California-based freelance writer.

As a staff writer for the Lodi News-Sentinel and, I write about history, mental health, the environment, pets, and other topics. I also write speculative fiction.

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Ag flooding article
Lodi News-Sentinel

Local floods are having a lasting effect on agriculture

At Heritage Oak Winery, acres of 10-year-old grapevines are still underwater. It’s been days since Lodi’s last rainfall, but for Heritage Oak’s owner, Tom Hoffman, it may be a while before the flooding brought by two wet months begins to recede.

Orb article
Lodi News-Sentinel

Oak Ridge Boys bring their harmonies and hits to Stockton

“You can count on the fact that you’re going to hear ‘Elvira.’ That’s our signature song,” said Richard Sterban, the quartet’s bass. He provides the song’s famous “oom-pa-pa-mow-mow.”

Zoo article
Lodi News-Sentinel

Windy weather, rain bring challenges for Lodi's Micke Grove Zoo

During a drizzle on Wednesday afternoon, the snow leopard at Micke Grove Zoo was in her element. She lounged on a high perch, grooming her enormous paws with half-lidded eyes, the picture of contentment.

Asian lion bone market could be fueling poaching article

Experts: Asian lion bone market may fuel African poaching

In China and parts of Southeast Asia, traditional medicine has created a demand for lion bones. Now, officials worry that lion bone market could be driving poaching at an African wildlife park. At Niassa National Reserve in Mozambique, park staff report that wildlife traffickers are offering rewards for intact lion carcasses.

5893e0e6d6dc6.image article
Lodi News-Sentinel

Stockton author shares the story of 'Stef Soto, Taco Queen'

For author Jennifer Torres, her latest book, “Stef Soto, Taco Queen,” came from a lifetime of experiences. “A lot of inspiration came from my own upbringing. I come from a Mexican-American family,” she said.

This town stinks thanks to rotting radishes 750x400 article

This town stinks thanks to rotting radishes

Something is rotten in the state of Pennsylvania. The town of Jersey Shore, to be exact – and no, it’s not wannabe reality TV stars. That’s a different Jersey Shore. This one is plagued by a field of rotting radishes. The odor first infused the town about three weeks ago. Residents couldn’t find the source of the foul stench, so they turned to TV news station WNEP for help.

Branch to box article
Lodi News-Sentinel

Lodi business brings local fruit offerings to NorCal offices

It’s late afternoon, and you’re ready for a quick snack to hold you over until the workday ends. Would you rather have an individual bag of over-salted, broken chips from the vending machine, or a fresh, crisp apple? A slightly stale donut, or a pair of juicy, tart tangerines?

Stockton chinatown article
Lodi News-Sentinel

San Joaquin County Historical Museum celebrates Stockton's Chinese history

“We will have menus from some of the businesses, we have a sign on loan to us from the Haggin Museum from the Bow On society, we have some Gold Rush-era objects to introduce how the Chinese came to Stockton,” Collections and Exhibits Manager Julie Blood said.

Farts article

Researchers dive into the wind-breaking field of fart science

The project was inspired by a tweet from Dani Rabaiotti, a University College London researcher and doctoral student. It was directed at Steen’s Twitter account: “[A] family member asked me the other day if snakes fart and [I] did not know the answer to their question. So do they?”

Aliens article

7 Mysterious Alien Encounters Before Roswell

Bring up alien encounters, and the first thing that most people think of is Roswell. The U.S. Army claimed the vehicle in the 1947 crash was a weather balloon, then a nuclear test monitoring device. To this day, though, UFO enthusiasts believe both stories were cover-ups for the recovery of an alien spacecraft, and Roswell has inspired dozens of stories about alien visits to Earth and years of debate over the existence of extraterrestrials.

Mercy brown article

How Tuberculosis Inspired the New England Vampire Panic

The vampire legend may have made its way into New England as an early version of the unproven “miracle cure” for tuberculosis. In 1784, a newspaper published a letter about a foreign “quack doctor” who had been spreading an unusual cure for consumption.

Taichi article

5 Healthy Reasons to Try Tai Chi

Tai chi has a long history. The five popular styles practiced throughout the world today can be traced back to the Chen style, developed in the late 1500s and early 1600s, but the roots of the practice may go back as far as the 12th century. Though it has ancient roots, tai chi offers several physical and mental benefits today.

Apples article

3 Sweet (and Semi-Healthy) Halloween Treats

It can be hard to convince kids to eat healthy snacks when fun-size chocolate bars and candy corn beckon. It's easy to add a side of health to Halloween candy, though, so they get some vitamins and nutrients along with all that junk food.

Strange tales article

7 Strange Tales From the Wild West

The old Wild West is the stuff of legends: Gunslingers robbing banks and trains. Cowboys on long cattle drives. Gold and silver rushes. Dinosaurs, UFOs, feral camels, and giant cannibals probably don’t come to mind.

Itliong article

Retrobituary: Larry Itliong, Leader of One of the Nation’s Most Successful Strikes

On September 8, 1965, about 1500 Filipino workers walked off the wine and table grape fields of Delano, California. The Delano grape strike, as it would become known, has been heralded as one of the nation’s most important labor struggles, thrusting the fight for Latino civil rights into the national spotlight—but the Filipinos who started the strike, especially leader Larry Itliong, have long been overlooked.