The stray cat dilemma — where to find help

DEAR JOAN: A cat was left at the doorstep of a residence in a way-too-small carrier. Now, what to do with said cat?

No organization would take it in and the county shelters said they weren’t taking cats.

The cat was beautiful — black, mellow, loving and sweet, and wondered what in the world happened to his or her life. This cat would have been very adoptable.

Exactly what is a person supposed to do if none of the so-called rescue organizations — including the Pinole and Martinez shelters, where rescue groups would hopefully come rescue them — won’t even take the cat?

What is the solution? This is so very sad that there is no place to take an abandoned animal. Are there groups I don’t know about? What can we do? Any suggestions? This situation occurred in the San Pablo area.

Hoping you might be able to shed some light.

Judy Hall, Bay Area

DEAR JUDY: Well, that’s pretty horrible. I’m curious about what became of the cat, and I’m sure the many pet lovers who read this column would like to know, too.

There are many groups in the Bay Area that help pets find new homes, but they have limits. With stray cats or any wandering pet, they can’t just take in a cat on the presumption that it is abandoned. Let’s say you have a cat that accidentally gets outside and disappears. If a rescue group finds it and adopts it out, you don’t get your cat back.

That’s why these groups don’t accept stray animals from individuals. I’m speaking in generalities, of course. There also are rescue groups that trap feral cats, have them neutered and then return them where they were captured.

As for Contra Costa Animal Services, I spoke with public information officer Steve Burdo, who says the shelter does not impound …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle

      

7 super SF Bay Area things to do over Easter weekend, April 19-21

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There’s a LOT going on this weekend, and we’re here to help you get a handle on it all (especially now that our idea for an Easter Bunny flash mob isn’t panning out). So here are seven ways to have a blast in the S.F. Bay Area and beyond this weekend, from Easter awesomeness to a heck of a hip-hop show to a craft-beer blowout in Martinez.

And if you want to get the Weekender roundup delivered straight to your inbox, we are here to help you with that, too. Just sign up here.

1 EAT & PLAY: Easter eats, egg hunts and parades

This weekend brings plenty of Easter merriment, and whether you’re looking for awesome brunches, family-friendly events and even Passover events, we’ve got the complete roundup here.

2 WATCH: A very chocolate sort of musical

Since Easter is all about chocolate, why not catch the hit Broadway musical “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”? The show — adapted, of course, from the beloved Roald Dahl book — is in San Francisco for a run, and the details are here, along with a chat with two Bay Area actresses who are part of the touring production.

3 SEE: A trio of legendary hip-hop performers

Snoop Dogg is known for a lot of things these days: food, clothes, pot and, um, more pot. But he is still one of hip-hop’s best known performers, and he’ll be in Oakland April 19 headlining a show that also features Bay Area icons E-40 and Too Short. Details are here.

4 SIP: Suds by the Bay

This Saturday brings the big Bay Area Craft Beer Festival to the Martinez waterfront with brewskis from more than 50 Northern California breweries, plus live music and food. Prost!

Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle

      

Cafe X COO talks ‘the right moment’ for robot baristas

As chief operating officer of a company that makes robot baristas, Cynthia Yeung is well aware that some people may view her as the villain who wants to replace human workers. But Yeung believes robots can make a worker’s job better, not worse.

Yeung spends a lot of time thinking about how her company can “set the tone” and be “responsible players” in the robotics and automation industry, she said during a recent interview in San Francisco, where Cafe X has a robotic barista at each of its three locations downtown — along with its human workers.

“My parents didn’t go to college,” she said. “I was incredibly privileged to go to a great university, and I think a lot about other people who didn’t have the opportunities I did.”

Like other robot enthusiasts, Yeung says robots can take the “dirty, dull and dangerous” parts of jobs so humans can be freed up to do other things that may be more enjoyable. Our conversation with Yeung has been edited for length and clarity.

Q: How is Cafe X changing jobs done by humans?

A: The responsibilities of certain jobs have changed. We’re having the robot do the boring, repetitive parts of the job. What our coffee bar specialists are responsible for is having conversations with our customers. We actually hire many former baristas. They’re helping people understand the technology, showing customers how to use the touchscreens to order their drinks, rather than writing names on a cup and yelling out your name. Maybe helping customers with their cameras when they want to take photos with the robots. They’re explaining that we have three different roasters here. They’re almost like a coffee sommelier in some ways. And you don’t have a bunch of people waiting in line behind you, like at Starbucks, …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle

      

Tennis great Michael Chang looks to ace the sale of his California home for $8 million

Built in 1990, the resort-style home recently underwent a complete renovation. Click through the slideshow to see more. (Photo by Chris Fox)

(Photo by Chris Fox)

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Tennis champion Michael Chang has put his nine bedroom Coto de Caza residence on the market for $8 million.

The manse and a guest house are set on 9.5 acres with two private tennis courts – one hard and one clay. A half-basketball court, two synthetic putting greens and a large swimming pool with a spa and rock waterfall are among the amenities. An outdoor kitchen, fire pit with built-in seating and an expansive koi pond complete the grounds.

Built in 1990, the resort-style home recently underwent a complete renovation. The 7,665-square-foot main house boasts seven bathrooms and six bathrooms and features new hardwood floors, recessed lighting, restored fireplaces and Restoration Hardware chandeliers. The chef’s kitchen contains trendy white cabinets and state of the art appliances. There’s also a breakfast nook.

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Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle

      

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