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


Weekly issues every Saturday morning and other special articles throughout the week — there's something for everyone. Check out our sister site KRL News & Reviews for even more articles every week.


Tales of Diversity

by Mark Redwine


Back in March, when I wrote my last article, I was much younger and excitedly expecting our new administration to snap its fingers or wave a magic wand, and instantly materialize a new immigration system that would be fair and compassionate for all. At first, the immigration changes (especially those concerning asylum seekers) appeared to be all unicorns and rainbows. But reality raised its ugly head, and my illusions and hopes were flung to the ground. It is funny how disappointment can age you.

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by Mark Redwine


The refugee camp for asylum-seekers is no more. Two weeks ago, the first busload of refugees legally crossed the bridge that spans the Rio Grande River between Matamoros, Mexico and Brownsville, Texas. When they arrived at the Brownsville bus station, a crowd greeted them with applause, cheers, tears, hugs, handshakes, and exuberant joy expressing the start of the end of two long years of suffering in the camp. I was not able to greet that bus, but have been able to greet several since then. Yesterday, the last bus from the camp crossed into Brownsville. Today, the few people left in the camp were taken to a shelter in Mexico and the camp is now empty.

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by Mark Redwine


The Space-X spaceport is about twenty minutes from our home. We drove out there today to see the latest prototype of the starship that will take humans to Mars. Her name is SN-9. She could fly next week. They have been test firing her engines and doing pressure tests on her for several days. Many of her predecessors did not survive the tests leading up to a launch. One reason is that some of the tests were designed to find out how much pressure the ship could handle.

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by Mark Redwine


Thanksgiving Thursday, eating turkey, watching football, thankful for all of my blessings, many of which I take for granted. Among my greatest blessings, and greatest heartaches, are the immigrants in the refugee camp on the Mexican side of the border at Brownsville, Texas and Matamoros, Mexico.

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by Lorie Lewis Ham


As theatre continues to be presented online, University Theatre at Fresno State will be presenting its latest show, Detroit ’67, streaming December 4-12. The cast includes Trey Jones, Alexis Myles, Madeline Nelson, Nwachukwu Oputa, and TJ Taylor. We chatted with the director of the show, Thomas-Whit Ellis, Professor of Theatre Arts, Department Chair, Africana Studies, to learn more.

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by Joe Cosentino


In Drama Christmas, hunky and hilarious armchair sleuth Professor of Play Directing Nicky Abbondanza (Bob Cratchit), his handsome husband Associate Professor of Acting Noah Oliver (Nephew Freddy), their son Taavi (Tiny Tim), best friends Department Chair Martin Anderson (Scrooge/Carol), Ruben Markinson (Marley/Ghost of the Lover of the Past), and Martin’s sassy office assistant Shayla Johnson (Housekeeper) star in a musical version of Scrooge’s A Christmas Carol at Treemeadow College, entitled Call Me Carol! The show proves that every Christmas needs a good Carol. Nicky’s favorite target, Detective Manuello (Ghost of the Lover of the Present) and Nicky and Noah’s both sets of wacky parents, are along for the bumpy ride.

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by Steven Sanchez



We’re in the 21st century and still we hear about hate crimes taking place. After all this time, there are even now people out in the world committing acts of racism, discrimination, Islamophobia, homophobia, xenophobia, etc., and it seems like we never progress. It’s like the 50s and the 60s all over again.

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by Sharon Tucker


What I love about each holiday season is that each is unlike any other before. The celebrations themselves usually stay within certain parameters but including different people in the mix or going to a new place during the season adds verve and just might open our perceptions. This is true of reading holiday stories from a variety of authors’ points of view, and in Festive Mayhem: Ten Stories of Holiday Mystery, Crime and Suspense (2020), Carolyn Marie Wilkins has collected works that celebrate diversity.

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by Steven Sanchez



The year 2020 has undoubtedly been a rough one for everybody. I don’t need to make a list of what has transpired during the last few months that hasn’t already been talked about, and thrown in our faces every day. It’s been quite an adjustment for all the people who have had to cope with just existing in this first year of the new decade. Some have found a way to thrive; some, unfortunately, have had a tough time. There are those who are just taking it day by day, and taking the good with the bad. For Valley resident and Olympic BMX rider, Brooke Crain, this year has been one heck of a ride.

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by Lorie Lewis Ham
& Joe Cosentino


When asked to review The Player I was immediately intrigued by the premise and said yes, and boy am I glad that I did. The Player is actually two separate cozy mysteries together, The City House and The Country House. They feature music teacher Andre Beaufort and playboy ghost Freddy Birtswistle.

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by Martha Reed



One of the great joys of writing a new mystery series is meeting the unknown cast of characters being introduced into this freshly imagined world. A reader can rely on a certain amount of trust that the author will offer insights into the human condition in addition to creating characters that are interesting enough to follow for 300 pages. An author doesn’t have that initial luxury; we operate on blind faith knowing we can put a final polish on a character through editing.

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by Lorie Lewis Ham


As the arts community continues to look for creative ways to share their talents in a Covid world, many theatre companies are turning more and more to streaming shows. This includes the performing arts department at the College of the Sequoias which will be posting a show called Looking Ahead, Our Eyes Wide Open, on November 1. We chatted with Chris Mangels, Professor of Theatre and Cinema at College of the Sequoias, to learn more.

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by Lorie Lewis Ham


A Body to Dye For is the first book in Grant Michaels’ Stan Kraychik mystery series. This book was originally published in 1990 and last year was republished by ReQueered Tales as part of their efforts to preserve gay and lesbian fiction. This book was nominated as the Best Gay Mystery at the 3rd annual Lambda Literary Awards in 1991. Sadly, Grant is no longer with us, but his wonderful stories live on.

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by Alexander Inglis


It’s not every day that you wake up one morning and say: “Why don’t I start a mystery publishing house?” It was almost like that with ReQueered Tales, an indie publisher of LGBTQ fiction started in the early spring of 2019. Three online friends – we’ve still never met in person – chatting in a Facebook gay mystery group were bemoaning the number of gay mystery novels that had slipped out of print. After some due diligence, ReQueered Tales was born.

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