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September 2012 Seventeen Point Two Million

Serving Alamo and Diablo

By Ashley Hagin Seventeen point two million. This is the number of households in 2011 that faced food insecurity, an ungainly term that the United States Department of Agriculture uses to describe hunger. Seventeen point two million families, or one out of every six Americans, have inconsistent access to adequate food; families depending on food assistance programs are typically limited to poor food options. So what can be done? The Urban Farmers, a Lafayette based non-profit organization that uses fruit trees to highlight the plight of the unsustainable industrial food system, is tackling the problem of hunger head on. Siamack Sioshansi, executive director of The Urban Farmers,

explains that the organization’s goal is “to feed the poor the good food we want to eat: fresh, healthy, local.” The process is simple. Local residents register backyard fruit trees with the organization, and volunteers visit the homes to harvest excess fruit for donation to hunger relief agencies such as Loaves and Fishes and Monument Crisis Center. Imperfect pieces of fruit are donated to animal hospitals such as Walnut Creek’s Lindsay Wildlife Museum. “We are developing a new social production framework to address the issue of hunger in America. The framework is designed to lower the barriers to entry and enable many communities to harvest backyard fruit for donation,” says Sioshansi. The project welcomes individual volunteers. “Last year when my parents came to visit us, my sister and I organized our families, nine of us, to help The Urban Farmers harvest pears,” says Danville resident Colette Kuhnsman. “It was a fun outing with three generations of gleaners in one spot.” The strength of the project is in its support for self-organizing teams from a variety of organizations. Any group such as students, members of garden clubs, civic organizations, local charities, houses of worship, scouts, or local businesses looking to serve the community can organize a harvest. “When working with groups, we provide the ‘common resources’ that any backyard harvest team needs, such as a truck, ladders, harvest equipment, registration software and, most importantly, the insurance coverage. In turn, each team provides the ‘community

See Glean continued on page 30

Local Postal Customer

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Eugene O’Neill Festival Celebrates 75th Anniversary of Tao House By Jody Morgan The Eugene O’Neill Foundation, the National Parks Service, Role Players Ensemble Theatre, Alamo-Danville Artists Society and the Museum of the San Ramon Valley are collaborating on a month-long celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Danville home where Eugene and Carlotta O’Neill lived from 1937-1944. The event began with the August 24th opening at the Village Theatre Gallery of Tao House Through Artists Eyes and culminates in the production at the Tao House Barn the final weekend of September of A Moon for the Misbegotten. The Eugene O’Neill Foundation, responsible for creating programs that promote O’Neill’s vision and generate understanding of the legacy of the Nobel Laureate and four-time Pulitzer Prize winning American playwright, invites patrons to a pre-performance event. Enter the world of Eugene and Carlotta O’Neill as you gather with other guests in the Tao House courtyard on September 28th and 29th in support of the Foundation’s mission. Included in the $75 ticket price, in addition to a deli-box dinner, wine, beer, desserts and music, are an introduction to A Moon The Tao House barn serves as the O’Neill Festival theatre. for the Misbegotten by O’Neill scholar Dan Cawthon and priority seating. Transportation to Tao House is provided free of charge by the National Park Service, which maintains the property. Those attending the fundraiser will be picked up at 5:45pm in front of the Museum of the San Ramon Valley.

See O’Neill continued on page 30

Don’t Miss the Alamo Music Festival September 8th Come on out to the Alamo Rotary Club’s 30th annual Music & Wine Festival on Saturday, September 8th from noon to 10PM at Alamo Plaza. The Music and Wine Festival has become “Alamo’s Block Party” and will feature food, wine, music, dancing, a raffle and other activities for the entire family. The event is the principal fundraiser for the Alamo Rotary Club’s efforts to support music programs in our local schools. Dinner and raffle tickets may be purchased at the event, from any Alamo Rotary member, or by calling (925) 855-1136. For the music line-up for the night, please see page 22. For more information, visit the Alamo Rotary Club website at www.alamorotary.org, or see our Facebook page by searching alamorotary.

Volume XII - Number 9 3000F Danville Blvd. #117, Alamo, CA 94507 Telephone (925) 405-NEWS, 405-6397 Fax (925) 406-0547 Alisa Corstorphine ~ Publisher Editor@yourmonthlypaper.com Sharon Burke ~ Writer sburke@yourmonthlypaper.com The opinions expressed herein belong to the writers, and do not necessarily reflect that of Alamo Today. Alamo Today is not responsible for the content of any of the advertising herein, nor does publication imply endorsement.

Page 2 - September 2012 ~ Alamo Today


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Boulevard View By Alisa Corstorphine, Editor A few weeks ago I got a call from my sister inviting me to a Luau celebration at the Los Altos Historical Society in the South Bay. My sister was taking our 95-year-old grandmother to the event and had an extra ticket. To add to the excitement, it was Grandma’s actual birth day and she was born in Hawaii so a luau was a most fitting party! A week before, our entire family had celebrated Grandma’s birthday by bringing the Islands to her (You know... if you can’t bring Mohammed to the mountain, the mountain must come to Mohammed!). We decked out the yard in tiki torches, hibiscus plants, and we brought in a small inflatable wading pool filled with some sand, plastic fish, and seashells so she could dip her toes in the water. She loved having the backyard beach. At the Historical Society celebration, they presented Grandma with a lei fresh from the Islands, and we were seated at the VIP table as Grandma was a guest of honor. Our table was rounded out by the mayor and members of the Historical Society. The woman seated next to me was from the Historical Society. I shared with her that my four sisters and I had grown up in Los Altos. I also noted that my father-in-law had been a Lieutenant with the Los Altos Police Department where he had worked for 25 years. I mentioned to her how I had pictures and documents from the 1950’s through the 1980’s when he had worked on the force. I don’t know why it hadn’t “clicked” before, but the woman noted that the Historical Society would love to see and duplicate the pictures in my collection. As I have noted before, I am a big believer in memorabilia not being shoved in a drawer or hidden in a closet to rarely be seen again. Personally,

I love going to museums and seeing pictures and artifacts from days gone by. I look at the picture of my father-inlaw typing his reports on his typewriter, the rotary dial phone and teletype machine at his side, and he is surrounded by a wall of metal filing cabinets. I feel the need to contribute photos like these when I have the resources to do so so others can see how the times have changed as well. Over the years I have become the historian for my husband’s family and the keeper of most of the photos, mementos, and family paperwork. I have personally scanned a lot of these items, but the pile of material is large. I started emailing the president of the Los Altos Historical Society about the items I had and how to get them to her. I offered to let them have the originals of the items so long as I got high resolution digital copies of everything. I figured they have the resources to do the job right and having the material digitally fulfills my needs. The President of the Historical Society invited us to visit, and hand-off of the material, and in addition she contacted the Police Department and put me in touch with their historian. Alyssa at the Police Department was thrilled to hear of what I had and noted she’d like to add historical photos to their lobby. Upon hearing this, my husband reflected on the hours he had spent in that very lobby waiting for his father to get off work or to visit him during the business day. He hadn’t been in the building in over 30 years, but our visit brought him back in time. Do you have photos or memorabilia shoved in a closet or piled in a drawer? I am sure a Historical Society or archivist would love to share your memories of the past with the rest of the world.


Alamo Today ~ September 2012 - Page 3

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Veterans of Foreign Wars

Shouldn’t pool care be this easy? Local family owned and operated.

Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW), Post 75, San Ramon Valley meets every third Wednesday of the month at the Veterans Memorial Building located at 400 Hartz Avenue in Danville, located on the corner at East Prospect Avenue and Hartz Avenue. The next meeting will be held on September 19th. Doors open at 7PM, and the meeting begins at 7:30PM. For more information, contact Post Commander Nathan Greene at (925) 875-1747. Mail to: VFW Post 75 San Ramon Valley, P.O. Box 1092, Danville, CA 94526. Find out more about the VFW and our Post on the internet at www.vfwpost75.org.

Sports Events Support Sentinels of Freedom Whether you prefer golf, cycling, or congenial company in a formal dinner setting with a world-renowned speaker or a picnic with casual acquaintances and friends, you can support the Sentinels of Freedom Scholarship Fund while having lots of FUN! Sentinels of Freedom invests in the future of our nation by offering highly motivated, but severely injured, members of the American Armed Forces mentoring, financial aid, and community support to achieve their goals in civilian life.

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5th Annual Golf and Dinner September 16-17 Visit www.sentinelsoffreedom.org for multiple golfing options and/or dinner with guest speaker Col. Danny McKnight, author of Streets of Mogadishu and combatant in the incident upon which both the book and movie Blackhawk Down were based.

Veterans Victory Velo Bike Ride September 22

Test and balance chemicals for chlorine, PH, and total Alkalinity | Clean skimmer and pump basket | Inspect pool sweep and remove debris | Run filter and check pressure | Observe pool sweep for proper operation | Brush pool walls, steps, swim outs and seating areas | Brush pool tile | Net debris from the bottom



9-11 Remembrance Ceremony The Exchange Club of San Ramon Valley along with local Veterans’ organizations is hosting the Annual 9-11 Remembrance Ceremony on Tuesday, September 11th. The Remembrance begins at 5:50PM and concludes at 6:40PM at the All Wars Memorial in Oak Hill Park located at 3005 Stone Valley Rd in Danville. This event will feature prominent guest speakers, hundreds of Scouts with an array of American Flags, joint Police and Fire Department Honor Guard, a bagpiper, a flight of doves, and many other patriotic contributions. Immediately following the ceremony there will be free ice cream, Crackerjacks, and bottled water.

Drop Zone Saturday, September 8th, 10am to 2:30pm The East Bay Chapter 101 Blue Star Moms is having a Drop Zone to collect donations for their upcoming “Holiday Hugs” care package mailing to our Troops. We are glad to be back at the Veterans Building located at 400 Hartz Avenue, in downtown Danville. While you are out shopping, please consider picking up an item or two and dropping it off. Please help us show the Troops that we have not forgotten them and all they are doing to keep our Country safe! Our goal is to send out 2,500 care packages, and we cannot do it without the generous support of our community. All donations will be mailed to our brave men and women serving our country overseas. Come say hello, sponsor a care package mailing ($12.80), make a postcard or two, or drop off a donation to show your gratitude for what our brave troops do for all Americans each and every day! Go to www.bluestarmoms.org and click on care packages for more information, including a list of donation items desired.

Delta Nu Psi Collects Treats for the Troops Delta Nu Psi has now sent 961 boxes of “gourmet junk food” weighing 4,335 pounds to the service men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan. Currently, the boxes are only going to Afghanistan. One of the service men, Mark, gave a toothbrush to an Afghan boy who was about 15 years old. Then he taught him how to brush his teeth. Things taken for granted in America do not occur there. The boy lost both his parents over a year ago. Representatives from Delta Nu Psi will be at CVS in Alamo on September 7th and Lunardi’s September 14th from 11AM to 2PM at both places to collect donations. Please visit deltanupsi.org to find out more. Thank you for your support.

Olympic cyclist Christine Thorburn is coming to lend her support. Participant in both the 2004 and 2008 games, she is a Rheumatologist at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. Registration for cycling and all race routes begins at 2678 Bishop Drive on September 22nd starting at 6am. Lunch tickets are provided for cyclists and available for supporters for $5. 100 Mile Century Ride - $50 Begins at 7am 60 Mile Ride - $50 Begins at 9am 30 Mile Ride - $50 Begins at 10am 15 Mile Family Fun Ride -$50 Begins at 11am To encourage your favorite cyclist, simply contribute to the cause, or get additional information, contact Carla Goulart at carlagoulart@sentinelsoffreedom.org.


Alamo Today ~ September 2012 - Page 5

SRV Republican Women Federated Presents The European Credit Crisis & Mitt Romney with John Hanson The San Ramon Valley Republican Women Federated are proud to present John Jonas Hanson as our Tuesday, September 25th luncheon speaker! His topic is “The European Credit Crisis and Mitt Romney.” Mr. Hanson, successful businessman and political commentator, campaigned for Margaret Thatcher, Meg Whitman, Michelle Bachmann, and Mitt Romney. He is a highly recommended speaker on both Europe and China. The luncheon takes place Tuesday, September 25th at Crow Canyon Country Club located at 711 Silver Lake Drive in Danville. Social time begins at 11:30am followed by the lunch and speaker beginning at noon. The cost is $25. For reservations, call Mary at 925.837.5465 or e-mail srvrwf.lunch@gmail. com by Thursday, September 20th. For more information, visit www.srvrwf.org.

Blackhawk Republican Women Dr. L. Lynn Cleland, PhD will be the featured speaker for the September 12th general meeting. A university professor, Dr. Cleland will provide research and observations of a changing nation moving away from its roots. Dr. Cleland will explore the key problems that plague our current political climate and solutions to what it will take to return our nation to the underlying principles. Check-in is at 5:30PM and the social hour and program begins at 6:30PM. The talk and dinner costs $25 and will be held at Blackhawk Country Club, located at Blackhawk Club Drive in Danville, For reservations, email Marianne Lyons rlyons1009@sbcglobal.net.

Join the Classical Chorus Chromatica Chromatica, a classical chorus in the San Ramon Valley, is looking for male and female singers (all parts: S,A,T,B) for its second semester beginning October 1st. Directed by San Francisco Opera tenor David Huff and accompanied by noted pianist Randall Benway, Chromatica completed its first semester in May of this year with an open rehearsal/musicale featuring music by Schubert, Mozart, Fauré, and others. Chromatica’s fall semester will end with concerts in January/February 2013; there will be a two week break over the winter holidays 2012. Rehearsals are held Monday evenings in Danville from 7-9PM. We are seeking to grow to 24 singers. We promise a high quality and eminently enjoyable experience. Ability to read music and prior experience are important. Please contact Chromatica’s director David Huff at david.huff@pacbell.net. Please mention Chromatica Audition in the subject line.

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. The 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 coachstepper@ yahoo.com, or visit www.srvexchangeclub.org.

Page 6 - September 2012 ~ Alamo Today

Alamo Women’s Club Alamo Women’s Club, established in 1916, is a philanthropic service organization with current focuses on Women, Health, and Children and Families. Among the philanthropies previously and currently supported are: Hospice of the East Bay, local schools and libraries, Red Cross of America, Canine Companions for Independence, Youth Homes, George Mark Children’s House, STAND! for Families Free of Violence and Vestia. Mark your calendars for September 26th at noon. On that afternoon at the Alamo Women’s club, you won’t want to miss our dynamic speaker, Lorrie Sullenberger. Lorrie’s talk is titled Living with Fame and Other Funny Things That Happened on the Way to Carpool. With humor and candor she talks about absorbing her big life change, navigating change and the confidence to step up to whatever life hands you. Lorrie is a fitness expert, television personality, and mother of two daughters. She is the founder of “Fit and Fabulous...Outdoors!”and regularly appears on local television programs to address women’s health. She is certified by the American Council on Exercise and has owned and operated a women’s gym. Lorrie has been a contributor and writer for Woman’s Day, Alive East Bay magazine, and served on the Advisory Board to Shape magazine. Lorrie has also served as a Regional Ambassador for the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness as well as Superintendent of School’s Tom Torlakson’s California for Healthy Kids program. She is a guest speaker at schools and organizations throughout California, addressing issues such as childhood obesity and women’s fitness. Through humor and compassion she aspires to guide women so they too can finally feel comfortable in their own skin. In addition, Lorrie works tirelessly with national philanthropic organizations that mean a lot to her and her family such as Big Brother’s Big Sister’s, St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Best Buddies International, Guide Dogs for the Blind, and Tony La Russa’s ARF Foundation. Lorrie is married to the US Airways Captain Sullenberger, who famously landed Flight 1549 in the Hudson River on January 15, 2009.

www.yourmonthlypaper.com Captain Sullenberger’s second book, Making a Difference: Stories of Vision and Courage from America’s Leaders, was released this year. This is a prospective member luncheon, so if you are interested in knowing what we do, the excursions that we take, and the philanthropies that we serve, come for lunch and see firsthand. For reservations, email Nancy Howsmon at njhowsmon@sbcglobal.net. For members the luncheon is $25, and non-members $30. On October 24th we present Jeanne Woodford. Beginning her career as a California correctional officer at San Quentin, Jeanne Woodford was appointed warden at San Quentin in 1999, where she was responsible for 5,800 prisoners, 1,500 staff, and a budget of $110 million. She developed programs for prisoners while warden including The Success Dorm, the first reentry program in a California prison. In 2004, she was appointed by then Governor Schwarznegger as the Undersecretary of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). She is currently a Senior Fellow at the Berkeley Center for Criminal Justice, teaches at Stanford and Hastings Law School, and is Executive Director of Death Penalty Focus. The Club is located at 1401 Danville Blvd., Alamo. Club events include speaker luncheons, volunteer work with local non-profit organizations, scholarship programs, excursions, book clubs and other activity groups. For more information on the Club, membership, and upcoming programs, please visit www.alamowomensclub.org. For membership information, please contact Jerilyn Strong at 718-5800.

Upcoming Meetings and Events AIA - Alamo Improvement Association - September 18th , 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 Wednesday 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


Alamo Today ~ September 2012 - Page 7

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Deputy Carson Completed: 11 Moving citations • 1 Non-moving citation • 5 Field interview cards • 9 Reports

Deputy Carson Responded to or Conducted 2 Alarm calls • 14 Patrol requests/security checks • 1 Suspicious vehicle • 1 Suspicious subject • 1 Found properties • 9 Suspicious circumstances • 2 Civil issue • 3 Service to citizens • 1 Disturbance • 3 Vandalism • 1 Lost property • 1 Auto Burglary • 1 Drunk in public • 2 Outside assists • 1 Possession of drugs • 1 Grand theft • 3 Petty thefts • 1 Battery • 3 Burglaries • 5 Identity thefts

If I Were a Thief Program (Crime awareness and prevention) 498 Streets covered • 222 Flyers distributed

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• La Serena Ave - Residential Burglary - Deputies responded to a report of a residential burglary. Upon arriving at the home, Deputies found that a rear door had been kicked in. The suspects rummaged through the master bedroom stealing items. There are no known suspects or independent witnesses. This is an ongoing investigation. • Alamo Plaza - Petty Theft, Shoplifting, Providing False Information to a Police Officer - Deputy Carson responded to a reported shoplifting incident at a local business. The suspect was being detained by Loss Prevention personnel. The suspect did no have any identification in his possession. While speaking to the suspect he lied about his name several times. After a complete investigation the suspect’s true identity was revealed. He was arrested and booked at the Main Detention Facility in Martinez. Deputy Mike Carson is Alamo’s full time resident deputy. His position is funded by Alamo’s P-2B police services district, which includes approximately 60% of Alamo household. District households pay an $18 annual parcel tax plus a portion of the 1% property tax. The Alamo Police Services Advisory Committee advises Sheriff David Livingston on the resident deputy and his services. The Committee is composed of Alamo residents within the district and it meets on the first Monday of each month at 5pm in the offices of the Alamo Chamber of Commerce, located at 120B Alamo Plaza. Alamo citizens are welcome to attend the meetings.

AARP Tax-Aide Call for Volunteers

How Much are my Coins and Collectables Really Worth?

Do you like working with people? Are you good with numbers? Contra Costa County AARP Tax-Aide is looking for volunteers to become members of a team providing free tax preparation for individuals of all ages. Volunteer positions include Tax Counselors who are trained by Tax-Aide and certified by IRS and Client Facilitators who schedule appointment and assist clients at tax sites. If interested, call LaVerne Gordon, District Coordinator, at (925) 726-3199 for information and to apply. Orientation is in November 2012, and classes for tax counselors start in January 2013.

Many coins and collectables are worth more today. But how much more are they worth? The 16th annual Contra Costa Coin and Collectables Show is the perfect place to get informal, free appraisals from over 30 West Coast dealers. The show will be held on Saturday and Sunday, October 13th and 14th, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel located at 45 John Glenn Drive in Concord. Doors open to the general public at 10AM each day. In addition to free appraisals, the show dealers will buy, sell, and trade a variety of items including coins, tokens, medals, paper money, estate jewelry, and watches. “The general public can really benefit,” said Bill Green, treasurer for the Diablo Numismatic Society, the non-profit coin club hosting this annual show. “There’s no better way to make sure you get fair value for your coins and collectables than at a show like ours, and our safe, secure venue offers a fun, fascinating, and educational experience for the entire family.” Admission to the show is $3 and good for both days. Children under twelve are admitted free. A portion of the admission fees are donated to the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano counties. There will be drawings for valuable coins and other prizes. Also, Boy Scout Troop # 465 will host a youth exhibit that includes free coins for children. The Crowne Plaza has a special rate of $89 for those requiring overnight accommodations. Call (877) 276-4600 and ask for the “coin show rate.” Contact Bill Green of the Diablo Numismatic Society for more information at (925) 351 – 7605 or visit the club’s website at diablocionclub.org. The show also maintains a Facebook page.

Alamo Sheriff’s Station Seeks Volunteers The Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Station in the Alamo Shopping Center is looking for volunteers to assist in law enforcement in our community. The volunteers are assigned duty at the Station's lobby to greet visitors, answer phones, participate in the “If I Were a Thief” program, and assist in law enforcement sponsored events. Adults who do not have a criminal history and who can serve five hours a week should call Lieutenant Tom Chalk at (925) 646-6180, or visit the office at 150 Alamo Plaza #C to pick up an application.

Alamo-Danville Newcomers Club Please join us at a Welcome Coffee on Thursday, September 27th from 10AM to noon. Both those who are new to the area or long time residents will be able to learn about the Club and the many facets of club membership. Please join us at this casual get-together where you can meet current members, find new friends, and discover the many activities offered through Newcomers. For more information, call (925) 281-1307, email alamodanvillenewcomers@yahoo.com, or visit www.alamodanvillenewcomers.com.

Danville Lions Club The Danville Lions Club invites you to be our guest for dinner and to learn more about how our club serves the community. Meetings are held at the Brass Door located at 2154 San Ramon Valley Blvd in San Ramon on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of each month at 7PM. For more information, please call Dr. Brent Waterman at (925) 275-1900.

Page 8 - September 2012 ~ Alamo Today

Alamo Elementary School Who is the Village? By Stan Hitomi, Principal It is often said it “takes a village” to raise our children. But, who is the village? At Alamo School the village is made up of members of the staff, families, and community that surround our school. Nowhere is this more evident than at the start of the school year. In August, much of the village that has been idle over the summer kicks into gear in preparation for registration. This year Elke Sprunt (PTA) working along with Gayle Hughey (office manager) brought the campus back to life with the help of dozens of volunteers. The registration went smoothly with families submitting district forms, making contributions, buying spirit wear, and signing up for a variety of programs, including chorus, band and chimes, as well as community organizations such as the Boy and Girl Scouts. Many of our community businesses add to our annual contributions through corporate matching programs. In 2012-2013 we are very fortunate to have both our PTA and Ed Fund presidents returning. Margie Hart returns for her third year as Ed Fund president, and Raylinn Bianchi returns for her second year at the helm of the PTA. Both of them will be joined this year by new faces, as our “village” continues to grow: PTA Executive Board ~ President - Raylinn Bianchi, Executive Vice President - Melanie Volk, 1st VP Educational Enrichment - Suzanne Miller, 2nd VP Communications - Ellen Jannetta, 3rd VP Ways & Means - Lindsey King, 4th VP Community Involvement - Heather Morgan, 5th VP Legislative - Margie Hart, Secretary - Jean DeFreeuw, Treasurer - Maria Romo, Financial Secretary - Amy Silver, Auditor Jang Hauh, Parliamentarian - Kristin Iribarren, Historian - Kristin Moore Ed Fund Board ~ President - Margie Hart, Vice President - Kim Dolan, Treasurer - Chad Kiltz, Assistant Treasurer - Timea Parris, Financial Secretary - Carol Sherry, Secretary - Christy Campos, Assistant Secretary - Carol Even, Parliamentarian - Jill Newcomer, Corporate Matching - Teri Hawk, Read-a-thon - Courtney Finder, PTA President - Raylinn Bianchi, Teacher Representative - Sue Benit We are fortunate to be seeing so many new people among the leaders of our community, as well as growing partnerships with local businesses and organizations. On August 26th a ribbon cutting ceremony was held to note the completion of the pedestrian-activated flashing beacons at Wilson and Livorna Roads. The project was completed thanks to the


combined efforts of Alamo School parents, the Alamo MAC, CHP, Contra County Sheriff’s Office, Public Works, and the Office of the County Supervisor District 2. I plan to write articles this year that will include focus on grade-level programs, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), traffic safety, and the statewide adoption of Common Core Standards. It promises to be another great year, and with the help of our ever-growing village we will continue to make Alamo School a safe and exciting place to learn and grow.

Rancho Romero Elementary School By Skye Larsh, Principal Is it September already? On behalf of Rancho Romero Elementary School, I would like to welcome all new and returning students and families to the start of a new school year. Approximately 544 students returned to school on Tuesday, August 28th with lots of excitement and curiosity. One of the wonderful aspects of the start of school is the rush of energy that accompanies the arrival of students. Additionally, the Rancho school community welcomed four new teachers. Our newest staff members include Shelby Alms, Janna Drobny, Tiphanie Karas, and Sandrine Wright. Rancho Romero has been a busy place since last June. Teachers across multiple grades participated in different types of powerful professional development, which included differentiated instruction, and challenge-based learning. Differentiated instruction fosters brain-based learning and strategies that increase the depth and complexity within lessons. Challenge-based Learning is an engaging multidisciplinary approach to teaching and learning that encourages students to leverage the technology they use in their daily lives to solve real-world problems. Elements of both differentiated instruction and challenge-based learning will support our work within the curriculum and through instructional design,and align nicely with our exploration of Common Core Standards. Common Core Standards will replace the California State Standards in 2013-14. Our theme for 2012-13, Shaping the Core, was launched during the first staff development day. The word ‘core’ is defined as the central, innermost, or most essential part of anything. With that in mind, Rancho Romero is committed to those absolute essentials that will keep our students fit. We are poised to continue to build on the excellence of the school and district by providing a positive, challenging, and rewarding academic and social environment.


Stone Valley Middle School By Shaun K. McElroy, Principal Fall Brings Great Changes for Stone Valley When we closed the doors in June, three staff had announced their retirement and another was moving out of the area leaving us four positions to fill. By the end of June the number had grown to a total of 10 staffing changes. The process for selecting employees that meet Stone Valley criteria is arduous, and the applicant pools were very deep, some nearly 100 people, reflecting the state of our economy. Here is our new staff. • Luom Huynh – Head Custodian - Served 15 years as night custodian at Stone Valley. • Chris Sherwood – Math 6/7 - Was long-term substitute teacher at Walnut Creek Intermediate and favorite substitute teacher at Stone Valley. • Karen Johnson - Assistant Principal - Was teacher on special assignment (administration) at Country Club and Greenbrook Elementary. • Spencer Erikson – Spanish - Taught at St. Isadores and College Park H.S. • Jenna Ray – Algebra I/Pre-Algebra - From California High and Iron Horse Middle School. • Sandi Moeller Counselor Tech/Registrar - From Gale Ranch Middle and Live Oak Elementary. • Lisa Knebel Attendance Secretary – From Del Rey Elementary in Orinda. Former PTA President at Los Cerros Middle. Still open as of this writing: Night custodian and Librarian

Get Involved in Middle School Middle school is often perceived as the time for parents to let go versus staying involved and maybe sometimes becoming over involved. So, where’s the balance? We want our children to grow up to be strong independent thinkers. We need to ask ourselves, “Are we getting in their way or supporting them properly?” Bay Area therapist and author Madeline Levine provides us with some insight in her new book Teach Your Children Well. To read an excerpt from Levine’s book, visit www.nytimes.com/2012/08/05/ opinion/sunday/raising-successful-children.html?pagewanted=all. I recommend reading the article with your parenting partner or with another par-

New School Jitters By Susan Bray, Ph.D. Children’s Counseling and Assessment I remember the day I started third grade. I was going to a new school, and I didn't know anyone (except my big brother, who told me how horrible things would be). I couldn’t sleep the night before, and when it was time to walk into the classroom, my feet felt like lead bricks. Everyone around me seemed to know exactly what they were doing, and I felt horribly out of place and very conspicuous. So, I stared at the ground all day and tried to be invisible. I didn’t make any friends that day and went home crying to my mother about how much I hated school. Every child gets at least a little anxious in a new situation like the start of the school year. But, what if your child feels overwhelmed, like I did, or it doesn’t seem to get better with time? There are a few things we can do as parents to help them through it. First of all, reassure your child that it’s normal to feel nervous about any new or unfamiliar situation. This is actually our brain’s way of getting us ready for handle whatever may come up. Encourage them to talk about any worries or fears they’re having. Just putting it into words can help, and you may find that they have some misconceptions you can help clear up. Another great tool, particularly for younger kids, is a comfort object. This can be anything from a small stuffed animal to a little smooth pebble in their pocket that they can rub. The idea is to find some object that they like, and to talk a bit about it as a symbol of having you there with them. Then, when they’re feeling nervous or unsure, they can touch or look at their comfort object and remember your love and the security that comes from home and family. You can also help your kids plan specific actions to be prepared for the situation. If they’re going to be with people they don’t know, help them come up with some good opening lines - things like “What did you do over the summer?” or “Who was your teacher last year?”or even as simple as “I’m Joey. What’s your name?” Remind them of the importance of a smile and making eye contact when they talk to someone. Talk about how to join in with other kids on the playground.

Alamo Today ~ September 2012 - Page 9 ent, and discuss the merits as you see them and apply them to your parenting style. If you would like the view from the front lines at school, I recommend that you contact our Ed Fund President Gary Zilk at gary@zebedo.com or PTA President Janet Nunan at janetnunan@aol.com to find a way to get involved at school. We are always looking for help in the office or during lunch supervision. If you can spare 30 minutes once a week, please let us know and we’ll sign you up for a shift during 6th,7th, or 8th grade lunch. Contact Lisa Knebel at lknebel@srvusd. net or Karen Johnson at kcjohnson@srvusd.net. Volunteering at school is a great way to support your student. Stone Valley averages over 5,000 volunteer hours each year. This is the equivalent of 3.5 full time employees each day.

Class Size Reduction Programs is in need of your Support Middle school is the only level K-12 that receives no class size reduction from the state or federal government. Middle School also has the highest staffing ratio of all grades levels. Creating a level academic playing field for middle school students has been the focus of our class size reduction program for many years. To date we have collected about 65% of our goal. We need your assistance in maintaining this successful program. Your contribution to our class size reduction program will reduce the number of students in language arts and math classes by an average of five students per class. Donations can be made online at http:// stonevalleyms.revtrak.net/tek9.asp<%22>. CSR donations are tax deductible.

Stone Valley Algebra I Scores are Near the Top in SRVUSD Last year Stone Valley’s 8th grade Algebra I program changed from a two track system to a one track system by eliminating the Advanced Algebra I class. The decision was based on the research of Stanford Professor of Mathematics, Jo Boaler. The research findings indicated that mixed ability classrooms can perform at or near the same level as advanced classes. The results of the STAR examinations have provided us with significant feedback on our first year of this developing this program. In past years the highest percentage of proficient and advanced students in our Advanced Algebra I program was 92%. Overall our total percentage students for advanced and grade level Algebra I has hovered around the high 70’s and low 80’s. Our inaugural mixed ability class scored 94.5% proficient and advanced. This pass rate ranks us third among the eight middle schools which moves us up from the lower third where we ranked in years past. We are pleased with this early result, and we will continue to examine our teaching practices to improve. And finally, it can really help to remind your child of past successes. Bring up last school year, or a time they met a new friend in the neighborhood, or when they joined a new class or sports team. This helps kids remember that the nervous feeling is just temporary, and that they can and will get through it and on to the fun of new friends and new experiences. If you’ve tried everything and your child’s still struggling, it may be time to get help. Start by asking your pediatrician; they see hundreds of kids and have a good sense of what's normal. And assess the four “D’s”: is your child’s response disproportionate to the situation; is it disruptive to your child or family; is the feeling distressing to your child; and is the duration more than would be expected. Just as we teach our kids skills for studying, for time management, and for healthy eating, we can teach them skills for healthy management of emotions. And let them get back to enjoying a new school year! Susan Bray, Ph.D. is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist in private practice in Danville. She specializes in the treatment of childhood anxiety and behavioral issues. You can contact her at (925) 322-3767 or via email at drbray@ ccaeastbay.com. Advertorial 8

Lost Dog!


If you find her and your name is drawn!

Alamo Zoe is Missing Alamo Zoe has become lost in this paper... Search through Alamo Today and see if you can find her! 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

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Page 10 - September 2012 ~ Alamo Today

San Ramon Valley High School

By Ruth Steele, Principal

This first month at San Ramon has been a busy one - compounded of course by the fact that I am in the process of learning a new school, a new staff, new students, new parents, and a new community. It’s amazing how many people there are to meet! However, the one thing that has stood out for me so far is the kindness and the support that everyone has shown me. I have heard many people talk about the unique spirit that is to be found on the SRVHS campus, and I have been the lucky recipient of a very warm welcome. One of the biggest events of the school year is student registration, and this took place in August on two separate dates. Over two thousand students came through a sequence of stations in the commons with their parents to turn in required forms, have their pictures taken, and pick up initial class schedules. This, as you can imagine, requires extensive organization and co-ordination, and it is PTSA who takes on the lion’s share of the work. There were dozens of parent volunteers working alongside school staff and leadership students to ensure that everything went smoothly. Without that support and level of community involvement it would be impossible to successfully run an event of this size, and I am extremely grateful for everyone’s participation. Two other events that particularly stood out for me amongst the many things happening in August were the freshman orientation and the student leadership retreat. The Friday before school started, all incoming freshmen were invited to come to SRVHS and be welcomed by LINK crew. The day involved a range of team building activities and opportunities for students to learn about how everything works at SRVHS. The students did an amazing job welcoming the freshmen. It was wonderful to see how proud they are of SRVHS and how much school spirit they have. I was able to spend some time with many of these same students during the student leadership retreat on Mt. Diablo. The students met for the afternoon and then spent the night camping on the mountain. They were planning events for the school year and bonding as a group, so they probably didn’t get much sleep but they definitely had a lot of fun! Before school began we had a staff development day, and the purpose of this was to set the tone for the school year ahead and outline our goals. As a new Principal, it’s difficult to determine exactly how to do this when you don’t know where growth areas might be, so I asked that the staff reflect on their teaching strategies, policies and practices, and look for areas where changes could be made. The goal was to look at how we can ensure that students are not only learning the required curriculum in their classes, but also developing the skills that they will need beyond high school. Being active and effective “learners” will prepare students for the challenges of college and the world beyond, simply being “learned” will not. So, it is not enough that students leave SRVHS full of information, facts, and figures. Students need to be able to apply the knowledge that they have acquired and adapt theories to solve new problems as they face them. SRVHS is fortunate to have a staff of educators who are able to ensure that our students are prepared to meet those challenges when they graduate. My first month at the Home of Champions has flown by, but I have already been able to meet many of the people that make SRVHS such a special place. Through the various events in August I have seen how hard everyone is willing to work to make SRVHS the wonderful school that it is. The staff, parents, students, and community all go that extra step to make sure that the school is the most positive, successful, and welcoming place it can be. I am looking forward to working with each group as we move forward through this school year and continuing to build on that culture. Go Wolves!

Baskets Exhibit: Basic, Beautiful, Bold A new exhibit featuring Washoe Indian baskets continues through November 4th at the Museum of San Ramon Valley. These are not just any baskets. These are baskets woven by California Indians who were, and are, some of the most accomplished basket weavers in the world. Twenty baskets from The Gatekeeper’s Museum in Tahoe City have been loaned to the Museum. Most of the baskets were created by Washoe Indians from the Lake Tahoe Basin area which includes both California and Nevada territories and extended to about 10,000 square miles of land. Archaeologists trace the Washoe back around 2,000 years. Today there are approximately 1,500 enrolled members of the Washoe Tribe of California and Nevada. Indians used baskets for everything, from baby carriers to cooking. Some were made quickly for utilitarian tasks, but many were planned in advance by gathering the correct materials, choosing a shape and patterns, and weaving thoughtfully and prayerfully. Indian weavers continue to create baskets today, although they face challenges in finding the basket materials when areas develop or private landowners refuse gathering permission. Museum hours are 1-4 Tuesday-Friday, 10-1 Saturday, and 12-3 on Sunday. This exhibit will accompany the Museum’s Indian Life Program for fourth graders at the museum each morning from September 13 to November 2. Please contact the museum directly to enroll a class in these programs at 837-3750 or go to the website at museumsrv.org for further information.


Making the Best Even Better By Dwight Winn I am Dwight Winn, a 32 year resident of Danville and a candidate for the San Ramon Valley Unified School District (SRVUSD) School Board. Last October, as I was completing classes at UC Berkeley Extension, I reflected on my goal to return to school on a full-time basis and prepare for my next endeavor. With urging from friends and colleagues, and as a lifetime learner with an interest in education, I decided to run for a position on the SRVUSD School Board. After additional discussions with my wife Beverly (a teacher with 20 years of experience at San Ramon Valley Christian Academy) and adult children, (Randy and Kyle, who both graduated with honors from SRVUSD schools), I felt well advised to move forward. It is known in the Bay Area community that our son Randy has been a very successful professional baseball player with the San Francisco Giants. Beverly and I are incredibly proud of his athletic achievements. We are also equally and extremely proud of Randy because of his academic achievements in the same district in which I am seeking election. Beverly and I are extremely grateful to the many educators that had such a positive influence on our son that allowed him to become a highly educated professional baseball player which has prepared him for a future beyond professional sports. If you forgive the pun in advance, in our household, it has been a “Winn Win” situation. Thus in many ways, I am grateful for the opportunities that my family and I have been afforded by the significant educational foundation our sons (Kyle graduated from Santa Clara University in 1999), as well as the many other fine young men that I have coached, have been given by being educated in the SRVUSD. The balance of academics which includes student activities such as drama, arts, and athletics provides a foundation with flexibility and leverage. SRVUSD has high standards, and our students perform at the highest levels within the state and nationwide. We want to continue this trend. As a school board member, I will use experiences gained in 30 years of business working at IBM and New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc., youth coaching, and other volunteer activities to meet the needs of all students within the district. Given my interest in education, I have become well acquainted with the many issues affecting our educational system. I have attended many school board meetings and read many educational references and recommendations about the needs of the current system and the schools of the future. All of these have given me a variety of perspectives on future models for education. Below is a recap of some of the issues as I see them: • Declining California revenues • Debts from previous state budget shortfalls • School population continues to grow forcing a capacity issue • Facilities are aging • Compensation for teachers and classified • Allocation to SRVUSD schools based on low wealth formula • Structure and Strategy for 21st Century success I will use my extensive private sector experiences to balance the financial demands of a large school district while providing a high quality education for our children in order to provide resources for our student needs. The proposed bond measure must pass in order to build new schools and facilities as well as address safety and efficiency requirements throughout the district. In order to accomplish our objectives, “we must invest in that which we value.” Ultimately, we must decide what is the long-term strategy and structure to support our goals and needs. What does this involve, and what are the costs/benefits? The answer will require a collective/collaborative approach. But for now, the short-term solution is to balance the needs of our students and teachers. I am prepared to take on the many responsibilities and challenges of being a member of the SRVUSD School Board team. I have courage to support and make the tough decisions that accompany school board membership. I also have the empathy to understand the many demands placed on the wonderful dedicated teachers of our district. Lastly, I have the passion to provide our many children with the necessary foundation to be successful students and prepare them for success in their future endeavors. For more information, visit my website www.thinkwinn.net or email me at drwinn1@comcast.net. Advertorial paid for by Winn candidate for SRVUSD

Alamo Today ~ September 2012 - Page 11

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Monte Vista High School By Janet Terranova, Principal Walk into any store in August and you know that school is about to start as merchants begin their “Back to School Sales.” August 28th signaled the real end to summer vacation for our students. Monte Vista has been busy with registration, new student orientation, and our new student dance. It was amazing to watch the energy of our students, staff, and parent volunteers as we all worked together to make our back-to-school one of the best. Thank you to students and staff who organized a wonderful New Student Orientation. Thanks to our Link Crew club and their advisors our new students were welcomed, fed, given tours of the school, and generally made to feel like true Mustangs! As usual our parents came through and volunteered hundreds of hours to help with registration. They collected forms, gave out class schedules and textbooks, and answered hundreds of questions. Thank you so much for your help. We are very excited to begin an Advisory program with our students. Students will be assigned an Advisory class. This class will meet for 30 minutes every other Tuesday. Students will be assigned to Advisory classes by grade with the idea that they will stay in the same Advisory class for all four years of high school. The purpose of Advisory is to develop positive relationships with staff and students that are outside the academic realm and to provide lessons that reinforce that goal. Each class will have a specific lesson relating to our MV Pride Program (Respect, Responsibility, Empathy, and Integrity), cyber-bullying, goal setting, or study skills. Additionally, the Advisory class will provide an opportunity for students to participate in school-wide activities such as Adopt-a-Family, Homecoming, and other ASB activities. If you have ever been by a school during drop-off or pick-up you know the area around the school is very congested. This year we will have two buses coming from the Diablo Vista area. The Town of Danville is a participating member of the Measure J Traffic Congestion Relief Agency which helps to fund the buses. With the number of students and cars coming from the Diablo Vista Middle School area, two buses will definitely reduce the traffic around our campus community. With the beginning of the school year underway, we have many activities and opportunities for community involvement. For more information about Monte Vista and our activities, please visit our website at www.mvhs.schoolloop.com.


Page 12 - September 2012 ~ Alamo Today

Contra Costa County Supervisor, District 2 Are You Ready for Disasters – Get Connected! By Candace Andersen In light of the recent fire at the Chevron refinery in Martinez, I thought it would be timely to provide information about disaster preparedness and emergency warning systems in Contra Costa County. Even if you don’t live or work near a refinery, it is important to be informed about other disasters that could impact your neighborhood such as wildfires, gas line ruptures, earthquakes, or floods. I have also included other relevant emergency and disaster preparedness events and resources in our area. The Contra Costa County Community Warning System (CWS) issues alerts about situations in the County that pose an imminent threat to life or health. The CWS is operated by the Office of the Sheriff in partnership with the county’s Department of Health Services and its business and industry partners. Visit their website at www. cws.cccounty.us/register to enroll your cell phone number in the service. There is no charge from the County for these alerts,however your service provider may charge you depending upon your individual plan. If you are social media savvy, you can receive alerts in your Twitter feed and get text messages on your phone. Go to Twitter and follow @CoCoCWS, and set your cell phone to receive a text alert. If you are looking for a fun family event to help get you better prepared for disasters, come to the September 15th San Ramon Valley Emergency Preparedness Fair. The City of San Ramon, Town of Danville, San Ramon Valley Fire, and the San Ramon Valley Unified School District, along with various community, county, state and federal agencies, will be showcasing their response resources and programs for preparedness on Saturday, September 15th from 9am to 2pm at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints located at 655 Old Orchard Road in Danville. Event attendees will enjoy viewing a Jaws of Life demonstration, a tour of a Red Cross Shelter, the Second Military Medical Brigade from Camp Parks, a presentation by the San Ramon Police canine team, and a display from the National Guard Civil Support Team. There will be a free BBQ lunch, free emergency supply kits for the first 500 guests, and many activities geared toward kids and pet safety. Find more information at www.bereadysrv.org. The San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District offers free emergency response training to interested community members. The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program educates citizens about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. This valuable course is designed to help you protect yourself, your family, your neighbors and your neighborhood in an emergency situation. See their website at www.firedepartment.org and click on “community outreach” for more information and to sign up for classes. Are you CPR-trained? Do you have an iPhone or Android Smartphone? If so, make sure to install the “PulsePoint” mobile app today. The app supports a growing nation-wide service and was developed by our own San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District. This app is connected to the 9-1-1 emergency communications center and allows the Fire District to notify you if someone nearby is having a cardiac arrest and may need CPR. It also alerts you to local fire and medical events and traffic accidents so even if you are not trained in CPR, you will find the app useful. Install the free app from your phone’s app store, or read more about it at www.pulsepoint. org. You can also receive SRV Fire alerts into your Twitter feed. Their Twitter account is @srvfpd. During a disaster, for those who are living or working in the San Ramon Valley, turn your AM radio to 1610 for regular updates. This is a radio system used by Danville, San Ramon and the Fire District to provide regularly updated emergency information. The key to surviving any disaster is to be informed and more importantly, be prepared! If you have any issues of concern or questions about Contra Costa County, or would like to sign up for my monthly e-Newsletter, please don’t hesitate to contact my staff or me at 925.957.8860, or Dist2@bos.ccccounty.us. We are here to serve you.

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When is a Tomato not a Tomato?

Alamo Today ~ September 2012 - Page 13

By Cynthia Ruzzi, President Sustainable Danville Area

Do you eat those mealy, tasteless slices of tomato tucked into your sandwich, or like me, do you open and remove them immediately? I can’t eat the anemic looking fruit that graces the side plate with bits of lettuce from the deli, and I definitely will not buy artificially ripened supermarket tomatoes. While the tomatoes in our supermarkets are seasonally grown in California, they are picked when considered “mature green,” just starting to turn color but still firm. Discovery News recently did a story reporting that the modern tomato has been cultivated to ripen evenly to uniform the harvest, and it this gene mutation is to blame for tasteless tomatoes. I’m sure it doesn’t help that these green, firm tomatoes are packed into ethylene (a flammable gas derived from petroleum) storage for three days to change the starch of the tomato to sugar forcing it to turn red. While visually appealing, this process does nothing to enhance the taste. The blandness is further cemented by shipping tomatoes in cold storage, putting an immediate end to further ripening. How do you get a tomato that tastes like a tomato? One solution is to shop the local farmer’s market for organic produce. Look for tomatoes grown sustainably since farmers that use these practices haven’t depleted the soil with chemical products. These tomatoes are sure to be rich in magnesium, iron, calcium, and zinc – all trace minerals that help maintain our good health and give our fruits and vegetables their flavor. When selecting tomatoes, sniff the blossom end, not the stem end, for a rich aroma. Store fresh, ripe, tomatoes stem-side down in a cool, dark place, and use within a few days. Please don’t put them in the refrigerator. Considering the journey out-of-season Arizona and Mexican tomatoes take to get to our grocery stores and my uneasiness with BPA in most aluminum cans, I’m going to can any summer bounty from my garden, plus search out extras for the winter season. Inspired by our summer days picking unwanted Danville and Alamo backyard fruit for the local food pantries, we longed for more time “on the farm” before the seriousness of autumn. So, we decided to take a road trip, and we’re inviting you to join us “on the road” as we tour Wild Boar Farms in Suisun Valley.

Wild Boar Farms: Sun, Wind, Dust and Dirt - Good Food and Great Tomatoes Join us on Sunday, September 9th from 11am to 2pm for an adventure to Wild Boar Farms. Bring a hat, flat shoes, camera, reusable bag for tomatoes, and an appetite. Wild Boar Farms is not just any farm – it’s a tomato breeding ground for 12,000 certified, organic tomato plants located in ‘tomato terroir’ Suisun Valley. They are growing a rare, exotic gourmet collection of heirloom and future heirloom tomatoes. Our special day will include an exclusive tomato tour and talk by farmer Brad Gates, tomato and wine tasting, lunch provided by Fume Bistro & Bar of Napa, and one pound of tomatoes to take home. There will also be time to pick and purchase enough tomatoes to preserve for the winter season. Come and enjoy an informative and fun day with your friends and family. The event is accessible for all ages and benefits The Urban Farmers Fruit Gleaning Program (www.theurbanfarmers.org). Visit www.sustainabledanville.com for more details and a link to purchase tickets. The cost is $25 for adults and $10 for children. If preserving tomatoes is what you have in mind, but you don’t know where to start, join us on Saturday, September 8th from 9am-noon at The Garden at Heather Farm for a class on canning and preserving your seasons bounty. Patrice Hanlon, Garden Director, who has been canning her favorite vegetables for over 25 years, will introduce us to different methods of preserving, with a particular focus on waterbath canning. It’s a hands-on class with each participant making a jar of dill and a jar of sweet and sour pickles to take home. The cost for the class is $35 and there is a $10 materials fee. Register at www.gardenshf. org/adult-classes.html or call (925) 947-1678.

Public Workshop Did you know that as of July 1, 2012 Assembly Bill 341 requires that California businesses and multi-family homes recycle? Did you know that as a Danville or Alamo resident our separated yard clippings are used as daily alternative cover in the landfill and not composted? Do you know that neighboring communities from Lafayette to San Ramon keep food scraps out of the landfill by putting them directly into their green waste bins, but we can’t? Central Contra Costa Solid Waste and the Town of Danville are hosting a public workshop at the Danville Town Hall located at 201 Front Street on September 19th from 6:30pm – 8:30pm. We will be gathering feedback on current and future services. Help us improve waste and recycling services for businesses and residents in Danville, Diablo, Blackhawk, and Alamo. For information, visit www. wastediversion.org. If you cannot attend, take a moment to answer the simple nine question survey at https://www. surveymonkey.com/s/CCCSWA_feedback by October 1st. For questions for Sustainable Danville, email me at Cynthia@sustainabledanville.com.


Page 14 - September 2012 ~ Alamo Today

Mini-Van Needed

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 www.srvgensoc. org, or email SRVGS@SRVGenSoc.org.

Together We are Making a Difference!

The Bay Area Alliance for Youth and Family Services (BAAYFS) is a residential program providing for teenage girls in Contra Costa and Bay Area communities. BAAYFS was founded in 2001 with the purpose of providing support services and residential care to teenage girls, between the ages of 10 and 17 who have been removed by court action from their biological family due to negligence and/ or physical abuse, violence, and/or substance abuse. Residential and support services (e.g mentoring, social work, and counseling) are provided to girls whose family is in need of help in order to reunify children with their biological family or with a relative or foster parent. BAAYFS also works with the girls toward independent responsible living in the community. At this time BAAYFS is looking for a donation of a used mini van to be used for transporting the girls to school and to after school activities, as well as to their doctor, therapy, and court appointments. To donate, help, or learn more, visit www.baayfs.org, or call (925) 325-4449 or 925-609-6990.

Local students have come together and partnered with Pledge to Humanity to make a difference in the lives of others. Pledge to Humanity is a nonprofit organization, created by youth and their families who are concerned about people in the community and those less fortunate, particularly children and youth living in other countries. Recent fundraisers have raised money for several projects. Rancho Romero Student Council did an amazing Rancho Romero Student Council Members job in leading students to raise money for Pledge to Humanity’s “Pledge for a Smile Walk-AThon.” They raised $11,503.25 which will be used to sponsor over 45 cleft palate surgeries for children in Guadalajara, Mexico. In addition, students from Stone Valley Middle School held multiple bake sales last year and were able to fund lunches for 106 Kenyan students for the entire school year. Through the lunch program, students receive a healthy mid-day meal while at school, allowing them to focus more on their studies. The lunch program is also often supplemented by fresh vegetables and crops grown in the school gardens. The Stone Valley students also volunteered for many service projects in the community including work at soup kitchens, preparation of sandwiches at local shelters, collection of hundreds of pounds of candy for our Troops, and shoes, jackets, and toiletries for the needy in Alameda and Contra Costa County. The growing Pledge to Humanity community is excited for their upcoming projects which include youth volunteer trips overseas to work, visit, and help in areas that they have sponsored. To learn more about Pledge to Humanity, visit www.pledgetohumanity.org.


AAUW Membership Brunch Come to the Danville-Alamo-Walnut Creek branch of American Association of University Women Membership Brunch on Saturday, September 15th, from 9:30AM -12:30PM at Round Hill Country Club located at 3169 Roundhill Road in Alamo. Renew acquaintances, make new friends, sign up for interest groups, donate and purchase used books, meet Tech Trekkers and prospective branch members, and listen to our guest speaker, Alicia Hetman, CA AAUW president. Cost per person is $30 if received before September 10th. For details and reservations, look for the Membership Brunch link at www.aauw-daw.org. For more information, contact Tena Gallagher at (925) 837-0826/ membershipvp@aauw-da.org or Liz Williams at (925) 389-0152.

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Alamo Today ~ September 2012 - Page 15

America’s Boating Course Diablo Sail & Power Squadron is holding two day boating courses on September 15th and 22nd and on October 6th and 13th at Bridge Marina Yacht Club located at 20 Fleming Lane in Antioch. The course meets educational requirements of the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators. Classes are open to the public and designed for all boaters. Covered in the course will be boat handling and elementary seamanship, regulations, equipment, safe operation, navigation rules and aids to navigation, adverse conditions, marine radio operation, and communications. For more information on America’s Boating Course and the Diablo Sail and Power Squadron, call (925) 377-BOAT. Online registration is available at www. diablosquadron.org.

Wind ‘n Sea Sailing Club Wind 'n Sea Sailing Club, a not-for-profit club, is holding sailing training classes at member's homes in Danville starting Wednesday, September 19th at 7PM. The first class will be “Introduction to Sailing on San Francisco Bay.” This class will be followed by training classes in general sailing skills. Contact Jan at 925-837-3381 for more information.

SonRise Equestrian Foundation Holds Fundraiser On Saturday, October 20th at Round Hill Country Club in Alamo SonRise Equestrian Foundation will hold its 6th Annual Wine and Equine Fundraiser. Enjoy estate grown wines, dinner, dancing, and entertainment. SonRise will also be offering a wine cellar raffle of premium wines and exciting live and silent auctions. SonRise continues to seek donors and sponsors for this event. All proceeds will provide support to children who are facing social, emotional, and physical challenges as well as help rehabilitate horses in need. Tickets cost $125. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 925-838-RIDE (7433) or visit www.sonriseequestrianfoundation.org.

About SonRise SonRise Equestrian Foundation is a volunteer-based non-profit organization making a positive difference for children ages 6 to 18 living with social, emotional, or physical challenges including life limiting illnesses. Participating children develop confidence, integrity, and responsibility through mentoring and peer relationships centered around the care and enjoyment of horses.


Page 16 - September 2012 ~ Alamo Today


Quick Trips

By Linda Summers Pirkle Jack London State Historic Park My husband and I spent about an hour in the very interesting Jack London Museum, located in the Jack London State Historic Park, in Glen Ellen, a twenty minutes drive from Sonoma. We started our tour in the Happy Walls Museum, a lovely two story home designed by Charmian London. It has a collection of photographs and exhibits about the life and adventures of her husband, Jack London, the famous author and adventurer. After exploring the museum, we took the Wolf House trail through redwood trees, manzanita, shrubs and grasses, turned a bend, and there it was - the magnificent Wolf House ruins. The Wolf House is amazing even in its ruined state. “It was a grand and dignified home - our Hearst Castle - had it not burned down. It was built in Craftsman Style, out of redwood and stone. It was large and grand but also very simple in its magnificence,” says Michelle Milne, Park Aide and Merchandising Manager at the site. Tragically, on a hot August night in 1913, just days before the Londons were scheduled to move into the Wolf House, it burned down. London vowed he would rebuild, but unfortunately this never happened. The hike to the Wolf house ruins is a 1.2 mile circuit and worth the walk. The Cottage, the principal home for the Londons, is a short trek from the museum. It is a favorite spot of Milne’s because it truly reflects Jack London. “It’s as if he has just stepped out for a cup of tea; his hat, his gloves, and his desk where he did his work are just as they were when he lived here.” It is full of the finds from the London’s seven years they spent in the South Seas. Jack London called his ranch the “Beauty Ranch,” and it is appropriate. The park is low key and peaceful, a spot you can spend an hour or so but leave time for hiking. I wandered up a trail towards the “Pig Palace,” London’s piggery he designed and built in 1915. I came upon the beautiful sight of a horse with a bright pink blanket grazing on the grasses with the Mayacamas Mountains in the background. In the summertime it can get very hot, so the best time to go is when they open at 10AM. Springtime is a nice time to visit with the many wildflowers in bloom. Docent led tours are available for groups on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays. They offer four different types of tours - call for more information. Advance reservations are required. Only twenty minutes away is the town of Sonoma, with many restaurants and nice shops. My favorite restaurant is The Girl and the Fig - best burgers ever! La Salette, a Portuguese restaurant, is also nice. For good coffee and baked goods, try Basque bakery. All of these and more are located on the town square of Sonoma. The Jack London Historic State park is open every day except Tuesday and Wednesdays (and major holidays) from 9:30AM to 5PM. The museum in the House of Happy Walls is open from 10AM to 5PM. The Cottage is open from noon to 4PM on weekend days. The address is 2400 London Ranch Road, Glen Ellen, California 95442, and they can be reached at (707) 938-5216 or at www.jacklondonpark.com. Linda Summers Pirkle, travel consultant and long term Danville resident, has been arranging and leading tours for the Town of Danville for several years. Inspired by the many wonderful places to visit in the Bay Area, she organizes day trips, either for groups or for friends and family. “If it's a trip for my husband and me, my husband drives and I talk (he’s a captive audience) - the perfect combination! What a great place to live, so much to see, so much to do.” To share your “Quick Trips” ideas, email Coverthemap@gmail.com.


Alamo Today ~ September 2012 - Page 17


Page 18 - September 2012 ~ Alamo Today


Reinventing Education By Evan Corstorphine, Portable CIO When I was in college I studied the processes and mechanisms by which goods moved through the manufacturing process. I learned how to balance raw inputs into a production line to ensure the right stuff got to the right place, at the right time, so a product could be created. Personal computers were still in their infancy, and we used programs on larger computers running “MRP” software (Materials Requirements Planning) that helped manage the flow of materials. We also studied Japanese manufacturing methods, because under the tutelage of the great American Edward Deming they had completely revolutionized their means of production in the Post WW2 era. One of the concepts that came out of this era was of “Just In Time (JIT)” manufacturing. The JIT concept was pioneered at the Toyota Motor Company, and it was the philosophy of having a tightly integrated chain of suppliers in the manufacturing process for a given product. If everything was working correctly and everyone was doing their part, inventory levels at the factory could be kept at a minimum, while component parts of the manufacturing process arrived “just in time” at the point in the process where they were required. This process dramatically increased the efficiency of the manufacturing line and decreased holding costs of expensive and space-consuming raw materials. Now that you’ve had a lesson in 1970’s Japanese manufacturing philosophy, I’ll get to the point of this article. I think education is beginning to adopt this philosophy, and the internet is the reason why. Let me give you some examples. In our profession we are expected to be experts in countless technologies. Unlike the human body that a doctor must master, the technologies we must master are constantly evolving. For example, the muscles of the human shoulder haven’t changed in millennia, but the technology used in computer networking has been completely revamped over the last two decades. To stay up with the constantly evolving landscape, we need access to education and peer experiences. The modern search engines (Bing, Google) have revolutionized our ability to access this education. We don’t have to know everything: we just have to know where to look. The second example is application specific. If you’ve ever used Adobe Photoshop, you are aware of how complicated a program it is. If you don’t have the time to read the entire manual, you can use a service like www.Lynda.com to identify the specific task you want to learn and watch a short video that explains how it works. For $25/month you gain access to thousands of instructional videos covering 1,430 separate technical and business topics. If you don’t need that much, just peruse www.YouTube.com and find a video someone has already made on the topic you want to learn. You can find almost anything on that site. There are many free courses online that have been made available by prestigious private and public universities. One (www.khanacademy.org) was designed from the start to be an internet-only university and has no official “campus.” They offer over 3,000 instructional videos covering a full range of high-school and college-level curriculum. Many universities including Stanford, MIT, and Harvard offer large parts of their world-class curriculum to the public over the internet, free of charge, including streaming recorded lectures and downloadable PDF’s of the course notes. MIT (http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/) seemed the best organized and easiest to access of the three. With very little effort I found Stanford engineering curriculum at http:// see.stanford.edu/see/courses.aspx. One of Harvard’s public portals can be accessed at www.extension.harvard.edu/open-learning-initiative. I found these by typing in the following search: “free <name of the school> courses.” Not too tricky! You can get any education you want “Just In Time,” when and where you need it, and you no longer have to suffer through the expense or the obligation of a semester of coursework to get the kernel of wisdom you’re looking for. There’s more coursework available to the prospective student than anyone could possibly take advantage of in a lifetime, and it’s just getting better every day. Does it take the place of an instructor and a butt-in-seat education? Not yet. But it fills a huge gap in information delivery and individual enablement. If I could wish one thing for you, it would be that you take a moment out of your busy schedule to think of something you want to learn a bit more about, and go use one of these resources to expand your horizons or reignite your interest in some long buried passion. It’s all out there waiting for you. Go take a 30 minute class in a topic you love, and re-light your fire! Portable CIO is a local computer consulting firm, specializing in business technology and medical infrastructure management, and who brings this passion and knowledge to the residential arena. Contact us via phone or email, helpdesk@theportablecio.com or 925-552-7953. Advertorial


Alamo Today ~ September 2012 - Page 19

Life in the Alamo Garden California Casual! By John Montgomery, ASLA, Landscape Architect Over the past 20 years, the introduction of drought tolerant, Mediterranean-based plant material has infiltrated the main-stream landscape design styles. The days of junipers, oleanders, Monterey pines, ivy, and oh yes, agapanthus are long gone. When I interview my clients one of the questions I ask is, “What plants do you absolutely hate?” The above list always contains the unmentionable plants of the 60’s drought genre. With California’s sensitive water issues, our firm has always integrated water conserving measures into our design styles as a general practice. As a result of this approach, our landscapes are being planted with a much more diverse plant palette. Nursery growers are cultivating a broader spectrum of plant species as well as sub-species and cultivars. What that means in common terms is we have a better selection of plants to be creative with. These new selections are not only showing up in boutique nurseries like Orchard Nursery in Lafayette, but they are also showing up at warehouse stores. The result is a landscape style that I call “California Casual” which enhances the home environment with color, texture, and fragrance. The overall look is a mix of mildly manicured plants and structure in the background, an open sprawling look in the foreground, and interesting focal points for directed interest. “California Casual” is a much more relaxed landscape style in comparison to the landscapes of the East Coast, Europe, and landscapes of the 50’s and 60’s. While looking beautiful they conserve our precious water resources. Background planting is so important because it is what shows off the color, texture, and focal interest. Some good water conserving examples of background plantings are Abelia x grandiflora ‘Sherwoodii,’ Choisya ternata ‘Aztec Beauty’ – Mexican Orange, and Rhamnus californica ‘Mound San Bruno’- Coffeeberry to name a few. Creating a focal point of interest is very important to creating landscape style. You’ve seen those landscapes that you can’t put your finger on why you don’t quite like it. Well it’s because what you are seeing is a mix of one of these, and one of those, and two of these, and three of those. Everything is homogeneous...boring! Create a focal point by bringing your attention to a beautiful multi-trunk tree like Olea europa ‘Swan Hill’ – fruitless olive, Vitex agnus-castus – Chaste Tree, Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Diabolo’ – Ninebark, a gloriously blooming shrub, or a change of texture. You don’t need just one focal point, turn a corner and there, another surprise! Make it fun! What really brings the “California Casual” style together is the color, texture, and fragrance. Use lots of perennials for color, grasses for texture, and shrubs and vines for smelly stuff. Lavender, catmint, germander, hardy geraniums, hellebores, and day lilies add vivid color in an open-sprawling manner when set off by that structured background. Ornamental grasses can add the dramatic texture that will set any landscape apart from the homogeneous one. With a wide selection of Phormiums – New Zealand flax, Carex - sedge, Festuca - fescues, Iris and sub-tropical grasses like Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum Dwarf’ – red fountain grass, a planting design can have drama from spring to late winter with arching blades in various color schemes to whimsical movement of the seed heads. Bring on the fragrance - daphne, lilac, gardenia, Mexican orange, citrus, lavender, and jasmine can delight your senses from winter to fall. Fragrance adds pleasure to your landscape experience. A hot tip from your local Landscape Architect: Deadhead (clip off the dying flowers) as the blooms begin to fade to encourage plants to produce more flowers. Also, tell your gardener to leave the power hedge trimmers at home. A “California Casual” landscape requires less watering, pruning,

fertilizing, and spraying thus lowering operating costs and use of resources. Gardening Quote of the Month: “If a person cannot love a plant after he has pruned it, then he has either done a poor job or is devoid of emotion.” ~ Liberty Hyde Bailey If you would like me to write on any particular subject, email your ideas to jmontgomery@jm-la.com or for design ideas visit www.jm-la.com. Advertorial


Page 20 - September 2012 ~ Alamo Today

Clip Notes

By Jody Morgan

Are plants actually social beings? Although being rooted in place makes getting together more difficult, given enough time and freedom to connect they readily lean toward one another intertwining tendrils and clasping branches. The most exuberant plant hugger in my yard came to me as a friendship specimen from Jan Hamby’s glorious garden. One of about 400 South American species sharing the genus name Passiflora, my Blue Passion Flower (Passiflora caerulea) enthusiastically embraces its neighbors adorning their foliage with its own exotic three-inch blooms throughout the summer. In its native rain forest it blooms year round. Here in Danville it is cold tolerant, but a bit ragged in winter. That makes pruning the vine back into its proper personal space easy. One resource describes the flowers as so otherworldly they seem synthetic. Inside the circle of ten alabaster petals is a delicate corona of radiant filaments with amethyst centers turning to pearl and finishing in sapphire at their outer edges. Even the five stamens and three prominent stigmas are colorful. The flowers each remain open for a single day. After reading about a method for preserving them, I experimented. I cut four blooms before they began closing for the night, put the floral stems in a shallow dish of water and refrigerated them. All remained open, but one lasted only part way through the day. Another went by the following day. Two continued to put on a show for three days. I did bring them out into the daylight each day to enjoy their display. The small egg-shaped fruits are filled with seed. Some of my Blue Passion Flower’s relatives, however, bear delectable fruits used in South America to

Walnut Creek Garden Club The Walnut Creek Garden Club will hold its first meeting of the 2012/13 club year on Monday, September 10th at The Gardens at Heather Farm, Camillia Room located at 1540 Marchbanks Rd. in Walnut Creek . The general meeting starts at 9:30AM and will feature as program speaker Garth Jacober, from Mt. Diablo Nursery, speaking on “Fall Gardening.” Guests and prospective members are welcome.

Basic Pruning and Aesthetic Techniques The Ruth Bancroft Garden is pleased to host a lecture by the world renowned aesthetic pruner, Dennis Makishima. Change the chore of pruning into an artistic outlet to transform your garden. Learn the scientific and horticultural basics of how to prune trees and shrubs while also learning the aesthetic techniques that enhance the finished product in your garden. Use pruning as a tool to highlight the beauty of a plant’s form, and make this chore an artistic expression instead! Makishima has pruned over 10,000 trees, conducted 200 pruning projects, and taught both across the United States and abroad. The lecture will be held Saturday, September 8 from 10:30AM – 12:30PM at The Ruth Bancroft Garden located at 1552 Bancroft Road in Walnut Creek. Admission costs $20 general and $12 for Garden Members. For more information, please visit The Ruth Bancroft Garden or call (925) 944-9352.

About The Ruth Bancroft Garden Open to the public daily, 10AM - 4PM, the 3.5 acre Ruth Bancroft Garden is filled with hundreds of stunning succulents. The Ruth Bancroft Garden, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit which owns the Garden and raises funds for its preservation. The Garden is an outstanding example of a water-conserving garden and houses important collections of aloes, agaves, yuccas, and echeverias.

The 6 & Under Girls Relay Team from Diablo County Club, pictured left to right Grace Kerr, Kate Christian, Aria Capelli, and Shelby Lew had an impressive run through the Valley Swim Association (VSA) season, winning 15 of 16 races in the 4x25 Medley Relay and 4x25 Freestyle Relay.

make juice and desserts. I am eager to taste passion fruit mousse! The common name has nothing to do with my passion for the jewel-like blossoms, nor the plant’s propensity to love its neighbors. Spanish Christian missionaries encountering Passion Flowers for the first time thought nature had given them the perfect visual means for communicating the crucifixion story to the native people. Each portion of the vine told its part. The ten petals represented the ten apostles who remained faithful. The corolla was reminiscent of the crown of thorns. The five-fingered leaves depicted the hands of the persecutors. Somewhat less demonstrative of its affection for its garden companions, Skyflower, Duranta erecta, tends to give them a friendly tap on the shoulder or wave floral wands before them to get their attention. The somewhat unruly behavior of this shrub is easily forgiven when it’s in full flower. I have a cultivar called ‘Sweet Memories’ bought as a part of a farewell gift from my Pennsylvania tennis group. In its warmer native habitats – the West Indies, Central and South America – this shrub will bloom almost year round. I bought it as a late-summer flowering specimen, but this year it began blooming in late spring. It is a bit cold sensitive, so despite the cautionary advice on exuberant growth rate I first read, there’s no need as I did initially to confine it to a pot. When it gets tired and stressed in winter, keep your twitchy clipping fingers under control. This year’s burst of incredible beauty, I believe, is the result of waiting to prune dead tips until warm enough weather arrived for new growth to thrive. White scallop edging accents the delicate violet flowers. Mine has never fruited (blame the cold), but other names for this species are Golden Dewdrop and Pigeon Berry. In the right climate, this shrub sports ornamental golden orange berries attractive to songbirds. I’m not sorry to be missing out on the additional display. The fruits are toxic to humans and pets. The genus is named after the Italian physician, botanist, and poet Castor Durantes. Born in 1529, Durantes completed his medical education in Perugia before moving to Rome. His Herbarium novo, published in 1585, describes the medicinal properties of plants from the East and West Indies as well as Europe. The following year, he published another tome containing folk remedies and dietary advice. Neither of the above socially inclined specimens is suitable for the kind of garden where discipline in etiquette is taught with hedge shears on a regular basis. Formal gardens favor upright posture and impeccable grooming. In the kind of casual everyday landscape I favor, I encourage plants to get acquainted with one another. The blurring of distinctions and intertwining of desirable attributes stimulates my senses and soothes my soul.


Alamo Today ~ September 2012 - Page 21

The Incense-Cedar By Blaine Brende & Joe Lamb The incense-cedar graces many Bay Area gardens with its shade, beauty, and intriguing fragrance. Calocedrus decurrens, its Latin name, means beautiful cedar. The striking contrast between the vibrant greens of its leaves and the trunk’s rich reds creates a pleasing aesthetic further enhanced by the relaxed elegance of the weeping foliage. The beauty of this tree is not confined to the realm of the visual. The incense-cedar gives off a distinctive fragrance that fills the air with a pungent aroma strongly reminiscent of grade-school classrooms and the unforgettable smell of the pencil sharpener. In my youth, and still largely today, pencils were made from the soft, and distinctively fragrant wood of Calocedrus decurrens. The incense-cedar is not a true cedar (thus the hyphen). The so-called “true cedars” are native to the Mediterranean and the Himalayas, and are members of the genus Cedrus. These include the majestic Deodora and Atlas cedars, as well as the famous Cedar of Lebanon. The incense-cedar, which may live a thousand years and attain a height of 150 feet, is a true California native. It evolved in North America, and its current range extends from the Cascade Mountains in northern Oregon, through the Sierra Nevadas, down to the Sierra San Pedro Matir of Baja California. Throughout its range it has been important in the lives of Native Americans. The Klamath tribe of Oregon wove its bark into baskets. The California Paiutes made infusions of its leaves for colds. The Round Valley tribe of Mendocino Country used leaflets as flavoring when leaching acorn meal. This species has provided Native Americans with food, shelter, clothing, and music. The incense-cedar’s natural resistance to rot made it very useful both in antiquity and in modern times. Homebuilders use it for siding, decking, moulding, and interior paneling. Landscapers use its chips and bark for mulch. Its wood is made into furniture, shingles, and railway ties. Sawdust and wood scraps help fuel co-generation of electricity. The softness of the wood and its resistance to splintering make the incensecedar ideal for encasing pencil lead. However, these qualities also make the wood fragile and brittle, and potentially somewhat problematic as an urban landscape tree. When it grows as one trunk from a thick base to a single pyramid-shaped crown, the incense-cedar is relatively stable; it requires little work other than the periodic removal of deadwood. But if the trunk of the tree divides into multiple columns, or has large branches which turn up and rise parallel to the trunk, the tree has structural problems that make it vulnerable to column failure. After some recent winter storms, Brende & Lamb looked at many incense-cedars that had shed branches and sometimes entire columns. Most of the failed trees suffered from a malady of tree anatomy called included bark. This structural defect occurs when the bark at the crotch folds inward, and interrupts the continuity of the fibers supporting the columns. Good pruning can ameliorate many structural problems. Co-dominant stems (more than one column of roughly the same diameter) are more likely to fail than trees with a single leading column. Sometimes reducing one of the competing leaders can minimize the hazard. If column removal is not advisable for aesthetic or functional reasons, it is often possible to cable the multiple stems together. However, individual trees are so unstable that removal is the safest alternative. Whatever you do, do not top these trees. Topping a cedar will eventually produce many unstable columns multiplying the risk and, ultimately, the expense of keeping the tree. Preventative medicine is almost always less expensive and more effective than later surgery. If you plant an incense-cedar, choose nursery stock with only one trunk and no crotches with included bark. Remember that a seedling cedar can grow to over a hundred feet and that tall trees may cause view concerns for yourself and your neighbors. Calocedrus has graced the California landscape for almost 200 million years. With a little forethought and good pruning, it can continue to bless Bay Area gardens with the subtle fragrance of childhood. It takes a little effort to live at peace with this large California native, but its bounty of colors, shapes, and scents make that effort worthwhile. If your trees need a little TLC, please call 510-486-TREE (8733) or email us at bl@brendelamb.com for a free estimate. Additionally, go to our website www. brendelamb.com to see before and after pictures, client testimonials, and work in your neighborhood. Advertorial

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Page 22 - September 2012 ~ Alamo Today

Financial Planning: A Natural Career Choice for Former Small Business Owners Brought to you by Peter, Jim, Bob, & Paul In conjunction with Spectrum Wealth Partners, a division of Lincoln Financial Advisors, a registered investment advisor.

Baby boomers – who already have inherited some $2.4 trillion from older generations – are in line to inherit $8.4 trillion more, according to a study by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, sponsored by MetLife.1 Before the next generation receives anything, however, the money must first pass through multiple layers of taxation. And, without proper prior planning, these assets often are subject to hefty costs, shrinkage, and delays that could otherwise be avoided or minimized. The unique combination of timing, demographics, and tax law creates an opportunity for financial planning professionals and lends a level of importance to the financial planning field as never before. Many people would agree that financial planning could be a natural career choice for someone with a background in law or accounting. But, because much of the money being transferred is actually related in some way to closely held or family-owned businesses, financial planning can also be a terrific career choice for a person with hands-on experience working in a small business. Many of the talents developed through working in a small business can be applied to financial planning -- talents such as: Empathy and first-hand experience. Financial planners who already have experienced the devastating effects estate taxes or the lack of a properly executed business continuation plan can have on a business will have a compelling story to tell potential clients. Independence. Once a financial planner has gone through the beginning stages of training and career development, he or she will typically enjoy the same degree of freedom normally enjoyed when running a business. Most financial planners tailor their own marketing, administration, and service functions to suit their own specific needs. Because of these and other reasons, it is no wonder that our industry has seen

Let it Breathe

an influx of entrants who were either former principals in a small business or in some way involved in the operation and management of a closely held enterprise. If you’re considering a switch to financial planning, there are several things to look for when deciding which firm to join and how to get started: Market focus. Does the firm in question target a specific clientele? If so, would you feel comfortable working in that market? The more natural affinity you have with your clients, the easier your job will be. Training and support. The amount and types of training may vary widely among firms and can play a significant role in your ultimate success. Look for a company that is dedicated to helping you achieve your potential. Compensation. The sources and layout of compensation also can vary. Some financial planners work strictly on a fee basis, others work solely on commissions from the sale of insurance and investment products, and some work for a combination of fee and commission. Most financial planners work almost entirely on some form of incentive compensation with no income ceiling. You’ll need to decide which makes the most sense for you. Personality and track record. Before joining an organization, determine what kind of track record the current members have demonstrated. It may also be a good idea to meet as many of the current staff members as possible just to see if your personalities meld. Financial planning can be a great career choice, especially for a person with a background of working in a closely held business. In many respects, being a financial planner is the equivalent of operating a small business -- with many of the risks and rewards associated with it. It is important for anyone who wants to enter the financial planning field to talk to a number of firms to find the one that will provide the best fit in terms of training, compensation, market focus and track record. Please contact Peter Waldron to schedule a complimentary review of your financial situation, call 925-659-0383, or email peter.waldron@lfg.com. 1 Source: December 15, 2010; Life Inc. Today, http://lifeinc.today.com/_news/2010/12/15/5650189boomers-in-line-to-inherit-84-trillion-.

Peter T. Waldron, James R. Westermeyer, Paul Solorzano & 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, Spectrum Wealth Partners, 3000 Executive Parkway, Ste 400, San Ramon, CA 94583. Insurance offered through Lincoln affiliates and other fine companies. This information should not be construed as legal or tax advice. You may want to consult a tax advisor regarding this information as it relates to your personal circumstance. The content of this material was provided to you by Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp. for its representatives and their clients. CRN201103-2051965 Advertorial

By Monica Chappell

Does wine really breathe? The term breathing usually refers to the process of aerating the wine or simply maximizing the wine’s exposure to the surrounding air. Wine needs to come in contact with at least a little air to release its bouquet. Technically, the air causes the esters - fragrant liquids - in wine to evaporate or volatilize. In addition, the wine will typically warm up causing the wine’s aromas to open up and the overall flavor characteristics to improve. That’s why you swirl a wine in your glass before you smell it.

Which Wines Need to Breathe? In general, most red wines but only a few white wines and dessert wines can benefit from aeration. Many young, concentrated red wines, like an expensive Cabernet Sauvignon or Bordeaux that can age for several years, undergo a sort of micro-aging process by getting lots of air into them. The same goes for a young and concentrated or especially astringent white wine, such as a white Burgundy. The reason is that forced exposure to air starts the oxidation of a wine, causing subtle chemical changes that affect both the flavors and the texture.

How to Let Your Wine Breathe

Get Involved and Make a Difference with Leadership Contra Costa The Walnut Creek Chamber is now accepting applications for enrollment in Leadership Contra Costa, a program designed to motivate and identify potential leaders and prepare them for community leadership. The 26th year of this outstanding program will kick off at the end of September. Participants meet once a month by means of workshops, presentations from community leaders, and group exercises to develop their understanding of leadership roles and prevailing issues with the community. With an alumni roster of over 600 individuals this program has proven to be an asset to the community and society. Leadership Contra Costa accepts 28 to 32 individuals from throughout the county with diverse backgrounds to participate in the program. To request an application for the Leadership Contra Costa, 2012 - 2013 season, please contact Marcie Hochhauser at (925) 934-2007, or email her at mhoch@walnut-creek.com.

Just popping the cork isn’t going to get you there. Pulling the cork out of the bottle and letting the bottle sit there has little perceptible effect on aerating the wine. Under these circumstances, only a small amount of the wine in the bottle has contact with air. The little space in the neck of the bottle is way too small to allow your wine to breathe very much. The best and most entertaining way to accomplish real aeration is to pour the wine into another vessel. If you really want to aerate your wine, do one or both of the following: Decant - A decanter can be defined as any large liquid container with a wide opening at the top which Alamo Music Festival 2012 Lineup is able to hold the whole bottle of wine. This can be an orange juice pitcher, glass jar, or clean flower vase Time Group you have on hand. The idea is to splash the wine as much as possible while pouring to maximize the wine’s 12:00 - 12:30 San Ramon High Jazz Band contact with air. The increased surface area is the key to allowing more air to make contact with the wine. 12:40 - 1:10 San Ramon High School Band Wine Glasses - The wine will do a lot more breathing in your glass than it ever would have while still 1:20 - 1:50 Monte Vista High Jazz Band cooped up in the bottle. Pour your wine into large wine glasses, and let it aerate about 10 minutes before 2:00 - 2:30 Monte Vista High School Band you plan to drink it. This is certainly the low-maintenance method, and typically it works quite well. 2:40 - 3:10 Stone Valley Middle School Band In general, the Aeration Rule of Thumb: the more tannins a wine has, the more time it will need 3:20 - 3:40 Rancho Choir to aerate. Lighter-bodied red wines, Pinot Noir for example, that have lower tannin levels, will need 4:00 - 7:00 Alma Desenuda LLC little if any time to breathe. 5:00 - 5:20 Alamo Elementary School Choir 7:30 - 7:50 The Fly Right Sisters Monica Chappell, Wine Writer and Educator, offers wine appreciation classes. For a list, 8:00 - 10:00 The Fundamentals visit www.wineappreciation101.blogspot.com.


Alamo Today ~ September 2012 - Page 23

Protecting a Child’s Inheritance By Robert J. Silverman, Attorney at Law People spend a considerable amount of time thinking (and stressing) about how to best protect their minor children Purveyors of classic, exotic, and from themselves and others. Of high-performance cars for more than 30 years. course, neither the protection instinct nor the need goes away when a child reaches 18. California’s #1 Classic Car Dealer Prudent parents of minors and/or young adults ask Over 200 vehicles in inventory! themselves, or are asked by their estate planning attorney, when and how they want their children to inherit their assets. If any children are then minors or young adults, the parents face the disturbing, yet important, hypothetical question – “What would happen if we died prematurely?” Depending on many personal and familial factors, many related questions may be asked, but these are among the most common: i) what is an appropriate age, or ages, to distribute assets to a child: ii) what might happen if the Showrooms in Pleasanton, Benicia, and Fairfield. child marries, and then divorces; iii) and how might the inheritance be vulnerable to the child’s creditors. www.SpecialtySales.com | 800.600.2262 The first question - an appropriate asset distribution age - has no “one size fits all” answer. When children are very young, and even during and after adolescence, parents can’t be sure how responsible and financially capable their children will be as young adults. In my experience, the most common reaction to an appropriate age for outright inheritance (i.e. “no strings attached”) is 21 or 25. Gut instinct should not be ignored; however, parents might want to factor into their decision recent research about “emerging adulthood” (roughly between the ages of 18-29) and how the brain develops. A number of scientists have concluded that until the late 20’s, young adults tend to be biologically more predisposed to instability, which can manifest itself in a number of potentially harmful ways [see the August 21st Wall Street Journal article, entitled “Delayed Development: 20-Somethings Blame the Brain”]. Given the foregoing, and to be safer and more conservative, it’s rational to gravitate toward waiting until a child is a bit older to distribute substantial amounts of principal. If a trust is structured properly, it usually provides that a young adult is to receive as much income and principal as necessary to cover the child’s basic needs – without necessarily distributing any additional principal outright until the child reaches an age(s) at which he or she is anticipated to be able to manage it properly. Another sensible precaution is to provide for multiple distributions, so that a certain percentage is distributed outright upon the child reaching a particular age, with the remaining principal to be distributed at one or more later ages. Thus, if the child happens to mishandle the inherited funds after receiving the first distribution, he has a chance to mature and get it right before receiving the next distribution. With divorce rates high, many people are concerned about the possibility that their child might inherit assets, commingle the assets with the child’s spouse (the potential in-law, or sometimes facetiously referred to as the “outlaw”!), get divorced, and lose half or more of the inherited assets in the divorce. How does a parent help a child avoid that predicament? A similar question arises in connection with a child’s potential creditors. For example, a child may be in an accident or failed business transaction that results in a creditor obtaining a large judgment against him. In such an event, most parents would prefer to shelter the child’s inheritance from that creditor, if possible. A number of alternatives should be explored. One that has become more and more popular in recent years is to create a trust under which the child’s inheritance is never distributed outright, but rather kept in trust for the child’s entire lifetime. Distribution by the trustee - the “manager” of the trust (who can even ultimately become the child herself) for the child’s needs is usually permitted. Most importantly, whatever amounts are not distributed to the child for such needs generally remain well protected from a child’s creditors (and spouse) inside the trust. Another option in terms of “outlaw” protection is to include a specific trust provision, stating that it’s the parent’s strong desire that the inheriting child (and/or any other loved one inheriting from the trust) keep any and all inheritance distributions in a separate property account (i.e. not titled jointly with the child’s spouse). Without handcuffing the child, he or she is empowered to withstand possible spousal pressure by insisting on keeping these inherited assets segregated to honor his or parents’ express wishes. Mr. Silverman is an attorney with Buchman Provine Brothers Smith LLP, 1333 N. California Street, Suite 350, Walnut Creek, CA 94596; (925) 944-9700; rsilverman@ sbllp.com. His practice emphasizes Estate Planning, Trust Administration & Probate, Real Estate, and Business. Mr. Silverman offers 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

Girls Night Out Event to Benefit Kristi Yamaguchi Foundation Gather your girlfriends and reserve a couple hours out of your evening to be pampered and catered to, and get the scoop on the latest home, fashion, beauty tips, and secrets while enjoying wine tasting, small bites, music, and raffle prizes. On Thursday, September 20th, from 6pm – 8pm, participating merchants of the Danville Livery and local fashion consultant, personal shopper, and Best of Diablo winner, Carolyn Rovner, will be on hand to help you look your best, while enjoying shopping, mini-manicures, blow-outs, dry comb-out styling, interior design consultations, and product demonstrations. Meet Kristi Yamaguchi, learn more about her Foundation, and get a preview of her new active wear line. Tickets are $10 and 100% of ticket sales and 10% of merchant sales during the event will be donated to Kristi Yamaguchi’s Always Dream Foundation. Founded in 1996 as a 501c (3), non-profit, public charity, Kristi Yamaguchi’s Always Dream Foundation’s goal is to empower children to reach their dreams through education and inspiration. Since its inception, the Foundation has sponsored a variety of programs to help support underprivileged children. Recently, the Foundation has turned its focus toward early childhood literacy, committed to the belief that early childhood literacy is the basis on which all academic and, in fact, life success is built. The Foundation has set its sights on dramatically improving access by children of low-income families to books and technology. Their newest initiative, “Always Reading,” is launching in the fall of 2012 and will integrate interactive e-tablets with proven literacy programs in kindergarten classrooms in Oakland, San Jose, and San Francisco. For tickets and information about Girls Night Out, visit www.danvillelivery.com/blog. For information about the Always Dream Foundation, visit www.alwaysdream.org.

Page 24 - September 2012 ~ Alamo Today

Alamo Improvement Association By Roger Smith, Board President Alamo Music and Wine Festival Join Alamo’s Rotary Club on Saturday, September 8th for the 30th Annual Music and Wine Festival. The event will take place from noon to 10pm at Alamo Plaza, in the heart of Alamo. Now known as “Alamo’s Block Party,” this annual event will feature food, wine, music, dancing, and other activities for the entire family and is the principal fundraiser for the Alamo Rotary Club’s efforts to support music programs in our local schools. Dinner and raffle tickets may be purchased in advance from any Alamo Rotary member, or by calling 925-855-1136. For more information, visit www.alamorotary.org. When you visit the Festival, make sure to stop by our Alamo Improvement Association booth for your free gift for attending!

San Ramon Valley Emergency Preparedness Fair Get ready for the 7th annual San Ramon Valley Emergency Preparedness Fair to be held on Saturday, September 15th. The San Ramon Valley Citizen Corp Council along with various county, state, and federal agencies will be showcasing their response resources and programs for preparedness from 9am to 2pm at the LDS Church located at 655 Old Orchard Road in Danville. Attendees will enjoy viewing a Jaws of Life demonstration from the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District, a tour of a Red Cross Shelter, the 352nd Military Medical Brigade from Camp Parks, a presentation by the Danville and San Ramon Police canine team, and a display from the National Guard Civil Support Team. Don’t leave your four-legged family members at home. There will be free classes on pet first aid and the Bishop Ranch Veterinary Center and Urgent Care will be on hand to provide information on shots and microchip implanting at a reduced cost. The first 500 families who complete the preparedness bingo game will receive a FREE emergency supply gift, so gather up the whole family and head down to the San Ramon Valley Emergency Preparedness Fair. Oh, and there’s more! Enjoy a free BBQ lunch, learn about CPR and AEDs, interact with vendors and agencies specializing in preparedness, tour a fire truck

Learn, Listen, Act.... For Women By Gigi Chen, MD September is Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month, and the Foundation for Women’s Cancer reminds everyone that it is important to LEARN about risk factors and symptoms of gynecologic cancers, LISTEN to your body for symptoms, and ACT to reduce your risk and take preventive steps. Steady medical progress has been made in the field of gynecologic cancers. Of particular promise is better understanding of the risks, symptoms, and prevention of the three most prevalent gynecologic cancers: cervical cancer, ovarian cancer, and uterine cancer. Cervical cancer is preventable and most often caused by HPV (Human Papilloma Virus). Most often there are no symptoms. Watch for bleeding after intercourse or excessive discharge or bleeding between periods. It is recommended to get vaccinated for the HPV virus before you become sexually active, to get pap tests regularly when recommended, and stop smoking. Uterine/Endometrial Cancer is the most common gynecologic cancer. It usually occurs around the time of menopause, but younger women are also at risk. The pap test does not screen for uterine cancer, so knowing one’s family history of endometrial or colon cancer is important information to share with your primary care physician. The use of estrogen alone or tamoxifen have proven to be possible risk factors as well. Listen to your body for these symptoms: bleeding after menopause and abnormal, irregular, or very heavy vaginal bleeding in younger women. If you have these symptoms, you should receive an endometrial biopsy. You can also reduce your risk by managing your weight and keeping your blood pressure and blood sugar under control. One in 71 women will develop ovarian cancer. There is no screening for ovarian cancer, and only 15% are detected at the earliest most curable stage. Knowing one’s family history of ovarian and breast cancer is important. Infertility and not bearing children are risk factors while pregnancy and the use of birth control pills decrease risk. If you have bloating, pelvic or abdominal

www.yourmonthlypaper.com and police car, and even learn how to properly use a fire extinguisher. This event is all about families and personal preparedness! Bring your child’s car seat between 10am and noon, and stop by the car seat check point. Gather ideas to update or create your home earthquake kit. Help your kids learn to never hide during a fire by participating in the Hug-a-Firefighter presentation. Get your child fingerprinted, and take part in a Stranger Danger class. Learn fire safety in the home with a tour of the Kids Fire Safety House. Please attend the 2012 Emergency Preparedness Event. Be Prepared! Be Safe!

AIA’s Annual Membership Drive Alamo is a special community we can be proud to call “Home.” Now in its 57th year, the Alamo Improvement Association (AIA), a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, has the longest history of serving our community and helping shape it into “Alamo - the place where we love to live!” Since 1955 Alamo residents have been joining the AIA and working in support of AIA’s mission statement to “preserve the semi-rural character of Alamo.” I want to thank our many volunteers, both past and present, for their efforts over the years in makingAlamo into the wonderful community that it is today. I also want to thank allAlamo residents for their interest inAIAand encourage each of you to become members. Please see the AIA membership form below. Complete and return it to AIA at our P.O. Box 156, Alamo, CA 94507. Don’t be left out. Now is the time to renew or become a new member of AIA.

pain, difficulty eating or feeling full quickly, urinary urgency or frequency symptoms almost daily for more than a few weeks, and they are persistent and unusual for you, it is important to report these symptoms to your primary care physician. Help the women in your life understand and reduce the risks for these cancers. It is through symptom recognition that the earliest possible diagnosis can be made. Gigi Chen, MD is a Medical Oncologist and Hematologist with Diablo Valley Oncology. Dr. Chen focuses on treating patients with gynecologic cancer, lung cancers, and blood disorders. Diablo Valley Oncology’s comprehensive cancer center is located at the California Cancer and Research Institute in Pleasant Hill. For more information, call (925) 677-5041. Advertorial


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Infertility, Diminished Ovarian Reserve, and Chinese Medicine By Megan Dauphin, L.Ac, MSTCM In today’s world many women are marrying later and focusing on their career during their peak fertile years. As a result of this trend, we find a generation where many women struggle with infertility. Roughly 20% of women in the U.S. have their first child over the age of 35, and 1/3 of these couples will have fertility problems. Although women know there is risk to their fertility if they wait past their mid-thirties to get pregnant, most women do not know how prevalent age-related fertility issues are. Diminished Ovarian Reserve (DOR) is a diagnosis of ovarian decline or aging. Currently there is no Western medical treatment to slow or reverse this natural process. Acupuncture and herbal medicine have shown promising results in increasing ovarian reserve in women with premature ovarian decline or those at the high-end of child-bearing age. DOR is a condition characterized by a low Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH) level and elevated Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH) level at day three of a woman’s menstrual cycle. These hormone levels tell us that the ovaries are beginning the gradual process of shutting down. Women in their forties will begin to show these hormonal changes which reflect the natural aging process. If these changes occur earlier than age forty it may indicate premature ovarian failure. Even if a woman’s AMH and FSH levels are normal, we can assume the egg quality of women age forty and beyond is reduced. Where does this leave women struggling to conceive with a DOR diagnosis? The current treatment options are IVF, IUI, and drug stimulated timed intercourse. The success rate for DOR patients undergoing these procedures is very low. This is because as a woman’s ovaries begin to age their eggs are harder to stimulate with medications. In addition the eggs successfully stimulated may be of poor quality. At this time, Western medicine offers no treatment to revitalize the ovaries. That is, it does not have a treatment to restore egg quality and quantity. Chinese medicine is a system of medicine that dates back 5,000 years. Acupuncture and herbal medicine are the two core modalities used in Chinese medicine. Eastern medicine views the body in a completely different way than Western medicine. In Chinese medicine the body is seen as an ecosystem that must be balanced in order for all systems of the body to function properly. For patients with DOR the ecosystem of the body is diagnosed primarily in two ways: deficient moisture with excess heat and/or deficient fire causing cold. Treatment is about correcting the imbalance. This means tonifying moisture and clearing heat and/or tonifying source fire to expel cold. This is accomplished through herbs and acupuncture. Chinese herbs are categorized as moisturizers, driers, heaters, and coolers. Herbs and formulas are selected to balance the ecosystem of the human body. Modern day research has shown that Chinese herbal formulas working in this way can lower FSH and help to regulate the menstrual cycle. Acupuncture works similarly, but has additional functions as well. There are specific energy meridians that become blocked as we age, correlating with elevated FSH and diminished AMH levels. Acupuncture can unblock these meridians thus lowering FSH and raising AMH. In addition, acupuncture has been proven to increase blood circulation to the ovaries. Western medicine acknowledges that elevated FSH is accompanied by reduced blood flow to the ovaries, and acupuncture used in the low abdomen helps correct this. There are many research studies supporting the use of acupuncture to lower FSH levels, induce ovulation, increase circulation to the ovaries, and help to regulate the menstrual cycle. A typical course of treatment using Chinese medicine for DOR includes acupuncture one to two times per week with powdered Chinese herbs taken in tea form two to three times per day. There are also a variety of supplements and antioxidants that are recommended to help slow ovarian aging, all of which are backed by research. Patients are recommended to test FSH and AMH at the start of Chinese medicine treatment and then retest every three months to confirm the lowering of FSH levels and the raising of AMH levels. This positive change in hormone levels confirms egg quality and quantity is being restored to a healthy level. Once these hormones are within the normal range patients may continue trying to conceive naturally or seek Western fertility treatment to increase the amount of eggs produced in a cycle, thus increasing conception success rates. Megan Dauphin is a licensed acupuncturist specializing in infertility, women’s health, and pain management. She owns Revive Acupuncture in Danville and Fremont. The Danville clinic is located at Align Healing Center. You can read about Megan on Yelp or her website www.ReviveAcupuncture. com. Call 925-683-6484 or email Megan@ReviveAcupuncture.com. Advertorial

Alamo Today ~ September 2012 - Page 25

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

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

Update on Ovarian Cancer Treatment Thursday, September 20th ~ Noon – 2PM (light lunch provided) Learn about the latest treatment options for women dealing with ovarian cancer. Novel therapies and promising clinical trials will be discussed. With Giuseppe Ciarvino, MD, a gynecologic oncologist with Kaiser Permanente. For ovarian cancer patients, their families, and friends.

Update on Prostate Cancer Thursday, September 27 ~ Noon – 2PM (light lunch provided) An overview of advances in prostate cancer treatment with plenty of time for questions. With Patrick Swift, MD, Director Radiation Oncology at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center. For prostate cancer patients and their caregivers.

Frankly Speaking About Cancer: New Discoveries Tuesday, October 9th ~ 6PM – 8PM Learn the latest information on cancer treatment, side-effect management, and the psychosocial aspects of living with cancer, including personalized cancer care, cancer prevention innovation, and targeted therapies. With Michael Sherman, MD, medical oncologist with Contra Costa Oncology. For cancer patients, caregivers, and friends.

Frankly Speaking About Advanced Breast Cancer Tuesday, October 16th ~ 6PM – 8PM Join Lesley Martin, MD, medical oncologist with Mt. Diablo Solano Oncology Group, as she discusses the latest treatments for advanced (metastatic) breast cancer. You will also learn about side effect management and the social and emotional challenges of the diagnosis.

Place your ad here! For more information call 925.405.6397 or visit www.yourmonthlypaper.com

Page 26 - September 2012 ~ Alamo Today



The Eye Opener By Gregory Kraskowsky, O.D., Alamo Optometry Corneal Abrasions and Infections We have had a larger than normal amount of patients with corneal infections and abrasions in the past few weeks. Some of the cases had a known reason (sleeping with contacts), but others were confusing as to how they occurred. Since these conditions cause pain, extreme light sensitivity, and decreased vision, the exact reason is not as paramount as getting the proper diagnosis and treatment. First of all, the cornea is the clear front part of the eye. It does about 2/3 of the focusing of the eye, contains no blood vessels, and is one of the most highly innervated tissues in the body with nerves. Therefore, just the slightest insult will cause the eye to be red, painful, and light sensitive. The good thing about the cornea is that it does heal pretty quickly, and usually with proper and aggressive treatment, the patient will start to feel some relief in 24 to 48 hours. The cornea has many ways to keep infections away, so thankfully infections do not occur that often. However, your susceptibility increases with contact lens wear, and it increases even more so with non-compliant contact lens wear and care. The most common cause for infections is due to sleeping in your lenses. The patient will go to bed feeling fine, and then the infection will form overnight as the cornea becomes compromised and more susceptible to bacterial infections from normal bacteria on and around the eyes. Patients will then wake up with a red, painful, eye and will usually call the office first thing in the morning. Corneal infections need to be treated quickly and aggressively. By the time the patient comes to the office, the infection is already proceeding rapidly and needs to be managed quickly. Treatment consists of high dose antibiotic drops and follow-up within 1 to 2 days. Without proper treatment, the cornea can deteriorate very quickly and can lead to permanent decreased vision depending on the exact location and area infected. The patient cannot

Your Personal Nutritionist By Linda Michaelis, RD. MS. Simply Lowering High Blood Pressure Lately I am seeing clients that wish to get off of their blood pressure medication because of side effects. Many feel that they have to resort to eating a bland diet. I am thrilled to be able to show them that dining can be enjoyable, especially when they are well educated. Let me tell you about my client John and his wife Adelle who were referred by a local physician.The doctor was inclined to increase John’s medication because his blood pressure numbers were not in the normal range but said, “If you see Linda, we’ll wait two months (before starting medication).” John and Adelle are retired, and their kids have moved out. Adelle wanted a break from cooking, and they felt that this was finally the time to enjoy more restaurants and travel but John expressed some nervousness in going to restaurants because of a realistic fear the food could raise his blood pressure. After seeing John’s food diary, I decided our basic strategy was to limit his salt intake to 2,000mg of sodium per day which is equal to a teaspoon of salt. I saw that his choice of foods – breads, bacon, soups, chips, deli meats - included heavy doses of salt, so we first focused on how to read food labels, pointing out that in spite of claims on packages, a low sodium product is 140mg per serving. As I always do in my counseling, I strive to take what my clients enjoy and set up plans based on favorite foods. I introduced John to breakfast options that have no salt such as oatmeal or even a slice of salt-free bread with unsalted almond or peanut butter. I also recommended that John enjoy an omelet made with unsalted butter, Swiss cheese (that is naturally low in salt at 60mg/slice), spinach and mushrooms, along with fresh salsa that has very little salt. I also introduced him to Kashi Go Lean cereal as the best cold cereal with 80mg of sodium per cup. I told Adelle that although I appreciate her desire to go out, there is a short list of foods that must be prepared at home to avoid salt traps. The foods to prepare at home include homemade soups (where you can easily can substitute wonderful fresh herbs and spices for salt), baked turkey breast, chicken with BBQ sauce, vinaigrette salad dressings, and marinara and cheese sauces that John loves. I introduced Adelle to salt free chicken stock as well as vinegars

Alamo Today ~ September 2012 - Page 27 wear their contacts for about a week, so this is a great example of why a reliable pair of back-up glasses is mandatory for all contact lens wearers. We will see the patient back until the infection resolves and then they can start wearing their lenses again. Our office policy is that once a corneal infection is directly related to sleeping in your lenses, you are not allowed to do so going forward. Wearing your lenses daily is not a problem, but sleeping in them is not allowed. Most patients are absolutely fine with this considering the pain and associated issues with the infection. Corneal abrasions are just as painful as infections, and they cause very similar symptoms for the patient. The “advantage” of an abrasion vs. an infection is that the contact lenses did not cause the problem; therefore they are an extremely useful tool in the treatment. I often use a contact lens as a bandage on the cornea, which allows for some protection for the scratch so every time you blink, the lids touch the lens, not the abrasion. This leads to immediate relief for the patient, and it allows for treatment with the contact lens on, as the lens will be disposed in a day or so. Depending on the size of the abrasion, these patients generally heal quicker than those with infections because they are just waiting for the scratch to close instead of additionally waiting for a bacteria infection to resolve. Patients that come into the office for a corneal infection or abrasion all present the same. They are all wearing dark sunglasses, carrying a handy tissue for the constant tearing, usually wearing a hat, and covering their face because of the light sensitivity. Regardless of the exact cause or diagnosis, these need to be treated. Again, the “good” thing about these patients is that they are in a decent amount of pain, so they will seek care very soon after the onset of their symptoms. We are more than happy to see you in the office on the same day to start the healing process. 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 www.alamooptometry.com, and become a fan on our Advertorial Alamo Optometry Facebook page. that provide a terrific flavor when splashed onto cooked veggies. Adelle now cooks a great sauce for John’s beloved spaghetti consisting of chopped tomatoes along with fresh basil, oregano, and garlic, adding some aged Parmesan cheese which only has 75mg of sodium per tablespoon. Adelle also loves to make beans soups, and I told her she can buy salt free beans or dried beans and soak them overnight to cook them the next day. Adelle and John did not realize that all breads have an average of 150mg of sodium per slice, so I suggested using salt-free bread for their sandwiches and adding yellow mustard (55mg of sodium per teaspoon) for a spread. In addition, John was happy to learn he could still enjoy his snacks such as unsalted baked chips, unsalted nuts, or even dry cereal that is low in salt. I told Adelle and John that it would be my job to make sure they will enjoy their glorious retirement in restaurants and become more comfortable travelling. We have discussed the advantages of ordering fish, beef, or chicken that is freshly cooked without salt, instead using olive oil, lemon, pepper, and herbs which are now very popular. Though salt is a favorite addition of many cooks to veggies, we discussed the need to be firm with the waiter that you cannot have salt. A side salad is great to order, and many restaurants will bring you a decanter of oil and vinegar. I emphasized to John that he can still enjoy a restaurant meal with salt if he keeps the other meals of the day relatively salt free in order to meet the 2,000mg sodium goal. We also discussed the advantages of staying in condos with kitchens which will allow for eating breakfast and some lunches in and then going out for dinner. I also advised John that he must begin drinking at least 6-8 glasses of water each day to help get rid of salt intake as well as begin a 30 minute per day walking program. These two changes in itself can easily bring his blood pressure down. I am glad to inform you that after working with John for a month his blood pressure is the best it has been in years, and he has lost 10 pounds. John and Adelle have decided to go visit their kids in Texas, and John says he is not scared of eating in restaurants anymore. I will continue to follow John thru phone and e-mail, even in Texas, and assist him with eating while at his daughter’s home. The good news is that John’s visits were covered by his Aetna PPO insurance with a small copay. Please feel free to call me at (925) 855-0150 or e-mail me at Lifeweight1@yahoo.com and tell me about your nutritional concerns. Refer to my website www.LindaRD.com for past articles, recipes and nutrition tips in my blog section. Advertorial

Page 28 - September 2012 ~ Alamo Today

Benefits of Craniosacral Therapy By Marchelle Milligan Do you suffer from headaches, TMJ pain, or low back pain? Do you have unresolved issues from an injury (recent or years ago)? Are you stressed out or find it hard to sleep well? Have you ever considered a Craniosacral treatment? Stress and trauma, whether physical or emotional, can greatly affect the functioning of your body. Over time, stored stresses, tension, and trauma may give rise to restricted body functioning as the experiences pile up. If, for example you have had an accident, the broken bones and lacerations caused by the accident will heal within a matter of months, but the physical and emotional after-effects can go on for years – causing anything from headaches to depression or worse. Craniosacral Therapy (CST) strengthens your system as a whole, not just part of it. Like the workings of a fine watch, each part of a system is articulated with the others. When one part is stuck or out of balance, it affects the motion of the whole. CST is a gentle, hands-on method of evaluating and enhancing the functioning of a physiological body system called the craniosacral system - comprised of the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord. CST locates restrictions in the body and facilitates the release of those restrictions. Restrictions can develop for many reasons. They may occur through a physical accident, emotional trauma, an illness, or may even go as far back as a birth trauma. CST complements the body's own healing process so it can function more fully on all levels. Each session is like peeling a layer of an onion to get to the core. It often resolves the cause of the issue, so symptoms can disappear for good. A session begins with your lying on a treatment table, fully clothed. I place my hands on different parts of your body, and I begin to “listen” with my hands. I am listening for the very deep and slow movement of the cerebrospinal fluid, which has a rhythmic flow throughout the craniosacral system just like your heart rate and breath. Like any fluid movement – a stream, a river – it can have a healthy flow or areas of stagnancy. In the rest of the session I work gently with these

Barnacles of Aging By Kelly Hood This month I am calling attention to benign and malignant skin tumors. Each week I see new patients with life threatening malignancies that can be diagnosed and treated in the office. Self checking is the first step in diagnosis. The next step is to see a professional so that the tumor is properly handled. My office is available to serve new and established patients. One of the most comDr. Kelly Hood, Lafayette mon lesions encountered are brown age spots or liver spots. These are flat brown areas called lentigines. They have nothing to do with the liver, they are caused by sun exposure over the years. Common locations are the face, hands, back and legs. These are generally harmless. They may look like melanoma and therefore require evaluation. Proper treatment done in a dermatology office can help these lesions disappear. Seborrheic keratosis: These brown or black spots or wart-like growths look like they are stuck on the skin surface. They are common in older people and are not caused by the sun. If annoying, these can easily be removed by a dermatologist. Cherry angiomas: These are harmless, small, bright red, raised bumps created by dilated blood vessels. They occur more commonly in women and elderly people, usually on the trunk. Electrocautery, laser, or other surgical therapies remove these spots. Actinic keratosis are among the most common barnacles of aging. These are red or brown spots that become crusty and tender. If ignored, these may become skin cancers. In the early stages they can be removed by freezing with liquid nitrogen, applying chemotherapy cream, or by skin resurfacing.

www.yourmonthlypaper.com restrictions to help free them up. People often feel as if things are reorganizing inside of them. They may feel as if a weight has been lifted from their shoulders. People also talk of feeling as if they have “had their batteries charged.” Everyone can potentially benefit from CST. It can be effective in orthopedic problems, stress management, headaches, migraines, neck and back pain, whiplash, brain and spinal cord injuries, TMJ dysfunctions, depression, post traumatic stress disorders, emotional difficulties, chronic pain syndromes, sleep disorders, and vertigo. CST can also support minor surgeries, including dental work, which can create strains in your system. For more information visit www.therhythmwithin.org. To schedule an appointment please contact Marchelle Milligan at (925) 286-6237. Located in Alamo at the Alamo Commons - 3201 Danville Blvd., Suite 240. New clients receive $15 off a one hour session (a $90 value). Advertorial

Hearing Loss Association Come to meetings of the Diablo Valley Chapter of Hearing Loss Association of America at 7pm on the 1st Wednesday of the month at the Walnut Creek United Methodist Church located at 1543 Sunnyvale Ave., Walnut Creek Education Bldg., Wesley Room. Meeting room and parking are at back of church. All are welcome. Donations are accepted. An assistive listening system is available for T-coils, and most meetings are captioned. Contact HLAADV@hearinglossdv. org or 925-264-1199 or www.hearinglossdv.org.

Stroke Support Group The Stroke Support Group of Contra Costa County will hold its September 10th meeting in the Concord Room at John Muir Medical Center - Concord Campus, 2540 East Avenue in Concord from 7-9PM. The speaker will be Jerry Rainey of Neuro-Fit, who will discuss Neurological Injury Functional Integrated Therapy. After the program, attendees will break up into three coping groups: stroke survivors without aphasia, stroke survivors with aphasia, and caregivers and families of stroke survivors -- each group led by a trained professional. For further information about the Stroke Support Group, contact Ann Dzuna at (925)376-6218. Meetings are free and open to the public. Squamous cell carcinoma typically develops on the rim of the ear, the face, the lips, or the back of hands. These skin cancers can be aggressive and occasionally spread to internal organs. It is important that these be removed in the early stages. The most common form of skin cancer is basal cell carcinoma. It usually appears as a small shiny bump or pinpoint red bleeding lesion. These Dr. Shanny Baughman, Alamo occur commonly on the face or chest. They are more common in older, fair-skinned people with blond or red hair and blue or green eyes. Untreated these lesions grow locally and slowly and rarely spread to other parts of the body. When treated early, squamous cell carcinomas and basal cell carcinomas have a 95% cure rate. Malignant melanoma is a less common, but more serious, form of skin cancer. This skin cancer usually appears as a dark brown or black spot with irregular borders and variable colors. Men over 50 are at the highest risk for melanoma, but it can affect anyone of any age. Melanomas are more common in frequent tanning bed users and those who had severe sunburn as children. The most common location is the back in men and the legs in women. Any change in an existing mole or the rapid appearance of a new mole could be a sign of melanoma and should be examined immediately. Melanoma can spread to other organs and can be fatal. We are accepting new Medicare and commercial insurance patients. To schedule a consultation with one of us, contact Dr. Kelly Hood, 970 Dewing, Suite 301, Lafayette, 925-283-5500, khoodderm@yahoo.com or Dr. Shanny Baughman at Alamo Oaks Dermatology, 3189 Danville Blvd, suite 130, Alamo, 925-362-0992, shanny.derm@gmail.com. Advertorial


Alamo Today ~ September 2012 - Page 29

Teens Lead St. Vincent de Paul “Friends of the Poor Walk” Saturday, September 29 Two Alamo teens, Morgan Castelein and Kerianne Hunt, Carondelet High School Seniors, are the Contra Costa County leaders of a fund-raising walk which will benefit programs for the poor in Contra Costa County. The St. Vincent de Paul (SVdP) “Friends of the Poor Walk” will take place on Saturday, September 29th from 8AM-11 AM at St. Isidore Catholic Church’s grass field. The local 2011 walk contributed over $1,500 to programs for the poor. To participate as a walker or a donor, please visit www.svdpfriendsofthepoorwalk.org. One hundred percent of funds raised remain in Contra Costa County to assist our neighbors in need. In the current economic climate, SVdP is experiencing a significant increase in calls for help! SVdP of Contra Costa County provides free dining halls, 22 emergency food pantries, free medical clinic, free legal assistance, employment services, job training, homeless shelters, home visits to the poor, and thrift stores. In 2011, SVdP assisted over 90,000 county residents, providing over $724,000 to county residents in need. The free medical clinic, “RotaCare Pittsburg Free Medical Clinic at St. Vincent de Paul” has treated over 1,200 uninsured patients since opening in February 2011, and it is a partnership between SVdP and 11 Rotary Clubs, including the clubs of Alamo, Danville, Danville-Sycamore, and eight others. For questions about the Danville Walk, contact Kerianne Hunt at keriannehunt@gmail.com, or Morgan Castelein at morgancast21@ gmail.com. For questions about SVdP of Contra Costa County, visit our website at www.svdp-cc.org.

Grief Support Group Helps People Cope with the Death of a Pet When you lose your pet, you often feel like a part of you is lost. The death of your beloved animal companion is one of the most difficult losses you may ever feel. This loss is sometimes made more painful by society’s seeming lack of support for pet grief. Hospice of the East Bay and the Tony La Russa Animal Rescue Foundation is offering a support group where participants can share memories and feelings and talk to others who truly understand and care. Meetings will be held the first Tuesday of each month from noon - 1:30PM at the Tony La Russa Animal Rescue Foundation, 2890 Mitchell Drive, Walnut Creek. For further information and/or to register, please call Bereavement Services at Hospice of the East Bay (925) 887-5681. Pre-registration is required. Hospice of the East Bay Bereavement Services are provided free of charge to all community members in need. However, donations are greatly appreciated.

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Dear Friend, “I know you.” That’s what people usually say when they meet me in town. Then they say, “You’re Dr. Jerry. I’ve seen your ad with that picture of you and those cute kids.” Well, perhaps I should tell you a little more about that photo and why I use it in my ads. Let’s start with me, the guy on the left. Twenty-three years ago something happened to me that changed my life forever. Let me tell you my story. Back when I was a young man, I was involved in a serious roll-over automobile accident where I injured my spine and nearly paralyzed my arms. After several hours in the emergency room, I was told that if I didn’t have surgery, I might never use my arms again. While talking to a nurse, I was told that I should see a chiropractor first. I was then transported to Dr. Wilbur, a chiropractor. The chiropractor performed an exam and took some films, and then he “adjusted” my spine. The adjustment didn’t hurt, it actually felt good. I got relief, and I could use my arms and hands again. It worked so well for me, and I was so impressed with the other ‘miracles’ I had seen in his office, that I eventually went to chiropractic school myself. Several times a day patients thank me for helping them, but I can’t really take the credit. My confession is that I’ve never healed anyone of anything. What I do is perform a specific spinal adjustment to remove nerve pressure, and the body responds by healing itself. We get tremendous results. It’s as simple as that! I have a significantly lower fee plan so that more people are able to afford the care they need. A whole week of care in my office costs what you could pay for one visit elsewhere. Amazing offer - When you mention this article, you’ll receive our entire new patient exam with x-rays (if needed) for just $17. That’s it, no kidding. Great care at a great fee - Please, I hope that there’s no misunderstanding about quality of care just because I have that lower fee. You’ll get great care at a great fee. My qualifications…I’m a graduate of Western States Chiropractic College who has been entrusted to take care of tiny babies to pro athletes that you may know, and I have even traveled to the set of “Extreme Makeover Home Edition” when those people needed care. My assistant is Shandy, and she is a really great person. Our office is both friendly and warm, and we try our best to make you feel at home. We have a wonderful service, at an exceptional fee. Our office, Kenny Family Chiropractic, is located at 185 Front Street Suite 107 in downtown Danville (near the public library). Our phone number is 925-838-9355. Call Shandy or me today for an appointment. We can help you. Thank you. Dr. Jerry M. Kenny, D.C., Dr. Malia Kenny, D.C. and family, and Dr. Angela McCracken, D.C. Advertisement


Page 30 - September 2012 ~ Alamo Today

Glean continued from front page resources’ such as volunteers to work and an outreach effort to identify fruit trees to harvest,” says Jeffrey Goodfriend, a member of the Urban Farmers board of directors. Local community groups extend the reach of the project and amount of food that can be harvested. Cindy Egan, one of the founders of Sustainable Danville Area, has partnered with The Urban Farmers and has already helped organize two harvests in Danville and Alamo. “It bothers me to see fresh fruit go to waste, but without the infrastructure that The Urban Farmers shares, we could not justify setting up a backyard harvest project for our town,” she says. She is also working to secure a gleaning shed, where self-harvesting homeowners can deposit their fresh fruit for pick up by The Urban Farmers. Aleenah Mehta, a recent Saint Mary’s College graduate, says, “The model is working. For example, in the past three weekends we have harvested 938, 790 and 630 pounds of fruit respectively, working only four hours per shift. Our average operating cost of ‘producing’ and delivering this food is around 12 cents per pound.” Mehta helped develop the framework and continues to help with the project. There are many organizations that are helping The Urban Farmers achieve its goal. “We are fortunate that one of the most efficient and respected backyard harvest operations in the country is in San Jose. Craig Diserens, the founder of Village Harvest, has helped us streamline our plans and operations. Currently, the number one area of improvement for our project is Cindy Egan, SDA Fruit Gleaning Leader to increase fruit tree registration density,” Sioshansi says. “It’s easy to see that when we have a lot of trees in close proximity to each other, we can ‘produce’ more goods in less time and less cost.” In addition to providing fresh fruit to local hunger relief agencies, The Urban Farmers organizes a group purchase of antique, heirloom fruit trees each fall. Seven hundred and fifty fruit trees have been planted in the past three years. The organization also provides hands-on workshops to help homeowners succeed in growing local fruit. “Planting fruit trees is good for people and the planet,” Urban Farmers co-founder Cameron Sioshansi points out. “It provides homeowners with zero-mile food, a tool to teach children where food comes from, and many environmental benefits including carbon sequestration.” This is a full circle project: Share what you can, and plant trees so there will be fruit to share in the future. So how can you get involved? Residents can register a backyard fruit tree by visiting The Urban Farmers’ website (www.theurbanfarmers.org) and clicking the registration button on the front page. The process is quick and simple. Of course, no harvest can be complete without the help of volunteers. Individuals and groups can register via the webpage to join in on a harvest. Want friends to get involved? Use the “tell a friend” button on the front page of the website. Downloadable black-and-white flyers can also be printed and dropped off to neighbors, and color PDF files are available to e-mail. You can keep up to date with the organization’s developments by “liking” The Urban Farmers Facebook page. The Urban Farmers can also be reached via telephone at (415) 806-7005. Mustang Matrix - U9 Stampede Champions had an impressive run and took home the championship win. Top left: Grace Brossard, Kylie Musante, Coach Gina Archimede, Lauren Bingham,Annaliese Guisto, Abby McCabe, Jayna Huang, Coach Manny Medina. Front row: Bianca Zamora, Ryan Hayden, Elyse Wilkerson, Lilly Van Wagenen, Peyton Clawson, Carly McPherson and Rocky the Matrix mascot.

Mustang D1 United98 Silver team became the Champions of the San Ramon Azuri in the U14 boys bracket. It was a very exciting game against Boca Casa with a tie that forced them into overtime and then into penalty kicks to determine the winner!

Richard Lee's East West Kung Fu (with schools in Alamo/San Ramon/Lafayette) at the United States Kuoshu (Kung Fu) Federation annual international tournament in Baltimore. The East West team brought home the trophies for Forms and Weapons Team Award, Lei Tai (Fighting) Team Award, and the Wang, Cheuh-Jen Cup (Grand Champion) for the 12th year in a row. With competitors from all over the world this is quite an accomplishment. Additionally, a number of the Lei Tai fighters qualified to represent the US team at the World Kuoshu Championships to be held in Malaysia in October.

O’Neill continued from front page Regular price tickets for performances at 8pm on September 27th, 28th, and 29th and 3pm on September 30th cost $35 and also include transportation. Departure time from the Museum will be assigned as tickets are purchased. To buy tickets, visit www.eugeneoneill.org or call 925-820-1818. Staging of A Moon for the Misbegotten in the barn theatre on the Tao House property coincides with the rising of the full harvest moon. Written at Tao House between 1941 and 1943, the script was first performed in 1947. Like the theatrical masks O’Neill collected and incorporated into his productions, the plays chosen for the Festival display two different facets of the playwright’s genius. Tragedy is the mask most often associated with Eugene. A Moon for the Misbegotten is no exception. But the play opening the celebration shows a talent for comic relief otherwise unknown in O’Neill’s work. A review by Brooks Atkinson of the opening production from The New York Times, October 3, 1937 (available online courtesy of www.eoneill.com) reads: “And in spite of its dreadful title, Ah! Wilderness! is a true and congenial comedy. If Mr. O’Neill can write with as much clarity as this, it is hard to understand why he has held up the grim mask so long.” The play tracks the fictitious Miller family’s small town escapades on the sweltering July 4th in 1906. Spurned by his one true love, 17-year-old Richard Miller goes out looking for trouble and finds it. After encountering a number of colorful characters and questionable situations and struggling through some youthful confusions, Richard eventually lands on his feet with the help of his slightly offbeat, but well-intended family. Ah! Wilderness! will be performed at Danville’s Village Theatre September 7th-22nd. Tickets for the play can be purchased at www.danvilletheatre.com or call 925-314-3400. Concerts featuring music of the O’Neill era will be performed at Father Nature’s Restaurant, 172 Prospect Street, Danville at 8pm on September 13th and 20th. The cabaret seating fills quickly. Tickets are $10 and may be purchased at the door. What was Danville like when Eugene and Carlotta O’Neill decided to settle here? Beverly Lane, Curator of the Museum of the San Ramon Valley and former mayor of Danville, will present O’Neill’s Danville 1937-1944 at the Village Theatre at 10am on September 15th. Admission is free. Also free is Saturday shuttle transportation for self-guided Tao House tours. The National Park Service mini-bus departs from Railroad Avenue in front of the Museum of the San Ramon Valley at 10am, Noon, and 2pm.


Alamo Today ~ September 2012 - Page 31

Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)

Mommy Makeover By Barbara Persons, MD, Persons Plastic Surgery, Inc. As a mother of three and a Plastic Surgeon, I am acutely sensitive to how pregnancy effects our bodies. The experience of having three children has given me a unique perspective regarding how we view ourselves as women and mothers. I understand what it is to be a busy mother and what it is to want my body to look and feel like it did before I had children. I understand the work of trying diet and exercise and the limitations of the abdominal muscles that are simply in need of a little work that even a million sit-ups will not provide. A Mommy Makeover surgery at Persons Plastic Surgery takes place at our certified surgery center, the Cosmetic and Reconstructive Surgery Center in Lafayette, over the course of a morning or afternoon. It is performed under a light sleep anesthesia. After surgery, you will be able to go home or to a recovery suite in town with a private nurse. A patient is required to take two weeks off from work and other duties in order to recover. I stay in close contact with each patient. A Mommy Makeover is not just one procedure, but it’s a combination of individualized procedures (outlined below) that lift, tighten, and shape your body to help reverse the rapid changes that occur during and following pregnancy and breast feeding.

Mastopexy (Breast Lift) and Augmentation Breast surgery can be considered as early as six months following the completion of breast feeding. A mastopexy, or breast lift, restores the shape of the breast and also the size and location of the nipple. Although a breast lift without implant may be just right for many women, some women may want a mastopexy augmentation for additional size and projection. The augmentation can be achieved with a silicone or saline implant, or with autologous fat grafting.

Gala to Benefit Alzheimer’s & Parkinson’s Research

An abdominoplasty, commonly called a “tummy tuck,” is a plastic surgery procedure which flattens the abdomen by tightening the muscles of the abdominal wall, and it involves removing excess skin, fat, and stretch marks. The abdomen tends to take on a rounded appearance as we age, as our weight fluctuates, and after such events as childbirth. The muscle and tissues of the abdomen are weakened, and the skin becomes stretched, so no amount of situps or leg raises can remove this shape. A Tummy Tuck can re-contour and reposition these tissues with the added benefit of removing any pre-existing scars from the lower abdomen.

Reshaping of Buttocks and Flanks (Vaser, Laser and Traditional Liposuction) A trained plastic surgeon with the right tools is able to use liposuction techniques to alter the shape of the body through the removal and transfer of fat. An alternative to traditional liposuction, Vaser Liposuction uses advanced ultrasound technology designed to gently reshape the body. Sound energy is transmitted through small probes that diffuse the ultrasound waves and liquefy the fat for easy removal. I combine Vaser Liposuction with Laser Liposuction to achieve a result which is natural appearing and with less skin laxity. One more thing…the natural childbirth experience or just genetics can weaken and alter the shape and aesthetics of the female pelvic floor. When these structures are weakened vaginal rejuvenation surgery is an option. This can be used to improve the aesthetic appearance of the labia and can also rejuvenate to improve sexual function. There is also a G spot shot and a C spot shot of natural filler. These are the not often talked about, but they are highly satisfying procedures. Motherhood is wonderful and my children are the joy of my life. I am passionate about helping my patients achieve realistic goals through plastic surgery. My patients tell me every day that they are thankful for the changes we accomplished together. They tell me they wish they had done it sooner. I would be happy to consult with you about your desires and goals concerning the rejuvenation of your body. Barbara L. Persons, MD is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and owns Persons Plastic Surgery, Inc. located at 911 Moraga Rd, Suite 205 in Lafayette. She may be reached at 925.283.4012 or drbarb@personsplasticsurgery.com. Advertorial

Please join us at the Rossmoor Rotary Foundation’s 27th annual gala event which will benefit Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s research. The event begins at 5PM on October 13th and will be held in the Sierra Room of the Del Valle Clubhouse within Rossmoor. Featured will be a French-themed cocktail hour with music by The Baguette Quartette and a headline show with International Cabaret Star Lua Hadar and her four-piece Heartfelt & backup band. A formal, elegant dinner will Supportive be presented by Susan Foord Catering. Tickets cost $125 per person, and black tie is optional. For tickets or more info, contact At All Times... Debbie Williams (925) 942-0545.

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FOR RENT 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 Alamomgt@usa.net

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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 editor@yourmonthlypaper.com. 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 32 - September 20 2012 ~ Alamo Today

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925- 9 8 9 - 6 0 8 6 www.TheCombsTeam.com Luxury Home Market Hits Bottom… Turns Up…Slips Again The road to a full real estate recovery is proving to be a bumpy one, especially for Luxury Homes. For the purpose of this review, as with my last, I have defined Luxury Homes to include homes that are 5,000 square feet and larger sitting on a premium lot that is between ½ and one full acre and is equipped with a pool. This definition has been overlain on the geographies including Alamo, Blackhawk, Danville and Diablo, basically what in my personal view comprises the Danville Area. I have included a chart and a graph with this review that display the sales history for this slice of the market dating back to 1997. Look at the last couple of bars on the chart, and you will see that sales prices for Luxury Homes, after having risen in 2011, have dropped once again. Average Sales Price in 2010 was $1,908,000. In 2011 the number climbed to $2,163,102, and in 2012 it has sagged to $2,062,975. That’s a disappointing drop of 5% or a little over a $100,000 decrease in the year-to-date numbers. If these numbers hold throughout the remainder of the year, it is likely that 2010 will still represent the absolute market bottom for our Luxury Home market. Only time will tell. Striking in these data is the absolute size of the homes sold so far this year. They are averaging more than 6,121 square feet compared to 5,894 last year. That’s quite a size difference. During 2012 about 4% more house was purchased for 5% less money. That fact is born out clearly in the dollars paid per square foot comparison. Last year Luxury Homes logged an average per square foot price of $367 which has slipped to $337 so far this year. That’s about an 8% decline in absolute value when measured from this perspective. This is not the case with smaller homes which are still showing strong price gains for the year. Also interesting is that the sales history on number of units sold in the Danville Area is fairly consistent year-on-year with the exception of 1998 and 2008, the former reaching historical highs and the latter dropping to

West Side Country Charm

historical lows. Look closely at the data chart, and you will see that 21 units sold in 2011, nearly matching the 1998 peak and significantly eclipsing 14 of the 15 years reported. During 2011, unit sales were up a full 50% over 2010. With approximately two thirds of the current sales year behind us and 13 Luxury Home sales already booked, it’s highly likely that unit volume will finish within the normal range for our market but well behind 2011. My personal view of the current luxury market is that it is bumpy but generally headed in the right direction …upward. The inventory right now is very tight. Only six Luxury Homes are currently listed. They range in price from $1.8 million all the way up to $4.9 million. They carry an average square foot price of $514.50, significantly above the average of $337 per square foot most recently obtained. Interestingly, only one property sold in 2012 year-to-date sold for more than $400 dollars per square foot. This over-the-top pricing probably explains the average of 213 days on market for these outsized homes. Also of interest is that there are no active properties matching the specific Luxury Home criteria in Alamo, at least for the moment. If you are looking to acquire a Luxury Home in the months ahead, you may want to contact your lender who can bring you up to speed on the great loan products out there. If you don’t have a lender, please give Nancy or me a call, and we will point you in the right direction. At this moment Nancy and I are working with a couple of serious buyers who have not yet found the perfect Luxury Home among those available in inventory. If you are looking to sell a Luxury Home and you want your transaction handled discretely, we can help you with that as well. If you are thinking about buying or selling a home in 2012 or 2013 and you would like to talk it over please give us a call at 925-989-6086 or email me at joecombs@thecombsteam. com. Nancy and I will be happy to visit with you in your home and help you decide how to best prepare and price your home for the market.

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Four bedroom country charmer on ½ acre with pool and spa. Granite and stainless kitchen. Beautiful! $1,250,000.

Perfect throughout. 4 bedroom, 3.5 bath. Huge outdoor entertainment area and pool. $1,370,000.

7 acre lot, 11 acre lot, 1.1 acre lot. Call for details and pricing.

Custom Luxury Contemporary

Blackhawk 5 Bedroom

Golf Course Single Story


SOL Dramatic, one-of-a-kind luxury home with amazing views! $1,499,000

5 Bedroom 2 story, immaculate! $1,279,000. We represented the buyer. We have other Buyers.

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.



Completely renovated single story on Golf Course. $1,399,000 J. Rockcliff Realtors 15 Railroad Ave., Danville CA. 94526

Profile for The Editors, Inc

2012 Sept Alamo Today  

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

2012 Sept Alamo Today  

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