A California Magazine with Local Focus and Global Appeal:
Community - Entertainment - Human Interest


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All articles published in 2014.

by Paula Gail Benson



I have a habit of viewing life as a screenplay. It happens when you spend twelve years teaching film studies to university undergrads. You start to view most things as fodder for a movie script. Take tonight, for example, a week before Christmas. I’m here at the Study Break Cafe, a local hole-in-the-wall on the edge of campus. A place I’ve spent many significant moments. First job. Study dates. Surprise proposal. Uh, let’s not explore that proposal back-story.

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Christmas Mysteries

IN THE December 20 ISSUE

FROM THE 2014 Articles,
andMysteryrat's Maze
SECTIONS

by Terry Ambrose



With Christmas just around the corner, what could be better than sitting down with a good book filled with holiday cheer and murder? Yes, these are Christmas mysteries. So many options, so little time was never a more true statement because the season will be gone before we know it. Until then, why not grab a nog or a coffee and sit down with one (or more) of these seven holiday tales? We may not have a Christmas wedding in this batch, but we’ve got all the trappings: sometimes old, sometimes new, plenty of food, and someone blue.

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by Karey Wedemeyer


To some people, Billie would appear to be the least likely dog anyone would want to adopt. She was old, in her last years, and sitting in the stray building at the Fresno SPCA. Her breath did not resemble the sweet smell that puppies blow in your face, nor would she be the best exercise partner with her tired legs. Yet, Pablo and Melani saw only a beautiful little dog that had endured a hard life, and who so badly needed a loving home.

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by Cynthia Chow


Geri Sullivan and her partner Pepe have solved two murders, competed on the hit reality competition show Dancing with Dogs, and even stopped a dog-napping ring. These aspiring detectives-in-training operate under the license of the Seattle Gerrard Agency, whose questionable owner is Jimmy G, a third-person speaking, knockoff of a forties’ noir detective.

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by Cynthia Chow


Although San Francisco contractor Melanie Turner has developed an ability to see ghosts, she’s not yet ready to admit to the existence of omens. It would be hard to argue that the Wakefield project hasn’t seen its share of bad luck though; contractors walking off of the job, a series of accidents, and even angry protestors have all been plaguing the site.

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by Kathy Eide Casas



This year, Christmas Tree Lane continues its delightful tradition, celebrating the Lane’s 92nd anniversary and making it one of the longest-running holiday events in our nation. Christmas Tree Lane’s spectacular sparkling display was born in 1920 with the decoration of one single tree, as a way to honor a young boy who had died in a home on the Lane. Who could ever have imagined that the lighting of that one residential tree would grow into a spectacular display that now stretches for two miles, includes well over 100 homes and each Christmas season captivates one hundred thousand visitors.

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by Guy Belleranti



“Stuck up by Santa Claus first thing on a Monday morning!” Millie Mason’s double chin shook, and she glared at Sheriff Abner Peters before pointing at the empty display cases for the fifth time. “Gone. Thousands of dollars worth of jewelry. What are you going to do about it?”

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by Cynthia Chow


A perfect office space, located directly between his home and that of his boss/former assistant Natalie Teeger, and the declaration by Natalie and San Francisco Police Captain Stottlemeyer that Adrian Monk is standing in his new detective agency, is not enough to break Monk’s ability to deny the truth. Or accept change. He’s had a rough week though, considering that his attempt to reconcile with his former girlfriend, Ellen Morse, proved to be an epic failure.

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Kitchen Collectible: Cookie Cutters

IN THE December 20 ISSUE

FROM THE 2014 Articles,
andDiana Bulls,
andFood Fun,
andHometown History
SECTIONS

by Diana Bulls


Christmas is just around the corner and I bet most of you will be baking at least one batch of cookies. It doesn’t matter if they are sugar cookies, gingerbread men, or snicker doodles. It doesn’t even matter if they are made from scratch or out of a refrigerated package or a box mix. When Christmas arrives, there had better be cookies. (I mean, you do want a visit from Santa. Right?) Yes, Christmas is definitely cookie season.

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by Sarah Peterson



As the Fresno Art Museum closes out 2014, it honors both its future and its past.
“We had a double celebration to commemorate both the holidays and our 65th birthday,” says Kristina Hornback, who has been Associate Curator at the Museum for almost three years.

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A Warm Heart: An Animal Christmas Short Story

IN THE December 20 ISSUE

FROM THE 2014 Articles,
andPets,
andTerrific Tales
SECTIONS

by Ron Van Sweringen


The old man hunched over the battered grocery cart sought nothing more than protection from the biting wind. It was late afternoon, getting colder and he badly needed a place to spend the night. A graffito covered dumpster filled one corner of the alley, directly behind Donaldson’s Furniture Store. The usual trash and litter covered the frozen ground around it, but today something else caught his eye, something he had been hoping for. A large shipping carton of heavy cardboard, big enough for him to sleep in.

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by Cynthia Chow


As a man of a certain age and retired on the Hawaiian island of Oahu, Wilson McKenna is making a resolution towards living a life far more open to friends and family. Perhaps that’s a decision made a bit on the fly, as he has just boarded a plane to the Big Island in order to help his friend Alexander find the niece who has recently gone missing.

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by Terrance Mc Arthur



In 2013, my favorite new series was M. L. Brennan’s Generation V, and I really liked the second book, Iron Night. Now, here comes Tainted Blood—delicious!

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by Aileen Baron


Every day, I pass the house. No one lives there now. It’s on the edge of a canyon that wind funnels through, and sometimes it sounds like cries and moans are coming from the house. They told me to keep away. Someone told me the house was haunted, that some nights, there had been sounds like harsh laughter, and lights flickered on and off through the cracked windows.

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