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November 2011 SRVHS Senior Picked for All Star Game San Ramon Valley High School Senior and Varsity quarterback, Zach Kline, has been picked to play in the Under Armour All Star Game set for Thursday, January 5, 2012 at the Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. The fifth-annual Under

Serving Danville Healing Hoof Beats: Rhythm of Hope By Jody Morgan

Army veteran Mariela Meylan provides living proof of the healing power of hoof beats as she takes charge of driving a horse aptly named Chance at ENN Reins in Motion. Deployed when her daughter was only two months old, Mariela was able to return home for a few months before the baby celebrated her first birthday. Deployed again, Mariela was not so lucky. Mariela was involved in a horrible accident. Doctors told her family there was no hope of recovery. Her mother refused to pull the plug. When Mariela awoke from a seven-month coma, her limbs were like toothpicks and neurological issues were evident. Today Mariela has reason to hope that she will once again walk unaided. She teases her instructors and talks animatedly about what she likes best about working with co-founder Peggy James and the staff at Reins in Motion in Livermore. “They ask you to do something and you don’t think you can do it, Zach Kline with some of his SRVHS teammates. Photo by Lyn Schuppert. Armour All-America Game is a competition spotlighting the nation’s top high but you do and it builds school seniors. This event is ESPN sponsored and one of the two premiere All Star confidence.” Exercises events in the country. Only four quarterbacks in the country received this honor. both in driving and in the Under Armour is traveling the country and presenting an honorary jersey to each of saddle help Mariela to the participants. Zach was recognized at the school in a special mid-day assembly. build muscle strength and improve her short-term Learn more at Congratulations Zach! memory. Her mother is 4-H Youth Build Wind Energy Technologies amazed that the one area Tassajara 4-H club hosted the fourth annual 4-H National Youth Science Day where Mariela has no Veteran Mariela Meylan, right, drives for recovery with (NYSD) recently. 4-H members from all over Contra Costa County attended. As memory issues is when it Peggy James. part of the annual 4-H NYSD, youth participated in Wired for Wind: the 2011 comes to music. “She knows all the lyrics to the new songs as well as the old.” National Science Experiment. The experiment was designed to demonstrate to Sentinels of Freedom, founded by Danville resident Mike Conklin when one young people how they are able to implement alternatives to traditional energy of his sons was severely wounded in Iraq, sponsors Meylan’s equine-assisted production and have a positive impact on their communities and ecosystems. therapy. The Sentinels’ mission includes helping men and women wounded At the event, Wired for Wind participants enhanced their engineering skills in the course of serving our country to regain their independence. Specifically designed for veterans, Horses for Heroes is also available at by designing, building, and testing two different wind turbine models. There was even a contest to see Hoof Prints on the Heart in Livermore and Leaps & Bounds in Walnut Creek. which team could generate At the National Center for Equine Facilitated Therapy in Woodside near the the most power from their Palo Alto VA Medical Center, veterans often volunteer as sidewalkers to enwind turbine model. The night courage other veterans engaged in therapeutic riding. Enthused by another program offered at Woodside, Tineke Jacobsen, P.T., included a 4-H Science Fair CTRI, and PATH International Registered Therapist, recently brought hipwhere 4-H’ers displayed and explained science projects they potherapy to the East Bay. Hippotherapy is conducted by a licensed medical professional – a Physical, Occupational or Speech Therapist - using a horse as brought to the event. the platform. Consequently, many insurance companies reimburse the cost of “Our nation is falling behippotherapy at the same rate as standard in-clinic services. hind other countries in the Jacobsen elaborates on what makes hippotherapy so effective: “For one fields of science, technology, thing, the therapy is provided in an enriched sensory environment that no engineering and math,” said clinic, classroom, or other treatCameron Turner, Riley Arbuckle, and Elizabeth Trennery Carol Eldridge, Club Leader, ment center can come close to in Tassajara 4-H. “Participation in 4-H NYSD and other year-round 4-H science terms of moving through space Volume III - Number 1 See 4-H continued on page 21 on a dynamic base, the movement 3000F Danville Blvd. #117, Alamo, CA 94507 Telephone (925) 405-NEWS, 405-6397 transmitted from the horse’s body, PRSRT STD Fax (925) 406-0547 the sounds and smells of the arena, U.S. Postage the warmth of the horse through Alisa Corstorphine ~ Publisher PAID Local the blanket, the touch and feel Permit 263 Postal Customer Alamo CA of the horse’s mane and neck, The opinions expressed herein belong to the writers, and do not necessarily reflect that of Danville Today News. Danville communication with the horse, Today News is not responsible for the content of any of the ECRWSS

See Horse cont. on pg. 18

advertising herein, nor does publication imply endorsement.

Page 2 - November 2011 ~ Danville Today News

Boulevard View By Alisa Corstorphine, Editor “Michel, Anne, vous travaillez? Euh, non, nous regardons la televsion. Pourquoi?....” I still remember that opening line from our junior high ALM textbook teaching us beginning French. The only other thing I remember from that class was connecting with a new French penpal, Michel Ouvrard. Through a class/teacher pairing, the junior high French students of Mme Amendola were matched with a class near Le Mans, France. Michel and I traded a couple letters, sent a few photos, and he created a handmade and colored map of France to show where he lived. I still have these momentos tucked in an old photo album. At the same time I was working on a Girl Scout Pen Pal badge and connected with a distant relative who was my age and living in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). Eleanor was in Girl Guides, and thus we automatically had something in common. We exchanged quite a few letters and trinkets back and forth. Since this was way before the internet, each letter that arrived was an exciting surprise. My husband actually met her before I did, as he visited her in Zimbabwe when he was there on business and then again a few years later after she had moved to England with her husband. I finally got to meet her in person when she brought her husband and daughter to Oregon for a visit. Unfortunately, through her marriage and divorce, we lost track of each other. (Ironically two days before this paper went to press, and through internet sleuthing, I tracked her down again after a 20 year hiatus! I am excited to reconnect!) Penpals and chain letters used to be exciting ways to communicate with people in far away places. They were our connection to a wider world. In 1972 my grandparents were travelling through Europe. They were on a river trip on the Danube, traveling near Budapest, Hungary. There was a 17 year old Czechoslovakian boy Amy and Pavel

named Pavel on the same boat with his brother and parents, and he heard my grandparents speaking English. Pavel wanted to speak to them but was very shy, because at that time he had only taken English courses for less than two years. He finally found the courage to speak to my grandfather Rudy. Pavel tried to speak English, and Rudy tried to speak Czech (which he had learned as a young boy before coming to America). Pavel and Rudy talked until the river trip ended. They exchanged addresses, and Rudy wrote Pavel a letter when he got home. Rudy and Pavel exchanged Christmas cards and another letter or two, but a short year later, Rudy suddenly passed away. My mother, Rudy’s daughter Angela, wrote and notified Pavel. However, she also told Pavel about our family and sent a photo. A new correspondence began! Pavel improved his English, and letters Dorothy and Angela share a cake recreating and packages criss-crossed the ocean. My par- their first letters to each other. ents were finally able to meet Pavel on a trip to the Czech Republic in 1999, and my daughter, Amy, was able to spend a few days in his “Bohemian Paradise” with him and his family this summer. When I was young, I can remember my mom always having samples of perfume, makeup, and little tubes of lipstick in a variety of colors. They came fairly regularly from someone we knew only by the name “Dorothy Fee.” Dorothy lived in England, and she had become “penfriends” with my mother when they were both teenagers. For 53 years their letters and packages crossed the Atlantic. A month ago they were finally able to meet for the first time when my mother visited England. They were overjoyed! Hopefully the instant-gratification of the internet will enhance rather than destroy the traditions of being “penpal” friends, because these friendships have brought me and my family so much joy and love over the years. It’s a great practice to encourage in our kids, and I hope that if you had a penpal, reading this will cause you to consider looking them up or write them a good, old-fashioned letter!

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Christmas Memories at the Museum of the San Ramon Valley Start your celebration of the holidays with the opening of Christmas Memories at the Museum of the San Ramon Valley on Tuesday, November 15. This delightful exhibit runs through December 31. Christmas Memories is an annual tradition at the Museum and captures Christmas past with a display of a Christmas tree as it would have looked in the 1890’s. Nestled under the tree and in a Santa’s Workshop are toys and keepsakes from earlier generations, along with the Museum’s special model train. There will also be a beautiful outdoor tree with carolers. Activities include matching a picture with a Christmas Carol. There will also be a treasure hunt to match a popular toy, one that “everyone” had to have or give, with the year or era in which it was introduced. Santa will be at the Museum on the Saturdays leading up to Christmas. Many other nostalgic items on display are on loan from local Valley residents and include a Winnie the Pooh collection, doll houses, and different Christmas Village scenes. Make Christmas Memories one of your family’s annual traditions. The Museum of the San Ramon Valley (in the restored Danville Train Depot) is located at 205 Railroad Avenue in Danville. Hours are Tuesday through Friday 1-4. Saturdays the Museum is open 10-1. Admission is only $3 for guests and free for Museum members. The Museum Store offers unique gifts, including Vintage Danville, a wonderful book chronicling the history of the San Ramon Valley for over 150 years. Please call (925) 837-3750 or go to for additional information.

Hospice of Tree of Lights Hospice of the East Bay invites the public to participate in its 25th annual Tree of Lights ceremonies to be held throughout Contra Costa in November and December. Each light on every tree is symbolic of a life and will shine in honor or memory of a beloved friend or family member. Please join any of the commemorative ceremonies to enjoy music, poetry, remembrances by family members and friends of Hospice, and the special moment when the tree lights up. • DANVILLE/SAN RAMON: Town Meeting Hall - 201 Front Street, Danville ~ Friday, November 18, 5:30PM (Reception to follow) • BLACKHAWK: Blackhawk Rd. at Blackhawk Dr. ~ Friday, December 2, 5PM • ALAMO: Alamo Women’s Club, 1401 Danville Blvd., Alamo ~ Wednesday, December 14, 12:15PM Proceeds from Tree of Lights ceremonies benefit our communities and the patients and families in the care of Hospice of the East Bay. To sponsor a tree or to make a suggested donation of $25 per light, visit www. or send a tax-deductible check to Hospice of the East Bay, 3470 Buskirk Avenue, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523. Please note which tree you are choosing to buy a light for and the name of the person being remembered or honored. For further information, you can call (925) 887-5678.

10 Years of Christmas with the Danville Community Band The 80+-piece, all-volunteer Danville Community Band presents 10 Years of Christmas with the Danville Community Band, a program of memorable and exciting holiday music on Sunday, December 4th, 3pm at the East Bay Fellowship, located at 2615 Camino Tassajara, Danville. “Silent Night in Gotham,” “Rhapsody for Hanukkah,” “Fanfare and Hark the Herald Angels Sing,” and the narrated “T’was the Night Before Christmas” are just some of the selections featured. A visitor from the North Pole may appear as well. Join us for our annual family event as the band celebrates the holidays and its 10th Anniversary Year. Concert admission and parking are FREE! For information see or call 925-372-8420.

Pre-Holiday Shopping & Dining Extravaganza

Downtown Danville ~ Danville Livery ~ Rose Garden Shops

Thursday, November 17th 5:00–9:00 p.m. $5 charity ticket redemption for wristband entitles wearer to:

Merchant Discounts ~ Live Music ~ Trolley Rides Free Commemorative Ornament* ~ Holiday Merriment & more! Purchase $5 Charity Tickets through charitable organizations & at these merchant locations: Cottage Jewel - 100 Prospect Ave. Danville Chocolates - 145 E. Prospect Ave. La Buena Vida - 606 Sycamore Valley Rd. W Sycamore Valley Chiropractic - 565 Sycamore Valley Rd. W The Studio - 730 Camino Ramon, Suite 200 ȝˆ‘”Ƥ”•–͜͜͡ƒ––‡†‡‡• ŽŽ’”‘…‡‡†•‘ˆ͊͡Šƒ”‹–›‹…‡–•ƒŽ‡•„‡‡Ƥ– SRV Education Foundation, Veterans Memorial Building of SRV, Blue Star Moms, Hospice of the East Bay, Role Players Ensemble, & Danville Alamo Garden Club For more information and a list of participating merchants visit

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Thanksgiving and Christmas Gift Items, Fine China, Crystal, Collectibles, Jewelry, Gift Baskets, Linens, Dolls, Toys, and Delicious Home Baked Goods SPECIAL LUNCH - $12 (Served from Noon to 2pm)

Pastitsio (Greek Pasta), Greek Salad Baklava and Coffee GREAT RAFFLE PRIZES! One Week at Sun Valley, Idaho in Stunning Vacation Home Weekend in Beautiful Donner Lake Home Weekend in Deluxe Capitola Condo with Monterey Bay View Gorgeous Fine Jewelry and Many More Wonderful Prizes SEPARATE RAFFLE FOR A Beautiful Handmade Quilt by Masterpieces plus More Lovely Quilts Creekside Community Church 1350 Danville Boulevard, Alamo, CA Friday, November 11, 2011 from 4-8pm and Saturday, November 12, 2011 from 9am - 3pm

All proceeds will be donated to The Macedonian Outreach, a non-profit Christian organization founded with the purpose of helping the neediest children in the Balkans.

Thank you and God bless you!

Page 4 - November 2011 ~ Danville Today News

AARP Tax-Aide Call for Volunteers

Spirit of Danville

Do you like working with people? Are you good with numbers? Contra Costa County AARP Tax-Aide is looking for volunteers to become members of a team providing free tax preparation for individuals of all ages. Volunteers are trained by Tax-Aide and become IRS Certified tax counselors. Other volunteer positions are available. For information, or to apply, call LaVerne Gordon, District Coordinator, at (925) 726-3199. Orientation is in November, and classes for tax counselors start in January 2012.

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Get into the Spirit! With the holiday season fast approaching, Danville merchants have come together for an evening of holiday cheer that will save you money while benefiting local charities. Over 50 Danville merchants and restaurants will participate in this magical event to kick-start the holiday shopping season. Free trolley rides will shuttle shoppers between Downtown, Danville Livery, and the Rose Garden Shops. Take advantage of special money-saving offers, deep discounts on dining, gifts, and a whole lot of holiday cheer. The event will be held rain or shine. To keep your spirit warm, some merchants will offer hot cider, cookies, holiday ornaments, and gifts. Be sure to eat after shopping, as participating restaurants will give exclusive discounts to The Spirit of Danville ticket-holders. Tickets are $5, with 100% of the proceeds going directly to the charity from which you purchase your ticket including the San Ramon Valley Education Foundation, Veterans Memorial Building of San Ramon Valley, Hospice of the East Bay, Blue Star Moms, Role Players Ensemble and the Danville Alamo Garden Club. Purchase tickets through the charities or online at

Holiday Helpers! With the holiday season fast approaching, each day gets more complicated with projects and commitments. How do you get everything done on schedule and retain your sanity? GFWC Danville Women's Club can help. We are hosting a holiday bake sale and a craft and accessory boutique. We can be your one stop shop for holiday goodies and unique gift items. In addition, club members can wrap your presents and prepare your holiday cards for mailing. We do the work so you don't have to. The special day will take place Saturday December 10th from 9am to 4pm at the Danville Women's Club located at 242 Linda Mesa Avenue in Danville. If you bring your gift, box, and wrap, Club members will put everything together for you for a nominal fee. In addition they can prepare your holiday cards and letters for mailing. Take advantage of the stuffing, labeling, stamping, and sealing services. You bring the cards, envelopes, stamps, labels and the Club members do the work! The cost is 10¢ per card, 10¢ per inserts, and hand addressed cards 25¢ per card. Danville Women's Club is a 100 year old service organization supporting the needs of the San Ramon Valley. Proceeds from this event provides funds for scholarships for area high school students. For more information visit www., call 925-837-1165, or email

35th Annual Lighting of the Old Oak Tree

Come one, come all as the Danville Area Chamber of Commerce and the Town of Danville presents the 35th annual Lighting of the Old Oak Tree on Friday, November 25 (the day after Thanksgiving), from 5:15-8:30PM along Diablo Road near the Old Oak Tree. Remembering Chloe ~ Thank You Wehadonlyhadherforafewshortdays.ShehadbeenrescuedfromAnimalServices.Theshy,scared,9montholdMalThe festivities begin at 5:15 with a gathering at the Old tipoohadbeendeemed“unadoptable”tothegeneralpublicandwasslatedtobeeuthanized.Wetookherhome,groomedher, Oak Tree for holiday refreshments and a sing-along with the andnamedher“Chloe.”Ourhopewastohelpherovercomeherfearsandfindherahomewhereshewouldthrive.Whena San Ramon Valley High School Chorus under the direction potentialadopterwantedtomeether,wewerehappytooblige.Theycame,spentsometimewithher,andtookherorawalk. of Ken Abrams. Stay for the ceremonial lighting of the tree WhenChloe’sleashwaspassedfromonepersontothenext,itwasaccidentallydropped.Chloesensedtherelease,andina by Father Christmas and Snow Angel at 6:15. Then, follow splitsecondsheboltedandwasgone.Aftersearchingforseveralhoursandnotseeingatraceofher,weheadedbackhome Father Christmas and the Snow Angel in a merry parade hopingthatshewouldsurvivethenightoutsidealone.Thenextmorningcame,andthesearchcontinued.Toourdelight,Chloe down Prospect and Hartz Avenues. The magic continues hadbeenspottedseveraltimesbyneighbors.Whileweknewshewasokay,westillhadtofigureoutawaytogethersafelyback throughout downtown Danville with holiday music, enhome.Wesearchedandchasedallday,butwelosthertrailintheafternoon.Itwasn’tuntilcommutetimethatChloewasspotted tertainment, and refreshments located at various boutiques againrunningalongbothsidesofI-680betweenElPintadoandElCerro.Weagainstartedourpursuit,tryingdesperately tocaptureherandkeephersafe.Muchtooursurprise,severalpeopledroppedwhattheyweredoingandjoinedoureffortsto and restaurants. Bring your family and friends to Danville rescuealittledogthey’dneverevenseenbefore.I'dnevermetanyofthesepeopleandwillprobablyneverseethemagainand to shop, dine, and celebrate this wonderful season! For more information, call Martha at 925-837-4400. yettheyalltriedsohardtohelpuscatchher.TherewasthemanandhissonintheJeep Jeep,theblondewomanwithglasseswho calledherhusbandtohelp help,thewomanwiththewhitedogwhowasdrivingaroundtryingtofindher,awomannamedCamille,theneighborwithhertwochildrenandtheirbeagle, mille beagleandsomanymore! moreTherewerevolunteersfromourrescuegroup group, neighbors,andcompletestrangerswhoofferedtheirtimeandassistance.Words neighbors cannotevenbegintoexpresshowthankfulwearetoEVERYONEwhocameoutto helpusandChloe.Unfortunately,ascaredChloetriedtocrossthroughtrafficonthe freeway.Heronlyattempttocrosstrafficwasunsuccessful,andshewaskilledbyan oncomingmotorist.Whilewemaynotknowallofthenamesofeveryonethattriedto rescueChloeonelasttime,pleaseknowthatyourkindness,concern,andselflessness didnotgounappreciatedandwillneverbeforgotten forgotten.Wearesendingahuge,heartChloe. feltTHANKYOUtoeveryonethattooktimeoutoftheirbusydaytohelpChloe Sincerely, The White Kitty Foundation,

These Boots are Made for Hiking… Get those hiking shoes ready for the beautiful fall foliage. The Trail Mixer program for adults provides free-time fun. You get to make new friends while staying active and keeping your body healthy by hiking on local and regional trails. Registration for each Trail Mixer is required, but the program is free. Once registered, further information will be emailed a day or two prior. The fall Trail Mixer dates and locations are: • November 12, Round Valley Regional Preserve, Brentwood • December 10, Sunol Regional Wilderness, Sunol. Visit or call (925) 314-3400 for more information.

Danville Today News ~ November 2011 - Page 5





The Candy Cane Boutique is here again! The public is invited to the FREE 19th Annual Candy Cane Boutique to be held at Creekside Community Church located at 1350 Danville Blvd in Alamo on Friday, November 11th from 4-8 pm and Saturday, November 12th from 9am – 3pm. Don’t miss this wonderful event. Do your Christmas shopping early and support The Macedonian Outreach! Committee members shown left to right are Mitzi Reid, Posie Derfler, Dee Thompson, Marie Adams, Frances Davis, Tracy Stracke, Betty Casale, Mary Zellhart, Sandy Hanson, Vula Rushdoony, and Diane Bishop.




Danvilleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Candy Cane Stroll Explore the many new shops and seasonal treats throughout downtown Danville this holiday season. Shopping and dining will be extra sweet this season starting right after Thanksgiving. The Discover Danville Association merchants and restaurants will be distributing candy canes to customers who want a chance to win a Shop Danville First themed raffle basket valued at over $500. Event strolling maps will be available at the annual tree lighting on Friday, November 25th and at participating businesses through Saturday, December 17th. Stroll along the streets in Downtown Danville this holiday season, shop, dine, and earn stamps for your chance to win one of two $500 gift baskets filled with holiday goodies and gift cards from participating Danville merchants and restaurants. Shop and dine at ten or more of our participating shops and restaurants, and spend $10 or more at each location to earn a chance to win a Shop Danville First gift basket.



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Page 6 - November 2011 ~ Danville Today News

Sustainable Danville Area Tip of the Month By Cynthia Ruzzi, President Sustainable Danville Area Walking the streets throughout our community, it would appear that most of our neighbors have embraced the ‘Plant A Tree, Save Our Planet’ campaign. Since we are graced by so many mature trees, perhaps we should credit the original ‘developers’ for planting the various species that shelter our yards. But no matter the origin, we all benefit from their existence in our community. Trees located strategically on a property can reduce the need for air conditioning within our homes and office buildings by thirty percent. Trees absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) from our air helping to reduce pollution. In fact, the USDA Forest Service has stated that one mature tree can remove up to 48lbs. of CO2 daily and also generate enough oxygen to support the needs of two human beings. The same study stated that over a 50-year lifetime, a tree generates over $31,000 worth of oxygen and provides $62,000 worth of air pollution control, recycles $37,500 worth of water, and controls $31,250 worth of soil erosion. That kind of savings could turn any of us into a tree lover! And no, I have never hugged a tree, but I do think we should show a little love and care for our trees. With so many mature trees in our community – to get an idea of how many mature tree there are count the number of trees over 25 ft. on your block – it’s worth it to learn how your trees grow and how you can keep them healthy. Hint: it’s not by topping a trees’ canopy! Learning some basics about tree care such as soil-water relations, nutrition, and when to prune will make for happy working trees for years to come. Thinking of your trees as family pets may further help you appreciate and protect the value of your trees. Remember it takes a lot of years for most trees to reach 25 or 30 ft. If you wouldn’t adopt a pet without finding a doctor to care for your ‘Spike’ or ‘Bella,’ perhaps you shouldn’t grow a tree without finding a good arborist. A certified arborist will guide you on tree species and placement for new trees, and an arborist will also help maintain your current trees. Whether it’s making the masterful pruning cut to guide your tree to a shapely form or trimming roots without sacrificing major water uptake and years of its life, an arborist can guide you on decisions that will protect your investment. Join Sustainable Danville Area for our November forum on Wednesday, November 16th at 6:15pm. We’ll meet in Room S3 in the Administrative Building (upstairs) at San Ramon Valley High School located at 501 Danville Blvd. in Danville. Our speaker, John Traverso, a certified arborist since 1986 and owner of Traverso Tree, has served as vice president and president of the California Arborist Association and will share his experience to help us understand our “Trees in a Nutshell.” The evening’s discussion is free and all are invited. To help with planning purposes, please register at th

One Warm Coat, 16 Season The San Ramon Valley Rotary invites the community to help those in need this winter with the 16th Anniversary of “One Warm Coat, Protection from the Cold,” from now until December 14th at various spots in our area. Donations are needed for men, women, children, and infants. Donations are being accepted at Edward Jones 100 Longbrook Way #3, Pleasant Hill, U.S. Bank 1655 N. Main Street, Walnut Creek, Dudum Real Estate Group 1910 Olympic Blvd #100, Walnut Creek, Crow Canyon Country Club 711 Silver Lake Drive, Danville, Diablo Country Club 1700 Club House Road, Diablo, Heritage Bank 387 Diablo Road, Danville, Pascal’s Café 155 Railroad Ave., Danville, Bulgary Jewelry 301 Hartz Avenue #107, Danville, and Sweeney Kovar Financial 3800 Blackhawk Road, Danville. On December 1st, come to the Bishop Ranch Holiday Tree Lighting with a coat, sweater, or blanket in good, clean condition to donate, and enjoy refreshments, Santa’s arrival, and more. The celebration will take place at 6111 Bollinger Canyon Road in San Ramon from 5:30-7:30PM. To find out more about making a donation, visit www.sanramonvalleyrotary. com or call Dany at (925) 899-6771.

Greenbrook Elementary By Jenise Falk, Principal I often write about what is going on inside the classroom as truly that is where the magic happens for our teachers and students. I was reflecting on just how beautiful our school looks and realized that there are so very many people who help make Greenbrook the special , beautiful place that is . Many of these folks, I know on a first name basis only. Kurt, the landscaper, comes by every Thursday and Friday, sometimes on Saturday - trimming, mowing, edging, and fertilizing our nine acres of land. He always checks in making sure that his mowing won’t disturb the learning going on in the classrooms. We discuss the day lilies, the new crepe myrtles, and the blackberry bushes behind the backstop. Mike, the painter, is new to our district team and has already re-stuccoed outside walls and repainted entire sides of buildings. He is now painting stripes for a “Kindergarten 500,” a “road” for our kindergartners to race around with their tricycles. Mike has come by twice, just to make sure that his chalk drawing is exactly the way we want it. A little brighter in the parking lot? We can thank Dan, the district electrician for our four “new” light poles at the front of the school. While Dan and his crew were removing the poles from Monte Vista High School to make way for their new solar panels, he suggested that Greenbrook could use four light poles. It took a crew of two a day to remove our 17 year old poles and install our “new” recycled light poles! Got Safety? We do! When we had a piece of playground equipment from the original school finally give way, we knew whom to call. Oscar, in charge of equipment safety, was out immediately, taking pictures and making recommendations for its removal, which occurred the next day. While we were sad to see the old climber go, I was glad that all of our playground equipment is checked and safe. Last week, Linda, from the technology department came in to install wireless in the MPR. Together we walked the building to determine just the correct placement for the hub – finally our entire campus is wireless! These are just a few examples of how dedicated support personnel can make a difference on our campuses throughout the district. A beautiful school and grounds does not come without a lot of hard work and dedication by individuals who love what they do and are passionate about improving our working environment. In this month of giving thanks, I am thankful for Kurt, Mike, Dan, Oscar, and Linda and all the other personnel in facilities that allow our teachers to teach and our student to learn in such a safe, beautiful school.

Alamo-Danville Newcomer's Club The Newcomers Club cordially invites all ladies new to the area or longtime residents to our November Luncheon and Silent Auction to be held at the Crow Canyon Country Club, November 8th. Come and enjoy the spirited bidding, lots of fun, great food and pick up some holiday gifts. Reservations are required. For further info, please call Marty 925-8388113 or email

Lost Dog! $50 REWARD

If you find him and your name is drawn!

Danville Dog is Missing He has become lost in this paper!

He is very small, so you will have to look hard if you want to find him.

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

November’s Winner Is ~ Kristen Bender

Danville Today News ~ November 2011 - Page 7

Charlotte Wood Middle School By Christopher George, Principal We are well into, and almost done with, our first quarter. We are having a great start and a great year at Charlotte Wood, thanks to the hard work of our students and parents, as well as the support and cooperation of our parent community in the students’ learning. We celebrated the Primo’s Run, along with the rest of the San Ramon Valley Community. This event, which funds the San Ramon Valley Education Fund, has been invaluable to our efforts, both throughout the district and at Charlotte Wood. More than a financial support, however, this is always a great opportunity for our community to see each other outside of the confines of Charlotte Wood. This year we were proud to see participation representing 26.6% of our enrollment, versus 19.9% last year. We were thankful to so many of our students, parents, and teachers in helping out, either by participating in or volunteering at, this event. We hope to continue to improve our totals next year, so hopefully you could join us! Recently, we also finished conference week. This week serves as a check early on in the year for parents, students, and teachers to come together and to work in the best interest of a struggling student. This early conference week also allowed us time to make sure that we as educators have identified all the students who are struggling early on and to continue to plan interventions for them. On our staff development day, we proudly hosted every middle school teacher in the district throughout the morning. There was a viewing of a presentation by Common Sense Media which deals with the very important work of being aware of and preventing all forms of cyberbullying. Obviously, this has been a prominent topic in recent months in both local and national media, and we view it as imperative to our mission of keeping kids both physically and psychologically safe. This is one area wherein working with our parent community is imperative, and we urge you to let us know if you ever have concerns about cyber activity that may impact the safety of our students. As always, we invite our community to Charlotte Wood for any of our community events. One great example was recently held annual talent show, in which an amazing array of students (and some teachers!) showed their peers and parents what our kids are capable of with hard work and supportive adults behind them. Please see our website for further information about community events.

Collection for the Troops Delta Nu Psi is once again collecting goodies for our service people. We will be at CVS in Alamo on November 4th and Lunardi's in Danville on November 11th. Since the temperature has gone down we would love any chocolate Halloween candy that you might have left over. Or, buy some chocolate for our favorite service men and women! Please come to one of our collection sites, see photos and donate to our squads. For more information visit

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, November 10th. 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

Drop Zone East Bay Chapter 101 Blue Star Moms is having a Drop Zone Sunday, November 20th, from 10am to 3pm at Safeway located at 2505 San Ramon Valley Blvd. in San Ramon to collect donations for upcoming “Holiday Hugs” care package mailing to our Troops. 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! Visit and click on care packages for more information, including a list of donation items.

San Ramon Valley Newcomers Club The San Ramon Valley Newcomers Club invites new and long-time residents to its monthly luncheon on November 17 at Faz Restaurant located at 600 Hartz Ave. in Danville. We meet from ll:30 to 2PM. The cost is $20. The speaker will be Jean Meredith, a representative of the 100 Club, which supports families of fallen fire fighters and policemen. Call Susan at (925) 718-5214 for reservations and information.



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Page 8 - November 2011 ~ Danville Today News

Stone Valley Middle School

St. Isidore School

By Shaun McElroy, Principal Fall Fundraiser Hillbilly Heaven

We are Thankful! By Jean Schroeder, Principal

Certainly one of the most creative themed “Fun and Fund” raiser parties in recent memory was held at the home of Beth and Jeff Kaiser on October 15th. Party organizers Gail Mondloch and Lisa Miller went all out to make sure everyone had a great time. The 120 guests participated in the “terlit” seat toss, “critter shoot,” and a costume contest. Where else could you have Texas Toast for dinner, Ding Dongs and Ho Ho’s served in a wheelbarrow for dessert, and pork rind appetizers? “Overall” we raised several thousand dollars to support student learning at Stone Valley. Thanks to all of you who choose to participate.

Teaching Out of the Shadows and Into the Light If teaching is an art, why don’t we do more to exhibit great teachers? If teaching is a science, then why don’t we have more peer reviews and international awards? Imagine the marquee at the Dean Lesher Theater, “On exhibit for a limited time, watch Devrah Lawver teach the U.S. Constitution!” or “Teresa ButlerDoran unveils the mystery of the microscope!” And, how about this: “NY Times reports that Ron Hirschman received the Nobel Prize for Teaching for identifying the relationship between exercise and academic achievement.” Most of us hold teachers in high regard because teachers do what we can’t - teach large groups of children in a semi-controlled environment, foster high achievement, and deal with a range of social and emotional situations that mirror their development. Teaching is one of the most complicated and dynamic professions on earth, yet teachers get very little professional support or feedback on their practice. We are in the process of developing a feedback and observation model aimed at improving student achievement through teacher observation and feedback. Below are our plans for the immediate future.

At the School Level Quarter 1- All 10 members of the Stone Valley Staff development committee will team up with another teacher and visit a classroom(s) to observe and give feedback on instruction. It is worth noting that Teresa Butler-Doran and Jeff Hager collaborated on a “Lesson Study.” The lesson study process involves team planning, observation, feedback, and re-teaching the lesson to a new group. October 19th - Principals (and former math teachers) from Diablo Vista Middle School and Windemere Ranch Middle School visited Algebra I teacher Mike Dougherty’s classroom during “math projects day” where students work in groups to solve complex math problems. This is a mixed ability math class where all students are pushed to achieve at top levels. TBA - PTA President Pam Absher and I are in the planning stages of a site visitation day for parents to come and visit classrooms to see “live” teaching.

District Level SRVUSD begins to develop common assessment tools for Social Studies, Algebra, Geometry, Language Arts, and Science for grades 7-10. The assessment data will be shared amongst staff and used to inform instruction.

Outside SRVUSD November 10th - Palo Alto USD visits Stone Valley to interview teachers regarding their practice. November 15th - Stone Valley math team hits the road and visits math classrooms at Jordan L. Stanford Middle School in Palo Alto and Corte Madera Middle School in Portola Valley. The day will be mixed with observations, feedback, and collaboration between the two SRVUSD staffs. December 9th - Five members from SRVUSD will visit the Stanford University Design School to look at a world class method of problem solving. Stone Valley, Alamo School, San Ramon Valley Education Foundation, and a representative from the district office will be in attendance. These “home and away” viewing and dialoging sessions will improve our practice and hence improve student learning. We are embarking on a mission to uncover, affirm, and develop good teaching practices. If your plan is for one year, plant rice; If your plan is for ten years, plant trees; If your plan is for a hundred years, Educate children. Confucius

November is a month for us to be truly thankful for all our blessings. As a Catholic school we are reminded of this each and every day we walk on campus. We start our month with an All Saint’s Day Liturgy prepared by our Student Council. This is a holy day of obligation honoring Saints, and we celebrate this liturgy with our parish community. One of our favorite days we celebrate in November is Veterans’ Day. This day is a long standing tradition here at Saint Isidore, and we spend many hours making sure this day is all about honoring our veterans. Our entire school participates in an assembly that celebrates our own dads, grandfathers, uncles, and parishioners that have served in our armed forces. Our school band plays patriotic music during the event while our boy scouts raise the flag. Our guest speaker this year is General Ronald Lowe. This is a day where we remember, reflect, and give thanks. We have many exciting field trips planned this month. Our second graders are off and running to the Oakland Zoo. Our little ones are just wild about this field trip. Our fourth grade students are off to the Missions in Fremont. On this field trip our students discover the roots and history of Northern California. Our sixth grade students are going to spend the night at the Marin Headlands. We are fortunate to have many parent volunteers going to help make sure our students are safe and have the opportunity to study all that we have in store for them. Lastly, our eighth grade students, or our “leaders” of the school, as I like to call them, are off to Caritas. This happens the last week of the month, and they will be there for a week. Caritas is in Occidental, California, which is in Sonoma County where the scenery is just beautiful. This week is always so meaningful for not only the students, but for the teachers as well. Our 73 future graduates have this time to bond as a class, pray together, work in small groups, and have some fun! Our “Book Fair & Beyond!” was a huge success! We had more business than in past years. Our students and families truly embrace the love of reading. By the generous support of our book fair, the library will have the opportunity to share the profits with our students by purchasing new books for our students to read. Our Student Council outdid themselves with a week of activities for “Red Ribbon Week.” Our school theme was, “Pray for the Children,” drug free and safe. We emphasized making good choices, which was reinforced by our local police representatives that started our week by speaking at our afternoon assembly. We love seeing the students participate and understand the meaning of making good choices. Before we take a few days to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, our religion committee will host a prayer service for our students. We welcome all parents and the community to attend. This service reminds us of the true meaning of giving thanks and of our many blessings we have each and every day. Sunday, November 27th is the first day of Advent. This is the start of our liturgical year. This year has a significant importance because it is the launching of the New Roman Missal. As Catholics, we believe the four weeks proceeding to Christmas is a time to “prepare the way of the Lord” for His coming. Our faith is what sets us apart from other schools, we are a Catholic school and as we enter this new season of hope, we pray that inspired by the Holy Spirit our students will carry out our Catholic faith for the rest of their lives.

Bodie Needs a Home Bodie is a 16 month old Double Blue Merle Australian Shepherd. He is a special needs dog as he is deaf. He has already mastered and responds well to hand signals. He is sweet, friendly, and gets along well with other dogs. He has never been introduced to cats. His trainer, Cindi Tringali, will work with the adoptive family to teach hand signals and transition him to his forever home! For information on adoption of Bodie or any of our other wonderful cats and dogs contact the White Kitty Foundation at 925-837-2411,, or

San Ramon Valley Christian Academy By Jan Brunkal, Principal

Danville Today News ~ November 2011 - Page 9

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SRVCA is excited to be in the Thanksgiving Season as we have much for • Tried a Remodification? which to be thankful! Our October Carnival was a wonderful family event, • Tried to Refinance? and we loved having an opportunity to connect with one another in a large gathering. We had hot dogs, cotton candy, face painting, a cake walk, dunk Contact Ed Ramos at 925-765-3179 tank, and all the other things that make a carnival so memorable. We are very or for thankful for our Parent/Teacher Fellowship group and other volunteer parents ALL YOUR who gave their time to coordinate every last detail of this happy day. SHORT SALE QUESTIONS. High on our list of thanks is a wonderful partnership with Community DRE#01043554 Presbyterian Church during its Hole in Our Gospel series. The study has been meaningful to our student body, in particular the 8th grade students who read Richard Stearn’s book in their Bible classes. Chapels, special projects, and classroom conversations have caused all our students to ask, “What have we been saved for?” Without ill intention, today’s society teaches children to pursue the American dream though title and treasure. The Hole in Our Gospel awakens us to the promise that putting others’ needs above our own leads to a greater sense of satisfaction and fulfillment. Serving and caring for other people is not just a nice thing to do, but it’s also a way to show our love for humanity and the God we serve! Our school is also very thankful for the new families who’ve joined the SRVCA community. We have over 25 new families this year, and every parent, child, and staff member contributes to the flavor of our school. It is amazing how quickly we grow attached to our new students; it is like they have been a part of our lives for years. Recently, we added special grandparent helpers to our regular volunteer base. They are a mighty force for our teachers and offer students the opportunity to create multi-generational friendships. Above all, we are thankful for our Creator who loves us and has a plan for each of our lives. What a joy it is to share God’s love with children, as they are a reflection of His glory and goodness! Happy Thanksgiving.

Holiday House Tour The AAUW presents its 7th Annual Holiday Home Tour, Friday and Saturday, December 9th and 10th from 10AM to 4PM. Tour five beautifully decorated homes in the Alamo, Diablo, and Danville area. Tickets are $30 per person if purchased by December 1st and $35 thereafter. Seniors 65+ tickets are $25 or $30 after December 1st. To order tickets, which include home locations and directions, please mail a check, payable to “Danville-Alamo-Walnut Creek AAUW” along with a business-size, self-addressed, stamped envelope to: AAUW Holiday Home Tour, PO Box 996, Alamo, CA 94507. Tickets will also be available after November 7th at East Bay Flower Company located at 206 Sycamore Valley Rd W. in the Danville Livery (cash or checks only). Please, no children under 12. Profits from AAUW’s Holiday Home Tour fund local scholarships for women completing their undergraduate or graduate degrees and for Tech Trek camperships, a week long residential summer camp, held at local universities, for middle school girls with interest in math and science. AAUW advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research. Email questions to

Page 10 - November 2011 ~ Danville Today News

San Ramon Valley High School

By Joseph A. Ianora, Principal

It is hard to believe that the first quarter of the 2010-2011 school year is over. For many this is a relief, but for others it is the realization that the school year is moving very quickly. This may be true, too, for our seniors. With the first quarter over, the awareness that graduation is in sight may be a difficult reality to cope with. Preparing to leave the confines of San Ramon Valley High School can be challenging; coping with the coming changes can bring stress to all. I would encourage you to talk with your students. It is of particular importance that senior parents talk about “endings” with their student(s). This is vital for you, as parents, as much as it is for them. Your child will be moving on to a world where they will truly be viewed as an adult (18 years old) even though you may feel differently. Enjoy this time – it will be a series of “last times,” and it is important to honor these events and enjoy them with your student.

Homecoming I would like to extend a big thank you to all who participated in our Homecoming Week and Alumni Celebrations! We had a wonderful week full of fun and anticipation for our Friday rally (first time in three years back in our Main Gym) where our SRVHS Homecoming Court was announced. The Court consisted of Seniors, Juniors, Sophomores, and Freshmen. Our King Tim Aiken and Queen Kayla Eaton were crowned at halftime during the football game. Staff members Zach Pinkerton and Sandy Faust were honored as Mr. and Mrs. San Ramon. After the rally we were treated to a special Homecoming Parade led by the SRVHS Marching Wolves and Grand Marshals Vern and Barbara Anderson; she is a member of the Class of 1939. Mayor Karen Stepper was present as an honored dignitary representing the Town of Danville. San Ramon Valley High School graduates from the 1940’s to 2000’s were also a part of the festivities. The parade traveled through the streets of Danville drawing many viewers and members of our community, always cheering and applauding the efforts of SRVHS. The night was topped off by our All Class Alumni reunion which drew a large number of alumni from all over, and an exciting football game.

Red Ribbon Week We had a highly successful and educational Red Ribbon Week. The week’s activities about drug and alcohol awareness were many, including a discussion from Jeff Davis, one of our teachers who spoke of the issues associated with drug/alcohol abuse within the family system.

Quarter Grades The first quarter grades will be sent out this week. Quarter grades do not go on a student’s permanent record (transcript); they are an indication of how students are progressing. Please make sure that you discuss the quarter reports with your student. If there are questions or comments, please email your student’s teachers so you may gain clarity. As we near the Thanksgiving holiday, I want to reflect on how thankful I am to be at San Ramon Valley High School. We have so many great things going on - from plays to performances (drama, vocal, and instrumental) to extra curricular activities to sports. Each one of these endeavors is successful because we, as the SRVHS community, make it so. We take great pride in each and every success! We have a wonderful community of learners who are passionate, excited (although not always about school), and are welcomed and integral parts of our school population. As principal, I am proud and thankful to be associated with this community and school family. Thank you to our parents for the students you send to us; I know that we share the same sense of pride as we watch them grow into young, responsible adults.

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Monte Vista High School

Danville Today News ~ November 2011 - Page 11

By Janet Terranova, Principal

The beginning of the school year has flown by, and amazingly the first quarter is almost over. As a school community we are very proud of our students and their successes thus far. Academically our students continue to excel in their coursework. From the core academic subjects to our wide array of elective classes, we encourage students to take the most rigorous courses for their individual needs. What I would like to highlight this month is the importance of school activities outside the classroom. Success in high school includes rigorous classes, but it also includes the willingness to move beyond the classroom and become involved in clubs, sports, music, drama, and community service. Studies show that No equity left, but wanting to sell? the most successful high school students are those connected to the school Call me to discuss your choices. community. While we are only 45 days into the school year, Monte Vista students have contributed hundreds of hours to our school and community. Our choral program performed Bach to School concerts, our drama department completed a Respect video that emphases one of the words in our character development program, and our bands have performed at football games, rallies, and community events. Under the direction of our leadership class we have had two successful rallies. Students, staff, and parents agreed that our rallies have more spirit and sense of community than ever before. Each week the leadership class produces a video bulletin that encourages school involvement. In late September they organized a club fair for over 70 clubs. Each clubs set up a table in the amphitheater encouraging students to join. Students can find clubs that range from the American Red Cross to Mountain Biking and Snowboarding to clubs that celebrate the diversity of our student body. If you have a student at Monte Vista that did not join a club, it is not too late. Meeting dates are advertised in our bulletin, and meeting dates and times are posted around campus. All students are welcome. Community service is another way to become involved in school. Leadership organized a trip to Verde Elementary School, our sister school, and brought with them school supplies donated by our students. Many of our clubs are service orientated encouraging students to give back to their community and beyond. Within our school we have service clubs such as Safe School Ambassadors and Peer Link that promote school safety and community. DT Successful high school students not only challenge themselves academically but are involved in their school and community. Whatever their interest, it is important for students to be connected and involved. If you would like more information about Monte Vista, please visit our website at

Page 12 - November 2011 ~ Danville Today News

Art in Everyday Life

So, where do you start looking for art to fill your gift list for family, friends, and favorite clients? The answer is simple. A thriving community of artist-run, and By Tony Michael Vecchio artist-supported galleries around our area exhibit an excellent selection of local, Already, the Halloween fun is over and it’s time to affordable, and creative artwork. From paintings to pottery, and from sculpture start thinking about the holiday season of Thanksgiving, and etchings to textile arts, the ideal gift of art is available, and it can fit your Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and then the New Year. budget as well as add a touch local flavor to the home and office environment of For many of us, this is a favorite time of year, when we your intended recipient. I suggest you start your search locally, at any of several look forward to spending good times with family and excellent galleries in Danville, Lafayette, and Walnut Creek. If you want to expand friends, enjoying holiday foods and treats, and, of course, your search, then check out some of the many fine galleries in Napa, Benicia, sharing gifts with friends and family. When we give Emeryville, Berkeley, Oakland, and San Francisco. We live in an area rich with gifts to people we care about, everyone wants to give a dynamic variety of contemporary art and crafts that will give you a wonderful something unique, one-of-a-kind, and memorable. So, when it comes to finding a selection of functional and decorative artwork to choose from. personal gift for a special celebration during the holidays, a gift of art is a thoughtful I feel so passionate about the lasting memories of giving original art for special and lasting way to show that you care. And, whether your gift-giving budget is $20 occasions and the holidays, that I’ve put together a list of my favorite local galor $200 a person, you’ll be able to find an exclusive piece of artwork for them to leries where you can view a diverse collection of impressive art in order to find treasure every day of the year. When someone unwraps a gift of original art, they the ideal gift. If you email me at my address below, I’ll send you my list with the recognize immediately the time and effort you spent in choosing it, and they will gallery addresses and other informative comments. know that it comes from your heart. If you’re wondering exactly what kind of art to buy for someone, think about the personal interests, hobbies, and lifestyle of the person you are buying for. Everyone has favorite places and activities they enjoy and find comfort and pleasure in. That will help guide you to the appropriate medium and subject matter to look for. Consider, for example, a handmade scarf, hat, or jewelry for the fashionista, a painting of an iconic landscape for the traveler, some serving pottery for the party hostess, or a photograph of our country’s natural wonders for the hiker. It’s fairly easy, and fun, when you think about the many options available. I suggest that you establish a budget for each person you want to buy art for. Then, it’s just a matter of locating the appropriate artwork that fits your budget and your recipient’s personality. Most galleries list prices for all art, either alongside the art on the walls or on a separate gallery list at the counter. And, often, galleries will have additional pieces by any given artist on site and available, often in a range of price points. Along with the satisfaction of finding a truly personal gift, you can have the additional creative fun of making a little note, to go along with your gift, telling the person why you chose this particular gift for them. Or better yet, just like gifting a book, handwrite a small note on the back of the artwork. This will capture a moment in time, becoming a lasting, timeless memory of the occasion and year. Other local art happenings in November: The Village Theatre Art Gallery’s current exhibition “Surfaces: Selections from the California Fiber Artists Group,” opens Nov.10 and runs through Dec.15. There will be an Art Chat: Contemporary Fiber Practices on Nov. 16 7-9pm, and this presentation will include interesting slides, sample work, demos, and Q&A time. The Alamo-Danville Artists’ Society’s latest exhibition of all new work by member artists, “Artful Treasures,” continues through Jan. 08 at the Blackhawk Art Gallery in Blackhawk Plaza. Open Tues thru Sat 10 to 6 Sunday 11 to 5 Closed Monday Tony Michael Vecchio writes about visual art and style. If you have any comments, Danville 925.648.0293 Alamo 925.820.8492 contact him at View his collage and assemblage work at 3426 Camino Tassajara 3189 Danville Boulevard

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Danville Today News ~ November 2011 - Page 13

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Page 14 - November 2011 ~ Danville Today News

AmaWaterways Mekong River Cruise

By Mike Mullery, Alamo World Travel

My wife and I recently took a great cruise on the Mekong River from Cambodia to Vietnam. We first flew to Siem Riep, Cambodia - the home of Angor Wat - one of the archaeological Wonders of the World. We found a visit to this part of the world should include a â&#x20AC;&#x153;Tuk Tukâ&#x20AC;? motorcycle cab ride. We left our modern hotel and took a Tuk Tuk to town for a great meal and inexpensive shopping. The next day we boarded our luxurious cruise ship, the MS La Marguerite. The MS La Marguerite was built in 2009 and has only 46 rooms. AmaWaterways also has an even newer Mekong ship, the 62 room MS AmaLotus built in 2011. These small ships are a great way to cruise. There are only outside cabins, and most have a small balcony and a window. There is always a view, the cabins are comfortable, shore excursions are included, drinks are included with dinner, and both local cuisine and Western food are served in the restaurant. With the smaller and more intimate ships, you have a chance to bond with more of the guests than you do on a large cruise ship. The itinerary is very interesting, it includes large cities such as Hanoi (an optional extension), Phnom Penh and Saigon/ Ho Chi Minh City, and smaller cities such as Siem Riep. All of these places offer good cultural, eating, and shopping opportunities. In the villages, you can see silk weaving, rattan production, fish farming, candy manufacturing, lacquer box manufacturing, and much more. You get the opportunity to meet the local people and see how they live. We thought of our trip as not only travel but also adventure as we visited a part of the world that most Westerners have not yet seen. If you are not yet ready for the Mekong, AmaWaterways also has European cruises on the Rhine, Mosel, Danube (we loved it), Rhone, Saone, and Main rivers, and voyages from France and the

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Vision and Values By Jim Gebhardt As we prepare for Thanksgiving, this is an opportunity to focus on what we are grateful for in our lives. Times are tough, and that can make it harder to find the sunshine through the dark clouds, but the sun is always shining if you go up high enough above the clouds. One of the many relationships I am grateful for is my good friend and long-time client (let’s call him David). David was recently in the midst of an eightfigure merger with a competitor in a different region of the country. It was an opportunity for David to monetize what he thought was his greatest asset which could create financial security for his family for generations to come. As the due diligence period unfolded, the issue of company culture and values kept coming up as a disparity between the two firms. The acquiring firm kept talking about centralizing operations, commenting that David’s people were paid too much, and saying that those salaries would need to be lower to match the level of the acquirer’s employees. Ultimately David knew that by dramatically dropping the salaries of his key people they would leave and go elsewhere. These were the very same people that helped build the successful company that David could now monetize. Another element of the deal would require that David travel more and work many more hours to help build out “New Co.” on a regional level. This meant he wouldn’t be able to coach soccer and Little League any longer. His children were 10 and 12 years old, and the thought of missing those moments wasn’t sitting well in his heart; however, providing financial security for potentially generations of his family was on the other side of the coin. The acquiring company could not understand how David’s firm was able to pro-

Danville Today News ~ November 2011 - Page 15 duce roughly the same amount of revenue and profit margins that were 50 percent better with 33 percent fewer employees. As David said, “It’s all about our people!” It doesn’t take a MBA graduate to realize that if you are looking to acquire a business that is thriving, you shouldn’t “mess with their formula for success.” There are scores of case studies at many of the distinguished business schools around our country showing how acquirers come in and impose their business philosophies, values, and processes upon a once great and thriving company they have acquired and then it’s only a matter of time before the magic dissipates. When you are rich in core assets (i.e., relationships, people, values, beliefs and passions you value most) your ability to create lasting success is far greater then when you are bankrupt in core assets. So what did David ultimately decide? You guessed it. He decided not to sell the company to the competitor for several reasons. First, he knew the same people who helped him build the business would have ultimately suffered. He said, “At the end of the day we all know a lot of miserable rich people and I didn’t want that to be me. As soon as I made the decision, I felt an immediate sense of relief and joy.” He listened to his heart, and he was richly rewarded. David’s greatest assets are the people and relationships he values most: his amazing wife and two children, and his 40 employees. He looked forward and anticipated what life would be like for everyone involved and concluded it wasn’t worth the single pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. How refreshing! I just wish his employees knew how lucky they are to have such a caring leader who always has their best interests in mind. Then again, I imagine they already do! Happy Thanksgiving! Gebhardt Group, Inc. is a leading independent wealth management firm located in Lafayette, California, that holds integrity, honesty and transparency as primary values. Gebhardt Group serves clients nationwide and wealth management services include financial planning, portfolio management and insurance services. For information, visit or call 925-283-9150. Registered Representative Securities offered through Brokers International Financial Services, LLC. Panora, IA, Member FINRA/ SIPC. Investment Advisor Representative, Gebhardt Group, Inc., A Registered Investment Advisor. Brokers International Financial Services, LLC and Gebhardt Group Inc. are not affiliated. Advertorial

Mustang Lightning took third in the prestigious 2011 Santa Cruz Classic, by beating SASC 2-1 in the consolation final, avenging an earlier 5-1 loss to SASC in the tournament. Pictured are- Top Row: Shannon Newman, Jill Caple, Katie Price, Molly Kolander, Katie Peterson, Julia Wolford, and Sarah Aus. Middle Row: Gracie Westgate, Lauren Birnbaum, Lauren Wallace, and Riley Gray. Bottom Row: Maggie Hensley, Robbie Munk, Courtney Pulver, and Megan Bjeldanes. Coaches, Mark Westgate, Brad Peterson, Eric Wolford, and Sean Price.

Mustang Tigers Divison 3 U12 Girls had an undefeated season with 7 wins, 1 tie, and only 2 goals against. From top left: Coach Mark Racioppo, Leah Dorst, Claire Whitten, Kayla Rivera, Sara Jimenez, Emily Allen, Coach Gary Reichhold, Head Coach Richard Northing, Madison Murphy, Erika Wheeler, Morgan Jamanti, Bailee Burke, Julia Racioppo, Hannah Connelly, Natalie Yates, Emily Ferbert, Amy Reichhold, Poppy Northing. Missing – Coach Randy Wheeler. Photo Courtesy of Carrie Rivera.

Page 16 - November 2011 ~ Danville Today News

Fall Pruning

By Blaine Brende & Joe Lamb

Now is a great time to prune your trees to protect them against winter storms. There are three kinds of tree failure: branch, column, and entire tree. Judicious pruning reduces the likelihood of all three kinds of failure. Selective removal of weight from leggy branches makes it much less likely that a branch would fall, causing injury or damage to property. It takes a lot of “in tree” experience to identify branches with weak crotches and/or with unsafe weight distribution. Thinning the canopy to reduce friction from the wind greatly reduces the odds of a column breaking or of the entire tree falling over. When done correctly, a tree pruned for safety should still look natural, even after 30% of its foliage is removed. Many evergreens, such as cedars, cypresses, and redwoods, and many species of deciduous trees, such as valley oaks, can be pruned in this time of year. Late fall and early winter are by far the best times to prune pines. Unless there are compelling safety reasons, Monterey pines should only be pruned between October 15th and February 15th. The timing for pruning is restricted because sap from pruning cuts attracts bark beetles that are destructive to pines. These beetles become dormant during the fall and winter months. Some species of beetles carry pine pitch canker, an increasingly common fungal disease that disfigures pine trees, and sometimes kills them. If your tree has dead tips scattered throughout the canopy, it probably suffers from pine pitch canker. To prolong the aesthetic life of a diseased tree, prune out the infected tips before February 15th. Now is also a good time, if you haven’t already, to make your landscape more fire safe. It is not uncommon for the East Bay to experience hot, dry, and gusty winds in the fall due to sinking air from the bay combining with inland high-pressure systems. The Oakland Hills fire of 1991 occurred on October 20th, and its precursor, the 1923 Berkeley Fire, started on September 27th. Removing dead wood, breaking up fire ladders, and limbing vegetation back from your home can greatly improve the chances of your home surviving a wildfire. Brende & Lamb knows how to fire prune your landscape in a way that improves fire safety, without sacrificing the natural aesthetic. Clearing some under-story trees and removing dead wood usually enhances the natural feel of a landscape by making it look more like a mature forest. Pruning trees for safety is a craft requiring study and experience. A well-pruned tree should not only be safer, it should look beautiful. At Brende & Lamb we take great pride in both the science and the art of pruning. Each plant has a natural growth pattern, and our trimmers are expert at accentuating the shape given the plant by nature. Within the bounds of what is healthy for each species, Brende & Lamb works to make trees as beautiful as possible. Our trimmers are well practiced in aesthetic pruning and are attuned to the artistic flow inherent in tree forms. One form is weeping, as with Willows and Chinese Elms. In some species, such as the Monterey Cypress, branches ascend at acute angles to the trunk, giving the tree an upswept look. Branches in the Coast Live Oak bend and twist, forming complex arcs. Each tree species has a unique form and flow. When necessary, trees and shrubs can be reduced in size, but crown reduction requires a good eye; a poorly reduced tree looks like a thicket of stubs. Topping is almost always a bad idea. However, the crown of many trees can be reduced by cutting back long branches to the crotches formed by shorter branches growing in the same direction. If the branch doesn’t fork, we cut back to the lowest growth point that will neither create a thick stub nor undermine the arching quality of the branch. When a tree or shrub has been reduced in this way, it’s difficult to detect the cuts or tell that the branches have been shortened. If your trees need TLC to protect them against winter winds, or if your property could use a little fire protection, give us a call for a free estimate. Additionally, go to our website to see before & after pictures, client testimonials, and work in your neighborhood. Blaine Brende & Advertorial Joe Lamb (510) 486-TREE (8733). americana is a fast-growing vine native to all of the Eastern US as far west Clip Notes as the Mississippi. The brownish purple flowers are fragrant and edible. By Jody Morgan The edible seeds are 25-30% crude protein. Tubers form along the roots Why should corn have the place of honor on the like irregular beads on a necklace – tiny the first year, sizeable by the third Thanksgiving table? Without corn, the Pilgrims year. Henry David Thoreau dug groundnuts near Walden Pond. An 1852 would have had no harvest to celebrate in 1621. The entry in his Wild Fruits claims: “With a little salt a hungry man could make seeds they brought from England failed. The corn a very palatable meal of them.” A few years later he explains: “This is the Squanto taught them to plant in hills fertilized by real Virginia potato, about which historians have blundered, which Raleigh’s fish flourished. Grown for centuries by the tribes of colonists found in Virginia used by natives, which have led to the story of the New England, corn is thought to have originated in common potato having been introduced at Britain from Virginia.” Attempts Mexico thousands of years ago when strains of wild to cultivate groundnuts failed in Europe in 1635 and 1845, but current work grasses were repeatedly crossed to yield ever-larger ears. in Louisiana at USL seems promising. Where did the settlers get their seed corn? Upon landing on Cape Cod The bulb that fed the famished explorers of the Lewis and Clark expediin November 1620, they dispatched an exploring party who purloined the tion in 1805 is Camassia quamash, commonly called Indian hyacinth. Food cache of corn they discovered. As William Bradford’s journal Of Plimoth was scarce as the party crossed the Bitterroot Mountains. The weather was Plantation indicates that they found “divers fair Indian baskets filled with worsening. On September 22, they arrived at a Native American village. corn, and some in ears, fair and good, of divers colours, which seemed to Clark recalls: “They gave us a Small piece of Buffalow meat, Some dried them a very goodly sight (having never seen any such before).” Nearby, Salmon beries & roots in different States, Some round much like an onion the company unearthed more corn and carted away as many baskets as they which they call quamash the Bread or Cake is called Passhe-co Sweet, of could carry. In June 1621 they returned to Cape Cod, making amends by this they make bread & supe…” The quamash bread, though agreeable to the shooting the crows destroying the natives’ cornfields. explorers’ palates, proved initially disruptive to their digestive tracts. Bradford notes in 1624: “They began now to highly prize corn as more Native to the Northwestern US, Camas, as the bulb is also known, was precious than silver, and those that had some to spare began to trade one with pit-cooked slowly for up to three days before being dried and ground. Thirty another for small things … for money they had none, and if any had, corn bushels of bulbs could be baked at a time. Women cared for the semi-cultivatwas preferred before it.” However, other local plants that saved settlers and ed crop by weeding out the toxic companion plant “Death Camas.” On June explorers from starvation slipped from favor. 12, 1806, Lewis described a field in flower: “the quamash is now in blume Have you ever heard of the groundnuts that helped the colonists survive and from the colour of its bloom at a short distance it resembles lakes of fine when drought destroyed their crops in 1623? Commonly called Indian potatoes, clear water…” Meadows wet in winter, and dry in summer are its favorite groundnuts are tubers that indigenous people roasted, boiled, or mashed into habitat. Many catalogues currently offer bulbs for ornamental use. a cake baked on flat rocks before an open fire. The tubers may be as small as Of the 7,000 species they are researching in England, Plants for a Future (www. a walnut, as large as a hen’s egg or even as substantial as a big Idaho potato. lists Camassia quamash among its top 17 edible bulbs. High marks also They contain 17% protein, about three times that of actual potatoes. go to Apios americana. Their website states: “There are over 20,000 species of A member of the legume family not remotely related to potatoes, Apios edible plants in the world yet fewer than 20 species provide 90% of our food.”

Danville Today News ~ November 2011 - Page 17

Life in the Danville Garden Spruce Up the Tired Garden By John Montgomery, ASLA, Landscape Architect #4059 Let’s talk Tired Gardens! You know what I’m talking about. You look out into your Danville garden with a huge sigh and see uninspired plantings that you have looked at for years. The gardener continues to prune plantings that are clinging to the edge of survival. Once glorious flowering shrubs and perennials have been reduced to woody stalks that seem to suffice because they are still alive. It may be a single small area or it could be the balance of your front and back yards, but something needs to be done. What do you do when your garden is tired? In some cases it is wise to design a new Master Plan and start anew, and in other cases it makes sense to “spruce up.” Instead of bulldozing the entire garden, you can “spruce up” what you have! The fundamental criteria for a “spruce up” are that you are happy with the basic functionality of your hardscape and garden layout. Maturity brings radical changes to landscapes 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 a “spruce up” although the overall context of a “well-designed” landscape may still prevail.



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Within the life of your Danville home, an owner’s uses will change for many reasons; kids grow-up or a family matures and changes. Lifestyles evolve and change. Once busy families had no time to work in the garden but are now retired and have time to play. This brings a whole new reason for the landscape to be spruced up. These changes call for careful consideration and should be well thought out. They should be logical and creatively resolved. Updating landscape projects are challenging yet satisfying when properly executed. In addition to our full spectrum of landscape design services, we offer garden consultations that cover a wide range of solutions for sprucing up an existing landscape. Our consultation service is intended to provide clients with simple and doable solutions that satisfy their need for a beautiful and inspiring garden without the need of a master plan. Our basic consultation includes a site visit to assess the condition of your garden; we provide practical recommendations for planting, irrigation, drainage and soil problems. Whether you are tired of a small planting bed or your whole yard, we can provide solutions to “spruce up” your tired garden. Especially in today’s economic climate, in many cases it makes sense to “spruce up” your tired Danville garden instead of completely gutting it. Consultations for sprucing up may reach beyond just the planting and may include solutions for updating hardscape elements; sitting areas, benches and seat walls, arbors and trellises, play courts and kid zones, water features and sculptures, etc. Adding dramatic landscape lighting or adding colorful pots and décor around the entry for the holidays can make all the difference to inspire a tired garden. Like the design of a new landscape project, a garden “spruce up” should be well thought out and planned before executing. A hot tip from your local Landscape Architect: Whether you are interested in a “spruce up” or Master Plan, now is a great time to design and execute your proj-

ect; while fall and winter set in think ahead to spring and be ready to implement your project so you can enjoy your yard during the summer months. G a r d e n ing Quote of the Month: Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. - Melody Beattie If you would like me to write on any particular subject, email your ideas to or for design ideas visit Advertorial

Page 18 - November 2011 ~ Danville Today News

Case Study on Avoiding Unintended Consequences By Robert J. Silverman, Esq. This month’s article features the same hypothetical families as last month’s article. But this time, you’ll see how careful planning enables them to avoid the harsh unintended consequences that resulted from their poor planning.

Hypothetical families and facts: Family #1: Judy has two adult children, John and Jane. Judy’s primary assets are a $1 million home, with no mortgage; and a $200,000 bank account. Family #2: Bob has two adult children, Bill and Betty. Bob’s primary asset is his $1 million 401K. Judy and Bob married, lived in Judy’s home, and largely maintained separate assets. They download basic Will forms from the internet and signed them. Judy’s Will stated all her assets would go to her children, in equal shares, and Bob’s Will stated his assets would go to his children, in equal shares. A)Judy took out a home equity credit line, adding Bob to the title as a “joint tenant,” as required by the bank. B) For convenience, Judy added her son, John, as a signer on her bank account. C) Bill and Betty are the beneficiaries designated on Bob’s 401K.

Harsh unintended consequences: 1) Judy’s $1 million house. Joint tenancy titling’s “right of survivorship” (“R.O.S.”) feature trumps Judy’s Will. So, upon Judy’s death, Bob will become sole owner. 2) Judy’s $200,000 bank account. Joint accounts work like joint tenancy. Thus, John will became the sole owner on Judy’s death. 3) Bob’s $1 million 401K. ERISA (federal law governing 401Ks) requires a written spousal waiver for a non-spouse beneficiary designation to be valid. Since Judy never signed a waiver, she is entitled to all of it on Bob’s death.

Alternative, efficient planning for Judy and Bob: 1) Judy’s $1 million house. Judy and Bob could work with their attorneys to establish a post-marital agreement, detailing their respective rights and obligations in connection with the house (e.g. regarding current and future occupancy, ownership, liability and expenses). The agreement might state that if Judy dies first, Bob can live in the house and

Horse continued from front page etc. These sensations are immediate and simultaneous, and they help the child that can’t walk feel what walking is like, help the child that is weak recruit core muscles, help the child that can’t speak coordinate their breathing and diaphragm to vocalize, and help the child that is stiff relax muscle tone so he can produce functional movement.” Early intervention is important. Pediatricians recommend hippotherapy for patients as young as 2 ½ years. From Woodside where PATH certification for hippotherapy can be completed, Tineke brought the program to Xenophon in Orinda. Handlers drive the horse from behind rather than leading the horse because this keeps the rhythm of the hoof beats more regular. Xenophon volunteer Leslie deBoer notes that driving from the rear makes the work harder for the handler. “You are so close to the horse that you are out of the kick zone, but you don’t have a good view of where you are going.” Horses with special personalities are required. Hippotherapy involves a number of exacting, but unusual positions. P.T. Stephanie Dickerson, inspired by Jacobsen to complete the shadowing hours and testing required for PATH certification in hippotherapy, comments that backwards riding encourages upright posture. Stretching across the horse’s back like a sack improves neck alignment and control and strengthens the shoulder trunk. Leaps & Bounds is the first facility in East Bay to offer hippotherapy from the start. As program designer, Tineke is excited that a dedicated covered arena at Walnut Creek’s Leap of Faith Farms will soon allow Leaps & Bounds to provide services throughout the day. In conjunction with Lafayette’s Las Trampas program, developmentally disabled adults will learn to groom and lead horses and possibly graduate to adaptive riding through Hands on Horses. A driving program is on the drawing board. A youth program based on Executive Director Steve Woods’s experience as Area Director for Young Life is a future goal. A youth program is already part of SonRise Equestrian Foundation’s extensive offerings. Not all children at risk are easily identifiable. Melanie Buerke, founder of SonRise describes the ones served by Team Equine. “These are the kids who would fall through the cracks.” They are attractive and talented, but they are not thriving. One may be saddened by a death in the family, another by a difficult di-

See Horse continued on page 20 pay all property-related expenses until he moves out permanently or dies, but that he will have no equitable ownership interest; then when Bob moves out or dies, the home will be owned by John and Jane, as Judy wishes. Whether or not they establish a post-marital agreement, Judy and Bob could deed their respective legal interests in the home to a joint living trust (or separate living trusts, if they desired). The home will not be subject to probate in either Judy’s or Bob’s estate. The trust(s) can be drafted to customize Judy and Bob’s arrangements per their wishes. 2) Judy’s $200,000 bank account. By establishing a living trust, and retitling this account in the trust, a successor trustee (trust manager) can be chosen by Judy to quickly and easily access the account on Judy’s incapacity or death. And the trust would dictate that upon Judy’s death, the account will be distributed equally to John and Jane. 3) Bob’s $1 million 401K. Judy can choose to sign and submit a written waiver, and Bob can sign and submit to the institution administering the 401K a proper beneficiary designation (naming Bill and Betty, in equal shares). The above scenario also illustrates added complexity associated with blended family planning, but many tools are available to help such families plan prudently. One such tool is life insurance. It can allow the desired amount and type of assets to be made available on the first spouse’s death so that both the surviving spouse and the deceased spouse’s children are taken care of. For example, Judy might prefer to leave Bob a “life estate” in her house (so he is not displaced by John and Jane, and he is not solely dependent on his 401K), but she may not want her children to wait until Bob dies to receive the bulk of their inheritance. If she purchases life insurance to go to her children, this creates an opportunity to accomplish both of her goals. Likewise, Bob might feel more comfortable leaving some or all of his 401K for Judy (in case she needs it to maintain her lifestyle without being forced to sell her house) if he owns a life insurance policy naming his children as beneficiaries. Mr. Silverman is an attorney with Shapiro Buchman Provine Brothers Smith LLP, 1333 N. California Street, Suite 350, Walnut Creek, CA 94596; (925) 944-9700; His practice emphasizes Estate Planning, Trust Administration & Probate, Real Estate, and Business. Please call for a free introductory consultation. This article is intended to provide information of a general nature, and should not be relied upon as legal, tax, financial and/ or business advice. Readers should obtain and rely upon specific advice only from their own qualified professional advisors. This communication is not intended or written to be used, for the purpose of: i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code; or ii) promoting, marketing, or recommending to another party any matters addressed herein. Advertorial

Exploring Bluetooth By Evan Corstorphine, Portable CIO If you have a new cell phone or a laptop, you’ve probably seen a little symbol that looks like an edgy bow-tie on its edge. It indicates a Bluetooth connection. Bluetooth was developed in 1994, and quickly adopted as a substitute for infrared senders and receivers. The problem with the infrared senders and receivers is that they can only be used in a line-of-sight manner. For instance, your television remote is most likely infrared, and when something (like your dog!) blocks the signal, you can’t change the channels. Bluetooth uses a radio signal instead of line-of-sight. What makes Bluetooth so nifty is that the little radios can be installed in many different devices. The radios are ultra low power and provide a signal range of about 30 feet. That means many people can use Bluetooth in a relatively small area without interfering with each other. There are many uses for Bluetooth. Some of my favorite have something to do with telephones. Many newer cars have built-in Bluetooth systems that can connect to my telephone. It’s convenient to use the car’s microphone and speakers for a handsfree call. And, at my office, I’m trying to eliminate the wires crisscrossing my desk by making better use of my Bluetooth headset. Bluetooth can also be used for light-duty data networking between PC’s or Mac’s. You may already be using a little Bluetooth sender/receiver for your keyboard and mouse. I just bought a new model made by Logitech, and the USB sender is smaller than a quarter and barely noticeable when plugged into the side of my laptop. Game consoles, such as PS/3 and XBox are beginning to adopt Bluetooth for the communication between the controllers and the main console. We’ll even find Bluetooth at the doctor’s office, where some of the health measurement devices (blood pressure, temperature, heart rate) transmit their data back

See Bluetooth continued on page 23

Danville Today News ~ November 2011 - Page 19

The Eye Opener By Gregory Kraskowsky, O.D., Alamo Optometry Diabetes Awareness Month Since November is national Diabetes Awareness Month, this is a good place and time to discuss a very difficult condition. Because diabetes is a vascular disorder (affecting blood vessels), it can affect every organ and tissue in the body including liver, kidneys, muscles, and eyes. Obviously, I will only discuss the eyes here, but keep in mind diabetes is a disease of the entire body. For many patients, a change in their vision is the first sign of poorly regulated blood sugar. As the blood sugar levels in the body rise and fall, the prescription usually follows. I often tell these patients that their blood sugar needs to be in a relatively confined zone to be able to accurately prescribe glasses for them. Assuming there is no bleeding in the retina, the main cause for this is a swelling of the lens. The lens swells in diabetics which causes it to change shape, and therefore it will cause a change the prescription. Normally, a patient will still be able to see 20/20, but there will be a large change in the prescription from the prior year. In patients where there is a large unexplained change in prescription without any other risk factors, the number one assumption is diabetes until proven otherwise. Since the eyes have the third highest oxygen requirement of all organs in the body (behind only the heart and brain), it has an extensive supply of blood vessels. In conditions like diabetes, these blood vessels can start to function poorly and leak blood and fluid into the retina. This fluid accumulation can lead to decreased vision, especially when it is located around the macula and/ or the optic nerve. Diabetic retinopathy (a diabetic altering of the retinal blood vessels) is the main condition that needs to be checked thoroughly at the annual examination. Because of this, diabetic patients should be dilated annually, regardless of age and medical control of the diabetes. Since the retina is the only place in the body where the blood vessels can be observed without an invasive procedure, it gives a very good indication on how well (or

Tasting Room Open! For private parties please call 510-861-2722 5700 Greenville Rd, Livermore, CA 94550 poorly) the blood sugar levels are being regulated. If the retina looks healthy, then for the most part you can assume the other organs in the body are also fine. If there is bleeding and/or fluid leaking in the retina, the blood sugar is not controlled as well as you thought or is poorly controlled. Depending on the location and severity of the bleeding, a retinal consult might be necessary. Regardless, a letter is always sent to your primary doctor outlining my findings and any further visits or treatment that is necessary. Diabetes is a very serious condition and should be treated as such. I always tell my patients to follow-up with their medical doctor and to adhere to all treatment prescribed by your doctor. Annual dilated eye exams should be conducted to monitor vision and eye health for all diabetics. Depending on the findings, further visits might be required, but a visit to the eye doctor needs to be done at least annually. For all of our diabetic patients, we look forward to seeing you for your next annual dilated exam to ensure good vision and eyes that are free from any diabetic complications. Dr. K. at Alamo Optometry is your hometown eye doctor for outstanding service, vision care, and designer eyewear. He can be reached at 820-6622 or visit his office at 3201 Danville Blvd., Suite 165 in Alamo. Visit our newly updated website at,, and become a fan on our Advertorial Alamo Optometry Facebook page.

Lasers – A High Tech Approach to Radiant Skin! By Barbara Persons, MD, Persons Plastic Surgery, Inc. Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation (LASER) is the scientific definition of a laser, and it is the science that separates and distinguishes a laser’s use in medicine from its role in science fiction. Unlike other spa-type facial treatments or off-the-shelf products from the cosmetic counter, the use of a laser for facial rejuvenation is an FDA-approved and has been scientifically proven to achieve specific results. In fact, facial rejuvenation using laser technology is one of the fastest growing areas of skin care treatment. Everyday normal exposure to the sun, pollution, and other factors in our environment all contribute to the natural aging process. Some of us are also guilty of neglecting to care properly for our skin by forgetting to use a quality sunscreen, or not taking the time to moisturize or care for our skin daily. All of these factors bring many patients (both female and male) to my practice for consultations on how to bring back a more youthful appearance along with a desire to repair damage that occurred to their skin. This month’s article will highlight some of the ways these technologies can help you achieve such goals. The Cutera Laser Genesis is a 1064 Nd:YAG laser that provides immediate and long-term results for the patient who suffers from sun damage, fine lines, age spots, hyper pigmentation, and redness (caused by spider veins, rosacea or acne). Laser Genesis improves the appearance of the skin by targeting heat to the sub-dermis, which stimulates collagen formation. This new collagen works to improve a patient’s tone and texture, both immediately and over the next few months. Because this laser targets the deeper dermis and not just the epidermis, it is also safe for darker skin types. A Laser Genesis treatment takes approximately 15 minutes. A series of 4-6 treatments, with one every 5-6 weeks, is recommended for optimal results. Photo-facial treatments, such as those delivered by the Cutera Limelight, an IPL (Intense Pulse Light), is a popular anti-aging regimen to treat fine lines and brown spots. IPL technology produces high intensity light that is pulsed deep into the skin, causing blood vessels in the epidermis to constrict and lessen the appearance of redness and fine lines. Like a laser treatment, IPL also stimulates the body’s natural production of collagen and results in skin that looks smooth and hydrated. IPL can reduce the appearance of pores, lighten brown spots, minimize tiny facial veins, and ease redness caused by acne and rosacea. Each treatment takes approximately 15 minutes, and most patients experience no downtime. The improvement in skin tone and textures becomes more evident over the course of several weeks. A series of 5-6 treatments every 3-4 weeks is indicated for optimal results. One of my favorite applications of the Cutera Limelight IPL is on the hands. Freckles, while cute as a child, as an adult become age spots and cause hands to look their age. The Limelight is effective in lightening the spots on the hands while firming the skin. The end result is a more youthful appearance. The Cutera Pro Wave 770 is a highly effective IPL technology for hair removal. This hair removal system uses a cooling tip for comfort. The larger tip size allows for rapid treatments, enabling each procedure to take about 1/3 the time of traditional technologies. Optimal results can be achieved in 4-6 treatments. The Fractionated Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Laser remains the gold standard in ablative laser resurfacing. This more aggressive laser treatment is ideal for patients with significant sun damage and deep wrinkles around the eyes and mouth. For many patients, it is often suitable to incorporate the CO2 laser in conjunction with a facelift and/or blepharoplasty. The CO2 laser is ablative, which means it works by destroying the damaged or discolored skin and utilizes the body’s natural ability to regenerate skin cells to produce the desired results. The fractional part means that a microscopic pattern of resurfacing is applied. This leaves tiny areas of treated and untreated skin which allows faster healing. Accordingly, the procedure requires two weeks of recovery time, but remarkable results are generally evident after the first of two recommended treatments. Laser treatments are not meant to be a substitute for facial surgery. At Persons Plastic Surgery we offer the entire spectrum of cosmetic services. From medical esthetician services with Brad King to laser services and plastic surgery with Dr. Persons, we can meet your needs at any stage of your life. Barbara Persons MD owns Persons Plastic Surgery, Inc. located at 911 Moraga Rd. in Lafayette. Please call 925-283-8811 or email Advertorial

Page 20 - November 2011 ~ Danville Today News

Gifts for the Person Who Has Everything By Dr. Jerome Potozkin Heading into November means that it is time for the Holidays. It is amazing how every year it seems that Halloween slides into Thanksgiving, Christmas, Chanukah, and New Year’s. Before you know it, 2012 will be here. The holidays can be a time of fun and joy, spending time with family. For some of us it can be a time of stress when trying to find a gift for the person for whom it is hard to find a present. This month I am going to help you with some gift ideas you might not have thought of. In our household I am a Starbucks person while my wife loves Peets. We have tried different home coffee makers, but none of them was a great substitute for either of our favorite coffee joints. That was until last summer when our close friends gave us the Nespresso Pixie ($249) with the Nespresso Aeroccino Plus ($99). The Pixie accepts espresso and coffee cartridges in a variety of flavors. Each cartridge is 57 cents and arrives within two business days of ordering. I can’t say that I’ve abandoned Starbucks. However, when I just want a great latte at home or don’t have time to go to Starbucks, then Nespresso is the next best thing. These items can be ordered directly from the Nespresso website and cost less there than elsewhere. The most popular New Year’s resolution is to get fit or lose weight. If you have a gym membership, just look at how crowded the gym is the first few weeks of a new year. This year you might want to give the gift of fitness with several great options. For about $200 you can purchase TRX suspension training, and you can work out anyplace you can find a doorway. The device was invented by a former Navy Seal. It is light and easily fits into a suitcase. The TRX trainer is low impact and uses your own body weight for resistance. My favorite fitness gift is P90x (and the soon to be release P90x2). P90x is an at home extreme fitness and nutrition program. I first heard about it in May of 2010 when I noticed my weight creeping higher than I would like. When I learned that it was something ordered from an infomercial on, I almost didn’t order it since I’m a major infomercial skeptic. I did my research and decided that for about $300 for the whole program along with push up stands and a chin up bar it was worth the risk. The program consists of 12 workout DVDs ranging from resistance training to cardio and stretching. The only additional equipment needed is a set of dumbells or resistance bands. This program works but definitely requires a commitment to working out and healthy eating. I recommend seeing your doctor prior to embarking on any fitness routine. One gift you might not have thought of is the Clarisonic Professional skin cleansing system. This device utilizes sonic cleansing to get great, fresh, clean and clear skin. It is great at taking off make up and allows for greater absorption of skin care products to get your skin looking its best. We sell this device in our office as well as medical grade skin care products. We offer gift certificates for any of our elective services or skin care products. Happy Holidays! Call us today at 925-838-4900 as we are happy to help you. Dr. Potozkin is a board certified dermatologist who has been serving the Danville community since 1993. He is accepting new patients at 925-838-4900. You may also visit his website at for more information. Advertorial

Horse continued from page 18 vorce. Others feel insecure or socially inept. Melanie brings them together in the safe, secluded What makes us Special… serenity of her friend Laurie Gibbs’s ranch. They alternate riding horses with doing ranch chores together. Each session lets them socialize with volunteers and one another. Lesson time involves a presentation on some interesting aspect of horsemanship. What can you do when hope is limited to seeing a terminally ill child smile one last WE ARE a community of time? Exercise your horse sense. As Alana Koski, SonRise Executive Director, explains, you see dogs every day, but you rarely see a horse on the street, and you never see one extraordinary people, living in the bedroom. SonRise’s Traveling Tails program brings miniature horses to George extraordinary lives.... Mark Children’s House once a month and makes home visits to children in hospice care WE ARE a Mother of Six, Former Mayor, by special request. The patient’s entire family reacts with surprise and delight. Navel Officer, Wife of Nobel Prize Winner, Football Blackie is known as the angel because something miraculous happens wherever he goes. Coach, Satellite Engineer, Marketing Executive, Called to make an emergency appearance, the SonRise team learned upon arrival that the Author, Teacher, Photographer, Oil Executive, child was in a coma. Both parents were deaf, and their daughter had been too weak for days Nurse, Pharmacist, Special Education Director, to sign with them. Clip clopping down the corridor Blackie approached the bed and laid his Grandmother, Executive Secretary, Artist… head on the child’s pillow. She opened her eyes, sat up, and brushed Blackie for half an hour. Comforted by the horse’s warmth, she signed a final time to her parents: “I love you.” Traveling Tails minis work regularly with students in the Dublin Elementary School Special Needs Program and delight campers at the Taylor Family Foundation’s Camp Arroyo. Reins in Motion also brings equine entertainment to the Livermore property where children with chronic or life-threatening illnesses or developmental disabilities have the opportunity to enjoy all the normal pleasures of summer camp. Wildhorse is back! KariAnn Come see what makes us so special! Owen founded Wildhorse in Stop in for a tour today and receive a free copy of Gretchen Rubin’s #1 New York Times Best Seller “The Happiness Project”* 2006. Once afflicted with severe and see why we celebrate life at The Stratford! sciatica that left her 98% immobiCALL US AT (925) 932-9910 lized, KariAnn is overjoyed to be able to share with her students the healing powers of the horse that gave her back her independence. PATH certified instructor Owen temporarily lost teaching space this summer, but she is reopening at Hillcrest Farm, Sunol in * Offer while quantites last. Limited and subject to change, please see Community Marketing Director November. Visit www.freewildfor more details. Applies to new residents only. to learn more. Additional websites to visit: American HippotherapyAssociation: www.americanhippotherapyassociation. org, Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International:, ENN Reins in Motion:, Xenophon:, SonRise Equestrian Foundation: Kyle plays “reverse catch” with his hippotherapy team at Xenophon. From left to right: Natalie Redig, Mary Anderson, Leslie deBoer, and, Leaps& Bounds:, Hoof Prints on the Heart: Stephanie Dickerson.

Our Residents do!

If You Can’t Tone It, Tan It! By Brandi Geiger MS, CMT I don’t know about you, but my cellulite looks better tan than pasty white. Yes, it’s true, I wasn’t born with perfect genes, and I have a little in my rear view. That’s what happens when I don’t follow my 80/20 rule of clean eating--it’s been more like 60/40. The overindulging this summer caused me to borrow my husband’s shoehorn to get into my “other” jeans... hhhmmm, I guess it wasn’t the dryer. Dang! So it’s back to living what I teach--eating clean, exercising harder, sweating my guts out in our new infrared sauna, and NOW getting a glowing organic tan that makes those dimples disappear. It’s like getting an instant bum lift! I love it. Dimples are suppose to be on my other cheeks. Did you know that on October 9, 2011 California Governor Edmund Brown signed a bill into law that will prohibit the use of indoor tanning devices for all Californians under the age of 18? According to the American Academy of Dermatology, on a daily basis more than one million people tan in a tanning salon. Nearly 28 million people tan indoors in the United States annually. Of these, 2.3 million are teens. “The short-term, bronzing effects of tanning bed use are simply not worth the long-term consequences of increased skin can-

November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month By Gigi Chen, MD This year, more than 44,000 Americans will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and nearly 38,000 will die of the disease. It is estimated that more than 200,000 patients worldwide die of pancreatic cancer each year. 95% of pancreatic cancers are exocrine tumors because they begin in the cells that produce enzymes for digestion. Less than 5% are endocrine tumors. This disease has claimed the lives of many public figures including actor Patrick Swayze, opera tenor Luciano Pavarotti, and recently, co-founder, chairman and CEO of Apple, Inc., Steve Jobs. Pancreatic cancer can be difficult to diagnose. Many patients tend to have vague abdominal pain or back pain for a few months before the diagnosis is made. Other symptoms include weight loss, jaundice (yellowness of skin), and blood clots. Risk factors can include smoking, physical inactivity, chronic pancreatitis, and family history. Selected mutations involving breast cancer such as BRCA mutation and hereditary pancreatitis have been associated with familial pancreatic cancer. For exocrine pancreatic cancer, once it is diagnosed, about 20-25% of cases can be removed with surgery. Surgery is the only potentially curative treatment. Chemotherapy or chemotherapy plus radiation are considered after surgery. For pancreatic cancer that is localized but not able to be removed, chemotherapy or a combination of chemotherapy and radiation can be used. Radiation is helpful in controlling pain from tumor invasion. In metastatic disease, chemotherapy is the mainstay of treatment. Supportive care, nutrition, and pain control are all important in treating pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor is a rare form of pancreatic cancer. Surgery to remove the cancer is a common treatment. At this time, there is not a standard treatment for advanced neuroendocrine tumor. Two targeted drugs, Affinitor and Sutent, were recently approved by FDA to treat advanced pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor. We would encourage clinical trial participation to help us find better treatment options for this rare tumor. Lifestyle modifications that can decrease pancreatic cancer risk include consuming diets rich in fruits and vegetables, keeping blood sugar under control, and maintaining a healthy body weight as well as being physically active. Gigi Chen, MD is a Medical Oncologist and Hematologist with Diablo Valley Oncology. She sees patients in Pleasant Hill and Walnut Creek/ Rossmoor. For more information, call 925-677-5041 or go to where you will find Northern California’s most comprehensive online cancer library. Advertorial

Danville Today News ~ November 2011 - Page 21 cer risk and premature aging,” says noted dermatologist Dr. Joshua Fox. The United States Department of Health and Human Services and the International Agency of Research on Cancer has declared ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun and artificial sources, including tanning beds and sun lamps, as known carcinogens (a cancer-causing agent). Studies have found a 75% increase in the risk of melanoma in those exposed to UV radiation from indoor tanning. Evidence from studies has shown that exposure to UV radiation from indoor tanning is associated with an increased risk of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers including squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma, as well as damages the DNA in the skin cells and can lead to premature skin aging, immune suppression and eye damage. Funny how much money people spend to reverse premature aging when we are the ones causing some of it. But not to worry, you don’t have to be pasty white like me or cause yourself premature aging. My business partner, esthetician Jennifer Cross, and I are now offering natural and organic “Spray di Sole Sunless Tanning” which is odor-free, alcohol-free, perfume-free, preservative-free, paraben-free, oilfree, and vegan. It will leave you moisturized, bronzed, and glowing. Spray di Sole sunless tanning formula has no scent and dries quickly. It contains DHA, which is a natural tanning agent derived from sugar, that reacts with the amino acids in the skin to produce a rich, completely natural looking tan so you don’t come out looking like an Oompa Loompa. Ingredients such as the organic aloe vera soothes and repairs damaged skin. Organic jojoba seed oil is a great herbal skin rejuvenator, and organic green tea leaf extract is an antioxidant, authentic moisturizer, and anti-aging product with a proven history record. Algae extract softens and soothes skin by retaining moisture, and Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant, possessing the ability to increase the moisture of the layer and thereby improve surface relief. Vitamin D, the sun vitamin, is added to provide smoother, healthier skin and natural radiance year-round. Hyaluronic acid plumps skin and enhances the volume to create that same firm yet soft and supple skin associated with youth. If you can’t tone it, tan it for your next holiday party, dance, vacation, special occasion, or just because. Gather your friends, and have a spray tan party. It’s fun to get toned and tan together! Call (925)984-9259 or email fitmindnbody@ for more information or to make an appointment. My office is located at 55 Oak Ct. #130 in Danville. You can find me on Facebook or Twitter at Fit Mind n Body for healthy tips and tricks. Give your friends a healthy glow for the holidays with a Spray di Sole Gift Certificate. We have many great services as gifts for your friends. Visit for of all of my services or for Jennifer’s list of services. Eat Well, Live Well, Be Well Advertorial

The Many Faces of Ovarian Cancer Come and experience the Many Faces of Ovarian Cancer, an event focusing on one of the most commonly misdiagnosed cancers in women. Join an engaging panel of medical experts, as they offer insight into the latest information on treatment options, family history, and early detection. We we’ll also explore the unique needs and issues of ovarian cancer survivors. Cancer specific nutrition will be discussed with an emphasis on holiday cooking. The event will be held November 15 from 6-8PM at the Lafayette Library and Learning Center’s Art and Science Room. To register, please call (925) 677-5041. Co-sponsors for the event are Clocks Etc, Oakwood Athletic Club, and Diablo Valley Oncology.

4-H continued from front page programming offers youth and adults the opportunity to engage in scientific exploration and to work together to build the next generation of our nation's scientists, engineers, and mathematicians. Our clubs offers many science related projects such as Robotics, Engineering, Vet Science, and Pinball in addition to leadership, cooking, craft, carpentry and animal projects.” For more information, visit 4-H is a community of six million young people across America learning leadership, citizenship, and life skills. National 4-H Council is the private sector, non-profit partner of 4-H National Headquarters located at the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) within USDA. The 111 land-grant colleges and universities and the Cooperative Extension System through their 3,100 local Extension offices implement 4-H programs across the country. Learn more about 4-H at or find us on Facebook at

Page 22 - November 2011 ~ Danville Today News

Your Personal Nutritionist By Linda Michaelis, RD. MS. Holiday Nutrition Survival Plan

stay focused, and remember the “whoops” that you had during the day, but you can balance it out. Lastly, how can you serve your holiday guests without going off-track? It is my job to help you come up with delectable menus that will keep you in control with the endless meals you need to prepare for guests. I suggest you have on-hand a big pot of bean soup or chili. Roast some chicken and veggies. Do not overdo the desserts, and keep breads like bagels and loaves of french bread to a minimum. Prepare one or two dessert dishes that will serve your guests and leave no leftovers. You do not want to be left with quantities of foods that call your name! Definitely send home any extra goodies with your guests to remove any temptations. If the holiday season causes you to lose control, I am here to help you maintain your weight or help you continue your success with weight loss. I am glad to inform you that many clients are being reimbursed by their insurance companies for the services I offer. Linda is located in her office in Alamo. She welcomes your call to discuss your nutrition concerns. Please visit for more information, past articles, helpful tips, recipes, and Linda’s blog or call (925) 855-0150. Advertorial

When we think about the holiday season, a few holiday parties with the family usually come to mind. In reality, the holidays are often a non-stop free-for-all of holiday parties where we often (over)indulge ourselves. As I tell my clients, we need to have a plan to deal with this madness, just as we need to have plans during the year. I work with my clients and walk them through holiday nutrition strategies. We often look at the schedule of events and role play as if we were in attendance at one. On the day of a party, I encourage my clients to get an extra 15 minutes of aerobic exercise so they can afford a 200 calorie splurge at the party and stay at the same weight. You need to pre-plan your party dining so you don’t arrive starving or unable to resist the urge to overeat. Before you go to a party I suggest you have a good snack such as a cup of hearty soup or cottage cheese to avoid arriving famished. Once you arrive at a party, check out all the offerings, from appetizers to desserts. This can be easily done by nonchalantly cruising through CONTRA COSTA ONCOLOGY the kitchen and asking the chef or hostess what is planned. At that point you can come up with a strategy to survive this feast with little damage. Plan to have a few appetizers and a small dessert. If it is a sit-down dinner, pile your plate with extra veggies, and request a small portion of side and main dishes. If this is not possible, simply move food around the plate, take small bites, and savor each item slowly. This should not be a time to fill up and stuff yourself. Though we often get wrapped up in the food, holiday parties should be a time to visit and catch up with family members. Focus on “working the room” and having great conversations with each guest rather than just filling up. If there is a buffet, walk down the line one time and notice what’s offered, then decide how to tackle it. Do not just eat salads - eat foods you love, but take smaller portions, and leave room for dessert. Eliminate bread and butter and mashed potatoes; save those calories for brownies or pecan pie! Make sure that you eat at least four ounces of protein such as salmon, shrimp, filet, tri-tip, etc. to avoid coming home hungry and totally sabotaging your eating plan. If you chose to drink cocktails, I suggest you alternate consuming the drink with sips of sparkling water to cut your liquid caloric intake in half. What about those wonderful homemade goodies that appear at the office? Again, we have to have a quick plan in place. Consider this. Instead of having a sandwich with chips for lunch, substitute some sliced meat with coleslaw, pickles, or a hearty bowl of soup with a side salad topped by a lite vinaigrette dressing. Afterwards you can enjoy that delicious AT CONTRA COSTA ONCOLOGY, we are committed to providing WALNUT CREEK the highest quality care. Specializing in comprehensive cutting-edge treatment pumpkin bread someone brought in. If you eat SAN RAMON programs for all forms of cancer and blood disorders, our nationally recognized too many goodies at work, the same restraint CONCORD oncology experts and specialized oncology nurses are dedicated to providing would apply for the evening meal. I’d suggest ROSSMOOR the best possible care experience. We understand the wide array of concerns a grilled piece of meat with an artichoke and a and challenges faced by you and your family, so we ensure the most sophisticated DANVILLE [ Opening this Fall ] large serving of asparagus. Essentially, decrease levels of medical oncology and hematology care, while providing you with the the fat and starch for the meals to make up for utmost support, compassion, and respect. the dessert items. This is a sure-fire technique 925.939.9610 to keep your weight stable. Yes, you have to

With Them

my story Continues.

Danville Today News ~ November 2011 - Page 23

Tired and Depressed? It Might Be a Thyroid Problem. By Dr. Michael Ruscio Why do so many people have symptoms of low thyroid function (AKA hypothyroidism), yet their lab tests are normal? They know something is wrong but the doctor says it’s all in their head. A study published in Alternative Medicine Review sheds some light on this subject. (To view this study type ID# 10956378 into the search box at The summary of this study reports there are a few, fairly common factors, that derange thyroid function but do so in such a way that will not be detectable on standard lab tests. Standard lab test usually miss common thyroid problems. This is because most standard tests are checking for major imbalance (think disease), but they miss the minor imbalances that chronically plague many women. The symptoms of low thyroid function are fatigue, high cholesterol, weight gain, cold hands and feet, depression, dry coarse skin and hair, forgetfulness, and always being cold.

Inflammation causes poor thyroid function. A direct relationship was found between inflammation and decreased levels of thyroid hormones. In fact, when healthy subjects were injected with inflammatory compounds they developed symptoms of hypothyroidism. Inflammation is now being recognized as a major contributor to many diseases.

C L A S S I F I E D COOKING CLASSES RAW CUISINE CULINARY ARTS CLASSES – Raw Chef/Instructor teaching classes right here in Danville! Fresh, organic, vegetarian, and simply raw — the food your body was designed to thrive on. Learn to create colorful, flavor-packed dishes that will “rawk” your world! Chef Erin offers group classes and personalized consulting services. Visit sassyrawchef for more information and to register for classes.


Toxic metals decrease thyroid hormone It is well know that people toxic with metals like lead or mercury have hypothyroid symptoms. In fact, in another study it was shown that a key thyroid enzyme can decrease in function by 90% after exposure to toxic metals. Heavy metal toxicity is also more common than you would think as power plants and industrial pollution have greatly increased environmental levels.

Increased levels of liver toxicity cause hypothyroid symptoms As the toxic burden on the liver increased, less of the active form of thyroid hormone (T3) was made.

Soy may be causing your hypothyroid symptoms Healthy subjects who consumed a high soy diet for three months developed symptoms of hypothyroidism. After returning to a normal diet their symptoms returned to normal. Even as little as 128mg of soy per day caused hypothyroid symptoms in one study performed on a group of women

High levels of stress hormones also caused symptoms of hypothyroidism. This further reinforces what we have all noticed for decades. When some people are under high amount of stress, they tend to gain weight, partially due to the decreased function of the thyroid.

Low calorie diets decreased thyroid function Men who reduced calories a meager 15% below needed intake showed an unfavorable shift in thyroid hormone levels. How does this work? It’s a prehistoric survival mechanism. When food was scarce (AKA eating low calories) the body would slow down its metabolic rate to keep you alive. The slower your metabolism, the less fat you burn. So what can you do? Performing a cleanse is a great way to begin. I would recommend doing so under the supervision of a doctor so that you have the resources needed to address any of the above in more detail. In our office we have developed a fun and effective cleanse program, our award winning 28 Days to Health cleanse. I invite you to stop by the office to find out what approach is right for you. For more info, visit Dr. Ruscio’s YouTube page,, view his recent newsletter,, or email Dr. Michael Ruscio is the director of Functional Medicine at Johnson Chiropractic Group, 115 Town & Country Dr., Suite E in Danville. 925.743.8210. Advertorial

Bluetooth continued from page 18

ST. PAUL’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH in Walnut Creek cordially invites you to join us for Christmas Service on December 24th at 4pm, 8pm, 10:30pm, and 11pm, and December 25th at11am in our Historical Chapel.

ELECTRICAL WORK 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.

to a PC which is connected to the health records system. Needless to say, my iPad and iPhone have Bluetooth built in, and I like to use my headphones with them for listening to music or making a call. I have a Bluetooth enabled Jawbone handsfree headset I use when I’m on the phone and in my car, and also a lightweight Bluetooth stereo headset made by Motorola which is easy to use when listening to music or internet radio broadcasts. We’re fortunate to live in an age of unimaginable technical creativity. If you have a need for Bluetooth technology and need help integrating it in your environment, give us a call at 925-552-7953 or email us at helpdesk@ We’re happy to help. Advertorial

Danville Today News Classifieds R e a c h ove r 1 4 , 5 0 0 h o m e s a n d b u s i n e s s e s i n D a nv i l l e 9 4 5 2 6 - H e l p Wa n te d, Fo r S a l e, S e r v i ce s, Le s s o n s, Pe t s, R e n t a l s, Wa n te d, Fre e b i e s. . . $ 3 5 fo r u p to 4 5 wo rd s. $ 5 fo r e a c h a d d i t i o n a l 1 5 wo rd s. R u n t h e s a m e c l a s s i f i e d a d i n o u r s i s t e r s p a p e r “ L a f a y e t t e To d a y ” a n d / o r “A l a m o To d a y ” a n d p a y h a l f o f f for your second and/or third ads! Send or email submissions to: 3000F Danville Blvd #117, Alamo 94507 or editor@yourmonthlyp a p e r. c o m . Pa y m e n t b y c h e c k m a d e o u t t o “ T h e E d i t o r s” m u s t b e r e c e i v e d b e f o r e a d w i l l p r i n t . Your cancelled check is your receipt. We reserve the right to reject any ad. _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Name_________________________________________ Address__________________________________________ # of Words_______________ Phone________________________________________ Email ____________________________________________________________________ nthlyp ypap yp ap per er.c .com om

Page 24 - November 2 2011 ~ Danville Today News

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Call the Combs Team


925- 9 8 9 - 6 0 8 6 Danville Real Estate: Prices are Stable, Good Homes Sell Fast!

at $741,350. Even though price per square foot remained pretty constant at $320 there is good news in the strength of the third quarter. That good news is simply that home sales remain solid. A total of 7 homes sold at prices greater than $1.5 million. If you happen to be sitting on a luxury home in Danville that you would like to sell, please be encouraged. This is indeed a very positive development and perhaps a sign that confidence in high level real estate investment is gradually returning. In fairness, let me balance my optimism just a little bit. As of this writing 179 homes are listed for sale at an average list price of $1,004,063 and $350 per square foot and they have been on the market for 93 days. Also, there are 149 sales pending and their average pending price is $685,248 at $292 dollars per square foot. Ninety of these pending sales or 60% are either short sales or bank owned properties which represents a significantly higher proportion of distressed sales than the full year sales which stand at 167 (distressed) of 543 (total sales) or 31% year to date. I suspect the current pending mix is distorted because normal sales tend to close in 30 days and distressed sales remain as pending sales for months. Of the current active listings, only 35 (19%) are at this time officially distressed sales although we can anticipate that a few more may slip into short sales as time goes on and list prices are adjusted downward to effect a sale. In summary our Danville Market is active, prices are stable and inventory of homes priced to sell is fairly low. I count only 61 of the 179 homes currently listed as market competitive and many of these homes are of a significantly less desirable nature. This month, a number of properties have gone pending with multiple offers. What this all adds up to is simply this. If you put a desirable property on the market at market competitive prices, it will sell and sell fast. That my friends is really good news! If you are thinking about selling your home and would like an honest opinion of its market value, please give me a call 925-989-6086, or send me an email joecombs@ Nancy and I will be happy to help.

With so little good economic news filtering our way these days, I would like to provide some uplift to the spirits of my readers by saying simply that prices in Danville for the year are fairly stable. I think that is something to cheer about considering the last few years and hopefully 2011 results herald the beginning of the turnaround we have all been praying for. My overall optimism, while based upon very thin data, is supportable in the quarterly numbers presented here today. While I can’t promise that this is the bottom it appears for the moment that the Danville market is at least resting on a solid shelf. 2011 Danville Real Estate Sales by Quarter Q1 Unit Sales Median Price Average Price $$ Per Sq. Ft.

$ $ $

Q2 124 730,950 $ 775,422 $ 300 $

Q3 204 767,000 $ 785,875 $ 318 $

YTD thru Oct. 25 182 543 741,350 $ 750,000 775,719 $ 778,863 320 $ 313

First quarter Danville sales were literally dampened by extremely wet weather. Buyers put off by the cold and the wet, for the most part, stayed home. This resulted in fairly low early season sales. Only 124 units closed during the first quarter and they closed at under $800,000 dollars on average and also in median price. Dollars paid per square foot were also very low by Danville standards sinking to $300 per square foot on average. Fortunately, this situation did not hold as the weather improved. During the second quarter sales improved significantly growing by 65% over the first quarter. And average price followed suit, increasing by 1.3 % from the previous quarter. Dollars paid per square foot hit $318 which is on par with last year’s prices. O.K. it’s not an improvement over last year, but in a market that has been descending precipitously, you must agree that flat is good…no very good! The third quarter did not disappoint either, besting the first quarter’s median price

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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.

J. Rockcliff Realtors 15 Railroad Ave., Danville CA. 94526

Danville Today News, November 2011  

Danville Today News, November 2011. The city of Danville, California's monthly advertiser-supported community newspaper.

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