Features

To celebrate a new year, mix up a festive Pear Martini Sparkler. (Saul Sugarman/Special to S.F. Examiner)

Will we see a second roaring 20s?

Looking forward to ‘epic’ celebration when dry spell is over

To celebrate a new year, mix up a festive Pear Martini Sparkler. (Saul Sugarman/Special to S.F. Examiner)
Workers with health issues that aren’t related to COVID may qualify for medical leave under the California Family Rights Act.<ins> (Shutterstock photo)</ins>

Medical leave coverage expanded for state workers

Employees needing time off for health care are protected during pandemic

Workers with health issues that aren’t related to COVID may qualify for medical leave under the California Family Rights Act.<ins> (Shutterstock photo)</ins>
In coming months, Virgo may want to take note of singer-songwriter Pink’s lyric, “You can’t move mountains by whispering at them.” (Courtesy Sølve Sundsbø)

Free Will Astrology for Dec. 31, 2020

Virgo, upcoming days are not the time to be mild-mannered … be robust and loud

In coming months, Virgo may want to take note of singer-songwriter Pink’s lyric, “You can’t move mountains by whispering at them.” (Courtesy Sølve Sundsbø)
Wine Spectator named the Bodegas Marques de Murrieta Rioja Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial 2010 as its best of 2020. (Courtesy photo)

A close look at Wine Spectator’s best of 2020

California vintages are well represented on the top 100 list

Wine Spectator named the Bodegas Marques de Murrieta Rioja Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial 2010 as its best of 2020. (Courtesy photo)
Employees in offices not following social distancing protocols may be putting their coworkers at risk for COVID-19.<ins> (Shutterstock)</ins>

Workers’ compensation could cover COVID exposure

Employees may claim benefits under certain criteria

Employees in offices not following social distancing protocols may be putting their coworkers at risk for COVID-19.<ins> (Shutterstock)</ins>
Gene Wilder, right, with Clevon Little in the hilarious “Blazing Saddles,” cultivated comedy skills as youngster trying to make his mother, who had health problems, laugh; Virgo might also make something positive out of a challenge. (Courtesy Warner Bros.)

Free Will Astrology for week of Dec. 24, 2020

A challenging situation will inspire Virgo in ways that generate a blessing

Gene Wilder, right, with Clevon Little in the hilarious “Blazing Saddles,” cultivated comedy skills as youngster trying to make his mother, who had health problems, laugh; Virgo might also make something positive out of a challenge. (Courtesy Warner Bros.)
Raven Bar SF offers the tequila, lime and cranberry Red Christmas. (Courtesy Raven Bar SF)

The eight shots of Christmas

Attempt for seasonally-themed 12-drink column falls a bit short

Raven Bar SF offers the tequila, lime and cranberry Red Christmas. (Courtesy Raven Bar SF)
Harassment based on race, national origin and disability is prohibited in the workplace.<ins> (Shutterstock photo)</ins>

Workers should know their employment rights during COVID-19

Discrimination is prohibited under state and federal law

Harassment based on race, national origin and disability is prohibited in the workplace.<ins> (Shutterstock photo)</ins>
Leos can benefit from lessons learned by Ariana Grande, who had Japanese characters tattooed on her palm that she thought corresponded with sentiments in her song “7 Rings,” but in actuality did not. (Courtesy photo)

Free Will Astrology for week of Dec. 17, 2020

Leo, express your creativity and innovative spirit with good planning and discernment

Leos can benefit from lessons learned by Ariana Grande, who had Japanese characters tattooed on her palm that she thought corresponded with sentiments in her song “7 Rings,” but in actuality did not. (Courtesy photo)
The San Francisco Unified School District is working with its teachers and families to get youngsters back in classrooms in a safe and effective manner. (SFUSD Screenshot)

Systematic approach to reopening classrooms is well underway

Modifying learning plans and schedules, deploying protocols and training among tasks at hand

The San Francisco Unified School District is working with its teachers and families to get youngsters back in classrooms in a safe and effective manner. (SFUSD Screenshot)
Expansive views atop DAOU Mountain add to the enjoyment of the great wines. (Julie L. Kessler/Special to S.F. Examiner)

A plethora of pinot and plenty of pooches in Paso Robles

Getaway offers fine wine, dining and an encounter with dogs

Expansive views atop DAOU Mountain add to the enjoyment of the great wines. (Julie L. Kessler/Special to S.F. Examiner)
Winemaker Theresa Heredia has been at Gary Farrell Vineyards since 2012. (Courtesy photo)

Russian River Valley Neighborhood wines are notable

Gary Farrell releases are among the area’s most striking offerings

Winemaker Theresa Heredia has been at Gary Farrell Vineyards since 2012. (Courtesy photo)
General Services Administrator Emily Murphy, whose job is to determine “the apparent successful candidate” for president, did not authorize the transition process for the president-elect until 16 days after Joe Biden was widely accepted as the winner. <ins>(Courtesy General Services Administration)</ins>

Ascertainment: A closer look at the presidential transition of power

General Services Administration head determines ‘apparent successful candidate’

General Services Administrator Emily Murphy, whose job is to determine “the apparent successful candidate” for president, did not authorize the transition process for the president-elect until 16 days after Joe Biden was widely accepted as the winner. <ins>(Courtesy General Services Administration)</ins>
Scorpios in need of healing may want to use restorative mistletoe as a symbolic power object in coming months. (Shutterstock)

Free Will Astrology for week of Dec. 10, 2020

Scorpio will deal with potencies and energies that could potentially be problematic

Scorpios in need of healing may want to use restorative mistletoe as a symbolic power object in coming months. (Shutterstock)
A party for one at Thanksgiving will be duplicated at Hanukkah during this year of COVID-19. (Saul Sugarman/Special to S.F. Examiner)

Hanukkah 2020: Eight nights of solitude

My safe celebration will be similar to solo Thanksgiving observances

A party for one at Thanksgiving will be duplicated at Hanukkah during this year of COVID-19. (Saul Sugarman/Special to S.F. Examiner)
To help offset a significant deficit, the San Francisco Unified School District welcomes contributions. (Screenshot Spark* SF Public Schools)

Donations will help SFUSD bring students back to classrooms safely

Nonprofit Spark* SF Public Schools has set up a targeted fund

To help offset a significant deficit, the San Francisco Unified School District welcomes contributions. (Screenshot Spark* SF Public Schools)
There are no guarantees for those who want to get their airline ticket money back for a trip canceled due to the pandemic.<ins> (Shutterstock)</ins>

Ins and outs of air travel refunds during COVID-19

Nearly all carriers are offering vouchers rather than cash

  • Dec 3, 2020
There are no guarantees for those who want to get their airline ticket money back for a trip canceled due to the pandemic.<ins> (Shutterstock)</ins>
Beautiful views of Lake Alisal can be enjoyed from Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort’s trail rides. (Julie L. Kessler/Special to S.F. Examiner)

The allure of Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort in Santa Ynez Valley

Enjoy the ultimate in a social distancing escape in Solvang

Beautiful views of Lake Alisal can be enjoyed from Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort’s trail rides. (Julie L. Kessler/Special to S.F. Examiner)
Pisces Justin Bieber, who famously challenged Tom Cruise to a martial arts fight in 2019, then backed down, might very well prevail if the contest were carried out today. (Courtesy Mike Rosenthal)

Free Will Astrology for the week of Dec. 3, 2020

Pisceans are at their peak of power and prowess

Pisces Justin Bieber, who famously challenged Tom Cruise to a martial arts fight in 2019, then backed down, might very well prevail if the contest were carried out today. (Courtesy Mike Rosenthal)
Nicki Jizz has been an outspoken advocate for Black drag performers. (Courtesy photo)

Meet your drag queen: Nicki J.

‘I’m down for everything, I want to do it all,’ says the fearless performer

Nicki Jizz has been an outspoken advocate for Black drag performers. (Courtesy photo)