Aly Brown

Author | Copywriter | Journalist | Editor

Location icon United States of America

Greetings from the East Bay Area! My name is Aly Brown, and I live with my family in a rural town just outside of San Francisco.

As a published and represented author (BookEnds, LLC) and a newspaper journalist and copy editor, I see the world as a place full of stories. The best part of being a novelist is creating them, but the best part of being a journalist is sharing the ones that already exist.

With a passion for words, style guides and crossing out errant commas, I can match brand voice while communicating complex information in digestible prose. I have over 10 years of editorial experience, and my background also entails freelance writing and editing; SEO and content marketing; website design, upkeep and troubleshooting; and project coordination.

Brentwood Union School District calls families to urge legislators to properly fund education

In a recent letter sent home to families in the Brentwood Union School District (BUSD), officials called upon parents to take action with words. The message outlined a growing and systemic funding problem for education within California and urged parents to write to legislators, calling on them to meet goals added to the state constitution with the passing of Proposition 98 in 1988.
East County historical tidbits

East County is a place rich with history, but many of the lesser known historic trivia gems are hidden in bygone newspapers and handed down from generation to generation. Kathy Leighton of the Contra Costa County Historical Society, an historian whose own family legacy is deeply rooted in the area, shares some of those lesser-known facts on the area.
2019: New California laws for a new year

Residents of East County and the world over celebrated the shift from 2018 to 2019 this week, and with the new year came some new laws. Below is a sampling of changes California citizens can expect. A schedule set into motion the gradual increase of California's minimum wage for employers with 26 or more employees.
Liberty High School senior and his team head to airsoft nationals

This week the cousins made the trip to compete in Georgia for the national BattleArena finals hosted at SS Airsoft on Jan. 12, and if they are successful the duo will represent the U.S. for the International Airsoft Championships in Finland.
Government shutdown reaches East County

As the impact of the longest government shutdown in history continues, residents and agencies here in East County have begun to feel its affects. Deemed essential, those active duty personnel are still reporting for duty, and Lt. Commander Matthew Kroll, public affairs officer for the 11th district, gave an update on the missions and overall morale among his team.
Community rallies to build Kayla's Korner at Garin Elementary School

Every time 5-year-old Kayla Verbis passed the Brentwood Library under construction last year, she would admire the progress, eagerly awaiting the day it would open. For the Garin Elementary School kindergartener with a love of reading, the new structure was sure to offer beautiful books, an enchanting children's section and many opportunities to snuggle with her mom and little sister to get lost in a story.
Village Community Resource Center gears up for second academic year in Byron

After expanding its services to Byron last school year, one Brentwood-based nonprofit is hoping to spread the word in an effort to help more kids and families in need. Village Community Resource Center (VCRC), a free afterschool program for the children of low- and very low-income families, branched out to Byron last academic year.
African Children's Choir tour stops in East County

A church in Antioch will become the host of a world-touring singing group and the community far and wide is invited to support the cause. On Sunday, Dec. 30, at 7 p.m., Antioch Church Family will host the African Children's Choir in a performance that will be one of many in a tour along the West Coast - a tour that will guarantee an education to each singer involved.

Red Tricycle
7 Bay Area Spots for Your Next Airbnb Stay

While it's now a well-known name across the world, 10 years ago Airbnb was nothing more than an idea set into motion by co-founders Joe Gebbia and Brian Chesky, who inflated three airbeds in their San Francisco apartment and set into motion a revolution in global travel.
HR not just the hiring and firing department

The human resources (HR) department is a critical partner for many businesses, but the best-practice strategies of this industry have shifted over the last five to 10 years. HR has long been painted as the hiring and firing department - the people who surface from the depths of the building when things hit the proverbial fan.
Fostering careers in agriculture with First Generation Farmers

As the spring sun warms the soil, First Generation Farmers (FGF) digs into new and established programs intended to cultivate the next generation of farmers. One back by popular demand is the after-school program, which began this week, for children ages 4 to 14.
Trust merger to protect farmland

A recent merger between two land trusts focused on farmland protection has garnered support and hope from East County farmers. When Kathryn Lyddan, former executive director of Brentwood Agricultural Land Trust (BALT), left her seat to accept a position with the State Department of Conservation, the BALT board decided it was time to merge with Central Valley Farmland Trust (CVFT).
The rising cost of East County officer overtime

With populations in cities throughout East County on the rise, crime rates are often placed in the spotlight along with the cost to put officer boots on the streets. Brentwood, Oakley and Antioch each saw their share of overtime pay to police departments in 2017.
Celebration Center Senior Day Program offers new senior coffee hour

In an effort to cultivate a sense of community for seniors and caretakers, a group in Brentwood will now host senior coffee hour every Monday. Open to the public, the weekly get-togethers are an extension of Celebration Center Senior Day Program in Brentwood, which kicked off a year and a half ago offering respite care to seniors while featuring an intergenerational program with Celebration Center's existing preschool.
The Urban Edge opens at Walnut Boulevard

A farm stand along Walnut Boulevard has returned to local hands, and the owners have big plans for creating a truly organic Brentwood offering to health-conscience locals. The Cecchini family of Cecchini & Cecchini Asparagus Farm and First Generation Farmers (FGF) purchased Annie's Happy Farm at 2017 Walnut Boulevard from overseas owners and turned it into The Urban Edge - a collaboration of local organic and sustainable farmers and producers.
Adams Middle School uses coffee cart to enhance special education, community ties

Every week for the last two and a half years, an ancient bean central to most morning rituals has connected the community at Adams Middle School. But this brew isn't percolating in the teachers' lounge - it's wheeled around the school campus by students from the special-needs classroom and their aides as part of a larger life-skills assignment.
Delta Coves housing development on Bethel Island to open this spring

A new housing development in Bethel Island is ramping up for a grand opening this spring, and officials boast it as a last-of-its-kind Delta-centric development. Located on Bethel Island, the Delta Coves community will feature 560 waterfront homes - each with its own boat dock - and an Island Camp, a 4,500-square-foot clubhouse with a fitness center, swimming pool and event center.
New fitness business Barre Beat now open in Brentwood

While some women go on to shatter glass ceilings in the corporate world, others are making leaps as entrepreneurs. For Kandyce Jones-Olson that proverbial business leap was also quite literal - as a former dance and fitness instructor, she decided to open Barre Beat, a barre studio in Brentwood, after discovering East County was lacking.
Golden eagle population soars in East County

Locals know beauty surrounds them at every turn, but what many don't realize is their home is also a habitat unlike any in the world. Elements present on the East County side of Mount Diablo have created the perfect recipe for nurturing raptors such as the golden eagle, a massive bird with a 7-foot wingspan.
Sneaking a peek at Brentwood's new library

The Brentwood Library Foundation and the City of Brentwood recently hosted tours of the work in progress at the corner of Oak and First streets as part of the library's sneak-a-peek event. On April 28, guests ranging from councilmembers and city officials to donors and The Press slapped on hard hats and walked into the open structure of half-built walls.
Immigrant Day 2018 provides advocacy and support

Individuals, families and advocacy groups from all over the state gathered at the capitol this week for Immigrant Day 2018, and Contra Costa County was represented among them. Buses lined the streets, and tents and blankets were nestled on the lawn as groups filed in and out of the capitol building for appointments with senators and assemblymembers.
Longtime Oakley school district volunteer Fred Lambert remembered

The Oakley Union Elementary School District (OUESD) recently lost a beloved 93-year-old volunteer, but for those who knew him, he was so much more - a funny, hard-working colleague, a grandfather figure to the students and a cherished best friend.
Injured gosling gets a second chance

Life for an injured gosling could have ended not long after it had begun if it wasn't for the help of human strangers and a dedicated couple who now serve as Mom and Dad. Discovery Bay residents Carol and Derrick Boler were stopped behind traffic in their small neighborhood last week when they realized the source of the holdup was a family of Canada geese.

The Grammar Chicken: Helping Writers Write

By Alythia Brown, @alyconnerbrown Part of the How They Do It Series JH: Something fun and informative today, as Alythia Brown returns to the lecture hall with her Grammar Chicken. Yes, that's right. A chicken that helps writers keep track of commonly misused words.
If it walks like a duck

Mother and daughter Maylon and Karina McCoy were out for a walk in downtown Brentwood with their pet duck, Silly, when we at The Press noticed them on Monday afternoon. Purchased for $6 when he was only a few days old, the bird - a naturally flightless breed called an Indian runner - follows his family members everywhere they go and serves as a therapy pet.
Byron Union School District teachers, community protest district cutbacks

Teachers, parents and community members gathered at Bixler Road and Highway 4, Thursday, May 31, to protest the financial state of the Byron Union School District (BUSD). The district recently announced it will need to cut an additional $500,000 from the budget, which teachers fear will result in slashed hours, benefits, among other concerns.
Byron Union School District superintendent resigns

"Last night, the board made some difficult decisions in an effort to stabilize the district budget. These cuts along with March layoffs will bring the budget to a qualified position and possibly a positive budget. Either way, it will no longer be negative," Gold stated during the meeting, though she declined to comment further.
Marines swimming to the rescue

A series of rather fortunate decisions recently led to the rescue of four individuals who would have drowned had it not been for the efforts of an Oakley Marine and his colleague. Lance Cpl. Andrew Lucas, Freedom High School graduate, spent his 96 hours of base leave at home in Oakley and was making plans to return to Camp Pendleton in Southern California, Tuesday, May 29.
Salmon return to Marsh Creek

After a long absence, salmon are once again running upstream at Marsh Creek - a sign the efforts of conservationist groups are beginning to pay off. In the 1950s, Brentwood was a robust agricultural hub, filled with acres upon acres of walnuts, cherries, apricots, corn and so much more.
East County farmers adjusting to area heat waves

This summer, as record-breaking temperatures and unprecedented wildfires have engulfed parts of the state and Pacific Northwest, East County farmers have been fighting their own battles against the heat here at home.
Owner of Delta pigs seeks attorney

Many boaters across the Delta recall an island inhabited by pigs, but the ending of that tale has since spiraled into a haze. However, for Roger Stevenson, the animals' owner, the story is still heavy on his mind as he continues to search for an attorney who will represent his case a year after the pigs were taken from him.

Red Tricycle
Family Guide to Contra Costa County

Family Guide to Contra Costa County You may have visited Contra Costa County on a quest to find pick-your-own fruit, but there's tons more to offer in this area just east of Oakland. Wineries that welcome kids, a theater with an annual blues festival and parks where the kids can cool off are just a few of the family faves.
Equestrian star Cecily Hayes signs letter of intent

Cecily Hayes recently became Independence High School's first student to receive a full-ride scholarship to Fresno State, and, appropriately, she has her horse to thank. With a trainer for a mom, Cecily grew up riding horses and soon became involved in the competitive show circuit.
Students protest involuntary transfer of Heritage teacher Tyler Rust

Students, parents and community members gathered outside the Liberty Union High School District (LUHSD) office last week, protesting the controversial transfer of a Heritage High School history teacher. The May 23 gathering was a direct result of the district's recent decision to move Heritage High School teacher Tyler Rust to Liberty High School next year in what would be an involuntary transfer.
Discovery Bay students launch community newspaper

Elementary school students in Discovery Bay are rolling up their sleeves, dipping their toes into the First Amendment and preparing to prove the pen is mightier than the sword. Students from the Academic Talent Program (ATP), which offers challenging and rigorous coursework for advanced children in the Byron Union School District, have set out on a literary mission: to launch a school newspaper.
A year in review: Triplets on the move

Sisters Gemma, Starla and Ellihana Allen made headlines after they were born - one minute after another - to an East County family, and now as bouncing 1 year olds, the trio is recognized everywhere around Brentwood. Looking back over the past year, the triplets' parents Amanda and Stephen Allen say it's been a sometimes hectic, yet surprisingly calm, adventure.
Community supports Cassell family after car crash

Scott Cassell described the moment a drunk driver changed his life as a lightning strike - the words he muttered to first responders, the debris flying as the jaws of life peeled his van open to remove him and his son from the wreckage - all of it was wiped from his mind since that first impact.
Couple to turn historic Oakley building into French-Hawaiian restaurant

While not many would think to pair Hawaiian and French cuisine, for Sydney and Stephane Tonnelier, the combination represents who they are, which is why they plan to open a restaurant showcasing these flavors in downtown Oakley. French native Stephane and his wife, Sydney, from Hawaii, stood before the Oakley City Council at its Oct.
The signs of escalating poverty in East County

To some, this may appear as a call to ignore the homeless; but what isn't seen at the stoplight is the work behind the scenes to address the issue of rising poverty. The signs stem from a chamber of commerce task-force suggestion, which noted a program on the East Coast that posted similar messages in an effort to curb panhandling and educate the public.
Warriors meet-and-greet a slam dunk for Bristow Middle School Choir

A bitter disappointment for the Bristow Middle School Choir students recently transformed into a once-in-a-lifetime experience, when they were given the chance to meet the Golden State Warriors. Last October, the Bristow choir arrived to sing the national anthem as it had for the past five years in the Oracle Arena, home of the Warriors.
Discovery Bay lemonade stand makes national news

A curbside lemonade stand in Discovery Bay recently became the focus of national headlines when the community rallied together to support a child who was bullied by an adult. Due to medical issues that could not be properly tended to in public school, 13-year-old Jasmine LaRoche left Edna Hill Middle School during her sixth-grade year to become a home-school student.
Into the arms of freedom

Father Quang Minh Dong, a priest at Brentwood Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, was 19 years old when his father woke him in the middle of the night with an urgent message. "Son, it's time to go now," his father whispered, and Quang grabbed the bag he'd packed years ahead of time, in anticipation of the day his family would attempt to escape communist Vietnam, in 1980.
Brentwood singer Ilianna Viramontes auditions on "The Voice"

Before appearing on NBC's "The Voice" and landing a mentorship with Miley Cyrus, one contestant walked a different stage for Heritage High School's class of 2017 graduation. With an FBI agent for a father and a mother in the corporate world, Ilianna Viramontes recalled bouncing around before settling in Brentwood in sixth grade.
Brentwood runner urges community to get screened for colon cancer

Previously a third-place winner of the 2011 Delta Harvest Run, Jessica Buscho crossed the finish line this year third from last, but it's an accomplishment that rings with determination, spirit and the hope to bring awareness to her disease.

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