Page 1

July 2011

Serving Alamo and Diablo A Fold a Crease, a Tuck, a Pleat

By Fran Miller

Discovering one’s passion in life can take many years. Alamo’s Robert Lang found his at age six, and it was the simple act of folding paper. Following instructions that he found in a book, he creased, tucked and pleated his way to a small origami figure, and he was hooked. At first, origami was just a hobby. But after successfully folding a replica German Black Forest cuckoo clock (three months of design and six hours of folding), he found himself on the origami map. Eventually, the art became his vocation; he has been a full-time origami artist and consultant for the past ten years. Lang’s introduction to origami was through an elementary school teacher who had exhausted all methods of keeping the keenly intelligent six-year old entertained in the classroom. By his early teens, Lang was designing his own origami patterns. In college, he turned to origami as a stress-reliever. Educated as a physicist with a professional background in laser and optoelectronics research and development, Lang is perhaps one of the most scientifically educated artists in the creative world. He attended California Institute of Technology for undergraduate work in electrical engineering, and later he earned a Master's degree in electrical engineering from Stanford, after which he returned to Caltech to pursue a Ph.D. in Applied Physics with a dissertation titled Semiconductor Lasers: New Geometries and Spectral Properties. He began work for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and worked as a research scientist for Spectra Diode Labs and JDS Uniphase, both in San Jose. He has authored or co-authored over 80 technical publications, and he has 50 patents awarded and pending on semiconductor lasers, optics, and integrated optoelectronics. It is this technical background that perhaps lends itself to the true intricacies of origami design. His work combines aspects of the Western school of mathematical origami design with the Eastern emphasis upon line and form to yield models that are distinctive, elegant, and challenging to fold. Lang is now recognized as one of the world’s leading masters of the art, with hundreds of designs catalogued and diagrammed. He is known for designs of great detail and realism, and he includes in his repertoire some of the most complex origami designs ever created. They have been exhibited in at the Museum of Modern Art in New Robert Lang creates “Stars and Stripes” from one uncut York, at the Carrousel du Louvre in Paris, and at the Nippon Museum of Origami in Kaga, Japan, among others. square of paper. Over the past 35 years, Lang has developed over 480 original origami compositions, a quarter of which have been published with folding instructions. “In origami, these folding instructions serve the same purpose that a musical score does,” says Lang. “It provides a guide to the performer (in origami, the folder) while allowing the performer to express his or her own personality through interpretation and variation. “Modern origami is a unique sculptural art,” he continues. “Each origami design must be individually folded; there is no mass-production process. My designs are folded from selected papers, some of which I have made myself, each paper chosen to complement the design and composition. All of the art pieces displayed in galleries are my own compositions.”

See Origami continued on page 10

Alamo Says Yes! to Parks

Alamo’s Whalen to Play in the NFL

By Sharon Burke

Alamo citizens gave Measure F on the June 7 ballot a resounding Yes vote, with 81% voting yes, and 19% no. Voter turnout was 29%, with 2,652 voters casting ballots, 86% by mail and only 14% at the polls. Measure F gives the Alamo MAC, which serves as the Citizens’ Advisory Committee for the R-7A Park Families and children enjoy the play structure at Hap Magee park District, the authority to advise the Board of Supervisors to appropriate up to $1,650,000 annually for park development, construction, maintenance, improvements and recreation services. The vote was required because R-7A property tax income grows faster than Alamo population, and state law requires a vote of the taxpayers every four years for any jurisdiction in this envious position, to authorize expenditures beyond the jurisdiction’s spending limit, which is tied to population growth and cost of living. Current annual property tax income for Alamo’s Park and Recreation District

See Parks continued on page 22 PRSRT STD U.S. Postage PAID Permit 263 Alamo CA

By Sharon Burke

Ryan Whalen, a 2007 graduate of Monte Vista High School, was drafted in the sixth round of the 2011 NFL draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. He is the son of John and Jennifer Whalen of Alamo. Whalen was a walk-on his freshman year at Stanford but that quickly changed as he played all 12 games his freshman season and by his sophomore and junior years, he became Stanford’s leading receiver. His senior season was marred by an elbow injury, but he was named All PAC-10 honorable mention and finished his college career Ryan Whalen with 140 receptions for 1,184 yards and seven touchdowns. He was a dual threat at Monte Vista, a standout at both football and basketball, where he earned numerous honors, including Scholar Athlete of the Year. He is a native of Alamo and Volume XI - Number 7 also attended Rancho Romero and 3000F Danville Blvd. #117, Alamo, CA 94507 Stone Valley Middle School. Telephone (925) 405-NEWS, 405-6397 All of us who watched Ryan Fax (925) 406-0547 grow up, play Little League baseAlisa Corstorphine ~ Publisher ball and CYO basketball, wish him the best in his NFL career. It Sharon Burke ~ Writer sure will make football season a lot more fun this year, as we hope The opinions expressed herein belong to the writers, and do necessarily reflect that of Alamo Today. Alamo Today is not for great achievements from this not responsible for the content of any of the advertising herein, nor does publication imply endorsement. outstanding young man.

Page 2 - July 2011 ~ Alamo Today

Boulevard View

By Alisa Corstorphine, Editor

I just got back from a trail ride around Mt. Diablo and the surrounding foothills and canyons. Thanks to my friend Lisa and her friend Jackie who shared her horse Missy with me. I had always wanted to explore the foothills by horseback but never had a horse to ride. Being out on Mt. Diablo reminded me of a summer trip I took as a camp counselor in Washington State. For two weeks I helped lead a covered wagon, pulled by a team of horses, as we traveled over logging and fire roads in Washington and Idaho. It was fun to bushwack our trail, swim in cold, uncrowded lakes, and cook our food over the campfire. Ahh, the simplicity of summer. You don’t have to go far to be far removed from the daily grind. Right around the corner, Lafayette Reservoir offers fishing as well as rowboat and paddle boat rental as well as a 2.7 mile trail for walking, biking, or skating. Mt. Diablo offers three family camping areas with 64 camping sites as well as five group camping sites that can accommodate another 150 campers. For information on reserving a space, visit There is abundant wildlife, amazing views, and miles and miles of trails for walking, hiking, running, mountain biking, horseback riding, and geocaching. As a child we spent many nights camping in the backyard. We roasted s’mores, read books by flashlight, and tried to scare each other with our best ghost stories. First we camped out in the tent from my father’s family. It reminded me of some-

thing from Arabian Nights - a HEAVY canvas fort with a stout pole in the middle. We then upgraded to a two room Coleman “motel room suite” tent. These days outdoor fun and exploring seems to have gone by the wayside as electronic distractions, safety concerns, and a busier pace of life has taken over. When our kids were growing up we bought a few rocket kits and had the opportunity to launch the rockets on my brother’s property in New Mexico. The kids loved seeing how they could get their rockets to fly, chasing after the rockets after launch, and hopefully finding all the pieces to reassemble the rocket ships to fly again. Another time we found instructions on the internet for building a potato launcher, also known as a potato cannon or spud gun. The construction and assembly was easy and the hours of fun well worth the investment of a few feet of PVC pipe, pipe glue, a BBQ igniter, some hairspray, and a bag of potatoes. Summer days were also spent tie-dyeing numerous t-shirts, bandanas, and socks, making plaster masks, panning for gold, playing hide-and-seek, kick-the-can, and “snipe” hunting. We whipped up multiple batches of hand-cranked homemade ice cream and had chubby bunny contests to see how many marshmallows we could stuff in our mouth and still say the words, “chubby bunny.” Our cheeks were poofed out with the wad of marshmallows, and sugary drool ran down our chin, but we were laughing and having fun in the outdoors with friends...ah, summertime!

Alamo Today ~ July 2011 - Page 3

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Page 4 - July 2011 ~ Alamo Today

Fine Mexican Dining

Alamo Movies Under the Stars & Concert Series

Alamo Parks & Recreation presents the 2011 “Alamo Movies Under the Stars” series at Alamo Elementary School Sports Field. This movie series features blockbuster films. Movies are shown on Friday evenings. Gates open at 8PM and include: • July 22nd – Iron Man 2 (Rated PG-13) • August 19th – The Social Network (Rated PG-13) The 2011 “Alamo Summer Concert Series” at Livorna Park features live music from a variety of genres. Concerts take place on Fridays from 6-8PM and include: • July 15th - Diablo Road (Country) • July 29th - Billy London and the Lucky Dice (Rockabilly) • August 12th - The Sun Kings (Beatles Tribute) Bring family, friends, chairs, blankets, picnic dinner, snacks, and flashlights, and enjoy a movie or music in the park. For details, contact recreation staff at (925) 313-2272 or visit the website at

Danville Thursday Night Street Festivals

743-8997 In Stone Valley Shopping Center

Enjoy Our Patio Dining Monday - Saturday: Lunch and Dinner Sunday: Dinner only We Offer a Full Bar and Lounge 3168 Danville Blvd, Alamo Margaritas are a House Specialty

San Ramon Valley Genealogical Society

The San Ramon Valley Genealogical Society meets at 10AM the third Tuesday of every month, except August and December, at the Danville Family History Center, 2949 Stone Valley Road, Alamo. There will be a speaker at every meeting. Everyone is welcome. For information, call Ed at (925) 299-0881, visit, or email

San Ramon Valley Newcomers Club

The San Ramon Valley Newcomers Club invites new or long time residents to its monthly luncheon on July 21st at Forbes Mill Steak House located at 200 Sycamore Valley Rd. West in Danville. We meet from 11:30 to 2PM, and the cost is $16. The speaker is the owner of Jero'l Beauty Salon in Danville. Call Susan at 925-718-5214 for information and reservations.

SonRise Equestrian Foundation Fundraising Events

For over five years, SonRise Equestrian has provided rehabilitation experiences for children who suffer from social, emotional, and physical challenges, including terminal illness. In their “In the Saddle” program participants develop confidence, integrity, and responsibility through mentoring and peer relationships centered around the care and enjoyment of horses. Services can currently be provided at no cost to the families thanks to individual, small business, and corporate sponsors along with the multitude of volunteers who give generously of their time and energy. There are currently 34 children on the waiting list. Your support at the upcoming fund raising events will provide the resources needed to keep this organization going strong. On July 23rd from 6 -9pm, a “Wine, Women and Jewelry” casual shopping event will be held in an Alamo backyard to benefit this organization. Call Debbie Carmel (925) 890-7549 or email for an “EVITE” and additional information. SonRise relies on its upcoming annual Wine & Equine fundraiser to bring in the majority of funds needed to support and build the program. This year, the event takes place on Friday, September 16th at Wente Vineyards in Livermore. The event, “An Evening at the Vineyard,” begins at 6pm and will be black tie optional. There will be a sit down gourmet dinner and dance, complete with live and silent auctions. Purchase tickets or make a tax-deductible donation by visiting:

Shop local, dine local, and play local in Downtown Danville at Thursday Night Street Festivals being held from 5:30PM to 8:30PM on July 14 and August 11. • Three Live Bands with One Main Stage at Diablo Road, with headliner John Wayne Zink’s Rock n Roll Project • Bistro Dining in the Street, with five distinct courtyards presented by five local restaurants • Wine & Beer Gardens, showcasing local varieties • Shop in the street with local street vendors selling the best of what Danville has to offer • Kids Zone, with bouncy house, Museum of the San Ramon Valley Train, and children’s vendors Two exhibition areas include: • Children’s Area: Cheerleading, Dancing, BMX Riding, and Taekwondo • Adult Area: Zumba, Dance, Doggie Parade & Costume Contest, and Mixed Martial Arts Enter to win $500 in gift cards from local Danville retailers and restaurants by texting Danville to 87365. Visit to learn more.

17th Annual Sculpture in the Garden

The Annual Sculpture in the Garden is a one-of-a-kind art event in the East Bay and Contra Costa vicinity. The 3.5 acre garden, and its famous collection of succulents and Mediterranean plants, forms the backdrop for over 200 sculptures by artists from all over Northern California. Visitors can walk though the garden and follow the pathways to encounter sculptures in various media such as glass, bronze, ceramic, wood, and metals. The sculptures are selected to complement a garden environment, and many of the pieces are of a size that permits placing them into a garden without any special installation. Join us for Sunset Social: Art & Wine in The Garden on Friday, July 8, from 5:30 – 8PM. This is a festive evening during the magical hours of sunset in The Garden, with wine tastings by Vianno Wineries, food by Café Panini, garden tours, and live music by the Jobert Jazz Trio. $15 (Advance tickets include one drink and a raffle ticket for a bottle of fine wine.) The Garden is open seven days a week through July 16 from 10AM to 4PM. General admission: $10; Members, senior, and students: $7; Children under 12: free. The Ruth Bancroft Garden is a unique example of the art of garden design with drought-tolerant plants, and it is known as one of the finest dry gardens in the world. The Garden displays an expansive collection of plants from the world’s desert and Mediterranean climates, collected by Ruth Bancroft for over 60 years. The Ruth Bancroft Garden, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) organization that owns the garden and raises the funds necessary for its preservation. The mission is to preserve this exceptional example of garden design and to continue to develop its collection of water-conserving plants for the education and enjoyment of the public.

Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW)

VFW Post 75, San Ramon Valley, meets every second Thursday of the month at the Swain House at Hap Magee Ranch Park, located at 1025 La Gonda Way in Danville. The next meeting will be held Thursday, July 14h. Doors open at 7PM, and the meeting begins at 7:30PM. For more information, contact Post Commander Nathan Greene at (925) 875-1747. Find out more about the VFW at

Terraces Enhance Community Building

Danville has long been known for the preservation of its history, and this has made our community special. It became obvious that our Veterans Memorial Building needed renovation. Its history had to be preserved while meeting the changing needs of our growing community. A significant improvement is now being created to our building. Two new terraces will compliment the exterior design of the building while the historic entry way will remain. One terrace will be accessible from the Board/Library room of the Veterans wing, allowing students and citizens access to read and study outside when the Library is open. The second terrace is accessible from the Veterans Lounge, extending their space and enabling the year-round camaraderie for the Veterans. These beautiful terraces will be framed with waist-high protective walls, adding a sense of beauty and safety. The new terraces can be enjoyed all year long by Veterans and guests. The new Veterans Memorial Building will be a beautiful center for senior activities, weddings, fundraisers, celebrations, business conferences, and much more. It will be a magnificent and beautiful place to be enjoyed by all for generations to come. Your legacy can also be preserved on the walls of the new building. To find out more about the Veterans Memorial Building, please visit our website, call the office at (925) 362-9806, or send your request to

Alamo Today ~ July 2011 - Page 5

Backyard Bounty

Backyard Is your garden about to “take off”? Are your fruit trees about to bear a bonanza of excess Bounty fruit? Have you planted so many zucchini, tomatoes, and other vegetables that you may find yourself with more than you can eat? For the fourth year, Alamo Today invites you to participate in our Backyard Bounty program. Last year over 3,000 pounds of fresh produce was collected by our readers and passed on to those in need. The need for food, especially fresh produce, is great. We wish to provide produce at its’ optimum ripeness so nothing goes to waste. A call a week before your produce will be ripe will help us provide the fruits and vegetables at their prime. To coordinate picking or pick-up of food for donation to local food banks, contact Greg or Lise Danner at 925-552-7103 or email


Amazing 108” x 48” Painting of Mt. Diablo from Sugarloaf Open Space in Alamo This amazing painting is by renowned Sonoma native Sam Racina, who has been painting magnificent landscapes for over 40 years. The impressive size is perfect for your large home, company, or winery, and will take viewers’ breath away when they walk in the door. If you are interested please feel free to contact Peter Swidzinski to discuss purchase.


Page 6 - July 2011 ~ Alamo Today

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Upcoming Meetings and Events

Livorna Park Movies and Concerts - July 15, 22, 29 - Livorna Park. Presented by Alamo MAC. See for listings. AIA - Alamo Improvement Association - July 14th , 7pm - Creekside Community Church -1350 Danville Blvd. Alamo MAC (Municipal Advisory Committee) - First and third Tuesdays 6pm - The Cottage at Hap Magee Park Hap Magee Ranch Joint Planning and Operations Committee September 22nd - 5pm - The Cottage at Hap Magee Park P2B - Police Services Advisory Committee - August 1st , 4:30pm - Meets at Valley Station located at 150 Alamo Plaza P5 - Round Hill Police Services Advisory Committee - July 13th, 7pm Meets at Round Hill Country Club - Lower Level Meeting Room CERT classes - Community Emergency Response Team - Visit www.


Lost Dog!


If you find her and your name is drawn!

Alamo Zoe is Missing

We have a new dog, but now she has become lost in this paper... keep your eyes out for Alamo Zoe! She is very small, so you will have to look hard if you want to find her.

To be eligible send a letter telling us where you found her, along with your name and address, to: Lost Dog! ~ Alamo Today 3000F Danville Blvd #117 • Alamo, CA 94507

July’s Winner Is Luca Ditano

Alamo Women’s Club Gives Back to the Community

Each year the Alamo Women’s Club (the oldest service club in Alamo) donates to community philanthropies. They have been doing this for the last 60 years. Annually our members choose philanthropies to help with monetary donations, providing help to the organization through our member’s gifts of their time and/or donations of goods, or a combination of this support. This year we had a strong fundraising effort and were able to share donations to several worthwhile philanthropies. Following are organizations the Club supports. George Mark Children’s House is a private home located in San Leandro providing care for children with life threatening illnesses. Their aim is to relieve suffering by providing comfort to the children and support services to their families. It is one of the only organizations in the United States offering these services that are solely helping families cope with their children’s hospice care and end-of-life struggles through respite care, and grief and bereavement counseling. Hospice of the East Bay offers in-home end-of-life help upon request. Brun’s House is a private home located in Alamo for up to six patients who are unable to remain in their homes and still need to receive palliative care. Since its founding in 2004, over 1,500 patients have benefited from their services. The Women’s Club hosts a luncheon and tree lighting each year in December with its onsite Hospice Tree with lighting in Leslie Horn, AWC Member, presented a check memory of loved ones. to Dr. Kathleen (Kathy) Hull, co-founder of the STAND for Families Free of George Mark Children’s House which opened in Violence was founded in 1979 2004. Dr. Hull co-founded the House with Dr. as a crisis line. They now offer Barbara Beach, pediatric oncologist. domestic violence training for adult men and teens, and shelter for abused women and their children fleeing abusive situations. VESTIA (Volunteer Emergency Services Team in Action) is a nonprofit under the Contra Costa County Employment and Human Services division. Composed completely of volunteers who raise money and obtain donated goods and services to provide supplemental support to CCC clients, they serve over 6,200 clients annually with low to very low incomes. Youth Home’s motto is to “Never give up on a child.” Created in 1965, they are committed to serving the needs of abused and neglected foster children and adolescents. The program provides intensive residential treatment programs in five group homes. Caring staff offers a safe, clean environment to combat the chaotic world these youths have experienced. We look forward to the 2011-2012 year with ongoing support to these very worthwhile organizations. We hope that you will support our fundraising this next year. You too can become a member if you believe in our mission of service and camaraderie. Find out more by visiting or by contacting President Nancy Combs at

The Exchange Club of San Ramon Valley

The Exchange Club of San Ramon Valley meets for lunch the second Wednesday of every month at Faz Restaurant in downtown Danville. The Club’s sign-in and social time begins at 11:30AM. The meeting starts promptly at noon and ends promptly at 1PM. Our one-hour program features guest speakers and a business networking speaker. Guests are welcome. Price is $16 for members and first time guests and $20 for returning guests. For more information, call Karen Stepper, President, at (925) 275-2312, email, or visit

Alamo Rotary

Scholarship's for 2011

The two $1,000 Alamo Rotary scholarships for outstanding service went to Monte Vista High School seniors Erik Adcock and Christina Huguet. Erik was this past year's Interact president. He will be attending UC Davis in the fall to study International Relations. Christina will be moving to Nanjing, China this fall to study Chinese Languages for a year.

2011 - 2012 Boards of Directors Chosen

The following members were elected to office by acclimation for the upcoming Rotary year: President-Chris Suter, President Elect-John Jones-Vice President-Chuck Ortmeyer, Immediate Past President-Steve Polcyn, Christina Huguet Secretary-Karen McPherson, Treasurer-Jim Schuppert, Foundation-Brad Gai, Club Service-Kent Johansson, Community ServiceDick Olson, International Service-Vish More, Youth Service-Beth Randall, At Large-Al Makely, Bill Randall, and Jack Thompson.

2011 – 2012 Alamo Rotary Foundation Board of Directors

The following members were elected to the Alamo Rotary Club Foundation Board of Directors: Chair-Chris Suter, Vice Chair-John Jones, Secretary-Karen McPherson, Treasurer-Jim Schuppert, Community Service-Dick Olson, Foundation Treasurer-Jeff Cheney, At Large-Brad Gai, Beth Randall, and Steve Polcyn.

Collection for the Troops

Delta Nu Psi has now sent 20,848 pounds of "Gourmet Junk Food" to the service people in Iraq and Afghanistan. High on the list of requests is powdered drink mix. The temperatures there ranges from a low of 80 at night to 113 during the day. Along with the 15 to 30 pounds of equipment that they wear they are extremely warm. We will be collecting at Lunardi's in Danville on July 8th from 11am to 2pm. We appreciate our communities continued support. For more information visit

Peace Corps Family Panel

Please come to the Danville Library for light refreshments and a panel discussion with parents and family members of local Peace Corps volunteers on July 12th from 7 to 8:30PM at the Danville Library, Mt. Diablo Room. Learn about the impact their loved ones are making overseas, and hear about the Peace Corps experience from a parent’s point of view. All are welcome! Celebrate locals making a difference as Peace Corps marks 50 years of international service in 2011.

Lineweaver Recognized

John L. Lineweaver (left), Founder and President of Diablo Holdings, Ltd., was recognized as California Small Business of the Year for Senate District 7. Senator Mark DeSaulnier (right) presented the award to John. Senator DeSaulnier recognized Lineweaver for his 42 years of experience in the real estate industry, in which he owns, and successfully manages, over 150,000 square feet of commercial properties. Lineweaver epitomizes hard work, dedication to community, and the spirit of entrepreneurship that has made his business a success for more than 30 years. In addition to running a successful small business, Lineweaver is involved in the San Ramon Valley community, including Kiwanis Club of San Ramon Valley, and by raising funds for local charities/foundations. Lineweaver also co-founded The Danny Foundation, with wife Rose, honoring their son, Danny, who was severely injured in a crib accident in 1984. Together, they established the charitable foundation in 1986, dedicated to educating the public about the dangers of unsafe baby cribs, and worked tirelessly to establish crib manufacturing regulations.

The Elegant Line

Alamo Today ~ July 2011 - Page 7

The Village Theatre Art Gallery’s first juried exhibition closed its call for entries on June 10th. The theme, “The Elegant Line,” opened opportunities to a wide variety of artists working in paint, sculpture, ceramics, photography, mixed media, and more. Local artist and Associate Professor, Jane Fisher, selected 38 pieces from 60 artists across the country. These pieces promise to offer the community yet another dynamic and engaging exhibition. An Opening Reception will be held on Friday, July 15 from 5PM – 8PM. Jane Fisher will give a brief talk at 7PM about what a juried exhibition is and her selection process for this show. Light refreshments will be served. The exhibition will continue through August 26th. For more information, visit or call (925) 314-3400.

Page 8 - July 2011 ~ Alamo Today

Alamo Elementary School

Stone Valley Middle School

By Stan Hitomi, Principal Reflections on my first year at Alamo School

I would like to begin by saying this has been a really good year. That is not to say that it has been an easy year. We know that work in education is never easy, but we choose to be in schools because the work is rewarding. Despite the challenges and uncertainty of the year, including larger class sizes, changing preps, and the added stress on families brought on by an uncertain economy, we continued to provide our students with an extraordinary and rich educational experience. As principal I know that this is made possible through the hard work and dedication of a very special group of adults, the staff and parents at Alamo. I started the year knowing that it would be the combined effort of the entire “village” that is Alamo that would make for a successful year. I know this even better nine months later. My first 200 days have allowed me to fully appreciate the depth and diversity of talent on our campus. Each staff member and volunteer brings a “gift” to share with our students, and each other, that blends into the richness that is the Alamo Experience. As my first year at Alamo School comes to a close, I want express my gratitude to the Alamo Community. You came to school each day with the same energy that you had on the first day of school! How is that possible? I know that next year we will be missing four very special individuals. Melinda Burgess, Cindy Andre, Kathy Profumo, and Barbara Carlson have retired, but they will always be part of this very special place. Learning was interesting, fun, and challenging in 2010-2011. PTA, EdFund, teachers, and staff at Alamo all worked together to make this a magical year. But the most important part of Alamo School, as always, has been the students. They “let it shine” every day here at Alamo School. Thank you for a great year, and have a wonderful summer!

Important Dates for 2011 – 2012 School Year • August 1 ~ Online registration link opens • August 8 ~ Alamo School office re-opens • August 11 ~ Registration ~ 9AM – Noon • August 15 ~ Registration ~ 4PM – 7PM • August 15 ~ New Family Orientation ~ 5PM – 6PM • August 23 ~ Class lists posted at 4PM • August 24 ~ First Day of School ~ minimum day • August 31 ~ Back-to-School Night

Rancho Romero Elementary School

Dates to Note for the Upcoming School Year

• August 8th 7:30AM - 4PM, ~ Office open • August 9th 7:30AM - August 23rd 8AM ~ Registration packets available online • August 15th 10AM - 1PM ~ Registration • August 15h 3PM - 6PM ~ Registration • August 22nd 9AM - noon ~ Registration • August 24th 8:30AM - 9:30AM ~ PTA Welcome Back To School Coffee • August 24th 8:30AM - Noon ~ 1st Day of School (Minimum Day) • August 26th 8:30AM - 10:30AM ~ PTA Room Parent Meeting

Summer Round-Up

Summer Round-Up promises some good ‘ol fashioned fun for the entire family. Mosey on down to the Livery every second Saturday in July, and August to enjoy some live music, horse and wagon rides, pony rides, balloon twisting, face painting, giveaways, and wild, western fun! The band line-up includes Dream Posse on July 9th, and The Jessica Caylyn Band on August 13th. Spend $75 in combined, same day receipts from any of the Livery merchants during the event dates, and receive a scrumptious caramel apple or giant lollipop FREE! “Like” the Danville Livery on Facebook, and receive a free gift, compliments of the Danville Livery. Stop by the redemption table in front of Forbes Mill Steakhouse to get your goodies! For more information visit or call 800-762-1641. The Danville Livery is located at the intersection of Sycamore Valley Rd. and San Ramon Valley Blvd. in Danville.

By Shaun McElroy, Principal

There are over 70 days between the last day of school in June (9th) and the first day of school in August (24th). Did you know that children who are not academically engaged during summer lose up to one-third of their content knowledge from the previous school year? Yikes! Here’s the plan to abate the potential loss of learning and create educational opportunities for the whole family:

Read, Run, Relax

Read - 60 minutes per day. Be among the top readers in the country. See the recommendations from our Mrs. Volenec’s summer book list at http:// I also recommend that children journal everyday during the summer. This is a great opportunity to build writing stamina. Run - 1 hour per day. Vigorous exercise is the key to physical and emotional health. Relax - Hang out with friends. Take time to build relationships, and make a new friend or two. Practice your interpersonal skills.

Additional Academic Support Ideas

• Online math program that offers tutorial, assessment and practice. • Summer workbooks for math, Spanish, and French www. • Free organizational templates that increase understanding and assist in creating cohort flow in written work. • Organizational software similar to Education Oasis but has the ability to create and manipulate templates. • California Department of Education, Testing and Accountability website page. Use the search box to find released test questions in language arts, math, history and science. The test question database will allow for students to prepare/review in each subject area. • Watch - Browse - Practice - Learn almost anythingfor free. 2100 videos and 100 self paced exercises and assessments covering everything from arithmetic to physics, finance, and history. Just for’s a link to several short videos that provide us with a preview/review of where we started and where we may go in the “digital age.” • Entertainment for the whole family! http://shifthappens.wikispaces. com. • The TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) tagline is “Ideas Worth Spreading” Ted talks began five years ago and have now grown 975 talks, 20,000 translations, and 500 million video views. Get Inspired. Here are links to two videos from our partner in philanthropy, Pledge to Humanity. Find out you can get involved at www. Video #1 - Video #2 - Watch with your children, and ask them what they can do for those with less.

Just for Parents

If you are feeling ambitious and want to brush up on your parenting skills, please visit the Principals bookshelf link below. Pick a book to read, and discuss with another parent to deepen your practice and understanding.

Quote for the Summer

The purpose of life is not to be happy - but to matter, to be productive, to be useful, to have it make some difference that you have lived at all. ~Leo Rosten

Dates to Remember

The 2011-12 dates are now available on the Stone Valley website:

Do you have a story idea? Sporting news? Call us at 925.405.6397, or email us at

Monte Vista High School By Janet Terranova, Principal

Summer has arrived finally arrived, and students and families are looking forward to some “down time” to relax, play, and rejuvenate. Many of our students will be involved in internships, community service, and working as well as participating in traditional summer activities and vacations. Four students at Monte Vista will be taking part in a SunPower summer solar internship program. As you may know, Monte Vista is one of six schools within the District involved in having solar panels installed this summer. This system will generate about 2/3 of the electricity required to run our school. The internship program is intended to develop student solar experts/ambassadors. They will have two weeks of classroom and field instruction. When they return in August they will begin to make presentations to parent and community groups as well as presenting in some of our classes. As a reminder to all parents with students in grades 7th through 12th, please remember that all students entering grades 7 through 12 must have proof of an adolescent whooping cough booster shot (Tdap) before starting school. To help protect your children and others from whooping cough, a new California law (AB 354) now requires students to be vaccinated against whooping cough. By law, students who do not have proof of receiving a Tdap booster shot will not be able to start school until proof is provided to the school. At Monte Vista, students unable to provide this proof will not receive a schedule at registration. As you make your summer plans, the following dates may be helpful: • Registration Packet Pick-up: August 11 & 15 ~ Drama Room • Registration: August 16 & 17 ~ Gym • Freshmen Orientation: August 19 • Freshmen Dance: August 19 • First Day of School: August 24

Alamo Today ~ July 2011 - Page 9

San Ramon Valley High School Dates to Remember

• Packet Pickup: August 8, 9 and 10 from 9am to 3pm. Important note: Students will not be able to complete packet pickup until their Whooping Cough vaccinations are up to date. If you have questions please email • Wolf Pack Days - Registration August 11 and pm pm August 16 from 1 to 7 . Forms will be available online beginning August 1 • Freshman Orientation - August 22 from 9am to 3pm • First Day of School - August 24. Period A begins at 8AM and Period 1 begins at 8:30AM • Back to School Night - September 7 from 6:30 to 8:30pm • Evening with the Principal - September 14 at 7pm

Kiwanis Grants Breakfast

Over $22,000 in grants were awarded at a recent breakfast meeting and awards ceremony of the San Ramon Valley Kiwanis Club. Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to changing the world one child and one community at a time. Founded in 1915 in Detroit and with headquarters now in Indianapolis, Kiwanis International is a thriving organization of service and community minded individuals who support children and young adults around the world. More than 600,000 Kiwanis family members in 96 countries make their mark by responding Sandra Scherer, Executive Director of the Monument Crisis Center to the needs of their communispeaks upon receiving one of the 31 ties and pooling their resources grants awarded by the San Ramon to address worldwide issues. Valley Kiwanis Foundation. Through these efforts, Kiwanis International truly is “Serving the Children of the World.” For information about the Club, visit www.kiwanis-srv. org. The club holds weekly luncheon meetings at noon on Thursdays at Round Hill Country Club in Alamo. Please join the club for lunch and find out more about the organization.

Aloha Golf Classic

The DanvilleArea Chamber of Commerce invites the public to theAloha Golf Classic, Dinner, andAuction on Monday, July 25th at the historic Diablo Country Club. Check-in and Putting Contest begin at 9:30AM, Scramble Shot-Gun start at 11AM, and Hole in One, Longest Drive contests, and box lunches are included. Silent and live auction, cocktail hour, and dinner are included in golf package and most sponsorships. Not a golfer? Join us for cocktails, appetizers, and networking at 4:30PM and dinner at 5:15PM. Support our local businesses through our silent and live auctions, and raffles. Sponsorships still available. Register online at www.danvilleareachamber. com or call the Chamber at 925-837-4400.

Ian MacMillan, Alamo resident, 2006 San Ramon Valley High School graduate, and Master-at-Arms Seaman for the US Navy, recently received a service commendation from Capt. D.A. Owen, U.S. Navy Commander for Fleet Activities in Yokosuko, Japan. Ian has served in Yokosuka since April 2008. The recognition noted that he has displayed“personal dedication and technical expertise” in his duties. The citation continues he“enforced laws and base policies while providing calm, mature, and tactful responses in often challenging and stressful situations.” He was recognized for “superbly serving and protecting 83 tenant commands and the 24,000 military, civilian employees and family members living on the installation.” Ian’s next assignment will send him to Sigonella Air Base in Sicily, Italy.

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Page 10 - July 2011 ~ Alamo Today

2011 Summer Concert Series Parks & Recreation

Fridays 6:00 6:00-- 8:00p.m. at Livorna Park

(At the corner of Livorna Road and Miranda Avenue in Alamo.)

Admission is Free

June 24: Moonalice

Inspiring audiences with an original blend of Rock, Swing and Blues music.

Origami continued from front page

“Like many origami artists, I'm a bit of a paper pack rat,” confesses Lang. “I use many different kinds: watercolor paper, Zanders elephant hide, Wyndstone Marble paper, lokta, hanhi, washi, Origamido paper, and many more. -- I pick up interesting papers wherever I travel, and then when I fold something, I go into my drawers of paper, find the paper that seems to fit the concept of what I'm folding, and fold away!” He is passionate about origami’s connections to art, mathematics, science, and technology, and he is generous in sharing his talent with others. As one of the pioneers of the cross-disciplinary marriage of origami with

July 15: Diablo Road

Energizing and bold Country music fronted by the always dynamic Jewels Hanson of “Nashville Star” success.

July 29: Billy London and the Lucky Dice

Specializing in Pop, Swing, Classic Country, Roots Rock ‘n Roll and Rockabilly music.

August 12: The Sun Kings

Delivering driving energy that recalls the earliest Beatle shows with lively arrangements and harmonies.

Bring blankets, chairs, snacks, family, friends and dancing shoes. For information call Recreation Staff at (925) 313-2272.

Flying Crane. Made from one uncut square of Korean Hanji paper

mathematics, he has been one of the few Western columnists for Origami Tanteidan Magazine, the journal of the Japan Origami Academic Society, and has presented several refereed technical papers on origami-math at mathematical and computer science professional meetings. He lectures on the subject, teaches at origami conventions and conducts workshops. He just recently returned from the OrigamiUSA Annual Convention in New York where he exhibited and taught, and earlier this year he taught a two-week course on mathematics and origami at Gustavus Adolphus College in Saint Peter, MN. He and several other origami composers engage in informal design challenges, the object of which is to compose a new version of the same subject. He specializes in real-world relevancy for the various theories of origami he has developed, consulting on applications of origami to engineering problems ranging from expandable space telescopes to automobile air bag design. “The fundamental challenge faced by all origami designers – to find creases that turn a flat sheet of paper into another flat shape – is similar to the challenge of folding a car air-bag,” says Lang. “And it’s one that I’d already developed several computer algorithms for.” Each of Lang’s origami creations is a unique original figure. Unlike prints or bronzes, there is no way to mass-produce artistic origami. Lang works mostly on commission, for both commercial usage and for private collectors. His commissions include both works based on existing designs and original design commissions. Prices for existing designs range between $200 - $1,500. Original designs range from $500 - $3,000, depending on subject, complexity, and size and paper requirements. Large-scale origami, called monumental origami, can be several thousand dollars for a complete project. “If you know what you want, I can probably fold it in origami,” says Lang. If it is true that the luckiest person is one whose hobby and profession are the same, then Dr. Robert Lang is very lucky indeed. For a full listing of Lang’s exhibitions and lectures, as well as photos of his artworks, and detailed information about the science of origami, visit

Sustainable Danville Area – Tip of the Month Sustainable Landscaping By Abby Edwards VanMuijen

When I hear the phrase drought tolerant or native planting, the first image that used to pop into my mind is a yard coated with dirt and cacti—really ugly cacti. Somehow my imagination failed to draw from the 5,862 other plant species that are native and have adapted to the water-sparse California climate. When I used to think of greywater retention and reuse, I imagined a stream of homemade sewage trickling through my flowerbeds, replacing the smell of fresh roses with that of a fresh Port-a-Potty. Assurances of California sanitary codes for greywater systems often failed to deter my silly imagination. Recycled yard materials used to prompt images of plastic bottle fences adorned with crushed Diet Coke cans, permeable paving called forth images of paths made out of sponges and drip irrigation, well, I know what that is but for some reason, every other phrase associated with sustainable landscaping brought forth images of unfortunate outdoor spaces. Luckily they are only the images of my imagination. Contrary to popular belief, sustainable landscaping is not about transforming your yard into a desert or a wastewater treatment plant. Just as an architect pays close attention to sun exposure, wind currents, rainfall, and other natural conditions when designing a sustainable building, landscape designers utilize information about the soil characteristics, native plant species and the local climate of a site to create a more sustainable outdoor environment. Sustainable landscaping employs drought tolerant plants (which I assure you are not all cacti) because they require less water and less money to grow and flourish. Greywater recycling systems are installed to transport the water that is otherwise wasted from your laundry and shower facilities to the thirsty plants in your yard. Don’t worry -- toilet water and kitchen water still goes to the sewer. On a more advanced scale, recycled greywater can even be stored alongside the walls of your home and used to provide insulation, saving you money on water and heating/cooling needs for your home. Sick of running your sprinklers at 2am? A drip irrigation system helps to concentrate and monitor the level of water being delivered to your flowers, bushes and vegetables while ensuring that your pavement is receiving the proper saturation, zero. Recycled and Reusable materials - Construction waste is one of the largest contributors to landfills. Wood, stone, mulch, cement, you name it and someone has some sitting around or is trying to throw it away. Reusing materials is not only less expensive than purchasing material that has been freshly chopped or mined, but it helps to preserve natural resources and limits the amount of waste we send to landfills. Sustainable landscaping involves designing a plan for an outdoor space with a conscious effort to conserve water, energy, and resources. As you can see, there are a multitude of options to pursue if you are looking into any level of sustainable landscaping. A good landscaping company works with clients who are hoping to make their yards more sustainable by creating individualized plans that are cost efficient, maintainable, and capable of saving incredible amounts of water. At the same time, their designs still provide the aesthetic quality and beauty that any stunning outdoor space ought to possess. Obviously not everyone is ready to jump into a full-throttle backyard renovation, but I want to emphasize the fact that sustainable landscaping doesn’t necessarily require a large commitment—just a will to participate. Like most other aspects of sustainability, it’s important to create a focused project or learning opportunity that you have the time, budget, and genuine desire to follow through with. Start by looking up a few drought tolerant plants that you could plant in your yard this summer to reduce your water needs. A terrific resource is Plants and Landscapes for Summer – Dry Climates of the San Francisco Bay Region written by East Bay Municipal District (EBMUD). This lovely coffee-table book is widely available at bookstores, at Heather Farm (whose master gardeners contributed to the content), and even for loan from the library. Flipping through the pages of flowers, trees, and bushes will definitely banish visions of arid wastelands. Bring a chair or blanket and join Sustainable Danville Area for our July 20th monthly forum (6pm at 379 Diablo Road, Danville). Our hosts, Bill & Teresa White, Allstate Insurance Company of Danville, welcome us to their lovely, tranquil courtyard under the stars. Our speaker Alex Cartwright, CK Water Systems & Landscape Development, is a certified Water Conservation Manager who will share his wealth of knowledge from domestic and Australian education in Ecology, Bio-stimulants for soil and plant well being, Greywater/Rain Catchments systems and Sustainable Landscaping. For more information, please visit

Alamo Today ~ July 2011 - Page 11

11 Surrey Ct, Danville Diablo Hacienda Beauty

4 bedrooms/2 baths Located on cul-de-sac Beautiful backyard with stunning pool/spa Side yard for boat/RV Hardwood floors Wonderful location near Diablo Country Club $649,000

Please call if you are interested in this or other homes in Diablo Hacienda.

Exclusive Listing …

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Senior Buzz Sessions

Buzz Sessions are the buzz on topics and issues facing today’s older adults. Join us to talk with the experts. Buzz Sessions are always free! To register call (925) 3143400. The following sessions take place at the Danville Town Meeting Hall. What the Heck is Improv? Thursday, July 7th ~ Noon – 1PM Come out and meet the members of Trapped in A Rumor, Danville’s local improv comedy group! They will give a brief examination of improv comedy, how improv is as a performance art, and what the audience will experience. They will also explain and demonstrate the basic methodology of improv for their “audience.”

Kaiser Permanente Senior Advantage Plan, Medicare, and State Programs Tuesday, July 12th ~ Noon – 1PM

Come hear about the Kaiser Permanente Senior Advantage health plan where attendees can ask questions regarding general Medicare information. Cell Phones Simplified Thursday, July 21st ~ 11:30AM – 12:30PM Now that you have a cell phone, are you wondering what you can do with it? Are you ready to surprise your family with some newly acquired tech skills? In that case, this is the class for you. In this supportive class you’ll be guided through the basics of cell phone use by local Danville teens, Kelsey Leaman and Joshua Fong, including how to make calls and answer calls. You’ll add to your skills the ability to put phone numbers into your contacts, retrieve messages, speed dial, and many of the other fun actions that can be puzzling when you try to figure them out on your own.

How to Reduce Pain and Inflammation without Drugs

Tuesday, July 26th ~ 9AM – 10AM Shannon Williams, CNC, owner of Successful Health & Nutrition Planning will teach you three simple steps you can take today that will boost your energy and performance now! Learn about what inflammation is and how it makes you ache. Learn how inflammation contributes to arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, cardiovascular disease, and more. And finally learn how good nutrition and alternative therapies allow your body to eliminate inflammation and recover efficiently.

Page 12 - July 2011 ~ Alamo Today

Women Win the Vote in California

often using their “Blue Liner,” a special seven-seated touring car. Men came to see the car and stayed to hear the speech. By Beverly Lane Newspapers such as the Concord Transcript of July 29, 1911 opined: The twentieth century was greeted by an energized group of women suffragists Intelligent and fair minded men everywhere are rallying to in California and the nation. Many more women were graduating from college, their (women’s) support. They are beginning to think that organizing school support groups, and running local improvement leagues. the onus is resting pretty heavily upon them of having their After the earthquake in 1906, a large equal suffrage convention convened in San mothers, wives and sweethearts rated along with Chinamen, idiots Francisco. The fight was on. The strategy would aim hard at the state’s small towns and insane persons when it comes to voting. and Los Angeles. Aided by the automobile and telephone, suffragists throughout On August 5, 1911, the Danville Grange #85 minutes stated: “It was California created an impressive campaign machine. The work was intense and planned to have a debate at our next meeting and upon the subject -- Resolved innovative, complete with handbills, posters, buttons, and billboards. ‘that Women be granted the right of suffrage.’ Affirmative Sister Nina WilLittle towns all over the state learned about women’s rights and the right liams and S. E. Wood -- negative Bro W. E. Stewart and C. E. Woodward to vote. The College Equal Suffrage League staged unique publicity events, “After some little discussion, it was decided the debate should be given in open Grange… letting the decision rest with the audience.” Under New Ownership Later that month the Contra Costa Gazette (8/26/1911) reported on a large meeting on Equal Suffrage at the Danville Grange Hall. Suffrage supporters addressed the meeting, arriving in the famous Blue Liner automobile. After the debate the Gazette wrote: “a rising vote was called for from all people present…and the ladies were given the decision. There was a large crowd ($650 value with complete x-rays, exam, and cleaning) present from the surrounding country.” With this coupon That day a Danville Equal Suffrage Club was organized to plan more meetings. Officers Richard C. Evangelista, DDS included Mrs. Lillian Close, Miss Libbie Wood, Mrs. Nina Williams, and Miss Ada Cornwall. It joined four other such Clubs in the County. Family, Cosmetic, and Implant Dentistry On October 10, 1911, suffragist precinct workers geared for fraud and mayhem at the ballot Invisalign • Veneers • Sedation Dentistry • Digital X-rays boxes in San Francisco and Alameda counties 220 Alamo Plaza, Suite E, Alamo | 925.831.8310 | where emotions ran high. The next day, all San Francisco newspapers except the Call declared the California women’s franchise vote dead. San Francisco voted 35,471 no; 21,912 yes. Alameda County voted Gates open at 8:00 p.m. against by a smaller margin. Alamo Elementary School Field In Contra Costa County it won by 21 Parks & Recreation (100 Wilson Avenue in Alamo) votes, 1569-1548. By October 12, other votes from the state rolled in. The small towns and valleys delivered a victorious vote by a margin Admission is Free of just over 1 % -- 3,587 votes out of 240,000 votes cast. The New York Times headline trumpeted: “California Farmers Give Vote to Women.” Voters in Alamo, Danville, and Tassajara opposed women’s suffrage, June 10: DESPICABLE ME In a happy suburban neighborhood Gru is planning the biggest heist in the while San Ramon and Walnut Creek voters were in favor. Clearly not history of the world. He is going to steal the moon, until the day he all farmers supported woman suffrage. Here are the valley results: encounters the immense will of three orphaned girls who look at him and Yes No see something that no one else has ever seen: a potential Dad. Rated PG; 95 minutes Alamo 11 13 Danville 23 48 San Ramon 12 11 Tassajara 5 12 Walnut Creek 44 36 By 1915, nine Western states had 6.5 million women voters, July 22: IRON MAN 2 translating into 45 electoral votes. Alice Paul’s National Women’s After confessing his identity as Iron Man to the world, Tony Stark comes Party picketed the White House, and168 women were arrested with under fire from the U.S. Government which demands he hand over the powerful weapon that is the Iron Man suit. Meanwhile, a dangerous foe many of the women brutalized and force fed in prison. These radiemerges to seek revenge on the Stark family and destroy Iron Man. cal efforts combined with the savvy lobbying by Carrie Chapman Rated PG-13; 124 minutes Catt’s National Suffrage Association ultimately producing the 19th amendment. It won by one vote in the House, one vote in the U.S. Senate, and one vote in Tennessee, the 36th state to ratify the Susan B. Anthony Amendment in 1920. Seventy-two years after the first 1848 women’s right convention August 19: THE SOCIAL NETWORK in Seneca, women could finally claim full citizenship.


ZOOM Whitening

2011 Movies Under the Stars

This film tells the story of the founders of the social-networking website, Facebook. Adapted from Ben Mezrich’s book The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal. Rated PG-13; 120 minutes

Bring blankets, chairs, snacks, family and friends. For information call Recreation Staff at (925) 313-2272.

Sources: Danville Grange #85, Minute Books, 1887, 1896, 1911; Elinson, Elaine and Stan Yogi, Wherever There’s a Fight, How Runaway Slaves, Suffragists, Immigrants, Strikers, and Poets Shaped Civil Liberties in California, Berkeley, California: Heyday Books, 2009; NY Times, October 13, 1911; 1911 poster image created by Bertha Boye for San Francisco campaign.

The Museum of the San Ramon Valley’s exhibit, Remember the Ladies, Celebrating the Centennial of California Woman Suffrage, 1911-2011, will end on Saturday, July 16. 205 Railroad Avenue, Danville. Hours: Tuesday-Friday 10-4, Saturday 10-1.

Alamo Today ~ July 2011 - Page 13


One year old black/tan Cattle Dog/Shepherd mix still at large. Sighted 23 times in 4 months. Attempts from strangers to capture have failed. Owners are always one step behind and cannot locate him after sighting. Last seen 5/17 in Downtown Danville but missing since 3/1. Spotted over 10 times on Iron Horse Trail. Still wearing his red, canvas “pirate dog” collar and blue bone tag. Shy, skittish, and fast - difficult to catch. Very Important: If you see him, please do not try to approach him, but keep in your sights and call Animal Control at 925-335-8300 AND Julie at 415-806-0658. Family with three children miss him dearly. Thank you for any information you may have on his whereabouts. ANY TIME with info.


Do You Like to Walk Your Dog on the Trail?

By Deborah Knibb, DVM

Alamo Holistic Healing Center

Healthcare You Deserve Do you like to walk your dog on the trail? Be aware and prepared for rattlesnakes this summer and fall. Many of my canine patients have encountered the tail rattling foe beginning in April. I Acupuncture, Shiatsu, Massage, Craniosacral Therapy recommend the rattlesnake vaccine for dogs who hike on the trails with their owners or those who cohabitate with rattlers in their backyards. The vaccine is a very reasonably priced series of 2-3 w w w. A l a m o H e a l i n g . c o m boosters. The vaccine buys you time to get your dog into the veterinarian from your hike or home. If your pet is bitten they will be in agony and shock soon after the bite and oftentimes will be unable to walk. The vaccine may also lessen the amount of antivenum or plasma that the dog must be given 3200-A Danville Blvd, Suite 100 after exposure to a rattle snake. Alamo, CA 94507 Another emergency to avoid this summer is heat stroke especially in older dogs who develop hoarse, panting breathing. The condition is usually the result of laryngeal paralysis and left untreated, can result in permanent brain damage and stroke. Laryngeal paralysis can be successfully repaired by surgery. If your pet suddenly collapses or has a seizure, he may have low blood sugar. In certain breeds of dogs, low blood sugar can cause collapse and death. To avoid this, always carry a package of real sugar or honey on your walks for these dogs. For the bee, spider, or ant bite emergency, having antihistamines on hand can be life saving for your pet if you are far away from a veterinarian. Call me to discuss the proper dosage for your pet. Shop Local R Dine Local R Play Local Fleas are bad. Next month I’ll discuss a new product which addresses fleas, heartworm, and internal parasites for less money. An added feature that I offer is training on the trail for those dogs who pull, bark, or just misbehave. I am available at 925-820-2287 or at 925-998-8368. My hours in Alamo are Monday to Friday from 8-6 and Saturday 9-1. Advertorial

Downtown Danville

July 14 & August 11 5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

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Page 14 - July 2011 ~ Alamo Today

Wine That Packs a Punch By Monica Chappell

EXTREME PIZZA 3227 Danville Blvd.

In July with the mercury still rising, there is nothing more refreshing Alamo then a pitcher of sangria. For most people, however, the word “sangria” brings to mind a blend of bargain wine, cheap spirits, and soggy fruit. This classic Spanish red wine punch has been through some hard times, but making outstanding sangria is simple, and the combinations are WE DELIVER endless and delicious. Order Online Traditionally the punch, which gets its name from the Spanish word sangre, meaning blood, is made by infusing red wine with a splash of brandy and fresh fruit then serving it over lots of ice. The Spanish brought the centuries-old recipe to the 1964 World’s Fair in New York. Today you can create your own version of this uncomplicated summer drink by mixing red, white, sparkling or rosé wine with quality spirits, exotic fruits, and aromatics for a sangria you can be proud to serve.


Tips for the Perfect Sangria

You can follow the basic formula or create your own twist on the classic recipe; either way, the goal is to create a flavor-forward concoction with just the perfect balance of fruit and acidity. Pick Your Wine Carefully. The sangria formula is a simple one. For a classic red sangria, use a Tempranillo wine from Spain. Pinot Noir is also a good choice. Either way, make sure the wine is not too tannic. For white sangria, try a crisp, dry white wine like an unoaked Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio. For a spritzy sangria, use a sparkling Spanish cava. Keep in mind that the heavier the wine, the heavier the sangria will be on the palate -- and likely, the less refreshing. Look for Market-Fresh Seasonal Fruits. There is no set rule about which fruits to use. Don’t be afraid to experiment because part of the fun is choosing the best mix of what’s fresh and what goes best with the wine and any food you’re serving. Look for mangoes, pineapples, peaches, strawberries, and at least one citrus fruit for some zip. Select a Sweetener. In addition to wine and fresh fruit, some recipes call for a sweetener such as honey, orange juice, and sometimes a small amount of added brandy, triple sec, or other spirit. Another way to go is to make a simple syrup by dissolving one part of sugar in one part of simmering water. Cool completely before adding to the sangria. Let the Sangria Hang-Out. The key to a sensational sangria is to let it sit overnight, refrigerated, so that the flavors meld. If sangria is made right before it’s served, the flavor of the fruit will be distinct from the flavor of the wine. By steeping the fruit in the wine overnight, an okay sangria becomes an excellent one. A well made sangria is a perfect summertime pick-me -up, so raise a glass to sunny days, and picture perfect nights with a sip of something cool and refreshing. Monica Chappell teaches wine appreciation classes in Lafayette, Walnut Creek, and Danville. Visit www.wineappreciation101. for a list of upcoming classes.

July Special

We Pay the Sales Tax!

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Retail $3748. Sale

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Alamo Today ~ July 2011 - Page 15

Ad prices effective through 7/31/11

Page 16 - July 2011 ~ Alamo Today

Life in the Alamo Garden

Process for a Successful Design By John Montgomery, ASLA, Landscape Architect #4059

What does it take to create a successful landscape design? Some might say that success is measured by critics and experts, but I believe it is measured by the end user, you. A successful landscape design has to meet the expectations of the owner. What I love the most is getting a call a few years after my client has been living in their yard and they say, “John, I’m sitting here in my backyard, and I was thinking of how much I enjoy the peacefulness and beauty, and I wanted to call you to say thank you!” For me, that is my measure of success. Here are the three phases I use in creating a successful landscape design. The first phase of the design process is a “Conceptual” design. Our first task, along with you, the owner, is to develop design goals and a design program to fit your needs. Some of these design goals are practical and functional, while some are your dreams and desires. After we develop the goals and design program, we will analyze the site and off-site conditions so that we are familiar with the existing conditions and parameters with which we are working. Once we receive the necessary information, we draft an accurate scaled base plan (site plan) from which your conceptual design will be created. When we complete your conceptual design, you will have an accurately scaled, illustrative, and schematic landscape plan that will represent the owner’s design goals, existing conditions, and your dreams and desires. The “Conceptual” design is visual communication so the owner can “visualize” the possibilities. Every idea, even a conceptual one, has an associated cost. From the concept design we develop a budget, a line-item spreadsheet detailing the cost of the project. At this point the owner has necessary information to make an educated decision based on what they want and how much it costs. Phase two is the “nuts and bolts” of the design. We will need to communicate to the contractor your design, details, and specifications in order for you to acquire bids, accept a contract, and build your project. During the Construction Documents phase we provide services that will complete the Landscape design so that you may enter into the Construction Phase to bring your outdoor environment to reality. The Construction Documents will be the “building” set of drawings necessary for your contractor to acquire permits and build the project to the design and specifications. Construction documents include a detailed Planting plan with planting specifications, botanical and common plant sizes and quantities, a hardscape plan, and plans detailing lighting, grading & drainage, irrigation, material selections, notes, and specifications. Working drawings (how to build) are included for built site elements like arbors, trellises, pergolas, swimming pools, cabana, retaining wall, etc. After the completion of the Construction Documents, you are ready to build your project. The Construction Documents is the vehicle to communicating the parameters of your landscape project to the necessary contractors so they may provide you with “apples to apples” bid proposals. This will assist you in selecting your contractor(s)






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to build your project. You will also need the plans to acquire permits. Phase three is the Construction Phase. It is very important that the design intent and vision is brought to reality during construction. Construction Phase Services becomes a very important part of completing the design. The design process actually continues into construction. During construction, design decisions and interpretation are necessary in order to lay the design onto the land and bring the design vision to reality. Typically, this is when the design can be misinterpreted or contractors can make subtle changes to cut corners. This part of the design process ultimately guarantees the success of your design because it puts the control of the outcome in the hands of the owner and landscape architect. My clients have told me that the design process saved them time and money during construction by not having to make decisions under pressure, paying for changes, and not having to take time of work to manage the contractors. A hot tip from your local Landscape Architect: Built landscape structures must be executed with proper construction techniques which are ensured through proper design, construction details and specifications, and on-site observations during the construction process. Landscape architects are licensed and qualified to draw construction documents. Gardening Quote of the Month: “Every day may not be good, but there’s something good in every day.” ~Author Unknown If you would like me to write on any particular subject, email your ideas to or for design ideas visit Advertorial

Pruning for Fire Safety By Brende & Lamb

Alamo Today ~ July 2011 - Page 17

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Stubborn areas: Chin, Thighs, Waist, Belly, In the spring and early summer, the landscape grows Love Handles, Arms. Exercise/diet not giving lush, beautiful - and out of control. Our Mediterranean you results? Embarrassed to wear a tight climate is blessed by sufficient winter rains to make plants shirt/jeans? Do you have an upcoming event grow, but our dry summers, and our even drier autumns, like a wedding, reunion, or vacation? can make that new growth a fire hazard. In the greater Bay Area, we live surrounded by an ecosystem that has been shaped, over the last 10,000 years, by frequent wildfires. Because these woodland fires are inevitable, landscape trees, even healthy 25% OFF 1st 40 callers ones, require occasional pruning to prevent them from becoming fire ladders––bridges of flamNo surgery. No pain. mable material that could carry flames from a woodland fire to your home. No exhausting workouts. The threat posed by fires in the greater Bay Area is real and significant. The Oakland/Berkeley No crash diet. No down time. “I lost 7.5” and fit back in my clothes. I feel much better getting in my Hills fire of 1991 caused $1.7 billion in property damage, and it was the nation’s worst urban swimsuit.” fire since the San Francisco fire of 1906. Failure to properly maintain landscape trees and shrubs played a significant role in allowing that fire to grow, intensify, and move. The Comprehensive Overview of the Berkeley/Oakland Hills Fire recommends that the risk of wildfire can be reBlackhawk Physical Therapy duced by proper care of landscape plants: 4155 Blackhawk Plaza Circle #230, Danville, CA • Break up fire ladders • Reduce flammable biomass by thinning crowns • Limb trees back from structures • Remove dead trees and shrubs from the landscape • Remove deadwood from live trees and shrubs Breaking up fire ladders helps prevent a fire from moving easily from the woods, or from your neighbor’s property, to your house. To break up fire ladders, increase the space between plants, both vertically and horizontally. In the 1991 fire, blowing brands of flammable material landed on ground plants, and, if there was sufficient dry matter, caught the ground cover on fire. The fire burned along the ground plants horizontally for as long as it found material to burn. If it encountered trees with low branches, the fire would move vertically from the ground up into the crown of the tree. If those burning trees were close to a house, they would set the house on fire. If their crowns touched the crowns of other trees, the fire spread from crown to crown. Landscape plants pose little fire hazard when they are properly maintained; and proper maintenance does not mean sacrificing a natural, woodland aesthetic. If the limbing up, dead-wooding, and crown thinning are done by a craftsman with a sensitivity to plant aesthetics, then the trees will look natural, even though they may have had 30% of their biomass removed. Knowing how to identify potential hazards is important, but it is also important to know how to reduce those hazards in a manner that keeps your property looking natural, and which doesn’t sacrifice important screening plants. Brende & Lamb specializes in balancing the conflicting needs for privacy, fire safety, tree health, and landscape aesthetics. It is Brush Up on the Home Office Deduction possible to improve the fire safety of your property while promoting the You probably update your home on a regular basis. When was the last health and beauty of your plants. time you updated your understanding of the home office tax deduction? Tree care is a craft requiring study and experience. Our trimmers are For instance, you may remember that, in the past, the part of your master craftsmen who understand that a well-pruned tree should not only home used as an office might not qualify for the home sale exclusion. If be safer and healthier, it should look beautiful as well. At Brende and Lamb so, you'll be happy to know this changed years ago. Unless your office we take great pride in both the science and the art of pruning. is in a separate building on your property, the exclusion of gain on the If your trees need a little TLC, give us a call at 510-486-8733 for a sale of your home ($250,000 for singles and $500,000 for married filing free estimate. Additionally, go to our website, jointly) is generally available. to see before and after pictures, client testimonials, and work in your Another rule that may need dusting off: Depreciation recapture. It's the Advertorial neighborhood. term for having to pay tax on some or all of the depreciation deductions you took, or could have taken, for your home office. When you sell your house, those deductions decrease your basis and are subject to capital gains tax. In effect, you get a current deduction reducing ordinary income during Residential and Commercial Construction the years you operate your home office. At the time of sale, you "recapture" License# 660583 the deduction and pay tax at a maximum capital gain rate of 25%. Call today for Got questions about the home office deduction? We're happy to help you brush up your knowledge. your free

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Page 18 - July 2011 ~ Alamo Today

Art in Everyday Life By Tony Michael Vecchio

Lic# 1100014354; Bay Area Entertainment

Assistance League of Diablo Valley

Are you ready to step back in time while you step up your fashion game? Just saunter through the doors of Assistance League® Way Side Inn Thrift Shop, at 3521 Golden Gate Way in Lafayette. Starting August 2nd, your eyes will delight in an array of vintage hats, gloves, purses, and clothing that will help you capture that finished look. Assistance League of Diablo Valley is a nonprofit, member volunteer organization dedicated to improving lives in our community through hands-on programs. As Assistance League of Diablo Valley’s primary fundraiser, the Way Side Inn Thrift Shop continues to serve your fashion needs while putting your generous donations and purchases to very good use by helping those in our community who are in need and at risk. Please accept our thanks and a tax receipt for your support. For more information, visit

The Oakland A’s held their annual Community Fund Golf Classic at the Round Hill Country Club on Monday, June 13. This year, the A’s partnered with the Special Olympics of Northern California (SONC) to raise money for their organization during a Celebrity Putting Contest, which paired three of the A’s pitchers with SONC athletes. The A’s raised almost $1,000 for SONC during the morning’s raffle, and overall, the event raised over $100,000 for the Oakland A’s Community Fund, which assists hundreds of local charities, nonprofit organizations, and schools each year. Above, A’s relief pitcher Craig Breslow with Special Olympic athlete Paul Andrews, who pumps his fist in the air after winning the Celebrity Putting Contest. The pair shot a four-hole low score of 11 to win the contest.

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The aspects of things that are most important to us are hidden because of their simplicity and familiarity. – Ludwig Wittgenstein I like this quote because, while it’s from a midcentury philosopher immersed in philosophical relations between world, thought, and language, I believe it also explains how we often hide away our personal or family artifacts in drawers and boxes that never see the light of day. We do this because we don’t view these things as valuable creative or artistic objects. In a culture of constant technological invention and digital entertainment, we sometimes don’t realize that the personal memorabilia of our lives can have a prominent place in our various home environments in simple, but effective, exhibits that honor and value our exquisite emotional connections to unassuming objects. We often surround ourselves with beautiful fine arts and crafts that we are attracted to and that fit well in our homes, at least from a decorating standpoint of color, style, and size. These might include gallery prints and other art that we purchase from creative professionals. While this satisfies an important societal need to coordinate colors and match surface textures, it doesn’t truly reveal our personal and unique emotional connections to the simple objects and items we lovingly collect throughout our lives. But useful objects, that are loaded with memories and meaning, can be an incredible resource from which to create subtle and yet meaningful art collections that we can proudly exhibit at home. Most everything we collect can be simply but elegantly framed in unique and interesting ways. Think about the many wonderful photos, found items, and vacation memories in your personal archives. These make wonderful framed pieces of art! We all have different passions and interests, and we all are inspired by and drawn to visual images that touch us in some way. The small and not so small treasures that we find and save reflect our devotions, and these are worth sharing rather than being hidden away from view. Century-old letters from relatives, vintage baseball cards of a favorite player, childhood trinkets like small toys, unique buttons collected over the years, fun family photos, and any other personal objects - pens, paint brushes, and tools that have been in your family for generations - are just a few of the types of collectible items that you can frame. In doing so, they reflect your personal history and maybe even tell a story of who you are today. Maybe you found an old photo in a book, and it has kept your attention for years. Or you came across an iconic item that reminds you of a certain time and place in your life. Such things can become works of art, if you treat them as if they are. This could include a collection of old hand-tinted linen postcards from cities or countries you’ve visited, if you group them together. Consider, too, interesting menus from vintage eateries, ticket stubs from concerts, sports paraphernalia like an old baseball mitt, ball, and game program, old fishing lures, examples of old-school calligraphy such as pages from Victorian ledgers, antique bank notes, invoices with interesting letterheads or old legal deeds, vintage ephemera like old advertising labels, interesting stones you’ve gathered along your travels, feathers you found while hiking, or old embroidered labels from clothing, needlepoint, samplers, and other textiles. The best way to frame your collection depends simply on your personal decorating tastes, resourcefulness, and, of course, your budget. But you can explore many options. Consider buying a new, off-the-shelf frame for flat or three-dimensional items. Or plan a weekend adventure, and visit thrift stores to find vintage frames that match the personality of your collections, then paint, stain, and decorate with imagery to enhance your subject matter. Or, you can even bring your treasures to an art framing shop, where professional framers can help you design and make a custom frame to fit your decorating style. However you decide to exhibit your treasures, you’ll find satisfaction and a sense of pride in being able to display the items that you find beautiful, important, and meaningful. A simple and evocative collection of your personal memories can become a profoundly great piece of art that is both beautiful and memorable. And you can be sure that your guests will also see what you see. Tony Michael Vecchio is a former ad agency creative director and design consultant. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact Tony at View his collage assemblage work and fine art at

Estate Planning – Managing Uncertainty

Alamo Today ~ July 2011 - Page 19

By Robert J. Silverman, Esq.

Uncertainty can be very scary, but it doesn’t have to be if you manage it properly. We encounter it daily, and there’s no shortage of it these days. Sometimes, the uncertainty involves our jobs or careers; other times, it’s a personal or professional relationship. Sometimes it’s our health. The most overarching uncertainty involves our mortality. Here are some of the ways people deal with uncertainty: try to deny it, ignore it, fear it, let it control you, or manage it. Recently, I heard an interesting speaker talk about his extraordinary challenge with severe obsessive compulsive disorder (O.C.D.) and how he overcame this very difficult illness. After a tremendous amount of work and sound professional help, he developed his own, effective way of managing his profound doubts about himself and the world around him. Fortunately, most people reading this are not burdened with OCD. Nevertheless, we all must make many decisions about how to handle things that are in doubt. Most would agree that attempting to manage uncertainty is far preferable to letting it scare, paralyze, or control us. If you commute to work, you can never be sure about the traffic situation. There might be an accident that delays us substantially, and causes us to be late. Is it productive or comforting to ignore or worry about this variable? Of course not. How do those commuters feel who leave a extra early so they’ll still be on time even if it’s an unusually bad traffic day? Prepared, relaxed, comfortable. In a word, the best way to manage the uncertainty that surrounds us is to “plan.” Instead of being troubled by uncertainty, we can, to a certain extent, embrace it by affirmatively recognizing that it exists and planning for it in advance. It seems obvious that we should also thoughtfully prioritize our planning so that we are able to protect ourselves and loved ones from the most important kinds of uncertainty. In the grand scheme of things, how relatively important is the uncertainty about what would happen if we suddenly became incapacitated or died? Specifically, below are some questions that outline the types of uncertainty you can manage (instead of hoping the State of California makes the right choices for you) by establishing a comprehensive estate plan: 1) Who would you want to manage your financial affairs if you became incapacitated? 2) Who would you want to make medical decisions for you if you became unable to make health care decisions for yourself? 3) To whom do you want your assets distributed on your death? 4) Who would you like to manage the administration of your estate? 5) Would you prefer your estate to be managed privately and without court intervention? 6) Would each and every loved one whom you want to inherit your assets be able to manage those assets responsibly and protect themselves adequately? 7) If you are married and you die before your spouse dies, what access and control do you want your spouse to have over your (half) of the marital property until your spouse dies (and would your answer change if you consider that your spouse might remarry and/or have additional children)? 8) Do you know if Federal Estate Tax liability might diminish the amount of your assets your loved ones receive, and what strategies are available to avoid that result? If you have a comprehensive estate plan in place and you have had it reviewed by your attorney in the last 3-5 years, you should know the answer to all of these questions. As a result, you should feel comfortable that the provisions in your estate planning documents serve to manage all these uncertainties in precisely the manner you wish.

If not, focus on how easy it is to manage this uncertainty and thus achieve the peace of mind you deserve. And recognize that continuing to merely think or talk about it won’t get you there… Mr. Silverman is an attorney with Shapiro Buchman Provine Brothers Smith LLP, 1333 N. California Street, Suite 350, Walnut Creek, CA 94596; (925) 944-9700; His practice emphasizes Estate Planning, Trust Administration & Probate, Real Estate, and Business. Call for a free introductory consultation. This article is intended to provide information of a general nature, and should not be relied upon as legal, tax, financial and/ or business advice. Readers should obtain and rely upon specific advice only from their own qualified professional advisors. This communication is not intended or written to be used, for the purpose of: i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code; or ii) promoting, marketing, or recommending to another party any matters addressed herein. Advertorial

Page 20 - July 2011 ~ Alamo Today

Analyzing the Flows in Your Financial Plan By Peter T. Waldron & Robert J. Waldron

In conjunction with Waldron Wealth Advisors, a division of Lincoln Financial Advisors, a registered investment advisor.

For most investors—even those with significant wealth—a secure financial future doesn’t simply happen. Instead, it must be carefully crafted to help meet your most important goals and leave nothing to chance. Of course, the future is unpredictable, and your own personal situation changes over time. That makes it all the more challenging to answer the most crucial of financial questions: Are you on track to achieve your financial objectives? As an investor looking to make the smartest possible decisions about your money, you need a comprehensive understanding of your current financial situation and a reliable roadmap of where you’re headed. The key lies in an important but often overlooked component of the financial planning process called cash-flow planning. In short, cash-flow planning helps you determine if you’ll accomplish your goals and live the life you desire. It can give you the knowledge to better control your financial destiny. At a basic level, cash-flow planning is the process of analyzing your annual income sources, such as salary and investment income, against your annual income uses, such as debt, living expenses and taxes—in short, “money in” versus “money out.”

Analyzing Your Personal Balance Sheet

Working with your financial planner, you can employ advanced computer modeling to develop “what if” scenarios about your financial future by projecting your cash flow, asset growth potential, taxes, the size of your estate, and other relevant financial data over the full length of your life expectancy. This will allow you to complete a series of ‘what if’ situations that are designed to assist you in making intelligent decisions regarding one or a series of objectives. Armed with such knowledge, you can analyze whether your current financial plan is adequate—or whether you and your financial planner need to make any changes to stay on course. You’ll also be well positioned to make financially sound decisions as new needs arise, such as financing an education for a child or grandchild, purchasing a vacation home, or disposing of a highly appreciated asset such as concentrated stock or real estate. Consider the ways cash-flow planning can enhance just a few elements of your overall financial plan:

Alamo Improvement Association News By Roger Smith, President Board Of Directors

AIA would like to take this opportunity to thank every AIA member and their vote that helped elect candidates to our 2011-2012 Board of Directors. Congratulations to Chuck Baumann, Dave Ciapponi, Aron DeFerrari, Dan DeRensis, Nancy Huseby, Ed Moran, Bill Nelson, Joe Rubay, Jorge Sanchez, and Alicia Watson in being either elected or re-elected to join our Board of Directors. The Alamo Improvement Association continues to serve the Alamo Community through its committees and their efforts in Code Compliance, Community Affairs, Planning, Public Safety, and Transportation. Should you have an interest in becoming a committee member, please visit our website, and email any of our officers with your information.

Public Safety

To provide a public service to Alamo residents, AIA will provide, through our articles and our website, information and links for all types of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness resources. This is the second in a continuing series of articles on Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness for our Alamo Community. Our first article was published in the May issue of the Alamo Today. Recent events such as the 8.9 Earthquake in Japan, the recent PG&E pipeline explosions and fire in San Bruno, and the memory of the 6.9 Loma Prieta Earthquake in 1989 have revealed the need for all citizens to have an emergency plan for their family’s safety. Since 1989, California has experienced 18 major disasters. The Problem: When a major emergency strikes, public services, such as fire, law enforcement, and medical, will likely be unavailable or existing facilities and their capabilities to respond will be overwhelmed. A delay of days, as much as seven days or more, can occur before services can be restored. The original standard of a three day period for survival preparedness no longer applies.

Retirement planning. Cash-flow planning analysis allows you to estimate the growth of your overall net worth each year, based on the specific financial strategies you use or are planning to use, as well as the impact of taxes and inflation. You and your financial planner can evaluate that information to assess if you’re saving and building wealth fast enough to help reach retirement on schedule and in the way that you envision. Likewise, cash-flow analysis will enable you to create the optimal retirement income distribution plan built around your specific needs to help ensure you don’t outlive your savings. Debt management. As the asset side of your balance sheet grows, so too may the liabilities side. Cash-flow planning analysis can help clarify the long-term impact of your debt and expenditures. This exercise can help lead you to new, more cost-effective strategies for managing your liabilities and freeing up cash for more effective and profitable uses. Estate planning. Without proper planning, estate taxes may significantly erode much of the estate you plan to leave to your heirs or to charities. But the cash-flow-planning process can help your heirs avoid unpleasant surprises in the future by estimating your estate tax burden and other related costs. Your financial planner can work with you to implement estate tax reduction strategies that give you maximum control over the disposition of your assets. Business succession planning. If you are an entrepreneur, the decision to keep or sell your firm can significantly affect the strength of your cash flow and overall net worth. By using techniques to develop multiple “what if” scenarios, you’ll be well positioned to make the most informed business-succession decision possible—one that reflects your needs, those of your family and those of any partners or employees you wish to include in the process. Regardless of your goals, the process of cash-flow planning can provide you with the roadmap you need to make informed, confident decisions regarding your wealth and your financial plan. If you have previously reviewed your cash flow, consider conducting a new analysis based on updated information. If you haven’t yet, now is the time to run the analysis. Please contact Peter Waldron to schedule a complimentary review of your financial situation, 925-659-0383 or

Peter T. Waldron & Robert J. Waldron Jr. are registered representative of Lincoln Financial Advisors, a broker/dealer, member SIPC, and offers investment advisory service through Sagemark Consulting, a division of Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp., a registered investment advisor, Waldron Wealth Advisors, 3000 Executive Parkway, Ste 400, San Ramon, CA 94583. Insurance offered through Lincoln affiliates and other fine companies. Advertorial

Imagine for a moment, during an earthquake, the overpasses on 680 collapse. There would be very little or no transportation options. Alamo would be physically divided into Eastern and Western sections. The East would have surviving Fire and Emergency Services, West would have surviving Law Enforcement. Residents working at other locations would not be able to travel home to Alamo. Families will be separated. How many may be trying to cope with life threatening circumstances? Each Alamo Resident should become more aware of what it will take to survive a major emergency when public services, such as fire, medical, and police, are not accessible. To survive an emergency, Alamo residents need to have preparation, education, and training through classes that, fortunately, are available to us from a variety of sources. There are many opportunities for members of our community to become more involved in both Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness. The Neighborhood Watch program through the Sheriff’s Department with training sessions for volunteers is an important foundation upon which to build our Community’s Public Safety. The San Ramon Fire District offers Emergency Preparedness classes and neighborhood programs for earthquakes and other natural disasters. Two of Alamo’s neighborhoods, Alamo Oaks and Valley Oaks, are already participating in these programs The National Office of Citizen Corps – FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Division states: “FEMA encourages all Councils and Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) Programs to register in the new National Citizens Corps Council and CERT Program registries. The registries collect and display contact information for each Program and Council making it easier for individuals to learn more about Safety and Security in their community and get involved in local activities.” The following local Citizen Corp Councils are listed for Contra Costa County: City of San Ramon, Concord, Lafayette, Martinez, Orinda, San Ramon Valley Emergency Preparedness, Town of Danville, Walnut Creek. The State of California has an emergency plan structure designed to address both the mid-term and long-term impact of a major disaster. Information on this plan can be located at the Sate of California’s Office of Emergency Services website Advertorial

Alamo Today ~ July 2011 - Page 21

Page 22 - July 2011 ~ Alamo Today

Tablet Wars

By Evan Corstorphine, Portable CIO, Inc.

Since the iPad came out in 2010, other computer manufacturers have scrambled to come up with competitive devices. The market has heartily embraced the iPad, and in February it helped fuel record Apple profits and its new (if perhaps fleeting) status of being the most valuable technology company. In my opinion they deserve a lot of credit. Between the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad Apple has single-handedly reinvented personal electronics and created a whole new market for devices that no one had previously thought of. Most importantly, the devices work well. There’s substance. But not all products are created equally. Today I’m going to recommend that you avoid a bunch of products for at least the immediate future because they’re just not ready for prime time. It all started when my daughter planned a trip to Europe. She wanted to save weight, and she didn’t want to bring her laptop. She thought she might purchase an iPad since it’s so compact. After a long process, she decided to take a different path and purchase a competitive tablet for less money, use it for a month, and then sell it on eBay; the difference between purchase and selling price would be her “rental” fee. It sounded like a good plan, and we’d get to tinker with another device in the meantime. After some research she purchased the Acer Iconia A500 tablet. The device was gorgeous, with a huge 10-inch screen and a brushed-aluminum case. It ran the Google Android “Honeycomb” operating system, which has been optimized for tablet use. It had a micro-USB connector, a micro-HDMI connector, Wi-Fi, BlueTooth, a 5 megapixel camera on the back, a 2 megapixel camera on the front, and YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Picassa built-in. And it came in beautiful packaging. What more could she want?! Well, as it turns out, software that works well would have been a nice touch. So here is where the wheels fell off. We were really excited to read about this device, and it was so pretty. But when we actually turned it on and tried

Parks continued from front page is around $850,000. However, since the district has run a surplus for years, its fund balance has grown to $3.4 million, with another $800,000 available funding from Measure WW, the regional parks bond passed by voters a few years back. R-7A is funded solely from a share of the 1% property tax and therefore is not an additional tax burden on Alamo taxpayers. The parks fund balance, annual revenue, and available grant and bond funding is a significant amount of money that can only be spent on parks and recreation in Alamo and the Alamo MAC quite rightly turned to Alamo taxpayers for input on uses of this money by conducting a mail-in survey last spring. Surveys were mailed to the 4,976 households and businesses who are district taxpayers and 565 surveys were returned for a return rate of 11.65%. This is considered an outstanding statistical return, especially since the survey was conducted as a four page written survey to be mailed back. A future article will give more details and analysis of the survey, but an overview shows Alamo citizens strongly support Alamo’s existing parks and special recreation events. The most used park was Hap Magee Ranch Park, jointly operated by the Town of Danville and Alamo Parks, followed closely by Livorna Park. The most popular event was the summer concert series at Livorna Park. Recreation programs were supported for all age groups except for babies and moms; senior recreation programming was the most popular in the survey, with 28% of those surveyed desiring more recreation programming for seniors. Bocce ball courts were by far the most popular amenity requested to be added to Alamo parks with 39% of survey takers in favor of adding bocce ball courts somewhere in Alamo; it was the number one choice, with tennis courts a distant second. An overwhelming majority, 61%, were in support of developing additional recreation amenities at Stone Valley School such as sports fields, a track, parcourse, or sports courts. Finally, Alamo citizens reported that Alamo Today was their favorite source of news about Alamo activities and events with 72% of survey takers naming Alamo Today as their first choice for information

to use it, we were completely disappointed. For example, she wanted to be able to upload her photographs from her camera or her camera memory card onto the tablet. From there she was going to deposit them into the “Dropbox” software, which copies them up to the internet where they’d be safely backed up while she was away. The only problem was that we could connect and view the photos on the tablet, but we could not copy them onto the tablet. We tried everything. Even though the software alluded to the possibility of doing this, it positively wouldn’t budge. We researched the problem on the internet and couldn’t find anyone who had an answer. But, there were all sorts of nerdy postings from guys who ran “jail breaks” on the device and hacked the OS and did all sorts of super technical modifications to make it work the way they needed. What I concluded from this is that Android Honeycomb (and thus any device using it), is still a developer’s toy, a curiosity for the supertechnical, and perhaps an awesome programming platform – I don’t know. What I do know, is that it’s 100% unsuitable for a kid to take to Europe. It couldn’t do the most elementary task, even though all the flashy advertising leads the casual observer to conclude it can. If we couldn’t make it work, there’s no way a less technical person is going to make it work. One helpful posting we read explained a real-world solution to the problems we were having. They researched the problem like we did, then they wiped off the device, put it back into the box, returned it to where they purchased it for a full refund, and used the proceeds to go buy a new iPad. So we did the same. The next day, we brought home a new iPad 2. We hooked up her camera, which it immediately recognized, and the system asked if we wanted to import the pictures. We said “Yes”; the pictures were imported with no problems in about 30 seconds, and our decision was instantly vindicated. Draw your own conclusions. Have you been struggling with your portable electronics or want to figure out how to make them work in your business environment? It’s best to work with someone who’s done it before to save you time and money. Give your friends at Portable CIO a call at 925-552-7953, or email us at helpdesk@ Advertorial about Alamo. The complete 2011 Parks and Recreation survey results can be found on the front page of the website, a website maintained by Alamo volunteer Steve Mick to keep residents current on Alamo activities. While you’re on the website, check out the 2011 Livorna Park concert series. Three more concerts remain on the schedule: July 15 brings country music band Diablo Road to the park, followed by Billy London and the Lucky Dice on July 29, playing pop, swing, country, rock and rockabilly, and concluding with the Sun Kings, playing music reminiscent of the Beatles, on August 12. It’s a fun Friday night out for all at the Park! Don’t miss the remaining concerts! All concerts begin at 6PM at Livorna Park. And finally, Movie Night Under the Stars is quickly becoming an Alamo favorite! Remaining movie nights this summer include Iron Man 2, rated PG-13, on July 22, and The Social Network, rated PG-13, on August 19. All movie nights are at Alamo School Park, and begin at dark.

Stephanie Ross - Certified Pet Dog Trainer


Two Birds with Two Stones By Matthew Sirott, MD

Medical professionals and lay persons have long known that heart disease, the number one cause of death in America, can be modified by exercise and aspirin. Less well publicized, but probably of equal importance, is the newly emerging data of their benefits in cancer prevention. Clinical trials have clearly documented the benefits of moderate exercise daily (40 minutes of rapid walking). Exercise has been shown to prevent both the initial occurrence as well as a recurrence of some cancers in patients at risk for relapse. Almost 100 studies performed worldwide have documented the benefits in breast cancer; the magnitude of benefit may be as high as 50%. The implication is that if 10 young women were destined to relapse (and likely die) from recurrent breast cancer, then “only” five will relapse if they all exercise adequately. Similar findings are documented in colon and prostate cancer. The mechanisms explaining these results have not yet been clearly elucidated, but they have been postulated to include reductions in systemic inflammatory mediating compounds. Aspirin use has also been shown to reduce cancer development and recurrence; much of the data was initially developed in colon cancer. However, a clinical trial published in 2011 in the prestigious medical journal The Lancet combined multiple randomized published trials evaluating the use of aspirin to prevent vascular events into one single analysis (called a meta-analysis), which looked retrospectively at cancer prevention. The results are astounding: a 34% reduction in risk for all cancers and a remarkable 54% reduction in gastrointestinal cancers. The risk of death from all cancer was reduced by 20%, with an incredible 60% reduction in death from gastrointestinal cancer with greater than 7.5 years of aspirin consumption. The types of patients included those with esophageal, pancreas, brain, lung, stomach, and colorectal malignancy. The use of any new medication, including aspirin, is not without some potential risks, and daily use should absolutely be discussed with your personal physician. Similarly, an exercise plan should not be initiated until reviewed by your physician, to be certain that you are physically fit. Those caveats aside, I am hard pressed not to recommend throwing these simple, but powerful “stones” at the two “birds” that cause more deaths in America than all other causes combined. Diablo Valley Oncology founded the California Cancer and Research Institute. Located in Pleasant Hill, the cancer center is the largest freestanding, non-hospital based facility in Contra Costa County. The center brings together medical oncology, hematology, radiation, chemotherapy, diagnostic imaging, laboratory, pharmacy, clinical trials, and supportive care services – all in one convenient location. The facility provides the latest in technology and therapies – to better serve patients in the community. For more information call us at 925-677-5041 or visit Advertorial

Summer Classic to Fight Juvenile Diabetes

Back by popular demand, “Super Diamond,” will return to Wente Vineyards on Friday, August 19th for a concert and dinner benefit at the JDRF “Summer Classic.” This year’s event at Wente Vineyards will showcase the dinner and concert. It will include a live and silent auction to raise money to help kids battling diabetes. The fundraiser includes a separate, optional golf tournament earlier that day. “We are so excited for the ‘Summer Classic’ 2011,” said Kelly Craft of JDRF. “The money raised helps our treatment, education and prevention programs, aimed at kids and their families coping with juvenile diabetes.” For ticket and sponsor information see: Since its founding in 1970 by parents of children with type 1 diabetes, JDRF has awarded more than $1.5 billion to diabetes research, including more than $107 million last year. More than 80 percent of JDRF’s expenditures directly support research and research-related education. For more information, please visit

Alamo Today ~ July 2011 - Page 23

Oncoplastic Surgery for Breast Cancer By Barbara Persons, MD, Persons Plastic Surgery, Inc.

A coordinated approach to breast cancer treatment is being embraced by our country and by many physicians in our area. Surgical oncologists, medical oncologists, radiologists, plastic surgeons as well as nurses, social workers, geneticists, and psychologists work together with the patient for the best possible experience and outcome. This coordinated approach involves oncoplastic surgery. Oncoplastic surgery is the goal and practice of treating the entire patient and of leaving the patient the same or even better than we found her. It is important to take care not only of a woman’s breast cancer but also to maximize her result by minimizing incisions, side effects, recovery time and pain. This is my job as a plastic surgeon. The history of breast cancer surgery dates back to Dr. William Halsted in the late 1800’s who advocated the radical mastectomy for breast cancer – removing the skin, nipple areola, breast tissue and chest muscles. If the patient survived the operation, she would be left with a significant deformity and no reconstruction. He said “beware the man with the plastic operation.” We have progressed a long way since then. In many cases, the cancer can be removed and the breasts can be lifted, reduced, or rearranged to repair the cancer defect without compromising the main goal of removing the cancer. Even a woman choosing preventive bilateral mastectomy may be able to have immediate nipple sparing reconstruction and avoid years of worry and monitoring with MRIs, and mammograms. Every patient with breast cancer should, in my opinion, have the option of: 1. Meeting with a plastic surgeon before surgery 2. Skin sparing or nipple sparing mastectomy 3. Oncoplastic surgery when possible, especially in women with large or pendulous breasts 4. Breast conservation surgery 5. Restoring balance between the affected breast and the nonaffected breast 6. Reconstructive options to include flaps, breast expanders/ implants, biological matrices, fat grafting and microsurgical reconstructions. The patient’s initial treatment is usually guided by the oncologic or general surgeon. He or she helps the patient understand the breast cancer diagnosis and the options for treatment. The plastic surgeon works with the patient and the oncologic surgeon to help achieve the patient’s reconstructive and cosmetic goals when the cancer is removed. Oncoplastic surgery may be a good option for patients who are candidates for breast conservation surgery, lumpectomy, total mastectomy as well as those who are candidates for breast reduction or breast lift. Lifting or reducing the other breast is usually covered by insurance. Hopefully many women with breast cancer will have the opportunity to have their breast cancer removed, to gain the support of the associated specialties for diagnosis, chemotherapy and radiation, and to have cosmetically acceptable breasts at the completion of therapy. Each patient, with knowledge of the possibilities, has the power and control to determine her path through the breast cancer process. As a community we are all affected by this disease. More than one in nine women will have breast cancer in her lifetime. As a plastic surgeon and woman, I would be pleased to discuss your oncoplastic surgery options with you. Barbara Persons MD owns Persons Plastic Surgery, Inc. located at 911 Moraga Rd in Lafayette. Please call 925-283-8811 or email at Advertorial

Page 24 - July 2011 ~ Alamo Today

The Eye Opener

By Gregory Kraskowsky, O.D., Alamo Optometry Corneal Abrasions

Since we had a case of a rather large corneal abrasion last week, I decided it should be the topic of the month. These conditions are very painful and can lead to vision loss if not treated quickly and appropriately. To fully understand corneal abrasions, we must first discuss and understand the cornea. The cornea is the clear front part of the eye, and it does about 2/3 of the focusing of light in the eye (the lens does the other 1/3). It is made of clear collagen, and it is derived from the same tissue that makes up the white part of the eye (sclera). The cornea contains no blood vessels, and it receives all of its oxygen requirements from the air and tears. The cornea is made up of five layers, and it regenerates itself in about one week. It is usually the top layer of the cornea that gets scratched, and the majority of these cases do not leave a scar. Now the good and bad about the cornea. Like I mentioned above, it does regenerate itself in about a week, and it heals itself relatively quickly after an infection or abrasion. The flip side is that it is one of the most highly innervated tissues with nerves in the body. This means that it is extremely sensitive to any insult. For those of you who have battled a corneal infection or abrasion, you can attest to the pain that is involved in these cases. So the bad thing is that you will be in severe discomfort for a few days, but with the correct treatment, the healing time will not be that long. It is actually pretty easy to diagnose a corneal abrasion. When these patients come into the office, their eye is extremely red, it is tearing excessively, they have on dark sunglasses because of the light sensitivity, and they are in pain. The vision is usually decreased but not excessively considering the condition of the eye. I will put a yellow dye in the eye which will allow me to fully see the extent of the abrasion and to measure it. I will also look for foreign bodies in the eye (mostly under the top lid) and remove them as these get trapped under the lid and then every time you blink they continue to scratch and injure the eye. I will also give a drop of anesthetic in the eye which will immediately make the patient feel better as it will numb the cornea. After this drop, most patients ask if they can just take that bottle home with them. As much as I would like to, the anesthetic actually slows down the healing process of the cornea. So you would feel comfortable, but your cornea would turn to mush as the regeneration process would be halted. After the diagnosis is made, I will usually apply a bandage contact lens to the eye. The contact lens acts as a band-aid on the eye; now every time you blink, instead of further irritating the abrasion, you now blink on the contact lens. For those who

normally don’t wear contacts, the slight irritation from the lens is far less than the pain from the abrasion. This also allows the cornea to heal quicker. I will also give the patient an antibiotic to help protect against an infection. Now that there is an opening in the cornea, it is easy to for an infection to start. The only good thing about these abrasions is that the patient is usually in so much pain that they do not wait very long before getting help. As long as the trauma that caused the abrasion did not fully penetrate the eye (very rare), the cornea usually heals within a few days, and you are back to normal in under a week. Hopefully this never happens to you, but we look forward to helping you if it does. Dr. K. at Alamo Optometry is your hometown eye doctor for outstanding service, vision care, and designer eyewear. He can be reached at 820-6622 or visit his office at 3201 Danville Blvd., Suite 165 in Alamo. Visit our newly updated website at and like us on our Alamo Optometry Facebook page. Advertorial

Daily Sunscreen Use Cuts Melanoma in Half By Dr. Kelly Hood

Adults who use sunscreen daily can drastically cut their risk of developing melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. A new landmark study done in Australia found that daily application of an SPF 16 sunscreen to the head, neck, arms, and hands reduced melanoma incidence by half in study participants. Dr. Kelly Hood, Lafayette More than 16,000 white Australian adults between age 25 and 65 were studied for more than a decade. The subjects were divided into two groups, one told to continue using (or not using) sunscreen as they always had, the other given careful instruction in proper daily sunscreen application. The subjects were monitored closely through daily self-reports of sunscreen use, as well as collection and examination of all sunscreen containers they used. Only 11 melanomas developed in the daily sunscreen users, versus 22 in the control group. The control group had a 50 percent reduction in the occurrence of melanomas. In addition, invasive melanomas were reduced by 73%. The trial’s findings are the first to provide strong direct evidence for a reduction in the incidence of invasive melanoma after regular application of

The Tipping Point By Jeffrey Johnson, D.C.

In the year 2000, author Malcolm Gladwell published a book called The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference. In this book Gladwell defined a “tipping point” as “the moment of critical mass, the threshold, the boiling point.” Last week the 28 Days to Health™ program and products were recognized locally by Diablo Magazine and its readers as the Best Cleanse Program of the East Bay. This recognition proves that the key principles of clean eating, minimizing toxic exposure, and maximizing the body’s natural detoxification pathways have in fact reached The Tipping Point. When we first started teaching the tenants of the 28 Days to Health™ program, we were met with skepticism and reservation. But, results speak for themselves, and before we knew it, hundreds of happy clients turned into thousands. Along the way we have heard the detractors try to poke holes in our process, but the reality is most of the detractors have turned into competitors trying to offer like programming under different names. Ironically, several of them have even tried to pirate our materials. Nonetheless, it proves the point that our system works….really well. Even though we’ve won Diablo Magazine’s award for Best Cleanse Program of the East Bay, the reality is most people reading this article still have no idea what 28 Days to Health™ is all about. The concepts are simple really and don’t require a PhD to grasp, just some plain old common sense. First is the concept of clean eating. Simply put, you can’t continually eat a diet full of sugar, preservatives and other inflammatory foods like gluten, soy and dairy without experiencing some serious challenges to your body composition and general health profile. If you took the time to journal what you actually ate for one week, you’d probably be shocked to find you rarely eat nutrient dense, whole foods. Even more concerning would be the realization of how irregular your eating patterns are throughout the week. Our recommendation for addressing these issues are simple enough. Eat three times a day and when you prepare your meal, make sure you’ve included some lean protein, high fiber carbs, healthy fats, and a boat load of non-starchy, nutrient dense vegetables.

broad-spectrum sunscreen in adults.

Alamo Today ~ July 2011 - Page 25

Britain Bans Indoor Tanning for Those Under 18

Thanks to the United Kingdom’s new Sunbeds Regulation Act, children under 18 years of age are now banned from using ultraviolet tanning devices in Great Britain. UV radiation is a proven human carcinogen, and the World Health Organization includes UV tanning devices in its list of the most dangerous cancercausing substances. People who start tanning before Dr. Shanny Baughman, Alamo the age 35 increase their risk of developing melanoma by 75%. Tanning bed users are also 2.5 times more likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma and 1.5 times more likely to develop basal cell carcinoma. Melanoma rate have tripled among Britons ages 15-34 years in the past 30 years. UV tanning devices have become increasingly popular over the same period. In some areas of the UK, around 50% of 15-17 year old girls have tanned indoors. In the US, where tanning is regulated by the states, debate in regulating indoor tanning continues. The Skin Cancer Foundation, along with several other organizations, has testified before the FDA on the necessity of limiting the use of tanning beds. REMEMBER: “All tanning is dangerous. A tan indicates that the skin’s DNA has already been damaged.” Perry Robbins MD President of the Skin Cancer Foundation To schedule a consultation with one of us, contact Dr. Shanny Baughman at Alamo Oaks Dermatology, 3189 Danville Blvd, suite 130, Alamo, 925-362-0992,, or Dr. Kelly Hood, 970 Dewing, Suite 301, Lafayette, Advertorial 925-283-5500, . Sound too fringy or just what a good doctor might have recommended? The next controversial concept outlined in the 28 Days to Health™ program is limiting your exposure to toxins. It should come as no surprise that the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat is burdened with toxins. This of course means WE are being burdened with exposure to toxins. You have never been at a higher risk for exposure to man-made toxic compounds than you are today. Pesticides, herbicides, household cleaners, body care products, fire retardants, fertilizers…the list goes on and on. It is important to consider your exposure since all of these compounds have been linked to increased risk of cancer, thyroid disorders, obesity, developmental impairment in our children, and a whole host of other serious health issues. It is commonly said an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The last time I checked, we aren’t doing too well in the “cure” department when it comes to cancer, obesity, developmental impairment in our children, etc., since the incidence of all of these conditions are on the rise! One simple solution recommended in our programming is to effectively limit your immediate and long term exposure to toxins by eating organic. Too expensive you say? How expensive is the alternative? Is the nation healthier now than it was even ten years ago? No. Is the healthcare system broken? Yes. Are you really relying on a simple, quick fix from our healthcare system with regard to your diabetes, obesity, or cancer? I hope not! The final set of totally controversial recommendations found in our program are all grounded in the concept of maximizing your body’s natural detoxification pathways. This is accomplished with four eye-popping, radical recommendations. First, get your colon moving. Get regular as in one to three times per day. Second, get hydrated by drinking at least half your body weight, in water, in ounces, each day. Third, get moving and raise your respiration rate and sweat out those impurities. And finally, get some sleep! You need 7-8 hours per night to allow your body’s restorative process to work. Again, sound too fringy or just like what a good doctor might have recommended? The reviews are in and 28 Days to Health™ gets two “thumbs up.” It takes 21 days to make a habit, give us 28 Days to Transform Your Life! Start Your Countdown! For further information go to or You may reach Dr. Johnson at Johnson Chiropractic Advertorial Group in Danville. 925-743-8210.

Page 26 - July 2011 ~ Alamo Today

Can a ROBOT fix your tooth? With Today’s Technology the Answer is Yes! By Alex Rader, DDS

Many of us have had the experience of a cracked or a broken tooth that was in need of a partial or a full crown. In the past we went to the dentist office and were given anesthesia. The doctor then prepared the tooth for the proper type of restoration. Once the preparation was complete, a tray with a lot of goopy material was placed in our mouth for six minutes which seemed like forever! After What makes us Special… slobbering all over ourself, a temporary crown was made. Two weeks later, if the temporary did not fall out earlier, we were back at the office, to finish the replacement, having had to take more time off from work. The temporary was “yanked” off, and the final crown was cemented in place, if it was a right fit. WE ARE a community of Well, no more. The magic answer is CEREC (Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics, or CEramic REConstruction). This new procedure allows extraordinary people, living for the tooth to be painlessly numbed up and a preparation made. A small camera extraordinary lives.... is placed in the mouth, and a three-dimensional digital model of the tooth is taken. WE ARE a Mother of Six, Former Mayor, The restoration is fabricated by the dentist with the assistance of the most modern Navel Officer, Wife of Nobel Prize Winner, Football software to date. With a push of a button, a message is sent down the hall, where Coach, Satellite Engineer, Marketing Executive, “Michelangelo,” in the form of a machine, creates a restoration out of a solid block Author, Teacher, Photographer, Oil Executive, of porcelain. The restoration is finished and ready to be placed on your tooth usuNurse, Pharmacist, Special Education Director, ally within 20 minutes! Grandmother, Executive Secretary, Artist… CEREC means one appointment, no more temporaries, less time off from work, and metal free restoration. Health minded people are increasingly becoming concerned with metal in the mouth (particularly mercury). A CEREC tooth restoration isn’t just convenient, it is also healthy. Many years ago, dentists had few options to repair decayed and damaged teeth other than amalgam, gold, and other metals. With CEREC, the doctor uses strong, tooth colored ceramic materials to restore your teeth to their natural strength, beauty, and function. These materials closely match the composition of natural tooth Come see what makes us so special! Stop in for a tour today and receive a free copy of Gretchen Rubin’s structure. This means when you eat hot food and then drink something cold, the #1 New York Times Best Seller “The Happiness Project”* restoration and tooth expand and contract at almost equal rates. So, your tooth does and see why we celebrate life at The Stratford! not crack, and you can go on enjoying your meal. Also, the materials are chemically CALL US AT (925) 932-9910 bonded to your tooth, so the doctor can save as much healthy tooth tissue as possible while providing you with a dental restoration that strengthens your tooth. The CEREC enamel like material is biocompatible with the tissues in the mouth and provides a high-grade, anti-abrasive and plaque-resistant finish. A patient’s overall visit time, of about 90 minutes, is spent relaxing, reading a magazine, watching TV, 1 or checking emails. * Offer while quantites last. Limited and subject to change, please see Community Marketing Director for more details. Applies to new residents only. 1. Patients desire to have broken teeth repaired and remaining metal fillings replaced to prevent the risk of further breaking An American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry survey reveals that 92% of adult more teeth. respondents say an attractive smile is an important social asset. 2. Prepared teeth are digitally scanned and de74% believe an unattractive smile can hurt a person’s chances for a successful career. 2 signed on the computer. 3. A ceramic hybrid More than any other facial feature, a smile can reflect trust, comfort, confidence and layered block is used to the shortest path to reflecting your personality. mill out computer design restoration. 4. Final restored teeth Dr Rader is a graduate of the prestigious Las Vegas Institute are ready to “perform (LVI), a renowned center for cosmetic,TMJ, and Neuromuscular 3 and look like natural dentistry. He is one of a few dentists nationwide to complete teeth.” Full Mouth Reconstruction curriculum at LVI. 5. After the metal fillings were replaced and broken teeth restored with enamel hybrid ceramics. To see if the CEREC 4 procedure is right for you please contact Dr. Alex Rad925.932.1855 er at 925-932-1855, or visit Alex Rader DDS General, Cosmetic, and Neuromuscular Dentistry Dr. Rader’s office is con1855 San Miguel Dr, Suite 12 • Walnut Creek, CA veniently located in Walnut Actual patient, smile design by Alex Rader, DDS Advertorial 5 Creek.

Our Residents do!

Alamo Today ~ July 2011 - Page 27

Cancer Support Community

The following classes are held at Cancer Support Community located at 3276 McNutt Avenue in Walnut Creek. Classes are free of charge, but reservations are required. For information, call (925) 933-0107.

Kids Circle & Teen Talk -- When Mom or Dad Has Cancer

A program for families with school-age children when a parent has cancer. Each workshop has an activity-based group for children where they identify feelings and learn coping skills. There is a support group for teens and a group for parents. The workshop ends with lunch and a family activity to enhance communication. Saturday, July 9th from 10AM – 1PM.

Newly Diagnosed Breast Cancer Workshop


This 16 week series is for women who have just been diagnosed and are either in treatment or starting treatment. Guest medical experts will present information to assist in understanding the disease. The group aspect assists you in finding the tools for coping with the diagnosis and gaining the support of others who share similar experiences. Meets Wednesdays, July 20th through November 2nd from 10:30AM – 12:30PM.


Cancer Survivorship 101

This is an introduction to post-treatment recovery and beyond. Learn how to create a summary of your treatment and map out a care plan for your recovery. You will leave empowered with the tools to improve your quality of life and achieve a greater sense of well-being. Patients and support people are welcome. Class is held with Shell Portner, RN, Survivorship Nurse Navigator at John Muir Cancer Institute and also a cancer survivor. Saturday, July 23rd from 10AM – Noon.

Mended Hearts

The John Muir Chapter of Mended Hearts will hold its monthly meeting on Thursday, July 14 at 7PM in the Hanson Room at John Muir Medical Center-Walnut Creek Campus located at 1601 Ygnacio Valley Road in Walnut Creek. The speaker will be Jimmy Choy on the topic of DEXA and osteoporosis. Mended Hearts is a national organization providing support for cardiac patients and their families. For further information about the meeting and Mended Hearts, contact Nancy Mitchell at (925) 943-7549.

Hospice of the East Bay Offers Support

Hospice of the East Bay is pleased to offer a variety of support groups and workshops for adults, children, and teens experiencing grief after the death of a loved one. Classes are held at 3470 Buskirk Avenue in Pleasant Hill. For more information and/or to register, please call: (925) 887-5681.

Adult Support Groups/Classes:

• Advanced Maternal Age • Amenorrhea • Anovulation • Elevated FSH • Elevated Prolactin • Endometriosis • Hormonal Imbalances • Hypothyrodism • Luteal Phase Defect • Male Factor Infertility • Ovarian Cysts • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome • Recurrent Miscarriage • Tubal Blockage • Uterine Fibroids • Unexplained Infertility






ANNA'S CLEANING is a family owned and operated home and commercial cleaning service. Our main goal is to provide you the highest standard and quality service. Call for a free estimate. References provided by request. Phone: 707-228-7899 or 510-323-0565.

Megan Dauphin, L.Ac.

Acupuncture increases IVF success rates.

Research has found that acupuncture used with IVF increases pregnancy rates by as much as 65%

(925) 683-6484

125 G Railroad Ave, Danville

Children and Teens Support Group:



Utilizing acupuncture, Chinese herbs, and holistic medicine to treat the following conditions:

• Adults Who Have Lost a Parent - Tuesdays, 7 - 9PM ~ August 30 - October 18 • Widow and Widowers’ Support - Thursdays, 1 - 3PM or 6 - 8PM ~ September 8 - October 27 •Footsteps - Tuesdays, 5:15 - 6:30PM ~ September 20 - November 1 To learn more, or to make a donation of time or money, please contact (925) 887-5678, or visit


Located in Align Healing Center







CONDO VACATION RENTAL Mauna Lani Resort, Big Island. New luxury 2 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath condo on 4th fairway. Minimum 3 night stay. Contact Alamo owners for discounted rate. 925.381.7042

Alamo Today Classifieds

Reach over 6,300 homes and businesses in Alamo - Help Wanted, For Sale, Services, Lessons, Pets, Rentals, Wanted, Freebies... $35 for up to 45 words. $5 for each additional 15 words. Run the same classified ad in our sister papers “Lafayette Today” or “Danville Today News” at half off! Send or email submissions to: 3000F Danville Blvd #117, Alamo 94507 or Payment by check made out to “The Editors” must be received before ad will print. Your cancelled check is your receipt. We reserve the right to reject any ad. _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Name_________________________________________ Address__________________________________________ # of Words_______________ Phone________________________________________ Email ____________________________________________________________________

Page 28 - July 2011 ~ Alamo Today

The Combs Team

Professionals You Can Count On



Call the Combs Team


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2011 Luxury Homes Nearly 40% Cheaper than Market Peak

With about half of 2011 behind us I wanted to review the area Luxury Home Market and see how things are going at the high end. The area to be reviewed will be Alamo, Danville, Diablo and Blackhawk. I’ve included a chart of sales going back to 2005 for comparison purposes and the most recent data stops at June 28, 2011. Years ago, when I first began writing this column I counted any home sale above $2.0 million as a Luxury Home and there were a great many of them, upwards of 40 per year in Alamo alone. Unfortunately, those days are gone. Nationally, any home that sells above $750k is generally considered High End or Luxury. To fit the times and new economy I modified my older definition for our area as follows: 5000 plus square feet, LuxuryHomeMkt.Alamo,Blackhawk,Danville,Diablo UnitsSold DOM SoldPrice $/Sq.Foot on a .5-1.0 acre with a pool. These 2005 16 17 $ 2,760,392 $ 489 data reflect this 2006 12 41 $ 2,707,125 $ 451 “New Economy” 2007 14 41 $ 2,920,833 $ 506 definition. 2008 8 82 $ 2,859,375 $ 510 So far this year there have been 2009 11 175 $ 2,551,388 $ 431 eight home sales 2010 14 91 $ 1,908,000 $ 327 that meet my defi2011ytd 8 161 $ 1,809,166 $ 313 nition of Luxury Home in our mar- Note: 5000 + Sq Ft. Home on .5-1.0 acre and Pool ket area. Of these eight only two crossed the $2 million dollar price line. Given the fact that there are two additional pending sales at this time, we’re probably safe in thinking that we are on par with last year’s Luxury Home Market unit sales performance or slightly above it. As you can see the average price of our Luxury Market has fallen from $1,908,000 in 2010 to $1,809,166. That’s about a 9.5% decline in average price year on year. Average square foot price has declined less sharply from $327 per square foot to $313 per square foot or about -4.5%. Although prices have been dropping since 2007, the most precipitous drop was felt between 2009

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Danville Executive Home

and 2010 when the average price plummeted from $2,551,338 to $1,908,000 for a -25% loss in value in a single year’s time. In total there has been about a -39% drop from the 2007 peak both in price and dollars paid per square foot. Let’s examine what this loss of value means a little bit more closely. In round numbers, if a 40% loss is taken on a $2 million dollar investment the remaining investment is worth $1.2 million dollars. Ouch! To regain the $800k loss will require 66% appreciation in value on that $1.2m base. Assuming the rate of Real Estate appreciation returns to the historic normal level of about 4% percent annually, that $800k loss will be recovered in sixteen and one half years. If the recovery started today, those dollars could possibly be recovered in 2027. That’s a long time to get back to even. Those aren’t just numbers; anyone who bought during the peak is living that loss, not just in value but also in lost opportunity for the monthly payments on the portion financed as well as taxes and up keep. For the average Luxury Home owner those monthly payments are substantial. On a normally financed loan of $1.6 million (80% of $2 million value at 5% interest) the payment would be $102,000 per year plus a tax bill of $24,000. The perspective of this simple analysis makes the whole notion of “Strategic Default” quite easy to understand. As a kid growing up in the 50’s and 60’s, living in a 1000 sq. ft. 2 bedroom home, I always wondered at the three story Victorian Homes that had been degraded from private residences into run down duplexes, triplexes and quads. At the time, it was difficult for me to imagine the booming economies and wealth of the “Gay Nineties and Roaring Twenties” that supported their construction and maintenance. It was even harder for me to imagine all that incredible wealth being swept away by the “Great Depression”. I do find it a bit worrisome that home values have already dropped further than they did way back then. I often wonder if there could be a parallel with the “Dot Com Bubble” and “Housing Bust” of the previous decade. It is possible. I guess. But, I suspect it won’t happen again. I hope it won’t happen again! I pray it won’t happen again! It’s important to remember that there really is no “average” home and no two homes are exactly alike. If you would like an honest no strings attached opinion of your home’s current market value and suggestions for getting it ready for market, please give me a call 925-9896086 or send me an email

Bryan Ranch Single Story



Amazing 4 bedroom, 3 bath, single story with a pool. Granite kitchen. $1,180,000

Alamo Westside Mediterranean




Magnificent 4 bedroom, 3 bath home on 1/2 acre lot with a pool and mature landscaping. $1,200,000

Alamo 5 Bedroom Custom

Stunning John Clausen Custom. Great kitchen - family room flow, office and exercise room $1,435,000

Alamo French Country Home


RE Perfect “10” 5 beds, office, huge bonus room, kitchen family room flow, exquisite mill work, views $2,095,000

Data presented in this column is based in whole or in part on data supplied by the Contra Costa and Alameda MLS service and other quoted sources. Joe and Nancy Combs, J. Rockcliff and the MLS service do not guarantee the accuracy of this information. DRE #0144125.



6 bedroom, 4.5 bath, on .6 acre. Two master bedrooms and apartment. Serene wooded setting. Lease available. $1,299,000 J. Rockcliff Realtors 15 Railroad Ave., Danville CA. 94526

Alamo Today, July 2011  

Alamo Today, July 2011. The town of Alamo, California's monthly advertiser-supported community newspaper.