Step Into History: 45th Anniversary of Apollo 11

The motto of the USS Hornet Museum in Alameda seems straightforward. People often think it applies only to the venerable World War II aircraft carrier itself, since it had fought in many famous WWII Pacific Ocean battles and did three tours of duty in the Vietnam War.DSC_4538

However, of equal importance, is hearing stories and learning lessons from people who served on the ship or were involved in its historical actions. In July 1969, the USS Hornet (CVS-12) recovered the Apollo 11 lunar landing mission. When Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepped onto the moon’s surface, it was the first time in history that humans had set foot on a heavenly body other than earth. This epic event will be remembered for the rest of mankind’s existence.

In order to “transfer” some of that 1960’s excitement, knowledge, and inspiration to young Americans, the museum holds a special event every 5th year on the anniversary of the Apollo 11 flight. A moon-walking astronaut always attends as the keynote speaker, augmented by a more recent member of the NASA astronaut corps.
[<photo 1> Pier view of Hornet]DSC_4575

This year, on July 26, Buzz Aldrin was the featured Apollo guest at Splashdown 45. Bay Area residents enjoyed a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet, listen to, and even get a book signed by the second of 12 men who walked on the moon. This popular event was also graced by the presence of Bay Area shuttle astronaut Yvonne Cagle. Both astronauts were former members of the US Air Force and were “piped aboard” in a traditional Navy welcoming ceremony with local Navy League Sea Cadets acting as sideboys.
[<photo 2> Buzz saluting cadets]

Months before the event, the Hornet Museum had teamed up with the Alameda school district to hold a space-related essay contest. The question was “Why I want to be an astronaut when I grow up”. The age bracket winners were Grace Tauscher and Khushi Randev. Each was personally introduced to Buzz Aldrin and had their photo taken with him during Splashdown 45.DSC_4609
[<photo 3> Grace & Buzz]

Many organizations brought educational exhibits or interactive displays, ensuring a large Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) component. Hornet’s youth programs have always augmented normal classroom teaching with tactile activities whenever possible. With great support from many sponsors, partners and participants, visitors of all age groups and various socio-economic backgrounds had a memorable experience. The robotics club from Bellarmine College Preparatory was a big hit!
[<photo 4> Robot & Toddler]DSC_4774

Upon arrival, astronaut Yvonne Cagle headed straight to the STEM education center to observe the various classes being given. With great enthusiasm, she jumped into an interactive session being run by GoldieBlox, a local company whose mission is to inspire the next generation of female engineers. A willing co-conspirator, Yvonne definitely inspired a number of youngsters during this visit to the Hornet.
[<photo 5> Yvonne & GoldieBlox]

In the early afternoon, Yvonne introduced Buzz with a few personal remarks about her childhood dreams of going into space. Buzz gave his keynote presentation to an enthusiastic crowd of 3,000 people on the aircraft carrier’s huge hangar deck. Everyone listened intently, as he spoke about his experiences on the Gemini 12 and Apollo 11 space flights – especially walking on the moon’s surface. He then articulated his vision for future human space exploration, with a primary focus of landing on Mars within the next 2 decades.
[<photo 6> Crowd & Buzz in HB]DSC_4915rtcp

Afterward, the audience was able to get their Mission to Mars books signed by Buzz (who autographed 719 copies in just two hours) and/or interact with the many members of the NASA and Navy Apollo 11 Recovery Team who were present. Julian Cruz was a lucky youngster who managed to collect an autograph from the Apollo 11 flight surgeon Dr. William Carpentier. The doctor actually spent more time in the NASA “moon germ” quarantine facilities than the astronauts!
[<photo 7> Bill & Julio]

After a long yet enjoyable daytime event, most visitors left the ship as it was being transitioned over to the evening cocktail reception and gourmet dinner. All hands – young and elderly – agreed that history is much richer than what is gained by just reading a book and, that learning can be fun. Proving the point are these two Sea Cadets from the Diablo Squadron, Aidan Mone and Jarod Whitman. Along with many fellow cadets and Boy Scouts, they provided great volunteer DSC_5344-2assistance, including passing out programs to arriving guests.
[<photo 8> Two Cadets & pgms]

I thoroughly enjoy chatting with people who have made history. Few of them protect their fame – most simply say they were “just doing their job.” Given my membership in the baby boomer generation, those individuals are often participants in major world events of the World II or Korean War eras.

However, it’s very clear to any historian alive today that a major shift in “demographics” is well underway. This was clearly demonstrated by our two featured astronaut speakers at Splashdown 45.DSC_4841

Buzz Aldrin is an alpha-male reflection of his generation. In that timeframe, positions of power and responsibility were largely held by Caucasian men, with a majority having had military service and some level of combat action. The primary metric for becoming a hero within the Greatest Generation was military-oriented achievement. But, as shown by the trials and tribulations of the Tuskegee Airmen or the 442nd Regimental Combat team, it was difficult for minorities to break into the ranks of those who were publicly recognized for high achievement.

Buzz was a graduate of the US Military Academy at West Point. As a USAir Force fighter pilot, he shot down two MIGs in combat over Korea. He earned an advanced Sc.D degree from MIT by writing a thesis on Manned Orbital Rendezvous, which became extremely useful to NASA’s upcoming lunar landing program. When he joined NASA in 1963, he was in the right place with the right training and knowledge. He performed well during the Gemini 12 flight, which placed him in position to became world famous as the second human to ever walk on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission. Even at age 84, Buzz continues to be a major voice for expanded US manned space exploration.DSC_5156rttw

Yvonne Cagle is an African-American woman who was born at West Point because her father was an officer in the US Air Force. Yvonne earned her BA in biochemistry from SF State University, and an M.D. degree from the University of Washington. She received a certificate in Aerospace Medicine from the USAF School of Aerospace Medicine in 1988.She was actively involved with aircraft assigned to provide medical support and rescue in a variety of aero-medical missions.

Selected by NASA in April 1996, Yvonne completed two years of training and evaluation, and is qualified for flight assignment as a mission specialist. Her initial assignment was at the Astronaut Office Operations Planning branch, supporting the Space Shuttle Program and International Space Station, followed by a special assignment to NASA’s Ames Research Center. The shuttle program was terminated before she was assigned a spaceflight mission. Yvonne continues a significant role with NASA and is also a practicing family physician.

Both of them are a credit to their generation and a reflection of the times and needs during which they served America’s space program. They, both being highly educated, possess keen intellects and are interesting to talk to!

Would one have been the “better astronaut” than the other during their years of top physical and mental performance? Well, it depends on the mission! If we needed to launch a hazardous mission to lasso a killer asteroid that was bearing down on earth, Buzz would be the better choice. But, if we needed to launch a mission to Mars to study its potential habitability, Yvonne is clearly better suited. Americans are very lucky to have such a diverse group of heroes who answer the call of national service throughout many generations.

ALIVE East Bay magazine was an important Media Sponsor of Splashdown 45.
More event photos can be found on this website:

Starmaker: Hollywood Talent Agent

Budd Burton Moss is an old school Hollywood talent agent and part of a family dynasty that made magic in the Motion Picture industry. His father Louis B. Moss was a film editor at Fox, later becoming 20th Century Fox when it merged with Darryl F. Zanuck’s 20th Century Pictures. During Hollywood’s Golden Age, Budd’s mother’s brother Sam Zimbalist, produced films for MGM Studios, many acclaimed as the best films of all time.photo1 edit

Zimbalist was good friends with power couples Clark Gable and Carole Lombard, and Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn. Moss recalls being at his uncle Sam’s house on weekends and hearing the actors read scripts aloud and playing tennis or swimming in the pool.

Budd Moss and his brother David were born in the shadows of Hollywood Boulevard. Being products of Los Angeles when the Motion Picture Industry rode the uncontested magic carpet, they can very well understand the intricacies of the Hollywood scene better than most newcomers.

Budd Burton Moss and I connected on Face Book as I knew his brother David in Spain. He commented upon reading my recent ALIVE Magazine D-Day article that he was co-producing a film, Mother of Normandy, about Simone Renaud who lived in Sainte Mere-Eglise. It was where many paratroopers in the 101st and 82nd Airborne Division died when they dropped behind enemy lines during the 1944 Invasion of Normandy.

Hollywood über-agent Moss has chronicled his experiences in a memoir; …And All I got was Ten Percent—What it’s Like to be a Famous Hollywood Agent. His close friend Larry King wrote the book’s introduction which guarantees to entertain film aficionados with titillating insider accounts of Hollywood and revelations of once-guarded secrets.

Moss paints a rich portrait of Hollywood before the monolithic studios fell to indie mavericks. He opens his book with the account of his daily business breakfasts in Nate and Al’s Deli in Beverley Hills where film industry veterans kibbutz about the good old days. “Who’d you sign?”

Budd Burton Moss had the right connections; a direct pipeline to studio heads and those who decided which scripts to deep-six and which to produce for the silver screen. Sam Zimbalist, iconic movie mogul and MGM head honcho, had offices in the Thalberg Building on the studio lot. Zimbalist expected his nephew Buddy to segue into film producing, but he wanted to act in films, not produce them.

And Moss dreamed of becoming a matador. It had all started as a pubescent when he became smitten by Rita Hayworth in the bullfighting saga Blood and Sand. Imbued with desire for the beautiful femme fatale, he decided to become an actor and a matador. Moss may not have been a match for Anthony Quinn or Tyrone Power, but he gave it his best shot and later they became friends.

Unbeknownst to the rooky Buddy Moss, he was later to become Rita Hayworth’s agent and close friend, and his youthful dream was fulfilled when they traveled to Europe together.


While Budd Moss was at college as a Theatre Arts major, he took a job at Duke’s Union 76 across from MGM Studios. The teenager serviced the cars of the stars and at day’s end delivered the shiny gassed up motor cars to Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, Elizabeth Taylor, June Allyson, Esther Williams, and Judy Garland et al. One can only imagine them flipping the teenager a two-bit tip, and Buddy catching the silver coin in the air with an adoring smile. “MGM had more stars than heaven,” he says sentimentally.

Moss recalls the early days when cowboys rode horses down Hollywood Boulevard in the hope of getting parts in Roy Rogers or Gene Autry movies, and the Indians who came down from Cahuenga Pass and sold beads from spread-out blankets on the corner of Hollywood and Vine.  He recalls being awestruck when meeting Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse, the latter becoming his client, and others he catapulted to stardom. Moss reminisces how his parents packed him and David in their Model A sedan and drove from West LA into Hollywood for Saturday double features, then hung out on the Hollywood Hotel verandah where Rudy Valentino and Mary Pickford once may have passed.

High school buddies were Linda Darnell’s brother Calvin, Academy Award winner Joel (Katz) Grey, and Bobby Blake who gained fame as the killer in Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood.

After the garage gig Moss bussed tables at Fox Studios restaurant where he met Marilyn Monroe, Ty Power, Bette Grable, and Henry Fonda and got close to the beauty of his dreams, Rita Hayworth lunching with Studio boss Darryl F. Zanuck.

Budd’s odd jobs lead to film work, and was ecstatic when he got his SAG extra’s card. He reported to Central Casting and got a dance number gig in It’s a Wonderful Life, with Jimmy Stewart, and later a part in Blackboard Jungle, with Sidney Poitier. “Not bad for my first films,” said Budd.

To hone his acting skills, Budd did summer stock along with other neophytes James Coburn, Hugh O’Brian, Robert Vaughn. And at “The Rack” bar he drank with a lanky guy who had just gotten out of the service and earned his way as a carpenter and pool digger. That shy guy went far in Hollywood; Clint Eastwood was to become one of the world’s leading Box Office draws of all time.

When his father, Lou Moss, left Fox, he and wife Shirley (Zimbalist) opened a restaurant. The Matador Bar decorated with Manolete bullfight posters, with a definitive macho ambiance, was the dwelling of pure California cool, where Tony Quinn, Lloyd (Bud) Bridges, Robert Taylor and Gilbert Roland rubbed elbows with bullfighters and other Hollywood icons.

When Budd wasn’t running the busy bar of the family restaurant, he worked in films. He recalls his entire body being burnished with brown make-up for bit parts in the 1954 epic, The Egyptian, with Edmund Purdom. “I was killed several times in one day.”

During the Korean War Moss enlisted in the Air Force and was stationed at Parks Air Force Base, now called Camp Parks in Dublin, California. It was just a matter of time before he was recruited to Special Services Units to produce plays and entertain the troops.

Ironically it was there he first met USO entertainer Barbara Eden, whom he later signed to star in I Dream of Jeannie. He returned to LA after the Air Force stint and to a life of incredible excitement.

Tony Quinn introduced him to the actress Ruth Roman, a beautiful older woman whose marriage was rocky. As fate would have it, he and Ruth fell madly in love. Ruth was a seasoned actress having starred in Hitchcock’s Stranger on a Train, and had dated Ronnie Reagan when they were contract players at Warner Bros. The rest of their love story reads like the script of a Hollywood melodrama.photo3 edit

Ruth Roman had to wind up filming final scenes with Akim Tamiroff in France. To return stateside she and her three-year old son Dickie boarded a luxury liner in Cannes for the transatlantic crossing. That July of 1956, as the “S.S. Andrea Doria” liner was passing the Nantucket coast and edging towards New York in thick fog, her midriff was gored by the liner “M.S. Stockholm” en route to Sweden.

Over fifty people died in the collision, half the starboard-side lifeboats went down on impact. Rescue ships, including the “Ile de France,” rushed from New York harbor; planes flew overhead capturing the disaster on film, and darkness made rescue difficult. The ship sank to the bottom of the sea within hours. Ruth Roman’s son was lost. Lifeboats were lowered. She was taken ashore still frantically searching for her boy. She called Budd Moss in LA.

Finally her son was located on the “Stockholm” and taken to the hotel. Budd Moss booked a flight from California, arrived in New York at her hotel the next day. They needed to be together; romance flourished. They stayed in New York negotiating her role in the play Two for the Seesaw. They later moved to her Rockingham Road house in Brentwood and spoke of marriage. They sailed to Panama and married in a storied ceremony worthy of a full chapter.

Roman’s work took them to Spain until 1958 when she starred with Richard Burton in Bitter Victory. Madrid was then the filming epicenter of several sword-and-sandal epics and was teaming with LA Studio executives and Hollywood stars.

Being avid aficionados, Budd and Ruth hung out at the flamenco Corral de Moreria and mingled with the bullfighting crowd. They were friendly with toreros Luis Miguel Dominguin and his brother-in-law Antonio Ordonez. Dominguin, not only gained fame in the bullring, but also as Ava Gardner’s paramour. Hemingway was in town too writing about the dueling toreros in The Dangerous Summer for Life Magazine, believed to be his last work.image3 edit


After their sojourn in Spain, Budd Moss launched his career as a talent agent and joined Marty Baum’s agency in 1959 in LA. He built an impressive repertoire of clients; Rita Hayworth (Gilda), Cyd Charisse (Singin’ in the Rain), Robert Vaughn (Man from U.N.C.LE.), Karl Malden, and June Allyson. In 1992 Burton Moss Agency merged with boutique Shapiro-Lichtman Literary Agency bringing with him client MPAA president Jack Valenti whose novel, Protect and Defend, soared to bestseller.

Over the span of his illustrious career, Moss had placed Dyan Cannon in Bob, Carol, Ted and Alice; Sally ‘Hot Lips’ Kellerman in M*A*S*H; Tom Bosely in Happy Days; nose-wiggling Elizabeth Montgomery in Bewitched; and Mia Farrow in Peyton Place.

The business took much of Budd’s time away from Ruth Roman and the marriage became strained. Perceiving that he may be having an affair, and knowing that Budd valued his $500 Harry Cherry custom-tailored suits, she cut them to ribbons and burnt them in the fireplace. After six tumultuous years the marriage went south.

Budd concentrated on his business as a premier Hollywood Motion Picture and Television agent with General Artists Corporation and represented some of Hollywood’s most bankable clients. When he suggested Mia Farrow for Peyton Place he was also instrumental in setting her up with future husband Frank Sinatra.

Moss worked with then-actor Aaron Spelling’s wife, Carolyn Jones, Morticia in the Addams Family. While Moss represented Jones at GAC he placed her in a poignant role in Dr. Kildare in 1963. Her marriage to Spelling was heading for the rocks and Budd and Carolyn started dating. They became engaged and celebrated with an Addams Family-themed party. After she went on tour, they grew apart.

Years later as head of Burton Moss Management he suggested Melvin Belli to Coppolla for the part of Vito Corleone in The Godfather but was beaten out by Marlon Brando.

His friendship with Melvin Belli, King of Torts, lead to his getting married to his present wife Carolyn on the verandah of Belli’s San Francisco penthouse with Sidney Poitier as best man. Moss’ page-turner memoirs reveal Hollywood backstories like when he clinched a $10,000 per week guest spot for

Shelly Winters on the Ben Casey TV series. She had just won an Oscar for her performance in Diary of Anne Frank and was a hot property. At her Chateau Marmont suite she vehemently stated she was worth more than 10K a week and the über-agent had to handle the fading star with kid gloves.

Budd reminisces about Hollywood’s Golden Era and writes about his beloved uncle, Sam Zimbalist who died in November 1958 during the filming of the epic masterpiece Ben Hur in Rome. Zimbalist had produced some of Hollywood’s best films; Tortilla Flat, King Solomon’s Mines, Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo and Quo Vadis.

Sam Zimbalist died of a heart attack hours after filming the iconic chariot race scene in Ben Hur at Rome’s Cinecitta Studios. He was in stressful negotiations to secure five million dollars more for the MGM picture. Ironically he died immediately after the intense chariot race scene when Charlton Heston drives four white horses against nemesis Stephen Boyd’s four black stallions and he becomes impaled by the wheel spikes. Sam Zimbalist won a posthumous Best Picture Oscar for Ben Hur with a record-breaking total of eleven Oscars. The film epic is acclaimed as one of the best films of all time.

In Budd Burton Moss’ memoirs, he paints a cinematic picture with words cutting to the core of Hollywood’s Golden Era—an era that is no more. The once-monolithic movie-making industry has yielded to multi-million dollar productions, CG-enhanced mega films, and low-budget indies that appeal to a different kind of audience—a youth-oriented audience that yearns for fast-paced action. Moss tells it like it was. And it was great.

Gone are the days that Hollywood had a terra firma sense of place. Now “Hollywood” is a mythical Xanadu, an ephemeral Shangri-La fantasy that can be anywhere on earth, even in our dreams. Movie deals are different now; androgynous terms have broken the mysterious myth of movies. Gone are the days that hedonistic star makers longed to rendezvous with ingénue starlets over three-martini lunches and when, but a forbidden kiss, was a powerful aphrodisiac.

…And All I Got Was Ten Percent! By Budd Burton Moss, is available as an e-book available on

Sports Snobs – A Bay Area Right

A snob, by definition, is someone who exhibits a haughty attitude. Haughty means arrogantly proud or supercilious. That’s right “supercilious.” Look it up. I’m not giving vocabulary lessons. I will admit to being “haughty” when it comes to my Bay Area professional sports teams. I could make an argument that we live in one of the greatest professional sports regions known to man. Not since the gladiators were getting eaten by lions in the Coliseum (Rome not Oakland) has one area dominated the national sports section of the periodicals like our Giants and A’s, 49ers and Raiders, Sharks and Earthquakes. Whatever became of the San Jose Stealth lacrosse team?

From football to baseball, basketball to hockey, we can even boast a professional soccer team. The Bay Area is cleats and helmets above the rest of the country in professional sports franchises and I’m proud to share my history with each one as a lifelong Bay Area native.

San Jose Sharks:

I attended my first Sharks game, my first hockey game to be precise, during their inaugural season in 1991 at the Cow Palace in Daly City. Nothing screams hockey louder than a 4H exhibition hall, but during those first two Sharks seasons San Jose Sharks v Vancouver Canucksit served as home ice for the Bay Area’s new NHL hockey franchise. The early stars included Pat Fallon (the Sharks first draft choice), Doug Wilson (the team’s current General Manager) and Artus Irbe. Although the South Bay’s only professional franchise has yet to bring home a world championship (Stanley Cup) it has graced our regions with a wealth of playoff appearances thanks to stars such as Owen Nolan, Patrick Marleau and Jeremy Roenick. Today, we place our faith in the likes of Joe Thornton, Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture. I still don’t understand all the rules of the game, but the Sharks are a wildly fun, entertaining and competitive team to root for and residents of the Shark Tank believe they can ultimately hoist the cup.

San Jose Earthquakes:

I’ll be honest, I’ve never attended an Earthquakes game, but once their new stadium near Norm Mineta San Jose International Airport is completed I may just have to check it out. The team was founded in 1974 as part of the North American Soccer League, but I vaguely recall the George Best days when almost no one, includiAlan Gordon (16)ng myself, took notice of soccer in the Bay Area. The team folded in 1989 and reemerged in 1991, as the San Francisco Bay Blackhawks playing in the WSL/USISL and the APSL with such big names stars as Eric Wynalda and our very own John Doyle, however, due in large part to lack of fan attendance, the team folded again in 1993. The team came back together in 1996 as the San Jose Clash and officially changed their name back to the Earthquake in 1999 with Landon Donovan being their biggest star attraction. Today, with the team boasting Tri Valley native (and former Mustang Soccer star) Chris Wondolowski on the roster, the team should experience continued success while building on the World Cup popularity of soccer.

San Francisco Forty-Niners:

The team was founded in 1946 and joined the NFL in 1949. Because my dad was a fan, I’m pretty sure I was a 49ers fan Divisional Playoffs - Green Bay Packers v San Franciso 49erseven before I was born. An in-vitro, diehard, bleed red (my blood is actually red), Niner fanatic. My earliest gridiron memories are seeing the team play at Candlestick Park in the early 1970s with John Brodie, Gene Washington, Cedric Hardman and Dave Wilcox being largely responsible for my life long obsession with football. However, after the 10-3 season of 1970, I suffered through a lot of really bad teams, bad coaches and bad players (does Steve DeBerg ring a bell?) before we were rewarded with the glory days of the 1980s and 90s. When Joe and Jerry, Brent and Ronnie, Roger, Charles, Dana, Harris, Bryant, Eric, Steve, Guy, Keena, Dwight and JT arrived to lift the deserving fan base to a religious glory every Sunday. One Super Bowl would have been a Godsend, but we won five glorious Lombardi Trophies (1981, ’84, ’88, ’89 and ’94) during a run of sixteen seasons with at least ten wins. Flash forward 20 years, after some ups and downs, the team now has a brand spanking new state-of-the-art stadium in Santa Clara, a proven coach in Jim Harbaugh and an incredibly popular team of hard working (Colin Kaepernick, Michael Crabtree, Vernon Davis, Joe Staley and Frank Gore) and hard hitting (Patrick Willis, Navorro Bowman and Justin Smith) players committed to achieving the ultimate goal. The future is bright if the Yorks can keep it all together and the franchise has 1.3 billion reasons to keep it all together.

Oakland Raiders:

The Raiders were founded in Oakland in 1960, but didn’t join the NFL until 1970 when the league merged with the AFL. oakland-raiders4I’ve only been to one Raider game in my lifetime and that was one game too many. Growing up, my two favorite teams were the Forty-niners and anyone playing the Raiders. I think the term is “Raider Hater.” I never denied the Raiders success (Super Bowl victories in 1976, 1980 and 1983), but I never bought into the whole Al Davis “Commitment to Excellence,” when there were years when the team and players weren’t really committed to Excellence. Ok, maybe there was a small (regional) snob part of me that took pride in the Raider’s good fortunes, mostly because I’ve always been a fan of certain players including; Kenny “The Snake” Stabler, Howie Long, Dave Casper, Tim Brown, Jim Plunkett, Marcus Allen, Rich Gannon and Steve Wisniewski. The move to Los Angeles (1982-1994) was unforgivable, even if they did come back. If I were to show a slight glimpse of compassion or hope for the team it would only so my friends who are Raider’s fans can hold their head up high once again.

Golden State Warriors:

The Warriors moved to San Francisco from Philadelphia in 1962. They changed their name to Golden State in 1971 and Denver Nuggets v Golden State Warriors - Game Fourmoved to Oakland in ’72. I wasn’t a big basketball fan until the Warriors won their one and only NBA Championship concluding the ’74-75 season. With a line-up that included Rick Berry, Clifford Ray, Jaamal Wilkes and Phil Smith, the Dubs (Ws) shocked the NBA when they beat the Washington Bullets 4-0. My first Warriors game was in the Fall of 1976. By then the team had begun their downward decent. Through no lack of effort from key players such as Sleepy Floyd, Joe Barry Carroll, Pervis Short and Bernard King, the team didn’t become relevant again until the emergence of Run TMC (Tim Hardaway, Mitch Richmond and Chris Mullen) during the mid-1990s. Again, the team went through another horrendous dry spell, while fans rooted for the likes of talented, yet not real likeable, players such as Latrell Spreewell, Chris Weber, Stephen Jackson, Byron Davis and Monte Ellis. Thanks to the new ownership group of Joe Luber and Peter Gruber and a planned new home in San Francisco, the Warriors have placed the future of the franchise in the hands of superstar Stephen Curry and his supporting cast which includes Klay Thompson, David Lee, Andre Iguodala and Andrew Bogut. All I can say is, I believe!

Oakland A’s:

While the A’s originated in Philadelphia, the team moved to Oakland from Kansas City in 1968. My earliest memory of Oakland Athletics v Houston Astrosthe A’s was watching afternoon World Series games on an old black & white TV set in my elementary school classrooms while they ran the table winning three consecutive titles in 1972, ’73 and ’74 with a charismatic line-up that included Reggie Jackson, Vida Blue, Rollie Fingers, Catfish Hunter, Campy Campaneris and Captain, Sal Bando. While my heart belonged to the Giants, I did learn to appreciate the Swinging A’s for their speed, power and pitching, whether it was Billy Ball or Money Ball. What’s more amazing is those Amazing A’s stacked the deck again in the late 1980s with the bash brothers – Mark McGuire and Jose Conseco, Ricky Henderson, Dave Stewart and Dennis Eckersly. This time they won three consecutive American League Championships in 1988, ’89 and ‘90, but captured only one World Series – when they beat the Giants in 1989. Sadly, the most notable event of that series was the Loma Prieta earthquake. Today, a group of green and gold overachievers have won two consecutive American League West pennants thanks to Jake Donaldson, Brandon Moss, Coco Crisp and Scott Kasmir. The Giants will always be “my team,” but I like to think of the A’s as their adorable little brother who I can root for to win best team in their league.

San Francisco Giants:

The Giants moved New York to San Francisco for the start of 1958 season with a talented young outfielder named Willie San Francisco Giants v Arizona DiamondbacksMays. They added a rookie infielder named Orlando Cepeda and in 1959 brought up another rookie, 1st baseman Willie McCovey. I attended my first Giants game in 1966 at the ripe old age of four and I’ve been hooked ever since. As up and down (mostly down) as the Giants were for so many years, with players such as Gaylord Perry, Juan Marichal, Bobby Bonds, Chris Spier, John Montefusco, Atlee Hammacker, Will Clark, Jack Clark, Candy Maldenado, Jeffrey Leonard, Dave Draveky, Mike Krukow, Duane Kiper, Jeff Kent, Chile Davis, Darrel Evens, Matt Williams, Robbie Thompson, and a relatively productive homerun hitter named Barry Bonds, my prayers were finally answered when the team won their first World Series title in 2010 and then miraculously did it again in 2012. I’m secure enough in my masculinity to admit I shed actual tears when I attended the Giants World Series parade following their World Championship victories. I can only hope that with a nucleolus of charismatic players including Posey, Pence, Pegan, the Panda, the Freak, the baby giraffe, Mad Bomb, Crawford, Hutty and Romo, I’ll have another chance to cry like a little girl after another World Series.

Name me another geographic area in the 50 United States that can boast such a preeminent line-up of successful sports teams. You can’t. Oh sure, there’s Chicago (Bulls, Bears, White Sox, Cubs, Blackhawks and Fire) or Philadelphia (76ers, Eagles, Phillies, Flyers and Union), but those areas have crappy weather that can make it difficult to get to the games so we win by default. Even when I attended college in Southern California, it was loyalty over location. I could never ever root for the Rams, Dodgers, Lakers, Clippers, Angels, Ducks or LA Raiders even if I did live amongst their people. Appreciate what we have—the teams, the players and the venues—because it’s as good as it gets anywhere.

This article is dedicated to Paul Hirsch. Paul was a great guy, a talented writer and a respected colleague. I was always a big fan of his sports-related articles. Paul’s contributions to the magazine will be missed as will his presence in community.

Get Your ZEN On & Reduce Stress…Ahhh

Your alarm screams in your ears, and you are jolted out of a deep sleep. You look at the clock on your nightstand in utter disbelief. “But I just lay down!” you protest.

After you slide out of your cozy cocoon, your feet hit the floor—running. Frantically, you remind yourself not to forget to pay the mortgage, update your ex about the parent-teacher meeting, and call a plumber about the dripping bathroom faucet. Then, you bolt to the kitchen, practically tripping over your Labradoodle, Isabelle, as you beeline toward your coffee maker.

Sound familiar? For many of us, in today’s fast-paced world, chronic rushing is a way of life. Of course, being productive is admirable; however, making a lifestyle out of rushing is quite another story. Chronic “hurrying” becomes problematic when we feel uncomfortable slowing down…and don’t take breaks to recharge.503526463 copy

In your own life, do you find that it’s often difficult to slow down during the day? If so, then you may be experiencing the “Inner Pusher/Do-er” part of yourself taking over. Unfortunately, for some people, when this high-achieving part becomes too domineering, it can create stress-related health challenges.

I remember, as a kid, hearing my mother say many times that she hadn’t stopped or sat down—all day long. She was a stay-at-home mom who kept the house absolutely spotless. However, she paid a high price health-wise for her inability to stop, take some nice deep breaths, and recharge. Mom’s blood pressure stayed extremely high for several years. Unfortunately, medication didn’t solve her health problem.

Being in a chronic state of rushing can create anxiety and bring on fight-or-flight responses. In this hyper-alert state, our minds and bodies make us feel as though “saber-toothed tigers” are chasing us. As a result, stress hormones, like adrenaline and cortisol, are released.

I, too, have a strong “Inner Pusher/Do-er” part—that loves to achieve. Thank goodness, back in my college years, I learned how to meditate. As a result, meditation helped me create more internal balance. And now, I have been a meditator for over two decades…and I’m grateful for this peaceful practice.

When I first became a meditator and got a taste of some of the benefits, I suggested my mom consider trying it. As a result of learning to meditate and practicing every day, her high blood pressure went down substantially. My mom’s doctor asked her if anything had changed in her life. She told him the only change was that she was meditating twice a day.

Over the last thirty years, more than one thousand studies exploring the effects of meditation have been reported in scientific publications. Brain scans, EEGs, and blood tests are only a few of the scientific research methods used. These studies provide evidence of the physical and psychological benefits of meditation.

Potential Benefits of Meditation:

• Reduced stress-related diseases (including heart disease)
• Lowered blood pressure
• Decreased anxiety & depression
• Increased concentration & creativity
• Improved coordination & motor skills

Meditation invites us to calm the tensions of our minds and bodies by learning how to slow down and let go. In my book, Stress Reduction Journal—Meditate and Journal Your Way to Better Health, I teach readers, step-by-step, how to meditate.

The good news is, by breaking the cycle of a continual doing mode, you can gently relax into a being mode that honors the present moment. Finally, if you’re ready to receive practical tools to help you “get your ZEN on”—and reduce stress—then call me for a private session or sign-up for one of my workshops or groups.

Trina’s Upcoming FUN & Empowering Events:

1) “The ZEN of Sketching,” for details go to and click on “Private Sessions & Workshops.” Join her for this CREATIVE FUN!

2) Guided Imagery for Weight Loss: INSPIRING groups are now forming! Receive holistic, leading-edge tools (based on 30 years of research) while getting heartfelt support from Trina. Get ready to “lighten up,” from the inside out—after all, belly laughs DO burn calories! Email for details:

3) Managing Emotional and Compulsive Eating—a one-evening workshop for women and men—at John Muir Women’s Health Center in Walnut Creek: Thursday, Oct 16, 6:30-8:30 pm. Fee: $40 (includes self-hypnosis for weight loss: 2-CD set). Register today: (925) 941-7900 option 3.

Trina Swerdlow, BFA, CCHT, is a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist, an author and artist. She has a private practice in downtown Danville. You can reach her at: (925) 285.5759, or

Certified Clinical Hypnotherapy services in California can be alternative or complementary to licensed healing arts, such as psychotherapy.

Hail to the Sprout

You either love them or hate them. There doesn’t seem to be any middle-ground on the subject of Brussels sprouts. I’ve given up trying to convert picky eaters. I figure their culinary prejudice is their loss and my gain.476253453

A new crop of Brussels sprouts arrives at the farmers’ market this month, right along with dates, figs, and pomegranates (I’m convinced this is nature’s way of softening the blow that summer is almost over). There’s no point in waiting until Thanksgiving to start enjoying these gifts of early autumn. Be the first on your block to get them while they’re young and tender!

The only thing I don’t like about Brussels sprouts is their name. Brussels? Really? Anyone who has driven through California’s cool-weather regions knows that long ago we staked claim to these tiny cabbage-like veggies. Just as the once-imported Belgian endive has now become California endive (from our very own Rio Vista), I think these cruciferous cuties deserve an updated moniker. But hey, that’s just me.

Brussels sprouts have gotten a bad rap from the poor cooking methods used by our unwitting ancestors. Even I will admit that a pot of sprouts boiling away on top of the stove produces an unappetizing aroma (and I’m being really diplomatic here) that is enough to scare off both children and adults. Fortunately there’s an easy fix. Sprouts actually smell divine when roasted in the oven. Who knew? To serve them as a side-dish at dinner, just follow Step 1 of the recipe below. They will rock your world.

For better or worse, family recipes have been passed down for generations. The internet now provides access to the wisdom of good cooks all over the world. Okay, there are some horrible recipes out there, but for the most part, the internet is an endless source of information.

Following is my adaptation of a recipe found on the very reliable The headnote to the recipe explains the creator had wanted to duplicate the flavors of an appetizer she enjoyed at a New York restaurant. Well, I’ve never been to that restaurant but I tried her interpretation and liked it. A lot. Then I tweaked it a bit to create my own version….and so another recipe was born. Once you try these, you may decide to put your own touch on them…and that’s fine. Just make them.

One of the ingredients I use is something you won’t find on a grocery shelf, but it’s very easy to make. Years ago I was introduced to garlic honey by L. John Harris, luminary in the Berkeley food scene of the 1970’s and author of The Book of Garlic and The Official Garlic Lovers Handbook. I shared his recipe in this column a couple of years back, but it deserves repeating. I rank its creation right up there with the invention of the wheel. I am simply crazy about the way garlic lends its punch to good local honey, adding an unexpected dimension to savory recipes.

The next time you gather with friends, serve these Crispy Brussels Sprouts with drinks. It’s a fool proof way to separate the lovers from the haters.

Sprouted Thoughts

–Brussels sprouts are believed to have first been cultivated in 16th-century Belgium.
–Look for small, bright green sprouts with compact heads and no yellowing. The smaller the sprouts, the more tender they will be.
–If you buy sprouts that are still on the stalk, leave them there until you’re ready to cook. It will keep them from drying out.
–Refrigerate unwashed sprouts in an airtight plastic bag for up to 5 days, though using them sooner rather than later is a good idea. After about 3 days off the stalk, sprouts will begin to develop a strong flavor.
–Remember that sprouts purchased at the farmers’ market have been harvested within 24 hours. Sprouts from the supermarket? Um, not so much.
Crispy Brussels sprouts with Garlic Honey, Sriracha, and Lime

2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved through the stem end
3 to 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon coarse (kosher) salt, or more to taste
6 tablespoons Garlic Honey (recipe follows) or plain local honey
2 tablespoons Sriracha hot sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, or more to taste
1 tablespoon soy sauce

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. On a baking sheet, toss the Brussels sprouts with enough oil to coat generously. Season with salt and toss again. Arrange the sprouts in a single layer, cut-side down. Cook, shaking the pan once or twice to prevent sticking, until the sprouts are browned at the edges and tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife, 20 to 25 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix together the honey, Sriracha, lime juice, and soy sauce.

3. Scrape the warm Brussels sprouts into the Sriracha mixture, tossing to coat. Taste, adding more salt or lime juice if needed. Transfer to a warm shallow bowl or platter and serve at once with cocktail picks. Serves 6 to 8 as an appetizer.

Garlic Honey
12 ounces local honey (about 1 scant cup)
5 to 6 California garlic cloves, crushed with the flat side of a knife and peeled

1. In a small saucepan, combine the honey and garlic. Cook over low heat until warmed through, about 5 minutes. Let cool. Pour the mixture into a jar or other airtight container and let stand 48 hours at room temperature to blend flavors.

2. Strain the honey through a sieve and discard the garlic. Use at once, or refrigerate and return to room temperature before using. Makes about 1 cup.

Garlic Honey can also be used as an accompaniment to cornbread or biscuits; drizzled over a wedge of Gorgonzola cheese or fresh whole-milk ricotta; or as a last-minute basting glaze for pork, chicken, or duck.

The Danville Certified Farmers’ Market, located at Railroad and Prospect, is open every Saturday, rain or shine, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. For specific crop information call the Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association at 1-800-949-FARM, or visit their web site at This market is made possible through the generous support of the Town of Danville. Please show your appreciation by patronizing the many fine shops and restaurants located in downtown Danville. Buy fresh. Buy local. Live well.

2014 Fall Spotlight

Look Ahead. The beauty fashion forecast predicts Vintage Sophistication with a Modern Edge. On the runways you see polished skin, poetic eyes, and provocative lips. Full on femininity steps into the spotlight this Fall. Mattelier marries vintage beauty with magnetic, modern women. She’s cool. She’s captivating. She thoughtfully groomed; confident and carefree.

Fall Complexion: Fall skin needs to be velvety soft with an effortless sophistication. Sheer powders in matte and satin finishes will smooth and impart a subtle radiance with a polished luminosity to the skin for that silky youthful glow for pure complexion confidence.

All Eyes On You: This Fall stand out from the crowd with colors that make you unique. An assortment of soft burgundy’s, deep navy’s, indigo and khaki green, are in the forecast as being the new colors this Fall. Have it all-in-one with eye shadow trio’s that give you a multi-dimensional look in one convenient case. Eye Liners step it up this season with new rich navy’s that glide on oh-so-sweet. Highlight the brow by using a white highlighter right under the eyebrow to give the crest that sleek and smooth pro-look.

Focal Point: New waterproof gel eyeliners have been a hit this year with the intense staying power it provides. Now you can spice things up with new trendy Fall colors such as navy, vibrant green and velvety deep plums.

Super Volume X Lengthening Mascara’s, dramatically boosts volume, to make lashes look thicker and even more lavish than ever. The lash plumping formula coats each lash with a special long-lasting volume ingredient that won’t flake, clump or smudge and will give the lashes a wonderful defined big lash look that gets noticed.

Fall Lip Pallete’s: Volumizing lip color in matte neutrals, nude pinks and subtle reds are on the radar this Fall for it’s ultra feminine voluptuous full lip look. These new lip color formulas have a super high-impact volumizer that provides fuller lips, creamy coverage, and glossy smoothness for the ultimate charm appeal. Volumizing plumper’s leave lips lush and smoothes out lines. The long-wearing formula locks in silky color with exceptional benefits.

The Rouge will be offering complimentary Fall Spotlight Make-up Updates starting September 10th through October 31. Please make an appointment Tuesday through Saturday and discover what the new seasonal colors will do for you and uncover your place in the spotlight this Fall.

Book Review: Good Grief Cooking

Lisa Rubino’s newest cook book,  Good Grief Cooking is anything but the typical cook book. Rubino takes readers through her personal journey with food and provides insight into why she included the recipes that she did. This cook book is meant for the average person with quick and easy recipes that don’t sacrifice on taste and fit into any lifestyle.perf7.500x9.250.indd

Good Grief Cooking begins with humans’ relationship with food all the way back to Adam and Eve. Rubino explains how food is always there for us through good and bad times and discusses the impact it can have on our lives. Every chapter she encourages readers to use food in a positive and healthy way just as she has done.

As Rubino tells readers the ups and downs of her life, she proves that there is no excuse to not cook healthy and delicious food for yourself. If a reader does need encouragement though, Good Grief Cooking is chock-full of it. With Lisa’s “if I can do it, you can do it” attitude and words of inspiration before each list of ingredients, everyone will want to try her fun recipes.

Every chapter has different types of recipes to help with certain feelings such as grief, anxiety, stress, ect.. There’s even a chapter dedicated to those who can help cheer you up the most, your pets! Rubino created dishes that you and your pets can enjoy together. There’s also a chapter dedicated to a trip gone wrong to Cuba, full of new and exciting ways to cook rice and beans. Other chapters have strictly breakfast dishes or just chicken cuisine, but my favorite recipes are the ones for desserts. The dessert chapter is a reward to its readers for getting through life’s struggles and oh boy, what a reward it is!

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Rubino’s biographical cook book and look forward to trying more of her mouth watering recipes. No matter how little cooking skills you have or what tastes you have, Good Grief Cooking has something for you. This book will help you through your struggles and encourage you to cook up something great. perf7.500x9.250.indd

If you’ve suffered from a lose that has you feeling hopeless and helpless, then you can’t miss Lisa Rubino sharing her personal journey of victory over grief, one bite at a time.

She’s written Good Grief Cooking for all those who have suffered from a serious lose. Discover how you can regain contentment and joy, by learning to make healthy food choices. Lisa is a real cook for real people, just like you.

Get a taste of Lisa’s unique recipes by joining her at The Lafayette Library, 3491 Mt. Diablo Blvd, Lafayette, Ca. 94549 on September 29th at 6:30 pm.

2014 Lincoln MKZ

President Lincoln once said “Adhere to your purpose and you will soon feel as well as you ever did. On the contrary, if you falter, and give up, you will lose the power of keeping any resolution, and will regret it all your life.” I won’t be surprised if this quote is posted all over the Ford – Lincoln headquarters as Ford has never given up on Lincoln and instead has breathed new life into the brand. This evolution is illuminated in the passion expressed in each of their models and shines through in the details, quality and vision.

The Lincoln models were once slightly modified clones of existing Fords, but this is clearly no longer the reality. The Lincolns of today have their own personality, styling and sexiness. They are both amazing to drive and to ogle.

The 2014 Lincoln MKZ is a pure example of how Lincoln has infused elegant design, technology and performance into one package. The 2014 MKZ represents the reinvented Lincoln in both style and substance: stunning design wrapped around intuitive, purposeful technology. The first vehicle from the dedicated Lincoln Design Studio, is the new MKZ, which sold in record numbers after arriving in dealerships earlier this year.2013 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid

The MKZ is classified as a “mid-size” vehicle and is available in two trim variations: Base and Hybrid. “Base” does not mean “basic,” but instead simply “non-hybrid.” The MKZ comes standard in front-wheel drive and can be ordered with an optional AWD system. The Hybrid is only available in FWD.

The base version comes standard with a 2.0-liter EcoBoost® turbo-charged 4-cylinder engine that produces 240 horsepower and 270 lb.-ft. of torque and yields 22 mpg city and 33 mpg highway. If you require a few more horses under the hood, you can purchase the MKZ with a 3.7-liter V6 motor that generates 300 horsepower and 277 lb.-ft. of torque and earns mpg ratings of 19 city and 28 highway. Both engines are mated to a version of Lincoln’s electronic 6-speed automatic transmission with SelectShift Automatic™ and paddle shift activation.

The Hybrid model is equipped with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with a permanent magnet AC synchronous motor. Together they deliver 38 mpg city and 37 mpg highway. The transmission is an Electronic Continuously Variable Powersplit.

The Lincoln MKZ was completely overhauled for the 2013 model year, and it now embodies the future of Lincoln’s design language. The MKZ has beautifully flowing lines from front to back. Lincoln toned down the massive wing grille to produce a more subtle and elegant appearance. The grille wings draw upwards blending into the headlamps. The rear window slopes right into the trunk lid which swoops up into the spoiler. From the rear quarter panels to the large rectangle dual export ports, the entire rear portion of the XKZ is masculine and sporty.

The interior felt upscale with futuristic touches including touch bars to increase or decrease the radio volume or raise or lower the fan speed. Who needs a shift? The MXZ eliminated the normal center console transmission shifter replacing it with buttons on the dash starting with a start/stop ignition button. This freed up space in the center console for more storage and cup holders. Speaking of the center console, it has a “Volvo-like” floating design creating two additional places for storage underneath the console.2013 Lincoln MKZ

MyLincoln Touch has voice controls that take the reins over secondary controls, with buttons on the steering wheel offering redundant ways to command the system. The touchscreen allows you to page through everything from radio, phone, and climate control to navigation and more. Of course, to keep your hands on the wheel, you can always use the SYNC system; Ford’s Bluetooth-based system that allows users to command the XKZ to make, change or request operations including the ability to set a radio station or set an address for the navigation system.

The 2014 Lincoln MKZ is equipped with the Lincoln Drive Control (LDC), which is an automatic system that delivers an ideal balance of a smooth ride with confident handling, as it intuitively responds to driver commands and the road. The LDC coordinates the performance of the Continuously Controlled Damping (CCD) adjustable suspension, electric power-assisted steering (EPAS) and Active Noise Control (ANC) systems.

Cool Features:
• Touch bars for radio volume and fan speeds (optional)
• Shifter buttons
• Retractable panoramic roof (optional)

Safety on the 2014 Lincoln MKZ includes the following standard safety features: antilock brakes (ABS), stability control, traction control, driver and front passenger airbags and knee airbags, front and rear side curtain airbags, crash sensing system, Post-Crash Alert system. Optional safety items include: rear view camera, blind spot monitor with cross-traffic alert; all-wheel drive.

In Summary – The 2014 Lincoln MKZ is a hot seller for Lincoln and once you see it and take it for a ride; it’s not hard to understand why. It has sophisticated styling, smart high-tech features, respectable handling and three good engine choices that earn top mpg. The interior is comfortable and well-crafted. I would also recommend stopping by a participating Lincoln dealership and asking about their Date Night promotion. You’ll receive a Lincoln for a 48-hour time period as well as a $100 gift card.

I want to give a special thanks to Sara Schleske, Marketing Manager, at Livermore Ford Lincoln, for her assistance with our test drive and setting up our Date Night test drive.

2014 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid

Base price: $35,925 as driven: $45,645 (including destination & optional
Engine: 2.0-liter Turbocharged 4-cylinder
Horsepower: 188 @ 6,000 RPM
Torque: 129 @ 4,000 RPM
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Drive: FWD Drive
Seating: 5-passenger
Turning circle: 38.0 feet
Cargo space: 11.1 cubic feet
Curb weight: 3,828pounds
Fuel capacity: 13.5 gallons
EPA mileage: City 38/Hwy 37
Wheel Base: 112.2 inches
Warranty: 4 years/50,000 miles powertrain limited
Also consider: Acura TL, Buick LaCrosse, Lexus ES 300h, Infiniti Q50 Hybrid

A Natural Approach to Healing Neuropathy

Peripheral Neuropathy is a condition in which there is damage to the peripheral nervous system, which transmits information from the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body. This can result in pain, tingling, loss of feeling, and inability to control muscles. As with any other condition, there is no “one size fits all” remedy for those suffering from this malady and treatment may vary depending on the cause and severity. However, many individuals find relief using natural remedies.

Peripheral Neuropathy is a condition that affects people in every walk of life. It is estimated that 20 million Americans and 60% of diabetics suffer from this disorder. There are hundreds of different kinds of neuropathy, the symptoms of which include burning, tingling, weakness, numbness, paralysis, and dull to excruciating pain – especially in the limbs.

Although many neuropathies have no known cause, neuropathy is often associated with another condition, such as: Diabetes, HIV, shingles, toxins, autoimmune disorders, neurological conditions, carpal tunnel syndrome, and malnutrition. Statin (cholesterol) drugs and chemotherapy can also cause neuropathy.

While medications can sometimes help with the symptoms, they cannot be relied upon to restore the health of the nerves. Most often, the drugs that treat Neuropathy leave the sufferer feeling intoxicated and hopeless to lead a normal active life.

Understanding the Nervous System

Nerves carry the electrical signals that allow us to move, feel, breathe, digest, detoxify, respond to our environment, and much more. Nerves are the electrical wiring of the human body. Plain and simple, if the nerves do not work the body will not work, in some capacity. It is also important to understand that unlike other tissues, the primary blood supply to nerve tissue is actually located WITHIN the nerve itself. So, if a nerve becomes impinged or compromised, so does the blood supply to the nerve. Without proper blood supply, the nerve does not receive the energy and nutrition that is needed for the nerve to heal. Over time neural impingement leads to a painful chronic condition called Neuropathy.
How can I heal my neuropathy?

1. Class IV laser therapy.

Ending the pain caused by neuropathy requires reversing the cause of nerve damage. Class IV laser therapy is an excellent method for this, because it is presently the only modality that can both reduce pain and heal tissue simultaneously. Laser therapy creates an optimal healing environment that reduces swelling, muscle spasms, stiffness and pain. As the injured tissue returns to normal, function is restored and pain is quickly relieved. In other words, NO MORE pain, NO MORE numbness, NO MORE tingling, and NO MORE burning!

2. Test for nutritional deficiencies.

A single nutrient deficiency can contribute to any number of disorders of the nervous system, including neuropathy, migraines and even Alzheimer’s. We use SpectraCell Lab’s patented micronutrient test to measure the function of selected vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other essential micronutrients within your white blood cells. Standard blood tests do not measure if the nutrient is properly functioning within the body.

With the proper combination of holistic therapies it is possible to heal your nerve pain and in the process feel more alive and energetic than you have in years. Depending on the type and severity of neuropathy, we have witnessed patients begin to get relief after the first visit and with continued care receive complete relief long-term.

Dr. Niele Maimone of Align Healing Center in Danville, CA has been active in natural health & wellness since 1999. For more information or to set up a consult call 925.362.8283 or visit

Apple-Nectarine Combo Tree?

Q. Earlier this summer, I planted a Fuji Apple and a nectarine tree together in the same hole as my front and back yards are too small. What’s going to happen when they both start to fruit?nectarapple

A. I’m not sure that anything negative is going to happen when they start to fruit. That said, there are other more pressing concerns that need to be addressed before they get to that point. Small yards are a dilemma for gardeners looking to grow a variety of different types of fruits. The typical, semi-dwarf fruit tree, fifteen to eighteen feet high, with a twelve-foot spread, is much too big. The idea of planting multiple trees in a single hole is a great solution: however, the trees have to be compatible with the same watering requirements and have a similar growth pattern. Unfortunately, that is not the case with your choices, as they’re very dissimilar.

Nectarines have an umbrella shape canopy while an apple growth pattern is stiff and upright. Nectarines are pruned annually, removing fifty to sixty percent of the growth while with apples, you remove about ten or fifteen percent. As these trees mature, this combination will look very odd and awkward in the landscape. The key issue is the watering requirements. Apples tolerate frequent summer watering while nectarines do not; hence, planting under their canopies is not recommended and that’s a problem with small yards. Personally, I think there is little chance that you’ll be successful with this grouping. You’re going to have to remove one of the trees and replace it with a variety that better fits the location.

Apples, Pears and Asian Pears are best planted together. This is your best choice as you can maximize the planting space under the canopy. Peaches, Nectarines, Apricots, Plums, Plumcots and Pluots are the other groupings. Planting two, three, or even four fruit trees in the same hole will work. They’re spaced no closer than two feet apart. The grouping is viewed as a single canopy with multiple trunks and each variety is pruned accordingly.

It’s important to layer the different branches of each variety so they aren’t growing into one another along with minimizing the rubbing and crossing branches and eliminating the congestion in the center of the trees. It’s critical that these trees be pruned annually as one variety may be more aggressive than another. You prevent this by limiting each variety to a certain percentage of the space, fifty, or twenty-five percent etc, depending on the number in the grouping.

Also, it’s important that you have access around the entire diameter of the canopy to prune efficiently. It’s not as difficult as it might seem when planned correctly. In addition, whatever combination you choose, select varieties with different ripening times. This allows you to space the crops out so they don’t ripen in the same week and a half. And finally, the selection at your favorite garden center is very limited now so I suggest you wait until January for the new selection of trees to arrive

Buzz Bertolero is Executive Vice President of Navlet’s Garden Centers and a California Certified Nursery Professional. His web address is and you can send questions by email at or to 360 Civic Drive Ste. ‘D’, Pleasant Hill, Calif. 94523 and on Facebook at