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August 2013 Danville Concours d’Elegance: How Can a Fundraiser Be This Much Fun? By Jody Morgan

On Sunday, September 22 , for the ninth consecutive year, vintage vehicles will vie for attention on the streets of downtown Danville in one of the West Coast’s most prestigious automotive events: the Danville Concours d’Elegance. In lieu of admission, donations are encouraged. Every cent contributed benefits the Parkinson’s nd

The Village Theatre

Serving Danville

Celebrate 100 Years of Community Gatherings in a Positive Space

The Village Theatre has been an essential gathering place for the Danville community for many years. Whether it was someone’s first kiss in the balcony or the site of a young actor’s first performance, many locals have some very fond memories created here at 233 Front Street. This year, the Town of Danville celebrates the 100th Anniversary of the Village Theatre. In 1912 three groups, Grange, International Order of Odd Fellows No. 378 and Rebekahs, decided to construct a large building with the old Grange Hall as the second floor. The new Social and Fraternal Hall at 233 Front Street was completed in 1913. The opening party on November 28, 1913 included a grand march, inaugural addresses, and dancing with music provided by the Merzbach orchestra from San Francisco. Since that moment, the Village Theatre has played a vital role within this community. The building housed many social gatherings such as high school graduations, parties, meetings, plays and musicals, dances, and many more. See Theatre continued on page 22

Friends of San Ramon Creek Meeting A vintage vehicle mirror captures the crowd at the 2011 Concours d'Elegance.

Institute (the PI) and the Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF). To date the Danville d’Elegance Foundation (DDE) has raised $1.5 million toward research to cure and care to aid the one million Americans currently diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (PD), a progressive neurological disorder affecting movement. Revving up for the weekend’s fun fundraising action, the third annual Tour and Thrill Ride commences at the Lafayette Park Hotel on Saturday, September 21st, with registration and morning refreshments followed by a cavalcade of current, classic, and cutting-edge cars departing for a rally-style road trip at 8:30am. Joining participants touring in their personal autos, ten Thrill Ride purchasers will be piloting exceptional automobiles made available by local dealerships and partnering manufacturers. All of the cost incurred for the thrill (less than a day’s rental of these mesmerizing models) goes directly to funding the Parkinson’s research and care cause. Participants return home in time to dress for the Dinner The Ferrari Club, on board since the first DDE d’Elegance at the Blackhawk Museum. DDE founders Chris and Jim Edlund, Concours, makes it one of two annual West Coast judging events. proprietors of ChristeJames Jewelry, witnessed the degenerative process of Parkinson’s disease in close relatives on both sides of their family. A dozen years ago they decided to take action by contacting

See Concours continued on page 19 Local Postal Customer

PRSRT STD U.S. Postage PAID Permit 263 Alamo CA


Do you enjoy San Ramon Creek? Want to learn more about the creek and how you can help protect it? The Friends of San Ramon Creek is hosting an informational meeting on Thursday, August 22nd from 7-9pm. The meeting will be held in the large conference room at the Danville Town Offices, located at 510 La Gonda Ave. in Danville. The meeting will provide information about the creek from local experts and a presentation on the areas Clean Water Program and County Flood Control. You will also learn more about upcoming creek protection and restoration activities where you can get involved. These activities include creek clean-ups, interpretive walks, and educational programs. The meeting is for everyone who has an interest in our local creeks and who wants to get involved in keeping them healthy. The Friends of San Ramon Creek is a new grassroots organization. Its current Volume IV - Number 10 mission is to support programs and proj- 3000F Danville Blvd. #117, Alamo, CA 94507 ects which promote a healthy San Ramon (925) 405-6397 Creek. The San Ramon Creek watershed Fax (925) 406-0547 covers 54 square miles and drains water from Bollinger Canyon, Las Trampas, and Alisa Corstorphine ~ Publisher Mount Diablo to Walnut Creek. A portion editor@ of the communities of San Ramon and Wal- nut Creek lie within the San Ramon Creek The opinions expressed herein belong watershed and all of Danville and Alamo. to the writers, and do not necessarily Contact Jan Liband at liband@hotmail. reflect that of Danville Today News. Danville Today News is not com or Jennifer Stern at jennifer.stern@ responsible for the content of any of or (925) 672-6522 x113 for the advertising herein, nor does publication imply endorsement. more information.

Page 2 - August 2013 ~ Danville Today News

Boulevard View

By Alisa Corstorphine, Editor

Oh give me a home where the buffalo roam, Where the deer and the antelope play, Where seldom is heard a discouraging word, And the skies are not cloudy all day. ~ Home on the Range Lyrics to folk and camp songs rang through my head as my sister, niece, and I took a six state, 2,332 mile, eight day, road trip through the Mountain and the Midwest regions of our country. The diverse areas of the region were stunning. No YouTube video, documentary, website, or book could bring to life the sites as they could be experienced in person. The Grand Tetons were spectacular, the Craters of the Moon were almost eerie with their twisted trees and volcanic rock landscape, the Badlands reminded me of scenes from Star Wars movies, Mount Rushmore is definitely an engineering feat, and Yellowstone is so diverse that personally I found Old Faithful to be a minor attraction to the rainbow colored thermal pools, the mud pots, the hot springs, the fumaroles, and the spectacular waterfall situated in an area that resembled parts of the Grand Canyon. The first sighting of a buffalo was amazing as the buffalo chose the center divide of the two lane road for his evening stroll. The animal was bigger than our five seat rental car, and when we met eye to eye with the wandering mammal we really got a sense of its’ grandeur. On a short hike to see mud pots a buffalo walked right in front of our path! While obviously these animals were accustomed to humans, they are still wild animals, unpredictable, and in need of their space. The scenes of buffalo, moose, pronghorn, and bear were unbelievable.

As we crossed prairies and fields, and encountered more difficult terrain, I kept envisioning what it was like for the early settlers to make their way out to California. I took away a deeper respect for what it took to come settle out west. The national park system includes 388 national parks in every state except Delaware. In additon there are 6,624 state parks in the United States; California alone has 278. These areas include parks, monuments, battlefields, military parks, historical parks, historic sites, lakeshores, seashores, recreation areas, scenic rivers and trails, and the White House. Many of the parks offer reasonable lodging options. For kids, both the National Park Service and many of the State Park systems offer a Junior Ranger program where kids can complete an activity book applicable to the area and earn a patch, badge, sticker, or stamp. It is a great way to engage younger travelers. The National Parks Service also has a “passport” program where you can collect stickers and stamp a book of your travels to the many sites. A spontaneous stop in Whitney, Nebraska (my niece is named Whitney), with a population of 77 people, found us enjoying the $4 Ploughman’s Lunch noted on their handwritten menu - the lunch consisted of sausage, cheese, a pickle, a hardboiled egg, fresh bread with real whipped butter and a cut up apple. It was simple but felt authentic. We were surprised when a quarter bought us 2.5 hours of time at a parking meter in Billings, Montana (contrasted with the 7 minutes I got for the same quarter in Palo Alto last week!) When planning trips we often think of exotic places, but the USA has amazing sites that are waiting to be explored. I can’t wait to see more! This land is your land This land is my land From California to the New York island; From the red wood forest to the Gulf Stream waters This land was made for you and Me. As I was walking that ribbon of highway, I saw above me that endless skyway: I saw below me that golden valley: This land was made for you and me.~ This Land Is Your Land, by Woody Guthrie

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Page 4 - August 2013 ~ Danville Today News

Donate Your Car 800-YES-SVDP (800-937-7837)

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Serving the poor since 1860


Local Top-Notch Entertainment

The Town of Danville is pleased to announce the continuation of Thursdays @ the VT, a unique entertainment series held at the Village Theatre located at 233 Front Street. Thursdays @ the VT offers Tri-Valley residents an opportunity to enjoy a wide range of music. Tickets are $10 presale and $15 at the door. Beer and wine will be available for purchase. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit or call (925) 314-3400. The live music series will feature the following bands:

Laurent Fourgo Ensemble ~ August 29, 8pm

Not your typical Bay Area Jazz band! Ageless, passionate performances of the immediately recognizable vintage favorites guaranteed to please any audience.

Naked Soul (formerly Alma Desnuda) ~ September 26, 8pm

The music of Naked Soul can most succinctly be described as California acoustic soul but what the laid-back San Francisco-based band really aims to play are songs that make you feel good.

Duo Gadjo ~ October 24, 8pm

From French cafes to the French Quarter! Isabelle Fontaine and Jeff Magidson’s music celebrates the union of two cultures inspired by the 20’s and 30’s, when jazz was popular.

Alamo-Danville Newcomers Club Welcome Coffee

The Alamo-Danville Newcomers Club Welcome Coffee is open to everyone who is thinking of joining the club. This casual get together is the perfect opportunity to learn about the many facets of the Newcomers while enjoying coffee and chatting with Club Members. The Coffee will be held on Tuesday, August 27th from 10AM-Noon. The event is free. Meals on Wheels For more information, visit or call (925) 281-1307. Seniors in your community need your support! Meals on Wheels and Senior Outreach Services has been supporting seniors in YOUR neighborhood since 1968. Two of our programs, Meals on Wheels and Friendly Visitors, rely on the support of volunteers, and we need your help now more than ever. Meals on Wheels volunteer drivers deliver meals to local homebound seniors through regular two hour If you find him and your name is drawn! shifts once per week or as substitute drivers. Friendly Visitors volunteers provide weekly one-hour companionship visits to isolated seniors. To He has become lost in this paper! volunteer for either program, please call (925)937-8311.

Lost Dog!


Danville Dog is Missing

San Ramon Valley Genealogical Society

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

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

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

John Nagy is our winner!

Danville Rotary Club

The Danville Rotary Club meets every Monday at noon at Faz restaurant in Danville. For information, contact Jim Crocker at or by phone at 925-577-6159. If you are interested in visiting the Danville/Sycamore Valley Rotary Club, contact Jim Coleman at Meetings are held on Tuesdays at 7AM at Crow Canyon Country Club.

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.

Place your ad here! For more information call us at 925.405.6397 or visit our website:

Lic# 1100014354; Bay Area Entertainment

Danville Today News ~ August 2013 - Page 5

Museum Volunteers Needed

Looking to get involved in your community? The Museum of the San Ramon Valley needs your help. Volunteer positions are available in the following areas: • Greeters • Docents • Walking Tour Docents • Events Committee • Educational Programs (One Room School/Indian Life) Call Eve or Donna at 552-9693 or send an email to srvmuseum@ for additional information.

Downtown Danville • Danville Livery• The Rose Garden

10th Annual


2013 Get to Know Contest

Local youth are encouraged to connect with nature through the 2013 Get to Know Contest. The contest invites youth (19 years and under) to get outdoors and submit works of art, writing, photography, video, or music inspired by their natural world. Entries may be submitted online at until November 1, 2013. Contest winners will receive prizes, including art supplies, books, outdoor gear, and cameras. For more information, visit

Hospice Volunteers Needed

Hospice of the East Bay is seeking volunteers to assist Hospice patients and their caregivers. Opportunities include: • Licensed Hair Stylists to offer hair cuts and styling • Certified Massage Therapists to provide massage therapy • Mobile Notaries to witness the signing of important documents • Bereavement Support Volunteers to provide support to family members after their loved one has died • Patient Support Volunteers to provide companionship and practical assistance To apply for free training, call Hospice of the East Bay at (925) 887-5678, and ask for the Volunteer Department, or email Established in 1977, Hospice of the East Bay is a not-for-profit agency that helps people cope with end of life by providing medical, emotional, spiritual, and practical support for patients and families, regardless of their ability to pay.

thursday night

street festival

Hartz & Prospect Avenues - Downtown Danville

e! or everyon t f n u f y l i Fam ertainmen t n E g n i n Bistro di ure hunt s a e r T y r t tis um train Balloon ar e s u M V R use S groups y t i n Bounce ho u m m ness & co Local busi

Meet n Captai ! k c Ja

Bike park station next to Starbuck’s! Ride your bike!

Thursday, August 8, 2013 6pm-9pm Hosted by Discover Danville Association & the Town of Danville

Thursday, August 22 6:00pm - 9:00pm


Buy tickets online at Sponsors:

Town of Danville Veteran’s Day Banners

The Veteran’s Day Military Banner program was created for the Danville community to honor Veteran’s that reside or have immediate family living in the Town of Danville. To qualify, honorees must meet the following criteria: • Banner sponsor must be a current Danville resident. • Veteran to be honored must be an immediate family member of a current resident (such as wife/husband, son/daughter, grandson/granddaughter, sonin-law/daughter-in-law). • Upon approval, sponsor will pay for the cost of the banner and cost of installing the banner for two years. After two years, sponsor has the option to renew for another two years or not renew and keep the banner. • Banners will be installed and stored by a Town of Danville vendor. • Total cost for the banner and two years of displaying is $250. • The renewal after two years will be approximately $125. Applications and fees must be received by early September. For more information and a Banner Application, contact Mark Marcotte at 510-376-8639, or

Veterans of Foreign Wars

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW) will be held on Wednesday, August 21st. The VFW Post 75 of San Ramon Valley meets every third Wednesday of the month at the Veterans Memorial Building located at 400 Hartz Avenue in Danville. The building is located on the corner of East Prospect Avenue and Hartz Avenue. Doors open at 7PM, and the meeting begins at 7:30PM. For more information, contact Post Commander Ernie Petagara at (925) 362-9806. Find out more about the VFW and our Post on the internet at

Delta Nu Psi Collection for the Troops

Delta Nu Psi needs help, the cupboard is bare! Please come to CVS in Alamo on August 2nd and Lunardi’s in Danville on August 9th, and shop for our soldiers. We need everything for them! Thus far we have sent 26,948 pounds of “gourmet junk food” in 1098 boxes. Thank you in advance for your support! For more information on how you can help, visit

Page 6 - August 2013 ~ Danville Today News

Museum of the San Ramon Valley

The Museum of the San Ramon Valley presents Totally Trains – Models and Memorabilia running through the Freight Room at the Depot through August 18th. The Museum’s Train Club has been reinvented with a new enthusiasm and dedication toward reviving the Museum’s own train collection. The need to utilize the Museum’s collection in order to save it prompted the formation of the new Train Club. The Club’s members have been meeting for over a year to bring this wonderful exhibit back to the Museum. The exhibit features the Museum’s O Gauge models that span the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries with freight and passenger trains pulled by both diesel and steam engines. The Museum’s scratch-built models, including a replica of the Museum – the former Danville SP Depot-will be on display along with selected Lionel pieces on loan to the Museum for this exhibit by Bob and Cheryl Miranda and Michael Foley. Of special interest this year is the Museum’s latest acquisition, the Lady Lionel, or Girls’ Train. In 1957 Lionel introduced a train designed specifically for girls. It was a pastel multicolored train that was pulled by a pink steam engine. Unfortunately for Lionel, girls interested in trains wanted a train like their brother’s, and eventually the unsold sets were returned to Lionel. Because so few were manufactured and sold, one of the Girls’ Trains in excellent condition with the boxes can command over $10,000 today. In the 1990’s Lionel reissued the train, and you can see a reissue of the Girls’ Train running in the center of our Totally Trains exhibit. Be sure to purchase our Totally Trains Family Ticket! The family ticket is only $10 and allows for a daily visit to the museum during the train exhibit’s run. The Totally Trains exhibit will be open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10AM to 1PM and Sundays from noon to 3PM. Please see the Museum website,, for more information.

Eugene O’Neill National Historic Site, Tao House Presents Saturdays without Reservations Every Saturday at 10am, Noon, and 2pm

Drop by and explore the Eugene O’Neill National Historic Site, the Tao House in Danville. Catch the shuttle at the bus stop in front of the Museum of the San Ramon Valley - 205 Railroad Ave. For more information, visit or call 925-838-0249.

14th Eugene O’Neill Festival O’Neill vs. O’Neill

To advertise call 925.405.6397

Danville Toastmasters Club

The Danville Toastmasters Club meets every Wednesday from 7:30 to 9PM at Diablo Valley College, Room W204. The college is located at 1690 Watermill Road in San Ramon. For more information, visit or call Chandra Mundra at 925-389-1468.

Diablo View Toastmasters Club

The Diablo View Toastmasters Club meets on Tuesdays 7:55 to 9AM at Center Plaza Building on 2333 San Ramon Valley Boulevard in San Ramon in the conference room (First Floor). For more information, see diabloview. or call Ernie DeCoit at 925-699-7103.

Coming in September, audiences will have an up-close opportunity to view how a playwright develops his ideas and his plays. As its centerpiece, the Festival will provide a face-off between O’Neill plays: Opening September 27: Chris Christophersen (1920) - O’Neill's romantic 19th century melodrama, produced by the Eugene O’Neill Foundation in the Old Barn at the Eugene O'Neill National Historic Site Opening September 6: Anna Christie (1921) - rewritten by O’Neill as a 20th century psychological drama, produced by Role Players Ensemble at the Village Theater in Danville. Events will also include films, tours, panels, and a Gala Celebration of the playwright's 125th birthday! For more information, visit or call 925-820-1818.

Danville A.M. Toastmasters Club

The Danville A.M. Toastmasters Club meets on Tuesdays from 7AM to 8:30AM at Father Nature’s Restaurant on East Prospect in Danville. The first breakfast is on us. Come by to check out the club - you’ll enjoy yourself while learning to be the speaker you want to be. For more information, call Roxie at (925) 837-6253 or visit

Prevent Fires: Handle Materials with Care

Danville Today News ~ August 2013 - Page 7

11 Critical Home Inspection Traps to be Aware of Weeks Before Listing Your Home for Sale

Summer is often the time of Danville - According to industry experts, away altogether. In most cases, you can year when we get projects done there are over 33 physical problems that make a reasonable pre-inspection yourself around our homes – repaint a secwill come under scrutiny during a home if you know what you're looking for, and tion of fence, refinish a wood deck, inspection when your home is for sale. knowing what you're looking for can help or finally get around to seriously A new report has been prepared which you prevent little problems from growing cleaning a stamped concrete patio identifies the 11 most common of these into costly and unmanageable ones. that got stained over the winter. And when you have comproblems, and what you should know about To help home sellers deal with this issue pleted such a project, it’s a real feeling of accomplishment them before you list your home for sale. before their homes are listed, a free report to see how beautiful it all looks once again. As good as it Whether you own an old home or a brand entitled "11Things You Need to Know to feels to finish, you don’t want to shortcut the cleanup and new one, there are a number of things Pass Your Home Inspection" has been disposal of the various products that you used. that can fall short of requirements during a compiled which explains the issues involved. Recently, there have been three house fires in San Rahome inspection. If not identified and dealt To hear a brief recorded message about mon that were caused by spontaneous combustion. How with, any of these 11 items could cost you how to order your FREE copy of this report, could such a thing happen? In each case, oily rags that dearly in terms of repair. That's why it's call toll-free 1-866-265-1682 and enter were used in projects around the house were tossed into a critical that you read this report before 1003. You can call any time, 24 hours a day, trash can without allowing them to dry out first. With the you list your home. If you wait until the 7 days a week. high temperatures we have been experiencing this summer, building inspector flags these issues for Get your free special report NOW to learn the volatile rags in the enclosed trash cans reached a temyou, you will almost certainly experience how to ensure a home inspection doesn't perature which caused them to burst into flame. According costly delays in the close of your home cost you the sale of your home. to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), over sale or, worse, turn prospective buyers 14,000 fires per year, causing millions of dollars in damThis report is courtesy of J. Rockcliff Realtors #01763819. Not intended to solicit buyers or sellers currently under contract. Copyright © 2013 age, were caused by spontaneous combustion or chemical reaction. In home structure fires, the garage was the most common area of Applicants Sought for Seats on Advisory Boards origin (20% of fires), and oily rags were the most common item first ignited District 2 Supervisor, Candace Andersen, is looking for interested, mo(35%). Abandoned materials were cited as a factor in 34% of home fires, and tivated District 2 residents to serve on a variety of Contra Costa County improper containers or storage was a factor in 33%. citizen advisory boards. These voluntary boards usually meet monthly and What can you do to prevent such a fire from beginning at your home? advise the Board of Supervisors on a variety of issues. They provide a key Your fire department has these suggestions: communication link between the community and county government. 1. Anytime you have an oily rag left over from a project, hang it up to dry Supervisor Andersen is looking for volunteers from her district to fill the outdoors. You can use a clothesline or fence, but be sure to hang each rag following positions: individually, and avoid piling them on top of each other. • Assessment Appeals Board 2. Store any left-over volatile products, like turpentine, in their original • Contra Costa County Fire Protection District’s Fire Advisory Commiscontainers, and always follow the manufacturer’s directions on proper use, sioners (1 alternate seat) storage, and disposal. It is advisable to store such products in a shed away • Economic Opportunity Council from the house. If you must store them in the garage, place them as far away • Mental Health Commission (1 consumer seat) as possible from any heat source, such as a water heater or furnace. • Merit Board 3. Take the time to inventory what you currently have stored, and see if • Alamo Municipal Advisory Council (1 regular seat and 1 youth repreyou really need to keep it. Oftentimes, cans of old paint, solvents, automotive sentative – Alamo residents) fluids, etc. get put on a shelf and one left there for years. If you find that you • County Service Area P-2B Citizens Advisory Committee (2 alternate have such material that you want to dispose of, take advantage of the Contra seats - Alamo residents) Costa Household Hazardous Waste facility which is available to you at no • County Service Area P-5 Citizens Advisory Committee (1 regular, 1 charge. Visit their website at alternate seat - Roundhill resident) District 2 includes Alamo, Canyon, Danville, Lafayette, Moraga, Orinda, Parkor call (800) 646-1431 for more information. mead, Rossmoor, San Ramon, Saranap, and Walnut Creek (west of Main Street). To recycle other items and materials, visit, the website Applications and more information are available on the county’s website, for the Central Contra Costa Solid Waste Authority. The homepage has a very helpful “recycling wizard” which allows you to type in the material you wish to dispose of and search results provide you with various recycling locations. Danville Thursday Night Street Festival Enjoy the rest of your summer! If you have any questions about County August 8th, 6pm - 9pm issues, please don’t hesitate to contact my office at Discover Danville Association is hosting an evening of street closures with or (925) 957-8860. We’re here to serve you. music and entertainment as merchants play host to an outdoor street festival-

Art and Wine Stroll August 22 6-9 nd


Enjoy a fun-filled evening of wine tasting, small bites from Danville restaurants, the latest offerings from our shops, live music, a commemorative wine glass, and trolley rides during the 10th Annual Art and Wine Stroll in Danville. Select businesses will stay open late to host some of our area’s finest wines as you stroll throughout downtown Danville, Danville Livery, and The Rose Garden. Enjoy live music and entertainment throughout the evening. Tickets are $25 each and can be redeemed for wine glasses at each venue from 5:30-7:30pm the night of the event. Any remaining wine glasses will be available for sale from 5:30-7:30pm.

in a car-free environment. The entire community is invited and encouraged to display their civic pride by shopping and dining locally. Whether it is sampling fine cuisine in an ambience that is uniquely Danville, perusing a specialty boutique, enjoying the sounds of roving musicians, or savoring a cup of coffee, come downtown and experience the essence that defines Danville.

Heartland Danville Antique and Art Faire September 2nd, 9am-3pm

Discover Danville Association will host the Antique and Art Faire on Railroad Avenue on September 2nd from 9am to 3pm. Antique retailers from the Tri-Valley and local artists will display their collectables for your shopping pleasure. The Museum of the San Ramon Valley will host an antique appraisal clinic, and for a nominal fee you can dust off those hidden treasures in your house and take them in for an appraisal

Page 8 - August 2013 ~ Danville Today News

“Let’s Talk About This”

By David McCaulou, McCaulou’s Home Store

Here’s a heart warmer! Recently two birds flew through the door of the new McCaulou’s Home Store in the Danville Livery. The twosome were a mom bird and her baby bird. The new store has very lofty ceiling and lots of windows up high. The birds were doing fine during the day but closing time brought some problems. The mom bird sensed it was closing time and flew outside. The baby bird did not follow fast enough and got locked inside the store. The store alarms are motion sensitive, so there was a definite problem keeping the bird inside. The sales staff came up with the plan to put out some water and bread crumbs and set the perimeter alarms so the baby bird could spend the night. The next morning the mother bird was pecking at the 20 foot high windows, and the baby bird was pecking back from the inside. More confusion continued as to what should be done. The baby finally ran out of energy and could hover only about 5 feet off the floor. The sales person, Maria Power, and a customer helped direct the baby out the door, and “voila,” the worried mom and Today thru Sunday, Aug. 11 baby were reunited. They flew off together as hapLocated across the Parking Lot from McCaulou’s Main Store py McCaulou’s visitors. Advertorial


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Stone Valley Middle School By Shaun K. McElroy, Principal 2013-2014 : A Look Ahead

Our primary focus this coming school year will be on continuing to implement the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). To support the implementation and transition to CCSS, we will be piloting a modified block schedule with longer periods two days each week and examining our school culture to better serve all students.

Danville Today News ~ August 2013 - Page 9

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Common Core Training

The SRVUSD will fully implement the Common Core State Standards by June 2014. This past year our teachers have been preparing for the change from California State Standards to CCSS by participating in several yearlong trainings and collaborations. In June all school administrators were provided with a four day intensive overview of CCSS that included two days of focusing on math and two days of focusing on language arts. The trainings provided site leaders with a deeper understanding of the intricacies of the CCSS in classrooms. The training sessions were conducted by SRVUSD staff developers who are experts in their subject areas and experts in CCSS. This team of staff developers will lead trainings for teachers though the month of August and during the school year and includes Dr. Kathy Moore - language arts, Mona Keeler - math, Renee Doran - language arts, Nicole Padoan - language arts, Ngoc Nguyen - math, Ondi Tricaso - language arts, and Gregory Duran – math. For more background on CCSS, please visit

School Climate

As part of our follow up to the grant we received for Culturally Responsive Teaching and Learning (CLS), Stone Valley will receive additional training in late August for up to 10 staff members. These 10 staff will in turn train the remainder of the staff on CLS methodologies. During the course of the school year trainers from Center for Culturally Responsive Teaching will visit Stone Valley classrooms and observe our progress towards finding better ways to support our underserved students. To learn more, visit

Modified Block Schedule

CCSS requires students to perform more complex tasks while working in groups. Students will be asked to perform complex tasks while collaborating with classmates and using a variety of information (called text sets) sources for research. This type of work is difficult to perform in a regular 45 minute period. Therefore, we are modifying our schedule to block classes on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Student will rotate through even numbered classes on Wednesday and odd numbered classes on Thursday. Block classes are 83 minutes in length. On Wednesdays students have a 45 minute intervention period at the end of the day. Students who need extra support in a given class will be able to attend a study session with their teacher. Students may also use the time to complete make-up work for classes they have missed.

Welcome New Staff: Allison Sass and David Andrzejewski

We will be sharing two teachers with Monte Vista for the 2013-14 school year. Here’s a little bio on each. Allison was born and raised in Alamo and attended Stone Valley and Monte Vista. She lives in Walnut Creek with her husband and eight year old daughter. Allison attended Cal and earned degrees in French and English. Allison will be teaching French 1A and French 1B at Stone Valley as well as French 1, Honors French 4, and AP French Language and Culture at Monte Vista. This will be Allison’s 15th year of teaching. David was born and raised in Fredericktown, Ohio. He attended the University of Toledo and earned a bachelor’s of science in Biomechanics. David received his credential in mathematics at CSU-Long Beach. David and his wife Mehgan live in Concord and are expecting their first child due in October. David will be teaching Advanced Algebra I at Stone Valley as well as Algebra 1, Robotics, and Algebra 2 at Monte Vista. This will be David’s 9th year of teaching in public education.

Welcome Back - Caryn Bostrom

Caryn Bostrom will be rejoining the 6th and 7th grade core teams after a six year absence. Caryn completed her student teaching and earned her first teaching assignment at Stone Valley in the 2006-07 school year.

Back to School Dates

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Alamo Rotary Holds 31st Annual Wine and Music Festival on September 7th

The Alamo Wine and Music Festival is an annual community celebration benefitting the Alamo community and schools’ music programs while providing a day full of activities for the entire family. Headlining the event will be the Groove Doctors. They will begin at 8PM for dancing under the stars. Also performing is Push with Dan Ashley. Alamo/Danville school bands and choirs will also perform during the day. The day will also be filled with many activities for the entire family. Food, games, and business booths will be set up throughout the festival area. Kids will enjoy the play zone with the popular rock climbing wall and new photo booth. Dinner tickets are $15 and feature selections from Faz, Maggie Ray’s, and the Rotary BBQ. Dinner will be served from 5:30 to 8PM. The Festival will have wine tasting from a number of California vineyards, and people may purchase commemorative wine glasses at the event. Wine may also be bought by the bottle. We respectfully ask that you purchase your beverages from our Rotary booth as it is these funds that go back into the betterment of our community as well as the school music programs. This year our raffle prizes are better than ever! They include: • Round of Golf for four, courtesy of Round Hill Country Club • Diamondback Outlook Mountain Bike, Alamo Bicycles • Dinner for two with bottle of Faz Cab at Faz, Danville, courtesy of Faz Poursohi • Tickets for four to Giants or A’s game, courtesy of Bay Area News-East Bay • Two Nights at Peppermill Resort Casino, Tom and Noreen Seeno • Jeroboam (3 liters) of Cashmere • And many more wonderful prizes! Raffle and dinner tickets may be purchased in advance at Mark Kahn Jewelers in Alamo or from any Rotary member. They may also be purchased throughout the day at the Rotary Booth. Much of our money comes from very generous sponsors. There is a complete package of sponsorship opportunities to people who wish to promote their businesses or contribute to this worthwhile charitable event. For more information on becoming a sponsor, please call Don Morton, (925)217-3123 or

Page 10 - August 2013 ~ Danville Today News

Charlotte Wood Middle School By Christopher George, Principal

The staff at Charlotte Wood Middle School hopes that you are enjoying your summer. We again want to thank our community for the continual support that they provide throughout the year. We are in the midst of many exciting changes for the 2013- 2014 school year while we transition to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). To accommodate these changes and opportunities, we have instituted a modified block schedule which will begin in the fall. Additionally, I’d like to congratulate our teachers for their work this past year as well as over the summer. As part of the transition to the CCSS, our teachers this summer are working hard on preparations for the new curriculum. We have been fortunate enough to send many teachers to conferences, and know that many of them will be participating in staff development throughout the coming weeks. We look forward to seeing the return of our students to school this month.

High School Community to Honor Veterans

Monte Vista Mustang Football hosts the Pittsburg Pirates on Friday, September 13th at Sam Zackheim Stadium. Veterans receive free admission, as well as complimentary hot dogs, beverages, and homemade apple pie. Girl Scout Troop 30623 is coordinating the event, along with MV Athletic Boosters and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 75. Veterans may contact the Veterans Memorial Building staff at (925) 362-9806 for tickets. Tickets are limited!

San Ramon Valley High School By Ruth Steele, Principal

As we review, organize, and plan for what the next school year may bring, our teachers are doing the same. This fall, some staff will be brand new to teaching, and some will be 35 year veterans. Education is changing rapidly and becoming increasingly challenging. I remember studying in high school - I would check out books from the library and read them to do my research, and then I would write my essays by hand. I did not have access to the internet, I did not have a cell phone with a camera, I did not own a tablet or a laptop, and I couldn’t “Google” anything on my phone before a teacher finished their explanation. I couldn’t multi-task and listen to music while I studied, and I did not have Kahn Academy or YouTube to access videos of lessons that I might have missed! Until very recently, teacher education programs didn’t focus on any of these emerging issues in the classroom. Most current teachers were born before 1980 and are considered to be a different generation from our tech savvy “generation Y” students. Our students, however, have all of this access to information, a thirst for knowledge, and a desire for instant results. Teachers are trying to figure out how to deal with the shifting demands of our students while still delivering curriculum and assessing learning. Administrators are doing the same, and they are trying to provide sufficient learning opportunities for staff. No one can expect teachers to keep up with the current demands of the educational climate if administrators cannot stay ahead of the curve as a community of learners ourselves. It’s going to be a challenging year - we all have a lot of learning to do. However, the best thing about this new paradigm is that everyone has to be able to learn, adjust their thinking, and embrace new ideas to keep up - our students included!

Exchange Club of San Ramon Valley

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

Tax Talk with Bob

By Bob Shalon, IRS Enrolled Agent, Office Manager Danville Office of H&R Block Expanding Creating Merger Opportunities with Other Tax Practices

Over the past few years our office in Danville has grown considerably in the number of clients we serve and services we provide. I want to thank our client base for your loyalty and the referrals that you send us as being a major factor in our growth. However, growth starts with the quality and experience of the tax preparers employed in the office. We are all Enrolled Agents with the IRS, averaging double digit years of experience in the Danville office. Just as important is the office atmosphere; we enjoy working with each other and it shows. In addition, we have added services the past few years which allows us to help the following business entities in addition to individual returns: • Partnerships • S and C Corporations • Estates and Trusts • Audit support Our new location is in the same shopping center as always, Sycamore Square located with Luckys and CVS pharmacy. We will be next door to our old location, gaining almost 400 square feet of space. I am looking for a tax preparer with their own practice to explore the possibilities of joining us. I will not get into any details of what can be offered to you as I don’t want to turn this article into a want-ad. However, if you are tired of maintaining the overhead needed to run your practice while keeping your independence and income level, then I would very much like to get together for an informal, confidential discussion. I’ll buy the coffee! You can email me at bob. shalon@tax.hrblock. Bob Shalon, EA Master Tax Advisor • Enrolled Agent com. I do not need a formal resume. 925.820.9570 To all you taxpay714 San Ramon Valley Blvd, Suite B, Danville ers, please continue to Sycamore Square (next to Lucky’s) have a wonderful and safe summer. Advertorial

Quintessential Quilts: A Floral Fantasy

The Museum of the San Ramon Valley is pleased to present an exhibit of flowers in quilting. The exhibit explores the history of floral fabrics used by quilters, past to present, with beautiful quilts, quilted wearable art, and wall hangings. A special display features quilts sewn by men along with some of the tools men use to create varied handcrafted objects. The display will run August 27th through September 29th with special guest presentations each Saturday during the exhibit. • Saturday, August 31 - Kathy Higgins: History of Quilting: Pyramids to Present • Saturday, September 7 - Barb Mahan: Make It and Take It: Ruffle Button Pin • Saturday, September 14 - Denise Sheehan - Hand Applique Demonstration • Saturday, September 21 - Sandra Newman - Demonstration Hexagons - teach and take away • Saturday, September 28 - Margaret Linderman and Alethea Ballard Raw edge and quilted appliques demonstration Museum hours are Tuesday – Friday, 1pm – 3pm, Saturday 10am – 1pm, and Sunday noon – 3pm The Museum of the San Ramon Valley is located at, 205 Railroad Avenue, in Danville. For more information, visit or call (925) 837-3750.

Tip of the Month

By Cynthia Ruzzi Show our Local Creeks a Little Love

It’s hard to believe that the lazy days of summer will soon be filled with school activities. While my children and I are past the dreaded back-to-school registration days filled with sign-ups, forms and lines, I still look forward to seeing the kids fill Osage Park for gym class, lunch hour, and after school activities. As I walked the pathway in the park recently, I realized an eerie quiet without the student body. In fact, it was quiet enough that as I neared the northeast side of the park I heard the water from Cow Creek. The sound made me think about how landlocked we are in our community and the need to show our water sources a ‘little love.’ The condition of our local streams and waterways contributes to the outstanding quality of life enjoyed by our residents. Unfortunately, hazardous waste is reaching our waterways through storm drains located in our streets and in our yards, polluting the local water environment. While conservation in your home, yard, and community is important to spare our liquid gold, we also need to protect our creeks from pollution. First up – Take your car to the car wash! Commercial car washes use recycled water which help conserve fresh water sources for drinking. Additionally, carwashes are set up to prevent harmful oils and dirt washed off a dirty car from entering our storm drains and making their way to our creeks where they harm marine habitats, birds, and other wildlife that depend on our creek water for survival. If you’re a group considering holding a car wash to raise money, please contact the Town of Danville Storm Water Coordinator at 314-3342 to borrow a FREE car wash kit. The kit comes with easy instructions on how to prevent polluting material from entering our storm drains. Secondly, obtain permission from the owner of the event location to ensure that you can locate the car wash near an approved sanitary sewer drain or vegetated area to discharge your wash water. There are other ways you can be part of the solution to stop pollution in our creeks and waterways. Please do your part to protect the environment by properly disposing of hazardous materials such as batteries, fluorescent tubes, household cleaning items, mercury thermometers, motor oil, automotive products, garden products, and paint and paint-related products. All of these items can be brought

Danville Today News ~ August 2013 - Page 11 to the recycling center operated by Contra Costa Central Sanitary District. For a complete list of items that can be brought to the recycling center, visit www. or call 800-646-1431. The facility is located at 4897 Imhoff Place, near the intersection of Highway 4 and Interstate 680 in Martinez. Also, local places like Ace Hardware in Alamo and Home Depot in San Ramon will accept fluorescent lighting, and Whole Foods and CVS are great locations to drop off spent batteries. Before hazardous materials accumulate in your garage and then are improperly disposed of, I encourage you to purchase products that are less harmful for the environment and your family. The marketplace is filled with products that are as effective as those dependent on harmful chemicals. Painting a room? Consider paints with low or no VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) to prevent harmful vapors. Applying pesticide around your home? Remember that good bugs are harmed along with those you wish to discourage when you use pesticides. It’s best to identify the pest first using a resource like the University of California’s resource for pest management ( html) or snapping a picture and asking for assistance at a local nursery on the proper treatment. Only purchase what you need, and when mixing liquid pesticides, always read the label and use rubber gloves before you measure. Do not mix on a hard surface such as concrete, or near a storm drain. Apply to the target areas or plants only, and don’t overuse or over-water after application as this is one of the most direct ways pesticides enter our waterways. Alternatively, try a natural remedy made with common household ingredients which are safer and are a lowcost alternative to more toxic pesticides. Here’s my favorite general insect spray: Mix 1/2 cup chopped red chili peppers and several cloves of garlic with 2 cups water in a blender. Process briefly, then strain the plant matter from the liquid. Pour the red pepper liquid into a spray bottle. Add 1 tbsp. liquid dish soap to help the spray adhere to the plants. If you are dusting the soil to deter crawling pests, look for red pepper or cayenne pepper in the spice aisle of your grocery store, or purchase food grade diatomaceous earth at a nursery or online. Want to help protect our creeks? Contact Mary Grim at Friends of San Ramon Creek at Visit or follow us on Facebook for more environmental friendly information.

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Page 12 - August 2013 ~ Danville Today News

Shake it up with Wine

By Monica Chappell

Who doesn’t look forward to happy hour—that time of day when you can exit the office and head home? Why not mix it up with wine? Unthinkable? There’s actually a long tradition of classic drinks made with wine, and it’s high time we gave wine cocktails their due. There are more varieties and varietals of wine available than ever before, and the number of liquors, liqueurs, and other mixers seems to multiply daily. Put these two elements together, and the possibilities are nearly endless. Many have probably had a Bellini or Mimosa, but here are a few new ways to integrate wine into your cocktail repertoire. These stylish sippers show off your

reds, whites, and rosés. White Port and Tonic: Isn’t Port relegated to an after-dinner or dessert-time sipper? Not when it’s white Port. Whether dry or sweet, white Port makes a delightfully drinkable cocktail. Just fill a tall glass with ice, add a shot or two of white Port, top with tonic (or club soda), and garnish with a wedge of lime. You can also experiment with muddling some mint or basil for a distinct fresh herb note. 

 Sangria: Perhaps you have a bounty of seasonal fruit on hand. Consider mixing up a pitcher of sangria for a group of friends. The nice thing about sangria is that you are only limited by your creativity. Use red, white, or even rosé wine, along with fresh fruit, sugar, and a touch of brandy. Right before serving finish with some sparkling water, lemon-lime soda, or ginger ale. 

 Red Wine and Coke: Popular in Spain, this 50-50 mix of red wine and convenient shuttle service to Coke (called akalimotxo or calimocho) is about as simple as making a cocktail home, the office, bart and bacK. can be. Served over ice, the sweetness of the Coke balances out the tannins in the wine, making for a fine late afternoon sipper. 

 So mix up a wine cocktail and cheers! What easy wine-based cocktails can ` you recommend? Please let us know at FactoRy lubE, oil diaGnoSiS/ SchEdulEd & FiltER chEck EnGinE Monica Chappell teaches Wine Appreciation classes locally. For a curMaintEnancE liGht inSPEction Multi-Point Performance Let our trained experts perform an Improve mileage and extend rent list of classes, please visit Inspection August 31, 2013

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Cinema Classics

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After the death of a loved one, dealing with the entire contents of a home and a life time of possessions can be overwhelming. Hospice of the East Bay (HEB) Estate Sales, formally known as Diablo Appraisal and Estate Sales, is an estate sale and liquidation service that manages and coordinates your entire estate and provides you with a tax benefit by sharing the profits from the sale with HEB. We provide caring and trained professionals that can help you handle the entire process making the seemingly impossible, attainable. We will assess each item’s value, advertise the sale through multiple channels, organize and display your estate items, provide security before, during, and after the sale, run the estate sale smoothly and professionally, take unsold items to HEB thrift stores, and provide with a tax deductible receipt for those items, clear out the house at the end of the sale, and leave the house empty and ready for cleaning. Everything will be handled for you, and best of all you won’t even need to be present! Families are provided with a guaranteed honest, efficient, and reliable service. HEB Estate Sales was established in 2001 for families requesting help selling the contents of their homes. Funds generated from the sale help benefit the patients and families in the care of HEB. Please call Patricia Wright at (925) 887-5678 or email for more information.

This month’s Cinema Classic selection is a blockbuster hit from 1950 entitled, All About Eve, starring Bette Davis as Margo Channing, Celeste Holm as Karen Richards, Anne Baxter as Eve Harrington, and Thelma Ritter as Birdie. All About Eve was nominated for fourteen Academy Awards and won six including Best Picture, Best Direction, and Best Screenplay. Joseph L. Mankiewicz wrote and directed this great film. In expressing what qualifies this movie for greatness, a couple features stand out. First, the plot is interesting, thought provoking, and spelled out with excellent dialogue. It is, in fact, rather unforgettable and comes to mind long after the original viewing for further analysis. Superb acting is a second characteristic that distinguishes this movie from the rest by characters that seem believable. They seem believable because you and I have known characters like these and have been in situations like the ones presented in this film. In the movie, Margo Channing is a forty-year-old actress playing parts actually written about twenty-year-old characters, and this worries her although she is reassured by the playwright that she is ageless. Karen, the playwright’s wife as well as Margo’s dear friend, introduces her to an apparently devoted fan, Eve. Cunningly, Eve ingratiates herself to Margo, and at first, only Birdie, Margo’s assistant, sees that Eve is a foe and not a friend. Fans of this movie may have their favorite scene or quote. Many like Margo’s line delivered at a party she gives her boyfriend, Bill: “Fasten your seatbelts; it’s going to be a bumpy night!” My own special favorite scene is one between Birdie and Margo in which those two characters share a look that reveals Margo’s dawning of realization that Eve is trying to steal her life from her – just as Birdie warned. The remarkable talent required to pull off that kind of acting gives this movie its star quality. All About Eve, is available for purchase or download. If you’ve never seen it, you should, or even if you have, it’s worth seeing again.

Musical Notes

In keeping with sophisticated, cerebral themes comes “Rhapsody in Blue,” composed in 1924 by George Gershwin. This music is extraordinary, exciting, elegant, extravagant, and oh, so easy to love! My advice is to download it for your permanent collection to be enjoyed forever.

Danville Today News ~ August 2013 - Page 13



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Sonoma Racew Girls Appearancay e SAT & SUN

Backyard Barbecue Cook Off! Come Eat, Vote, and Win a Grill!

Soul Paint People Appearance

Entertainment by Local Musicians

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Urban Gardening and Farming Conference

Sustainable Contra Costa (SCOCO) is hosting the first-ever Contra Costa Urban Gardening and Farming Conference at the Walnut Creek Library on Saturday, August 10th from 10AM-2:30PM. The Conference is designed for urban gardening and farming activists as a forum for presenting their projects, sharing perspectives, ideas and resources, discussing opportunities and challenges, and building community. The Conference is a part of SCOCO's “Growing Together” initiative - a collaborative project to encourage and support urban gardening and farming in Contra Costa County toward the goal of increasing local food production. Urban gardening and farming includes community gardens, school gardens, horticultural therapy gardens, urban farming projects, gleaning projects, and demonstration and training gardens. For more information, visit or call Mark Westwind at 925-372-8486.



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Join the 2013 Trails Challenge

Are you ready to explore your Regional Parks? The award-winning EBRPD Trails Challenge program provides participants with a free PDF guidebook featuring 20 different trails, including everything you need to know to plan your hike. Complete the challenge by hiking five of the trails listed or 26.2 miles of trails. Get a FREE organic cotton T-shirt (while supplies last). A commemorative pin will be sent once you complete the challenge; pins will be mailed in the fall (while supplies last). Registration is open and free. Get started now by creating your online account. Go to There is no phone registration for this program. Get started today!

Page 14 - August 2013 ~ Danville Today News

Quick Trips

By Linda Summers Pirkle On a Clear Day

Recently, my youngest daughter, nineteen year old Cassandra, and I visited Rome and Paris. Our room in Rome (a convent converted into a hotel) was immaculate. Our location was great, just two blocks from the Vatican. In Paris, our apartment was located in the 10th arrondissement, four Metro stops from the Louvre. We can recommend our Rome property but not our Paris apartment. The biggest difference was the view. In Rome our room overlooked a beautiful courtyard. We woke up to birds singing, and at night the lighted cupola of St. Peter’s basilica was magnificent. Our view from our Paris apartment was a dark, interior courtyard. What a difference a view makes! The variety and abundance of great views are some of the primary reasons we love the Bay Area. One favorite view is from San Damiano Retreat house in Danville. A short drive (one mile) from downtown Danville, up a private road, the retreat house is a beautiful Spanish style complex built in 1961. Home to the Franciscan Friars, whose mission, according to their brochure, is to provide a peaceful environment of natural beauty where spiritual renewal and growth may be sought by people of all faiths and backgrounds. The view of Mt. Diablo and the lovely valley below is extraordinary. Deer Path and Hillside Trail, two loop trails on the grounds of the retreat, are great ways to see the property and enjoy the serenity of the area. “Many people who live in Danville do not know we are here, even though we are just up the hill from downtown. Everyone is welcome to visit and enjoy our beautiful grounds,” says Estrella Rusk, volunteer at the Retreat House. The two trails around the complex are less than a mile. There are meditation benches for enjoying the views and you will most likely see deer on your walk. For the more adventurous, a hike to the Las Trampas ridge above the retreat house offers incredible views. The steep road leading up to San Damiano Retreat House is only one mile, but, according to Stacy Watson, hiker and local resident, “It’s the best workout in Danville.” The Buddhist Gateway in Lafayette is another spot for reflection and great views. Open for visitors from 9am to sunset every day, their brochure says “The monastery sits in the beautiful town of Lafayette. With views that expand the vision and peaceful air that calms the mind, it is the perfect environment for Chan practice.” Ask for a tour, and one of the monks can take you into the temple and up the hill to see the labyrinth, and gorgeous view. Rumored to have the second greatest view of the Earth’s surface, second only to Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa, Mt. Diablo is possibly our valley’s best spot for great views. According to Beryl Anderson, Communications Manager with Save Mount Diablo, “On a clear day it is possible to see the Farallon Islands, the Sierra, and 40 of California’s counties from the summit of the mountain.” Save Mount Diablo will host its twelfth annual “Moonlight on the Mountain” on Saturday, September 7th. Anderson states, “Since the mountain usually closes at sundown this event is a rare opportunity to enjoy the sunset and watch the setting sun play colors across the backdrop of the mountain from China Wall in Mt. Diablo State Park.” *San Damiano is located on 710 Highland Drive. Rooms are available for rent, and the retreat house can be booked for groups. Their phone number is 925.837.9141, and their website is The gift and book store is open daily; call for hours. *Buddha Gate Monastery is located at 3254 Gloria Terrace, Lafayette. Their phone number is 925.934.2411. Their website is *For ticket information on the Moonlight on the Mountain event, call 925.947.3535. Linda Summers Pirkle, travel consultant and long term Danville resident, has been arranging and leading tours for the Town of Danville for several years. Inspired by the many wonderful places to visit in the Bay Area, she organizes day trips, either for groups or for friends and family. “If it’s a trip for my husband and me, my husband drives and I talk (he’s a captive audience) – the perfect combination! What a great place to live, so much to see, so much to do.” To share your “Quick Trips” ideas email

Events at the Ruth Bancroft Garden

foundation for creating quality arrangements.

Learn the art of container gardening with our instructor, Laura Hogan, former Ruth Bancroft Garden Nursery Manager and owner of Arid Accents. Laura will demonstrate the assembly of five different categories of succulent container gardens and show custom containers that she has handcrafted for the Ruth Bancroft Garden Nursery. Handouts will be provided that suggest fool-proof strategies for container arrangements as well as appropriate plant combinations. Each participant will assemble and take home a small mini-garden, and plants and pots selected by Laura will be available for sale after the class. The event will take place on Saturday, August 10 from 10AM – 11:30AM at The Ruth Bancroft Garden. General admission is $25, and member admission is $20. Pre-registration is required. Whether you are seeking a succulent container for your garden or inspiration for a living gift, this class will provide you with the

Get a dose of country music and dance until sunset when the Ruth Bancroft Garden presents ‘Bluegrass, BBQ and Beer,’ a sunset social for the entire family, set amidst this stunning succulent garden. The muchloved Alhambra Valley Band will play their brand of urban bluegrass and the celebration will continue with tasty BBQ by Willowstone Catering and refreshing drinks by Pyramid Brewery in Walnut Creek. The social will take place on Friday, August 23 from 5 – 8PM at The Ruth Bancroft Garden. Admission is $15/person, and food and beverage are sold separately. Parking is free For reservations or more information, please visit The Ruth Bancroft Garden at 1552 Bancroft Rd in Walnut Creek or call (925) 944-9352.

Container Gardening with Succulents

Bluegrass Sunset Social

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Page 16 - August 2013 ~ Danville Today News

Life in the Danville Garden

By John Montgomery, ASLA, Landscape Architect #4059 Process for a Successful Design

What does it take to create a successful landscape design? Some might say that success is measured by critics and experts, but I believe it is measured by the end user, you. A successful landscape design has to meet the expectations of the owner. What I love the most is getting a call a few years after my client has been living in their yard, and they say, “John, I’m sitting here in my backyard, and I was thinking of how much I enjoy the peacefulness and beauty, and I wanted to call you to say thank you!” For me, that is my measure of success. Here are the three phases I use in creating a successful landscape design. The first phase of the design process is a “conceptual” design. Our first task, along with you, the owner, is to develop design goals and a design program to fit your needs. Some of these design goals are practical and functional, while some are your dreams and desires. After we develop the goals and

design program, we will analyze the site and off-site conditions so that we are familiar with the existing conditions and parameters with which we are working. Once we receive the necessary information, we draft a base plan (site plan) from which your conceptual design will be created. When we complete your conceptual design, you will have an accurately scaled, illustrative, and schematic landscape plan that will represent the design goals, existing conditions, and your dreams and desires. The “conceptual” design is visual communication so you can “visualize” the possibilities. Every idea, even a conceptual one, has an associated cost. From the concept design we develop a budget, a line-item spreadsheet detailing the cost of the project. At this point the owner has necessary information to make an educated decision based on what they want and how much it costs. Phase two is the “nuts and bolts” of the design. We will need to communicate to the contractor your design, details, and specifications in order for you to acquire bids, accept a contract, and build your project. During the Construction Documents phase we provide services that will complete the landscape design so that you may enter into the Construction Phase to bring your outdoor environment to reality. The construction documents will be the “building” set of drawings necessary for your contractor to acquire permits and build the project to the design and specifications. Construction documents include a detailed planting plan with planting specifications, botanical and common plant sizes and quantities, a hardscape plan, and plans detailing lighting, grading and drainage, irrigation, material selections, and notes and specifications. Working drawings (how to build) are included for built site elements like arbors, trellises, pergolas, swimming pools, cabanas, retaining walls, etc. After the completion of the Construction Documents, you are ready to build your project. The Construction Documents are the vehicle to communicating the parameters of your landscape project to the necessary contractors so they may provide you with “apples to apples” bid proposals. This will assist you in selecting your contractor(s) to build your project. You will also need the plans to acquire permits. Phase three is the Construction Phase. It is very important that the design intent and vision is brought to reality during construction. Construction Phase Services

become a very important part of completing the design. The design process actually continues into construction. During construction, design decisions and interpretation are necessary in order to lay the design onto the land and bring the design vision to reality. Typically, this is when the design can be misinterpreted or contractors can make subtle changes to cut corners. This part of the design process ultimately guarantees the success of your design because it puts the control of the outcome in the hands of the owner and landscape architect. My clients have told me that the design process saved them time and money during construction by not having to make decisions under pressure, pay for changes, and take time off work to manage the contractors. A hot tip from your local Landscape Architect: Built landscape structures must be executed with proper construction techniques which are ensured through proper design, construction details and specifications, and on-site observations during the construction process. Landscape architects are licensed and qualified to draw construction documents. Gardening Quote of the Month: “Every day may not be good, but there’s something good in every day.” ~Author Unknown If you would like me to write on any particular subject, email your ideas to or for design ideas, visit Advertorial

Baths are Complicated By The Bath Studio Staff

As a homeowner, you will eventually want or need to do some remodeling. Some projects, such as painting, are fairly simple, and you might even do them yourself. For most other projects you can hire a contractor and just follow the contractor’s advice. There are a few products to buy and decisions to make. Kitchen and bath remodels, though, are more complicated. The bathroom is especially complicated to remodel, because a lot of products go into that small space. Chances are you’ve never remodeled a bathroom before and might never again. You want the new bathroom to be better, maybe bigger. In the kitchen remodel, most of the applicable technology is in appliances that can be swapped out. Bathroom components are built in and harder to replace. You want your bathroom remodel to be done right, and you will need help. There have been exciting developments in bathroom products since your home was built, if it is a typical tract home. Toilets flush more efficiently, exhaust fans are quieter, and thermostatic shower valves remember your water temperature preference. Home spa features such as towel warmers, steam baths, and floor tile warmers have become more common and affordable. Many countertops are stone or material that looks like stone. Cabinetry looks like furniture. Sinks may be under-mounted or vessels that sit on top of the counter. Faucets can be mounted on the countertop or on the wall. Porcelain tile can be made to look like stone or wood. Bidet seats provide personal cleaning options previously only found in the most expensive homes. Larger medicine cabinets are available. Decorative tile comes in glass and metal and intricate patterns of laser cut stone. With more options for bathroom products, installation has become more com-

Getting Un-Wired

By Evan Corstorphine, Portable CIO

Back in the 70’s when I grew up, we lived in the golden age of electronics. The transistor radio had been invented and we were in awe of those and everything else that was being “transistorized.” Radios rapidly became bigger and more complex. I remember how much I pined for one of the huge multi-band radio receivers that would receive broadcasts on fifteen different overseas radio bands. I used to stay up late with one of my friends who had such a radio, tuning in stations from countries all over the world and trying to perfect our antenna to improve reception. As we grew older, the radios and something new called “stereos” were becoming more sophisticated. The sound quality went from tinny and awful to ridiculously good. This was when the current era of audiophiles was born. I could never tell the subtle differences between the “good” equipment and the “excellent” equipment, but the audiophiles could and that’s what counted. Soon, home theatres became the rage and in the 1990’s, it seems that everyone was buying a 5.1 channel receiver, a DVD player, a giant subwoofer, and a big-screen TV to create their own home-theatre experience. If you have never put one of these together, you may not be familiar with how complicated they can be, how to connect it all together, and how many remote controls you had to master to make the whole thing work. Back then it was a serious undertaking! I confess, I fell into the home-theatre trap. All it took was seeing the “Top Gun” demo at the store and I was hooked. My wife hated it. I mean, she really hated it, because every time she went to watch TV, it became this byzantine process of turning things on in a certain order and finding the right remote controls to turn everything on. It took the enjoyment out of watching TV for her, because just getting to the point where she could sit down and relax took five minutes of utter frustration. I am absolutely certain that many of you guys reading this are nodding your heads and cringing at how

Danville Today News ~ August 2013 - Page 17 plex. For example, epoxy grout is a superior product that performs better than previous generations of grout, but it dries faster which requires the installer to work smaller areas and wipe off residue quickly. Decorative accent tiles may be a different thickness than other tile on the same surface, which requires a skilled tile installer. Skirted toilets look better but are harder to install than toilets with exposed bolts. If you want to use the newest technology in your bath remodel, you need a contractor that knows how to install those products. Your budget and preferences should determine which upgrades you want in your new bathroom. The trick is doing the remodel such that everything looks like it belongs together. Where to start? You can look at pictures of bathrooms in magazines. That’s a good way to get ideas, but it won’t give you the unique solution you need for your bathroom. You can visit stores that sell tile, cabinetry, plumbing, lighting, and accessories. They will help with the products they sell. But what you need is someone who will help you pick cabinetry that looks good with the tile and countertop. You need someone who can help you find faucets that complement the towel bar and cabinet knobs. In order to put it all together effectively, you need to look at the project as an organic whole. We created the Bath Studio to help you create that unique remodeling solution that includes the upgrades you want in a style and color scheme that suits your tastes and that fits your budget. If you would like assistance with a bathroom remodeling project, visit our design showroom in San Ramon to see how we can help define and create your vision for a new space. We are located at 2410 San Ramon Valley Blvd., San Ramon, 925735-1400. For a preview, visit us on the web at Advertorial

you did the same thing to your poor wives! Hey wives: thanks for enduring our learning curve. And learn we did. As time went on and our tastes changed (ok, really, as we matured - there, I said it!), we found we could watch TV without having to have seventeen speakers turned on. We discovered that watching TV didn’t always have to be a theatre outing, and that the teensy little speakers on the TV actually sounded OK after all. All of our fancy-shmancy audio equipment began to gather dust. The age of personal home theatres had peaked, and lots of guys like me figured out that less is more. All the hassle just wasn’t worth it. Whereas we used to feel we needed to have a big stereo to run the music or accompany the TV in our homes, devices like the Bose Wave Radio or a simple BlueTooth speaker for our iPhone can completely suffice. The music sounds great, and it is enough. We found we didn’t need to have speakers in every room with their own volume control, or the ability to watch a prerecorded video in every room, or direct three different music channels or TV feeds to separate spots in the house. Is the hassle and complexity of these over-complicated technical monstrosities worth it? In my opinion, they fit firmly in the category of, “Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should.” In fact, I have rarely seen one of the high-end all-inclusive whole-house audio/TV systems being used by the home owner, and I’ve never seen one really used to its full capacity. Instead of the homeowner owning these systems, I think these systems own the homeowners. I must sound like a Luddite this month. I’m really not. But, I’ve figured out some things that I hope more people will catch onto. That primary lesson is that all of this complexity causes stress, and it doesn’t add that much value. Use technology as a tool to accent your life, as you use salt to season your food. By choosing an appropriate level of technology for your life, you and your family will be a lot happier, you’ll save a ton of money and you won’t have all the soul-draining technical clutter throughout your living spaces. Do you need assistance in simplifying your systems, finding the right balance of technology? Portable CIO has the staff that can help you figure this out, and we can always be reached at 925-552-7953 or by emailing helpdesk@ Advertorial

Page 18 - August 2013 ~ Danville Today News

Pruning for Fire Safety By Blaine Brende & Joe Lamb

In the spring and early summer, the landscape grows lush, beautiful. Our Mediterranean climate is blessed by sufficient winter rains to make plants grow, but our dry summers, and our even drier autumns, can make that new growth a fire hazard. In the greater Bay Area, we live surrounded by an ecosystem that has been shaped, over the last 10,000 years, by frequent wildfires. Because these woodland fires are inevitable, landscape trees, even healthy ones, require occasional pruning to prevent them from becoming fire ladders––bridges of flammable material that could carry flames from a woodland fire to your home. The threat posed by fires in the greater Bay Area is real and significant. The Oakland/Berkeley Hills fire of 1991 caused $1.7 billion in property damage, and it was the nation’s worst urban fire since the San Francisco fire of 1906. Failure to properly maintain landscape trees and shrubs played a significant role in allowing that fire to grow, intensify, and move. The Comprehensive Overview of the Berkeley/Oakland Hills Fire recommends that the risk of wildfire can be reduced by proper care of landscape plants: • Break up fire ladders. • Limb trees back from structures. • Reduce flammable biomass by thinning crowns. • Remove dead trees and shrubs from the landscape. • Remove deadwood from live trees and shrubs. Breaking up fire ladders helps prevent a fire from moving easily from the woods, or from your neighbor’s property, to your house. To break up fire ladders, increase the space between plants, both vertically and horizontally. In the 1991 fire, blowing brands of flammable material landed on ground plants and, if there was sufficient dry matter, caught the ground cover on fire. The fire burned along the ground plants horizontally for as long as it found material to burn. If it encountered trees with low branches, the fire would move vertically from the ground up into the crown of the tree. If those burning trees were close to a house, they would set the house on fire. If their crowns touched the crowns of other trees, the fire spread from crown to crown.

Clip Notes

By Jody Morgan

As a gardener, I can’t concur with T.S. Eliot’s assertion in the opening lines of “The Waste Land” that April is the cruelest month. Lilacs emerging out of the dead land are harbingers of hope, but weed pollen wafting on every breeze engenders memories of my least favorite gardening tasks. Consequently, for me, August is the crueler month. In August, after the pageant of my favorite perennials passes by, sagging annuals languish on the sidelines while the seedier elements of vascular plant society emerge in tatty garb to pick prime pockets of space. Desirous of filling the cyclical void with fresh talent in character with my cast of typical English border performers that bows out in August, I am auditioning candidates billed as profuse bloomers capable of garnering applause from late spring into fall. First to secure a role in Morgan’s August Floral Follies, Coreopsis ‘Jive’ is a dark-eyed beauty. The ray flowers are dressed in antique white with garnet inner garments surrounding a dark central disc flecked with gold Dancing freely on delicate stems fringed by thread-leaf foliage, the one-inch blooms beckon butterflies to enjoy the show. Debuting in 2009, ‘Jive’ is part of the Coloropsis series of annual coreopsis hybrids developed by Massachusetts breeder Darrell Probst. The result of crossing some eight species over almost a decade, Probst’s introductions in the Coloropsis series join his Big Bang collection of perennial Coreopsis hybrids in turning an old stand-by into a headline attraction. Strictly speaking these are all garden natives: hybrids derived from species indigenous to North America. Many Native American tribes used the flowers of Coreopsis tinctoria for dye. The golden blooms yield yellow unaided, but produce red with the addition of an acid mordant. The Sioux also brewed tea from these denizens of the prairie. Commonly called Tickseed in its home country, Coreopsis was introduced to Europe as a garden delight by British explorer Thomas Nuthall following his 1819 journey into Arkansas. Describing the landscape in his journal, Nuthall wrote: “These vast plains, beautiful almost as fancied Elysium, were enamelled with innumer-

Landscape plants pose little fire hazard when they are properly maintained, and proper maintenance does not mean sacrificing a natural, woodland aesthetic. If the limbing up, dead-wooding, and crown thinning are done by a craftsman with a sensitivity to plant aesthetics, then the trees will look natural, even though they may have had 30% of their biomass removed. Knowing how to identify potential hazards is important, but it is also important to know how to reduce those hazards in a manner that keeps your property looking natural and which doesn’t sacrifice important screening plants. Brende & Lamb specializes in balancing the conflicting needs for privacy, fire safety, tree health, and landscape aesthetics. It is possible to improve the fire safety of your property while promoting the health and beauty of your plants. Tree care is a craft requiring study and experience. Our trimmers are master craftsmen who understand that a well-pruned tree should not only be safer and healthier, it should look beautiful as well. At Brende and Lamb we take great pride in both the science and the art of pruning. 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

Group Helps People Cope with Death of Pets

When you lose your pet, you often feel like a part of you is lost. The death of your beloved animal companion is one of the most difficult losses you may ever feel. This loss is sometimes made more painful by society’s seeming lack of support for pet grief. Hospice of the East Bay and the Tony La Russa Animal Rescue Foundation is offering a support group where participants can share memories and feelings and talk to others who truly understand and care. Meetings will be held the first Tuesday of each month from noon - 1:30PM at the Tony La Russa Animal Rescue Foundation, 2890 Mitchell Drive, Walnut Creek. For further information and/or to register, please call Bereavement Services at Hospice of the East Bay (925) 887-5681. Pre-registration is required. Hospice of the East Bay Bereavement Services are provided free of charge to all community members in need. However, donations are greatly appreciated. able flowers, among the most splendid of which were the azure Larkspur, gilded Coreopsides, Rudbeckias, fragrant Phloxes, and the purple Psilotria.” Rudbeckias were one of the first American wildflowers tamed for the English garden. They appear on John Tradescant the Elder’s 1634 plant list. Linnaeus named the genus for his teacher, Olof Rudbeck, because the tall plants were reminiscent of Rudbeck’s physical stature, and the rays of the flowers reflected Rudbeck’s scholarly brilliance. All of the 25-30 species of Rudbeckias are native to North America and many were used by Native Americans to treat a variety of ailments from snakebite and burns to indigestion and earaches. Immediately embraced by British gardeners, Rudbeckia species, often called Black-Eyed Susans, also include the more colorful Gloriosa Daisies. The minute I put Rudbeckia ‘Cherry Brandy’ beside Coreopsis ‘Jive’ in my nursery wagon, I knew I had found complimentary leads for my Floral Follies. Costumed as it comes on stage in the same rich burgundy tone as Jive’s central trim, Cherry Brandy is a quick-change artist. As the flowers open, petals add brandy tones then tip themselves with golden edges. This 2009 Thompson and Morgan introduction is a short-lived perennial. Birds love the seeds, so I may find interesting volunteers popping up in my yard. William Thompson, founder of Thompson and Morgan, received the seeds of Chocolate Cosmos, my third selection for the cast, and passed them along to the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew in 1860. Taxonomists, clearly disinterested in the aesthetics of nomenclature, dubbed this exquisite Mexican treasure Cosmos atrosanguineus, suggesting the blossoms are the color of dried blood. Actually, they are dressed in the deepest shade of royal ruby velvet. Never rediscovered in the wild since 1860, the species has survived in cultivation as divisions from the tubers of a 1902 Kew Gardens specimen. Although the species is self-sterile, New Zealand growers have come up with a seed-producing variety called ‘Chocamocha’ released on the American market in 2012. In frost-prone areas, the tubers should be lifted like dahlias for the winter unless you want to gamble on seeing your plants return in spring. The chocolate scent of the flowers is too subtle to appreciate in a soloist. If fragrance is your goal, you need a chorus of at least half a dozen plants to get the point across. Like the other performers in this trio, Chocolate Cosmos brings in the butterflies without attracting deer.

Solar Currents

By Mark Becker, GoSimpleSolar

If only we could predict the future. Would it create more happiness? My initial thought would be yes! In the stock market, absolutely! Is it going to be a boy or girl? Well… sometimes surprise is nice. On further thought, despite its benefits, I think that being able to predict the future would take the excitement out of life. I would have never predicted that the disappearance of the California Solar Initiative rebates for residential customers (except for new or fully remodeled homes) would have had no negative impact on the solar business. Conversely, business is better than ever. Aside from an improving economy, the continued adoption of solar PV can be attributed to a growing recognition on the consumer’s part that there is essentially very little downside risk for solar as an investment. Unlike the potential of picking a poor stock or being stuck in a declining stock market, energy prices continually rise. A high percentage of our solar PV projects are installed on the homes and businesses of financial professionals; their only concerns are the details of the installation vs. the details of the financials. They know they want solar, and they are simply seeking the right contractor to install it. They understand the advantage of hedging energy costs at prices lower than today’s PGE prices. If you could have bought all the gas for your car ten years ago at $1.50/gallon, think of the money you’d be saving today. It’s the same principle. The financial professionals also understand that pay-

Concours continued from front page the Parkinson’s Institute in Sunnyvale, California to offer support. “At first,” Chris laughs, “we thought it was just going to be donating a piece of jewelry to the auction, but we found ourselves heavily engaged in fundraising for three years in San Francisco at the Fairmont.” Wanting to bring their skills to bear on a hometown project, they staged the first Concours d’Elegance on the streets of Danville in 2004. For Jim Edlund, always a car person and follower of sports car racing, the concept of creating a car show came naturally. With many car-collecting friends and clients lending support, the Edlunds were able to coordinate an automotive exhibition that immediately grabbed the attention of the community. Bill Bauerfeind recalls encountering two of the principle committee members and volunteering his services on the spot. “I did not know anyone on the committee when I first joined at the close of the first event, but the group was very welcoming, and I have gained a lot of wonderful friends. Everyone is conscientious of our efforts and gives freely of their service and support.” Chris Edlund estimates that 85% of committee members have a personal connection to someone with PD. Since 2010, DDE has divided donations between the PI and MJFF, rapidly becoming one of the top two Team Fox fundraisers nationwide. Founded in 1988, the PI provides patient care and clinical trials under one roof, directly connecting treatment with research. Launched by Michael J. Fox in 2000, MJFF is dedicated, as its website explains: “to finding a cure for Parkinson’s disease through an aggressively funded research agenda and to ensuring the development of improved therapies for those living with Parkinson’s today.” Fox, winner of many acting awards including three Emmys and a Golden Globe, has been battling PD since 1991. Some 25 volunteers work year round on planning. An additional 90 individuals donate time during events. Bauerfeind notes: “Every year a new person joins the committee and adds a new dimension and added experience to the group.” During Sunday’s Concours, trained volunteers answer questions about PD and direct those seeking in-depth knowledge to information areas staffed by personnel from the PI and MJFF. Since its 2004 inception the Concours d’Elegance has evolved into a fabulous family event, nurturing nostalgia for fondly remembered rides and offering close-up inspection of quality classic cars competing in their respective classes. Side

See Concours continued on page 24

Danville Today News ~ August 2013 - Page 19 ments to PGE will never provide a financial return on investment. “Solar, part of a diversified investment portfolio” is how the purchase of solar PV is viewed by these professionals. They also understand that the lowest long-term cost of ownership of a solar PV system is not achieved by lowest installation cost. It’s achieved by choosing field-proven products and a specialty licensed installation team. It’s your roof and a 25+ year investment. Electric Cars (EV): I’ve found that my EV has saved me the cost of maintenance and gasoline; it’s a business write-off as well. There’s no doubt that a car fueled with electricity is the car of the future. If you purchase or lease an EV, check out our website to determine if switching to an electric car charge rate is the correct choice for you. Not all kilowatts are charged equally. In most cases, due to the nature of the “time of use” costs of the PGE car charge rate, there are better rate choices unless you have a solar PV system installed. To reduce the cost of an EV, there are California and Federal rebates available up to $10,000. Many EV’s are inexpensive to lease as well. Further validation of the financial returns of solar: The United States has just surpassed 10 gigawatts of installed solar PV capacity, the fourth nation to do so. We’ve increased our energy sources and reduced the amount of emissions into our environment. It would be logical for one to think that the world’s largest economy, with the world’s largest energy demand, would have the most solar energy capacity. However, that title goes to Germany. To their credit, the world’s worst polluter, China, is trying to clean up its act by tripling their amount of solar PV production. Not all of this program is altruistic. This program has the added benefit of propping up their failing solar panel companies; even more reason to buy American. Technology: One of the most common questions posed to me is about solar PV technology; whether a customer should wait for something new. Two years ago I had the fortunate experience of visiting the home of the lead solar PV scientist for Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. I posed the same question to him. His response: “There is no new technology that will be within financial reach of the average business or homeowner for the next ten years.” It turns out that there are materials more efficient than silicon, but silicon is currently the most plentiful and inexpensive material to turn sunlight into energy. Quote of the Month: “I’ll talk to you first, then see if other contractors are bull(****)ing me.” I guess such is the nature of being in a service industry. “The future is not something we enter. The future is something we create.” ~ Leonard I. Sweet Mark Becker is the President of GoSimpleSolar, by Semper Fidelis Construction Inc, a Danville based Solar Installation Firm (License 948715). Mark can be reached at 925.915.9252. Visit GoSimpleSolar’s showroom at 114 West Prospect Avenue in Danville or, or email Advertorial


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Page 20 - August 2013 ~ Danville Today News

What Does Interest Rate Hike Mean to You? By Sima Alefi

In June 2004, the federal funds rate - the interest rate that banks charge each other for overnight loans - stood at a low 1 percent. Since that time, the Federal Reserve Board raised this rate 10 consecutive times, so that it’s now at 3.5 percent. These rate hikes may make the evening news, but what do they mean to you as an investor? Before you can answer this question, you need to be somewhat familiar with why the Federal Reserve raises rates in the first place. In a nutshell, the Federal Reserve increases rates in hopes of curbing economic growth just enough to combat inflation but not enough to derail an economic expansion. There continues to be some uncertainty regarding how much and how long the Fed will raise rates. However, those questions can only be answered by the future strength of the economy. Therefore, economic indicators will be looked at closely in order to get a better idea of what the Fed might do. In short, there’s no formulaic way to gauge the effect of the Fed’s actions on your investments. However, you probably can’t go wrong if you take these steps: • Don’t panic — Keep in mind that interest rates were very low before

Home (Real Estate) Planning Alternatives By Robert J. Silverman, Attorney at Law

Home values in this area have rebounded nicely since the downturn about five years ago. So, the future appears brighter for older property owners whose homes are their largest asset. Nevertheless, most homeowners do not save or invest as much as they hope before retirement. Social security is rarely enough to sustain their accustomed manner of living. Consequently, many look to their home equity as their key means of financial support in their later years. But, just how should they use their home as an income or cash source? Selling the home seems like a logical answer; however, that may or may not be the optimal decision. Tax and non-tax factors should be identified, and all reasonable alternatives should be explored. First, owners must evaluate their desire to continue to live in their home and their ability to do so safely. Given increasing longevity and skyrocketing health and long term care costs, more uncertainty exists about how long many owners will be able to keep paying property-related expenses and all other costs of living without running out of funds. One way for an owner to potentially “have his cake and eat it too” is to obtain a reverse mortgage. Qualifying homeowners who are 62 or older with sufficient home equity can, immediately upon obtaining a reverse mortgage, have no mortgage payment (principal or interest) to make as long as they stay in the home - with all accrued principal and interest due only after they move out or die. Eligible homeowners are further able to borrow additional sums from the reverse mortgage lender in the form of a lump sum and/or credit line for home improvements, living expenses, or whatever they wish. Unfortunately, many good candidates refuse to consider a reverse mortgage because of various misconceptions. They’re not right for everyone, but they are well regulated and beneficial under the right circumstances, providing the means by which an older owner can to tap into home equity, stay in the home, and live later years more comfortably. Homeowners who are not set on staying in their homes might sell and either buy a more modest residence or rent one. But, a few factors may make that choice less desirable, including potential income tax liability triggered by a sale. Applicable tax laws are way too complex to cover in detail (talk to your accountant!), but eligible homeowners are entitled to exclude a certain amount of capital gain on the home sale (e.g. $500,000 for married couples and $250,000 for an unmarried individual); however, all gain may not be excluded and thus some tax liability may still result. the Fed’s decision. In fact, the Fed had actually lowered rates 13 times since 2001, resulting in a federal funds rate of 1 percent — the lowest since 1958. And the Fed’s action only moved the funds rate to 1.25 percent — still extraordinarily low by any standards. In short, you don’t need to consider drastic measures because, as yet, things haven’t changed that much. • Diversify — Build and maintain a diversified portfolio of stocks, bonds, government securities, certificates of deposit, and other investments. • Look for quality — Keep investing in high-quality stocks. • “Buy and hold” — If you’ve chosen high-quality stocks, you don’t need to unload them solely because interest rates may be rising. You’re much better off holding these stocks for the long term — until either your needs change or the companies themselves move in a different direction. • Build a bond ladder — If you invest in bonds, you don’t want to constantly adjust your holdings in response to changes in interest rates. Instead, build a “bond ladder’’ — a group of bonds of varying maturities. When rates are rising, you’ll be able to reinvest the proceeds of short-term bonds that come due, and when rates are falling, you’ll have your long-term bonds, with higher rates, working for you. You can’t predict the future course of interest rates. But by making these basic moves, you can continue working towards your long-term goals. To contact Sima at Edward Jones call (925) 648-2590. Her office is located at 3472 Camino Tassajara, Danville in the Blackhawk Safeway Shopping Center. For more information, visit Advertorial A related tax matter is that if a homeowner keeps the home for life, the person(s) inheriting (e.g. surviving spouse or children) receive a “step-up” in income tax basis on the homeowner’s death. This allows the inheritor(s) to escape any capital gains tax that would have been due on a sale prior to the homeowner’s death. Aside from understanding the tax implications, a homeowner should consult with a financial advisor who can run realistic projections about: how much income and growth is realistic to expect from reinvestment of the net (after-tax) proceeds from a home sale; whether such returns are likely to accomplish the homeowner’s financial goals; and whether any alternatives to selling make more sense. Another option may be to refinance. With today’s low rates and a tremendous variety of loan programs available, restructuring property-related debt can sometimes make a big impact. Experienced mortgage brokers can provide valuable advice and assistance. Rents are currently robust, so leasing one’s home may be the right decision. Doing so may generate more net income, after available tax deductions, than selling it and reinvesting the proceeds. And again, if the home is leased (kept) until the owner dies, the tax basis step-up creates potential future tax savings. Of course, converting a personal residence to a rental requires finding a suitable substitute residence, and there are ongoing risks of owning and managing a rental property to consider (maintenance costs, tenant problems, vacancies, etc.). Similar scrutiny should be applied to investment real estate; albeit different alternatives are available. Evaluating, structuring, and implementing real estate financing and disposition alternatives can be complicated. Hence, they should only take place after you receive advice from appropriate professional advisors, including your estate planning attorney, who can help ensure proper integration with your estate plan (particularly your revocable living trust). 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

Books for the Homebound

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


Danville Today News ~ August 2013 - Page 21


Saturday, August 3rd, 2013 at 2:00pm Please join us to celebrate and welcome our new dental family! Food and beverages will be provided.

Page 22 - August 2013 ~ Danville Today News

Your Personal Nutritionist

By Linda Michaelis, RD. MS. Is Evening Eating Destroying Your Weight Loss Effects?

Do you eat what you think is a balanced breakfast, mid-morning snack, and healthy lunch, and then come home in the evening and go on a feeding frenzy? You feel in control, everything is going fine - until you come home at night, and starving you eat a large dinner, say yes to dessert (and seconds), and finish off a bag of chips before bed. From a metabolic standpoint, there is really no reason not to eat food in the evening. A calorie is a calorie regardless of when it is consumed. A morning calorie is metabolized in basically the same way as an evening calorie. However, eating in the evening is a problem for many, not because of the way food is metabolized, but because of the quantity of food that is consumed. Skipping meals is a major culprit of overeating at night. Recent studies reveal that when people ate three meals a day only 13% binged at night. When people skipped breakfast, 24% binged at night and when people skipped breakfast and lunch, 60% binged at night. In general, people who spread their meals evenly throughout the day seem to be better able to control their eating. These people are less likely to feel hungry and less likely to overeat. So, by eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner and planning snacks in between, you can help yourself lose weight as well as maintain better control of your eating throughout the day and night. For most people, the evening is “down-time,” used to relax, watch television, and unwind from the stresses of the day. Others view this as a time to multi-task and catch up on household chores, bills, homework, and other responsibilities. Whether you’re winding down or working on your to-do list, unconscious eating can accompany your routine and result in a massive calorie intake. Devouring a bag of chips, a sleeve of cookies, or a pint of ice cream can easily occur when your mind is somewhere else. Sleep deprivation is also major source of excessive weight. Research strongly suggests a connection between obesity and lack of adequate sleep. Statistics show that overweight individuals sleep about 1.8 hours less a week than people of normal weight. Since the 1960’s sleep duration for American adults has dropped by as much as two hours a night, while obesity has drastically increased. Late night binging and sleep deprivation feed on each other – late night binging often creates indigestion and lack of sleep which, in turn, leads to overeating in subsequent days. The chemical link between lack of sleep and obesity lies in the fact that sleep

is a regulator of two hormones that effect appetite, leptin and ghrelin. Leptin helps suppress food intake and stimulates energy expenditure, while ghrelin stimulates appetite, fat production, and body growth. When one is sleep deprived, the level of leptin drops and ghrelin increases. The result is a drastic increase in hunger. One study reported a 24% increase in hunger, with cravings for such items as cookies, candy, and cake when there is inadequate sleep time. I have found in my practice many helpful ways of reducing late night overeating. 1. After examining my clients eating patterns, I compute what percent of their calories are consumed after 6PM, and if the answer is one third or more there is a problem. 2. We often discuss the need to normalize sleep patterns. For example, if they are home in the afternoon, I suggest a nap if they are having a craving and know they are not hungry. Taking a nap is “low calorie” and the craving will definitely go away because it usually only last for minutes. 3. I establish a meal plan that includes their favorite foods with meals that are balanced. I show them how their best friend is protein and fiber for every meal which prevents cravings. I teach them how to read food labels for the important nutrition facts. I give them a list of snacks that are portable for the office or in the car when commuting. After dinner I allow them 200 calories of snacks that are low in fat and yummy such as a low fat ice cream sandwich, a bowl of cereal, or even a few Oreo cookies. 4. We also explore what activities at night tend to trigger their overeating and develop strategies for changing them. I suggest that my clients micromanage their nighttime with non food related activities such as going on-line, taking a bath, working on a hobby, or even cleaning out the closets. Watching TV all evening sets you up to want to snack, especially with all of the food commercials. 5. I inform clients of the critical importance of exercise where if practiced they are more relaxed at night and do not get caught up in mindless eating. I am glad to inform you that heath insurance is now paying for nutritional counseling. Call me and I will tell you the details. Linda is located at her office in Alamo. Please visit for more information, helpful tips in her blog section, past articles or call her at (925) 855-0150 Advertorial

Theatre continued from front page

The Town of Danville invites you to step inside and enjoy all of the entertainment we have to offer in the Village Theatre’s historical 100th year. Social gatherings and events that embody all the uses from years past have been organized to celebrate this monumental occasion. Do you have a special memory that occurred at the Village Theatre that you would like to share? The Town is looking to you for stories that can be a part of the Final Event Celebration, scheduled for November 16, 2013. To submit your story, email it to, mail it to 100th Anniversary Celebration Story, 233 Front Street, Danville, CA 94526, or drop it off in the Village Theatre mailbox, located on the left hand side of the building at 233 Front Street.

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Films Through the Years

Take a journey of films through the decades in a double feature Saturday. To celebrate the Village Theatre’s 100th Anniversary, the Town will be hosting two double feature Saturdays that are comprised of knockout films through the years. Duck Soup (1933) and Rebel Without a Cause (1955) will be shown on August 10, and American Graffiti (1973) along with Forrest Gump (1994) will be presented on August 31. Each double feature starts at 2PM in the Village Theatre, located at 233 Front Street. Tickets for children and seniors are $3, and adult tickets cost $5. For more information about the 100th Anniversary Celebration of the Village Theatre, visit or call (925) 314-3400.

Do you have a story idea or sporting news? Call us at 925.405.6397, or email us at

Optimizing Your Swim!

By Melissa Ko, DC and Kimberly Liotta, DC, Sycamore Valley Chiropractic

It is no surprise that swimming is ranked fourth in the most popular sports Doctors of Sycamore Valley Chiropractic activities in the United States during the summer. As many as 10 million young children enjoy some form of aquatic program on a regular basis, and there are significant health benefits being discovered all the time for both children and adults. Swimming is a great activity for adults and children to exercise muscles all over the body. It can also burn a large amount of calories - about the same amount as a brisk walk - and puts less pressure on the joints than most other cardiovascular activities. When the body is submerged in water up to the neck, the water carries as much as 90 percent of the body’s weight. This leaves the swimmer free to focus on muscle movement and cardiovascular exercise without the stress of gravity on the joints. In addition to all the benefits for the body, swimming also improves general health as well. A study published in Respirology demonstrated a link between regular aquatic exercise and the reduction of asthma in children, and the American Heart Association reported benefits of swimming on adult heart health.

Swimming Injuries

While the benefits are clearly plentiful, the body can also be put at risk by frequent swimming. The efforts of swimming can aggravate the neck, back, and shoulders when the body is pushed too far or unused to strenuous activity and can suffer damage from repetitive movement. The water also offers more resistance against movement, which can put undue strain on weak or tired muscles, leading to soreness and strain. Shoulder injuries are also common problems associated with swimming. The tendons along the shoulder often get irritated by the movement of the strokes which involve movements and holding the body at angles not normally used. The spine and knees can also suffer over time from certain kicking motions in the water.

Genetic Testing, Cancer Risk, and Angelina Jolie’s Choice By Tiffany Svahn, MD

Actress Angelina Jolie stunned the world with her decision to have a preventive double mastectomy after testing positive for the BRCA1 gene mutation. “I hope that other women can benefit from my experience,” wrote Jolie. “Cancer is still a word that strikes fear into people’s hearts, producing a deep sense of powerlessness.” But for Jolie, and many others, getting genetic testing and taking action may offer control and comfort. How do you know if genetic testing is right for you? As a medical oncologist specializing in the treatment of breast cancer, I talk about BRCA testing, family history, cancer risk, and preventive options for breast and ovarian cancer with my patients. It’s a simple enough blood test to perform, and I strongly recommend it be done in conjunction with genetic counseling. We refer our patients to an expert in the field, Margo Thelander, MS, CGC at the Cancer Institute at John Muir Health. She has a masters in genetic counseling, is board-certified through the American Board of Genetic Counseling, and is licensed by the state of California. “It is important that patients understand the purpose and goals of genetic counseling. Together we explore the benefits of genetic testing, feelings about positive and negative test results, and the use of information to pro-actively make decisions for themselves and their loved ones,” Margo explains. “Everyone who meets with a genetic counselor ends up with a clearer sense of their risks and things they can do to modify them. After undergoing genetic testing, the results can either alleviate anxiety or provide information that allows the individual to take proactive steps to prevent cancer,” she continues. First, I recommend assessing where in life you are if you learn you have a genetic risk for breast and ovarian cancer. Next, I suggest having a thorough discussion of all medical options to be considered including:

Danville Today News ~ August 2013 - Page 23

Customized Care for Swimmers

Chiropractic care works as a preventative against actual injury for those who are starting to develop discomfort, and it can ease the discomfort of injury to help improve recovery times by ensuring that the spine is in proper alignment and that the muscles of the body are balanced and healthy. One of the foundations of chiropractic is the adjustment of the spine and muscles to relieve pain and help the body heal faster. Non-invasive methods help to bring mobility back to areas that have suffered some kind of physical trauma with treatments that are quick and painless. Our office specializes in treatments for sports injuries, and we can help relieve the pain caused by repetitive strain and injury during swimming. Through chiropractic methods and soft tissue management, we help reduce pain and swelling and even improve the performance of athletes in the water. Some of the treatments that can be used include muscle testing, massage therapy, cold laser, ultrasound, electric stimulation, and infrared therapy, and these treatments can be tailored to the needs of the individual. Even swimmers who aren’t injured or in pain can benefit from chiropractic care. Many professional swimmers see chiropractors regularly to maintain their bodies and even improve their times in the water. Perhaps the best swimmer of all time, gold-medalist Michael Phelps, says that chiropractic was one of his secrets for success in his Olympic career. So this summer, help a swimmer you care about have a better time in the water by having their spine checked by a Doctor of Chiropractic! Sycamore Valley Chiropractic is located at 565 Sycamore Valley Rd. West in Danville. Please visit their website at or call 925-837-5595 for more information or to schedule an appointment. Advertorial • A careful and aggressive monitoring program utilizing mammogram and breast MRI and self breast exam on a regular basis • Breast surgery to reduce risk • Removal of ovaries which can often lower breast cancer risk • Medications that can reduce the risk of breast cancer If you decide genetic testing is something you want to do, it is best to contact your primary care provider, gynecologist, or medical oncologist who can make the referral to a genetic counselor. Tiffany Svahn, MD is a Medical Oncologist and Hematologist with Diablo Valley Oncology. Dr. Svahn specializes in treating patients with breast cancer. Dr. Svahn sees patients at Diablo Valley Oncology’s comprehensive cancer center is located at the California Cancer and Research Institute in Pleasant Hill and at their satellite office in San Ramon. For more information call 925-677-5041. Advertorial

Skin Cancer Screenings Road to Healthy Skin Tour

On Wednesday, August 28, from 10am – 4pm at the Rite Aid parking lot at the Palos Verdes Mall in Walnut Creek, stop by for a prescheduled free full-body skin cancer screening by licensed dermatologists. The event is sponsored by Skin Cancer Foundation and California Skin and Melanoma Center.

Just the Facts Regarding Skin Cancer

Dermatologist, Dr. Shanny Baughman from Alamo Oaks Dermatology will discuss prevention, early detection, and treatment options. This educational talk will highlight the ABCDEs of skin cancer, basal cell, squamous cell, and melanoma. Refreshments and skin screen are provided! The event will be held Friday, August 30 (please call for time), at 233 Gregory Lane, Pleasant Hill. For more information or to register for either event, call 925-677-7287.

Page 24 - August 2013 ~ Danville Today News

Breast Cancer, Reconstructing Female Form

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

After the initial shock of diagnosis, a woman recently diagnosed with breast cancer is understandably overcome with disbelief and fear. Suddenly, she is faced with the question of how to preserve the essence of herself as a female and at the same time treat her cancer. Thankfully, advances in breast cancer treatments can often remove the cancer while preserving her shape. One option is reconstructive breast surgery, which can help maintain both personal and feminine identity, In many cases, breast reconstruction can be performed in conjunction with a mastectomy. Breast reconstruction rather than mastectomy alone can drastically improve a patient’s emotional and mental recovery. Many national studies support immediate reconstruction (done at the same time as the mastectomy) to preserve our sense of ourselves as women. Women who opt for immediate reconstruction can keep their physical form closer to what it was, never wake up without any breast form, and can feel more whole during their recovery. The challenges of possible chemotherapy or radiation are less daunting with breasts more intact. Based on the size and spread of the cancer, and patient’s intended therapy, a patient’s reconstructive surgery options vary widely. Many women can have a lumpectomy alone or a lumpectomy with radiation and be essentially cured of breast cancer. For others, the best treatment and chance of remission is with bilateral mastectomies, removal of the breasts and reconstruction with implants or with tissue flaps. The breast cancer team can help you decide what is best for you. This usually means seeing a general surgeon, who frequently performs breast surgery. This surgeon will refer you to the other doctors as required to treat your cancer. These include the oncologist, the radiation oncologist, the genetic counsellor, the radiologist, and the plastic surgeon. The entire reconstructive process, if a mastectomy is needed, generally takes three to twelve months and three surgeries - one major and two minor procedures for implant placement and nipple reconstruction. If you do not need removal of the entire breast (mastectomy), lumpectomy, with or without radiation, may be used to treat your breast cancer. For larger lumpectomies, oncoplastic techniques are both therapeutic and breast-preserving. These techniques involve removal of the lump followed by local tissue rearrangement to fill the defect. For patients requiring mastectomy, it is the current standard of care to offer immediate initial reconstruction. This first stage reconstruction commonly involves

Concours continued from page 19

placement of special kind of breast implant, called a tissue expander, that can be expanded over time to create the look of a breast immediately following the breast removal. Unlike the final implant, this must be initially small in volume to protect the breast skin as it heals after the mastectomy. It can be expanded over a few months to the desired volume and changed out for a silicone gel implant in a minor surgery. If the nipple had to be removed, nipple reconstruction is the final stage of reconstruction, and this is performed as an outpatient surgery. In certain circumstances, the use of an implant is not ideal. In these cases, a flap reconstruction offers an effective and aesthetically acceptable alternative. Flaps utilize extra folds of muscle, muscle and skin, or fat and skin to create breast tissue post-therapeutic surgery. With this technique the breast can be created using a patient’s own tissue and with or without an implant. The lower abdominal wall, the back, the buttocks, and the hips are all viable donor sites for breast reconstruction. I work with a team of local doctors and surgeons in treating breast cancer. Your general surgeon will remove the involved breast tissue. If they feel that you need a mastectomy or that removal of the breast cancer will leave a defect, they will refer you to a plastic surgeon. This may lead you to see me. I see many breast cancer patients each week and maintain a steadfast commitment to my patients physical and mental wellbeing before, during, and after surgery. My staff and I recognize that finding and picking your team of surgeons is an important step in your recovery process. As I have mentioned in previous articles, breast cancer patients hold a special place in my heart and in my practice. As part of my commitment to continually improving our breast cancer program, we are going to host a series of educational events. We welcome interested parties to our first Reconstruction Brunch for an informative and candid discussion on the latest treatment options. This will be a great opportunity to connect with other local breast cancer patients and support groups, and to get valuable, personal insight from an experienced Plastic & Reconstructive surgeon. For more information on the time and location of the event, please call 925-283-4012 to reserve your seat. The $25 ticket includes brunch, admission to the talk, and coupons redeemable for skin care and products offered at Persons Plastic Surgery. Please visit us online or call our office for more information or to schedule a consultation! Barbara L. Persons, MD is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and owns Persons Plastic Surgery, Inc. located at 911 Moraga Rd, Suite 205 in Lafayette. She may be reached at 925.283.4012 or Advertorial

streets may invite a glimpse into old-time mobile homes. A vintage fruit truck or a fully-equipped racecar trailer may be the crowd-pleaser of the year. Food offerings tempt the palate of gourmet visitors, while also providing popular family fare. The 21-and-over crowd can taste the wares of a dozen or more vintners. Already on board this year are Wente, Prestige, Jordan, Mitchell Katz, and Courvale. Silent auction items keep family members of all ages checking their bids, but for those who want instant gratification, a table of “Buy It Now” items is being added this year. Early risers can watch cars arrive starting at 7:30am on Sunday. Judging begins around 10am. For the Ferrari Club, on board since the first DDE Concours, the Danville display is one of two annual West Coast judged events. Lafayette resident Dee LeBlanc, Chief Judge for 2013, is a Blackhawk Museum docent inspired by past DDE events to complete course work Some of the more than 25 members of the DDE committee/board: L to R, Back: Dave Candwell, Mark Morasky, Jim for judging certification. With additional car clubs Edlund, Kerry Green, Brian Stephenson, Peter Stephens; Middle: Karen Basting; Front: Ellen Miller, Chris Edlund, taking advantage of the venue every year, the number Carol Bickett, Robin Halloran, and Mary Ellen Mancino. of categories judged keeps increasing. The always-popular racecar parade “I realized everything I specialized in, they didn’t have.” Heading that begins about 11:40am. James Bond fans will appreciate the Aston Martin list was offering the Blackhawk Museum as a venue for Saturday night’s dinner crowd whose numbers could no longer be accommodated at priexhibits honoring the manufacture’s 100th anniversary. Don Williams, President of the Blackhawk Museum, praises the show vate residences. Using his contacts to encourage owners of both premiere as an exceptional family outing that doesn’t require a Ferris wheel. “The automobiles and fun, funky vehicles to participate, Williams helped DDE first time you come,” he insists, “won’t be the last.” Traveling when DDE expand and diversify the Concours. debuted, Williams decided a few years ago that he had to get involved. See Concours continued on page 26

The Eye Opener

By Gregory Kraskowsky, O.D., Alamo Optometry Pinguecula and Pterygium

Most people who look at those two words probably find that they ring a bell. A patient will remember them being mentioned but can’t necessarily tell what they describes. As I go through the definitions, most people will realize that they have these on their eyes, and at times they can cause a little redness or irritation. A pinguecula (pin-GWEK-yoo-la) is a very common non-cancerous growth of the conjunctiva (the clear membrane over the front surface of the eye). It is usually a yellowish round bump more commonly found on the side of the eye closest to the nose, and many times it can become inflamed with blood vessels running across the eye. These do not cause any vision loss, but they can cause some irritation and tend to cause patients to have a foreign body sensation. Depending on how close it is to the cornea, it can cause increased contact lens sensation as the edge of the contact lens will rest on the pinguecula. Regardless of how inflamed or irritated a pinguecula becomes, it will remain on the conjunctiva and not grow onto the cornea. A pterygium (tur-IJ-ee-um), however, can and often does extend onto the cornea. These two conditions are very similar, but the difference is the tissue of origin and the shape. A pterygium develops in the sclera, which is the white part of the eye underneath the conjunctiva. Pterygium also take on a triangular shape with the wider base next to the corner of the eye and the narrower edge pointed towards the center portion of the eye. Both of these conditions are completely benign and share similar causes. By far the biggest culprit is UV exposure. It is important to realize that it is a cumulative effect of UV radiation, and a very large portion of that was done by the time you turned 18. That is why it is very important for kids to wear sunglasses and hats when they are young. The other contributors to having these conditions are dusty and chemical environments. Farmers are

Are You on the Medication Merry-Go-Round? By William Shryer, LCSW, DCSW, Clinical Director, Diablo Behavioral Healthcare

How many have been depressed or had other disorders that required prescribed medications? For adults, less than 50% respond to the level called remission or feeling completely well to the first medications and even less to the second or third medication tried. The side effects of medication include feeling sluggish, being nauseated, having sleep problems, and having other side effects too numerous to mention which can all contribute to feeling frustration or going off of medication. At times, the side effects of suddenly stopping medications results in even more unpleasant side effects called discontinuation syndrome. For those who stay with the antidepressant merry-go-round, after a period of not getting better with the typical antidepressants, then often comes the “augmenting,” or adding on of agents as seen on TV with the cute little cartoons with such “augmenting” agents such as Abilify or Seroquel, two well known antipsychotics with more side effects than are imaginable. Remember, the majority of depressed people are not psychotic. Are the side effects of weight gain, confusion, feelings of dullness, and feelings of being sleepy all the time like a punishment for being depressed? The problem here is multi-pronged in that the drug companies and insurance companies work together. This has led to our psychiatrists to become nothing more than walking prescription pads who hold appointments with their patients for as short as 15 minutes. No longer do psychiatrists have the time to talk and get to know their patient. All they have time for is to get to know the symptoms and what medications can treat those symptoms. Many patients being treated for depression and other disorders have to then see an outside non-medical therapist such as a Marriage and Family Therapist, Social Worker, or Psychologist for ongoing psychotherapy to discuss why the treatment isn’t working and why they are not getting over their symptoms. This is where another fracture takes place as these two providers rarely talk. When ongoing communication does not take place, it’s the patient who suffers. Trying to find competent care for the treatment of depression, anxiety, or obsessivecompulsive disorder is an uphill battle, and we at Diablo Behavioral Healthcare are

Danville Today News ~ August 2013 - Page 25 notorious for having very large pterygia because they have the sun, the dust, and the fumes from the chemicals that are used on the vegetation. Treatment of these conditions is also very similar. Besides the need for UV-blocking sunglasses, lubricating drops help with the foreign body sensation and help to keep the area moist. If these grow large, they become very dry because as the lids come down over the eye during blinking, it is not able to reach the entire surface and therefore it becomes dry and inflamed. The more red and inflamed these become, they quicker they tend to grow. In advanced cases, an anti-inflammatory is needed in conjunction with the lubricating drops to get the redness and irritation under control. These drops will not remove or shrink the area down; it will only reduce the associated swelling and irritation. If and when a pterygium grows far enough onto the cornea, surgical removal needs to be considered. If it continues to grow in front of your pupil, then vision will be compromised, and when it is removed it will leave a central scar on the cornea that will reduce vision. The need for this does not happen often, due to patients taking care of the problem with sunglasses and artificial tears. As I tell most of my patients, if you keep the pterygium happy, it will return the favor and not grow as quickly. If you have any questions about which treatment would be best for your situation, we would be happy to see you. Dr. K. at Alamo Optometry is your hometown eye doctor for outstanding service, vision care, and designer eyewear. He can be reached at 925-820-6622 or visit his office at 3201 Danville Blvd., Suite 165 in Alamo. Visit our newly updated website at, and become a fan on our Alamo Optometry Facebook page. Advertorial

Do you have a story idea? How about sporting news? Call us at 925.405.6397, or email us at well aware of this. We have put together a comprehensive program with all resources under one roof. Board Certified Child and Adult Psychiatrists handle the medical care, and every patient has a case manger to make sure the treatment is progressing and the patient is receiving the care most appropriate for their situation. We have been providing psychotherapy and medication management for over 25 years in Danville. We treat patients from three years for developmental evaluations to seniors. A few of the more challenging conditions we have expert training in are Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Asperger’s Syndrome, and Autistic Spectrum Disorders. Treatment resistant depression is being successfully treated with our most recent addition of TMS or Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation. I urge any of you in treatment for depression to ask your provider about this to see if they have even heard about this cutting edge treatment. If they have a negative opinion about it, share with them the information on our website to review the well-known medical schools utilizing this treatment. To name a few, there is Johns Hopkins, Weill Cornell in NYC, Stanford Hospital and Medical Center, and Harvard Medical School. These are not fringe organizations and are in fact leading the research to find even more uses for this technology. Recently researchers have been looking into possible use of this for fibromyalgia, early onset Alzheimer’s, migraine headaches, autism spectrum disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, schizophrenia, ringing in the ears, ADHD, and post stroke rehabilitation to name but a few. What has researchers so excited? We can thank the high tech area of Silicon Valley for many of these breakthroughs. Researchers had this technology for the past 20 years or so, and it has only been FDA cleared since 2008. The technology allows practitioners to stimulate the neurons with pulses from what in its simplest terms is a fairly powerful electromagnet. This does to the brain what medications try to do. This is the same technology that allows us to perform an MRI used so often in medical care to see into the body without the danger of X-Rays. TMS is in fact a non-invasive medical procedure performed under the care of a psychiatrist to do what antidepressants try to do without the side effects. If you’re curious about this contact our office to arrange a time to discuss this change option further. Explore our website dedicated to TMS at to learn more. For more information on TMS or any other of our comprehensive services contact our office at (925) 648-4800 and we will take the time to answer your questions. Our office is conveniently located at 4185 Blackhawk Plaza Circle Suite 210 next to Bank of America. Advertorial

Page 26 - August 2013 ~ Danville Today News

Latisse Update

By Dr. Jerome Potozkin

Accidental discoveries happen all the time in modern medicine. Years ago Rogaine (Minoxidil) was discovered when patients taking Minoxidil noticed increased hair growth. This ultimately led to studies in which Minoxidil, when applied to the scalp, was shown to prevent hair loss. Some lucky individuals actually grow new hair with Rogaine. Today Rogaine is widely used to treat male and female hair loss. It was initially available with a prescription but is now available over the counter. One of the newer exciting accidental discoveries involves Latisse to treat eyelashes. The active ingredient in Latisse, Bimatoprost, was initially used as an eye drop to treat patients with glaucoma. These patients noticed that their eyelashes became longer and thicker. The exact mechanism of action is not known, but it is thought to increase the active growth phase of the hair follicle. I was amazed at the results of Latisse one night when I was out do dinner with my beautiful wife Monica. As I looked across the table into her

Concours continued from page 24

In addition to savoring a lavish meal with accompanying Wente wines, dinner attendees can view the museum collection and enjoy the James Bond theme underscored by appropriate vintage Aston Martins before bidding on silent and live auction items. Roberta Gonzales, four-time Emmy awardwinning Weather Anchor for CBS 5, will be MC at this year’s dinner. Typical auction items include an African safari, a private garage tour of car collections not otherwise available to the public, and an all-inclusive barbecue cooked by the Men of d’Elegance. For the 2012 roast, Norm’s Place donated a whole pig and grill master. Mangia Mia contributed the sides. Both restaurants are located in Danville. Robin Halloran, involved with DDE since the beginning, gratefully acknowledges: “We could not do what we do without all of the help and support we receive from the community. Our event greatly depends on the generosity of many groups, our volunteers, the city, the residents of Danville, and, of course, the businesses in and around Danville. The Danville businesses have contributed in many ways, whether it is through donations to our auctions, use of their private parking lots, use of their electricity, or equipment provided for various things.” Bauerfeind summarizes: “The community has allowed this event to grow into being one of the premiere cause-focused automotive events in the East Bay. The growth from the first year as a Concours in downtown Danville to now a full weekend of events to support our mission in raising funds for Parkinson’s research and patient care has turned this event into one of the largest Parkinson’s events nationally.” To learn more, register for events and follow links to the PI and MJFF, visit

eyes, I suddenly noticed how long and full her eyelashes appeared. When I asked her about her lashes, she told me that she had been using Latisse for about eight weeks. We had just started to dispense Latisse in the office, and I did not know she had started to use it. The results were dramatic. I have heard similar stories from many patients. I have also had patients with almost no lash develop full eyelashes. The marketing of Latisse was initially aimed at younger women desiring fuller lashes. However, we now know that many older women who have noticed thinning of their lashes are interested in using Latisse. As we age our lashes actually get thinner, and we lose some follicles. Latisse can restore a more youthful appearing eye by creating fuller lashes. Latisse is used by applying a small drop of liquid to a sterile applicator once a day. Many people use it on a daily basis for 2-4 months, and once they reach the desired result they will only use it 3-4 times per week. Side effects are uncommon and include redness and dryness of the eyelid. There is some misinformation about Latisse causing blue eyes to turn brown (as opposed to the Crystal Gale song “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue”). When the active ingredient (bimatoprost) is used as an eye drop, it will cause some patients with dark eyes to turn darker. There are no reports of patients using Latisse applied topically to their lids having any change in eye color. It is widely regarded as being very safe. Other uses for Latisse have been discovered. I have found that for some patients with loss of pigmentation, Latisse can help with re-pigmentation. This is what is considered an “off label” use for the medication where it can be used for things other than what they were originally FDA approved for. As Latisse is a prescription, it must be prescribed by or used under the supervision of a physician. We have been dispensing Latisse in our office since it has been available. If you are interested in having fuller eyelashes, feel free to call our office at (925) 838-4900. The first ten patients to mention this article will receive a complimentary mild facial cleanser with any Latisse purchase. This offer expires on August 21, 2013. Dr. Potozkin is a board certified dermatologist who has been serving the local community since 1993. His office is located at 600 San Ramon Valley Blvd, Suite 102 in Danville. He is accepting new patients. Please call 925-838-4900 or visit for more information. Advertorial

Hospice Offers Support

Hospice of the East Bay has announced a new Spring/Summer schedule for their support groups and workshops for people experiencing grief after the death of a loved one. Classes will be provided at Hospice’s Administrative Offices located at 3470 Buskirk Avenue, Pleasant Hill. For information call 925-887-5678.

Support Groups for Adults

Widow and Widowers' Support Pleasant Hill Afternoons: Thursdays, 1:30 - 3:30PM, August 1 - September 19 Pleasant Hill Evenings: Wednesdays, 6- 8PM, July 31 - September 18 Drop-In Bereavement Support Group Pleasant Hill: 4:30 - 6PM, 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month

Support Group for Children and Teens

The Bridge Pleasant Hill: Bi-monthly support program for grieving children and teens. Support is also available for parents/guardians. New participants can start at any time! Pre-registration is required.

Cancer Support Community

The Tour and Thrill ride leads current, classic and cutting-edge cars on a rally-style road trip through Napa.

The following events are held at the Cancer Support Community, located at 3276 McNutt Avenue in Walnut Creek. The events are free, but reservations are required. For reservations and information, call (925) 933-0107. Frankly Speaking About Cancer Treatment: Take Control of Side Effects with Medicine, Mind, and Body - Saturday, August 3rd ~ 10AM - Noon Learn strategies to manage treatment side effects such as fatigue, anemia, infection, and pain. Learn how to manage emotional distress and optimize quality of life during and after cancer treatment. Facilitated by Diana Longacre, RN, OCN, a Kaiser Oncology Nurse and cancer survivor. For people with cancer, their families and friends. Update on Head and Neck Cancer - Tuesday, August 27th ~ 6PM – 8PM Join Dr. Richard Carmel and Gail Santos-Silva, RN, OCN, and learn about advances in the treatment of head and neck cancers along with strategies for managing side effects. Dr. Carmel and Gail Santos-Silva are with John Muir Health. For people with cancer and their caregivers.

My Aching Shoulder

Pearls for a full recovery, Part 1 By Dr. Jeffrey G. Riopelle, MD

Shoulder pain represents one of the most common easily treatable chronic sports and orthopedic injuries. More than half of people will experience shoulder pain sometime during their lifetime. Often shoulder pain lingers, having difficulty getting completely better due to the fact that we use our shoulder joint constantly throughout the day. As joints go, the shoulder anatomy is one of the most complex joints in the body. The ball and socket anatomy consists primarily of the top of the humerus (ball) and the outer upper portion of the scapula (socket). There is another small joint as well, the acromioclavicular joint, in which the end of the clavicle articulates with the acromion process, a projection off the scapula. There is also another unique projection off the scapula called the coracoid process. Then, intertwined amongst and around the joint are several other structures; the rotator cuff, the subacromial bursa, and the labrum. The rotator cuff consists of three tendonous structures attached to three muscles; supraspinatus, infraspinatus, and subscapularis. The subacromial bursa is a liquid sac that cushions and protects the tendons. The labrum is cuff of cartilage that helps form the socket in this ball and socket joint. The majority of chronic shoulder problems in the adult can be lumped into three major categories, although less frequent abnormalities also exist. Over the next several issues we will cover these three most common entities; shoulder tendonitis (and torn tendons), frozen shoulder, and shoulder arthritis. Today we will discuss the extremely common rotator cuff tendonitis and impingement. Shoulder tendonitis occurs due to inflammation of one or more of the rotator cuff tendons. The original injury usually occurs due to overuse of the tendons and muscles from sports or day-to-day activities, although it also occasionally occurs due to acute injury. The original cause can involve repeatedly reaching for items, lifting at arm’s length, moving rapidly (such as serving in tennis or volleyball), being traumatized such as being hit in the arm with arm extended, or having a jolt such as from an auto accident while holding the steering wheel. Once the tendon becomes inflamed, it is difficult to get the injury to heal on its own due to our constant use of the muscles and the shoulder joint. Common symptoms of rotator cuff tendonitis include pain with abduction (raising the arm laterally) and pain with forced internal and external rotation. The diagnosis is readily made by the clinician as the patient has pain with forced use of any one or all three muscles in the various directions the shoulder moves. Plain x-rays are usually normal although occasionally one sees calcium deposits along involved tendons. Treatment for the injury starts initially with ice, anti-inflammatory medications, and either home therapy using a theraband or physical therapy. If these are ineffective, a cortisone injection into the subacromial space coats the damaged tendons, often allowing tendonitis to heal. The injection is also diagnostic, since the tendons are also coated with lidocaine, anesthetizing the injury, causing an immediate temporary improvement in signs and symptoms of tendonitis. Without treatment, the tendonitis itself often causes enough inflammation that the subacromial space







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Danville Today News ~ August 2013 - Page 27 (the tiny space through which the tendons travel) becomes over-crowded. When the arm is lifted, the acromion presses on the tendons, causing pain, resulting in the so-called “impingement syndrome.” Impingement syndrome usually responds to cortisone, but occasionally it becomes so chronic that shoulder arthroscopy is recommended to clean out the joint. Most shoulder tendonitis is curable with proper treatment, and it should be treated as early as possible to avoid wear and an eventual full thickness tear of the involved tendon. In subsequent issues we will discuss the frozen shoulder and shoulder arthritis. In our practice, we treat most forms of shoulder injuries, acute and chronic. We do not perform shoulder surgery, but we do have an ongoing patient sponsored study for treatment of the shoulder with autologous stem cells (one’s own stem cells) in conjunction with the Ageless Institute in Boca Raton Florida. We did our original training with Dr. Joseph R. Purita, the physician who performed the stem cell joint procedure on A’s pitcher Bartolo Colon as well as numerous other pro and college athletes. We want to stress that this experimental protocol uses one’s own stem cells removed and purified out and re-placed in the joint the same day, NOT one of the highly controversial fetal stem cell procedures performed in other countries. For information on any of our programs, please call our office, San Ramon Valley Medical Group, Inc., at (925) 275-9333 or visit our website at www.riopellecosmetic. com. We are located at 5401 Norris Canyon Rd, Ste. 312 in San Ramon. Advertorial

Lic# 1100014354; Bay Area Entertainment

Is Food a Problem for You?

Overeaters Anonymous offers a fellowship of individuals who, through shared experience and mutual support, are recovering from compulsive overeating. This is a 12-step program. The free meetings are for anyone suffering from a food addiction including overeating, under-eating, and bulimia. The group meets Wednesdays at 6PM at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Lafayette. Visit for more information.






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 15,200 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 ____________________________________________________________________

Page 28 - August 2013 ~ Danville Today News

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Danville Real Estate: Land and Condos Year-to-Date Review

To be fair to my readers, I am compelled to point out that suburban land for the most part is a real estate investment and does not have the same intrinsic value (I can live in it or rent it out) that a home has. With a combination of high taxes, debt service and Danville Condos and Land January- July value loss, raw Condos Units Sold Days on Mkt List Price Sold Price $ Per Sq. Ft 2010 82 41 $ 437,511 $ 422,312 $ 297 land was a disas2013 103 13 $ 504,531 $ 523,203 $ 338 trous investment Change 25% -69% 15% 24% 14% during the re- Land Units Sold Days on Mkt List Price Sold Price $ Per Sq. Ft cent down turn. 2010 5 155 $ 414,990 $ 228,000 $ 7 2013 7 187 $ 741,271 $ 702,417 $ 16 Fortunately for 40% 21% 78% 308% 228% local Danville Change real estate land investors, the market is way up on every dimension measured here with dollar per square foot price up by 228%. The only negative to be seen is that days on market has increased somewhat. However, in the overall scheme of things, land sales consistently take more time than home sales. Given the positive press we are receiving daily on new home sales and new home starts in the national news, it is likely the Danville land market will continue to improve. From a seller’s perspective today is a good time to list land, and from a buyer’s perspective, it’s a good time to buy as it is unlikely that we will go negative again anytime soon. For more information and articles about the Danville real estate market, please visit our website at www. Nancy and I would be delighted to help you list or buy Danville Real Estate. If you would like an honest opinion of your property’s current market value, please give me a call 925-989-6086 or send me an email joecombs@

I was reminded last week that it’s been awhile since I last reported on condo and land sales, so I thought I would use this month’s column to catch everyone up on where these two markets sit. The numbers tend to be small, so rather than doing a historical chart and including every year, I thought I would just contrast the markets from the 2010 trough and today, using data from the beginning of the year to now (Jan. 1- July 18) and see what we can learn. In the attached chart you can see that the number of condo/townhomes sold in 2013 is greater by 25% than in 2010 which I think is a positive sign. Days on Market have decreased by 69%, and that also is a very positive sign. Prices have jumped by a whopping 24%, and dollars per square foot have increased by 14%. If you have been waiting to pick up a condo at a bargain basement price, it seems that time has passed as the market is raging and condos are in short supply with only nine active listings at this time. Currently there are 21 condos and townhomes pending sale in Danville (not shown in chart) with an average square foot price of $348. The pending sales are listed at a price of $502,519 and have been sitting for an average of 21 days. This is about 39% more than the length of time (Days on Market) of those units already sold and suggests that prices for townhomes and condos may be leveling a bit as we head into the fall. Normal markets follow a seasonal pattern, so this is also a good sign. Will Rogers famous quote, “Land, they aren’t making any more of it,” implies that land always goes up in value. We know that’s true if you take the long view. Today’s chart agrees completely with Mr. Roger’s famous quote, and the attached chart shows that raw land in Danville has fared far better than multi-unit housing and has climbed liked a mountain goat since the 2010 trough.

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Danville Today News, August 2013  

Danville Today News, August 2013. The city of Danville, California's monthly advertiser-supported community newspaper.

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