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Thursday, April 8, 2021

Coming up on KUCI! ORANGE COUNTY MUSIC AND DANCE LAUNCHES OPERATION GIG, A NEW PROGRAM TO HELP VETERANS COPE WITH COVID-19 STRESS. OCMD CEO Doug Freeman talks about Rock For Vets, the unique musical program to be held in Orange County's Great Park. He is joined by Jimmy Perez, one of the musically talented vets in the program.

Veterans in particular have been especially hard hit by the rigorous demands of quarantine and the social isolation that goes with it. Beginning in April, Orange County Music and Dance will launch a new program, Operation Gig, to help veterans, their families, and the community, cope with the unprecedented stress and consequences resulting from the current COVID-19 health crisis. Orange County Music and Dance has teamed up with Rock For Vets for the unique musical program, to be held in Orange County's Great Park.


Calling all vets…get ready to rock…

Beginning in April, Orange County Music and Dance, (OCMD) will launch Operation Gig a new program designed to help veterans cope with the unprecedented stress and devastating consequences resulting from the current COVID-19 health crisis.

During this challenging time, veterans and their families are experiencing a disproportionate level of stress and risk. Veterans have been especially hard hit by the rigorous demands of quarantine and the social isolation that goes with it.

In response, OCMD has created an important new musical program to help veterans, and the community at large, cope, heal and thrive again. The program is totally free to all participants and provides the rare opportunity to join a band, for those who so desire. Spouses, family members, and children 16 years of age or older, are also allowed and encouraged to participate.

Operation Gig is a program designed specifically for military veterans and those still on active duty. To enhance the eight-week program, OCMD has teamed up with the well- known non-profit Rock For Vets, founded by Frank Mcllquham. Operation Gig features three different options for participation: Learn, which offers eight 60 minute group classes for beginners (no experience necessary) or those who need a refresher; Jam, which includes weekly 90-minute jam sessions for instrumentalists who want to play, while improving their skills and enjoying the companionship of other like-minded musicians; and Band, for experienced players who want to collaborate with others and perform in front of an audience.

The goal is to provide the sense of camaraderie and bring back the ‘esprits de corps’ that’s been missing for so many during lockdown and quarantine.

“As a non-profit performing arts school, part of our mission is transforming lives through music. We know that music heals. Studies show it decreases anxiety and agitation, reduces depression, and provides a safe and enjoyable emotional release. It takes us to another place where pressures are relieved, our minds are cleared, and our bodies relax. Music is a universal language that everyone relates to and we want to use it to help heal the community,” stated Doug Freeman, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of OCMD.

“At Rock For Vets we are dedicated to improving the lives of veterans, at-risk youths, and other groups, through music education. Music is one of the best means to recreate the rare bond and solidarity that vets have with each other. We believe these programs can be beneficial not only to vets, but the entire community,” explained RFV founder Mcllquham.

Operation Gig will supply participants with everything they need, (including professional coaches, instruments if necessary, lessons and instruction, and eight, weekly 60-minute classes or 90-minute rehearsal sessions, to be held outdoors at Orange County’s Great Park.) And whether you’re a little bit country--or a little bit rock ’n roll—or a little bit something else--band members are free to play any genre of music they choose, from classic rock, to jazz, blues, country, or anything else. At the culmination of the program, the veteran bands will perform in several outdoor community concerts to be held at various sites within the Great Park.

All appropriate Covid safety measures will be strictly enforced during each class, rehearsal and concert performance.

So if lockdown brought out the secret desire you’ve always had to ‘release your inner rockstar’, play guitar like Van Halen, sing the blues like B.B. King, or belt out a song like a Broadway star, now is your chance. Join us to make some music, make some friends, and just have some fun again, in a safe environment and supportive community. 

 For more information, and to register, please visit www.ocmusicdance.org or e-mail Maranda@ocmusicdance.org, or call (949)-386-8336


Mr. Freeman comes his role as CEO of OC Music and Dance after a long career as a lawyer, businessman, civic leader, and philanthropist. He served in a variety of capacities within the nonprofit field, including Board Chair of the Pacific Symphony, where he is now a Lifetime Trustee, and Board Member now Trustee Emeritus, at the California Institute of the Arts.

During his long career, Doug provided strategic planning and organizational management advice for business, nonprofit, foundation, and family clients throughout the United States. He has received a number of awards and recognition, among them inclusion in the Orange County Business Journal's list of the 500 Most Influential People in Orange County (2016, 2020). In 2019 he was the recipient of the prestigious Ellis Island Medal of Honor, which recognizes individuals whose mission is to generously share their knowledge, compassion, unique talents and, gifts with those less fortunate. Doug is the founder of National Philanthropy Day, proclaimed by Congress, signed by President Ronald Reagan in 1986, and celebrated throughout the United States.

Jimmy Perez is one of the vets who will participate in the program. He spent 10 years in the Army before being discharged for medical reasons. He has undergone extensive therapy for PTSD, but his story, and his life, was changed by a piano.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Producer, writer, actor, director, and Hollywood executive Nate Barlow talks about his experimental documentary A Brief History of Hollywood with host Janeane Bernstein

Nate graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering, but quickly rejected an engineering career to be a filmmaker in Los Angeles. He has since worn many hats in entertainment, from producer to writer, actor, director, and executive. Most recently he directed the experimental documentary A Brief History of Hollywood, currently playing the festival circuit, and co-produced the feature documentary The Water of Life about the craft of scotch whisky. Previously he wrote the Meghan Markle-starrer Random Encounters and produced & directed Tales From Beyond starring Adam West, which won several awards on the film festival circuit.


A billboard. Simply a billboard.

Long before it became the symbol of the movie industry, the Hollywood Sign had another, more prosaic purpose — an (admittedly blockbuster-sized) advertisement for a housing development.

Over the years, of course, the world took notice, and the status of the former Hollywoodland Sign evolved, as did the film industry that the soon-to-be Hollywood Sign came to represent.

Beyond the show business iconography, however, the story of the Hollywood Sign — its ups & downs, modifications, decay, and reconstruction — is a reflection of the times, the story of a town, an industry, a country.

Sometimes a sign is not simply a sign.

Two histories intertwined…

The histories of the Hollywood Sign and of the Hollywood industry, visually interwoven.


NateBarlow.com • @NateBarlow
Director • A Brief History of Hollywood - trailer
BriefHistoryofHollywood.com • @HllywdSignFilm
Co-Producer • The Water of Life
WaterofLifeFilm.com • @WaterofLifeFilm

Alan Gratz is one of today's bestselling children's authors of books inspired by history--Scholastic Press is proud to publish GROUND ZERO by Alan Gratz (on sale February 2, 2021; ages 9-12)

The instant #1 New York Times bestseller.

In time for the twentieth anniversary of 9/11, master storyteller Alan Gratz (Refugee) delivers a pulse-pounding and unforgettable take on history and hope, revenge and fear -- and the stunning links between the past and present.

Alan Gratz is one of today's bestselling children's authors of books inspired by history--Scholastic Press is proud to publish GROUND ZERO by Alan Gratz (on sale February 2, 2021; ages 9-12). Any American adult can tell you where they were on 9/11. However, a new generation of Americans don’t have that memory. To them, the horrific events of that day are simply history. In time for the twentieth anniversary, master storyteller Alan Gratz (Refugee) delivers a pulse-pounding and unforgettable take on history and hope, revenge and fear – and the stunning links between the past and present.

September 11, 2001, New York City: Brandon is visiting his dad at work, on the 107th floor of the World Trade Center. Out of nowhere, an airplane slams into the tower, creating a fiery nightmare of terror and confusion. And Brandon is in the middle of it all. Can he survive -- and escape?

September 11, 2020, Afghanistan: Reshmina has grown up in the shadow of war, but she dreams of peace and progress. When a battle erupts in her village, Reshmina stumbles upon a wounded American soldier named Taz. Should she help Taz -- and put herself and her family in mortal danger?

Two kids. One devastating day. Nothing will ever be the same.

Says Alan Gratz: “For all its horrors, 9/11 is also the story of people coming together to help one another in a time of crisis. And for all the death and destruction the war has brought to Afghanistan, it has also meant the end of the Taliban as the country’s official rulers, and more freedom for women and girls. GROUND ZERO explores these contradictions, highlighting how people are often at their best when the worst happens and how impossible it is to make the right decision when both outcomes are unacceptable. These are universal experiences that ignore nationality and religion and culture—challenges that unite us as human beings—and I believe that fiction helps young people understand these big, scary topics and empathize with the people enduring them.”

“The year 2021 will mark the twenty-year anniversary of 9/11. Will it also mark the twenty-year anniversary of the war in Afghanistan? Time will tell. One way or another, we still live in a world reshaped and redefined by what happened in those 102 frightful minutes on a bright blue September morning in 2001. It’s more important than ever to help new generations understand how we got from there to where we are today.”

ALAN GRATZ is the New York Times bestselling author of several highly acclaimed books for young readers, including Allies, Grenade, Projekt 1065, Prisoner B-3087, and Code of Honor. His novel Refugee is often referred to as a modern classic, and has remained on The New York Times bestseller list for over two years. Alan lives in North Carolina with his wife and daughter. Look for him online at alangratz.com.

Monday, April 5, 2021

Writer/Director D.Mitry speaks with Janeane about his debut feature film, MY TRUE FAIRYTALE, opening in theaters and on demand April 9th from Gravitas Ventures


In Theaters & On Demand April 9th

Driven by his own deeply personal story of losing his young daughter to a car accident, writer/director D.Mitry’s debut feature is a charming and uplifting tragedy that reminds us that we all have the power to be our own superheroes if we embrace the power of love.  

LISTEN to the conversation between D.Mitry and host Janeane 

Inspired by True Events

Writer/Director: D.Mitry

Emma Kennedy, Bruce Davison, Joanna Cassidy, Darri Ingolfsson, BJ Mitchell, Morgan Lindholm, Mark Daugherty, Juliana Destefano, Arnold Chun, Taylor Cole and Corin Nemec

A terrific balance between the mysterious and hopeful, MY TRUE FAIRYTALE follows Angie Goodwin, a 17-year-old who vanishes after a horrific accident in the close-knit town of Gardenland, FL. As the police, her family, and friends search for her, she embarks on her own mysterious journey to “save the world” and fulfill her childhood fantasy of becoming...a superhero. 

Angie discovers that she has incredible abilities and looks for ways to help everyone, as those around her deal with her disappearance. Driven by his own deeply personal story of losing his young daughter to a car accident, writer/director D.Mitry’s debut feature is a mystical and uplifting tragedy that reminds us that we all have the power to be our own superheroes if we embrace the power of love.

Mystery, Thriller, Teen-Drama

Coming soon! WOMEN IN WHITE COATS by Olivia Campbell--a book about the little-known true story of three pioneering women who fought to become the first women doctors, revolutionizing healthcare forever!



How the First Women Doctors Changed the World of Medicine

by Olivia Campbell

A powerfully illuminating read, for fans of The Immortal life of Henrietta Lacks and Hidden Figures.

With the passing of trailblazing women’s rights activist Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, many anxiously look to the future for the fate of women’s healthcare. Ginsburg unequivocally changed women’s healthcare rights, and continued to fight for them through her final days. Just as many of this generation’s women vow to pick up the torch for the “Notorious RBG,” Ginsburg too followed in the revolutionary footsteps of her predecessors. Medical journalist Olivia Campbell sheds a brilliant light on such champions with WOMEN IN WHITE COATS, the little-known true story of three pioneering Victorian women who fought to become the first women doctors, revolutionizing healthcare forever.

With gripping storytelling based on the extensive correspondence and access to archival documents, Campbell expertly unearths a number relatively unsung, yet groundbreaking moments in history:

THE HEROINE WOMEN DESPERATELY NEEDED. Campbell introduces us to Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell, who had no intention of studying medicine until her friend, Mary Donaldson, begged her to become a lady doctor. Mary was dying from uterine cancer that went undetected because, like so many Victorian women, she felt uncomfortable being examined by a male doctor.

OUTMANEUVERING THE PATRIARCHY. Medicine was newly regulated in the 1800s, requiring doctors to receive formal training to be allowed to practice. Even though women have worked as healers since ancient times, men in the Victorian age found the idea of a lady doctor to be ludicrous. So much so, that when New York Geneva's medical students were asked in 1847 if Elizabeth Blackwell could attend their lectures, they believed it to be a joke from a rival school and said yes. Their dismissive attitude allowed Elizabeth Blackwell the access to study and the opportunity to become the first woman ever to earn a medical degree.

A COMPLICATED FRIENDSHIP WITH FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE. Campbell reveals details on how Blackwell’s dear friend, the world-famous Crimean War nurse Florence Nightingale, played an instrumental and supportive role early in Backwell’s career. And how Nightingale’s firm belief that women should be content to be nurses eventually drove a wedge in the friendship.

WOMEN IN WHITE COATS follows Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell's exceptional journey into medicine, as she was joined by Dr. Elizabeth Garrett Anderson and Dr. Sophia Jex-Blake, each going to extraordinary lengths to earn a medical degree. Together, these women founded the first-ever women run hospitals and teaching colleges, providing resources and a path for other women pursuing medicine to follow.

About the Author

Olivia Campbell is a journalist and author specializing in medicine and women; her work has appeared in The Guardian, The Washington Post, and New York Magazine/The Cut, among others. Her debut nonfiction book, Women in White Coats, is due out from HarperCollins/Park Row Books in March 2021.

About Park Row Books

Park Row Books was launched in 2017 and is dedicated to publishing a selective list of voice-driven and thought-provoking books across a variety of genres, from book club fiction and literary suspense to historical novels and narrative nonfiction. Park Row is an exciting and innovative destination for literary writers who want a boutique publishing experience with the support of a powerhouse commercial publisher.

Like the Manhattan street after which it is named, and which was once the home of New York’s many newspapers, Park Row takes immense pride in fostering free expression, inclusive ideas and diverse voices.

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Kristen Willeumier, PhD, neuroscientist and author of Biohack Your Brain: How to Boost Cognitive Health, Performance & Power

Kristen Willeumier, PhD is a n
euroscientist and author of Biohack Your Brain: How to Boost Cognitive Health, Performance & Power. She joins Janeane to talk about her work, book and life as a neuroscientist.


A neuroscientist’s groundbreaking, science-driven plan for revitalizing, nourishing and rejuvenating your most essential asset—your brain.

Your brain is the most essential organ in your body. The brain and spinal cord are intimately connected to every bodily system and organ, so when it is balanced everything in your body and mind will function more efficiently. It’s vitally important to take proactive steps now, or you risk losing everything, including your ability to think clearly, be creative, remember details, solve problems and retain your memory.

In Biohack Your Brain, leading neuroscientist Dr. Kristen Willeumier reveals how you can change your brain by making simple and easy modifications to your lifestyle. Combining clinical experience with revolutionary science, she details how biohacking your brain can boost your cognitive performance and so much more.

Dr. Willeumier’s essential guidebook shows you the most effective techniques to prevent memory loss and neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease—and even how to overcome negative thoughts and stress. Through research and case studies, you’ll learn how to upgrade your nutritional choices along with the effective use of supplements, brain games, and physical activity to overcome cognitive damage, whether it’s from previous injuries, such as a concussion or a bad fall or from the effects of living in modern day times.

Dr. Willeumier shares her own story alongside those from the NFL players and other clients she has worked with to help you leverage the latest research to find personal solutions. Biohack Your Brain teaches you how to take better care of your brain, and also how to enhance your memory, lose excess weight, increase your energy and vitality in order to create the best health and life possible.

About Kristen Willeumier, Ph.D.

Kristen Willeumier, Ph.D., is a neuroscientist with research expertise in neurobiology and neuroimaging. Dr. Willeumier holds a B.A. degree in psychology from Boston College, M.S. degrees in physiological science and neurobiology, and a Ph.D. degree in neurobiology from the University of California, Los Angeles. She conducted her graduate work in the laboratory of neurophysiology at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the laboratory of neurogenetics at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. She was a postdoctoral scientist in the Department of Neurology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, where she continued her work in neurodegenerative disease, focusing on the molecular mechanisms underlying Parkinson’s disease. In recognition of her work at UCLA and Cedars- Sinai, she was the recipient of an NIH fellowship from the National Institute of Mental Health. She has presented her work at national and international scientific meetings including the Society for Neuroscience and the Gordon Research Conference in Honk Kong, China.

More recently, Dr. Willeumier served as the Director of Neuroimaging and Clinical Research for the Amen Clinics, where she led the efforts to utilize imaging technologies to better understand the neurobiological issues underlying psychiatric disorders. In this capacity, she oversaw many pioneering studies, including a clinical research trial investigating the long-term effects of repetitive subconcussive impacts in National Football League players. Subsequent work focused on therapeutic approaches to rehabilitate brain function in athletes with mild traumatic brain injury and the application of machine learning algorithms to neuroimaging data to improve the diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric disorders.

Dr. Willeumier is widely published and has co-authored over 70 scientific publications and abstracts in peer-reviewed journals including The Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, Nature Translational Psychiatry, The Journal of Neuroscience, and The Journal of Nuclear Medicine. Areas of published research include traumatic brain injury, posttraumatic stress disorder, autism, biomarkers of suicide, obesity, gender differences in brain function, clinical outcomes, and brain rehabilitation.

Dr. Willeumier currently holds a position on the Scientific Advisory Board of Tate Technology, LLC, a Los Angeles-based sports safety and technology licensing company, and serves as a Scientific Advisor to the Addiction Medicine Institute in Newport Beach, CA, and the Bangkok Dusit Medical Services Wellness Clinic Center for Neuroscience in Bangkok, Thailand.

Dr. Willeumier is a leading advocate for brain health and wellness and a frequent contributor to top media outlets. She has been featured on Radio MD with Your Brain Health with Dr. Kristen Willeumier and the Salem Radio Network with Here’s To Your Health. She has appeared on Good Morning America (GMA3), Good Day LA KTTV-TV FOX Los Angeles, Good Day NY WNYW-TV FOX New York, FOX 32 Chicago, KMIR-TV NBC Palm Springs, KING5-TV CBS Seattle, KDVR-TV FOX Denver, WATN-TV ABC Memphis, WSFA-TV NBC Montgomery, KSWQ-TV FOX San Diego, Signal Boost with Zerlina Maxwell, Salem Radio, Coast-to-Coast, The Michael Savage Show, and on-line/print magazines including Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar Arabia, Shape, Science Times, Yahoo News, PopSugar, Niki Swift, HelloGiggles,
Mind Body Green, Well+Good, Verywell Health and Psychology Today. She is the author of the new book Biohack Your Brain: How to Boost Cognitive Health, Proficiency & Power, published by the William Morrow imprint of HarperCollins.

Monday, March 29, 2021

Author, screenwriter and feminist Jenny Lecoat shares her debut novel, THE GIRL FROM THE CHANNEL ISLANDS, based on her family's experiences in German Occupation



The Occupation of the Channel Islands has been a backdrop to my life ever since I can remember. Born only fifteen years after Jersey’s liberation to parents whose childhoods were spent under Nazi rule, I was always aware that two of my relatives had been sent to concentration camps for sheltering an escaped Russian slave worker. As a result, my great uncle became the only British survivor of Bergen-Belsen, and my great aunt died in the gas chambers of Ravensbrüch.

As the only part of the British Isles to fall to the Nazis in WWII, the island’s Occupation is a dark and complex period that even now divulges new secrets. When Hedy’s story finally came to public attention after seventy years, I knew that it encapsulated the oppression, terror, and defiance that characterized those years, and had the potential to highlight the little-known aspects of a frequently misunderstood history. I hope this fictionalized account of Hedy’s experiences provides some insight into a world that few are left to provide first-hand and brings understanding and inspiration to future generations.

Based on an incredible true story...

Debut author Jenny Lecoat’s family has been shadowed by the Nazi Occupation of the Channel Islands since the Germans landed in 1940. Born shortly after Jersey’s liberation, Lecoat’s parents grew up under Nazi rule in the only British Isle to fall in WWII and had two relatives who were sent to concentration camps for sheltering refugees and resisting German rule.

One survived. The other did not.

Now, the screenwriter, feminist, and daughter of the resistance, Jenny Lecoat, has penned a fictionalized story of her family’s experiences in the complex yet little know period of German Occupation of Jersey in THE GIRL FROM THE CHANNEL ISLANDS (Graydon House Books; February 2, 2021; Trade Paperback Original; $17.99). Capturing the oppression, terror, and defiance that characterized those years, Hedy Bercu is a Jewish refugee who fled to the Channel Islands to escape the Nazis, only to find herself cornered when the Axis powers invade Jersey.

Her only chance for survival is to make herself invaluable to the Germans by working as a translator, hiding in plain sight with the help of her friends and community – and a sympathetic German officer. But as the war intensifies, rations dwindle, neighbors turn on neighbors, and Hedy's life is in greater danger every day. It will take a definitive, daring act to save her from certain deportation to the concentration camps.

New York Times bestselling author Kelly Rimmer calls THE GIRL FROM THE CHANNEL ISLANDS “an unforgettable tale of friendship, love, courage and survival.” A unique, first-hand look at a little known part of WWII history, Jenny Lecoat’s historical fiction debut is a timely story of rebellion and valor that readers won’t want to miss.

Jenny Lecoat was born in Jersey, Channel Islands, where her parents were raised under German Occupation and were involved in resistance activity. Lecoat moved to England at 18, where, after earning a drama degree, she spent a decade on the alternative comedy circuit as a feminist stand-up. She also wrote for newspapers and women's magazines (Cosmopolitan, Observer), worked as a TV and radio presenter, before focusing on screenwriting from sitcom to sketch shows. A love of history and factual stories and a return to her island roots brought about her feature film Another Mother's Son (2017). She is married to television writer Gary Lawson and now lives in East Sussex. THE GIRL FROM THE CHANNEL ISLANDS is her first novel



“THE GIRL FROM THE CHANNEL ISLANDS is an unforgettable tale of friendship, love, courage and survival. I loved every word of this fantastically engrossing novel. Jenny Lecoat is an author to watch!!”

– Kelly Rimmer, NYT bestselling author of The Things We Cannot Say

“A riveting story of survival against all odds, told by a masterful storyteller who also happens to be a fresh new voice in the genre. I absolutely loved The Girl From the Channel Islands by Jenny Lecoat and recommend it highly, not just to fans of historical fiction, but to lovers of good books everywhere.”

– Karen Robards, NYT bestselling author of The Black Swan of Paris

“A captivating story of trust and betrayal, courage, survival and forbidden love.”

– Glynis Peters, author of The Secret Orphan