California-based freelance writer.

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

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Lodi News-Sentinel

Lodi Rocks! group spreads kindness, inspiration one rock at a time

If you haven't seen one of the brightly painted rocks in Lodi yet, don't worry. The Lodi Rocks! group is hard at work to ensure there are plenty of the "kindness rocks" to go around.

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Lodi News-Sentinel

Jazz artists Martinez, Hardiman bring collaboration to Wine and Roses

Rebecca Hardiman is known in Portland for her smooth vocals. Jim Martinez has played jazzy tunes on the piano in Sacramento and all over Northern California. Years ago, the two may never have stumbled across each other, but in the age of the Internet, they did - and it's spawned a collaboration that is coming to Lodi's Wine and Roses on Wednesday.

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Lodi News-Sentinel

Lodi veteran returns To Vietnam

The first time Mel Potter went to Vietnam, he was a soldier in the U.S. Army. It was 1968, and like many young men, he was sent overseas to fight in the jungles and highlands of the Southeast Asian nation.
Eventually, he made it back home to Lodi. But 30 years later, Potter went back with a friend, just to visit the country he’d spent so much time fighting in. And now, he spends much of his time in the country, helping provide medical and dental care to those in need.

Love lasts article
Lodi News-Sentinel

Love that lasts: Couples share advice for keeping marriages strong

Most couples who get married this month may be too focused on the happiness and festivities to worry about the future. As their relationship grows, however, keeping it strong and healthy will be important. Luckily, Lodi has a number of couples who have been married for decades, and three of them — Ray and Doris Shates, Lorraine and Richard Stanford, and Terry and Jeanette Quashnick — were willing to share how they’ve stayed in love for so long.

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Lodi News-Sentinel

MakerFest brings tinkering trend to World of Wonders - Lodinews ...

Twice a year, tinkerers of all ages converge at the World of Wonders Science Museum for MakerFest. The maker-space mini-festival brings activities that will delight amateur engineers, whether new to the maker movement or old hands at tinkering.

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.

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.

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.”

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Lodi News-Sentinel

Boston, Joan Jett will rock Ironstone Amphitheatre

“Every night is an adventure, because you never know what’s going to happen with the audience,” said guitarist Gary Pihl, who also provides backing vocals.

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.

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.

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.

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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.

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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?