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Day Trippin'
If the mention of Santa Cruz conjures Beach Boys' tunes and old-school boardwalk roller coasters, it might be time to re-explore our seaside neighbor. Sure, 'Surf City' (just a 1.5-hour drive south, if the traffic gods are smiling) is all about the beach, but a weekend ...By Fran Miller

New novel delves into science of CRISPR Cas9 gene editing technique use
Today's young adult audiences want realistic, challenging, dark and suspenseful storytelling. It is a trend that comes from adult literature, think of "The Reckoning" by John Grisham or "Dark Sacred Night" by Michael Connelly. Books such as "Thunderhead: Arc of a ...By Sophie Braccini

Moraga golfer makes the record books
Every golfer dreams of that elusive hole-in-one. Lori Dixon-Boettler hit her first one, right-handed, in 2003. This year, Dixon-Boettler accomplished something that very few ever have; in fact, according to various record keepers, including the U.S. Golf Association, ...By Diane Claytor

Arts shine on in Lamorinda
During the Lamorinda Arts Council's annual holiday luncheon, instant proof of the organization's value arrives in the uplifted arms, snapping fingers, assertive singing and vocal proclamations of strength from local youth performers. In a private dining room at the ...By Lou Fancher

Teddy bear window display a Christmas toy tradition
It's a Lafayette tradition every Christmas season - the McCaulou's shop window. From Thanksgiving onward lights twinkle and music tinkles as the display of cuddly moving teddy bears enchant in a different winter wonderland scene each year.
By Pippa Fisher

'The Gold Seekers' (Los Buscadores) at Rheem
The Rheem Theatre in Moraga will host the December performance of the International Film Showcase. This month, Efi Lubliner and Jo Alice Canterbury who run these monthly presentations have brought back "The Gold Seekers," a funny and touching South American adventurous ...By Sophie Braccini

Planning is key for seniors in emergencies
We in the San Francisco Bay Area have recently experienced one of the worst air quality periods in our history, brought about by the raging fires in Paradise and the surrounding area. Many of us have had some eye or respiratory issues directly relating to the ...By Linda Fodrini-Johnson

Can you afford your 'dream school'?
Does your child have her heart set on a "dream school"? If determination carries her forward, that dream could become an admissions reality. But, depending on your family financial situation, that dream might become a financial nightmare. Rather than taking the chance ...By Elizabeth LaScala

Lynn's Top Five
Welcome to the end of the tax year. And what a year it's been! With all the coverage of what some embrace as a great step forward and some disparage as a total mess, here we are nonetheless with just a few short weeks left to put the final touches on almost all the ...By Lynn Ballou, CFP(r)

Lafayette Inventor Shares Secrets on Raising Kids to be Problem-Solvers in New Book
When Jim Marggraff was 4 years old he was placed in a special education class because he stuttered and had a droopy eye. He almost didn't finish college at MIT because, as a child of a single mom, he couldn't afford the tuition. Marggraff, a Lafayette resident since ...By Kara Navolio

The prolific practice of yoga is expanding
As a former professional ballet dancer and ...By Lou Fancher

Orinda baby food store helps organization collect diapers for mothers in need
According to Help A Mother Out, a nonprofit organization that distributes donated diapers to institutions and families in need, one in three families struggle to afford diapers, which can cost $75-$100 a month. Public assistance programs (such as food stamps) don't ...By Vera Kochan

Foundation linked to Lady Gaga promotes acts of kindness in local communities
Sept. 11, 2001. A young Maya Enista Smith was eagerly looking forward to beginning her col-lege days as a freshman at New Jersey's Rutgers University. Then the planes crashed, the buildings came down and the world changed. Instead of attending classes, Smith and her ...By Diane Claytor

'Three's Company Parody' ignites Rheem Theatre's new alliance with Classic TV nonprofit
The Rheem Theatre and the Classic TV Preservation Society nonprofit are aligning to bring live theatre productions and events to the Rheem Theatre, beginning with "A Three's Company Christmas Parody," set for Dec. 8 and 9.
By Derek Zemrak

'Great Expectations' realized at Town Hall Theatre for the holidays
The idea of a Charles Dickens' play for the holiday season brings back memories of adaptations of "A Christmas Carol," of Ebenezer Scrooge, of ghosts, of bad people turned good through the miracle of the heart, and of very touching stories that end well. This winter, ...By Sophie Braccini

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