Special congrats to local great white shark-bite survivor Jonathan Kathrein, who has authored his second book (this time with his mom, Margaret), Far From Shore. The book shares the story of how Margaret dealt with her son’s attack.

Add It Up
When members of the Marin County Federal Credit Union took out holiday loans last fall, $10 was donated each time to the Marin Community Food Bank in Novato. Donations added up quickly and the food bank has just received a $500 check!
Hats off to Lei Ann Werner and Alain Pinel Realtors, who collected over 1,000 pairs of socks, coats and clothing for Ritter House.

There’s a new place to put up out-of-town guests: Larkspur Hotel Mill Valley. The former Holiday Inn Express near Frantoio has received a $3 million renovation. It boasts flat-screen televisions and an outdoor heated pool. 866.823.4669,

Extra Cash!
Need extra dough? Have old jewelry? Deleuse Jewelers in Tiburon can now purchase gold jewelry, coins and old gold parts for cash. 415.435.2484,

Could You Be a Mentor?
If you can devote a year to working one-on-one with a high school student, the Marin Education Fund needs you. Mentors will help students with the college and financial aid process. For more information contact Chase Finney at 415.451.4016,

One Big Book Club in Marin
Once again, One Book One Marin has selected a stellar novel, but this time it also happens to be Pulitzer Prize–winning. Michael Chabon’s The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay follows artist Joe Kavalier, who smuggles himself out of Prague and arrives in New York in 1939, and his 17-year-old cousin Sammy Clay. The two work together on a new comic book series and make it big with their superhero, the Escapist. With money in his pocket, Joe attempts to bring his family over from Prague but his brother perishes on the trip, sparking a series of events that changes Joe’s life.

Praise for the novel includes “hard to imagine it being any better written” and “characters so highly developed they could walk off the page,” as well as a “novel of towering achievement.”

Like one big book club, One Book One Marin will feature programs throughout the county to stimulate discussions about the book and create an open dialogue. For more information on events such as a lecture by the author Michael Chabon, go to

Fun on the Go
No need to leave home for fun. Certified children’s yoga instructor and former speech pathologist Marilyn LoRusso now brings classes in baby sign language, art, yoga and fitness to Marin homes. Her new company, Kids’ Fun on the Go, has classes for ages two months to nine years old in sessions of four to six weeks. 415.816.3212,

Fairfax Is Ready to Dance
After 17 years of teaching Marinites everything from ballet to hip hop, Mill Valley’s RoCo Dance and Fitness now has a second location in Fairfax. The new 4,000-square-foot facility, which has three dance studios and a performance space, will be a welcome addition for the nearly 1,100 dancers that have attended the original Mill Valley RoCo.

Let Them Eat Cake
Indulge in southern red velvet, cherry pie and old-fashioned six-layer chocolate cake at L.A. favorite SusieCakes—now open in Greenbrae. The home-style bakery creates classic treats from scratch, including its signature frosting-filled cupcakes. 310 Bon Air Center (Greenbrae). 415.461.2253,

It Takes a Village
With nothing more than a good idea and the conviction to spend three years working on it, Tiburon resident Heather Staples and three other California women have written and produced (in collaboration with the Nature Conservancy) a collection of 18 songs and stories that teach kids about the changes happening to the planet. The women convinced more than 20 singers and actors, including Joan Osborne and Matt Ross of HBO’s Big Love, to donate their time and perform on the CD. All the net profits support the Nature Conservancy.

Their website also offers activities for kids like a petition about protecting the penguins to circulate and mail to the White House; a Going Green Family Pledge and fun recycling challenges.

The CD is available from Amazon, iTunes and

Anniversary Party
This year Marin’s own Lily Samii is celebrating 40 years since establishing her business in Larkspur, and 20 years since launching her namesake clothing label. The designer started her career studying French dressmaking and apprenticed with designer Edith Head and James Galanos before making it big on her own.