Sunday, December 21, 2014

A word of warning for Senator Warren

I guess it’s nothing new, but it’s unsettling to have an increasingly popular U.S. senator, Elizabeth Warren, focusing her political anger on Wall Street. Many, if not most, of her well-attended speeches blame the “big banks” and stockbrokers for the fact that there are “two Americas” – the 1 percent and the rest of us. Maybe […]

New technology chief will join McNaughton Newspapers

FAIRFIELD — Figuring out the best way to bring news to readers in an online format is a challenge that even the biggest media outlets haven’t yet mastered. But Taylor Buley is planning to do that for McNaughton Newspapers. Beginning in January, Buley will be the chief technologist at McNaughton Newspapers, overseeing information technology and […]

Your info has been hacked. Now what do you do?

SAN FRANCISCO — Criminals stole personal information from tens of millions of Americans in data breaches this past year. Of those affected, one in three may become victims of identity theft, according to research firm Javelin. Whether shopping, banking or going to the hospital, Americans are mostly at the mercy of companies to keep their […]

On the money: 4 ways to hold on to your cash when renting a car

Alex Viega Heading home for the holidays can come with a hefty price tag. Although gas prices are the lowest they’ve been in years, if you’re renting a car, increased demand during the season means you’ll likely encounter higher prices — especially if you haven’t already locked in a rate. And that’s not counting the […]

Of mutual interest: Investors say ‘bye,’ but not ‘ciao,’ to stock pickers

Stan Choe NEW YORK — Stock pickers might as well wear a scarlet “A.” “Active management” is becoming more of a taboo when it comes to mutual funds. Many investors are abandoning actively managed funds, wary of their high fees and recently disappointing performance. Instead, they’re funneling money into lower-cost index funds, which aim to […]

Warriors beat Thunder 114-109 after Durant injury

OAKLAND — Stephen Curry had 34 points and nine assists, and the Golden State Warriors rallied from an early 17-point deficit to beat Oklahoma City 114-109 on Thursday night after Thunder star Kevin Durant left with a sprained right ankle. Durant scored a season-high 30 points on 10-for-13 shooting in a spectacular first half that ended with […]

A’s acquire lefty De La Rosa from Arizona for cash

OAKLAND — The Athletics have acquired left-hander Eury De La Rosa from the Arizona Diamondbacks for cash. Oakland made the announcement Thursday, the latest trade in another offseason full of them for general manager Billy Beane. The A’s designated right-hander Fernando Rodriguez for assignment to clear room on the 40-man roster. Right-hander Jorge De Leon, who was designated for […]

A’s trade All-Star catcher Derek Norris to Padres

OAKLAND — The revamping Oakland Athletics made yet another trade of a star player this offseason, sending catcher Derek Norris and minor league right-hander Seth Streich to the San Diego Padres on Thursday night for righties Jesse Hahn and R.J. Alvarez along with an international signing bonus slot. San Diego’s been busy, too. At about […]

Raiders defense depleted by injuries

ALAMEDA — The Oakland Raiders defense was dealt a big blow back in the preseason when middle linebacker and defensive signal caller Nick Roach suffered a season-ending concussion. That injury set the tone this season for the Raiders, who have had to piece together their defense on the fly because of a litany of injuries. The Raiders (2-12) have nine […]

49ers’ Harbaugh mum on reported offer from Michigan

SANTA CLARA — 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh is declining to respond to reports that he is weighing an offer from Michigan to become the new football coach at his alma mater. Harbaugh has one season remaining on the $25 million, five-year contract he signed in January 2011. Several media outlets, including ESPN and the NFL Network, have […]

49ers’ Aldon Smith hopes to build off tough year

SANTA CLARA — Aldon Smith might not have the intimidating and impressive sack numbers of past seasons in his abbreviated year, yet he judges his play by more than just flattening opposing quarterbacks. Smith believes he has done well applying pressure since returning from a nine-game suspension that has made it tough for him to […]

College Notebook: Bowl games for area players start Saturday

Six players with area ties are on teams scheduled to play in bowl games this season and four will be in action on Saturday, the first day bowl games will be held. Brock Hekking (Vacaville) and Nevada (7-5) will essentially be the road team when the Wolf Pack takes on Louisiana-Lafayette (8-4) in New Orleans […]

A chocolatey rich coconut cream pie for Christmas

Coconut is my family’s must-have sweet during the holidays. Usually we have a fresh coconut cake, but my mom has been known to sneak a Mounds bar – her favorite candy – when the urge strikes. So this Christmas season, I decided to tie it all together with this recipe for chocolate coconut pie. And […]

Go Italian this Christmas with lobster manicotti

A robust Italian dinner feels just about right for Christmas. It’s rich and comforting and – particularly in the case of our lobster manicotti – decadent without being fussy. We start our manicotti with a lobster and ricotta cheese filling, but if lobster is too much trouble (or not in the budget) just substitute cooked […]

Dressing up a simple hash for Christmas brunch

Sure, you could do pancakes or muffins, just as you have so many years before. But maybe this year you should consider stepping up your Christmas brunch offerings. Maybe this year you should consider a baked hash made from sweet potatoes and Yukon golds topped with smoked salmon, poached eggs and – to be a […]

Horoscopes: Dec. 16, 2014

Mercury enters Capricorn this evening, joining Venus and Pluto in the sign of the goat. This is the realm of the steady climb. The phrase associated with Capricorn is “I use,” and it’s the ideal time to assess the tools we use to do our life’s work and play and tend to any maintenance, upgrades […]

Bridge Dec 16

THE NEA BRIDGE by Phillip Alder TEN TRICKS NEEDED, SO COUNT TO 10 Yves Saint Laurent said, “A good model can advance fashion by 10 years.” Was he thinking of someone in particular? A good bridge player can advance his score if he wins 10 tricks when playing in a four-level contract — as South […]

Put stock market correction into perspective

Just as local meteorologists and news anchors can’t resist describing the recent storms as bringing “much-needed rain,” so some media types feel obligated to describe the 500-point market drop as a “much-needed correction.” While the rain is, in fact, much-needed, who says the same phrase can be applied to the stock market? After all, a […]

More Americans to buy homes with 3 percent down

WASHINGTON — Some Americans will soon be able to buy a home with a down payment as low as 3 percent, compared with the current minimum of 5 percent, the mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac say. The new lending guidelines announced by the companies Monday are designed to help more low-income and first-time […]

As US cleans up, it’s exporting more pollution

GARDI SUGDUP, Panama — Heat-trapping pollution released into the atmosphere from rising exports of U.S. gasoline and diesel dwarfs the cuts made from fuel efficiency standards and other efforts to reduce global warming in the United States, according to a new Associated Press investigation. Under President Barack Obama, the U.S. has reduced more carbon pollution from energy […]

McDonald’s to trim menu, examine ingredients

NEW YORK — McDonald’s is planning to trim its menu, review its cooking methods and maybe even get rid of some of the ingredients it uses to change perceptions that it serves junk food. CEO Don Thompson sought to reassure investors Wednesday that such changes will help strengthen the chain’s appeal as it fights to hold onto […]

Harden scores 44 to lead Rockets over Kings in OT

SACRAMENTO — James Harden scored 44 points, including 10 in overtime, and also had eight assists to lead the Houston Rockets over the Sacramento Kings 113-109 on Thursday night. Harden, the NBA’s leading scorer, tied the game with a 3-pointer and then opened the extra period with seven unanswered points. The win was the fifth […]

Pavelski leads Sharks past Wild 2-1

SAN JOSE — Joe Pavelski scored the tiebreaking goal early in the third period and Alex Stalock made 18 saves against his hometown team to lead the San Jose Sharks to their seventh win in eight games, 2-1 over the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night. Brent Burns also scored and Joe Thornton had two assists for the Sharks, […]

College notebook: Former Bulldogs lead teams to playoff wins

A pair of former Vacaville High football teammates had big games to help their college teams advance in their respective playoffs. Melvin Mason ran 16 times for 89 yards and caught two passes to help eighth-seeded Southern Oregon roll past No. 3 Saint Xavier of Chicago 62-37 in the NAIA semifinals. The Raiders (12-2) advance […]

Wisconsin’s Gordon seeks one more long run to win Heisman

MADISON, Wis. — The voice sounded a little weary. The steps were a bit slow, at least compared to Melvin Gordon’s usual gait around Camp Randall Stadium. Nearing the end of a memorable season, 17th-ranked Wisconsin’s star running back sounded and looked like he could use a pick-me-up days after his team’s humbling 59-0 loss […]