More than six weeks after the horrific highway crash that killed her aunt, 17-year-old Alexis Vargas is recovering from her latest surgery at UCSF.

But that didn't keep her from taking part in a special salute to Elsie Allen High senior-class athletes at Wednesday night's home basketball game. A Skype connection let her watch on her laptop the Senior Day honors for her

fellow Class of '13 cheerleaders and basketball players.

And when her name was called and her achievements recounted, everyone saw her face, live, on a large projection screen.

With her parents at her bedside,Alexis struggled for the composure to thank her school and community for the "support, love and good vibes" that are helping her through the experience she called "challenging and extremely painful."

WINE NO: A hush came over the Santa Rosa Golf & Country Club ballroom when the time came to present thank-you gifts to the reception's guest speakers, noted twins and health/vitality authors Judi and Shari Zucker.

Normally hereabouts, it's a a nice bottle or two of wine.

But in their talk to members of WHAM, Women's Health at Memorial, the two blonde boosters of an active vegetarian lifestyle made clear they believe alcohol of any kind deserves a spot on the treat-as-poison list.

"The red-wine industry loves to tell you it's good for your heart," Judi Zucker told WHAM, which just gave Memorial Hospital $30,000 for services for women and children. "The truth is, all alcohol is toxic for your body."

With that, some WHAM members froze when the emcee reached into the podium for the speakers' gifts. What a faux pas a bottle would be.

Ah, Shari and Judi each was handed a teddy bear. They should work out fine unless the twins eat them.

THE ONE-ACT PLAYS that Elsie Allen students wrote for this weekend's school festival are extraordinary, I'm told.

One is the award-winning "Tom's Umbrella," by senior Madelaine Bixler.

The experience of seeing it Friday or Saturday night will be heightened for viewers aware that Madelaine and the leading actor in her play, Jesse Korlin, share a birthday and consider themselves twins from different mothers.

19 2-YEAR-OLDS played nicely at the first graduation of Nurse-Family Partnership, a new-to-Sonoma program that sends nurses on home visits to low-income moms to help them with parenting and self-reliance.

"This is where you want to put your money, up at the very beginning" said Alfredo Perez of the sponsoring

First 5 Sonoma County.

He and the other adults present were pleased by a recent New York Times piece that declared "the Nurse-Family Partnership has been shown to reduce child abuse and crime and improve long-term educational outcomes for children and mothers, saving more than it costs."

That the 2-year-olds charming the room seemed so socially at ease was a good sign.