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September 2013 Eugene O’Neill Double-Header Marks 125th Anniversary of Playwright’s Birth

Serving Danville The Automobile as Art: Blackhawk Museum Marks a Quarter Century of Quality Performance By Jody Morgan

By Jody Morgan

Throughout September, the Eugene O’Neill Foundation, Tao House, and Role Players Ensemble are celebrating the 125th anniversary of the birth of America’s foremost playwright. The 14th annual Eugene O’Neill Festival includes the presentation of two O’Neill plays offering a rare opportunity to experience the evolution of the author’s genius. The only American playwright to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, O’Neill wrote some of his most memorable scenes in his Danville study at Tao House. Anna Christie, the play that brought O’Neill the second of his four Pulitzer Prizes, opens at the Village Theater in Danville on September 6th and runs through September 21st. Chris Christophersen, his earlier drama from which O’Neill created the prize-winning script, will be performed in the barn at Tao House September 26th-29th. Role Players and the O’Neill Foundation are presenting the two plays with the same cast to emphasize the impact O’Neill’s insightful revision of his own production had on contemporary audiences. As O’Neill rewrote the roles he originally created in Chris Christophersen, the playwright boldly moved from staging the simplistic interaction of one-dimensional stock characters theatergoers expected in popular 19th century melodrama to confronting them with individuals drawn from the agonizing intricacy of real life. O’Neill’s more complex psychological development of character was received with immediate

Recognized as one of the top car collections in the world, the Blackhawk Automotive Museum (the Museum) is celebrating its 25th year of showcasing the sculptural beauty of remarkable vehicles. Many of the models on display are unique – designed to satisfy the specific desires of a connoisseur. Others represent limited editions. Repeat visitors to the two-floor gallery re-connect with favorite models with fresh insight as the collection regularly rotates to highlight different aspects of the significance of each car. New acquisitions also entice devotees to return often. Whether purchased for the collection or loaned to the Museum by an owner eager to share an incomparable possession, each vehicle on display dramatizes the automobile as a compelling expression of art.

See O’Neill continued on page 21

New Fire Chief Starts with an Impact By Sharon Burke

I recently had the opportunity to meet and interview SRV Fire's new Chief, Paige Meyer, and I am happy to report to you that the San Ramon Valley is in good hands with the new district leader. You could say Chief Meyer has had a trial by fire since starting work on March 18 of this year. He served most recently as Fire Chief of the City of Vallejo. Having spent 15 years working for a financially challenged city, his highest priority was to place SRV Fire on a sound financial footing for the future. Prior to his arrival, the district was literally at the edge of a fiscal cliff brought on by increased pension and health care costs and decreasing property tax revenues. In a whirlwind five months on the job, Meyer’s signature achievement has been the negotiation of a new union contract with significant concessions from employees. He SRV Fire Chief Paige Meyer

Local Postal Customer

For 25 years, the Museum has displayed the full-range of collectible cars from model T's to classics like this Cadillac Ghia. (Photo courtesy of Blackhawk Museum)

Collecting classic cars was not on Blackhawk developer Ken Behring’s agenda when he sought a vintage Rolls-Royce shortly after opening the Blackhawk Country Club in 1980. Anxious to add one more touch of class to a venue that had already been written up in Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous as one of the best clubs in the nation, Behring decided to buy a 1940s Rolls to offer as a limousine for special events. He contacted Arizona dealer Don Williams about a Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith he had for sale. Not long thereafter, Williams, a life-long car enthusiast, had Behring hooked. Soon Williams became a Danville resident working with Behring on creating a museum to house the growing collection they were purchasing around the world. Walking together down a street in Paris, Volume IV - Number 11 Williams recalls a moment where Behring 3000F Danville Blvd. #117, Alamo, CA 94507 and he spotted a diamond illuminated by four (925) 405-6397 pin lights in a shop window. For Williams, Fax (925) 406-0547 President of the Blackhawk Museum since its inception, that moment sparked a key element Alisa Corstorphine ~ Publisher See Chief continued on page 20 of the Museum’s magic: the lighting. Instead editor@ of wasting watts on walls, the Museum focuses PRSRT STD energy on the automotive gems displayed. The opinions expressed herein belong U.S. Postage PAID Many of the models were designed for a to the writers, and do not necessarily that of Danville Today News. Permit 263 specific celebrity. Extensive information on reflectDanville Today News is not Alamo CA each exhibit often includes the original price responsible for the content of any of the advertising herein, nor does ECRWSS publication imply endorsement.

See Museum continued on page 13

Page 2 - September 2013 ~ Danville Today News

Boulevard View

By Alisa Corstorphine, Editor

“Spring cleaning” at our home extended through the spring and into the summer. My son was cleaning his childhood room and moving out some of the old knickknacks. I found a pile of old hockey, baseball, soccer, and Pinewood Derby trophies he left sitting in the hallway ready to be disposed of, as they were taking up too much space and collecting dust. It seems so wasteful and slightly irreverent to just throw the trophies in the trash. But, other than a few crafty ideas on the Etsy and Craftgawker websites for repurposing them into bookends, coat hangers, cake toppers, and planters, throwing them out is one of the only options. Some of the “trophies” were awarded just for showing up and being on the team. Some were awarded for a teams’ success and some were given for individual successes. Many of theses awards which were pined for have now ended up headless, armless, and with little meaning. Cleaning is contagious and I have been tidying my boxes and bins and going through piles of paper as well. I have been scanning photos and other papers, photographing old artwork, and lightening the load. About 10 years ago I ran a roller hockey league at the skating rink, and my husband coached many of the teams. One of the papers I ran across was written by my husband to his team. The handout was about “champions.” The information he relayed to his team was this: I have always stated that it is my goal for these teams to play like champions. What is

a champion? Being a champion is not about winning or losing -- it is about playing to the best of your abilities. It is playing selflessly and giving your all to your role within the team and the system. A champion knows that hockey is a sport of inches, and he is willing to do whatever it takes to win that inch. A champion fights for every loose puck, backchecks will all his effort, and is proud that he gives 100% all of the time. Champions show up to practice ready to perform to the best of their ability. They know the playbook inside and out, and they understand that they, like the rest of their teammates, have an important role in the success of the team. Champions do not play dirty. They win with class, and they lose with class. They respect their opponents, as well as their teammates and coaches. A champion plays not only with his arms and legs, but also with his heart, his mind, and his soul. A champion does not always win, but when a champion asks himself, “Did I do everything in my physical and mental power to help my team succeed?” the answer is always a resounding, “Yes.” ...Remember this whenever you step on the rink. When trophies were awarded because they were “winners” it was because they acted with intention and had a plan. Their success was not an accident. And, while the kids at the time thought the games were always about winning and bringing home the trophy, upon reflection now as young adults, what was taken forwarded was not the lumps of plastic, metal, and marble. It was the words, friendships, and memories of being a part of a group working towards a goal. Those attributes are what endure. Those are the life lessons that translate into good business skills and good relationship skills. Those are the memories they can reflect on and pass on.

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Danville Today News ~ September 2013 - Page 3


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Blackhawk Museum Guild

Annual Fall Membership Luncheon and “THE SALE”

Join the Blackhawk Museum Guild on Wednesday, September 11th at noon at the Blackhawk Automotive Museum for the Annual Fall Membership Drive Luncheon. The Guild makes an on-going effort to raise funds for the Children’s Education and Transportation Fund. Learn how you can be a part of this great group. Prior to the luncheon, stop by “THE SALE” in classroom “B” at the museum. The sale starts at 10am and is open to the public. The noon lunch, catered by Scott’s, is $28 and reservations are needed. Please mail your check to Kathy Carlson, 264 Fairway Dr. Danville, CA. 94526.

Eagle Scout Scholarship Awarded to Parese

Andrew Parese, a 2013 graduate of San Ramon Valley High School, has been awarded a $1,000 scholarship from the National Eagle Scout Association. Andrew was chosen for this prestigious Scholarship Award out of 2,300 Eagle Scout applicants from across the nation. He will be attending Concordia University Irvine this fall. Andrew is a member of Danville’s Troop 803 where he earned the rank of Eagle Scout in November 2010 and has since earned six Eagle Palms. He is also a member of The Order of the Arrow, Boy Scouting’s Honor Society. During his time in Troop 803, Andrew attended the Boy Scouts of America’s Philmont Scout Ranch where he backpacked over 80 miles through the Rocky Mountains and went to BSA’s Florida Sea Base.

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Page 4 - September 2013 ~ Danville Today News

Danville Police Department Announces Fall Citizen’s Academy Class to provide inside look into Danville PD

“Have a Ball” Golf Tournament

Town of Danville residents interested in learning about how the police operate and what happens behind the scenes at the Danville Police Department (DPD) will get the opportunity this spring as the DPD announces their latest Citizen’s Police Academy. Over the next several weeks, police will be taking sign-ups for the Academy. Sgt. Jason Haynes, Academy instructor, said the six week long class will focus on police methods and procedures. Classes will be held on Wednesday evenings from 6pm – 9pm, beginning on October 9th, and will cover a wide range of topics. Class size is limited to 12 residents. Information on the academy and applications can be found on the Town’s website For more information, contact Sgt. Jason Haynes at (925) 314-3700 or

The “Have a Bal” Fall Classic Golf Tournament will be held Monday, September 16th at the Crow Canyon Country Club located at 711 Silver Lake Drive in Danville. The “Have a Ball” events are now one of the largest non-celebrity privately held golf tournaments in the nation. The group is on pace to raise $285,000 for cancer this year. For more information or to register for our September 16 event, visit

Alamo-Danville Newcomers Club

A Welcome Coffee event is being held Tuesday, September 24th from 10AM to Noon and is open to all who are thinking of joining the Alamo-Danville Newcomers Club. This free, casual get-together is the perfect opportunity to learn about the many facets of the Newcomers while enjoying coffee and chatting with Club Members. For more information, visit our website at www.alamodanvillenewcomers. com or call (925) 281-1307.

AARP Tax-Aide Call For Volunteers

Do you like working with people? Are you good with numbers? Contra Costa County AARP Tax-Aide is looking for volunteers to become members of a team providing free tax preparation for individuals of all ages. Tax-Aide volunteer positions include Tax Counselors who are trained by Tax-Aide and certified by IRS and Client Facilitators who schedule appointment and assist clients at tax sites. Orientation is in November 2013, and classes for tax counselors start in January 2014. If interested, call LaVerne Gordon at (925) 726-3199 for information and to apply.

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.

San Ramon Valley Genealogical Society

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

Lost Dog!


If you find him and your name is drawn!

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

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

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

Betty Bronge is our winner!

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

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 through September 29th with special guest presentations each Saturday during the exhibit. • 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 from 1pm – 3pm, Saturday from 10am – 1pm, and Sunday from 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.

AAUW Membership Brunch

The Danville-Alamo-Walnut Creek American Association of University Women (AAUW) membership brunch will be held on Saturday, September 21 from 9:30AM to 12:30PM at Crow Canyon Country Club, located at 711 Silver Lake Drive in Danville. Walnut Creek Mayor Cindy Silva, who is also a member, will talk about “Women at the Local (Elected) Level: Making a Difference.” Details are at As a second term mayor of Walnut Creek, Silva brings an informed but no nonsense approach to the business of running one of the county’s most flourishing cities. AAUW advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy and research. AAUW membership is open to all graduates of accredited four year colleges or universities and those holding an Associate Degree or equivalent. Prospective members are welcome and may contact Liz at 6485163 for details or with any further questions. Please save the date for our 2013 Holiday HomeTour: December 13 and 14 from 10AM to 4PM.


Danville Today News ~ September 2013 - Page 5


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Delta Nu Psi Collection for the Troops

Please come to CVS in Alamo on September 6th and Lunardi’s in Danville on September 13th, and shop for our soldiers. We need everything for them! Thus far we have sent 27,108 pounds of “gourmet junk food” in 1104 boxes. Also, we can always use money for postage which runs $1 per pound. If you know of a service person in the War Zone please stop by and give us their information so they can be “adopted.” For more information on how you can help, visit

9-11 Remembrance Ceremony

Honor Guard—Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

The Exchange Club of San Ramon Valley along with local veterans’ organizations is hosting the Annual 9-11 Remembrance Ceremony for the residents of the San Ramon Valley. This event will feature prominent guest speakers, hundreds of Scouts with an array of American Flags, joint Police and Fire Department Honor Guard, the San Ramon Valley High Chamber Choir, a flight of doves and many other patriotic contributions. Immediately following the ceremony there will be free ice cream for the kids. The event will take place Wednesday, September 11 from 5:50PM to 6:40PM at the All Wars Memorial, located in Oak Hill Park at 3005 Stone Valley Road in Danville. For information on Exchange Club of SRV, please visit

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, September 18th. 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

Exchange Club 9-11 Essay Competition

The Exchange Club of San Ramon Valley is pleased to present its annual essay scholarship competition. The 2013 award is open to all 1st through 12th grade students attending public or private schools in the San Ramon Valley. Prizes will be awarded for the following grade level groups. • 1st - 4th - $150, $100, $50 • 5th - 8th - $300, $200, $100 th th • 9 - 12 - $500, $300, $200 To qualify, students shall submit an original essay of not less than 100 nor more than 300 words on the following theme. Why Do We Have a Memorial Program on September 11th? Essays shall be judged on completeness and development of thought/argument and accuracy of spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Information from the Memorial Program on September 11th at 5:50PM at Oak Hill Park in Danville may be included. Completed essays shall be submitted to in Microsoft Word or PDF format by September 23rd. Students must include their home telephone, grade level, and school attended or type of schooling being received. Winners will be decided by Friday September 27th. Questions regarding the scholarship competition may be directed to Alicia Watson via e-mail,

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:

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.

Wind ‘n Sea Sailing Club

The non-profit Wind ‘n Sea Sailing Club is holding a sailing training class at a member’s home, September 11th, at 7PM. This class will be “Introduction to Sailing on San Francisco Bay,” which will be followed by further sailing classes. Contact Jan at 925-837-3381 for further information.

ZimbabWE Care Family Festival

If you have a heart to share, please join us for ZimbabWE CARE Family Festival benefiting JF Kapnek Pediatric AIDS Fund Zimbabwe. On Saturday, September 28th from 12-3pm at Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church (49 knox Drive, Lafayette), Bay Area kids will get a taste of Africa! Bring your entire family to play, learn, and experience authentic African culture. Learn an African dance. Taste Zimbabwean food. We’ll have something for everyone including African music, games, crafts, cuisine, face painting, and a few surprises. Our Kids Helping Kids program will be building toys to send to the JF Kapnek Preschools in Zimbabwe, serving orphans and children affected by AIDS. We will also be collecting USED preschool toys for The Kapnek Preschools. We hope to see you and your family at this little festival with a huge heart! Admission is free. Food will be available to purchase. For additional information, call 925-962-7150, email, or visit

Sentinels of Freedom Invites You to Get in the Game of Giving Back

By Jody Morgan

On Sunday, September 29th and Monday, September 30th, Diablo Country Club will once again host the annual Sentinels of Freedom Scholarship Foundation America’s Wounded Military Heroes’ Dinner and Golf Classic. For those whose sport requires a different pace, Sentinels of Freedom (SOF) invites the community to enjoy the Second Annual Veterans Victory Velo Bike Ride on Saturday, October 12th. Both events provide multiple participation levels including options for simply partaking of the fine food and entertainment while getting to know more about the exceptional veterans chosen as Sentinels. The Golf Classic begins with cocktails at 4pm on Sunday followed by dinner, auction, and talk by guest speaker Rear Admiral William Copeland (Ret.). Immediately prior to retiring from the United States Navy in 2000, Copeland served as Commander of the Theodore Roosevelt Battle Group. Earlier in his career, he commanded Fighter Squadron 102, Carrier Air Wing One aboard the aircraft carrier USS America. In the course of logging more than 5,000 flight hours in 30 different types of aircraft, Copeland earned the Silver Star for gallantry in action, the Bronze Star, and numerous other medals and commendations. Golf on Monday swings into action with registration at 9am. The October 12th Bike Ride begins in San Ramon. Based on feedback from the 230 cyclists riding last year, courses have been revamped. For serious cyclists, the Devil Mountain Century takes off at 7am. Challenging, but not as arduous, the 60-mile ride departs at 9am. Less-experienced riders convene for the 30-mile tour at 10am. The celebration that follows features a live band along with wine and beer tasting and ample food. Festivities are open to all supporters, whether or not they choose to pedal for the purpose. Founded in 2003 by San Ramon resident Mike Conklin, Sentinels of Freedom offers Life Scholarships lasting up to four years to highly motivated, severely wounded veterans. A community of caring mentors supplements provision of appropriate housing, transportation as required, and funding for education to help each Sentinel achieve his or her goals for transitioning into a productive civilian life. To date 63 Sentinels have graduated from the program. The count of 57 current Sentinels includes 16 accepted this year. Sentinel Ryan Sykes coordinates a cycle ride on the Iron Horse Trail each month, weather permitting. Despite suffering a traumatic brain injury in Afghanistan and spending many months undergoing treatment, Ryan continues to live the philosophy he expounds in his Sentinel statement: “The world doesn’t stop moving because you may be in a wheelchair… Every passing second is your chance to grab life by the horns.” For Ryan, “grabbing life by the horns” since his injury has included bike racing, rock climbing, skydiving and white water rafting. To register for these events, offer assistance as a sponsor, or learn more about SOF, visit and see the links on the right side of the home page.

Be Street Safe with School Back in Session

Danville Today News ~ September 2013 - Page 7

By Supervisor Candace Andersen, Contra Costa County, District 2

With school back in session, traffic is impacted significantly. Safety around our schools and respect for students walking, or riding bikes, and for fellow motorists is very important. Over the past few years our communities have encouraged students to walk or bike to school. Not only is this terrific exercise for our children, but it reduces car trips and congestion around schools. The Town of Danville, City of San Ramon, and Contra Costa County work in cooperation with the San Ramon Valley Unified School District, San Ramon Valley Council of PTAs, and community partners to educate students, parents, cyclists, and drivers about pedestrian and traffic safety. Since 2004, through a variety of school activities, events and awareness campaigns, “Street Smarts” has encouraged pedestrian, bicyclist, and driver safety around the schools within our community. For more information about the Street Smarts San Ramon Valley program, please visit In the fall of 2012, 511 Contra Costa County received a Federal Safe Routes to School grant to fund the Street Smarts Diablo program. Street Smarts Diablo is very similar to the program in the San Ramon Valley, with the Diablo program covering all public schools located in the cities of Antioch, Brentwood, Clayton, Concord, Martinez, Oakley, Pittsburg, Pleasant Hill, Walnut Creek, as well as the unincorporated areas of the county. More information about the Street Smarts Diablo program can be found at The San Ramon Valley offers a school bus program to help alleviate congestion. Funded by Measure J, the ½ cent sales tax in Contra Costa County distributed by the Contra Costa Transportation Authority, TRAFFIX is a public agency responsible for managing traffic relief during the school year. Traffic studies were conducted throughout the San Ramon Valley and after careful consideration the following schools were selected for the program: Los Cerros Middle School, Green Valley and Vista Grande elementary schools in Danville, and Pine Valley Middle School, Country Club, Neil Armstrong, and Walt Disney elementary schools in San Ramon. Last year, bus routes were added to both the Monte Vista High school in Danville and California High School in San Ramon. TRAFFIX is operated jointly by the Town of Danville, City of San Ramon, Contra Costa County, and the San Ramon Valley Unified School District. For additional information, please refer to provides some great resources and links to other alternatives to driving to school. One of the great programs called SchoolPool provides free public transit tickets as an alternative to driving your student to school. Qualifying students will receive two 12-ride County Connection transit tickets. Students must be registered in a public or private school (1st - 12th grade) in San Ramon, Danville, Alamo, Lafayette, Moraga, or Orinda. This offer is available to a maximum of three students per household while supplies last. The application is available at Finally, if you have a teenage driver, there are some great resources provided by the California Highway Patrol (CHP). The Impact Teen Drivers program offers important information about good decision making behind the wheel for drivers and passengers of all ages. Visit www.impactteendrivers. org for more information. Additionally, the CHP holds driver safety education classes, called Start Smart, for new and soon to be licensed drivers between the ages of 15 - 19 and their parents/guardians. For more information, visit Rules for new drivers continue to evolve, and information about the current laws can be found at You may find that your city police agencies, the CHP, and the Sheriff's Department will be increasing enforcement around our schools to encourage safety, so keep that in mind during your travels. Enjoy a safe start to the school year – whether or not you have children entering school!

Danville Rotary Clubs

The Danville Rotary Club meets every Monday at noon at Faz restaurant in Danville. For information, contact Jim Crocker at jimcrocker@ 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.

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 www. or call 925-838-0249.

Page 8 - September 2013 ~ Danville Today News

St. Isidore Takes Flight!

By Maria Ward, Principal St. Isidore School

Charlotte Wood Middle School By Christopher George, Principal

It is a distinct pleasure to welcome you to the beginning of the 2013- 2014 school year! We at Charlotte Wood have been working hard all summer to get ready for a year that promises big things for our kids and for our school. To begin with, we have altered our schedule in order to accommodate the needs of the coming Common Core State Standards. In order to do this, our Wednesdays and Thursdays now incorporate a block schedule in which students will have each class one time per two days, and the class will be double in length. This will allow teachers to begin and complete more in-depth lessons and projects in order to maximize student learning. Alongside that change, our schedule now incorporates a 36 minute Advisory period once a week. This curriculum, designed by our teachers over the summer, incorporates such middle school topics as character development, school success skills, global and current events awareness, as well as school pride. We are very grateful to the teachers who spent their summer creating this curriculum. Additionally, this year we saw more teachers participating in Professional Development than ever before over their ‘vacation.’ This was driven by the Common Core State Standards and was supported by our San Ramon Valley Unified School District. We know that teachers are widely seen as ‘having the summer off,’ but based on the amount of teachers we had researching the standards, improving their curriculum, and attending various workshops, nothing could be further from the truth. This fall, we are also instituting new safety procedures, adopted by the SRVUSD district. These procedures are more user friendly and simple for students to remember. We were also able this summer to partner with the Danville Police Department as they ran full scale intruder drills for a whole day on our campus. This procedure gave us further insight into the safety needs of our campus in that unlikely event. We welcome 1,080 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students to school, and we couldn’t be more thrilled with our student, parent, and community involvement. As always, we are excited about the new year and can’t wait to see what develops.

We are thrilled to be back at St. Isidore School. This year our school theme is “Flight,” which stands for “Faithful Love In God’s Holy Teaching.” Our current eighth grade students came up with this theme that our whole school has embraced. School opened its doors on Tuesday, August 20th and our staff was excited to see our students. Our first week of school had 12:15PM dismissal days, as we like to gently bring our students back into the swing of things. We also had not one, but two “Back-to-School” nights. We have one for our K-5 students and a separate one for our middle school students. These are big nights for our teachers as we introduce them to our school community and our rigorous curriculum. Our parents are invited to visit their son/daughter’s classroom and personally meet their teachers. I enjoy seeing our new parents as well as visiting with our veteran parents, which for some may be their last year after nine years of Catholic School Education. We are blessed to have many new students this year and on Friday, the 13th our leadership students host a “New Kids On The Block” luncheon. This is a great opportunity to get to know other students in different grades, play games, eat pizza, and build that Saint Isidore bond which makes our school unique. This is just the start of many activities for this exciting year. Our eighth grade students will have their first dance on Friday as well. We invite several other schools in the Oakland Diocese to join us for this night of fun. During the week of September 16th through September 24th, our school has Iowa testing. This national standardized test is similar to the STAR testing the public schools administer. The tests are administered to students in second through eighth grades. We administer our standardized test during the fall so that we are able to use the results to guide instruction. We ask our students to get a good breakfast and have plenty of rest during that testing week. The St. Isidore Annual Golf Tournament will be on Monday, September 23rd at Diablo Country Club. We are so thankful for this huge fundraiser for our school led by our Parent Teacher Group, chaired by Monica Bindi and Kyrstin Schmitz. This event is one in which our parents look forward because it offers a hike, a brunch, a round of golf, and derby. In the evening, there is a welcome dinner, which brings our Saint Isidore community together. Our school takes off running by supporting many community activities. On Friday, September 27th our annual book fair starts and it goes until October 7th. This year the theme is “Walk Like An Egyptian.” We have many helping hands that spend endless hours getting our book fair organized for our students. Please come by that weekend and discover some great finds. This month we also have our annual “One Warm Coat Drive” which supports our local St. Vincent de Paul. Last year we collected over 1,100 coats. We are hoping to top that number this year. Put your tennis shoes on and come support the “SVdP Friends of the Poor Walk 2013” on Saturday, September 28th which will be held at our own St. Isidore Church Track. All funds raised stay in Contra Costa County to help our neighbors in need. Sign ups are at Please come take “Flight” with us and join us at one of our events this month. We are all looking forward to an amazing year.

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By Shaun K. McElroy, Principal Common Core State Standards (CCSS)

Danville Today News ~ September 2013 - Page 9

11 Critical Home Inspection Traps to be Aware of Weeks Before Listing Your Home for Sale Danville - According to industry experts, there are over 33 physical problems that will come under scrutiny during a home inspection when your home is for sale. A new report has been prepared which identifies the 11 most common of these problems, and what you should know about them before you list your home for sale. Whether you own an old home or a brand new one, there are a number of things that can fall short of requirements during a home inspection. If not identified and dealt with, any of these 11 items could cost you dearly in terms of repair. That's why it's critical that you read this report before you list your home. If you wait until the building inspector flags these issues for you, you will almost certainly experience costly delays in the close of your home sale or, worse, turn prospective buyers

away altogether. In most cases, you can make a reasonable pre-inspection yourself if you know what you're looking for, and knowing what you're looking for can help you prevent little problems from growing into costly and unmanageable ones. To help home sellers deal with this issue before their homes are listed, a free report entitled "11Things You Need to Know to Pass Your Home Inspection" has been compiled which explains the issues involved. To hear a brief recorded message about how to order your FREE copy of this report, call toll-free 1-866-265-1682 and enter 1003. You can call any time, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Get your free special report NOW to learn how to ensure a home inspection doesn't cost you the sale of your home.

There are 12 shifts that the Common Core requires our classroom practices to be aligned with by June 2014. There are six shifts in Mathematics and six shifts in English Language Arts. Employment of these shifts in our classrooms will create an engaging classroom environment that will in turn will produce graduates who think at a very deep level, are good collaborators and good writers, and use a variety of sources to inform their opinions. These shifts in practices are not confined to language arts classroom. Rather, they are played out in all academic classrooms. The six major shifts in language arts are the following: Speaking and listening - Students will collaborate via one-toone, small group, and whole class discussions. Formal presentations are used to build their understanding and solve problems. Argumentative writing - Writing logical arguments based on reasoning and relevant claims vs personal experience. Integration of media sources - The term 21st century learning has been part of the education vocabulary for the past This report is courtesy of J. Rockcliff Realtors #01763819. Not intended to solicit buyers or sellers currently under contract. Copyright © 2013 six years. 21st century learning’s place in the CCSS involves the use of collecting information from a variety of electronic SRV Christian Academy sources i.e. video, audio, and podcasts. By Jan Brunkal, Principal Writing to learn in all content areas - Writing helps students “cement” their It is Back-to-School time...what an exciting time knowledge for recall at a future date. Writing will assist students in creating a deeper around SRVCA! We are so fortunate to welcome severmeaning for their work and allow them to use the information to build arguments. al new staff members, an additional kindergarten class Text complexity - Ensuring that all students are given the support they need and a new resource program. Our school community to work with grade-level appropriate texts. Students should work with texts that is excited to welcome Patty Fairchild (Kindergarten), become increasingly more complex as they move through school. Ashley Pate (4th grade), alumni Katie Pedlowe (Junior Increased emphasis on informational text - This shift calls for classroom High English), and Ben Shrewsbury (PE) to our staff. instruction that is focused on a common text, that engages students in rigorous Also joining us this year is our Resource Teacher, Andiscussion and allows them to construct meaning from that text (rather than be told nette Owens. Offering a resource program for students is something we have what it means), and that holds them accountable for backing up their reasoning been wanting for a long time, so this is truly an answer to our prayers. Returning and interpretations with evidence drawn from the text. st Next month I will focus will on the changes in the mathematics instruction. to our staff will be Karen Tos (1 grade) and Erin Warner (Music). These are all such talented, passionate educators, and it is a real pleasure to have them re-join Get a sneak peek by visiting our educational partner at our already gifted staff. Joining our support staff will be Julie Sayre (Office) and SV Ed Fund Michelle Brady (Teacher’s Aide). We will continue our before and after school Thanks to all the parents who donated to the Class Size Reduction Program and program, Eagles’ Nest, by welcoming Jerlyn Ju. the Curriculum and Technology (C&T) Fund. Your donations allow us to reduce class Traditions run deep here at SRVCA, and part of that is celebrated through our size in language arts and grade level math. The C&T funds all of the site technolclassroom Back-to-School coffees, hosted by our room parents. These events take ogy. Without your donations we would be back to paper and pencil for everything. place before school starts and is a time of fellowship and an opportunity to get to We are still looking for our King or Queen of the Pride corporate donor. We are hopeknow the classroom teacher. Another way our students re-enter the school year ful that a large donor will step up with a $15,000 donation to purchase one class section. is provided by our New Family Outreach committee, headed by Trish Muegge, The King or Queen of the Pride donor will receive homepage recognition on the SV Wendy Heathorn, and Teresa Hutcheson. These fabulous gals do a great job of Website, designated parking for all school events, front page recognition on all school organizing events for our new families, not just before school starts but throughout publications, designated page in the school yearbook and a plaque in the school office the school year. Also following tradition we have a new student/family orientation with the donor’s name and photograph. Please consider donating to benefit our children. as well as a 6th grade, “welcome to junior high” orientation. These are wonderful Haven’t donated yet? Visit, or contact opportunities for our new students to get acquainted with SRVCA. President Elisa Tinker at Our junior high students have chosen the theme for the 2013-2014 school year, Mission: Possible. The theme represents our desire to change ourselves and othPTA News Thanks to all of our parent volunteers who ran our summer registration ers through a life of service. As a ministry of Community Presbyterian Church, smoothly and efficiently. Special thanks to Nina Fishman for her work organizing SRVCA is partnering with CPC to help adopt a village in Sintaro, Ethiopia. Child sponsorship will directly impact the lives of young children and break the cycle and running the entire process. th am Please join us Monday, September 16 at 9:30 for a conversation with of poverty. CPC and SRVCA are committed to supporting 100 Kindergarten and first grade children this school year. Child sponsorship will help support children SRVUSD Superintendent Mary Shelton. Superintendent Shelton will focus her talk on the implementation plan for the CCSS. CCSS is a national initiative by providing school fees, a portion of the teacher’s salary, school uniforms, school supplies, and two meals a day. Community sponsorship is an effort to bring transthat will replace the current standards-based education system. formation to the entire village by funding of facilities, resources for healthcare, Dates to Remember vocational training, micro-financing, and more. What a great opportunity to live Thursday, September 12th – Back to School Night our lives serving and helping others. In a world that creates an “all about me” sociSaturday, September 21st – SV Ed Fund Fall Fundraiser – Party Around the ety, how refreshing it is to see our students and families think outside themselves. World. Learn more at Again, we are so excited for this new school year. God has presented some 11480901044/4110487610445825143.pdf wonderful opportunities for us; I can’t wait to see what He has planned. Sunday, October 13th –Primo’s Run for Education -

Page 10 - September 2013 ~ Danville Today News

Monte Vista High School By Janet Terranova, Principal

While the calendar tells us that summer does not end until September, ask any student and they will tell you that summer truly ends the first day of school. This year summer unofficially ended August 27. Monte Vista’s class of 2017 had their first introduction to high school life on August 21st when our Link Crew and Leadership class organized their orientation. Students had the opportunity to participate in team building activities, get a tour of their new school, and begin to feel part of our Monte Vista Community. Keith Hawkins, a motivational speaker, talked to the students about responsibility and integrity; always trying to do the “right thing.” When Keith spoke you could have heard a pin drop in the gym. Imagine over 500 teenagers participating in a game of Simon Says! The students had an amazing day, topped off by a New Student/9th grade dance hosted by Link Crew and Leadership. Registration is a major event at a high school; students receive schedules, locks, their ID cards, and schedules. Successful registration could not have happened without the many parents who came together to volunteer hundreds of hours to make registration a success. Thank you to parents, PTA, and many booster groups for volunteering your time. With the start of the new school year, it is an excellent time for students to reflect on previous years, both successes and challenges. Take some time and help your student map out a plan that reflects positive changes to their approach to learning and school. Such reflection can set a positive tone for the school year. With the beginning of the school year underway, we have many activities and opportunities for community involvement. For more information about Monte Vista and our activities, please visit our website at

Danville Lions Club

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

Del Amigo High School By Joseph A. Ianora, Principal

Welcome back to the 2013 - 2014 school year in the San Ramon Valley. Summer was wonderful and Del Amigo is ready to have its campus start the educational process we commonly call “school.” The campus has been cleaned, and classrooms are organized anticipating the arrival of our new and returning students! The campus is looking better than ever, especially with the upgrades we have made (or nearly completed) over the summer. We have installed additional garden planter beds (thanks to the Danville Rotary), we are redesigning the old Library into a 21st Century Learning Center, and we are transforming our old Auto shop building into a Career Technical Education preparatory facility. Along with the new/upgrades to the facilities, we have hired many new staff. Allow me to introduce Kelly Long – Office Manager, Scott Giles – Special Education Para, Kelly Estes – part time Secretary 1, Greg Goodman - Custodian, Summer Sandlin – Social Studies, Kate Bryzek – Science, and Connie Iglesias – Counselor. These new arrivals will be a great addition to our staff; we are excited to have them as part of our Del Amigo family. I hope you will join me in welcoming them. In addition, we have been lucky enough to add new courses this year. Besides all of our core academics (English, Math, Science and History), we have added Auto Tech, Psychology, Computer repair/applications, Physical Education, Health, and Personal Finance. Del Amigo is a small and necessary part of our district. We are happy to be able to meet the needs of those students who need something different for their high school experience. We help students explore and unlock their many passions and talents…and to earn a High School Diploma. Del Amigo High School has been a haven for students in our district for almost 50 years, providing a solid educational foundation and well as a place to call home. I am looking forward to expanding our programs as well as increasing our positive image within the SRV community. If you would like to know more about us, please feel free to contact me at

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Tax Talk with Bob

Making Tax Time Much Easier By Bob Shalon, IRS Enrolled Agent, Office Manager

During the summer, you may not think about doing your taxes, but maybe you should. Some of the expenses you’ve paid over the past few months might qualify for money-saving tax credits or deductions come tax time. If you organize your tax records now, you’ll make tax filing easier and faster when you do them next year. It also helps reduce the chance that you’ll lose a receipt or statement that you need. Here are some tips from the IRS on tax recordkeeping. • You should keep copies of your filed tax returns as part of your tax records. They can help you prepare future tax returns. You’ll also need them if you need to file an amended return. • You must keep records to support items reported on your tax return. You should keep basic records that relate to your federal tax return for at least three years. Basic records are documents that prove your income and expenses. This includes income information such as Forms W-2 and 1099. It also includes information that supports tax credits or deductions you claimed. This might include sales slips, credit card receipts and other proofs of payment, invoices, cancelled checks, bank statements, and mileage logs. • If you own a home or investment property, you should keep records of your purchases and other records related to those items. You should typically keep these records, including home improvements, at least three years after you have sold or disposed of the property. • If you own a business, you should keep records that show total receipts, proof of purchases of business expenses, and assets. These may include cash register tapes, bank deposit slips, receipt books, purchase, and sales invoices. Also include credit card receipts, sales slips, canceled checks, account statements, and petty cash slips. Electronic records can include databases, saved files, emails, instant messages, faxes, and voice messages. • If you own a business with employees, you should generally keep all employment-related tax records for at least four years after the tax is due or after the tax is paid, whichever is later. • The IRS doesn’t require any special method to keep records, but it’s a good idea to keep them organized and in one place. This will make it easier for you to prepare and file a complete and accurate return. You’ll also be better able to respond if there are questions about your tax return after you file. I hope this helps. Bob Shalon, EA Please call me at 925Master Tax Advisor • Enrolled Agent 820-9570 or email bob.shalon@tax.hr925.820.9570 714 San Ramon Valley Blvd, Suite B, Danville with any questions you may Sycamore Square (next to Lucky’s) have. Advertorial

Diablo Water Polo 12U Girls Team Wins Silver at Junior Olympics

Diablo Water Polo Club’s 12U Girls team took home the Silver medal at the 2013 Junior Olympics. Diablo Water Polo was founded by Jim Purcell and Olympian, Maureen O’Toole-Pucell, and the program’s alumni include Olympians Maggie and Jessica Steffens. For more information, visit Pictured above, top row: Coach Bennett Indart, Bella Wentzel, Christina Crum, Ali Bamberger, Lauren Indart, Alex Brown, Head Coach John Roemer. Bottom row:Brooke Westphal, Jewel Roemer, Sydney Milham, Apurva Oak, Nina Munson, Morgan Lewis, Julia Laurland, Jenna Seaman (not pictured: Lexi Rowell).

Danville Today News ~ September 2013 - Page 11

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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.

Where Have All the People Gone?

The Town of Danville’s upcoming art gallery exhibition will feature selections from the National Institute for Artists with Disabilities (NIAD) Art Center. The exhibit “Where Have All the People Gone?” runs through September 30 in the Village Theatre Art Gallery located at 233 Front Street in Danville. Featured in the show will be paintings and sculptures, varying in size, from featured artists Ray Brown, Jeremy Burleson, Felecia Griffin, David Martin, Dorothy Porter, Kevin Randolph, Jonathan Valdivias, and Billy White. Two of NIAD’s artists, Billy White and Julio Del Rio, have created extensive groups of figurative ceramic sculptures. At less than half-life size, Del Rio’s army of figures sport a glazed skin etched with text or symbols, creating a connection back in time with the terracotta warriors of ancient China. Unlike the uniform drabness of the funerary sculptures, Del Rio’s pieces are civilians bursting with color. A special Art Chat with the center’s Director of Exhibitions and Marketing, Tim Buckwalter, will be held on Wednesday, September 11th from 7PM to 9PM. For more information about this exhibition, please contact Visual Arts Coordinator, Amy Miller at or (925) 314-3460.

Page 12 - September 2013 ~ Danville Today News

Tip of the Month

By Cynthia Ruzzi When Two Wheels Just Aren’t Enough

I started a new job back in March. It’s the first time I’ve worked within miles from home, and I love it! Instead of commuting down I680 for hours, I can now walk or bike to work…but it hasn’t really worked out that way. First, I rationalized that I needed to get comfortable with the work culture and appropriate office attire. I was thrilled to learn that my office building has showers and lockers, and this motived me to commit to ride my bike at least three times a week. I did keep my commitment for Bike-to-Work, but it honestly took more time to pack my clothes and change at the office then it did to peddle down the Iron Horse trail to my destination. I have other excuses too – ‘It’s too cold in the morning,’ ‘It’s too hot in the evening,’ ‘I have too much to carry from the store,’ and ‘I have friends to meet.’ But the number one excuse for not walking or peddling to work more often is Eddy! Eddy is my electric vehicle. To be specific, Eddy is a Nissan Leaf with LEAF standing for ‘Leading, Environmental, Affordable, Family’ car. I guess this is true with over 30,000 of them on the road in the US. I count an open air Jeep, a few BMWs, Hondas, Toyotas, and a Porsche amongst the autos that have moved me through years of driving, but I’ve never named a car before. However, I love this car! I was on the wait list for the first units delivered back in 2010, but I waited past that time because we just didn’t need a new vehicle when my number came up. Waiting gave me lots of time to research and test drive alternative EVs and review my driving priorities. Let’s start there. Create a pattern of your daily driving habits. When considering an EV, you have to get past ‘range anxiety.’ This is the concern that you’ll run out of electric ‘juice’ before you reach your next charge station. The average Northern Californian commutes 20-30 miles each way to work. While work proximity isn’t an issue for me, we do have a hybrid for longer weekend trips. During the week most of my trips are local and rarely on the highway. While the US Environmental Protection Agency official range for the 2013 year Leaf is 75 miles, I’m getting 95 miles between charges. And in a pinch, I can extend Eddy’s range by tapping into one of the many Chargepoint or Blink charging stations popping up in convenient places all over the East Bay. Buy a car that fits your driving habits. The Tesla S is a beautiful car whose luxury features make the top Lexus model look like an economy car. However, given the limited time I spend behind the wheel, and the Tesla price tag reaching past $70K, I would be paying over $13 per mile to glide in style. Buy a car that fits your cargo needs. Eddy seats five like clowns in a toy car. However, two adults and a very large dog can be very comfortable around town. Eddy’s large hatchback trunk has extra depth unlike the Ford which retrofitted the Focus and ‘stole’ trunk space for the batteries. Don’t be fooled by plug-in hybrids. My husband wants a Chevy Volt. However, the Volt only goes 38 miles on an electric charge before reverting to driving on premium gas and getting only 35 city/40 highway as a hybrid. Perhaps this is a great trade-off for somebody if they only have one car or they have unpredictable driving habits. However, I’d put my money on a Prius III getting 50 miles a gallon on regular gas over a Chevy Volt if I’m driving to Sacramento or beyond. For more information about electric vehicles and fuel economy, visit shtml. Save a dollar and use smart energy. Eddy doesn’t have a tail pipe so there’s zero pollution in motion. However, since we ‘feed’ him twice a week from the PG&E grid and their energy is only 33% renewable, there is still pollution from PG&E firing coal plants for our power needs. I’d love to add solar to our home, but we are energy conservative, and thus, we have only seen a $20 bump in our electric bill per month. For now, I am content that our EV saves me a trip to the gas station, and an additional federal tax credit of $7,500 and another $2,500 from the State of California for the purchase of an electric vehicle makes up for not burning smart energy of my own – on two wheels. If you have a story to share about your electric vehicle, please write to us at Follow us at for information about sustainable events and resources. Museum continued from front page

Danville Today News ~ September 2013 - Page 13

tag. “Some of the great cars of the 1930s sold for more than a house in Beverly Hills,” Williams notes. Design concepts embodied in unique vehicles created for a prescient individual often made significant contributions to the evolution of production models. “The automobile is the single most impacting piece of machinery ever developed for man’s movement,” Williams explains. However, he quickly adds, “The cars in the Museum are sculptures, not just transportation.” An important aspect of the Museum’s work is helping visitors understand the pieces on display as much more than evolving mechanisms to get from place to place. With 80-100 cars to study as well as related collections of vintage gasoline pumps and jukeboxes, no visitor can absorb The Nardi Blue Ray I (1955) and Blue Ray II (1958) were first displayed together at the 1990 Pebble all the displays in a Beach Concours d'Elegance. (Photo by Phil Toy courtesy of the Blackhawk Museum) single sojourn. In addition to luring automobile collectors from around the world, the Museum has given more than 175,500 students free tours with transportation costs paid by the Museum Guild’s Education and Transportation Fund. Nora Wagner, Programs Director, has been with the Museum since 1991 when the Education Fund was established. Programs for students are tailored to the age group and adapted to teacher requests. Story-telling sessions appeal to kindergarten-2nd grade classes. Chronological tours with discussions of social history are geared to older groups. Homeschoolers, as well as public and private school educators are invited to participate. Arrangements can also be made for scouts and other youth groups to come after school. Adult groups of ten or more can book docent-led tours. Concerning what keeps her excited about her Let’s Talk About This ! work, Nora remarks: “It’s that wonderful challenge of how to connect visitors to the wonderful objects on There are a few things we need to iron out! display and open up their world vision; the challenge of presenting a car in a way they may not have thought In fact there are probably more than a few for most of us. we are going to tackle the things that need ironing, about before. It’s broadening people’s horizons.” New docent training begins in October. Graduation occurs Ifwhy not enjoy with the new Sunbeam Steam Iron? in June. “The trainee with extensive knowledge of automobiles learns how to communicate that enthusiasm Automatic, light weight, non stick to visitors with little or a great deal of background in cars. The trainee with no previous knowledge about Best of all, reg. $50.00, SPECIAL $29.99 cars discovers a new interest to share.” Available now at McCaulou’s New Home Store located Dedicated docents do as much to illuminate the collection as the thoughtfully focused lighting. Wagner In the Livery next to McCaulou’s Shoe Boutique and notes: “Docents become advocates for the visitors to have an enjoyable and educational experience in McCaulou’s Cards and Gifts. the Museum.” Engaging the energy of youth, the Museum offers a community service opportunity for students in grades 9-11: Behind the Ropes and Under the Hoods. Participants are trained as gallery hosts, learning communication skills as well as interesting car facts. Executive Director Timothy McGrane joined the Museum staff in February. Like Williams with whom he has worked before, McGrane has an infectious passion for fine automotive design. Getting the community to share his perspective is one of Tim’s priorities. “I enjoy the Museum and the cars, but I’d be a lonely person in a great environment if no one came.” As part of his campaign to raise community awareness of the remarkable resource in their own backyard, McGrane has extended the welcome mat by inviting auto enthusiasts to Cars and Coffee at the Blackhawk Plaza from 8 to 10am the first Sunday of every month. The event, based on similar happenings at other places around the country, draws drivers to share their prize rides and socialize over coffee provided by the Museum. The Museum opens an hour early at 9am to draw the crowd into the galleries. In July, 228 car owners participated. Plaza merchants are enjoying the resultant extra business. Admission fees offset only a small part of the expense of maintaining the Museum. Although the Museum defrays some of its operating costs through rental for social and corporate events, McGrane is dedicated to finding additional means of keeping the nonprofit enterprise financially secure. McGrane summarizes this mission: “As the Museum enters its next 25 years, we are currently working on corporate partner programs, such as we have with Chubb Insurance, and underwriting opportunities so that we can fund future programs and projects, along with keeping the Blackhawk Museum as one of the top ten automobile museums in the world. That takes an increasing amount of financial support.” You can help and have fun, too! Come to THE SALE at the Museum from 10am to noon on Wednesday, September 11th. Find a fantastic gently used item to add to your wardrobe or knick-knack collection. Reserve a place for the noon luncheon if you want to learn more about the Museum Guild. Prospective members are welcome. Founded in 1991 by Pat Behring, the Guild includes docents as well as volunteers who work in the Museum and/ or help with the fundraising that allows the Museum’s Education and Transportation Fund to continue to fully underwrite the cost of Museum visits for schoolchildren throughout the Bay Area. Tim McGrane will be keynote speaker. Menu: Quiche Lorraine, fresh fruit, and chocolate mousse. Cost: $28. Reservations: Kathy Carlson: 925-743-1404. The Guild meets on the second Wednesday of each month. In October, Ross Chit-

See Museum continued on page 26

Page 14 - September 2013 ~ Danville Today News

Quick Trips

By Linda Summers Pirkle USS Hornet

Celebrate Wine! By Monica Chappell

September is California Wine Month, and that makes it a perfect time to visit Wine Country. California Wine Month celebrates the state’s ideal climate for wine and its importance to the California economy. Did you know that California is the fourth largest wine producer in the world and makes 90 percent of American wine? In celebration, getting out and visiting a winery can be one of the most fun things you do all month. Living in Northern California affords us the opportunity to visit wine country as often as we care to. Here are a few tips to make your visit a success: • Book the wineries in advance. You can try simply showing up at the winery, but keep in mind that the finest places are often the least accessible. • Observe the basic rules of etiquette. If you have an appointment, call if you’re running more than 15 minutes late, and don’t be a no show. Word gets around. • Dress comfortably. Wine touring requires a lot of footwork. If you’re sampling in a wine cellar, the floor will probably be cold and damp, so come prepared. • Show interest. Listen to what the pourer is saying and ask questions, but don’t pretend you are an expert. You’re there to learn and have fun. • Offer a few words of praise. Start slowly; odds are your host will begin with the lesser wines and work up to the more serious in the portfolio. Offering too much of a fuss too early on will seem insincere. • Remember to spit. You won’t be expected to drink everything you are given to taste, but if you drain each glass, your day will be over before lunch. • Do comparative tastings. Tasting rooms offer a terrific opportunity to taste wines against each other. If there are two chardonnays being offered for tasting, taste them side- by side. You’ll enjoy tasting the differences. • Buy a bottle. You don’t have to but it’s a polite gesture, and if you’ve had a nice chat with the winemaker, ask him to sign the bottle. Some wineries charge to taste and often deduct that fee from the cost of a bottle. A visit to wine country can often be as entertaining as it is educational so get out there and enjoy! Monica Chappell, Wine Writer and Educator, offers wine appreciation classes. For a list of classes visit

The USS Hornet, a 1942 aircraft carrier docked in Alameda, is always an interesting trip destination. Last month our group of 22 veterans, their grandkids, and friends had an outstanding day. We arrived at 10AM and were met by Tom Constable, Vietnam veteran (multiengine Navy pilot) and retired American Airlines pilot who flew SFO to Tokyo and Taipei. These days he spends some of his free time as a docent on the USS Hornet, along with about 100 other dedicated volunteers. The Hornet is one of five aircraft carrier museums in the United States, according to Bill Callahan, one of the docent supervisors at the museum, and all but one are the same type of ship as the USS Hornet; Essex class carriers that were the backbone of the Pacific fleet in WWII. The other museums are located in larger cities and thus attract many more visitors than the Hornet. It makes it more difficult, if not impossible, for the other ships to offer the kind of personalized docent led tours that you see on the Hornet, but the Hornet, because of its more limited number of visitors, is able to offer a personalized docent tour, as our group experienced. “We like it the way it is and so do our visitors who really appreciate the personal touch and personal stories of our docents,” says Callahan. We started the morning on the hangar deck with a seven minute orientation video, then we began our two hour tour of the ship. Tom, our guide, took us all over the ship. We toured the hangar deck, second deck, third deck, engine room, boiler room, flight deck, and the island (the structure above the flight deck). We learned about the Hornet’s history with the first two NASA missions that landed men on the moon. On July 24, 1969, Hornet helicopters and crewmen “plucked the Apollo 11 astronauts and their space capsule from the Pacific Ocean” according to the brochure from the Hornet museum. The Sea King Helicopter, on permanent display on the Hornet, has its own place in history as the recovery craft for the crew of Gemini 4 in 1965. The day we visited happened to be the anniversary of the recovery of the crew of Gemini 4 in the Atlantic Ocean. The Sea King Helicopter’s last mission was as the lead helicopter in the movie Apollo 13. The Hornet is a very large ship, and it is full of things to see. Having a knowledgeable guide is very helpful. Tom exceeded our expectations with his information and his ability to make history come alive. He encouraged the vets in our group to add their own personal experiences. A member of our group, a submariner veteran from the 1980’s, gave us insight about the size of the submarine quarters he lived in; they were much smaller than on the USS Hornet. Another veteran shared that he had served on the USS Hornet, and he found the location of his bunk. The docent training program on the Hornet is very extensive and well thought out. According to Bill Callahan, included in the training is on-the-job mentoring that requires docents to spend a minimum of 18 hours aboard the ship learning the details of the main tour areas. There are “check rides” in knowledge and continuing education classes and each docent is encouraged to use their own history and experience to add a personal touch of authenticity to their tour. Callahan mentioned that they are always recruiting new volunteers, “One thing that is worrisome is that nearly half of our active docents are now 80 or older, and they can’t keep going up and down those ladders forever.” ~ In order to have a private tour, call at least a week in advance. Docents on board daily offer tours of the Engine Room and the Navigation Bridge. Call 510-521-8448 x224 for more information or visit ~ Ask to see the 442nd Room, located on the aft end of the hangar deck of the USS Hornet, dedicated to the highly decorated 442nd Division of 6,000 Japanese American servicemen who served in WWII. The one-of-a-kind exhibit is maintained entirely by the 442nd division survivors and their families. 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

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Page 16 - September 2013 ~ Danville Today News

Life in the Danville Garden

By John Montgomery, ASLA, Landscape Architect #4059 A Garden for the Senses

We long to connect with nature to rejuvenate, relax, recreate, and redeem ourselves. A garden is one of those places that have the gift to touch all of our human senses; sight, smell, touch, sound, and taste. Wandering through a beautifully designed Danville garden allows the senses to be stimulated by the wonderful visuals, fragrances, textures, sounds, and tastes that nature can offer. One of the key elements to creating a gorgeous garden is to intentionally stimulate our human experience through our senses. Sight is the primary sense in distinguishing the beauties of a garden. All the elements of a garden; plants, paths, structures, water, fire, and lawn form the visual scenery. Color, texture, balance, form, and composition are the visual scales that our sight measures the landscape with. Sight is the very sense by which a great garden design flourishes. It gives our eyes pleasure by offering interest to spur the imagination, color to dazzle, texture to distinguish, composition to sooth, scale for a sense of place, balance to nurture, and form to define.

The sense of smell in the garden is such a delight! Remember the delicate fragrances of orange blossoms, irises, mock orange, and apple blossoms? The old favorites are the more overwhelming scents of rose, jasmine, gardenia, winter-blooming daphne, and lavender. The scents so often not at the forefront of the nose are newly cultivated soil, tomatoes, decomposing leaves, compost, manure, and sprinkler water when it settles on the dry dirt. Even though these smells add to your experience they are not very often planned for. Give your garden design a good smattering of fragrances throughout that will dazzle the old sense of smell both day and night. Touch seems to be the sense we don’t often intentionally think about when planning a garden. We think primarily about our sight, secondarily about our smell and lastly about sound. Touch adds a whole new world of sensuality to a garden. Hold out the palm of your hand to brush through a clump of wind grass (Nasella tenuissima), dip your hot tired feet into a cooling pond, walk barefoot through the cool grass, feel the warmth of the sun’s rays, and refresh under the shade of a red sunset maple (Acer rubrum ‘Red Sunset’). Allowing your body to feel the environment gives you a sense of place and reality. Touch brings you to your senses and brings your experience to you. Design elements that beckon your touch. Let the branches hang over the path to reach out and touch you. Provide leaves with texture, flowers with interest, and bark with coarseness to coax the touch. Go quietly into a well designed garden and listen. What do you hear? The sound of honey bees buzzing, the rustle of leaves in the breeze, the crunch of gravel under your step, and the chirping songs of birds can be deliberate design elements. Plantings provide everything necessary for bird and insect music. The breeze will do its magic in the trees and grasses without effort. Sound brings a sense of rejuvenation to our experience in the garden. Nothing sooths the senses more than the sound of trickling water. Water elements are the most common way to add the sense of sound to your garden. A water element needs deliberate design. Its placement, size, and sound play an important role in a successful garden. The sound of water serves many purposes. Most of us in the Danville valley can hear Interstate 680 at one time of the day or another. The sound of water can create “white noise” to veil the freeway noise. Trickling water will be a much more desired sound than the hectic rush of cars, trucks, and motorcycles. The sense of taste has to be my favorite. To reap the harvest of what can be

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grown in our Danville Sunbelt has to be the most fulfilling to our sense of taste. Vine ripened tomatoes, fresh juicy peaches, sweet red strawberries, apples, pears, lettuce, chard, green beans, corn, onions, peppers, and rosemary are all successful treats grown in Danville. Thanks to our wonderfully warm climate and long growing season, an abundance of garden treats can be added in any garden. Not only are the tastes exquisite, but they are attractive. The silvergray of artichokes among the plantings add pizzazz! The abundance of fruits and vegetables growing in your garden brings an overwhelming feeling of accomplishment. You don’t need a lot, just some. There’s nothing better than stepping out of your kitchen and into your garden for fresh rosemary, tomatoes, or artichokes. Just because you grew it in your garden, it tastes better. Your garden is solely experienced through your five senses. The five senses when intentionally applied to our design process truly add another element of design to your garden experience. A hot tip from your local Landscape Architect: If you are planning a new garden, make a list of each of the five senses. Under each sense list what you would like to experience in your new garden. Gardening Quote of the month: The greatest gift of the garden is the restoration of the five senses. ~Hanna Rion If you would like me to write on any particular subject, email your ideas to or for design ideas, visit Advertorial

Tree of the Season: The Monterey Pine By Blaine Brende & Joe Lamb

The imposing Monterey Pine, Pinus radiata, perhaps the most common large landscape tree in the Bay Area, is one of the most widely-planted trees on the planet. It covers millions of acres in places as far-flung as England, Chile, and Australia. However, its native range covers just a few square miles of the California coastline, which explains why it prefers a cool, moist coastal climate with well-draining soils. With their dense, towering canopies, dark, glossy green needles, refreshing scent, and magnificent sweep of boughs, Monterey Pines give the feeling of being in a forest. They provide habitat for many species of birds and butterflies. The beauty of these trees, combined with their immense vigor and rapid growth, appeals to landscapers who want a quick, tall screen between houses, a cool shady hillside behind their home, or an instantly woodsy subdivision. Unfortunately, the quick hedge or woodland effect you enjoy in the first year of the tree’s life can become a major safety hazard and a source of conflict with uphill neighbors when, two decades later, the tree reaches 50-70 feet in height. The Monterey Pine’s soft, brittle wood and its shallow root system combine to make it a serious hazard during winter storms on the hilly slopes. Away from its native habitat, it is vulnerable to root-rot diseases and, stressed by lack of water during our dry summers, it becomes prey to often fatal beetle infestations. The species is relatively short-lived, around 75 years, and its proclivity for toppling, or for shedding large branches, increases with age.

Coping with Pines

So what are we to do with these beautiful but bothersome pines that define so much of the Bay Area landscape? First of all, don’t plant any more of them unless you are willing and able to offer them ideal conditions. These include a large, level, adequately moist planting site, with porous soil, far from both houses and power lines, and with no uphill neighbors whose views your growing tree will obstruct. Monterey Pines also require regular care, including safety thinning every few years, as well as periodic watering, aerating, and fertilizing. If you are already living with Monterey Pines, reduce the safety risks through preventative maintenance before it’s too late. To improve drainage, invigorate your pine’s root system, and strengthen its resistance, we suggest aerating, then filling the holes with rich, porous organic matter (we use American Soil’s “Clodbuster” mix). Check your pine for infestations by looking for areas where whole branches are turning brown, as well as for small holes, tubes or splotches of pitch, or red “sawdust” droppings around the trunk and major branches.

Pruning Pines

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convenient shuttle service to home, the office, bart and bacK. The best time to prune any type of pine trees, and the only recommended time st th to prune Monterey pines, is between October 1 and February 15 . Sap from pruning cuts attracts beetles destructive to pines. These beetles are dormant during the ` fall and winter months. Given that the beetles can smell sap from long distances, lubE, oil diaGnoSiS/ S & J Advertising is not responsible for any FactoRy SchEdulEd & FiltER chEck EnGinE it is important to prune your pine when they mistakes are inactive. onlybyareclient. the beetles not Not caught MaintEnancE liGht inSPEction Multi-Point Performance themselves harmful, but some species can carry pine pitch canker, a fungal disLet our trained experts perform an Improve mileage and extend Inspection initial inspection and diagnosis. We’ll & Jthem. Advertising not dead be liable than discounting life of your vehicle - follow advertisement in thirds for mistakes ease that disfigures pine trees and sometimesSkills If yourshall tree has tips for morethe Drain and Replace All Engine Oil also provide you with the exact cost recommended service schedules as follows: Install Genuine Factory Oil Filter to perform the repair. No obligation, scattered throughout the canopy it probably has pine pitch canker. If you want to 1) Address 2) Phone Number 3) Expiration Date. There shall be no discounts for misspelled nothing to buy. % 95 words. now S & JisAdvertising not guarantee date of delivery. prolong the life of the tree, as well as its appearance, the best timedoes to prune $ off +TaX out the diseased tips. RegulaR PRices Synthetic oil extra. Even healthy pines require occasional pruning to keep them safe and beautiFor Acura, Honda, Lexus, and Toyota vehicles only. Valid only at THE SERVICE OUTLET on the day of service. Please present ful. To reduce the fire hazard associated withSIGNATURE_________________________________________DATE__________ pines, fire departments recommend coupon when service order is written. Not valid in conjunction with other coupons, offers or discounts. Synthetic oil extra. removing deadwood and taking branches back from buildings. Pines are sometimes subject to branch and column failure. Judicious thinning of the crown reduces the wind-sail effect of the canopy and thereby reduces the risk of the tree falling in a windstorm. Removing weight from the ends of heavy branches reduces the likelihood that those branches will break. The safety pruning of trees is an art as well as a science. A well-pruned tree should not only be safer, it should look beautiful. At Brende and Lamb, we take great pride in both the science and the art of pruning. Now is the best time to make your pines as safe, healthy, and beautiful as possible. lafayette san ramon Since If your trees need a little TLC, please call 510-486-TREE (8733) or email us 3360 Mt. Diablo Blvd. 2151 San Ramon Valley Blvd. 1993 at for a free estimate. Additionally, go to our website www. 925.283.3133 925.837.3000 to see before and after pictures, client testimonials, and work in your neighborhood. Advertorial


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Page 18 - September 2013 ~ Danville Today News

Solar Currents

By Mark Becker, GoSimpleSolar

It’s official! The rank and file of both political parties agree on at least one thing; when presented the question about how solar energy is viewed, 94% of Democrats and 75% of Republicans view solar power favorably. As a solar professional, it’s exciting that there is consensus on this issue, seemingly more agreement on this issue more than any other that comes to mind. If I were to stereotype, I’d guess that the “left” likes the environmental advantages and the “right” likes the financial advantages that solar energy has to offer. Certainly that’s a poor stereotype because everybody likes a good investment. Most of us care greatly for our environment. Why there is agreement should not be of great concern to those of us in the solar business; what matters is that industry growth is strong and adoption of solar and alternative energy strategies is becoming more mainstream. This is good for business and the environment, and it’s very good for national security. The recent study also found that some political stereotypes don’t stick. Both party’s rank and file agreed that the 30% Federal Tax Credit for individuals and businesses (which is available until tax year 2017) should be extended to continue the mass adoption of solar photovoltaic (PV). In many places the extension of the tax credit to speed the adoption of solar may ultimately not be necessary. “Grid parity” is being achieved; the cost of solar energy is equal to, or lower than, the cost of utility energy from day one of installation. The beat goes on: PGE electric rates rose 4.6% so far this year. Many of the readership may be chuckling at this fact; they’ve purchased their own solar power systems, so PGE rate increases don’t effect them. The biggest concern amongst Americans is the perceived cost and practicality of solar power. In California, with ample sun and extremely high utility electric costs, it’s much more expensive to NOT have solar power installed. Paying a utility bill that generates a zero rate of return on investment is no investment at all. If you have any doubt as to the validity of this previous statement, answer this question: Why will a financial institution be willing to become your power provider by installing a solar system on your home for FREE, then contractually

Clip Notes

By Jody Morgan

The Marianne North Gallery was not on my list of must-see attractions at the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew in London. I inadvertently tumbled into it while escaping a technical talk at the adjacent Shirley Sherwood Gallery. Wandering from the modern Sherwood rooms opened in 2008 into the space created by Marianne North in 1882, I felt I had somehow ingested one of Lewis Carroll’s shrinking mushrooms. Second-story clerestory windows provided the only source of natural light, giving me the disorienting sensation that, like Alice, I had somehow fallen down a rabbit hole. At first the walls appeared to be papered in printers’ proof sheets, so closely packed were the pictures. Adjusting to my altered circumstances, I realized I was surrounded by vibrant images of flowers, fruits, and landscapes from every continent arranged geographically. Every image was exquisite. In a single visit, I could make only a passing acquaintance with each of the 832 paintings displayed as North originally placed them. Born in 1830, Marianne North received the smattering of education appropriate for a young lady of the British leisure class. Music was her first passion, but she also dabbled in the genteel art of watercolor painting. Her father, Frederick North, represented Hastings in parliament. Marianne traveled with her family throughout Europe. Following her mother’s death in 1855, Marianne continued to journey with her father visiting the Middle East and Egypt and returning to favorite European sites. She disparaged marriage as being the means to becoming a high-level servant. Lacking much formal training, North developed her own technique from the few art lessons she did receive. In 1850, she studied briefly with Dutch flower-painter Magdalen von Fowinkel and the following year with Valentine Bartholomew, flower painter in ordinary to Queen Victoria. During a Christmas visit to the North home, Australian artist Robert Dowling introduced Marianne to painting in oils. In her autobiography Recollections of a Happy Life, Marianne describes her newly adopted medium as “a vice like dram-drinking, almost impossible to leave off once it gets possession of one.” Kew Gardens Director Sir William Hooker, one of her father’s many prestigious friends, presented Marianne with a spectacular specimen to paint: the

sell you the power for 20 years at a lesser price than you are paying PG&E? In this model there is a LOT of money to be made as an energy provider. It’s an investment with little risk due to the inherent reliability of solar PV systems and little chance that electric rates will decrease. The financial institution will charge you less than PGE, they’ll make money in the process, and you’ll save money in the process. Of course, if you purchase your own solar PV generating system, you’ll not have to share any of the profits with the bankers. Another “It’s official” moment: A Chinese professor from Nanjing University School of Finance summarized the relationship between Chinese solar module quality and the warranty/insurance that theoretically protects the buyer. “To our disappointment, many financing banks have not noticed the severity of this problem and the quality issue of Chinese PV modules distressing the solar industry. If several solar module makers have serial losses, the insurer will likely become insolvent.” I’ll say it again: As is true with many purchases, the best insurance starts with a quality product. Myth buster: It’s a common misconception that once one “goes solar” all natural gas appliances should be switched to electric appliances. Natural gas prices are stable, and natural gas appliances are more energy efficient than their electric brethren. Any solar PV installer worth their salt should communicate that “right sizing” the solar PV system is the most critical aspect of “going solar.” Simple energy efficient measures should be taken prior to, or in conjunction with, a solar PV project. Replace that single speed pool pump NOW, replace that electric clothes dryer NOW, and lose those incandescent light bulbs. If you’re a business or homeowner, PGE provides excellent rebates for many projects that increase efficiency (See and for more info). A good contractor will install a quality solar system at your home. However, an excellent contractor will properly assess your electric usage and discuss efficiency upgrades, then engage in a dialogue about solar system size and electric bill offset to meet your budget or financial goals. 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 first blossom of Pride of Burma to open in England. British botanist Nathaniel Wallach discovered the evergreen tree at a temple in Burma (now Myanmar) in 1824. He brought a sapling to India, naming it Amherstia nobilis for Lady Sarah Amherst, wife of India’s Governor-General. Returning to England, he introduced the species to Kew Gardens. Also called the Tree of Heaven, it occupies a special place in Buddhist temple gardens. The opulent orchid-like scarlet flower made Marianne eager to encounter exotic tropical plants in their native settings. Following her father’s passing in 1869, North managed a bold maneuver for a 40-year-old Victorian spinster. Year after year, she traipsed around the world on her own painting every flower she could find. Letters of introduction to influential locals secured her welcome in foreign lands. Preferring to paint from nature, Marianne sidestepped social obligations and set up her easel wherever a view of verdant vegetation presented itself. Many of the plants and landscapes she painted have since succumbed to the devastating weapons of human progress. North developed a style that allowed her to quickly capture a moment in the wilderness. She added appropriate insects, animals and birds, thereby often documenting a vanishing ecosystem. Occasionally well-meaning acquaintances brought her bundles of blossoms. Hating to let any flower wilt unwanted, North tucked the blooms in vases and hastily painted those bouquets. In 1879, North exhibited her paintings for the first time in London. Favorable reviews inspired her to write to Sir Joseph Hooker who had succeeded his father as Director of Kew Gardens. Marianne offered to donate to Kew both her paintings and the gallery to display them. When her gift was gratefully accepted, she engaged James Fergusson to design a building as unique as her life’s work. Taking time out from her travels, North arranged all of the paintings herself. A condition of her gift was that the art should always remain as she had placed it. Marianne suggested her gallery should serve refreshments. Hooker insisted that Kew Gardens was a resource for serious scholars, not a tourist destination for casual day-trippers. Marianne countered by decorating the frieze above the gallery door with coffee and tea plants. Restoration of the Marianne North Gallery and paintings was completed in 2009. To view a BBC slide show of her work, visit yourpaintings/artitists/marianne-north.

Good Technicians Don’t Grow on Trees By Evan Corstorphine, Portable CIO

Danville Today News ~ September 2013 - Page 19

Applicants Sought for Seats on Advisory Boards

This month’s article is about people who work with technology. District 2 Supervisor, Candace Andersen, is looking for interPretty soon after starting Portable CIO, it dawned on me that I ested, motivated District 2 residents to serve on a variety of Contra was not actually in the computer business as much as I was in the Costa County citizen advisory boards. These voluntary boards ‘people’ business. Computers are objects that facilitate our lives, and they occasionally need service. Looking at what we do as solv- usually meet monthly and advise the Board of Supervisors on a ing problems for people changes our emphasis, and it reminds us variety of issues. They provide a key communication link between that it is always the people and solving their problems that matter. the community and county government. Supervisor Andersen is looking for volunteers from her district This year we have been busy helping a large organization with to fill the following positions: their computer rollout. It’s a very large project, and it has required us to refocus our firm • Assessment Appeals Board from purely implementing client technology to that of acting as technology staffing agents • Contra Costa County Fire Protection District’s Fire Advisory for the project. It’s been a refreshing addition to our usual routine. Commissioners (1 alternate seat) But, good technicians don’t grow on trees. It’s been quite a process to source all the • Economic Opportunity Council people necessary to get this work done. We’ve staffed for this large project from two main • Mental Health Commission (1 consumer seat) sources. The first is Heald College of Concord. They have an excellent placement specialist • Merit Board who we were fortunate to find early in our process. This placement counselor has worked • Alamo Municipal Advisory Council (1 regular seat and 1 youth extremely hard for the students at his college, and we have been impressed by his dedicarepresentative – Alamo residents) tion and service. He has provided countless résumés of able, trained, and excited young • County Service Area P-2B Citizens Advisory Committee (2 people looking for their first opportunity to get into the technology workforce. Not all of the students are young, either. Some of the Heald students are in their second career, hav- alternate seats - Alamo residents) • County Service Area P-5 Citizens Advisory Committee (1 ing re-tooled themselves when whatever they were doing previously came to an untimely regular, 1 alternate seat - Roundhill resident) end. All of the students we have hired have been excellent. District 2 includes Alamo, Canyon, Danville, Lafayette, Moraga, The second source of project staff has come from the local community. My wife is a Orinda, Parkmead, Rossmoor, San Ramon, Saranap, and Walnut Creek member of what we call “Cathy’s List,” which is an email list passed between nearly one (west of Main Street). hundred mothers in our community. These are women who have kids who grew up together, Applications and more information are available on the county’s went to the same schools, attended the same sports, or are just friends of friends who like website, doing things together. If you ever want to get something done in our area, ask the women of Cathy’s List! From this email list we’ve pulled many college-aged young people who Meals on Wheels enthusiastically embraced our offer of performing semi-technical summer work at a good Seniors in your community need your support! Meals on wage. The majority of these young people haven’t been very technical to start out, but they’ve Wheels and Senior Outreach Services has been supporting sebeen enthusiastic and willing to learn whatever was required to succeed on the project. Their niors in YOUR neighborhood since 1968. Two of our programs, enthusiasm, combined with the willingness of the project to train, has made these students Meals on Wheels and Friendly Visitors, rely on the support of a great compliment to the technicians we’ve found. Most people just need a chance in life. They need someone to say, “Sure, go ahead, volunteers, and we need your help now more than ever. Meals you have the job.” There are definitely specializations that require deep training, and I’m on Wheels volunteer drivers deliver meals to local homebound not trivializing those specializations whatsoever. For instance, could I staff my company seniors through regular two hour shifts once per week or as with nothing but well-intentioned and enthusiastic college students? Not at all. We need substitute drivers. Friendly Visitors volunteers provide weekly a balance of experience with enthusiasm. But, we shouldn’t underestimate what enthusi- one-hour companionship visits to isolated seniors. To volunteer asm is able to accomplish or how quickly someone who is motivated can pick something for either program, please call (925)937-8311. up. A major key to success is exhibiting an attitude of enthusiasm to learn, always being on-time, and hav- Dumploads OnUs ing a positive demeanor with the people around you. specializes in Anyone can learn a role if they have the right attitude. providing the ultiCharacter and attitude are what I look for first, techni- mate junk removal cal ability is second. solution. We’ll haul As we roll into September, we’ll be looking to add one of these smiling faces to the roster at Portable CIO. away just about anything - from old household junk to construcOne of our dear employees has decided to branch out tion and yard waste. The only items we are unable to accept are and try something new, and we have a big hole to fill hazardous • Computers as a result. We’re excited for the opportunity to work materials. We with a new technician, to train them in the Portable CIO make getting • Cables way, and to see what they can teach us in return. We’re rid of your • TVs very picky, though, so this could take a little while. unwanted junk • Monitors We’ve been very successful with our technician as easy as 925.934.3743 • 925.934.1515 • Servers placement business, and hopefully we can help more 1-2-3; we load, • • Phones companies inexpensively fill their technical staffing we sweep, and 1271 Boulevard Way, Walnut Creek needs with quality individuals. Every time we place • Printers then we haul Monday-Friday, 8-5 • Saturday 9-1, Sunday, closed a technician, we’re spreading the ‘Portable CIO way’ •Copiers to a new firm. With that, we believe we’re improving away. It’s that • Fax Machines • Power Supply Units • Discs and Tapes not only the way technology works at their business, easy! • Scanners • Printer Cartridges and Toners • And More... but strengthening the fabric of good will in the busi- Plus we do it with a smile! ness community. When you have technology needs, who should you call? Portable CIO. Our friendly staff is here to help you address those vexing issues that eat up your time. Call us at 925-552-7953 or email helpdesk@ theportablecio Advertorial

Page 20 - September 2013 ~ Danville Today News

Why is it Important to Set Financial Goals? By Sima Alefi

With all of the responsibilities people have today, you may not have time to take care of your basic necessities, let alone have time to think about financial goals! Why is it absolutely crucial that you shift your priorities so that you focus on being financially secure in today’s economy? It is important to identify financial goals and be conscious of the purpose of your stated goals so that you can successfully achieve them. This way you will have peace of mind knowing you are in charge of your financial future and not run the risk of becoming dependent on someone else for your financial well being. Working toward a financial goal will also give you a sense of empowerment as well as help you reduce stress. On the other hand, if you procrastinate and don’t take your financial security seriously, the clock will not stop ticking. Time will continue to pass, and you will be faced with the reality of your lack of involvement sooner or later. Start by identifying your financial goals. Be conscious of your stated goal at all times. Be aware of where you are today and where you would like to be in the future. Consider how you can reach your goals and what you need to do to stay on track. Chances are you will achieve your goal when you identify the specific goal and set a specific target date. I am confident that you will feel content, empowered, and fulfilled when you do that!

What are some common goals people have today?

Chief continued from front page

went on to balance the district budget by cutting unnecessary items and leaving positions vacant. He reduced minimum staffing levels from 43 on-duty firefighters to 41, which will go down to 39 in 2015, while not sacrificing coverage. And he placed the new fire station in Alamo, a high priority for the previous administration, on hold. In May, Chief Meyer met on multiple occasions with union representatives for SRV’s firefighters, and he was able to negotiate a five year contract resulting in significant concessions by the union. He did this by bringing a financial analyst to meetings and opening the district’s books for inspection by the union so they could see for themselves the district’s financial situation. Starting July 1, every employee from Meyer on down began paying 8% of their health care premiums – retirees too - something they had never been asked to contribute before. Safety employees – active duty firefighters – will contribute 4% of their pay toward pension costs, 8% next year, and 12% in 2015. Nonsafety employees will have 8% of pay deducted toward their pensions. Meyer estimates the concessions will impact each employee an average of $1,200 per person per month. All employee pension and health care contributions will be earmarked for a fund to pay down the district’s unfunded pension and health care liabilities A detail oriented person, Meyer spouted facts and figures to me without once referring to notes. I was impressed that he instantly knew the percentage of the 1% property tax that Danville residents pay to SRV Fire, an average of 16%. I think it’s important to note that SRV Fire is among only 1% of fire agencies nationwide to have achieved a Class 2 rating from Insurance Services Office (ISO), the ratings agency used by insurance companies. This saves Danville residents significant money on homeowner insurance. Meyer is particularly proud of the district’s sudden cardiac arrest survival rates. The chance of surviving a sudden cardiac arrest is 8.5% nationally but here in the Valley, your chance of surviving is twice that rate at 17.9%. If someone witnesses the cardiac emergency and an automatic external defibrillator (AED) is used, survival rates soar to 47% locally vs. 26% nationwide. Meyer credits state of the art equipment on district trucks, their rigorous paramedic training program, and community outreach which teaches hands-only CPR to 2,000 district residents per

• Catastrophic Risks - Addressing this point is the most important thing you can do toward having financial security and peace of mind. Reaching the goal of providing for catastrophic risks means providing income for survivors, providing for nursing home expenses, protecting income if you become disabled, and providing for medical expenses. In addition, it is important to have a cash reserve in the event that you become laid off or the head of household passes away. • Education Savings - Building an education fund will help you or your family member avoid debt, alleviate the stress of making payments, and provide peace of mind. • Retirement - What do you envision retirement looking like? At what specific age do you want to begin enjoying your freedom and your time? Once you stop working, where will your paycheck come from? How much income will you need to retire? Keep in mind that even though you are not working, you may still need to pay taxes, depending on your tax bracket, so, you will need to account for taxes as well as your expenses. • Estate Considerations - After you pass, do you have any desire to provide for children from a current or former marriage? Do you wish to provide for a mentally/physically challenged child, leave money to a charity, or provide for family members or your parents? • Home Ownership - Do you have the desire to save for the purchase of a home, a second home, or a vacation property? Identifying your goals and envisioning the outcome will help you to become empowered and continue your journey toward financial security! To contact Sima for a free consultation, call her at Edward Jones (925) 648-2590. Her office is located at 3472 Camino Tassajara, Danville in the Blackhawk Safeway Shopping Center. For more information visit Advertorial year. “I am completely impressed with the seriousness and gravity of SRV Fire's dedication to emergency services,” he told me. “This district has taken emergency care to a whole other level. The training standards are very high, and the district has embraced emergency care as its mission.” The District has instituted an innovative community outreach program, hands-only CPR, where the Heart Safe Committee visits major community events and teaches hands-only CPR and AED use in just a few minutes to passers-by. The program has trained more than 5,000 Valley residents since 2011. Look for the volunteers at Danville’s major events and at the Alamo Music and Wine Festival being held Saturday, September 7th from noon to 10pm at Alamo Plaza Shopping Center. I'd like to thank Chief Meyer for spending an hour with me and answering all my questions about SRV Fire. Welcome to our Valley, Chief.


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How to Choose a Trustee By Robert J. Silverman, Esq.

Establishing a Revocable Living Trust for yourself and your family is worthwhile for many of the reasons I’ve written about previously, including avoiding probate, maintaining privacy, controlling when and how young loved ones inherit assets, estate tax mitigation, etc. But perhaps the most compelling reason is to create a “financial succession” vehicle, designed and optimized to ensure that your assets are handled the way you want, both during your life and after you’re gone. A Revocable Living Trust (“Trust”) has three “stakeholders”: 1) the Settlor (aka “grantor” or “trustor”) – the person who establishes the trust, 2) the Beneficiaries – the people who benefit from the trust, and 3) the Trustee – the person who manages the trust. As long as a Settlor is willing and able, he or she typically serves as his or her own Trustee (or if the Settlors are married, the spouses serve as Co-Trustees). A much more difficult but important question is who should serve as Successor Trustee(s) and thus manage the Trust - the Settlor’s financial affairs - when the Settlor (or if married, when one or both Settlors) dies or becomes unwilling or unable to do so. This has many implications and should be thought through carefully and discussed in detail with your estate planning attorney. First, it’s critical to step back and ask what the appropriate criteria is for choosing a Successor Trustee. There is no “one size fits all.” It depends on all relevant facts and circumstances, including the makeup of the Settlors’ family and their loved ones, assets, and objectives. Certain criteria is intuitive. The starting place should always be trustworthiness. If trustworthy, is the person responsible and reasonably good at handling financial matters? Regardless of how trustworthy, a Successor Trustee is not going to be helpful if he or she isn’t the type who gets up in the morning and takes care of business. Geographic proximity is a factor, but it tends to be less important now because of technology advances in managing assets from afar. Emotional character and personality should be assessed since one or more trust Beneficiaries (often related to the Successor Trustee) may try to manipulate the Successor Trustee. For example, a Beneficiary may make requests and try to persuade the Successor Trustee to exercise certain Trustee-authorized discretion in a manner that may not ultimately be in the best interest of that Beneficiary. Much too frequently, a quick, “painless” decision is made by nominating one’s spouse, oldest child, or all children as Co-Trustees. Such haste may lead to problems, if not disaster. Choosing Co-Trustees, even when they consist of all of your children, is often problematic because of logistics and/or the required compatibility and cooperation involved in making Trust decisions (e.g. how, when, or whether to sell or divide certain cherished assets). Family relationships can be devastated as a result of a Settlor not taking ample care in deciding who is truly best suited to be Successor Trustee. Interestingly, the decision about who is to serve as Successor Trustee after the first spouse dies can have a more dramatic impact than who will serve when the surviving spouse dies. This is particularly true with blended families and/or with couples in which one or both spouses have significant separate property holdings. But issues can arise even for spouses whose entire estate consists of community property, such as those triggered by the remarriage of the surviving spouse. Sometimes, neither relatives nor friends are the best candidates. Many financial institutions have reputable trust departments, with capable, seasoned trust officers who can potentially carry out a Settlor’s wishes most objectively, safely, and effectively. Another alternative is to choose an experienced, “private fiduciary” – someone who is properly licensed and bonded, whose job entails serving as Successor Trustee for many different family trusts. In this, as in many instances, your trusted professional advisor, such as your estate planning attorney, CPA, and/or investment manager can serve you best not just by getting to an answer, but by knowing what questions to ask. NOTE: If you read my articles on a regular basis, you may notice something looks a bit different. I’ve opened up a new, independent law office, and thus have a new logo and new contact information. My experienced, long-time staff and I continue to dedicate ourselves to serving the best interests of our clients’ legal needs in these areas: * Estate Planning * Trust Administration & Probate * Real Estate * Business. I offer a complimentary Estate Planning primer and/or free, introductory meeting. Mr. Silverman is an attorney with R. Silverman Law Group, 1855 Olympic Blvd., Suite 240, Walnut Creek, CA 94596; (925) 705-4474, rsilverman@, This article is intended to provide information of a general nature, and is not intended nor should it be relied upon as legal, tax and/ or business advice. Readers should obtain and rely upon specific advice only from their own qualified professional advisors. This communication is not intended or written to be used, for the purpose of: i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code; or ii) promoting, marketing, or recommending to another party any matters addressed herein. Advertorial

Danville Today News ~ September 2013 - Page 21

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O’Neill continued from front page

acclaim. After debuting on Broadway on November 2, 1921, Anna Christie ran for 177 performances before closing in 1923. Greta Garbo played the title role in the 1930 MGM film version of Anna Christie, which will be shown at Danville’s Village Theatre at 7PM on September 12th. For her first “talking” role, Garbo labored to master the requisite Swedish accent. Tickets are $5 at the door or pre-purchased. On September 22nd at 2PM, Michael Krasny, noted for his hosting of KQED’s “Forum,” will lead a panel discussion at the Tao House barn: “Modern Audiences/Classic Plays.” A $10 donation is requested. Free shuttle transport by the National Park Service begins at 1PM in front of the Museum of the San Ramon Valley on Railroad Avenue, Danville. For those who enjoy a birthday bash, the Eugene O’Neill Foundation invites celebrants to a Champagne/Dessert reception in the Tao House Courtyard on September 27th and 28th at 6:30PM immediately prior to the 8M performances of Chris Christophersen. Combined Gala/Performance tickets cost $50. Eugene O’Neill was born in New York City on October 16th, 1888 in the heart of Manhattan’s theater district. The Barrett Hotel where Eugene entered the world is no longer standing, but a plaque presented by Circle in the Square Theater commemorates the site at Broadway and 43rd Street. Those who want to get inside may have to line up for a latte, because the latest occupant of the Times Square location is a Starbucks. An all-inclusive $100 Festival Ticket with choice of performance times and dates for both plays can be purchased on the Foundation’s website at or by calling (925) 820-1818. Each event is also offered separately. Tickets for Anna Christie, available individually or grouped with a Role Players season subscription, can be purchased at www. or by calling (925) 314-3400. For information on touring Tao House, maintained by the National Park Service, visit www.

Page 22 - September 2013 ~ Danville Today News

5 Reasons to try Craniosacral Therapy By Marchelle Milligan

Craniosacral Therapy (CST) is a gentle, hands-on approach to release tensions deep in the body, to relieve pain and dysfunction, and to improve whole-body health. If one part of the body is restricted, then the rest of the body must adapt and compensate for this, eventually leading to inflammation, pain, stiffness, and other health conditions. CST can help many relieve many causes of discomfort in the body. I’ve given five conditions below. 1. Headaches - CST has a high success rate with treating headaches/migraines. CST looks for the cause of the headache and works to gently release the restrictions causing the headache, which can help them go away completely or significantly reduce their severity and frequency. Many times when treatment is directed only to the head and neck, relief is temporary. This can be because the cause of the problem is in another part of the body, such as the sacrum. Of course, there can be multiple causes for headaches/migraines. Anything that interferes with the autonomic nervous control of the blood vessels in the head can cause a headache. CST does a good job in mobilizing the membrane system of the head to take pressure off the nerve or blood vessel that may be causing the headache. In my experience, you will know within 3-5 sessions if the headaches are responding to CST. Many times, people have some type of relief after just one session. 2. Back Pain - CST is very good at treating back pain, especially when it’s caused by misalignment as it helps realign the back at a very deep level. Not only does it work with the spine, but it works with the muscles and ligaments, too. It treats the entire structure in a holistic sense, as opposed to how a physician or chiropractor might approach it. When the muscles and ligaments are

My Aching Shoulder

How can I avoid surgery if I have a rotator cuff tear? By Dr. Jeffrey G. Riopelle, MD

Patient: “Doc, my shoulder just aches.” Doctor: “When did it start?” Patient: “About a year ago. It wasn’t bad at first, so I just put up with it, but it lingered and lingered and now it’s getting worse.” Doctor: “Do you remember injuring it?” Patient: “No, it just started one weekend after I was lifting boxes of clothes up into the attic.” Doctor: “When does it bother you the most?” Patient: “It just aches if I lift my arm, and I can’t get my arm up over my head anymore.” What’s the diagnosis? Possibilities include frozen shoulder, shoulder arthritis, or shoulder rotator cuff tendonitis. But this type of story is quite typical of a rotator cuff tear. It starts as simple rotator cuff tendonitis, but left untreated the inflammation causes swelling, leading to impingement syndrome in which there is not enough space for the tendons to move freely. This confinement leads to wear and tear on one or more of the rotator cuff tendons, and after a year of untreated wear and tear, the tendon wears through, leading to either a partial or complete tear. So even if you’re not a football player or athlete and have never had a blow to the arm or shoulder, you can still tear your rotator cuff. Anatomically the rotator cuff consists of three tendinous structures attached to three muscles--the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, and subscapularis--which rotate and abduct the arm. A torn rotator cuff occurs when one or more of the three tendons tear, either from acute injury or from chronic tendonitis. In an acute injury, there is usually a history of an acute blow to the arm or the shoulder, traumatically shearing the tendon(s). The more common cause, though, results from chronic shoulder tendonitis. The original injury usually occurs due to overuse of the tendons from sports or daily activities, such as repeatedly reaching for items, lifting at arm’s length, moving rapidly (such as serving in tennis or volleyball), or moving with a sudden jolt. Once the tendon becomes inflamed, it is difficult to care for the initial injury, and eventually the tendon wears through.

realigned together, the resolution is more complete, and there is less chance of the spine going out of alignment again. 3. Whiplash - Whiplash injuries respond well to CST. CST can help relieve the pain associated with whiplash as well as the mental changes that come from this type of injury. Head injuries can have such devastating long-term repercussions. The initial effect of head injuries either feel like not much happened in the head or be severe and life threatening. Once the danger is over, the ongoing symptoms can often be subtle and very debilitating. Symptoms include aggression, agitation, poor attention span, anxiety, poor memory, difficulty sleeping, vision issues, temperature fluctuation, and so on. Head injuries leave patterns of restrictions in the membranes in the head. In my experience a small amount of pressure in the wrong part of the brain can have widespread effects. 4. TMJ - TMJ is often a symptom of a restriction somewhere else. Finding that restriction often relieves the TMJ. I’ve had many clients report less pain and less grinding/clenching at night after only three sessions. CST is also good for patients with braces and other dental issues. The mandible has many fascial connections to the neck and shoulders which can show up as discomfort in that area when the actual cause of the restriction is in the mouth and face area. 5. It's Gentle - With CST, I am facilitating the body to make the correction. This light touch allows the tissues to relax and self-correct without force. When you use more than a little force, you may recruit the patient's bodily defenses against your pressure. When the body defends itself, the tissues will tighten in an attempt to preserve the status quo. So, in CST we lighten up to allow the tissues to relax and self-correct without force. It can be effective in stress management, headaches, neck and back pain, TMJ, depression, post traumatic stress disorders, chronic pain, sleep disorders, and vertigo to name a few. For more information, log onto To schedule an appointment ,please contact Marchelle Milligan at (925) 286-6237. Located in the Alamo Commons. New clients receive $15 off a one hour session. Advertorial Common symptoms of a torn cuff are similar to rotator cuff tendonitis. These include pain with abduction (raising the arm laterally), pain with forced internal and external rotation, and weakness in moving in these same directions. The diagnosis is readily made by the clinician as the patient has pain and weakness with forced use of any one or all three muscles in the various directions the shoulder moves. There is more weakness than with simple tendonitis. Final differentiation between tendonitis and a tear can be made with an MRI scan. Plain X-rays are usually normal. Initial treatment for a rotator cuff tear is similar to tendonitis treatment and starts with ice, anti-inflammatory medications, and physical therapy. If these are ineffective, a cortisone injection into the subacromial space coats the damaged tendons, promoting resolution of inflammation and improvement in symptoms, although it will not actually heal a tear. The injection is often diagnostic, though, since the tendons are also coated with lidocaine, anesthetizing the injury, causing an immediate temporary improvement in the pain. However, with a tear, the anesthetized shoulder remains weak as opposed to tendonitis in which an anesthetized shoulder can produce a near normal exam. A torn rotator cuff tendon generally does not respond as easily or as quickly to non-surgical treatment as does tendonitis. However, contrary to popular belief, a torn rotator cuff tendon often does not require surgical repair. While most highly competitive younger athletes will require surgery, patients over 35 can often be treated similarly to impingement syndrome and can return to their full pre-injury function without surgery. Often the tear is only partial or involves only one of the three tendons. With proper aggressive physical therapy, once the inflammation resolves, the remaining muscles and tendons can be re-educated to make up for most of the function of the lost tendon. On the other hand, complete tears of all three tendons can markedly impair function if not surgically repaired. 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 joint treatment with autologous stem cells. We did our original training with Dr. Joseph Purita, the physician who performed the stem cell joint procedure on A’s pitcher Bartolo Colon. We want to stress that this protocol uses your own stem cells removed and purified out from your own fat 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

Kidney Stones Come in the Fall

Danville Today News ~ September 2013 - Page 23

By Wei Zheng, MD

There is an increased incidence of kidney stone in the fall and early winter because people tend to get dehydrated more often in the summer. Studies have shown that the time delay between high temperature exposure and clinical manifestation of kidney stone is 2-3 months. The urine from dehydrated people is more concentrated. The minerals in the highly concentrated urine are often above the saturation point and therefore form crystals more readily. The purpose of urine is to get rid of the body’s toxins and excess minerals. Every mineral in the urine has its saturation point. Once the saturation point is reached, minerals will precipitate out from the urine to form crystals, which will in term snowball into stones. A good analogy is that if you put too much sugar in your coffee, you will have a layer of sugar at the bottom of the cup. Foods can also contribute to the risk of kidney stone formation. A high sodium, high protein diet increases the risk of kidney stone. Certain fruits and vegetables also have similar risk. Most of the kidney stones in the East Bay area are calcium-based stones. The culprit of the calcium-based stone is actually not calcium; oxalate is the one to be blamed here. Calcium supplementation is actually protective for some patients. Oxalate in our body comes from two sources. Our body produces a small amount but the bulk of oxalate in our body comes from our diet. The best way to protect yourself from having kidney stones is hydration. Pay attention to the color of your urine, keeping the color light yellow or better yet clear. If your urine is dark yellow or brown, you are at risk of forming stones. Dr. Zheng is a urologist with Pacific Urology and sees patients at offices in Concord and Walnut Creek. His group recently partnered with John Muir Medical Center - Concord to establish a “Stone Center” which features the only fixed (non-mobile) lithotripters in Contra Costa County. For more information call 925-609-7220. Advertorial

Many Faces of Cancer

The following events are hosted by Diablo Valley Oncology, Cancer Support Community and American Cancer Society. The programs and breakfast are complimentary. Please register by calling (925) 677-5041 x272. Many Faces of Gynecologic Cancers - Tuesday, September 24 ~ 6PM to 8PM Walnut Creek Library - Oak View Room, 1644 N. Broadway, Walnut Creek Come and experience the Many Faces of Gynecologic Cancers, an event focusing on some of the most overlooked and commonly misdiagnosed cancers in women. Join an engaging panel of medical experts as they explore the unique issues of ovarian, cervical, uterine, and vaginal cancers. The panel will offer insight into the information on screening for early detection, genetics, latest treatment and surgical options, menopause, sexuality and rehabilitation. Many Faces of Breast Cancer - October 12 ~ 10AM-12PM Lesher Center, Knight Stage 3, Walnut Creek Come and experience the Many Faces of Breast Cancer, an event focusing on the unique needs and issues of survivors and providing the latest information on breast cancer, one of the most common cancers in women. Join an engaging panel of medical experts as they offer insight into the latest data surrounding treatment and explore key survivorship issues like lymphedema, psychological, fatigue and physical rehabilitation.

Exchange Club of San Ramon Valley

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

Learn, Listen, Act... for Women By Gigi Chen, MD

September is Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month, and the Foundation for Women’s Cancer reminds everyone that it is important to LEARN about risk factors and symptoms of gynecologic cancers, LISTEN to your body for symptoms and ACT to reduce your risk and take preventive steps. Steady medical progress has been made in the field of gynecologic cancers. Of particular promise is better understanding of the risks, symptoms, and prevention of the three most prevalent gynecologic cancers: cervical cancer, ovarian cancer, and uterine cancer. Cervical cancer is the third most common cancer among women worldwide, with more than 85% of cases occurring in developing countries. Cervical cancer is preventable and most often caused by HPV (Human Papilloma Virus). Most often there are no symptoms. Watch for bleeding after intercourse or excessive discharge or bleeding between periods. It is recommended, to get vaccinated for the HPV virus before you become sexually active, to get pap tests regularly when recommended and to stop smoking. Other approaches for screening, such as visual inspection with acetic acid, are being evaluated in resource poor countries where PAP testing is not easily implemented. Uterine/Endometrial cancer is the most common gynecologic cancer. It usually occurs around the time of menopause, but younger women are also at risk. The pap test does not screen for uterine cancer, so knowing one’s family history of endometrial or colon cancer is important information to share with your primary care physician. The use of estrogen alone or tamoxifen have proven to be possible risk factors as well. Listen to your body for these symptoms: bleeding after menopause and abnormal, irregular, or very heavy vaginal bleeding in younger women. If you have these symptoms, you should receive an endometrial biopsy. You can also reduce your risk by managing your weight and keeping your blood pressure and blood sugar under control. One in 71 women will develop ovarian cancer. There is no screening for ovarian cancer, and only 15% are detected at the earliest most curable stage. Knowing one’s family history of ovarian and breast cancer is important. Infertility and not bearing children are risk factors while pregnancy and the use of birth control pills decrease risk. If you have bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, difficulty eating, a feeling of being full quickly, urinary urgency, or frequency symptoms almost daily for more than a few weeks and they are persistent and unusual for you, it is important to report these symptoms to your primary care physician. Help the women in your life understand and reduce the risks for these cancers. It is through symptom recognition that the earliest possible diagnosis can be made. Gigi Chen, MD is a Medical Oncologist and Hematologist with Diablo Valley Oncology. Join Dr. Chen and other medical experts at the Many Faces of Gynecologic Cancers on September 24, 2013 from 6-8 at the Walnut Creek Library. For more information or to register for the program, call 925-677-5041 x272. Advertorial

Page 24 - September 2013 ~ Danville Today News

The Eye Opener

By Gregory Kraskowsky, O.D., Alamo Optometry Back to School

Now that the summer is coming to a close, it is the time as parents when we start turning our attention to back-to-school for kids of all ages, from elementary school to college and graduate school. Besides stocking up on clothes and school supplies, this time usually also includes visits to your child’s pediatrician, dentist, and optometrist. School these days is difficult enough for our kids, so we need to make sure they have the necessary tools and vision to start off the year on the right foot. Vision at school requires being able to manage several tasks to be successful. This includes sharp distance vision to be able to read the board and/ or overhead, good near vision and binocular vision (eye teaming) to be able to read and study for long periods at a time, and depending on the class, the ability to go back and forth from the board or overhead to up close to take notes on paper or a computer with ease. In addition to these visual requirements, the eyes also need to be healthy to be able to sustain these demands. Conditions such as dry eyes induced from allergies or medications, and the itching and tearing from seasonal allergies can hinder vision and thus need to be diagnosed and addressed. It is for these reasons that your child’s eyes should be checked by an eye care professional. School and pediatrician screenings usually only test distance vision and do not address near vision, depth perception, binocular vision, or health issues of the eye. Many times a child (or adult for that matter) has “good vision” but is still having issues with near work which can take the form of blurry vision, double vision, headaches, and overall difficulty sustaining up-close work for any period of time. Obviously, all

Mommy Makeover

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

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

Mastopexy (Breast Lift) and Augmentation

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

Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)

An abdominoplasty, commonly called a “tummy tuck,” is a plastic surgery procedure which flattens the abdomen by tightening the muscles of the abdominal wall, and it involves removing excess skin, fat, and stretch marks. The abdomen tends to take on a rounded appearance as we age, as our weight

reading issues are not caused by vision and/or binocular vision conditions, but the eyes should be the first place you check out to make sure all is well. In addition to school and homework, most children are involved in school and/or recreational sports and extra-curricular activities. Whether your child is involved in soccer, football, dance, or cheerleading, these all require good vision and ocular health to be successful. If there is vision correction required, many parents and kids are opting for daily contact lenses. Activities are often difficult to fully participate in while wearing glasses, and contact lenses allow for good vision as well as peripheral vision, and you are not hindered by the frame. Most patients are good candidates for contacts; however, since there is work to learn to adapt to the lenses and to be able to put them on and off, motivation on the part of the child is paramount. If he or she is not really interested in contacts, I recommend starting the process of training and follow-ups when they are ready to tackle it. It is also helpful if a family member who already wears contacts is able to help out as needed. However, it is the child who needs to have the responsibility of keeping their hands clean, cleaning and storing the lenses as needed, and inserting and removing the contacts. It is recommended for vision and ocular health changes that patients get an annual eye exam. The testing we do at the office goes much more in depth and covers more than pediatrician and school screenings. We hope that if you do not have any vision insurance that you will take advantage of our back-to-school offer. We are a family-centered practice, and we look forward to seeing your entire family in the office soon. 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 fluctuates, and after such events as childbirth. The muscle and tissues of the abdomen are weakened, and the skin becomes stretched, so no amount of situps or leg raises can remove this shape. A Tummy Tuck can re-contour and reposition these tissues with the added benefit of removing any pre-existing scars from the lower abdomen.

Reshaping of Buttocks and Flanks (Vaser, Laser and Traditional Liposuction)

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

What are You Saying? (and to Whom?) By Rebecca Berke, CHt, Hypnosis for Change

The chatter that goes on in and around our heads affects the way we feel, act, and interact. Paying attention to our messages about ourselves to others or the way we “Self-Talk” can be very informative as to how we might feel about ourselves. Upon examination, do we really want to feel that way? Would we like to feel differently? Is there a way to feel good more often and switch that feeling of “not good” more quickly so as to get unstuck in the sinking quicksand of self doubt, fear and burden of life’s obstacles? My 40 years in the performance arts has taught me many things about the mind-body connection. In particular, what starts at the top (our thoughts and words) affects what the body does. The brain is a central processing center. In the “Top Down” firing pattern in the brain, what we create as a thought and/or visualization will affect us, our actions, and our feelings. In ballet training we talk about the need and value of the years of standing at the barre doing plies, battement tendus, and ronde de jambes. Even professional dancers do this every day, not only to warm up the muscles properly but to put their minds back into that space of “Muscle Memory.” This is the place where the mind and body go to work in harmony and balance with music, movement, and artistry using the beautifully tuned instrument (the body). Something equally important for all of us is that we develop “Mind Memory” standing at the barre of our own minds and become conscious of our thoughts. Practicing every day the change of turning negative thoughts into positive ones is the key to feeling good, having more energy, and having positive results more often in our lives. Taking the time to do the positive reframe of a negative thought such as “I could never do that!” to “I am curious about that, and I will now take the first step in doing it!” will have an impact on how we feel more than we can even imagine. Here are some ideas on how to start: • Notice Self -Talk • Change negative messages into positive messages (reframe) Here are some benefits: • Energy increases • Positive performance strengthens • Results are happily noted and appreciated It is a circular pattern where one thought informs the next. The positive thought or message then strengthens self-worth which then governs our performance, encouraging self-approval and self-effectiveness that dictates the positive self-talk cycle again. Practicing this takes some conscious effort, but there are tools to make it easy to achieve this effectively. Hypnotherapy offers these positive messages on a subconscious level to be strengthened. 1. Negative messages can be released and eliminated 2. Anchoring messages can help individuals to return to that place of reframe, renew, replenish, and rejuvenate! I would like to invite you to take the challenge of spending just two hours out of a day paying attention to your thoughts and words. Notice what you say and think about yourself in your mind or even out loud. It will be informative for sure. If you are perfectly energized and uplifted, then wonderful! However, if you are finding that something is a little “off” with how often you give yourself that “slight,” that not so kind sneer or judgment call, then perhaps it is time to learn some new ways to communicate…with you, the most important person in your life! Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny. ~ Unknown For more information, contact Rebecca Berke CHt - Certified Hypnotherapist, HypnoBirthing® Practitioner at Hypnosis for Change. We are located at 913 San Ramon Valley Blvd. Suite 280, Danville. Please call 925-352-3372.See our website at Advertorial

Danville Today News ~ September 2013 - Page 25

Vanity for Charity By Dr. Jerome Potozkin

When I was a child my parents, who are now retired school teachers, ran a summer camp for inner city kids from New York. I learned invaluable lessons about life at that Camp where we spent our summers. Most of the kids were from poor single parent family homes who could not afford to go to summer camp. Children of all ethnic backgrounds attended what was basically a “color blind” environment. That is where I learned some great lessons that are not taught in school. I learned to treat all people with respect, and that in life we actually get more out of giving to others than receiving from others. The Taylor Family Foundation sponsors summer camps at Camp Arroyo for children with chronic and life threatening illness. For many of these children, it is their only opportunity in life to feel like a “normal kid” as they share their summer experience with other children just like them. They don’t have to worry about “being different” or “weird” compared to other kids. The experience they have is priceless. The Taylor Family Foundation has a dramatic impact on these kids and their families. It is a life changer and a life saver for many. Last year, we held a “vanity for charity” event at my office where, through the generosity of this wonderful community, we were able to raise $25,000 for the Taylor Family Foundation, which allowed us to send 50 kids to camp. Please join us on Friday, October 11, 2013 when we will donate all revenue from our cosmetic injectables to the Taylor Family Foundation. If you have received or considered treatments with Botox, Dysport, or injectable fillers like Restylane and Juvederm, this event will give you the unique opportunity to help others while doing something for yourself. You can soften your wrinkles and put a smile on a child’s face at the same time. Please call us today at (925) 838-4900 to schedule your treatment. 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

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Page 26 - September 2013 ~ Danville Today News


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

Those of you who know me know why I became a Chiropractor. For those Doctors of Sycamore Valley Chiropractic of you who don’t, here is my story of how Chiropractic saved my life. When I was ten, I was diagnosed with scoliosis and told that the only options for treatment were bracing and surgery. I am thrilled to say that I never had to have surgery, but before I go into the details of my case, here is some information about scoliosis: There are three causes of scoliosis: 1) congenital, i.e. you were born with a wedged vertebra causing the spine to form a curve (15%), 2) idiopathic, i.e. unknown and most common cause (65%), and 3) neuromuscular, i.e. Imbalances in muscle tone (10%). Symptoms of all causes include mid-back pain and/or low-back pain, decreased range-of-motion, muscle stiffness, uneven posture, muscle fatigue, and difficulty breathing from an imbalanced rib cage. Many children are screened for scoliosis at their schools or by their pediatricians. While screenings are a great tool, they are not conclusive. We offer a number of additional simple tests to further determine if your child has scoliosis, including orthopedic tests and measurements on our digital X-ray. While all of these tools were helpful in my case, the most useful tool was an active ten year old, me, complaining of back pain. Growing up, I played every sport imaginable from dance and ice-skating to softball and basketball. When I was ten years old my back started hurting pretty regularly. My dad, having his own back problems, knew it wasn’t normal for a child and took me to a medical doctor. They x-rayed me and told us that I had idiopathic scoliosis. He explained that scoliosis is a sideto-side curvature of the spine. Mine was so bad that I needed to be braced until it got bad enough to do surgery. He said it so simply, so casually, as if it was a totally normal, not scary solution. We were terrified, and the last thing my parents wanted was to see their ten-year-old cut open. They took me to several other back specialists for further opinions, and each one said the

Museum continued from page 13

tendon, Deputy Executive Director of Projects at Contra Costa Transportation Authority will speak about the Caldecott Tunnel 4th Bore. In November Dona Spaugh and Cindi Grauer of Alamo’s Change of Seasons design shop will talk about home decorating for the holidays. The Museum is located at 3700 Blackhawk Plaza Circle, Danville 94506. Regular hours are Wednesday-Sunday 10am- 5pm. To book a tour or register for docent training, contact Nora Wagner at, or call the Museum at 925-736-2280. For more information, the Museum’s website is Many thanks to Jon Snyder, Marketing, Development and Membership Coordinator Blackhawk Museum, for supplying photos.

same thing…brace then surgery. My parents had seen a Chiropractor before for hip and back pain and knew it helped them, so they asked the doctor, “What about chiropractic?” The response was that it wouldn’t help. Perfect. My dad did his own research and found a clinical trial on how Chiropractic would affect children under 12 with scoliosis. It took place in Hayward at Life Chiropractic College West, and there was still one year left in the twoyear trial. They accepted me, and we drove to Hayward three times a week for that next year. When I entered the study, I had a 28-degree curve in my upper back and a 23-degree curve in my lower back. After four months I was out of my brace. After the trial ended they took a post X-ray, and my curve was reduced to 17-degrees in my upper back and 15-degrees in my lower back. I felt free! I no longer had to wear that hard plastic brace, I no longer had to lay on the floor from spasms restricting my breath, and I felt “normal.” Now, I still had curvature in my spine, but it was to a far lesser degree. I still get adjusted regularly to maintain my scoliosis, and I still have some back pain, but I DID NOT have to have surgery, and that is worth more than anything. Problems relating to scoliosis may depend upon the patient’s general state of health and can worsen or cause other problems in the body if not treated. It is important to address the spinal health of your child, even if symptoms are not severe. Does your child: • Experience unexplained back pain? • Slouch constantly and usually to the same side? • Have a shoulder that’s higher than the other? • Tend to favor one side when carrying heavy things? If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions or suspect your child may be experiencing symptoms of scoliosis, have his/her spine checked by a Doctor of Chiropractic as soon as possible! The earlier the detection and intervention, the better the outcome for your child. 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

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.

Hospice of the East Bay Estate Sale Service

1924 Hispano-Suiza commissioned by aviator and racecar driver Andre Dubonnet to weigh only 160 pounds has a body constructed of intricate tulipwood strips. (Photo courtesy of Blackhawk Museum)

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.

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.

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.

Hearing Loss Association

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

Stroke Support Group

The Stroke Support Group of Contra Costa County will hold its September meeting Monday, September 9th from 7-9pm in the Ball Auditorium at John Muir Medical Center Walnut Creek Campus located at 1601 Ygnacio Valley Road, Walnut Creek. The speaker will be David Blaschka, Personal Trainer who specializes in the older adult. His topic will be “Exercise for Everyone!” After the program, attendees will break up into three coping groups: stroke survivors without aphasia, stroke survivors with aphasia, and caregivers and families of stroke survivors -- each group led by a trained professional. For further information about the Stroke Support Group, contact Ann Dzuna at 925-376-6218. Meetings are free and open to the public.

Danville Today News ~ September 2013 - Page 27

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.

C L A S S I F I E D 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 Classifieds

Reach over 15,000 homes and businesses in Danville - Help Wanted, For Sale, Services, Lessons, Pets, Rentals, Wanted, Freebies... $35 for up to 45 words. $5 for each additional 15 words. Send or email submissions to: 3000F Danville Blvd #117, Alamo, CA 94507 or Run the same classified ad in our sister papers “Alamo Today” or “Lafayette Today” and pay half off for your second and/or third ad! 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.

Page 28 - September 2013 ~ Danville Today News

The Combs Team

Professionals You Can Count On



Call the Combs Team


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In 2006, I wrote an article titled “What’s a Bedroom Worth” and concluded from the data that a bedroom in Danville was worth on average about $250,000 when comparing 3 and 4 bedroom homes. It’s been awhile since I revisited the Danville 3 bedroom home, so I thought I might invest a little time and ink sifting through the data to see what can be learned. (Please note that multi-unit housing is not included in this analysis). Looking at the chart of sales, we can see that Danville three bedroom homes were at a peak in 2007, logging in at an impressive $494 per square foot and commanding a purchase price of $855,000. Following 2007, prices drifted mostly downward until a price bottom of $670,000 was obtained in 2011, representing an average price decline of 22.4% from peak. Dollars paid per square foot found a bottom that same year, declining from $494 to $360, indicating a 27.2% decline in square foot value. This is pretty much in line with the general market decline in Danville from 2007 to the bottom. Prices in 2012 jumped briskly to $706,000 and exceeded the 2011 average price of $670,000. This 2012 price jump was bit more than 5% above the previous year and definitely represented the beginning of a significant trend reversal. Given that unemployment in our area is around 4%, and interest rates are 2% lower than they were at the peak, and home values are 20% 3 Bedroom Home Sales Danville 2007-2013 Year $ Sq. Foot Avg. Price Size Sq.Ft. below the peak values of 2007 $ 494 $855,000 1730 2007, it’s reasonable to 2008 $ 423 $785,000 1855 assume that prices can 2009 $ 370 $653,000 1764 and probably will continue to advance even in 2010 $ 390 $713,000 1828 the face of rising mort2011 $ 360 $670,000 1861 gage interest rates. Par2012 $ 375 $706,000 1882 ticularly as the number of 2013 Ytd $ 453 $816,000 1801 distressed property sales

Just Listed Danville Charmer

Danville 3 Bedroom Home continues to fall. $900,000 What’s happening in 2013 can be seen as $900,000 $850,000 nothing less than remarkable. Prices paid $850,000 $800,000 for three bedroom $800,000 $750,000 homes have jumped to Avg. Price $816,000 on average. $750,000 Avg. Price $700,000 This represents a 15.6% increase in average price $700,000 $650,000 paid from the previous year. When I first came $650,000 $600,000 up with this number, I 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 ran the data again and Ytd Years 2007-2013 $600,000 performed the calcula2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 tions several times. Astounding as it may seem, the results appear Ytdto be correct. Price Years 2007-2013 paid per square foot advanced from $375 to $453 in the same time period for a 20.8% jump year over year. 2013 has been a record breaking year for Danville Real Estate. For the fun of it, I decided to compare Danville 4 bedroom home prices to 3 bedroom home prices and see if there has been a change from what I reported in another column in 2006. The average price paid for a Danville four bedroom home from Jan 1, 2013 to August 26, 2013 is $996,000. At $180,000, today’s difference is actually a little less than it was in 2007. The gap between the two has narrowed by about $70k. In theory, it still makes sense to add a bedroom, if you can get the job done for something less than $180,000. It’s important to remember that there really is no “average” home and no two homes are exactly alike. If you would like an honest opinion of your home’s current market value, please give me a call 925-989-6086 or send me an email For more Danville Real Estate articles, please visit our website at Average Sales Price Average Sales Price

Danville Real Estate Review: “Three Bedroom Home Prices Rocket Upward”

Danville 3 Bedroom Home

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3 bedroom, 2 bath home on flat lot backing a creek. Walk to 12 years of SRVUSD schools! Call for details.

Amazing Country Estate featuring a large executive home on 7 wooded and private acres. Full view of Mt. Diablo. Call for details.

Fabulous in every dimension. Dramatic entry, chef’s kitchen. $1,500,000. We represented the buyer.

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

left! e n yo Onl Beautiful oak studded lots for sale, one is 7 acres one is 11 acres. $500k each J. Rockcliff Realtors 15 Railroad Ave., Danville CA. 94526

Danville Today News, September 2013  

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

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