Santa Cruz

17 Dec 18
High Velocity Sport

* Tonight on NBA TV:  Grizzlies vs. Warriors (10:30 ET)  The Golden State Warriors are slowly getting back into their old rhythm, amassing a 5-2 record so far in December. As they regain their ways as a team, their roster is also slowly becoming whole again, too. A key game against the Memphis Grizzlies looms tonight […]

17 Dec 18
Mark McNease

By Cathy McNease, Herbalist It is a familiar problem: stressful events occur and our digestion goes to hell. For some it means loss of appetite, other will resort to binges on comfort foods. Diarrhea, constipation, bloating and indigestion are other common reactions to stress. I fall prey to all of these as well and over […]

17 Dec 18
FOX2now.com

Before the family gathers for a holiday meal, here’s all the food you should purge from your pantry. Read on to see some of the things you may need to throw away and updates on recalls for beef and romaine lettuce. Metal found in Jimmy Dean sausages CTI Foods LLC, is recalling 29,028 pounds of frozen, […]

17 Dec 18
southeastcyberneticnetwork

Saludos Bienvenidos al Blog de Cybersoutheast Xtra Espero que hayan pasado una semana de ricas y abundantes bendiciones Este es el blog deportivo con todo lo acontecido en la COLICEBA y en la AA Femenino de los fines de semana dle 7 al 9 de diciembre y del 14 al 16 de diciembre ya es […]

17 Dec 18
Santa Cruz Sentinel
SANTA CLARA — Here is how the 49ers (4-10) graded in Sunday’s 26-23 overtime win over the visiting Seattle Seahawks (8-6): PASS OFFENSE: A SANTA CLARA, CA – DECEMBER 16: San Francisco 49ers’ Dante Pettis (18) makes a catch against Seattle Seahawks’ Shaquill Griffin (26) in the fourth quarter at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., on Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group) No quarterback has ever thrown for more yards in a season against the Seahawks than Nick Mullens, who went for 414 yards two weeks ago and followed with a 275-yard, one-touchdown, no-turnover encore. Dante Pettis remains hot (five catches, 83 yards) and started over Marquise Goodwin (one catch, 7 yards). Kendrick Bourne made a tough catch, dropped another, finished with two catches for 16 yards. Matt Breida caught all five of his targets. Garrett Celek scored the only offensive TD, and that 14-6 lead put the upset on track. Interior protection, not great, especially from center Weston Richburg. RUN OFFENSE: B- SANTA CLARA, CA – DECEMBER 16: San Francisco 49ers’ Jeff Wilson Jr. (41) is tackled by Seattle Seahawks’ Rasheem Green (94) in the third quarter at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., on Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group) Matt Breida returned from a one-game absence and fared OK as the marquee back (50 rushing yards, 46 receiving yards) until his ankle flared up (and possibly other pain) after getting belted for a 5-yard loss. Jeff Wilson Jr.’s 16-yard rumble up the middle set up Robbie Gould’s winning kick, and it atoned for his first-carry fumble. Wilson finished with seven catches for 46 yards. Fullback Kyle Juszczyk is blocking at a Pro Bowl-worthy level. PASS DEFENSE: A SANTA CLARA, CA – DECEMBER 16: San Francisco 49ers’ DeForest Buckner (99) sacks Seattle Seahawks starting quarterback Russell Wilson (3) in the third quarter at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., on Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group) A sixth straight game without an interception or takeaway was offset by a feisty pass rush and improved secondary coverage. DeForest Buckner better earn postseason accolades, and he’s up to 11 sacks after Sunday’s pair, along with a career-high 11 tackles (four for loss). Tarvarius Moore, who typically practices as Richard Sherman’s backup on the left side, finished strong once Ahkello Witherspoon exited in the first series with a knee injury. Antone Exum’s blown tackle on the Seahawks’ second TD is a red flag that for a marquee safety in that role next season, whether it’s a free agent (see: Earl Thomas) or a rebooted Adrian Colbert. Richard Sherman complimented almost everyone on the roster after this one against his ex-team, for good reason. RUN DEFENSE: B SANTA CLARA, CA – DECEMBER 16: Seattle Seahawks’ Mike Davis (27) is tackled by San Francisco 49ers’ Fred Warner (48) in overtime at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., on Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group) Fred Warner and Elijah Lee combined for 19 tackles as a solid linebacker tandem. The Seahawks flourished best racing to the edge and Chris Carson is only the second opponent with a 100-yard rushing game. The 49ers allowed 4.8 yards per carry to the league’s top rushing attack, which tallied 168 yards, just above its average of 154.9. Marcell Harris, D.J. Reed, Arik Armstead, Mark Nzeocha, Sherman and more made noteworthy tackles. SPECIAL TEAMS: A SANTA CLARA, CA – DECEMBER 16: San Francisco 49ers’ Robbie Gould (9) kicks a field goal against the Seattle Seahawks in the third quarter at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., on Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group) Robbie Gould overcame the most difficult conditions (rain, slick turf) in his two seasons as the 49ers kicker to make not only all four field-goal attempts but the game-winner from 36 yards. Richie James Jr. embodied this as a redemption game, from muffing a punt return two weeks ago at Seattle to delivering a 97-yard kickoff return on his first touch this game. Pita Taumoepenu made the best play of his young career when he used his shoulder and not head to absolutely slam Seahawks kick returner Tyler Lockett. And don’t forget punt returner Trent Taylor, whose overtime punt return for 15 yards gave the 49ers their best starting field position all day (at their 38-yard line). COACHING: A SANTA CLARA, CA – DECEMBER 16: San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan talks to the referees following a call during their game against the Seattle Seahawks in the third quarter at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., on Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group) Kyle Shanahan and defensive coordinator Robert Saleh motivated their players by amplifying the Seahawks’ 10-game winning streak in this series and their lopsided loss two-weeks ago at Seattle. Shanahan continues to scheme players wide open for the young Mullens, and Saleh’s defense bent but didn’t break amid a youth barrage.
17 Dec 18
Santa Cruz Sentinel
TV picks for Monday, Dec. 17 WATCH THIS: [related_articles location=”left” show_article_date=”false” article_type=”curated” curated_ids=”5619652″]“The Voice” (8 p.m., NBC): It has all come down to this: Tonight, the final four contestants — Kennedy Holmes, Kirk Jay, Chris Kroeze and Chevel Shepherd — perform live  in front of coaches Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton. Each finalist will do three numbers — a new solo cover, a special duet with their coach, and their first original single. Then on Tuesday, a winner will be crowned. (Vote in our poll: Who has the lead going into the final week?). “The Neighborhood” (8 p.m., CBS): Tina gets carried away when she tries to help Gemma ace her first fundraiser as school principal. Also, Dave aids Calvin in his efforts to win a special silent-auction prize for his mom. “Holiday Baking Championship” (9 p.m., Food Network): It’s finale night. Three bakers remain in the competition, and in the pre-heat, they have to create a beautiful edible holiday ornament display. For the final main heat, the bakers channel holiday gift shopping by creating a cake that is decorated like a gift on the outside and reveals a surprise inside when sliced. For one talented baker, the ultimate gift will be $25,000 and the title of Holiday Baking Champion. “Christmas With the Mormon Tabernacle Choir” (9 p.m., PBS): This holiday special returns for its 15th year.  Tony Award winner Sutton Foster is the musical guest artist and Hugh Bonneville (“Downton Abbey”) reads the Christmas story from the Book of Luke. “Fail State” (9 p.m., Starz): Executive produced by Dan Rather, this documentary investigates the dark side of American higher education, chronicling the decades of policy decisions in Washington, D.C. that have given rise to a powerful and highly-predatory for-profit college industry. With echoes of the subprime mortgage crisis, the film lays bare how for-profit colleges exploit millions of low-income and minority students, leaving them with worthless degrees and drowning in student loan debt. “The Year in Memoriam 2018,” (10 p.m., ABC): “Good Morning America” co-anchor Robin Roberts hosts this special that pays tribute to the legendary stars and icons we lost this year and the legacies they left behind. The show celebrates the lives of beloved stars through stories shared by those closest to them. “America’s Got Talent: A Holiday of Champions” (10 p.m., NBC): Host Terry Crews, takes viewers on a festive journey celebrating a variety of previous “AGT” contestants, including magicians, singers, danger acts and more. The special also features Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, Mel B and Howie Mandel. STREAM THIS: “Eva Shockey’s Outdoor 101” (Facebook Watch): In this new six-episode series, outdoors enthusiast Eva Shockey invites us along for the ride as she, her husband and young child travel throughout her adopted home state of North Carolina, giving us one-of-a-kind scoops to better the experience. Also on Monday: “Monday Night Football,” Saints at Panthers (5:15 p.m. PT, ESPN) NBA basketball, Grizzlies at Warriors (7:30 p.m., NBCSBA and NBA TV) “The Great Christmas Light Fight” (8 p.m., ABC) “Antiques Roadshow” (8 p.m., PBS) “The First 48” (8 p.m., A&E) “WWE Monday Night Raw” (8 p.m., USA) “Love & Hip Hop” (8 p.m., VH1) “Happy Together” (8:30 p.m., CBS) “Vanderpump Rules” (9 p.m., Bravo) “Street Outlaws: Memphis” (9 p.m., Discovery) “Who Do You ThinkYou Are?” (9 p.m., TLC) “The Santa Claus 2,” 2002 movie (9:30 p.m., AMC) “Independent Lens” (10 p.m., PBS) “Busy Tonight” (10 p.m., E!) “Christmas Cookie Challenge” (10 p.m., Food Network)
17 Dec 18
Santa Cruz Sentinel
Members of the British royal family have revealed the photos that appear on their annual Christmas cards, with each of the two Fab Four couples taking nontraditional approaches to sharing holiday greetings — and in decidedly different ways. Neither Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, nor Prince William, Kate Middleton and their children, sit posed in a gilded palace drawing room, smiling a bit stiffly while wearing their Sunday-best outfits. Instead the two couples — who may or may not be feuding, depending on which report you read — offer portraits that are more personal and go a long way toward presenting images about how they want to be viewed. William and Kate, the future king and queen of England, want to present themselves as regular parents — easy-going, outdoorsy and having fun raising their three children: George, 5, Charlotte, 3, and Louis, 8 months. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are pleased to share a new photograph of their family. The photograph, taken by Matt Porteous, shows The Duke and Duchess with their three children at Anmer Hall, and features on Their Royal Highnesses’ Christmas card this year. pic.twitter.com/6XqCMlhLi8 — Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) December 14, 2018 The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge wear jeans as they sit with their children on the branch of a tree on the grounds of Anmer Hall, their country home. Autumn leaves form the backdrop. But in a gesture toward being relatable to their British subjects, William and Kate are happy to have George and Charlotte look like normal kids, not like a prince and princess always expected to be still and dutiful. In fact, George is snapped in the middle of squirming as he stands on the branch next to William, holding onto his father’s shoulders. Meanwhile, Harry and Meghan’s holiday card portrait may not be going for relatable. But fans are certain to ooh and aah at how classic-movie glamorous it is. The photo is in black and white, with Harry and former TV actress Meghan standing in the shadows, facing away from the camera. With their arms around each other, they watch a fireworks show at their glitzy wedding reception at Frogmore House, on the grounds of Windsor Castle. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are delighted to share a new photograph from their Wedding Reception at Frogmore House on 19th May. The photograph, which features on Their Royal Highnesses’ Christmas card, was taken by photographer Chris Allerton. pic.twitter.com/PQPUuRwnIj — Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) December 14, 2018 Harry is in a James Bond-esque tuxedo, and Meghan, who is now expecting the couple’s first child, is in the sleek Stella McCartney halter gown she changed into for the reception after their globally televised wedding. The photo is no doubt meant to celebrate the explosive power of their love, or to convey their hopes for the future as global power couple. The black-and-white makes it an especially romantic image. But again, it’s not the kind of image that most people can relate to. For one thing, most people don’t have fireworks shows at their wedding receptions. Back to the more relatable, and from a surprising source: Clarence House released the photo that appears on the holiday card being sent out by Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall. It’s a rather gently romantic photo. Charles and Camilla couple sit on a bench in the garden at Clarence House, their London residence, gazing fondly at each other. Here is a closer look at the photograph that features on Their Royal Highnesses' Christmas card. pic.twitter.com/3PPUYi9W9L — Clarence House (@ClarenceHouse) December 14, 2018 In fact, the garden setting is similar to the one used for family photos shot for Charles’ 70th birthday. [related_articles location=”left” show_article_date=”false” article_type=”curated” curated_ids=”5755948,5753244,5732790,5735219,5595401″] In those photos, Charles’ sons, their wives and his grandchildren gathered around him and Camilla to present an image of a united, happy royal family that will be in charge of the 1,000-year-old monarchy going forward into the 21st century.
17 Dec 18
Santa Cruz Sentinel
Beast Mode is now foodie mode. Oakland Raider Marshawn Lynch has opened his long-awaited restaurant, Rob Ben’s Restaurant & Lounge, in the former Scend’s spot on San Pablo Avenue in Emeryville. Just like Scend’s, Rob Ben’s is a soul food restaurant — wings, catfish, red beans and rice — with a giant custom-built smoker in the parking lot. According to the San Francisco Chronicle’s SFGate, Lynch bought the restaurant from Scend’s owner Cassie Nickelson in the summer of 2017, when the 80-year-old decided to retire. Lynch changed its name in honor of his best friend, Robert Benjamin, who was shot and killed in Oakland in 2007 at the age of 25. [related_articles location=”left” show_article_date=”false” article_type=”automatic-primary-tag”] A menu featured on the restaurant’s Facebook page includes Burgers & Sandwiches ($9.50-$11.50), World Famous Wings ($8.99-$143.99), Salads ($8.75-$14.25) Combination Plates ($19.99-$29.99) and Sweet Tooth ($5.50-$6.50) desserts like banana pudding and peach cobbler. The shareable Beast Mode Platter, at $84.99, features 10 wings, six pieces of fish, six oysters, six prawns and four pork chops with sides. According to a restaurant staffer, Rob & Ben’s will be open and offering a limited menu from 2 p.m. to 12 a.m. Dec. 14-16. A full menu, including breakfast, starts Monday, Dec. 17. For more information, visit the Facebook page or call 510-250-9636. For more food and drink coveragefollow us on Flipboard.
17 Dec 18
Santa Cruz Sentinel
SACRAMENTO — California moved Friday to eliminate fossil fuels from its fleet of 12,000 transit buses, enacting a first-in-the-nation mandate that will vastly increase the number of electric buses on the road. The California Air Resources Board voted to require that all new buses be carbon-free by 2029. Environmental advocates project that the last greenhouse-gas-emitting buses will phase out by 2040. While clean buses cost more than the diesel and natural gas vehicles they’ll replace, advocates of the mandate say they have lower maintenance and fuel costs. Supporters hope creating demand for thousands of clean buses will bring down the price of those buses and eventually other heavy-duty vehicles like trucks. California has 153 zero-emission buses on the road today with hundreds more on order. Most of them are electric, though technology also exists for buses powered by hydrogen fuel cells. “Every state could do a strategy like this,” said Adrian Martinez, an attorney for Earthjustice, an environmental legal group that supports the rule. “This is something that California did first because we have major air quality and pollution problems, but this is something other states could pursue. [dfm_iframe src=”https://apps.mercurynews.com/newsletters-signup/?campaign=pm-report” width=”100%” height=”220px” allowfullscreen=”yes” scrolling=”yes” /] Existing state and federal subsidies are available to help transit agencies absorb some of the higher costs of carbon-free buses, along with money from the state’s settlement with Volkswagen over the German automaker’s emission-cheating software. [related_articles location=”left” show_article_date=”false” article_type=”automatic-primary-tag”]In approving the mandate, air board members cited both a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and improved air-quality along heavily trafficked transit corridors in smog-polluted cities. The transportation sector accounts for 40 percent of California’s greenhouse gases, and those emissions are rising even as electrical emissions have fallen substantially. California needs to drastically transportation emissions to meet its aggressive climate-change goals.
17 Dec 18
Santa Cruz Sentinel
Keston and Andrea Ott-Dahl thought they found a way to lick the Bay Area’s housing crisis when they paid $170,000 for a three-story floating home in Brentwood’s Cruiser Haven Marina a year and a half ago, the one they had long admired with its stately porch and big windows. They eagerly moved out of their busy Antioch neighborhood and settled into the Delta’s more serene setting — until everything started to go wrong. First they got into a nasty court dispute with the marina’s owner over rent. Then they discovered that Contra Costa County’s zoning restrictions don’t allow floating homes. That forced them to abandon the new home they had sunk their savings into and take up temporary quarters in a nearby Airbnb rental while trying to figure out their next move. And on Tuesday, what fire officials called a “suspicious” blaze broke out in their floating home, collapsing the interior so it’s now unlivable, according to the couple. Someone was expected to buy the home from them and move it out of the marina, but it’s unclear if that will happen now because it’s currently a crime scene and has been red-tagged by the county. “It’s devastating,” Keston Ott-Dahl said Wednesday. Although theirs may be an extreme case, the Ott-Dahls aren’t the only ones whose dream of living in the Bay Area on the cheap is fading. From San Leandro to Redwood City, residents who chose to reside in floating homes and other live-aboard vessels — either because of the allure of a watery world or because they can’t afford homes that cost millions of dollars — have been forced to move in recent years. Their plans capsize amid challenges unfamiliar to landlubbers, including the encroachment of subdivisions, environmental conflicts, marina regulations or legal battles involving waterway access. Redwood City, for example, has taken steps to rid Docktown Marina of its 70 floating homes. The reason: California once owned the marina property and granted it to the city on the condition it will be available to the public, not reserved for private houseboats and floating homes. Contra Costa County distinguishes floating homes from houseboats and other live-aboard vessels such as sailboats. It defines a floating home as a “stationary structure in, on, or above the water” that is either permanently grounded on a flotation system and moored into place, or affixed to a permanent structure like a dock, foundation, barge or other “permanent structure.” In contrast, live-aboard vessels are equipped to accommodate dwellers, and houseboats have “either a pontoon or flat-bottomed hull configuration” that make them mobile. All three types have made the bay and Delta waters their home for decades — sometimes as part of entire dockside communities.  Although various city and county rules govern their use, some illegal floating homes or live-aboard vessels have slipped through the cracks for years, officials acknowledge. “How would we have known the marina wasn’t zoned for this?” Keston Ott-Dahl said late last month as she stared at the piles of boxes she and Andrea had packed up as they prepared to leave their dream house. She said she tried to look into local floating home rules, but her research only uncovered a vague ordinance that states a floating home or structure “is not allowed at any location in the county unless it meets all applicable zoning, building, health, sanitation, and other applicable provisions of this ordinance code, and meets all applicable provisions of state and federal law.” Aruna Bhat, the county’s deputy director of community development, said if a zoning district does not explicitly allow floating homes they are illegal, period. None of the zoning districts in Contra Costa allow the homes. Bhat said enforcement of building codes is generally driven by complaints, so a home like the Ott-Dahls’ may have gone unnoticed if no one ever said anything about it. But in this case it became the subject of a legal tussle. The floating home has been at the Cruiser Haven Marina since 2008, when then-marina owners Kevin and Sean Hinman bought and moved it from Bethel Island. The home changed hands over the years until the Ott-Dahls bought it in February 2017. Other floating homes have been moored there over the years, residents say. Both Hinman and Dana Matthews, who owned the marina when the Ott-Dahls bought the floating home, say they didn’t know until recently that floating homes were not legally permitted. When Hinman issued eviction notices to the Ott-Dahls last May, she contended they weren’t paying enough and owed back rent. The Ott-Dahls argued that they had a verbal agreement with Matthews to pay $450 per month, and their dispute turned into a protracted legal battle that is still ongoing. But a judge last month made at least one thing clear — because of the county’s rules, the Ott-Dahls and their illegal home would have to leave. Why Contra Costa County has effectively banned floating homes is unclear. Bhat said she believes their permanency makes them unacceptable because they take up water space that many consider public. “It’s sort of like putting a house in a public park,” she said. For years the county has been on a mission to clear the Delta of illegal live-aboard vessels, fueled by concerns that they contribute to waterway traffic congestion and pollution. The Delta is both a shipping channel and key source of irrigation water. The county also spent years abating homes built without permits on islands in the delta — a hunt which could have begun when inspectors went to Salisbury Island to investigate a claim that PG&E overcharged a resident and discovered illegal wiring connecting dwellers to power lines, according to this news organization’s archives. The cost of removing and cleaning up abandoned vessels, derelict houseboats and sunken barges in Delta waterways has run in the “millions,” said Doug Powell, a formerly retired lieutenant with the Contra Costa Sheriff’s Office who now works part time with the office’s Marine Patrol Unit. The county has spent years working with the state to obtain abatement funds. Powell said he understands why people sometimes turn to floating homes or live-aboard boats when they can’t afford more traditional housing. But for financially struggling people, “having a boat is not a fix,” Powell said. “It’s not cheap. It takes a lot to maintain,” he added. Even if the county legalized them in certain areas, “we would need to have a whole other bureau to handle floating home communities.” The Ott-Dahls’ home is not one of these abandoned eyesores. Even with a fire-gutted interior, it’s a striking home, painted a deep Cape Cod blue with crisp white trim. They could have moved the house to a different marina, but the cost estimates for moving the house are too steep for the family, even if they could have found a marina to legally place the house. They were counting on the money from the sale to secure new housing and allow them to move on with their lives, Keston said. After someone set up a GoFundMe account, a generous family arranged for them to stay in an Airbnb rental. They’ll go visit family at the end of the month when the kids are out of school. After that, the future is unclear.
17 Dec 18

[ad_1] Georgios Dimitriadis thought he had botched the data. It was late on a Friday night and the University of California, Santa Cruz, astronomer was the last one in the office. He had been waiting anxiously for NASA’s planet-hunting Kepler space telescope to stream a batch of data toward Earth—not because he wanted to scour […]

16 Dec 18
Santa Cruz Sentinel
Chuck Barney’s TV and streaming picks for Dec. 16-22 DON’T MISS: “The Voice” — It all has been leading up to this: After weeks of blind auditions, battle rounds and brutal “knockouts,” Season 15 of the popular singing competition comes to a close. Coaches Adam Levine, Jennifer Hudson, Kelly Clarkson and Blake Shelton have groomed their wannabe pop stars for this moment, but who will walk away with the $100,000 record deal? Unfortunately, they’ll drag the finale over a bloated two hours before host Carson Daly delivers the big reveal. (9 p.m. Tuesday, NBC). Other bets: SUNDAY: The boss of the Great White Way? “Springsteen on Broadway” brings Bruce Springsteen’s Tony Award-winning solo acoustic show to viewers who couldn’t make it to New York (and/or afford those crazy ticket prices). It’s just Bruce, his guitar, a piano and some very personal stories. (Netflix). MONDAY: “Christmas With the Mormon Tabernacle Choir” returns for its 15th year with Sutton Foster as the guest musical artist. Also, “Downton Abbey” star Hugh Bonneville reads the Christmas story from the Book of Luke. (9 p.m., PBS). MONDAY: “The Year in Memoriam 2018” is an hourlong special that pays tribute to the stars and icons we lost this year and the legacies they left behind. Robin Roberts hosts. (10 p.m., ABC). TUESDAY: Celebrity chef Lidia Bastianich hits the road for “Lidia Celebrates America: A Heartland Holiday Feast.” For her latest special, she showcases the cuisine and culture of various small towns that provide inspiration for the holidays. (9 p.m., PBS). WEDNESDAY: All the blind-siding and back-stabbing on “Survivor: David vs. Goliath” comes to an end tonight as the reality series crowns a new champ. As usual, host Jeff Probst will preside over a reunion special right after the final tribal council. (8 p.m., CBS). THURSDAY: “Timeless” fans — aka Clockblockers — get the closure they demanded as the twice-canceled time-travel drama delivers a two-hour holiday-themed movie. Set on Christmas Eve and Christmas, it promises to tie up some major loose ends. (8 p.m., NBC). THURSDAY: On the season finale of “Murphy Brown,” the gang tries to distract Murphy from fretting about Avery’s assignment in Kabul by getting her to attend a New Year’s Eve celebration at Phil’s Bar. TV journalists Lawrence O’Donnell and Andrea Mitchell guest star as themselves. (9:30 p.m., CBS). FRIDAY: When Season 2 of “Marvel’s Runaways” begins, our young heroes have left their homes — and evil parents — behind and now have to learn to scavenge for food and live on their own. They also aim to take down PRIDE once and for all. (Hulu). FRIDAY: The “A Home for the Holidays” event celebrates its 20th anniversary with more inspirational stories about Americans who have adopted children from foster care. LL Cool J is our host and Gwen Stefani, Train and Lukas Graham all perform. (8 p.m., CBS). SATURDAY: Wes Anderson’s Golden Globe-nominated “Isle of Dogs” makes its television debut. The animated saga follows a boy attempting to rescue his pet from an island where dogs have been quarantined after an outbreak of canine flu. (8 p.m., HBO). Contact Chuck Barney at cbarney@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/chuckbarney and Facebook.com/bayareanewsgroup.chuckbarney.
16 Dec 18
Santa Cruz Sentinel
CLICK HERE if you are having trouble viewing these photos on a mobile device When you think of a Napa Valley getaway, your mind conjures up images of vine-covered resorts tucked into the rolling vineyards of St. Helena or Calistoga. Vista Collina, a new Meritage Collection hotel that opened at the southern tip of Napa Valley in July, lacks that immediate wine country ambiance but makes up for it in many other ways. Because of its proximity to Highway 29, Vista Collina is an easy trip from the Bay Area — 35 minutes door-to-door from Walnut Creek — and just across the street from a sister property, the Meritage Resort & Spa, which offers Siena, a fine dining option. Of course, you might prefer to linger on Vista Collina’s 16,000-square-foot community lawn, enjoying a picnic from the resort’s market, Five Town Grocery, and sipping your way through the nine tasting rooms on property, including Mi Sueño Winery, Jayson by Pahlmeyer and Napa Smith Brewery. Did we mention the live music? ROOMS: The resort features 145 Tuscan-style guest rooms and suites decorated in neutral tones with bold purples and greens. You’ll find super-cozy king or double queen beds with Frette linens, free WiFi, flat-screen TVs and personal device docking stations in the rooms. Stay in one of the 39 suites and you’ll also get a deep soaking tub, living and dining room areas and the option to cook your own meals using delivered ingredients and the Hestan Cue Smart Cooking System. [related_articles location=”left” show_article_date=”false” article_type=”automatic-primary-tag”] SPLASHES: Our spa bathroom featured a natural-stone vanity, tiles and a rain-water shower. Extra goodies include Frette robes and slippers and Fresh brand bath and body products —score. EXTRAS: Vista Collina is dog-friendly. If you bring Fido, he’ll get a plush doggie bed (included in the $50 pet cleaning fee). Five Town Grocery will even bake your pup a treat. Ours loved his sweet-potato peanut butter cupcake. DETAILS: Rooms start at $249 plus resort fee. 850 Bordeaux Way, Napa;  https://meritagecollection.com/vista-collina. For more travel coverage from the San Francisco Bay Area and beyondfollow us on Flipboard.
16 Dec 18
Santa Cruz Sentinel
CLICK HERE if you are having trouble viewing these photos on a mobile device We’re nibbling our chef-curated picnic on a large resort lawn in Napa, when a brother-and-sister duo stroll up, eager to play with our son, Ben. The lawn, which is the hub and gathering place at the new Vista Collina resort minutes off Highway 29, features corn hole, ladder toss and ample space to play a good game of fetch with our puppy, Cotton. In other words, it’s perfect. Wine country getaways aren’t the easiest for families with young kids, but when you can find the right place to stay with the proper amenities — for us, that’s a dog-friendly hotel with games, new friends for Ben and an on-site gourmet grocery store — you’ll be asking yourself how soon you can return. And why you don’t have a lawn butler back home. There’s also a wine-related perk to Vista Collina, which is tucked into a corporate park about 10 minutes from downtown: The Village, a collection of eight Napa Valley winery tasting rooms and a brewery, Napa Smith, surround the lawn. It’s been open for four months — and you don’t need to be a hotel guest to sip. Some, like Trinitas Cellars, Mi Sueño Winery, Luna Vineyards and Jayson by Pahlmeyer, we recognize. Others — Foley Food & Wine Society, Gen 7 Wines, The Wine Foundry and Cornerstone Cellars — are less familiar. Vallejo’s Napa Smith opened its second taproom at The Village at Vista Collina. (Vista Collina) On our first day, after enjoying warm, housemade breakfast sandwiches from Fivetown Grocery, we went wine tasting a few feet from our room. Most of the tasting rooms open at 11 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. — i.e., later than their estate properties — and accept walk-ins, so you can linger up until dinnertime with no crowds (remember, this is a new spot), traffic or time constraints. At our first stop, Luna Vineyards, we settle at a counter-high table illuminated by modern lanterns for a tasting ($30) of five signature wines, including a luscious estate pinot grigio ($32). Luna Vineyards specializes in non-mainstream Napa Valley varietals, mostly Old World Italian. It was the first winery to plant pinot grigio along the Silverado Trail 25 years ago. Our favorite: the 2015 Sangiovese Classico ($42), a food-friendly, medium-bodied wine made for marinara. For more travel coverage from the San Francisco Bay Area and beyondfollow us on Flipboard. After running Cotton around the property, we return to the The Village to taste at Jayson by Pahlmeyer. The tasting room is the first for the super premium label, which was created 25 years ago by Pahlmeyer proprietor Jayson Pahlmeyer with help from storied winemakers Helen Turley, Bob Levy and Randy Dunn. The interior is elegant, with a marble-like bar, Mission-style chandelier and rustic community table for tastings. The Jayson Flight ($35) offers a personalized lineup featuring a selection of current release Napa Valley and Sonoma Coast wines, including the soft, supple Jayson Pinot Noir and prized Jayson Cabernet Sauvignon. [related_articles location=”left” show_article_date=”false” article_type=”automatic-primary-tag”] Prefer tastings of the hoppy variety? Pop into Napa Smith, with its laid-back vibe and flat screen. The brewery’s new taproom — the original is in Vallejo — features 10 beers on tap, including the flagship Golden Gate IPA and crisp California Lager. You’ll find beer-friendly snacks, from local cheeses and kettle-cooked chips to Clif Family savory nut mixes, at Five Town Grocery. When Ben’s new friends bid him adieu, we freshened up, crated Cotton and headed downtown for a bite at Gran Electrica, the Michelin-approved upscale taqueria that opened last spring. And there are other, equally tasty options in and around First Street Napa, including the year-old Compline Wine Bar. Or you can keep the weekend low maintenance and simply cross the street to Vista Collina’s sister property, the Meritage Resort & Spa, home to Siena Restaurant, which specializes in locally-sourced California cuisine with rustic Italian influences. Even easier: Get some macaroni and cheese from the Fivetown freezer and eat in. We won’t judge. If You Go The Village at Vista Collina is located at 850 Bordeaux Way, Napa. Tasting rooms are open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tasting fees vary. For a menu and details on chef-curated picnics on the lawn, visit https://villagenapavalley.com. For more food and drink coveragefollow us on Flipboard. [dfm_iframe src=”https://apps.mercurynews.com/newsletters-signup/?campaign=weekender” width=”100%” height=”220px” allowfullscreen=”yes” scrolling=”yes” /]
17 Dec 18
Santa Cruz Sentinel
Green curry may conjure up visions of Thai food, but Indian cuisine has a delicious green curry, too. Like the Thai version, this curry uses green herbs for color and coconut milk to bring the dish together. But, like many Indian recipes, this curry uses far more spices. If you have an Instant Pot, this recipe is definitely a contender for that gadget-that-does-it-all. You can use the pressure cooker function to speed up the pork’s cooking process, or the slow-cooker setting to cook the curry low and slow. And if you are gadget-averse, this curry can easily be made on the stove top in a heavy-bottomed pot, such as a Dutch oven. Chicken is a suitable substitute for the pork, and vegetarians can use assorted vegetables and tofu or paneer (Indian cheese). We’ve often made this dish with leftover, languishing herbs just to use them up. And when we have an abundance of herbs from the farmers market, we freeze little bags of the chile-herb paste to use later for easier, speedier weeknight cooking. For more food and drink coveragefollow us on Flipboard. Indian Green Curry Pork Serves 4 to 6 Ingredients: Chile-herb paste: 2 cups roughly chopped cilantro 1 cup roughly chopped mint 1 or 2 jalapeño or serrano chiles (for less heat, remove the seeds and ribs) 1 to 2 tablespoons vegetable oil Pinch of salt Curry: 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 2 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1½ inch cubes 1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1½ cups) 4 cloves garlic, finely minced (about 1½ tablespoons) 2 teaspoons ground cumin 2 teaspoons ground coriander 1 tablespoon garam masala ½ teaspoon ground turmeric 2 cups chicken stock, vegetable stock or water 13.5-ounce can coconut milk Juice of 1 lemon Lemon and lime wedges, chopped cilantro to garnish Directions: Make the chile-herb paste by pureeing the cilantro, mint, chiles, oil and a pinch of salt in a mini food processor or blender. Slowly drizzle in water as needed to help the puree come together. Set aside. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a sauté pan set over medium-high heat. Season the pork cubes with salt and pepper and sear until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Depending on the size of your pan, you may have to sear the meat in two batches; don’t over-crowd the pan. Transfer the seared pork to a slow cooker. Using the same pan, sauté the onions for 4 to 5 minutes until softened and golden. (Add a tablespoon of water if the onions start sticking to the pan.) Add the garlic, spices and salt and pepper to taste, and continue sauteeing for 2 to 3 minutes more. Add the green chile-herb paste, the fried onion mixture, the seared pork and chicken stock to the slow cooker and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. (On the stovetop, simmer the curry for 1¼ to 1½ hours, if using pork; 30 minutes for chicken.) An hour before the end of the cooking time, skim off any fat that has collected on the surface, using a large spoon. Stir in the coconut milk, cover and continue cooking. Just before serving, stir in the fresh lemon juice. Serve garnished with citrus wedges and cilantro. San Francisco food writers Stacie Dong and Simran Singh’s blog, A Little Yumminess (www.alittleyum.com), focuses on family food adventures and recipes with global flavors. For more food and drink coveragefollow us on Flipboard.
17 Dec 18
Santa Cruz Sentinel
Dear Travel Troubleshooter: I bought seven tickets to fly from Chicago to Dublin on Aer Lingus. I also purchased an extra seat for me, since I have hip and spinal issues. We had no problems on our outbound flight. While we were seated on the plane to return to Chicago from Dublin, a flight attendant told my son he had to get out of the seat he was in because it belonged to someone else. I showed the crew member the email confirmation from Aer Lingus because I couldn’t show a ticket for the seat. But there was a reservation in the computer for it. Christopher Elliott, the Travel Troubleshooter I told the supervisor I needed the seat for the hip and spine issues. She told me they could take me off the plane if I was not medically capable of flying. She asked me how I felt. I told her “angry.” The attendant said that Aer Lingus had an equipment change and had moved to a smaller aircraft. As a result, they had to bump four people from the flight. When I returned to the states, I got the refund for the extra seat, an apology, plus an e-card worth $400 that expires next year. God willing, I’d like to return to Ireland in two years for a family event. I will be 85 in December and sure hope I live a few more years and my body cooperates. I asked Aer Lingus if it would extend the expiration date for the e-card until June of 2020. The airline said no. Wow. Because of its error, I was in pain. My kids were upset because their mother was in pain and they couldn’t do anything about it. Is there anything else I could do to get Aer Lingus to extend that e-card? — Maureen Cosentino, Chesterton, Indiana For more travel coverage from the San Francisco Bay Area and beyondfollow us on Flipboard. Answer: Aer Lingus shouldn’t have taken your seat from you. Fortunately, it apologized, refunded the money and offered a credit for a future flight. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a credit you could use. How did you end up on a flight to Chicago, minus one seat? Airlines sometimes swap planes just before a flight, which is called an “equipment change” in airline parlance. When that happens, airlines use an algorithm to determine the seating assignments for the new plane. Sometimes, they come up a few seats short. That’s what happened with your flight. It appears as if the flight attendant and her supervisor believed that removing your extra seat wouldn’t be too much of an inconvenience. After all, three other passengers had to stay in Dublin until the next flight. But they were wrong about that, and in the end, Aer Lingus did the right thing by offering you an apology and a ticket credit. Airline ticket credits normally last only a year. But you also could have tried a different approach. At one point, your anger at Aer Lingus boiled over, and according to my staff, you said you wanted to “smack” the airline employees. That probably wouldn’t have been the most effective path to a resolution.[related_articles location=”left” show_article_date=”false” article_type=”automatic-primary-tag”] I’m glad cooler heads prevailed and that you took this up with the company when you returned. A brief, calm, polite email to one of the Aer Lingus customer-service executives was your best approach. In the end, Aer Lingus wasn’t required to extend your ticket. But, given your circumstances, I think you had a strong case. So I asked. Aer Lingus agreed to either extend the ticket credit by another year or offer you a $400 cash refund. You took the cash. I hope you enjoy your visit to Ireland in 2020. For more travel coverage from the San Francisco Bay Area and beyondfollow us on Flipboard.