Calling all Golfers!
While the weather is warm, head out on the course with an improved golf game. Marin Gyrotonic in Tiburon is offering a training system that teaches golfers how to swing the club more effectively, increase drive distance, control trajectory and limit potential injuries. Marin Gyrotonic teachers are trained by David Rasmussen, an instructor with 30 years of experience who learned techniques from Hank Haney, a former PGA Teacher of the Year and a current Tiger Woods instructor. 415.789.5277,

Green & Clean
When Karl Huie, the friendly and extroverted owner of Sunshine Cleaners in Sausalito, decided to invest in making the switch to wet cleaning, a nontoxic alternative to solvent-based dry cleaning, he knew it would be better for the health of his employees, customers and the environment, but the second-generation dry cleaning business owner didn’t expect to win any awards. However, at the 10th anniversary Honor Thy Healer awards ceremony put on by Zero Breast Cancer, Huie was recognized for being Marin’s first certified green dry cleaner.

Skin Deep
Looking to get ready for summer? Mill Valley spa Biondina is now offering organic NAYA facials. The local line, which uses only organic plant-and food-based ingredients like Sonoma olive oil and farmers’ market honey along with earth-friendly packaging, is the brainchild of Marinite Kelsey Lynn Riley, who does all the design, handcrafting and blending herself. Riley also uses nothing but the energy of the sun to make her oils. The line is available at Maison Rêve in Mill Valley and Woodlands Market in Kentfield. Naya Organics, 415.306.6008,

Marin/Scapes is Back
The annual Marin/Scapes fine art exhibit and sale is back for another year to benefit Buckelew Programs. The event displays work that shows the life and landscapes of Marin. Don’t miss the preview night gala, July 2, at Escalle Winery in Larkspur. 415.457.6966,

Keeping it Cool
Like true inventors, Marinites Lisa Frolich and Janet Fall came up with a simple solution to a common problem. They loved their All-Clad cookware but didn’t like the bulky oven mitts and dishtowels they’d have to use when removing a hot lid. They wanted something sleek and small that would stay in place and wouldn’t clash with their gourmet pots and pans. The result is CoolTops, a molded heat-resistant silicone-based material that fits securely underneath the metal handle of All-Clad, Emeril Pro-Clad and Emeril Hard Anodized cookware.

Pilates for Patients
Pilates Wellness Institute offers subsidized Pilates training to cancer patients recovering from their treatments. According to PWI founder and cancer survivor Shelley Ballestrazze, “the Pilates Method of body conditioning is effective in preventing and managing lymphedema, increasing energy, eliminating joint and back pain and restoring strength, flexibility and balance.”

Keep It Local – Open Garden Project
After completing the Environmental Forum of Marin’s “Sustainable Earth Training Program,” local Hilary Jeffris and former classmate Julie Hanft turned their final project into a lasting program. The Marin Open Garden Project organizes a weekly exchange of garden bounty—perfect if you’ve been wondering what to do with all those fava beans, blackberries and tomatoes you’ve got growing in your backyard. Jeffris says this is “truly local food, shared between neighbors, families and friends!”  Boyle Park, Lower Lawn. Check website for more locations and dates,

Scare-Free Sunscreen!
For those weary of nano particles and the potential dangers of chemicals commonly appearing in our lotions, finding a sunscreen that protects from UVA and UVB rays and is everything-free is a challenge. Local skin care company Marie-Véronique Organics offers a line of of sunscreens recently rated by the Environmental Working Group as a top 10 finalist for safety and efficacy.  Absolutely no fillers, waxes, fragrances or artificial colors are used. In addition, it is free of harmful chemicals and parabens, substances that may be absorbed into the bloodstream. Plus, the green tea used in the forumula is touted for antiaging properties. Read more at

Local Knowledge
Hey, Popular Science magazine readers, did you notice last month’s issue, which featured Mill Valley orthopedic surgeon and seasoned inventor (Joint Juice) Kevin Stone? Stone’s Rescue Reel was named as one of its Top 10 Inventions for 2009. His inspiration came while watching the 9/11 footage on television. Stone (photo at right) figured that there had to be a better way to exit a skyscraper in an emergency. He based his design on a fishing reel and a harness that would lower a person to safety. “The Rescue Reel affords people an easy way to engineer their own escape,” says Stone; “all users have to do is open a file-drawer-size container and hook a Kevlar cord to a secure object or connection point (such as between a door and its frame). Then they step directly into the one-size-fits-all harness and rappel down from an open window up to 100 stories from the ground.” Best of all, no training needed, and the entire process takes less than a minute. A commercial-ready version, which he hopes will interest building developers and fire departments, will be ready next year, for about $1,500.

Pho Fun! Good news for true pho-philes: Khai Duong, creator of Ana Mandara in Ghirardelli Square, has partnered with nephew Lam Nguyen to resurrect the corner space on Geary and Parker in San Francisco where Straits Cafe reigned for decades. Duong and Nguyen literally traveled the world to find the best pho to re-create in the Bay Area. The results of over a year’s pho-research (or noodling around) can be savored in their beef broth, made with all-natural Masami Wagyu Kobe-style beef bones, or the chicken pho made with organic, free-range fowl. The broths simmer for at least 10 hours and are never seasoned with MSG. There’s a vegan option made with mushroom, and the menu also offers fresh and crispy (fried) spring rolls and other starters, Vietnamese crepes, rice dishes and a deliciously spicy papaya salad. While chef Duong brings restaurant glamour to the table, Nguyen brings solid restaurant experience, having grown up working at his mother’s long-successful Orient Express in the Berkshires of Massachusetts. A plus for Marinites driving in is the easy street parking. Great prices, too.

Pho in Marin? If you’re not up for crossing the bridge, pho can be found in Corte Madera’sTown Center at La Maison de la Reine or at Saigon Village (720 B Street) in San Rafael.
What the pho? Pho is a traditional Vietnamese rice noodle soup dish served throughout the day and night.