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)HEUXDU\6HUYLQJ'DQYLOOH Teen Esteem By Fran Miller The statistics are startling: if a teen begins drinking at age 15, he or she has a 40% chance of becoming an alcohol-dependent adult; 67% of these 15 year-old drinkers will experiment with elicit drugs. Alcohol, which can affect the natural development of the teen brain, is implicated in the top three causes of teen fatalities. And, one out of two eighth graders have experimented with alcohol. The pressures faced by today’s youth can often lead to risky behaviors such as underage and binge drinking, drugs, prescription drug abuse and sexual activity. And, the limited reasoning skills of an under-developed adolescent brain often lead to perilous choices, made without regard to consequences. The high-risk behavior of today’s youth High school students participate in the “Teacup Analogy” requires the watchful eye exercise with Teen Esteem volunteer presenter Jill Daniels. and guidance of not only parents, but also community members and neighbors. Never before has the adage, “It takes a village to raise a child,” been more apt. Teen Esteem is that village. Teen Esteem was founded in 1994 by Linda Turnbull out of concern that many young people were lured to risky behaviors that could potentially lead to negative lifelong repercussions. Executive Director Turnbull and her team of four part-time staff members, a board of directors, trained volunteer speakers, and community volunteers work together to equip, educate, and empower teens and their parents on issues related to health, well-being, self-respect, and respect for others. Through volunteer speakers and ongoing interaction with school administrators, counselors, law enforcement, doctors and parents, Teen Esteem has the ability to accurately access current youth culture and trends, and in turn, relevantly address high school and middle schools students throughout the Tri-Valley area with their “Healthy Choices” presentations. Teen Esteem speakers are young adults, trained to deliver an informative, dynamic, and memorable message. The parent education team includes community professionals who, through informaGet S.M.A.R.T. tional events, equip parents as to how A Teen Esteem tool to use when mak- they can best prepare their child for ing a difficult decision or avoid a difficult the turbulent adolescent years. situation: Get S.M.A.R.T. A presentation example includes S – Say no. Be comfortable using this the “teacup analogy” exercise: three super important tool! volunteer students each choose a M – Make up your mind about your cup- a red plastic cup, a chipped values. Do it now, not later! ceramic coffee mug, or a fine china A - Accountability. Make friends with teacup. They are asked to describe those who support you and your values! what their cup is used for, how they R – Respect. No one wants to be feel about it, how long they will treated with disrespect. Treat others with keep it, and if it is special. Resultrespect, even if they don’t act like they ing dialogue is reflective of how the want it! students view themselves and how T – Think beyond the moment. It they allow others to treat them: Party could save you from broken dreams and cup: flashy, pretty, no worth, disposLOTS of heartache. See Teen continued on page 10

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Tao House

Tao House - Gateway to Eugene O’Neill’s Legacy By Jody Morgan The dramatic views of Mount Diablo enjoyed by Eugene O’Neill and his wife Carlotta are accessible to Tao House visitors free of charge thanks to the perspicacity and perseverance of a few individuals who persuaded Congress to create a unique arrangement between the Eugene O’Neill Foundation and the National Park Service. A memorandum of agreement defines the partnership between the Foundation that saved the property

Rehearsal for The Straw: Left to right, Eden Neuendorf as Eileen Carmody, Megan Miller as Miss Howard, Keith Jefferds as Bill Carmody, and Valerie Weak as Mrs. Brennan.

from becoming one more hilltop housing development and the Park Service that preserves it. Park Service rangers maintain the house and grounds and guide visitors through O’Neill’s secluded haven. Foundation volunteers provide artistic and educational programs that highlight O’Neill’s impact on American theatre. The only American playwright ever awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, O’Neill used the Volume III - Number 4 $40,000 sum the 1936 honor brought with it to 3000F Danville Blvd. #117, Alamo, CA 94507 purchase a 158-acre Danville ranch in 1937. (925) 405-6397 Carlotta oversaw the design and construction Fax (925) 406-0547 of their retreat blending the couple’s interest in Alisa Corstorphine ~ Publisher Oriental art and philosophy with Spanish coloeditor@ nial architecture appropriate to the site. A 1941 Life Magazine photo shoot provides detailed documentation of the interior décor. (Destined The opinions expressed herein belong to the writers, and do not necessarily for a December issue, the spread was replaced reflect that of Danville Today News. Danville Today News is not at the last minute by pages on Pearl Harbor.) responsible for the content of any of In the study where Eugene wrote A Long Day’s the advertising herein, nor does

See Tao House continued on page 14

publication imply endorsement.

Page 2 - February 2012 ~ Danville Today News

Boulevard View By Alisa Corstorphine, Editor The other day I noticed a tattered, old, quilted comforter lying on one of our beds. We pulled the old quilt out from the cupboard when the nights became cold. I am sure my grandmother spent quite a long time perfectly cutting over 1,600 one-inch small squares, folding and ironing all four edges of each square, and then laying the tiny squares out in designs before hand-stitching them together. I can’t even imagine the time it took to put something like this together. I once tried the old craft of rug hooking and managed to make a piece about 1’x2’; it took over a year. The quilt has seen better days. The white batting is showing through as well as the blue backing layer. As I examined it, I thought maybe I should put it in a box in the closet for “safe storage.” But then I thought that Grandma would not want her masterpiece sitting in some box. She created the quilt to be used just like she made braided rugs to be walked on. These handcrafts were probably created during nights listening to the radio, sitting in front of a fire, or socializing with a group of friends. She made them with care and love, and she made them to be seen and used - not stuck in some box in a closet. I mentioned Grandma’s quilt to one of my sisters, and it started her thinking about the silver and china that was given to her when she and her husband were married. There were grand plans made by the young couple that included fancy dinner parties that never materialized, and the silver and china have sat in a cupboard for the last 22 years where they were “safe” from being dropped, broken, or chipped. After all that time, one plate recently saw the light of day when it was brought out for a special school project one of her children had. It was the first time the plate had ever had a food item placed upon it. Worries of the dishes being too fancy kept them packed away. But what is too fancy? When is it the right time to use something special? When we pack something away for the “right time,” does it ever get used, or is it just forgotten? Another of my sisters just recently began bringing out the two sets of “special” china dishes that she has. She, along with her husband and two young children, will make a dinner together - maybe something as simple as spaghetti and meatballs with salad - and then turn the simple dinner into an occasion by turning on some classical or jazz music and serving the dinner on the china dishes in their dining room. Instead of waiting for a special event to use the dishes, they are making the event special by bringing the dishes out. Many other treasured items can end up in the same “special” category: special heirloom jewelry, memorable baby clothes, a wedding dress. What do you have tucked away waiting for “the right time” to be used? (If you do decide that now is the right time, take a picture to remember the item in its original condition, then free it from that box or special storage spot and let it be used!) I know Grandma wouldn’t want her labor of love packed away. Her quilt was created to be used and enjoyed, and we plan to enjoy many more nights made warmer by Grandma’s masterpiece.

Danville Today News ~ February 2012 - Page 3

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Xenophon Gala Fundraiser Please join Xenophon Therapeutic Riding Center for its annual gala fundraiser, “An Enchanted Emerald Eve.” This year, the event will be held at Round Hill Country Club in Alamo on Saturday, March 17th at 6pm. The evening includes a sit down dinner, dancing, and silent and live auctions. Tickets are $100 each, and reservations are required. Please visit for more details and to purchase tickets or call 925.377.0871. Funds raised at this event will be used to support the overall cost of providing riding lessons to children with special needs. Xenophon Therapeutic Riding Center is a nonprofit organization located in a beautiful rural setting in Orinda. The center offers life-changing experiences for children with a wide range of disabilities, and it provides therapeutic horseback riding in a safe and secure environment. The children achieve goals that they never before dreamed possible. By focusing on enhancing their unique abilities, and with a horse as their guide, there is no limit to what these children can achieve.

Alamo-Danville Newcomer’s Club Please join us February 14th for our Luncheon at Uncle Yu's Restaurant in Lafayette. We have an exciting speaker joining us, Deborah Francesconi, a medical esthetician who is a frequent guest on KGO Radio. She will bring us up-to-date on the latest anti-aging, non-surgical skin treatments. Reservations are required. Please contact Marty at 925-838-8113 for more information.

Clipper Cards for Seniors Important information for BART riders! BART transitioned from paper tickets to Clipper cards earlier this month. The Town of Danville is offering a second special senior “Buzz Session” to demonstrate and explain the new Clipper card system. The Buzz Session will be held Thursday, February 16th from 9am to 11am at the Town Meeting Hall located at 201 Front Street in Danville. Representatives from BART will provide a brief overview regarding the transition from tickets to Clipper cards. The rest of the presentation will be dedicated to registering seniors and issuing the Clipper cards. Seniors must have a valid government issued I.D. to receive the card. The cost of this Buzz Session is free, however pre-registration is required. To register, call (925) 314-3400. For more information, visit

Rowan Branch Seeking Members Rowan Branch auxiliary of Children's Hospital Oakland has been an AlamoDanville institution for more than 50 years. Meeting once a month in Alamo and Danville homes, this group of 50 or so women organizes two fundraisers each year to benefit the Hospital. In spring, Rowan Branch puts on the popular Spring Shopping Spree at Round Hill Country Club. Sold out every year, the Spree attracts over 250 attendees who shop at selected vendors, enjoy lunch, and listen to a speaker from the Hospital. In the fall, Rowan Branch presents the annual Gala des Enfants, a grand but not stuffy affair that features a live auction, fun games and raffles, and each year raises a significant amount of funding for the Hospital. This year's Gala is set for Saturday night, October 13th, at Diablo Country Club. Do you have some time on your hands to devote to a good cause and enjoy the company of fellow Alamo/Danville women with a philanthropic bent? Our meetings are held on the first Wednesday night of the month. We would love to meet you and welcome you to Rowan Branch! Please call membership chair Jill Pfeiffer at 837-2507 or email

New Veterans Building Means New Programs With the newly renovated Veterans Memorial Building opening in the spring, the Town of Danville has been busy programming new classes to expand the already existing and exciting classes for seniors. Seniors will have an opportunity to learn more about programs and instructors by attending the free Senior Recreation Program Expo on Friday, February 24th, from 9am– Noon at the Oak Hill Park Community Center located at 3005 Stone Valley Rd in Danville. Instructors will be available to discuss their programs and answer questions. Visit or call (925) 314-3400 for more information.

San Ramon Valley Newcomers Club The San Ramon Valley Newcomers Club invites new and long-time residents to its monthly luncheon on February 16th at Crow Canyon Country Club located at 711 Silver Lake Dr. in Danville. The meeting will take place from ll:30 to 2 PM, and the cost is $21. The speaker will be Sheila Bali, an author who will speak on her family’s escape from the Hungarian Revolution. Call Grace at (925) 828-8554 for reservations and information.

Page 4 - February 2012 ~ Danville Today News

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Update on the Future of Health Care The San Ramon Valley Republican Women Federated invites the public to hear guest speaker John Graham, who will be speaking on “Update on the Future of Health Care,” on February 28th. The meeting will be held at Crow Canyon Country Club located at 711 Silver Lake Drive in Danville. Social gathering begins at 11:30am followed by lunch at noon. Cost is $25 (payable at the door). For reservations, call Mary at (925) 837-5465 or e-mail

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

Danville Lions Club The Danville Lions Club invites you to join us for dinner and to learn more about how our club serves the community. Meetings are held at the Brass Door, 2154 San Ramon Valley Blvd, San Ramon on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of each month at 7PM. For more information, please call Dr. Brent Waterman at (925) 275-1990.

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

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Free Tax Preparation for the 2012 tax season will again be offered by Tax-Aide’s AARP sponsored program and Earn It, Keep It Save It’s (EKS) United Way sponsored program. The fast, free, confidential tax service, provided by IRS certified tax preparers, is available starting February 2012. The two programs serve slightly different populations. Tax-Aide serves low and moderate-income taxpayers of any age with special attention to seniors 60 plus. EKS serves individuals and families who earned less than $50,000 in 2011. For information or to make an appointment for the Tax-Aide sites serving the Danville/San Ramon area, please call Danville-Community Presbyterian Church (925) 480-7202 or San Ramon Senior Center (925) 973-3250. For general information and other site locations, call (925) 726-3199. If you need additional information concerning the EKS program, call 211 or visit

Summer Planning at a Discount Have you ever wanted to meet and greet the instructors or camp staff before sending your children off for the summer? Well now’s your chance! Get a sneak peek of what the Town of Danville has in store for Spring and Summer 2012 on Saturday, February 4th from 11AM to 2PM at the Danville Community Center located at 420 Front Street in Danville. Meet summer day camp and aquatics staff, plus a variety of specialty class instructors, and get all of your questions answered in person. Individuals who come to the expo will have an opportunity to register early for all of their favorite programs and will receive 10% off of program fees listed in the Spring Activity Guide and Summer Camps Brochure. Please note that not all programs or classes may be included. This is a free event, and pre-registration is not required. Visit or call (925) 314-3400 for more information.

Blackhawk Republican Women Present Cory Emberson and Rick Lindstrom The Blackhawk Republican Women will present authors Cory Emberson and Rick Lindstrom, authors of Pursuing Liberty: America Through the Eyes of the Newly Free, on Thursday, February 16th at the Blackhawk Country Club which is located at 599 Blackhawk Club Dr. in Danville. A social with hors d’oeuvres will be held at 5:30PM followed by the speakers at 6:15PM. The cost is $25. Ronald Reagan said, “Freedom is a fragile thing and never more than one generation from extinction.” Sometimes it takes a different perspective to bring matters into sharp focus - a perspective from those who have experienced despotism and tyranny first-hand, escaped it, and lived to tell the tale. Pursuing Liberty is a chronicle of those experiences, reminding us of the value of liberty and the ongoing need to defend it at all costs. Come hear the authors who have been featured on the Brian Sussman Show on KSFO560. See for more info, reviews, and interviews. Please make reservations or cancellations by noon on Tuesday, February 14th by contacting Mrs. Lyons at 856 Turrini Dr., Danville, 94526, rlyons1009@, or (925) 820-6452.

Danville/Sycamore Rotary If you are interested in visiting the Danville/Sycamore Valley Rotary Club, contact club president Jim Coleman at Meetings are held on Tuesdays at 7AM at Crow Canyon Country Club.

Danville Rotary The Danville Rotary Club meets every Monday at noon at Faz restaurant in Danville. For more information, contact membership chairperson Jim Crocker at or by phone at 925-577-6159.




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Danville Community Band Dinner Concert

Delta Nu Psi Collections for the Troops

February 12th at Diablo Country Club

Our collections this January at CVS and Lunardi's were fabulous. Thank you to those that donated “gourmet junk food” for our Troops. We have received special requests from some of the Troops deployed in Afghanistan for hand and feet warmers as the temperatures are very cold. The warmers are available at retail chain and sporting good stores or online. We will be collecting at CVS in Alamo on February 3rd and at Lunardi’s in Danville on February 10th. We will be at both stores from 11am to 2pm. For more information, visit our website at

Everyone is invited to enjoy a sumptuous dinner and to relax as the enchanting sounds of music fill the ballroom at the historic Diablo Country Club. Conductor Robert Calonico leads the 90-member all-volunteer Danville Community Band as they entertain you with a “Musical Potpourri.” The evening begins on Sunday, February 12th at 5pm with registration and drinks at the no host bar (cash only). Dinner will be held at 6pm, followed by the concert. For reservations (credit card only), please call 925837-4221. Call early as the event fills quickly due to limited seating. Dinner and concert (inclusive) cost $38 per person. This event is open to all. Bring your Valentine, and enjoy an early celebration.

Free Tax Preparation Free Tax Preparation will be offered by Tax-Aide’s AARP sponsored program and Earn It, Keep It Save It’s (EKS) United Way sponsored program. The fast, free, confidential tax service, provided by IRS certified tax preparers, is available now. For information or to make an appointment for the Tax-Aide sites serving the Danville/San Ramon area, please call Danville-Community Presbyterian Church (925) 480-7202 or San Ramon Senior Center (925) 973-3250. For general information and other site locations, call (925) 726-3199. If you need additional information concerning the EKS program, call 211 or visit

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Veterans of Foreign Wars Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW), Post 75 of San Ramon Valley, meets every second Thursday of the month at the Swain House at Hap Magee Ranch Park, located at 1025 La Gonda Way in Danville. Doors open at 7PM and the meeting begins at 7:30PM. The next regularly scheduled meeting will be held on Thursday, February 9th. For more information, contact Post Commander Nathan Greene at (925) 875-1747 or visit

Raising Fruits and Vegetables in Small and Challenging Spaces Get inspired to grow fruits and vegetables, even with limited space, at the Danville Library presentation of the Master Gardener Series, Raising Fruits and Vegetables in Small and Challenging Spaces on Tuesday, February 7th at 7pm at Danville Library, Mt. Fur & Feathers Pet Sitting Diablo Room located Exceptional care for your pet at 400 Front Street in Daily visits plus dog walks Danville. Lock and leave, no worries The presentation Overnights will cover container Barbara Monroe gardening, raised Owner beds, and espalier 925-998-9317 fruit trees. No regisBonded, Insured & References tration is required.

Page 6 - February 2012 ~ Danville Today News

Sustainable Danville Area Tip of the Month Find Your People By Dina Colman, Four Quadrant Living (A Danville Area Sustainable Business) It’s 9pm on a Tuesday night, and I’m at a veterinary hospital to meet a dog that I might adopt. This particular vet is open until midnight, and they work a lot with rescue Purveyors of classic, exotic, and organizations. The rescue group that I contacted told me high-performance cars for more than 30 years. that I could meet the dog before she got spayed if I wanted California’s #1 Classic Car Dealer to meet that evening. Nine o’clock at night seemed a little late to me, but the dog had just been listed on Petfinder. Over 200 vehicles in inventory! com, and I found myself saying “yes.” As I sat and watched these rescue people do their work, I thought to myself, “I get it.” I get why they are here working so hard to save these lives. I understand that it doesn't matter that it's 9pm; the lives need to be saved. I’m an animal person. I have always had a soft spot for cats and dogs. When I married my husband, the one condition that I imposed was that I would always have a four legged companion in my life (to date, it’s been cats). I have worked at, and volunteered with, a couple of Showrooms in Pleasanton, Benicia, and Fairfield. animal rescue organizations in my life. As I waited to meet my future pup (yes, it was an instant love connection), I thought | 800.600.2262 that some might look at these people and not really get it. Why would someone willingly be out so late to help a dog or cat they didn’t even know? As I sat there, I had this feeling come over me that these are “my Museum of the San Ramon Valley people.” I ended up being there until 11pm, volunteering to photograph the just rescued Wild Weird and Wonderful Exhibit Now Open shelter animals so they could be posted on Petfinder for faster adoption. What possesses us to accumulate objects? Is it because of a perWho are “your people”—the people who understand your passion, beliefs, and/ sonal connection? Is it because of the objects' particular beauty? Or is or values without you even having to say a word? These are the people that you it because of a more deep seated need to collect? Come and explore can completely relate to. You can be authentic around them and not have to pretend the history of early collections and the beginnings of museums while to be someone else or downplay who you are. Is it your fellow cyclists? Knitting investigating our very own Curiosity Cabinet. Our museum will exhibit group? Breast cancer survivors? Church members? Mom’s group? Foodies? I started running five years ago because I wanted to run a marathon. Running a distinctive and eclectic variety of collections from our own San Rahas changed my life. Sure, it keeps me in shape and calms my stress, but it has mon Valley hunters and gatherers. Perhaps these objects will give you provided me with a whole new social network. My husband took up running not flight to the imagination, wings to the mind, and gaiety to the spirit. too long after I started. We joke that if we had known how many friends we’d make How Wild, Weird and Wonderful! from running, we would have taken it up a lot sooner. Since I started running, I Whistle Stop Talk have run six marathons. Sometimes I feel like my family doesn't really understand On Saturday, February 25 th at 2pm at the Danville Town Hall lo- all that I get from running. My perception is that they think I'm obsessive about cated at 201 Front Street in Danville Marjorie Schwarzer will be dis- it and worry that I am harming my body. I often feel like when they are visiting cussing “Americans and Their Krazy Kollections.” Ms. Schwarzer is me or I am visiting them, I have to sneak in my runs. I feel like I can’t just be me an acclaimed writer, educator, and lecturer. From 1996-2011, she was about it. I have to downplay all that running is and does for me. But my running professor and chair of the Department of Museum Studies at John F. people get it. I don’t have to explain why I love running. They just know. Now that I'm a new dog owner, I’m seeing that I have a new “people.” There is a Kennedy University. She has authored many books and articles about whole subculture when you own a dog that I previously had no idea existed. I’ve had issues impacting museums. Her book, Riches, Rivals and Radicals: 100 my dog for just a week now, and I’ve already met five dog-owning neighbors I had Years of the Museum in America, was published in 2006 to celebrate the th 100 anniversary of the American Association of Museums. The book never met before. I’ve also talked the ears off of my dog-owning friends, asking for advice and sharing the craziness of the first week with my new pup. They get it. was the basis for an award winning Public Television show of the same My husband says it’s the same for cyclists. He had his bike parked at a coffee shop, title. The program can be viewed at the Museum of San Ramon Valley and a fellow cyclist asked him how he liked his style of pedals. They then ended up in conjunction with our current exhibit. having a conversation about rides, races, and injuries. I can imagine it’s also true for Special Presentations at the Museum: foodies, as I've seen it with my friend Doug. He loves to talk food. Whereas I might • Saturday, March 3 rd, 10am, Marcia Harmon from Cottage Jewel say, “We had a delicious salmon dinner last night,” Doug would give me a five minute will feature “Three Generations of Buttons.” A friend has a large col- explanation about how the meal was prepared (down to the ingredient list and steps). I always wonder if Doug thinks I'm actually retaining any of this. I’m guessing another lection from her own mother and grandmother. Marcia has a wonderful, foodie would be able to follow along and replicate the meal later on. eclectic shop of eye candy that is a draw for many who collect. The point is, spending time with your people—people who get who you are at some • Saturday, March 24th, 10am, Jungle James from Animal Adventures will share his large butterfly collection from all over the world. He will fundamental level—allows you to be authentic. You don’t have to feel like you have to hide show how to mount and explain how to preserve the butterflies while a part of yourself or downplay something you are passionate about. It’s okay if you talk for 30 minutes about the woes of your running feet or stories of how your dog is the cutest and telling entertaining stories about his adventures. Bring your child or smartest dog ever. They get it. Spending time with your people is good for your health. grandchild and yourself for a morning of lepidoptery. Are you earth-conscience? Are we your people? If so, join a lively mixture of pm pm am Museum hours are Tuesday to Friday 1 to 4 , Saturday 10 to ‘green people’ from Danville, Alamo, San Ramon, and pm 1 . The museum is free to members, and there is a modest fee for nonbeyond. Join us for Green Drinks at Tower Grill on members. Donations are always welcome. For more information visit Tuesday, February 28th 5-7pm. Come along and you’ll or call 925-837-3750. The museum is located at be made welcome. For more information, visit www. the corner of Railroad and Prospect Avenues in downtown Danville.

Greenbrook Elementary School

Danville Today News ~ February 2012 - Page 7

By Jenise Falk, Principal

Professional development is a key tool that keeps teachers abreast of current issues in education, helps them implement innovations, and refines their practice. ~ Linda Darling-Hammond Another school day off? A Staff Development day? So, just what do teacher do on those days? One of the best parts about being in education is having the opportunity to learn and grow in our craft each and every day. Professional development is a critical component of improving the quality of education for students. We are fortunate that SRVUSD supports the many ways that teachers can improve their instruction to meet the needs of every student. The days provide important time for teachers to collaborate with colleagues; to learn new and interesting ideas in our subject matter areas. The day may consist of meeting at the individual school site or attending classes taught by colleagues at other schools in the district. The days are coordinated by the site principal and other district leaders. At Greenbrook, we have used our days to support the goals that we have set forth for the year. In October, we learned how to use our new common reading assessment tool, Fountas and Pinnel. This tool allows for all students to be assessed in a common manner and gives us wonderful data on reading comprehension, capacity to read words, and how fast the student can read (fluency). The classroom teacher uses this data to instruct the students at just their level. Last month, Greenbrook teachers selected from a menu of classes and attended workshops on our math program, using the iPad in the classroom and the New York Readers and Writers program. In the afternoon, all attended a CPR session to update our certification. These development days are an opportunity to connect with colleagues, to reflect on best teaching practices and implementation, and to try something new. Just as we support and encourage our students academically every day, the staff development days nurture our hearts and minds. This month, the Greenbrook community looks for forward to beginning our auction season. The Children’s Art Auction and our online auction are great events leading to our Diamonds and Denim Auction on March 2 at Roundhill Country Club. We so appreciate all who have donated to our auction with items, time, talent, and donations. Also, the School Board is considering a bond measure to continue our plan of renovating and updating all SRVUSD schools. Please check out the SRVUSD home web page for updated information about projects to be considered. We are so fortunate that Greenbrook was the recipient of Measure A funds, which totally renovated our school six years ago. Schools that will be updated and improved are Charlotte Wood and SRVHS, among others. I urge your support of the bond, if the Board decides to put one on the ballot. Stay tuned! Have a wonderful month!

Charlotte Wood Middle School By Christopher George, Principal I hope your winter break was wonderful, and you were able to enjoy the holidays with your children, and that they were able to returned relaxed and recharged for the second half of the year. At Charlotte Wood, we have been working hard to make sure that we are identifying and working with and for our struggling students early and often, and that we are able to offer them the help and resources students need in order to succeed. Our hope is that teachers and parents have been communicating often when they identify a potential problem for a student. In that vein, we have also worked hard first semester to identify the programs that we have available to help students and to make sure that we are providing the right kind of support for students’ needs. In response to many parent concerns, we were able to consult with a traffic engineer from the City of Danville who recommended some changes to our morning traffic patterns. The new flow diagram is on our website, and our new pattern has been implemented for a short time now. Please bear with us as we make this change. We know that given our size and our ‘hidden’ location, the morning traffic can be frustrating. Please know that we are working to alleviate the congestion, but we will not compromise student safety under any circumstances. Let us know if you have comments or concerns about the new pattern. Staff will be working on a number of projects and initiatives this semester that you may hear about. Along with the San Ramon Valley Unified School District, we will continue working on common assessments which allow us to better use data to form student instruction. At our site, we will begin looking ahead to National Common Core Standards, as well as continuing to develop a climate program which will address the common school climate issues that all middle schools face. In addition, we will be working on converting our old wood shop into a problem solving and technological skills lab which will be available to all students. We are grateful to both our PTA and our Charger Fund for their invaluable help in making these initiatives possible. Thanks, and as always, we welcome your comments, concerns, and questions.

Page 8 - February 2012 ~ Danville Today News

St. Isidore Catholic School Love is in the Air! By Jean Schroeder, Principal This month our Gospel Value is LOVE - how appropriate. We are asking our students to remember the Bible passage from 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 which says, “Love is patient, love is kind, love does not insist on its own way. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. Love never fails.� As we keep this verse in our hearts and mind, we are humbled by this message. We just ended Catholic School Week. What a week it was for all. This year our theme was “Catholic Schools: Faith. Academics. Service.� During the week we had our science fair, some open houses, and a few school wide contests. We are now starting to prepare our newest little ones for kindergarten testing this month. They are anxiously waiting to become St. Isidore students. I always love this time of year when I can watch the next set of future graduates enter this Catholic education journey. The week of February 13th we will celebrate National Random Acts of Kindness Week. We try extra hard during this week to be kind to one another. Our teachers love to “catch� students being kind to one another, and then we recognize them during our afternoon assemblies. We also spend quality time as a faculty recognizing one another for those things we may have forgotten to say thank-you to because we get so busy and forget during the school day. On Thursday, February 16th we will celebrate one of our St. Isidore traditions, “Grandparents Day.� This day is set-aside for our third grade students and their grandparents and/or special guests. They begin their day together with a mass especially for them. Then they have a continental breakfast prepared by the third grade parents, and we have activities for the students and their grandparents. Our music director leads the students with a short musical program before the day is over. Our teachers worked hard preparing with our technology staff on a special keepsake book our students made for their special guest. The students especially love the fact that they are the only ones in the school who get to leave early that day. Our teachers have an elementary staff day on Friday, February 17th where we will have a full day of learning 21st century learning strategies, curriculum, and mapping. Having the opportunity to have continuing education for our faculty and

staff is of upmost important for our school. As we continue to set new benchmarks for our teaching strategies, we also embrace the ideas of other Catholic school teachers in our diocese. It’s a win-win for everyone. On Wednesday, February 22nd we enter the season of Lent. We begin our morning with an all school Ash Wednesday liturgy hosted by our student council. You may see our students around town with ashes on their forehead that day. Many people ask us, “Why do we put ashes on our forehead?� Ashes are applied to our forehead in the sign of the cross as the words; "Turn away from sin, and be faithful to the Gospel,� emphasizes our call to continual conversion and holiness of life. This act symbolizes our need for ongoing repentance. It is a reminder that this life is short and merely a foreshadowing of what we shall become through the redemption of Christ on the cross. Lent is a quiet time when we as Catholics try to reflect, look at own faults, and remember what our Lord sacrificed for us. Lent is also a time of preparation for the death of Christ on Good Friday and His Resurrection on Easter Sunday. It is a season of 40 days of repentance, with prayer, fasting, abstinence and confession. We go to reconciliation as a school this month, and we celebrate a time in our liturgical year that we hope deepens our faith. It is truly a gift.

Tri-Valley Expanding Your Horizons A Science and Math Career Conference for 6th–9th Grade Girls Tri-Valley Expanding Your Horizons (EYH) is an annual conference specially designed for 6th through 9th grade girls to encourage them to consider education and career options in science and mathematics. The conference will be held Saturday, February 25th from 8:30am-3pm. Girls will attend two 90-minute workshops that provide hands-on science or math-related activities and enable them to interact with professionals and science enthusiasts. In addition to their workshop selections, the girls will also visit numerous career displays and are able to interact with professionals from industry, government, academia, and public service, discussing career and education choices in a friendly and relaxed environment. The conference will be held at Diablo Valley College, San Ramon Campus located at 1690 Watermill Rd in San Ramon. For online registration or more information, visit

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3HAUN+-C%LROY 0RINCIPAL Primary constituents chime in about their learning experiences From deep inside the hallowed halls of instruction, I managed to wrangle several students into the principal's office for a frank talk on their school experience. I knew that I was going to have to be crafty to get “full disclosureâ€? from these learners. I created questions that I thought would draw out answers that staff will find useful. Question #1 - If you could restructure your school day, what would it look like? (Don't get crazy you still have to have your required subjects) • Have PE later in the day on cold mornings. • Start school later - “Doesn’t the research say that our brains work better later in the day?â€? â€˘â€œWhy do 8th graders have lunch so late in the day - we’re starving!â€? • “My cousin attends a school with a block schedule where the classes are longer and students have classes every other day. I think I'd like that.â€? Question #2 - My favorite way to learn is by_____ or, if you were the teacher, how would you run the class? Learning by doing was the unanimous vote for the delivery of instruction. Students prefer activity based lessons that allow them to physically perform a task to learn. A couple of students mentioned that they liked when the teacher let students demonstrate or teach a lesson to the class. Almost every student said Physical Education was their favorite class because they were able to move around, play games, and hang out with friends. This is strong praise considering that all students completed a dance unit in December. Typically you would find many objections from students having to perform live dances in front of their peers, not to mention the whole locker room scene. Kudos to our PE staff, Ron Hirschman, Linda Draper, Bev Ladouceur, and Monique Metzcus for making this potentially awkward situation work well. What the students don’t know is that there is a strong connection to physical activity and academic performance. Believe it or not, only one student said lunch was their favorite class. Question #3 ____ is the most exciting part of my school day. The overwhelming favorite class was science. Science stood out because students felt that had the best of all worlds - leaning by doing in regular laboratory experiments (again movement), interesting subject matter, and the incorporation of all academic skill sets, reading, writing, problem solving, history, and math. What they don’t know is that we have an award winning science department. Jeff, Hager, Teresa Butler-Doran, Laura Finco, and Jenni Maybury received the 2009 Association for California School Administrators - Teacher of the Year Award. Question #4 - What does 21st century learning mean to you? Students described using iPads, laptops, desktops, and their own personal electronic devices as tools in the classroom. Students performed research, created online content (Wiki's, Glogs), used Google Earth for plate tectonics lessons, made flash cards, took photographs, and wrote essays. Computers are powerful tools that enhance the learning experience and put the millions of bits of information at students’ fingertips. Question #5 - What is your SPARK? This is a trick question, sort of. The real question is what is your passion in life? What brings you the greatest joy? I phrased the question like this: “I have a limousine parked in front of the school fueled and ready to take you to the activity/place of your choice. Where would you go? What would you do?â€? The universal response was a sporting activity, mostly soccer, horseback riding, and swimming. I recommend that your try this one on your own children or children your encounter. Sometimes the response will surprise you. The point of this exercise is to understand what works in classrooms from the students' perspective. I'll share this content with staff so that we can continue the shape instruction that engages all learners. The bonus of this activity is that the interviews provide me an additional opportunity to get to know students.

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Monte Vista High School By Janet Terranova, Principal With the completion of finals week, the first semester is officially over. It is always amazing to observe our students during finals week. They take the finals process very seriously and are incredibly focused on the task at hand. Second semester starts with the addition of several new classes to support student learning. Three classes will support students as they develop strategies to become better students. Two Academic Enrichment classes will focus on developing study skills, testing taking skills, and organization while an additional English class will help students develop as writers. As a school we are always searching for strategies to help all students develop skills for the 21st century. While second semester will continue with strong academic programs, the process of selecting classes for the next school year, and the usual array of student activities, Monte Vista will be preparing for our WASC visit. WASC is the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and is the organization that accredits public and private schools in our region. WASC is a self study process. It is an opportunity to examine the strengths and challenges of the school from the mission statement to instruction, curriculum, and assessment to ensure the delivery of quality educational programs for our students. Our last accreditation took place in 2006, and since that time we have continued that self study process. This year we wrote our new WASC report, which can be found on the website on February 1. This document includes our Action Plan which will guide Monte Vista for the next several years. Essentially the WASC process gives schools the opportunity to take an in-depth look at the educational process as their school. Our WASC Visiting Team will be on our campus March 4-7. In March we will begin the process of choosing classes for the 20122013 school year. If you have a new or continuing student, please check our website for important parent/student informational nights. If you would like more information about Monte Vista, please check our website at

Page 10 - February 2012 ~ Danville Today News

Teen continued from front page

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disposable, easily forgotten. Chipped mug: dependable but replaceable, boring, not special, temporary. Fine china teacup: special, unique, having great worth, deserving respect and protection. A presenter then asks the group of students if they know others at school who view themselves as one of the various cups. The students are then informed that they are all teacups - special, unique and valuable – and that each student deserves the very best in life. “Self esteem and self image are difficult issues to discuss amongst teens in a manner to which they’ll listen,â€? says Teen Esteem Program Developer Heather Small. “The teacup analogy really works for us.â€? JUDY LYNN Kiersey, C.D.P.E.* More than 140,000 students have heard the Teen Esteem message since 1994, and more than 10,000 parents 925.640.0040 have been reached through parent education events. “The most valuable feedback we receive is from students *Certified Distressed Property Expert • CA DRE Lic# 01802558 thanking us for the information we provide,â€? says Turnbull. “This indicates that our presentation is not only relevant and crucial to their world, but it is an encouragement and reminder for them to be informed and to think through their choices.â€?    Small quotes the following testimonial from a high schooler who was influenced by the Healthy Choices      presentation: “The speakers brought to my attention the types of pressures I would face in high school and ways    to avoid making poor choices. I was able to keep my commitment to myself, not engage in risky behavior and    stay focused on what was important to me. At graduation, two of my peers approached me to tell me how much    they respected the choices I made throughout high school, and that they wished they had been able to do the same. Both of them had a lot of baggage they were dealing with due to some of the poor choices they had made.â€? Julia Nieman | Turnbull cites a desire to double the number of students reached each year, and their new multi-media assem925.837.2010 | bly project will help to achieve this goal. “With community grants from the San Ramon Kiwanis Club and the Diablo Country Club Foundation, we have been working for the past three years on this project,â€? says Turnbull, who acknowledges the need for $10,000 in order to complete and facilitate additional assemblies. “Our new Specializing in multi-media assembly will engage students with video footage, live testimonies regarding high-risk choices Interior & Exterior related to drugs, alcohol and prescription drug abuse, and the subsequent consequences,â€? says Turnbull. “Our cast will include parents, law enforcement, medical personnel, young adults, and a moderator. The audience • Power Washing Prep • Painting will experience how some choices can lead to tragic endings with devastating impact on family and friends. • Spray-Enamel Finish Our ultimate goal is to get kids thinking about how choices they are making can impact them today and in the future in either a positive or negative way. Choices made today will determine their tomorrows!â€? • Restaining Decks Since 1970 The annual number of Teen Esteem presentations is relative to the number of volunteer speakers available. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Heather Small at For Free Estimates more information on Teen Esteem and how you can help, visit, where you can Tim O’Halloran • 925.743.9535 also sign up for their newsletter. For weekly parenting tips and resources, “likeâ€? them on Facebook. Teen th Esteem will be presenting at the The San Ramon Valley PTA Parenting Conference, February 25 ; visit for more information.


San Ramon Valley High School By Joseph A. Ianora, Principal Welcome back from the winter break and into a New Year! As we move into the second semester, I would like to encourage you to continue being or become involved in our school community and your student’s education. To this end, I would like to highlight for you the following: 1. Our fall sports teams were wonderfully successful with many team and individual gaining awards for SRVHS. San Ramon Valley High School is pleased to announce that fifteen athletic teams have received recognition as North Coast Section Distinguished Scholastic Achievement Teams. Members of the following teams received certificates for compiling a minimum team grade point average of 3.00 during the first quarter. • Girls’ Varsity Cross Country ~ 3.40 • JV Football ~ 3.19 • Boys’ Varsity Cross Country ~ 3.27 • Frosh Football ~ 3.41 • Varsity Football ~ 3.29 • Girls’ Varsity Golf ~ 3.14 • Girls’ Varsity Tennis ~ 3.29 • Girls’ JV Tennis ~ 3.32 • Girls’ Varsity Volleyball ~ 3.49 • Girls’ JV Volleyball ~ 3.44 • Girls’ Frosh Volleyball ~ 3.63 • Girls’ JV Water Polo ~ 3.48 • Girls’ Varsity Water Polo ~ 3.35 • Boys’ JV Water Polo ~ 3.11 • Boys’ Varsity Water Polo ~ 3.16 2. Our instrumental, vocal, theater, and dance programs continue to take our breath away with their incredible talent. 3. We are adding 16 courses to the master schedule for second semester. 4. Our spring FUNraiser is being held March 31st; please save the date. 5. All cars are subject to ticketing at SRVHS; please make sure to remind your student that they must park in a numbered stall (if they have a parking permit) or off campus. 6. Semester grading problems – The grading process may be confusing

and lead to feelings of frustration and misunderstanding. When dealing with grading questions, it is important to keep in mind: a. You can empower your student to be his/her own advocate. This is a valuable life skill and a powerful tool to develop in our young adults. Contact the teacher to alert her/him of the issue. However, first encourage your student to resolve the issue directly with the teacher. Coach your student. b. Remember that there are always two sides to every story. Listen to both your student’s concerns and the concerns of the teacher, counselor, or administrator. Thank you for all you do to make San Ramon Valley High School a great place!

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Danville Today News ~ February 2012 - Page 11

AmaWaterways Vineyards of the Rhine & Mosel Rivers A Cruise Review By Suzie Martinez, Alamo World Travel & Tours Last October I had the wonderful opportunity to experience an AmaWaterways European River Cruise. We boarded our ship, the Amadagio, in Amsterdam for a 7-night cruise, bound for Luxembourg, with stops in Cologne, Rudesheim, Mainz, Cochem, Koblenz, and Bernkastel. As novice river cruisers, my husband and I hoped this would be a unique and different way to explore Europe. Were we ever pleased! We discovered that traveling on a river ship is a great way to see Europe and relax on your vacation too! From the moment we stepped on board, we felt pampered. The Amadagio is an elegant, pristinely clean ship, staffed by a friendly crew. Our cruise director, Debbie, was amazing. She is a charming, multi-tasking marvel. To navigate the rivers and many locks, river ships are small but still offer every convenience. With only 118 passengers on board our ship, it was easy to make new friends. Our cabin was luxurious and spacious. With all the built-in storage, you never felt cramped. The French balcony with glass sliding doors afforded us an expansive view of the awe-inspiring scenery that we glided past daily. Keep your cameras ready; every bend in the river is another photo op. Dinning is at set times, but with open seating it was possible to sit with whomever you liked. The food was delicious and well prepared. Each day there were local offerings plus traditional choices on the menu, and AmaWaterways cruises’ include wine or beer with dinner. A welcome feature was the 24 hour self-serve coffee station in the lounge. You can make yourself a cafe latte anytime you like. Outside of the regular meal times, you will not go hungry, as snacks and treats are available in the lounges all day. One brisk sunny day, while enjoying the beautiful scenery from the top deck, the crew passed out shots of local schnapps to the guests. Each day is a little different with a new town to visit and several options for nocost shore excursions. The Amadagio has bikes on board, free for the guests to use on their own or a part of guided excursions. Several walking tours are offered including a slow walker’s tour and a late risers group. One of our favorite days was the stop in Rudesheim. Our excursion took us into the hillside vineyards where we meet a local vintner. As our small group walked amongst the vines, stopping for wine testings, the vintner explained the region’s specialties and winemaking techniques. After the tour, we had time to wander the picture perfect town, buy souvenirs at the Christmas Shop, and, best of all, sample the town’s famous Rudesheimer Kaffee made with local Asbach brandy, coffee, and whipped cream. It was perfect on a cool fall day. The coffee is made in a special way, but I won’t spoil the surprise. You’ll have to take a river cruise yourself to discover this and all the other wonderful experiences that await you. Alamo World Travel is ready to help you plan your river cruise. Gather some friends, or go alone and make new friends. You will not be disappointed. Alamo World Travel & Tours (31 years of Group, Individual, and Corporate Travel- Tours, Cruises and Hotels) 3201 Danville Blvd, Suite 255 Alamo, CA 94507 (Between Ace Hardware and the Peasants Courtyard) (925) 8378742 (800) 848-8747 -Thousands of travel options Advertorial CST#2008416-10

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Mustang Strikers – D3 won the U13 D2 Silver Championship, beating San Ramon 3-0 in the final game. Pictured from left to right: Top Row: Casey Pearce, Danielle Breyton, Maddie Connell; Middle Row: Coach Kenny, Sarah Mondloch, Heather Scheibley, Frankie Ruiz, Alyssa Rutchena, Maddie Mooney, Mikaela Wong, Sarah Klass, and Coach Heidi; Bottom Row: Grace Brown, Sarah Mazzetti, Riley Purcell, Bella Depolo, Katherine Winn, and Madi Reder

Local Families Needed For Exchange Students ASSE International Student Exchange Programs (ASSE) is seeking local host families for international high school boys and girls. The students are 15 to 18 years of age, and are coming to this area for the upcoming high school year or semester. These personable and academically selected exchange students are conversant in English, bright, curious and anxious to learn about this country through living as part of a family, attending high school and sharing their own culture and language with their newly adopted host family. For more information call 800-733-2773.

Page 12 - February 2012 ~ Danville Today News

Art in Everyday Life

By Tony Michael Vecchio

Color. Almost everything we come into contact with, at some point, is defined, organized, and personalized by color. Hair. Skin. Sports teams. Nail polish. Cars. Paper. Flowers. Clothing. Paint. Where would we be without color in our world? Color touches every part of our lives and is an important and intense aspect of life, even affecting our well-being. Color touches everyone in very different and dramatic ways, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. Do you ever think about why you’re drawn to certain colors and not others? As a brief semi-scientific explanation, everything in the universe is in a constant state of vibration and tentative existence. Color vibrations are simply one useful way for our minds to interpret and define the physical properties of our world. Our brain translates what we perceive and experience into concepts, like color, which make life, and sometimes art, easier to comprehend. So where do the original paint colors come from? How did the names of paints originate? Many books discuss color and its fascinating history of organic materials, minerals, and chemical transformations in the often poison-fumed laboratories that existed in the world of alchemy during the Dark Ages. These materials from the earth have been endlessly cooked, ground, mixed, and magically concocted to bring forth colors of paint that have been constantly refined and sanitized into the colors artists use today. Color has been a large part of my professional life as a designer, art director, and now, painter. I’ll write more on this subject in future columns, but for now, I want to share some brief but interesting facts about color as a way to provide an introductory glimpse into its history and mystery. For centuries, artists stored paint in pigs’ bladders, which was messy and painstaking work. The skin was cut into little squares, on which wet paint was spooned, and then the skin was tied up to keep it moist. It was then punctured when the artist needed the paint. Messy stuff. It wasn’t until 1841 that the collapsible tin tube was invented. Jean Renoir said, “Without oil paint in tubes, there would have been no Cezanne, no Monet, no Sisley or Pissarro: nothing of what you call Impressionism.” Meaning the ability to take paint outdoors to record nature was feasible. I, for one, am pleased, as I would get annoyed working with packages of pig bladders. Ochre–iron oxide–was the first paint, and it was used on every inhabited continent since painting began. The valuable mineral has been mined, prized, traded, and employed throughout recorded history as a way to make images, color cloth, and adorn the body. The first white settlers in North America called the indigenous people “Red Indians” because of the way they painted themselves with ochre as a shield against evil, symbolizing the good elements of the earth. Kohl is an alchemical metal called antimony, a traditional component used by cosmetic companies in products for decorative purposes. Kohl comes from an Arabic word kahala, meaning to stain the eyes. The fundamentalist Taliban soldiers line their eyes with kohl to show that Allah is protecting them. In Asia, it is often used as spiritual protection and for health cures. But the ancient Turks used this black mineral, which they called Alcohole, in a long “pencil” with which they decorated their eyelids. Seeing how pure the color was, they associated it with another product refined for mass use, and they found a permanent name for alcohol, the bane of Islam. White, reflecting most light rays away from it giving a pure absence of color, symbolizes many things to many cultures. This includes death and sickness to some, purity and virginal to others. White paints were made of chalk, zinc, barium, rice, limestone, or bone. But the greatest of whites, the purest and brightest–and the deadliest, is made of lead. The alchemist’s dream and nightmare, the deadly fumes and dust have taken the lives of many in the chemical process.Written about since antiquity, “LeadWhite” had been, in its most dangerous form, utilized as face cream and makeup by Egyptian priestesses, Roman ladies, Japanese geishas, and up to the nineteenth century, was used by women of all complexions. Lead exposure gave the misleading impression of fashionable attractiveness in a woman, a consumptive-like appearance of pale, thin, and ethereal beauty. But after long use, chemical damage was usually fatal, and many women died in a cruel, unknowing sacrifice to fashion. More about color to come. Local art exhibits: Danville’s Village Theatre ArtGallery’s“AbstractDialogue”,runsthroughFebruary17th.DiabloValleyCollegeArtGallerypresents “TellingStoriesThroughArt”runsthroughFebruary 21st.TheAlamo-DanvilleArtists’Society’s(ADAS) exhibition,“ArtisticFusion,”runsthroughMarch25th at the BlackhawkArt Gallery in Danville. Tony Michael Vecchio writes about visual imagery, painting, and style. Contact him at His work is currently at the Blackhawk Art Gallery, online at, and in the new DVC exhibit, Telling Stories Through Art.

Danville Today News ~ February 2012 - Page 13


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Page 14 - February 2012 ~ Danville Today News

Project Management By Evan Corstorphine, Portable CIO 2012 has begun with a roar, and we’re as busy as ever. I’m grateful that we continue to acquire new customers in our primary vertical market, which is healthcare IT services. We’ve worked very hard to develop the expertise to support the medical arena, and it’s great to see the market respond. One of the particular ways we have differentiated ourselves is in the way we approach these implementations and organize the work. It’s all about consistency and good project management. We’re surrounded by the fruits of project management. It’s what builds our bridges, roads, houses – everything of importance our society relies upon. It’s what ensures the right things happen at the right time, by the right people and in the right place. It requires organization, documentation, great communication, and a structured and methodical approach. As a consumer, you should demand effective project management. Every entity, whether it’s a medical office, a business office, or a home environment, has its own set of complexities. The most frequent mistake I see consultants make when approaching these challenges is to get too close and lose the proper perspective. It can be easy to get wrapped up in interesting little technical eccentricities. However, when someone requests service from Portable CIO, they’re not just asking for a ‘guy to turn a screwdriver.’ What people want is for someone to come look at the whole picture, weigh the options from the business or homeowner’s perspective, and advise them according to industry best-practices. In other words, what people want is a knowledgeable consultant, not just a technician. This is never as apparent as when we have the privilege of helping a company with a large project. And, it’s a key reason why firms should think twice about using “one man shops,” or individual consultants, instead of companies like ours who have teams with decades of expertise. One-man shops simply do not have the depth to address the many levels and types of support tasks necessary to keep your operation healthy. They’re frequently overwhelmed, and

Tao House continued from front page Journey into Night, the play that earned him posthumously his fourth Pulitzer Prize, visitors today listen to a recording of the playwright reading from the script and glimpse his crabbed handwriting, which Carlotta transcribed on a manual typewriter. Words only flowed for O’Neill when he put pen to paper. Permission to sit at the desk where O’Neill wrote his final and, most scholars agree, most significant work heightens the powerful experience of entering Eugene’s study for Student Days participants. Since the program’s 1991 inception, 2,000 students from 30 area high schools and home schools have taken the opportunity to spend a day at Tao House under the tutelage of professional artists. Four separate days are devoted to distinct disciplines: art, drama, photography, and writing. During the lunch break students are treated to live performances of scenes from O’Neill’s plays. Generous donors keep Student Days free of charge. The application deadline for 2012 is February 14th. Jack DeRieux, Vice President of Education for the Foundation, explains the value of Student Days. The mentoring of working professionals outside the classroom expands the young artists’ understanding of their own strengths. Students encounter peers who share their passion for a particular form of creative expression. Immediate feedback allows students to fine tune their projects throughout the day. Photography and fine arts students have the opportunity to polish their work for display at the Visitors Center. Four years ago DeRieux designed a follow up program for young writers and performers: Studio Retreat. Six budding playwrights and twelve aspiring actors selected from Student Days are brought to Tao House in July for an intensive weeklong workshop to collaborate on creating short scenes. Performances for the public at the end of the week provide live audience reaction. Hamin Kim who they usually flame-out because they get caught in the churn of the urgent. A good project methodology is flexible enough to be used on simple projects, but its resilient enough to manage the most complex. Portable CIO follows an eight step planning process: Concept, Charter, Plan, Design, Build, Test, Implement, and Maintain. Sometimes these steps are combined or abbreviated depending on the situation, but the basic structure persists. It isn’t an accident that fully half of the process is spent planning and organizing what tasks are to be done, before anything is purchased, assembled, or coded. We believe and practice the mantras “Go slow to go fast,” and “Sometimes you have to go backwards to go forwards.” Oh, there’s also, “Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should!” but that’s another article! I think the “Charter” phase is the most important part of the project, and it is often overlooked. In the charter phase, we coordinate with the key decision maker of a project; the project sponsor. We ensure they’re onboard with the effort and all that is involved. Projects require consistent customer involvement, both financially and politically. If you try to do a big project without their active involvement, you’ll get to the end, and they won’t be happy because their expectations were allowed to go astray. It’s a challenge to keep people engaged, and projects die because of benign neglect. Without consistent, informed support, a project is doomed. The next time you’re spending your time and money on anything technical for your office or home, ask yourself these questions. 1) Have I clearly articulated what I am trying to accomplish to the consultant? 2) Have I been asked to prioritize my needs? (ie, everything cannot be a top priority) 3) Is there a clearly communicated plan for addressing my needs? 4) Have the costs been clearly outlined? 5) Has a repair vs. replace decision been discussed? 6) If the project scope changes, is there a process by which you will be informed of any subsequent changes in cost? If you cannot answer yes to these questions, maybe it’s time to slow things down and get another opinion. Are you planning a new business? Moving your office? Building a new home or planning a complete remodel? If so, a consultation with Portable CIO would be a great way to ensure the right things happen at the right time, and your project goes as smoothly as possible. Give us a call at 925-552-7953, or email Advertorial attended both the 2010 and 2011 sessions wrote: “I not only enjoyed myself during Student Days and the Studio Retreat, but I also learned to free my creativity and express ideas in unique dialogue. The instructors were accomplished writers who encouraged me to hone my writing skills and have fun creating art.” Playwright’s Theatre, launched by the Foundation in 1996, provides professional staged readings and performances of Eugene O’Neill’s plays throughout the year. The 2012 season opened in January with an outstanding rendition of The Straw. Exorcism, a play thought to have been destroyed, will be included in the May offering. O’Neill’s last play, A Moon for the Misbegotten, completed at Tao House in 1943, will be performed in September. Dan Cawthon, responsible for the success of Playwright’s Theatre for many years, vividly recalls his reaction to being asked to join the Foundation Board in 1990. “Travis Bogard, who was the driving force behind the organization, was able to rally the support of Jason Robards, Jr.; the Oregon Shakespeare Festival was invited to perform A Moon for the Misbegotten on the lawn near the old barn; Ed Hasting, the artistic director at A.C.T., was part of the committee planning an international symposium on O’Neill in Danville; the National Park Service was doing a magnificent job restoring the house and providing tours. They were such an elite group! I was humbled by their invitation to join the Board of Directors.” The O’Neills reluctantly sold their home in 1944. World War II had claimed the services of their staff. Without their driver they were trapped on the hill. By the mid-1960s, the property was up for sale again. The original members of the Foundation, led by Travis Bogard, worked for years to secure title to Tao House, then he fought for its acceptance as part of the National Park System so that sufficient funding for restoration and maintenance would be available. Established as a National Historic Site in 1976, Tao House opened to the public in 1985. Entertainment luminaries answered the call to save Tao House from demolition. Former Board member Florence McCauley remembers that Jason Robards visiting the site for the first time “was transported.” Robards starred in benefit performances of Hughie to raise funds. Katherine Hepburn wrote the letter to Gump’s that finally got them to return Eugene’s bed, sold back to the store in 1944. Helen Hayes, at Tao House for the opening, is quoted in the New York Times on September 12, 1985: “We should treasure this man and particularly the plays he wrote at Tao House.” Current President of the Board of the Eugene O’Neill Foundation Gary DeAtley

See Tao House continued on page 23


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Park It By Paul Matthew Peterson, Specialty Sales Classics First, let me introduce myself. I am, by definition, a genuine dyed-in the-wool car nut. I have ‘the disease’…..What started as a positive activity after school in the early 70’s working in my Uncle Butch’s garage in Minnesota, has since taken me all over the country, put hundreds of classics in my driveway over the years, and landed me with a DREAM JOB for a car guy: I sell collector cars for a living…. in California. Specialty Sales Classics is the largest consignment dealer of collector cars in California and 4th in the nation. They’ve been at this since 1978 and have seen a lot of trends come and go over the years. I’m one of the lucky people they’ve hired to locate, consign, and sell collector cars. I walk into a sea of classics every morning. With numerous showrooms in the SF Bay Area and over 250 vehicles in inventory, it’s seriously ‘car-guy heaven’ around here. Classic cars have always been a fabulous hobby and harmless enjoyment for the entire family. Maybe having a classic car could be a restoration project for dad and the kid or a cool Sunday cruiser the whole family can ride in to the park. These wonderful old cars still fill that role, and they create new family memories in the process. Collector cars have also historically been a good investment if, like any investment, one does his or her homework before deploying any cash. Over the years the stock market has seen its fair share of victims, and real estate, once the best place to park your investment capital, has also become riskier than ever. I’m noticing a trend towards tangible assets and investments, with classic cars falling into that category. We’ve seen a lot more clients coming into our showrooms recently looking for collector cars whose motivation is investment rather than an emotional tie to a certain car. Instead of looking for the car they drove to high school, the one like dad used to have or the Camaro they got married in, they are seeking a car solely on its investment potential. “Show me all the big block convertibles you have, I was told they are good investments,” is heard as often these days as, “I’ve always

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wanted one of these.” A collector car sale has usually been driven by passion, emotion, desire, nostalgia, and lots of other factors that a wise buyer tries to avoid when making any purchase. In the past few years, however, these cars are being bought with no more emotion involved than buying 1000 shares of Apple. And they’re purchased for the same have a safe, profitable place to park one’s money. Like the entire economy, collector car prices have dipped in recent years. If a car was purchased within the past five years, you may have to keep it a while longer to see your investment ‘pan out.’ NOW is the time to find that dream car or dream investment in the classic car world. Prices and the market are going back up, and there are many, many great buys to be had right now. Always buy quality over price. My humble advice: If you’ve been waiting to ‘pull the trigger’ on a classic car investment, don’t wait any longer. Next year you’ll be paying more for the same cars. Find the type and make of classic you want, and then buy the best example of that particular car you can find. Don’t be afraid to pay more for a top quality car; restoration costs are NOT down currently, but restored car prices are. Buy one you can enjoy TODAY instead of trailering it from restoration shop to restoration shop for the next three years. We have a beautiful 1954 Chevrolet Bel Air in our Benicia showroom that is a perfect example of a great car to invest your capital in because it has a top quality restoration already completed. If you already owned a nice, completely original ’54 Chevy, and had this level of work done to it, you’d be spending $15k more than our asking price, just for the restoration….not counting the cost of a nice car to start with. You can buy these wonderful classics right now for 60 cents on the dollar. Pick one out, do your research, and fill your garage with a tangible investment….a classic car. You’ll thank me in 10 years….and possibly every time you take the car out for some exercise. Check out our entire inventory at www.SpecialtySales. com, and if you have any questions, feel free to email me at TheCarGuy@ Advertorial, or call 800-600-2262.

Page 16 - February 2012 ~ Danville Today News

Tax Tips Tax Tips for the Self Employed "Y"OB3HALON )23%NROLLED!GENT (2 Block, Danville With the economy still struggling to recover, many of my clients have turned to self employment to either supplement their wages or replace them altogether. Below are six key points the IRS would like you to know about self-employment and self-employment taxes: 1. Self-employment can include work in addition to your regular full-time business activities, such as part-time work you do at home or in addition to your regular job. 2. If you are self-employed, you generally have to pay self-employment tax as well as income tax. Self-employment tax is a Social Security and Medicare tax primarily for individuals who work for themselves. It is similar to the Social Security and Medicare taxes withheld from the pay of most wage earners. You figure self-employment tax using a Form 1040 Schedule SE. Also, you can deduct half of your self-employment tax in figuring your adjusted gross income. 3. If you file an IRS Schedule C, Profit or Loss from Business. It is not necessary to form a corporation and incur additional expenses, especially if you are a sole proprietor. 4. If you are self-employed, you may have to make estimated tax payments. This applies even if you also have a full-time or part-time job and your employer withholds taxes from your wages. Estimated tax is the method used to pay tax on income that is not subject to withholding. If you fail to make quarterly payments, you may be penalized for underpayment at the end of the tax year. 5. You can deduct the costs of running your business. These costs are known as business expenses. These are costs you do not have to capitalize or include in

Estate Planning 2012: Teaching Old Dogs a New Trick By Robert J. Silverman, Attorney at Law In 2012, law surrounding core estate planning - having up-to-date Living Trusts, Wills, Powers of Attorney, and Health Care Directives – remains largely unchanged, but it remains as vital as ever. However, a powerful new trick is available to us old dogs. By the way, for the purposes of this article, you qualify as an “old dog” if you are old enough to pay taxes! The essence of the “new trick” (which is a bit of a misnomer since it’s perfectly legal, and no smoke and mirrors are involved) is that: a) 2012 Federal Estate & Gift Tax (collectively known as “transfer tax”) rules provide an extraordinary opportunity for shifting wealth from one generation to the next; and b) the window to take advantage of this unprecedented opportunity is scheduled to close at or before the end of this year. The focus of this article will be to summarize this extraordinary opportunity and explain why it’s so critical that people - particularly those with larger estates - understand and consider implementing one or more opportune strategies before the window closes. I’ll start by giving you some background for context, including transfer tax rules that: a) applied in the recent past; b) apply now; and c) are scheduled to apply starting January, 2013.

Transfer Tax Background & Current Rules: 1) In the 1990’s, the Estate Tax exemption – amount of net assets you can own on your death without being subject to tax – was in the $600,000’s, with any excess over that amount taxed at a top tax rate of 55%. 2) Between 2001 and 2009, the Estate Tax exemption increased periodically from $1 Million to $3.5 Million, with a top tax rate of 45% (and Estate Tax was temporarily repealed for 2010). 3) From 2001 through 2010, the Gift Tax system provided that (with some notable exceptions that are beyond the scope of this article) the aggregate lifetime amount you could give away to any number of individuals – e.g. to your children and/or grandchildren – without being subject to Gift Tax was $1 Million. 4) On Dec. 17, 2010, legislation bumped up the Estate Tax exemption to $5 Million for 2011 and $5.12 Million (indexed for inflation) for 2012, with a top tax rate of 35%. 5) Starting in 2011, the Gift Tax exemption increased from $1 Million to $5 Million! the cost of goods sold but can deduct in the current year. 6. To be deductible, Bob Shalon, EA a business expense Master Tax Advisor • Enrolled Agent must be both ordinary and necessary. An or925.820.9570 dinary expense is one 714 San Ramon Valley Blvd, Suite B, Danville that is common and Sycamore Square (next to Lucky’s) accepted in your field of business. A necessary expense is one that is helpful and appropriate for your business. An expense does not have to be indispensable to be considered necessary. If you are starting a business, losses are acceptable in your first years of operation. Keep accurate records of all your expenses to show your tax preparer. There are guidelines as to how many years you are allowed to show losses. IRS is liberal on it’s interpretation as long as the proven effort for profits can be shown. Finally, individuals who work from their home can take an itemized deduction for use of home. There are three tests that must be met: • Working from your home is for the convenience of your employer. • The area designated is used REGULARLY and EXCLUSIVELY for your business. There are exceptions to the exclusive rule for storage of inventory. Tax season for the Danville office of H&R Block is now getting busy. It is wonderful for me to see and hear from all my clients. You are the reason I look forward to returning each year, and I look forward to meeting new clients that I can help with their tax planning. Advertorial Please call me at any time at 925-820-9570 with questions. 6) The new, dramatically higher Estate Tax and Gift Tax exemptions and lower tax rates apply only through the end of 2012. If no new legislation is enacted by the end of this year, on January 1, 2013, the Estate Tax exemption decreases to $1 Million, with any excess taxed at a top 55% tax rate, and the Gift Tax exemption will also go down to $1 Million.

Extraordinary Planning Opportunity: Estate Tax and Gift Tax are widely unpopular, and the trend for decades has been to maintain or increase applicable exemptions. Nevertheless, what will happen in 2013 and beyond is difficult to predict. What is certain is that the Gift Tax exemption is at an unprecedented level of more than $5 Million (more than $10 Million combined for a married couple), but in less than a year, it’s scheduled to drop precipitously to $1 Million. Thus, if you have sufficient wealth to comfortably afford to make substantial gifts to loved ones before the end of this year or before new legislation passes, whichever comes sooner, there’s a compelling argument to do so. At the current 35% Estate Tax rate, for every $1 Million in assets you can gift and thus remove from your taxable estate before you die, your loved ones potentially benefit by avoiding tax liability of $350,000 upon your death. At the scheduled top tax rate of 55% for 2013, that potential benefit is $550,000! Moreover, all of the future income and appreciation of whatever amount you gift grows in the estates of your loved ones (rather than remaining in your estate and being subject to Estate Tax upon your death). Quite a few different kinds of viable strategies exist to take advantage of the opportunity. These include those that allow gifts to be controlled rather than given outright (with no strings attached) and also those that involve gifting non-liquid assets. The “bottom line” is that there’s truly no time like the present to explore these strategies that will potentially result in radically lower transfer tax liability, and thus acting now will ultimately provide much more for your loved ones. Mr. Silverman is an attorney with Buchman Provine Brothers Smith LLP, 1333 N. California Street, Suite 350, Walnut Creek, CA 94596; (925) 944-9700; rsilverman@ His practice emphasizes Estate Planning, Trust Administration & Probate, Real Estate, and Business. Mr. Silverman offers a free introductory consultation. This article is intended to provide information of a general nature, and should not be relied upon as legal, tax, financial and/ or business advice. Readers should obtain and rely upon specific advice only from their own qualified professional advisors. This communication is not intended or written to be used, for the purpose of: i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code; or ii) promoting, marketing, or recommending to another party any matters addressed herein. Advertorial

Danville Today News ~ February 2012 - Page 17

Life in the Danville Garden Water-Wise Design By John Montgomery, ASLA, Landscape Architect I was holding breath that we would get some rain this season. I was starting to turn blue! I’m glad it’s here, finally, and I hope it keeps coming! Over the years I have implemented into my practice water-wise landscape design. I am a 5th generation native Californian and have been designing landscapes here for over 35 years. Over the years, living in and out of drought conditions, I have learned to stay the course of good water-wise landscape design. As residents of Danville, it is vital to conserve water as a habit. It seems we should know better by now, but we get fooled from season to season when we experience many years of El Nino. With global warming concerns, it is time to get smart and stay smart. Here are seven practices I always implement into my designs, and these are some of the same practices you can implement into your new or existing landscape no matter what the forecast might be. One: Start with your soil. Thriving soil with good organics is the foundation of a water conserving landscape. How much water you need to keep your landscape alive is directly equivalent to the amount of compost in your soil. Compost increases permeability and capacity to hold water, thus reducing the amount needed for irrigation and thus lowering your watering bills. Two: Use Plants and Landscapes for Summer-dry Climates of the San Francisco Bay Region (EBMUD book). The types of plants noted have adapted to summer dry conditions, and once established, they can survive dry summers with little or no water. There is an old gardener’s adage: “right plant – right place.” Appropriately designed planting requires less watering, pruning, fertilizing, and spraying, thus lowering operating costs and use of resources. Minimize your lawn area. One thousand square feet of turf can use about 10,000 gallons of water per dry season. If you absolutely need a lawn minimize, the size and place them where they will be used for relaxation and play. Three: Cluster your plantings by water needs. This method is known as hydrozoning. In a hot sunny location, group sun-loving, low water use plants and then design the irrigation system to water that cluster of plants. The same goes for shade areas. Hydro-zoning can more easily match plant requirements thus saving water. Hydrozoning allows you to separate your irrigation valves so each zone can be managed more accurately. This method can save you an unbelievable amount of water. Four: Design and install high efficiency irrigation systems. Use bubbler and drip irrigation where possible so that water can be applied directly to the root zone. Minimize spray irrigation where possible. Use the newest irrigation technology; MPR (matched precipitation rates) sprinkler heads, bubbler, drip, micro-sprays, soaker lines, and upgrade to a new controller. There are many choices that offer high technology that uses historical weather data, solar and moisture sensors, rain sensors, and some can detect problems like a broken sprinkler head. I was able to adjust my controller last summer to save 15% water consumption. With new technology I believe you could easily save 25-50% of the water you use for your landscape now!



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Five: Manage your landscape water use: know your landscape watering needs. How much water is being applied? Adjust your controller often as weather conditions change. Install a new “Water Smart” controller. Set your controller to water early in the morning when evaporation rates are low and the wind is calm. Water deep and less often; this will allow water to get into the root zones. Avoid overwatering and run-off. Good water management saves thousands of gallons! Six: Mulch! Mulch reduces water loss and prevents weed growth. Mulch often! Regularly mulch around your trees, shrubs, and ground covers, and cultivate your soil regularly to allow water to penetrate more easily. Seven: Make saving water important to you! Every drip counts! Get involved in your garden. Use licensed landscape professionals to assist you in water-wise design and implementation of your garden. A hot tip from your local Landscape Architect: Investing in a water-wise planting and irrigation design for your new or existing garden can save you thousands of dollars over time. The savings can well exceed the cost of the design itself! Gardening Quote of the Month: “The frog does not drink up the pond in which he lives.” - Native American Saying If you would like me to write on any particular subject, email your ideas to or for design ideas visit Advertorial

Page 18 - February 2012 ~ Danville Today News

Tree of the Season Coast Live Oak, Quercus agrifolia By Blaine Brende & Joe Lamb If you have a coast live oak in your yard you will understand that its Latin name, Quercus agrifolia, is appropriate. Agrifolia means spiny leaves. And though the tree retains green leaves throughout the year, it also sheds dead leaves, many dead leaves, and they are less than friendly on bare feet. If you are lucky enough to have a mature coast live oak in your garden, you are well aware that its sculptural qualities more than compensate for the ongoing maintenance this big beast requires. I find comfort in the manner wherein old trees twist into their strangely beautiful form, their rugged bark accentuating, in counterpoint, their grace and openness. The generous shade offered by their broad crowns seems to invite one to lounge against their trunks and think about things that are never on TV. Agrifolia became the dominant tree of the costal plain, not because it’s beautiful, but because it’s tough. Though plagued by several diseases and pests, the continuing ubiquity of live oaks over the millennia is testament to their ability to resist diseases and fight off pests. Several fungal diseases, with the generic names “twig blights” and “oak branch dieback,” attack the crowns of live oaks. Brown patches in your oak’s canopy are most likely from these fungal diseases. An aesthetic debit, they rarely pose a serious threat to the life of the tree. Unsightly deadwood can be pruned out. Though these diseases come from water-borne fungi, they often occur in oaks weakened by drought stress. It is common knowledge that over-watering coast live oaks is a good way to kill the tree. Too much summer water promotes the growth of oak root fungus, a common soil fungus that can turn lethal in soggy soils. Less widely appreciated is that summer watering of oaks can make them more disease- and insect-resistant IF, and it is a big IF, they are watered correctly. Correct summer watering of coast live oaks requires placing a soaker hose in a circle around the tree at least ten feet from the trunk and running the water for about two hours–sunset is a good time. It is important to water the tree not more than once a month: once in July, once

Clip Notes By Jody Morgan Valentine’s Day ranks number one among holidays for dollar volume in fresh flower purchases. Florists have been urging American customers to “Say it with flowers” for almost a century. Most sources give the credit for coining the slogan to Major Patrick O’Keefe, an advertising executive approached by the Society of American Florists to update their marketing campaign. The best story has the Major brainstorming in a Boston bar in 1917 with William Penn, past president of SAF. Penn supposedly suggested, “There’s nothing you can’t say with flowers.” O’Keefe trimmed the thought to the familiar catchphrase. Not surprisingly, there are other claims to the earliest use of the sentiment in conjunction with the floral trade. In a letter published in the January 19, 1922 issue of Printers’ Ink, North Dakota florist N.P. Lindberg writes: “It was thirteen years ago at a gathering of florists in Chicago. The old heads were having a little fun at the expense of North Dakota. They asked how a florist could make a living out where there were mostly Indians and prairie dogs. I remarked: ‘We say it with flowers.’” During the Victorian era, saying it with flowers was more than a slogan. It was a social grace. The fashion evolved from a letter penned by Lady Mary Wortley, wife of the British ambassador to Constantinople. In 1718 she described the “Secret Language of Flowers” she had learned in travels to Turkey. Writing under the pen name Madame Charlotte de la Tour, Louise Cortambert brought the concept of a secret floral code to the attention of her French contemporaries in 1819 in her small volume entitled Le Langage des Fleurs. Lacking the technology to telephone, text, or tweet, the youth of 19th century Europe snatched the opportunity to send secret messages in ‘floriography.’ Dictionaries of this corruption of the Queen’s English proliferated. Meanings, unfortunately, often varied from one source to another. A sprig of lavender might be read as a token of devotion following one lexicon, but it could be construed as a sign of distrust by consulting another resource. A yellow rose might mean in August, once in September, and once in October. Over-watering can kill oaks by stimulating parasitic fungi. Judicious watering during dry summers gives the tree a boost but doesn’t encourage root diseases. It’s better not to water oaks at all than to over-water them, and lawns, grown under the canopy of the oaks, are a common cause of over-watering. One way to make your oak (and the many creatures it supports) happy is to turn lawn under the canopy over to native, drought-tolerant plants. This saves water and reduces the likelihood your oak will get a root disease. Oaks also appreciate a layer of mulch. Mulch helps aerate the soil and improves the environment for beneficial soil creatures. Given that the current stewards of the coastal plain seldom burn the woodlands, most of our oak forests have built up a significant load of dead wood. To prevent a crown fire, like the one that ravaged the East Bay in 1991, it is important to make all landscape trees and shrubs more fire safe. At Brende and Lamb it is our fervent hope that all current players in the ongoing drama of the oak woodlands act to maintain a healthy ecosystem in which coast live oaks, and the many creatures that depend on them, continue to appear center stage. Unfortunately, we a starting to see a few cases of Sudden Oak Death (SOD) in the East Bay, concentrated mostly in forested parklands. The SOD pathogen infects susceptible oaks during spring rainstorms. It is difficult to prevent an oak from being infected, but there are steps to reduce the probability of infection, such as the application of Agrifos in Autumn. Further, California bay trees can be a host to SOD, where it occurs as a leaf disease. Infected bays don’t die, but they can spread the spores to oaks as water drips from the bay leaves onto the trunk of an oak. Studies show that pruning back Bay trees to give a 10 foot separation from your oaks can significantly lower the infection rate. At this time, preventative action is the only way of treating the disease. It takes two years for an infected tree to show any sign of infection, and once infected there is no way to cure the disease. The best place to find current information on SOD is the California Sudden Oak Task Force at If your trees need a little TLC, please call 510-486-TREE (8733) or email us at for a free estimate. Additionally, go to our website to see before and after pictures, client testimonials, and work in your neighborhood. Advertorial friendship or it might mean jealousy. Hydrangeas might say, “Thank you for understanding.” But they could also accuse, “You are heartless.” But red roses have consistently signified love since Cleopatra sought to seduce Mark Anthony by carpeting a room knee-deep in their petals. In the language of the flowers, however, the number as well as the color of the roses in a bouquet spoke volumes. A dozen roses simply said: “Be mine.” Nine roses opined: “We’ll be together forever.” Fifteen roses apologized: “Please forgive me.” A single yellow rose sent with eleven red roses signaled love and passion. The reverse combination suggested that romantic love was growing out of friendship. Entire messages could be encoded in a floral bouquet. Dressed with lots of greenery, the offering conveyed the hope of engendering love. A ribbon added tied to the left indicated the message referred to the giver; tied to the right, the recipient. The number of leaves on a specific branch might set the date and time for a meeting. Some symbolism was botanically sensible. The lilac, for example, told of first love because it bloomed early but faded fast. The stinging nettle indicated slander. Other meanings were steeped in superstition. Gazing into the face of a pansy supposedly enabled one lover to read the other’s mind. Thus, pansies represented loving thoughts. Elegant as the floral code seemed as posies, formulated in prose it begged to be satirized. Consider the following love-note: “Wormwood can do nothing against the real acacia. You know that I have a dragon of whortleberry. Away with the hollow-root! Lion anemone, thy acacia is in the American aloe. Banish the king’s spear and think of the mugwort of our next interview.” The 1847 fantasy from which it comes was originally published in France and immediately translated into English as The Flowers Personified. Decoded, the message reads: “Absence has no power over genuine love. You know I hate treachery. But away with all weakness! Rest assured that your love is in safekeeping. Banish all regret, and think of our happiness when we shall again see one another.” Speaking in soft petals and fragrant bouquets, the Victorians expressed subtle sentiments they could not put into everyday speech. The sensory impact of flowers still speaks volumes. Never doubt that many a modern texting maiden is hoping to receive a romantic floral message on Valentine’s Day.

Keeping Market Volatility in Perspective By Jim Gebhardt When markets are volatile, sticking to a long-term investing strategy can be a challenge. Though past performance is no guarantee of future results, it might help you keep the ups and downs in perspective to see how recent market action compares to previous market cycles.

Bears versus bulls Corrections of 10% or more and bear markets of at least 20% are a regular occurrence. Since 1929, there have been 18 previous 20%-plus bear markets (not including 2011 market action). Losses on the S&P 500 in those markets ranged from almost 21% in 1948-49 to 83% during 1930-1932; the average loss for all 18 bears was 37%.* However, since 1929, the average bull market has tended to last almost twice as long as the average bear, and has produced average gains of about 79%.* Individual bull market gains have ranged from 21.4% at the end of 2001 to the nearly 302% increase registered during the 1990s.* The worst annual loss--47%--occurred in 1931, but the all-time best annual return--a capital appreciation gain of just under 47%--happened just two years later in 1933.**

Points of reference Last year’s volatility rattled even seasoned investors. For example, during a single week in August, 2 of the Dow’s 11 best days in history alternated with 2 of its 11 worst daily point losses ever.*** While by no means normal, the highs and lows are hardly unprecedented. Even though the 634-point drop on August 8 felt historic, it didn’t begin to match the real record-holders. The single biggest daily decline occurred in September 2008, when the Dow fell 778 points. The biggest percentage drop was October 1987’s “Black Monday,” when the Dow fell almost 23%; that makes the Dow’s 5.5% loss on August 8, 2011, seem relatively tame by comparison. And August 8 was followed by the Dow’s 10th best day ever, with a gain of 430 points. While that upward movement may seem exceptional, the Dow’s best day ever came during the dark days of October 2008, when a 936-point move up on October 13 represented a gain of more than 11% in a single day.*** This is enough to make your head spin.

Doctors Receive Patients’ Choice Award By Diablo Valley Oncology The recognition of the Patients’ Choice Award reflects the difference that a particular physician has made in the lives of their patients. The honor is bestowed to physicians who have received near perfect scores as voted by their patients. Of the nation's 830,000 active physicians, only 5% were accorded this honor by their patients in 2011. All seven physicians at Diablo Valley Oncology recently received this prestigious award. They are physicians Matthew Sirott, Robert Robles, Jewel Johl, Tiffany Svahn, Gigi Chen, Esther Catalya, and Sachin Kamath. These medical oncologists, hematologists, and radiation oncologist were rated by their patients on various components of care such as ease of appointment, promptness, courteous staff, diagnosis accuracy, amount of time they spent with the patient, their bedside manner, and follow-up care. They received the highest scores, a perfect four star rating by their patients. In fact, the practice has more doctors recognized than any other oncology practice in the area. Dr. Svahn, the group’s breast cancer specialist, has received the award four years in a row. One comment from a patient’s review states: “Dr. Svahn represents everything that is good about the medical profession. She is brilliant, very well trained, thorough in her exams and the questions she asks, but most important, she is a very caring human being. She made me feel as if we were partners in getting me well. I highly recommend her!”


Stocks versus bonds The last decade has been a challenging one for stocks. Between 2001 and 2010, the S&P 500 had an average annual total return of just 1.4%, while the equivalent figure for Treasury bonds was 6.6%.**** For much of that time, interest rates were falling, helping bonds to outperform stocks. However, interest rates are now at record lows, and rising rates could change the relative performance of stocks and bonds. We believe volatility in the markets is here to stay. Your ability to meet your goals could be affected if you simply ride the markets up and down. At Gebhardt Group, we do not believe traditional buy and hold strategies are effective any longer. We believe cash is an asset class in client portfolios and protecting assets first and foremost is our fiduciary duty. If you’d like to learn more about our investment strategies for volatile markets please call us to schedule a free, no-obligation 30 minute consultation. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Market indices listed are unmanaged and are not available for direct investment. All investing involves risk, including the risk of loss of principal, and there can be no guarantee that any investment strategy will be successful. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is a price-weighted index composed of 30 widely traded blue-chip U.S. common stocks. The Standard & Poor’s 500 is a market-cap weighted index composed of the common stocks of 500 leading companies in leading industries of the U.S. economy.

Data Sources *Bull and bear market time frames, gains/losses: all calculations based on data from the Stock Trader’s Almanac 2011 for the Standard & Poor’s 500. **1931 and 1933 annual stock returns: based on Ibbotson SBBI data for capital appreciation of S&P 500. ***Based on data from the Stock Trader’s Almanac 2011. **** 10-year rolling stock returns: based on Ibbotson SBBI data for annual total returns between 2001 and 2010 of S&P 500 and an index of U.S. Treasury bonds with an approximate 20-year maturity.

Gebhardt Group, Inc. is an 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. Jim Gebhardt is a Registered Representative of and Securities are offered through Brokers International Financial Services, LLC. Panora, IA, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through Gebhardt Group, Inc., A Registered Investment Advisor. Brokers International Financial Services, LLC and Gebhardt Group Inc. are not affiliated This information has been prepared by Forefield, Inc. These are the views of Forefield, Inc. and not necessarily those of James Gebhardt or Brokers International Financial Services, LLC., and should not be construed as investment advice.All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, Advertorial Forefield, Inc. makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.

Another patient wrote: “Dr. Catalya really listened to me - she created a plan to go after my cancer. I am now cancer free - one year later. I cannot thank her enough.” To view the complete Patients’ Choice “MD report card” profile of each physician, go to Diablo Valley Oncology is located at the California Cancer and Research Institute in Pleasant Hill. The cancer center is the largest freestanding, non-hospital based facility in Contra Costa County. The center brings together medical oncology, hematology, radiation, chemotherapy, diagnostic imaging, clinical trials, and supportive care services – all in one convenient location. Satellite offices in Rossmoor, San Ramon, and Brentwood. For more information visit or Advertorial call 925-705-4493.


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Page 20 - February 2012 ~ Danville Today News

The “Case” for Athletic Screening By Drew Nash, M.D. 1-to-1 Pediatrics Greetings from Danville! As 1-to-1 Pediatrics approaches its first anniversary, I want to reach out and give thanks to all of the individuals and families who have supported me during my transition. My unique hometown style pediatric practice is thriving in the historic A.J. Young house on San Ramon Valley Boulevard. Even with this success, there is some misinformation floating around regarding what 1-to-1 Pediatrics is all about. Suffice it to say that unless information comes from me or my office directly, it might not be accurate. My practice has remained an in-network provider for most commercial PPO and HMO insurance plans. As a supplementary option, my office continues to offer services not traditionally available in the primary care realm such as in-home newborn care, house calls, educational seminars and support groups. Practicing this way is a breath of fresh air - both for me and the families I care for. One of the “hot topics” in adolescent medicine is screening of the competitive athlete prior to participation. What level of evaluation is necessary to minimize the risk of life-threatening events? Many of the cardiac dysrhythmias that can result in death can be detected with screening not available (or practical) in most primary care settings. Recently, many professional athletes have been sidelined with concussions for prolonged periods of time. This is the result of better understanding and consensus by the medical community regarding management of these injuries. The adolescent athlete represents a more complicated situation as they often don’t

The Eye Opener By Gregory Kraskowsky, O.D., Alamo Optometry Medical Eye Visits As your local full-service eye care office, we were finding that all of our patients’ eyecare needs were not being met. To help fulfill all needs, we are expanding our service to include more medical eye services. We were always being asked about visits for red eyes, ocular allergies, infections, abrasions, etc., but our practice was not on most of the medical plans that would cover that type of visit. We have recently been added to most PPO plans including Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield, Aetna, HealthNet, and United Health Care. These plans will cover your visit minus any office co-pays like it would for your regular medical exams and specialist visits. For ocular medical visits, it is always advisable to see an eye care professional. We are trained specifically to treat eye disorders and infections better than pediatricians, internists, and emergency room physicians. We see patients of all ages from kids to adults, and we have the equipment, knowledge, and best treatment options to handle most eye conditions. Our microscopes, dyes, drops, and tools allow us to fully view and assess the eye to help reach the correct diagnosis and proper treatment. In our office we routinely diagnose and treat conjunctivitis, corneal infections, foreign bodies, corneal abrasions, and allergies. These conditions are effectively managed and resolved for the patient within a short period of time. Some conditions such as retinal detachments and glaucoma can be diagnosed at our office, but these would require a referral to an ophthalmological specialist for surgery or further treatment. These certain situations would require a visit to a specialist regardless of which type of doctor is seen first, i.e. an optometrist, general ophthalmologist, internal medicine, or emergency room physician. However, eye care doctors should be the first-line doctor to see the patient as they are more likely to correctly diagnose and manage the patient. Appointments for red eyes, floaters, allergies, etc. generally can be seen on the same day. We ask that you call when symptoms arise, and we will do our best to accommodate you as soon as we can. Even if you are squeezed into the schedule and have to wait for a little while, it is better than having to sit in an emergency room for a few hours. Since the exhibit physical symptoms of concussion after a head injury. Consequentially, when teenagers do experience headaches and other post-concussive symptoms, they may have suffered a substantially greater degree of brain trauma than an adult with equivalent symptoms. Over the past few years, several tragic outcomes of sports related head injuries have garnered national media attention. “Second impact syndrome” can cause death or severe morbidity in athletes who sustain recurrent head trauma before an initial injury has sufficient chance to heal. The newest offering of 1-to-1 Pediatrics is the Comprehensive Athletic Screening Evaluation (CASE). This examination tool is designed to screen the competitive athlete for potential cardiac, neurologic, and orthopedic problems which might put the adolescent at risk for both injury and tragedy. CASE includes a detailed, relevant history of the athlete and their family for risk factors and “red flags,” a physical examination with detail focused on the cardiac, neurologic and orthopedic systems, a 12-lead electrocardiogram with computerized interpretation, and baseline neuro-cognitive testing. In the event of a head injury or suspected concussion, the athlete can be retested and followed over time. By having this baseline testing performed, the clinician can more accurately determine when the concussed athlete is ready to return to play. As an integral part of the community, 1-to-1 Pediatrics is offering CASE to all athletes in the community aged 12 and over. You need not be a regular patient here to obtain this level of screening and reassurance. Call the office at 925-362-1861, email or visit our website to find out more and schedule your child’s CASE. Advertorial eyes can be very sensitive, a quick diagnosis and initiation of treatment is paramount for a full and speedy recovery. In addition to providing primary eye care including glasses and contact lenses, we are expanding our service to our patients by adding more medical plans and medical visits to our practice. Next time any medical situation with the eyes arises, give our office a call, and we will try to get you a same-day appointment to help treat those irritated eyes. 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.

• Troubleshooting and repair of electrical issues • Service changes • Panel replacements • Tenant improvements • Cable and telephone installations • Lighting

Call Jim at 925.998.3138 for all of your electrical needs Owner operated | Licensed | Bonded | Insured

Humor, Heart, and Hope: Laughter Through the Cancer Journey Join the Cancer Support Community for an uplifting symposium designed to bring the joy of laughter to those living with cancer and their family and friends. The program will provide a laughter-fueled, learning-filled look at how humor can enrich life. The program will also cover how to tap the positive power of humor in inviting more humor and happiness in life while living with cancer. The symposium is presented by the Cancer Support Community San Francisco Bay Area and John Muir Health. It will be held Saturday, March 3rd from 9am – Noon at the Veterans Memorial Building, 3780 Mt. Diablo Boulevard in Lafayette. The event is free, but reservations are required. Please call (925) 9330107 no later than March 1st to reserve a space.

Breast Surgery – Is it Time for a Change? By Barbara Persons, MD, Persons Plastic Surgery, Inc. Breast augmentation is a cosmetic surgical procedure that enables each woman to achieve the breast size and shape she desires. Despite the popularity of this procedure, it requires a highly trained surgeon with extensive technical skill and a true sense of artistry. This is why I recommend that prospective clients consult with a plastic surgeon who is Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Additionally, I am fortunate to have spent an additional year specifically on aesthetic and reconstructive breast surgery, called a “Fellowship,” in addition to my eight years of surgery and plastic surgery training - including chief resident years in both specialties. Once a woman has had a breast augmentation, she will likely require or desire revision 5, 10 or 15 years later. She may want or need a revision after weight change, having children, or wanting to go from saline to silicone, or she may simply have a desire to be smaller or larger. Nearly every clinic day, I see a woman who has had breast implants done at another time, in another place who wants to look better naked. Yes, naked. A breast revision can certainly help in this regard, and it may mean that one or both implants needs to be removed and replaced. A breast lift may be indicated at the time of revision if excess tissue has developed, lowering the breast. The achievement of exceptional breast revision results requires more thought, planning, and accuracy than the original augmentation procedure. It may also be more expensive. Despite a durable outer silicone shell on all implants, a deflation or rupture can occur. Deflation of a saline (salt water) implant is easily recognized as it happens fairly quickly and results in a visible difference in the size of the breast. This is not dangerous, because the implant is filled with salt water which is the same as intravenous fluid. A loss of integrity of a silicone implant is also not dangerous and is usually more subtle as the silicone gel remains in the breast pocket. If there is a deflation of a gel implant, the feel of the implant could change (harder or softer). It is important to consult with a plastic surgeon at your earliest convenience to get the implant removed and replaced. Waiting could allow more scar tissue to develop, which can then make it difficult to recreate a natural look. As our bodies change due to age, pregnancy, and natural weight gain or loss, our desired breast size and shape will also change. An implant that looks attractive on a 120 pound 22 year old may look less proportional on a 35 year old mother of three at 150 pounds. Getting the beautiful or younger look back will require a change. The new cohesive gel implants are lighter than saline and they feel more natural. The implant location below the breast tissue or below the chest muscle (pectoralis) can also improve the look. The shape of the breast can lose its natural fullness. If a patient wants to go from a larger implant to smaller one, or if excess breast tissue has developed, a mastopexy or breast lift may be necessary to reposition the breast. The exact type of breast lift needed is something I can discuss with you at your consultation. At Persons Plastic Surgery, we follow a 10-step program to generate consistent results and high patient satisfaction. These steps include: 1. Pre-Consultation Information: The patient is given information about me, our process, surgical options, and a video. 2. Consultation Discussion: This type of procedure is about your goals and desires. We will have a frank and candid conversation, and I will spend most of this time listening. We talk about current size, and desired shape and size. We go over the patient’s medical history and perform an examination. 3. Examination: I evaluate the patients breasts, to go over her shape and how we may, or may not, be able to meet her goals. 4. Photos: We go over photos of my patients to assess what shape and size is right and how we can achieve this result. 5. Homework: The patient and her friend, husband, or partner have a few fun assignments to pick the right look and for the patient and I to agree about the desired result. 6. Scheduling Surgery: Our Patient Care Coordinator will schedule the procedure, go over any additional questions, discuss costs, and ensure the best possible experience. 7. Pre-operative Appointment: A thorough preoperative evaluation is then done, and every step of preparation, surgery day, and post operative care is care-

Danville Today News ~ February 2012 - Page 21 fully explained. We schedule a mammogram, lab work, and EKG. Our surgery fee is an all-inclusive package with medications, garments, and dressings. 8. Surgery Day: When the day arrives, my patient is ready. We go over the plan together once again. Although the surgery usually takes an hour, the patient spends the day at our fully accredited private surgery center in Lafayette in the comfort and safety of our caring staff. The day of surgery is really only the midpoint of our patient relationship. We often arrange for our local and out of town patients to stay and be cared for by one of our nurses in a local hotel. 9. Recovery: The process is defined and clear from the detailed preoperative visit. You will be awake the night after surgery and can resume mild activities immediately. If one of my nurses stays with you the first night, you will be kept comfortable, and I am available for you if you have any questions or concerns after the procedure. We follow our patient’s progress frequently after surgery with visits at one week, one month, and six months. 10. Continued Care for Breast Health: I want to see you every year (at no charge) for a breast exam. We remain available to you and hope to see you on a regular basis for your skin care, injectable, laser, plastic, and cosmetic surgery needs. My goal as a woman surgeon is to help each woman feel great in her body. This may or may not involve any surgery at all. It is about what a woman wants. If you have any questions or concerns about your breasts or think it may be time for a change, it would be my pleasure to take the time for an in-depth consultation with you. Barbara Persons, MD is a Board Certified Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon by The American Board of Plastic Surgery. She is available at Persons Plastic Surgery, Inc. 911 Moraga Rd, Suite 205, Lafayette 925 283 4012 or info@ Advertorial

Winterize Your Skin By Dr. Jerome Potozkin As an avid skier I am hoping that by the time you are reading this the snow gods have looked favorably upon the ski resorts with a substantial dumping of snow. Even thought winter starts every year on December 21st, many people don’t feel “wintery” until a few major snowstorms have hit the Sierras. Winter brings special needs for your skin. Just like the single best thing you can do for your general health is to quit or never start smoking, the single best thing you can do for your skin is to protect it from ultraviolet radiation. Most people don’t think of sun protection in the winter but it would be helpful if you did. If you are a skier or boarder your sun exposure occurs at a higher altitude where there is less atmospheric filtering of the sun’s harmful rays. Secondly, the snow serves as a giant reflector so you get both direct sun and reflected sun. The smart thing to do is apply a sunscreen of SPF 30 or greater prior to hitting the slopes. If you need help picking out a sunscreen we are happy to help. Nothing beats a warm weather vacation during the cold winter months. Go and enjoy but again use your sunscreen along with common sense such avoiding the sun’s peak hours and wearing protective clothing. Forget about going to a tanning salon prior to your vacation to get a “protective” tan. Skin cancer, photo-aging, and wrinkles are all caused by the cumulative sun and ultraviolet exposure we get. If you are a minor it is now illegal to go to a tanning salon. For those who want the appearance of a tan then by all means feel free to get a spray-on or rub-on tan. One of the more common problems we see during winter months is dry, itchy skin. The dry air this time of year contributes to itchy skin. You might think that water exposure would moisturize your skin but the opposite is true. The more time you spend in water, and the hotter the water is, the more dry and itchy your skin will get. For those with dry, itchy skin I recommend using a mild cleanser or soap, taking quick showers, and patting your skin dry. After patting your skin dry is the best time to apply a moisturizer. Try to limit your showers to one a day and avoid soaking in baths or hot tubs as this can make things worse. If you have problems with dry, itchy, or sensitive skin feel free to call us today at 925-838-4900 to schedule an appointment as we are here to help. 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 Advertorial may also visit his website at for more information.

Page 22 - February 2012 ~ Danville Today News

Your Personal Nutritionist By Linda Michaelis, RD. MS. A Sneak Peak Into Two Case Studies Here we are after the madness of the holidays, and I would like to share with you a couple of cases that I have seen in my office in the last month. I hope you can gain some insight for yourself and your family.


With Them

my story Continues.

David David was referred to me by his physician for diabetes. His blood sugars were in the 400 range, and now when he thinks back, he ignored the symptoms of frequent thirst, urination, blurred vision, and dizziness. Please do not ever disregard these symptoms because if quickly taken care of, you can prevent diabetes. When I get a call from a frantic newly diagnosed diabetic like David, the first thing I always tell them is to stop drinking juices, sodas, and smoothies. David is on the road as a salesman and says he felt that colas and juices kept his energy up. I explained to him that he has become addicted to the sugar in these drinks, and when his blood sugar drops every couple of hours, it spurs him to reach for another sugar laden beverage. David will now replace these beverages with sugar-free drinks such as Vitamin Zero. In order to go to the next step, I reviewed David’s food diary and could see he was not consuming anywhere near enough protein and fiber in his meals which helped to explain why he succumbed to the bad habit of resorting to sugar. I concluded he needed to eat more frequent meals, every few hours, that would be balanced with protein and AT CONTRA COSTA ONCOLOGY, we are committed to providing WALNUT CREEK the highest quality care. Specializing in comprehensive cutting-edge treatment fiber. This would help prevent his cravings for SAN RAMON programs for all forms of cancer and blood disorders, our nationally recognized sugar. We discussed his likes and dislikes and came CONCORD oncology experts and specialized oncology nurses are dedicated to providing up with an initial plan. For breakfast he agreed to ROSSMOOR the best possible care experience. We understand the wide array of concerns substitute his typical two slices of wheat bread and and challenges faced by you and your family, so we ensure the most sophisticated DANVILLE butter with two slices of 100% whole wheat bread levels of medical oncology and hematology care, while providing you with the and peanut butter, a serving of Kashi Go Lean utmost support, compassion, and respect. real, or two hard-boiled eggs with a toasted 100% 925.939.9610 whole wheat English muffin with butter. He agreed to take in his car a mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack of beef or turkey jerky, cottage cheese, or even a serving of almonds with an along with too much coffee and sugar. When I see this pattern unfold with my college students, one of the first apple which is a low sugar fruit. For dinner he will keep his servings of starches to a minimum. We focused on a one-cup serving of brown rice, whole wheat couscous, things I do is educate them on how to read food labels for important facts such whole wheat pasta, or legumes (like beans or lentils) which could be combined with as protein, fiber, fat, and sugar content. After educating her, Susan and I went two cups of tasty sautéed veggies with herbs and a serving of protein. I promised on a tour of Trader Joe’s and Safeway where I showed her some delicious, him that before long he would be able to have a couple of cookies and a glass of easy-to-prepare meal options that will provide the energy she needs to get wine with dinner if he began a 30 minute morning and evening walking program. through a demanding day. Based on Susan’s taste, we came up with several simple dishes she could prepare such as black beans with salsa, quinoa or whole Walking burns excess sugar and always lowers your blood sugar. wheat couscous with veggies and pot stickers, baked potatoes topped with I am communicating with David every other day through e-mail and via phone and guiding him to make the best food choices. I have had fabulous broccoli and cheese or chili, scrambled eggs with veggies and whole wheat results in the past with such a program, and I am glad to tell you that after toast, oatmeal with brown sugar and raisins, and chicken Caesar salads. Susan is very inspired by our work together and is now e-mailing me her food diary. working with David for a month his blood sugars are in the low 200’s, and We have also set up a schedule to talk on the phone every few days. we will continue working together to get them in the normal range. I am glad to inform you that both of my clients were covered by health Susan As a parent of a college-aged student, I advise you to take a keen interest insurance. Please feel free to call me at (925) 855-0150 or e-mail me at Lifeweight1@ in your child’s nutrition which often falls short. Susan, who was referred to me for weight loss and low energy, has a diet typical of students newly liv- and tell me about your nutritional concerns. Refer to my website ing off campus - a constant dosage of frozen pizza, bagels, and Top Ramen for past articles, recipes, and nutrition tips. Advertorial

Have You Ever…..? (Then You Should Try NMR) By Bridget Scott, D.C. Be honest. Have you ever: • Tried to turn a slight limp (from a sore leg) into a strut…to save face? • Asked a friend to “crack your back” in order to find quick relief from some nagging pain? • Hoped you could recover quicker and more completely from rigorous workouts – regardless of what kind of shape you’re in? • Longed to simply be “fully functional” again – and not settle for an uncomfortable or underwhelming “new normal”? • Thought that spending day after day perched over your keyboard and computer could be the reason your back hurts so much? • Wished you could walk into a chiropractic office and get something MORE than just an adjustment for your money? If you answered “Yes” to any of the above, you are a perfect candidate for NMR! Neuromuscular Reeducation (NMR) is hands-on, deep-tissue muscle therapy that, when combined with chiropractic adjustments, can and will help you move past your pain and onward with your active life. Peak performance (for sports, outdoor living, home life, or your active hobby) is not unachievable, but it also won’t just materialize on its own. You have to want it. And you have to be willing to pursue it over time, with proper treatments. Soft-tissue injuries happen all the time. You know this because you have felt the sharp or nagging muscle pains in the past. What you may not know is this: such injuries often occur via trauma, repetitive motion, or chronic postural fatigue (aka “keyboard/ computer back pain”) – and they can be helped, and healed, by NMR.

How (and Why) NMR Works Neuromuscular Reeducation works locally and logically. First, we locate the soft-tissue issue – it could be a deep adhesion, scrunched up scar tissue, or some other painful combination – that causes pain and limits your function. Then we take the muscle through a functional range of motion with manual deep (and we admit, slightly painful) pressure to break up the adhesion, release the muscles involved, and restore full range of motion. This in turn allows your body to regain its normal movement pattern, which decreases your pain and improves your function.

Five FAQ’s: 1. Does NMR therapy hurt? It can be uncomfortable and border on painful. However, each pattern only takes a few seconds, and overall treatment on a particular group of muscles or body part lasts only between 10-15 minutes. The general consensus from patients is that they have lived with this pain for a long enough period of time that any pain as a result of treatment is not a big concern if it will help resolve the problem. 2. How long does NMR take to work? In all reality, the application of neuromuscular reeducation should show a definitive change in range of motion, function, and possibly pain almost immediately. Pa-






Danville Today News ~ February 2012 - Page 23 tients usually see a significant improvement in their condition within two weeks. 3. Will I be sore following NMR treatment? Residual soreness may occur following deep tissue release work. Ice, drinking lots of water, and exercise can all help minimize these effects. 4. What conditions respond best to NMR? Any area of muscle pain, injury, or loss of range-of-motion (either acute or chronic) can be treated with NMR. If you or a family member has a problem, and you are not sure if this technique can help you move past your pain, please call the office to schedule a complementary consultation. 5. Where can I receive the benefits of NMR? Johnson Chiropractic Group is the only office in the Bay Area combining NMR with advanced chiropractic protocols, exercise therapy, and non-surgical spinal decompression. We are committed to giving our patients the best treatment possible. NMR works and it works fast. We have seen tremendous improvement in all types of conditions that can only be relieved by NMR. We incorporate NMR into every single treatment because we see amazing results that can only be attributed the success of Neuromuscular Reeducation. To get more information, go to, visit us on Facebook, or contact Dr. Bridget Scott or Dr. Jeffrey Johnson at Johnson Chiropractic Group located at 115 Town & Country Drive, Suite E in Danville (925)743-8210. Advertorial

Tao House continued from page 14 comments on what he enjoys most about his role: “It’s a chance to rub shoulders with people who are true O’Neill and theatre scholars. It’s an education.” DeAtley also serves on the boards of the Museum of the San Ramon Valley and Role Players Ensemble. “Being connected to three of the major art groups in the area allows me the opportunity to coordinate their efforts so that each can build on the strengths of the others.” The Museum provides a venue for staged readings as well as space to showcase exhibits on Carlotta and Eugene’s days in Danville. Role Players productions (most recently of Mourning Becomes Electra and The Straw) introduce local audiences to O’Neill’s enduring genius. The Foundation’s collection of research materials, the largest on the West Coast, includes photographs, recordings, manuscripts, and first editions. Carlotta’s diary, documenting every day at Tao House, is being transcribed. The vitality of the Foundation is impressive. Dan Cawthon notes: “We are always on the lookout for new members to work alongside us, to catch the spirit of what the Foundation is trying to do, and suggest new, fresh ways of fulfilling our mission.” Transportation and admission to Tao House is free. Access is available only by Park Service vehicles, which depart from the front of the Museum of the San Ramon Valley on Saturdays at 10am, Noon and 2pm. No reservations are needed, and the tours are informal. Reservations are required on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays for guided tours departing at 10am and 2pm. Call 925-838-0249. For more information on programs including the Student Days application and the Playwright’s Theatre performance schedule visit






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.

Danville Today News Classifieds Reach over 14,500 homes and businesses in Danville 94526 - Help Wanted, For Sale, Services, Lessons, Pets, Rentals, Wanted, Freebies... $35 for up to 45 words. $5 for each additional 15 words. Run the same classified ad in our sisters paper “Lafayette Today” and/or “Alamo Today” and pay half off for your second and/or third ads! Send or email submissions to: 3000F Danville Blvd #117, Alamo 94507 or Payment by check made out to “The Editors” must be received before ad will print. Your cancelled check is your receipt. We reserve the right to reject any ad. _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Name_________________________________________ Address__________________________________________ # of Words_______________ Phone________________________________________ Email ____________________________________________________________________

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Page 24- February 2012 ~ Danville Today News

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925-989-6086 Luxury Home Market Hits Bottom, Turns Up

Stonegate Single Story

the former reaching historical highs and the latter dropping to historical lows. Look closely at the data chart, and you will see that 21 units sold in 2011, nearly matching the 1998 peak and significantly eclipsing 14 of the 15 years reported. Unit sales are up a full 50% over 2010. Each of the three measures, Sales Price, Dollars Paid per Square Foot, and Unit Sales, are confirming that high-end buyer confidence has risen, at least in our neck of the woods, since 21 of the 25 Contra Costa County luxury home sales or 84% were in the Danville Area. This explosive jump in sales is likely due to the growing availability of Super Jumbo loans at historically low interest rates. If you are looking to acquire a luxury home during the next year, you might want to contact your lender who can bring you up to speed on the great loan products out there. If you don’t have a lender, please give Nancy or me a call, and we will point you in the right direction. At this moment Nancy and I are working with a couple of serious buyers who have not yet found the perfect luxury home among those available in inventory. If you are looking to sell a luxury home, and you want your transaction handled discretely, we can help you with that as well. Conventional thinking says that market improvement occurs from the bottom up and increasing demand at the lower end pushes demand for the upper end. This doesn’t seem to be the case right now. We have been surprised by the number of people looking for the ideal home at various price ranges who have no home to sell, having disposed of their last home sometime earlier. They are sitting on cash, renting and waiting for the right opportunity. Last year we noted a number of data points suggesting that the mid-market in the Danville Area may be forming a bottom as well. Will the entire market turn up in 2012? Only time will tell. If you are thinking about buying or selling a home in 2012 and you would like to talk it over, please give us a call at 925-989-6086 or send me an email joecombs@thecombsteam. com. We would love to help. Luxury Home Market Sales Price

It is with great pleasure that I write the upbeat lead for this month’s article. A year ago I reported that things were going badly for high-end homes, and they were. No one could be more thrilled than I am that the market for luxury homes has finally turned around. For the purpose of this review, as with my last, I have defined a luxury home to include homes that are 5,000 square feet and larger, are sitting on a premium lot that is between ½ and one full acre, and are equipped with a pool. This definition has been overlain on the geographies that include Alamo, Blackhawk, Danville, and Diablo - basically what in my personal view comprises the Danville Area. I have included a chart and a graph with this review that display the sales history for this slice of the market dating back to 1997. Look at the last bar on the bar chart and you will see that sales prices for luxury homes have indeed risen in 2011. Not by a little, but by a lot. This is truly exciting. Average sales price in 2010 was $1,908,000. In 2011 the number has climbed to $2,163,102. That’s a whopping increase of 13% or a $255,000 price jump. If you have been waiting for the absolute bottom to snag a “big one,” you may very likely have missed the chance. But, the prices are still 26% below the 2007 peak, so it’s not too late to get a great buy on a great home. Equally important and confirming the luxury market turnaround is the dollars paid per square foot. In 2010 it stood at $327 and has increased LuxuryHomeMkt.Alamo,Blackhawk,Danville,Diablo UnitsSold DOM SoldPrice $/Sq.Foot AvgSize throughout 2011 to $367 for a 12% increase. Both 97 11 94 $1,452,481 $215 6755 measures show strong positive dollar increases 98 22 60 $1,505,111 $239 6297 18 72 $1,674,375 $289 5793 supporting the view that this is not a statistical 99 00 14 64 $2,119,346 $362 5854 anomaly but the “real deal,” which is even more 01 15 31 $2,065,833 $354 5835 17 47 $1,847,000 $334 5529 exciting. I want to add that there is no such thing as 02 16 51 $2,404,718 $368 6534 an average home. The lowest price paid for one of 03 04 17 37 $2,606,029 $433 6085 16 17 $2,760,392 $489 5644 these homes was $1,130,000, and the highest was 05 06 12 41 $2,707,125 $451 6002 $3,580,000. The median price was almost a match 07 14 41 $2,920,833 $506 5772 08 8 82 $2,859,375 $510 5606 of the average price and stands at $2,150,000. 11 175 $2,551,388 $431 5919 Interesting is that the sales history on number of 09 10 14 91 $1,908,000 $327 5834 21 98 $2,163,102 $367 5894 units sold in the Danville Area is fairly consistent 11 year-on-year with the exception of 1998 and 2008, Note:5000+SqFt.Homeon.5Ͳ1.0acreandPool

Shadow Hills Remodel
























Two Large Lots for Sale


Nancy and I represented the buyer and the seller. Pending in 3 days. $1,075,000 We have other buyers.

Nancy and I represented the buyer on this lovely remodel of 2928 sq. ft. We have more buyers. $968,000

Beautiful wooded setting. Lot B is 7.93 Acres Lot C is 12.87 Acres. Call for details.

Gated Custom Luxury Home

Downsize to Single Level

Horse Property


D PEN Exquisite 5 bedroom 4.5 bath custom luxury home on level .5 acre lot. Custom pool and Spa! Eye popping, mouth dropping, Wow! Appeal. $2,285,000.

Lovely 4 bedroom 2 bath single level with pool. Soaring ceilings, great flow walk-in master closet. 3 car garage plus RV parking. $749,000

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

Amazing acre plus horse property with house, barn, and stables. $699,000 J. Rockcliff Realtors 15 Railroad Ave., Danville CA. 94526

Danville Today News, February 2012  

Danville Today News, February 2012. The city of Danville, California's monthly advertiser-supported community newspaper.

Danville Today News, February 2012  

Danville Today News, February 2012. The city of Danville, California's monthly advertiser-supported community newspaper.