The American Civil War

One hundred fifty years ago, the American Civil War ended. The four years of battle that raged between April 12, 1861 and June 2, 1865 was the culmination of social, economic, and philosophic differences that had been simmering amongst the citizens of our nation since its inception, some eighty years prior.

Ohio's Tribute
Most historians agree that the cornerstone of division was the issue of slavery, but to a large degree, the reasons for the war were far more complex than that. The belief that the Union (North) comprised the noble, non-bigoted, “good guys,” fighting to end slavery, while the Confederacy (South), were the “oppressive slave owners,” fighting to preserve an abhorrent institution, is an inaccurate, overly-simplistic view of the war and the events leading to it. Unfortunately however, most Americans’ knowledge of the Civil War begins and ends with just that level of understanding.

For many, the Civil War is simply ancient history, having little or no significance to life in America today—but that too would be inaccurate. So, this month, in a superb feature beginning on page twenty-two, our own Lexi Greenberg—a bona fide Civil War enthusiast—does her best to entice you to want to learn more about it.

As recent racial tensions attest, in many ways, the cauldron of discord in America that led up to the Civil War still simmers, and the wounds inflicted on our nation have not fully healed. We owe it to the thousands who lost their lives on both sides of the conflict, as well as to future generations, to gain a better, more accurate understanding of how and why the Civil War occurred, and how it still affects us, today.

5 Simple Rules for a Natural Make-up Look

Rule 1. Let your skin shine through. Prep your skin, which means exfoliate! You’ll create a radiant canvas and glow for BB Creams or foundations. For an everyday look, don’t overdo make-up with tinted moisturizers. Use lightweight products to even out skin tone. A foundation that has added pigment is a perfect way to get that no make-up look. It has medium coverage without the sticky feeling of a cream. If you are dry use a moisturizer with peptides so foundation glides on skin and looks smooth. If you have dark spots and blotchiness use a concealer stick then apply a BB Cream skin corrector to smooth out the complexion. Cheeks should look baby fresh. Try an illuminating soft pink blush shade that looks like a baby’s cheek color to give the complexion that fresh, natural sheen.

Rule 2. Apply a powder that is made of “mica.” Mineral powders tend to give the skin a matte, dried-out look, accentuating wrinkles. Mica powders are formulated to make the skin look silky and is three times more refined, giving the skin a more refreshed, smooth and satiny glow.

Rule 3. Choose a neutral Shadow. Apply a shade that’s similar to your skin tone or just a hint darker all over your lid. If you have redness on the lid, balance it out with a yellow-beige shadow to brighten. Stick to mattes. Non-sparkly eye textures disappear into skin leaving no chance of creasing, and it looks smooth and oh-so-natural.

Rule 4. Add soft definition using waterproof eyeliners. Apply the eyeliner along the base of the lash, then smudge it with a Q-tip, softening the edges to make it look smoldery and smudgy. There is a rule of color types in eyeliners. Use dark browns, blacks, and dark prune colors. These colors will make the eyes look alive and vibrant, and in focus. Do not use light colored eyeliners for the top liner as eyes will then look sleepy and featureless. Never use red-brown eyeliners as this makes eyes look too weary, tired and red.

Rule 5. Boost your pout with a new budge-proof lip liner stain outlining the lip a little further than your own natural line. Lips look full and natural, plus these wear seven times longer than normal lip liners. Add a new comfort technology lip plumper for volume and smoother lips. Lip colors this season are all about nudes and mouth-watering pinks, so try some scrumptious new color to stay on-trend.

The Rouge Cosmetics new location on East Prospect Avenue offers girls of all ages a chance to see custom foundations blended for their individual complexion and perfectly formulated for their skin tone color. They also offer a full line of cosmetics and advanced skin care for all of your beauty needs. You may want to check out their new Spring Line by Fleur Visage Cosmetics and catch a Nude Attitude.

He Said/She Said with Robin and Shawn

Dear SSHS,
My girlfriend has put on a little weight since we started dating, and I find her less attractive now. Should I let her know my feelings or just pretend I don’t notice?                   — DD, Orinda

Fat Girl Holding Up Her Sweats

Fat Girl Holding Up Her Sweats

She Said: Well you can let her know, but don’t be surprised if she then finds you less attractive. I know I wouldn’t want to stay with someone so superficial. Take a look at yourself. Are you worried that her gaining a few pounds is some sort of reflection on you? Does the way she looks affect the way you see yourself? If it’s a matter of a few extra pounds, I say keep it to yourself and try and figure out what’s going on with you. If her weight gain becomes more than normal fluctuation and she’s no longer able to do the things you used to do together, then let her know you miss doing those things and ask how you can help her to restore a healthier lifestyle.

He Said: If it’s just a few pounds then what’s the worry? But if it’s more than that and you’re genuinely less attracted to her now, then you owe it to yourself and to her to bring it up. However, be subtle in your approach because trust me, she has noticed the weight gain long before you ever did. Be polite and sensitive and ask if she wants to lose the “extra” weight and if she does then put together a healthy eating and exercise plan and participate with her. If she doesn’t want to lose the weight and it’s more of an issue for you, then I agree 100% with Robin and think there’s a bigger issue here than just a bigger-than-before girlfriend. Because when you really love someone, a few extra pounds shouldn’t make you love them any less.

Dear HSSS,
My husband and I love to host pool parties at our house in the summer. Every year we fight about the same thing, and with our girls getting older, we need to settle this one, once and for all. Is it appropriate for a grown man to wear a Speedo?                                — Blushing Sister-in-Law



She Said: Oh, I get it…Uncle John loves to make a splash and thinks he hasn’t changed a bit since his days on the high school swim team, right? Unless it’s the workout pool, I believe a Speedo on a man over the age of 18, is not only inappropriate but generally unattractive. My French friends may disagree, but a family pool party is no place for such revealing swimwear, and frankly, unless you have the perfect 6-pack, it looks ridiculous.

He Said: Let me keep this as simple as possible….A Speedo is a No-No. A child, teen, man, or old-timer should NEVER EVER be caught wearing a Speedo unless, of course, he is the next great Olympic swim champ. A man should never bear that much leg to the public, ever! And let me take this one step further, if a man has other anatomy that resembles that of a woman’s upper body, then that should really be covered too. Please spare yourself and us the embarrassment.

Robin Fahr is a public relations specialist and co-host with Shawn Shizzo on Conversations and He Said/She Said seen daily on Tri-Valley TV, Channel 30 and online at You can also catch He Said/She Said on and The Talk Pod iPhone and iPad Apps. Send your questions to

La Boulange, Danville

This is another “almost shame on me” testimonial. I have made no qualms about the fact that I am a constant work in progress. My wife will attest that one of the reasons she keeps me around is the constant challenge I provide. This keeps the mind and relationships fresh, don’t’cha know?restaurant

I will pre-qualify that no opinions in the following manner were sculpted in any way by Yelp, by which I am NOT a fan. My years in the restaurant industry have given me a very transparent view of the goings on with Yelp and the heavy public hand they swing to extort small business into unnecessary marketing funds being spent on “good reviews”…but I digress. However, some how, some way, I was subjected to a review somewhere that stated that the once coveted La Boulange in Danville still had great food, but the service had slipped, possibly past the point of return. (I have no resources to cite). My fault lies with allowing this tiny crumb of opinion to influence my own beliefs. A very typical “contempt prior to investigation,” and I found myself driving by this once regular stop of mine and shaking my head in sadness. “Tsk tsk La Boulange, what a shame.”

In front of all of you now, I openly declare…I WAS A FOOL, and I am here to emphatically dispel any negativity that may have been dispensed.

My wife has remained loyal to the establishment, regardless of any press to the tune that La Boulange and their menu items are her sanctuary. This is where she goes when she is able to pry the children from her limbs. There happened to be an opportunity for me to tag along on a weekday recently, with the kids in tow, and I figured I owed it to these once hallowed grounds to give it a shot.

My wife ordered her sandwich and it came without avocado…..”Here we go,” I thought, and rolled up my sleeves for the good fight. Upon explaining this to Micheline, she was clearly taken aback and jumped at the opportunity to make it right. She quickly returned with the plate of avocado and apologized but not before we saw it was our mistake, and the sandwich didn’t come with avocado (unless specified). I realized then that this was why she was taken aback…she knew this fact, but didn’t split hairs—she just fixed what they didn’t break. I explained our mistake and praised her for her professional acumen.

This is when Marcus stepped in to deliver my wife’s Latte. Asked how everything was today and thanked us for coming in. Where was this bad service somebody had, because it certainly wasn’t here!

Enter Eric, stage left, with piece of bread pudding to enjoy after our lunch with his compliments, and again the “thank you for coming in today.” At this point the egg on my face is cooking. I have not received the level of customer service that I was receiving now in a long time, fine dining establishments included.

Here is my simple recommendation. Go there and get the best food imaginable, but please introduce yourself to the people helping you out. These are a group of professional individuals that clearly believe in the place they work and the people they work with. Unfortunately this is rare. To find the level of “ownership” at La Boulange in Danville taught me a lesson about how I pass judgment based on others peoples’ opinions. I have prided myself on a regular basis staying away from the yelp-esque culture and for a moment, I got sucked in.

The truth is that General Manager Bharat Mansukhani should be proud of the people that represent this fine eatery, and you should be proud to commune here.

Iron Horse Plaza, 405 Railroad Ave, Danville, CA 94526
(925) 838-1200

The 35th Annual Kings X Trivia Contest

The 35th annual Kings X Trivia Contest was held at WPLJ in Walnut Creek on April 12. Because my team won last year, I had to be the moderator. It is a lot of work, but the research is fun and I try to challenge the players, without trying to stump them. The winning team was Snot Rockets Anonymous (so much for good taste) led by a solid veteran, RJ Tincknell. They won by 2 points over the Magnificent Few, led by another stalwart, Jim Buchanan. Since I wrote the questions, there is no problem using them on you folks.

1. What music event occurred on August 29, 1966 and where?

2. Who was the last Major League pitcher to win 27 games in a season?

3. What do the following have in common? Tony Perkins, Charles Laughton, Robert Newton, John Malkovich, Geoffrey Rush and Russell Crowe.

4. From Peanuts, who was Charlie Brown’s favorite baseball player?

5. Who or what is Mom Chung and Big Alana?

6. The first time we see Rick in “Casablanca,” what is he doing?

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ALIVE Author Series Presents Authors Abigail Bok and Dorothy Hom on TV30's "Conversations."
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