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March 2014

Serving Danville Tassajara One-Room Schoolhouse: 125 Years Young By Jody Morgan

The Tassajara One-Room Schoolhouse (the Schoolhouse) at 1650 Finley Road in Danville welcomes students Monday-Friday from January to June much as it did 125 years ago. Unlike the pupils who entered the building in 1889 ranging from first to eighth grade, children who come today are all third graders. Each class arrives in costume to experience old-fashioned education for a single day. On January 12, 1889, when the first Tassajara Grammar School was deemed too small, voters unanimously approved issuing bonds in the amount of $1,700 to build and furnish the present structure. The contract for construction went to J.L. Weilbye who completed the project in time for 41 students to study in the Schoolhouse that August. Roger Podva, a first grader in 1890, recalled students sitting two to a desk with as many as 75 pupils attending at one time. During peak seasons, the children of migrant farm workers joined those regularly enrolled. Children walked, rode horseback, or arrived in horse-drawn buggies. Enrollment dwindled to 16 before the Schoolhouse closed in 1946. Parents believed their children would receive a better educational experience by transferring to the larger Danville system. Gordon Rasmussen, a sixth grader in 1946, was quoted in a 1972 Contra Costa Times article: “It was like hitting you with both barrels. In 1946 I had one other kid in my class, but then all of a sudden the next year Recent rains have greened up the foothills of Mt. Diablo which provides a there were 40.” Nancy Rasmussen Ramsey was perfect opportunity for the Monta Vista High School Mountain Bike Club to get out and train. the only student in her grade level. Her family lived at least three miles Cake4Kids away, but no matter what the weathBy Fran Miller er, the four Rasmussen children Just as Valentine’s Day and rode their bicycles to school. Nancy chocolates go together, and July recalls that she always dreamed of 4th goes with fireworks, so do arriving first, but as the youngest birthdays and cake. Some may with the smallest cycle, she always argue that a birthday isn’t propcame last. Games at recess had to erly celebrated unless a cake accommodate the abilities of all the makes an appearance. But what different age levels. The children if a birthday takes place while made forts in the grass when it grew one is seeking refuge in a crisis tall. Nancy can still smell the strong center, or is in the care of harried soap they used to wash their hands. Dressed for time travel back to 1888, Don and Joan Kurtz foster parents, or is at a shelter The primitive privies, one for boys greet third graders at the Schoolhouse. or group home where baking is and one for girls, were not a hardship. Most of the children had outdoor plumbing at home. the last thing on anyone’s mind? “Tassajara” sounds Spanish, but the word comes from a Native Californian word Enter Cake4Kids, a unique Bay meaning “where the meat was hung to dry.” Although they initially tried farming, the Area organization whose volunDanish and Portuguese families who settled the area soon turned to cattle ranching. teers aim to fill the birthday cake The Rasmussen property also had walnut trees. During the void for disadvantaged and at-risk children and youth. Cake4Kids A Cakes4Kids volunteer baker adds the October harvest season, the children picked walnuts after Volume V - Number 5 volunteers bake and decorate finishing touches to a birthday cake that school and helped with the huller at night. 3000F Danville Blvd. #117, cakes in their home kitchens for will be delivered to a child in need. Planted by the first students, walnut trees on the SchoolAlamo, CA 94507 delivery to at-risk youth, ages one to 21. Serving a wide variety of Bay house grounds helped balance the budget in the 1940s. Wal(925) 405-6397 Area agencies, the Cake4Kids’ mission is to help one child at a time nuts picked by pupils were sold in a Pleasanton store owned Fax (925) 406-0547 feel good about his or her self at least one day each year. “We are serv- by the teacher’s husband. In 1889 married women were not ing children who, due to extreme circumstances, are often forgotten on permitted to teach, and participation in women’s suffrage Alisa Corstorphine ~ Publisher See Cake continued on page 12 editor@ activities was cause for dismissal. Regulayourmonthlypaper.com PRSRT STD tions had changed by the time Mrs. Gertrude U.S. Postage Arendt taught the last full-time class. The opinions expressed herein belong PAID Local the writers, and do not necessarily Janet Reinstein Rego, another of the final toreflect that of Danville Today News. Permit 263 Postal Customer Danville Today News is not 16, remembers the teacher serving hot soup Alamo CA responsible for the content of any of once a week using a hot plate in the teacher’s the advertising herein, nor does ECRWSS publication imply endorsement.

See Schoolhouse cont. on page 21


Page 2 - March 2014 ~ Danville Today News

Boulevard View

By Alisa Corstorphine, Editor

One website I enjoy receiving daily updates from is www.mariasfarmcountrykitchen.com. Author Maria Rodale writes about food and recipes, gardening, organic issues, and “random thoughts.” A while back Maria wrote a piece titled, “When I was a Kid…” She reflected on things from her youth - which just happens to be the same timeframe as I grew up in. As Maria reflected on “our” childhood, she noted, “There were only three channels on the TV, and the TV turned off at midnight! Or it went to static. There was only AM radio stations and they had lots of static. There was no VCR, DVR, or TiVo. You either saw a show or you didn’t. Half of the shows were in black and white.” In our home we waited anxiously each week for Little House on the Prairie or Magnum P.I., and the whole family watched the shows together. We wrote reports, aka term papers, in school, typed on a typewriter. We had to take a six month typing class just to figure out how the typewriter keyboard functioned, and we did this by repeatedly typing, “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog,” which gave our fingers the practice to find every letter of the alphabet. We used Wite-out for the ever-common typoos as there was no “Delete” key. The “facts” for our reports came mostly from one source, the red, fauxleather bound “World Book Encyclopedia” set which was previously owned by my grandparents. It provided dated information about world events, which at the time we thought was fairly current - not news that was updated by the nanosecond from billions of sources. Cameras required film that you had to wind through each shot and rewind back into the canister when you got to the end of the roll. And, as Maria noted, “You had to WAIT to see your pictures,” days, weeks, maybe months. Each single shot cost MONEY in film and processing, even if the picture was a dud. If you were lucky enough to have a Polaroid camera then you had to wait a whole MINUTE to see your images. However, if you had a Polaroid you couldn’t make copies or share the image with all of your friends. The photos were all one square size, and the image always had a dingy tinge. My guess is

that most children had just a few hundred images of themselves that covered their WHOLE childhood. I think about our current use of and envelopment by technology. We didn’t spend hours each day sitting in front of screens or randomly surfing and sharing every moment of our daily lives. There was no Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or even email. We didn’t “pin” things on our wall or make videos of every activity. While it may seem that today everyone around us has some type of smartphone, one of the first players in the smartphone industry, the iPhone, has only been in existence for less than seven years! In college there was one phone in the hallway for our whole floor of 20 or so girls to use. The phone was attached to the wall and had a cord to a handset. Calls were planned in advance so we could hopefully catch the other party when they were around as there were no answering machines. Growing up, if we wanted to call our grandparents who lived far away, the call had to be after 6pm for “better rates,” and whenever a “long distance” call came to the house, everything stopped as a long distance call was somehow even more important. Maria recalled that in school, “Girls went to ‘Home Ec’ and learned how to sew buttons on clothes and make cinnamon rolls. Boys went to ‘Shop’ and learned how to use a power saw.” When I read that I remembered the flower printed skirt I sewed in our junior high class and think of the lamp on our shelf that my husband made via laminating different wood types together and forming the lamp shape on a lathe. Unfortunately, these hands-on skills have gone by the wayside, which I think is a shame. Packages rarely arrived on our door step, and if they did they weren’t from an order placed on Amazon.com less than 24 hours before. Many stores were closed on Sundays, and again you would have to WAIT for the following day to purchase what you needed or wanted. Sometimes the rapid speed of today’s life is a little too much. There are too many bells, whistles, interruptions, and alerts. Most of the time “Breaking News” seems to be of little importance, not very relevant to me, and certainly not worth the interruption. I feel all the news alerts give me the feeling of the “boy who cried wolf” with the false alarms making me numb to the times when there is news of something of great importance. The simplicity of life that the blog “Maria’s Farm Country Kitchen” conjures up makes me sometimes want to go back to “When I was a Kid.”

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MUSEUM In association with the Smithsonian Institution

March 2014 The Blackhawk Museum Guild proudly presents:

The Blackhawk Guild Randy IwasakiMuseum of Presents Randy Iwasaki the Contra Costa of the Contra Costa Transportation Authority Transportation Randy Iwasaki of the Contra Costa Transportation Authority Authority will be at the Blackhawk Museum on Wednes-

day, March 12th at 10am presenting his talk titled “Talking Cars and Other Motorized Miracles!” Wednesday, March12th Technology is not only changing the way we live, at 10:00 a.m. work and interact with our families and friends, but it is also changing the way we travel. In the very near future our cars will be able to “talk” to other cars on the road to help keep us safer when we are driving. Consider cars for the blind, driverless cars, and cars that park themselves! This is only the beginning of some innovations that will make you wonder…where is this all leading us? The program will be the held the Blackhawk Technology is not only changing wayin wethe live, Auto/Dining work and interactRoom with ourof families Museum. Forit more information, Dee atIn925-820-1432. and friends, but is also changing the waycall we travel. the very near future our

Talking Cars and Other Motorized Miracles!

Volunteers Needed for Amgen Tour

cars will be able to “talk” to other cars on the road to help keep us safer when we are driving. Consider cars for the blind, driverless cars and cars that park themselves!

Mount State Park has been selected the Stage This is only theDiablo beginning of some innovations that will maketo youhost wonder…where

3 finish of Tour of California bike race. The finish will take place on Tuesday, May 13th at the Summit at Mount Diablo. This event will attract Please plan to come to the Wednesday, March 12th program at 10 a.m. in the Auto/ many thousands of spectators and live worldwide TV coverage. It is one of Dining Room for a presentation by Randy Iwasaki of the Contra Costa Transportation the premier road bike races in the worldfuture and will feature Authority to learn about what our transportation will look like! the best international riders and teams competing today. DeeMount Thompson Diablo State Park is looking to recruit several hundred volunteers Guild Program Chairman to help as course marshals, in hospitality, in media support, and in a host of other volunteer roles. To register as a prospective volunteer, please visit www.amgentourofcalifornia.com/Tour/volunteer.html. Information about the The Amgen Tour of California Stage finish in Mount Diablo Stage Park is found at http://www.amgentourofcalifornia.com/Route/ cities/mt-diablo-st-park.html. Additional information is also available on Photo credits: CCTA Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Friends-of-Mount-DiabloState-Park-Stage-3-Best-Summit-Finish-Ever/774471715914038. Amgen isthe this2014 all leading us?

Danville Today News ~ March 2014 - Page 3

Danville’s Real Estate Expert Danville Today News ~ August 2013 - Page 3


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Luck of the Irish at Taste and Toast Event

Join the Town of Danville for the craic (fun) during Taste and Toast of Ireland on Thursday, March 13 from 7pm to 8:30pm at the Danville Senior Center, located at 115 East Prospect Avenue. Clap your hands to the beat as the Dillon Magh Adhair Academy Dancers twirl and skip to Irish music. A talented local singer, Avery Chapman, will delight you with her repertoire of Irish tunes. The festivities also include samples of Irish brew and tasty tidbits. The cost is $5 residents, $6 non-residents, and $8 at the door. For more information or to register, please call the Danville Senior Center at (925) 314-3490. This is the second program in the Taste and Toast of… series for adults, ages 21 and older. The series celebrates countries from around the world in a festive and informative style. The third event in this series, Taste and Toast of Chile, will be held on May 15.

Wheelchair Foundation 12th Annual Charity Ball

The 12th annual Wheelchair Foundation Charity Ball will be held on March 15 from 6pm-11:30pm at the Blackhawk Automotive Museum. Dinner catered by Scott’s Seafood and winery hosted wines follow the hors d’oeuvres service. Dancing, entertainment, and live and silent auctions may all be enjoyed for a general admission fee of $150 ($75 tax-deductible). Black tie is optional. To reserve a place or find additional contribution categories and information, visit www.wineforwheels.org and click on “events.” The mission of the Wheelchair Foundation is to provide a wheelchair to every child, teenager, and adult in the world who needs a wheelchair but cannot afford one. In many countries the cost of a wheelchair represents a laborer’s entire annual income. With every $150 raised, another individual waiting for mobility will receive a wheelchair. th


Page 4 - March 2014 ~ Danville Today News

Journey of Hope: 4,000 Bike Ride Across America




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California Assemblyman Tim Donnelly is running for Governor of California. Come and hear what his ideas are on how to return our beautiful state of California back to “We the People!” in his talk titled, “Making Jerry Brown an Ex-Governor.” As one of 14 children Tim learned at an early age the importance of responsibility, the value of hard work, and the ability to get along without compromising his values. He is a respected leader and has a business background. He has earned the reputation of being a conservative in the California Legislature by promoting free enterprise, defending liberty, restricting government regulations and upholding the Constitution. Come with your questions for Assemblyman Donnelly! The dinner and talk will be held at the Crow Canyon Country Club located at 711 Silver Lake Drive, in Danville,on Tuesday, March 25th. Social time begins at 6:15pm and dinner will be served at 7pm. The cost is $35. For reservations, call Mary at 925-837-5465 or e-mail srvrwf.lunch@ gmail.com. Reservations are due by Wednesday, March 19th. For more information visit www.srvrwf.org.

Save the Date

Save the date for our upcoming luncheon on Tuesday, April 22 at noon. Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association will be the guest speaker.

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The non-profit Danville Rotary Foundation will hold their 12 Annual Crab Feed on Saturday, March 8th. Doors open at 5:30pm and dinner begins at 7pm. The Feed will be held at The Big Gym at St. Isidore, 440 La Gonda Way, Danville. Enjoy a fresh crab dinner, live music, exciting auction items and raffle prizes. Proceeds benefit local youth and community programs, and the Veteran’s Memorial building. The cost is $50 per person. Please register at www.danvillecrabfeed.org.





Danville Rotary 12th Annual Danville Crab Feed


Steve Lindow, a 2012 graduate from Monta Vista High School, is set to embark on a two month long bike ride this summer which will have him traveling 4,000 miles across the United States. The Journey of Hope ride, organized by Push America, is being done as a fundraiser in support of people living with disabilities in the United States. Lindow has spent a lot of time each week working with disabled children in the Boulder community as a part of his University of Colorado fraternity, and in the past he has volunteered at a Muscular Dystrophy Association summer camp, working with severely disabled children, which has led to his interest in his current fundraising endeavor. To find out more about Lindow’s ride or to offer support, visit http://ipush.convio.net/ site/TR/Events/General?px=1117333&pg=personal&fr_id=1310.

Toastmasters allows its members to practice their speaking and presentation skills in a supportive environment. Our local club, Danville AM Toastmasters, meets every Tuesday from 7 to 8:30AM at Father Nature's Restaurant in downtown Danville (172 E Prospect Ave). Please drop by and visit us! For more information, contact Hans Thoma at danvilletoastmasters@outlook.com.


Danville Today News ~ March 2014 - Page 5

Text us at (925) 272-9262

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Page 6 - March 2014 ~ Danville Today News

Blackhawk Republican Women

Portable CIO Computer Service

Blackhawk Republican Women present John Yoo; Professor of Law, U.C. Berkeley, Visiting Scholar, American Enterprise Institute, recipient, Paul M. Bator Award for Excellence in Legal Scholarship and Teaching from the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy, speaking on “The Obama Presidency's Threat to Liberty” on Wednesday, March 12th at the Blackhawk Country Club. Social hour and hors d’oeuvres with nohost bar begins at 5:30pm and the speaker will present at 6PM. The cost is $25. John was the subject of media controversy and protests on campus over his service as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel of the U.S. Dept. of Justice while working on national security and terrorism after the September 11th attacks. He also served as general counsel of the Senate Judiciary Committee and law clerk to Justice Clarence Thomas. John is the author of over 75 published scholarly articles and half a dozen books on foreign affairs, national security, and constitutional law. He will tell us about his new book being published in April, Point of Attack: Preventive War, International Law, and Global Welfare! Please make reservations or cancellations by noon on Monday, March 10th by contacting Marianne Lyons via mail to 856 Turrini Dr., Danville, 94526, email rlyons1009@sbcglobal.net, or call 925-820-6452.

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Please come by CVS in Alamo and Lunardi’s in Danville, and grab our shopping list and shop for our Afghanistan servicemen. With your help we just mailed our 1,147th box of “gourmet junk food” shipped to the Troops. Your help is needed at CVS in Alamo on February 7th and February th 14 at Lunardi’s in Danville from 11am-2pm each day. Please come by, grab our shopping list and shop for our servicemen. They appreciate all that you do. For more information visit deltanupsi.org.

Free Tax Preparation

Free tax preparation for the 2014 tax season is available 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. For information or to make an appointment for the Tax-Aide sites at the San Ramon Senior Center, please call (925) 973-3250, or (925) 480-7202 for the St. Isidore site in Danville site. For general information call (925) 7263199. For information on EKS sites, call 2-1-1 or visit www.earnitkeepitsaveit.org.

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Kiwanis Club of San Ramon Valley Calls for 2014 Grant Applications Offering More than $37,500 to Community Non-Profit Organizations

The Kiwanis Club of San Ramon Valley through its affiliate, the San Ramon Valley Kiwanis Foundation, has issued a call for community non-profit organizations throughout the area to apply for more than $37,500 in grants to be awarded during 2014. Ranging from $500 to $3,000, the Kiwanis grants are designed to support programs and projects that help both specific organizations and the broader community. According to grants chairman, John Lineweaver, the bulk of the grants will be awarded in May. Additional monies will be held in reserve to provide emergency grants, fund Kiwanis community service projects, and to support of four local Kiwanis High School Key Clubs. The total of this direct youth support will exceed $18,000, making the total dollar amount of community service grants and funding by Kiwanis more than $55,000 for 2014. Lineweaver noted that Kiwanis generally recognizes grant applications from projects that serve residents of the San Ramon Valley, although non-profit organizations need not be located in the Valley itself. Specific eligibility criteria are listed on the Kiwanis website at www.kiwanis-srv.org. Because Kiwanis makes a single grant to the San Ramon Valley Education Foundation for distribution to district schools, grants are NOT available for individual schools. Grant consideration is given to programs that focus on children, the infirm or the elderly and provide solace, comfort or consolation. Last year, over 40 separate non-profit organizations received grants. The SRV Kiwanis Foundation has awarded more than $600,000 in grants in the Valley since the mid-1990’s! Funds for the annual grants program are raised by the San Ramon Valley Kiwanis Foundation through several fundraising projects, including organizing and conducting the annual Kiwanis 4th of July Parade in Danville. Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to changing the world one child and one community at a time. More than 600,000 Kiwanis family members in 96 countries make their mark by If you find him and your name is drawn! responding to the needs of their communities and pooling their resources to address worldwide issues. Through these efforts, Kiwanis International truly is “Serving the Children of the World.” He has become lost in this paper! Applications and further information, including eligibility criteria, can be obHe is very small, so you will have to look hard if you want to find him. tained from the Kiwanis website at www.kiwanis-srv.org or by contacting John To be eligible send a letter telling us where you found him, Lineweaver at (925)837-3665. The deadline for grant applications is Monday, along with your name and address, to: March 10, and winners will be announced at a Grants Award Presentation on Lost Dog! ~ Danville Today News Thursday, May 22. Anyone interested in learning more about the Kiwanis Club of 3000F Danville Blvd #117 • Alamo, CA 94507 San Ramon Valley is invited to visit www.kiwanis-srv.org. The club holds weekly luncheon meetings at Noon on Thursdays at Round Hill Country Club in Alamo. Please join the club for lunch, and find out more about the organization.

Lost Dog!


Danville Dog is Missing

Michelle Cabrita is our winner!


Spread the Word…One Pill can Kill By County Supervisor Candace Andersen

Several years ago a close friend confided in me that she was addicted to prescription pain medication. With great remorse she confessed that she had stolen pain pills from my medicine cabinet, replacing the prescription drugs with similar looking aspirin tablets. Fortunately, today she is doing well and is no longer abusing prescription medication. This scenario is not so unusual in our community. I had filled the prescription for my husband following oral surgery. He didn't end up needing it after the first day, but we kept the pills in the medicine cabinet “just in case” we might need them for an emergency in the future. Instead, we should have immediately and properly disposed of them. Over the past ten years we have seen a significant increase in the abuse of prescription drugs in our community by both adults and our youth. The prescription drugs sitting in our medicine cabinets can easily get into the hands of others, bringing about dangerous and sometimes fatal consequences. Contra Costa County has declared the month of March to be Prescription Drug Abuse Awareness Month. The National Coalition Against Prescription Drug Abuse (NCAPDA) is leading a coordinated effort by several prevention agencies and organizations to sponsor activities aimed at raising awareness about the abuse and misuse of prescription drugs, promoting prescription drug safe storing and disposal, and encouraging the use of medications only as prescribed. Some startling statistics about prescription drug abuse include that there were more deaths caused by drug overdoses in 2010 than traffic accidents among people 25 to 64 years old. That same year, drug overdoses in the United States caused 38,329 deaths, and 22,134 of those were from prescription drugs. In 2009, 1.2 million emergency room visits were related to the misuse or abuse of pharmaceuticals (an increase of 98.4% since 2004). Non-medical use of prescription painkillers costs health insurers up to $72.5 billion annually in direct health-care costs. Overdose deaths involving opi-

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. The local contact is Danville parent Kevin Dimler, who can be reached at kevindimler@gmail.com or 925-718-5052.

Alamo-Danville Newcomers Club

Please join members of the Alamo-Danville Newcomers Club for a free Welcome Coffee on Tuesday, March 25, 10AM to noon to meet members and learn about the Club. For further details, call (925) 281-1307.

San Ramon Valley Newcomers Club

The San Ramon Valley Newcomers Club will hold its monthly luncheon on Thursday, March 20 at Faz restaurant in Danville. The luncheon is open to current and prospective members in the San Ramon Valley area. For more information or a reservation, contact Dee Bradshaw at (925) 837-9600 or visit www.srvnc.com.

Danville Community Band

The Danville Community Band will present “A Gallery of Sound” on Sunday, April 6th at 2pm at the Blackhawk Automotive Museum located at 3700 Blackhawk Plaza Circle in Danville. Join the band as they trek through and examine “A Gallery of Sound” with selections from film scores to marches. Come see the fabulous auto galleries, tour the current exhibits, and enjoy a concert all in the same building. The concert is FREE with admission into the Museum (free for museum members). For more information, visit www.danvilleband.org. For Museum information, call 925-736-2277 or visit www.blackhawkmuseum.org.

Danville Today News ~ March 2014 - Page 7 oid pain relievers (OPR) now exceed more deaths than heroin and cocaine combined. As many as 70% of people who abuse prescription drugs get them from a relative or friend instead of a doctor. Awareness Month activities include parenting conference seminars at local high schools, Teens Tackle Tobacco Conference workshops, police officer trainings, screening and discussion of the documentary, Behind the Orange Curtain in Orinda, San Ramon and Concord, and the “ENOUGH! Rally” on the south steps of the Capitol in Sacramento on March 24th. The NCAPDA was founded by San Ramon Valley resident April Rovero, who tragically lost her own son Joey because of a lethal mix of alcohol and misused prescription drugs. April has devoted her life to helping educate the community, change laws, and raise awareness so that others not face what she had to. For information about these events, visit the website of NCAPDA at www.ncapda.org; click on Media Center and Events. To register for the Rally, visit www.enoughrally.com, or contact April directly at info@ncapda. org or 925-980-5490. You can help with the safe disposal of your unused and unwanted prescription drugs by dropping them in a pharmaceutical collection bin in your community. Not only does it keep them out of the wrong hands, but it keeps drugs from entering our water supply through the sewer system. You should never flush medication down toilets. Take your drugs to the green drop box at any one of the locations in District 2 listed below. • City of Walnut Creek, City Hall Lobby, 1666 North Main St., Walnut Creek • Town of Danville, Police Department, 510 La Gonda Dr., Danville • City of Lafayette, Police Department, 3675 Mt. Diablo Blvd., #130, Lafayette (no liquids) • Town of Moraga, Police Department, 329 Rheem Blvd., Moraga • City of Orinda, Police Department, 22 Orinda Way, Orinda • City of San Ramon, Police Department, 2401 Crow Canyon Rd., San Ramon Together, there are many things we can do to make our community a safer, better place to live. Please join me this month in both raising awareness about this issue and properly disposing of prescription drugs. We will change and save lives.

GFWC Danville Women’s Club

The 103 year old Danville Women’s Club, a member of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC) International, has many interesting meetings and fundraisers taking place this spring. Our March 20th luncheon meeting features a program titled “All about Bees” with Eric Mussen of the UC Davis entomology department. Social time starts at 11:30am with lunch being held at noon, followed by the program and business meeting. Guests are always welcome and lunch is free for first-timers. All luncheons and fundraisers are held at our Clubhouse, located at 242 Linda Mesa Avenue in Danville, unless otherwise noted. Thursday, March 27th is the Club’s spring “Let’s get to know each other!” Tea celebrating spring, flowers, and volunteering. In addition to tea and a tasty luncheon, there will be speakers from GFWC and the Bancroft Gardens. The event is free. To join us, please call Doral Allen at 925-736-8814 to reserve a spot by March 20th. It is a great opportunity for community-minded women to learn about how the Danville Women’s Club supports the Tri-Valley. The April 17th luncheon meeting features the arts. An Art scholarship will be given to one student from the San Ramon Valley High Schools. Our Garage Sale fundraiser will be held on Saturday, April 26th and also includes a wonderful bake sale. Our biggest fundraising event of the year is a Fashion Show which benefits Hospice of the East Bay and our other charities. Save the date of Thursday, May 8th for a wonderful fashion show and luncheon which will be held at the Blackhawk Country Club. The tickets are $45 each. Gather a few friends or maybe ten friends for a whole table, and come enjoy the festivities. A drawing will be held for fabulous prizes donated by Tri-Valley merchants. More details will be available soon. For more information about the Club, please call 925-837-1165, visit us on the web at www.danvillewomensclub.org, or email us at danvillewc@gmail.com. Did you know that our Clubhouse is available for rental? Call or email for complete details.

Winner announced on St. Patrick’s page. Day, 2014 on Facebook our Facebook March 17 Day, 2014 our Facebook page. March 17 will th beon Day, 2014 on our page. March 17 www.yourmonthlypaper.com Page 8 - March 2014 ~ Danville Today News Day, March 17th 2014 on our Facebook page.



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haveSRV more! Christian Academy

Top of the Morning!

By Maria Ward, Principal St. Isidore School

By Jan Brunkal, Principal

Our St. Isidore School auction started off the month. Forty-two eighth­graders, four teachers, and ten parOur auction committee came up with the theme, City ents recently returned from a fabulous trip to Washington Lights! We are truly grateful for the endless hours of hard D.C., Gettysburg, and New York City. Highlights inwork, love, and dedication that our auction co-chairs, cluded the Capitol, Arlington National Cemetery, Mount Mrs. Marci Dublin and Mrs. Colleen Carney, have Vernon, Marine Corps Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, put forth in this amazing event. It is our one big annual Washington Monument, Smithsonian Museums, World th Visit our office in between now and March 17 , and your name will be entered into our  fund-raiser to assist with keeping our tuition costs down. This night is a huge community Trade Center Memorial, and Times Square. Every day builder we all look forward to. We encourage our teachers and staff to come and enjoy was packed with great history and meaning. Students raffle to win a $50 Gift Card to a local Restaurant! Don’t forget to check in on Facebook  this memorable event, but it is our generous parents who make our auction a big success! have spent the year learning about U.S. history, and they were able to gain an even while you are here, and receive a special St. Patrick’s Day goodie bag.   Our Lenten theme this year is Come Follow Me. Our entire school community greater perspective about the blessing it is to be an American. Words like sacrifice, attends liturgy together every Friday during Lent. We ask our students to bring a can serving, leadership, and patriotism were heard repeatedly. Often our graduates of food for St. Vincent de Paul, and after mass we say a decade of the rosary together. Winner will be announced on St. Patrick’s tell us their trip to D.C. helped to shape them into the person that they are today. This just brings us closer to God and closer as a Catholic School community. Please One of the added bonuses to our trip is the social development between stuth feel free to joinpage. us at 8:10am at our all-school Friday liturgies during Lent. dents. I am so proudDay, of our students when they 17 go on any of our field our 2014 ontrips, ourandFacebook March On March 17th we honor St. Patrick. Students from grades one through eight are asWashington D.C. trip is no different. Our students are regularly complimented for signed as Faith Families and participate in many activities throughout the school year. their courteous andContact our office today at (925) 837‐6052 respectful behavior. We are so thankful for the partnership we Each month we come together as a school community in these Faith Families to learning have with our parents in helping these young people become young disciples for more about our Catholic Faith. Our fifth grade students will be leading the Faith Family 3176 Danville Blvd., Suite 2, Alamo the Lord and encouraging them to be agents of change wherever they go. activity this month.All of our students look forward to this monthly activity. Student Faith Our third graders did a wonderful job with their Great American speeches. info@amindamodrelldds.com | Families are a very unique aspect of our school. Our graduates often report that Faith What an accomplishment for our students to memorize speeches, dress in period Family times are some of their most precious memories from their St. Isidore experience. costume, and sharewww.AmindaModrellDDS.com the journey of these courageous Americans in front of their Please join us at our Parent University presentation on Thursday, March 20th refamilies and peers. Every year as I watch our students perform, I am amazed not garding Internet safety for middle school students. We are grateful that Lauren Brown, only at our students but at the founders, explorers, and innovators of our nation School Program Director of the police department for the Town of Danville, will be because it was their trials and tribulations that made them so strong. speaking to our parents on this important topic. Keeping our students safe while they are A huge thank you to our PTF and auction team, Joy Lessman and Kaby Plitt, for at school and home is a high priority. According to DoSomething.org, 70% of students their outstanding job with our annual Crab Feed/Auction. The evening was filled report seeing frequent bullying online. Partnering with our parents is a crucial factor to with great fellowship and a chance to support our school financially. This year a insure the well being of our children. 2014 red Camaro was donated, and tickets were sold for an opportunity drawing We end the month with our Family Bingo Night on Friday, March 28th hosted by to win this beautiful car. Congratulations to our lucky winner! The proceeds from our Student Leadership team. Bingo night allows everyone to come together, without our auctions have helped to keep tuition costs down and purchase technology and life’s constant interruptions, to enjoy simple family time. We see all family members, other items that make our school the wonderful place it is. from infants to great grandparents, enjoying this time as a family. Our Family Bingo We are currently accepting applications for the 2014-2015 school year in grades th Night is a memorable event for students and parents. This is another way we try to bring kindergarten through 8 grade. Please visit our website www.srvca.org or contact our community together to build ties, which last a lifetime! our office at 925-838-9622.




Charlotte Wood Middle School

By Christopher George, Principal

Danville Today News ~ March 2014 - Page 9

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

It was an exciting February at Charlotte Wood. In the midst of Danville - According to industry experts, away altogether. In most cases, you can sweeping changes, we have been there are over 33 physical problems that make a reasonable pre-inspection yourself working very hard to prepare for our will come under scrutiny during a home if you know what you're looking for, and future and to get ready for the rest of inspection when your home is for sale. knowing what you're looking for can help the 2013- 2014 school year. A new report has been prepared which you prevent little problems from growing First and foremost, we are very identifies the 11 most common of these into costly and unmanageable ones. pleased to announce that our own Kara Teach was recently problems, and what you should know about To help home sellers deal with this issue named San Ramon Valley Unified School District’s Teacher them before you list your home for sale. before their homes are listed, a free report of the Year! Kara is Charlotte Wood’s first recipient in many Whether you own an old home or a brand entitled "11Things You Need to Know to years, and we are all very proud of her. Kara, part of our Spenew one, there are a number of things Pass Your Home Inspection" has been cial Education Department, teaches our Moderate Special Day that can fall short of requirements during a compiled which explains the issues involved. Class. She has done amazing work with our students, being home inspection. If not identified and dealt To hear a brief recorded message about at turns a compassionate voice and a fierce advocate for her with, any of these 11 items could cost you how to order your FREE copy of this report, students in the school setting. She has taught us all about the dearly in terms of repair. That's why it's call toll-free 1-866-265-1682 and enter improvement brought to a community by all of our students. critical that you read this report before 1003. You can call any time, 24 hours a day, Most importantly, her students make incredible progress under you list your home. If you wait until the 7 days a week. her tutelage. We also know that Kara represents the hard work, building inspector flags these issues for Get your free special report NOW to learn dedication, and collaborative nature of our entire staff. We you, you will almost certainly experience how to ensure a home inspection doesn't remain proud as a community that Kara has been bestowed costly delays in the close of your home cost you the sale of your home. this honor, and that she represents our entire school. sale or, worse, turn prospective buyers And seriously, her last name is “Teach.” This report is courtesy of J. Rockcliff Realtors #01763819. Not intended to solicit buyers or sellers currently under contract. Copyright © 2013 We start this semester by preparing our staff and students for the pilot run of our new Common Core Assessments. Thanks to the hard work of our Assistant Principal, Debra Petish, our Advisory team, and our Technical Support Specialist, Krycia Darrin, we will be as prepared as possible to pilot these tests during the March to May testing window. It goes without saying that we would not be able to prepare our students for this pilot test without the generous support of our parent community through the work of the Charger Fund. These online assessments should reflect the deeper thinking skills inherent in the Common Core State Standards and will be more open ended, providing students with an opportunity to demonstrate their skills and knowledge in a variety of ways. This month we have also had the opportunity to evaluate our nascent Advisory program through staff and student surveys. The surveys have reflected a good amount of feedback suggesting that our program has been meaningful and worthwhile. While there are of course things we can change after the program’s first year, we credit the Advisory as being a factor to our improved school climate. Our suspension numbers this year have been almost negligible, also thanks to the work and compassion of our teachers and the cooperation of our students’ parents. We have enjoyed a very successful year so far and look forward to the remainder of it. Thanks for your support. that school safety, some traffic mitigation, and supporting local businesses and Stone Valley Middle School residents were the top priorities. By Shaun K. McElroy, Principal Deputy Topete’s regular presence on our campus provides students with the Stone Valley Opens Doors to the Public opportunity to interact with law enforcement on an informal basis and breakdown On Tuesday, February 4th we hosted our third an- stereotypes so that students see that police interactions aren’t always negative. nual Open House during the school day. In the past our Deputy Topete will also be advising us on our emergency response drills daytime Open House was limited to just the morning and procedures, including all aspects of student safety and communication. schedule, but this year we opened the campus all day and Counseling Changes at Stone Valley invited the 5th grade parents from our feeder schools to Patty O’Malley started the 2013-14 school year as a student support counselor, splitting her time between Stone Valley and Los Cerros Middle School. Patty has attend. All parents were provided with a school map, a copy of the master schedule, and free reign over which now moved into the full time guidance counseling position. Assuming Patty’s role classes they visited. In most classrooms parents were able to talk directly to the as student support counselor is Ms. Chelsea Rivas. We will share Chelsea with Los teacher about the classroom activity and participate along with the students. We Cerros. Chelsea comes to us from San Ramon Valley High School. Chelsea holds credentials and masters degrees in marriage and family therapy. To contact Patty, totaled 80 visitors including School Board President Rachel Hurd. Parents were treated to book talks, two different versions of a Socratic email pomalley@srvusd.net, and to contact Chelsea, email crivas1@srvusd.net. seminar, competitive academic games, interesting math lessons, a little French Measure D Update Measure D is a facilities bond that was passed by voters in the November and Spanish, culinary arts, rocket building, music, and much more. 2012 election. Stone Valley Middle School modernization project is a high Our intention in opening the classrooms to parents is twofold: keeping parents involved at the middle school level and providing parents with a glimpse priority construction project. We are anticipating construction to begin July 2015, depending on design and the State approval time. into the middle school and Common Core classroom. The architectural services contract will be brought to the Board for approval New Resident Deputy in the near future. Design and drawings would need to start no later than this Welcome Jesus Topete, Alamo’s new Resident Deputy. The Alamo community and schools; Rancho Romero, Alamo Elementary, and Stone Valley Middle May 2014. An architect has been selected, Facilities staff and the *Facilities School; are served by the Resident Deputy Sheriff. As of January 28th Deputy Oversight and Advisory Committee’s Design Sub-Committee will begin its work in March to study options, costs, schedules, etc. As the project options Jesus Topete joined the Alamo Sheriff’s office as our Resident Deputy. Deputy and rough design elements begin to come into focus, the site/staff/community Topete is a 13-year veteran of the Contra Costa Sheriff’s Department, and he team will become involved and help bring the design standards and specificaholds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in criminal justice from Sacramento State tions to completion…then the architects can really begin their work so we can University. When not on duty Deputy Topete likes to run and spend time with his get the drawings to the State for approval. wife and daughter. Deputy Topete’s previous assignment was in north Richmond. *The role of the FOAC can be found on the SRVUSD home page at http:// Deputy Topete’s role as the Resident Deputy for Alamo is largely determined www.srvusd.net/fac. Local members of the FOAC are Alamo residents Steve by Alamo Police Services Advisory Committee (APSAC). The APSAC com- Mick, Chair and Margie Hart, Vice Chair. Assistant Superintendent, Facilities mittee surveyed Alamo residents to determine areas of need and determined Gary Black is in charge of all projects under Measure D - gblack@srvusd.net.

Page 10 - March 2014 ~ Danville Today News

San Ramon Valley High School By Ruth Steele, Principal

Spring in high schools has come to be known as a testing season. From the end of March through mid-May, there are a variety of tests administered to students in different grades. These include all the tests listed below along with the AP tests that students take if they are enrolled in an AP course. While these tests are necessary, they disrupt regular instruction and can lead to a frustrating loss of class time for both students and teachers. CAHSEE - California High School Exit Exam STAR - Standardized Testing and Reporting CAPA - California Alternate Performance Assessment (used instead of STAR). EAP - Early Assessment Program ACT - American College Testing SAT - Scholastic Assessment Test (Scholastic Aptitude Test) SBAC - Smarter Balance Assessment Consortium CAASPP - California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress The first three; CAHSEE, STAR, and CAPA; have been used to assess student performance in high school. The Exit Exam has to be passed in order for students to graduate, and they can take it in 10th, 11th, and 12th grades, multiple times, until it is passed. The EAP, ACT, and SAT are all college readiness tests. With the implementation of Common Core, a new assessment system is being developed by SBAC, a multi-state consortium that has been in place since 2010. The new tests are called CAASPP, and they will replace STAR testing, starting next year. This year, the tests are being piloted in the spring while STAR testing is phased out. These field tests are necessary to make sure that schools can successfully address the logistical challenges of these new tests. In the past, all testing was done on paper, but moving forward, these will be adaptive, computer based tests completed through a web portal. As these new tests are rolled out, the hope is that they will be quicker to administer and less disruptive for students and teachers. Another improvement would be having students take the tests at the end of the school year (June) instead of in March and April. As California navigates this transition along with many other states, the good news is that the Common Core Standards and the assessments being used will be a much more valid and comprehensive measure of student learning than the previous STAR system. Even though there will be some challenges along the way, ultimately, both staff and students will benefit enormously from this shift.

Exchange Club Scholarship Competition

The Exchange Club of the San Ramon Valley is sponsoring an essay scholarship competition. This year’s contest eligibility includes all 9,10,11 and 12th grade students living in the SRVUSD, including all the district high schools, private high schools, and home school students within the district. Students living in the SRVUSD and attending high schools outside the district are eligible as well. This year’s contest will have a single winner and a single prize of $5,000. The subject of the essay is a question, “The three War Powers Acts 1941,1942 and 1973, are they Constitutional or Unconstitutional?” Students may argue either side of the question, but they must support their position by quoting the article or amendment to the Constitution that supports their position. A panel will judge the essays and will choose the best three. They will then interview the three finalists on the content of their essays at a date and time to be announced. The winner will be the one who best supports his or her position and will be honored at the Exchange Club luncheon on May 14th. The scholarship will be paid directly to the college the student wishes to attend upon receipt of a letter of acceptance.

Essay Rules are as follows:

Essay must be 800 to 1,000 words, not including footnotes or bibliographies. Each essay must have a cover sheet containing name, address, phone number, email, school, and grade. All essays must be submitted by e-mail in Word document format no later than 6pm, April 13th. Please include “War Powers Acts” in the e-mail’s subject line. E-mail to tt232425@att.net. The decision of the judges is final. For questions, email tt232425@att.net or call 925-275-2412.


Del Amigo High School By Joseph A. Ianora, Principal

The feel of upcoming spring is in full swing, and Del Amigo has been busy buzzing around with all of the activity! Here are some brief updates of the many great things happening on the Del Amigo campus: • We have just purchased a 3-D printer and laser cutting machine. These wonderfully modern tools will help the students with rapid prototyping and learning CAD software. • Our Learning Center is up and running. We have 40 new computers for student /class use. This is very exciting as we now have a space where students can move beyond the traditional classroom and expand their creative thinking in a space that is designed to inspire. • The second semester has seen a much larger influx of students. We typically have 10 new students enter at the semester, and this semester we had 20 new students. I believe our district is seeing a cultural shift at Del Amigo – the alternative learning environment is becoming a viable option because of the educational program. • We are almost done with our first ever schoolwide book read. We are reading Hole in My Life by Jack Gantos. This has been an incredible experience for our students and staff…at times it has been a challenge as we have had to tell students, “It is time to STOP reading,” something we never anticipated. I believe this speaks volumes about two things, the choice of book and the caliber of student who now attends Del Amigo. • We had a wonderful second semester “Back to School Night” for our Del Amigo families. We served a great meal and had a powerful discussion about the book we are currently reading. • Ten students attended the Social Innovation workshop through Junior Achievement at Robert Half International. Of the 17 teams, six made it to the finals and three to the finals. I am proud to say that two of the three final groups had Del Amigo students! All in all, it was a very exciting day for our students, and they all commented on how much they learned about social innovation and change. • The month of March is the start of “testing season.” We will be giving two tests to our Juniors – the EAP (paper and pencil test) for the CSU and Community Colleges and a pilot test for the Common Core (replacing the STAR testing). • We are now prepared to offer our students online coursework through Edgenuity. This new software will allow our students access to classes they may not be able to take here at Del Amigo. All online classes will be awarded credit. In addition to this, we have been approved to offer courses that meet the A-G requirements for the UC/CSU systems. Our students, if they so choose, will be able to take additional coursework that will give them A-G credit. This is another major step forward in the alternative education process…giving students more choice in their educational path. As always, we appreciate your support as we continue to grow, change, and prepare our student for the 21st Century.

Danville Girls Chorus

Annual Spring Concert “Here Comes the Sun”

The Danville Girls Chorus (DGC) will perform their Spring Concert, “Here Comes the Sun,” on Saturday, March 29th at 11am. The performance will take place at East Bay Four Square Church, located at 2615 Camino Tassajara Road in Danville. Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for children, and they can be purchased at the door. DGC invites all to come and celebrate the arrival of the spring season! The Danville Girls Chorus is made up of 135 girls from 3rd to 8th grades 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 our Spring Concert followed by a tour and performances in May in San Diego and a Pops concert in June. Please visit www.danvillegirlschorus.org for more information on this event and other upcoming performances.


Danville Today News ~ March 2014 - Page 11

SAT/ACT - Start Planning for College Now

By Susan Sokat, Director of Club Z! In-Home Tutoring

For some students, thoughts and plans for higher education only begin as high school graduation nears. But as the competition to get into college grows more fierce with every year, it’s important for students to make plans sooner rather than later. Wait too long and your spot at the college of your choice just may go to your neighbor in chemistry class. Most students who want a competitive edge in today’s market will be taking an SAT or ACT during the spring of their junior year. First of all, consider which is the best test for you. It is important to know the differences between the two exams. Both tests contain math, reading, and writing, however the SAT has a focus on vocabulary, and the ACT has a section on science. SAT gives you a score for Reading, Writing, and Math. You can obtain a possible 800 on each subtest. ACT gives you a composite score with a highest possible score of 36. You may find that you score higher on one test versus the other, depending on your aptitude for the various subject knowledge they Offer expires 03/31/14 measure. SAT may tend to have “trickier” questions. On the SAT, wrong answers are penalized by .25 of a point, and in some cases it may be better to skip a question than to guess. You will want to know these facts about the tests in order to prepare. You will also want to know when each test is being offered. If you plan to test this spring, the time to sign up is now. It is not uncommon to test several times. All schools will take your best score, and most schools will take your best Reading and best Math on the SAT, even if they do not occur on the same test date. Start by deciding your score goal. Visit the website of your dream school, or visit a website such as www.collegeapps.about.com. You can explore any school in the US and find out what their students have scored on the SAT or ACT. Knowing this will allow you to set goals for a successful score. To give yourself a better chance of increasing your scores on either exam, consider working with a private tutor. You will want to start with a diagnostic test so that tutoring can be completely individualized. Taking sample practice tests and practicing on your specific areas of weakness is the best strategy for improving your scores. You may want to re-learn concepts that were difficult for you. This is often the case for geometry or algebra. For information on SAT and ACT individualized tutoring, contact Club Z! at (925)786-7149. It is typical to see a 100-200 point gain with the appropriate tutoring plan. Club Z! can customize a program for your goals. Plus the tutoring is individualized in your home. Please find test dates and important information about the SAT and ACT tests at www.clubztutoring.com/ danville. Start planning now for the college of your dreams! Advertorial

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Monte Vista High School By Janet Terranova, Principal

February was a very busy month at the Home of the Mustangs. Last month I mentioned two week long events: No Name Calling Week and Wheelchair Awareness Week. These two events, organized by clubs on campus, did a wonderful job of helping our students gain empathy for others. In just one thirty-minute Advisory, classes produced amazing posters reminding students that “words matter.” Our Wheelchair Awareness Week is finding our students very close to their goal of providing over 300 wheelchairs to folks around the world that have never had the opportunity to experience mobility. The month of March will find students signing up for classes for the 2014-2015 school year. This is an exciting time for students as they look at the numerous class offerings that both interest and challenge them. Our rich schedule of classes gives students the opportunity to choose from an array of diverse options. As students begin to plan out their next school year and beyond, please be sure to help your student achieve balance. Students should choose courses that will challenge them but not overwhelm them. Some students can handle one AP course, others three or four, and some will be most successful with a traditional schedule. Help your student look at their schedule and take into account outside commitments that are so important for a successful high school experience.

Important Dates for the Month of March

March 11 and 12 Incoming 9th grade Parent and Student Night, including information on Student Life and Sports March 18 and 19 California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) and the Mock CAHSEE for grades 9 and 10 with an adjusted schedule If you want to know more about Monte Vista and our activities, please visit www.mvhs.schoolloop.com. The BearLax Blue girls lacrosse team won first place in the recent Sandstorm Lacrosse Festival that took place in Indio, Calfornia. The Blue girls lacrosse team is lead by Coaches Rick Jeffrey and Whitney Douthett. The team consists of top players from all over the Bay Area including local players; Sabrina Dunbar, Maddie Souza and Abby Young of Alamo, Sarah Mazzetti, Hayley Littlefield of Olivia Pereira of Danville and Amanda O'Brien and Ashley Ward and of San Ramon.

Page 12 - March 2014 ~ Danville Today News

Madden or Saving the Aardvarks? By Devyn Holliday, San Ramon Valley High School, senior

It’s loading. You’re sitting at your computer with sweaty, shaking hands. Is this even the right time? They said 3pm, didn’t they? Oh my… there it is. You peek at the illuminated screen, and your eyes search desperately for some positive words like “Congratulations” or “We are pleased to.” In a few split seconds, you ascertain from the letter whether you should jump around and scream or just look away. Three months prior to this moment, you filled out lengthy and monotonous applications showing universities why you are the one “they’ve been looking for.” Your application is a long list of achievements and extracurriculars that would make any person shudder in the presence of your “perfection.” You’ve built orphan-

Cake continued from front page

their birthdays,” says Cake4Kids board member and acting executive director Julie Eades. “We know that that these children are receiving basic essentials and support from the wonderful agencies we serve, and we strive to provide a little something more. Making and delivering a cake is such a simple act that can make a huge difference to a child’s sense of self. Children who are loved and valued have a higher level of self esteem which is critical to success in life.” Libby Gruender of Sunnyvale founded Cake4Kids in September 2010. Her goal was simple - to provide a service that brought smiles and hope to at-risk youth. In 2013 300 volunteer home bakers baked and delivered 1,000 cakes to South Bay youth. And now, Cake4Kids has expanded beyond the Peninsula to include active organizers and volunteer bakers in the East and North Bay areas. One such volunteer baker is Janinne Franke of Danville who admits that she “needs” to bake in order to relax. It was when her husband and kids reached their baked goods saturation point that she signed-on with Cake4Kids. “I needed an outlet for my passion, and there is only so much you can bake for the local firefighters and police,” says Franke. As part of the operations team, Franke conducts orientations for East Bay bakers. Though an expert herself (trained by her grandmother whose baking skills were intuitive), Franke maintains that baking is not difficult, and that decorating is the most fun. “It is amazing what one can do with a couple of marshmallows, M&Ms, and fondant icing,” she says. Baking expertise is definitely not a prerequisite for interested bakers, as Cake4Kids provides basic, foolproof cake recipes as well as decorating classes. Driver’s license and insurance information is required from volunteers, as is mandatory attendance at one of the orientation sessions where the “dos and don’ts” are covered. Cake bakers cover their own costs and are sometimes requested to follow a décor theme such as Thomas the Tank Engine, Princess, or simply ‘chocolate.’ “The most important aspect of a Cake4Kids cake is not that it be expertly decorated, but that the child’s name be spelled accurately and legibly, and that the cake be made with love,” says Eades. Cake4Kids’ operations director Trish O’Dwyer is in charge of all operational elements of Cake4Kids and leads a passionate team of volunteers who keep the ship running smoothly. She is also responsible for recruiting and vetting the agencies, group homes, and shelters whose patrons become recipients of birthday cakes. The process is formal and includes verification of non-profit status as well as disclosure of financials. The volunteer bakers deliver their cakes directly to the agency, and they remain anonymous to their beneficiary. Often, the cake will be presented to the child by the child’s caseworker, helping to create a beneficial bond between the two. “We try to help reinforce with the children that their caseworkers care for them and are looking out for them,” says O’Dwyer. “The small and kind act of baking a cake for a stranger carries great impact for both the giver and receiver,” says O’Dwyer. “The delight in recipients’ faces when they receive their large pink or white cake box is so rewarding, and our volunteers love hearing how their efforts make a difference.” “Making a child smile and filling them with the joy of having a cake specially made for them with their name on it is a basic family gesture that I am honored to perform for a child outside of my family circle,” says Franke. Cake4Kids is actively seeking East Bay bakers and encourages interested parties to fill out an online application. Example photos of cakes can be found on the Cake4Kids Facebook page. For more information, visit www.cake4kids.org. If you represent a non-profit agency and would like to be considered for client cake deliveries, please send an email to info@cake4kids.org.


ages in Mali, hiked the Pyrenees in your summers, taught yourself German in seventh grade, and are captain of two varsity sports. Now, what person is actually capable of all that at 18, I do not know; yet, kids manage to defy all reality when it comes to college admissions. To some, the college they go to is the harbinger of the rest of their lives. It’s funny how after 13 years of schooling and 18 years of life, we somehow think that in one measly Common Application, colleges can somehow determine our worth. For many high schoolers their future dreams are contingent upon getting into that “one” school. Nobody ever grows up thinking they’ll eventually attend a “so-so” college; it’s always the Berkeleys, Harvards, and the UCLAs that everyone dreams about as a kid. Students subject themselves to countless hours of prep classes, tutoring, and even joining clubs just for the sake of appearing “involved,” all in the name of getting accepted into their dream school. Does any teenager do anything without the thought of their college application in the back of their mind? From the second we cross the threshold from middle school into high school suddenly the reason we do anything is because “that’s what colleges are looking for.” Perhaps that’s where it all went wrong. Instead of actively pursuing what we genuinely care about, we pursued what we thought some random hoity-toity university cared about. We joined clubs that were haphazardly organized, we became interested in obscure areas of academia, and we all of a sudden cared about standardized testing. The SAT became an extracurricular in and of itself for a good majority of students. It’s a shame that teenagers actually bought the scheme that was sold to us so slyly. Instead of investing our time in things we “ought to have cared about,” we could have actually pursued things of interest to us. Why did we ever believe that playing Madden with our friends wasn’t a valiant enough extracurricular? Why was baking cakes not up to par? Everything that an average teenager would love to do in their free time has been deemed as not showing enough cultural value, not showing community involvement, or not emitting the qualities of a future world leader. The most meaningful experiences in life don’t come from building orphanages for the aardvarks of sub-Saharan Africa, starting charities for the protection of fire ants, or protesting the use of krill in Dior’s latest facial cream. The moments that alter our reality are the moments when we realize who we are and what it is we stand for. You’ll never know what you stand for if you never took the time to be yourself. To do anything in life for the interest of appearing like someone other than yourself is detrimental, because in the end life is all about embracing your own journey, not the journey of some fictional saint of a teenager.

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Danville Today News ~ March 2014 - Page 13

Happy St. Patrick’s Day FREE Cleaning for New Patients! (must be accompanied by exam and x-rays) Expires April 01, 2014

Page 14 - March 2014 ~ Danville Today News

Golden Gate Fields By Linda Summers Pirkle


It was not difficult for me to choose who to invite to the historic Golden Gate Fields - the place for horse racing since the 1940’s. Golden Gate Fields is located alongside the Bay crossing the Albany/Berkeley city lines. The racetrack is in Albany, and the stable area is in Berkley. My daughter, Lindsay is known for her luck; she has won tickets to Hawaii, various concert tickets, a signed electric guitar, t-shirts...so of course she was going to the race track with me. We arrived on a Friday morning at 11am, an hour before the first race of the day. Kent Faulk, parking attendant for the past 45 years, told us some stories about the track. He remembers when people arrived in fancy cars, women wearing long gloves, and men in their best suits. “It was a different time. The big owners from Los Angeles would arrive in their big cars.” He noted, “I saw Bing Crosby, Telly Savalas, Mickey Rooney, Jack Klugman Joe Dempsey, and Burt Bacharach.” He explained how the track opened in February 1941, and two weeks later it closed. Torrential rains caused poor track conditions and then the war started. During WWII, the track was used as a naval amphibious landing craft base. The track re-opened in 1947. Tom Ferrall, Publicity Manager for Golden Gate Fields, mentioned some of the great historical moments in racing history. The list of Hall of Fame horsemen to campaign at Golden Gate Fields includes jockeys Willie Shoemaker, Johnny Longden, Ralph Neves, Laffit Pincay, Jr., Chris McCarron, Gary Stevens, Eddie Delahoussaye, and the current kingpin, Russell Baze. It’s not just about the racing though. We talked to Phillip Bencivenga who was with a group from the San Ramon SIRS organization, a fraternal organization of retired men in Northern and Central California. “I haven’t been here is 20 years. I don’t bet, but I’m having a great time watching the horses, enjoying the food, and being with friends. It’s a good day.” Lindsay and I sat above the finish line in the Turf Club. Each table has a small TV screen to watch the race. Our entrance fee included a buffet lunch with lots of food, including prime rib, turkey, and various salads. I always enjoy views of the Bay and the view from inside the women’s lounge at the Fields is truly extraordinary. In doing research for my article I found a quote from the late great Bay Area newspaper columnist Herb Caen who wrote, “The best view of the city of San Francisco is from the men’s room in the Turf Club at Golden Gate Fields.” Golden Gate Fields will throw the biggest Kentucky Derby party in Northern California on Saturday, May 3, when it simulcasts the Run for the Roses from Churchill Downs in Louisville and also puts a live racing card of its own. They will have table seating in the Turf Club, and whisky and cigar parties on an outdoor patio. Reservations are necessary, and this event always sells out. Lindsay and I stayed for five races. Oddly, she didn’t win any of the races. I won in the first and third race; a whopping $12 and $10. As I collected my winnings, Lindsay checked our “losing” tickets at the checker machine. Out popped a receipt for $19--we still don’t know for which race! It proved me right again, Lindsay is lucky. *A good value is” Dollar Day” on Sundays: racing program, general parking, general admission, programs, hot dogs, beer and sodas all cost just one dollar - a real step back in time! *Golden Gate Fields is located at 1100 Eastshore Highway, Berkeley, CA.94710. Their phone number is 510-559-7551. Linda Summers Pirkle, travel consultant and long term Danville resident, has been arranging and leading tours for the Town of Danville for several years. Inspired by the many wonderful places to visit in the Bay Area, she organizes day trips, either for groups or for friends and family. “If it’s a trip for my husband and me, my husband drives and I talk (he’s a captive audience) – the perfect combination! What a great place to live, so much to see, so much to do.” To share your “Quick Trips” ideas email Coverthemap@gmail.com.


Danville Today News ~ March 2014 - Page 15


Page 16 - March 2014 ~ Danville Today News

Life in the Danville Garden

By John Montgomery, ASLA, Landscape Architect More than a Garden

Over the many years of writing “Life in the Danville Garden” and following up with my clients after they have lived in their gardens, I have discovered some new distinctions about our Danville gardens. There are many aspects to a garden, and I have attempted to cover the important ones over the years. I have talked about the various elements of design as well as practical advice such as how to save and conserve water and select plants for deer territory. As a landscape architect with more than 35 years of experience in California, I have come to the conclusion there is so much more to a garden that meets the eye.

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Location: Round Hill Country Club, Alamo Location:6:00 Round Hill Country Club, Alamo PM—10:00 PMand don Attire: DressTime: in your Derby best, your finest hat. Prize will be given for best hat! Time: 6:00 PM—10:00 PM reservation required. Tickets: $100.00 per person, Tickets: $100.00 per person, reservation required. Location: Round Hill Country Club, Alamo Date: March 22, 2014 Attire: Dress in yourper Derby best, and don your finest hat. Prize will be given for best Prize hat! will be given Tickets: $100.00 person, reservation required. Attire: Dress in your Derby best, and don your finest hat. Location: Round Hill Country Club, Alamo Time: 6:00 PM—10:00 For PM information and tickets visit www.xenophontrc.org Attire: Dress in your Derby best, and don your finest hat. Prize will be given for best hat! Tickets: $100.00 per person, reservation required. MariFor Parino - mparino@xenophontrc.org Office: 925-377-0871 Location: RoundContact: Hill Country Club, Alamo information and tickets visit www.xenophontrc.org For information and tickets visit www.xenophontrc.o Contact: Mariinformation Parino Office: 925-377-0871 Attire: Dress- mparino@xenophontrc.org in and yourtickets Derby and don your finest hat. Prize will be For visitbest, www.xenophontrc.org Tickets: $100.00 per person, reservation required. Contact: Mari Parino mparino@xenophontrc.org Office: 925 Contact: Mari Parino - mparino@xenophontrc.org Office: 925-377-0871

When you think about it, it is more than a garden! A garden has the power Attire: to rejuvenate, inspire, and relax. When you take in consideration how we useDress our in your Derby best, and don your finest hat. Prize will be given for best hat! For information and tickets visit www.xenophon Danville gardens, what comes to mind are the endless hours of peaceful contemplation, lively gatherings, and toiled love. We use our gardens not just for something Contact: Mari Parino - mparino@xenophontrc.org Office beautiful to look at; although that is part of it. When I design a client’s garden, I For information and tickets visit www.xenophontrc.org first have them answer a questionnaire that I have developed over many years. I Contact: Mari Parino - mparino@xenophontrc.org Office: 925-377-0871 ask questions spanning the gambit from functionality and budget to their vision. I delve into specifics but I also try to go deep into what makes them feel they way they want to feel when they are in their garden. What I am bringing to the design is more than a garden! In this busy world we all deserve our own little paradise where we can retreat to. We are blessed to live in such a beautiful area where we can consider the garden as an extension of our homes. Here in Danville we can live outside just about as much as we live inside. Consider the time spent in the swimming pool, playing sports with the kids, barbecuing and eating outdoors, harvesting fruits and veg- to our website and click on the garden tour page. It will be a pleasure to meet you all! gies, and reading a good book under a shade tree on a warm spring day. All these Gardening Quote of the Month: “Gardeners are - let’s face it - control freaks. activities add so many dimensions to our lives outdoors, making the space more Who else would willingly spend his leisure hours wrestling weeds out of the than a garden. ground, blithely making life or death decisions about living beings, moving earth When it is more than a garden we have the opportunity to use our gardens from here to there, and changing the course of waterways? The more one thinks for other activities that contribute to our families, friends, and community. Think about it, the odder it seems; this compulsion to remake a little corner of the planet of the limitless activities and special events you can have such as weddings, according to some plan or vision.” ~ Abby Adams, What is a Garden Anyway anniversary celebrations, graduation parties, birthday parties, etc. Garden tours If you would like me to write on any particular subject, email your ideas to have also become a viable way to raise needed donations for some very worthy jmontgomery@jm-la.com or for design ideas, visit www.jm-la.com. Advertorial organizations. A well designed garden can present endless opportunities to bring family, and community, together. Over the years my wonderful clients have generously offered their gardens for various garden tours. By popular demand, I have been requested to organize our 4th Annual Garden Tour Fundraiser, “Life in the Alamo-Danville Garden.” Ticket sales will benefit local charities such as the Quincy Lee Foundation, the Bounty Garden (a community garden growing fresh produce for the Food Bank), Lazarex Cancer Foundation, Guide Dogs for the Blind Contra Costa Puppy Raising Club, Alamo Rotary, and others. Over the years the tour has been surprisingly successful! We have had between 300-500 people attend and generated close to $15,000 for these wonderful organizations. A hot tip from your local Landscape Architect: JMLA is delighted to announce our 4th Annual Garden Tour Fundraiser, “Life in the Alamo-Danville Garden,” a tour of five distinct gardens in Alamo and Danville. I invite you to come enjoy the afternoon with us. Stroll the gardens, chat with me, and enjoy several surprises we have planned. Mark your calendar for Saturday, May 3rd from 11am-4pm. For more info, go


Danville Today News ~ March 2014 - Page 17

By Blaine Brende & Joe Lamb

SMART Homeowners

Spring Pruning

O n c e again, it’s that time of year when the landscape grows lush, beautiful – and out of control. At Brende & Lamb, we prune to balance the practical with the aesthetic. When our clients ask us to restore their views, bring more light into their gardens, and reduce fire hazards, we do our best to keep their screening intact and to protect their privacy. At the same time, we work hard to enhance the natural beauty of their trees. Balancing your tree care needs are skills we’ve developed over decades of caring for trees.

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Aesthetic Pruning

Each plant has a natural growth pattern. Aesthetic pruning accentuates the shape given the plant by nature, and good pruning creates a light and open feeling. A well pruned plant enhances the observer’s experience by accentuating the interplay of light and shadow, open spaces and denser spaces, and the sculptural elements revealed in a tree’s trunk and branch. The first step in aesthetic pruning is to see the flow of the tree. We begin by looking at the base of the trunk, and then let our eyes follow the trunk upward into the branches and out to the branch tips. We notice how the flow of the branches determines the tree’s form. The form may be weeping, as with Willows and Chinese Elms. Perhaps, as with Monterey Cypress, the branches form at acute angles to the trunk, giving the tree an upswept look. Or the branches may bend and twist, forming complex arcs, as does the Coast Live Oak. Within these patterns, each tree has its own unique form and flow.

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Pruning and Size Reduction

It is important to prune in a manner that does 925.228.4SUN (4786) not harm the health of the tree. When thinning www.solaruniverse.com a pine, for example, it is important not to strip CSLB Lic. #785075 the major branches of their smaller branches, a practice called “lion-tailing” which leaves a branch denuded except for foliage at the end. Lion-tailing increases the chance of branch failure by concentrating the weight at the branch tips. A healthier tree, and more subtly beautiful look, is achieved by thinning to highlight the spaces or “layers” in a trees natural patterns. Removing diseased wood, and removing or reducing crossing branches that interrupt the natural flow, lets in more light and air, encouraging interior growth and overall health. Careful pruning can increase desired screening over time by encouraging interior growth.

Aesthetic View Work

In view work, the beauty of the view and the beauty of the tree often seem to be in conflict. Some tree-workers will sacrifice the tree for the view by “topping” the tree. Topping is almost always a bad idea. “Topping” creates a dense re-growth in “water-sprouts” that is unsightly. But more than the tree’s beauty is at stake here. Topping wounds the tree and promotes disease, including heart rot, and can make the tree dangerous. The water-sprouts on a topped tree are not deeply anchored in the trunk and are subject to failure in high winds. Add in the fact that these sprouts may be anchored onto a rotting trunk, and you have a safety problem that gets worse over time. Responsible arborists do not top trees. Removing a tree, perhaps replacing it with a smaller variety that can be kept out of the view, is usually preferable to beheading it. Looking at tree and view as two elements that complement each other can often solve view problems. Sometimes, lightly bringing the tree back without cutting into major branches can prevent further encroachment on the view. To open even more of the view, we create windows by selectively removing branches not essential for the tree’s natural form. We can enlarge these windows by removing branchlets that rise or drop into the view. Thinning above and below the window creates a feeling of openness, rather than gaping hole. The image formed by Mt. Diablo framed by the trembling leafs of a well-windowed tree proves that nature and civilization can complement each other. If your trees need a little TLC, please call 510-486-TREE (8733) or email us at bl@brendelamb.com for a free estimate. Additionally, go to our website www. brendelamb.com to see before and after pictures, client testimonials, and work in your neighborhood. Advertorial

Page 18 - March 2014 ~ Danville Today News

Clip Notes

By Jody Morgan

As St. Patrick’s Day approaches, wee bits of Irish luck in the form of potted shamrocks spring up on florists’ shelves, accenting rainbow-hued blooms with tempting touches of leprechaun green. As you may have noticed, retailers sell several unrelated species as “shamrock plants.” Consult the Western Garden Book, and you’ll find a similar assortment of options under the heading “Shamrock.” Is the shamrock a plant or merely a tri-part design based on a leaf shape present in many different horticultural families? Long before St. Patrick brought his message to Ireland, the Celts considered the number three to have magical powers and trifoliate plants to be possessed of the power to ward off evil. The legend concerning St. Patrick’s 5th century employment of the shamrock as a tool for explaining the Christian Holy Trinity was passed along through oral tradition. Asked how God could be both three and one simultaneously, St Patrick plucked a small compound leaf composed of three leaflets on a single stem to illustrate the concept. Exactly what plant he found at hand has been open to debate for centuries. The Irish began wearing shamrocks on St. Patrick’s Day early in the 17th century. A survey conducted in 1988 by the National Botanic Gardens in Dublin found that there was no agreement about what specific plant provided those shamrocks. Black medick (Medicago lupulina), also known as yellow trefoil, got 7% of the votes. Sometimes sold as the shamrock, black medick is distantly related to clover. Red clover (Trifolium pratense) was favored by 4%, white clover (Trifolium repens) 35%, and lesser hop clover or suckling clover (Trifolium dubium) 46%. An Internet search for “shamrock plants” brings up, instead of any representative of the clover family, a few of the 500+ species of Oxalis. Because they perform well in a container and sport threefold leaves that look precisely like the commercial concept of a shamrock, they are favored in the nursery trade. Although none of the counties in Ireland surveyed reported it as their choice, some historians contend the original shamrock was Oxalis acetosella, one of many species known

Tip of the Month

By Angela Stanford Buy Organic-Why should I?

So what is the buzz about buying organic foods? What does that “USDA Organic” label mean? Why does organic food cost more? I’m constantly educating people about how to nourish their bodies with food that is “clean and nutrient dense.” Eating organic is big step towards eating to improve health, not only for your body but also for our planet and the bodies of future generations.

Definition of Organic

Organic refers to the way agricultural products are grown and processed. Organic food production is a system of farming that maintains and replenishes soil fertility without the use of toxic pesticides and fertilizers. Organic foods do not contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and are minimally processed without artificial ingredients, preservatives, or irradiation to maintain integrity of the food. When it comes to animals, certified organic meat and poultry are free from antibiotics and growth hormones. However, organic standards have yet to be uniformly agreed upon in the U.S. for fish and seafood. A food item is “certified organic” if it has been grown according to strict uniform standards that are verified by a third party, like the Organic Trade Association (OTA) or the USDA National Organic Program. This ‘farm to table’certification includes inspections of farm fields and processing facilities, detailed record keeping, and periodic testing of soil and water to ensure that growers and handlers are meeting standards.

Buy Organic for Your Body

In study after study, research consistently shows organically grown food is higher in nutrients than conventionally grown. Research shows that organic produce is higher in vitamin C (12-20%), antioxidants (up to 40%), and the minerals calcium, iron, chromium, and magnesium. Organic milk is also more nutrient dense. According to a study at the Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources at Washington State University, organic milk contains more heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids than milk from conventionally raised cows simply because they eat more grass than corn, like Mother Nature intended. This helps restore a healthier balance of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids in our diet, which helps reduce inflammation. Along with boosting nutrition, eating organic reduces exposure to antibiotics, synthetic hormones, and drugs that find their way into the animals and ultimately into you. These can cause a whole host of issues like hormone imbalances, skin rashes, and inability to lose weight.


as wood sorrel. Are they simply confused by the similarity of names? Shamrock is transcribed as “seamrog” and wood sorrel as “seamsog.” How do they explain that “seamrog” also translates as “little clover”? The earliest English language reference to shamrocks appears in Edmund Campion’s 1571 Historie of Irelande. Campion notes that the Irish ate “shamrotes, watercresses, roots and other herbes.” After residing in Ireland for two years, Campion, a distinguished scholar, penned this composition while hiding from the Protestant party of Dublin, who had learned of his preference for Catholicism. Those favoring Oxalis as the true shamrock argue that wood sorrel was part of the Irish diet, but clover never was. A 1617 work by Fynes Moryson also mentions that the Irish consumed “schamrock being of a sharpe taste.” The bitter, pungent flavor of wood sorrel fits this description. Early botanical works are imprecise. In his 1597 Herbal, John Gerard states: “Medow Trefoile is called in Latine Trifolium pratense: in English, Common Trefoile, Three leafed grasse: of some, Suckles, Hony-suckles, and Cocks-heads: in Irish, Shamrocks.” Gerard’s Latin fits the botanical name Linnaeus applied to red clover. However, wood sorrel, described by Gerard directly after his entry on clover, bore the proper name Trifolium acetosum, suggesting it was thought to be clover’s close cousin. Some clovers are not shamrocks, while some Oxalis may be. Four-leaf clovers, held to be extraordinarily lucky by the ancients Celts, are not shamrocks. One in ten thousand white clover plants naturally sports a four-leaf specimen. Rarely, a leaf with more parts occurs. As reported in the 2011 Guinness Book of World Records, a cloverleaf with 56 leaflets was discovered in 2009. Chances of finding a four-leaf clover have been much improved by nurserymen. If you are looking for a dramatic ground cover lucky in every leaf, buy Trifolium repens ‘Atropurpureum’ Dark Dancer. The leaves are a deep burgundy. The white flowers are attractive to bees – important if you want your flowers, fruit trees, and vegetables pollinated. Dark Dancer is considered heat and drought tolerant and aggressive enough to grow back as soon as deer dine on it. The original white clover species will give you a rugged green ground cover resistant to dry, hot conditions. As a member of the legume family, clover provides nitrogen to the soil. Until the 1950s, clover was included as a prestigious component of grass seed mixes. Eating organic may also reduce your cancer risk. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers 60% of herbicides, 90% of fungicides, and 30 % of insecticides potentially cancer-causing. It is therefore reasonable to think that the rapidly increasing rates of cancer are at least partly linked to the use of these carcinogenic pesticides.

Buy Organic for the Earth

Evidence supports the fact that eating organic lowers environmental impact. Organic farming methods support greater biodiversity. Diversity is fundamental to life on this planet. Wildlife is allowed to thrive in their natural habitats with fewer obstacles that put them at risk for poor health and extinction. And let’s not forget that genetically modified and non-organic food is focused on high yield monoculture that destroys biodiversity. Organic food is tried and tested. Genetic modification of food is still experimental. Purchasing organic foods helps you avoid being part of this wide-scale and uncontrolled experiment. The bottom line is the growing of organic foods leads to better soil quality, cleaner air and water for wildlife to thrive, and for plants to grow more healthy and nutritious to nourish generations to come.

Does Eating Organic Really Cost More?

The answer to this question is an article in itself. Basically, organic growers don’t use the large amounts of harmful pesticides and herbicides on their crops and have to look for other, often more manual methods of controlling pests and diseases. These methods keep pesticides away from people and the environment, but they cost more. There is also a cost for ongoing education for organic growers, the certification process, paperwork, inspections, planning, and more which is factored into growing, processing, and handling foods organically. That said, many health experts believe that the extra you pay for organics at the grocery store and farmer’s markets is much less than what you will pay in healthcare costs from eating conventionally grown foods laden with toxins and reduced nutritional value. So the next time you are shopping at the grocery store or farmer’s market, choose organic foods for better health for you and your family, a cleaner earth, and a planet nourished well to feed generations to come. Sustainable Danville Area and the Danville Library present ORGANICS on Tuesday, March 25th at 7pm at the Danville Library, Mt. Diablo Room, 400 Front Street. Angela Stanford, MBA, Registered Dietitian and Holistic Nutritionist alongside Cynthia Ruzzi, President and Co-Founder, Sustainable Danville Area will walk you through the basics on how to buy, eat, and grow more organic produce. For more information, visit www.sustainabledanvillearea.com. Follow us at www. facebook.com/sustainabledanvillearea.


Best Wireless Performance By Evan Corstorphine, Portable CIO

Last April I wrote about wireless networking from the perspective of the tools that we use to troubleshoot problems. I described how most people never invest the time and money to manage by fact, but that we do, and we have great results. The most common problems we find with wireless networks are poor placement, interference, and cheap equipment. I’ll talk about placement first, because it’s the most common mistake we see. Wireless signals are fragile. They don’t penetrate through objects very well, and they are easily distorted and deflected. When your wireless equipment is mounted improperly, you put your wireless network at an instant disadvantage and cut down its effective range. Using water as an analogy, think of wireless signals like you would a fire sprinkler in your house. If you wanted water from that sprinkler to get everything in your family room and kitchen wet, would you mount the sprinkler in an entertainment center cabinet at knee-height behind a thick door? Of course not. The reason we find this improper installation is because most of the people who install home wiring and AV systems don’t understand wireless technology, its limitations, and how it should be installed. Unfortunately, it’s you the homeowner who ends up paying the price, either in poor performance, additional equipment to fill in the coverage gaps, or in re-doing the job that should have been done correctly in the first place. We see this so often that I’m compelled to say something, because we find poorly planned wiring is unfortunately the rule, not the exception. If this article causes just one home or business-owner to consult us before they start a wiring project, it’s worth it. As long as I’m talking about vendors who install wiring, I have to mention Get Wired Communications. Started by Will Cardenas about eight years ago, Get Wired performs all types of low-voltage wiring (phone, computer data/wireless, alarm, cameras, cable TV). If you have any wiring project or are planning a home or office remodel, you should call them first. If your contractor assures you that they will handle wiring for you, I’d recommend a second opinion. Contractors are great at constructing buildings, but low-voltage wiring is a specialty unto itself and you want a professional who thoroughly understands it. You can reach Get

Danville Today News ~ March 2014 - Page 19 Wired at (925) 609-4388, or email them at info@getwiredcommunications.com. I mentioned in April that we’re seeing a lot more wireless interference these days. In the ensuing ten months it’s become even more so, even in residential areas. I recently visited a home in Lafayette where the wireless signal was being heavily interfered with by neighboring homes and their improperly configured wireless networks. The neighbors were splattering their network signal across several wireless channels at once, monopolizing the frequencies that need to be shared. We see this in congested urban environments like UC Berkeley’s Greek housing, where the legacy 2.4GHz wireless is utterly unusable from approximately 6pm until 2am, when all the students are online. The answer to the interference problem is to go up-market in your wireless equipment. If you are in the market for new gear, make sure your wireless equipment is “Dual-Band” capable, because it allows you to use both the legacy 2.4GHz frequencies and the new uncongested 5GHz frequencies. The same thing goes for your computer, in that it must be dual-band capable to take advantage of what your wireless network is putting out. If you have a good laptop but it’s only single-band capable, consider adding a dual-band USB wireless adapter. You can buy them at Amazon.com and they cost between $35 and $65. In congested areas they’re well worth the expense. We’ve settled on two brands of wireless equipment for our clients. The highend is made by Meraki, a wireless company now owned by Cisco. They have the best cloud-managed wireless system I’ve ever seen, and it has revolutionized our ability to solve customer wireless problems. Ask us for a demo of this system if you’re curious, because it’s pretty fun to show people how much information this system gives us. The less-expensive wireless product we provide is by Engenius. Both the Engenius and the Meraki products are capable of outputting a full watt of wireless radio power, which is the legal limit. Most wireless gear isn’t this powerful, and we find this gives our equipment an edge in difficult installations. Wireless networking is a science, it’s an art, and it’s a little voodoo. One thing for sure is that you want to bring in someone who has done this before and has the tools and experience to design a wired and wireless solution for your environment that makes sense and uses facts instead of guesswork. Between us and Get Wired Communications, you have powerful friends in the networking business! If you’re thinking about networking, a remodel, or have wireless issues, give us a call at 925-552-7953 or email info@theportablecio. com, and we’ll point you in the right direction. Advertorial

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In Loehmann’s Shopping Center (next to Lucky’s)

2395 Monument Blvd., Suite J Concord (925) 680-4433 (Across from Costco Gas Station, next to Harvest House)

Page 20 - March 2014 ~ Danville Today News

A Customer’s Perspective By Mark Becker, GoSimpleSolar

Milestone: As of press time, California has surpassed over 200,000 solar PV project installations. The recurring theme of this column has been that the decision to “go solar” has been primarily financially driven -- safe and highly reliable financial return from a safe and reliable investment, considering of course, a properly installed project, with quality field-proven products. Below I let Alan, one of our customers, do the writing. The details of his solar success were originally sent to me as an informative email. Immediately I recognized the value of what he said, and I asked him for his blessing to use his words for this article. The goal of what he said is to inform you about his success story and the process by which he achieved this financial success. We entertained quotes from four different solar installation companies. While


GoSimpleSolar was not the lowest cost quoted, the price was very competitive, and we felt it represented the best overall ‘value.’ That value decision was based upon several criteria. We had a strong degree of confidence that Mark was really interested in educating us about the total purchase – to include the proper sizing for our particular needs, the best orientation and layout to maximize the efficiency of our particular orientation to sunlight, and the best manufacturers of the components. He was professional and low pressure. American made – We were pleased to be placing American made solar panels on our roof from SolarWorld, and my wife liked the all-black aesthetic of the panels we purchased. The Enphase micro-inverters gave us the added benefit of visibility of the kilowatt production of each of the 16 panels we installed, and we were excited about Enphase’s online 24/7 real-time interface to show how much electricity our panels are producing. The Enphase interface lets you see solar production by the day, week, month, or year. Beat expectations – Our system outperformed Mark’s benchmark expectations of kilowatt production in the first year by 18%. Our system offset approximately 85% of our annual electricity costs. Our year-end true-up bill from PG&E was $237. Our total electric outlay to PG&E pre-solar for 12 months was $1,760, so we saved approximately $1,523 in year one. My principal and interest on the loan at 2.8% fixed for 12 months is $108/month or $1,296/year. So we have pulled off what nobody thought was possible and what I thought we couldn’t do - which was to go cash positive in year one based on the low interest rate of 2.8%, which is rolled into our 15-year fixed mortgage. Plug-in Prius – In late 2013 I purchased a new Toyota Plug-in Prius. In addition to Federal and State tax incentives that reduce the net cost of the purchase price, having a partial electric car, Mark informed me that I could go to PG&E and qualify for a different rate plan that further reduces our cost per kilowatt and enables me to charge my car for a kilowatt rate that is below Tier 1 from PG&E. This essentially enables me to drive in the electric mode for virtually free for the first 11 miles I travel each day. Mark and Bob have been true professionals throughout the entire process from the initial sales presentation, to further education, and are always there to field any emails or phone calls with questions post sale. What is the take away of Alan’s quote? A homeowner who is passionate about saving money. Recognition of what is the lowest long-term cost of ownership versus the lowest initial cost. An engaged sales process with a tailored approach to determine customer’s needs. The strive for efficiency to couple with solar PV. Consultation on navigating the financing options that best fit the customer’s financial circumstances. Continuing education after the sale is complete. The advantage of doing business with a company that has a brick and mortar place of business so the customer can see the products and meet the installers before purchasing decisions of this magnitude are made. Taking and executing the right approach should be the baseline from which all businesses should start. Mark Becker is the President of GoSimpleSolar, by Semper Fidelis Construction Inc, a Danville based Solar Installation Firm (License 948715). GoSimpleSolar can be reached at 925-331-8011. Visit GoSimpleSolar’s NEW and larger showroom at 100 Railroad Avenue, Suite B, Danville (behind Pete’s Brass Rail) and receive a $500 discount on your solar system. Go to www.GoSimpleSolar.com for a free quote, or email info@GoSimpleSolar.com. Advertorial

Assistance League Offers Scholarships

Assistance League® of Diablo Valley as one of their eight philanthropic programs, provide financial aid scholarships to qualifying high school students, community college students, as well as foster youth in the Contra Costa community who are planning to enter a community college, a four year university, or a vocational school in the fall of 2014. Applicants must demonstrate the need for financial aid and a desire to further their education, maintain a specified grade point average, participate in campus life, be hands-on involved in community service, and provide a timeline for academic and career goals. High School Scholarships: For seniors graduating from any high school in Contra Costa County and entering a two-year or four-year college. The application deadline is March 14. Foster Youth Scholarships: For current or former dependents of the court in the foster care program of Contra Costa County eligible to attend a two-year college, four-year college, or accredited vocational school. The application deadline is March 21. For more information and applications, visit diablovalley.assistanceleague.org.


Schoolhouse continued from front page

room. Her sister Laura adds that the shelves in the school library were hard to reach. Books were used in the classroom, not taken home to read. There was a piano the teacher played, opening each day after the Pledge of Allegiance with the song “God Bless America.” In a prank that could have had disastrous consequences, boys in the class put tacks on the piano bench. Fortunately, Mrs. Arendt had adequate padding in her garments, which shed the sharp objects as she stood. Betty Matto Casey recollects that Mrs. Arendt usually knew who was responsible for any mischief. Ramsey adds that when the culprit was caught, a circle was drawn on the blackboard, and the offender stood with nose pressed to the center for a specific number of minutes determined by the nature of the misdemeanor. Lunch involved a cultural sharing. Portuguese sausage and sweet bread

Dressed for 1888, Betty Casey waits until the end of the session to tell students that she was part of the last class attending the Schoolhouse when it closed in 1946.

Danville Today News ~ March 2014 - Page 21

were gleefully traded for Danish butter and cheese. Ramsey recalls that some Portuguese families cooked eggs in coffee. Imagine the novelty those blackened eggs presented! In 1970, a neighborhood organization rescued the abandoned Schoolhouse from impending ruin and raised funds for restoration. Subsequently the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District (SRVFPD) acquired and maintained the property, which was used for picnics, voting, 4-H and fire board meetings, and social events. In October 2012, the Museum of the San Ramon Valley (MusSRV) assumed ownership and management of the Schoolhouse. Joan Kurtz heard about the Schoolhouse from a friend living on Finley Road. Coming from a long line of educators, Kurtz was inspired to develop a living history curriculum. She and her husband Don visited one-room schools in Dallas and Delaware. Joan also found a Modesto model to study. Supported by MusSRV, she gained SRVFPD approval to run a pilot program in 1995. At first only a few classes came. Now every third grader in the San Ramon Valley Unified School District (as well as some lucky students from other area public and private schools) gets to travel back in time in a program so popular one student enthused: “Next to Disneyland, this was the favorite day in my life!” As a docent teacher, Casey remains in 1888 character until delighting classes at the end of the day by announcing, “I call it my school because I went to school here.” A third grader in 1946, Betty recalls that when the school well ran dry, boys would be dispatched across the way to fetch buckets from Mrs. Perreira’s property. Competition to be chosen for the task was fierce because Mrs. P. always provided fresh baked cookies. What surprises today’s students most is the number of chores children had to do before and after school. Many modern pupils mention writing with feather pen and ink as a favorite activity. Nineteenth century courtesy also makes a lasting impression. “I learned that when the teacher in 1888 called on the student, if the student was a girl she had to stand, curtsy, say the teacher’s name, and then say the answer, and if it was a boy he had to stand, bow, say the teacher’s name, and say the answer.” Kurtz reports, “Letters from the children are priceless. They keep you going!” Although the Schoolhouse was built in 1889, the program reflects the 1888

See Schoolhouse continued on page 27

Page 22 - March 2014 ~ Danville Today News

Estate Planning for IRAs By Robert J. Silverman

Many people establish an Individual Retirement Account (“IRA”), and much is written about these interesting investment vehicles. They are highly touted because they can be funded with pre-tax dollars (i.e. taxpayers can receive a tax deduction for IRA contributions, up to certain limits). Moreover, these accounts are able to grow on a tax deferred basis until funds are withdrawn, subject to certain penalties that can be imposed if the IRA owner withdraws before reaching the age of 59 1/2, and subject to mandatory minimum required distributions the year after the IRA owner turns 70 1/2. Despite the fact that aging workers and retirees have built up substantial wealth in IRAs and that IRAs commonly represent a very significant percentage of a person’s total assets, the topic of inheriting IRAs doesn’t receive a lot of media coverage. Even the basic rules and issues involved in inheriting IRAs are sometimes unknown to or misunderstood by IRA owners. So, what should an IRA owner know, and what should an IRA inheritor know about this subject? Below are important pieces of the puzzle, but first a caveat: whether you are an IRA owner or IRA inheritor, be sure to talk to your financial and tax advisors about all relevant details and alternatives before taking any action, as IRA rules and exceptions are many and complex! 1) The beneficiary designation on file with the IRA custodian (i.e. financial institution) at the time of the IRA owner’s death governs who is entitled to inherit the IRA, and the IRA goes to the beneficiary without being subject to probate. The IRA owner’s Living Trust or Will does not control this unless there is no beneficiary designated or no beneficiary alive upon the owner’s death. 2) It is imperative that you confirm that your IRA custodian has a beneficiary designation on file that: a) lists the primary beneficiary(ies) you want to inherit your IRA (and if multiple beneficiaries, the fractional interest to go to each); and b) designates a secondary/contingent beneficiary(ies) - in case the primary beneficiary predeceases you. 3) If you are the designated beneficiary and thus inherit all or a portion of an IRA, you have the choice to: a) continue to own the IRA as an “inherited IRA”

The Eye Opener

By Gregory Kraskowsky, O.D., Alamo Optometry Macular Pucker

Since I discussed the macula and macular degeneration last month, I decided to tackle another common finding regarding the macula. A macular pucker, or epiretinal membrane, results when scar tissue forms over the macular area of the retina. This condition usually does not progress to the point where surgical intervention is necessary, but I have had several patients recently who required surgery. An epiretinal membrane usually develops secondary to trauma/surgery to the eye, but more commonly it occurs by posterior vitreous detachment. A posterior vitreous detachment, or PVD, occurs when the viscous gel that is in the back portion of the eye pulls away from the retina and causes a sudden onset of floaters. This sudden onset of floaters is the usual cause of patients calling the office to schedule an office visit. A PVD is quite common and is completely benign; however, if this does occur, a dilated examination needs to be done to rule out any retinal tears or detachments. As the gel contracts away from the macula, it can leave a layer of scar tissue on the surface of the retina. This membrane that is left is similar to cellophane, and over time it can crinkle and tug on the macula, causing it to bulge. The main complaint of a macular pucker from patients is decreased or distorted vision. Some may notice that images are cloudy or filmy because they are looking through this cellophane-like membrane. In a percentage of cases, the epiretinal membrane does not contract, and the patients’ vision is not affected much. A macular pucker is diagnosed through a dilated exam and does not require a specialist referral until vision decreases. If needed, another test called Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) can take highly sensitive images of the macula to ascertain the exact amount of macular bulging and if there is a macular hole. However, monitoring is all that is required for most patients. In those patients who experience a drop in vision, surgery is required. When

www.yourmonthlypaper.com or “stretch IRA”, which enables you to enjoy tax deferred growth of the IRA assets over your life expectancy OR b) cash out the IRA, pay all of the deferred taxes and be left with the remaining post-tax funds that will no longer be in a tax-deferred vehicle. Note that spouse beneficiaries have additional options. 4) IRA inheritors choosing to keep an IRA must be very careful in giving instructions to the IRA custodian. If you are not the IRA owner’s spouse, the IRA must not be put into your name or touch your hands in any manner; rather, it must stay in the name of the deceased IRA owner, with you listed as the beneficiary. 5) An IRA owner needs to coordinate estate planning of other assets - e.g. via terms of a living trust and/or a Will - to make sure everything is integrated. Absent such coordination, unintended consequences can occur. For example, suppose a person has a $500,000 IRA and $1.5 Million of other net assets. The IRA owner has a Living Trust that provides for cash gifts of $100,000 to each of his five grandchildren ($500,000 total) and the balance to his children. The IRA owner is under the impression that the $500,000 IRA will satisfy the $500,000 of cash gifts to the grandchildren specified in his Trust. However, if no express language to that effect is stated in the Trust, the result will be that the grandchildren receive the $500,000 IRA from the IRA custodian as the designated beneficiaries and an additional $500,000 in cash gifts from the trustee of the Trust. 6) If you have charitable intent, consider the tax efficiency of designating a charity as beneficiary of your IRA. Unlike with loved ones, the charity will not incur the burden of paying deferred income tax when the charity withdraws the IRA assets. 7) If you have minor or young adult children, you should discuss with your estate planning attorney the pros and cons of naming your Living Trust, rather than the children directly, as beneficiaries or contingent beneficiaries of your IRA. 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

vision becomes compromised, the forces of the membrane on the macula cause severe bulging of the tissue, or a macular hole develops. A macular hole occurs when the membrane contracts so much that part of the macula is not fully attached to the retina. If surgery is needed, the retinal surgeon will remove the vitreous gel in the posterior portion of the eye and will also remove the membrane. This surgery is very delicate as it is difficult to remove the thin membrane without damaging any of the retina tissue underneath, which is why surgery is not performed until the drop in vision becomes too symptomatic for the patient. The procedure is done as outpatient, and depending on the severity of the condition, special head positioning or tilting might be required after the surgery to help the eye heal properly. Vision improves after surgery, but it generally does not completely return to pre-macular pucker level. As is usually the case, routine eye exams can help diagnose and manage a macular pucker. If needed, we can refer to a retinal specialist if further testing or surgery 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 Advertorial Alamo Optometry Facebook page.

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Financial “Spring Cleaning” can Brighten Your Investment Picture By Sima Alefi

Danville Today News ~ March 2014 - Page 23

The days are getting longer and warmer — a sure indication of the arrival of spring. Another sign of the season may be the urge you get to do some spring cleaning. But you might not have realized that some of the same spring-cleaning techniques that can be used on your home can also apply to your investments and your overall financial strategy. Here are a few ideas to consider. • Get rid of “clutter.” As you do your spring cleaning, you may well find some clutter — a bunch of items you no longer need. As an investor, you might look at your portfolio and also find “clutter” in the form of investments that are no longer appropriate for your objectives. For example, perhaps some of them are virtual duplicates of other investments you own, thereby diminishing your potential for diversification. Or maybe some investments are now too risky for your needs. In any case, you may be better off rebalancing your portfolio. • Get organized. As you clean your home, you might find ways to organize your belongings and furniture more efficiently. And you may also be able to organize your investments more effectively. One possibility: Consider consolidating your investment accounts with one provider. If you have an IRA here, another one there and some other investments scattered about, you may be paying more in fees and commissions than is necessary. By consolidating these investments, you might save money and paperwork — and more importantly, you may find it easier, with all your investments under one “roof,” to follow a single, unified investment strategy. • Seal “cracks.” Over time, the grout between your kitchen or bathroom tiles can crack, so you’ll need to re-grout to protect your flooring. And you may find that, in looking at your overall financial strategy, your “protection” component — primarily in the form of insurance — might have developed some “cracks” or “chips.” Specifically, has your life insurance kept up with changes in your family situation? Events such as marriage, remarriage or the arrival of a new child can all trigger the need to review your life insurance. And you’ll also want to make sure you have adequate disability insurance. Consult with a financial professional for information on appropriate protection vehicles. • Do some “dusting.” As part of your spring cleaning, you may need to dust furniture, shelves, and other surfaces in your home. And if you’ve been investing for a long time, you may need to metaphorically “dust off” your financial strategy to “freshen it up” to reflect changes in your life. To cite one possibility, as you get close to retirement, you may need to shift some — but certainly not all — of your growth-oriented investments into income-producing ones. But you may also need to review and revise your financial strategy at other points in your life, such as when you begin saving for your children’s college education. Just as spring cleaning can bring more light into your home, sprucing up your investment picture can help you brighten your financial outlook. And these improvements can help you in all the seasons of your life. 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 fullness that will last for hours. This knowledge cannot be learned through apps. Your Personal Nutritionist I strive to make sure my clients are enjoying food and not feeling like they are IntroducingYour Personal Weight LossApp: Me on a diet. If you are a dessert person, I can help you set up days which include By Linda Michaelis RD,MS two desserts that make you happy - one after lunch and one after dinner, but not Wherever you turn these days there seems to be an in between meals. If my clients like salty snacks, then I make sure that they have app to help you lose weight. New clients often tell me the “crunch” at lunch, such as by having a serving of chips along with tuna salad they have been using these apps to track their food and made with lite mayo, celery, relish, and onions along with some cucumbers, cherry calorie intake and are not finding success. They say they tomatoes, and even a tomato soup. were getting interesting information but still could not Dining Out in Restaurants and Social Eating get motivated to follow the prescribed food plan. I tell One of the things I love to do is work with clients to plan out what to eat at my clients that I am their best app and can help them achieve their weight loss restaurants or party meals. We look at the restaurant websites together and come goals with consistency. Here are a few of the ways my “app” helps them out. up with an appetizer or two and/or an entree they would enjoy. Clients have told Get Organized me that they walk into the restaurant and do not even look at the menu and just I have been in private practice for 25 years, and I know the syndrome - we do order what we had decided. Social eating requires lots of skill, and I take time well the first few weeks but then fall off the wagon. Either our workload increases, role playing with my clients on how to handle the events. we get sick, or family matters prevent us from going to the gym. Quickly, the How to Read Food Labels weight comes back on, and we get frustrated. My job is to help prevent this reIn my first meeting with a client I make sure that they know how to read the lapse and show you how to move ahead, even if your weight stays the same for a food labels accurately. As I have written in past articles the food label is upside week. You need to first make sure your cupboards and refrigerator are organized down and very misleading. They use grams instead of ounces, and I see many to meet your goals. There must be foods available for healthy dinners and snacks. people that are confused and thus have purchased items that they thought were I recommend having on hand sufficient protein items such as precooked chicken good food choices and weren’t. or shrimp, sliced meats such as turkey, roast beef, or ham, hardboiled eggs, tuna Handling Emotions and Food salad, cottage cheese, and Greek yogurt, which are all available at our wonderful As I tell my clients, we all have slip-ups and wind up feeling guilty. That grocery stores. Have sweet potatoes, precooked brown rice, and kidney, garbanzo, can start a vicious cycle of overeating and just plain feeling worse. I am a nonor black beans kept in the refrigerator for salads, or quick-cook quinoa, whole judgmental coach who has seen this scenario many times, and I teach my client wheat couscous, or whole pasta that can be cooked up instantly for tasty meals. to learn from their mishaps and actually become better for it. Often I will say to For veggies, keep in the freezer steam-in-the-bag broccoli, string beans, or petite a client that I have been working with for awhile, “Remember you overate when brussel sprouts which taste great. Of course I recommend buying fresh veggies, there were struggles with the kids, but now you reach for a cup of tea and try to but people tell me during the busy times they do not get cooked. I’d say in that case calm yourself and go take a hot shower and hop into bed.” steam them the day you buy them, and snack on them with salsa or dressing dips. Please feel free to contact me if you are struggling with weight loss and need Meals that Keep You Happy and Full the support, education, and motivation to keep you on track and finally reach Losing weight does not mean that meals should be tasteless and boring. When your goal. new clients come in and I look at their food diary, I often say, “No wonder you I am glad to inform you that insurance can cover nutritional counseling. have not been successful. These meals look like you are on a diet, and you cannot Please refer to my website www.LindaRD.com for a listing as well past articles eat this way forever.” I always find that people need to have a better understand- and services. Email me at lifeweight1@yahoo.com or call (925) 855-0150 and ing of how to balance meals with protein, fiber, whole grains, and fat to provide a tell me about your nutrition concerns. Advertorial

Page 24 - March 2014 ~ Danville Today News

Doctor, Is It Safe for Me to Fly? By Barbara Persons, MD, Persons Plastic Surgery, Inc.

Medical tourism is a term which denotes travel across international borders for the express purpose of receiving medical care. While travel for healthcare has been around for quite some time, recent trends show that more people are traveling to countries with emerging economies to avoid treatment delays, to avoid prohibitive costs for life-saving procedures, or simply, to avoid high costs of elective surgery. At first glance, the imagery of resting on a beach after surgery seems enticing. It might even be appropriate if there weren’t potentially serious or life threatening complications to consider. While the price tag of a procedure may be appealing, the increasing push for international medical care has nothing to do with improved quality, greater safety, or better outcomes. In fact, surgery outside the United States, especially when sold as a vacation package, often involves significant, and numerous, risks. Although there are qualified physicians practicing all over world, it is very difficult to assess the training and credentials of surgery centers and surgeons outside of the U.S. Notably, almost one third of companies engaged in promoting medical travel receive referral fees from the overseas providers whose business depends on recruiting patients. Cosmetic surgery trips are often marketed as a vacation, and post-operative patients may be encouraged to engage in activities that could compromise their healing process and increase exposure to endemic diseases not found in the U.S. All surgeries involve risk. Infections are the most common complications seen in patients that go abroad for cosmetic surgery. Air travel combined with surgery is extremely hazardous. Individually, long flights or surgery increase the risk of blood clots and subsequent pulmonary embolism.

Prostate Gland can Grow Over Time By Parminder Sethi, MD

One of the most common urological conditions is an enlarged prostate gland. Prostate enlargement happens to almost all men as they get older. As the gland grows, it can press on the urethra and cause urination problems such as a weak stream, difficulty urinating, or a sensation of frequent need to urinate. An enlarged prostate is often called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). It is not cancer, and it does not raise your risk for prostate cancer. Various treatments include medical and surgical therapies. Lifestyle changes for mild BPH symptoms can provide some relief. Self care techniques include: • Urinate when you first get the urge. Also, go to the bathroom when you have the chance, even if you don't feel a need to urinate. • Avoid alcohol and caffeine, especially after dinner. • Don’t drink a lot of fluid all at once. Spread out fluids during the day. Avoid drinking fluids within two hours of bedtime. • Avoid over-the-counter cold and sinus medicines that contain decongestants or antihistamines. These drugs can increase BPH symptoms. • Keep warm and exercise regularly. Cold weather and lack of physical activity may worsen symptoms. • Learn and perform Kegel exercises (pelvic strengthening exercises). • Reduce stress. Nervousness and tension can lead to more frequent urination. Men are typically started on medications and given a chance to see if the medications can improve their symptoms. Some men notice considerable improvement in symptoms with medication, while others do not. In general, most men tolerate the medications well, although some men prefer a minimally invasive procedure to relieve symptoms. In other instances, surgery is unavoidable. Minimally invasive heat therapies are performed in the doctor’s office. Thermotherapy delivers targeted heat within the prostate with either radiofrequency or microwave therapy to reduce excess prostatic tissue. These procedures require only local anesthesia in an office setting. The patient is able to return home shortly after the procedure has been performed and can resume normal activities within a few days. These therapies are ideal for


Together, the risk of developing these potentially fatal complications is exponentially higher. Before flying, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons suggests waiting five to seven days after body procedures such as liposuction and breast augmentation, and seven to 10 days after cosmetic procedures of the face including facelifts, eyelid surgery, nose jobs, and laser treatments. In my practice, I have seen numerous patients returning from international “surgery vacations” with unsightly scars, hematomas, infections, and other horrific injuries (including loss of lips and other facial features). I am faced with the challenge of managing postoperative complications without knowing what surgical techniques the initial physician applied. If you are thinking of travelling for surgery, I urge you to consider the potential complications and general risk to your health. Cosmetic surgery is real surgery, and for it to be safe, it requires administration of anesthesia, sterile technique, and modern instrumentation, not to mention properly trained and certified surgeons. There are no U.S. laws that protect patients or oversee the certification of physicians or other personnel who perform plastic surgery abroad. If surgical negligence occurs, there may be no legal recourse. Devices and products used may not meet U.S. standards, medical record keeping may be nonexistent, and language barriers can become an unwanted adversity at a time when communication is paramount. When you are considering any surgical change to your body, please do your homework! Research the procedure, the benefits, and the risks. Refer to www.plasticsurgery.org for the latest information on plastic surgery procedures. Most importantly, like with any medical care, chose and consult with a plastic surgeon that will remain accessible to you and is there to provide thorough follow-up care that is a must with any surgical procedure. 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 patients who fail medications or do not want to take daily medications for the rest of their lives or do not want the risks of surgery. Technological advancements have made the surgical treatment of BPH less invasive, simpler, and safer for the patient. Two relatively recent advancements have been the use of lasers to perform vaporization of the prostate and the use of bipolar energy. Patients can typically go home the day of or day after surgery, and recovery is very fast. The treatment you choose will be based on how bad your symptoms are and how much they bother you. Your doctor will also take into account other medical problems you may have. If you have BPH, you should have a yearly exam to monitor your symptoms and to discuss changes in treatment. Dr. Sethi will be presenting a comprehensive overview of treatment options for enlarged prostate (BPH) on March 27, 6-7:30pm at the Civic Park Community Center in Walnut Creek. To register, call 877-585-0128. Dr. Sethi is a Board Certified Urologist with Pacific Urology. He specializes in minimally-invasive BPH treatments, incontinence, bladder dysfunction and surgery. Dr. Sethi was instrumental in developing Pacific Urology’s Continence Center for men and women. For more information Advertorial call 925-609-7220 or visit www.PacificUrology.com.

Danville-Alamo-Walnut Creek AAUW Scholarship Program

The Danville-Alamo-Walnut Creek Branch of AAUW (American Association of University Women) seeks candidates for its 2014 Local Scholarship Program. Are you the next generation of entrepreneurs, scientists, teachers, librarians, researchers, scholars, writers, artists, doctors, and more? We want to help women who will give back to their community and to the world. Applicants must be women who presently reside or did reside in Walnut Creek while in public or private high school or women who presently reside or did reside in the San Ramon Valley School District area while in public or private high school. They must be at least entering their junior year in college. Scholarships are based on merit and start at $1,000. The deadline for applications is April 1. Awards will be announced by mid-May. Learn more about the scholarship at http://daw-ca.aauw.net/2014-scholarship/, and download the scholarship application packet there. E-mail Lynn at Lgood67334@comcast.net if you have questions.


Overhaul Your Relationship: Find Your Inner Neediness By Linda J. Engelman

In my practice, when I ask clients what they need in their relationship, I often hear: “What I need is for my partner to be happy!” If I inquire further, they’ll frequently reply, “Me, have needs? I would be ashamed to be needy.” Getting in touch with that needy part of ourselves goes against all that we’ve been taught by a society terrified of co-dependency. In most bookstores there is an entire section of literature warning us that we must set clear boundaries in relationships. We have been taught that being needy equals being weak (particularly if you’re a male), and that while it’s okay to reach out once in a while, we need to get really good at being self-sufficient. We are taught to rely on ourselves, because others may not be there for us in the long term. But while we’ve gotten amazingly good at being independent, it doesn’t seem to be working. More and more couples find themselves in a therapist’s office, lost and wandering, disconnected, aching for intimacy, and often having betrayed their partner. Much of the new knowledge we’re gaining in this area shows that we were misguided when we were taught to“be independent first and foremost.” We have headed down the wrong path. Couples therapists today know that we must acknowledge our neediness with our partners if we are to escape the arguing, disconnectedness, and unbearable loneliness that leaves so many feeling like they’re living as roommates. Renowned psychotherapists like Dr. Sue Johnson (author of Hold Me Tight) are concluding that we are hard-wired for attachment from birth through adulthood,

Cancer Health Benefits of Fermented Wheat Germ By Jewel Johl, MD

A form of wheat germ called fermented wheat germ is a mixture of natural compounds created from an extract made from the fermentation of wheat germ using baker’s yeast to concentrate certain naturally active compounds called benzoquinones. It was first invented in the early 1990s in Hungary, and it is now available as a dietary supplement in the U.S. A study in the British Journal of Cancer published in July 2003, conducted in patients with colon cancer who had undergone various treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, concluded that fermented wheat germ extract, in combination with surgery plus radio/chemotherapy, may inhibit progression of cancer, including the formation of new metastases, and may prolong the survival of colorectal cancer patients. It is important to note that there were no serious side effects from this supplement, other than its unpleasant taste. Besides the benefit of this extract in patients suffering from colon cancer, it has shown promising activity in terms of reducing disease progression in patients with melanoma with stage III disease, a deadly form of skin cancer. In addition to having direct anti-cancer properties, this extract also improves quality of life and alleviates fatigue in patients with advanced lung cancer and head and neck cancer. Fermented wheat germ extract also regulates the body’s immune system to not only fight cancer cells, but also to decrease inflammation and pain in patients suffering from various autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. A study published in the journal Clinical Experiments in Rheumatology in 2006 demonstrated that morning stiffness was reduced when patients used the fermented wheat germ, and half of the patients were able to significantly reduce their use of steroids. Reducing the reliance on steroids allowed patients to have fewer side effects associated with these drugs such as digestive problems, skin thinning, hypertension, increased blood glucose, increased cancer risk, and weight gain. Please consult your doctor to see if this product is right for you. Dr. Johl is a Medical Oncologist and Hematologist with Diablo Valley Oncology. He will be speaking at the Many Faces of Colon Cancer on March 26, 2014 at the Cancer Support Community in Walnut Creek. For more information about this educational event please visit www.dvohmg. com or call 925-677-5041. Advertorial

Danville Today News ~ March 2014 - Page 25 and that a healthy interdependency with a partner is something our brains naturally seek out and crave. This has led to therapeutic modalities such as Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT). EFT has unprecedented success rates because partners are taught to embrace the idea that it’s okay to deeply need another human being, and that being needy is not something to feel ashamed of. EFT is backed by science showing that our need for attachment as babies (babies thrive when they have a nurturing and consistent caregiver) carries with us into adult romantic relationships. As grown-ups, we continue to seek out a safe, secure base, knowing that someone has got our back, in a consistent and committed partnership. The ability to hold, comfort, and trust, creates a safety net that is a good predictor of long-term marital satisfaction. When secure attachment is unattainable, couples get tangled up in repetitive cycles of negative behaviors, arguing and withdraw. They report feeling like they’ve fallen out of love. They fear not being able to “get the feelings back again.” They express things like: “The silence feels like you don’t love me anymore.” or, “You’re so critical. I won’t ever get it right for you,” or “You betrayed me and I’m not sure I can trust again.” Rather than jump in with behavioral interventions, EFT provides couples a clear picture of how they go round and round in a never-ending loop whereby they trigger each other’s biggest attachment fears and then act out as a way of protesting their painful disconnect. They begin to break through this negative cycle by risking vulnerable moments with the skilled guidance of the therapist. They practice expressing the “ouch” of feeling separate, and they learn to get comfortable saying “I need you.” Heightened emotional conversations (even in the case of affairs and other betrayals) open the door for partners to serve as a source of comfort, rather than one of pain. Instead of trying to “fix” things (as in, “I want to make these awful feelings go away”), partners reach out and reach back – lean in, and lean on – becoming an antidote for each other’s distress. It is through this process that many, sometimes for the first time in their lives, experience neediness as a bonding event, the glue of the relationship, and the underpinnings of a healthy interdependence. Linda J. Engelman is a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, practicing Emotionally Focused Therapy with couples in her private practice offices, located in San Ramon and Alamo. You can contact her at (925) 295-1036, or Advertorial visit her Web site at www.bayarea-therapist.com.

Lic# 1100014354; Bay Area Entertainment

Water * Earth * Sky

The “Water * Earth * Sky” living history series provides a unique opportunity to investigate key events that have profoundly affected the lives of people who live in our San Ramon Valley and evokes stories that still resonate with us. The Danville Library, the Museum of the San Ramon Valley, and Role Players Ensemble have all collaborated to present this series. The first element, “Water” will be held March 12. Mary Grim will highlight “San Ramon Creek: Past Secrets, Future Visions.” Repeated flooding stranded Oakland, Antioch, and Eastern Railroad trains in Danville in 1916 and 1917. One Museum volunteer remembers how San Ramon Valley High School students were drafted to build sandbag walls to protect the school from the rapidly rising waters of the creek in the 1950’s. Mary Grim will share her insights at 7PM in the Diablo Room of the Danville Library, 400 Front Street. The event is free.

Page 26 - March 2014 ~ Danville Today News

Chiropractic Advice for Moms-to-Be By Kimberly Liotta, DC, and Melissa Ko, DC, Sycamore Valley Chiropractic

As many new mothers can attest, the physical strains of pregnancy are very real and can be more than just a nuisance. The average weight gain of 25 to 35 pounds, combined with the increased stress placed on the body by the baby, may result in severe discomfort. Studies have found that about half of all expectant mothers will Dr. Liotta develop low-back pain at some point during their pregnancies. This is especially true during late pregnancy, when the baby’s head puts weights on the mother’s low back and pelvis, irritating muscles and nerves. And for those who already suffer from low-back pain, the problem can become even worse. During pregnancy, a woman’s center of gravity shifts forward to the front of her pelvis. Although a woman’s sacrum, the posterior section of the pelvis, has enough depth to enable her to carry a baby, the displaced weight still increases the stress on her joints. As the baby grows in size, the woman’s weight is projected even farther forward, and the curvature of her lower back is increased, placing extra stress on the spinal discs and muscles. While these changes sound dramatic, pregnancy hormones help to relax the ligaments attached to the pelvic bones, loosening the joints in the body for more movement. These natural changes are critical to accommodate a growing baby and for ease of childbirth; however, loose joints also cause postural imbalances and misalignments. The American Chiropractic Association recommends the following tips for pregnant women:


Safe exercise during pregnancy can help strengthen your muscles and prevent discomfort. Try exercising at least three times a week, gently stretching before and after exercise. If you weren’t active before your pregnancy, check with your doctor before starting or continuing any exercise program. Your heart rate should not exceed 140 beats per minute during exercise. Strenuous activity should last no more than 15 minutes at a time. Stop your exercise immediately if you notice any unusual symptoms, such as vaginal bleeding, dizziness, nausea, weakness, blurred vision, increased swelling, or heart palpitations.

Chiropractic Care

Before you become pregnant, your Doctor of Chiropractic can detect any imbalances in the pelvis or elsewhere in your body that could contribute to pregnancy discomfort or possible neuromusculoskeletal problems after childbirth. Many pregnant women have found that chiropractic adjustments provide relief from the low-back pain brought on by pregnancy. Chiropractic care is very safe for the pregnant woman and her baby and can be especially appealing to those who are trying to avoid medications in treating their back pain. The doctors at our office also offer nutrition, ergonomic, and exer- Doctors of Sycamore Valley Chiropractic


NEW ARTHRITIS FOUNDATION TAI CHI CLASSES starting, call Linda Summers Pirkle at 925-820-8101 for meeting times. WOMEN’S SPIRIT RECOVERY GROUP: For women in transition and/or recovering from addictions, trauma, and/or grief, provides safety and support for healing and spiritual growth. Group structure meets the needs and concerns of members including specific topic focus and experiential process. New groups starting March – April. Contact Lynn Goodman, MFT, SD, CAS (925)385-7060 or gracewks@att.net.


GOPHER AND MOLE REMOVAL : NUISANCE WILDLIFE CONTROL Trapping No poison, safe for your family, pets and the ecosystem. I’m a licensed and insured state trapper; resolving human and animal conflicts. Habitat modification, ( to make your home or property less desirable), exclusion barriers, (fencing, wire mesh or sheet metal to keep the animal/s out of your home or property), and trapping, (removing problem wild animals.) For more information visit www.trivalleytrapper.com. Call TRI VALLEY TRAPPER for a FREE phone consultation and estimate (925)765-4209.


cise advice to help a woman enjoy a healthy pregnancy. Chiropractic care can also help after childbirth. In the eight weeks following labor and delivery, the ligaments that loosened during pregnancy begin to tighten. Ideally, joint problems brought on during pregnancy from improper lifting or reaching should be treated before the ligaments return to their pre-pregnancy state to prevent further muscle tension.

Pregnancy Ergonomics

Sleep on your side with a pillow between your knees to take pressure off your lower back. Lying on your left side Dr. Ko allows unobstructed blood flow and helps your kidneys flush waste from your body. If you have to sit at a computer for long hours, make your workstation ergonomically correct (discuss safe pregnancy ergonomics with your Doctor of Chiropractic- they differ from ergonomics for non-pregnant individuals). Take periodic breaks every 30 minutes with a quick walk around the office. If you know anyone who is or is planning on becoming pregnant, please share this article with them so they can have the best pregnancy for themselves and their future child. Sycamore Valley Chiropractic is located at 565 Sycamore Valley Rd. West in Danville. Please visit www.sycamorevalleychiropractic.com or call 925837-5595 for more information or to schedule an appointment. Advertorial

To place an ad, share a story, or for more information about our papers, call us at 925.405.6397 or visit our website


Museum of SRV Upcoming Programs

Museum of the San Ramon Valley announces the following upcoming events. • March 8 ~ 2 - 3:30PM ~ Saturday History Tour: Tour of Hap Magee Ranch Park on La Gonda. Join historian Beverly Lane for a walking tour and a look at the special Magee “brand room.” Co-sponsored by the Town of Danville. • March 15 ~ 11AM ~ Saturday Speaker: Rancher Don Wood and historian Beverly Lane: “Ranching in the San Ramon Valley, history and stories.” • March 20 ~ 7PM ~ Thursday Program: SRV Historical Society Speaker David Behring: “The Blackhawk Ranch” at the San Ramon Royal Vista Golf Course, 9430 Fircrest Ln, San Ramon. $20 (includes dinner and talk) For reservations call 925-837-9382. • March 23 ~ 1 - 3PM ~ Sunday Museum Visit: Meet and greet horses at the East Bay Regional Park Public Safety mounted patrol will bring their calm horses to the museum. A chance to meet, pet, and feed them. • March 29 ~ 11AM ~ Saturday Speaker: Rancher Jim Holmes of the Broken Tongue Land and Livestock Co.: “Interesting Facts about Today’s Cattle Business.” The Museum is located at 205 Railroad Ave. in Danville and is open Tuesday-Friday 1-4, Saturday 10-1, and Sunday 12-3. For more information, visit srvmuseum.org or call (925) 837-3750.

ELECTRICAL WORK EVERYTHING ELECTRICAL! Need new light fixtures, ceiling fans, recessed lighting, or track lighting installed? Need a dimmer switch or GFCI installed? Do you want to change the color of your outlets in your kitchen or install 220V power for the new hot tub or stove? I also troubleshoot electrical problems. FREE ESTIMATES. Licensed and bonded. 30 years experience. CALL 925-389-6964.

Danville Today Classifieds

Reach over 15,000 homes and businesses in Danville - Help Wanted, For Sale, Services, Lessons, Pets, Rentals, Wanted, Freebies... $35 for up to 45 words. $5 for each additional 15 words. Send or email submissions to: 3000F Danville Blvd #117, Alamo, CA 94507 or editor@yourmonthlypaper.com. Run the same classified ad in our sister papers “Alamo Today” or “Lafayette Today” and pay half off for your second and/or third ad! Payment by check made out to “The Editors” must be received before ad will print. Your cancelled check is your receipt. We reserve the right to reject any ad.


Danville Today News ~ March 2014 - Page 27


Visit our office in between now and March 17th, and your name will be entered into our  th Visit our office in between now and March 17 Visit our office in between now and March 17th, and your name will be entered into our  , and your name will be entered into our  raffle to win a $50 Gift Card to a local Restaurant! Don’t forget to check in on Facebook  raffle to win a $50 Gift Card to a local Restaurant! Don’t forget to check in on Facebook  raffle to win a $50 Gift Card to a local Restaurant! Don’t forget to check in on Facebook  while you are here, and receive a special St. Patrick’s Day goodie bag.   while you are here, and receive a special St. Patrick’s Day goodie bag.   while you are here, and receive a special St. Patrick’s Day goodie bag.  

th Winner will be announced on St.on Winner will St. Visit our office in between now and March 17 , and your name will be entered into our  Winner will be be announced announced onPatrick’s St. Patrick’s Patrick’s th raffle to win a $50 Gift Card to a local Restaurant! Don’t forget to check in on Facebook  th Day, our page. March 17 th 2014 Day, March 2014 ouron Facebook page. 17 Day, March 17on 2014 on our Facebook Facebook page. while you are here, and receive a special St. Patrick’s Day goodie bag.   Contact our office today at (925) 837‐6052 Contact our office today at (925) 837‐6052 For all of your dental needs, contact our office today at (925) 837-6052 Contact our office today at (925) 837‐6052

3176 Danville Blvd., Suite 2, Alamo 3176 Danville Blvd., Suite 2, Alamo | info@amindamodrelldds.com | www.AmindaModrellDDS.com | Facebook Aminda Modrell DDS 3176 Danville Blvd., Suite 2, Alamo

Winner will be announced on St. Patrick’s 3176 Danville Blvd., Suite 2, Alamo info@amindamodrelldds.com | of the cheeks with Juvederm Voluma XC. I believe that Juvederm Voluma XC info@amindamodrelldds.com | Voluma is Here! th with its unique liftingour properties and duration of up to two years will be a “game info@amindamodrelldds.com | www.AmindaModrellDDS.com Day, on Facebook page. March 17 2014 By Dr. Jerome Potozkin www.AmindaModrellDDS.com changer” in aesthetic medicine. Injectable fillers to reverse the signs of aging have If you are interested in looking like the best natural version of yourself call my www.AmindaModrellDDS.com been around for years. However, we now have a new Contact our office today at (925) 837‐6052 3176 Danville Blvd., Suite 2, Alamo info@amindamodrelldds.com | www.AmindaModrellDDS.com  

office at 925-838-4900 to schedule a complimentary consultation. At the time of injectable that has unique lifting properties. Juvederm your consultation I will fully evaluate your concerns and educate you about your Voluma XC injectable gel is the first and only filler treatment options. We look forward to seeing you! FDA-approved to instantly add volume to the cheek area. Dr. Potozkin is a board certified dermatologist who has been serving the It gives a subtle lift, which helps restore a youthful yet local community since 1993. His fully accredited dermatological and laser natural profile for up to two years. When injections are facility is located at 600 San Ramon Valley Blvd, Suite 102 in Danville. He is performed by a skilled injector, results can be spectacular. accepting new patients. Please call (925) 838-4900 or visit Potozkin.com for I have extensive experience with injectable fillers dating back to the late eighties more information. Advertorial with collagen. The game changed when Restylane became the first hyaluronic acid filler to gain FDA approval in 2003. Juvederm followed by gaining FDA approval Schoolhouse continued from page 21 in 2006 and has become a major player. These fillers were a major improvement date Kurtz was originally given. The day begins with pledging allegiance over the collagen fillers that had been available up until 2003. Hyaluronic Acid to the 38-star flag. Contemporary current events discussed include George DENTAL EXAM DENTAL EXAM Eastman invents a camera, the Washington Monument opens for the first time (HA) is a naturally occurring substance found in your skin. Aging results in loss of HA which results in the loss of volume and structure. HA fillers, when injected and our President announces the White House will be electrified next year (1889). Lessonsmonth students learn go far beyond ciphering and recitation from by a skilled and experienced injector, create a natural more youthful appearance.The entire of March! The entire month of March! The goal with fillers is to restore what you have lost and create the best version the McGuffey Reader. Kurtz comments, “One of my favorite parts is sharing of yourself. Things can go awry when injections are performed by an unskilled the five ways to have a happy life: Truthfulness, Honesty, Punctuality, Cleaninjector. You can end up with a distorted appearance or even worse complications. liness, and Kindness. The children repeat them again before going home.” Recess creates an opportunity to try old-fashioned toys and games: jump The reason most people resist fillers is because they are fearful they will wind up rope, hop scotch, hoop rolling, jacks, marbles, can stilts, graces, and races! looking freakish and distorted likechild the “trout or fishto lipshave from poor Your is pout” required a technique Make your Your child is required to have a Make your Third grade girls dress for their time-travel adventure in bonnets and aprons, in injecting lips. This is typicaldental of poorly performed to injections. screening enter Most people are while boys don suspenders, jeans, Appointment and straw hats. screening enter unaware of those that are gettingdental great natural lookingto results with properly perAppointment Part of the teacher’s job included arriving early to get the stove started. formed injections. Some would argue that the person performing the injections Today a team of volunteer superintendents take care of opening and closing is more important than the substance being injected. I believe both are important. the Schoolhouse and directing traffic. In 2013, 25-30 docents and docent Last month I had the opportunity be one of only two physicians chosen from assistants took 2,700 third graders back through an 1888 school day. For Contrachild Costa County to be invited a MasteraInjector training course for JuveYour is required toto have Makeoryour information about volunteering visiting the Schoolhouse, click on “school derm Voluma XC. We had the opportunity to work hand-in-hand with a plastic programs” on the MusSRV website www.museumsrv.org. dental enter Appointment surgeon from screening Brazil who hasto extensive experience with Juvederm Voluma XC, as it has been approved for use in Brazil for years. I was amazed at the instant lift we saw with the Voluma injections. I had not seen this type of lift and fill of the cheeks with a relatively small volume. We can create a natural lifting and filling





The entire month of March!


The entire month of March!


Page 28 - March 2014 ~ Danville Today News

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Danville Area Real Estate: Great Start in 2014

All Home Sales Alamo, Blackhawk Danville, Diablo (Jan1-Feb 21) momentariSold DOM List Price Sold Price Sq. Foot $ Sq. Foot ly. It will be Alamo 2013 18 30 $ 1,384,102 $ 1,359,968 3,434 $ 396 interesting 2014 13 62 $ 1,336,461 $ 1,311,384 3,397 $ 386 8 34 $ 1,046,125 $ 1,037,625 3,069 $ 338 to see how Blackhawk 2013 10 47 $ 1,725,590 $ 1,678,800 4,045 $ 415 these two ar- Danville 2014 2013 68 38 $ 787,246 $ 782,047 2,377 $ 329 eas compare 2014 60 39 $ 880,462 $ 880,908 2,213 $ 398 Diablo 2013 3 142 $ 1,987,666 $ 1,877,083 3,623 $ 518 at the end of 2014 16 84 $ 2,164,624 $ 2,021,402 3,835 $ 527 the year. Diablo continues to gain momentum. Sixteen homes sold by this time in 2014 compared to three homes this time in 2013. Purchase price advanced from $1,877,083 to $2,021,402 up about 8% over last year. Dollars paid per square foot advanced nicely as well. Eight homes are currently for sale in Diablo and the lowest priced listing stands at just under $3.3 million. This is one third more than the average price paid in Diablo so far this year. What happens moving forward will be interesting indeed. I think the most notable information for the Danville Area Market contained here is the activity in Diablo and Blackhawk demonstrating an accelerating recovery for high-end luxury homes. A healthy Luxury Home Market is vital to the completion of a total market recovery in our area as it is a strong signal that buyers and banks believe real estate to be a sound investment. I would like to think as confidence grows, we can expect to see high-end home sale numbers increase. Nancy and I have more than 500 email subscribers who receive this article in advance of publication. Just send me an email and we can add you to the list. I assure you no spam will follow. It’s important to remember there really is no “average” home and no two homes are exactly alike. If you would like an honest no-strings-attached opinion of your home’s current market value and suggestions for getting it ready for market, please give me a call 925-989-6086 or send me an email joecombs@thecombsteam.com.

Although the early season in real estate is not a great predictor for the entire year, I thought I would look at the first two months of 2014 and see if there is anything useful to be gained by an analysis of this same time period last year. I’ve used red and green in the chart at right to indicate the direction of change, green for the positive and red for the negative. Days-on-market must be interpreted in the opposite as a negative change in days-on-market means market time is decreasing which is a good thing. The vast majority of indicators on the chart are green which portends well for another really good year for Danville Area Real Estate. An exception is in Alamo where the number of homes sold declined a bit, the prices are off a tad, and dollars paid per square foot declined for the first time in a long while. Is this reason for concern? It’s probably not. It’s just a small hint market prices in Alamo are unlikely to continue growing as fast as we have seen them rise during the past three years. A significant issue in Alamo is lack of inventory of homes for sale. At this time only 44 homes are active listings and this is less than half of normal. Given there are fewer homes, and an insatiable demand for really nice homes, I look for great homes to continue to be “bid-up” in spite of the data presented here. This scenario does have the potential to move the price needle much higher by year’s end. That would be unexpected, but still possible, and most delightful, since I live in Alamo. Blackhawk which has been lagging the rest of the market has taken a giant leap forward in the first two months of the year compared with last year. The average sold price for a home moved from $1,037,625 up to an amazing. $1,678,800 for a 62% increase in sold price. The size of homes sold increased by only 32%, so we are forced to acknowledge that nearly half the gain is real price appreciation. There are only 22 homes for sale in Blackhawk at this time which is not very many. Last month I mentioned Danville was fast approaching Alamo on the basis of price paid per square foot with the possibility of overtaking Alamo. With Danville sitting at $396 per square foot and Alamo at $386 per square foot, we can see that this has actually come to pass at least

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Danville Today News, March 2014. The city of Danville, California's monthly advertiser-supported community newspaper.

Danville Today News  

Danville Today News, March 2014. The city of Danville, California's monthly advertiser-supported community newspaper.