Sally Stephens

The Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve, a 6,000-acre park North of Mount Diablo, is part of the East Bay Regional Park District. (Courtesy Ray Bouknight/via Flickr)

The future of East Bay parks

The East Bay Regional Park District, which manages 73 parks in Alameda…

The Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve, a 6,000-acre park North of Mount Diablo, is part of the East Bay Regional Park District. (Courtesy Ray Bouknight/via Flickr)
It’s better to have basic discussions about caring for a loved one before the help is desperately needed. (Courtesy photo)

When good health fades

It’s rarely good news when the phone rings early in the morning.…

It’s better to have basic discussions about caring for a loved one before the help is desperately needed. (Courtesy photo)
The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department could close more than half of McLaren Park to the public, with access limited to department staff and occasional organized volunteer work parties. (Courtesy Adam Chandler/via Flickr)

Rec and Park’s bait-and-switch at McLaren Park

Last Wednesday, the San Francisco Recreation and Park Commission had the chance…

The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department could close more than half of McLaren Park to the public, with access limited to department staff and occasional organized volunteer work parties. (Courtesy Adam Chandler/via Flickr)
Odin, a Great Pyrenees shepherd dog who survived the Santa Rosa wildfire, sits among the herd of goats he protected during the natural disasters in the North Bay. (Courtesy Roland Tembo Hendel/via Facebook)

Dogs really are man’s best friend

When disaster strikes, as it has too often lately, you will find…

Odin, a Great Pyrenees shepherd dog who survived the Santa Rosa wildfire, sits among the herd of goats he protected during the natural disasters in the North Bay. (Courtesy Roland Tembo Hendel/via Facebook)
Dog advocates are declaring victory after a decades-long battle with the National Park Service to allow dog-walking in designated parts of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. (Mike Koozmin/2011 S.F. Examiner)

A huge win for Bay Area recreation

Going up against the federal government is hard. But, sometimes, when you…

Dog advocates are declaring victory after a decades-long battle with the National Park Service to allow dog-walking in designated parts of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. (Mike Koozmin/2011 S.F. Examiner)
The names of fallen U.S. service members from the Vietnam War are inscribed on the wall of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. (Courtesy photo)

The war that haunts us still

For me, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial is an emotional place. Walking past…

The names of fallen U.S. service members from the Vietnam War are inscribed on the wall of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. (Courtesy photo)
Cassini gazes across the icy rings of Saturn toward the icy moon Tethys, whose night side is illuminated by Saturnshine, or sunlight reflected by the planet. (Courtesy NASA)

The spacecraft that showed us amazing things

Ten days ago, the Cassini mission to Saturn ended. NASA had commanded…

Cassini gazes across the icy rings of Saturn toward the icy moon Tethys, whose night side is illuminated by Saturnshine, or sunlight reflected by the planet. (Courtesy NASA)
The Toyota Prius may have all the bells and whistles one would expect with a new hybrid vehicle, but it could never replace the well-intentioned nagging of a loving mother. (Courtesy photo)

My Mother the Car

Back in 1965, there was a sitcom called “My Mother the Car.”…

The Toyota Prius may have all the bells and whistles one would expect with a new hybrid vehicle, but it could never replace the well-intentioned nagging of a loving mother. (Courtesy photo)
Miss Kitty never walked; she strutted. (Sally Stephens/Special to S.F. Examiner)

The remarkable cat that won this dog lover’s heart

We never knew where Miss Kitty came from. But she was looking…

Miss Kitty never walked; she strutted. (Sally Stephens/Special to S.F. Examiner)
On Aug. 21, Bay Area residents will see the Moon take a “bite” out of the Sun during a total solar eclipse. (Courtesy image)

When the Sun suddenly vanishes for a few minutes

One week from tomorrow, the Moon will slide between the Earth and…

On Aug. 21, Bay Area residents will see the Moon take a “bite” out of the Sun during a total solar eclipse. (Courtesy image)
An AT&T utility box covered with graffiti at 24th Street and Treat Avenue is seen on March 20, 2017. (Steven Ho/Special to S.F. Examiner)

AT&T utility boxes nothing more than an eyesore

You’ve seen them in nearly every neighborhood in The City — those…

An AT&T utility box covered with graffiti at 24th Street and Treat Avenue is seen on March 20, 2017. (Steven Ho/Special to S.F. Examiner)
The SFMTA plans to replicate its red transit-only lanes, which currently exist in the Mission (pictured), on 50 streets across The City, including West Portal Avenue. (Emma Chiang/2016 Special to S.F. Examiner)

Red transit-only lanes have no use in West Portal

One size doesn’t always fit all. Most of us know that, but…

The SFMTA plans to replicate its red transit-only lanes, which currently exist in the Mission (pictured), on 50 streets across The City, including West Portal Avenue. (Emma Chiang/2016 Special to S.F. Examiner)
San Francisco wants people to get out of their own cars and into ones that are being driven for profit. (Jessica Christian/S.F. Examiner)

SF residents are the only casualties in ‘war on cars’

San Francisco is a transit-first city. Those of us who live here…

San Francisco wants people to get out of their own cars and into ones that are being driven for profit. (Jessica Christian/S.F. Examiner)
Gal Gadot’s inspiring performance in “Wonder Woman” embodies the type of person we want our daughters and sisters — even ourselves — to become. (Clay Enos/Warner Bros. Pictures)

Not your father’s action movie

"Wonder Woman” may just be the movie we need right now. This…

Gal Gadot’s inspiring performance in “Wonder Woman” embodies the type of person we want our daughters and sisters — even ourselves — to become. (Clay Enos/Warner Bros. Pictures)
Living Room Conversations is a newly formed group that aims to connect people across political spectrums through exchanged ideas and face-to-face connections. (Courtesy photo)

Bridging the divide one living room at a time

We are a deeply divided country. And yet, to solve the serious…

Living Room Conversations is a newly formed group that aims to connect people across political spectrums through exchanged ideas and face-to-face connections. (Courtesy photo)
Magical thinking — assuming two events are related to one another when they’re actually not — is common in sports. And there’s quite a bit of magical thinking around AT&T Park. (Mike Koozmin/2014 S.F. Examiner)

How magical thinking helps us feel involved

One of my favorite memories of the Giants’ World Series run in…

Magical thinking — assuming two events are related to one another when they’re actually not — is common in sports. And there’s quite a bit of magical thinking around AT&T Park. (Mike Koozmin/2014 S.F. Examiner)
NASA’s Cassini spacecraft captured this view of planet Earth as a point of light between the icy rings of Saturn on April 12, 2017. (Courtesy NASA)

A look back at our pale, blue dot

Last month, as it began the final phase of its 13-year exploration…

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft captured this view of planet Earth as a point of light between the icy rings of Saturn on April 12, 2017. (Courtesy NASA)
World War I posters for the Second Liberty Loan of 1917, left, and the Third Liberty Loan of 1918 encourage Americans to purchase government bonds. (Courtesy photos)

Avoid repeating the mistakes of our past

Watching “The Great War” documentary on PBS last week, I realized there…

World War I posters for the Second Liberty Loan of 1917, left, and the Third Liberty Loan of 1918 encourage Americans to purchase government bonds. (Courtesy photos)
Somehow, over the years, many of us have lost touch with our childhood curiosity. (Courtesy photo)

Reawaken your sense of wonder

For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a…

Somehow, over the years, many of us have lost touch with our childhood curiosity. (Courtesy photo)
The loss of a beloved dog can be every bit as devastating as the death of a human loved one. (Courtesy photo)

The decision to say that final goodbye

This past week, a friend of mine said a final goodbye to…

The loss of a beloved dog can be every bit as devastating as the death of a human loved one. (Courtesy photo)