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January 2014 The Blackhawk Automotive Museum Guild: Sharing a Legacy of Invention By Jody Morgan

In 1991, three years after the Blackhawk Automotive Museum (the Museum) opened its doors to the public, Co-Founder Pat Behring organized the Blackhawk Automotive Museum Guild (the Guild). Since its inception, the Guild’s primary mission has been raising funds for the Children’s Education & Transportation Fund so that school groups can tour the Museum free of charge. Thanks to their efforts to reimburse student transportation costs, more than 175,500 school children have already enjoyed connecting with the Museum’s two-floor display of remarkable automobiles and learning how the invention of the automobile affected the course of history. Guild members include the Museum’s volunteers and docents as well as numerous additional individuals dedicated to keeping the Children’s Education & Transportation program adequately funded. Guild President Pat Behring laughs as she comments that her Gathering in the Museum foyer: Guild Members Dee husband Ken likes to tease her by Thompson, Jill Brennan, Pat Behring, Joyce Tucker and referring to the Guild as “the Girls’ Museum Programs Director Nora Wagner. Club.” Although many of the Guild members involved in fundraising are women, the majority of docents are men. Pat feels strongly that every child should have the opportunity to visit a museum. Dave Seabury brought his first group of students to the Museum from Pittsburg High School in November. Penning his thanks to the Guild he writes, “My students loved this trip. As you could imagine, the opportunities for trips like this are rare.” Two seniors in his auto-shop program had never previously been to a museum. His classes are still sharing photos and Joyce Tucker, Docent and Guild Event Chair, enjoys sharing her stories from their trip. Their knowledge of the Museum’s collection. only complaint is that they didn’t get to open up the hoods and hear the engines. A Monte Vista graduate, Seabury toured the Museum with his father when it opened in

See Guild continued on page 13

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Serving Danville Cowboys and Cattlemen: Ranching in the San Ramon Valley New Exhibit at the Museum of the San Ramon Valley

On January 28, an exhibit unique to the San Ramon Valley will open at the Museum of the San Ramon Valley in Danville. Its title is “Cowboys and Cattlemen, Ranching in the San Ramon Valley.” The exhibit will run through May 4. The exhibit focuses on cattle ranching from a historic perspective. Cattle first came to California with the Spanish in 1769, and ranching has been a part of the state’s economy since that time. In the San

Ramon Valley, cattle were raised by the first American settlers whose ranches covered both hill and valley land. Some of the ranches which focused on cattle include Blackhawk, Wiedemann, Rasmussen, and Elworthy. Many others had livestock and planted grains, hay and orchards, such as the Wood, Stone, and Glass Ranches.

See Ranching continued on page 22

The Matchmaker

The Role Players Ensemble presents The Matchmaker by Thornton Wilder from January 17 to February 8, 2014 at the Village Theatre, located at 233 Front Street in Danville. The Matchmaker is a wild farce which tells the story of the crafty scheming of Dolly Levy who turns the world of Horace Vandergelder’s Hay and Feed store upside down. The show is full of slamming doors, ridiculous disguises, and mistaken identities. This comedy served as the inspiration for the musical Hello Dolly. The play celebrates Wilder’s belief in shaking things up, taking chances and living life to the fullest. Showtimes are at 8PM on Fridays and Saturdays, and at 2PM on Sundays. Tickets costing $20-28 can be purchased at www.RolePlayersEnsemble.com, at the Danville Community Center (420 Front St, Danville), or by calling (925) 312-3400.

Volume V - Number 3 3000F Danville Blvd. #117, Alamo, CA 94507 (925) 405-6397 Fax (925) 406-0547 Alisa Corstorphine ~ Publisher editor@ yourmonthlypaper.com The opinions expressed herein belong to the writers, and do not necessarily reflect that of Danville Today News. Danville Today News is not responsible for the content of any of the advertising herein, nor does publication imply endorsement.


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Page 2 - January 2014 ~ Danville Today News

Boulevard View

By Alisa Corstorphine, Editor

While wading through the several hundred emails that appear in my email box each day, I ventured over to my “Junk Mail” folder, and the following headline jumped out at me. It “shouted,” “NEVER SEE, CHANGE, OR DEAL WITH YOUR CHILD’S POOPY DIAPER AGAIN!” I thought, “Really?! How could that be possible?” Then, I actually thought, “Why would you never want to see, change, or deal with a poopy diaper again? Can you just wave a wand and eliminate everything that is messy from your life for the sake of convenience? What on earth could they be trying to sell me or take advantage of? What could they offer that would change the reality of dirty diapers?” Looking deeper into the email there was a link to a video which may have talked about potty training, but if that were the path it was heading down, it would have been a misleading headline for dealing with, say, a newborn. I wasn’t willing to take the risk of infecting my computer for some crazy email. Let’s face it -- everything about kids is messy, and in my mind that’s OK. Childhood, for both parents and children, is a stage to learn from. I’ve got to believe that messy kids have been around since the beginning of time. Dealing with a messy kid, and a poopy diaper are stages to look back on and laugh, and cry, and sometimes be grossed out by. I could share some mortifying messy kid stories and even pictures, but my kids are old enough now where they wouldn’t appreciate stories of that sort, or the incriminating photos, printed for the public! Life starts messy and it ends messy. Society as a whole has moved away from the dirt – the soil – as we now get our meat and produce from the grocery store, our water from a plastic bottle instead of a well, and many of our material goods from far away lands. We’ve become accustomed to all of life’s conveniences and to the products and services that people perform for us instead of us taking care of them for ourselves.

How many people still garden? And by that, I mean how many people actually stick their hands in the dirt, insert seeds or seedlings, pick weeds, and nurture their garden until the fruit of their labor arrives? How many people do you know who could change their car tire instead of calling AAA on the side of the road? When you go to the mountains and need chains, do you pay to have someone put them on for you, or do you plan ahead with a garbage bag to lay on and do it yourself? When a pipe breaks at your home, at the minimum do you know where to turn off the main water? Go ahead, get your hands dirty, muddy, and heaven forbid even poopy! The point is, we’ve become far too sterile, far too removed from the willingness to plunge in and get involved in the messy details of life. For some people that works well. For me it doesn’t. I enjoy the satisfaction of seeing my seeds grow into tomatoes that my family will enjoy for dinner. And I’ll gladly pocket the $35 that the guys on the side of the road are charging to put on chains. Almost every skill you want to learn can be taught through an online article or YouTube video. Today’s technology has created a great database of knowledge to teach you how to tackle almost any task. Instead of a declaring a New Year’s resolution, I’ll change my ways no matter what time of year it may be. An ongoing resolution I’ve made has been to be more self-sufficient and prepared. For example, if we ever have an earthquake or other natural disaster, there will be those who require help and those who can offer help. I have taken the local Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) class, and I highly recommend that you check out and sign up for the free training. I’d like to be someone who is prepared enough to help those around me with whatever might be necessary. Hopefully the day never comes where this has to be tested, but if it does, I know my family and I will have a slight upper hand in making it through whatever happens. Whether it’s vacuuming a room or mowing the lawn, you may find a sense of satisfaction by reclaiming something you currently delegate to others and reveling in the satisfaction of a job well done – by you! I hope your holidays were safe and warm, and that you and your family enjoy much prosperity in this new year.

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Travel Across the Atlantic Ocean in One Evening

The Town of Danville is excited to announce a new series welcoming adults, ages 21 and over, to experience different regions around the world in the Taste and Toast of… series. The first of the series, Taste and Toast of France, is scheduled for January 9 from 7PM to 8:30PM at the Danville Senior Center, located at 115 East Prospect Avenue. This program will be a stimulating and fun event for adults to experience France through food, demonstrations, and books. Adults will enjoy fine French wines and delicious cheese, view scarf styling from a Nordstrom representative, savor delights during a cooking demonstration, peruse an exhibit of fine French items, and watch a presentation by Rakestraw Books of their favorite French picks. The cost is $5 residents, $6 non-residents, and $8 at the door. For more information about this new series or to register, call the Danville Senior Center at (925) 314-3490.

SRVRWF Presents Mike Winther “Restoring Our Constitutional Government”

San Ramon Valley Republican Women Federated (SRVRWF) presents Mike Winther with his talk titled, “Restoring Our Constitutional Government.” Mike is the president of the Institute for Principle Studies. As a frequent speaker at conferences and conventions, Mike teaches government, economics, and history to audiences throughout the country. Mike has written articles and essays on a wide variety of policy issues and is the author of a textbook on rhetoric and academic debate. He holds a degree in political science from the University of Idaho. Please come…GET EDUCATED and find out what we can do to restore our nation to its CONSTITUTIONAL ROOTS! The luncheon and talk will be held at the Crow Canyon Country Club, located at 711 Silver Lake Drive in Danville, on Tuesday, January 28th. Social time begins at 11:30am and lunch is at noon. The cost is $25. For reservations, call Mary at 925-837-5465 or email srvrwf.lunch@gmail.com. Reservations are due by Friday, January 24th. To assure yourself a place at the table, make your reservation early! For more information, visit www.srvrwf.org.

Meals on Wheels

Seniors in your community need your support! Meals on Wheels and Senior Outreach Services has been supporting seniors in YOUR neighborhood since 1968. Two of our programs, Meals on Wheels and Friendly Visitors, rely on the support of volunteers, and we need your help now more than ever. Meals on Wheels volunteer drivers deliver meals to local homebound seniors through regular two hour shifts once per week or as substitute drivers. Friendly Visitors volunteers provide weekly one-hour companionship visits to isolated seniors. To volunteer for either program, please call (925)937-8311.

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Page 4 - January 2014 ~ Danville Today News

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Delta Nu Psi - Donations for the Troops

Thanks to the excellent shoppers of Alamo and Danville we will not need to collect donations until January. We appreciate all of the wonderful donations and look forward to seeing everyone after the first of the year. At last count we have sent 27,466 pounds of “gourmet junk food” in 1,118 boxes. Please visit our website deltanupsi.org to read emails and see photos of our servicemen.

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, January 15th. 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 www.vfwpost75.org.

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AAUW January Meeting

The Danville-Alamo-Walnut Creek branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) will have Mary Knox, a Deputy District Attorney for Contra Costa County, speak about “Homicides, Drugs and Gangs in Contra Costa County, My Life as a Deputy District Attorney” on Thursday, January 30 at Diablo Country Club, 1700 Clubhouse Rd in Diablo at 11:30AM. Ms. Knox has been working in the county prosecution field for 28 years. She has received numerous awards and recognitions by county supervisors and elected officials for her work in gangs and homicide including Prosecutor of the Year by the Narcotics Officers’ Association in 2003. A graduate of Northgate High School in Walnut Creek, UCLA and Pepperdine University Law School, Ms. Knox progressed in her career in misdemeanor trials, felony trial team, sexual assault, major vendor narcotics prosecution, and gang homicide. She supervises the Homicide unit presently. A three course lunch will be served. The public is invited. To reserve a space, mail checks before January 20 in the amount of $29 to DAW-AAUW, PO Box 996, Alamo, CA 94507. Reserve through credit card by going to http:// daw-ca.aauw.net/jan2014. For more information, email daw.aauw@gmail.com. Information about the branch of AAUW is at http://daw-ca.aauw.net.

Questioning our Culture

In today’s culture, you can hear sexual assault jokes on TV shows like Two and a Half Men and Family Guy. Contemporary music, music videos, movies, and video games often degrade women and girls. One in four college-aged women are victims of sexual assault or attempted sexual assault, and the majority of these attacks on college campuses happen to women during their first four semesters on campus. The American Association of University Women (AAUW) of Contra Costa County invites the public to watch a one hour film, Sexual Assault, Naming the Unnamed Conspirator, on Sunday, January 26 at 1:30PM at the Lafayette Library and Learning Center, 3491 Mt. Diablo Blvd. in Lafayette. In the film, Anne Munch, JD, examines how societal attitudes influence cases of sexual assault. This free program is open to the public and is guaranteed to give you new insight concerning this very serious topic, as well as actions you can take to start to change cultural attitudes. If you have questions, contact Diane at dbellrettger@gmail.com.

Friends of the Danville Library invite you to view new and used books for sale from January 24 - 26. • Friday ~ 9 - 10, Members Only ~ 10 - 5, Open to the public • Saturday ~ 10 - 4 • Sunday ~ 12:05 - 3:45, Bag Sale $5 The selection includes children’s books, CD’s, DVD, and vintage books. The Danville Library is located at 400 Front St, Danville.

Free Tax Preparation

Free tax preparation for the 2014 tax season is available starting February 2014 from AARP’s Tax-Aide and United Way’s Earn It, Keep It, Save It (EKS) programs. All tax preparers are trained and certified by the IRS. While both programs serve taxpayers of any age, Tax-Aide does not have an income limit in whom they can serve, but EKS can only serve individuals whose incomes do not exceed $50,000. Beginning January 6, for information or to make an appointment for the Tax-Aide sites serving the San Ramon and Danville areas, please call (925) 973-3250 for the San Ramon Senior Center site or (925) 480-7202 for the St. Isidore Ministry Center in Danville site. For general information and other site locations, call (925) 7263199. For information on EKS sites, call 2-1-1 or visit www.earnitkeepitsaveit.org. To complete your tax return, Tax-Aide will need you to bring to the appointment your • Social Security Card or ITIN letter for all individuals to be listed on the return • Photo ID for yourself and spouse • Copies of all W-2s • 1098s and 1099s • Other income and deductions • Your 2012 Tax Return

Blackhawk Republican Women

The Blackhawk Republican Women present Tom Vaillancourt who will be speaking on “Health Care as Dictated by Obamacare” on Thursday, January 16 at the Blackhawk Country Club. Check-in is at 11:30 followed by a noon luncheon and speaker. Cost for the event is $25. The Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act (“Obamacare”) was passed into law by a Congress that had not even read it. Come learn about how it affects all of us from someone who has not only read it but reviewed and analyzed it with doctors, hospital administrators, insurance experts, as well as the affected citizenry. Mr. Vaillancourt is a Vietnam veteran, a retired successful businessman, and an involved and concerned activist. Come get the full story on the legislation that is taking over 1/6 of our economy, and learn of solutions that will actually make health care affordable for all Americans. Please make reservations or cancellations by Monday, January 13th with Ms. Lyons, 856 Turrini Drive, Danville 94526, rlyons1009@sbcglobal.net, or (925) 820-6452.

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@ sbcglobal.net for additional information.


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Danville Today News ~ January 2014 - Page 5


Page 6 - January 2014 ~ Danville Today News

How Your Food is Grown: Challenges and Sustainability Forum

The League of Women Voters of Diablo Valley (LWV), with Sustainable Lafayette and the Lafayette Community Garden, is hosting a forum titled “How Your Food is Grown: Challenges and Sustainability” addressing agriculture policy issues. The forum will be held January 9 from 7:30 – 9PM in the Lafayette Library and Learning Center on Mt. Diablo Boulevard. The event is free and light refreshments will be served. The forum is part of the LWV national study on agriculture and is meant to inform the public, as well as League members. Panelists will share their work and then answer questions from the audience. The panelists are Margaret Reeves, PhD, Soil Ecologist, Darryl Wong, UCSC Agroecology Farm Site Research Land Manager, and Barbara Cecchini, Brentwood Farmer.

San Ramon Valley Newcomers Club

The San Ramon Valley Newcomers Club is holding its monthly luncheon on Thursday, January 16 at The Forbes Mill Steakhouse in Danville. There will be an 11:30 social and noon luncheon. This event is open to current and prospective members in the San Ramon Valley area. For further information or a reservation, please contact Dee Bradshaw at (925) 837-9600.

Alamo-Danville Newcomers Club

The Alamo-Danville Newcomers Club is not just for Newcomers! Meetings are open to all who are thinking of joining the club, and casual welcome coffee get-togethers are the perfect opportunity to learn about the many facets of Newcomers while enjoying coffee and chatting with Club Members. The next free Welcome Coffee will be held Tuesday, January 28 from 10M to noon. For more information visit our website at www.alamodanvillenewcomers. com, call (925) 281-1307, or e-mail alamodanvillenewcomers@gmail.com.

Host Families Sought for Visiting French Students

For the ninth consecutive year, students from a large high school in the South of France are coming to Danville. Every visit by the students has been better than the last. The students will arrive on April 27th and depart May 9th . The teens stay with local families and have a full itinerary of activities during the days and only require your attention in the evenings and one weekend. The visit is an ideal opportunity to experience another culture and hopefully consider visiting France in return. Anyone interested in hosting a student (or students!) is welcome to participate. For more information or to find out about past year’s programs, please contact Martine Causse (teacher in charge of the group), at caussefly@wanadoo.fr or dachary.martine@orange.fr. There are many happy local host families ready to discuss any questions with you. The local contact is Danville parent Kevin Dimler, who can be reached at kevindimler@gmail.com or 925-718-5052.

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My New Year’s Resolution – Please Make it Yours Too!

By Supervisor Candace Andersen, Contra Costa County, District 2

Recently I had the opportunity to participate in the CHP’s “Start Smart” program with my almost 16 year-old-son. Not only did it have an impact on Sam, who will be eligible to get his driver’s license later this month, but it caused me to think more carefully about my own driving. This month, as you contemplate your New Year’s resolutions, consider what you can do to help keep our roads safer. Did you know that according to the California Office of Traffic Safety, in 2011, California’s traffic fatalities increased 2.6%? I am sure it will come as no surprise to you that alcohol, drugs, and distracted driving contributed greatly to these statistics. An additional compounding factor included people not properly wearing seatbelts. Sadly, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that about half of the 521 known unrestrained drivers/ passengers killed would be alive today, had they chosen to buckle up. A snapshot of some of our most current local traffic statistics for 2013 show: Unincorporated Alamo: Total Traffic Collisions: 58 Total Injury Collisions: 19 Total Fatal Collisions: 1 (No bicyclist or Pedestrian Involved) Injury Collisions Involving Pedestrians: 3 Injury Collisions Involving Bicyclists: 8 Town of Danville: Total Traffic Collisions: 310 Total Injury Collisions: 46 Fatal Collisions: 1 (No bicyclist or pedestrians Involved) Fatal Collisions: 1 (Pedestrian) Injury Collisions Involving Pedestrians: 6 Injury Collisions Involving Bicyclists: 7 I-680 (District II Section: from Diablo Road, Danville to Olympic Blvd. in Walnut Creek): Total Traffic Collisions: 225 Total Injury Collisions: 66 Total Fatal Collisions: 1(Motorcyclist) As you can see, our local statistics are alarming and changes need to be made. The recent CHP Start Smart event held at Monte Vista High School was well attended by drivers of all ages. Students from Monte Vista High, Cal High, San Ramon Valley High, Dougherty Valley High, and Del Amigo engaged in a very sobering presentation of how tragedy can happen in mere seconds. San Ramon Valley Street Smarts will be sponsoring another presentation in the spring. You can also attend this class sooner in Martinez at the CHP headquarters. Call (925) 646-4980 or go to www.chp.ca.gov/community/startsmart. html for more information. So while you are compiling this year’s list of resolutions, please add “help keep our roads safer,” to your list. As with any resolution, tips are helpful, so please consider the following: • Allow extra time to get to your destination • Avoid school traffic by planning your errands accordingly • Slow down • Be patient with other drivers • Avoid texting and/or talking on the phone even if it’s “hands free” Additional traffic safety ideas can be found at streetsmarts.com. Think of how much easier this resolution is in comparison to our Top Ten Most Common Resolutions, which usually include diet, exercise, balancing home and work, and finishing that never ending “To Do” list! Wishing you and your family a Safe and Very Happy 2014!


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GFWC Danville Women’s Club

Danville Today News ~ January 2014 - Page 7

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

The 103 year old Danville Women’s Club, a member of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC) kicks off 2014 Danville - According to industry experts, away altogether. In most cases, you can with a luncheon meeting on Thursday, there are over 33 physical problems that make a reasonable pre-inspection yourself January 16th, at our clubhouse located at 242 Linda Mesa will come under scrutiny during a home if you know what you're looking for, and Avenue in Danville. The program is Disaster Preparedness inspection when your home is for sale. knowing what you're looking for can help with speaker Jeff Hebel of the Danville Police Department. A new report has been prepared which you prevent little problems from growing On February 20th, the luncheon meeting features a program identifies the 11 most common of these into costly and unmanageable ones. problems, and what you should know about To help home sellers deal with this issue by Melissa Strongman from the Lindsay Wildlife Museum. them before you list your home for sale. before their homes are listed, a free report With spring just around the corner, the March 20th program Whether you own an old home or a brand entitled "11Things You Need to Know to is All About Bees with Eric Mussen of UC Davis Entomolnew one, there are a number of things Pass Your Home Inspection" has been ogy Department. Social time at monthly meetings begins am that can fall short of requirements during a compiled which explains the issues involved. at 11:30 with lunch at noon followed by the program and home inspection. If not identified and dealt To hear a brief recorded message about a business meeting. Guests are always welcome and lunch with, any of these 11 items could cost you how to order your FREE copy of this report, is free for first-timers. dearly in terms of repair. That's why it's call toll-free 1-866-265-1682 and enter Our first fundraiser of the year will be a Scholarship critical that you read this report before 1003. You can call any time, 24 hours a day, Bridge Luncheon on Thursday, February 27th. Gather you list your home. If you wait until the 7 days a week. together a foursome for bridge and enjoy a lovely luncheon building inspector flags these issues for Get your free special report NOW to learn and an afternoon of cards (with prizes) while supporting you, you will almost certainly experience how to ensure a home inspection doesn't scholarships for San Ramon Valley students. The cost is costly delays in the close of your home cost you the sale of your home. $80 per table of four players. We will start taking reservasale or, worse, turn prospective buyers tions in late January. Thursday, March 27th is the Club’s This report is courtesy of J. Rockcliff Realtors #01763819. Not intended to solicit buyers or sellers currently under contract. Copyright © 2013 Get Acquainted Tea. Attending this annual event is a great way to learn about the Danville Club, the General Federation of Women’s Chromatica to Perform two Concerts Chromatica, the San Ramon Valley based classical and modern music Clubs International, and what we do to support local charities and organizachorus, will perform two concerts in early February - at 7pm on February tions worldwide. Other upcoming events are the Garage Sale on Saturday, April 26th and the Spring Fashion Show benefiting Hospice of the East Bay 1 in Clayton at Clayton Valley Presbyterian Church, 1578 Kirker Pass Rd., Clayton, and at 7pm on February 2 at Beth Chaim Congregation, 1800 on Thursday, May 8th. Holbrook Drive, Danville. For information about the Club, please visit www.danvillewomensclub.org. Chromatica was founded in 2011 and now includes 26 men and women Reservations for luncheons can be made by calling 925-837-1165. singers. It performed its first ticketed concerts last June. Directed by David “By Working Together We Will Make a Difference” Huff, an outstanding director and operatic tenor who has sung both in New Danville Community Band Dinner Concert York and San Francisco and accompanied by Julie Rieth, Chromatica seeks Celebrate an early Valentine’s Day with dinner and a Winter Festival conto perform challenging pieces at a high level of professionalism. Entrance cert at the beautiful and historic Diablo Country Club on Sunday, February 9. to Chromatica is by audition. Enjoy an entrée choice of stuffed chicken breast Chromatica’s February concerts will include music by Benjamin Britten, with spinach, roasted garlic and sundried tomatoes, one of the greatest composers of the 20th century, whose centenary is being or a vegetarian porcini and truffle ravioli, concluded celebrated this year. His “Rejoice in the Lamb” is a particularly fascinating with a chocolate celebration dessert and a concert. setting of a poem by Christopher Smart, an 18th century English writer. The This fabulous meal and performance by the 85-piece program will also include works by Offenbach and Gounod, both celebrated band can be yours for $43 per person (all inclusive). operatic composers. Jean Berger’s “A Song of Seasons!” is a multi-part PM The evening begins at 5 with registration and no-host cocktails. The dinnerpiece that celebrates the annual calendar. Following the same theme is Ruth bell chimes at 6PM, and the concert will begin at the conclusion of your meal. Schram’s “Seasons Come, Seasons Go.” Also included is a piece by Brian For reservations, please call (925) 837-4221 (M-F 9AM – 5PM •Ask for the Front Desk). Lewis based on a Robert Burns poem titled “A Red, Red Rose.” Be prepared to provide entrée selection. Credit card purchase only is accepted, and there “I am delighted to be presenting the next set of concerts with Chromatica, are no refunds. The reservation deadline is Monday, February 3rd, and seating is limited. which has come a long way since its beginnings,” said David Huff. “Our For complete menu details and more information about this event, please visit standards are very high, and we are beginning to perform at a level that will www.Danvilleband.org. keep interesting the audiences that have already heard us. I hope that this set of concerts will attract new listeners as we seek to expand our musical presence in the San Ramon Valley and beyond.” Tickets can be purchased through the Chromatica website at www.chromaticachorale.org. Ticket prices for each concert are $15 if purchased before January 25 and $20 If you find him and your name is drawn! thereafter. There is a $2 discount for seniors He has become lost in this paper! and children under 16. He is very small, so you will have to look hard if you want to find him. Learn more about To be eligible send a letter telling us where you found him, us and opportunities to along with your name and address, to: audition for ChromatiLost Dog! ~ Danville Today News ca at our website www. 3000F Danville Blvd #117 • Alamo, CA 94507 chromaticachorale.org.

Lost Dog!

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Page 8 - January 2014 ~ Danville Today News

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Danville Today News ~ January 2014 - Page 9

Hello from St. Isidore School!

Stone Valley Middle School

By Maria Ward, Principal

Happy New Year! As we enter 2014 with much excitement and anticipation, we are very grateful for a successful 2013 school year. Much was accomplished and we are still in the midst of reflecting on what went well, what improvements need to be addressed, as well as what we are striving for as a school this new year. This month our Gospel Value is Courage, we celebrate this by modeling the actions of our Lord. We try to follow in His footsteps by doing the right thing, even when it is not the popular choice, owning our mistakes and asking for forgiveness when we fall short. It takes courage to be the person we are meant to be. We come back to school on Monday, January 6th and jump back into the swing of things. We gear up for our second trimester progress reports. Before we left for break, any large projects were completed so our students could truly enjoy and rest during the holiday. On Thursday, January 16th, our 8th grade students will be taking their graduation pictures. Many will be taking the placement tests for Carondelet and De la Salle in January. Our teachers will practice test-taking skills with our students so they feel confident as they take the placements tests. Science Fair, here we come. Our 7th and 8th grade students are working hard getting ready for their Science Fair. This is a staple project at St. Isidore. Our students are learning how to think critically and creatively on a project of their choosing. The science fair at St. Isidore invites scientists from the community to help us judge the projects each year. We are truly grateful for their support. We are getting ready for “Catholic Schools Week!” This year the theme is “Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge, and Service.” The annual observance starts the last Sunday in January and runs all week. Schools typically celebrate Catholic Schools Week with masses, open houses and activities for students, families, parishioners and the community at large. Our Student Leadership and their moderators, Mrs. Devine and Mrs. Lettire, will be holding rallies, contests, and many exciting activities for our students! Our New Parent meeting will be held on Friday, January 24th in our St. Isidore room across the street in our Parish Center. We encourage all new families who are considering a Catholic school education for their children to attend. We offer tours, insight, and treats. We welcome everyone to come see and learn about St. Isidore. We excel academically, are 21st century learners, are service based, and teach how to live out our Catholic faith. We hope you will join us. On behalf of St. Isidore School, we wish you a very blessed and enriched 2014.

Charlotte Wood Middle School By Christopher George, Principal

This year represents big changes in the educational landscape, as we’ve discussed often here. As we head in to 2014, we look forward to continuing on the road to the Common Core State Standards and the challenges and opportunities that come with those standards. Thanks to the help of our generous parent community through our Charger Fund, we were recently able to purchase 64 laptops for student use, along with 32 iPads for classroom use. This will ensure that we are more than prepared for the new Smarter Balanced assessments that we will be piloting this spring, without having to use our existing classroom technology solely for assessment. Additionally, with the help of the SRVUSD we are currently implementing a full formative assessment system which will help us learn much more about our students and their needs. This system will be an essential piece in furthering our conversations about our individual students and preparing interventions for our struggling kids. I want to thank our teachers for their work throughout 2013. As I’ve said often, last year was probably one of the most challenging years to be an educator in the history of American Education, as teachers had to reexamine their practices and improve upon their teaching skills. I hope you join me in thanking and supporting the wonderful teachers we have here at Charlotte Wood and throughout the SRVUSD. Happy New Year!

By Shaun K. McElroy, Principal Common Core Progress Report

Over two weeks in December Assistant Principal Karen Johnson and I visited every class on campus to inventory Common Core practices. The inventory provides us with a larger view of our progress towards implementation of the Common Core. I am continually amazed by the changes we have observed in our classrooms. The greatest shift we see is the movement from a teacher-centered classroom to a student centered classroom. Our teachers are continuing to improve their programs by participating in district wide workshops, observing/collaborating with their peers, and cataloging their best practices. Other things we are working on: • Reading strategies – summarizing • Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Classrooms (Core 8) • “Close reading” techniques for complex text (One Core teacher from each level has been trained) • Hour of code. Learn more at http://csedweek.org and try this at home More information about the Common Core program can be found at https:// sites.google.com/a/srvusd.net/common-core/

Good Bye

Guidance counselor Sarah Baumgartner says good-bye to Stone Valley and hello to the classroom. Sarah will be attending Saint Mary’s College in January to earn her teaching credential. Sarah has been with us since June 2010.

Dates to Remember

• Monday January 20th – Martin Luther King Holiday • Friday January 24th – 2nd Quarter/1st Semester End • Monday January 27th – Teacher Work Day When we return from winter recess on January 6th only 14 days will remain in the 1st semester. Semester report cards are the only permanent academic records kept at school. Quarter grades and progress reports are just temporary marks.

Sneak Peek @Stone Valley STEM Academy

Implementation of the Common Core State Standards puts us (the United States) in a position to better compete in the global market place. The companion skill set necessary for our next generation work force is fluency in the technological world. Starting in the fall of 2014, Stone Valley will offer students from anywhere in the San Ramon Valley access to a unique Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) elective program that will continue to build on elementary technology skill sets and provide gateway experiences for very robust high school programs. The STEM path at Stone Valley looks like this: 6th grade exploratory wheel • Environmental science • Computer science 7/8th grade elective program • Robotics • Advanced robotics/engineering • Video Production • Environmental Science • Computer projects What does the future look like? Go to http://youtu.be/vdvo5FlRqmM and see!

Danville Girls Chorus Spring Audition

The Danville Girls Chorus (DGC) will be holding auditions on January 8, at 3:45PM at Charlotte Wood Middle School in order to evaluate and place new singers in the appropriate choir level. If you know someone in grades 3 to 8 who loves to sing and would like to audition, email admin@danvillegirlschorus.org to register. The DGC is made up of 125 girls from schools across the Tri-Valley area. The primary goal of DGC is music education. Under the direction of Ken Abrams, award-winning Choral Director for the San Ramon Valley High School, girls are taught the basics of vocal production and learn the fundamentals of musicianship and note reading. They are also introduced to a variety of musical styles, ranging from classical to contemporary, folk tunes, and pop music. This year the chorus will perform three major concerts, with the Winter Concert in December being the first performance of the 2013/2014 season. They will follow this performance with a spring concert in March, a tour and performances in May in San Diego, and a Pops concert in June. For more information, visit www.danvillegirlschorus.org.


Page 10 - January 2014 ~ Danville Today News

Resolutions: To Do or Not To Do? By Devyn Holliday, San Ramon Valley High School Senior

Your ears are ringing with the canonized bangs and booms of last night. Congrats, and welcome to 2014! It’s the first day of the New Year, and you suddenly feel the urge to make resolutions. Resolutions seem to be all the rage lately, so why not join in on the fun? What is it about the New Year, which is really just another day, that makes us want to suddenly get up and be more than we have ever been? What’s the difference between changing for the better on September 6th versus January 1st? As a New Year’s resolution skeptic, I asked around school with a quizzical brow raised as I searched for answers. “It’s a fresh start,” or “I can leave behind the excuses of last year,” were the most common responses in my relentless badgering of my peers. I just could not fathom why people even bother to “resolve to change” if New Year’s is just another day. So to humor all the devout resolvers in the world, here are some suggestions that should make for attainable positive changes in your life! First off, you should be realistic in what you choose to improve. Start small, and work your way up the ladder; if you’ve never ran more than two miles without stopping, don’t set a goal of running a marathon by mid-February. Don’t try to become vegan if you just had In-N-Out last week. The bottom line for setting goals is: make them attainable! As human beings we respond to results more than we do to effort alone; we live for the end result, but hate the journey. The journey to becoming that better, 2014 version of yourself is often long, but remember, the best things in life are those gained through experiences. So, how shall you get over the impatience of wading through the tumultuous tides of the journey to a better you? Set steps on your path to greatness! Goals without a plan of action are simply wishful thoughts. Start your journey off right, with a pen, paper, and some deep thoughts. Write everything down: what you want to do, how you will do it, what will it take for you to accomplish this goal, and finally, dates to reach goals by! Dates provide concrete marks for us to track our progress, giving our impatient human psyches something to grasp onto in this realm of the intangible “change.” If your willpower ever begins to wane, just stop and remember why you started in the first place. You have the clean slate thanks to this New Year; forget all your past disappointments, and refuse to let your yesterdays make up your today! Enjoy the ride through wonderful 2014.

SRV Christian Academy By Jan Brunkal, Principal

Christmas time at SRVCA was very busy. We finished an amazing season of beautiful Christmas plays, carols, and celebrations of Jesus’ birth. Our K-2 graders presented the play, For the Glory of the King and blessed all of us with the beautiful story of Christ’s birth in story and song. We all enjoyed the 3-5 graders musical We Three Spies. This fun adventure helped us all realize the true meaning of Christmas. Erin Warner, our music teacher, does a wonderful job helping our students use their great talents. Earlier in December some of our junior high students spent an evening spreading Christmas joy with the senior citizens at Barrington Court. Students helped the residents make crafts and shared the homemade treats they brought. Traditionally our halls have been filled with caroling by our 8th graders. This year was no different. Their big voices and great enthusiasm made everyone smile. Even our kindergartners shared some favorite carols as they visited us in the school office. It was such a wonderful time of year to be reminded of the greatest gift of all our Savior’s birth. January is re-enrollment and enrollment season at SRVCA. If you are interested in enrolling your child for the 2014-2015 school year, please visit our website at srvca.org or call the office at 925-838-9622. We would be happy to give you a tour and answer any questions you have. Kindergarten enrollment is also happening this time of year. If you have an interest in an all- day, small teacher/student ratio kindergarten program, please give us a call. We have the following activities planned beginning in January. • January 30 – Parent meeting 7pm in room 200. No childcare available. • February 6 – Story hour in our school library • February 12 – Cookies and craft with the Principal Please join us for any or all of the events. Have a wonderful New Year!

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Del Amigo High School By Joseph A. Ianora, Principal

Del Amigo, as with each of the other local high schools, is quickly approaching the end of the semester. Unique to Del Amigo, because we are a “credit recovery” school, some of our students will be returning to their “home” schools as they are now back on track for graduation. Nine students have completed the necessary 210 credits to graduate; those students are entering the work force and/or attending one of our local community colleges to continue their education. Five students are concurrently enrolled with Del Amigo and a community college. The end of January (and close of the semester) will be filled with transition as we say goodbye to many of our current students and welcome new ones who will need to engage in alternative education to get back on track. Change is always difficult when working with teenagers, but we accept that it is a way of life. Del Amigo works hard to help those transitioning both to and from us, as we feel it is very important to provide an environment that is safe, secure, and educationally stimulating. Although change can be difficult, we have had much to celebrate. We demonstrated our holiday spirit of giving to those in need by collecting two big barrels full of food for the Contra Costa Food Bank. Additionally, our culinary classes made cookies for all to enjoy on the last day of school before Winter Break. Educationally, this past month (in addition to all of the class work) students have: • Learned about liquid and gasses with some typical experiments • Learned about Aquaponics • Visited the Bedford Gallery • Visited Siemens Auto body (CTE Automotive Tech) • Toured the Tao House Each of us at Del Amigo is looking forward to the many challenges and opportunities the New Year has in store for us. We wish you all the best for a happy, healthy and successful 2014.

Monte Vista High School By Janet Terranova, Principal

The holiday season seems to bring out the best in our students and community. As a community we have so much to be thankful for. We have an amazing student body that is bright, caring, and thoughtful of their fellow students and the community. Every year I am amazed at the generosity of our students and families. This year we collected over 5,600 cans to be donated to the Contra Costa Food Bank and SHARE Food Pantry, well over our goal of 3,000 items. Under the direction of Leadership, third period classes collected holiday gifts and food for 49 families through Salvation Army. PTSA provided $200 to the Leadership class so they could provide 350 stockings to students at our sister school Verde Elementary. In addition to these two major programs, we also have One Closet drive that gives gently used teen appropriate clothes to young people in need. Many classes and staff participated in the Santa Program providing letters and or gifts to children in Oakland. It is heartbreaking to read letters where big brothers, all of 7 or 8 years old, are asking for gifts for their siblings. Whenever I hear negative comments about teenagers, I remind those folks about our students. Moving on to 2014… When we return from Winter Break students will be completing the first semester, and finals will start January 21. While finals can often be anxious time for students, families can do much to alleviate needless stress. As a parent, assure your student that all you expect is for them to try their best. If you are worried about finals, try to remain cool and positive with your student. Some students may need help with organizing their study time and strategies they will use to study. Give positive feedback to your student for making a plan for studying and carrying through with the plan. Cramming rarely works; encourage your student to begin reviewing now and develop a strategy for studying for each final. Most students benefit from active learning rather than passive studying. The more your student can manipulate the information in a variety of ways the more successful the study session; flashcards, lists, charts, graphs, diagrams, turning the information into a story and telling the story are all active strategies for learning. Today our students rely on the internet; encouraging them to access many of the free online resources is a good study strategy. Space out study periods. Spending short periods of time studying is more beneficial than trying to study for long periods of time. There are many websites that offer additional strategies for studying. Remember that it is important to stay positive and encourage your student. If you would like more information about Monte Vista and events at the school, please visit our website at www.mvhigh.org.


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Secrets for Being Prepared for the SAT Exam By Susan Sokat, Club Z! In-Home Tutoring Services

Many high school juniors are beginning to prepare for the spring SAT exam. Test dates are January 25, March 8, May 3, and June 7. It’s important to be fully prepared for this exam since the SAT predicts how well students will perform academically as college freshmen. College admissions personnel use the SAT or ACT as a single, standardized means of comparison in their acceptance decisions.

What’s important to know?

What is on the test – Math, Critical Reading, and Writing are the subsections of the SAT. Each has a possible score of 800, or 2400 total. The math section contains arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and a miscellaneous section including probabilities, data interpretation, and logical analysis. Calculators may be used. The reading contains sentence completion and passage based reading. Writing contains a multiple-choice section and an essay. How is the test scored – On the SAT, incorrect answers are scored against you. It is important to know when to guess and when to skip. Questions are rated as easy, medium, and difficult. Submitting scores – Study the College Board website www.collegeboard. org to learn about submitting scores. Retesting is common. Colleges typically use your highest score from each subsection from multiple test dates. This is called superscoring. So, if one time you score better on reading, and another time you score better on math, that’s okay, they will use your best. What score should you try to obtain – Study www.collegeapps.about. com. Click on Top California Colleges or Top Colleges and learn what the average SAT score is for each college. This is the best way to see if your score is competitive for the college of your choice. How to study: • The College Board Blue Book is standard study material for the SAT. • Take a practice test and determine your study plan accordingly. • Allocate your time and prepare a study calendar. You may focus the majority of your study time on the areas you are weakest in, but make sure to study for all sections of the exam.

Danville Today News ~ January 2014 - Page 11 • Time yourself when doing practice tests. • Consider using a tutor or a proven company for SAT Test Preparation. Start now for a March or May test date. Don’t wait until the last minute. Plan to finish your sessions right before the test. Think of the SAT as your “letter of introduction” to a college, so do all you can to be prepared for the exam. Club Z! In-Home Tutoring offers a proven SAT Test Preparation program. The in-home tutoring approach allows the study time to be focused on your individual needs. Practice tests will determine prescriptions for study, and tutors will guide you through all of the questions, the correct answers, and why. With the proven plan of study the average increase may be 200 points. Please visit www.clubztutoring. com/danville or call (925) 786-7149 for SAT Test Preparation information. PSAT, and ACT programs are also available. Advertorial

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Page 12 - January 2014 ~ G Danville Today News UILD

How Plastic are You?

Blackhawk Museum Guild January Program

By Cynthia Ruzzi, President, Sustain-

What to do with your STUFF?

You won’t be sorry that you attended the FREE able Danville Area decluttering session on Wednesday, January 15th at Have you ever overheard someone referring 10AM at the Blackhawk Automotive Museum. Get a to a woman as ‘plastic’? The term just as easily great start into 2014. could be used to refer to a man, but regardless of gender, “she’s so plastic” Join Sally Allen, founder of A Place for Everything®, usually describes a person as ‘fake’ or ‘phony’ – or suggests that she has unLLC and Certified Professional Organizer, for a lively dergone one too many cosmetic surgeries! However, if the world continues its discussion and tips15, on what to do with your stuff. We love love affair with plastic polymers, one day soon we might all be more plastic January 2014 • 10:00 AM stuff. We hate stuff. How did we get so much stuff, and how can we ever dig out? than a Barbie doll. Her tips include practical solutions for right-sizing to simplify your environment. In the opening pages of Plastic, A Toxic Love Story, author Susan Freinkel Sally Allen developed her organizing skills from personal experience: raisattempts to go an entire day without touching anything plastic. After touching ing a family of five while moving 19 times, both domestic and international. numerous plastic objects during her morning routine, she revises her plan and Sally’s professional career includes working for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic decides to write down everything she touches that is plastic. This strategy nets Organizing Committee and the 1996 Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games her four notebook pages of plastic items by the end of the day! If you’re not while maintaining a career with Marriott Hotels and Resorts. convinced we all live in ‘Plasticville,’ then consider that the average American Sally has been recognized for her expert organizing abilities as a featured uses between 330 – 500 plastic bags a year for an average of 12 minutes before guest on local television and the Home & Garden Do-It-Yourself Network, throwing them out (that adds up to between 100-150 BILLION plastic bags the author of many articles about organizing technique, and as the focus of used last year in the United States alone). numerous organizing stories seen in national publications. Unlike most other trash, plastic isn’t biodegradable, and only five percent Tipsactive in NAPO (National On How To Organize SallyGreat has been Association of Professional Organizers) of our bags are recycled. What happens to a discarded bag besides becoming and was instrumental in founding the local chapter in Denver as its first President. a modern day tumble weed floating along our streets? They never go away! You be sorry that you attended our the decluttering session on to Wednesday, Jan 15th.Sunlight eventually breaks the bonds in the plastic polymers, a process known as Sallywon’t was surprised and honored to receive NAPO 2007 Service NAPO Award. A great Sallystart is ainto new2014. resident in Walnut Creek and is looking forward to leaving photodegradation, but the plastic bits never really go away. There is a floating her relocation skills behind her. “island” of plastic swirling around in the Pacific Ocean known as the ‘Great Join Sally Allen, founder of A Place for Everything®, LLC for a lively discussion and tips on Pacific Garbage Patch.’ And while you may not be planning to visit the island what to do with your stuff.San We love stuff. We hate stuff. How did we get so much stuff? Ramon Valley High School on your next family vacation, you may want to think about how this ‘plastic And how can we ever dig out? Her tips include practical solutions for right-sizing to By Ruth Steele, Principal simplify your environment. soup’ can visit us! Fish in the Pacific Ocean eat the plastic bits (thinking that In January every year, millions of people make New it’s plankton, better known as fish food), and then we eat the fish, so essentially resolutions. This is a time when many of usalook Sally Allen developed her Year’s organizing skills from personal experience: raising family of back assess and where we need to makeprofessional changes incareerwe’re eating the toxins from the plastic water bottle someone chucked out. five while moving 19 times, bothand domestic international. Sally’s order toAngeles be moreOlympic successful, happy, healthy in our lives. includes working for the 1984 Los Organizing Committee and the 1996 San Ramon Valley High School Environmental Club (E2) students and Sustainable Danville Area bring the award-winning film Bag It to Danville. Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games2013 whileI maintaining a career withconMarriott In reviewing come back to the same Bag It, a touching and often funny documentary about how we use and abuse Hotels and Resorts. clusion I reach every year - there are many, many plastic, is the featured film to be screened on Tuesday, January 28th at 7PM in systems and processes that are relatively simple to Sally has been recognized for her expert organizing abilities as a featured guest on local change - how you buy lunch in the cafeteria, how we the San Ramon Valley High School Performance Arts Center, located at 501 television, Home & Garden Do-It-Yourself Network, the author of many articles about manage students who are late, how visitors check in Danville Blvd. The group hopes to raise awareness of the impact of single use organizing technique, and as the focus of numerous organizing stories seen in national plastics, like plastic bags and water bottles, on our community. at the office - but far more challenging is behavioral change. publications. The film is an eye-opening look at the environmental and health dangers Why is this so hard? If all students came to school on time everyday, did their Sally has been NAPOtests, (National Association Organizers) homework and active studiedinbefore then life would beofsoProfessional much simpler - for ev- andposed by the global use of disposable, non-biodegradable plastic products. Told was instrumental in any founding local chapterand in Denver as its Sally was eryone! But talk to parentthe with teenagers they will tellfirst youPresident. how difficult with wit and humor, Bag It follows “everyman” Jeb Berrier as he embarks on a surprised and honored to smallest receive the NAPO when 2007 Service to NAPO it is to institute even the changes it requires a shiftAward. in behavior. global tour to unravel the complexities of our plastic world. The film focuses Why is it that we are so resistant to change, even when we know it will on plastic as it relates to our throwaway mentality, our culture of convenience, Sally is a new resident in Walnut Creek and is looking forward to leaving her relocation benefit us? and our over consumption of unnecessary, disposable products and packaging skills behind her. A lot of it has to do with our unconscious brain sabotaging what our conscious – things that we use one time and then, without another thought, throw away. Dee wants Thompson brain us to do. There is extensive research that now shows that social Remind me, what’s AWAY?? If I remember that ‘away’ really just means ‘out Guild Program Chairman networking (Twitter and Facebook) stimulates the brain to release the hormone of sight’ and ‘see you soon as fish food,’ then I might remember to grab a few oxytocin (not to be confused with the painkiller oxycontin). This hormone is of those 10 re-usable bags sitting in my car trunk as I enter the grocery store. released when mothers first bond with their babies and when we have positive I’ll even fill a re-usable water bottle if it keeps toxins out of my fish, and it’s a interactions with people we care about. It may be part of the reason why teenagers bonus knowing that I’m not adding to the island vortex in our oceans. are motivated to spend so much time interacting with people online. General admission to the film screening is open to the public with seating When we eat chocolate or carbs our brain releases serotonin, another happy availability on a first come basis. A $5 suggested donation benefits the San Rahormone. Much of our behavior is driven by our unconscious brain encouraging us to make choices because certain choices trigger release of these hormones which mon Valley High School Environmental Club (E2). Join the Near-Zero Waste Pre-show. Weather permitting, we’ll gather in front of the theatre for snacks makes us feel good. Our battle begins when our conscious brain (cerebral cortex) tries to override our unconscious brain. We tell ourselves rationally, and logically, and games. Test your recycling knowledge and win cool prizes. Learn how to ignore the impulses or cravings that push us towards behavior that results in the to protect our creeks and water resources. Please bring a re-usable container for beverages. Activities begin at 6:30PM. For more information regarding this production of these two hormones, but this is a powerful struggle. Research also shows that we are better able to make changes when we are event, or to donate to the San Ramon Valley High School Environmental Club happy. This is probably because if we already have high levels of serotonin and (E2), please visit www.sustainabledanville.com or follow us on Facebook. oxytocin, then we don’t feel as deprived when we have to give something up. (without their phones!) would be a good alternative. This way, they won’t feel For teenagers in particular, many of the things they like to do instead of they are being deprived of their social interactions. However, they should probhomework are clearly much more enjoyable than homework! Therefore it’s ably be studying in a place where parents can see that work is actually being easy to understand why it can be such a battle trying to shift behavior. Part done, and it would be reasonable to give students guidelines around what they of the key with teenagers may therefore be to use strategies that replace one need to complete during the study session. enjoyable behavior with another. For example, if they would rather be social Having agreements about what they can do, once the homework is complete, networking instead of studying, then maybe having them study with friends is also a great way of motivating teenagers to focus on getting work completed.

What to do with your STUFF???

Blackhawk Guild Program for January

Museum Guild Presents Sally Allen, Certified Professional Organizer


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Tax Talk with Bob

Tax Updates and IRS Audits and Reviews By Bob Shalon, IRS Enrolled Agent, H&R Block

Technology is wonderful. It allows us to do so many things digitally that used to take forever or be inaccessible. Electronic bill paying, record keeping using software, budgeting, and social media, are just a few areas made easier and much faster thanks to technology. Unfortunately, the IRS is now utilizing all the advances in technology in reviewing tax returns. Over the past six months I have worked in H&R Block’s year-round office helping taxpayers respond to IRS letters, and I have seen a significant rise in the amount of letters sent out. Understand, most of the letters are not audits, and the IRS is not always correct in their requests. Below is a compilation of what I have come across most frequently: • CP 2000 letters - These types of letters have compared all tax documents (W2, 1099, 1098) received by IRS to your tax return to make sure that they match and have been reported. • 1099B documents report stock transactions, but they only do so for the proceeds of a sale. If a taxpayer omitted reporting this document, the IRS will calculate additional tax on only the proceeds which is incorrect. You may have a loss and get a refund, but documentation is required to show the original cost of the stock and dates purchased. • Any state refund from the prior year may be taxable on your federal return and will generate a letter if not reported. Important however, is that state refunds are not always taxable. If you have not itemized your deductions (used standard deduction), they are not taxable. They still must be reported and documented. • Taxable employer benefits from Cafeteria plans such as dependent care payments appear on W2’s. IRS computers now pick up anything not reported. • Any settlements from individual or class action court cases must be reported and are picked up by the IRS. Not all settlements are taxable, but again, they must be reported and explained. • Short sales on property generate a 1099C for the amount that is forgiven by a bank. Usually this can be excluded from income, but there is an exact procedure. Be aware that just because the IRS has greater policing capabilities than in the past, that does not always make them right! On a different note, my H&R Block office in Danville has taken on a larger space in Sycamore Square, next door to our old location. The facilities are brand new and look spectacular! Thank you to all of our clients in Danville and Alamo -- YOU MADE THIS HAPPEN. We will be open all year round from now on moving forward. Happy New Year Everyone. Please call me at any time at 925820-9570, email bob. shalon@tax.hrblock. Bob Shalon, EA com, or stop by my Master Tax Advisor • Enrolled Agent office located at 718 San Ramon Valley 925.820.9570 Blvd., Danville with 718 San Ramon Valley Blvd, Danville any questions. Sycamore Square (next to Lucky’s) Advertorial bob.shalon@tax.hrblock.com

Danville Today News ~ January 2014 - Page 13

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Guild continued from front page

1988. He is recommending the excursion to colleagues teaching a variety of disciplines, particularly Graphic Design. Kristy Nass has been bringing kindergartners from St. Ignatius Christian Elementary School in Concord to the Museum for 12 years. The school now teams kindergartners with sixth grade buddies, so the two age groups arrive at Blackhawk together. The Museum then accommodates the interests and goals of each group separately. Nass explains that this popular adventure would be impossible without the Museum’s transportation funding. The trip supports two subjects in the kindergarten curriculum: transportation and community helpers. Nass‘s students particularly enjoy hearing about historical community helper Berta Benz. Basing her presentation on Mindy Bingham’s book Berta Benz and the Motorwagen, Discovery Room Designer Robin Wiley

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 www.srvgensoc.org, or email SRVGS@SRVGenSoc.org.

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The Museum's replica (one of a few in existence) of the 1886 Benz Motorwagen is a favorite starting point for tours. (Photo courtesy of Ken Brown, Blackhawk Automotive Museum).

See Guild continued on page 24


www.yourmonthlypaper.com Page 14 - January 2014 ~ Danville Today News USS Potomac By Linda Summers Pirkle I love history about the WWII era, and my husband loves being near the water, so the USS Potomac docked in Oakland is a winning combination for both of us. We arrived at the “Floating Whitehouse” at 11AM on a clear and crisp Sunday morning. The historical yacht is docked at Jack London Square year round, and during the winter months tours on board the stationary craft are available. Our guide, Ron, a retired school teacher, gave us a brief history of the boat. Originally built in 1934 as a Coast Guard cutter Electra, the 165 foot vessel was renamed and converted to the Presidential Yacht USS Potomac by Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) as a US Navy vessel in 1936. The typical use of the yacht was for short weekend fishing cruises that got him away from the hot summers in Washington D.C. The craft is not fancy, but she is a boat with history and charm. We learned that Roosevelt, who had a deep love of the sea, wanted a place to go to get away from everything, a place where he could get around independently without constant help from aides. His bed, for instance, a single bunk with attached wooden sides, was perfect for the disabled President to get in and out of without assistance. A little wicker bed is set up next to the bunk. This was for Fala, his beloved dog, a Scottie that went everywhere with the President. After she was de-commissioned, the Potomac was for a time owned by Elvis Presley, was a floating disco, and was even impounded at Treasure Island when her hull was pierced by some pilings. The most moving part of the tour for me was hearing excerpts from FDR’s “Fireside Chat” that was broadcast from this very boat. The president spoke of his chance to relax and even go fishing during a very difficult time in his presidency. January is a fitting time to visit the Potomac - FDR’s birthday is January 30. An easy walk from the Potomac is the Jack London Square (JLS) Farmers Market. Carrie King, Market Manager for Pacific Coast Farmers Market Association, says, “My favorite new vendor is Muffin Revolution. I really enjoy the Cavewoman Muffin made with oranges, ground almonds, raspberries, sunflower seeds, honey, and chia seeds. They’re awesome!” The JLS Farmers Market has plenty of traditional baked goods as well. Tables and chairs located behind the farmers market are perfect for relaxing. My husband and I sat with our crepes and coffee, enjoyed a bit of sun, listened to the seagulls squawking, and watched the boats go by. The USS Potomac is located at 540 Water Street Jack London Square in Oakland. Their website is www.usspotomac.org, and their phone number is 510-627-1215. Their 2104 cruise schedule runs April until October. On April 27, opening day, the Potomac is the “Blessing Boat” for all the yachts during the annual Blessing of the Boats. The “God Squad,” according to Marti Burchell, Executive Director of the Potomac Association, comes aboard and as the boats pass by the Potomac, a priest, minister, and rabbi offer blessings for a safe season. Winter Dockside cruises are held Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday between 11AM and 3PM from November to April. The USS Potomac is scheduled for a Coast Guard mandated dry docking in 2014. Help is appreciated to assure a continued cruise schedule. For more information call 510-627-1667. For more information, and updates on the Farmers Market, check out www.facebook.com/ jlsfarmersmarket. 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 0 (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 Coverthemap@gmail.com.


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Danville Today News ~ January 2014 - Page 15

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Page 16 - January 2014 ~ Danville Today News

Life in the Danville Garden

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By John Montgomery, ASLA, Landscape Architect Décor in the Garden

Beyond the function of the garden and beauty of the plants are the added touches that personalize your garden. “Design is in the details,” I often tell my clients. Decorating your Danville garden can take an ordinary or even a special garden to the next level of detail--to extraordinary! Artful touches that can be added are unique art objects such as sculpture, bronzes, antiques, one-of-a-kind water features, or objects de arte, etc. These artful touches may be found at such places as art galleries like New Leaf gallery in Sonoma, which has one-of-a-kind pieces for garden focal points. Some are very expensive while some are priced quite reasonably. However, beautiful one-of-a-kind pieces can add that extraordinary detail that will be well worth it or you can find art in “found” objects. A touch of whimsy is simply added to the garden with antique garden ornaments and furniture. The whimsy that can be added by unique pieces that were made by your children and pieces found at a garage sale, at the salvage yard, or on eBay and Craigslist bring that extraordinary flare that will take your garden to next level. I love going to salvage yards to locate these unique objects. Years ago junk was cheap! Places like Urban Ore and Ohmega Salvage in Berkeley made junk popular and expensive. You used to be able to go to Urban Ore and walk out of there with antique architectural junk like pediments, columns, doors, windows, pedestals, wrought iron grills, gates, fencing, etc. for cheap, but the price of architectural junk has now gone through the roof. So if you looking for “junk” as garden décor, expect to pay dearly for it. Some great places to shop for salvage are Ohmega Salvage and Urban Ore in Berkeley, and Artifact Design and Salvage in Sonoma. If you want some beautiful antique pieces, visit Alamo’s Friendship Farm Antiques in the Cherubini complex. Judy and Downing at Friendship Farm have a wonderful selection of European pieces like antique window grilles, shutters, garden gates, and ornamentation. Garage sales and stops taken while traveling the small foothill towns along Highway 49 are also places to find garden décor. If you can think it, it can be décor in your garden. Rusty metal objects are fun. Years ago I found two circa 1900’s wheelbarrows being thrown out on “Big Trash Day.” Ring the bell of the homeowners throwing out the items to ask if you can recycle their trash items for them! Garden décor can be antique as well as contemporary. Modern pieces can finish a contemporary garden design. You can use large slabs of styrofoam painted bright colors to create a colorful backdrop to a stainless steel sculpture or water feature. Colorful crushed and tumbled glass, glass balls, mirrors and old bowling balls add a contemporary sparkle to a dull garden. In the era of landscape designers like Gertrude Jekyll, classical ornamentation such as sundials, gazing balls, bird baths, armillary spheres, and statues of Venus or St. Francis of Assisi added a touch of timeless beauty. Classical ornamentation can easily be found through catalog suppliers such as Haddonstone, Ltd., A. Silvestri Co. in South San Francisco. Décor in the garden is personal. It should be objects and pieces that you love. They should express the spirit and style of the garden owner. Remember “design is in the details” and so is the individuality and character of your garden. If you’re not a plant aficionado or you don’t have an artistic bone in your body, decorating your garden is is a way you can express yourself and have lots of fun doing it.

A hot tip from your local Landscape Architect: Step out of the mainstream in your search for garden decor and use your imagination. You’ll be surprised at what great décor you can find when you rely on your own ability to make something from nothing. Gardening Quote of the Month: “The love of gardening is a seed that once sown never dies.” ~Gertrude Jekyll If you would like me to write on any particular subject, email your ideas to jmontgomery@jm-la.com or for design ideas, visit www.jm-la.com. Advertorial

How Your Food is Grown: Challenges and Sustainability Forum

The League of Women Voters of Diablo Valley (LWV), with Sustainable Lafayette and the Lafayette Community Garden, is hosting a forum titled “How Your Food is Grown: Challenges and Sustainability” addressing agriculture policy issues. The forum will be held January 9 from 7:30 – 9PM in the Lafayette Library and Learning Center on Mt. Diablo Boulevard. The event is free and light refreshments will be served. The forum is part of the LWV national study on agriculture and is meant to inform the public, as well as League members. Panelists will share their work and then answer questions from the audience. The panelists are Margaret Reeves, PhD, Soil Ecologist, Darryl Wong, UCSC Agroecology Farm Site Research Land Manager, and Barbara Cecchini, Brentwood Farmer.

Walnut Creek Garden Club

The Walnut Creek Garden Club is holding a meeting on Monday, January 13 at The Gardens at Heather Farm, located at 1540 Marchbanks Road in Walnut Creek. A general meeting will start at 9:30, followed by Social Time from 10:30-11:00 and a program from 11:00 - Noon. The program will be led by Diane Bloomberg, Landscape Design Consultant and Certified Aesthetic Pruner. Guests and prospective members are welcome. For more information, contact Maureen Little at mslittle44@gmail.com.


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Winter Pruning By Blaine Brende & Joe Lamb

Danville Today News ~ January 2014 - Page 17

Now is a great time to prune your trees to protect them against winter storms. A judicious pruning can reduce the likelihood of branches falling and causing damage to person or property. Evergreens, such as cedars, and many species of deciduous trees, such as valley oaks, can be pruned in the late fall and early winter, and now is by far the best time to prune pines. Monterey pines can only be pruned between October 1 and February 15 without attracting pine beetles. These potentially lethal beetles, which can smell sap from long distances, go dormant in the winter. Some species of beetles carry pine pitch canker, an increasingly common fungal disease that disfigures pine trees and sometimes kills them. If your tree has dead tips scattered throughout the canopy, it probably suffers from pine pitch canker. To prolong the aesthetic life of the diseased tree, prune out the infected tips when the beetles are dormant. Even healthy trees require occasional pruning to keep them safe and beautiful. Many trees are subject to branch and column failure. Thinning the crown reduces the wind-sail effect of the canopy and thereby reduces the risk of the tree failing in a windstorm. Removing weight from the ends of heavy branches reduces the likelihood that those branches will break. Pruning trees for safety is a craft requiring study and experience. A well-pruned tree should not only be safer, it should look beautiful. At Brende & Lamb we take great pride in both the science and the art of pruning. Each plant has a natural growth pattern. Our trimmers are expert at accentuating the shape given the plant by nature. Within the bounds of what is healthy for each species, Brende & Lamb works to Visitors welcome. make trees as beautiful as possible. Our trimmers are well practiced in aesthetic pruning and are attuned to the artistic flow inherent in tree forms. The form may be weeping, as with Willows and Chinese Elms. A 12-week comprehensive look at the Christian worldview. In some species, such as Monterey Cypress, branches ascend at acute angles to the trunk, giving the tree Gatetree Baptist Church • 101 Gatetree Drive, Danville Wednesdays, January 22 - April 9 @ 7PM an upswept look. Branches in the coast live oak bend and twist, forming complex arcs. Each tree species 925-820-9477 • www.gatetreechurch.com has a unique form and flow. When necessary, trees and shrubs can be reduced in size, but crown reduction requires a good eye; a poorly reduced tree looks like a thicket of stubs. Topping is almost always a bad idea. However, the crown of many trees can be reduced by cutting back long branches to the crotches formed by shorter branches growing in the same direction. If the branch doesn’t fork, we cut back to the lowest growth point that will neither create a thick stub nor undermine the arching quality of the branch. When a tree or shrub has been reduced in this way, it’s difficult to detect the cuts or tell that the branches have been shortened. Sometimes the form of trees needs to be modified to capture or accentuate views. View pruning requires restraint and a willingness to compromise. In view work, the beauty of the view and the beauty of the tree often seem to be in conflict. Many pruners focus solely on the view and simply hack back the tree. However, more than the tree’s beauty is at stake. Topping stimulates production of water sprouts, and it also causes disease and rot - all of which make the tree more, not less, dangerous. However, view problems can often be solved by looking at tree-and-view as an aesthetic unity, as two elements that complement and frame each other. Sometimes, lightly bringing the tree back without cutting into major branches can prevent further encroachment on the view. To recover even more of the view, we create “windows” by selectively removing branches not essential for the tree’s natural form. We can enlarge these by removing small branches that rise or drop into the view. Thinning above and below the window creates an overall feeling of openness, rather than an abrupt gaping hole. The image of Mount Diablo framed by the trembling convenient shuttle service to needles of a well-windowed Redwood proves that nature and civilization can home, the office, bart and bacK. complement each other - as can aesthetics and practicality. If your trees need a little TLC to protect them against winter winds, or if ` your property could use a little fire protection, please call 510-486-TREE FactoRy lubE, oil diaGnoSiS/ (8733) or email us at bl@brendelamb.com for a free estimate. Additionally, SchEdulEd & FiltER chEck EnGinE MaintEnancE liGht inSPEction go to our website www.brendelamb.com to see before and after pictures, Multi-Point Performance Let our trained experts perform an Improve mileage and extend Inspection initial inspection and diagnosis. We’ll client testimonials, and work in your neighborhood. Advertorial the life of your vehicle - follow Drain and Replace All Engine Oil

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Page 18 - January 2014 ~ Danville Today News

Clip Notes

By Jody Morgan

For thousands of years humans have been turning plant fibers into cloth. As early as 10,000 years ago Stone Age Europeans at the Swiss Lake Dwellers site were cultivating flax from which linen is woven. Yet I’ve often wondered how ancient people managed to recognize the basis for a complete wardrobe in a bunch of thin leafy stalks. Still harder for me to imagine is how New World desert dwellers found ways to fashion dangerously armed fronds of agaves and yuccas into apparel. Nevertheless, Native Americans began using fibers from the leaves of those plants as long ago as Old World inhabitants started looming linen. Harvested for fiber for at least 10,000 years, Agave lechuguilla forms thickets in the Chihuahuan Desert. Individual plants are little larger than a basketball, with leaves no more than an inch wide. “Lechuguilla” means “little lettuce,” a reference to the visual resemblance of the plant to a head of lettuce. There the similarity ends. The recurved leaves are so sharp that one of this agave’s common names is “shin-dagger.” Once imbedded in human flesh, the spines are difficult to remove. They can cripple a horse and deflate the tires of off-road vehicles. Some intrepid soul, however, discovered that the forbidding leaves are packed with fibers that are long, strong, and extremely durable. Lechuguilla mats thousands of years old are on display at Seminole Canyon State Park in Texas. Native Americans created clothing, sandals, baskets, nets, and rugs from the fibers. Today the fibers (labeled “ixtle” or “istle”) are processed in Mexico for brushes, insulation, matting, bags, and twine. Offering heat and chemical resistance superior to

Cinema Classics and Musical Notes The Taming of the Shrew By Peggy Horn

This month’s Cinema Classic is a film adaptation of a play by William Shakespeare entitled, The Taming Of The Shrew, from 1967. The role of Petruchio is played by Richard Burton, and Elizabeth Taylor plays the female lead, Katharina. Katharina’s father has various opportunities to marry off his younger daughter, Bianca, but he refuses to do so until his more difficult elder daughter, Katharina or Kate, is married first. Petruchio is persuaded to seek Kate’s hand, and he negotiates a handsome dowry from Baptista Minola, Kate’s father, after which he agrees to marry violent, scolding, shrewish Kate. Using some reverse psychology, Petruchio even manages to change the shrewish Kate into an obedient wife. Various subplots are also revealed including a love story between Bianca and the suitor that becomes her husband, Lucentio. Because this is excerpted from the actual play, only some of the dialogue is actually Shakespeare’s. Nevertheless, the screenwriters have captured the essence of the plot and have retained some meaningful lines from the original. Normally, excerpted and abridged versions don’t sit well with me, but I must admit this version of The Taming Of The Shrew, is easy to follow, funny, and touching. Furthermore, however brief, exposure to the works of Shakespeare tends to be a good thing. In my opinion, it is Richard Burton’s performance that makes the movie. The costumes and settings add to the richness of the film. It is theorized that this play was originally performed sometime between 1591 and 1594. As proof of the play’s continuing popularity, a 1999 movie, Ten Things I Hate About You, is based on The Taming Of The Shrew, as is an earlier Cole Porter musical, Kiss Me Kate. All are available for rental or purchase online – inexpensively!

Musical Notes

For your music downloading pleasure I propose a beautiful musical revelation by Richard Burton himself in the role of King Arthur from the 1960 Broadway musical Camelot, entitled, “How To Handle A Woman.” The method described in this song might have served Petruchio well. This musical by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe was popular in my youth, and many of the songs were well known. It is said that President Kennedy enjoyed listening to the recording of Camelot, especially Mr. Burton’s (King Arthur’s) moving description of Camelot itself.

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synthetics, Lechuguilla fibers are a biodegradable, sustainable natural product. Sisal comes from another agave, Agave sisalana. Thought to be native to the Yucatan, this species was first established in Brazil as a commercial crop during the 1930s. Brazil is now the world’s leading producer of this fiber, which is most often used in rope and twine. Paper, cloth, wall coverings, and carpets have all been fashioned from sisal. A wheel fitted with blunt blades crushes and beats the agave leaves to extract sisal fiber for commercial production. Primitive people pounded the leaves by hand. After the undesirable parts of the leaf are washed away, the sisal fibers are dried, brushed, and baled. Cultivated plants can yield up to 1,000 fibers per leaf, but fibers comprise only 4% of the plant’s weight. While sisal fabrics have a rather coarse texture, yucca fibers from various species can be processed into much finer cordage. Prehistoric residents of the southwestern deserts of the United States learned to make linen-like cloth from yucca fibers. First, they soaked folded pieces of the central leaves in a solution of wood ash and boiling water. The exterior of the leaf could then be removed so the fibers could be straightened, separated, and dried. Next, the fibers were soaked in cold water and rubbed together until they softened. Finally, the soft fibers were pulled into a fluffy mass that could be spun into thread thin and smooth enough to weave fine textiles. Perhaps they were inspired by familiarity with spinning cotton. In use in nearby Mexico for about 5,400 years, cotton grows in a much moister environment. The preparation of yucca cordage for ropes or basketry does not require the final softening step. Different tribes employed different techniques for soaking, pounding, and scraping the epidermis from the leaves and separating the fibers. Twisting the fibers together could be done by hand. Originally classified as a member of the yucca genus, Hesperoyucca whipplei is a California native that yields exceptionally fine fibers. Caution needs to be exercised in approaching this 3-4 foot species because it brandishes sharply pointed foliage in all directions. Many gardeners overlook the threat posed by weeding around the blue-green blades because after 5-7 years, a huge flower stalk topped by a white flame-shaped inflorescence emerges before the plant expires. Spanish bayonet is one apt moniker. Our Lord’s candle is another. The long fibers within the leaves were twisted into fishing line, coiled into sandals, and even woven into blankets. For decorative effects, the fibers were dyed claret brown using oak bark or whitened by being buried in mud and then washed and combed. Whoever triumphed in the original duel that exposed the valuable fibers within the armature of agave and yucca foliage may have been on a different quest. Agaves and yuccas also provided food, shelter, and medicine for Native Americans.

Protect Your Plants

By Brian Kemble, Ruth Bancroft Garden curator

After a week of sub-freezing temperatures across the Bay Area, many home gardeners are now trying to understand what to do about their frost-damaged succulents. Below are tips to help frozen plants survive and to help protect them against future cold weather. 1. Refrain from pruning dead material until all danger of frost has passed. The mushy leaves and stems act as insulation, and pruning them in the winter weakens plants’ defenses against subsequent cold spells. 2. Avoid pruning or fertilizing in the fall--plants need time to harden and prepare for winter. 3. Protect plants from cold by draping or pinning frost cloth or greenhouse film over them. Stock up in advance because these items are often sold out just before a freeze. 4. Plant succulents in a raised mound of dirt for increased drainage, allowing water to drain away from roots. Cold water pooling at a plant’s roots is a surefire way to weaken or kill it. 5. For plants that don't require full sun, planting under a tree can help provide protection. 6. The eaves of a house also provide protection. If your plants are in pots, move them close to the house in winter. The following are succulents that are famously hardy: • Yucca glauca can withstand well below zero-degrees Fahrenheit • Agave montana is hardy down to the teens. • Aloe capitata quartziticola is hardy down to 20 degrees Information about The Ruth Bancroft Garden is available at www. ruthbancroftgarden.org.


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Solar Currents

Danville Today News ~ January 2014 - Page 19

“Be the Ball, Danny” By Mark Becker, GoSimpleSolar

In the United States, the future of the solar industry appears rosier than ever. In the 1980’s, perhaps many people were saying the same thing, but at that time the industry fizzled after initial market penetration. There are many factors why this time there will be continued and rapid growth. High product efficiency, low product cost, high electric rates, favorable utility connection regulations, legislative mandates, and governmental incentives all play a part in the rapid growth of the solar industry. None of the above factors would have any effect on solar industry growth without the breadth and depth of consumer adoption solar electricity. As of press time, over 195,000 solar projects are operating in California alone. Each and every one of these customers is taking advantage of monetary credits, rebates, and the resulting lower (or no) electric bills. Businesses and homeowners are saving lots of money. Legislative Front - Assembly Bill 327: This bill, signed into law recently, will have a huge impact on California’s solar industry and consumers. The law has created a floor, not a ceiling, for our state’s 33% renewable energy goal. The law also mandates that utilities study, and better understand, the benefits, and infrastructure changes that the distributed energy model (rooftop solar) demands. The Governor has provided guidance to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and said that if customers make an investment in a solar electric system before July 1, 2017, the net metering law which validates that investment should be considered protected for the expected life of the solar system*. Typical solar system life expectancy and warranty is 25 years**. A potential re-write of electric rates is in the works. Rate hikes of lower tier electric rates will be met with resistance; these rates have been legislatively protected for low-income households. All customers can currently take advantage of these legislatively protected low first and second tier rates. Solar customers actually benefit more with expensive afternoon rates when their solar system generates the most credits via the net metering program. The law leaves room for a surcharge on ALL residential electric customers. The utilities are regulated, and therefore rate hikes and surcharges have to be approved by the CPUC. The utilities will get away with what they can get away with; the CPUC will hopefully keep surcharges reasonable assuming said charges are necessary for the utilities’ financial health. What perplexes me: PG&E will provide solar customers excellent credits for the solar power that we generate and supply to the grid. (This results in hundreds of thousands of electric bill savings for an average solar customer. Supposedly, PG&E doesn’t generate profit on the sale of electricity.) On the other hand, to protect their interests, they’ll argue that solar power is not providing any grid infrastructure or power plant savings. Partnership: At this moment, PG&E is providing my home’s electricity, mostly for my family’s Christmas lights. Twelve hours from now, my solar system will be back-feeding power to the grid, and PG&E will be crediting me the cost of that power, then distributing that power to the grid. PG&E is not financially responsible for generating or transporting that power. In the summer especially, this means fewer peak power plants will be in operation for the increased electric demand created by air conditioning which equates to lesser loss of electric power transmitted over miles of electric lines, and re-selling of the power that solar systems generate. Considering these factors, clearly there are savings for PG&E. For those of you with disdain for PG&E, I’ll ask you to temper that by recognizing the services PG&E provides. These services are critical to our economy, our state, and the continued success of distributed rooftop solar power. There’s a time for cooperation, and there’s a time for competition. Disregarding solar power’s contributions to the grid make PG&E’s position disingenuous. PG&E: Some advice from Caddyshack: “Be the Ball” and reach “total consciousness” like Carl. Otherwise, end up in the “lumberyard” like Danny. *Net Metering is the law that provides solar customers credits for the kilowatts that a solar electric system produces, reducing or eliminating a solar customer’s electric bill. **SolarWorld USA has just released a 30year product warranty for their “Protect” line of solar modules. 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 NEW and larger showroom at 100 Railroad Avenue, Suite B, Danville (behind Pete’s Brass Rail) or www.GoSimpleSolar. com, or email Mark@GoSimpleSolar.com. Advertorial

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Page 20 - January 2014 ~ Danville Today News

Seek and Ye May Find Trouble By Evan Corstorphine, Portable CIO

Every week someone brings in their computer which is infected with nasty malware. These are just ordinary folks, and they’re not doing anything high-risk with their computers, and they can’t figure out how they’re getting targeted. Why do they get infected when we at Portable CIO don’t? We use the same products we recommend for you. How is it, that when I am on my system for most business hours of every day, I don’t get all these viruses, but you do? It’s probably because I know what to look for, usually, and that keeps me safe. I will continue to share what I know with you and hope that you can be as safe as I am. Today I will explain a very common exploit that I’m sure you’ve unwittingly run across. It’s called “Search-bombing,” and it is an increasingly popular way for bad guys to infect your computer. I’ll explain how it works. There are two basic ploys used in Search-bombing, but the mechanics are the same. Let’s say that there is a current event you want to follow, such as the birth of a royal baby or a plane crash. Or let’s say you want a technical support phone number for a popular tech company. The bad-guys create fake web domains, and stuff them with fake content designed to push their site popularity in the search engine ratings. As an aside I’ll mention that these criminals are experts in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), so this is child’s-play to them. Right now if you search for a current topic on your computer, I can guarantee that some of the top results will point directly to infected websites, or to companys who are leading you to believe they are someone they’re not. When you see a highly-ranked website, you intuitively believe that it must be legitimately established and must have been doing all the right things to be so highly regarded by the search engines. This is not necessarily true. It just means the people who own that website know how to play the game. The site you visit might be just a week old. And when you click onto that website, one of two things may happen. The first option is that by using sophisticated virus code, a “drive-by” virus or malware can be instantly installed on your computer as soon as you visit this infected website. The virus may be something like the fake FBI warning malware

Financial Resolutions for the New Year By Sima Alefi

About 45% of Americans usually make New Year’s resolutions, according to a survey from the University of Scranton. But the same survey shows that only 8% of us actually keep our resolutions. Perhaps this low success rate isn’t such a tragedy when our resolutions involve things like losing a little weight or learning a foreign language. But when we make financial resolutions — resolutions that, if achieved, could significantly help us in our pursuit of our important long-term goals — it’s clearly worthwhile to make every effort to follow through. So, what sorts of financial resolutions might you consider? Here are a few possibilities: • Boost your contributions to your retirement plans. Each year, try to put in a little more to your IRA and your 401(k) or other employer-sponsored retirement plans. These tax-advantaged accounts are good options for your retirement savings strategy. • Reduce your debts. It’s not always easy to reduce your debts, but make it a goal to finish 2014 with a smaller debt load than you had going into the new year. The lower your monthly debt payments, the more money you’ll have to invest for retirement, college for your children (or grandchildren) and other important objectives. • Build your emergency fund. Work on building an “emergency fund” containing six to 12 months’ worth of living expenses, with the money held in a liquid account that offers a high degree of preservation of principal. Without such a fund, you might be forced to dip into your long-term investments to pay for emergencies, such as a new furnace, a major car repair, and so on. You might not be able to finish creating your emergency fund in one year, but contribute as much as you can afford. • Plan for your protection needs. If you don’t already have the proper

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or the new darling of the underworld called “Encrypted Ransomware,” which encrypts your hardisk until you pay an expensive ransom (and even then they may still hold the data hostage). The FBI cyber-terrorism squad calls it nearly the ‘perfect crime,’ for its perpetrators are basically untraceable. If there was ever a good reason to have excellent up-to-date backups of your whole computer, that is it. The second option the bad guys use is to publish technical support telephone numbers on look-alike websites they’ve made look like major corporations (Yahoo, Microsoft, etc.,) but are really used to redirect people to official-sounding services which are actually there to rip you off. You may think you’re calling Yahoo, or Microsoft, or Google, but you’re actually calling a bunch of crooks. For example, a customer needed help, and they searched for help on Google. The search engine entry was made to look like it was Microsoft they were calling, but it was a company out of a foreign country which masquerades as Microsoft. This company is incredibly dishonest, and they’ll say anything to gain your trust. Our client unfortunately allowed these people to install software on their computer remotely, and a big mess ensued. How do you prevent this? The best way is to pay attention. First off, when you search for things, be extremely careful about the results you choose to follow. If it’s a news story, try to only click on those organizations you know are legitimate, such as CNN, Fox, Reuters, USA Today, Drudge Report, or MSNBC. If you’re looking for phone numbers, only click on links that go directly to the company you are looking for. Be aware of the web address you’re clicking on, and make sure it actually contains “….microsoft.com“ if you’re looking for Microsoft, or “…cnn.com” if you’re looking for CNN. If you actually pay attention to the web addresses, you will see very clearly that most legitimate ones clearly refer to the organization you want. There are exceptions to the rule, of course, but if you proceed with some caution, knowing that infection through search-engine-results is a clear and present danger, hopefully you’ll begin making more cautious choices and avoid this costly and inconvenient problem from happening to you. When in doubt, make the one phone call you know won’t steer you wrong, and have us take a look before you make a costly mistake. Our friendly techs are waiting for your call at 925-552-7953, or by emailing helpdesk@theportablecio. com. Happy New Year! Advertorial amounts of life and disability insurance in place, put it on your “To Do” list for 2014. Also, if you haven’t taken steps to protect yourself from the considerable costs of long-term care, such as an extended nursing home stay, consult with your financial professional, who can suggest the appropriate protection or investment vehicles. You may never need such care, but that’s a chance you may not want to take — and the longer you wait, the more expensive your protection options may become. • Don’t overreact to market volatility. Too many people head to the investment “sidelines” during market downturns. But if you’re not invested, then you miss any potential market gains— and the biggest gains are often realized at the early stages of the rally. • Focus on the long term. You can probably check your investment balance online, which means you can do it every day, or even several times a day — but should you? If you’re following a strategy that’s appropriate for your needs, goals, risk tolerance and time horizon, you’re already doing what you should be doing in the long run. So there’s no need to stress yourself over the short-term movements that show up in your investment statements. Do whatever you can to turn these New Year’s resolutions into realities. Your efforts could pay off well beyond 2014. This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor. 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 www. EdwardJones.com. Advertorial

Books for the Homebound

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


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Asset and Family Protection By Robert J. Silverman

The term “asset protection” is defined and used in many different ways. Here, I use it to describe various methods by which people try to protect their assets, and thus themselves and their loved ones, from prospective “judgment creditors” – those in our litigious society who might successfully sue and obtain a judgment against you. A retired former business owner (who, along with his wife, are among my favorite long-term clients) has scheduled an estate planning review meeting for January. In anticipation of the meeting, he sent me a N.Y. Times article titled the “Paradise of Untouchable Assets” – the Cook Islands. The author describes, and quotes the opinions of a number of experts about, this international asset protection haven. A growing number of wealthy foreigners, including hundreds of Americans, proactively park the bulk of their assets there. Cook Islands has strict bank secrecy laws, and the courts there generally disregard foreign (e.g. U.S.) court orders. Hence, creditors here have a very difficult time enforcing judgments against an American’s assets there. In his note to me, this client postulated that in these days of tremendous deficits and unfunded government liabilities, the government appears to have two choices – one, to confiscate private property and two, to make the dollar worthless. In light of this, he wondered whether transferring assets to the Cook Islands or some other such vehicle might make sense. I have great respect for my client, who is very smart and curious, and is not as radical as he may sound. Offshore accounts have surface appeal – particularly to those with millions of dollars in assets and in high risk occupations or who have other reasons to fear being sued. I’m not an expert on these strategies, but based on what I’ve heard and read, they come with substantial risks, including the uncertainty of foreign governments and international politics. Accordingly, these strategies may or may not ultimately work; and meanwhile, the poison of worrying about that is likely not worth the supposed cure. I am often asked, “What are the best ways to protect my assets?” Aside from these intriguing offshore asset protection strategies (and some developing domestic strategies in certain states), the starting point is to purchase appropriate insurance policies. These policies should have a broad scope of coverage and adequate limits. In most cases, they should be accompanied by personal and business umbrella

Danville Today News ~ January 2014 - Page 21

policies to cost-effectively increase your liability limits. Unfortunately, insurance will never cover all risks, but it can reduce or eliminate a huge number of them. Revocable Living Trusts are a wonderful tool in many respects. However, despite widespread misconception, they do not offer creditor protection to the settlors – people who establish the trust. An important silver lining is that Revocable Living Trusts can, if drafted properly, offer robust creditor protection for the settlor’s beneficiaries (loved ones, such as children or grandchildren) via a “spendthrift” provision. An appropriate spendthrift provision prevents or makes it extremely difficult for a judgment creditor of your loved one from being able to take any assets from your trust to satisfy a judgment against such loved one. If you are particularly interested in controlling risks for your loved ones, you can provide extra creditor protection by retaining assets in trust for many years following your death, or even for the entire lifetime of your loved ones. Such an extended or lifetime trust has some disadvantages, but it’s definitely worth discussing the benefit of keeping trust assets largely out of reach of your loved ones’ creditors (including their spouses and/or future spouses) while allowing them to take and use distributions as needed. For those who own investment real estate or a small business, it is generally best to form, own and operate these assets in a business entity, such as an LLC or Corporation. Properly formed, capitalized and operated business entities shield the owner’s personal assets from the potential judgments of creditors that arise out of or are related to one’s business or investment activity. Irrevocable Trusts (as opposed to Revocable Living Trusts) are also compelling asset protection vehicles. They can offer dramatic benefits, such as potential federal estate tax savings. They involve some loss of control, are somewhat expensive to set up, and can be complex. Nevertheless, for people with substantial wealth, the advantages often outweigh the disadvantages. I offer a complimentary Estate Planning primer and/or a 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@ rsilvermanlaw.com, www.silvermanlaw.com. * Estate Planning * Trust Administration & Probate * Real Estate * Business 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


Page 22 - January 2014 ~ Danville Today News

The Importance of Winter Renewal By Barbara Persons, MD, Persons Plastic Surgery, Inc.

January is a month of change, improvement, and renewal. It is a time when, after the chaos of the holidays, we have a chance to look back on the past year - our actions, our lives, and ourselves - and consider what changes we want to make. New Year’s resolutions are made, but they are often forgotten. According to one poll, 75% will keep their resolution a week, 64% will keep them for a month, and only 46% will make it to the six month mark. This year set your sights on something that will be sure to last, something we like to call “winter renewal.” Winter is associated with shorter days, cold weather, holidays, overall cheerfulness, and a bit of chaos. This year, after the commotion settles and before the longer days of spring and summer return, treat yourself to one of the many renewing treatments offered at Persons Plastic Surgery. Of particular interest this season is our newest renewing technology, the Fraxel Dual Laser. We are fortunate to be one of the few clinical locations in this area to have this latest version of Fraxel. It is a proven laser technology that can help reverse the visible effects of aging, helping you to look as young as you feel. When we are younger, our skin’s natural rejuvenation process of stimulating collagen helps to reverse damage caused by the sun, dehydration, scarring, wrinkling, etc. As we age, our bodies’ ability to naturally generate collagen diminishes. The laser energy delivered by the Fraxel stimulates collagen (bringing back volume) and resurfaces the skin’s top layer at the same time. The Fraxel Dual treatment is customized by skin type to penetrate varying depths of just the top layer of skin, and because this latest

Mystery in the Sky: The Crash of Flight 773 Exhibit Now – January 26, 2014

Nothing ever happens in Danville! Right? Wrong! Fifty years ago, on May 7, 1964, Pacific Airlines Flight 773 crashed three miles east of Blackhawk. Quiet Danville was transformed into the center for recovery operations. The plane, a gamblers special returning from Reno, dove into a cattle pasture on Camino Tassajara, exploding into smithereens along with all of its 44 occupants. The cause of the crash totally baffled airline, civil aviation, and police authorities. Equipment malfunction? Inclement weather? A concealed bomb? A berserk pilot? Why?! The pilot had been in his usual radio contact with Oakland Air Traffic Control one moment, and then the aircraft vanished from the radar scope the next. A weird very garbled last transmission from the plane shed no clues. In the wreckage scattered over 100 yards near the top of the hill, investigators found bent silver dollars and a burned frame of a revolver. One of the passengers was a San Francisco police officer. Was all this horror caused by a rogue cop? Authorities took over Danville’s San Ramon Valley Chapel (now the site of Gegan, McCoy legal offices) to handle funeral arrangements and the upstairs old Grange Hall of the Village Theatre across the alley as a morgue. Funeral director Mel Whalin and his wife, who lived behind the chapel, brewed 20 pounds of coffee over the next few days to sustain the coroners and investigators. Danville, home to nearly 13,000 people and the second largest urban area outside Concord, was the natural staging area. San Ramon Village straddling Alcosta Blvd. was just a blur of 2,500 people. Newspaper reporters described Danville as the scene of the crash, and their accounts ran in newspapers across the western United States and even in Time magazine. In a way, Danville was thrust into the limelight much as it was in 2009 when Danville resident, Captain Sullenberger landed his US Air plane in New York City’s Hudson River. The Museum of the San Ramon Valley hosts the “Mystery in the Sky” exhibit to unravel the mystery for everyone. The exhibit features artifacts and newspapers never shown in public before. The daughter of the pilot, Julie Clark, along with her sisters will highlight a Museum event on January 8 at 7PM to share her family story and to describe subsequent aviation changes. On the 50th anniversary of the crash on May 7, 2014, the Museum in collaboration with Role Players Ensemble will feature an original play written byArtistic Director Eric Fraisher Hayes entitled Tassajara 1964. The Museum of the San Ramon Valley is located at 205 Railroad Ave. in Danville. It is open Tuesday – Friday from 1 – 4PM, Saturday from 10 – 1PM, and Sunday from Noon – 3PM. Special mini exhibit admission fee is $1. For additional information, call (925) 837-3750 or visit the museum website at www. museumsrv.org.

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model utilizes two different wavelengths, it is highly effective on a variety of skin types and conditions. The laser is effective on fine lines and wrinkles, surface scarring, pigmentation, and sun damage. This is a non-ablative treatment which requires minimal social down time, allowing patients to return to their normal schedule very quickly. It has been said that appearance can directly affect how a person feels. When you feel attractive, you are more likely to have a positive outlook. This phenomenon is something we have all undoubtedly experienced. As a woman, I know the days I skip the makeup and go for the sweatpants I tend to have less energy and feel more sluggish. But if I simply swipe on some lipstick, I feel like I can conquer the world. When you can look in the mirror and feel that you are an attractive and confident person, you will have the ability to go out into life prepared for the difficult challenges the coming year may bring. Sticking to New Year’s resolutions may be difficult, but making a positive change in your life does not have to be. The Fraxel Dual laser treatment is a great way to feel restored, rejuvenated, and ultimately more youthful. When you exude confidence, doors begin to open. Whether it’s getting the job of your dreams, smiling more, or simply living a happier life, a winter renewal should be a priority for everyone this New Year. As always, I look forward to the opportunity of meeting you soon for an in-depth consultation for Fraxel Dual or any of the options available at Persons Plastic Surgery that will help you leave winter behind feeling fresh and rejuvenated. Dr. Barbara Persons is a 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 drbarb@ personsplasticsurgery.com. Advertorial

Ranching continued from front page

There will be maps, saddles, branding irons, barbed wire, and beef displays in the museum. Each saddle will include a story of its owner. Art work showing landscapes and ranch life will be shown. On Saturdays ranchers will come to the museum and talk with visitors about ranching. Several special events are planned, included a branding demonstration and ice cream social, a Cattlewomen’s Association program on beef, and opportunities to try using a lasso. This is a good opportunity for fourth grade classes which study California to learn about an important part of our agricultural past. The museum, which is located at 205 Railroad Ave in Danville, is open Tuesday – Friday from 1PM – 4PM, Saturday from 10AM – 1PM, and Sunday from noon – 3PM. For more information, call (925) 837-3750, e-mail srvmuseum@sbcglobal. net, or visit www.museumsrv.org.

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Computer Ergonomics for Children By Kimberly Liotta, DC and Melissa Ko, DC, Sycamore Valley Chiropractic

At least 70% of America’s 30 million elementary school students use computers, according to a recent New York Times article. As a result of this increased usage, doctors of chiropractic are treating more young patients suffering from the effects of working at computer stations that are either designed for adults or are poorly designed for children. Many children Dr. Liotta are already suffering from repetitive motion injuries (RMI), such as carpal tunnel syndrome and chronic pain in the hands, back, neck, and shoulders. A recently published study conducted by a team of researchers from Cornell University found that 40% of the elementary school children they studied used computer workstations that put them at postural risk. The remaining 60% scored in a range indicating,“some concern of postural risk.” “Emphasis needs to be placed on teaching children how to properly use computer workstations,” stated Dr. Scott Bautch, of the American Chiropractic Association’s Council on Occupational Health. “Poor work habits and computer workstations that don’t fit a child’s body during the developing years can have harmful physical effects that can last a lifetime. Parents need to be just as concerned about their children’s interaction with their computer workstations as they are with any activities that may affect their children’s long-term health,” added Dr. Bautch.

What can you do?

If children and adults in your home share the same computer workstation, make certain that the workstation can be modified for each child’s use. Position the computer monitor so that the top of the screen is at or below the child’s eye level. This can be accomplished by taking the computer off its base or stand or having the child sit on firm pillows or phone books to reach the desired height. Make sure the chair at the workstation fits the child correctly. An ergonomic back cushion, pillow, or a rolled-up towel can be placed in the small

Danville Today News ~ January 2014 - Page 23 of the child’s back for added back support. There should be two inches between the front edge of the seat and the back of the knees. The chair should have arm supports so that elbows are resting within a 70o to 135o angle to the computer keyboard. Wrists should be in a neutral position while typing – not angled up or down. The mouse surface should be close to the keyboard so your child doesn’t have to hold an arm out. The child’s knees should be positioned at an approximate 90o to 120o angle. To accomplish this Dr. Ko angle, feet can be placed on a footrest, box, stool, or similar object. Limit your child’s time at the computer, and make sure he or she takes periodic stretch breaks during computing time. Stretches can include clenching hands into fists and moving them in 10 circles inward and 10 circles outward, placing hands in a praying position and squeezing them together for 10 seconds and then pointing them downward and squeezing them together for 10 seconds, spreading fingers apart and then closing them one by one, and standing and wrapping arms around the body and turning all the way to the left and then all the way to the right. “If your child continues to complain of pain and strain from sitting at a computer, see a doctor of chiropractic,” urges Dr. Bautch. “A chiropractor can help alleviate your child’s pain and help prevent further injury.” At Sycamore Valley Chiropractic we offer: • Chiropractic adjustments • Soft Tissue Work/Myofascial Release • Muscle Balancing • PhysioTherapy All of our offerings can help improve and maintain your child’s posture for a healthier tomorrow. Sycamore Valley Chiropractic is located at 565 Sycamore Valley Rd. West in Danville. Please visit www. sycamorevalleychiropractic.com or call 925-837-5595 for more information or to schedule an appointment. Advertorial Doctors of Sycamore Valley Chiropractic

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 12step 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 www.how-oa.org for more information.

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Cancer Support Community

The Cancer Support Community presents two free classes at their facility located at 3276 McNutt Avenue in Walnut Creek. Reservations are required. Please call (925) 933-0107 to register.

Cancer Genomics: Biomarkers & Targeted Therapies For Better Outcomes ~ January

18th~ 10AM – Noon Learn about newly emerging targeted therapies, genomics biomarkers, and diagnostic technologies that allow the molecular profiling of individual tumors, informing the medical team of cancer subtypes, and leading the way to more personalized treatment. Facilitated by Ann Mongan, PhD, a cancer researcher who specializes in developing novel cancer therapeutics. For cancer patients, their families and friends. Living Well Beyond Cancer ~ February 1st ~ 10AM - Noon Learn about tools and resources to make a successful transition from treatment to survivorship including wellness practices for recovery and risk reduction, managing late and long-term side effects of treatment, and coping with emotional changes. For cancer patients, their families, and friends. Presented by Shell Portner, RN, BSN, Cancer Survivorship Nurse Navigator at John Muir Health and a cancer survivor.

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Page 24 - January 2014 ~ Danville Today News

Ask the Doctor

By Dr. Jeffrey G. Riopelle, MD Do you have the winter knee?

Patient: The weather turned cold a couple of weeks ago, and suddenly my knee started aching and swelling. It happens every year. What’s going on? Doctor Riopelle: Your symptoms are classic for what I have named “the winter knee.” We see it in hundreds of thousands of people throughout the US every winter. The weather temperature drops and suddenly joints start aching, especially the knees. The basic problem starts with wear and tear on your knees, either from an old injury, degenerative arthritis, or from an autoimmune problem such as rheumatoid arthritis. The knee joint is one of the most complex joints in the body as three bones meet and must articulate with one another, held together by ligaments such as the ACL, PCL, medial and lateral collaterals, and patellar and quadriceps tendons. To create smooth movement each bone, the femur, tibia, and patella, has cartilage surfaces that touch the other bones. This cartilage surface is called articular cartilage. To top it off, there are two C shaped bands of cartilage in each knee, the medial and lateral meniscus, that help knee tracking and stability. Disruption of any of the above structures can lead to damage that can later lead to knee inflammation and can eventually cause the winter knee. For example, suppose you unknowingly mildly damaged a meniscus at age 20, causing a ripple in the cartilage. Maybe your knee swelled and hurt slightly for a few weeks, but you took it easy and seemed to get better without treatment. Now, 20 years later at age 40, you begin to have pain and swelling every winter even though you have had no further injury. What’s going on? The few ripples in your meniscus create wear and tear on your femur articular cartilage that over the years eventually leads to small divots or damage to the cartilage, called chondral damage. This damage creates inflammation as winter hits that causes your knee to swell and ache. The damage can also be due to other causes such as blunt trauma to the patella from a fall, general wear and tear from pounding exercises such as running, or from anything that damages the chondral cartilage.

Guild continued from page 13

recounts the daring journey Berta Benz took in August 1888 with two teenage sons to prove that her husband Karl’s 1886 invention was a practical means of transportation. The Museum’s replica of the Benz original, one of the few in existence, is a favorite starting point for tours. Fitted with over-size tricycle wheels, the vehicle boasts a water-cooled internal combustion engine. Fuel was originally available only at pharmacies where the product required was stocked as cleaning fluid. Long-term docent Ed Holloway likes to follow up on the Berta Benz story by discussing the influence of women on classic car design. When Cadillac introduced an electric ignition system in 1912, the arduous operation of crank starting became obsolete, putting many more women in the driver’s seat. Women wanted cars with sleeker lines and more fashionable colors. They wanted comfortable interiors and eye-catching exteriors. “I have been giving tours at the Blackhawk Auto Museum for 25 years (since a month after they opened) and I have never – once – lost the feeling of excitement when walking into either gallery and seeing the brightly illumined cars with a backdrop of black wall and black marble floors,“ Holloway writes. He praises the regular tours conducted for docents by docents. “Just

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Patient: It doesn’t hurt that badly. Should I just live with it, or should I see my doctor? Dr. Riopelle: You should definitely see your doctor. There are other abnormalities that can cause the same symptoms, but you are definitely going to need to find out why you have the symptoms. If you do have mild chondral damage and do not address it, it will invariably lead to arthritis as the wear and tear becomes worse and eventually wears right through the cartilage. Once arthritis occurs, it is irreversible using standard technology. Patient: How do you figure out the cause? Dr. Riopelle: An astute clinician can get a good idea of the cause through your history and exam, especially by checking your knee for ligament stability and signs of meniscus tear, and by feeling for crepitation or grinding as the knee is moved through range of motion. The definitive diagnosis is made by MRI which will very clearly show the damage. The treatment depends on the root cause. Meniscus tears and ligament instability can be fixed arthroscopically. Pure chondral damage without other causes can be improved with exercises that strengthen the quadriceps muscles (without stressing the knee joint). If the damage has progressed to the point of arthritis, there is no cure but symptoms still improve with quad strengthening. Temporary improvement occurs with use of anti-inflammatory medications, Tylenol, ice and heat, cortisone injections, and hyaluronic acid injections. Definitive treatment requires total knee replacement, but ideally we want to get to the root of the problem and stop it before it becomes arthritis. In our office we have an ongoing patient sponsored study for joint treatment using 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. The study protocols involve the treatment of the following conditions: joint problems, especially the shoulder and knee, erectile dysfunction, diabetes, and emphysema. 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 when I think I’m beginning to know a lot about the cars, I go on a docent tour and realize how much I still have to learn. Each docent brings his own perspective and interesting tidbits of knowledge.” George Beck likes leading tours for special needs groups and elementary school children. “I try to bring them a bit of history and stories of the cars, while encouraging them to look at how cars are different from each other. Kids enjoy the ‘faces’ on cars, some smile, some look like animals.” A docent since 2004, Beck remarks, “You can always learn from your audience. If you ask someone what they like about a car, you will get some interesting answers.” Joyce Tucker notes, “One of my favorite questions, typically asked by Junior High students, is: ‘How much is that car worth?’ That gives me the opportunity to teach them what an auction is and how it determines the cost of an essentially priceless automobile.” In addition to being a docent, Tucker is the Guild Event Chair. The entire community is invited to the next fundraiser: the Hearts and Flowers luncheon on February 12th. Gifts baskets are being packed with enticing donations for the Silent Auction. A lively bidding game will determine winners of gift cards for local businesses and restaurants. All proceeds support the Children’s Education Transportation Fund. Look for an announcement with complete details in next month’s edition of this newspaper. Over the years, the Guild has varied fundraisers to keep events entertaining for all involved. Some years, costumed re-enactors have been on hand throughout the Museum. Picture Karl Benz popping out from beneath his Motorwagen to explain the invention. Fashion shows, gala parties and even an “event-

Guild members take a moment to pose with Museum Director Tim McGrane and Programs Director Nora Wagner.

See Guild continued on page 26


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Your Personal Nutritionist

Lose Your Excess Weight Forever This New Year the Healthy Way By Linda Michaelis RD,MS

Happy New Year! Have you been using this time as a motivator to drop the weight you have been struggling to lose all year round? You may have the best of intentions to lose weight or exercise more as the New Year begins, but somehow, life happens and you often find yourself going back to your old ways. Try a different approach for this New Year. Instead of going on a diet again, where you usually go off it a few weeks later, try beginning to make lifestyle changes that I know will guarantee success and finally keep the weight off. My clients enjoy using trackers such as My Fitness Pal or Lose It to get a sense of how many calories they have been eating. After inputting their height and weight, the program calculates how many calories they should consume in order to lose a pound a week. I think this is a great way to begin to get a sense of the amount of calories that you are eating. Where I come in is with helping my clients to set up a meal plan that fits their schedule which includes their favorite foods and certainly does not make them feel like they are on a diet. We view websites together of the various restaurants they go to, and I teach them how to arrange their meals and snacks around the meal out. The trackers do not teach you what are the best meals and snacks to keep you full and prevent cravings for sugar. When I work with my clients, I hold their hand and educate them about nutrition, which is something they usually lack, and I help keep them motivated with frequent (even daily) phone calls or e-mails. Don’t look at this year’s resolution as a temporary change; look at it as a lifestyle change. Making too many changes at once can cause you to burn out before the end of January, causing you to break your commitment. Therefore, instead of changing your entire way of living all at once, try making these small nutrition and exercise changes everyday. Work your way SLOWLY to a healthier you. 1. Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables. Everyday have two servings of veggies such as by adding veggies to your egg white omelet, having a soup with veggies at lunch, or having a salad. Have a fruit at both lunch and dinner. 2. Switch to 100% whole grain. If you’re still eating white bread and pasta switch to whole grains. Whole grains contain more fiber and nutrients and will keep you fuller for a longer period of time. Clients enjoy Trader Joe’s 100% whole wheat pasta, quinoa, couscous, barley, and brown rice. 3. Portion control. Work your way to smaller portions, and this will help control your calories. If you typically use a big dinner plate and fill the whole plate, try using a smaller size plate. You will always eat more when you have a pile of food on your plate. 4. Limit the sweets. You do not have to avoid sweets. The key is moderation. If you enjoy dessert and sweets several times a day, make a goal for yourself to limit sweets to either once per day or a few times a week. I teach my clients to have their sweets after a meal instead of randomly during the day, which will prevent cravings for them. 5. Swap out the soda and juice. These beverages are loaded with sugar and greatly contribute to your daily calories. And, let’s be honest, most people don’t drink just one can a day. I show my clients many beverages that are popular and have no calories. 6. Begin a walking program. Commit to a daily walk, either first thing in the morning or after dinner. I teach my clients about interval training, which shocks the metabolism and causes us to burn calories much faster. 7. Schedule your workouts. Just like you schedule a doctor’s appointment or a lunch date with a friend, schedule your workout on the calendar, and make it a part of your routine five times a week. I teach my clients how to set up their meal plan based on their exercise schedule for the day. 8. Practice mindful eating. Since you have vowed not to diet this year, practice being mindful when you are eating. Listen for your hunger and fullness signals, and respond appropriately. Don’t eat when you are not hungry, yet don’t let yourself get to the ravenous point either. When eating, stop midway and ask yourself if you are still hungry. If not, stop and save the rest for another time. I spend a lot of time practicing this technique with my clients. I am glad to inform you that insurance companies will cover nutritional counseling. Please visit LindaRD.com for the list of companies that cover counseling, past articles, and more information about nutritional concerns. Call me at (925) 855-0150 or e-mail me at lifeweight1@yahoo.com. Advertorial

Danville Today News ~ January 2014 - Page 25

The Eye Opener

By Gregory Kraskowsky, O.D., Alamo Optometry Cellulitis

Recently a patient came into the office with a red and inflamed eyelid. These are relatively common; the most likely culprits are styes, trauma, allergies, or blepharitis (bacterial infection of the eye lashes). However, this condition was different in that it was an infection of the eyelid and soft tissue around the eyelids, or preseptal cellulitis. A cellulitis can be potentially dangerous and the correct diagnosis needs to be made between preseptal and orbital cellulitis. Preseptal cellulitis is a bacterial infection of the eyelid and surrounding soft tissue. The eyelid area becomes red, swollen, warm to the touch, and potentially painful. In contrast to a stye, a cellulitis covers a larger area of the eyelid whereas a stye is more localized. In preseptal cellulitis, the infection is contained in the anterior portion of the lid and has not penetrated the septum (a thin membrane within the eyelid to help prevent infections from spreading deeper into the lids) to the posterior portion of the eye. It is usually caused by an upper respiratory infection (flu) or sinus infection that has spread to the eye. Direct insect bites or scratches are also potential ways the bacteria can penetrate the eyelid. It is much more common in children, and it responds well to oral antibiotic therapy. Vision is not affected and the eye is able to move unrestricted in all directions. The patient is usually getting over an illness or has been around sick people, but does not actively have a fever. Differentiating between a preseptal and orbital cellulitis is very tricky because both clinically present the same. In orbital cellulitis, the affected eye will appear bulging relative to the healthy eye, the vision will be decreased, and eye movements will be restricted. The person is concurrently ill and is possibly running a fever. Functionally, the difference between the two is that in orbital cellulitis, the infection has spread posterior to the back of the eye and to the surrounding structures in the facial area. This can result in permanent vision loss, neurological problems, and potentially meningitis if it gets into the bloodstream. Therefore, orbital cellulitis requires hospitalization with continuous IV antibiotics to help control the infection. Granted a cellulitis does not happen very often, but it reiterates the fact that sometimes a simple red eye might not be so mundane. If you notice eyelid redness and swelling that is not localized or is spreading with an associated illness, a cellulitis should be considered. Preseptal cellulitis is much more common than orbital and is very responsive to oral antibiotics, and the symptoms start to resolve in a few days. The patient should be followed just to ensure the infection is clearing. However, if an orbital cellulitis is suspected, direct referral to the hospital is required. Dr. K. at Alamo Optometry is your hometown eye doctor for outstanding service, vision care, and designer eyewear. He can be reached at 820-6622 or visit his office at 3201 Danville Blvd., Suite 165 in Alamo. Visit our newly updated website at www.alamooptometry.com, and like us on our Alamo Optometry Facebook page. Advertorial

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Page 26 - January 2014 ~ Danville Today News

Feel Your Best in 2014 with Craniosacral Therapy By Marchelle Milligan

Are you feeling just so-so but well enough to get through the day? Maybe you don’t look sick, but on the inside you feel tired, sluggish, and in pain. Maybe you aren’t sleeping as well as you used to which takes a toll on your outlook on life, or you have been dealing with chronic pain and need daily pain medication to function. Craniosacral Therapy can optimize your whole body back into balance. Many of us pay close attention to proper nutrition, exercise, and trying to live a low-stress lifestyle to achieve good health. Amazingly, even when our body gets a little out of balance, such as when we have a cold, an achy neck, or a sore back, our body is designed to heal itself, and it does so very well most of the time. However, the demands of a modern world often challenge the systems in our body to keep up. We get pulled in competing directions-work, family, phones--with everything wanting our time and attention. Stress begins to creep in, making it more difficult for our body to access its own healing abilities. When this happens, we often reach out to our doctors to “cure” us. However, nature has already provided us with our very own inner healing force--the craniosacral system. Craniosacal therapy is a healing modality that grew out of osteopathy. Precise and gentle touch is applied to correct imbalances in the fluid and membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord. Why is this important? Well, imagine your craniosacral system has a regular rhythm, much like the heart rhythm, only subtler and slower. Just as your heart will pump blood to the rest of the body, the craniosacral system pumps nutrient-rich cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) between your brain and spine. The CSF has a big job to do as it bathes membranes, acts as a shock absorber in the brain, and provides

Guild continued from page 24

less” fundraiser have been successful. Monthly meetings of the Guild offer speakers on a wide range of topics and are open to interested members of the community. Meetings are held at the Museum the second Wednesday of every month except December and August. The Guild is always happy to welcome new members. Join the fundraising crew, help with any of the more than 150 special events held annually at the Museum, or learn to be a docent or work as a Museum volunteer. Program Chair Dee Thompson schedules presenters with the full range of Guild members in mind. In October, Ross Chittendon’s program about the Caldecott Tunnel 4th Bore packed the house. The November meeting featured Dona Spaugh and Cindi Grauer of Alamo’s Change of Seasons demonstrating home decorating designs for the holidays Laughter will lighten everyone’s burden at the Guild’s January meeting, as Sally Allen, founder of A Place for Everything, provides advice on organizing, rearranging, repurposing and reselling household goods. Allen’s expertise comes from working for Marriott International Hotels and Resorts, the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Committee and the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Committee. In 1997, having moved her family 19 times both nationally and internationally, Sally decided it was time to turn her experience into a business. On January 15th, social time begins at the Museum at 10am. Greeters will be on hand in the foyer to welcome guests and usher them into the meeting. Following a brief business meeting at 10:30, the program will run about an hour, including time for questions and answers. For information about this FREE program, contact Dee Thompson at Dee4life@earthlink.net. Members of the Guild Steering Committee refer to Programs Director Nora Wagner as “the heart of the docent program.” Wagner has been with the Museum since 1991. The pamphlet she sends to schools throughout the area details the California State Standards for each grade level supported by the Museum’s Free School Programs. To schedule a tour or learn about volunteering or becoming a docent call her department: 925-736-2277 x239, email programs@blackhawkmuseum.org.

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essential fluids and nutrients to the central nervous system. The central nervous system controls the actions and reaction internal to the body, and the body’s adjustment to its environment. Think of your brain as a computer and the spinal cord as the cable. The spinal cord links the computer’s input and output to the rest of the body. This is where Craniosacral Therapy can help. If the CSF can flow without restrictions, the body can maintain and/or restore balance. Craniosacral Therapy can help improve how your nervous system responds to stress and illness. You and your body do the work with the practitioner lending knowledge and skills to facilitate rebalancing. It can help physical pain, but it also helps emotional wholeness as well. Most of us are very good at “doing” in our crazy, activity-filled world, but “being” is when the body can slow down enough to be able to respond positively to its own healing ability. Craniosacral Therapy can help the body return to a place of balance. By normalizing the environment around the brain and spinal cord and enhancing the body’s ability to self-correct, everyone can potentially benefit from CST. It can be effective in dealing with stress management, headaches, neck and back pain, TMJ dysfunctions, depression, post traumatic stress disorders, chronic pain, sleep disorders, and vertigo to name a few. For more information, log onto www.therhythmwithin.org. To schedule an appointment, please book on my website or contact Marchelle Milligan at (925) 286-6237. Located in the Alamo Commons in Alamo. Advertorial

Fight Cancer with Foods in the New Year! By Tinrin Chew, RD

According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, the “New American Plate” is an important cancer fighting tool. At mealtime, try to strike a balance of at least two-thirds plant-based foods and no more than one-third animal protein. Fruits and vegetables are rich in cancer-fighting nutrients and the more color, the more nutrients they contain. By eating a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables, you can also shed all the extra weight which may decrease your risk for developing colon, esophageal, and kidney cancers. Colorful fruits and vegetables are not only good for you, but they can also help protect you from free radical damage as well as from UV rays (which have been known to cause skin cancers). Red, pink, and orange fruits, like cantaloupe and pink grapefruit, contain lycopene, a naturally occurring carotenoid which helps ward off the harmful effects of the sun. Tomatoes, particularly tomato paste, blueberries, strawberries, and red, yellow and orange peppers are also great sources of lycopene. There is evidence suggesting that lycopene has a protective effect against lung, stomach, and prostate cancers. Lycopene may also protect against cervical, breast, mouth, pancreatic, esophageal, and colorectal cancers. Strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries contain powerful antioxidants that may fight cancer by deactivating certain cancer causing substances and slowing the growth of cancer cells. Antioxidants fight cancer by ridding the body of free radicals before they can do their damage to cells. Cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, bok choy, and kale, and dark leafy green vegetables, such as mustard greens, lettuce, chicory, and spinach, have components that may help your body defend against cancers such as colon, breast, lung, and cervix as well as mouth, larynx, pancreas, lung, skin, and stomach. No single food can reduce your risk of cancer, but the right combination of foods may help make a difference. The most important thing to remember is that a person who eats a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables lowers their chances of developing cancer simply because of the food they eat. A healthy New Year’s resolution would be to include more of these healthy foods in your diet daily. Tinrin Chew is a registered dietitian, who is a Board Certified Specialist in Oncology Nutrition. She provides nutritional counseling for patients at Diablo Valley Oncology, John Muir Health, and the Cancer Support Community. Advertorial


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Winterize Your Skin

Danville Today News ~ January 2014 - Page 27

By Dr. Jerome Potozkin

As an avid skier I am hoping that by the time you are reading this the snow gods have looked favorably upon the ski resorts with a substantial dumping of snow. Even though winter starts every year on December 21st, many people don’t feel wintery until a few major snowstorms have hit the Sierras. Winter brings special needs for your skin. D A ,S 300, L 925•299•1985 Just like the single best thing you can do for your general health is to quit 970 2999 R S ,S 401, B 510•704•2170 or never start smoking, the single best thing you can do for your skin is to protect it from ultraviolet radiation. Most people don’t think of sun protection .A S . in the winter, but it would be helpful if you did. If you are a skier or boarder, your sun exposure occurs at a higher altitude where there is less atmospheric filtering of the sun’s harmful rays. Secondly, the snow serves as a giant reflector, so you get both direct sun and reflected sun. The smart thing to do is apply a sunscreen of SPF 30 or greater prior to hitting the slopes. If you need help picking out a sunscreen, we are happy to help. Nothing beats a warm weather vacation during the cold winter months. Go and enjoy, but again use your sunscreen along with common sense to avoid the sun’s peak hours, and wear protective clothing. Forget about going to a tanning salon prior to your vacation to get a “protective” tan. Skin cancer, photoaging, and wrinkles are all caused by the cumulative sun and ultraviolet exposure we get. If you are a minor, it is now illegal to go to a tanning salon. For those who want the appearance of a tan, then by all means feel free to get a spray-on or rub-on tan. One of the more common problems we see during winter months is dry itchy skin. The dry air this time of year contributes to itchy skin. You might think that water exposure would moisturize your skin, but the opposite is true. The more time you spend in water and the hotter the water is the more dry and itchy you will get. For those with dry itchy skin, I recommend using a mild cleanser or soap, taking quick showers, and patting one’s skin dry. After patting one’s skin dry is the best time to apply a moisturizer. Try to limit your showers to one a day, and avoid soaking in baths or hot tubs as this can make things worse. If you have problems with dry, itchy, or sensitive skin, feel free to call us today to schedule an appointment as we are here to help. Dr. Potozkin is a board certified dermatologist who has been serving the local community since 1993. His fully accredited dermatological and laser facility is located at 600 San Ramon Valley Blvd, Suite 102 in Danville. He is accepting new patients. Please call 925-838-4900 or visit Potozkin.com for more information. Advertorial EWING

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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@ hearinglossdv.org or 925-264-1199 or www.hearinglossdv.org.

Circumcision...What?! By Jeremy Lieb, MD

No, I'm not going to provide an opinion regarding the decision to do a circumcision. That is a personal choice that should be made after consideration of the risks and benefits of the procedure with assistance from your pediatrician. This article is intended to provide feedback regarding some of the more common complaints and complications that I see after a circumcision has been completed in a baby. The most common technique to perform a circumcision is by using a Plastibell. This involves a plastic ring that will usually fall off in about a week. Don’t worry, if it falls off early, it will look inflamed for 1-2 weeks ad might look scary to the parents, but will most often heal just fine. Rarely, the ring will get stuck and will require a quick office procedure to remove. The most common complaint that I hear is parents feel the doctor left too much skin, and at times the penis can look buried in the fat. Let’s use a simple description...it is better to grow into your skin then grow out of it. Once the baby fat is gone this situation will look much better cosmetically. The worst thing is to remove too much skin and then realize as an adult that you wish you could have it back. You can always remove more in the future if needed. Another common complaint is that the skin is ‘stuck’ to the helmet. Usually, this is simply mild adhesions - kind of like it was glued or stuck like tape. This will always improve over time. The best advice is to gently pull the skin back in a warm bath. It may bleed a tiny bit. At times the skin can actually form a scar to the helmet. This requires a quick office procedure to cut it free. Best advice is to keep it clean! Warm water and soap is your best friend. Dr. Lieb is a Board Certified Urologist with Pacific Urology and focuses on treating pediatric patients. Pacific Urology has offices in Walnut Creek, Concord, San Ramon Brentwood, Livermore and Antioch. 925-609-7220 or visit www.PacificUrology.com. Advertorial

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Correction

The photo at left should have accompanied the article titled “Issues with the Newer Oral Anticoagulants” by Robert Robles, MD at Diablo Valley Oncology/Hematology Medical Group last month. A picture of a different physician was used. Our apologies for the error. ~ Editor

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Page 28 - January 2014 ~ Danville Today News

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Danville Real Estate: Riding a Rocket, Up! Up! and Away!

While the Danville Real Estate Market has reached warp speed, its true value is being held back from its full ascendency by the presence of distressed Fueled by low interest rates, buyer confidence and limited inventory, Danville Real Estate sales blasted off and we are riding a rocket. During the first quarter sales. Sixty-eight distressed property sales have closed so far in 2013. Their of 2013 the average sales price hit $816,000, nearly $131,000 more than in the average selling price is $668,000 and they are selling at a square foot price of $300. That’s about 27% less than the Danville average including distressed same period last year and more than $42 a square foot more than Q1 2012. Wow! properties. With more than 8% of sales falling into this category it represents During the second quarter median sales price improved significantly growing by 10% over the same quarter last year, and average sales price followed a gravitational pull on the Danville Real Estate Market. That said, the average suit, increasing by 10% from the same quarter in 2012. Dollars paid per square price of a short sale today is equal to the Q1 2012 average, so I believe the overall drag is lessening, both in units sold and price, however, only the banks foot jumped to $386 which is way up compared to last year’s $321 per square controlling the distressed inventory know for sure. foot price - with no sign of a trajectory change. In summary, our Danville Real Estate Market is on the ascent, prices are Danville Real Estate Unit Sales increased significantly in the third quarter to 258 compared to the 212 in the same time period last year. Average sales improving, and inventory of homes priced to sell remains low. Given a conprice, advanced over the second quarter of 2013 and was 12% higher than the tinuing low interest rate environment, there is reason to believe Danville Real same quarter last year. The after-burners kicked in this quarter as dollars paid Estate will continue climbing, maybe not so fast, but still “Up! Up! and Away!” per square foot soared to $390. We haven’t seen an average value this high If you are thinking about selling in 2014 we should talk right away. It’s important to remember that there really is no “average” home and since 2008. I believe it is the strongest and clearest indication to date that the no two homes are exactly alike. If you would like an honest opinion of your Danville Real Estate Market has truly lifted off. While not complete as of this writing, Q4 2013 is stronger than Q3 2013 home’s current market value, please give me a call 925-989-6086 or send me an email joecombs@thecombsteam.com. For more Alamo and Danville Real in every measure, except unit sales. A total of 150 homes have sold as of December 21st. This appears to be normal seasonality returning to the market Estate articles, please visit our website at www.thecombsteam.com. and is another bullish sign for the Danville Real Estate Market. 2013 Danville Real Estate Sales by Quarter Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 12 mos thru Dec 21 Average price is sitting at $979,000 up nearly 6% from the third Unit Sales 140 276 258 150 824 quarter. The booster rocket has engaged. Dollars paid per square Median Price $ 787,500 $ 876,000 $ 887,000 $ 888,000 $ 860,000 foot broke the $400 barrier for the first time since 2007 when they Average Price $ 816,000 $ 904,000 $ 925,000 $ 979,000 $ 909,000 $$ Per Sq. Ft. $ 343 $ 386 $ 390 $ 404 $ 381 stood at $434.

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Danville Today News, January 2014 -- Happy New Year !!