( Dan Honda )
A world away: Dublin soccer club hosts Japanese team for week's adventure

The Japan Football Association Academy, an under-15 girls national soccer team pool, visited Dublin for a series of friendly matches against Northern California clubs. They stayed with host families, did some sightseeing and met with local dignitaries in what the Dublin United Soccer League hopes will become a regular cultural exchange program. 
I'm glad to say that the trail more than lives up to the hype. It's an easy round trip of just less than 3 miles through a mostly wooded landscape, with a few gentle grades along the way. Set high above the shoreline, the trail provides spectacular views of Carquinez Strait and its maritime traffic, the city of Benicia and Mount Diablo peeping around the corner.  
While the stereotyped image of Thanksgiving is a feast in the late 1600s or early 1700s shared between Native Americans and the first settlers of what would later become the American colonies, did you know that Thanksgiving wasn't officially added to the calendars until 1863?  
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Activists had sought an end to wild cow milking, along with mutton busting, goat tying and electric prods at the rodeo, but Hayward park district directors turned down the request.  
Between the Vines is a biweekly column on wine and winemaking in the Livermore Valley region. This column was contributed by the Livermore Valley Winegrowers Association.  
Historic Pioneer site will get more plots, paths and landscaping  
HAYWARD -- A San Francisco labor attorney pleaded guilty on Tuesday to misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter and felony hit-and-run for killing a Chinese tourist in Dublin in 2012.  
Reason doesn't sway believers in liberalismI was amused to read the comments by retiring U.S. Rep. George Miller, D-Martinez, (Valley Times, Nov. 17) on why Americans were discontented with President Obama and showed it at the ballot box.  
AccomplishmentsYoung musicians win competition: Vincent Liu and Misha Galant have won the 42nd annual Competition for Young Musicians, sponsored by the Livermore-Amador Symphony Association.  
Editor's note: I'm pleased to welcome Nora Heston Tarte, our new Around Livermore columnist. Nora was born and raised in Livermore, and has been a working journalist for more than five years.  
(Pottery Barn)
Holiday decor to suit every style

Whether you want the latest in LED illumination, a midcentury-modern look, rustic touches, blingy metallic or jewel-like tones, beaded fabrics, faux fur or felt pom-pom garlands, retailers have plenty of possibilities waiting for you.