Archive for October, 2006

I’m Going To Be A Nino!

October 23, 2006

Craig HerreraI now understand the beauty of being a father… sort of. I’M GOING TO BE A GODFATHER!

My cousin LaVerne (who is more like my sister because we grew up together and we are very close) and her husband Jeff had a baby girl a few months ago. I recently went to Denver to see the new miracle, Elliana. She is so beautiful, so happy, and such a joy! With her full head of silky dark hair and sparkling bright eyes she’s already a knockout!!!

Well, on the last day of my trip, Jeff and Laverne asked me a question that surprised me in such a wonderful way… “Will you be her Nino?” OH MY GOODNESS, YES! I never expected it! But I have to say I am so honored and proud. And as you might guess, I can’t wait to spoil that baby girl… after all that’s what a Nino (knee-no) is supposed to do right? Well, that, and help be a supportive role model to Elli. (A Nino is an abbreviation for the Spanish word, Padrino, meaning Godfather). I have to say that question brought this grown man to tears. I held Elli in my arms and she fell asleep. I was so proud, just as I am now!

During my trip I actually cried twice! (Now you get to see the softer side of Craig). The first tears came when we took Elli to the doctor’s office for her two-month checkup. YIKES! Are you ready for this, if you’re a parent you already know, they gave her four shots… all at once! OUCH! And they weren’t slow either, but rather pow, pow, pow and pow… one, two, three and four almost instantaneously! She was so happy and cooing just before the needles, then the shots came and it was all over. Her little face said it all. She looked around as if wondering “what in the world was that?” Then the tears followed up with loud screams. I looked over at mom, and she was crying, then I started to shake and tear up (I don’t like needles to begin with). As I’m writing this I laugh now, but I really did hurt when it happened! It was the hardest part of the trip, yet a special part of the visit that I will never forget! The two-month checkup with little Elli will always be a special memory in my heart!

During the remainder of the trip, I enjoyed talking with LaVerne and Jeff about Elli, and all that life has in store for us! I am looking forward to this new journey in my life, helping to guide hers! I hope I can be the best Nino in the world, as great as mine was, LaVerne’s dad. Funny how life comes full circle in some ways! Please, wish me luck and wisdom as Elli grows up in this world as we all help to guide her path. I will start by showing her how to laugh and enjoy the wonderful things in life! What do you think?

Oh by the way, earlier, I think I wrote that I shed tears twice, well make that three times. The third time was when LaVerne and Elli left me at the airport in Denver so I could fly back to my home here in the Bay Area. All I can say is… sorry Mile High City, Elli is going to be a Bay Area girl part-time. I can’t wait to show her around our beautiful Bay Area!

Craig Herrera
NBC11 WeatherPlus Meteorologist

A Hack, Skip and Sweep Away from Understanding Curling

October 23, 2006

Marika KrauseIt seemed far-fetched. A college friend of mine invited me to watch him curl at a San Jose ice rink. Mike and I went to school in Colorado where blizzards snowed us in, and yet he waited until he moved to the sunny Bay Area to pick up the sport. Though- I have to admit his passion peaked my interest.

All I knew about curling was what I’d seen during the Winter Olympics. A team of four people with brooms yell loudly and care deeply about how a rock with a handle glides across the ice. I was excited when Mike called and invited me to watch them “throw a few stones.”

Reporter Bob Redell was also there doing a story about the Curling club’s open house. One of our directors, Gabrielle, also happens to be an avid curler. Actually, she only picked up the sport about six months ago. That’s how long it takes to get you hooked.

I watched Mike gracefully launch himself from the “hack.” It’s a rubber pad where the curlers stabilize themselves before throwing. One of his shoes has a teflon bottom, so he slides forward with the stone he’s launching… and all at once the cute little brooms made sense. Two players furiously “sweep” the ice in front of the stone, melting a path and gliding the stone to the “house.” The house is the one of the targets painted at each end of the rink. I’ve yet to master how curling is scored, but it depends on where the rock lands in the house.

You’d think a sport involving sweeping and rocks gliding across ice would be quiet. Think again! There were four people just showing us how it works.. and they rocked the tiny rink screaming “Sweep, Harder, Faster, Hurry, Keep Going…” A “Skip” leads the team with verbal cues in guiding the stone to the house… and the other members yell just to cheer each other on.

One day I’ll master the terminology. The team kept making jokes about what I heard as “intern.” I was imagining some college student following the Skip with a cup of coffee, offering to make copies. Turns out “in-turn” is the way the stone curls inward.

I hope to learn more about the sport soon. The Bay Area Curling Club is offering a new round of classes starting October 31st…

After all, I’ll have to know when to yell “Harder!” or “Let it Curl!” when cheering on my friend Mike or Gabrielle in the first Bay Area Curling team to make it to the Olympics.

Marika Krause
NBC11 Writer

Computer Guru

October 18, 2006

Brent Cannon For a fleeting moment, I was the computer guru! I must confess I am competent enough (usually) to be able to log on and operate my work and home computers. But if anything goes wrong – I’m sunk. I’m not solving any programming issues. My solution: reboot. Rebooting takes care of a lot of problems. Now that we have a clearer understanding of my computer literacy – it’s easy to understand why I am a little excited over recent events. My niece and nephew – 12 and 10 respectively – got new iPods the other day. Somehow, getting set up fell on the shoulders of Uncle Brent. I accepted the challenge. Yes – for a brief hour or two – I was the man. I was the hip guy who knew what was up. I had the knowledge.

I downloaded iTunes – set up the iPods – and taught the children how to download a CD – make play lists – and how to shop iTunes (hey, it ain’t my money)! The glory was short lived. Having never seen iTunes in her life, my 12 year old niece figured out you can get artwork of your favorite artists to go along with their songs. And when a picture did not come with one of her favorite singers, it took her about three seconds to figure out how to find his picture on the web – clip it – download it – and get it into iTunes and her iPod. But for a brief moment in time – I was da man!

Brent Cannon
NBC11 Anchor

On Your Mark… Get Set… “Bang” (Go!)

October 12, 2006

Craig HerreraSo how many muscles are there in the body? I’m not quite sure, but I do know all mine were sore right after the race. How did Forrest run so far without needing new hips, and knees? The magic of Hollywood I guess… I do know I felt the magic in the South Bay on Sunday, October 8th at the Inaugural 1/2 Marathon in San Jose. It was so much fun running with about 12,000 runners! I ran a full marathon once, on my 32nd birthday, and now several years later I tried half the distance at 13.1 miles. (I am breaking down over the years). Talk about an adrenaline rush! If you have ever raced, be it a 5K, 10K, 1/2 marathon or full marathon, you know what I’m talking about. And if you haven’t, let me share my experience with you.

For me, I woke up about 6AM after a night of restless sleep. It was hard to sleep because so many questions were running through my head… did I train enough, will my shoes be comfortable, is my shirt clean, do I have the right socks, did I eat enough, should I get up and have a bowl of cereal, how will I do, and the list goes on and on. But it was 6AM and it was time to get up and run, like Forrest! Well, maybe not quite that far.

Getting to the race was nerve racking so I had my friend Paul drive me there because I was running late. My heart was pounding as I had 30 minutes to get to the starting line and I was still about one mile away. I had to get to the start because our news producer Andrew called and asked me to do an interview with Mike Inouye, our talented Traffic Anchor. It was good I was not driving because I was scrambling to get my number pinned to my shirt and to get my shoes tied. I’m sure you can picture it… me dropping the safety pins to pin my bib number to my shirt, then dropping my bib, I was a mess to say the least. As we turned the corner I saw our Floor Director Pandy, I jumped out of the car at a stop sign and we ran to see Mike for an interview. The interview was a blur, I was so excited and full of energy, but I think he asked how fast I hoped to run and I think I said three hours. I had no idea what to expect, but as it turns out, I surprised myself with a time of 1 hour and 35 minutes. Where did all of that energy come from? I knew I could run an 8 minute mile on a good day, but under that time was not an option, or so I thought. I guess it just goes to show you can do anything if you believe and you give it your all! I have to say, hearing the live music of the incredible local bands was so helpful. I talked with my mom the night before the race and she told me to enjoy the music and that would keep me motivated. Boy was she right! Thanks again Mom! The music was a big help. Just when I was slowing down, I heard the music and it gave me a boost!

I also got a great boost from people along the streets. So many great people came out of their homes to support the runners. My friends Tony and Meagan even made signs for me… “Cloudy with a chance of WIN, Go Craig”, it was great! It made me smile when I really wanted to grunt! And for the group at the corner of Hester Ave. and Park Ave., thank you for saying, “looking good number 11, keep it up,” it really helped! It was just past the 10th mile and my legs were quivering like Jello-O. But it was that spirit, people cheering on others, that made this race so special! I remember getting to mile 11 and thinking I was almost at the end, and it felt so good. Soon I turned the corner on Almaden and I knew I was very close to the finish line and the crowd was cheering. I know they were yelling for everyone but I imagined it was all for me and I picked up the pace to the end. Whew, it was over, and it felt so good… despite the aches and pains in my legs as they started to cramp. I walked a little, met up with Paul and Laura Garcia-Cannon and her puppy Chip. That support was great too! And oh by the way, I signed up for this race with a little push from my good friend Laura. She and I were working at the NBC11 Living Well Expo in San Jose when we saw the sign up booth for the Rock’N’Roll Half Marathon. I said I wanted to do it and she said I should, and she would buy me breakfast if I did. Well, I think I was signing my name before she finished making the offer for food! A few hours after the race, and after I had time to clean up, we had a wonderful meal in Los Gatos. I couldn’t eat enough crepes, one was filled with chicken and another with Nutella and bananas, WOW, YUM!

Before I end this, I have to congratulate the race organizers. The race was so well planned and it showed! And thank you to the volunteers who were there every few miles with water and support. And thanks to the great bands for the motivating music! I am already thinking about running this race again next year. And if you’re thinking about running but aren’t sure you can go the distance, I say go for it and enjoy yourself. Crossing the finish line, no matter your time, is such an exhilarating feeling! See you next year!

Craig Herrera
NBC11 WeatherPlus Meteorologist

Shannon’s Special Delivery

October 4, 2006

Laura Garcia CannonA New Baby!!

There must be something in the water around here at NBC11 because there are always new babies to celebrate! This time, it’s the son of our Morning Meteorologist Shannon O’Donnell! I’m bringing you the news on the blog, because, quite frankly, Shan has her hands full! Jack Robert was born in late August, weighing in at 7 lbs. 1 oz. He joins big brother Nicholas who is about 4 months shy of 2 years old. See why Shannon is busy??? She does have the incredible help of her wonderful husband, Pete who now says he’s just shy of a foursome of guys for golf!

Both children are a joy and Shannon is a wonderful mother. You may have seen her grow month by month on the air which is probably hard for a woman to go through on live daily television, but in Shannon’s true style she did it with such grace! Shannon says the birth was easy too! Lucky girl, she said the biggest pain was the IV!

Shannon called me right before Brent and I went on the air to anchor the 10am news one day to tell us she had the baby. We could hardly contain our excitement of getting off the air to go visit the less than 24 hour old bundle of joy!!.. and visit Shannon of course, but everyone knows I’m baby crazy!! Shannon calls me the baby whisperer as I love to rock them to sleep. As soon as the newscast was over, Brent, Craig Herrera (who has been helping out to fill in for Shannon on Maternity leave) and I jumped in the car and headed to San Francisco to visit!

The pictures here were taken that day with a little camera we bought in the gift shop of the hospital. Our visit was so spur of the moment, none of us wanted to waste time going home to get a camera! Shannon wouldn’t let us put in any pictures of her, although she looked wonderful! But being a girlfriend – I had to respect her wishes and not share them with the world . Just had to explain why all the pictures are of us holding Jack and not Shannon.

It was amazing holding this little bundle – not even 24 hours old, filled with an entire life ahead of him. So much hope, promise and adventure awaiting…. What a blessing! A true little miracle of life that we’re really celebrating here on the morning team. Congratulations again Pete and Shan!

Laura Garcia Cannon
NBC11 Anchor

September 11th

October 4, 2006

Lisa BernardSeptember 11th is always the hardest day of the year for me to work. As a journalist I cover whatever event is relevant to the anniversary that day and try to remain focused on the topic at hand (this year: improved security on the Golden Gate Bridge). But it is particularly challenging for me on that day to ignore my emotions, that are just beneath the surface, when we revisit the horrifying attacks that our country endured on 9-11-01.

I personally know two people who died in the attacks on September 11, 2001. A childhood friend was killed in one of the airplanes, a college friend was killed in one of the World Trade Center towers. My family lives in Manhattan and they, too, are, obviously, touched by the tragedy every year.

I am also reminded every year of how that day played out for me working the morning shift at NBC11. I was in Larkspur doing a story on a “sick out” by bus drivers. Once we learned of the attacks, we rushed to SFO. At the airport we gathered with other TV crews and reported on the FAA’s grounding of all air travel. That’s when a reporter asked the airport spokesperson “Where is United flight 93? It’s due in here shortly.” The spokesperson said that he believed the flight was fine…but then he disappeared to double check. He came back and told us the flight was “unaccounted for.” We all got chills. Where were the family members coming to SFO to meet that flight? We now know that is the flight that crashed in Pennsylvania after passengers stormed the cabin and overpowered the hijackers who were presumed to be heading to Washington, D.C. Strangely enough, not one family member came to SFO to meet that flight. They all knew it wasn’t coming. Perhaps they heard directly from their loved ones using cell phones on board…perhaps they watched the news reports.

There were changes that came out of that horrible day. Of course, the nation united in a way it hadn’t in my lifetime. I made deep everlasting friendships with those who were huddled with me at SFO for days covering the loss of flight 93 and the eventual resumption of air travel across the nation. And, improved safety measures emerged in air travel, local transit, and yes, on the Golden Gate Bridge.

September 11th is a day that I feel is important for me to work, regardless of how difficult. It’s a day where people tune in to television news to watch memorials happening in places they can’t be, and to learn what changes have come about locally since that major moment in our country’s history…and hopefully we can provide that for them.

Lisa Bernard
NBC11 Reporter