0DUFK6HUYLQJ$ODPRDQG'LDEOR The Alamo Post Office By Stanley M. Piller The California Gold Rush began on January 24, 1848, when gold was found by James W. Marshall at Sutter's Mill in Coloma, California. The news spread all over the world, and by 1849 people started flocking to San Francisco and the Northern California Gold Fields. The effects of the Gold Rush were substantial. San Francisco grew from a small settlement of about 200 residents in 1846 to a boomtown of about 36,000 by 1852. On November 1, 1848, the Postmaster General of the United States appointed William Van Voorhees a Special Agent, with instructions to proceed to San Francisco and to appoint postmasters in San Diego, San Pedro, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Monterey en route. On arriving in Panama,
The original three members are clockwise top left, Don Martin, Don Unini, Russell Honsowetz, Jr. (in pink with Katy) and one of the newcomers (only a member for about 16 years) Ernie Alamillo. The other church members were not present.
The Church of Monday Night Football By Fran Miller Most every small town can point to at least one location that can be considered the heart of the community. For Danville and Alamo, that location might be the 20-foot-wide Iron Horse Trail which meanders through residential and business areas, schools, parks and open spaces, offering recreational and social An example of the return to a hand stamp. Here is a 2¢ 1887 stamp cancelled with a purple 3 ring activities for bikers, rollerbladers, runners, and walkers alike. target and a matching Alamo February 25, 1888 CALA. Postmark on a cover to Oakland. The Trail is a meeting place, a destination, and a respite from fast-paced Voorhees boarded the S. S. California which was sailing to San Francisco. lives. It is also a hub for memories – as evidenced by the commemoraBecause of a shortage in coal onboard, only one stop was made. On February tive benches that line the trail corridor. Each bench, while duly providSee Bench continued on page 27 23, 1849, in Monterey, Voorhees delivered mail to Capt. William G. Marcy and appointed him as Postmaster at Monterey. His appointment had been Be Aware, Keep Your Valuables Hidden approved in Washington on November 21, 1848. Thus, the first Post Office was opened by the United States in California at Monterey. It should be noted By Sharon Burke An Alamo couple had an unpleasant surprise when they returned to at that time, California was not a possession, territory, or state of the US. It their car after dinner at an Alamo Plaza restaurant on a recent February was an independent entity with a military form of government from June 4, weekday evening. Broken glass surrounding their car was the first sign 1848 until December 20, 1849. It had a local civil government from then until that something was wrong, and they discovered that a rear passenger September 20, 1850 when it became a state. window had been smashed, and the husband's briefcase was missing See Post Office continued on page 14 with a valuable hard drive inside. The Westside residents asked me not to publish their names, but they Clean Water Ballots – What’s This All About? were willing to share their story as they feel it is valuable for Alamo By Sharon Burke residents to know that crime occurs everywhere. Ballots went out in late February to Alamo property owners asking for their The wife told me, “We feel it was vote on the Contra Costa Community Clean Water Initiative. The election is stupid of us to leave a briefcase in required by Prop. 218, the Right to Vote on Taxes Act, passed by California votfull view in the car, but we tend to ers in 1996. The countywide initiative was ordered for election by the County Volume XII - Number 3 feel safe in Alamo Plaza. We were 3000F Danville Blvd. #117, Board of Supervisors on February 7 on a 3-1 vote. A majority vote of property parked in a well lit area immediately Alamo, CA 94507 owners in the County is necessary to pass the fee. Critics have questioned the adjacent to the restaurant with the Telephone (925) 405-NEWS, 405-6397 See Vote continued on page 28 Sheriff's substation nearby. I want Fax (925) 406-0547 Alamo folks to know that we all need Alisa Corstorphine ~ Publisher PRSRT STD to be more aware and watching out Editor@yourmonthlypaper.com U.S. Postage Sharon Burke ~ Writer for each other.” PAID Local firstname.lastname@example.org Permit 263 The husband noted that he got a Postal Customer The opinions expressed herein belong to the writers, and do Alamo CA call a few hours later from an alert not necessarily reflect that of Alamo Today. Alamo Today is not responsible for the content of any of the advertising ECRWSS herein, nor does publication imply endorsement.
See Aware continued on page 22
Page 2 - March 2012 ~ Alamo Today
Pillar Wealth Management might be right for you IF, Hutch Ashoo, CEOo
You worry about managing your wealth to outlast you and your loved ones
Chris Snyder, Principal, SR. VP
You currently have $3+ million cash and/or investments for deployment You demand a different type of Wealth Management advice to help you increase the probability of reaching your life-goals You believe what is best for Wall Street/Brokerage firms isn’t necessarily best for YOU Aree To discover if we are right for each other and to start the process of an honest evaluation, call Hutch or Chris at (925) 407-0320 to schedule a FREE 20 minute telephone meeting. Pillar Wealth Management is proud of the high caliber, 100% fee-based customized wealth management advice we deliver to a limited number of affluent families. We are not all things to all investors. Pillar Wealth Management, LLC. is fully owned by Mr. Hutch Ashoo and Mr. Chris Snyder, they are book authors, financial columnists and nationwide radio guests. They have been providing customized financial solutions to affluent families for a combined 47 years. Pillar’s only product is unbiased advice. Call (925) 407-0320 to schedule a FREE 20 minute telephone meeting now.
Visit www.PillarWM.com for a short video affluent families should watch. Pillar Wealth Management, LLC. | 1600 South Main Street, Suite 335 | Walnut Creek, CA 94596 Information about Pillar Wealth Management, LLC., as a Registered Investment Advisor, CRD number 147837, is available at www.adviserinfo.sec.gov.
Boulevard View By Alisa Corstorphine, Editor The other day I got a call from a 21 year old friend of the family. She was filling out a job application which asked how many words per minute she typed and how fast she wrote in shorthand. Shorthand?! Heavens! (Someone needs to update their job applications they hand out!) Having grown up in the 60’s and 70’s, I knew what shorthand was, but I have never seen anyone actually use it. I think she assumed shorthand was something akin to abbreviations and texting slang, like LOL or OMG. I asked others in the 20-30 age crowd if they knew what shorthand was, and they were clueless. For those of you in the younger crowd, Wikipedia defines shorthand as “an abbreviated symbolic writing method that increases speed or brevity of writing as compared to a normal method of writing a language.” It goes on to say, “A typical shorthand system provides symbols or abbreviations for words and common phrases, which can allow someone well trained in the system to write as quickly as people speak.”
The above reads: “One thing at a time and that done well is a very good rule as many can tell.”
I started thinking how much communication has changed in a small period of time. While reading Steve Jobs autobiography, I keep reflecting how the whole personal computer industry is less than 35 years old. The World Wide Web was implemented in 1991, and the iPhone, which millions now have at hand 24/7, wasn’t even introduced until five years ago. Recently an email popped up in my Inbox from a favorite artist/craft selling website, www.Etsy.com. Blending the old with the new, the item for sale was an old Underwood typewriter. It was the same kind I used to type reports on for
school, using “onion skin paper,” carbon-paper for copies, bottles of white-out and those round typewriter erasers with brush attached, always at the ready. The artist took the typewriter and made it into an iPad stand. He added some electronics to make the typewriter keys fully USB functional for a PC, a Mac, or the iPad. The carriage return (for those of you who know what that is) is what acts as the Enter key to bring you to the next line. It still looks, feels, and works like a regular typewriter, but also as a keyboard. To see it in action, visit www.usbtypewriter. com. For those of you who are handy with a soldering iron and who have an old typewriter in your closet, they have a “do it yourself” conversion kit that works with most old manual typewriters for $79.20 shipped. It’s tempting! Seeing the guy typing on that demonstration video reminded me how much longer each keystroke took and how much more pressure on the keys was involved. Remember what it was like? *Press* the key… and the metal arm raises and strikes the ribbon, and then through to the paper, then the arm descends…one character done…repeat.... And you better press hard, or you get a light-strike and maybe a blank spot in your word! Back then, a spilled drink or a hungry dog truly were a threat to that book report or term paper you’d been working on. Remember the professor who wouldn’t accept a paper with a single correction on it? We’re so spoiled now, because when I hit the wrong key and make a typing error, I can easily hit the backspace key and recreate the word correctly. And we shouldn’t forget inline typing correction, or the handy spell-checker and thesaurus built into all of our word processors now. It hasn’t been that long, and we have become completely comfortable with these amazing improvements in conveying the written word. Communications have certainly evolved, and never has it been more so than in the last few years. The instant access we have to each other with phones, email, and text messages has drastically sped up our lives, which really helps us in some situations, but also robs us of the simplicity and leisure we once enjoyed. While some technologies are better in the past, combining the past with the future can bring the best of both worlds together and act as a pleasant reminder of a more uncomplicated time. Importantly, we shouldn’t ever forget where the On/Off switch is, because sometimes it’s great to just un-plug!
Alamo Today ~ March 2012 - Page 3
Alamo.PrimeAlamoOaks!SUBDIVIDEABLE!RestorethismansiontoGrandeur! 5000sfsinglelevelestateonlevelknolltopofapprx.2.5ACRES.Regionalviews, secludedatendofdrive.Pool,shops,aptunittoo!$1,695,000
Moraga. Fabulous Tuscan Designed Estate Home on 11 ACRE hillside in MoͲ raga. Approx. 1 acre vineyard & separate temp. controlled wine room. 4 bed, 3.5 baths, approx. 4,600 sq. ft. Great room,hardwood& thefinestofmaterialsthruͲ out!$2,150,000 TonyCristiani
Walnut Creek. This Stunning House feaͲ tures Beautiful Tile & Carpet Flooring, Fireplace in Family & Master Bedroom, Formal Dining Area, Concrete CounterͲ tops w/Cherrywood Cabinets & Stainless Steel appliances, Master Bath w/Jetted Tub, BonusRoom&FullBathdownstairs,BrickPatio &BeautifulYard.$799,950 BobBaptiste925.277.0700 www.BobBaptiste.com
Alamo. Prime Westside loc. Level lot w/ room for inͲlaw, pool or grapes. 5th bdrm large studio style w/separate bath & entry far end from other bdrms. Modern prof. kitchenw/RoseGranitecounters.Brazilian Hardwoodinentry/Kitchen.Newcarpet,paint. $1,350,000 DalePrice
Danville. Walk to downtown from this stunning & spacious home in wooded setͲ ting. Convenient first floor unit approx 1391 sq ft w/ 3 bedrooms (one used as den).Largelivingroomw/wallofwindows. Close to Iron Horse Trail, schools, shops, freeͲ way. Community pool & clubhouse. Regular sale.$339,000 PeterBareiss925.998.5334 www.JustCallPeter.com
Page 4 - March 2012 ~ Alamo Today th
12 Annual Bookies Award Dinner The 12th Annual Bookies Award Dinner, a Celebration of Books and the People Who Love Them, sponsored by Project Second Chance, Inc. and Real Books, will be held on Thursday, March 29 at 6PM at the Lafayette Park Hotel. Laurie R. King, author of highly praised mystery series and suspense novels and winner of the Edgar, the Nero, the Macavity, and the John Creasey Awards, will be the guest speaker. The evening will include dinner, wine, and a silent auction. Tickets are $60 each. All proceeds benefit Project Second Chance, the Contra Costa County Library’s adult literacy program. To purchase tickets, call Fremont Bank at (510) 723-5811. You may also visit the Project Second Chance website at www.ccclib.org/psc for more information.
Fun Horse Show and BBQ for Kids By Aline Spyrka, 4-H youth member You are invited to attend a fun Horse Show/ BBQ fundraiser. The goal of the event is to have many people attend and learn about horses, our local 4-H club, and the community. The date is set for Saturday, March 10th at 9AM. The event will be held at Summit Ranch Equestrian Center located at 100 Summit Ranch Road in Alamo. The show includes 4-H Cloverleaf Barrels, Bareback Dollar, Tutu Race, and many other events to benefit 4-H. This show is an opportunity to let kids who don’t have horses come and learn about horses and join in the fun. Special classes are planned for kids who don’t have a horse or who want to be a part of the show and win a prize. Our Horse Project is what we have chosen to do to work towards our Emerald Star designation through our 4-H group. The Emerald Star program is “designed to help youth learn about project planning, organization, and presentation.” Kelly Vanderwerf, Bailey Newlin, and I have all been in 4-H for four years and are very involved in the Tassajara club. All of us have many horses and love to do anything around a horse. That’s why we decided to do something involving 4-H, horses, and food to meet the project requirements. For more information, email email@example.com.
San Ramon Valley Horsemen’s Association
Do You Know the Arithmetic of Real Estate Sales? An old quote says real estate and arithmetic are acquired together. The two also go together when figuring the tax consequences of selling property. Here are numbers to know. Amount realized. How much did you get for the property? You may think first of the selling price, but noncash receipts also affect the amount realized. For example, if the buyer assumes an existing mortgage, the amount you no longer have to pay on the loan increases the amount realized. Adjusted basis. To calculate adjusted basis, start with what you paid for the property, add the cost of capital improvements, and subtract amounts you recovered through tax benefits during your ownership, such as depreciation or certain energy credits. Gain or loss realized. Subtracting adjusted basis from the amount realized gives you the gain or loss on the sale. In general, the gain or loss realized is the same as the amount recognized on your tax return, though there are exceptions. One you're probably familiar with applies when you sell your principal residence. Sell at a loss, and it's considered personal and nondeductible. If you have a gain on a home sale and meet certain requirements, you can exclude the gain from income. Did you sell property in 2011? Give us a call. We're happy to help with the math.
Feeney McClaskey and Associates, Inc Certified Public Accountants 3201 Danville Blvd., Suite 150 • Alamo, CA 94507 (925) 314-1891 • Fax (925) 309-2462 www.fmacpa.com • Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The San Ramon Valley Horsemen’s Association invites you to join us Friday, March 16th at 6PM for a catered dinner and social. The evening will feature nonprofit organizations in the horse community. Horse rescue, trail safety patrols, trail maintenance, and riding therapy programs will be represented. Learn what our local non-profits are doing and how you can help if you so desire. The event will be held at the Alamo Women’s Club which is located at1401 Danville Blvd in Alamo. Cost is $15 for members and $20 for nonmembers. Soda, iced tea, coffee, and water will be provided. BYOB. RSVP by Wednesday, March 14th to Linda Post at (925) 479-9788 or email@example.com.
Xenophon Gala Fundraiser Please join Xenophon Therapeutic Riding Center for its annual gala fundraiser, “An Enchanted Emerald Eve.” This year, the event will be held at Round Hill Country Club in Alamo on Saturday, March 17th at 6pm. The evening includes a sit down dinner, dancing, and silent and live auctions. Tickets are $100 each, and reservations are required. Please visit www.xenophontrc.org for more details and to purchase tickets or call 925.377.0871. Funds raised at this event will be used to support the overall cost of providing riding lessons to children with special needs. Xenophon Therapeutic Riding Center is a nonprofit organization located in a beautiful rural setting in Orinda. The center offers life-changing experiences for children with a wide range of disabilities, and it provides therapeutic horseback riding in a safe and secure environment. The children achieve goals that they never before dreamed possible. By focusing on enhancing their unique abilities, and with a horse as their guide, there is no limit to what these children can achieve.
Alamo-Danville Newcomer’s Club Please join the Alamo-Danville Newcomer’s Club on Tuesday, March 13th for our monthly luncheon. This will be our ‘sweetest’ luncheon ever as we are lucky to have an employee from Danville Chocolates speaking to us about everything you ever wanted to know about chocolate...Who can resist? Reservations are required. Please contact Marty at (925) 838-8113.
Alamo Today ~ March 2012 - Page 5
What is Your Antique Worth?
Most everyone has a few treasures on a shelf or in the attic, but who has wondered what value they might actually have? In an event very much like the popular television program Antiques Roadshow, The Gardens at Heather Farm will help locals discover the monetary value of their jewelry, antiques, and other collectibles. The annual Antique and Collectibles Appraisal Event is open to everyone from amateurs to serious collectors. The event will be held Sunday, March 11th from Noon to 5pm at The Gardens at Heather Farm located at 1540 Marchbanks Drive (off Ygnacio Valley Road) in Walnut Creek. The cost for entry and appraisal of the first three items is $15. There’s a $5 charge for each additional item. All proceeds benefit The Gardens at Heather Farm, its educational programs and demonstration gardens. For more information, call The Gardens at Heather Farm, (925) 947-1678 or visit www.gardenshf.org.
Museum of the San Ramon Valley Special Presentations at the Museum: • Saturday, March 24th, 10am, Jungle James from Animal Adventures will share his large butterfly collection from all over the world. He will show how to mount and explain how to preserve the butterflies while telling entertaining stories about his adventures. Bring your child or grandchild and yourself for a morning of lepidoptery. • Saturday, April 7th, 10am, Gemstone carving and polishing will be featured along with a display of beautiful gems and handmade jewelry. Dick Friesen will share his knowledge of gem collecting along with the tools and equipment that he uses in his hobby. Join us for what will surely be a polished and brilliant talk. Museum hours are Tuesday to Friday 1pm to 4pm, Saturday 10am to pm 1 . The museum is free to members, and there is a modest fee for nonmembers. Donations are always welcome. For more information, visit www.museumsrv.org or call 925-837-3750. The museum is located at the corner of Railroad and Prospect Avenues in downtown Danville.
From the authors of
The Westside Report Thinking about Spring Cleaning? Organizing Your Garage?
Save the Date!
First Annual Westside Alamo Yard Sale Saturday, May 5th 8am-12pm Email Andrea@apr.com to say “I’m In!” What We Do:
What You Do:
• Advertise for You • Place Directional Signs • Arrange for Charity Pickup • Give Maps to Shoppers indicating Your Participation
• Let us Know “You’re In!” • Organize and Price Items • Open Your Doors • Sell-Sell-Sell!
Sponsored By Your Alamo Real Estate Team: Andrea Scott Alain Pinel Realtors 925.788.9374 FindAndreaScott.com Andrea@apr.com DRE#01400374
Jason Brown Stonecastle Financial 925.785.4200 FindJasonBrown.com DRE#01327738 NMLS#280803
Building an Iconic Bridge Presentation - March 27 Rebuilding the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge loomed large in everyone’s mind after one of the upper spans of the eastern bridge pancaked downward during the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake. Political squabbles delayed the selection of a final design and start of construction until 2002. The fascinating final design will create an iconic new Bay Area landmark to rival the Golden Gate Bridge upon its completion, hopefully by Labor Day, 2013. Since the bridge opened on November 12, 1936 it has become a critical link between San Francisco and the East Bay. Today 280,000 vehicles a day cross the bridge. The new eastern span with its 1.2 mile side-by-side deck skyway joins the new one mile single Self-Anchored Suspension span (SAS) and will connect to the existing Yerba Buena Island Tunnel. The SAS is the largest single tower single cable bridge in the world. A special presentation, Building an Iconic Bridge, will be given by Sarah Len representative for the Bay Bridge public information office. The presentation is scheduled at the Village Theater, 233 Front Street in Danville on Tuesday, March 27th at 2pm. The Museum of the San Ramon Valley, the San Ramon Historic Foundation, and the San Ramon Valley Historical Society are event sponsors. Tickets at the door are $10 for sponsor members and $15 for guests. For more information, call 925-837-3750 or visit www.museumsrv.org.
Explore Sicily with Russ Belleci presents...
September 2-13, 2012
Make Your Reservations Now!
Hidden Treasures of Sicily Featuring Palermo, Siracusa, and Taormina
San Ramon Valley Genealogical Society 12 Days • 18 Meals • Lodging • Airfare Optional
*Space available, contact Dolores*
Dolores Urani, CTC, MCC owner | CST #2018322-40
3200A Danville Blvd., Suite 102 | Alamo (925) 838-5422 | (925) 348-1067 cell firstname.lastname@example.org
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 www. srvgensoc.org, or email SRVGS@SRVGenSoc.org.
Page 6 - March 2012 ~ Alamo Today
County Plan Still Includes Widening Danville Blvd! Does Alamo really want this scene replaced with more lanes of freeway traffic?
• Tell the county no! • Start the process now to remove project #5 from the Alamo Area of Benefit (AOB) project list of the County’s updated roads plan*. Project #5 is the widening of the Danville Blvd/Stone Valley Rd intersection that the County promised to take out of its roads plan in 2008!
Please Contact Alamo’s Supervisor Gayle Uilkema at 925-335-1046 or email@example.com, and Clerk of the Board Tiffany Leannear at 925-335-1900 or Tiffany.Leannear@cob.cccounty.us. *CRIPP, or Capital Roads Improvement & Preservation Program. For more info visit www.co.contra-costa.ca.us/DocumentView.aspx?DID=4642 . Go to Appendix D for Alamo Area of Benefit. Advertisement
Alamo Women’s Club Where Women Come Together to Work Toward a Better Community for All Please join us at our upcoming events!
MARCH 7- Mah Jongg - 10:30-12:30pm 13- Cards Club - 9-Noon 14- Business Meeting - 11:30am Executive Board Elections 20- Let’s Walk! - 4-5pm, meet @ Clubhouse (rain cancels) 21- Mah Jongg - 10:30-12:30pm 21- Book Club I - 1pm 21- Book Club II - 2pm 27-Let’s Walk! - 4-5pm, meet @ Clubhouse (rain cancels) 28-Program Meeting-11:30am -TBA
APRIL 1- Annual dues and participation sheets due 3- Let’s Walk! - 4-5pm, meet @ Clubhouse (rain cancels) 4- Mah Jongg - 10:30-12:30pm 9-Executive Board Meeting -4pm 10- Cards Club - 9-Noon 10- Let’s Walk! - 4-5pm, meet @ Clubhouse (rain cancels) 11-Business Meeting-11:30am, Old/New Philanthropy vote, Member of the Year nomination taken 17- Let’s Walk! - 4-5pm, meet @ Clubhouse (rain cancels) 18- Mah Jongg - 10:30-12:30pm 18- Book Club I - 1pm 18- Book Club II - 2pm 24- Let’s Walk! - 4-5pm, meet @ Clubhouse (rain cancels) 25-Program Meeting-11:30am, STAND! “Spa Day” Want to become a member? Be our guest at one of our events to learn about our Club’s philanthropies and mingle with the members. If you’ve been thinking about joining, our luncheons are the perfect occasion to join us at the Clubhouse located at 1401 Danville Blvd in Alamo. Please respond to Nancy Dommes, Membership Chair, by calling 831-0111 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, and bring a friend, too! For questions, please contact President, Nancy Combs at NancyPCombs@TheCombsTeam.com.
NEED A PLACE TO SELL YOUR $$$$ TREASURES? $$$$ Need to clean out your garage? Do you have crafts and jewelry to sell? WE HAVE THE SOLUTION! Bring your items to the SEMI-ANNUAL Alamo Women’s Club COMMUNITY GARAGE SALE & CRAFT BOUTIQUE WHERE: Alamo Women’s Club, 1401 Danville Blvd. DATE: Saturday, June 9th ~ 9am – 3pm Parking Lot spaces - $50* Inside Clubhouse space - $60*
YOUR EARNINGS ARE YOURS! RESERVATION CUT OFF: May 31, 2012 Limited spaces available – don’t delay *Rental donations benefit our many deserving charities Call Anita, 837-1242
WE’LL BE THERE RAIN OR SHINE! The Women’s Club annual Crab Feed and raffle was a great success! Lauren Hash (standing) and volunteers from Youth Homes (one of the philanthropies the Women’s Club supports) enjoyed a fabulous evening.
Veterans of Foreign Wars Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW), Post 75 of 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. Doors open at 7PM and the meeting begins at 7:30PM. The next regularly scheduled meeting will be held on Thursday, March 8th. For more information, contact Post Commander Nathan Greene at (925) 875-1747 or visit www.vfwpost75.org.
Alamo Today ~ March 2012 - Page 7
Two Great Properties 133 Canada Via • Diablo • Stunning Custom Estate on Diablo CC's 4th fairway. • Nearly 6000sf with 4 bedrooms/5 baths. • Elegant kitchen with large island and nook. • Great Room with adjacent bar and workout room. • Detached Casita with built in BBQ, fireplace, TV, heaters, and pool/spa. • Beautiful amenities throughout. $2,795,000
Delta Nu Psi Thank you Alamo and Danville shoppers. Because of your excellent support, we will not be collecting for our service people in March. We will still be sending our 30 pound boxes of “Gourmet Junk Food,” but we only need a few items to fill the boxes. Girl Scout Cookies are favorites with our men and women serving in Afghanistan. Please go to our website at deltanupsi.org or email email@example.com to donate all flavors of the cookies, especially Thin Mints. With your generosity we have sent 22,599 pounds of “Gourmet Junk Food” to our service men and women!
Free Tax Preparation Free Tax Preparation will be offered by Tax-Aide’s AARP sponsored program and Earn It, Keep It Save It’s (EKS) United Way sponsored program. The fast, free, confidential tax service, provided by IRS certified tax preparers, is available now. For information or to make an appointment for the Tax-Aide sites serving the Danville/San Ramon area, please call Danville-Community Presbyterian Church (925) 480-7202 or San Ramon Senior Center (925) 973-3250. For general information and other site locations, call (925) 726-3199. If you need additional information concerning the EKS program, call 211 or visit www.earnitkeepitsaveit.org.
Blackhawk Republican Women Present Mike Winther, President of the Institute for Principle Studies will be speaking on “The Constitution under Siege” on Thursday, March 15th at the Blackhawk Country Club, located at 599 Blackhawk Club Dr. in Danville. A social will be held and hors d’oeuvres will be served at 5:30PM followed by the speaker at 6:15PM. The cost is $25. Mike will explain the fundamental principles of constitutional government from a strict constructionist perspective. He will explains the concepts of enumerated powers and separation of powers and present the Biblical basis for these principles. Participants will learn how our thinking about creation often determines whether we interpret the Constitution based on original intent or as a “living, breathing document.” Mike will also explain the frequently misunderstood constitutional “loopholes,” such as, the “general welfare clause” and the “necessary and proper clause.” Come hear the founder of the Institute for Principle Studies, a Christian think-tank dedicated to researching and teaching foundational principles of government, economics and history, and learn how to defend our Constitution which is under siege! Please make reservations or cancellations by noon on Tuesday, March 13th by contacting Mrs. Lyons at 856 Turrini Dr., Danville, 94526, rlyons1009@sbcglobal. net, or (925) 820-6452.
San Ramon Valley Republican Women The San Ramon Valley Republican Women invite you to hear the Republican candidates who are running for office at our March meeting. Among those who will be speaking are Candace Anderson running for Supervisor and David Haubert running for State Assembly. There will also be a discussion on the new Primary System. Please come and be informed! The meeting will be held at Crow Canyon Country Club, 711 Silver Lake Drive in Danville on Tuesday, March 27th. Social gathering begins at 11:30AM followed by lunch at noon. Cost is $25 (payable at the door.) For reservations, call Mary at (925) 837-5465 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
San Ramon Valley Newcomers Club The San Ramon Valley Newcomers Club invites new and long-time residents to its monthly luncheon on March 15th at Faz Restaurant located at 600 Hartz Ave. in Danville. The speaker will be Harry Hubinger, an author of a monthly column “Stamps on my Passport.” The cost is $21. Call Grace at 828-8554 for reservations or information.
102 Stowbridge Ct • Danville • Beautifully Decorated with Brazilian Cherrywood Floors. • Granite kitchen with Stainless Steel Appliances. • Private backyard with views of Mt. Diablo. • Located close to downtown Danville on cul-de-sac. • 4 bedrooms/2.5 baths. $929,000
Exclusive Listing …
John Fischer Broker Associate 925-855-4146 (Direct) email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.srvexchangeclub.org.
Rowan Branch Seeking Members Rowan Branch auxiliary of Children's Hospital Oakland has been an AlamoDanville institution for more than 50 years. Meeting once a month in Alamo and Danville homes, this group of 50 or so women organizes two fundraisers each year to benefit the Hospital. In spring, Rowan Branch puts on the popular Spring Shopping Spree at Round Hill Country Club. Sold out every year, the Spree attracts over 250 attendees who shop at selected vendors, enjoy lunch, and listen to a speaker from the Hospital. In the fall, Rowan Branch presents the annual Gala des Enfants, a grand but not stuffy affair that features a live auction, fun games and raffles, and each year raises a significant amount of funding for the Hospital. This year's Gala is set for Saturday night, October 13th, at Diablo Country Club. Do you have some time on your hands to devote to a good cause and enjoy the company of fellow Alamo/Danville women with a philanthropic bent? Our meetings are held on the first Wednesday night of the month. We would love to meet you and welcome you to Rowan Branch! Please call membership chair Jill Pfeiffer at 837-2507 or email email@example.com.
The Cult of Beauty: The Victorian Avant-Garde Friends of the Danville Library will present a program covering this exhibit at The Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco. Included in the exhibit are superb Victorian artworks encompassing painting, fashionable trends in architecture, and interior decoration. Master painters and designers are represented. The program will be held on Wednesday, March 7th at 1PM in the Danville Community Center located at 420 Front Street. Admission is free.
Page 8 - March 2012 ~ Alamo Today
Fine Mexican Dining
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
Your Five Wishes The San Ramon Valley United Methodist Church presents a five part lecture series covering how you can take control over how you want to be cared for if you become seriously ill. Five Wishes is an advance directive giving your doctor and family direction on how you want to be treated if you become seriously ill and are unable to speak for yourself. Presenters will guide you through each of your Five Wishes. • Wish One: The person I want to make health care decisions for me when I can’t • Wish Two: The kind of medical treatment I want or don’t want • Wish Three: How Comfortable I want to be • Wish Four: How I want people to treat me • Wish Five: What I want my loved ones to know Wish One and Two lectures will take place on March 18 from 1 - 3:30PM, and Wish Three, Four, and Five lectures will take place on March 25 from 1 - 3:30PM. The series will be held in the Wesley Center of the San Ramon United Methodist Church which is located at 902 Danville Blvd in Alamo. A $5 donation is requested to cover the cost of materials. Registration is required by calling (925) 837-5243.
Diablo Singles Dance Club Diablo Singles Dance Club holds a public dance the last Wednesday of each month from 7:30pm-10:30pm at the Shadelands Art Center located at 111 N. Wiget Lane in Walnut Creek. There is live music, refreshments, and free parking. The cost is $7 for members and $9 for non-members. For information, call 925-837-2851.
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Kiwanis of SRV Calls for Grant Applications More Than $41,000 Available to Community Non-Profits The Kiwanis Club of San Ramon Valley through its affiliate, the San Ramon Valley Kiwanis Foundation, has issued a call for community nonprofit organizations throughout the area to apply for more than $41,000 in grants to be awarded during 2012. Ranging from $500 to $3,000, the Kiwanis grants are designed to support programs and projects that help both specific organizations and the broader community. According to grants chairman, John Lineweaver, the bulk of the grants will be awarded in May. Additional monies will be held in reserve to provide emergency grants, fund Kiwanis community service projects, and support of four local Kiwanis High School Key Clubs. The total of this direct youth support will exceed $15,000 making the total dollar amount of community service grants and funding by Kiwanis $56,000 for 2012. Lineweaver noted that Kiwanis generally recognizes grant applications from projects that serve residents of the San Ramon Valley, although nonprofit organizations need not be located in the Valley itself. Because Kiwanis makes a single grant to the San Ramon Valley Education Foundation for distribution to district schools, grants are NOT available for individual schools. Grant consideration is given to programs that focus on children, the infirm, or the elderly and provide solace, comfort, or consolation. Funds for the annual grants program are raised by the San Ramon Valley Kiwanis Foundation through several fundraising projects, including staging the annual Danville 4th of July Parade. Applications and further information, including eligibility criteria, can be obtained from the Kiwanis website at www.kiwanis-srv.org or by contacting John Lineweaver at 925-837-3665. 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 to the needs of their communities and pooling their resources to address worldwide issues. Through these efforts, Kiwanis International truly is “Serving the Children of the World.” Anyone interested in learning more about the Kiwanis Club of San Ramon Valley is invited to 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.
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Sustainable Danville Area Tip of the Month Rub-a-dub-dub, Less Water in the Tub By Rachel Egan, Sustainable Danville Area Have you ever wondered where your water comes from? Of course you know that it comes through pipes and into your sink every time you turn on your faucet. But, did you know that every time you brush your teeth, take a shower, or run your dishwasher you are using a portion of the world’s minimal potable water? Potable water is that which is available for human and animal consumption. Although the earth is comprised of over 70% water, 97% of that is salt water, 2% is frozen in ice caps and glaciers, and only about 1% is suitable for human use. Some even argue that, at the rate at which we use fresh water, we will run out of the resource within the next 20 years. There are, however, steps you can take in order to reduce the amount of water you use in your daily life – and hopefully offset that 20-year prediction. Don’t worry, you don’t have to go as far as collecting rainwater off your roof. Instead there are smaller, more manageable steps you can take in order to conserve water and make sure you aren’t overusing this limited resource. Not to mention, using less water saves you money too! Here are some tips for water conservation in your home, especially through this dry winter, but also throughout the rest of the year: • Water your lawn weekly instead of daily, and do so in the early morning hours before dawn – this will allow the soil and plant roots adequate time to absorb the water without it being evaporated by the sun first. For more helpful instructions, check out this guide from East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) www.ebmud.com/ sites/default/files/pdfs/WateringGuide_0.pdf. • Reuse water from cooking to water plants inside and outside of the home (using water from cooking spaghetti or rinsing vegetables are wonderful places to start). • Wash your car in carwashes such as Sponges or at gas stations rather than in your driveway. Car wash stations recycle their water, ration water so you only use what is necessary, and even have special draining systems that prevent pollutants from soap and car grease from entering into the groundwater and fresh water supply. • Turn off the water when brushing your teeth. If you brush your teeth twice a day for the recommended 2-3 minutes and leave the water running, you would be wasting up to 3,285 gallons per year. • Make sure all of the pipes and taps in your house are tightly sealed so as to prevent leaking and water loss. According to the National Environmental Services Center, one drop of water per second can add up to 2,700 gallons per year. (Hint: put a few drops of food coloring in the toilet tank. If you start getting color in the toilet bowl without flushing, there is a leak.) • Only do laundry if you have a full load. • Take shorter showers. On that note, you might also want to take a look at the gallons-per-minute (gpm) ranking on your showerhead. If it is more than 2.0 gpm, you will find new models provide wonderful pressure using less water. • Compost organic waste instead of using the garbage disposal – this will reduce your water usage and you can use the compost as fertilizer for growing your own veggies! • Don’t use water to wash porches or decks; instead, use a broom. The Environmental Protection Agency and EBMUD have many more water conservation resources on their websites. To learn more about how you and your family can conserve water, please visit www. epa.gov and www.ebmud.com. Want to know more about this precious resource? We do…so Sustainable Danville Area and San Ramon Valley High School Environmental Club are bringing you two events in March to help us learn more about global and local water issues. Join us on Tuesday,
Alamo Today ~ March 2012 - Page 9 March 13 th at 7 pm at SRVHS’ Performing Arts Center 501 Danville Blvd. for a screening of the award-winning documentary Blue Gold that sheds light on the approaching crisis of dwindling water supplies. Suggested donation is $5. To compliment movie night, join us on March 21st at 6:15pm at San Ramon Valley High School in Room S3 in the Administrative Building (upstairs). Our speaker, Leslie Dumas, Hydrologist and Senior Project Manager with RMC Water and Environment will help us gain an understanding of our local water resources and future vulnerabilities. Visit www.sustainabledanville.com for more information.
Page 10 - March 2012 ~ Alamo Today
Rancho Romero Elementary School
Last Child in the Woods By Stan Hitomi, Principal
By Skye Larsh, Principal
In his book, Last Child in the Woods, author Richard Louv talks about the growing divide between children in America and the outdoors. He directly links the lack of nature in the lives of today’s “digital natives” – he calls it nature-deficit – to some of the most disturbing childhood trends, such as the rises in obesity, attention disorders, and depression. Louv presents a growing body of research indicating that direct exposure to nature is essential for healthy childhood development and for the physical and emotional health of children and adults. His message has spurred a growing “Leave No Child Inside” movement across the country, with 21 states adopting the initiative. We are pleased to say that Outdoor Education is still alive and well at Alamo School. Last week Alamo School 4th graders attended a three day program at Camp Arroyo in Livermore. The students spent a great deal of the time outdoors (rain or shine). The program included a rigorous three mile hike to Cresta Blanca (hilltops overlooking Lake Del Valle) that focused on geology, watersheds, and most importantly, personal accomplishment. The students were also exposed to organic gardening and eco-design, learning about natural resources and conservation. Earlier in February all of the 3rd grade classes at Alamo School attended an all-day outdoor education trip to Ano Nuevo State Park to see the elephant seals. They had perfect weather to hike the dunes and beaches to see the elephant seals, along with native plants and other animals. In May, the 5th graders at Alamo School will make their annual trek to Yosemite National Park to hike its many trails, visit Yosemite Falls, and study the ecology of the Yosemite Valley. For many of our 5th graders it is their first trip to Yosemite, but hopefully it’s not their last. All around the Alamo School campus every effort is being made to make the campus outdoor-friendly. As often as possible our students eat outdoors, under the cover of the newly replaced shade of the amphitheater (thanks to the generosity of the Alamo School Education Fund). At the Northern entrance to the campus, Kody Wedell (Alamo Alum) has created an outdoor seating area, complete with bench and native plant garden. On our lower playground area we are making available tools, including bug boxes, so that our developing entomologists have what they need to study the invertebrates that inhabit our grounds. In the near future we are hoping to develop a “teaching garden” along the back of the campus. The effort is being spearheaded by Sharon Dodson (school nurse), and Melanie Volk and Lisa Gartland-Dempster (parents). The group is in the process of writing grants and soliciting expertise to help develop a plan for the garden. In our rush to prepare our children for life in a digital world, I hope we don’t lose sight of the real world that surrounds them. Playing soccer or baseball outdoors is not enough. It is important for us to teach our children about natural resources and conservation, and to inspire them to talk about the importance of nature in their lives. It is important for our young people to aspire to become good stewards of the planet, and to create change in their community, school, and family to support a healthy planet.
March Calendar of Events March 8 March 9 March 12 – 16 March 21 March 30
Alamo Elementary School
Teacher Work Day – No School School Recess – No School Conferences – Minimum Days Alamo School Advanced Band, MVHS gym, 7PM Talent Show 6:30PM
Upcoming Meetings and Events AIA - Alamo Improvement Association - March 20th , 7pm - Creekside Community Church -1350 Danville Blvd. Alamo MAC (Municipal Advisory Committee) - First Tuesday of each month 6pm - Alamo Chamber of Commerce Office 120-B, Alamo Plaza P2B - Police Services Advisory Committee - First Monday of each month, 5pm Meets at Alamo Chamber of Commerce Office located at 120 -B, Alamo Plaza P5 - Round Hill Police Services Advisory Committee - Second Tuesday of each month, 7pm - Meets at Round Hill Country Club - Lower Level Meeting Room CERT classes - Community Emergency Response Team - Visit www. firedepartment.org/community_outreach/cert/upcoming_classes.asp
It takes a village or, in the case of a school a professional learning community, to respond in a timely and appropriate way when students are not making progress. In particular, we need to pay close attention to students’ ability to read, as reading remains the language of learning. In fact, did you know: • Dyslexia affects one out of every five children - ten million in the U.S. alone? • U.S. adults ranked 12th among the top 20 high-income countries in composite literacy (reading documents, prose and quantitative reports)? • The educational careers of 25 to 40 percent of American children are imperiled because they don’t read well enough, quickly enough, or easily enough? • To participate fully in society and the workplace in 2020, citizens will need powerful literacy abilities that until now have been achieved by only a small percentage of the population. The most important goal of reading instruction in elementary school is to help students acquire the skills and knowledge they need to read grade-level text fluently and with good comprehension. Rancho Romero’s Reading Intervention Program, and now part of Response to Intervention, was established to provide both small group, targeted instruction to struggling readers and to come along side all teachers in a collaborative model, similar to that of a coach. Services are designed to offer early intervention to students in addition to, not as a substitute for the instruction they receive in the classroom. Highly qualified staff are essential to the success of the program. At Rancho Romero we are incredibly fortunate to have a part-time reading specialist, Sandy Conti, and two highly trained instructional aides. The reading specialist is our resident expert in the teaching of reading. She meets with the principal on a regular basis to discuss individual students, and review data and program needs. Additionally, she meets with grade level teams each Wednesday to go over specific reading strategies, provide resources, and address student progress. Thank you Rancho Romero Education Fund, and parents and families in the community for your generous support of this program. You are investing in the success of all of our children.
Alamo Rotary Donates $9,000 to Six Valley Schools The principal beneficiaries of Alamo Rotary’s annual Music Festival are the music departments of the six valley public schools: Mauzy School, Alamo School, Rancho Romero, Stone Valley, Monte Vista High, and San Ramon Valley High. Alamo Rotary was pleased to award $1,500 checks to each of them. In these days of perennially tight school budgets, needless to say, the music departments were thrilled to receive the contributions! On hand from our local schools were Mona Epstein and Carmen Trefil from Mauzy, Nancy Raaum and Stan Hitomi from Alamo School, Christine Bertolero and Skye Larsh, from Rancho Romero, Ben Loomer and Shaun McElroy from Stone Valley School, Bruce Kolicht and Ed Cloyd from Monte Vista High School, and Cheryl Yee and Scott Caroline Thiessen presenting a check to Stan Osterholt from San Ramon Valley Hitomi, principal of Alamo School and music teacher Nancy Raaum High School. It was a lively group and the Alamo Rotary Club was happy to welcome all of them!
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Stone Valley Middle School By Shaun K. McElroy, Principal “Everyone dreams of being a matador (or teacher) until they find themselves in the ring with 2,000 pounds of bull bearing down on them when the realize all they really wanted was to wear tight pants and hear the roar of the crowd.” ~author unknown
Alamo Today ~ March 2012 - Page 11
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The Art of Teaching The format of our principals’ meetings changed this year to include two new elements, vertical articulation with all K-12 feeder pattern school principals and walkthrough classroom visits. Classroom walkthrough visits are a common practice among most school administrators. The purpose of the walkthrough is to get a sample of instruction in a variety of classrooms. The walkthrough is the “dipstick” approach to judging the level of instruction in the school community. As part of our January 30th principals’ meeting, we visited several classes at San Ramon Valley High School. I have worked at three different high schools as an administrator and a teacher, but it has been several years since I’ve been in a high school classroom. For our San Ramon visit we were given a campus map, assigned to a group, and given a list of classrooms to visit. At the end of our visit we debriefed as a group about the instructional practices we observed. I walked away from this round of walkthroughs totally elated by the level of instruction I observed. I felt privileged to watch three outstanding teachers who are at the top of their game. Each of the teachers I observed are at different places in their respective careers, a veteran of many years, mid-career, and a beginning teacher. In Lisa Sabatini’s Advanced Placement English class we observed students dissecting a poem they had read. Students were asked to present their analysis from the podium at the front of the room. Even though the class was mostly silent except for the speaker and the teachers’ remarks, there was an implied understanding that serious learning takes place in this room. In Susan Regalia’s class student began learning prior to entering the classroom. Students used their smart phones to log on to the teacher’s website and began the warm-up for the day. Upon entering the classroom, students sat with a partner and began solving the warm-up problems. Teacher interaction began about 5-7 minutes into the class when Mrs. Regalia solicited the answers from each group and provided feedback on the answers and problem solving processes. Mr. Santos’s class was very high energy. Even thought the class was large, most students had a chance to participate. Mr. Santos broke up the class routine with a mini exercise lesson aimed at increasing blood flow to the brain. After the visitation, I interviewed several students about the three teachers. Here’s what they said: Lisa Sabatini - “Ms. Sabatini is hands down the best teacher ever; she totally prepared me for college writing” (AP English) David Santos - “Mr. S makes a personal connection with every single student. He makes algebra understandable” (Algebra I) Susan Regalia - “Mrs. Regalia does an enormous amount or preparation outside of class because when she explains something, we really get it!” (Geometry) Students in and out of class were friendly and well behaved. The common trait I observed amongst students was the high level of engagement in all classes. It was clear to me that the students really like their teachers and spoke highly of their overall experience at San Ramon Valley High School. Several members of the SRVHS Impact club join our students for lunch twice each month. We affectionately refer to them as the “purple people.” The SRVHS students are passionate about their campus and their teachers. No doubt these conditions translate into outstanding learning outcomes. I have been on staff at seven SRVUSD schools as a teacher and administrator. I believe what I observed at SRV is the norm in the SRVUSD as we tend to attract and retain the best and the brightest classrooms teachers.
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Young Writers Contest The California Writers Club/Mt. Diablo Branch presents its Young Writers Contest - Honoring a New Generation of California Writers for 6th, 7th, and 8th graders in Contra Costa County. Categories include Short Story, Personal Narrative, and Poetry. Prizes will be awarded for each category at each grade level. First prize is $100, second prize is $50, and third prize is $25, plus the winners will be invited to a banquet with a book editor or author on May 19th, and have their names printed in the Contra Costa Times. Deadline for entries is April 1, 2012. For details visit http://cwcmtdiablowriters.wordpress.com.
Chromatica – a new Chorus in the SR Valley Chromatica is a newly formed chorus for men and women in the San Ramon Valley that is focused on performing high quality vocal music for regional audiences. It has already attracted an outstanding director and accompanist/assistant. We are singing mostly classical music and are seeking experienced singers who can read music or learn it quickly. Rehearsals are held Monday from 7PM -9:15PM at Peace Lutheran Church on Camino Tassajara in Danville. We expect to have an initial limited performance in May and then start a new semester in the fall with concerts scheduled just before the holidays. We are looking for soprano, alto, tenor, and bass singers. If you are interested contact Sharon Kantor at firstname.lastname@example.org or Chris Kenber at email@example.com. 8
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 &