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James Raia

James Raia is a writer, editor and publisher based in Sacramento, California, who specializes in sports, lifestyle and business topics. He's written the syndicated automotive column The Weekly Driver since 2004.

Donald Trump has an ace, but lots of AT&T golf failure

Donald Trump and his pro playing partners have missed pro-am cut at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am six times.

As he does in politics, President Donald Trump likes to make bold statements about his golf game. He once said with incorrect grammar, “There’s very few that can beat me in golf.” Trump’s statement is false. But if proof is needed, he hasn’t exactly shown his skills at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am — with ...

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Four quick, cheap, diverse holiday gift ideas

Cocoons are fitover eyewear, and are a thoughtful for a friend or yourself.

Forget silly snowflake sweaters and the mail-order fruitcakes. Practical gift ideas are the way go during the holiday season. Plenty of good things come in small, reasonably priced packages. Technology gadgets abound to simplify the increasingly connected world. A century old insulated food container company has plenty of innovation. And there’s new eyewear protection and ...

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Coffeehouses abound on the Monterey Peninsula

East Village Coffee Lounge is among many unique coffee shops on the Monterey Peninsula.

It’s not too far-fetched to think of coffee as a training aid. It helps motivate the start of many people’s days, and keeps us on course for whatever endurance test awaits. But finding the right cup of coffee is another matter. Like the varying personal preferences in running shoes, coffee drinkers aren’t always easy to ...

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Eric Brynes: Major Leagues to Western States 100

Eric Byrnes, who olayed for 11 seasons in the major leagues, complete the 2016 Western States 100 on June 26 in 22 hours and 50 minutes.

Eric Byrnes has followed a protocol familiar to many participants in the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run. He’s adapted to the rigors of extreme exercise with long hours of running, cycling and swimming. But of the more than 13,000 entrants in the event’s 42 editions only Byrnes has embraced ultra marathons following success in another ...

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Cycling needs reform, more sugar is a good start

Cycling needs reform. Chris Horner likes sugar. Maye cycling should embrace it, too.

Five years ago, teammates Chris Horner and Levi Leipheimer rode together for several miles in an uphill breakaway at the Amgen Tour of California. The riders’ cycling skills, showcased high in the San Gabriel Mountains, defined the sport’s beauty but with a bizarre chunk of irony. Confident and fit, the two riders pedaled in unison. ...

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Sacramento losing its history, one icon at a time

The vintage Fred Mayes clock in downtown Sacramento

The progress of our city momentarily stops a few times a year when I park in the city lot on 10th street. I look into the alley between K and L Streets in downtown Sacramento and I’m relieved. The old Hastings sign is still there, high on the brick wall. In faded white and black ...

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Chris Horner should retire, but cycling still needs him

According to some media outlets, Chris Horner is having difficutly finding a team for the 2016 season.

So, Chris Horner has reportedly been advised to retire by his agent Baden Cooke. It’s good advice for the athlete and it’s bad news for pro cycling. Why? Let’s clear the road first. Let’s dismiss two areas: 1. Horner’s ongoing skeptics and the corresponding long-discussed drug rumors. True or not, none of that matters now. ...

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The Family of Prius still dominates hybrid market

A 1997 Toyota Prius, the first year of the first generation.

The Toyota Prius wasn’t the first hybrid vehicle in the United States. That honor belongs to the Honda Insight. But the Prius, which debuted a few months later, has been the most successful alternative fuel car in the United States — by a substantial margin — since its unveiling in 2000. In the past 15 ...

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Mountain lions more prominent in urban environments

More mountain lions have bee sighted in urban locations.

Bob and Tami Sutton have enjoyed the open space of country living for 30 years, and the wildlife. Still, viewing a rare picture of four mountain lions near the front gate of their 3-acre Georgetown residence was remarkable. The black-and-white image was taken on an early February morning by a surveillance camera Bob had installed ...

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Bobby Clampett’s golf dilemma: teach or play?

Bobby Clampett is focused on teaching now than playing on the Champions Tour.

Bobby Clampett has faced golf’s obstacles for more than 40 years. But his current dilemma doesn’t involve a bad back, the yips or any other common golfer’s woe. Rather, with a successful business, a desire to change golf and a Champions Tour career that demands more time than is available, Clampett’s quandary is simple. Does ...

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