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May 2011 Fundraising for Japan Relief Aid

St. Isidore School 7 grade girls put their baking talents to work and raised $844 towards relief efforts for Japan. The girls decided that they wanted to do something to aid those who have been hurt by the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan. They rolled up their sleeves, pulled the flour out, and baked in preparation for selling their homemade goodies after masses at St. Isidore Church. The girls were overwhelmed by the positive responses and generosity that they received. Many parishioners made straight donations to the relief efforts and expected nothing in return. th

The girls left to right: Emma Walsh, Marina Gee, Lauren Torres, Nicole Bustamante, Megan McSweeney, Erin Schwarz, Kara Baldyga, Mackenzie Baker, and Gabriella Rebata.

Student Emma Walsh said, “I know that there are teens in Japan who would do the same thing for us if we were put in their place.” Both Kara Baldyga and Mackenzie Baker shared similar thoughts on the success of the bake sale and the girl’s genuine desire to help out those in need. “I was happy to see firsthand so many people willing to help by supporting our bake sale and, more importantly, the people of Japan,” said Baldyga. Adding to her thoughts, Mackenzie agreed, “It really was a lot of fun and rewarding helping the people in Japan! I couldn't imagine if something like that happened to my family and friends...I would be devastated. But, I would also be relieved and comforted knowing that there are people out there trying to make things better. That’s what I would like to do...try to make things better.”

Sad Tales to Glad Tails

Serving Danville

By Jody Morgan

Lost, abandoned, abused or surrendered by an owner unable to continue giving care, pets admitted to area animal shelters all arrive with sad tales. Helping them leave waving glad tails is the mission of the 250 volunteers of Tri-Valley Animal Rescue, one of the local groups dedicated to finding forever homes for dogs, cats and other small four-legged pets. TVAR provides socialization for animals awaiting adoption at East County Animal Shelter in Dublin, foster Lisa DeFinney and Daisy homes for animals from several local shelters, medical expenses, training support and a network of humans dedicated to “giving them another chance.” Kitten season has arrived making Terri Duncan extremely busy. Unable to say no to little balls of fur in need, Terri managed to transition an average of 100 felines a year into adoption the first three years she volunteered with TVAR. She recalls a favorite, Champ. “He had the biggest, brightest eyes I’d ever seen.” Champ was ten weeks old when he was delivered to the shelter with a rope around his neck. He’d been stabbed through the toes, but he never stopped purring. Today Champ is happily ensconced in a safe home with his “big sister” Gracie. Terri now concentrates on caring for adult cats, placing kittens in other foster homes until they are old enough for adoption. Terri takes personal responsibility for cats in the TVAR adoption area at the Dublin PetSmart. “Eighty-five percent of adult cats are adopted within two weeks,” she explains. How-

See TVAR continued on page 11

Diablo Valley Quilters By Fran Miller

In today’s society, where instant gratification is the desired norm and ‘faster is always better’ is the reigning philosophy, can a genteel activity requiring skill, patience, and artistic creativity survive? If that activity happens to be quilting, the answer appears to be ‘yes.’ “Besides being an artistic expression, quilting also answers the basic human need for comfort and warmth,” says Dianne Barnett, past president and current parliamentarian of Diablo Valley Quilters. “I don’t think quilting is merely a passing fad like macrame, for example. It is a huge multi-million dollar business that does not seem to be waning. Although there may not be many young people making their own clothing these days, I think there will always be some who like to work with their hands to create something truly individual and unique.” Diablo Valley Quilters (DVQ) was founded in 1983 with the goal of preserving and continuing the traditions, culture, and history of quilting. Through their sponsorship and support of quilting activities, DVQ promotes friendship among those interested in quilting and contributes to the knowledge and appreciation of quilts. There are currently 273 active members, ranging in age from 12 to 90. Barnett has been an active member for the past 25 years, since she moved to Danville in 1986. “For me, the guild has become my major Volume II - Number 7 social network,” says Barnett. “Most of the friends I’ve made since moving here are fellow guild members.” 3000F Danville Blvd. #117, Alamo, CA 94507 DVQ was initially formed as Telephone (925) 405-NEWS, 405-6397 PRSRT STD a group of about 30 women and Fax (925) 406-0547 U.S. Postage several of these members are still PAID Alisa Corstorphine ~ Publisher active. Guild members are entitled Permit 263 editor@yourmonthlypaper.com to attend the monthly programs, The opinions expressed herein belong to the writers, and do Alamo CA receive the monthly newsletter and not necessarily reflect that of Danville Today News. Danville

See Quilt cont. on page 14

Today News is not responsible for the content of any of the advertising herein, nor does publication imply endorsement.


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Page 2 - May 2011 ~ Danville Today News

Boulevard View

By Alisa Corstorphine, Editor

It’s sad to go to an antique store and see so many old family photos with no names, dates, or other forms of identification. Many things have little extrinsic value unless you know the story behind the objects. Without a story, a family heirloom is just a dust collector. When my in-laws were alive, I once sat with them and took pictures of all of their important family possessions. I cataloged them and made brief notations of how the possession came to be. There were wedding presents given to their parents and great-grandparents. The glass-fronted bookcase near my office desk is noted as a “cheap stained pine or redwood” unit that used to be part of the furniture at the family vineyard in Woodside. Tucked inside the bookcase were two empty wine bottles from the last production year of the La Questa vineyard, Rixford family wines. The notes go on to say, “the premium Cabernet wines were from the legendary La Questa vines, planted by E.H. Rixford in 1884.” Some silver plated trivets from my in-laws possessions were noted as being obtained from redeeming the old S&H Green Stamps. According to Wikipedia, “S&H Green Stamps were trading stamps popular in the United States from the 1930s until the late 1980s. Customers would receive stamps at the checkout counter of supermarkets, department stores, and gasoline stations among other retailers, which could be redeemed for products in the catalog.” I fondly remember my sisters and me filling up books and then going to the redemption center for “prizes.” Another family member undertook a similar project cataloging their possessions. In the catalog a small ornament from a Mayan temple is pictured. The caption goes on to say “Found in Mexico in about 1930 by Mr. & Mrs. Dudderar.” My aunt noted, “We paid a small boy to run up the steps of a temple and chip off this ornament for us.” The piece probably dates back to 300-600AD. Another entry shows a wooden napkin ring. The text says, “John collected this napkin ring from his great, great, Aunt Florence. It had been purchased by her hus-

band Albert on his European trip of 1900. The carved word “OBERAMEGAU” identifies it as being from the German town of Oberammergau. Albert’s expense journal indicated that he purchased it on August 11, 1900 for 25 cents. Also pictured are two decks of playing cards purchased by a relative in Prague, Czechoslovakia in 1925. Next to it is a piece that appears to be a broken dagger handle. The handle was found by a relative living in Czechoslovakia in the 1960’s. It is believed the piece dates back to the 7th or 8th centuries. Without documentation, this ribbed lump of metal has much less of a story. There is also a hand-forged iron ring dated 1775. A note, passed down by the family, says “This iron is part of an old linchpin wagon of colonial times; used to convey household goods of early settlers to Indiana. The iron was used to FINE hold the hownds of the wagon to the coupling pole.” My next project is to start attaching tags to special possessions in our house so the pieces will have a story to travel with them through the years. Do you have belongings with a story? Make sure to take the time to let that story be told. ekend

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Danville Today News ~ May 2011 - Page 3

Danville Community Band Concert

The Danville Community Band completes its tenth performing season with a variety of tunes including a selection of marches, the Overture from Rossini’s “La Gazza Ladra,” music from Kalinnikov, Holst, Gershwin, and more on Sunday, June 12th at 3pm at Community Presbyterian Church located at 222 West El Pintado Road in Danville. For questions, please call 925-837-5525. The concert is free. For more information about the band or future performances, visit www.danvilleband.org.

At The Hop

The Blackhawk Chorus, under the direction of founder Diane Gilfether, will present At The Hop, a concert featuring the full 140 member Blackhawk Chorus accompanied by an instrumental ensemble. The concert will be presented at two public performances. The first show will be held at 8PM on Saturday, May 7th at the Lesher Center in Walnut Creek, and the second show will be held at 8PM on Saturday, May 14th at Resurrection Lutheran Church, 7557 Amador Valley Boulevard in Dublin. The chorus will also perform At The Hop at the Blackhawk Country Club on Friday, May 20th at 6.30PM. This third event will be open to non-members and includes dinner. The late 1950s and early 1960s were a time of dramatic change in popular music as styles like doo-wop, and early rock and roll began to take over the top of the music popularity charts. The Blackhawk Chorus program will include songs like the “Four Freshmen’s Graduation Day,” which looks back at the standards of the 30s and the 40s, Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me,” “Moon River” (who can forget Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s?), and James Taylor’s “Up On The Roof.” It also looks forward to the Beach Boys and the Jersey Boys with two dazzling medleys and includes Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling In Love,” and, of course, “At The Hop.” Rock music includes “Rock Around The Clock,” and “I Dig Rock and Roll.” A medley of Beatles’ love songs shows how music continued to develop as the 60s grew towards the end of the decade. Tickets for the Lesher Center concert on May 7th are available through the Center’s website www.lesherartscenter.org, or by calling 925-943-7469. Tickets are $25 for adults and $17 for children 12 and under. For tickets for the performance at Resurrection Lutheran Church, call the church office at 925-828-1580, Monday – Friday, 9AM to 1PM. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for children 12 and under. For the Blackhawk Country Club performance tickets are $47 and include dinner. Please call the Blackhawk Country Club for reservations (credit card sales only) at 925-736-6500. For more information about the chorus, please visit our website at www. blackhawkchorus.com.

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Audition for the Danville Girls Chorus

The Danville Girls Chorus (DCC) will be holding auditions for the upcoming 2011-2012 season which begins in September. Girls in grades 3-8 are invited to join the fun group for singing, performing, and learning how to read and appreciate music of all types. No musical experience is required. Auditions will be held on June 7th in the San Ramon Valley High School chorus room in Danville from 4-6PM. To arrange for an audition appointment, call (925) 837-2624 or e-mail Danville_girls_chorus@ hotmail.com . There will be a $25 fee due the day of the audition. The DCC is made up of 150 girls from 3rd – 8th grades from over 30 local TriValley schools. The primary goal is music education. Under the direction of Ken Abrams, girls are taught the basics of vocal production and learn the fundamentals of musicianship and note reading. They are also introduced to a variety of musical styles, ranging from classical to contemporary, folk tunes and pop music. Studies have shown how music can affect learning in math and the sciences, and we know that performing in public promotes self-esteem, which can only be a positive influence on children. The DCC is a great representation of what the studies now prove. For more information about the DCC, please call (925) 837-2624 or visit our website at www.danvillegirlschorus.com.

Trapped in a Rumor’s Improv Comedy Show

Trapped in a Rumor improv group will perform their next show on May 14th at 7PM at the Village Theatre Art Gallery in Danville. Those in the audience will enjoy this eight-person ensemble of talented and eclectic personalities. These individuals have the natural ability to take a blank “canvas” and create a brilliant improv. The June show is scheduled for Saturday, June 11th. Space is limited, so purchase your $10 tickets today! Visit www.villagetheatreshows.com or call (925) 314-3400 to purchase tickets.

Remember the 50s? The 60s? Rock Around The Clock? Up On The Roof? Stand By Me?

The Blackhawk Chorus rocks out…. Be there! Saturday, May 7, 2011, 8PM

Dean Lesher Center • 1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek For tickets, $25 for adults, $17 for children 12 and under, visit www.lesherarts.org

Saturday, May 14, 2011, 8PM

Resurrection Lutheran Church 7557 Amador Valley Blvd., Dublin For tickets, $20 for adults, $15 for students, call 925-828-1580

Friday, May 20, 2011, 6:30PM

Blackhawk Country Club, Danville $47 per person for Concert & Dinner For tickets call 925-736-6500


Page 4 - May 2011 ~ Danville Today News

The West Took the Lead and Gave Women the Vote By Beverly Lane

Most histories of America’s woman suffrage movement focus on the East Coast, but it was Western men who initially supported women’s right to vote. In 1890, the new state of Wyoming was the first. After the Civil War and the Emancipation Proclamation, black men received suffrage. Disappointed that women did not receive the vote at the same time, former abolitionists and women’s rights advocates accelerated their suffrage efforts. In 1869, the first Woman Suffrage organizations were founded in the San Francisco Bay Area. Elmer and Livia Cox of Danville were early members of the Woman Suffrage Association in Contra Costa County. With five daughters, they evidently felt women could handle voting. Mary Ann Jones of Alamo was widowed in 1870, and, with her nine children, she struggled to continue farming. She joined the Danville Grange # 85 in 1873 when it was founded, one of ten women and twenty men charter members. Her autobiography shows she was a strong pioneer woman. In 1887, she brought up woman suffrage in a Grange meeting. The minute books of March 6 state: The question of Womans Suffrage was discussed at considerable length. Very interesting remarks were made pro and con by Sister Jones, Sister Howard, Bro. W. Z. Stone and others…Sister Jones made a motion as follows: How many are in favor of Womans Suffrage? Ayes 11, Noes 12. Mrs. A. J. Young, Sec. Californians in support of suffrage made their mark back East early. Ellen Clark Sargent, an articulate suffrage supporter, went to Washington, DC when her husband Aaron A. Sargent, was elected to the U. S. Senate from California in 1873. There they met and became firm friends with Susan B. Anthony. Senator Sargent introduced the 29-word “suffrage amendment” to the U. S. Constitution in 1878. The success of western woman suffrage reflected a flexible political system and acknowledgment by men that women were essential partners in frontier life. This issue sparked concerns across the country because it meant that there might be changes in women’s accepted roles. Some opponents feared that voting, a non-domestic action, would diminish women’s moral superiority and taint their purity. Others thought that, if women voted, political

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corruption would be eradicated. Most advocates made the simple argument that giving women votes would give them full rights as citizens. By the time California male voters supported women voting in 1911, five other states had taken the step: Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Idaho, and Washington. Nine more states soon joined California. The West led the way, and, by 1920, the 19th amendment to the constitution, the “Susan B. Anthony Amendment,” was passed by Congress and ratified by 36 states. ~ Sources for this article are available at the Museum of the San Ramon Valley and include the Danville Grange #85 minute books, the Contra Costa Gazette and a new Heyday book by Elaine Elinson and Stan Yogi Wherever There’s a Fight.

On May 14th, the Museum of the San Ramon Valley located at 205 Railroad Ave in Danville will open its new exhibit, Remember the Ladies, Celebrating the Centennial of California Woman Suffrage, 1911-2011. Museum hours are Tuesday-Friday 10am4pm, and Saturday 10am-1pm. For more information, visit www.museumsrv.org.

Five women in suffrage clothes show the western states which approved women's vote.


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Exceptional care for your pet 5 Danville Today News ~ May 2011 - Page

AAUW Garden Tour

The 11th Annual Danville-Alamo-Walnut Creek Branch of AAUW Garden Tour will be held Friday, May 6th and Saturday, May 7th from 10AM - 4PM. Seven delightful gardens located in Alamo, Danville, and Walnut Creek will be showcased. Various landscape designers as well as expert gardeners will be on hand to share their knowledge. The cost is $35, $30 for seniors 65+. No children under 12 please. Tickets (cash or check only) are available at East Bay Flower Company located at 206 Sycamore Valley Road West (Danville Livery), Danville. For more information, email gardentour@aauw.daw.org or call Tena at (925) 837-0826. In addition, the Danville-Alamo-Walnut Creek AAUW Holiday Home Tour needs homes that would be festive for our 2011 tour on Friday, December 9th and Saturday, December 10th. If you have a suggestion, please call Tena at 837-0826 ASAP. To learn more about our branch, check our website at www.aauw-daw.org. All proceeds benefit AAUW’s funds that support aspiring female scholars.

Life in the Lafayette Garden Tour

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Page 6 - May 2011 ~ Danville Today News

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Delta Nu Psi Collection for the Troops

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On April 22nd Delta Nu Psi passed the 20,000 pound mark! The group has sent TEN TONS of “gourmet junk food” to our service people in Iraq and Afghanistan. Thanks to the fantastic shoppers at CVS in Alamo and Lunardi's in Danville who donate much of the goods. The group will be collecting at CVS in Alamo on May 6th and Lunardi's on May 13th from 11AM to 2PM. Please stop by and help us send more packages to our troops. Visit www.deltanupsi.org for photos and emails from the War Zone.

Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW)

VFW Post 75, San Ramon Valley, meets every second Thursday of the month at the Swain House at Hap Magee Ranch Park, located at 1025 La Gonda Way in Danville. The next meeting will be held Thursday, May 12th. Doors open at 7PM, and the meeting begins at 7:30PM. For more information contact Post Commander Nathan Greene at (925) 875-1747. Find out more about the VFW at www.vfw.org.

Blue Star Moms

The East Bay Chapter 101 Blue Star Moms is collecting donations for their upcoming “Star-Spangled Thank You” care package mailing to our Troops. While you are out shopping, please consider picking up some extra items to donate and drop-off at Safeway located at 200 Alamo Plaza in Alamo on May 21st from 10AM to 3PM. All donations will be mailed to our brave men and women serving our country overseas. Come say hello, sponsor a care package mailing ($12.50), 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 our donation items.

Remember the Ladies

The Danville Library Presents Remember the Ladies as a Centennial Celebration of California’s Women’s Suffrage on Thursday, May 12th at 7PM in the Danville Library, Mt. Diablo Room. The event will celebrate 100 years of women’s suffrage in the state of California with an engaging and spirited historical re-enactment. In 1911, California was the sixth and largest Western state to approve women suffrage, nearly a decade before it was approved nationally. Learn more about the hard-fought campaign to win women the franchise in California and re-live the women’s civil rights movement with an engaging historical re-enactment. Also, find out more about the upcoming Remember the Ladies exhibit opening on May 14th at the Museum of the San Ramon Valley.

Creative Learning Center

The Creative Learning Center in Alamo will again open its doors for their annual Western Day Mayfest on Saturday, May 14th from 11AM - 2PM. The community is welcome to join in the day of fun which will include game and good booths, races, balloons, entertainment, pony rides, a petting zoo, and much more! No admission will be charged, and no reservation is required. Hope to see you there in your western clothes!

Alamo Jewelry, Fine Art & Craft Show

Painters, jewelers, sculptors and other artisans will be gathering on Mother’s Day weekend at Alamo Plaza Shopping Center for the annual “Alamo Jewelry, Fine Art, and Craft Show.” This popular two-day event will be held Saturday, and Sunday, May 7th and 8th from 10AM to 6PM. This year’s show features 50 artists exhibiting original works of art including paintings, sculpture, pottery, jewelry, fiber art, glass, woodwork, mixed media, photography, and more. The gold and silver jewelry of Fran and Jerry Harr represents the exceptional quality of artistry presented at the Alamo festival. This popular husband and wife team has been fabricating and selling their original gold, silver, and gemstone jewelry for more than 20 years. Also featured will be the pottery of David Yager. His pottery is known for its classic shapes and high-fire cobalt blue glazes. “This celebration of Art offers a great opportunity for art lovers to meet with and purchase directly from some of the West Coast’s most talented artists and artisans,” said festival director John Holland. Admission to the festival is free. Additional show information and maps are available online at www.jhfestivals.com.


A L A M O P L A Z A D E N TA L G R O U P editor@yourmonthlypaper.com

Danville Today News ~ May 2011 - Page 7

Our Veterans Memorial Building

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Following World War I, Veterans Memorial Buildings were constructed across the nation to recognize the wartime sacrifices of military veterans. The Veterans Memorial Building in Danville, CA was completed in 1925 and has ($650 value with complete exam, x-rays, and cleaning) been used since that time primarily as a meeting and event hall for veterans’ activities. During its first half century, in addition to fulfilling its role as a veterans’ meeting hall, the building was the scene of many theatrical events Richard C. Evangelista, DDS and dances. More recently, it has continued to serve the needs of veterans’ organizations for their meetings and fund raising events, while also opening its doors to various community and seniors’ activities. Family, Cosmetic, and Implant Dentistry In 2007 a partnership was initiated between the Town of Danville and the Invisalign • Veneers • Sedation Dentistry • Digital X-rays Veterans Building Board of Trustees for the renovation of the historic front 220 Alamo Plaza, Suite E, Alamo | 925.831.8310 | www.alamoplazadentalgroup.com of the building, construction of a new auditorium, and the addition of spaces that will be dedicated to seniors’ activities. Contra Costa County transferred the building title to the Town of Danville with the stipulation that the town must provide for the Veterans’ primary use of the building in perpetuity. Have you Seen this Dog? The renovation and construction work began in 2010 and is scheduled for “Coby,” 10 months old completion by the end of 2011. Black/Tan The veterans’ organizations that utilize the building are numerous; they include the American Legion, the Disabled American Veterans, the Veterans of Foreign German Shepherd/ Wars, the Marine Corps League, and the Vietnam Veterans of Diablo Valley. Cattle Dog mix. Programs envisioned by the veterans’ organizations are designed to conMissing since March 1st. tinue to meet the needs of older veterans in our community while introducing new programs to serve the younger veterans who have served our nation so Spotted all over Lafayette, valiantly in recent years. Both groups will be able to utilize on-site Veterans Walnut Creek, and Alamo. Administration representatives who can assist with veterans benefit counseling and claims processing. Local veterans’ health outreach services will also Shy but friendly. be available to both older and younger veterans. Not known to bite. Programs specifically designed to assist our older veterans population Please help us catch him are expected to include support groups, planning and conducting workshops, forums, classes and social stimulation activities. Vietnam veterans and bring him home! will also be able to obtain preliminary screening to determine if they have Had a name tag and red print collar. suffered, or are likely candidates to develop, symptoms of diseases associated with exposure to Agent Orange. Generous REWARD for his return. Programs in the following areas are currently envisioned to support our Please call or text Julie local population of younger veterans: 415-806-0658 • California State Employment Development Department Outreach • Veterans Family Outreach Services ANY TIME with info. • Vocational Rehabilitation Training and Counseling • Support Groups for Employment Assistance, Current Veterans Issues, and Social Interaction Eighty-five years ago, when the Danville Veterans Memorial Building was dedicated, no one could have foreseen the legions of veterans that it would serve over 12 Months its lifetime. Today’s veterans, with outstanding support from the Danville Town Council, the Town Manager, and Same as Cash Town Staff, are working to ensure that our renovated Vet- www.GoSimpleSolar.com License 948715 0% Down erans Memorial Building will be much more than bricks and mortar. Their plan is to ensure that it will be a place where veterans’ needs will be well served, now and well beyond the foreseeable future. Why not get your electricity from the sun? You can make a donation and/or learn more about Make the Switch… Break Free From PG&E this building to serve as a model for restoration of your area’s Veterans hall at www.srvVeteransHall.org or call SimpleSolar will design, build, and install your solar energy system SimpleSo olar will de esign, build d and install your sola ar energy ssystem our Veterans office at (925) 362-9806. that will generate electricity throughout the day.

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Page 8 - May 2011 ~ Danville Today News

Greenbrook Elementary By Jenise Falk, Principal

Experience how we care… The Stratford is deeply committed to providing the very best care…..

CARE TO SHARE

The Stratford honors National Nurses Week during the month of May

Nominate your choice for Nurse of the Year by posting a “CARE TO SHARE” story on our FACEBOOK wall. Tell us why your nominee should win one of three $700.00 prize contributions to the charity of their choice. Post your nomination on The Stratford’s Facebook page by May 27 and help us recognize the dedication of all nurses and the care they give to others...

Link to our FACEBOOK PAGE @ www.StratfordSeniorLiving.com and learn all about our Care to Share efforts and read the heartwarming stories of the best nurses!

Independent Living ƒ Assisted Living ƒ Memory Care 1545 Pleasant Hill Road, Lafayette, CA 94549 ŀ (925) 932-9910 www.StratfordSeniorLiving.com

I am very excited to announce some great news for Greenbrook.! We have been awarded a number of grants from various organizations that will make an immediate impact on our students and their learning. We were awarded five grants, worth over $9,000, from the San Ramon Valley Education Foundation. Kindergarten received five iTouches to be used for assessing reading fluency and for use during “Switcheroos.” (Kinder learning centers). We are excited to add the iTouches to our growing numbers of this device. We also received a grant for 30 thesauruses to be used in 3rd grade and also a number of “challenge” math games for use during math centers. Fourth grade received a grant of over $1,000 for IXL math, a program that allows for remediation and acceleration in math. The students love it! In addition, we received funding for 30 site licenses for Microsoft Word for our student laptops. This will give the students the capacity to use either Google Docs or MS Word when formatting and typing essays and presentations. Thank you, SRVEF, and to all community members for supporting the fundraising activities of the Foundation! In addition, Lawrence Livermore Lab has awarded the SRVUSD a $10,000 grant to purchase alternative energy (wind power) kits for all 21 elementary schools. The presentation of the grant will be made right here at Greenbrook in our science lab. Mr. Pelham, our science teacher, along with Mr. Hitomi, principal at Alamo school, were instrumental in leading the design and application of the grant. Each school will receive kit for use in the science lab. For the second year in a row, we have received a $500 grant from the Contra Costa County Solid Waste Authority of our work with recycling. “Wastebusters” activities encourages our students to recycle, reuse, and reduce.

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St. Isidore’s 5 th Grade Am er ica n Tea m b ea t CCOP’s American Team in the Boys Basketball Finals on February 27 with a score of 29-22 to win the Tri-Valley 5th Grade CYO Championship. Spartan team members left to right top row: Coach Dale Pearce, Cole Peterson, Joe Peterson, Matthew Johnson, Daniel Medley, Jordan Gutierres, Coach John Perkins, Coach Greg Johnson. Bottom row left to right: Brandon Rigby, Tommy Williams, Jackson Pearce, Hunter Perkins, Will Riherd.

St. Isidore’s 7th Grade A Team recently beat St. Joan’s 7th Grade A Team in the Boys Basketball Finals to win the Tri-Valley 7th Grade CYO Championship. St. Isidore finished the season 11-1 and also won the regular season title. Team members left to right top row: Coach Michael Lloyd, Zack Medley, Carson Meehan, Bryce Anderson, Coach Bob LaShells, Nicky Macarchuk, Spencer LaShells, Jack Westbrook. Bottom row: Ben Whitten, Clayton Tennant, Jake Lloyd, Ryan Davis.

Our custodian , Fred White, encourages Greenbrook students to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!

The Del Valle Council of PTAs donated a video conferencing system to every elementary school. We can’t wait to have this technology in place! So, in dark days of the state financial crisis, grants and donations such as these give us a wonderful reason to smile and give thanks to all of our partnerships – our partnerships with the greater community, our local community, and most importantly with our parent community. The month of May is a busy one, filled with STAR testing, Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast, Teacher Appreciation Week activities, Fun Run, the Father/Daughter Dance, band, strings, and choir concerts, orientation for incoming kindergarten students and parents, Open House, field trips to Gold Camp and Camp Arroyo, and many other fun events. Our students are growing by leaps and bounds every day, filled to the brim with grade level knowledge. We can’t believe that it is almost time to say goodbye to this school year. We have already begun planning for our August Walk-Thru Registration. Please watch for our June Registration Gazette. The edition will have important information about Registration for the 2011-2012 school year. Enjoy the May sunshine. Have a wonderful month!


editor@yourmonthlypaper.com

St. Isidore School

Danville Today News ~ May 2011 - Page 9

By Jean Schroeder, Principal Happy Lent!

That is what we have been saying around our school lately. April traditionally is a very busy month for a Catholic School. This year our Lenten theme was, “Change of Heart.” We chose this theme because we feel as a school community and faculty, if we have a change of heart, many circumstances in our lives have the possibility to change. We have the time during Lent to look at our lives, our callings, our service, and remember that our true gift is the gift of service. Being a Catholic school, our service defines who we are as Catholics. When we forget that, having a change of heart can set us in the right direction. We attended our school liturgies every Friday during Lent, bringing us closer as a school community. We are very fortunate because many of our parents have the opportunity to join and celebrate our Friday liturgies with us. Our liturgies are prepared by different grades, and our Pastor joins us. We ask our students to bring a can of food for the St. Vincent De Paul Society, which serves the poor all over Contra Costa County. We have had our school Reconciliation Service with many dedicated visiting priests assisting our Pastor. Our religion committee asked our fourth and seventh grade students to read some reflections before the students fulfilled this sacrament. On Holy Thursday, our sixth grade students partnered with our third grade students, reenacting the Living Stations of the Cross. That is a tradition both grades look forward to every year, as well as our parents. Earlier in the month we had some exciting field trips. Our first grade students hit the County Connection and made pizza at Choice Lunch (Gagnon’s). I was able to visit them there while they had a blast making homemade pizzas. Our third grade students went to visit the One Room Schoolhouse, another St. Isidore tradition. Our school counselor and I took a ride there to see them in action. I love seeing our students and wonderful parents who chaperoned in their pioneer outfits. On May 1st, “Read for the World Record” begins. Our school’s goal this year is 1,500,000 minutes. Last year we came in third place WORLDWIDE, with 822,459 minutes. We are up for the challenge to take first place this year. Our librarian took the time to give each of our students an individual goal based on what they read last year. We cannot wait until August 31st to see the final results. Speaking of our library, we are in the process of rebuilding/refurbishing our school library. When our school doubled in classroom size in 1997, our library stayed the same. With generous support from our community, we are in the first steps of having a library that will suit the needs for our students. However, we have to raise the funds to make this happen. We have donations from grandparents, alumni, and even money raised from our little ones by having lemonade stands on the Iron Horse Trail. If you would like to contribute to this worthy cause, we would be so appreciative. Please contact me directly at jschroeder@stisidore.org. As a school last month we supported the Monument Crisis Center and asked our students to bring in disposable diapers to those in need. Our fifth and sixth grade students, under the direction of a parent volunteer, had a bake sale for the victims of Japan. This was another huge success. Lastly, our seventh grade students, led by an amazing student, organized and sold “BELIEVE” bracelets. The proceeds from these bracelets will go to Fund-a Field which is a non-profit organization dedicated to enriching the lives of the less fortunate youth in Africa through sports. Our goal is to provide fields and equipment for soccer in Africa. We “Believe” we can make a difference. I’ll end on that note….making a difference, that is the St. Isidore way.

SRV Kiwanis Awards $22,000 in Grants

The San Ramon Valley Kiwanis Foundation has awarded over $22,000 in grants to 31 area non-profit agencies. The grants will be presented at the club’s annual grants ceremony, held May 26th at Round Hill Country Club. Representatives of the recipient organizations will make brief presentations on the programs the Kiwanis grants support. Grant amounts ranged from $250 to $1,000, and additionally, the San Ramon Valley Educational Foundation will receive a check for $2,500 for distribution to worthy school projects that the Foundation identifies. Top grants were awarded to Bay Area Crisis Nursery, Cancer Support Community (formerly Wellness Community), CASA, Down Syndrome Connection, Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano, Loaves & Fishes, Senior Helpline Services, Shelter Inc of CCC, STAND! Against Domestic Violence, and The Taylor Family Foundation.

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Other recipients include: Blue Star Moms Chapter 101, Camp Camelot, Contra Costa Interfaith Housing, Discovery Counseling Center of SRV, Friends of the Danville Library, Gardens at Heather Farms, Hope Hospice, Inc., Hospice of the East Bay, Moment by Moment, Monument Crisis Center, Museum of the San Ramon Valley, Nayali Faith Foundation, Ombudsman Services of Contra Costa, Rehab Services of Northern CA, San Ramon Library Foundation, SonRise Equestrian Foundation, Teen Esteem, The Lucille Glass Mauzy Foundation, Vestia, Inc, and We Care Services for Children. Funds for the annual grants program are raised by the San Ramon Valley Kiwanis Foundation, through several fundraising projects, including organizing and conducting the annual Kiwanis Danville 4th of July Parade and an annual golf tournament. Grant applications are awarded with an additional several thousand dollars held in reserve to provide emergency grants and fund Kiwanis community projects throughout the year. Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to changing the world one child and one community at a time. Additional information about the Kiwanis Club of the San Ramon Valley may be obtained at www.kiwanis-srv.org. The club holds weekly luncheon meetings at noon on Thursdays at Round Hill Country Club in Alamo. Please join the club for lunch and find out more about the organization.


www.yourmonthlypaper.com Stone Valley Middle School By Shaun McElroy, Principal Come Join the Backpack Brigade

Page 10 - May 2011 ~ Danville Today News

Science for the Future

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Charlotte Wood Middle School By Christopher George, Principal

Welcome the fourth quarter and the final, and in many ways, most important lap of our school year. We are excited to celebrate the end of the year with your students and to begin looking forward to another year at Charlotte Wood. For our eighth graders, this should be one of the most exciting times of their middle school career. We have many great activities coming up, culminating with our promotion ceremony on June 9th, at San Ramon Valley High School. The week before Spring Break, Mr. Corral, Ms. Schneider, and I went into all eighth grade classrooms to outline the end of the year activities and to let students know the expectations for participation. We know that this time for our eighth graders is a special time, as they finish with us and look forward to high school. We hope to help all of our students in being able to enjoy it. We have some very exciting things happening at Charlotte Wood with our technology. Thanks to parents generous Charger Fund donations, we were able to purchase a class set of iPads for our 8th Grade English class. This should enable every 8th grader to have some experience with this exciting technology. Following the purchase of the iPods, 8th grade teacher Yolanda Davis and I were able to go to Apple’s Corporate Headquarters in Cupertino for a two day workshop on using mobile devices to enhance learning. Again, we are so grateful for the donations of the Charger Fund which enable us to enhance learning for our students. As the year does come to a close, I want to take a moment to recognize a few parents who have been absolutely instrumental in helping Charlotte Wood throughout this year of transition. The president of our PTA, Ilona Rodd, and the President of Charger Fund, Vicky True, have both been instrumental in helping us have a successful year at Charlotte Wood. They have both devoted countless hours to our school this year and have had to go above and beyond their job descriptions in order to get the jobs done. We are grateful for their devotion and time.

Alamo-Danville Newcomers Club

Please join us on May 10th as we celebrate the last luncheon of the 20102011 Newcomer's calendar. We will bid farewell to the current Board of Directors and welcome the new Board of 2011-2012. This casual get together is the perfect opportunity to hear about the many facets of the Newcomers club while enjoying coffee and some treats. If you are new to the area or a long-time resident of Alamo, Danville, and the surrounding area, please join us. Please call 925-775-3233 or visit our website www.alamodanvillenewcomers.com for details.

Stone Valley class of 2011 is collecting gently used backpacks and school supplies that can be donated to our sister school, Coronado Elementary School, in Richmond. The 8th grade class will fill the backpacks as part of their community service day on June 9th. Backpacks loaded with school supplies will be delivered to Coronado this summer so that Coronado students will start the year well prepared. All backpacks and school supplies can be taken directly to the stage in the MPR. Our 8th graders will spend most of their last day at Stone Valley performing acts of community service. The students will begin the day listening to a member of the Monte Vista High School Interact club talk about the importance of volunteerism. Eighth graders are currently scheduled to complete the following: letter to service men and women serving overseas, planting seeds for the Bounty Garden Project at Hap Magee Park, backpack brigade, and setting up chairs for the promotion ceremony. Need more info? Contact Shaun McElroy smcelro@srvusd.net.

2011 Fitness Challenge is an “11th hour” Success

Stone Valley’s Ed Fund Annual Fitness Challenge received a late save this year. The event ran on Thursday, April 14th. So far we had received $3,500 in pledges toward our fundraising goal of $15,000. The day of the event we had a surge when a grandfather of one our 8th graders pledged $2,500, but that still left us only one third of the way toward our goal. The days unfolded, kids ran, parents and teachers cheered, the music played, and by Thursday evening we were closing in at about 80% of our goal. By the following Monday we EXCEEDED our goal by nearly $1,000. The proceeds of this event will be used to better equip our student with tools for 21st century learning. Join us for our next for next Ed Fund Event “Ladies Luncheon” on Friday May 20th. Contact Susan McNeil at 925-837-5337 or susan@mcneilinsurance. com, or Malia Kenny at 707-246-279 or maliakenny@yahoo.com for info.

SPARK PE = Higher Grades

We are all probably aware of the compendium of research that supports the theory of the positive effect exercise has on academic achievement. Students in Stone Valley’s new SPARK PE class, taught by Ron Hirschman, will tell you it’s true. We compared the semester report cards of SPARK PE students for the past two semesters, spring semester 2010 vs. fall semester 2010, and 45% of students SPARK PE had a measurable increase in Grade Point Average (GPA). I realize this is far from scientific data, but anytime we can see student achievement for any reason we’ll take it. Our next step is to look at changes in STAR test scores for this group of students.

Community Invitation: Join us for our Open House May 12th

This is a welcome message for the entire Danville Today readership; please join us on Thursday May 12th for our annual Open House. Open House is a short but sweet event. Dinner is served between 6pm and 6:45pm. We will announce the PTA Honorary Service Award winners and then visit the classrooms till 7:30pm. Open House is the one last time for us to come together as a community before we break away for summer plans. It’s also a time to thank a teacher for the hard work they do in educations our children.

Stone Valley Television (SVTV) Introduces a New STAR

In fall of 2011, there will be a new face behind the camera for SVTV. Teacher Kathleen Arbulu successfully introduced our student and staff to our first ever broadcast television this year. SVTV was so successful that we have now created a video productions class, and sign-ups are through the roof! The new director is Science teacher Jeff Hager.

Actors and Artists at Tao House in May

Tao House, up in the hills above Danville, will host the Eugene O’Neill play, Gold, on May 22nd, and three days of open house for artists who would like to be inspired by the historic site. Playwright’s Theater, in its 16th season, presents Gold in which O’Neill materializes ghosts onstage who are co-conspirators in both murder and plans to retrieve buried treasure from a tropical island. The performance, in the Old Barn, will begin at 3PM. Details about the quick, free shuttle van up to the site will be provided at the time tickets ($25) are purchased. Artist Days offers artists a place to create works for extended periods of time. Artists are invited to come to the O’Neill Historic Site for five hours per day for three consecutive days. The cost is $5 per day. This spring’s Artist Days are May 5th, 6th, and 7th. More information for events, can be found at www.eugeneoneill.org or by calling 925-820-1818. The Eugene O’Neill Foundation assists the National Park Service at Eugene O’Neill National Historic Site in the preservation of the Nobel prize winning playwright’s Tao House, and provides artistic and educational programs which focus on the contribution of Eugene O’Neill to the American Theatre.


editor@yourmonthlypaper.com

San Ramon Valley High School

Danville Today News ~ May 2011 - Page 11

By Joseph A. Ianora, Principal

It is hard to believe that there are only four more weeks left in the school year. Where did the time go? As I look back over the year, I realize just how quickly time has come and gone. At this point at SRVHS we are beginning to focus on endings. Before the summer vacation is upon us…there are a few things to remember: • The third quarter has ended, and 4th quarter progress reports are due…and, it is never too late to work to improve your grade. • Continue to dialogue with your student about the importance of academic success, social involvement, hard work, and dedication to the educational process. • Check the website for the many upcoming events at SRVHS. This site is our primary source of communication and is updated regularly (www.srvhs.net). • Construction is complete (for now)! All fencing has been removed, and students can access the entire campus. This summer we will begin the next phase, which consists of installing solar in the senior parking lot, and a new marquee and completing the stadium restroom/snack shack. • STAR testing is complete and was highly successful. Of the over 1,600 students who tested, very few were absent! This is a tribute to our entire community, your effort, and emphasis on this testing which has been remarkable. • The first two weeks of May consist of AP testing for many of our Juniors and Seniors. Most importantly, we have had a wonderful year filled with challenges and celebrations that will continue to keep us engaged for the next four weeks. Your support of San Ramon Valley High School is what helps keep students and staff engaged in this phenomenal institution. Thank you for all you do to keep SRVHS a great place to be.

Monte Vista High School

By Janet Terranova, Principal

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Saturday, May 14th 10 am – 10 pm 301 Hartz Ave. Danville (in the Clock Tower)

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for kids of all ages!

During the month of April we began rolling out the Naviance program to our 9-11th graders. Family Connection from Naviance Inc. is designed to help students make decisions about courses, colleges, and careers. Family Connection allows students to get involved in planning their future college and career path. Through this program, students can build resumes, complete on-line interest surveys, and manage timelines and deadlines for making decisions about colleges and careers. This is a powerful tool for students to research colleges, scholarships, and financial aid. In the near future, students will be able to compare their GPA, standardized test scores, and other statistical information to the admission data of former Monte Vista High School students who were accepted to the same universities our current students are considering. Naviance acts a bridge between students and counselors. With this program students can access information from the Counseling Department and College and Career Center such as up-coming meetings and events, local scholarship opportunities, and other web resources for college. With Family Connection, students can sign up for college visits and communicate with counselors via email, all within the Naviance website. This program will help students develop a more comprehensive plan for their post high school education and allow them to investigate more thoroughly their interests and talents. Another exciting project at Monte Vista involves the installation of solar panels. Monte Vista is one of six schools within the District involved in this solar project. This system will generate about 2/3 of the electricity required to run these schools. While some preliminary work is being done this spring, construction will begin on June 13th and will involve closing the Humphrey lot (otherwise known as the “junior” parking lot) across the street from Monte Vista. The project is scheduled to be completed by August 24th, in time for the first day of school. If you are interested in learning more about this project, please visit the SRVUSD website at www.srvusd.net/solar. For more information about Monte Vista and our activities, please visit our website at www.mvhigh.org.

TVAR continued from front page

ever, Terri has developed a kitty vacation program for cats requiring a bit longer to select the appropriate person. After two weeks at the store, cats go into foster vacation homes for two weeks so they remain mellow and don’t get cage crazy. Her background in social work has given Duncan the skills she needs to be sure prospective adopters have selected the perfect feline for their homes. Nicknamed “The Cat Whisperer” by her husband, Terri has a gift for understanding what will work best for each animal. Her favorite part of the day is coming home and sitting on the sofa surrounded by cats. They give her a feeling of comfort and acceptance that continues to amaze her. “The younger children are when they are taught to respect animals, the better adults they will become.” Terri believes that learning to read the way animals use body language to communicate as well as to decipher their messages about personal space makes humans better able to pick up subtle cues in social situations. One of the ways that TVAR gives youngsters a chance to get involved is the Teen/Junior Program initiated in 1994 by Nancy and Rich Metz. Their son Kevin, 10 at the time, enjoyed helping them with adoption days at the Pleasanton Farmer’s Market. Based on the number of incoming calls, many

other children wanted to volunteer their time. Every Tuesday afternoon from 4:00-5:30 Nancy and Rich supervise teens from 13 to 18 and juniors (each accompanied by a parent) from 10 to 12 who have completed orientation as they give shelter animals out of cage play time. Rich carefully selects dogs suited by size and temperament for each young volunteer. Nancy makes sure that cat cages are tagged to indicate which felines are amenable to attention and also to ensure that animals get equal socialization time. Elsa, a cattle dog mix, has the face of an angel, but she wasn’t even housebroken when she became the Metz family’s 208th foster dog. Rescued by an Animal Control officer from the person he spotted dragging her and kicking her, Elsa came into ECAS scared and alone. “She’s a typical shelter dog,” Nancy Metz explains, “under three and undertrained.” Thanks to the patience and experience of her foster family, Elsa will soon be ready for adoption. Lack of training has been documented as a major reason why many dogs end up in shelters. TVAR asks those adopting dogs from their foster care program for a training deposit refundable as soon as proof of completion of basic training is submitted. As Carlos Diaz, one of the professional dog trainers volunteering time to assess TVAR dogs, explains: “We train people

See TVAR continued on page 22


Page 12 - May 2011 ~ Danville Today News

Sustainable Danville Area Tip of the Month

By Cynthia Ruzzi

www.yourmonthlypaper.com

Most days you can find 11 year-old Ella riding her bike to school with her six year-old sister, Honor, accompanied by mom, Shannon. Prompted by a particularly beautiful spring day, Ella asked her mom, “Why don’t more kids ride to school?” The three discussed the issue along their morning ride, over dinner that evening, and into the following day. In fact, the conversation provided the inspiration to find ways to encourage others to take advantage of the lovely and mostly flat terrain of our community. These three charming bicyclists are reaching out across our community to share the advantages of commuting on two wheels citing that almost half the trips we make from our homes are within two miles, and that fifty percent of the working population commutes five miles or less to work. Ella was quick to add that, “Most of us have a pollution-free vehicle sitting right in our garage that can reduce traffic, improve our health, and really be a lot of fun.” Besides working on starting a ‘bicycle train’ (a group of children and adult leaders riding together to and from school), the girls wanted to encourage Moms and Dads in our community to get bikes and use them. With the help of mom Shannon and local businesses, we’ll all be able to ‘Get the Right Fit, Without Spinning Honor and Ella Our Wheels’ at Danville’s First Bike Fit Clinic on Sunday, May 22nd from 1pm – 4pm at The Studio in the Rose Garden in Danville. The Bike Fit Clinic host The Studio is teaming with Danville Bike, the Town of Danville Street Smarts program, and Sustainable Danville Area to provide a free community event to learn how to get the right bike for your needs. Danville Bikes will provide professional custom fittings, as well as demonstrations on clipless pedals, advice on bike saddles, and helmet fittings for comfort and safety. Ten percent of the proceeds from your purchases at the Bike Fit Clinic will go to the local school of your choice or to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Team ClubSport will be on hand to provide information about local training and racing for cyclists of all ages and abilities. Visitors will also benefit from meeting Giant Bike Representative and USA Cycling Coach, Kelli Poindexter, who will be available to answer our most perplexing cycling questions. In addition, don’t miss the 2011 kickoff of the Cruising Tuesday’s Bike Ride, hosted by Norm’s Place. This group celebrates their seventh year of weekly family-friendly rides with this year’s first event on May 5th. Join the Cinco de Mustache ride, and wear a sombrero for a free beverage. For more information, visit www.normsgrill.com. If you still need more reasons to get on your bike, May12th is Bike-to-Work Day. This nationwide event in its 17th year and is meant to encourage new bikers to try commuting on two wheels. To give those intrepid riders some extra encouragement, the Town of Danville and the San Ramon Valley Street Smart Program will host a morning Energizer Station on the Iron Horse Trail (behind Lunardi’s in Danville 6:30am – 9am) offering refreshments and giveaways. Danville Area Sustainable Businesses Norm’s Place, La Boulange Bakery, and Jules Thin Crust will encourage safe bicycle riding by offering Bike-to-Lunch specials for two wheeling customers who visit with their bike helmet on Bike-toWork Day, Thursday, May 12th and before the Bike Fit Clinic on May 22nd. Want company? Check out one of the upcoming family-friendly bike rides. Sustainable Danville Area invites the entire family Buy 1-Patio Furniture to follow the Iron Horse Trail to the Bike Fit Table with 5 or more Clinic on Sunday May 22nd. Meandering Dining Chairs and from San Ramon Valley High School on the get 1-Free Dining Chair trail starting at 11:30am, we’ll arrive at The Offer Good Thru 5/30/2011 Rose Garden by 1pm to check out all the fun. Take a detour and wander into town for lunch and catch up with us at The Studio. OPEN TUES THRU SAT 10 TO 6 SUNDAY 11 TO 5 CLOSED MONDAY Not ready to ride yet? Don’t worry. Kelli and Danville Bike plan to offer additional family-friendly rides throughout the summer. Visit www.sustainabledanville.com for more information, and remember, please ride safely.

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Danville Today News ~ May 2011 - Page 13

DT


Page 14 - May 2011 ~ Danville Today News

Technical Relationships

By Evan Corstorphine, Portable CIO

Every month I look forward to the opportunity to write this column and connect with the community. There are so many developments in the computer industry, that it can be challenging to narrow down and choose what to write about. At the same time, there are only 700 words with which to either convey or convince you of whatever strikes my fancy; pithy writing is simultaneously coveted and elusive. Whomever takes the time to ask will learn that ours is a people-business first; a major in relationships with a minor in technology. This was demonstrated to me yet again this past weekend, when I learned that one of our dear customers, Don Mann, passed away shortly before Easter. It really hit me hard, as he was one of the first people willing to take a risk on this brand new little computer company we started ten years ago, and he was always such a friendly, self-effacing guy. I saw him a few months ago after he became aware of a relapse in his illness, and he was as positive and cheerful as always, despite the anxiety and concern he must have been hiding. I think it takes a hell of a man to stare his mortality in the eye without blinking. I guess I related to Don, who left a beautiful wife and two lovely daughters, as he was the consummate family man trying to earn a living and trying to do his best. A guy’s guy. He’ll be missed by everyone who knew him. If we were just a team of nerdy guys running around with pocket protectors and screwdrivers, we probably wouldn’t notice when a guy like Don crosses our path. We’d be too interested in the gadgetry and arcane inanities of the computer world to realize it was a human we were really working with, not a computer. The best part of our business is the people we get to work with, hands down. Sure, we run into difficult people just like anyone else, but we know those are just the 1% who exist to remind us why we love to work with the other 99% so much.

www.yourmonthlypaper.com

We’ve been keeping in touch with people a little better lately, beginning to try out Facebook and Twitter for the company. It’s a slow process. I must admit publishing helpful little tidbits and other info on a regular basis is a habit that must be acquired. I’ve always been of the opinion that it’s best to be thought a fool, than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt. And, relating that to Facebook, I think it takes practice to feel comfortable updating people about your likes, dislikes, or goings-on multiple times daily. There’s so much garbage. There’s a fine line between keeping people up-to-date with relevant info and the constant blathering din we find on the public forum. Our plans are perhaps a little more pedestrian, planning to post these articles, alerts, and updates we think will be helpful to anyone who chooses to “follow” us (Portable CIO). I promise if you give following us a try, we’ll do our best to keep our contributions as concise and relevant as possible. Time is valuable, and words matter. Recently I visited one of our customers when one of our guys fell ill. I had a great time discussing the customer’s business while attending to her list, and I noticed along the way she was using an iPhone. Having adopted an iPhone last year, and having subsequently purchased an iPad, I was curious about which applications she was using and how she liked using the phone. She liked it a lot, and it turns out we have similar tastes in pastimes; she also plays the ubiquitous “Words With Friends” game with her kids and friends. Words With Friends is based on the game of Scrabble. We “added” each other and she’s certainly a worthy opponent! Do you want to play with me? If you have an iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad, look me up and lets play! My ID is ‘ecorstor.’ At Portable CIO we have over 75 years of experience across our team you might meet when you or your company need assistance. Chances are good that we have an answer for your question, or we can direct you to someone who does. When you think “Help!”, email us at info@theportablecio.com, or give Advertorial our friendly staff a call at 925-552-7953.

Quilt continued from front page

annual member directory, enroll in the discounted workshops, check-out quilt books from the extended library, attend the annual retreat and holiday party, and participate in any other organized events. “But I think the most important aspect of guild membership is the camaraderie of those who share a common interest in quilting.” says Barnett. Because the guild is so large, DVQ has encouraged the formation of smaller, less formalized groups of about a dozen or so members who live near each other which enables members to more easily get together to work on projects and learn from each other. In its efforts to promote the art of quilting, DVQ contracts with nationally known quilt artists to present programs to the general membership each month. These guest speakers also conduct hands-on workshops where they can teach their innovative techniques to members for a nominal fee. “We have some truly accomplished quilters in the guild,” says Barnett, “and we all get together to showcase about 200 quilts in a big quilt show, which we hold every other year. This year we are very excited to be moving to a new venue, the Tice Valley Gym in Walnut Creek. Look for us there on the third weekend in September this year.” Probably the most popular DVQ activity is their annual quilting retreat at Sonoma State University in early summer where members stay in dorm rooms and gather together to work on their own projects and enjoy the company of other quilters. Barnett has noticed that, due to the easily accessible abundance of quilt shops in the Bay Area, with excellent teachers available to demonstrate the latest techniques, there has been a move away from bigger, utilitarian quilts to smaller, more intricate and detailed quilts. “There are so many more beautiful fabrics available now in every color from soft and subtle to bold and bright,” says Barnett, who notes that one of the top publishers of quilt books, C&T Publishing, is right here in the East Bay. When asked what she likes most about quilting, Barnett cites a philanthropic aspect. “I personally like to make simple quilts to give away to bring comfort to someone or to make someone happy, especially children,” says Barnett. “DVQ has a Community Outreach group that makes quilts for various organizations in the community. Our Outreach Co-chairmen, Linda Patridge and Maryann Maiorana, have done an amazing job in the past few years, making up kits for our members to work on at home. We have given hundreds of quilts to Rotaplast, an organization of plastic surgeons sponsored by Rotary International, who provide surgery for children with cleft palates. Recently we gave several quilts to The Down Syndrome Connection in Danville. We have also made many hundreds of colorful pillowcases for Conkerr Cancer, which distributes them to local pediatric oncology

Velda Newman workshop

wards. I have found quilters to be among the most generous, caring people there are - quick to comfort a friend or provide help.” DVQ annual dues are $30 per year and $20 for Seniors (65 and older). DVQ offers free junior membership for those in grades 6 -12 in an effort to promote an appreciation of quilting among area youth. Junior members must be sponsored by a paid member. Meetings are held at 7pm on the third Wednesday of each month at the Danville Congregational Church located at 989 San Ramon Valley Blvd in Danville. For more information about Diablo Valley Quilters, visit www.diablovalleyquilters.org.

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

May’s Winner Is ~ Cheri Nolte


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Secret Marriage – An Ugly Twist On Elder Financial Abuse By Robert J. Silverman, Esq.

Danville Today News ~ May 2011 - Page 15

Bob Shalon, EA

The confluence of an aging population, longer life expectancies, and a Master Tax Advisor • Enrolled Agent plethora of con- artists has resulted in an explosion of elder financial abuse in the last few decades. The perpetrators are caregivers, financial service 925.915.6032 providers, neighbors, and “friends.” 714 San Ramon Valley Blvd, Suite B, Danville Fortunately, California has responded by enacting more aggressive civil legisSycamore Square (next to Lucky’s) bobshalon@yahoo.com lation. Relevant statutes have, among other things, loosened plaintiff “standing” requirements, enabling more third parties to bring a case, expanded damages that can be ordered, and, in some instances, allowed attorneys’ fees to be recovered. Unfortunately, however, it is still difficult to combat elder financial abuse. Sometimes it isn’t recognized or at least not until it’s too late – the abuser or the money disappears. Other times, the elder victim and/or family is embarrassed or just wants to move on. Sadly, even when a civil complaint (lawsuit) is filed, the accused perpetrator often argues that the victim voluntarily gifted him or her the Portable CIO is an information systems consulting firm, absconded funds, and evidence may not satisfy the required standard of proof that focused on implementing stable, reliable, and efficient solutions, the perpetrator should be held liable. intelligent investment in technology, and building long Naturally, the most effective means of fighting elder abuse is to prevent it from term relationships. How can we help you? happening in the first place. Elder abuse clinics and other outreach programs sponsored by professional, judicial, and other non-profit organizations help build awareness and offer useful tools. Close relatives or friends of the elder citizen are often in a position to keep an eye out for signs of potential abuse. Sadly, “secret marriage” is an ugly twist on elder financial abuse that’s extraordinarily difficult to defend against, particularly after the elder victim dies. Secret marriage, a version of which is called “deathbed marriage,” is when a financial abuser secretly marries an elderly person. Frequently, the marriage stays secret because the elder victim is incapacitated or has significant enough mental deficits that he or she doesn’t recall that the marriage ever took place. More problematic yet is that a wise abuser can arrange to enter into a “confidential marriage” with the victim. This process, which is perfectly legal when one meets the easy requirements, blocks the marriage certificate from being accessible via public records, as it otherwise would be. Absent a court order, the only people who can access the record are the parties to the marriage themselves. • PC or Mac • Repairs • Upgrades • Office Moves and Networking • Of course, once married, the abuser manipulates the defenseless elder into mak• Virus/Spyware/Adware Removal • Internet/ Cloud Computing • ing gifts to the abuser and/or turning over access to the elder’s assets. The abuser • Data Recovery • Back-up Solutions • Maintenance • often also persuades the elder to change the elder’s Will or Living Trust so that the • Email Solutions • Remote Phone Support • Free Recycling • abuser spouse becomes the sole or major beneficiary. If not, on the elder’s death the abuser spouse can claim a share of the elder’s estate as an “omitted spouse” (or if the victim had no Will or Trust, by intestate succession). Marriage is profoundly personal and favored by public policy – without restrictions. The government can’t practically decide or second guess who marries for the right reasons. www.ThePortableCIO.com Nevertheless, some kind of legislative recourse would seem to be rightfully available to Join Portable CIO, Inc. on Facebook! victims of deathbed marriages and their families. But, only a few states, including Florida (not California), have enacted protective statutes. In fact, a substantial minority of states in our country have laws prohibiting heirs from challenging deathbed marriages! Laws such as Florida’s can be crafted to narrowly separate the (constitutional) right to marry from the spouses respective property rights. Media coverage of this issue should help, as should politicians who increasingly address needs of the growServing Alamo & Danville Since 1979! ing elderly electorate. Hopefully, this will lead to the development of a reasonable legal framework to mitigate this kind of emotional and financial devastation. There is No Better Time to Meanwhile, what can you do personally? Most importantly, watch and comRemodel Your Pool Than Now! municate regularly with your elderly loved ones and friends to detect signs of potential financial elder abuse. Whether you are elderly yourself or a child of parents Call and Find Out Why. of advanced age (who may be starting to lose some mental faculties), you should Plaster • Tile • Coping seek appropriate trust and estates legal advice. Proper professional planning can Featuring WetEdge Technologies help prevent this kind of fraud and deception. Mr. Silverman is an attorney with Shapiro Buchman Provine Brothers Smith Don’t miss out on PG&E rebates offered LLP, 1333 N. California Street, Suite 350, Walnut Creek, CA 94596; (925) 944for installation of an energy saving 9700; rsilverman@sbllp.com. His practice emphasizes Estate Planning, Trust Intelliflo pump which have Administration & Probate, Real Estate, and Business. Please call for a free been extended through 2010! introductory consultation.

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Page 16 - May 2011 ~ Danville Today News

The Tree of the Season: Coast Live Oak

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By Blaine Brende & Joe Lamb

If you have a coast live oak in your yard, you will understand that its Latin name, Quercus agrifolia, is appropriate. Agrifolia means spiny leaves. And though the tree retains green leaves throughout the year, it also sheds dead leaves, many dead leaves, and they are less than friendly on bare feet. If you are lucky enough to have a mature coast live oak in your garden, you are well aware that its sculptural qualities more than compensate for the ongoing maintenance this big beast requires. I find comfort in the manner wherein old trees twist into their strangely beautiful form, their rugged bark accentuating, in counterpoint, their grace and openness. The generous shade offered by their broad crowns seems to invite one to lounge against their trunks and think about things that are never on TV. Agrifolia became the dominant tree of the costal plain, not because it’s beautiful, but because it’s tough. Though plagued by several diseases and pests, the continuing ubiquity of live oaks over the millennia is testament to their ability to resist diseases and fight off pests. Several fungal diseases, with the generic names “twig blights” and “oak branch dieback,” attack the crowns of live oaks. Brown patches in your oak’s canopy are most likely from these fungal diseases. An aesthetic debit, they rarely pose a serious threat to the life of the tree. Unsightly deadwood can be pruned out. Though these diseases come from water-borne fungi, they often occur in oaks weakened by drought stress. It is common knowledge that over-watering coast live oaks is a good way to kill the tree. Too much summer water promotes the growth of oak root fungus, a common soil fungus that can turn lethal in soggy soils. Less widely appreciated is that summer watering of oaks can make them more disease and insect-resistant IF, and it is a big IF, they are watered correctly. Correct summer watering of coast live oaks requires placing a soaker hose in a circle around the tree at least ten feet from the trunk and running the water for about two hours–sunset is a good time. It is important to water the tree not more than once a month: once in July, once in August, once in September, and once in October. Over-watering can kill oaks by stimulating parasitic fungi. Judicious watering during dry summers gives the tree a boost but doesn’t encourage root diseases. It’s better not to water oaks at all than to over-water them, and lawns, grown under the canopy of the oaks, are a common cause of over-watering. One way to make your oak–and the many creatures it supports–happy is to turn lawn under the canopy over to native, drought-tolerant plants. This saves water and reduces the likelihood your oak will get a root disease. Oaks also appreciate a layer of mulch. Mulch helps aerate the soil and improves the environment for beneficial soil creatures. Given that the current stewards of the coastal plain seldom burn the woodlands, most of our oak forests have built up a significant load of dead wood. To prevent a crown fire, like the one that ravaged the East Bay in 1991, it is important to make all landscape trees and shrubs more fire safe. At Brende and Lamb it is our fervent hope that all current players in the ongoing drama of the oak woodlands act to maintain a healthy ecosystem in which coast live oaks, and the many creatures that depend on them, continue to appear center stage. Unfortunately we a starting to see a few cases of Sudden Oak Death (SOD) in the East Bay, concentrated mostly in forested parklands. The SOD pathogen infects susceptible oaks during spring rainstorms. It is difficult to prevent an oak from being infected, but there are steps to reduce the probability of infection. California bay trees are an alternate host to SOD, where it occurs as a leaf disease. Infected bays don’t die, but they can spread the spores to oaks. Studies show that pruning back Bay trees to give a 10 foot separation from your oaks can significantly lower the infection rate. At this time, preventative action is the only way of treating the disease. It takes two years for an infected tree to show any sign of infection, and once infected there is no way to cure the disease. The best place to find current information on SOD is the California Sudden Oak Task Force: www.suddenoakdeath.org. If your trees and shrubs need a little TLC - call us at 510-486-TREE (8733) or email bl@brendelamb.com to schedule a free estimate. For more information visit our website at www.brendelamb.com. Advertorial

Books for the Homebound: A Free Service of the Danville Library

If you or someone you know has a passion for reading and can no longer visit the library, find out more about the Danville Library’s Books for the Homebound program, a free and unique library service. Trained library volunteers check out and deliver books to homebound individuals residing in their own homes or residential care facilities. Contact Sandra Paiva, Volunteer Coordinator, at the Danville Library at 925-837-4889 for more information.


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Life in the Danville Garden

A Garden Makeover By John Montgomery, ASLA, Landscape Architect

Everyone knows that good design is “maintenance free” and “lasts forever.” Right! This is why there are so many beautiful gardens existing from the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s. Ratty looking junipers and Monterrey pines; you get the picture. You wouldn’t keep your carpet for 30 years, right? So, your Danville garden needs a good makeover as well! There are three basic reasons for a garden makeover; to respond to the changing site conditions which normally occur as a landscape site matures (i.e. stuff gets overgrown), to respond to changing needs of the users of the landscape (i.e. families grow and change), and to re-adapt a site for a new owner (i.e. a new set of uses.) New home sites are generally sunny with bright light and are more exposed to wind, sun, and more harsh conditions. Maturity brings radical changes that are often welcomed. It also brings other changes that are not. Trees finally provide shade cover and shade out once sun-loving plants. Lack of care and poor maintenance practices have taken their toll. Hedges and shrubs have become overgrown hiding the house and blocking good views. These changes give cause for redesign although the overall context of a “well-designed” landscape may still prevail. Within the life of your Danville home, an owner’s uses will change as kids growup or a family matures and changes. Lifestyles evolve and change. Once busy families had no time to work in the garden and are now retired and have time to “putz.” This brings a whole new reason for the landscape. Children learn to swim, and a swimming pool is now a requirement. These changes call for careful consideration and should be well thought out. They should be logical and creatively resolved. Garden makeover projects are challenging yet satisfying when properly executed. I enjoy working with my clients creating a new vision for their yard while using a lot of the existing conditions that work like large established trees, established privacy screening shrubs that are in tact, and specimen plants that would cost thousands to replace. These dramatic changes to a home warrant a garden makeover. As older families move from the neighborhood, new ones move in. When a new family moves in it changes the needs of the landscape. The landscape needs to be redesigned to re-adapt it to the new family or the new home. Rarely does a landscaped site meet all the needs and expectations of the new owner. Re-adapting a site must be clearly articulated and solved as a design problem using an organized design process. Also, some sites are badly neglected and need drastic measures taken to redesign the landscape. Thorough documentation of all existing conditions such as soil, micro-climates, drainage, and shade and wind patterns should be considered. All existing plants, trees, shrubs, and constructed features that are to be considered to remain should be well documented. A creative design solution, which meets the new need and is sensitive to the existing features and conditions of the site, must be developed. Construction of the new landscape must include all necessary measures to protect and preserve all of the worthwhile existing site features and landscape. Potential additions to the makeover will include updated hardscape elements; paved areas of use, benches and seat walls, retaining walls, steps to make site usable or gain new space, dramatic landscape lighting, swimming pools, play courts and kid zones, and sculptures. Times have changed with the recent economical downturn; we are looking at our homes a little differently. We might be more inclined to make incremental or phased investments, and a garden makeover makes more financial sense. Like the design of a new landscape project, a garden makeover should adhere to the design process. Design and budget go hand in hand! A hot tip from your local Landscape Architect: Executing a garden makeover for tired gardens can be a challenge. It can also make all the difference in the appeal of your home. Take time to walk your garden and note what you like and what you dislike. Consider the term of how long you will stay in your home as a basis for planning your garden.

Danville Today News ~ May 2011 - Page 17

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Page 18 - May 2011 ~ Danville Today News

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Clip Notes

By Jody Morgan

To Advertise Call 925.405.6397

Meet the Houdini horde of the horticultural world. Effective escape artists, groundcovers are both valued and vilified for their ability to advance aggressively across the landscape. Although all should be marketed with cautionary instructions, many weave magic carpets over places where more fastidious plants refuse to grow. One of my favorites is the diminutive herb Sweet Woodruf (Gallium odoratum). Native to the woodlands of Europe, Woodruff features delicate whorls of elliptical leaves topped by star-bright white flowers in spring. Folklore associates the demure attitude of this 6 to 8 inch tall traveler with humility. Bed it down with well-watered perennials, and it will soon present you with a problem. Relegate it to a shady space under a hedge or tree, and Woodruff will save you from having to remove less desirable intruders. Don’t be dismayed when it disappears for a season. Woodruff is winter dormant. Woodruff has sweetened May wine since medieval times. In Germany imbibing a cup of “Maiwein” was the customary complement to a day spent dancing around the Maypole. A half-cup of newly emergent leaves steeped in a bottle of dry white wine produces the distinctive taste evocative of new mown hay with a hint of honey. However, the chemical responsible for giving Gallium odoratum both flavor and fragrance is capable, when consumed in excess, of producing several of the undesirable side-effects so glibly described in current pharmaceutical advertisements. Since the 1980’s, when the use of Woodruff was banned in Germany, May wine made there commercially has incorporated artificial ingredients. Safe, effective, and equally traditional is the use of the dried leaves and flowers of Sweet Woodruff as a fixative for potpourri. Likewise useful in repelling insects, Woodruff has been employed by housewives since the Middle Ages to scent linens and keep woolens free from moths. Woodruff roots, like those of many of its Madder Family cousins, yield a red dye. Known as Carpenter’s Herb for its supposed ability to stanch bleeding and also Bugleweed, Ajuga reptans is a rampant member of the mint family with stalks of cobalt blue flowers that trumpet the arrival of spring. Despite this thug’s tendency to throttle lawns, nurserymen have deemed the species garden-worthy enough to develop a host of better-behaved and ever-more interesting cultivars. The flowers hold up well in spring bouquets, some of the largest coming from Ajuga ‘Catlin’s Giant.’ I’m starting a collection including ‘Burgundy Lace’ which features foliage in tones of pink, white, and green, and ‘Chocolate Chip’ which is a true miniature. If you prefer pink blossoms, try ‘Pink Lightning’ with cream edged crinkly leaves. Think tough territory. Foot traffic is not a problem. Weeds won’t penetrate the dense mat formed by the foliage, and deer don’t like it. Heavy clay does not deter its progress. I am planting my treasures in narrow beds bordered by concrete walks and raised beds where removing the offsets is easy. Bugleweed will go dormant in stress – extreme cold or prolonged drought – but count on the runners to survive under cover. Containing Golden Moneywort (Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea’) is somewhat simpler. This creeper cascades over the edges of pots giving you an easy-to-root spiller for sun or shade. Many species in the genus, all commonly known as Loosestrife, are invasive. While the legend may have no basis in fact, ancient lore relates that Lysimachus of Thrace (360-281 BCE), one of Alexander the Great’s immediate bodyguards, subdued a raging bull racing in his direction by waving a frond of Loosestrife in front of the animal’s nose. In 309 BCE, Lysimachus founded the small kingdom of Lysimachia from which this group of plants takes its botanical label. The coin shaped leaves account for the species name (nummular meaning pertaining to coins). Hugging the ground at only 1-2 inches in height, this groundcover is evergreen in favorable times, but it will shrivel in response to prolonged cold or drought. In cooler climates, sun is the best exposure to bring out the rich golden glow. Here in Danville, I go for full sun in winter with afternoon shade relief in summer. In full shade, this species thrives, but the foliage reverts to a less striking yellow-green. Moderate moisture keeps the leaves looking fresh. Any piece of the stem will root. Welcome these groundcovers as merry wanderers, but introduce them judiciously into your garden lest they transform into malicious weeds. Whether they solve your landscape problems or create them is dependent upon how carefully you curtail their tendency to spread.


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Eating Problem or Binge Eating Disorder?

Danville Today News ~ May 2011 - Page 19

By Estee Goren, M.A.

After a day of overeating, many people feel guilty and decide to eat less the next day. However, a person who has a binge eating disorder is usually anxious or depressed, and they may feel comforted by the process of binge eating. But this is a temporary relief that is replaced by feelings of shame, guilt, and disgust. The two main characteristics of binge eating are eating a large amount of food in a limited amount of time and experiencing a loss of control. This experience is accompanied by a sense of discouragement and hopelessness. In addition, individuals may be afraid of comparison, judgment, or rejection, and they may feel disliked and isolated. Yet, they will continue their habits because they feel that they would not be able to manage their lives otherwise. When these behaviors interfere with one’s quality of life and well-being, it becomes a disorder. Binge eating is prevalent in western societies and is usually triggered by negative self-image or a failure to meet unrealistic goals. These feelings usually draw people to a relentless cycle of dieting and binging. Some will try to control their weight by purging or using laxatives; however, these habits are ineffective and cause many health problems. Many people keep their binging disorder secret and do not believe that there is a treatment to their problem. They accept their situation, and they adjust their life around it. But it is important to know that when treated properly, full recovery is possible. However, the path to full recovery can be extremely difficult and is impossible to walk alone. The most effective psychotherapy treatment is cognitive behavior therapy which yields lasting change. The important questions to ask are: What is the Local Physicians Receive Patients’ Choice Award purpose of your eating disorder in your life? What personal need does it serve? By Sandy Goldberg Diablo Valley Oncology physicians Matthew Sirott, Robert Robles, Tiffany Eating disorder patients are under a tremendous amount of emotional and psySvahn, and Sachin Kamath of Contra Costa County are recipients of the latest 2010 chological pain, and they use their eating disorder to get relief from that pain. A therapist can help the client identify these feelings and deal with life’s “Patients’ Choice Award” from the popular rate-your-doctor website Vitals.com. stressful situations in a constructive way. The therapist will provide tools to cope “The honor is bestowed to physicians who have received near-perfect with the anxiety, and help the client adjust to life without eating disorders. scores as voted by patients,” the website says. Estee Goren, M.A., is a registered Marriage & Family Therapist Intern The annual award is based on more than 1 million patient reviews nationIMF 61543 (supervised by Julie A. Albert, MFT, MFC 28884) working with wide and goes only to doctors who earn four-star ratings on the site. Out teens, adults, and couples. She is specializing in relationship, life transiof the nation’s 720,000 active physicians, fewer than six percent receive tions, illnesses, grief, and personal development. Her goal is to help others this honor. Dr. Svahn, the group’s breast cancer specialist, has received the gain a new perspective, overcome personal challenges, and improve their award three years in a row. overall well-being. For more information or to schedule a free introductory session, please visit www.EsteeCounseling.com or call (925) 399-1177. Advertorial Danville / Alamo / San Ramon

Hospice of the East Bay Offers Support

Hospice of the East Bay is pleased to offer support groups and workshops for adults, children and teens experiencing grief after the death of a loved one at Hospice's administrative offices: 3470 Buskirk Avenue, Pleasant Hill.

Adult Support Groups/Classes:

Adults Who Have Lost a Parent: Tuesdays, 6 - 8pm, May 31st - July 26th Widow and Widowers' Support: (Evening) Thursdays, 6 - 8pm, May 19th - July 7th (Daytime) Thursdays, 1 - 3pm, June 16th - August 4th Adult Grief Classes: Understanding Grief: Wednesday, 7 - 9pm, June 22nd

Children and Teens Support Group:

Footsteps: Tuesdays, 5:15 - 6:30pm, September 20 - October 25th For further information and/or to register, please call: (925) 887-5681. Hospice of the East Bay is a not-for-profit agency that helps people cope with end of life care by providing medical, emotional, spiritual, and practical support for patients and families, regardless of their ability to pay. To learn more, or to make a donation of time or money, contact (925) 887-5678, or visit www.hospiceeastbay.org.

Seniors Wanted for Friendly Visitors Program

If you are a senior, or know a senior family member, neighbor, or fellow church member who could use a friend, please contact the Friendly Visitors program. Friendly Visitors are volunteers from the community who are dependable, caring, and have a positive outlook. The volunteers are screened, trained, and matched with seniors who share similar interests for weekly one-hour companionship visits. Volunteers are currently available. Call now and you could be matched with your new friend within a couple of weeks! The Friendly Visitors Program is operated through Meals on Wheels by Senior Outreach Services, a private, non-profit agency that has supported seniors in Contra Costa County since 1968. To learn more, please contact Susannah Meyer at (925) 9378311 ext. 130 or at smeyer@mowsos.org or visit our website at www.mowsos.org.

Dr. Sirott, Dr. Svahn, Dr. Robles, Dr. Kamath

Every month, tens of thousands of patients across the United States provide online feedback on Vitals.com about doctors’ quality of care, postappointment follow-up, bedside manner, and office staff courtesy. While physicians generally receive positive feedback from their patients, only a select few consistently receive rave reviews. Doctors Sirott, Robles, and Svahn specialize in medical oncology and hematology. Dr. Kamath is a radiation oncologist. In April, Diablo Valley Oncology and Hematology Medical Group celebrated their 10 year anniversary. They also recently became one of the first oncology practices in the nation to receive the Quality Oncology Advertorial Practice Certificate from the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Diablo Valley Oncology founded the California Cancer and Research Institute. Located in Pleasant Hill, the cancer center is the largest freestanding, non-hospital based facility in Contra Costa County. The center brings together medical oncology, hematology, radiation, chemotherapy, diagnostic imaging, laboratory, pharmacy, clinical trials, and supportive care services – all in one convenient location. The facility provides the latest in technology and therapies – to better serve patients in the community. www.DiabloValleyOncology.md


Page 20 - May 2011 ~ Danville Today News

Your Personal Nutritionist

By Linda Michaelis, RD No More Heartburn with Good Nutrition

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Do you experience heartburn several times per week? Have you confirmed your symptoms with your physician? I often hear clients, both young and old, complain about a burning chest pain behind the breastbone. This is the most common symptom used to diagnose gastroesophageal reflux disorder, commonly known as GERD. Other symptoms may be tightness in the chest that may wake you up at night, regurgitation of stomach fluids into the mouth, nausea, recurring sour or bitter taste in the mouth, hoarseness especially in the morning, and coughing to clear your throat. Without getting too technical, there is a valve (known as the sphincter) that separates the stomach from the esophagus, and when it fails to close properly, the contents of the stomach enter the esophagus. Normally, the valve opens when you swallow and allows food into your stomach where the rest of the time it is supposed to squeeze tight to prevent food and acid in the stomach from backing up into the esophagus. Let me tell you about my recent client Tom who was having a terrible time with pain due to his GERD. He found over-the-counter medications did not work very well. His doctor told him that he could prevent his symptoms if he worked with me and began to make lifestyle changes. Being overweight is highly associated with GERD. I find that when my clients lose 10 pounds their symptoms lessen as the weight loss helps to make it easier for the sphincter to close. Certainly Tom was enjoying the good life eating high fat meals that were often on the spicy side. Fatty foods are a true culprit when it comes to GERD symptoms. In addition to fat, there are many foods that relax the esophageal sphincter during their digestion. These include coffee, chocolate, alcohol, peppermint, spearmint, citrus fruits, tomatoes, spicy foods, raw garlic and onions, and carbonated beverages. After interviewing Tom about his typical eating habits, I almost did not know where to begin. Tom always started his day with several cups of coffee topped off with half and half. He went out to lunch each day where he ate hamburgers, greasy Chinese entrees, tacos, burritos, and his favorite Italian subway sandwich. When he came home from work he would eat spicy salsa and chips. For dinner he often enjoyed pasta with his wife’s homemade fresh tomato marinara sauce. Though dinner would often include a veggie or a salad, these two items were non-existent at lunch. I took a great deal of time to educate Tom on how to read a food label for calories per serving, fat, protein, and fiber. I showed him how to enjoy his beloved high fat foods such as a hamburger and balance it with eating a salad with a light vinaigrette dressing. His beef consumption twice a day had to be reduced to one every other day to allow his body the chance to digest it. We talked about how he could add more chicken, fish, and legumes to his diet and still enjoy his meals. He could snack on turkey jerky, fat-free cottage cheese, tuna salad made with lite mayo, and even homemade hummus. Tom committed to begin eating smaller, more frequent meals which is very important to prevent GERD symptoms. I asked him to eat a lighter dinner that contained a few ounces of protein, lots of veggies and a salad. I noted how important it was to not eat 3-4 hours before bed and to never lie down right after eating. I also suggested that he cut his alcohol consumption in half. We talked about reducing all tomato based products, due to their acidity, and substituting them with other spices and seasonings. I am glad to say that after working with Tom for two months he has lost 10 pounds, and his symptoms have almost disappeared. It has been a truly rewarding experience working with Tom. Please feel free to call me and let me help you. Linda is located in her office in Alamo. She welcomes your call to discuss your needs and personal diet challenges. Please visit www. LindaRD.com for more information, helpful tips, recipes and Linda’s blog or call (925) Advertorial 855-0150.


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The Eye Opener

By Gregory Kraskowsky, O.D., Alamo Optometry Here Comes the Sun

Now that the summer months are coming, it is time to make sure you have a good pair of UV-blocking polarized sunglasses. To help my patients in this regard, we are having a month-long sunglass sale for May. Every pair of sunglasses in the office is going to be 15% off in May. We have many different brands to choose from including Maui Jim, Oakley, Kate Spade, Coach, Gucci, and Juicy Couture. Most of the frames can also be made with prescription including single vision, bifocals, and progressives. If you are not currently a patient in the office, we invite you to come and look at our selection, and bring your prescription with you. We look forward to seeing everyone to help ramp up your eye protection for the summer months. A question I often get at the office is regarding sun protection and what is the best way to protect the eyes. My answer is always to have a good pair of UV-blocking sunglasses to be worn year round. The important fact to remember is that the tint of the lenses makes absolutely no difference for sun protection, and in some cases clear lenses can block as much ultraviolet light as sunglasses. The UV filter is a clear coating that is applied to the lenses and does not impact the appearance and light transmission to the eye. For people that do not like the dark lenses of sunglasses, clear lenses will also work if they are made of polycarbonate, which is a lighter, impactresistant material that comes with a scratch and UV coating. For those of you who are outdoor enthusiasts or just enjoy being outside, you will definitely enjoy the clarity and contrast that polarized lenses offer. Most prescription and non-prescription polarized lenses come in gray or brown. However, several companies have come out with single vision polarized lenses in yellow, pink, green, orange, etc. to help tailor your lenses to a specific outdoor activity or activities that you enjoy. Some of the activities that can be helped with these lenses include golf, fishing, skiing, and shooting. In addition, Maui Jim

Revitalize Your Eyes

By Barbara Persons, MD, Persons Plastic Surgery, Inc.

“The eyes are the mirror of the soul.” The clarity and sparkle of the eyes are a measure of health and vitality. As we age, however, the appearance of our eyes, these amazing portals to who we are, can be diminished due to excess skin and bags around them. A furrowed, drooping brow can further alter the alert, interested look of the eyes. The competitive work environment leads many professionals to consult me regarding their options for enhancing the youthfulness of their eyes. This month I will discuss the ways a plastic surgeon can revitalize your eyes. An eyelid lift (blepharoplasty) can restore the youthful appearance of the eyes by removing fatty tissue and excess skin and tightening the lax muscles that develop around the eyes and in some cases even improve the field of vision. The bulging fatty eyelid tissue can occur prematurely, as early as the twenties, and will appear in most people by age 50. The upper blepharoplasty procedure involves making a small incision in the natural crease of the upper eyelid. If the muscles are lax, creating a droopy eyelid, the muscles may be tightened. Small amounts of fat are removed, and fat grafting may be used fill areas which have hollowed such as the tear troughs. For a lower eyelid tightening, a small incision is made just below the lower eye lash or inside the lower eyelid. The upper and lower eyelid lift may be done separately or at the same time. Fine sutures close the incisions and are usually barely noticeable after healing. This procedure may be performed under local anesthesia with mild sedation and takes approximately one hour. Recovery time is about seven to ten days. In consultation with a plastic surgeon, the patient looking for eyelid surgery may learn that to gain the full benefit of a blepharoplasty, it

Danville Today News ~ May 2011 - Page 21 has come out with a new high-definition lens that comes polarized and increases contrast. A good example for these lenses is for golfers who will be able to pick up the undulations in the greens a little better due to the tint of the lenses. We have some samples and information guides that can help us aid you in deciding the lens or lenses needed for all of your activities. The effects of ultraviolet exposure are generally long-term, but in some circumstances they can be quick and painful. For anyone who has had a UVflash burn from welding or from receiving a lot of glare from the water or snow will know how painful this can be. However, most exposure causes premature cataracts, skin melanomas, freckles, and pingueculas (those yellowish bumps on the white part of the area that often get irritated in dry or windy conditions). Studies have shown that we receive almost 75% of our total UV radiation by the time we are 18 years old; therefore it is important that our kids have sun protection. Obviously there is no need to spend a lot on these glasses, but keep in mind if your child wears glasses, as long as the lenses are made of polycarbonate and/or have transitions lenses, they have all of the protection they need. If not, most over-thecounter glasses come with the UV filter in the lenses. Regardless of age, race, sex, or activity level, we all need proper sun wear to help combat the harmful rays from the sun. We look forward to helping you look good, see good, and protect yourself this summer and beyond. 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 website at: www.alamooptometry.com and become a fan on our Alamo Optometry Facebook page. 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 accepted. Assistive listening system are available for T-coils, and most meetings are captioned. Contact: HLAADV@hearinglossdv. org or 925.264.1199 or www.hearinglossdv.org. should be done with a brow lift. Horizontal forehead lines, sagging eyebrows, and wrinkles between the eyebrows (glabellar) can cause us to look tired, sad, or even angry. Botox relaxes the muscles that cause the previous symptoms. As we get older, a brow lift is required to achieve the desired brow position. I most commonly use the endoscopic approach, which involves a few small incisions hidden in the hairline through which the brow is lifted. The procedure may be performed under local anesthesia with mild sedation and takes approximately one hour. Recovery time is about 3-5 days. A rhytydectomy (full facelift) is designed to re-sculpt the face by removing the loose skin and repositioning tissues on the face and neck to return them to a more youthful, natural looking position. A facelift procedure involves incisions made in the hairline above the forehead and ears to reposition facial muscles and tighten the skin. As the volume of the face affects appearance as much as the muscles and skin, a complete rejuvenating facelift would include fat grafting to fill areas of low volume in the face, lips and cheeks. Recovery time is approximately two weeks. The general rule is that the procedure takes 10 years off of one’s appearance. When contemplating any procedure to enhance your face, it is vital to consult a plastic surgeon, facial plastic surgeon, or oculoplastic surgeon. Be wary of centers offering relatively inexpensive lunchtime lifts with minimal downtime. These cannot match the facelifts performed by a plastic surgeon with years of training who provides quality care to her patients. With a well done face lift, you notice that your friend looks much better, but you would never know that she has had anything done. I would be pleased to consult with you about the best options for achieving your goals based in this regard. Barbara Persons MD owns Persons Plastic Surgery, Inc. located at 911 Moraga Rd in Lafayette. Please call 925-283-8811 or email at drbarb@personsplasticsurgery.com. Advertorial


Page 22 - May 2011 ~ Danville Today News

TVAR continued from page 11

to train their dogs.” Lisa Healy, past-president of TVAR and long-time board member notes that training methods and philosophy have evolved so much that people who have had older dogs benefit greatly from learning new tricks. Sweet Pea is the only one of many dogs Lisa has fostered that she couldn’t give up. Sweet Pea came into ECAS with a shattered hip. After TVAR financed surgery to repair the damage with a metal plate, the Chihuahua mix went everywhere with Lisa. Finally Lisa decided that the two male household labs needed a little sister. Daisy, another Chihuahua mix currently in the care of Lisa DeFinney, was surrendered to the shelter when her owner died. “Fostering is addicting,” Lisa admits. Every Thursday, as coordinator of TVAR’s weekly adoption event at the Pleasanton Farmer’s Market, Lisa e-mails the foster group to find out who will be present on Saturday. She sets up the portable fencing that surrounds each handler and dog and makes sure enough volunteers are on hand. Adult shelter volunteers receive training in a buddy program specific to dogs or cats. Some opt to be certified to work with both. They pick their own schedule on a drop-in basis using a log to indicate which animals they have worked with and to add any comments helpful to understanding each animal’s personality. Although the resiliency of animals and their remarkable ability to trust despite their sad history is a favorite topic of long-term volunteers, shelter life is stressful. Noise echoes in the concrete corridors, metal cage doors clang, and strange humans come and go. Tales of terrified animals displaying aggressive behavior at the shelter only to become loving pets in foster care make TVAR volunteers wary of dismissing any animal’s behavior too quickly as unremediable. TVAR holds two major fundraising events a year, both open to the public: a February Claws for Paws Crabfeed and a Fall That’s Amore Dinner/Auction. This year’s dinner will be held at Castlewood Country Club on November 5th. Many of the 120 volunteers needed for these fundraisers, notes Ioana Justus

Follow The Plan to Conquer Your Back Pain

By Bridget Scott, D.C., Johnson Chiropractic Group

Do you suffer from back pain? You can conquer it. You can get back to enjoying many of the things you love: exercising, playing with the kids, or simply working and living without pain. But you have to follow The Plan. Perhaps you’ve tried one or more treatments to mask or minimize your back pain in the past: physical therapy, ultrasound, stretching, massage, cortisone shots, chiropractic care, decompression, or rest. And perhaps, worst of all, you’ve spent lots of money looking for relief. Whether your back pain is subtle, chronic, or downright debilitating…it can be conquered! Which brings us back to The Plan. All of the aforementioned treatments, on their own, can provide short periods of relief for certain symptoms of your back pain. However, I know from ten years of experience as a chiropractor that you want real results: pain relief that lasts! And the key to your recovery – the key to pain relief that lasts – is following The Plan.

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at the monthly adult orientation session, only have time to help with special events. You don’t have to be good with pets to give valuable support. If you are willing to do data entry, web work, photography, or publicity, this all-volunteer organization can use your talents. Among Ioana’s many duties is keeping the foster logbook updated. Adopters who don’t spot their ideal pet at ECAS can leaf through the notebook of available foster animals. Donations are always welcome. The Cinderella Fund gives animals with major medical issues another chance. Expenses covered by TVAR when animals enter their foster care program include microchipping, vaccinating, spaying/neutering, Kari Petznick and Oreo and foster pet supplies. Visit Tri-Valley Animal Rescue’s web page www.tvar.org for information on how to get involved. Lost a pet? The site has excellent advice on how to be reunited with your four-legged friend. Want to adopt? Available pets are featured with personality profiles and pictures. restrict the normal movement of the muscles and nerves. This creates inflammation and irritation. Other symptoms that can be a result of muscle/tendon adhesions are aching, tingling, numbness, burning, stiffness, immobility, and loss of strength.

How McKenzie Method (Low-Back) Exercises Work

A mechanical diagnosis identifies the location of joint and soft tissue involvement in your injury. Extension and flexion are taught to help effectively relieve disc or nerve involvement in that area. These McKenzie exercises help retrain the muscles and joints to their optional position and correct structural changes affecting the injured area. Thousands of our patients have seen significant reduction in their pain and sustained improvements in their condition due to these exercises.

How VAX-D (lumbar decompression therapy) Works

VAX-D has proven effective in relieving the pain secondary to herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, and sciatica. VAX-D therapy allows for the safe, controlled distraction or decompression of the lumbar spine. We provide each patient with a personalized decompression treatment, by using a computerized program to administer an exact treatment. Your treatment is determined after reviewing your medical history, examination findings, and diagnostic reports. Then, the repetitive stretching or “decompression” of your lowered back creates relief by physically decreasing pressure on the lumbar discs and spinal nerves. Most patients experience significant relief with VAX-D therapy within How The Plan Works 6 to 8 sessions, and they are able to effectively transition into the exercises and The Plan is a unique, four-part approach to back pain relief. Each part is stretches necessary for sustained lumbar spine health. reasonably effective on its own, yet when combined, the treatments and therapies How Chiropractic Adjustments Work will catapult you toward recovery and long-term pain relief. The Plan consists The goal of a chiropractic adjustment is to correct a misalignment in the of the following: Neuromuscular Re-education (NMR), McKenzie Method spine or at a specific joint. The adjustment relieves pain by reducing abnormal Exercises, Decompression Therapy (VAX-D), and chiropractic adjustments. pressure/stress on the soft tissue, joints, and nerves involved.

How Neuromuscular Re-education (NMR) Works

NMR is a dynamic technique focused on soft tissue rehabilitation. It is a noninvasive treatment designed to restore proper muscle function and movement enabling the body to heal and perform at its most efficient level. NMR combines the use of pressure, tension, and motion to force the layers of the muscle and tissue to work together properly. There are very few chiropractors that incorporate a focus on soft tissue into their practice. However, many injuries to the low back should not be immediately treated with chiropractic manipulation until the adhesions in the soft tissues (muscles, tendons, etc.) have been treated. Specifically for low back injuries, muscles and tendons often initially heal incorrectly, with adhesions that

Johnson Chiropractic Group is the only office in the East Bay offering The Plan, this unique combination of four progressive treatments for back pain, bundled into one visit, for one price. I’m so confident these treatments will help you move past your pain…that I will guarantee my professional services and your improved condition! If you’re not satisfied with your improvement within three visits, I guarantee a full refund. So call and make an appointment today, and get your life back, pain-free. For more info go to www.movepastyourpain.com, visit us on Facebook, or contact Dr. Bridget Scott at Johnson Chiropractic Group, 115 Town & Country Advertorial Dr., Suite E in Danville. 925.743.8210.


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Are You in a Sandwich?

By Joyce & Jim Newport, Owners, Right at Home of Mt. Diablo

And how did you get here? Looking back, it started when mom asked for a minor home repair. Then your folks asked you to pick up a few groceries. Then dad asked for a ride to his doctor because mom can no longer drive, and he isn’t feeling up to it. Now you’re making weekly grocery trips, spending hours on your weekends preparing meals in small portions that they Photo by www.JamieWestdal.com can easily heat up, and making sure that their bills are being paid on time, all the while musing about when you will squeeze in time to do your own laundry. Eventually, you may find yourself assisting in ways you never anticipated, such as with grooming and hygiene. You are far from alone. According to Caring.com, nearly one household out of every four provides care in some form for an older family member. Oh, and are you also taking care of children of your own? Then welcome to the “Sandwich Generation!” Of course, you hope that your family members stay physically and mentally healthy and are able to live in their own home for the rest of their lives. In many cases, the loss of independence is gradual, and the need for assistance is not always clear. Maybe you and your spouse have talked about eventually moving mom into your home. The very best thing you can do for yourself and your elderly loved ones is to act now to find out what they would want should they need assistance, and put a care plan in place. More often than not, decisions about long term care are made during crisis situations. It is so much more effective if you can have a series of family meetings before an emergency occurs so you can calmly discuss potential scenarios and develop a plan for when dad will need long term care services. Sit with your elderly loved ones, ask them about their needs and preferences, and consider all of the alternative levels of care including enhanced services within their own home. Involve all family members in the process, and make a long term care plan that everyone is comfortable with. Ensuring that everyone in the family is in agreement now will save incalculable grief in the future. During your family meetings, some of the key areas you will need to discuss will be the costs of the various living options and your loved ones’ financial resources, proximity to family members and sources of assistance, and how the family will assign various roles such as arranging for care if the time comes. You’ll want to look at the kinds of insurance coverage they have and what services are paid for and what services are not paid for. Whether your parent ultimately decides that they want to age in place in their own home, or they prefer to move into a community that will provide the assistance they will need long term, the sooner you have that family meeting to prepare for this process, the better the transition will be. Without a plan, it is difficult to determine at what point to intervene, and you will most likely face resistance from mom who is not accustomed to having her child tell her what to do. Your

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EVERYTHING ELECTRICAL! Need new light fixtures, ceiling fans, recessed lighting, or track lighting installed? Need a dimmer switch or GFCI installed? Do you want to change the color of your outlets in your kitchen or install 220V power for the new hot tub or stove? I also troubleshoot electrical problems. FREE ESTIMATES. Licensed and bonded. 30 years experience. CALL 925-389-6964.

Danville Today News ~ May 2011 - Page 23 family members who live on the other side of the country will want to share their opinions about what steps should be taken. And while you all struggle over these issues, mom or dad might suffer a fall, and the crisis has begun. Wouldn’t you like to know that you can pull out a map to lead the way? For tips on starting the conversation, visit our blog at www.rah-md.net. About Right at Home - Right at Home is a non-medical home care agency. We directly employ and supervise all caregiving staff, each thoroughly screened, trained, bonded and insured. For more information on Right at Home services, please call 925.256.4663. Advertorial

Senior Health Fitness Day

The Town of Danville will be promoting physical fitness, nutrition and preventative care at this year’s Senior Health Fitness Day. It will take place on May 26 from 9AM - 1PM at Oak Hill Park Community Center. The first 50 people will receive a FREE pedometer. The morning begins with a fitness walk, free breakfast, and coffee. Enjoy fitness demonstrations, free massages, putting contests, free health screenings, door prizes, great exhibitors, and exciting presentations throughout the day. Come learn ways to improve your health, and meet the experts who can make your life healthier and happier. For a full complete schedule of activities, exhibitors, and sponsors, go to www.danville.ca.gov. The fitness walk begins at 9AM, and health screenings will be held from 9AM – noon. Box lunches costing $3 will be served at noon. To register for the fitness walk and memory screening, call (925) 314-3490. To register and pay $3 for box lunch, call (925) 314-3400. Oak Hill Park Community Center is located at 3005 Stone Valley Road in Danville.

Senior Buzz Sessions

Buzz Sessions are the buzz on topics and issues facing today’s older adults. Join us to talk with the experts. Buzz Sessions are held at the Town Meeting Hall in Danville, and they are free! For more information, call 925-314-3400 or visit www.danville.ca.gov. Keeping You Upright: Fall Prevention ~ Tuesday, May 10 ~ 9AM – 10AM Injuries due to falls are the single major reason for hospital admissions. Learn how you can take control and stop yourself from becoming a statistic. All it takes is the willingness to change, just a little. The presentation will highlight incidences of falls, some tips to prevent falls, and what to do if you fall. In addition, we provide tools for remaining independent in your home, including an emergency response system. Why Meditation? ~ Tuesday, May 24 ~ 9AM – 10:30AM Meditation has been long been known to promote improved health and well being, increased self-awareness and growth, and a deeper spiritual connection. In this class, we will learn to release tension, quiet the mind, heal the body, visual success, and connect with our spiritual nature. Presented by Mary Bruns, Meditation Practitioner for over 25 years.

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CAR FOR COLLEGE STUDENT Looking for a cheap car for a college student. Preferably a Honda or Toyota. Manual transmission OK. Please call 925-216-1089

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Page 24 - May 2011 ~ Danville Today News

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Danville Real Estate Review: Distressed Sales are 36% of Declining Market

The selling season has begun in earnest, and I thought it might be useful to look at the sales data year to date through April 23, 2010 and compare it with previous selling seasons going back to the market peak in 2006. This should give us some insight into whether the Danville Market has reached a bottom or yet darker days lie ahead. As of this writing, 219 homes are for sale in Danville. The average list price is $1,018,776. The average sold price is $752,284 or 26% less than asking price. Pending sales are solid with a total of 134. The pending square foot price is sitting at $309 per square foot or only slightly higher than properties just sold. Forty-eight or 36% of these homes are pending “Subject to Bank Approval.” It is not clear to me whether this number will increase, decrease or stay the same in the months ahead. Only the banks know. I do believe, however, that the very presence of distressed sales in our market at this elevated level will continue to have a dampening effect on prices. Changes in this number in either direction will most likely dictate the future of home prices in Danville. Looking at the chart, we can see that sold price is down -27% from the peak in 2006 and down -3% from this time last year. Dollars Danville Home Sales Dollars/Sq. Ft. Danville Home Sales Dollars/Sq. Ft. paid per square foot tells a slightly grimmer $445 $442 $450 $445 story, down -32% from the peak and down $442 $450 $388 $400 -11% from the same time period last year. $388 $400 $335 $335 $350 Please note that the average price decline $335 $335 $350 $301 $300 from 2009 to 2010 was about $16,000 and $301 $300 the average price decline from 2010-2011 $250 $250 was roughly $20,000. This number suggests $200 $200 an accelerating rate of price decline moving $150 $150 forward and is not encouraging at all. $100 $100 Very interesting is the change in the Sq. $50 $50 Ft. column which shows that the imputed size $$Peak 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 of homes that are selling is on the rise hitting Peak 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2006 2006

Peak 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 % Chg. from '06-'11 % Chg. from '10-'11

Danville Home Sales Jan.1-April 23 2006-2011 Units Sold Days on Mkt. List Price Sold Price $ Sq. Foot 169 20 $ 1,058,074 $ 1,036,702 $ 445 196 38 $ 1,008,597 $ 982,603 $ 442 113 71 $ 936,471 $ 897,540 $ 388 99 81 $ 833,692 $ 788,306 $ 335 170 47 $ 794,861 $ 772,354 $ 335 158 53 $ 775,472 $ 752,284 $ 301 -7% 265% -27% -27% -32% -8% 12% -3% -3% -11%

Sq. Ft. 2330 2223 2313 2353 2306 2499 7% 8%

2499 sq. ft. compared to 2306 sq. ft. last year. This is a striking change, significantly higher than any previous year, and I believe one can infer from this data point that a greater number of larger homes are beginning to sell in the current market, and they are selling at deeper discounts compared to smaller homes. Increasing numbers of high-end bank owned property sales and short sales may be the root cause of this significant market change. And, this rightly begs the question, “Will the retiring Baby Boom generation find an adequate number of High End buyers for their “McMansions” built during the past 20 years of the housing boom to maintain price stability?” Or, will a tsunami of larger homes flood the market as the Boomers begin the cash out process, leading ultimately to even steeper price declines? Another interesting thing to think about is inventory supply. When looking at the 219 homes currently for sale in Danville and comparing it to the roughly 40 homes that are selling per month, Danville is sitting with about a five month inventory supply. This is within the range of 3-6 months inventory which some experts hold to be a normal market. One might consider this to be a positive sign worth watching as it could be an early indicator of a bottom. On the other hand, the absolute number of sales year on year has slipped by -8% from last year, perhaps due to the termination of the first time homebuyer tax credit which definitely had the market hopping last year. If sales volume continues to slip this will not be a good sign. It’s important to remember that there really is no “average” home and no two homes are exactly alike. If you would like an honest no strings attached opinion of your home’s current market value, please give me a call 925-989-6086 or send me an email joecombs@thecombsteam.com.

Alamo Single Story

Danville Station 4 Bedroom

Westside Alamo Views

Amazing 4 bedroom, 3 bath, single story with pool. Granite kitchen. $1,199,000

This fabulous home on a large corner lot features hardwood flooring and soaring ceilings. Master with sitting room, walk-in closet $699,000.

This amazing Westside custom 4 bedroom contemporary has amazing views of Mt. Diablo and the Las Trampas Hills. $1,399,000

Danville Executive Home

S. Walnut Creek 3 Bedroom

Danville 4 Bedroom

G

IN ND

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

This lovely 3 bedroom home is a perfect “10” and includes a pool of its own. $785,000

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

This 4 bedroom Danville home has a huge backyard. Pool, pool house, green house, fruit trees, RV and boat parking. $849,000 J. Rockcliff Realtors 15 Railroad Ave., Danville CA. 94526


Danville Today News, May 2011