2016 Mazda CX-5

I was talking yesterday with a young lady in her late 20s and the next vehicle on her shopping list needed to be an SUV or Crossover. She wanted to be free to take off camping or on a road trip with confidence knowing she could handle most terrains. Women, and quite honestly, I too, enjoy the extra seating height that you get with SUVs and Crossovers. That said, let’s not forget the extra versatility and cargo capacity. One excellent choice in this very competitive market is the 2016 Mazda CX-5.

The Mazda CX-5 is heading into its fourth year and for 2016, this Mazda has been slightly updated with styling improvements and touches of refinement. Some of the changes for 2016 include a new grille, new 19” alloy wheel design on the Grand Touring trim, electronic parking brake replaces hand brake, and Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio on the Sport model. The mid-size crossover segment is crowded with fellow class mates including the Ford Escape, Chevrolet Equinox, Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue, Subaru Forester and Toyota RAV4.Alive media magazine july 2016 Mazda CX-5 passing lane 2

For 2016, the Mazda CX-5 is featured in three trim levels: Sport ($22,083), Touring ($25,400), and Grand Touring ($28,316). The Sport is now equipped with the SKYACTIV-G 2.5L engine that replaces the 2.0L on the Sport automatic transmission FWD model, where the manual transmission models keep the 2.0L. All other models come with the SKYACTIV-G 2.5L engine and a 6-speed automatic transmission. All trim levels come standard with Front Wheel Drive and are available in All Wheel Drive. Only the Sport trim is available with a 6-speed manual transmission.

Mazda is known for taking the sporty design elements of its sedans and incorporating them into their crossover vehicles. The CX-5 is no exception with its bold lines and athletic stance, big wheel arches, and a rising window line. The roofline runs similar to the recently unveiled CX-3 model – raised at the front as it melts into the rear hatch.

The interior is layered in soft-touch surfaces and premium materials that adorn the cabin. Cloth upholstery is standard; however, real leather is an available option. My test model was the Grand Touring in two-tone white and black with luxury seats. Other manufacturers have a tendency to overload a vehicle with low-end materials like replica- wood trim. The CX-5 does not follow this trend which helps contribute to its upscale interior. Mazda upgraded the CX-5’s info-tainment system for 2016, which includes a new 7-inch touch screen.Alive media magazine july 2016 Mazda CX-5 interior passing lane

The 2016 Mazda CX-5 seats four adults and one child comfortably. In the back seat, the middle bench is best reserved for smaller individuals. A child might fit best here. Behind the rear seats, the CX-5 can hold up to 34.1 cubic feet of cargo and with the rear seats folded, the capacity increases to 64.8 cubic feet.

The CX-5 engages the road as it controls winding roads with precise steering and good feedback. The ride is comfortable; however, I would give higher marks to its competitor, the Chevrolet Equinox.

Cool Features:

  • Bose® AM/FM/CD/SAT radio
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert
  • Push Button Start

Safety on the 2016 Mazda CX-5 has very good ratings earning the best possible grade of Good in all five crash tests of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, rear cross traffic alert, and forward collision warning with low-speed automatic braking are available in both CX-5 models.

In Summary –The 2016 Mazda CX-5 is a great crossover for the money. Many of its competitors come with more features, but at a higher price. The reworking of this Mazda for 2016 helps to elevate the CX-5. It is worth taking a test drive and having a little fun while you’re at it.


2016 Mazda CX-5 Touring FWD

Base price:                  $28,220as driven: $32,660 (including destination & optional

Engine:                       2.5-liter SKYACTIV-G 4-cylinder

Horsepower:             155 @ 6,000 RPM

Torque:                       150 @ 4,000 RPM

Transmission:            6-speed automatic

Drive:                          FWD Drive

Seating:                       5-passenger

Turning circle:           36.7 feet

Cargo space:              34.1 cubic feet

Curb weight:              3,212 pounds

Fuel capacity:            14.8 gallons

EPA mileage:             City 26/Hwy 33

Wheel Base:                106.3 inches

Warranty:                   6 years/60,000 miles powertrain limited

Also consider:            Ford Escape, Chevrolet Equinox, Honda CR-V, Nissan

Rogue, Subaru Forester and Toyota RAV4


He Said/She Said with Robin and Shawn

Dear SSHS,

I’ve been dating a guy exclusively for nearly three months, and when I posted on social media some pics of us at a party, he saw them and asked me to take them down.  He said he just didn’t like his personal life exposed, but I wonder if I should be suspecting something else.             –Suspicious in Walnut Creek

She Said: He saw them, so that means he’s on social media. My guess is that he’s either not really free to be in a relationship or that he just doesn’t want to appear to be, maybe keeping his options open. If you haven’t already done this, ask him what he thinks of you listing his name on your relationship status on FB. If he’s fine with it, you’ve got nothing to be suspicious about. If he doesn’t approve, it’s time to ask some serious questions. I know people who really just don’t like personal information out there, and maybe that’s all it is. Help us out here, Shawn. What’s going on in this guy’s head?

He Said: I can completely relate and understand where this guy is coming from. Robin makes some very good points about being suspicious and you should heed her warnings. BUT, and this is a very BIG BUT, there’s a good chance he doesn’t want his personal life broadcast to the world. I can relate to this 100% because I am not on any social media and I want to keep it that way. If I haven’t posted my life on the internet, I don’t want other people doing it for me. There’s a large population of people out there, men especially, that don’t see the appeal in Facebook or other social sites. Who we want to know about our personal lives, we’ve already told, personally.

Dear HSSS,

What’s considered the proper protocol these days for ending a dating relationship that hasn’t really become intimate?  Can we just sort of fade away or does there need to be an actual defining closure?                                                                                       –Lost Interest in San Ramon

He Said: Just because there’s no intimacy doesn’t mean that there aren’t emotions and feelings that developed along the way. And how long the relationship lasted is not a good barometer also. A lot of people fall for someone in a short amount of time and that becomes the sticky point. The main thing to consider is how will their emotions be affected by your actions? My thoughts are this: if you faded into the relationship then you can fade out. But if you started hot and heavy on the emotional side of things, then you owe it to the other person to provide definitive closure and not just turn into a ghost and disappear.

She Said: It sure is easier to fade away, and I’ve been guilty of that, but my higher self always feels better making the call. It doesn’t have to be long and drawn out. Something like, “Hey thanks for meeting me, I don’t have a lot of time, but I just wanted to let you know that I’m moving on and feel the need to end our relationship.”  Have a place you need to get to, so that the Q/A portion doesn’t go on uncomfortably long. Note: long-term relationships deserve way more closure time than this.

Robin Fahr is a communications specialist and host of Conversations seen daily on Tri-Valley TV, HeSaidSheSaidgraphicChannel 30 and online at trivalleytv.org. Shawn and Robin also host He Said/She Said on TheTalkPod.com.  Send your questions to AskHeSaidSheSaid.com.

Summer Cleansing


One of the secrets to beautiful skin is treating it once or twice a month to a facial masque, such as a deep exfoliant or a micro scrub and collagen booster. Facial Masques deeply penetrate the surface of the skin giving it that velvety smooth feeling, while the complexion looks silky, firm and youthful. Like having a professional facial, you can get the same results with some simple treatments at home, for a fraction of the cost, and have fun while doing it.  Each masque can do up to 20 facials and it only takes 30 minutes to have gorgeous looking skin.

What you can expect: Reduce the signs of aging, sun damage, and the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.  With professional grade treatments you will achieve beautiful, smooth looking skin and a more youthful radiant complexion, while slowing down the aging process.

Marine Peel: This powerful exfoliator is specially blended to rejuvenate the surface of the skin for a visibly fresher, softer appearance, giving the skin a smooth youthful look. It’s a beautiful summer skin refresher!

Multi-Active Black Mud Masque and Scrub: A dual-action, all-in-one, deep pore exfoliator, removes pore-clogging impurities by removing dead skin cells while promoting cellular turnover. Humectants protect the skin against moisture loss. Looks weird; works amazing!

Collagen Renewal Masque: Vitamin-enriched antioxidant moisture masque revitalizes dry, dehydrated, thirsty skin. It leaves the skin nourished, hydrated and healthy, giving the complexion a radiant more youthful appearance. Goes well with Pellegrino and a twist of lime!

Sea Kelp Masque: Tones, firms, nourishes and replenishes skin with algae extract, sea kelp, Shea butter, Elastin and antioxidants. For a more lifted, firmer and healthier looking complexion.  It’s an instant face lift! Don’t you just love that?

Honey and Almond Masque: This mineral-enriched, active exfoliating masque gently detoxifies the face while restoring skin’s moisture balance. Improves elasticity, unclogs pores, decongests and eliminates dead skin cells, while leaving the skin polished, smooth and revitalized. Goes well with a spa-girls-night-out, laughing hysterically because everyone looks wonky.

For Oily and Acne Skin Types

Blemish Clay Masque: Bentonite is an organic, rich mineral clay that aids in decongesting pores, removes cellular debris and draws out impurities and balances the skin. Highly recommended to control oily skin and minor breakouts. Being in Control is Power!

Acne Control Sulfur Masque: A masque with sulfur, purified clay and strong decongestants will deeply cleanse oily and combination skin types prone to having breakouts and clogged pores. Dries and clears blemishes while preventing new breakouts. May use as a spot treatment overnight to diminish problem areas. Combating problem skin equals empowerment!

At The Rouge Cosmetics our mission is to improve skin health. Dedicated to this purpose, we make one simple promise—provide advanced skin care backed by science and infusing organics. Come in this month and receive a sample of our superior line of new organic facial masques formulated to improve and restore youthful, radiant skin.







Rogers & Hammerstein

“There’s a bright golden haze in the meadow,” are the opening lyrics to the American treasure Oklahoma, the first musical by the legendary team, Rodgers and Hammerstein. Rodgers wrote the music, while Hammerstein supplied the lyrics and libretto to a steady stream of great musicals from the 1940s to the 1950s. Let’s reminisce about their masterworks produced together and separately.

  1. Prior to getting together with Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein wrote the lyrics to the great musical of 1928, Showboat. Who was the music composer of that great show?
  1. Prior to getting together with Hammerstein, Richards Rodgers partnered with a wonderful lyricist in several hit shows of the 1920s and 1930s, such as Pal Joey. Who was that lyricist?
  1. She later won an Oscar for Gentlemen’s Agreement, but she got her first big break playing Ado Annie in R & H’s first hit Oklahoma. Who was she?
  1. Their next big hit was Carousel. The love song between Billy and Julie was the personal favorite of R & H. What was it?
  1. For their next hit, South Pacific, they hired a star from the New York opera to play the male lead and sing “Some Enchanted Evening.” Who was he?
  1. For their next hit, King and I, they chose a star from England who made her career in British music halls and some early Broadway musicals. Who was she?
  1. The most successful movie based on a R & H musical was Sound of Music. Julie Andrews starred in the movie, but who played Maria on Broadway?

Happy Independence Day & More

Without question, July is one of my favorite months. It’s a time of simple pleasures, like bare feet on the packed wet sand of a Santa Cruz beach and feeling the silky wrap of front-porch-warm evenings. It’s also the month I celebrate the anniversaries of two of the happiest days of my life. Forty years ago I scooped every other man alive by marrying the most beautiful woman on the planet and twenty-five ago she and I were blessed by the birth of a son who has, before our eyes, become a man of character of a sort that I aspire to.

Added to these, I share in the broader celebration with most Americans in the recognition of Independence Day—the fourth of July. Of course if you follow much of the main stream media, you might be left with the impression that we have little to celebrate. Bad news sells, after all.

To be sure, we face a number of difficult challenges these days, but we must remember that we have something of enormous power that no other nation on Earth has—something we can depend upon to solve any crisis or challenge—the American spirit. Even in the most difficult of times, America still offers more opportunity, and our people are more inventive and creative than anywhere else. You have that spirit inside if you are a person whose eyes still well when you hear our national anthem.Alive media magazine july 2016 welcome eric johnson fireworks

Our hope and our pride as Americans still come from the same place inside as it did for the great men and women who conceived this nation: That America is called the “United” States because it is, in the end, a group united. Ultimately, we are collections of counties, then cities and towns, then neighborhoods, homes, families and finally, freedom loving individuals.

Every July 4th we celebrate much more than our national liberation—we celebrate our independence as individuals as we enjoy the glorious blessing of freedom which our nation provides.

As I consider the many reasons why July is one of my favorite months, may God bless you and yours as you celebrate your independence. And may He continue to bless the United States of America.

He Said/She Said with Robin and Shawn

Dear SSHS,

I have guests in my home quite regularly, and I’m getting fed up with all the dietary restrictions out there. From gluten and dairy-free to Vegans and Atkins, I feel like I’m running a restaurant when people come to stay. Any suggestions?                                             Juan Menu, Lafayette

concept of dietary restrictionsShe Said: Real food allergies and Celiac disease aside, it is not your obligation to check in with everyone coming to your lovely B&B to see what they will and will not eat. People are constantly jumping in and out of fad diets or eliminating food groups entirely, making it very difficult on hosts. I knew someone who went from Atkins to vegetarian in the same week, and expected everyone to oblige. That’s just bad manners. Do not cater to picky eaters. Issue your invitation and let all know what will be on the menu and that they are welcome to supplement their diets with items brought from home.

He Said: There’s nothing worse than taking the time and effort to host guests in your home then hearing them say they can’t eat this or that. It just makes you want to never have another guest in your house again. You can’t be expected to cater to everyone’s finicky food habits or needs so I suggest you politely ask ahead of time if they have any preferences. If any requests are unreasonable, then simply ask that they bring their own food that meets their needs or point them in the direction of the nearest store that has what they want. You’re providing the shelter and basic food, if they want more than that, that’s on them.

Dear HSSS,

A friend of a friend recently moved to the area, and I’ve been asked to show her around a bit and help her get acquainted with the area. I have a hectic work schedule and family life and really don’t have the time. Plus I don’t care for this person much. How can I get out of this?                         Janice, Danville


He Said: It’s always nice when a local can show a transplant around, but it’s not fair for a friend to expect this of you. First I would explain to your friend that you have other priorities and that you just can’t spare the time. Then, I would definitely let the friend know that you’re not fond of this person. If you don’t, this won’t be the last time this newbie reaches out to you. You can ask your friend to keep this info confidential or not, it’s really up to you. Also, there are literally a million social apps and websites where people can reach out and get info or meet people from an area when they move. Let the technology be their friend, not you.

She Said:  It’s time to just say no, and you will be amazed at how great that feels. You have little enough time as it is for your real obligations, and people will always ask, so it’s your job to protect your limited time. But, I do want to play devil’s advocate here a bit. You say you don’t care for this person, but how about inviting her to coffee when she arrives, telling her where some of your favorite hotspots are and giving her a second chance to be someone you do care for. Some of the best friendships start with two people not liking each other that much.  Her moving to the area could be a real game changer.


Robin Fahr is a communications specialist and host ofConversations seen daily on Tri-Valley TV, Channel 30 and online at trivalleytv.org. Shawn and Robin also host He Said/She Said on       TheTalk Pod.com.  Send your questions to AskHeSaidSheSaid.com.