feel of the city, you will stroll through some of the bombed out locations during the WW2. Steve was our tour guide, great personality and very informative. Here are a few places you may want to check out depending upon how much time you have in the area: Emigration Museum Warehouse District St. Michaelis Church Planten un Blomen (beautiful botanical garden) In case you got to Hamburg after Amsterdam and need another fix, there is a Red Light District in Hamburg. While in Hamburg we stayed at the Marriott City Center. This is a great location as you’re only a few minutes’ walk to shops and some nice restaurants. The rooms are above average on size, plenty of amenities. For dinner we ate at the Restaurant Franziskaner. If you’re looking for delicious Bavarian Food, this is the place. The owner was real cool, spoke great English. The waitress thought there was a problem since we hardly touched our food, but it was just that the portions were too much for us. Maybe, we were also a little full from enjoying some shots of Schnapps?

Tuesday: Once again, our day started out at Starbucks, we had until around 2PM in Amsterdam before we took a flight to Hamburg Germany. We did some shopping and finished at one of the “coolest” attractions in Amsterdam. For around 20 Euros you get to put on a large heavy coat and gloves to step into an ice freezing room with a bar and musical video. The price also includes a free shot of something that was pretty good. Did I mention your seat for the video is an ice block. Our flight to Hamburg left on time; we had a brief layover in Copenhagen Denmark and enjoyed a nice dinner at the airport.

Thursday & Friday: Today we took the Ice Train which is the best way to travel; the trains are fast and comfortable. Our trip to Berlin would be a pleasant two hours. My only recommendation would be that they should have the stops also in English to alter tourists of their destination arrival. Our driver was on time, met us at the deck and drove us to the Ritz Carlton where we will be spending the final nights of our trip. If you want to travel and really feel pampered trust me, the Ritz Carlton is the way to go. While in Berlin, you will want to check out and get some pictures at Check Point Charlie. This was the famous crossing point between East and West Berlin during the Cold War. You will also want to check out the Berlin Wall Memorial. The memorial contains the last piece of Berlin Wall with the preserved grounds behind it and is thus able to convey an impression of how the border fortifications developed until the end of the 1980s.

Wednesday: Today, the heat wave finally left and it cooled down with a light rain as we did the “Great Walking Tour” in Hamburg. By the way this is a free offered by Sandeman Tours. The tour is just over 2 hours

Saturday: Like all vacations, this one was coming to an end. We have a 7:45AM flight from Berlin to Frankfurt, with a short layover then non-stop to Denver and finally back in the Bay Area.


p i r T a s y a w l A the Ages 5 for

NO MATTER WHAT AGE YOU ARE!


Story by Rich Borell, CEO & Founder

R

ecently, my wife and I decided to take a trip to Orlando, Florida, over the summer. We planned to spend a few days at each attraction: The Walt Disney World, Epcot Center, Universal Studios, Animal Kingdom, Disney Studios and Downtown Disney. We also included a day tour to the Kennedy Space Center. We planned our stay at the Waldorf Astoria for the week. Both the Waldorf and the Hilton Orlando are connected with a world-class convention center, creating a hip oasis in the middle of Orlando’s Theme Park magic. Truly convenient, the hotels are located inside the Disneyworld gates. The name Waldorf Astoria is synonymous with luxury. If you have ever stayed at the Waldorf in New York, you will see that this Orlando property nicely brings together that New York style with the ever-delightful Floridian charm. Whether you stay there, or not, I encourage you to dine at its legendary restaurant, Bull & Bear. This restaurant is definitely the area’s most popular go-to restaurant when it comes to fine dining. Along with this fabulous restaurant, be sure to also check out the spa, awardwinning designed golf course, state-of-the-art workout center … and our favorite: your own chic private cabana with a personal server. Before I go any further, I want to wholeheartedly thank the management for their wonderful hospitality. Here’s the scoop on what I highly recommend: be sure to buy a planning app before you even arrive in Orlando to help you map out your day(s). Indeed, it’s well worthwhile. Then, you can use the app on your phone, update wait times, re-optimize your schedule, etc. By having a plan, we were able to see every single attraction, including parades and fireworks. The longest we ever waited was 20 minutes. This was in the middle of the summer during peak days.

Expedition Everest at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Orlando.

The Magic Kingdom is a great place. This is a good combination of rides and, of course, you have to ride the coasters. The Castle draws everyone’s attention – this is where they play shows with all the characters. Space Mountain is where you must go first. Get yourself a fast pass early before the lines are long. One of the four theme parks at the Walt Disney World Resort, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, offers a behind-the-scenes look at Hollywood-style action with live shows, thrilling attractions, backstage tours and star-studded


special events. Feel like the star in your own movie as you romp through the streets and sections of the park that blend together like a large, bustling movie set. Immerse yourself in the glitz and glamour of the Hollywood heydays from the 1930s and 1940s, captured by the neon, chrome, art deco and modern architecture. Step into the action with exhilarating attractions and experiences inspired by television and silver screen favorites. Go center stage and into the spotlight with the American Idol Experience, stunt shows and more. Collect autographs and pose for photos at special events. Another cool ride is the Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow and, of course, the Rock n Roller Roller Coaster staring one of my favorites – Aerosmith. When it comes to rides, be sure to check out The Great Movie Ride, the 18-minute tour of some of Hollywood’s most famous films. Then there’s the 50’s Prime Time Café, which is located at the Disney Hollywood Studios. Bring your appetite and your sense of humor. The theme is Mom’s kitchen circa 1955. There are TV’s throughout the restaurant showing black and white sitcoms, from “Father Knows Best” to the original “Mickey Mouse Club”. You can’t help but smile when you see these blasts from the past. Everyone is “family”. Your server will introduce you to your “cousins” while giving you warnings to keep your elbows off the table and remind you to eat your vegetables. It’s all in good fun and adds to the unique experience. There are a lot of 50’s knick-knacks and the dessert menu is on a View master! For people who have never been here before and who love animals, this is an ultimate great place to visit. We loved the safari ride and the different animals from all around the world that they had. The only downside is that it’s so far away from all the other parks. However, this park is still worth checking out, if you are here. Disney gives you a unique look at nature and animals through Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Enjoy yourself and take your time in the Animal Kingdom. If you have time to spend extra days at any of the parks, I would recommend doing

The Waldorf Astoria and Hilton Orlando are connected with a world-class convention center.

this park and the Magic Kingdom for more than one day. I would recommend going to the park early or late afternoon. If you are staying at a resort, take advantage of “Extra Magic Hours.” When you enter the Animal Kingdom, you will walk through what is called “The Oasis”, with animal exhibits, exotic plants, jungle habitat etc.- all of which is really cool. This park is divided into five parts: Discovery Island, Camp Minnie, Camp Mickey, Africa and Rafiki’s Planet. Outside of the Animal Kingdom, I can recommend the Rainforest Café. Dinner was great; so, too, was the service. It was impeccable and you can also get in some shopping. This park is fun and there is a lot to do. You can visit the world in less than a day … and the fireworks at night are amazing. From the food to the gift shops, you will have a blast. We were on the go all day and crammed just about everything in! The Future World was great, a few nice little attractions there. I really enjoyed the greenhouse … which is about one living with the land. I had read about ‘Soarin’ and was eager to see what this was. It was excellent. The more popular rides, such as Soarin and Test Track, have long waits. It would be a good idea to get a fast pass for these, unless you don’t mind waiting an hour or more. Epcot Center, the world showcase, was


brilliant! It was much better than what I thought it would be. It’s very well done. We really enjoyed going from place to place, different attractions from around the world. There are different shows going on during the day that are very interesting. The fireworks/ lights illumination, which start around 9pm, were truly amazing! It’s very well done. We also had a wonderful time eating at Les Chefs de France. Of course, always remember to make a reservation here 2-3 months before you go. But, hey, it’s in Disney, what can you expect? This is one of Epcot’s overlooked gems. Many of the tables overlook the ‘streets’ of France and give you a bird’s eye view of the comings and goings while you enjoy your delicious meal. The tables are covered in crisp white linens, the interior is light and airy and the service is always top notch. I’m going to first talk about the ambiance. It really does make you feel like you’re dining at some French bistro in Paris. The wait staff is from France, with the accent, and they would speak with you in fluent French if you were to ask them to. When we first arrived, our server brought us French baguettes, and it was really good. Indeed, it was warm, crisp, but soft and fluffy inside. Then I ordered the Salmon dish (with red pepper sauce and chive mashed potato) - it was delicious. The fish was cooked to perfection … I was a real big fan of sauce. It had this light, tangy and tomato-based taste to it and it complemented everything very well. After being out in the heat and crowds for a few hours, this restaurant in the French section of Epcot was a welcome respite. We were seated promptly, and the service was spot on from the moment we arrived throughout. We could not have enjoyed this experience more. Downtown Disney, originally the Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village, is an outdoor shopping, dining, and entertainment complex at the Walt Disney World Resort. This 120 acre shopping, dining, and entertainment complex is loaded with great things to do, and consume, if you’d like to spend a day away from the parks. Parking is free here. Downtown Disney is awesome. This place

is what I call a mall outside. It has shopping, dining, and attractions - and you can spend a day here by itself. You must stop here even if you are not going to Disney. There are shows and many places to eat. My favorite part besides the giant pin trader’s tent was the candy store. Who doesn’t love candy? You must stop by Downtown Disney. There are three main areas here. Marketplace (East Side), Pleasure Island and West Side. Market Place (or East Side), Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop, Planet Hollywood - Reservations are highly recommended. Rides are totally awesome. Shopping and food and beverage are nice. Rides not to miss: Harry Potter’s Forbidden Journey, Spider-Man, Poseidon, Popeye (water ride), and Simpson’s. I’m not into roller coaster rides, but they have several. Also most rides are 4D with special effects … and you also get sprayed with water. What an amazing park; from the moment you drive up to the park, you tingle, Rip ride rock it (AMAZING), Shrek, Mummy Returns, Simpsons are all great, but TRANSFORMERS is awesome (as the Americans would say), great shows throughout the day, must stay for the show at night - my advice buy a unlimited fast pass for both parks. If you are disciplined, you will ride them all over and over. The Kennedy Space Center is a must-see attraction if you are visiting the Orlando area. It’s about a two hour drive. We were very fortune to attend a lecture by Astronaut Sam Durrance, who flew on many Space Shuttle missions. There are two museums there - including one that houses the actual Atlantis that went to space - with lots of information to educate you on the space program. There are two IMAX movies that will take you back into history. Be sure to make the Atlantis exhibition part of your plans. The gift shop will have a lot of cool stuff – plus, lots of good places to eat. I also want to extend my thanks to the management at the Kennedy Space Center for making our visit such an enjoyable and memorable one.


SPOTLIGHT ON TRAVEL

r o d n e l p S & y t u a e B The that is Old Europe Prague

WHERE SIGHTSEEING IS A MAJESTIC WALTZ By Rich Borell Hello Everyone, I wanted to share some of our recent adventures as my wife and I enjoyed what was a wonderful visit to the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Austria. If you are planning a visit to Prague, Bratislava or Budapest you can definitely cover a lot by walking. Vienna is a larger city, so you will need other forms of transportation to get around.

buildings. We continually caught ourselves saying to each other: “check out that building!”, because everywhere we looked, everything was so unique. The city was like an architectural museum, very much older Europe. Here’s a brief list of some places you want to be sure to see while in Prague: • Charles Bridge • Prague Castle • Old Town Square • Church of St. Nicholas • Stalin Monument

Prague Let’s start with Prague. As we walked around (and I DO mean WALKED … yes, about 7miles per day) you will be mesmerized by historic

The heart of Prague, Old Town, is filled with many houses, churches and other structures dating back to the 13th century. When visiting, be sure to include the Old Town Hall


and Astronomical Clock, the Carolinum, the Municipal House and the Estates Theater. Located in the center of Prague is a vibrant square surrounded by baroque buildings, lively cafes, street entertainers and craftspeople. Situated at the Prague Castle, St. Vitus Cathedral is the most important and largest church in Prague. The cathedral is the burial place of the former Czech kings and a home of the Czech Crown Jewels. You definitely want to include this stop when planning your itinerary. Connecting the Old Town with Lesser Town, this popular pedestrian bridge is filled with musicians, painters, vendors and tourists during the summertime. Here you will be able to take some great pictures. Once the initial charm of Prague has sunk in –I encourage you to take a trip to the Castle District and be even more amazed with some awesome sights. This fairy tale castle on a hill overlooking the Vltava River is the most popular sight in the city, reflecting the city’s “Bohemian Baroque” architecture. The seat of Czech rulers for

Bratislava

1,000 years, today it houses the office of the President. Contained within the castle walls are three courtyards, beautiful gardens, shops, and restaurants. St. Vitus Cathedral, a Gothic landmark of the city since 926, that has always been the center of Prague’s religious and political life, is in this giant castle. Bratislava Next we took the train to Bratislava, Slovakia. I suggest purchasing a first-class ticket; it’s more comfortable and less crowded for your four hour journey. The first-class ticket will also get you access to the business lounge where you can relax and enjoy complimentary beverages and snacks before you depart. You will also be able to get assistance taking you to your train and loading your luggage up. Keep in mind … not a lot of English is spoken in these parts. Here’s a brief list of some places you want to be sure to see while in Bratislava: • Bratislava Castle • Michael’s Gate • Primate’s Palace


Budapest

Old Town, Bratislava, was a delightful surprise to both of us … lots of shops, museums to see. One item I suggest seeing is the St. James Chapel. It’s the oldest sacral medieval structure in Bratislava. Be sure to take a walk downstairs. A must-see on your trip is the Bratislava Castle. The castle was originally built as a frontier post for the Roman Empire; a later version was built by King Sigismund in the 15th century. This castle burnt down in 1811, leaving only ruins … and it took until 1956-68 for the castle to be rebuilt to its current format. The castle is located on a hill overlooking the River Danube, the southern-most hill of the Small Carpathian Mountains. There are two ways to walk up to the castle - up Beblaveho Street from the Old Town or from Mudronova Street by the Slovak Parliament building up at the hill. You will find a museum along with a restaurant that has a full service bar. Weather permitting, I suggest eating outside and enjoying the beautiful views of the Danube. Budapest Our next train ride was just a little over two

hours and took us to the brightest jewel on the Danube: Budapest, Hungary. Budapest was created in 1873 from the separate towns of Buda, Pest and Obuda. Its population of two million resides in 23 districts. Here’s a brief list of some places you want to be sure to see while in Budapest: • Buda Castle • Chain Bridge • Hungarian Parliament Building • St. Stephen’s Basilica • House of Terror We both felt Budapest is one of the most beautiful cities we have ever seen. Since we have traveled through Europe extensively, that says a lot. Between the view from Fisherman’s Bastion, the Matthais Coronation Church and the nighttime view of the five lighted bridges and Parliament Building, it’s a must tour … and, if you have time in the evening, so, too, is a cruise along the Danube a must. We were very impressed with Budapest being the largest city and capital of Hungary. It’s clean, feels safe and it’s also very easy to get around by foot … and, best of all, the people of Budapest


speak good English. The cost of eating out is look into when planning your trip to Eastern inexpensive, with lots of options. There are also Europe. many Hungarian wines and beers to choose from. Mamaison Suite Palace Hotel Prague: Vienna The hotel is clean and the hotel staff Our final two hour train ride took us to extremely polite and helpful. They were able to Vienna, Austria. The historic center of Vienna is help us with all our queries concerning tours and rich in beautiful architecture, including Baroque restaurants … and recommendations made by castles and gardens, as well as the late-19ththem all turned out fantastic for us. century Ringstrasse, that is lined with grand You can book your tours through them; buildings, monuments and parks. however, keep in mind they will charge, I believe, Here’s a brief list of some places you want to a 10% add-on fee; however, well worth it. be sure to see while in Vienna: You are within three minutes of walking and • Schonbrunn Palace being at the Charles Bridge. • Hofburg Palace Choose a large or junior suite on the upper • St. Stephen’s Cathedral floors so you can have a great view of the river. • Millennium Tower • Historic Center of Vienna Radisson Blu Carlton Hotel, Bratislava: Nice hotel located in Old Town. Pleasant staff, The most important fine arts museum in very good breakfast. Good views, you can see Vienna is the Kunsthistorisches Museum. It is not only the Hviezdoslav Square, but also the one of the most impressive museum buildings of Castle. the 19th century. The architects were Gottfried The old city center is a one minute walk Semper and Carl von Hasenauer and it opened away. The River Danube is two minutes away. in 1891. The museum shows the art collection of Overall the hotel has a welcoming and warm the Habsburg Dynasty, collected over centuries. atmosphere. Staff is happy to help, and most On the stairway going to the second floor is the speak very good English. Rooms are spacious sculpted group of Canova, Theseus Slaying the and clean. Minotaur. The number one tourist attraction of Vienna Marriott Budapest: is St. Stephen’s Cathedral (Stephansdom), This property is beautifully located on the located at Stephansplatz, and is the most Danube - has the best staff and just the best important Catholic Church in Vienna. It has attention to detail. We were very impressed. a multi-colored tile roof with a diamond Rooms are typical Marriott, perhaps slightly pattern and two tall towers which are the most more spacious than in the average property. If recognizable symbols of the city. you qualify for the executive lounge, this is an If visiting museums is at the top of your list, excellent amenity. Not only is the view great you won’t be disappointed in Vienna. but breakfast and evening hors d’oeuvres were I will briefly mention, if you do decide to visit ample and of a good variety. the Mauthausen-Gusen Concentration Camp, it’s about an hour train ride outside of Vienna … be Marriott Vienna: sure to schedule a private tour. Not much English The staff at the hotel was all very helpful and is spoken in this town. the rooms were comfortable and clean as you A word regarding currency: Austria and would expect. Slovakia use Euro’s; however, the Czech Republic The hotel has a great location, within walking has their own called Czech Koruna, and Hungary distance to all of the major sites and near two uses the Hungarian Forint. Don’t worry, it’s metro stops. not that confusing, and if you have an iPhone, The breakfast was good, a big spread with there’s an app that does everything for you. fantastic quality. Before I wrap this up, I wanted to suggest If it sounds like a delightful trip, it was. a few hotel accommodations you may want to Until next time … Bon Voyage!


HOW TO PERFECT YOUR GOLF SWING

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he search for the perfect swing is the Holy Grail for golfers all over the world as they strive to ďŹ nd an action that will permit them to play the game to a high standard. Grooving a golf swing that is repeatable and dependable can only be achieved through practice, and this will require time and patience. Trying to perfect a swing while playing in competition is never advisable as you cannot possibly give your full concentration to the areas that need attention. Professional golfers will work tirelessly on their swings, some even hiring teachers who will give advice on elements of the swing. For recreational golfers, perhaps securing the services of a club professional will help, but for most golfers, it is a case of trial and error on the practice range. What can you do to improve

you swing? The starting point for anyone who hopes to improve their game is to ensure that the fundamentals are in place. These include a good grip, proper stance, correct alignment and tempo of the swing. When the basics are in place, you will be in position to hit golf shots that are reasonably good. Your next step is to experiment with things that may improve your swing allowing you to hit the ball longer, straighter and with more spin. For example, ball position is something that can have a real impact on your swing as it often determines the angle at which you approach the ball and how this affects your arms and shoulders on the downswing. If you position the ball too far toward your front foot, this can encourage an over-the-top pass at the


ball, probably resulting in a pull or a slice. On the other hand, if you position the ball too far back in your stance, you may find you are blocking the ball to the right or hooking it wildly. Experiment with ball position and you will most likely find that placing the ball in the middle of your stance or just fractionally toward your front foot will reap dividends. On longer clubs like the driver, the ball will be further toward your front foot. A tip you will find helpful when working on grooving your golf swing, is to experiment on the practice range with different tempo swings. Some recreational golfers swing very hard and fast in order to attempt to hit the ball further. You may be surprised to find that with a more leisurely, smooth swing, you will actually achieve greater distance. In reality, you want to hit the ball better, not harder. Fast swings tend to pull the arms into play too quickly and this often results in cutting across the ball, leading to a slice. The tempo of your swing is possibly the most crucial element you can work on as it will promote a repeatable swing you can rely on under pressure. In fact, you can groove such a swing in the garden at home without the need to hit golf balls. Find the tempo that works best for you, and make this part of your golf game. Another element that impacts on your swing

is how you stand to address the ball. This can make a real difference to the quality of your shots and determine how high or low your ball trajectory will be. It can also influence how you bring the club head to the ball. Are you possibly stretching for the ball at address? Or is your stance too upright causing you to slice? Again, take time on the practice range to experiment by hitting shots while taking a variety of address positions. A tall person will naturally stand more upright to the ball while a shorter person will reach more for the ball and have a flatter swing. On that subject, if you are serious about grooving a solid, repeatable golf swing, you would do well to make sure you are using golf clubs suited to your height. Badly fitted clubs will have you swinging on an arc that is unnatural and will inevitably result in hooking or slicing. As is true for even the best of players, grooving a good golf swing is a matter of practice. You may find that there is a great deal of trial and error involved until you find a swing that suits you individually. Do not treat this as a chore, but enjoy those times you spend on the practice ground, realizing that it will result in a better golf swing that will in turn, allow you to derive greater enjoyment from the game and improve you score. stories@svlocalmag.com

As is true for even the best of players, grooving a good golf swing is a matter of practice.


A Happy Homecoming for Oakland A’s Manager

n i v l e M b o

B H

is phone rang. “Hello Bob, this is Billy Beane.” That’s how it all started … which leads us to this article and the conversation I would have with Bob Melvin, the Manager of the Oakland A’s. Two and a half years later, the same phone rang again; however, this time it went like this: “Hello Bob, this is Ken Packer.” Billy Beane knew and so did I. As interesting as that conversation was between the two of them, it certainly was between the two of us, as well. I wish you could have been with me. Yes, it was that great. Bob Melvin is 52 years old. He is a Silicon Valley / Bay Area native, born in Palo Alto, who went to Menlo Atherton High School, and then on to UC Berkeley. I believe in excellence in leadership … performing at a higher level than expected with what you have. He is someone who is definitely a player’s coach, a positive role model, and totally authentic. He is someone who is always so well-prepared, such a great communicator and quietly inspiring. He knows it’s about the team, where everyone knows their role, what’s expected of them and how they are doing. And perhaps above all else, they are all having fun playing together as one. Yes, sounds like Bob Melvin and a Bob Melvin managed team. The Oakland A’s is not your typical team; nor, I might add, is Bob Melvin your typical

manager. When I interviewed Lew Wolff, the owner of the Oakland A’s, following the 2012 Season, as the 2013 Season was about to begin, there was rightfully a real sense of excitement coming off the A’s being crowned the Western Division Champions. Lew was telling me that they were indeed very happy with their “new” manager, who they then had for just a little more than a year. Bob Melvin, he was the most organized person he said he had ever seen, and that he knew Bob was the guy they wanted to run their team. At that time, Bob had just completed his first full season as manager of the A’s, leading the team from a 74-88 record the year before in 2011, to an exciting turnaround season and record of 94-68 in 2012. In just his first full season as Manager of the A’s, Bob won the


American League very prestigious Manager season with the A’s, they had won 76-75-75of the Year Award. The Manager of the Year 81-74 games. Award is an honor given annually since Now, they are not looking back, but 1983 to “The Best Managers” in each the looking forward. They are excited and American League and the National League. optimistic about keeping the wonderful The selected winners are voted on by 28 success and winning ways of these past two members of the Baseball Writers Association seasons continuing. It’s a hard thing to do of America. to maintain back-to-back winning years, It is not easy to win this coveted award. let alone division championship teams. In Only one other Oakland A’s Manager has 2012: 94 wins and then in 2013: 96 wins. been so honored and that was Tony LaRussa, This year, in 2014? Many experts think that who had won it twice while wearing an A’s maybe the Amazing A’s can top an awesome uniform, once in 1998 and again in 1992. 100 wins, despite … What’s more, this was the second time The thing that makes this success truly Bob has won the coveted Manager of the amazing, comparatively-speaking, is that Year Award, as he also had won once before, in 2007, being selected the National League Manager of the Year while managing the Arizona Diamondbacks. Bob, therefore, became only the sixth manager to have won this coveted award in both the National and the American Leagues … The others are legendary: Bobby Cox, Tony La Russa, Jim Leyland, Lou Piniella and Davey Johnson. (In addition to the two he Bob Melvin meets with Oakland A’s General Manager Billy Beane won while with the A’s, Tony La Russa had also won one with the Chicago White Sox in 1983 the A’s have one of the lowest team salaries in the AL and also with the St. Louis Cardinals in baseball (due in great part for their need in 2002 in the NL). Tony LaRussa and Bobby for a new stadium which would bring in Cox have won the most, having won four more revenue, and that there also are many times. Dusty Baker, Jim Leyland and Lou other teams with large, much larger TV Pinella have won three. Bob Melvin twice. revenue-generating markets). To give an Last year, 2013, the A’s again won their example, in 2013, with the team competitive second consecutive AL Western Division salaries … No. 1 was the New York Yankees Crown, this time with a record of 96-66, two at $228,835,490 … No. 2 The Los Angeles games better than the amazing year before. Dodgers at $216,597,577 … No. 6 The San The previous five years before Bob’s first full Francisco Giants $140,264,334 and No.


27 The Oakland A’s at $60,664,500. That’s quite a difference, and yet, the A’s have the best record these past two years and one of the lowest payrolls in all of baseball. How is that possible? An important part of this, a big reason for this, has been the guidance on the field under the A’s Manager, Bob Melvin, and the great strategy of working well together in unison behind the scenes with the A’s Owner Lew Wolff, General Manager Billy Beane and President Mike Crowley. It’s been and is a very exciting and winning formula. I wanted to start this article by saying that Bob is one of the nicest, most humble and unassuming people you will ever meet. Talking with him, he would much prefer and truly take delight if talking about the team and players. His answers to my questions were so well thought out and articulate. He is a great student of the game, his knowledge is sharp and he genuinely cares about everyone. Beyond a doubt, he is a player’s manager. As he said, his players all know his door is always open, plus they have time on the field before every game when they can talk. The relationships are good and caring and supportive of one another. The pie in the face, which has become an A’s tradition, is “fun” and shows how the team is relaxed playing as a Team and enjoying playing on all cylinders. Bob used the word “comfortable” a lot. Especially with Lew Wolff, who Bob said, “has a special ability of making people feel comfortable”. It seems like no matter who you ask, everyone is a good fit. They work together and get along together really well. Bob’s career started young. He enjoyed playing all sports depending on the season. He would enjoy playing catch in the backyard growing up and then at nine years old, he began playing Little League. It wasn’t until his junior year at Menlo Atherton, and then especially his senior year, did he realize he was good and had an opportunity of playing professional baseball. In his senior year, he was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles. His choice, he opted instead to go to college. He

felt it would be smart to mature more as a player and as a person (being just 18 and most likely being far from home), he would not be THAT good, he thought, and would be away totally on his own. Looking back, Bob added, “it turned out to be a great choice”. He chose Cal Berkeley. They had a good baseball program and it was close to home. He was the only freshman on the team that year. The catcher was a senior and played most of the time. Bob didn’t play that much that year; he said, however, that he learned so much, just the experience of being there, playing with the team and learning from everyone, it was a great year. That year, in fact, was a special year … the team went to the NCAA World Series and finished 3rd out of the eight best teams in the country. I asked: Any great players on the team? His reply: “We were a great team that played very well together.” Sounded familiar. Bob would say later on that a team cannot win with two or three players, but “it’s a team game”. Everyone has their role and everyone is doing their part … you will see this and hear this more than often from Bob. That year, Bob got drafted by the Detroit Tigers. At the ripe young age of 19, Bob went for a year to play professional baseball in Macon, GA. Bob clarified for me: “It was professional baseball, not yet the major leagues”. When did you feel like you really made it then, I asked? “My entire career, actually, you can’t be complacent, there were many great ball players always after your job. Even when winning, you can’t allow yourselves to let down or get complacent. After two Division Championships in a row … that principle still applies as ever.” I asked Bob about great, memorable experiences. “There were many”, he said, with a smile in his voice. I got a kick out of when he said, when he came up to play in the Major Leagues, this feeling came over him that “he made it!” So I asked, what was like, then, being behind the plate? “There is still the fan in you”, he said, “having grown up loving the


game and the players. As a young catcher, up steps the likes of a Reggie Jackson, and part of you wants to ask for his autograph”. He had grown up a fan of the game, and being young and new to the scene, it was what he called an ‘awe’ factor …. like a movie coming to life … to which, he quickly added, he feels players today have a better control of. What do you love most about the game and what you do, I asked Bob. He responded by saying how he loves the competition. He loves the strategy that’s involved, the going over strategy every morning before the next game. What is important to Bob? Clearly, it’s Family. He said how he would spend so much time being away at the ballpark, usually until nearly midnight for a night game when at home, and half the season on the road … for eight months. So, undeniably, he loves to spend time with his family as much as possible. Exercise is important to Bob, as well. Every day, he said. Something different every day. He was emphatic about it. He didn’t say it, but I think it also sends a message to his players. It’s a long season … it shows in performance and it seems to also pay dividends. He is fit, in great condition, both physically and mentally. I think ‘Focused’ would be a fitting word, too. So would ‘Passionate’ … about the game … and also about his players … and the whole picture as a Team, like his Family. We talked some more about the working arrangement and how it is such a great fit. It’s a play on words, but it’s true. It’s funny (not in a funny sense), all four members are truly into their daily workout which they enjoy - Bob, Billy, Mike and Lew, himself, too. 5AM, even after a night game, Lew will be on the elliptical. During the game, Billy would often be in the clubhouse riding the bike while following the game. They are fit and they are focused. Bob has a meeting with Billy every day, on the road sometimes more. Billy also has a group of confidents. Bob said: it’s not about

agreeing, that they all agree to disagree. Billy hears it all and then makes the ultimate decisions. Again, Lew Wolff makes Bob feel comfortable. He has a knack of being there, being present, and knows what to say at the right times. Mike Crowley, too, the President, complements the work of all of them, where they all get along extremely well … and the moves made these past two years have been very good ones. And they are all excited and optimistic and looking forward to what will now be Bob’s third season with the A’s. I asked Bob, as I have wondered, why is it so many great managers have been catchers? “There’s a good reason for that. The catcher is the one who has the ongoing connection throughout the game with the manager. It’s as if the catcher is managing on the field.” Bob Melvin, Bruce Bochy, Tony La Russa, Mike Metheny, Bob Brenly, Joe Torre, Yogi Berra, Mike Scioscia, the great A’s announcer, Ray Fosse, too, all being so knowledgeable, to name just a few. Ballparks, what are your favorite ballparks? Bob joked: All the road ballparks. (OK, maybe not). He did say the correct, or more PC, answer would be the older ballparks, there’s a great feel to them: Fenway, old Yankee Stadium, Wrigley Field. Baseball relationships? It’s been and is a big part of Bob’s love of the game. Bob Brenly is a very close friend. They were together those years with the Giants, Bob Melvin being the back-up catcher to Bob Brenly. BB managed the Diamondbacks and brought in his friend BM to be the bench coach. Joyfully, they won the World Series. They are best of friends to this very day and always will be. When Bob Brenly retired to become a very successful TV commentator, Bob Melvin became the Diamondback’s manager. They won the NL West and Bob won his first Manager of the Year Award. That Diamondback team that won the World Series he said was truly special … a number of players were near the end of their careers


meant so much to me (and to all of us), it is something that I (and we) will never forget!” Who inspired him, to this very day? It was Vince Lombardi. He would come visit Bob’s grandfather – who was the team ballboy and mascot for the Acme Packers and they were lifelong friends. Bob remembers playing catch with him when he was a young child and learning so much from him. Goals? How do you figure goals? “There are long term goals, that is to win the World Series. But there are mid-range goals and immediate goals. We discuss what the expectations Bob Melvin meets with Oakland A’s Owner Lew Wolff are and series-by-series, gameby-game, even batter by batter, and this would be their last chance: people like pitch by pitch. This is part of Randy Johnson, Curt Schilling and Mark Grace. the strategy and the platooning.” This is how As fans, we don’t readily realize how in Bob got his nickname: “The Mad Scientist”. baseball, W-L records often swing as players It was given to him by his friend Mark Grace come and go … and circumstances change. in 2007, in Arizona, the year Bob won NL Each year may be a new and different roster, Manager of the Year. “It would be because of or players get older (or replacements younger) his mental approach to the game … and also and pitching, well, you’ll never know for sure the inevitable mix of line ups.” one year to the next. That is why constant What’s it like after a game, I asked. “It’s winning is an art form. harder after a loss,” Bob would say. “It’s nicer Which leads to the next question: What after a win … but every day, it’s a fresh new special moments in particular? Bob used day at the park, one where we believe we can the word ‘surreal’ a number of times. For and will win.” example, when he took the field for his first There are indeed many who would say Major League game … as a Detroit Tiger … Bob Melvin is a perfect fit for the A’s. There in a Major League uniform. Also, when he are many GOOD reasons why. I hung up returned home to play for his San Francisco my phone after our talk. I shook my head, Giants (the team he grew up with) … When joyfully. That was a great experience. I hope in Arizona and they won the World Series in through this article you could enjoy it, as I Game 7 beating the New York Yankees … and have. Thank you, Bob Melvin, Team and he also emphasized how in 2012 “when our Organization. These past two years have been Oakland A’s fans stood and cheered so loud great. Bob Melvin’s 3rd Season is now here. and so long after we had just been defeated in All eyes are upon Oakland and to see what the playoffs by Detroit. The Tigers wanted to they will do. The A’s are prepared. They are celebrate on our field … and our fans wouldn’t excited … and exciting. let them. That ovation was so memorable, it


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L

Lew Wolff and Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson enjoy a laugh before a game.

f f l 5 o W ew

THE SPECIAL MAGIC THAT IS

I

Owner of the Oakland A’s, the San Jose Earthquakes and Many Beautiful Offices Buildings and Hotels

arrived early at the Oakland Coliseum to meet with Lew Wolff, the Owner of the Oakland A’s, the San Jose Earthquakes , plus the owner of some of the nicest hotels and the developer of some of the nicest office buildings anywhere. It was just a few hours before game time.


“Come on in”, said the friendly gate other Major League Baseball teams. They attendant. “It’s Tuesday – parking is free also take great pride in their “tremendous on Tuesdays. Have a great time – enjoy community outreach”, outside of baseball. the game!” Happily, I proceeded to the Lew was quick to say just how very proud Executive Offices. Once there, Maggie and and grateful he is for the partnership with the then Carolyn greeted me with the warmest Fisher Family. He wanted it known that they welcome imaginable. are one of the most Maggie has been with solid and charitable the A’s since 1981 and families he has ever Carolyn since 1989 – seen and how fortunate there was such joy with we are because of them and everyone. I them. “They have believe it comes from done so much for our the top. community.” Right there, to Lew has been Maggie’s right, was an involved with a number amazing sight – there of charitable causes, they were: FOUR World in particular: “Stand Series Championship Up For Cancer”. This Trophies: 1972, 1973, also happens to be 1974 and, yes, 1989. Major League Baseball’s Yes, a storied history. largest charity. As he Suddenly, my next stop, eloquently puts it: “It a very warm welcome seems we all have been from Lew Wolff himself. touched, by cancer We had met once … or know people before, he was the who have”. When the keynote speaker at a decision of where to Community Leadership host the premier of the Breakfast. movie “Moneyball” took Let me start out by place, Lew stepped in Lew Wolff and A’s President Michael saying that Lew likes the and made sure that it Crowley enjoy a Spring Training game concept of Positive Role took place in Oakland in Phoenix. Models and Heroes. He at the Paramount smiled the entire time Theater. That premier we were together – and always was so quick raised over a quarter of a million dollars for about praising everyone else. When I started the Children’s Hospital in Oakland as well as mentioning all the awards he has received, he “Stand Up for Cancer”. simply shrugged it off. He does so much and Lew sits on committees, yet he added that cares so much about community, and people he doesn’t particularly enjoy committees. “I in general, especially children. “All we want like it when I can move something forward to do, is touch all our fans, especially the kids, on my own – rather than by committee.” He and do good things. We want to create joy in promptly added how very much he admires the areas we often can’t control – such as illness likes of John Sobrato and the Sobrato Family or adverse circumstances.” – and what they have done, and are doing for Lew expressed how the A’s strive to our community, raising hundreds of millions of provide a friendly environment, parallel with dollars annually to directly benefit community.


I was curious. Lew is involved with so much, and does so much, how does he balance things while appearing so calm and in control? And, yes, does Billy Beane in real life look like Brad Pitt (or vice versa)? The Oakland A’s – Last year they expected to be competitive, and, yes, it was, indeed, exciting. “And now, we always look forward”, Lew said, “not backward.” This year, he expects games to be close. “You know, we are facing Lew Wolff enjoying time in the clubhouse prior to a game teams that have a team salary with A’s First Baseman Brandon Moss and Pitcher Evan that is maybe two-times, threeScribner. times, even four-times our team salary – like the Yankees, Red was the first time this had ever been done in Sox and Angels. We can’t afford a big name Major League Baseball. and then possibly make a mistake. We have And Bob Melvin? “Billy had known Bob worked hard to be competitive. The one really well, and when Bob came on board, to thing missing is the venue - something more be our Manager, he brought such a passion to modern that would sit 32,000 to 36,000 fans. win and such preparation, like I have never That would make a big difference. So much seen. His preparation is amazing.“ As an of the revenue to work with comes from organization, Lew feels, they are in a great attendance.” position to win. Lew stressed how he is blessed with a The Earthquakes – Lew is delighted with great support-team. The team President, the excitement and growth surrounding Mike Crowley, and the General Manager, the Earthquakes and Bay Area Soccer. Billy Beane, have been there for years, and The Earthquakes play on the Santa Clara Manager Bob Melvin who came on board University campus in Buck Shaw Stadium. this last year, are all terrific. Both Mike and The capacity is 10,000 and they are always Billy were already there when Lew purchased full. The Earthquakes put in four million the team eight years ago – and it was Lew’s dollars to help restore the stadium. In choice to keep them on. addition, they also generously donated to “I like consistency”, Lew said. When the University two state-of-the-art, grass the people are great at what they do, and and artificial grass, practice fields for the we work so well together, like we do, it just outstanding Santa Clara University soccer made sense to keep them. In addition, program to enjoy. “We are very grateful for if a team goes into a slump, it shouldn’t the wonderful relationship we have with necessarily mean a quick dismissal. In this Santa Clara University”, Lew said. case, however, Lew gave both Mike and Billy a The new state-of-the-art soccer stadium stake of ownership in the A’s organization - to the Earthquakes are building, across from show them the overall team commitment – the San Jose Airport, will have a capacity that they are indeed a team – and where this


of 17,000 and will be ready in 2014 or the beginning of 2015. The $80 million stadium is being completely funded by the Fisher Family and is already being considered architecturally as one of the best and most beautiful soccer stadiums in the country. Back at Lew’s office, it was immaculate. How could there be so much activity and everything be in place, like it was? Lew is also 77 years young, and fit. At 5AM that

join him, and what company there might be, that night (or day). Lew and his wife Jean live most of the time in their Southern California home – flying back and forth on his plane. Lew said he can often get to an A’s game in Anaheim quicker from here than if he were driving here, from one stadium to another, from Oakland to Santa Clara. His wife, Jean, is an established artist. She has worked primarily with sculpture but is now focusing on acrylics and doing collages. You can enjoy her beautiful works by visiting her website at: www.sculptjean.com. They have three children and are a closeknit family. Keith is a Harvard MBA, and is into the sports, hotels and development side of the family business. Their daughter, Kari, is married to Dean Rossi, a Bay Area Attorney, and they have three children (ages 17, 15 and 5 – which brings much joy to the proud grandparents). In addition, Kari is also very busy being involved with the A’s Community Outreach. Their son, Kevin, marches to a different drummer. He is in New Mexico, where he, too, is very busy, working diligently to preserve the environment. What makes Lew tick? Foremost, he is happy. He loves his life and what he does – and it shows. He is very bright and has always made it a point to surround himself with bright people. When I was walking down the hall to meet with Lew, there was Mike on the phone morning, he was up and working out on – he waved hello. Then in the next office, the elliptical. He was wearing a beautiful there, on his computer, was Billy Beane. He, 2012 American League Western Division too, waved hello and, yes, Brad Pitt was a great Champions polo shirt. He also has plenty choice to play Billy Beane (or vice versa). of energy – both physically and mentally. It And then at the end of the hall, there was mid-afternoon, he had had a full day of was Lew. “Hello, Ken. It’s nice to see you.” appointments, one after another. Already a “Hello Lew, it’s so great to see you”, I said. full day … and then still a night game ahead What’s it like, I was thinking … Indeed, what of him. He was ready. He was loving it. I a day, every day … It’s a wonderful life. expect he’ll be back on his elliptical again Right after our meeting, the A’s went on at 5AM tomorrow, indeed ready to meet the a very long winning streak. I told Lew that new day. Billy Beane, on the other hand, likes maybe I brought them good luck. When, in to work out during the games – which he fact, I know it’s all been designed from where regularly does – except when Lew asks him to Lew sits, to be that way.


G LF IN

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Oakland’s Elite among the

Hall of Fame

T

he Athletics, Raiders, and Golden State Warriors all had some of the best and brightest in each of their respective sports. To choose just one among each of the storied franchises is difficult. The following are the most outstanding examples in each sport that allowed Oakland to shine in professional athletics.

Many baseball players had to be pitched around yet fewer had to be planned for. Ricky Henderson was a contingency that could not be avoided by opposing managers. The easy solution of putting him on base was not feasible due to his prolific base stealing ability. Throwing it by him was not practical due to his lead off home run ability. He hit above average. The lead off position was redefined by his efforts.

The Golden State Warriors shined brightly with Chris Mullin’s entry into the NBA Hall of Fame. The world got a glimpse of his talents while he was at St. John’s. A key member of RUN TMC that propelled the Golden State Warriors to many victories. His inclusion on the original Olympic Dream Team cements his place in basketball history.

Al Davis was Oakland Raider’s football. The attitude and swagger of the Raiders evolved from his motto “Just win, baby.” He led the war to raid the NFL’s talent when the Raiders were in the AFL. Oakland won Super Bowl’s under his ownership. He was a champion for civil rights. Possibly the strongest owner in NFL history, he was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1992.

Each of the aforementioned people are excellent ambassadors in their sports. The city of Oakland has benefited greatly from their presence. By their examples these three members of the Hall of Fame inspire the children of Oakland to excellence in any athletic pursuit.


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LO CA LF O O D

Local Farmers’ Markets Albany

1. ECOLOGY CENTER FARMERS’ MARKETS Solano & San Pablo Ave Wednesdays 3PM to 7PM http://www.ecologycenter.org/bfm/

Berkeley

4. North Berkeley Shattuck Ave & Rose Street 3PM to 7 Pm http://www.ecologycenter.org/bfm/

Castro Valley

5. CASTRO VALLEY FARMERS’ MARKET

2. DOWNTOWN BERKELEY Center Street & M.L. King jr. Way Saturdays 10AM to 3PM http://www.ecologycenter.org/bfm/

At Castro Valley BART Station, Redwood Road & Norbridge, 94546 Saturdays May 19th to October 27th 10AM – 1PM http://www.urbanvillageonline.com/markets/castro-valley/

3. South Berkeley

Oakland

Adeline Street & 63rd Street Tuesdays 2PM to 6:30PM http://www.ecologycenter.org/bfm/

6. MONTCLAIR VILLAGE FARMERS’ MARKET La Salle Ave. @ Moraga Ave. Sundays 9AM – 1PM Year-Round http://www.urbanvillageonline.com/markets/montclairvillage/


Hayward

7. OLD OAKLAND FARMERS’ MARKET

Ninth Street between Broadway and Clay Fridays 8AM – 2PM http://www.urbanvillageonline.com/markets/old-oakland/

11. HAYWARD FARMERS’ MARKET

777 B Street (Hayward City Plaza), 94540 Saturdays 9AM-1Pm Year-Round http://www.localharvest.org/hayward-farmers-market-M4005

8. JACK LONDON SQUARE FARMERS’ MARKET Webster & Water Streets Sundays 9AM-2PM Year Round http://www.pcfma.com/market_home.php?market_id=5

Livermore

12. LIVERMORE FARMERS’ MARKET

Historic Train Depot located at Railroad Ave. & L St. Sundays 10AM-2PM Year Round http://www.pcfma.com/market_home.php?market_id=6

Dublin

9. DUBLIN FARMERS’ MARKET

Located @ Oakland Nursery Wednesdays May thorugh September 3:30PM – 6:30 Pm http://www.dublinfarmersmarket.com/

Fremont

10. CENTERVILLE FARMERS’ MARKET

Newark

13. NEWARK FARMERS’ MARKET Newpark Mall 2086 Newpark Mall Sundays 9AM-1Pm

Pleasanton

Bonde Way, Fremont, CA 94536 Saturdays Year-Round 9AM – 1Pm http://www.fremontfarmersmarket.com/

14. PLEASANTON FARMERS’ MARKET

Main & W. Angela Street Saturdays 9AM-1Pm Year Round http://www.pcfma.com/market_home.php?market_id=12

1 4 2 3 7 8

6

9

5 11

13

12 14

10


5 9 8

6

10

1

2 7 11

4

3

12


Brentwood

BRENTWOOD FARMERS’ MARKET

First Street between Chestnut St. and Oak St. Saturdays 8AM – Noon March - November http://www.pcfma.com/market_home.php?market_id=25

Clayton

1. CLAYTON FARMERS’ MARKET

Diablo Street, between Main and Center in Downtown Clayton Saturdays 8AM to Noon May – October http://www.pcfma.com/market_home.php?market_id=28

Concord

2. CONCORD FARMERS’ MARKET

Todos Santos Plaza, Willow Pass & Grant Street Tuesdays 10AM to 2Pm Year-Round Thursdays 4PM to 8PM April – October http://www.pcfma.com/market_home.php?market_id=3

Danville

3. DANVILLE FARMERS’ MARKET

Railroad & Prospect Avenue Saturdays 9AM to 1Pm Year-Round http://www.pcfma.com/market_home.php?market_id=4

Walnut Creek

Richmond

8. POINT RICHMOND FARMERS’ MARKET

Park Place, north of W. Richmond Ave. Wednesday 4PM to 8PM May – September http://www.pcfma.com/market_home.php?market_id=65

4. WALNUT CREEK FARMERS’ MARKET @ KAISER PERMANENTE

9. RICHMOND MAIN STREET FARMERS’ MARKET

Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, 1425 South Main St. Tuesdays 10AM to 2pm Year-Round http://www.pcfma.com/market_home.php?market_id=44

Nevin Plaza between 13th St. & Nevin Ave Wednesday 10AM to 2PM June – October http://www.pcfma.com/market_home.php?market_id=87

Pinole

San Pablo

Fernandez Avenue and Pear Street Saturdays 9AM to 1PM Year-Round http://www.pcfma.com/market_home.php?market_id=11

300 San Pablo Towne Center Saturday 9AM to 1PM June – November http://www.pcfma.com/market_home.php?market_id=86

Pittsburg

El Cerrito

Oldtown Plaza, Railroad Ave. at 6th Street Saturday 9AM to 1Pm May – October http://www.pcfma.com/market_home.php?market_id=34

El Cerrito Plaza, 94596 Tuesday & Saturday 9AM to 1PM

5. PINOLE FARMERS’ MARKET

6. PITTSBURG FARMERS’ MARKET

Pleasant Hill

7. PLEASANT HILL FARMERS’ MARKET

Crescent Drive at Downtown Plaza Saturdays 9AM to 1PM May – November http://www.pcfma.com/market_home.php?market_id=38

10. SAN PABLO FARMERS’ MARKET

11. EL CERRITO FARMERS’ MARKET

Pleasanton

12. PLEASANTON CERTIFIED FARMERS’ MARKET

Main & W Angela St, 94566 Saturdays 9AM to 1PM Year Round http://www.pcfma.com/market_home.php?market_id=12


m i K n u Y e a T . r D CEO, Grand Master and Global Inspiration MAKING A BIG DIFFERENCE IN SERVING OTHERS

Leading a TYK International University lecture in Gyeongsan

D

r. Tae Yun Kim is the CEO of several very successful companies headquartered here in Fremont. She is also one of the highest ranking Martial Artists in the world. She is revered like royalty in her native Korea and greeted like a rock star wherever in the world she travels to. She is often a keynote speaker at large special events before thousands and, over the years, she would often speak with Presidents and Heads of State, Governors, Mayors, Business Executives, Celebrities and students everywhere. Dr. Kim is 67 years old and, yet, she has the energy of a 20 year old. She is 4’11”, just 110 pounds, tiny in stature, perhaps, and yet more powerful than people half her age and twice her size. It is a far cry from where she comes from and what she shares with others. This is the story, the living legend, of Dr. Tae Yun Kim. It was the Lunar New Year in 1946 when Dr. Kim was born. The problem was: she was born in Korea and born a girl. It was not a good start, since it was considered a travesty if a family’s first born was not a boy. Dr. Kim grew up hearing that she was no good, a disgrace, a disaster, a curse and ugly. People would say she was bad luck and to stay away from her. They

would spit and throw rocks at her. Her parents were cruel to her. Her father drank and would beat her. He would also beat her mother. She had no friends. She was starving for friends … and for food. As her family was poor, she was hungry and also scared. She literally ate what food she could find, often what was left for the pigs. When Dr. Kim was five, the Korean War was raging on. Her family abandoned her because she was an extra mouth to feed. They ran away from their home, leaving her inside. Bombs were exploding everywhere and Dr. Kim was very scared. A sweet, kind voice spoke to her, a young girl, slightly older than she was. Her one


and only friend in the world told her: “You can’t peeked out. It was her eight uncles training in stay here. It’s too dangerous. We need to run. the morning mist. She saw something; she did Come, race with me!” And so she did. not know what it was, but it was something she They ran and then suddenly there was a “ka- liked and wanted to pursue. It was TaeKwonDo, boom”. When Dr. Kim came to, she got up and something that for centuries was forbidden for looked for her friend. She women in Korea. Thanks found her lying motionless, to her teacher, Dr. Kim was covered in blood. Crying determined and began heavily, she shook her the pursuit of Martial Arts. repeatedly to please wake Indeed, she became very up, but she never did. She good at it – ultimately lost her one friend who, to coaching Olympic athletes this day, she feels was her and corporate executives in angel. personal training sessions. Everyone said that she One day her father was was bad luck and, yet, they drunk and was beating up were the ones lying bloodied young Dr. Kim. Her younger all over the ground, while brother got in between to she was not. They said stop it. The father then hit she was ugly, yet, she saw the young man and, as an her reflection in the water automatic reaction, he hit and thought she was rather his father back. This was cute. Then and there, Dr. a no-no, a shameful act to Kim had an epiphany. She strike a parent. didn’t want to run anymore. He wrote his sister a Dr. Tae Yun Kim at 23 years old “All I knew”, she said, “was letter. “Dear Sister”, he that we are special – each of wrote. “You know, everyone us unique. Like our thumb loves the rose, but you are print, we are an original, not like the wild daisy. They a copy, but a one-of-a-kind sway in the field and God identity. I am not another, takes care of them. I am I am not someone else. I not as strong as you,” It am me.” That was such a sounded more like a … she life lesson for herself and for quickly jumped up and went everyone, for then and for looking for him. She went always: He Can Do! She Can outside to where there was Lighthouse Worldwide Do! Why Not Me! a beautiful field of daisies … Solutions circa 1985 After the War ended, and she found him. After she was reunited with her this incident, Dr. Kim and family. In order to try to her whole family moved to change her, her Grandfather enlisted the help of Vermont to start fresh. a Buddhist Monk. But seeing something special In Vermont, Dr. Kim was now in her early in her, instead of trying to change her, the Monk twenties. She got a job in housekeeping working became her mentor. Though he was Buddhist, for Howard Johnson and also pumping gas. She he gave her a Bible because wanted to share said the greatest lessons came to her when she wisdom with her that inspired her to Christian was cleaning toilets. She was happy. She was spirituality which ultimately became a very singing. She worked and they would pay her. important part of Dr. Kim’s life. She knew her dream was to become a great When she was seven, Dr. Kim heard sounds teacher. She began teaching martial arts. She coming from outside the house. Curious, she attracted students from the local schools and made a small hole in the rice paper window and university. She loved it.


She was young and pretty and spoke no English. Men there tried to force her into situations, to which she said she was glad she knew martial arts. She felt in Vermont, it was a quiet place, she had little or no money, and she could not see herself getting ahead. She was frustrated and went to the wilderness, to nature, didn’t eat for two weeks, wanting to ask for and find inner-most, true-self answers. And the answer she was looking for came. She didn’t know what “computers” were … What was this about computers and technology? One day Being knighted into the Order of Constantine the Great in 2009 she read the answer, which was literally her dining room or an engineer. Yet, she came up with the table. It was the March 31, 1983 Wall Street idea of Lighthouse Worldwide Solutions – Journal that was her table cloth laid out on the floor. An article headline caught her eye about a an international high tech company that company earning $25 million in computer sales. manufactures the most complete line of particle counting and contamination monitoring Dr. Kim said aloud: “Someday we’re going to have a company that’s bigger than that!” … and solutions available, including airborne and liquid particle counters, microbial samplers and facility she has kept that paper to this very day. monitoring systems. Their mission is to use All she knew was that computers and science and technology to better mankind. They technology were the future. “Future memory”, serve entire industries such as: Semiconductor, she called it. In school we learn about history, things that already were. What’s important, too, Aerospace, Defense/Homeland Security, Flat Panel TVs, Data Storage, Pharmaceutical, Medical she realized, is we also study that what will be. Devices, Hospitals, Automotive, Food & Beverage, She knew deep inside it would be important to ride this wave (called computers and technology) Air and Water Quality. It all began, it all came to her, she would say, without hesitation, when that was about to be. cleaning the toilets. All she knew about computers was a TV Dr. Kim never complained about her lot in commercial she saw for IBM with Charlie life. Everyone has challenges. It’s all about Chaplin and a red rose. Convinced, where do we go for that, she asked? Silicon Valley she was attitude. It takes courage and it’s all about how we respond. Dr. Kim, when asked, if she is an told. What is Silicon Valley … Where is Silicon optimist: “Oh, yes!” Do you believe people can Valley? California? OK. I’m going. There transform: “Oh, yes!” She has personally helped were three of her pupils, students at the time people transform from being lost, from being of Philosophy and English at the University … a gang member, from being in jail – without they listened, graduated and decided to come much hope – to finding one’s higher-self, sense along with her. Thirty years later, all three are still the top executives of the corporation Dr. Kim of purpose and feeling of peace. A Korean TV Network just made a full length documentary founded when they arrived. film on Dr. Kim, following her around for a Dr. Kim is a visionary, not a scientist full week. It became the most watched TV


Documentary ever in Korean history. Dr. Kim also opened her Jung SuWon Martial Art Academy - Jung SuWon means: “The way of uniting body, mind and spirit in total harmony” – and it is recognized worldwide as one of best. Physical training is overcoming limitations … such as reducing fear and weakness and building true confidence and self-esteem. A few of Dr. Kim’s companies includeLighthouse Worldwide Solutions, Jung SuWon Martial Art Academy, TYK Fashions, Tae Yun Kim International University, and TYK Productions. Dr. Kim is all about teaching, inspiring, motivating and making a difference. She has inspired many to be the best they can be. She knows all about overcoming obstacles and achieving one’s dreams. She cries, she says, when in the shower, for the many people she feels, and wishes, could realize such possibility. Dr. Kim realizes and is grateful for how fortunate she was and is. Her heart is open to share this with others, as she does for many, locally and globally. She realizes that many people are addicted – addicted to games, instant gratification, temptations. She realizes how difficult it is in today’s world – especially, for young people – and that many are looking for a way, whether aware or not, for a better lot in life. Dr. Kim knows first-hand it is up to us, each and every one of us. Media influences us a lot and there are no instant results. You have to take charge of your own life. You have to be the one who makes things happen. It was way back in 1953, Dr. Kim was but eight years old … “People said you can’t do this or you can’t do that. The more I heard: No!-No!-No! … I said to myself: Yes!-Yes!-Yes!Yes! I can do it!” He Can Do! She Can Do! Why Not Me! “I fought,” she said. “It took courage. It doesn’t matter what anyone else says.” And understanding the importance of Ki - Life Force – and to breathe in our lives. “The Breath of Life is vital. If we don’t breathe, we die.” Her motto of He Can Do, She Can Do, Why Not Me began when she was cleaning toilets for Howard Johnson. It was the beginning of her tapping into the strength within – this Life Force - and it has led to a sense of joy, peace and purpose ever since. Dr. Kim has won many distinguished

awards, including the Susan B. Anthony award, the Silicon Valley Woman of Achievement Award (having been the only one to have won this coveted award twice – for Business and Athletics) - and became a

Carrying the American flag for the World Games in 1978

Modern Knight, the first woman knighted as a Chevalier in 1700 years. In addition, her company, Lighthouse Worldwide Solutions, has been selected a number of times as the #1 Best Company To Work For. It is a story that has beautifully evolved and continues to. Dr. Kim has come such a long way from being an abandoned orphan in war-torn Korea to becoming the successful CEO, Grandmaster and Inspiration that she has become. As from a cocoon to a caterpillar to a butterfly, results are not instant, she would say. It didn’t just happen. It takes courage and it takes action. And she’s excited, she added, for it’s only the beginning. “It’s kindergarten”, she said, “with a lot more GOOD yet to come!” For Dr. Kim, it’s about leadership, making a difference in a big way and serving others. Learn more about Dr. Kim online at http://www.taeyunkim.com


Watching Your Health? By Scott Budman

I

t will tell you the time. The weather. Your stock prices. You can book an Uber ride, a hotel room, or a pizza, all by touching the screen. But, unlike your smartphone, you don’t have to expend the effort to take it out of your pocket. After all the hype, the Apple Watch is here. My first impression? It’s an awful lot like an iPhone – not that that’s a bad thing – but with Budman a much smaller screen. Now, to be honest, if you’ve already spent the money for a smartphone (and are spending more money on the monthly data plan), do you really need its mini-me? Which brings me to my second impression. Admittedly, I haven’t worn a watch since buying my first cell phone. But the Apple Watch will, eventually, be a lot more than just another way to check your text messages. It may take awhile, but this could be the next wave of devices: Connected, literally, to our bodies, and telling us a lot about what’s going on in our world. And by “our world,” I mean a lot more than text messages and stocks. Before rolling out the Watch, Apple CEO Tim Cook teased a feature called ResearchKit that will collect health data from Apple devices. If you agree to it, your data would be collected anonymously and studied by doctors.

The possibilities here go way beyond ordering food or making a phone call from your wrist. It could soon mean a new way to fight diseases. Silicon Valley companies like 23andme have been collecting DNA for purposes like this. Imagine if millions of us could learn about, and fight, a disease like Parkinson’s by wearing a watch. App makers are already working to help; Doctors and hospitals are already lining up to collect data. We in Silicon Valley are always on the lookout for the next “New” thing. The Apple Watch is the next entry. Look for brisk sales in the beginning, and lots of imitators. But what happens next should be even more interesting. And, dare I say, healthy. Scott is the business & tech reporter for NBC Bay Area. He’s on Twitter: @scottbudman


501( c ) ( 3)

SUMMER2015

Connec t i ngVol unt eer s &Donor st oL oc al NonPr ot s


SH O PP IN G

Local Shopping Alamo

ALAMO PLAZA SHOPPING CENTER Danville Blvd. & Stone Valley Road, 94507 http://www.alamoplazashoppingcenter.com/

STONE VALLEY CENTER

3158 Danville Boulevard, 94507 (925)314-1497 http://www.stonevalleycenter.com/

Walnut Creek SUNVALLEY MALL

484 Sun Valley Mall, 94520 (925) 687-6000 http://www.shopsunvalley.com/

BROADWAY PLAZA

1275 Broadway Plaza, 94596 (925) 939-7600 http://www.broadwayplaza.com/

COUNTRYWOOD SHOPPING CENTER 718-B Countrywood Court, 94598 (925) 939-8800 http://www.countrywoodshoppingcenter.com/

ENCINA GRANDE SHOPPING CENTER 2817 Ygnacio Valley Road, 94598 (925) 279-1885

Concord

WILLOW SHOPPING CENTER 1975 Diamond Blvd, 94520 (925) 825-4000

San Ramon

THE MARKET PLACE SHOPPING CENTER 433 Market Pl, 94583 (925) 277-3000

THE SHOPS AT BISHOP RANCH 150 Sunset Dr, 94583 (925) 327-0473

Danville

BLACKHAWK SHOPPING CENTER 3454 Blackhawk Plaza Cir, 94506 (925) 736-2751 http://shopblackhawkplaza.com/


Moraga

RHEEM VALLEY SHOPPING CENTER 580 Rheem Blvd, 94556 http://www.rheemvalley.net/

Orinda

ORINDA THEATRE SQUARE DINING & SHOPPING 2 Theatre Square, 94563 (925) 284-4382 http://www.orindatheatresquare.com/

ORINDA VILLAGE SQUARE 250 Village Sq, 94563 (925) 254-8500

Pinole SunValley Mall, Walnut Creek

DANVILLE SQUARE SHOPPING CENTER 85 Railroad Avenue, 94526 http://www.danvillesquare.com/

Brentwood

THE STREETS OF BRENTWOOD

PINOLE VISTA SHOPPING CENTER 1360 Fitzgerald Dr. 94564

Pleasant Hill

COURTYARD SHOPPING CENTER 2100 Contra Costa Boulevard, 94523

CARMELO PLAZA

2565 Sand Creek Rd, 94513 (925) 516-8500 http://www.shopstreetsofbrentwood.com/

1600 Contra Costa Boulevard, 94523

SAND CREEK CROSSINGS

HILLTOP MALL

2400 Sand Creek Road (925) 227-6256 http://www.sandcreekcrossing.com/

El Cerrito

EL CERRITO PLAZA

San Pablo Ave & Fairmount Ave, 94530 510-528-9444

Richmond

PACIFIC EAST MALL

3288 Pierce Street, 94804 (510) 527-2232 http://www.pacificeastmall.net/

Lafayette

LA FIESTA SHOPPING SQUARE 969 Moraga Road, 94549 http://lafiestasquare.com/

Richmond 2200 Hilltop Mall Rd, 94806 (510) 223-6900

San Pablo

SAN PABLO TOWNE CENTER I-80 & San Pablo Dam Rd, 94806


TOP

10

Reasons to Shop at Local Stores

Y

ou may already shop locally because it is convenient, or perhaps you don’t shop locally at all. There are however, many excellent reasons why shopping at local stores is very beneďŹ cial to you and the community in which you live. Here are the top ten reasons why you should do more local shopping: Better Customer Experience

Are you tired of being served by a grumpy, miserable, or even downright rude checkout operator? If you shop locally you are more likely to be received with a smile and have a very pleasant customer experience. At your local shop you are not just a faceless money-carrier, you are a person. Building a friendly relationship with the local shop owner makes for a much more relaxed atmosphere and a nicer shopping experience allround. Rather than making your day worse, shopping at a local store might just brighten your day. Helping to Local stores are owned and Maintain the operated by local people. The Community very same people as yourselves who care about the neighbourhood they live in. Local businesses donate to local charities and causes and improve the surrounding area. Why? They care about the area in which they live, just like you. Support local stores and you are supporting your local community.

Local Economic Properity

Money you spend at local shops and businesses is money that is kept in your community, enriching it for all. When you spend at a superstore the profits are taken by the corporation, whereas when you spend locally your whole community indirectly benefits, since that money will be re-invested in your region.


Unique Nothing destroys a region’s Community character like the imposition of Charactor an all-purpose megastore store. Local communities are unique places that have their very own culture, history and individual quality. Local stores are a part of this rich history and culture, having usually been around for several decades serving as pillars of the community. By supporting these local businesses you are ensuring the maintenance of the tradition and character of your area. A traditional diner or grocer is part of a town’s identity, and you would do well to support them with your custom. Unique When you shop at a local store, Products and you get to buy unique, local prodQuality ucts of a diverse range that you Produce would not find at a superstore. The stock has been carefully picked by the owner, rather than the dictates of market research and profitability. Especially when it comes to fruit and vegetables, shopping locally is superior to supermarket shopping in every way. The produce is fresher and tastier than supermarket goods, often picked only a day or two beforehand. Fresh, organic, locallygrown food is also not only healthier for you, but it is also healthier for your community, as you are sustaining local agriculture.

Using local businesses encourLocal ages healthy competition. This Competition ultimately brings you, the consumer, and a cheaper, wider range of goods. Multiple companies competing in individual markets is much better for everyone than one huge conglomerate selling a narrow range of every type of product. More Local Jobs

Small local companies create a wide variety of local jobs which help sustain community economies. By shopping at local stores and using local businesses you are ultimately creating a supply of jobs in your local area, through increasing demand for goods and services. Through buying your fruit and vegetables from local outlets there are multiple positive effects. Aside from cheaper food bills and fresh produce, by supporting local farmers you are reinvesting money into your community and also helping the environment by reducing transport pollution. Supporting Regional Agriculture

Helping In the world today everyone wants the to do what they can to help conserve Environment the environment and the planet’s natural resources. Shopping locally serves this cause in several ways. Major road congestion is reduced, as is general transport pollution. Buying goods from local stores also reduces fuel and energy consumption by bypassing the need to import from around the world. Local shops require little infrastructure, further decreasing our impact on the environment. Local Decision Making

Important decisions made by local stores and businesses ought not be harmful to the community since the owners are part of the community too – they have a vested interest and are committed to the area’s future themselves. Decisions affecting the community are not made in corporate board rooms hundreds of miles away, they are made by fellow members of the community who appreciate their impact. Happy Shopping! stories@svlocalmag.com


Bay Street Shopping, Emeryville

Berkeley

Dublin

Fourth Street, 94710 http://www.fourthstreetshop.com/

7699-7877 Amador Valley Blvd. 94568 (925) 833-3941

FOURTH STREET SHOPPING

Castro Valley

CASTRO VALLEY VILLAGE SHOPPING CENTER 20297 Patio Dr, 94546 (510) 247-9762 http://www.castrovillage.com/

San Leandro

15555 East 14th Street, 94578 (510) 357-6000 http://www.shopbayfair.com/

SHAMROCK VILLAGE SHOPPING CENTER

Fremont

FREMONT HUB SHOPPING CENTER 39221 Fremont Hub, 94538 (510) 796-1437 http://www.thefremonthub.com/

PACIFIC COMMONS

43951 Boscell Road, 94538 (510) 240-1576 http://www.pacificcommons.com/


MOWRY LANDING CENTER 5225 Mowry Ave, 94538 (510) 793-4030

Newark

NEWPARK MALL

2086 Newpark Mall, 94560 (510) 794-5523 http://newparkmall.com/

Livermore

ARROYO PARK SHOPPING CENTER 4475 1st St, Livermore, 94551

CHARDONNAY SHOPPING CENTER 4010 East Ave, 94550

Oakland

OAKLAND CITY CENTER

500 12th St, 94612 (510) 628-9170 http://www.oaklandcitycenter.com/

JACK LONDON CENTER

2 Broadway, 94607 (510) 645-9292 http://www.jacklondonsquare.com/

Alameda

ALAMEDA SOUTH SHORE CENTER

523 S Shore Center W Alameda, CA 94501 (510) 521-1515 http://www.alamedasouthshorecenter.com/home

Emeryville

BAY STREET SHOPPING

(510) 655-4002 http://www.baystreetemeryville.com/

Pleasanton

STONERIDGE SHOPPING CENTER

1 Stoneridge Mall Road, 94588 (925) 737-4100 http://www.simon.com/mall/stoneridge-shopping-center

Oakland City Center, Oakland


San Francisco Area Rocks with East Bay Musicians T

he 1960s brought a lot of rock and roll bands out of the East Bay in the San Francisco area. Later in the decade, many of those went on to be stars at Woodstock. You can still hear them regularly on the classic rock radio stations. The East Bay seems to be a hotspot for musicians to gather and create.

The styles of music that evolved during this time encompassed everything from country rock bands like Country Joe and the Fish and Creedence Clearwater Revival to soul and funk from bands like Sly and the Family Stone and Tower of Power. Blues rock bands such as Big Brother and the holding company also became popular. They went on to back up Janis Joplin. Since that time, new acts have hit the scene, and they are doing equally well. Later, in the 70s, you had musicians from Oakland like The Pointer Sisters who became popular with a completely different kind of sound that included a rhythm and blues influence. Also notable from the 70s are Eddie Money and The Greg Kihn Band

The East Bay also brought us a lot of bands and solo acts in the 1980s. Green Day, MC Hammer and Metallica are perhaps the most popular of those. Also widely known are Joe Satriani and Primus. Considered to be from the San Francisco Bay Area but originally from Los Angeles is Metallica. The 90s had its contribution, too, and the big acts from this era included Counting Crows, En Vogue and the hard rock band Machine Head. It didn’t end there, though, as new bands are still forming and hitting the big time in Oakland, San Francisco and the East Bay area. Because that locale seems to breed creativity, it will probably always be melting pot for musicians.


Northern California Chapter 2014-2015


2014 SuperBowl of Golf The Northern California Chapter of the NFL Alumni was well represented by team captain Jim Otis from Iguana Design and Print. The Super Bowl of Golf is the Annual NFL Alumni Golf Championship played by the winning teams of the Nation’s NFL Alumni Chapter’s local Golf Tournaments. This year the SBOG was played in Las Vegas. The 2015 SBOG will be played in April 2015 at the TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Verde, Florida. This world renowned golf facility is the home of the PGA Tour Player’s Championship.

Jim Otis, Team Iguana

Ron Jaworski, Larry Schreiber, Joe Pisarcik

SBOG SUPER BOWL OF GOLF

Ricky Ervins

Steve Thurlow, Larry Schreiber

2014 2011 LEGENDSMAGA ZINE

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NFL Alumni

Strides for Life Freddie Solomon Scholarship Awards NFL Alumni Allan Kennedy and Gary Weaver participated in presenting local youth the Freddie Solomon Scholarship Award at the Strides for Life Annual Fundraiser in March. Strides for Life is a Burlingame, CA based colon cancer awareness organization that began giving scholarships in honor of the late 49er receiver after he passed away from colon cancer.

Chapter Vice President, Allan Kennedy, Gary Weaver, Scholarship Winner Megan Dickerson from St. Ignatius Prep, Larry Cappel, Board President of Strides for Life

Scholarship winner Issac Straznickas from Mission High School talks to NFL Alumni Executive Committee Member and former Raider, Gary Weaver at the Strides for Life, Dinner and Auction

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2014 LEGENDSMAGA ZINE


31st Annual

Golf Classic The NFL Alumni had a spectacular day at the Olympic Club where they raised money for their Caring for Kids program. The event had an extra tournament flair attached to it with the addition of a new electronic scoring system that players used with their cell phones. A dinner, silent and live auction closed another great experience at the historic Olympic Club.

Team Captains

John Taylor, Cliff Branch

Guy McIntyre

Gordy Soltau, Larry Schreiber, Skip Vanderbundt, Frank Nunley

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Jim Plunkett

Dave Fiore

2014 LEGENDSMAGA ZINE

Dennis Brown


NFL Alumni

Salvation Army

The Chapter teamed up with the Salvation Army’s Redwood City branch to distribute food for the holidays. Hundreds of local families were provided meals at the facility. Many local companies and stores contributed the groceries for these meals.. The Chapter collaborates annually with the Salvation Army to serve families and continue giving in the holiday spirit.

Henry “Model T” Ford, Allan Kennedy

2014 LEGENDSMAGA ZINE

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Red Ribbon

Drug Awareness Day The NFL Alumni Northern California Chapter held its 12th Annual Red Ribbon Drug Prevention and Education Clinic on October 22, 2013, at St. Pius School Gymnasium in Redwood City. The theme for the event was “Make Good Choices to be Healthy and Drug Free, and Your Future Will Be Bright.” The keynote speaker was the amazing Eason Ramson, former SF 49er, who once again captivated the audience of 400 students from over 12 Bay Area schools. Also speaking about the perils of drugs and alcohol were Karl Nichols from the DEA, Captain Mike Maskarich from the California Highway Patrol, and representatives from DARE and San Mateo County Sheriffs Department. Former 49ers Dennis Brown and Allan Kennedy and former Raider Gary Weaver were also there to support this important program that was coordinated by NFL Alumni Executive Committee Member Carolyn Hoskins. A special thanks to Rick and Janice Lozoya who donated the backpacks to all students who attended the Clinic. The 2013 Award Winners were: Laly Madera – The Eason Ramson Celebrate a Drug Free Life Award Our Common Ground – R.C. “Ally Oop” Owens Don’t Quit Award Woodside High School – Coach Ben Parks Community Service Award West Bay Christian Academy – SF 49ers Gordy Soltau Special Recognition Award Henry Ford Elementary School – Caring for Kids – Henry “Model T” Ford Award If you would like more information about this program or to become a sponsor, please contact Jeff Bayer @ 650-533-4949

Dennis Brown, Gary Weaver, Mike Dotterer

Eason Ramson

Henry “Model T” Ford, Carolyn Hoskins

2014 LEGENDSMAGA ZINE

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Sherman White

Mike Merriweather, Annika Sorenstam

Michael Pritchard, Gary Weaver

Dan Bunz

Allan Kennedy receives Community Service Award

Ted Kwalick, Len Rohde

Jesse Sapolu, Dennis Brown

Mike Dotterer, Alonzo Emery, Gary Weaver, Ray Mueller

In the Community The NFL Alumni prides itself on being active in the Northern California Community. Our members attend and enhance many local fundraisers throughout the year. From scholarship presentations to being celebrity captains, the NFL Alumni remains committed to our mission of Caring for Kids.

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2014 LEGENDSMAGA ZINE


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