Archive for ‘Articles’

April 20, 2015

Earth Day

Earth Day, brought about by a creative gentleman, Gaylord Nelson, draws millions of people yearly to celebrate our environment.

Plant a tree, clean up a park or beach, visit the Redwoods, take a nature hike, or just learn more about our planet, Mother Earth.

This Wednesday, April 22, is the actual Earth Day. Activities will be enjoyed by many; young and old will observe in many Bay Area parks, classrooms, and places of work.

We will all learn how to better treat our planet by recycling, planting, teaching, and inspiring.

If you are considering new planting, you will need to look at drought-resistant offerings. With California’s water shortage, we are asked to cut back up to 50% in some areas. There are many ways that we can water and plant smart:

  • Place new plants that are only drought-resistant; many new designs can be found to complement your yard
  • Water, only when needed, and only after dark so that the moisture does not evaporate
  • Work with your city, or a qualified landscape designer if needed

The way we treat our planet Earth is up to us. We need to educate our younger generations on how to preserve water, properly reuse and recycle, and clean-up the environment in general. Let’s engage, empower, and educate!

August 25, 2011

Here is an example of an article that Carol Marshall edited:

2011 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet
A Convertible Crossover!

By Charles Donaldson

Life is more interesting when we can blend the better of two worlds. The automotive industry strives to create niche vehicles that take the characteristics of one segment and morph it with another. So, with a show of hands who would love a vehicle that explores the off-road, showers you with the freedom of an open breeze blowing through your hair while the sun paints you with a new shade of tan? And did I mention, along with all of this attention, you are treated to the soft comforts of a car verses the rough making of an SUV?

Keep your hands up, I’m still counting. Well, for all of us who have passionately replied “yes”, under the direction of Nissan’s President, Carlos Ghosn, they have created a multi-climate combination with the all-new 2011 Murano CrossCabriolet convertible crossover.  All-wheel drive is standard on the Murano CrossCabriolet.

The 2011 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet AWD is packaged as a fully-loaded one model trim with the only option being camel-colored leather. Standard equipment includes leather seating, dual-zone climate control, navigation system with XM traffic, 9.3 GB MusicBox hard drive, Bose 8-speaker audio system, rearview camera, heated seats and steering wheel, remote entry, bi-xenon projector beam headlamps, heated seats and mirrors, and 20-inch alloy wheels.

With every trip I took in the Murano CrossCabriolet, the vehicle attracted on-lookers and inquiries. My son, Chase, and I while cruising garage sales with the top down and wearing cool shades, at every stop we entertained questions about the car and accepted compliments. Chase, 3 years old, asked me “Dad, why does everyone want to talk to us about this car?” My reply was “… because they have never seen such a unique-looking vehicle!” My little unscientific survey produced big thumbs-up accolades and smiles from both sexes. It seems Nissan got it right.

The designers at Nissan took the existing four-door all-wheel-drive Murano crossover and carved out a convertible version. They eliminated the two rear doors, extended the front doors by nearly 8-inches to allow easier access to the rear seat, and incorporated a power convertible cloth top that neatly folds into the trunk and hides under a hard shell cover. The CrossCabriolet is a four-seater compared to the Murano’s five-person capacity.

The convertible top is a quality cloth with a fabric liner and is available in either beige or black. The CrossCabriolet converts from coupe to convertible in about 25 seconds. A thin skylight sits slightly above the rear window. The overall package generates a sporty profile with the top up or down.

The leather seats are extremely comfortable. The loss of the third rear passenger provides for two large seats. Rear legroom is snugger on the CrossCabriolet verses the four-door hardtop Murano, due to the space needed to store the convertible top. Your trunk space is also impacted when the top is stored away.

The dash is full of contours and dressed in all black or tan with many soft touch points. The center dash adds character. It functions as the main control area starting with a seven-inch screen for viewing the navigation system, radio, climate settings and backup camera. Below the monitor sits all of the knobs and buttons to operate all of those items as well as an additional storage area. The center console is trimmed in wood and includes two cup holders. The center arm-rest doubles as a dual layer storage area. The lockable glove box is quite roomy; being able to fit a laptop.

The power behind the Murano is Nissan’s 3.5-liter DOHV V6-engine generating 265 horsepower. Teamed with a second generation CVT transmission, it has good logic control and a low gear. The V6 had plenty of power and effortlessly got me into the flow of freeway traffic, while the handling around tight corners was only fair. There’s no manual shift mode with the CVT, which was fine with me. The second gen CVT uses what Nissan calls Adaptive Shift Control to deliver a sporty experience, which worked out great.

Room for improvement:

  • A slight rattle emerged from somewhere in the cloth top, but was easily drowned out by the Bose audio system.

Cool Features:

  • Power Convertible Top
  • Unique styling
  • Start Ignition Button

The Murano CrossCabriolet safety equipment includes dual-stage frontal airbags, side-impact airbags in front, door-mounted airbag curtains with rollover sensor, pop-up roll bars for rear passengers, active headrests in front, anti-lock brakes, Vehicle Dynamic Control with traction control, tire pressure monitor, and all-wheel drive.

In Summary – The 2011 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet is priced at $46,390. What that price gives you is a vehicle that scores high for originality and provides the versatility to handle your driving SUV needs truly in a different fashion than anything else on the market. With a comfortable interior, good power, stylish exterior and all-wheel drive; the 2011 Murano CrossCabriolet is ready to handle your every driving need. So jump in, put the top down, sport the shades, toss the hair spray out the window, and watch your “cool- meter” climb!


2011 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet AWD

Base price:                  $46,390 as driven: $47,335 (including destination)

Engine:                        3.5-liter V6-cylinder

Horsepower:               265 @ 6000

Torque:                       248 foot pounds @ 4400

Transmission:             CVT Automatic

Drive:                          All Wheel-Drive

Seating:                       4-passenger

Turning circle:            39.3 feet

Cargo space:               12.3 cubic feet

Curb weight:               4,438 pounds

Fuel capacity:              21.7 gallons      

EPA mileage:              City 17 / Highway 22

Wheel Base:                111.2 inches

Warranty:                    3 years/36,000 miles bumper to bumper