Thursday, April 2, 2015

The year of drones at National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) convention

Last year there was about a dozen drone companies at National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) convention, the year before a only a few drones, but this years annual event in Las Vegas has a whole section dedicated to drones. As the Executive Producer of the local TV Show Silicon Valley- Technology, Art, Green & Sustainability the idea of taking film above ground without actually having to get into a helicopter to do so excites me. As a private citizen the idea of drones brings to mind Orson Welles book 1984 and having people able to watch everything we do, possibly evading my privacy is not something I like. We all crave more data at our fingertips, but will it be worth the loss of our privacy? Last years show had a great product by Sony that rivals GoPro. The quality of film and the display on the Sony were much better then the GoPro. There was a watch type display that you could view what you are filming on the Sony product. I will be looking for changes in this technology this year to add to our local show, that we will be filming at other locations beyond California this year. Now that this technology has been out for a while more options should be available. Cannon last year had the most interesting still photography displays and demonstrations. While film quality cameras we could not decide what would be the best option for our crew for the SVTAGS production. We have always used the equipment that CreaTV San Jose has provided for their customers at a low cost, and since the technology changes so fast; this has been the best option for us to date. Their equipment has spanned from JVC, to Sony and other products so we have tested a wide variety on location filming. To date we have gone on location over fifty times, and are working on out 121st and 122nd show that we will film in the studio next week. At NAB this year we will be looking for our own equipment to buy and are excited to see what’s new. The NAB show this year is April 11th to the 16th. Exhibit Halls are opening on Monday the 13th. For more information about SVTAGS please go here: or email at Note: SVTAGS and Heather Durham do not endorse, nor is paid, buy any of the products mentioned above and has a non-preferential opinion on all the said items in this blog.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Food Truck Craze Arrives in Silicon Valley!

Food is at the heart of most cultures and community. Here, in Silicon Valley, it’s no different; we really like to eat. The food truck craze is everywhere and this summer you can enjoy a variety of foods all within a few steps of each other. For Los Gatos and Saratoga, we will be spoiled this summer with two food truck events locally. No dining dress code at these events, in fact, organizers encourage you to bring your own table and chairs! On the fourth Saturday of every month, Moveable Feast will make its appearance in Saratoga doing what it does best—bringing together an array of great food. The kick-off event, “Foodie Fun On The Run” took place 4-8 p.m. on Saturday, May 26 at the corner of Saratoga-Sunnyvale Road light before the railroad tracks at Sea Gull Way in Saratoga. With over 450 people attending this first event, it’s off to a good start. They were eating everything from lobster rolls, to gourmet pulled pork sandwiches and ice cream by Scoops. There was dancing to a live band and all the eating was done for a good cause! Every month Movable Feast will donate part of its proceeds to a non-profit. May Relay For Life of Saratoga, sponsored by the American Cancer Society was that benefactor. Other companies will donate by sponsoring the non-profit for each month, by having a booth to sell goods and then donate back a certain percentage of their sales to the non-profit of choice for the month. The public can park at 12341 Saratoga-Sunnyvale Road or the adjacent parking lots. You can check the Gateway Businesses Facebook page for more details. All the businesses are excited about hosting this monthly event! Some of the bands playing this monthly event will be Sound Eclipse, The Ones, Blues Angel Band, Lucky Lady and Johnny Neri Band! Other dates for this event will be June 23rd, July 28th, August 25th, September 22nd and October 27th. In Los Gatos the La Hacienda Inn Hotel Food Truck Fest, 18840 Los Gatos-Saratoga Rd., on Friday nights. Organizers have had people piling in and celebrating their Fridays with dancing, beer and food during the past few events. Los Gatos Food Truck Fest has had successful events consistently every Friday since April 27, 5-9 p.m., and will continue June 15, 22 and apparently all summer on Friday nights. Some of the same food trucks participating in the Los Gatos Food Truck Fest will be in Saratoga also. With hundreds of food trucks in the Bay Area, your choices and locations to eat on the low down are limitless. Sam’s Chowder Mobile, House of Siam, Treatbot (owner of Moveable Feast owns this one), Chairman Bao Truck, Soulnese, Sanguchon, Lobster Shack and Bigg Shrimp'n and MoGo BBQ, are just some of the food trucks in the area. Chairman Bao Truck is a great example of the success these restaurants on wheels are having. The business has more than 11,000 people following its Twitter account! Other close-by locations for food truck events are Friday nights in San Jose's Willow Glen neighborhood, 2310 Canoas Garden Ave., and South San Jose, 525 Blossom Hill Rd. Villa Montalvo had nine food trucks at its recent "Arts Splash" event, which was part of its centennial year-long celebration. More food truck events this summer will be coming up everywhere and according to Saratoga Mayor Chuck Page, "We will be working with the community as part of our economic community planning fund to help with permits." Zoe Alameda, from Alameda Family Funeral & Cremation, is one of the businesses in the Gateway area of Saratoga, which helped push for the Saratoga food truck event. Also helping her were Brenda Kashuba, from 4EverFit Personal Training Studio, and Deni Green, from Azule Salon. Zoe said this about the plans for the event, “Food is the essence of life and community. We wanted to have an event that would bring the community together and the proceeds would benefit our community. Each one of our food events will benefit a local charity." Super Starts and Silpada Jewelry participated in the Saratoga event on May 26th and are donating part of their sales to the ACS's Relay for Life event in Saratoga. That event is on July 21st and you can click the link above for more information on donations and volunteering for Relay. Other non-profits that will benefit for the summer food truck event in Saratoga are: June the West Valley Community Services Dash For Hope, July the Saratoga Senior Center, August the Youth Science Institute, September the Saratoga Chamber of Commerce and October the Saratoga High School Football team. For me, I think date night this summer will be all about tasting each food truck that I can all summer long! *A note to readers- this blog was posted to Los Gatos, and the above is the updated version. Original Blog can be seen here:

Friday, December 2, 2011

Holistic Businessman Fights Medical Board of CA

Innocent until proven guilty and the right to a fair trial are freedoms granted to you as an American by the Constitution, but it seems that's not the case if the Medical Board of California decides to go after you.

The Board's complaint process is clearly defined on its website.

But in the case local holistic practitioner Cary Silberman, the rules seem to have been changed to suit the Board.

Silberman's case is now being prosecuted by the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office.

The Right to a Fair Trial

As privileged as we are in this country, the Sixth Amendment still has its problems. Does the court system work or not? Some people would say "no" after Casey Anthony was acquitted from her little girl's murder.

This past summer, the San Jose Mercury News had an article about Silberman and, in my opinion, that story was slanted. I checked the facts of this case and I’m still scratching my head about it. The person that wrote the article obviously got his information from the Board, but did no other research, nor checked anything else out that had to do with the case. It appears he did not talk to the father of the child that was allegedly injured. (I have a copy of that article now down off their site if you would like a copy).

Some of you may know Silberman. Maybe you trusted him and went to see him for a problem that conventional medicine was not healing, at one of the five California locations.

Silberman was the owner of “Shiny Toes,” a cold laser treatment center for nail fungus and pain management. “Shiny Toes” listed California locations in Los Gatos, San Jose, San Francisco, San Ramon, and Beverly Hills. The Medical Board of California began investigating Silberman in January 2011.

An undercover investigator, posing as a patient, obtained evidence that Silberman was diagnosing and treating toenail fungus and using lasers to treat this ailment, according to the Board.

The Charges

According to a press release issued by the Board in July, Silberman was charged with one felony count of practicing medicine without a license, one felony count of grand theft by fraud, and one misdemeanor count of child endangerment, alleging Silberman injured a 4-year-old when he performed laser treatment on the child.

The Board has already dropped some of the charges.

The mission of the Board is public protection, and the action reflected the agency's ongoing commitment to that mission, said Linda Whitney, executive director of the Medical Board in the release.

Silberman started a holistic business that helps people get rid of toe nail fungus and chronic pain. He did this because he truly wanted to help people “not hurt them.” He wanted to make a difference for those who wanted an alternative health option, he said in a phone interview.

The Board, not San Jose Police, stormed into his home office, he said.

Silberman indicated this was the first notice he got that something was wrong and that there were concerns raised against him. They cuffed him, attired only in his underwear, in front of his staff and people who were coming in (he was in the shower when they showed up), he said.

Then they ransacked his entire place, he said.

The Board took things that had nothing to do with the investigation, things that belonged to his ex-wife, antiques, other items that belonged to employees and renters, he said.

The Facts

A San Francisco podiatrist had been complaining about Silberman online, he said.

The “cold” laser system Silberman used in his practice is used by 85 percent to 95 percent of medical technicians, chiropractors and other non-doctor staff. Click here to see some of the companies that train people for this!

Was Silberman really breaking any law, if so many others are trained to use this equipment who are not doctors?

The Interview With The Child’s Father

I called Ray Afandor, the child's father, and asked him about the charges the Board has brought against Silberman.

Afandor said the Board called him a few weeks ago.

He and his son didn’t have a complaint before that call. In fact, he said, they had another appointment for treatment set up with Silberman, when the Board contacted him.

Kaiser said it’s best to see a specialist now,” Afandor said, and “I’m going to do that.” He is hopeful that it will cure his son's problem.

Afandor said he was putting medication on his son's toes, which "causes liver cancer." His son stopped taking the medication because it was bothering him and they went to Silberman for alternative solutions, he added.

Silberman had previously given him some homeopathic natural ointment to apply to the toes, instead of the cancer-causing stuff a regular MD had given Afandor to give to his son, he said.

Afandor added that he had been taking his son to see Silberman since about late fall of 2010. Silberman said he was a “practitioner,” and he's not sure if he ever said he was a doctor, but that was not his main concern, he said.

Would the son have healed in time with additional treatment by Silberman? Or is his injury from the treatments that Silberman did on him? These are the questions that are at the root of this case now.

Silberman said that Afandor's son came to the office many times and there were never any complaints. Afandor reiterated that he was disappointed by the outcome and that he had taken his son to see Silberman four times.


The company that sold the equipment to Silberman, K-Laser USA, would not return my calls, but its website clearly states that it will train technicians to use its equipment.

K-Laser USA has a list of at least 12 other companies in the greater Bay Area and Silicon Valley that are using this equipment, too. Will they be giving these non-doctors a refund when the Board comes knocking on their doors, too? Take a look at those companies by clicking here.

Issue of MD vs. Non-MD Technician

Silberman said he never told people he was a medical doctor.

It should be noted that there is a bill for holistic/alternative healthcare providers, CA Senate Bill 577. This law was put into place to help holistic/alternative healthcare folks, as their prerogative right. The measure also aims to protect them and gives them a range of authority to care for their clients.

The Lawyers, Courts

I talked to the Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Lisa Schon. She stated that the case is mainly concerned with Silberman “diagnosing people, and holding himself out as a doctor.”

This is a case that we should all be following. Our civil rights seem to be largely at risk.


If you enjoyed this post, please donate to, so that I can bring you more interesting stories, without the mainstream media bent to it. We also have a show that airs in San Jose on Mondays at 7 p.m. You can see it stream on at that same time, or watch it in Santa Cruz County on Sunday nights. Reuse, reclaim and rethink the way you choose to live in Silicon Valley and beyond; make this a great TAGS week!

Here are some good resources for toenail fungus:

Mayo Clinic:


Good source: California Health Freedom Coalition

Monday, October 3, 2011

Exploring 20 Bay Area (Silicon Valley) Women’s Non-Profits with Soroptmist International

Awakening Women’s Potential Luncheon hosted and produced by Soroptimist International Los Gatos-Saratoga, is this week on October 7th 2011, from 11:30am to 1:30pm.

This event is held to share information about resources for women and girls in the Bay Area with the public. It’s third one that this local Soroptimist club has hosted and last years event had well over one hundred attendees.

There will be time to network with others at the start, to walk around the twenty plus booths of local non-profits and to hear some great information. Later, during lunch, the Honorable Catherine A. Gallagher (Ret.) and Angel Rampy the key not speakers with be talking sharing their knowledge with us. (Read on, below, about both of the dynamic women below).

Soroptimist International is an organization of dedicated business professional women who work to improve the lives of women and girls, in local communities and throughout the world. Soroptimist gives women the ability to take control over their lives, pursue their own goals and live according to their own values. Soroptimist has over 95,000 members in 120 countries and territories. Soroptimist is a 501c3 organization and you can read more here:

For the local club meeting times and information, please click here: Soroptimist International Los Gatos-Saratoga.

Tickets are $35.00 per person, please RSVP is by October 5, 2011, as there will be NO WALK-INS (Villa Ragus will need to pre-order the food, so that’s why there is no walk-ints).

You can conveniently order a ticket online to reserve your space at the fabulous event at:

Checks can also be made payable to SI of Los Gatos-Saratoga P.O. Box 111538, Campbell, CA 95011-1538, but they must be in to the club by the 5th. Again, NO walk-ins the day of the event. If you can not make it but would like to make donation you can mail checks to the above address.

More on the Speakers:
Catherine served 25 years as a Superior Court judge of the Santa Clara County Superior Court. Catherine is known for her wealth of experience in dispute resolution
as a mediator, arbitrator, Judge Pro Tem, discovery master, and neutral evaluator.
She is currently a member of JAMS, “the resolution experts” that is the nation’s largest private provider of mediation and arbitration services.

Angel has more than fifteen years’ experience coaching, training and mentoring professionals. Her experience in working in countries around the world and command
of several languages makes her a valuable coach with keen insight into cultural issues and assumptions. Angel also works with nonprofits like Springfield Forward, Habitat for Humanity and Year Up where she coaches low wage earners to assist them in establishing their careers paths and goals and intense business training to get ready
for internships.

Questions about the event, or further information Soroptimist International please contact, BJ Tucker 408-249-5300. For the press, please contact Heather Durham,, 408-971-7558.

More on Soroptimist as a local club
The Los Gatos-Saratoga Club holds two annual events every year, this event, the Awakening Women’s Potential and a Tea N’ Pearls in May. The Tean N’ Pearls is the only fundraising event that the club does.

The projects the local club works on are:
Women’s Opportunity Award (WOA) that is an award not a scholarship for women who are heads of the household and are going to school. It is meant to help these women achieve a greater educational level and goals that will eventually help them economically to provide for their children. The award varies, depending on the fudraising efforts of the club, but usually is between $1500.00 and $1000.00. It is an award, so they can use it for daycare, school supplies, transportation, medical needs, baby supplies or whatever they need to achieve their scholastic goals. Currently the club is taking applications for the 2011-2012 awards. Have your college advisor contact us for more information on WOA today! Click on our Website to read more.

Violet Richardson award is for girls in high school that are doing outstanding community work. Some of the past winners have volunteered weekly at local senior centers, shelters, hospitals and more. Check out our Website for more information or contact us today!

Other local projects are House on the Hill, Career Closet, GED programs that help women get their high school diplomas, and more. 

It is also note worthy that the Bay Area has a deep history with the UN and one of the reasons the UN was able to survive in the 1930’s was because of some strong-visionary Soroptimist women.

Learn more about Soroptimist International by attending this or other events!

Event Date/time: October 7th 2011 @ 11:30am
Event Place: Villa Ragusa, 35 South Second St, Campbell, CA
Club President: BJ Tucker 408-249-5300.
Press: Heather Durham,

Monday, February 14, 2011

NASA’s Ames Research Center event -Adapting to Climate Change

Written for
By Jeanine Lewis
Edited and Research by Heather Durham

Resilience and Adaptation to Climate Change Risks Symposium
NASA’s Ames Research Center
Moffett Field, CA

Adapting to Climate Change
How all these summer like days in the dead of winter are hazardous to our Health

Dr. Ann Clark, Chief of the Environmental Management Division at NASA Ames Research Center, opened with the quote “May you live in interesting times.” Data collected since the beginning of the 20th Century in the Bay Area point to two undeniable facts: sea levels and temperatures are rising. Those do make for interesting times, but why the concerns? NASA Ames Research Center invited leaders of the environmental fields to share hypothesis on just how interesting our lives will get if we continue with status-quo and ignore those two undeniable facts. From February 1-3, 2011, the Resilience and Adaptation to Climate Change Risk Workshop facilitated lectures on global, local, and regional climate changes in the hopes of sharing concerns and possible solutions. On February 4th, NASA Ames held a symposium for environmental-focused press to also be included in the discussions. Dr. Clark continued by commenting “Every problem is an opportunity in disguise.” Well, let’s see how far this rabbit hole goes.

What is the problem?
Our climate is changing; it is getting warmer. During heat waves, even a small increase in temperature can mean a large increase in energy consumption which will lead to an increase risk of power outages. The increase in temperature will put stress on our systems. It also impacts our infrastructure by the increase in structural damage from flooding and wave action. The encroachment of saltwater on freshwater sources will grossly and negatively impact our drinking water. As the sea level is on the rise, there will be increase of delays on public transportation and low-lying highways.

How did we come into this problem?
“Both human and natural factors represent historical climate” Dr. Radley Horton, Columbia University Associate Research Scientist at the Center of Climate Systems Research at GISS, commented regarding Greenhouse Gas emissions. Natural admissions like volcanoes and sunspot cycles as well as man-made factors such as aerosol emissions and land-use changes have contributed to the increase of our Greenhouse gases. Dr. Horton named various potential impacts of sea level rise; flooding reducing emergency response capabilities, salivation of water supply and freshwater ecosystems, and coastal flooding. Dr. Max Loewenstein, a research scientist in the Earth Science Division at NASA Ames Research Center, reported that in the last 100 years, we have seen the sea level rise by 8 inches, but by 2050, it is projected to be 16 inches higher. Human activities are expected to be a driving factor behind the 21st century climate change. “Even the most remote climate change may have large impacts locally” Dr. Horton continued. Here in the Central Valley for instance, with our increasing heat levels, evaporation also increased, which results in the decrease of available clean water.

Who will be affected?
NASA’s Office of Strategic Infrastructure (OSI) has identified three main systems that will be the most affected by climate change; the workforce, buildings, and nature. “We intend to develop sound plans to address the impact to our workforce for water and temperature, address the built environment effectively, which will address most of the concerns regarding workforce and natural resources” Olga Dominguez, Assistant Administrator for the OSI relayed.

Important buildings, such as the San Francisco International Airport and the Giants Stadium, are below sea level. In 2100, the sea level is projected to rise back to the level we lost by various landfill efforts on which those buildings are built.

California wine is a 30 billion dollar industry and is directly affected by Greenhouse Gas emissions and the availability of clean water. Accurate forecasting will help to improve the vintages by making sure the soil moisture is at the appropriate level. Call the alarm! This is obviously the most important facet to preserve.

How do we attempt to solve it?

First, we must prioritize the important structures already in place that are vulnerable, then develop initial adaptation strategies, link strategies to capital and rehabilitation cycles, identify opportunities for coordination, prepare and implement adaptation plans, monitor and reassess. After the Save the Wine campaign gets underway, we will address the Giants Stadium. Who’s with me!?

Dominguez reports what her office is doing to solve the infrastructure part. “For the first time, infrastructure specialist and scientist are working together to learn how to plan for climate change for the purpose of sustainability.”

Will Travis, Executive Director of San Francisco Bay Conversation and Development Commission weighed in by saying; “In order to reduce our carbon footprint, we need to build housing around jobs. We need to encourage our Government to build communities that residents can walk, bike or take public transportation to.” In synopsis, decrease the necessity to drive such long distances to get to the things we need. It is very common for Bay Area residents to have an average commute time of 45 minutes due to lack of affordable housing close to industry. Imagine being able to buy a house you can afford within 20 minutes, door-to-door, from home to work. Is this sheer brilliance or just common sense? Well, it is certainly a novel idea to say the least.
NASA scientists are going beyond just monitoring climate change; they are actively coming up with solutions.

NASA Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS) launched the Flexible Adaptation Pathways (FAP) strategy for New York City based on a London model, which is catching quite a bit of attention. “New York City and the California Bay Area are the first responders to solve the climate change issue” – Dr. Cynthia Rosenzweig, Senior Research Scientist at GISS. FAP identifies the multiple facets of climate change hazards and the uncertainty associated with each and provides a standard timeless policy that will work in all situations. The platform of FAP is to take each aspect of climate hazards, impacts, and adaptation needs to be continually considered and re-evaluated as new information comes to light. For example, a first step is to conduct inventory of infrastructure and assets to begin identifying vulnerabilities. Secondly, characterize risk by assessing the likelihood of the hazard causing an impact, then reduce the level of physical, social, or economic impact of climate change. Additionally, take advantage of new opportunities of the emerging climate change, such like Dr. Rosenzweig’s project to build more pumps at the Rockaway wastewater treatment plant in New York that helped to raise it 14 feet above sea level. This was part of a drainage and wastewater Management Adaptation. Rainwater drainage improves collection.

Another example would be to enhance natural landscape and drainage to plan for controlled flooding. FAP system can be implemented in cities around the country, especially San Francisco Bay Area that closely relates to the infrastructure of New York City. Dr. Rosenzweig suggests going through the city’s sustainability office to being stakeholders, university scholars, scientists, legal, insurance, and risk management experts to develop a plan like FAP to work for their community. “Identify, characterize, and understand nonlinear tipping points, triggers, and decide how to solve it systemically” Dr. Rosenzweig advises.

Who is supposed to pay for all this?

There are various companies, stakeholders, and organizations that have a vested interest in creating a systemic solution to climate change. Dr. Loewenstein suggests Research & Development collaborations and partnerships with groups dealing with observation, atmospheric composition, and ecosystem forecasting to name a few. Steve Hipskind, Chief of the Earth Science Division at NASA Ames Research, also suggests non-traditional partnerships like the Pipeline Research Council International and Cisco’s Climate Program. Collaboration with venture capitalist firms, technology institutions, green builders, and graduate students will facilitate new ideas with funding to take action.

Knowing the problem is only the tip of the rapidly melting iceberg. The success of the symposium was that it offered a multitude of solutions. We all have a vested interest in adapting to climate change.

See some of this event soon with show in San Jose Channel 15 on Monday’s at 7:30pm and Santa Cruz County channel 26 on Sunday’s at 6:00pm.

If you would like a historical copy of this program at NASA, when show edits are complete, please send $25.00 (for pre-orders) and $5.00 for shipping (to most US cities, more out of the Country) to P. O Box 2428 San Jose CA, 95109. Check Payable to Executive Producer Heather Durham.

Other related articles:



Photos: Jeanine Lewis
Lake Mead 1985 and 2010

Saturday, November 6, 2010

San Francisco Green Fest today

My entire week was filled with working on two new SVTAGS TV/Cable shows, speaking engagements-one at SBODN, a 3-year Anniversary event of the Green Chamber of Commerce SF,the
"Be The Change" Program with Aterra, an "Awakening Women's Potential" event with Soroptimist International and now I'm off to film at the Green Fest San Francisco for my TV Cable show.

Since I have been out of town in years past for this fall Green Festival. I'm really looking forward to investigating today the hundreds of vendors, speakers and see what's up there!

Exhausted from the weeks activities, but also very excited to be able to go to this.... I will be reporting more later on all of the above mentioned!

(Above photo of San Francisco City Hall lite up with orange colored lights for the SF Gaints).

Friday, July 30, 2010

One Green Gals Home Improvement Projects Day 4

Okay, so I thought I would walk into the tile shop and know what I wanted. The FireClay shop that won the CA Clean Tech Open (now Clean Tech Open) in 2008 has so much cool stuff I walked away confused about what to buy!

Today I will go back and take a closer look at their bone yard, which is leftovers that people did not want after the tile was handmade just for them... (people can be so wasteful and picky!)

Here is what my shower has looked like this week and some photos of the tile from Fire and Clay in San Jose. After looking through my photos and thinking I had took before shoots, the only photos I could find are of the cats playing next to the tile we tore out. For the past 2 plus years the cats have thought that the upstairs shower was there personal sandbox, since that's were their box has sat. They are very confused this week and are not happy about the tar in the shower.

Nothing like old meets new in a home improvement project.
Click here for slide show of the project.