by Kasia Pawlowska
There was a palpable void in the local art world in 2011 when the Marin Arts Council ceased to be. After its folding, creative people and leaders recognized that Marin needed an umbrella for all the arts — visual, theater, film, literary, music and arts education, too. After six years of planning, MarinArts was born. Searchable by type of event, venue and organization, MarinArts makes it easy to find and participate in creative and cultural activities throughout the county. It’s a win-win for both organizers and attendees: Promoters and artists have a free, efficient way to raise audience awareness, and the community gets a comprehensive guide to nearby arts and entertainment as well as classes.
Bay Area–designed applications worth clicking on.
by Kier Holmes
Lucid: Mental training
Elite athletes train their minds like they train their bodies. This is the idea behind Lucid, an app created by Mill Valley resident Jason Stirman, now CEO of Lucid and a former Twitter developer. The app provides access to techniques used by coaches of the likes of Michael Jordan, Brandon Marshall, Kobe Bryant, B.J. Penn and Aaron Gordon; although made for sports, it can help anyone needing confidence, focus and greater ability to perform under pressure. Free to download at the Apple App Store.
After learning sign language as a way to communicate with her daughter Grace, who has Down syndrome and apraxia, Tiburon resident Valerie Carter created two apps, Sign Me A Story and Sign Me ABC’s, that use story, song, games and video to teach sign language and build awareness of the abilities of special needs children. The alphabet app was made possible with the help of grants, donations and volunteers. Both programs are free to download at the Apple App Store and Google Play.
Mill Valley resident Barry Schenbaum and his sister Gail Schenbaum-Lawton co-created Umergency, an app that quickly connects college students and their families during any urgent health or safety situation. The app includes a variety of accessible on- and off-campus resources, including an Urgent Alert beacon that notifies a student’s chosen contacts when immediate help is needed and provides the student’s GPS location. Free to download for college students; parents, family members and other non-student users can subscribe for a small fee.
Meet the local business owner who is delivering marijuana, breaking stereotypes and working for passage of county legislation.
By Kasia Pawlowska, Illustration by David Wilson
You’re frequently at city council meetings, yes? Yes. I started the Marin Cannabis Couriers Association for delivery operators, which is linked to a state association that helped push forward a bill that created “delivery licenses” — I’ve been going to city council meetings all around Marin County helping to advance cannabis ordinances. I feel like cannabis has allowed me to find my voice in speaking up for what I believe in.
How did your relationship with marijuana start? I would say in two ways. I was introduced to cannabis as medicine by my mother. When I got my wisdom teeth pulled out my mother flushed the doctor-prescribed opioids down the toilet and treated my pain by making a homemade cannabis oil. Later, in my 20s, I was having a hard time drinking socially — I would get sick and feel truly awful from alcohol. On the flip side, recreational use of cannabis made me feel uplifted and happy.
What prompted you to start ONA? I was working a soul-sucking job that I couldn’t wait to leave. I had started to research the medical cannabis laws in California (Proposition 215) and started working for cannabis lawyers so I could learn more about the legality of the industry. It became crystal clear that I wanted to jump into this industry that was strictly focused on helping people feel good — people with epilepsy, cancer, chronic pain, depression, anxiety, insomnia and the list goes on. From there, my older brother Aviv invested in my ONA vision. I noticed that Marin County didn’t have any cannabis companies that I personally would want to purchase from. I always say I created the ONA experience around someone like myself, similar to Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx, who created something she needed.
What obstacles have you faced getting your business off the ground? It is a very long list. To name a few, I would say the ever-changing cannabis regulations that we are helping evolve by changing state and local laws and taxes, and also, most of all, breaking the cannabis “stoner” stigma.
Looking for a cool route to health? These three Bay Area alternative wellness treatments are fast ways to help get your mind and body relaxed.
by Kier Holmes
Details: A two-hour workout in 21 minutes? It’s possible with Vasper. Users perform this low-impact interval exercise on a recumbent stepper while wearing pressurized cuffs on their upper arms and legs; it employs a cooling and compression technology that noninvasively accumulates lactic acid and mimics the physiology of an intensive workout. Currently used by NASA astronauts and top athletes.
Benefits: Improves cardiovascular health, builds muscle, protects joints and reduces inflammation.
Details: An innovative multisensory experience combining several healing treatments including acupuncture, acutonics (tuning-fork therapy for the needle-shy), aromatherapy, color light therapy and herbal elixirs — all in a sound therapy lounger.
Benefits: Deeply relaxes and restores the nervous system, alleviates pain, enhances vitality.
Where: Resonance Spa and Wellness, Corte Madera
Details: An ancient practice that uses extremely cold temperatures to promote natural healing and wellness. Modern whole-body cryotherapy involves a special controlled chamber and exposing the skin to temperatures under minus- 200 degrees Fahrenheit through dry nitrogen vapors.
Benefits: Alleviates muscle soreness, boosts metabolism and mood, and promotes restful sleep — in just three minutes.
FOR PET’S SAKE
Three warm-and-fuzzy helpers doing serious good in the Bay Area.
by Kier Holmes
This August, Hospice by the Bay, in partnership with experienced camp organizer Comfort Zone Camp, is offering By the Bay Camp, a new program of support for grieving children, teens and families. Animals from Marin Humane play a role during the weekend retreat.
An English cream golden retriever named Aspen helps ease kids’ anxiety during appointments with Gila Dorostkar, a pediatric dentist in Greenbae and Mill Valley. The office mascot and certified pet therapy dog is routinely called upon to help young patients (and parents) have a calmer, low-stress treatment. Aspen also goes on community outreach trips to local preschools, where Dorostkar gives presentations on good dental habits. drdorostkar.com
At Jessica’s Haven every small dog has a big job, besides ultimately trying to become adopted. The pint-size pooches give unconditional love and teach patience, calmness and responsibility to visitors with disabilities, kids at local schools, and patients at San Rafael’s Generations Healthcare rehabilitation center. jessicashaven.com
MARIN MOBILE CARE
by Kasia Pawlowska
Thanks largely to the Downtown Streets Team, Marin County has its first-ever mobile showers. Marin Mobile Care currently operates out of Novato and San Rafael, with plans to expand in upcoming months. The units consist of two mobile trailers with shower and restroom facilities that travel throughout Marin, providing a safe, clean and reliable space for underserved and unhoused individuals to meet their personal hygiene needs. Free shampoo, conditioner and body wash, all supplied by EO, as well as clean, fresh towels, are on site. Combs, razors, toothbrushes and socks are also provided when available. Beyond hygiene, Marin Mobile Care functions as an outreach platform for informing people about resources that can assist them in ending their homelessness. Here are some more numbers on the program. marinmobilecare.org