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May 2014 From the Heart: Embracing the Ability to Enable Others By Jody Morgan By Jody Morgan

Serving Danville

Thanks to the inspiration of three local men collaborating with the creativity of area educators, 48,000 students in 53 schools are enjoying a fresh approach to Ability Awareness this academic year. Founders of Del Corazon (From-theHeart), Don Routh, Josh Routh, and Bill Wheeler, support the curriculum with informative videos, personal presentations, and the loan for a week to each participating school of 10 wheelchairs. Children learn to appreciate their own abilities and embrace the challenge of enabling others to realize their full potential. Also known as the Wheelchair Foundation Schools Project, the initiative Danville U-15 Lacrosse Team Gives Back With Day of Service - The Danville-based Diablo Scorpion Lacrosse-U-15 Boys Stinger Team recently held a day of community service to benefit the community safety net non-profit St Vincent de Paul (SVdP) of Contra Costa County. Over 20 players and parents participated. Team members and parents spent the day of community service providing general landscaping, planting of new flowers, conducting weed abatement, spreading shredded bark, trimming bushes and hedges, and power washing the sidewalks. The cleanup and yard work was performed at the SVdP Family Resource Center, a community center dedicated to serving the poor that includes on-site services including a free medical clinic for the uninsured, a free dining room, food pantry, daytime homeless shelter, job training program for those with barriers to employment, and a thrift store. Working with partners, SVdP serves more than 200,000 residents-in-need annually. SVdP Executive Director Melanie Anguay said, “I was so impressed with the energy and commitment of the players to help clean up our site—especially because they had just played a spirited lacrosse game. Volunteers for efforts like this are critical to us because, as a nonprofit, all of our resources are directed to providing programs for the people we serve.” Students took turns playing wheelchair basketball at Montair. The crowd erupted in cheers when one student finally scored. Photos courtesy of Elizabeth Campos.

Danville’s Own Aviation Drama: Tassajara 1964 By Jody Morgan

When Pacific Airlines Flight 773 crashed in a Tassajara Road pasture killing all 44 people on board, the town of Danville became the focus of national attention. The mystery surrounding the disaster commanded the investigative skills of both the FBI and the Civil Aeronautics Board. On May 7th, the 50th anniversary of that fateful day, the Museum of the San Ramon Valley in collaboration with Role Players Ensemble presents an original play by RPE Artistic Director Eric Hayes entitled Tassajara 1964. On May 7, 1964, the pilot, Captain Ernest Clark, was substituting for a sick colleague. He took off from Reno at 5:54am, making a routine stop in Stockton where two passengers deplaned and ten boarded. At 6:38am, Flight 773 departed for San Francisco. Oakland Air Traffic Control received an unintelligible message at 6:48am followed by radio silence and the disappearance of Flight 773 from the radar screen. Breakfasting at their ranch on Tassajara Road, Jean and Richard Collins heard the roar of a plane coming in low over their house followed by an Volume V - Number 7 explosion. Gordon Rasmussen who lived on an 3000F Danville Blvd. #117, adjacent property rushed to the Collins ranch Alamo, CA 94507 (925) 405-6397 when he heard the crash. Describing the devastaFax (925) 406-0547 tion, he said: “There was not a piece larger than a foot in diameter except for the landing gear.” Alisa Corstorphine ~ Publisher See Ability continued on page 22 The plane gouged out a 60’ long furrow. Wreckeditor@ age was scattered over 100 yards. Bent silver PRSRT STD dollars from Reno casinos littered the ground. U.S. Postage opinions expressed herein belong What happened? Speculation ran from The PAID to the writers, and do not necessarily mechanical failure to sabotage and intensified reflect that of Danville Today News. Permit 263 Danville Today News is not when remnants of a gun were discovered in Alamo CA responsible for the content of any of the wreckage. The handle was missing. The the advertising herein, nor does ECRWSS publication imply endorsement.

fosters respect for the strengths of peers coping with intellectual, developmental, and physical challenges, while raising funds to send wheelchairs to hundreds of individuals who would otherwise remain immobile. The Wheelchair Foundation, established by Ken Behring in 2000, provides wheelchairs to people around the world who need but cannot afford a wheelchair. In many countries, a wheelchair costs a worker’s entire annual income. To date, 955,000 wheelchairs have been delivered, bringing mobility, dignity, and hope to individuals aged two to over 102. Since Bill Wheeler, founder of Blacktie Transportation, first invited Don and Josh to join him on a Wheelchair Foundation distribution trip, “the Three Amigos” have made 23 distribution trips to 14 Latin American countries, delivering 72,000 wheelchairs. Asked to identify his favorite trip, Josh insists: “All of them!” His father, Don, concurs. Each trip is different, every journey life changing. Josh demonstrates to wheelchair recipients that their personal goals are achievable. Doctors predicted Josh, born with Cerebral Palsy, would be a quadriplegic incapable of speech. At 3 ½, he spoke his first word: “Soup!” His indefatigable spirit continues to feed his father’s dedication. A graduate of San Ramon Valley High School, Josh relies on a wheelchair for mobility. Now 35, he lives independently, drives his own car to work, and has multiple sports accomplishments to his credit. In Paraguay, From-the-Heart delivered a wheelchair to another Josh. Seeing his own son in the four-year old also coping with Cerebral Palsy, Don translated his parental experience into a message of hope for the mother. Recalling how grateful he would have been for the advice of a mentor, Don happily shares his

Local Postal Customer

See Play continued on page 19

Page 2 - May 2014 ~ Danville Today News

Boulevard View

By Alisa Corstorphine, Editor

“Crypt of Civilization,” considered to be the first conventional time capsule; there are also over 100 places that have been shared on the site that are within an hour of our local community. There is the Mazzariello Labyrinth in Oakland, the “Cow Bones of Mount Diablo,” the Niles Es-

I recently went to a gathering in the town of Lincoln, California which is about an hour and a half northeast of our area. When I programmed the address I was going to into my Maps program, I was given three routes I could take. The first route was the quickest, and the trip was all traveled major highways. The second choice added an estimated five minutes to the journey and traveled on some lesser traveled highways and back roads. The third choice added 30 minutes to the route and took more a few more back roads. I figured that for an extra five minutes I would change up the scenery a little and see a few new roads in California that I had never traveled. The drive started off on the busy multi-lane highways of 680, 80, 505, 5, and 99. As soon as I exited the highway for the back roads part of my venture, I found myself on a narrow two lane road. I was in another world. Where I could have been in a bustling pack of cars and looking out sanay Silent Film Museum in Fremont, the “Gnomes of Lake Merritt,” at billboards, retail establishments, and fast-food joints, I found myself the Bohart Museum of Entomolgy at UC Davis that holds a collection of in the midst of farms and rice fields. I heard flocks of birds and passed over six million insects from all over the world, and the Pacific Pinball roads named with simple names like “Critter Creek.” Only nature and a Museum in Alameda. I have had a chance to visit a few of the local spots few homes and farms surrounded me. and now have a queue of sites to see when we have out-of-town guests I took an extra few minutes out of my journey and scoured around for or are just looking for “Staycation” ideas. a few hidden geocaches (learn more at en route As summer is drawing near, now is the time to put a list together of to my destination, learned a little history of the area, and added a couple places to see and things to do, before heading out on the road less traveled! logs to my geocache collection. Where before I may have arrived at the gathering feeling frenzied, instead I arrived calm and refreshed. With just a minimum of planning there are a lot of things to see and do that might be a little different or unique when going on a trip. When planning vacations I always search the internet with queries such as “unique things to do in ____location.” This has led me away from some of the tourist trap hotspots in favor of a jaunt off the beaten path. I recently stumbled upon a website called Atlas Obscura (www. The site is “for people who still believe in DISCOVERY,” their “About Us” page describes. They go on to say the site is the “definitive guide to the world’s wondrous and curious places.” While they list unique places and sites to see all over the world, such as homes built entirely out of paper, Limited quantity available, while supplies last. gigantic flaming holes The Kitchen at Alamo Hardware & Garden Center 3211 Danville Blvd. Items from the Kitchen availbale at Alamo Store Only! in the ground, the Smile Alamo, CA 94507 Call (925)837-2420 Text (925)272-9262 Expiration date May 31st 2014 Face museum, and the

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AAUW Garden Tour

The Danville-Alamo-Walnut Creek Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) is hosting its 14th annual Garden Tour on Friday, May 9th and Saturday, May 10th from 10AM to 4pm. Begin your Mother’s Day weekend by treating your mothers and daughters to this self-guided tour of five of the loveliest gardens in the Alamo and Danville area. From the calm serenity of an artist’s studio garden to an exquisite entertainment garden featuring expansive lawns, a terraced hillside and multiple patio areas, you will be inspired by the creative elegance of each of these unique gardens. Tickets can be purchased at East Bay Flower Company (206 Sycamore Valley Road West in the Danville Livery) or online at http://daw-ca.aauw. net/garden. Light refreshments will be provided. All proceeds from the tour benefit scholarships, research, and grants for aspiring women scholars.

• Daily horseback riding • Safety around horses • Arts and crafts • Obstacle course

Let’s Chile Up!

Join the Town of Danville for toasting some stellar Chilean wines, eating tasty Chilean tidbits, and enjoying the sounds and rhythms of a Chilean dance troupe. Taste and Toast of Chile will be held on Thursday, May 15 from 7pm to 8:30pm at the Danville Senior Center located at 115 East Prospect Avenue. The cost is $5 for residents, $6 for 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 third 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 fourth event in this series, Taste and Toast of Greece, will be held on July 24.

• Grooming and horse care • Horse anatomy class • Care of farm animals • Games and more!

All the King’s Horses Summer Camps in Alamo

• Three summer sessions for kids 6-12 • June 23rd-27th, July 21st-25th, August 4th-8th • Camps run 10am – 3pm Monday thru Friday • $425 per session

Contact Kim for information 510-928-3867

Page 4 - May 2014 ~ Danville Today News

Pet Adoption Days

A miniature schnauzer named Maddie inspired a $300 million legacy dedicated to giving every dog and cat in the United States what she had: a loving home. This year, $10 million of that legacy will go to Maddie's® Pet Adoption Days, a free pet adoption event for the nation’s homeless dogs and cats, now in its fifth year. Maddie was a beloved four-legged family member of David Duffield, founder of Workday® and PeopleSoft, and his wife, Cheryl. For the last four years, Maddie's Fund®, their family's foundation, has sponsored Maddie’s® Pet Adoption Days to honor her memory. “When we look into the eyes of the dogs and cats at the adoption event, we see Maddie's spirit in every one of them,” says Duffield. “We want all of them to have a chance to inspire, love, and enrich the lives of their future families the way Maddie did ours.” This year, Maddie’s® Pet Adoption Days will be held the weekend of May 31 - June 1, and will expand to include 200 animal shelters and rescue groups in 14 communities across the United States. Maddie’s Fund has earmarked $10 million as a way to give back to the participating organizations, donating up to $2,000 per adopted dog or cat. The goal of the event is to find loving homes for 10,000 homeless dogs and cats over the weekend by waiving all adoption fees for the public. For locations and hours of upcoming adoption sites, please visit

King of Teen Movies

Village Theatre will show memorable John Hughes films

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Museum of the San Ramon Valley Exhibit

On May 10, a new exhibit, Connecting Parks to People, the 80th Anniversary of the East Bay Regional Park District, will open at the Museum of the San Ramon Valley which is located at 205 Railroad Ave. in Danville. On three Saturdays at 11AM, there will be speakers on Regional Parks topics.

Saturday, May 17 ~ 80 Years of Regional Parks

Hear a history of the East Bay Regional Parks District (EBRPD) from one of the Park District’s most knowledgeable historians, Jerry Kent, former Assistant General Manager of EBRPD Operations.

Saturday, May 24 ~ Iron Horse Regional Trail -- 30 years, 35 miles

Promoters of the Iron Horse Trail (IHT) and members of the original Right of Way Trail Advocates (ROWTA) share the challenges of creating this popular trail. Speakers will be Bickford Hooper, first president of ROWTA and avid hiker; Mary Lou Oliver, former San Ramon Mayor and equestrian; and Beverly Lane, EBRPD Director, hiker and occasional biker.

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Two people who advocated for Las Trampas as a regional park will share their stories from the 1960s and 1970s. Speakers will be Manfred Lindner, Chair of the Las Trampas Wilderness Committee and Sally Germain Goldner, Danville chair for the successful annexation of Contra Costa County to the EBRPD in June of 1964. In the depth of the Depression, 1934, voters in Alameda County created a special district to acquire and manage parks for the public. It was an extraordinary decision, supported by cities, UC Berkeley and legislative leaders, the Contra Costa Hills Club, the Sierra Club, and many others. The first parks were Tilden, Sibley, Temescal, and Redwood. During the thirties, the parks were developed using Contra Costa County and Works Progress Administration workers. In 1964 Contra Costa County voters joined the EBRPD. Today there are 65 parks covering 115,000 acres in the East Bay. This exhibit will trace the history of EBRPD in the East Bay, focusing on the Iron Horse Regional Trail and Las Trampas Regional Wilderness Preserve. There will be a video, maps, brochures, artifacts displayed, and programs. For more information about the museum, call (925) 837-3750 or visit The museum is open Tuesday-Friday from 1-4, Saturdays from 10-1, and Sundays from 1-3. For EBRPD information, visit Connecting Parks to People

The Town of Danville is pleased to announce the continuation of its themed double feature films. On May 25, it continues with two films by legendary writer and director John Hughes. Hughes directed or scripted some of the most successful films of the 1980s and 1990s, including National Lampoon's Vacation, Weird Science, The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, and Planes to name a few. The double feature will begin with Pretty in Pink. The story is written about teenager Andie who must choose between her childhood sweetheart and a rich but sensitive playboy; this film is rated PG-13. The second film, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, is based on a high school wise guy who is intent on taking a day off of school despite what his principal thinks; this film is also rated PG13. These films may have mature themes and language; parental guidance is recommended. The first film starts at 2PM, and there is a 15 minute intermission between films. Tickets are now on sale for $5. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit or call (925) 314-3400.

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Danville Today News ~ May 2014 - Page 5

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San Ramon Valley Newcomers Club

The San Ramon Valley Newcomers Club is holding its monthly luncheon Thursday, May 15, at Forbes Mill Steakhouse in Danville. The luncheon is open to current and prospective members in the San Ramon Valley area. For further information or a reservation, please contact Dee Bradshaw at (925) 837-9600 or

SRVRWF Candidates and Scholarship Winners

Please join the San Ramon Valley Republican Women Federated at their upcoming Candidates and Scholarship Winners luncheon on Tuesday, May 27th at Crown Canyon Country Club located at 711 Silver Lake Drive in Danville. Social hour begins at 11:30am and lunch at noon. The cost is $25. Come meet Judge Tue Phan who is running for Congress 11th District and Catharine Baker who is running for the Assembly 16th District. Also in attendance will be our high school scholarship winners - Natalie Baldacci from Las Lomas High, Kathryn Clark from California High, Isabella Salazar from Dougherty Valley High, Carley Zenker from Monte Vista High, and Mikayla Flicek from Dougherty Valley High. For reservations, call Mary at 925-837-5465 or email srvwf. Reservations are due by Friday, May 22nd.

7th Annual Wine & Chocolate Stroll Thursday, May 8th, 6pm to 9pm

Enjoy a fun-filled evening of wine tasting, decadent chocolates and shopping during Danville’s Spring Wine & Chocolate Stroll. Select businesses will stay open late to host some of our area's finest wines, which will accompanied by gourmet chocolate samples, compliments of Danville Chocolates. Stroll throughout downtown Danville and enjoy live music and entertainment throughout the evening. Be sure to stop in at your favorite stores to see their latest spring offerings. Purchase $25 tickets online at

The Red Window Project…What is it?

The International Labor Organization estimates that 4,500,000 girls are victims of sex trafficking around the world. The primary reason for the vast majority of these girls getting caught up in this devastating situation is poverty. The May speaker at the Blackhawk Museum Guild meeting is Mark Fisher who lives in Livermore and is the United States Director of the Red Window Project. The Red Window Project is a nonprofit organization that serves survivors of human trafficking and other forms of exploitation in the Philippines. Please come join our Wednesday, May 14th meeting at the Blackhawk Museum Auto Dining Room located at 3700 Blackhawk Plaza Circle in Danville at 10am and learn what you can do to stop this terrible industry that is destroying the lives of young girls. Meet a young man dedicated to helping women in the Philippines through this wonderful organization. The meetings are free! Coffee and refreshments are served. For more information, visit

Blackhawk Republican Women Present Laer Pearce

Join the Blackhawk Republican Women on May 14th for hors d’oeuvres and no-host bar cocktails to hear Laer Pearce, California public affairs expert and author. For 32 years, Pearce has had a front-row seat to what he sees as California becoming progressively more anti-business, more spend-thrift, less rational, and less competent. Experiencing this dysfunction up close prompted him to write Crazifornia: Tales from the Tarnished State, copies of which will be available for signing. Pearce gained his insights at his public affairs firm, Laer Pearce & Associates, which he opened in 1982. The event will take place at the Blackhawk Country Club with check-in and social time beginning at 5:30PM, and the speaker beginning at 6PM. The cost is $25. Please make reservations or cancellations by noon on Monday, May 12 by contacting Marianne Lyons at 856 Turrini Dr., Danville, 94526, rlyons1009@, or (925) 820-6452.

Page 6 - May 2014 ~ Danville Today News

County Victims Assistance Program Gives Victims a Voice By Supervisor Candace Andersen, Contra Costa District 2

Recently, I attended the District Attorney’s (DA’s) Office Victims’ Rights Week Recognition Ceremony. This annual event honors individuals who make a difference for crime victims in Contra Costa County. This year’s recipients included Victim Assistance Program support staff, District Attorneys and Investigators, local Law Enforcement Officers, community crime victim advocate volunteers, a witness to a crime, and a crime survivor. The Contra Costa County Victim Assistance Program seeks to empower victims and witnesses of crime through advocacy and support. Support staff and volunteers work tenaciously to give victims a voice in the criminal justice system, protect their rights, and treat each individual with dignity and respect. The programs are 100% grant funded through Cal-OES, the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. Victim Witness Centers are located in all 58 counties in California and provide mandated services under Penal Code section 13835. The Centers were put into effect with the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) in 1984 with the recognition that victims needed access to services to recover from trauma and to give them some rights in our justice system. Advocates are assigned to all filed violent crimes that are being prosecuted in the DA’s Office. An advocate makes contact with the victim or family and will stay with them through the end of the criminal case and even beyond. The focus is to provide information about the court process, offer resources, and assist with applications to the California Victim Compensation Program. They also help protect and advocate for victims’ rights --under Marsy’s Law which was passed by the voters in 2008 and is part of the California Constitution -- assist with restitution and victim impact statements, and provide emotional support. Advocates go to court with victims and act as a liaison with Deputy District Attorneys, law enforcement, and community agencies. There are two Victim Assistance Centers, one in Martinez at 900 Ward Street, (925) 957-8650; and one in Richmond at 100 37th Street, (510) 374-3272. There are also Advocates located at the Pittsburg and Richmond Police Departments who focus on reaching out to crime victims shortly after a crime occurs to provide services and resources as soon as possible. They work closely with law enforcement in East and West County to offer support and information about the criminal process. These advocates help victims in situations where there may not be a suspect or not enough information to file charges, or when the investigation may take a lot of time to complete. Advocates are reaching out to people who were previously underserved to make sure that they have the needed resources to begin recovering from the crime. The program is always in need of volunteers to help support the work the advocates do. In fact, grants require that volunteers are utilized to help provide services to victims. If you are interested in volunteering, call (925) 957-8650 or email My office is here to serve the residents of Contra Costa County District 2, which includes San Ramon, Danville, Alamo, Walnut Creek, Saranap, Parkmead, Lafayette, Moraga, Canyon and Orinda. Please don't hesitate to contact us if we can provide you with additional information on this topic or on other County issues. I can be reached at or 925-957-8860.

Town Committees Seek Recruits

The Town of Danville is looking for community-minded residents to fill vacancies on three Town committees/commissions. The following commissions are looking for new members: • Parks and Leisure Services Commission: Four members, 4-year term begins July 1, 2014 • Parks and Leisure Services Commission: Youth Representative 2-year term begins July 1, 2014 • Arts Commission: Youth Representative 2-year term begins July 1, 2014 • County Connection Citizens Advisory Committee: 2-year term begins July 1, 2014. Applications are available on the Town’s website, Applications must be submitted to the City Clerk’s office no later than 4PM on May 14. Interviews will take place on June 4, June 10, or June 17. The Town Council will appoint commissioners at their June 17 meeting. For more information, contact City Clerk Marie Sunseri at (925) 314-3401 or

GFWC Danville Women’s Club

Our biggest fundraising event of the year is, a Passion for Fashion luncheon and fashion show benefitting Hospice of the East Bay and other charities. Join us on Thursday, May 8th at the Blackhawk Country Club for a wonderful fashion show, featuring clothing by the LOFT (Ann Taylor). Tickets are $45 each. Gather a few friends or maybe ten friends for a whole table, and come enjoy the festivities. Social time starts at 11:30am followed by lunch and the fashion show. There will be fabulous opportunities to win prizes donated by local merchants. Fashion show tickets are available by calling Barbara Chavez at 925-838-0347. Tickets will not be not sold at the door. Saturday, May 31st is our Shredding for Scholarships fundraiser. We will have a shredding truck on site at our Clubhouse located at 242 Linda Mesa Ave., in Danville, to destroy your sensitive documents while you watch. For a mere $5 box (banker’s box size) you can help tri-valley students with furthering their education. Bring your boxes down between 9am and 12:30pm. Our last meeting of the 2013-2014 Club year is Thursday, June 5th. We will be installing officers for the 2014-2015 year. Join us for lunch and meet our volunteers. For more information about any of these events, or the Club, please visit us on the web at, email us at danvillewc@gmail. com, or call us at 925-837-1165. Did you know that our Clubhouse was available for rental? Call or email for complete details.

Danville Community Band

Join us on Sunday, June 8th as the Danville Community Band presents a "Summer Vacation" performance. The band offers a selection of musical destinations for you to visit--from Zacatecas, to Rome, from the British Isles to Indiana--there is something for everyone. We will also announce the winner in the band's annual Student Instrument Scholarship Award. The free concert begins at 3pm at Community Presbyterian Church, 222 W. El Pintado Road, Danville. For more information about the band or its concert season, please visit www.

Delta Nu Psi

Service group Delta Nu Psi has sent eight 30 pound boxes of “gourmet junk food” to 145 squads located in the War Zone since 2004. The total weight of the food-filled boxes is 28,660 pounds spread over 1,172 packages. Our upcoming collection will be held May 9th at Lunardi’s in Danville. The collection time will be from 11am to 2pm. Please come by, grab a list, and shop for our men and women in the War Zone. For more information, visit

Lost Dog!


If you find him and your name is drawn!

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

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

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

Phil Padilla is our winner!

Danville Today News ~ May 2014 - Page 7

A SPECIAL INVITATION! Join Michael and Pat for lunch and an informational presentation of: “A lovely home, a solid portfolio, a great financial life.” Thursday, May 22 at 12:00pm Roundhill Country Club, 3169 Roundhill Road, Alamo No cost, but reservations are required. Call 800.472.8305, option 1

For Portfolio, Contact: Pat Vitucci, CEO Call: 800.472.8305 Securities and advisory services offered through National Planning Corporation (NPC), member FINRA, SIPC, and a Registered Investment Advisor. Pasquale Vitucci, CA Insurance Lic.#0758212, is an Endorsed Agent of Vitucci & Associates Insurance Services CA Insurance Lic.# 0I06319. Vitucci & Associates Insurance Services - 877 Ygnacio Valley Rd., Suite 220, Walnut Creek, CA 94696 - and NPC are separate and unrelated companies. Alamo Luxury Homes, RE/MAX Accord & Michael Hatfield are not affiliated with NPC. You may be contacted by a representative as a result of attending this seminar and insurance sales presentation. #83022

Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States

Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW), Post 75, San Ramon Valley - meets every third Wednesday of the month at the Veterans Memorial Building located at 400 Hartz Avenue, Danville, located on the corner at East Prospect Avenue and Hartz Avenue. The next meeting will be held Wednesday, May 21st. Doors open at 7PM, and the meeting begins at 7:30PM. For more information, contact Post Commander Ernie Petagara at (925) 362-9806. Mail to: VFW Post 75 San Ramon Valley, P.O. Box 1092, Danville, CA 94526. Find out more about the VFW and our Post on the internet at



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Carroll Shelby Memorial Classic Car Show

The Pacific Coast Region of Team Shelby will be hosting their Carroll Shelby Memorial Classic car show at the Blackhawk Museum Plaza on Sunday, May 10, from 10AM to 1PM. This inaugural memorial car show, honoring the legacy of Carroll Shelby to NorCal “Powered by Ford” enthusiasts, will feature Shelby, Ford GT, Cobra, and Boss vehicles. The event will benefit the Carroll Shelby Foundation and also the Wheels for Wheelchairs Foundation.

Danville Girls Chorus Presents Annual POPs Concert, “Heroes and Villains”

The Danville Girls Chorus (DGC) will perform their POPs Concert, “Heroes and Villains,” on Saturday, May 31 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. Come join DGS for an energetic tribute to your favorite “heroes” and “villains” of stage and screen! 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. Girls are also introduced to a variety of musical styles, ranging from classical to contemporary, folk tunes, and pop music. This is the third and final concert the 2013/2014 season. Please see DGC’s website at for more information on this event and other upcoming performances.

Page 8 - May 2014 ~ Danville Today News

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11/16/12 9:28 AM

By Christopher George, Principal

Just like that we are in the fourth quarter and almost to the end of the school year. We have just finished up our spring break and have come back preparing to send another fantastic group of 8th graders off to the high school. We have also met with and welcomed another group of incoming 5th graders to Charlotte Wood. In April we successfully piloted the Smarter Balanced assessment for the first time. Thanks to the diligent preparation and remarkable flexibility of our staff, we were able to try this new assessment without many problems. We are thankful to our parent community as well whose generosity enabled us early on to be prepared for this assessment. While the new test was a challenge for staff and students alike, our kids were very sincere in their attempts at taking the tests. As we come to the end of the year, it’s only right to recognize just what a great group of students we have had this year. We have had remarkably low numbers of disciplinary incidents, and we have seen every instance of increased engagement and effort amongst our students as we navigate the changing curriculum. As we begin preparation for next year, we look forward to continuing to improve our practice, especially the implementation of the Common Core State Standards, as well as looking at best practices in assessment and implementing department based curricula. As always, we look forward to your feedback and comments.

Stroll into the Village Theatre to Watch Chocolat

To accompany the Danville Spring Wine and Chocolate Stroll on May 8, the Village Theatre, located at 233 Front Street, will be screening the film Chocolat. This film may have some mature themes and language; parental guidance is recommended. The movie starts at 8PM. Tickets are on sale for $5. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit or call (925) 314-3400.

St. Isidore Loves Spring!

In May we celebrate our Graduates… By Maria Ward, Principal St. Isidore School

May is one of our busiest months here at St. Isidore. Many traditional events take place this month. We started our month celebrating May Crowing. During this special liturgy, our graduates selected four 8th grade students who they feel have demonstrated a life honoring our Blessed Mother. These students had the privilege of placing a crown of flowers on our statue of Mary on the altar at the beginning of our liturgy. The flowers represent our love for our heavenly mother. It is a St. Isidore tradition that anchors us in our Catholic faith. On May 3rd, we came together as a community and commemorated the sacrament of First Holy Communion. Our second grade teachers spend endless hours preparing our students for this sacrament. First Holy Communion is considered one of the holiest and most important occasions in our Catholic faith. It will be the first time our little ones receive the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. Thursday, May 8th is our Spring Concert. Our students have been diligently working with our music teacher for our concert. It is always a packed house, and our school community enjoys getting together to support all of our students. Please come join us at 1PM and 7PM. During an early morning carpool on Friday, May 9th, we have a special treat for our school moms. We will be having a “Muffins for Moms Carpool” that our religion committee and leadership students organized. We love acknowledging how incredible our St. Isidore moms are in everything they do for their children and our faculty. We are happy to honor them with a little muffin and a prayer card letting them know how much we cherish each of them. On Thursday, May 22nd, at 6pm, our own Bulldog Band has their last performance for the school year. Our band director does an amazing job getting our band students familiar with classical and traditional music pieces for the concert. Many of our students continue their musical skills, learned with us, onto high school band and college. On Thursday, May 29th, with heavy hearts we say good-bye to our beloved 8th grade students at our 8th Grade Graduation Ceremony. Many of these graduating students have been with us for nine years, and we feel blessed to have watched them grow on their Catholic journey. Before they graduate, we have a “Gifts of the Holy Spirit” assembly acknowledging which 8th grade students best emulate these Gifts. We also have a traditional 8th grade dinner dance. The 7th grade students host and serve this special dinner to our 8th graders and their parents. We end May with the 8th grade graduation mass and ceremony. There are many tears shed at these events by our students, parents, and faculty. As much as we hate to say good-bye, we know we will see our graduates again. We feel honored to have been a part of their lives. Throughout this month, students complete different types of assessments in core subject areas to show growth. May is the ideal month to see the culmination of our philosophy of educating the whole child. We are able to witness our students as active practitioners of their Catholic faith, see their academic achievements, and watch the young adults who have learned how to be humble citizens who serve their community, as they leave us for their future educational endeavors.

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Dream On

By Devyn Holliday, San Ramon Valley High School, senior

It’s May, and everything is, as they say, “winding down.” We seniors have taken thousands of tests, so many that we’ve been programmed to study while we walk between classes. There’s a constant frenzy to know: “Exactly what’s going to be on this test?” in attempts to quell our nerves. But we were just too occupied to open that chemistry textbook last night. We’ve endured countless hours of lectures on how we “better get our life together” and or our friends are going to leave us behind if we don’t take school more seriously! And lastly, we’ve survived four years of being asked, “Where do you want to go college?” Dodging this question has become a sport. Pretending like you didn’t even hear it being asked is usually the best route for evasion. For me, I was usually afraid to answer for fear of being told I was just dreaming. But if there’s one thing I’ve ascertained from this college process, it is to not listen to people. How adolescent of me to say that I don’t want to listen to other people, but it reigns true again and again; no one knows your true potential except for yourself. More dreams are killed by doubt than actual failure, so here’s my advice to the young and old: dream on! About a month ago, something that was beyond my craziest, wildest reveries came true. I was home sick this day, and, might I add, for a full day! This was indeed the first whole day of school I’d missed my senior year. I was feverish and laid in bed drinking my body weight in tea, while a single thought consumed my mind: 2PM Pacific Standard Time. All these schools on the east coast with some cult-like deference to “ivy” would be releasing their decisions within a matter of hours, and I was plotting how I would be “ super chill” while opening up their decisions. I texted my siblings with hourly countdowns, much to their annoyance, and by 1:40PM I had Mary J. Blige’s “Not Gonna Cry” on repeat. I figured if I was going to cry, at least I’d have a quality soundtrack! It was finally two o-clock, and my heart, much to my dismay, was about to pop out of my chest. The time had come to see if I was accepted to my dream school. I opened the browser to the login portal and entered my password. Whoops, wrong password. I tried a different one, wrong again. Eventually, I had entered so many wrong passwords that this portal decided to lock me out for an additional half an hour, at the end of which I could get a new password and try again. I sighed, of course, the moment that I’ve been anxious about for two years finally comes, and I’m not even prepared to open it. I laughed aloud and proceeded to check one of those other schools in this “Ivy-Cult” whose name rhymes with fail. This time my handwriting had not betrayed me, and I actually could read my password. This letter had no confetti or exclamation marks, but I wasn’t surprised and I quickly moved on. I sat in front of my desktop, my reflection on the computer screen had a semblance to someone just released from a hospital: my hair was still in pigtails from the night before, and my face had a sickly pallor. I stared at the screen and watched the minutes go by, until finally it was 2:30PM. The website kindly allowed me to log in, finally. Excited doesn’t adequately cover my flash flood of emotion. No screams or squeals were let out, no tears of joy were shed, just a hug was given to the only other being in my house, my dog. My dreams and my reality are now one, and when you ask me both where I want to attend and where I will be attending, the answer is the same: Princeton University, Class of 2018!

Danville Today News ~ May 2014 - Page 9

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

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

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Stone Valley Middle School By Shaun K. McElroy, Principal Hey Where’s the Fire?

On Tuesday, May 6th the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District will train all 7/8 students in CPR/AED during their regularly scheduled PE classes. Training 400+ students in these life saving skills will lead to a safer place for residents of San Ramon Valley. All middle school in the district are participating in this free program.

Vertical Articulation

On May 6th Monte Vista and San Ramon Valley high schools’ 9th grade English teachers will join Stone Valley Middle School 8th grade language arts teachers in collaboration with staff developers Gianna Lillig and Nicole Chaplan to develop common pathways and expectations from middle to high school.

CLR Strategies

Culturally and Linguistically Responsive (CLR) teaching strategies continue to grow. Our original cohort of “experts” (Jim Purcell, Courtney Konopacky, and Melinda Daly) will be joined by a second CLR cohort of teachers (Rachel Lynch, and Chris Sherwood) who will lead a third round of training for staff on May 14th. For information on this program, visit

Summer Plans for Professional Development

Many of our staff have made plans to attend summer workshops. Our math department received a grant to attend the Silicon Valley Math Initiative training for one week. Physical education staff will be attending two separate week-long trainings focused on implementing Common Core strategies in their program. Special Education staff will attend a Google Apps for Education workshop. Language arts teachers will attend district-led staff development activities and history workshops sponsored by the National Council for History Teachers.

Construction Process has Begun!

To date we have had two meetings related to the new construction on campus. I met with the architects and facilities personnel to discuss the construction process. A second similar meeting was held with members of the Stone Valley staff, as well as facilities oversight committee members Margie Hart and Dwight Winn, Superintendent Mary Shelton, Assistant Superintendents Toni Taylor (Education Services), Gary Black (Facilities), community member Stan Hitomi, Senior Planning and Development Manger Tina Peralt, Facilities Director Rich Lowell, Senior project Manager Rick Kendrick, and the architects. Our meeting focused on conceptual design plans for our new school. We are hopeful for a summer/fall 2015 start date. Our next meeting will be held in mid-late May. Updated information on construction projects throughout the district can be found on SRVUSD’s website at www.srvusd. net/cms/page_view?d=x&piid=&vpid=1346747333230. By the way, all students completed the new Smarter Balance testing – try the sample test at This year we are testing the test, so no individual results are given.

Page 10 - May 2014 ~ Danville Today News

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Monte Vista High School By Janet Terranova, Principal

Spring break is over and we are heading into the last six weeks of school, but Monte Vista is definitely not slowing down. Before our break Monte Vista students were able to participate in the “Every 15 Minutes” program. “Every 15 Minutes” is a two day event that was originally conceived of by the CHP and the Office of Traffic Safety in 1990. At that point, alcohol-related traffic fatalities occurred every 15 minutes in the United States. The focus of the presentation included driving under the influence of alcohol, marijuana and prescription drugs, and distracted driving while texting. The program challenged students to think about their choices and their responsibility as they get behind the wheel. The first day featured a “crash scene” with the police, fire, ambulance, and coroner on scene. The second day featured a “funeral assembly” where the students who “died” in the accident were honored, and students had the opportunity to listen to community members who have lived through a tragedy caused by impaired drivers. Bob Pack, from the Troy and Alana Pack Foundation, spoke to the students and urged them to think and act responsibly. While no program can guarantee that our students will always think and act responsibly, I was so impressed with the respect and attention they paid to this program. During the 75 minute crash scene, students in the stadium were quiet and attentive. The funeral assembly took place in the gym for our 11th and 12th grade students, and a live feed to classrooms was provided for our 9th and 10th graders. Students were visibly affected by the speakers and took to heart their stories. A huge thank you to our PTSA and parent community for sponsoring the program and for the hours of volunteer time they donated. A very special thank goes you to Laurie Terzolo who was the Chairperson for this program. Without her dedication and organization, the students would not have had this opportunity. If you want to know more about Monte Vista and our activities, please visit our website at

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Del Amigo High School By Joseph A. Ianora, Principal

It is hard to believe, but we only have five weeks left in the school year. Since last month we have much to update you on. Here are some of the many things that have or will happen at Del Amigo: In the past six months we have graduated 20 students, and we have eight students who are concurrently enrolled in Community College, three students who are con-current at Paris Beauty School, and seven students who are con-current with our traditional high schools within SRVUSD. We have completed the new computerized SBAC testing and are working on completing the last of our “paper and pencil” tests. It will be nice to close that chapter of testing history. Two of our students, RJ McCuskey and Stephanie Stroup, were each awarded a $500 scholarship from the Alamo Women’s Club. We are very appreciative of their support of Del Amigo students. Edgenuity, our online program, has been amazing. We originally enrolled nine students into two different subject areas. In the past weeks we have doubled that enrollment in five different subject areas. We are very pleased that this new learning modality is working for our students. We will be hosting a blood drive for our Del Amigo student population. This is another great way for our students to give back to the community. On April 24th we took our Life Science classes to the Oakland Zoo for an educational field trip. Students learned much from this adventure. On April 28th we sponsored a “No Makeup” day. Staff and students participated in this first ever event for Del Amigo. We spent much of the time proceeding this day talking about inner beauty and what that looks like literally and figuratively. Future events for Del Amigo include Career Day, another day at the Food Bank, an Activity Day, and of course, Graduation! As always, we are grateful for your continued support of our academic institution.

Sustainable Danville Area Tip of the Month By Carol Rossi

There’s something about spring that inspires folks with even the brownest of thumbs to celebrate the season of rebirth and renewal by getting out in the garden and planting something, only to watch their cherished seedlings struggle, flounder, and then wither and die. Don’t despair if your horticultural efforts of the past have produced disappointing results. Even experienced gardeners have disappointments in the garden because Mother Nature does not always cooperate. Success in gardening, as in life, is often just a matter of good timing. Yes, the days are getting longer and warmer, and the nurseries are full of seedlings - heirloom tomatoes, exotic peppers, eggplants, squash, cucumbers – all symbols of summer’s vegetable bounty. But spring night temperatures still drop into the 40’s. April brings its showers and May its desiccating winds. These are conditions that can permanently stunt heatloving summer varieties, causing poor growth and fruit production even if they do survive. The wise gardener knows to wait until mid to late-May before setting out the long-season summer seedlings and to channel his or her enthusiasm with traditional spring crops that thrive in the cooler weather and gentle rains which grace our region from February through May. Sugar snap peas can be direct sown as early as mid-February and will produce for almost two months until they are cleared out in late May to make way for tomato plants. Lettuce and spinach seedlings can be set out every two weeks staring March 1st to ensure a steady harvest until June. Fast-growing Bok Choi, set out after the last frost date in late March, will be providing tender baby leaves for salads within three weeks and larger plants for stir fry before the end of April. Green onions are another great “catch crop” that will fill vegetable beds from mid-February through May. Simply buy yellow onion bulbs (or “sets”) at the nursery, and harvest the baby seedlings when their bottom stems are as big as a pencil. While their spring gardens are producing wonderful salad fixings and sweet, crunchy sugar snaps, patient gardeners can be growing their own tomato and pepper seedlings indoors or watching the nursery sales until day and night temperatures are warm enough to ensure thriving summer crops. Proper selection of varieties is often the key to success at this point. All heirloom vegetables were cultivated to grow in a specific region or climate. The Georgia Streak, for example, was bred to thrive in the heat and humidity of southern summers. San Francisco Fog, as the name implies, was bred to produce even in that city’s famously cold and overcast summers. But neither variety can be expected to do well outside of the environment to which they are inherently acclimated. Gardeners who want happy, productive plants should always check to make sure their selections are adaptable to their specific microclimate. “Wannabe” vegetable gardeners can also improve their chances for success by taking a class or receiving rudimentary instruction from more experienced garden hands. A fun way to improve your vegetable-growing skills is by signing up for a season of growing at The Bounty Garden, located at Hap Magee Park in Danville. The hands-on program at The Bounty Garden brings together community volunteers in a fun and friendly environment to learn about growing sustainable, organic vegetables. There is no cost and no experience necessary to be a vegetable grower at the Garden. Volunteers are asked to commit to one growing season of the year and attend two group meetings to meet one another, be introduced to the Garden and the program, and register for a raised bed. Three free workshops on seedling propagation, composting, and harvesting are also offered and are a great chance to learn basic gardening techniques and get questions answered. The Bounty Garden is committed to providing fresh, nutritious greens to people who need them. So, you can keep what you learn, but all vegetables grown in the Garden are donated to the local Food Banks of Contra Costa and Solano Counties. Learn more about The Bounty Garden, its program, and its mission at Visit or join us at sustainabledanvillearea for local green events and resources.

Danville Today News ~ May 2014 - Page 11



SRV Christian Academy By Jan Brunkal, Principal

Happy Spring! SRVCA is definitely racing towards the finish line of this school year. Activities both here at school and outside of our campus abound. Our 6th graders spent a wonderful week at Alliance Redwood Camp for their Outdoor Education experience. This experience was a great time of fun, fellowship, and learning for our kids. The week was filled with team building activities, opportunities to challenge themselves both physically and spiritually, as well as learn about God’s creation. Our annual PTF sponsored “Sherrie Asche Fun Run” took place in late April and was a huge success. This annual event is in honor of our former computer teacher who passed away several years ago and who will long be remembered for her hard work, compassion, and kindness to her students. The proceeds raised from the run go to technology such as purchasing two carts of iPads for our students and new laptops. Our families are so supportive, what a blessing it is! The month of May also brings about our all school Open House which takes place Thursday, May 8. This is a wonderful time to showcase our students’ work, their classrooms, and the school year in general. What great accomplishments our students have made this year through their hard work and perseverance. Our 3rd through 5th grade Spring Musical, Here For the Gold will be held Tuesday, May 13 at 7pm. Directed by Erin Warner, our music teacher, students will share the parables of Jesus through song and drama in a way that is relevant for kids today. I am always amazed at the talent Mrs. Warner brings out in her students, and this evening is always a highlight of the year. Not to be outdone, our kindergarten through 2nd graders will share their talents on Friday, May 23 at 9am at our parent appreciation chapel. This year’s production, Donkey Tales, has our little ones singing their hearts out as they teach us all about the obedience God requires, the love we can show our neighbors, and the humility that led Jesus to the cross. Nothing is better than watching these children tell stories from the Bible in their own sweet way. Once again, our fabulous student council is organizing our annual Field Day on May 30. This event has our upper grade students spending time with their younger buddies, playing together and participating in games, food, and fun. This is always an end-of-the-year highlight.

Page 12 - May 2014 ~ Danville Today News


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Ruth Bancroft Garden By Linda Summers Pirkle

My sister and I inherited our mother’s jade plants. Mine are planted in three very heavy terra cotta pots. Every winter I drag the pots from the edge of my patio to a place near the house to keep them from freezing, then come spring I drag them back out to their spots. My mother had them for many years before I got them; they are at least forty years old. I have to admit, they are not my favorite plant -- I always thought they were a bit old fashioned, a bit like the purple carpet of ice plant we had in our front yard. But they were mom’s, so of course they have a special place in my heart. Succulents, like my jade plants, echeveria, and aloes are very popular plants now, because of their drought resistance and easy maintenance. The latest Martha Stewart Living magazine features an article called “Sensational Succulents.” A portion of the article states, “This group of plants is quickly becoming popular with home gardeners because of the ease with which they can be propagated, raised, divided, and even shared with friends and other gardeners. In addition, because most require only small amounts of moisture, little cultivation, and pruning, and modest amounts of growing medium, they are excellent varieties to enjoy in even drought-plagued areas and warm or hot climates.” For Ruth Bancroft, age 105, of the Ruth Bancroft Gardens in Walnut Creek, these plants have never gone out of “style” and have been a focus for her incredible collection for the past 40 years. According to the website for the Garden, when Ruth was in her 60’s she began to plant succulents on the three-acre property, and her garden attracted much attention from horticulturists and gardeners. She learned about gardening from reading and experimenting and figuring out what worked. The garden opened to the public in the early 1990’s. I visited the Ruth Bancroft Gardens on one of the few rainy days this spring. Although the garden is located on a parcel of land between the busy streets of Treat and Ygnacio Valley Road in Walnut Creek, it is a very serene spot. With umbrellas, our group of ten followed Adrian, our guide, down pathways, under trees and into a glorious green house filled with gorgeous, sometimes eerie plants that are examples of what may be a garden of the future because of its ability to thrive with little water. Adrian shared stories of how Ruth collected some of the plants and pointed out various drought tolerant plants, all unique, each with its own story. There is a lot going on in this special garden. They offer tours, seminars, and events including author events, art and jazz, agaves and tequila, and sculpture displays in the garden. The garden is a nice spot to take a picnic lunch; there are picnic tables and benches tucked in among the many plants. *The 20th annual Sculpture in the Garden event, is a one of a kind event combining outdoor art with the garden’s stunning sculptural succulents. Opening day is June 13. *Outdoor weddings are now available at the garden. As of April 2014, the beautiful grounds are available for your special event. This brand new service is not being advertised, but the garden will most likely be a very popular venue for outdoor weddings of 75 to 150 people. *Ruth Bancroft Garden is located at 1552 Bancroft Road in Walnut Creek. Their phone number is 925-944-9352. Their website is * Hours are 11AM to 6PM, Monday thru Sunday, and 7PM on Thursdays. 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

Danville Today News ~ May 2014 - Page 13


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San Ramon Valley High School By Ruth Steele, Principal

May always feels like the calm before the storm. We rush through the spring, following state testing windows, CAASPP pilot tests and the AP tests, and then suddenly things are quiet for just a few weeks before graduation in June. This year, May is the month of many of our school’s culminating events - senior ball, our new talent show/art auction, and a safe driving assembly. The pace does not let up until we hit finals week and then graduation. Every year this is a bittersweet time as we watch our seniors get ready to graduate and move on with the next phase of their lives. We have watched them grow for four years, develop, learn, and mature, and it is so exciting to see them in the final weeks before they leave SRVHS for bigger, better, and more exciting adventures. Our parents have been doing an amazing job planning grad night and getting everything ready for the graduation ceremony. It is always a team effort to get us through the end of the year. We have also seen the completion of our new bleacher project, the finishing touches have been added to our pool, and a new batting cage for the baseball program has been installed. Finally, we are planning retirement events for a group of our outstanding veteran teachers. Lisa Sabatini, Ken Castleman, Mike Slater, Carol MacPhail, Hans Delannoy, Jeff Torquemada, and Lorrie Harris are all leaving SRVHS this year after exemplary and distinguished careers. They will be graduating along with the 100th graduating class in June, and their contribution and commitment to SRVHS is unparalleled. I would like to recognize each of them for their incredible work with our students over the years.

Page 14 - May 2014 ~ Danville Today News


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Page 16 - May 2014 ~ Danville Today News

Life in the Danville Garden

By John Montgomery, ASLA, Landscape Architect Timeless and Transitional

I like to follow-up with my clients after a period of time to see how they were enjoying their beautiful yards. After 35 years of creating gardens, I have discovered a new distinction for how a landscape matures and why some of my clients were disappointed even though they absolutely loved their gardens initially. Timeless and Transitional, that’s it! At first glance the phrase “Timeless and Transitional” seems a little dramatic. Well, it isn’t really and I will tell you why. It all begins with expectations! We all know a garden can be beautiful, relaxing, stunning, delightful, therapeutic, and all those great things I usually write about. On the other hand, gardens can be ugly, annoying and agitating, and sometimes they just don’t meet your expectations, and that is disappointing! Most likely you have felt the way I feel about my own garden sometimes; you too, at one time or another, have been disappointed and down right upset about your garden. Don’t get me wrong, I love my garden and my clients love the ones I design for them, but sometimes it just Offer expires 06/30/14 seems like nature (and untrained gardeners) get the best of our expectations. Case in point, I went to visit one of my client’s gardens only to find plants that I had designed in the plans were either missing, woody and misshaped, or turned into little balls and squares. Plants were missing because nature over the last two years had taken its toll. Perennials were missing, lavender was just woody half broken stalks, and lovely arching shrubs turned into balls and squares in their prime bloom time! This is not what I expect, and most of my clients didn’t either. I have written about the importance of the hardscape (built elements) timeless element as one aspect of creating an outdoor environment while the other element is the softscape (living elements) transitional. What I discovered in this distinction of timeless and transitional is that while the backbone of the design of the garden was still there, beautiful and functioning just as I had designed it to be, the softscape was displaying the transitions of the years. If it wasn’t the harsh cold winter, the ultra-wet spring, and the long hot Indian summer, it was untrained gardeners, the varmints, the pets, fungus, and you-name-it that thrashed our expectations for a beautiful and everlasting show-piece. Here is the good news and the bad news...Good news, there is hope! Bad news, rearrange your expectations! Gardens are truly “Timeless and Transitional.” Good design will always be timeless and will last over the years. The timeless aspects of a good landscape design are the beautiful and elegant elements of the hardscape such as well-crafted stone work on your patio, seat wall, and pool; a detailed trellis, pergola, arbor, fences, and garden gates; well-placed timeless trees like Oaks, redwoods, maples, olives, crape myrtles; and long-lasting plantings like laurel, boxwood, mock orange, wisteria, camellias, and more than I can name in one article. While “Timeless” is a little easier to swallow, “Transitional” is the one that forces us to rearrange our expectations. We need to learn to understand that the living aspect of your design is a moving target and more unpredictable. It has taken me almost 30 years to get it. Snails eat your plants, fungus curls your peach leaves (unless you remember to spray at the precise time), aphids arrive

Offer expires 06/30/14

Offer expires 06/30/14

every year to devour your roses, and plants need replacing every so often just like your home needs fresh paint and new carpet. Now you can relax in your garden; watch the transitions happen, replace and update as necessary, appreciate the majesty of your timeless elements, and rearrange your expectations to accept the transitional! I have a new-found appreciation and patience for the transitional after thirty-something years in the garden. A hot tip from your local Landscape Architect: One of the services we offer is to work with my staff horticulturist to do consulting for clients who don’t need a full Master Landscape Plan. This service offers on-site practical advice addressing your “transitional” concerns. Check out my website! Gardening Quote of the Month: My green thumb came only as a result of the mistakes I made while learning to see things from the plant’s point of view. - H. Fred Ale If you would like me to write on any particular subject, email your ideas to or for design ideas, visit Advertorial

Danville Today News ~ May 2014 - Page 17

The IncenseCedar By Blaine Brende & Joe Lamb

The incense-cedar graces many Bay Area v gardens with its shade, beauty, and intriguing fragrance. Calocedrus decurrens, its Latin name, means beautiful cedar. The striking contrast between the vibrant greens of its leaves and the trunk’s rich reds creates a pleasing aesthetic further enhanced by the relaxed elegance of the weeping foliage. The beauty of this tree is not confined to the realm of the visual. The incense-cedar gives off a distinctive fragrance that fills the air with a pungent aroma strongly reminiscent of grade-school classrooms and the unforgettable smell of the pencil sharpener. In my youth, and still largely today, pencils were made from the soft and distinctively fragrant wood of Calocedrus decurrens. The incense-cedar is not a true cedar (thus the hyphen). The so-called “true cedars” are native to the Mediterranean and the Himalayas, and are members of the genus Cedrus. These include the majestic Deodora and Atlas cedars, as well as the famous Cedar of Lebanon. The incense-cedar, which may live a thousand years and attain a height of 150 feet, is a true California native. It evolved in North America, and its current range extends from the FREE Gift With Purchase! Cascade Mountains in northern Oregon, through the Sierra Purchase 50.00 or more of Nevadas, and down to the Sierra San Pedro Matir of Baja Spartina Handbags, Jewelry or California. Throughout its range it has been important in the Accessories and receive a FREE lives of Native Americans. The Klamath tribe of Oregon wove Spartina Luggage Tag (18.00 value) its bark into baskets. The California Paiutes made infusions of its leaves for colds. The Round Valley tribe of Mendocino Country used leaflets as flavoring when leaching acorn meal. This species has provided Native Americans with food, shelter, clothing, and music. The incense-cedar’s natural resistance to rot made it very Spartina products available at: McCaulou’ Shoe Boutique, Danville useful both in antiquity and in modern times. Homebuilders Hollyhock, Orinda use it for siding, decking, moulding, and interior paneling. Madison, Lafayette Landscapers use its chips and bark for mulch. Its wood is made McCaulou’s Shoes, Montclair Limit one per Customer. into furniture, shingles, and railway ties. Sawdust and wood McCaulou’s, Napa While supplies last scraps help fuel co-generation of electricity. The softness of the wood and its resistance to splintering make the incense-cedar ideal for encasing pencil lead. However, these qualities also make the wood fragile, brittle, and potentially somewhat problematic as an urban landscape tree. When it grows as one trunk from a thick base to a single pyramid-shaped crown, the incense-cedar is relatively stable; it requires little work other than the periodic removal of dead(Coupon valid thru Sunday May 11, 2014) Present this coupon at point of purchase for $10 off your one-time combined purchase of $50 or more. wood. But if the trunk of the tree divides into multiple columns 1 coupon per family. Not valid on previous purchases, other coupons and/or promotions. or has large branches which turn up and rise parallel to the No cash substitutes. May not be used on payment of account. Spartina, Pandora, Brighton, Boy Scouts, Estee Lauder, Clinique, Lancome, Fragrance Dept., TOMS and UGG excluded. trunk, the tree has structural problems that make it vulnerable to column failure. After some recent winter storms, Brende & than later surgery. If you plant an incense-cedar, choose nursery stock with only Lamb looked at many incense-cedars that had shed branches and sometimes entire columns. Most of the failed trees suffered from a malady of one trunk and no crotches with included bark. Remember that a seedling cedar can grow to over a hundred feet, and that tall trees may cause view concerns for tree anatomy called included bark. This structural defect occurs when the bark at the crotch folds inward, and interrupts the continuity of the fibers supporting the columns. yourself and your neighbors. Calocedrus has graced the California landscape for almost 200 million years. Good pruning can ameliorate many structural problems. Co-dominant stems (more than one column of roughly the same diameter) are more likely to fail than With a little forethought and good pruning, the incense-cedar can continue to bless trees with a single leading column. Sometimes reducing one of the competing Bay Area gardens with the subtle fragrance of childhood. It takes a little effort to leaders can minimize the hazard. If column removal is not advisable for aesthetic live at peace with this large California native, but its bounty of colors, shapes, and scents make that effort worthwhile. or functional reasons, it is often possible to cable the multiple stems together. If your trees need a little TLC, please call 510-486-TREE (8733) or email us However, individual trees are so unstable that removal is the safest alternative. Whatever you do, do not top these trees. Topping a cedar will eventually produce at for a free estimate. Additionally, go to our website www. many unstable columns multiplying the risk and, ultimately, the expense of keeping to see before and after pictures, client testimonials, and work in Advertorial the tree. Preventative medicine is almost always less expensive and more effective your neighborhood.



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Page 18 - May 2014 ~ Danville Today News

Clip Notes By Jody Morgan

Every tour at the Ruth Bancroft Garden takes a different route, but each one Donate Your Car 800-YES-SVDP (800-937-7837) I conduct pauses beside the Palo Verde tree in Bed 7. Green even in the direst drought, this desert denizen dresses its branches with glorious yellow blossoms in • FREE same day pickup spring. The delicate foliage provides filtered shade. Most remarkable among the • Maximum Tax Deduction • We do DMV paperwork Palo Verde’s survival skills is its ability to drop all its leaves to conserve moisture, • Running or not, no restrictions yet continue to photosynthesize utilizing chlorophyll in the green branches from • 100% helps your community whence it takes its name, which means “green stick.” The talking point visitors are likeliest to remember, however, has little to do Serving the poor since 1860 ST. VINCENT DE PAUL SOCIETY with the tree’s horticultural virtues. As witness for the prosecution, a Palo Verde was the first plant to provide DNA testimony at a murder trial. While guiding a tour together several years ago, fellow docent Bud Rotermund introduced me to the tale. The magazine Science ran an account of the investigation in the May 14, 1993 issue. In 1994, PBS aired the story as part of the Scientific American Frontiers series with Alan Alda narrating. When the strangled body of a young woman was discovered outside of Phoenix, Charlie Norton became lead detective. A beeping pager at the scene focused his attention first on the subscriber Earl Bogan and then on his son Mark, who had been using it. Mark feigned delight at the recovery of the device. He claimed he had given a hitchhiker a ride, but she had tried to steal his wallet. He grabbed the wallet back before she ran away, carrying his pager with her. Norton believed Bogan was prevaricating. Could he find sufficient evidence to establish guilt? The crime scene yielded neither footprints nor tire tracks, but the detective noticed a Palo Verde tree with a fresh cut in its bark. He picked up a few pods. Examination of the truck Bogan drove revealed no damage, but the truck bed contained some Palo Verde pods. Asked by his superior officer if a DNA match could be made using the pods, Norton called 14 geneticists who considered the task totally impractical before reaching Tim Helentjaris, Professor of Molecular Genetics at the University of Arizona in Tucson. Helentiaris was not optimistic, but he was intrigued. He casually commented that the chance of conclusively matching a pod to the parent tree was a million in one. Many plant species are so genetically uniform that individuals are not distinguishable by DNA markers. A posse was dispatched to bring in pods from trees in the Phoenix area. Samples collected from 38 Palo Verdes showed each to have a profile as distinct as a fingerprint. The pods in Bogan’s truck matched exactly the gouged Palo Verde at the site where the body was found. For the first time, DNA evidence from a plant was presented in a criminal trial. On May 27th, 1993, Mark Bogan was convicted of first-degree murder. Indigenous to the deserts of the southwestern US and Mexico, several species of Palo Verdes provide shade essential to the development of seedlings of other drought-tolerant plants including the Saguaro Cactus. Native people ground the seeds for flour, boiled the pods to eat with meat, strung the seeds for necklaces, and produced red dye from the flowers. Arizona designated the Palo Verde as its official state tree in 1954. The Blue Palo Verde (Parkinsonia florida) and the Yellow Palo Verde (Parkinsonia microphylla) are native to the Sonoran Desert. The tree in Bed 7 at the Ruth Bancroft Garden, Mexican Palo Verde (Parkinsonia aculeata), is native from central Texas to northern South America. All three species share similar traits, but the Mexican Palo Verde is especially spiny. All grow in full sun and require well-drained soil. Nature has no laws prohibiting cross-pollination by horticultural kissing cousins. Studying Palo Verde seedlings at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson in the early 1970s, Mark Dimmit discovered a spineless specimen with the best characteristics of each the three species listed above. Careful testing indicated all three had contributed to its genetic composition. By 1981, this remarkable hybrid was ready for release as Parkinsonia ‘Desert Museum.’ ‘Desert Museum’ blooms from early spring to early summer and may rebloom during the summer if given supplemental water. The flowers are larger than those of the three straight species. ‘Desert Museum’ can tolerate temperatures as low as 15oF. The branching habit is upright. Growth up to 20-30 feet is rapid, but pruning will keep ‘Desert Museum’ sized to fit your landscape.

Energy Matters

By Mark Becker, GoSimpleSolar

As a business owner, there is no better place than the contracting industry to apply some very basic principles which I was fortunate enough to learn while on active duty as an officer in the military. A business needs to have and execute a “mission statement.” Ours is simple: do what we say, when we say, for the price we say. A business must also recognize the importance of continually communicating to its customers. Price changes are rarely legally justified and typically inappropriate. There are obvious differences between business and military missions, but success is a result of planning, executing, and improving for the next project or mission. To guarantee success of a solar project: Find a high quality contractor with the appropriate licenses to install your solar PV system. Ninety percent of construction litigation stems from issues involving water damage which are mostly preventable with use of licensed roofer. In addition, many municipalities require an electrician to do the electric portion of the solar work because of the complexity of the installation. A high quality contractor will recommend products that have a 25 plus year history of performance in the field. If documentation of long-term performance history is not provided, find a contractor who will provide documentation. Trust, but verify. NEMA (Net Energy Metering Aggregation) is a new PG&E solar rate which allows an electric customer with a single solar system to reduce electric costs to multiple electric meters on the same or contiguous properties. Electric connection to only one of the meters is required. Cost offset percentages are proportioned by the property owner and credited to the other meters on the account via PG&E software. The ability of a consumer to check a businesses’ performance and customer satisfaction via online review websites is getting very popular. Review websites have the potential to become “the great equalizer” between businesses, large and small. For the most part, it’s a valid process and makes companies’ business practices transparent to the public. Unfortunately, some false reviews do exist. Some consumers choose a local small business because of an assumed service quality advantage, while others find comfort by doing business with big box companies for the perceived stability of that company. But no longer can a large business hide behind its size as an obvious consumer choice if it has a history of poor reviews. The moral of the story for construction and solar projects: Do business with those with the best business record and products. These things are easily searchable online these days. Even Facebook is getting into the review business. Of course, back up your initial choice by checking license status at, confirming liability and workman’s comp insurance status, and the oft forgotten step of calling references. State rebates, still available: The New Solar Homes Partnership is a program which provides rebates to solar projects on new and fully remodeled homes. Most new homes automatically qualify because of local efficiency regulations for a new build. Today’s average rebate is about $8,000 additional monies back to the homeowner for an average sized solar system. The 30% Federal Tax Credit is still available for two and a half years. A recent article in Solar Today titled “Sorting Out Legal Responsibility for Defective Solar Panels” was a head shaker yet provided me much business model validation. If a business offers safe product choices to its customers, and installs them properly, “defective solar panels” and “sorting out responsibility” will never be an issue. The best warranty IS the best product. The finger pointing in the article is tragic; the manufacturer blames product failure as a result of poor installation practices on the installer, and the installer blames poor quality control at the manufacturing plant. The agreement between the insurer and solar panel project owner restricts the ability of the claimant to identify the solar panel manufacturer so as to not “harm” the manufacturer. Who suffers? The consumer. Why put risk into an investment that essentially doesn’t have any if done properly and with the right products? 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 Advertorial GoSimpleSolar, by Semper Fidelis Construction, Inc is seeking a recently separated United States Marine or other armed service member for an entry level position. The candidate should be disciplined, have the ability to work with people, be agile, and motivated. SFC Inc/ GoSimpleSolar will offer a true career path to the right individual for growth in earnings, experience, and leadership.

Danville Today News ~ May 2014 - Page 19

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blackened and twisted chamber revealed six spent cartridges. Background information on crew and passengers and interviews with the passengers who deplaned in Stockton helped the FBI identify the shooter. Ironically, the Civil Aeronautics Board regulation that might have prevented the tragedy was enacted on May 7, 1964. Effective September 9, 1964, cockpit doors on passenger planes were to be closed and locked from the inside. Eric Hayes, who grew up in Danville, only learned about the story last year. When he mentioned to his mother that he was researching the Tassajara plane crash, he discovered for the first time that she had lost a high school classmate who was on board the doomed flight. In scripting the story, Hayes focuses on the multiple communities tied together by the event. “The play seeks to explore tragedy as it relates to individuals and families as well as communities, “ Hayes explains. “In the telling of this story, there will be glimpses into the lives of some of the individuals involved (victims and their families) as well as stories of people who witnessed or were touched in some way or another by the event.” Jerry Warren, President of the Board of the Museum of the San Ramon Valley recalls the crowds drawn to the “Mystery in the Sky” exhibit recently offered at the Museum. “When we ran the exhibit it almost became a pilgrimage for people from Reno to San Jose as well as San Ramon Valley residents who remembered the crash, but not the details.” The children and grandchildren of many of the 44 individuals who died on Flight 773 visited the exhibit to pay their respects. Julie Clark, one of the pilot’s three daughters orphaned by the crash, came to speak to museum visitors. Her collection of newspaper clippings has been invaluable in establishing the facts of the tragedy and reconstructing the community response. Sharing her father’s lifelong love of flying, Julie became the first woman pilot for Northwest Airlines in 1984 and currently pilots her plane Top Banana in the Julie Clark Air Show: American Aerobatics. Hayes is enjoying the challenge of producing Tassajara 1964. “Working on this play, I’m constantly making discoveries and it is both rewarding and daunting realizing that I’m trying to tell so many stories at once.” The May 7th staged reading of Tassajara 1964 at the Museum of the San Ramon Valley occurs at 7pm. Tickets at the door cost $20. If you are still wondering what happened on board Flight 773, this is your chance to learn the answer. For more details, visit and click on “Events.”

Page 20 - May 2014 ~ Danville Today News

Living Trusts – How Far Does Privacy Go? By Robert J. Silverman

One of the many benefits of a revocable Living Trust is substantial privacy. This is in sharp contrast to the court-supervised probate process that’s virtually guaranteed upon your death if you just have a Will, in which many private details about your assets, creditors, and close family members are open to the public. In general, when you establish a Living Trust, you dictate who will play key roles on behalf of you and your loved ones, when those roles will commence, how your plan will be implemented, and to whom and when you disclose important estate planning information and give copies of key estate planning documents. Some people incorrectly believe that you are required to have your Living Trust recorded or registered with some governmental agency. Fortunately, this is not true since your privacy would obviously be compromised if you needed to make your trust a public record. For the most part, you don’t need to disclose the terms of your Living Trust nor give a copy of it to anyone unless you choose to do so. Of course, you may voluntarily communicate with loved ones about your Living Trust, and you may give third parties a copy of the document. However, since you may decide to make significant amendments to your Living Trust in the future, you should exercise caution about when and to whom you elect to provide such crucial, private details. This broad privacy associated with Living Trusts is, however, trumped to a certain extent by a California Probate Code statute that requires that notification about a trust must be given by the trustee within 60 days after part or all of the trust becomes irrevocable. Recipients entitled to the notice include: a) those mentioned in the trust and b) “heirs” (i.e. closest of kin) of the person(s) who established the trust. The notification must: i) state certain basic data about the trust and who is serving as the trustee (i.e. manager); ii) enclose a full copy of the trust or inform recipients that they may request a copy; and iii) state in certain minimum font

Observe Tax Freedom Day by Making Tax-smart Investments By Sima Alefi

You didn’t see it on your calendar, but Tax Freedom Day fell on April 21 this year. So, why not mark the occasion by beginning to look for ways to become a “tax-smart” investor? Tax Freedom Day, calculated annually by the Tax Foundation, is the day on which Americans have earned enough money to pay this year’s federal, state and local taxes. Of course, Tax Freedom Day is something of a fiction, because most people pay their taxes throughout the year, via their paychecks. Furthermore, as famed Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., said: “Taxes are what we pay for civilized society.” When you pay taxes, you help fund public education, the police, the fire department, food inspection, college scholarships and many other elements of society. Nonetheless, you may want to use the concept of Tax Freedom Day to find ways to reduce the taxes associated with your investments. Here are some suggestions: • Boost your 401(k) contributions. Your 401(k) contributions are typically made with pre-tax dollars, so the more you put in, the lower your taxable income. (Some employers allow a “Roth” option, under which you can make post-tax contributions.) In 2014, you can put in up to $17,500 to a 401(k) or similar plan, such as a 403(b) or 457(b), and if you are 50 or older, you can contribute an additional $5,500. • Fully fund your IRA. No matter which type of IRA you have — traditional or Roth — you will gain some valuable tax benefits. With a Roth IRA, your contributions are not deductible, but your earnings can grow tax free, provided you don’t start taking withdrawals until you are 59-1/2 and you’ve had your IRA for at least five years. If you own a traditional IRA, your earnings can grow tax-deferred, and your contributions may be deductible, depending on your income level. So, similar to a 401(k), the more you put in to your traditional IRA, the lower your taxable income may be. In 2014, you can contribute up to $5,500 to an IRA, or $6,500 if you are 50 or older.

size and in bold that any recipient who wishes to contest the trust must do so within 120 days of the notification or 60 days after the recipient receives a full and complete copy of the trust, whichever is later. A common client question is: “When must I [or we] give a copy of our trust to our children [and/or other loved ones]?” Applying the above-referenced statute, if you are unmarried, the answer is when you die – because that’s when your revocable Living Trust becomes irrevocable. If you are married and have a trust, the answer depends on how your trust is structured. Those who are married and have a “streamlined” trust, under which all assets owned by both spouses are kept in the same trust pot after the first spouse dies (i.e. the surviving spouse owns and controls all the assets), have a trust which remains revocable during the surviving spouse’s life. As such, the above-referenced notification requirement is not triggered until the surviving spouse dies. Alternatively, for those who are married and have an “A-B” trust (or other such trust under which “his” and “her” assets are allocated into two or more separate pots after the first spouse dies), the “B” trust – that sub-trust containing the deceased spouse’s assets - becomes irrevocable upon the death of the first spouse. So, with an A-B trust, the notification requirement is triggered at that time and may not be withheld or delayed until the surviving spouse dies. As I’ve written about previously, a major Federal Estate Tax law change occurred in early 2013. One of the consequences of the new legislation is that most married couples no longer need an “A-B” Living Trusts for Estate Tax purposes. So, for this and other potentially compelling reasons, married couples would be wise to review their trust with an estate planning attorney to evaluate the pros and cons of restructuring it to the simpler “one pot” trust. A relevant consequence of converting to a simpler trust is that no notification requirement is triggered until after the surviving spouse dies. 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, * 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 Advertorial matters addressed herein.

• Contribute to a college savings plan. Many college savings plans offer some type of tax advantage. For example, if you contribute to a 529 plan, your earnings can grow tax free, provided all withdrawals are only used to help pay qualified higher education expenses. (529 plan distributions not used for qualified expenses may be subject to federal and state income tax and a 10% IRS penalty.) Furthermore, your 529 plan contributions may be deductible from your state taxes. • Avoid excessive buying and selling. If you are constantly buying and selling investments, you may find it “taxing,” because short-term gains (gains on assets owned for less than one year) will be taxed at your ordinary income tax rate, which could be as high as 39.6% (and you may also be subject to a 3.8% Medicare surtax). However, if you hold your investments longer than a year before selling them, you’ll pay the more favorable long-term capital gains rate, which will likely be 15% or 20%, depending on your income, though you might still be assessed the Medicare surtax. Tax Freedom Day is here, and then it’s gone. But by taking the steps described above, you may be able to brighten your tax picture for years to come. 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, vist www. Advertorial

925.934.3743 • 925.934.1515 • 1271 Boulevard Way, Walnut Creek Monday-Friday, 8-5 • Saturday 9-1, Sunday, closed

Danville Today News ~ May 2014 - Page 21

Don’t be Afraid of Windows 8

By Evan Corstorphine, Portable CIO

• A trusted, high integrity, locally owned company • Highest quality installations • Experienced with installations in your neighborhood • Flexible financing options to suit a wide spectrum of fiscal situations • Free estimates • Government incentives are still available

SMART Homeowners

Recently I was invited to speak to a large group of gentlemen in Walnut Creek. We covered a variety of topics, however there was one subject which is beginning to be a common part of any computer discussion I’ve had lately. That is, “I need a new computer, but do I have to get Windows 8 with it? I’ve read reviews and they all said it’s terrible…” The Windows 8 situation is a very good example of what can happen when you have a great idea but don’t execute it very well. This month we’ll explore the issue, and I’ll give you a great tip you can use to make Windows 8 as tame as your Windows 7 or XP computer. I respect Microsoft for their accomplishments just as I respect any successful company which has managed to be huge and prosperous like Xerox, Apple, and IBM. They are all great companies which have taken the market by storm at one point or another, and who have faced good Use promo code: NEST to times as well as bad. They all survive today because they employ smart people who figure recieve a out their problems and keep innovating, even when they make mistakes or the market doesn’t go their way. Sometimes, companies seem to succeed despite repeated missteps that sabotage their own success. Microsoft is in this category. with your installation Do you remember the Windows Vista operating system? It was actually just the early version of the popular Windows 7 operating system, but Be a SMART Homeowner, choose Vista was released prematurely. It was slow and worked poorly. To make things worse, Microsoft “certified” it to work on under-powered computers to try to sell more units. Millions of computers were sold with insufficient processors and memory, and they ran very poorly as a result. The 925.228.4SUN (4786) issue ensured that millions of people would have slow computers, and consumers held Microsoft CSLB Lic. #785075 responsible. It hurt Microsoft’s reputation, and millions of people switched over to computers running the Apple Mac operating system as a result. Apple rightly made out like a bandit. Because of these missteps we’re perhaps a little too quick to believe the next negative piece of information we hear about Microsoft. Windows 8 is a target for that negativity because it introduced significant changes into the sacred “triangle of user experience.” The triangle of user experience is the keyboard, the mouse, and the display, which encompasses what you see and experience. If you impact what people interact with, you’re going to get some reaction, and that is exactly what the market did. The two biggest things that bother people about Windows 8 are the “Metro” interface – the new way all of your programs are represented as multi-colored tiles, and navigating the “hot corners” to switch between the “Metro” tiles and the desktop that we’re familiar with. People get lost and frustrated because it’s not intuitive as to how to navigate the new environment. Consumers are so frustrated they don’t have time to appreciate how much faster and better their system runs. The reason for the creation of the Metro interface is because Microsoft is unifying the “look and feel” of their product-line, including their telephones, their tablets, and their laptop and desktop operating system. The good news is that this “Metro” interface works very well on the phones, tablets, and laptops that have touchscreens. It’s very smooth and intuitive when you have a touchscreen, but it can be difficult if you don’t have one. That means every laptop and desktop sold which doesn’t have a touchscreen is potentially frustrating for the user. Not good. Some software engineers recognized this problem and wrote a program they call “Classic Shell,” which is a program you can use to bring back the “Start Menu” button in the lower left corner of your screen. It works great as-downloaded, but is also very customizable if you want to change the way your menus work. It’s available at If you or someone you know has been struggling with Windows 8, download this program, run it, then reboot the computer. It will change everything for the better. When your system reboots, it will again look like your old familiar Windows desktop. Just like that, you’re going to enjoy using your computer again. Try it out and let us know how it works. I think you’ll love it. As you revel in how much more usable your computer is after installing Classic Shell, remember Portable CIO is your local resource to fix computers of all varieties, networks, and just about everything else electronic. Call 925-552-7953 or email to speak with one of our friendly, knowledgeable staff. Advertorial


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WILL get solar soon… The question is…

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Page 22 - May 2014 ~ Danville Today News

The Whole You and Craniosacral Therapy By Marchelle Milligan

Are you just an arm or a leg? Are you just a spine or head? The body works as a whole unit, yet it is often dissected by specialists to deal with one part alone without considering the entire body. Craniosacral Therapy (CST) is a gentle, hands-on approach that releases tensions deep in the body to relieve pain and dysfunction and improve whole-body health. If one part of the body is restricted, then the rest of the body must adapt and compensate for this, which can eventually lead to pain, stiffness, and other health conditions. Western medicine often fragments the human being into separate body parts. Different parts of the body requite a different expert in the particular organ or system. Patients can end up seeing three or four different specialists, each one treating something different. While this can be beneficial in the short term, it is also important to look at how one area that is not functioning fully affects the whole body. One underlying theory of CST is that life expresses itself as motion. This motion can be felt within the body by a trained CST practitioner. It’s also understood that the body always works as a whole; no bone, tissue, or cell stands alone. Therefore, any restriction or unresolved trauma will have reciprocal effects through the body, causing symptoms and pathologies to present as well as affect us mentally and emotionally. CST does not just chase individual symptoms but looks to find the underlying cause of the condition so the whole body can function in harmony and balance.

Ability continued from front page

experience, encouraging caregivers to believe in the possibility that their charges will be, like Josh, successful adults. In spring 2012, Don Routh presented the concept of a schools program to Pleasanton Unified School District (PUSD) Superintendent Parvin Ahmadi. Ahmadi immediately recognized the value. “The potential of this endeavor as a true service learning project was incredible, and it was obvious that the impact to all involved would be profound,” she comments. “The project allows our students to learn and apply their knowledge while serving others globally.” Six PUSD elementary schools participated the following academic year. Six teachers joined a wheelchair distribution tour that summer and all came back as zealous advocates of the program. The San Ramon Valley Unified School District (SRVUSD) recommended the project to all of its schools for 2013-2014, as did PUSD. Over the course of four months from late spring through summer, Don worked with Special Needs Parents and SRVUSD professionals to enhance the existing Ability Awareness curriculum to include lesson plans for all grades addressing physical, intellectual and developmental issues. Terry Koehne, SRVUSD Communications Director, gladly accepted the task of promoting the program with district principals. “Don is amazing – he provides every ounce of support a school needs, including background information, monthly newsletters and updates, and makes himself available to do presentations for any group that needs it.” Support materials include a 17-page booklist, movie suggestions featuring characters coping with disability, fun ways to try wheelchairs, and fundraising ideas. Proud that the fundraising aspect of the program will provide hundreds of wheelchairs to people who lack mobility, Koehne notes, “Providing students with real opportunities to experience the issue themselves gives more meaning to the fundraising component, and inspires them to get even more involved.” Students and faculty members find Don Routh’s presentation riveting. He opens by explaining: “There are more than 100 million people with physical disabilities worldwide who are in need of a wheelchair. Thirty million of these are children, and 90% of them do not go to school.” Lacking mobility, they have no access to education and often no social interaction with other children. Sometimes they have to crawl to reach basic items beyond their reach. Montair Elementary School ran the project in October/November, embedding the program in all aspects of academics. Coin-counting supported math, writing persuasive letters to the business community underscored language lessons, and walking into Danville to speak to local business lead-

What does all of this mean for you? A person may come in for a session because of low back pain or headaches. A restriction may be found in many different areas of the body, not just the back or head where pain is felt. The therapist will address restrictions throughout the body, paying particular attention to the central nervous system which is like command central for our body and needs to be functioning at its best. As each session unfolds, it is like peeling layers of an onion to get to the core. So, the pain may begin to go away, but the person is also finding that they are sleeping better, or another part of their body that had an injury seems to be getting better as well, even if it is not what they came to a session for. This is caring for the whole you, balancing ALL of the body parts, not just one or two. A session of CST begins by evaluating the craniosacral system by gently feeling various locations of the body to test for the ease of motion and rhythm of the cerebrospinal fluid pulsing around the brain and spinal cord. Soft-touch techniques are then used to release restrictions in these tissues. By design our bodies are extremely intelligent. CST is about accessing and reconnecting with health. By normalizing the environment around the brain and spinal cord and enhancing the body’s ability to self-correct, everyone can potentially benefit from CST. It can be effective in stress management, and relieving headaches, neck and back pain, whiplash and brain injuries, TMJ dysfunctions, depression, post traumatic stress disorders, emotional trauma, chronic pain, sleep disorders, and vertigo to name a few. For more information, log onto To schedule an appointment, please book on the website or contact Marchelle at (925) 286-6237. The office is located in the Alamo Commons in Alamo. Advertorial ers bolstered oral presentation skills. Dennis Simkin, Vice President, Manager recalls the day the students came to J. Rockcliff. “I was in awe of how professional and cute they were.” Simkin estimates that 30 or 40 people came out to hear their presentation. Taking turns, students participated in a wheelchair basketball game. When one student finally managed to score, the crowd erupted in cheers. Elizabeth Campos spent part of a day teaching in a wheelchair and found maneuvering around her classroom a major challenge. Months later, in February, another school activity highlighted how much the project affected students. Campos wrote: “At Montair this week we are participating in a No-Name-Calling Week, and as Leadership was discussing ways to promote this, a few students brought up the fact that they actually think name-calling has decreased at school since Ability Awareness and the Wheelchair Foundation project because kids learned to accept others for who they are, no matter what they look like or their abilities.” Gale Ranch Middle School ran the program in February. Counselor Lori Olson volunteered to coordinate. The opportunity for a field trip to the Blackhawk Automotive Museum was a huge incentive for students, and they returned from meeting Wheelchair Foundation President David Behring even

See Ability continued on page 24

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Depression and Anxiety Alternatives San Ramon Valley By William Shryer, LCSW, DCSW, Clinical Director, Diablo Behavioral Healthcare and Blackhawk TMS

Depression and anxiety frequently occur together, and they are not easily treated. More specifically, they do not respond to treatment at a high percentage rate. The two most common approaches to treatment are basic psychotherapy and the use of medications. Unfortunately, for the majority of patients, neither treatment results in remission or cessation of symptoms as we would hope or are led to believe. People with major depression accompanied by high levels of anxiety are significantly less likely to benefit from antidepressant medication than those without anxiety. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) funded Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression (STAR*D) study was published online ahead of print in January 2008, in the American Journal of Psychiatry. The STAR*D study initially reported that nearly 70% of patients studied became symptom free on medications. The actual result showed less than 30% of patients became symptom free, and by the time the patient had tried three drugs and experienced failure, the likelihood of remission was then down to 6.9%! What was even more alarming is that it appears that the NIMH “cooked the books,” and it appears that the reported outcomes served to benefit the pharmaceutical industry (...shocking). As the public hopefully knows now, pharmaceutical funding of antidepressant trials produced scientific literature that was biased and profoundly misleading, a tale of persistent scientific misconduct that has now been reviewed by many authors. But STAR*D was a publicly funded trial, and of course we would hope and expect that the results would be honestly reported, given that it cost the taxpayers 35 million dollars! The harm this has done for those trying to obtain relief from depression is difficult to calculate. There are forms of therapy such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) that work far better than therapy focused on the never ending rehashing early childhood developments, in fact research supports CBT and finds open-ended traditional psychotherapy capable of bringing about minimal results. Due to the misconduct of the authors of

Your Personal Nutritionist

Lose Weight Forever the Right Way and Only Way By Linda Michaelis RD,MS

Lately, I’ve been seeing many clients who are casualties of the latest quick weight loss schemes such as Ideal Protein, Paleo, Cambiati Cleanse, and John Muir’s Fasting Program. As I commonly hear, my client Jim told me he lost 40 pounds in six weeks on Ideal Protein and was very happy about it but did not feel well throughout the time he was on the program, often felt food deprived, and did not have the energy to exercise. As I see in almost all these programs, Jim gained back the 40 pounds he lost plus more. I feel that it is my job as a Registered Dietitian to educate my community, where people have sophisticated tastes and enjoyment of the good things in life, to help them achieve their weight loss goals and keep those pounds off forever. The story has not changed with fasting programs. Your body gets used to a regimen of 800 calories a day, and then when you get off the fast and eat 1,500 calories a day, the weight comes back - plus more. Unfortunately, these programs have a major downside because they do a very poor maintenance job – people are confused as what to do after the initial weight is lost. I tell the post-fasting people who find me that I am adamant about them exercising at a high level twice a day and eating meals close to the time after they exercise so that their food will be burned off more rapidly. The best of the new fads is the Paleo Diet since it includes fruits, veggies, and nuts and eliminates all processed foods that tend to have ingredients which do not provide much nutritional benefit such as excess fat, sugar, salt, and preservatives. The negative side of this diet is that it does not allow for whole grains, potatoes, and legumes that are important sources of B vitamins for energy, or dairy that contains calcium, which many people lack in their diet, for bone health. The big failure of these diets is that they rigidly restrict eating for enjoyment which leads to cravings that cause binging that can often lead to low self esteem and a sense of defeat. When I hear about their experiences on these crazy fad diets, I only wish my new clients had seen me first to save time, energy, and money so I could put

Danville Today News ~ May 2014 - Page 23 STAR*D and the resulting scandal, patients are once again left to look for new alternatives to what has been failing them for so long. Recently there has been a renewed interest in things that were minimized and discounted by many for so long, and now we know that this was due to the pharmaceutical industry that did not want any competition or to have their profit margins impacted by what was then called alternative approaches. Now we know that many of these alternative approaches based on neutraceuticals or such things as Vitamin D, all of the B vitamins, Omega III fatty acids, and the list goes on, support a real shift in the treatment of depression and other disorders. At Diablo Behavioral Healthcare we know much about alternative treatments, and we utilize both alternative and traditional treatments carefully and use the smallest doses needed to achieve relief. Non-invasive, non-systemic treatments such as Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) prescribed by one of our well-trained psychiatrists offers real help for many who have spent years getting no relief from antidepressant medications. Ask your mental health provider about TMS to see what they know about this exciting FDA approved treatment alternative. Please visit our website or refer your provider to our site for more information. Due to the fiasco with the NIMH and the less than honest behavior from the huge pharmaceutical companies that brought you all of the well-known antidepressants, insurance companies are beginning to cover this new treatment. It seems the cozy relationship between medical insurance companies and the pharmaceutical companies is becoming frayed. Insurance companies are becoming aware that a non-medical approach that is showing great success and does not risk medication side effects is more economical for them. TMS doesn’t lead to side-effects such as nausea, headache, fatigue, weight gain, or sleep problems that many of the antidepressants have. For more information or to discuss your treatment for either depression, anxiety or both, call our office and we will take the time to discuss your options. We also discuss these subjects on the 3rd Wednesday of each month at our Danville office at 7PM. For more information on any behavioral or developmental concern, call us at (925) 648-4800, and we will take the time to answer your questions. To learn more about TMS, visit our website, andscroll down for a brief video on TMS. Our location is 4185 Blackhawk Plaza Circle Advertorial Suite 210, Danville, CA.

them on the road for permanent weight loss. I was very overweight as a young person, and only through quality nutrition education was I able to finally lose the weight permanently. To this day I know my method is the only effective way to achieve weight loss forever. When I work with a new client, I take a lot of time to look at their home and work life to understand how food, restaurants, and social life play a role in their life. Everyone is different with their own unique triggers for eating the wrong things. I know that taking an individualized approach is the essence of my success with people. Whether they are sophisticated foodies, overindulge due to emotions, or are plain uneducated about nutrition, I work with each person to establish a day-to-day meal plan right for them. It is an exciting challenge for me to do whatever it takes to make my client successful with weight loss. I will often visit my client’s home and evaluate their present food shopping habits, go food shopping with them at their favorite store, discuss and help them decide on restaurant choices, and be there for motivation and support to help create successful days or encourage them to keep going when they fall apart from binges or when they hit plateaus. If my client wants to have their martini and a glass of wine for dinner, I show them how. If they want to have pizza every Friday night with the kids, I show them how. If they don’t want to give up the desserts they love, I show them how. For example, I show them how to avoid sweets on an empty stomach or in between meals where the result is usually feeling tired, dehydrated, and brain dead. Instead I tell them to eat those delicious desserts after a meal when they can better control portion size. There is no need to deprive yourself of the foods you enjoy; you just need to consume them in the right way. You can learn, once and for all, how to enjoy your favorite foods and not make them the enemy while permanently achieving your weight goals. Linda has found that she is most successful when she interacts with her clients, often daily, to help them navigate their way through their food world. Each phone call spans across client meals from the previous day through the following day. The phone calls enable clients to receive just enough nutrition information to take them forward to the next day. Linda is very excited tell you how this method has proven to be very successful for weight loss. Linda’s services are often covered by health insurance. Please feel free to call Linda at (925) 8550150 or e-mail her at, and tell her about your nutrition concerns. Refer to website for past articles, recipes, and Advertorial nutrition tips in her blog section.

Page 24 - May 2014 ~ Danville Today News

Five Elements for Facial Rejuvenation

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

I was in the checkout line at a local drugstore when a gal next to me was talking on the phone. She said, “My sister needs a facelift and a laser peel.” She then looked over at me and we both started laughing…seeing me in scrubs with my John Muir Hospital badge saying Barbara L. Persons, MD, Plastic Surgeon. We went on to laugh some more and also to talk about the basic concepts of facial rejuvenation while checking out. You simply would not believe how many men and women around you have had facial rejuvenation surgery. When facial rejuvenation is done correctly, no one will ever know. This is not your great grandmother’s wind swept look or the slick advertisements of a style that does not last and has many complications. My patients seek the five elements of facial rejuvenation intuitively without knowing the terms. They seek improvement not out of vanity or because they want to look 22 again. They want to be perceived as naturally vibrant, happy, confident, and whole. As a natural Healer and Hypnotherapist who came to me for eyelid rejuvenation said, “Our bodies are the vessels through which we project our personalities.” It is okay to want to look better. Today, however, in my opinion, we are at times using fillers and Botox, facials, and light therapies because we are afraid to go ahead and fix issues with minor surgery. There are five elements that come together to create a youthful face (with naturally balanced bone structure and volume, skin and fat in the right position, no sun damage, and minimal scarring), fix a broken face, or create the beautiful face the patient envisions. The five elements are structure, volume, support, stress expressions, and skin. Structure: The temples, cheeks, chin, and nose should form a pleasant balance. We lose bone volume with age, especially in women, which can lead to a weak jaw line, loss of cheek projection, sad looking eyes, temporal hollowing, and recessed nasal folds.

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more committed to the cause. Blacktie provides field trip transportation and also stores and delivers the two sets of project wheelchairs. Student reflections indicate how much Gale Ranch pupils learned spending time in a wheelchair. One student commented, “Before this I had never really thought about being in a wheelchair, not being able to do things normal people could, and feeling like you are separated from everyone.” Friends treated them dif8 year-old Alejandro's grandmother carried ferently. Another him to receive his first wheelchair, delivered by student said, “I From-the-Heart in March. now know that people in a wheelchair just wanted to be treated the same way as everyone else.” The value of mobility was clearly recognized. A third student said, “When the founder, Don, came to our school, he said not to feel sorry for the people who have wheelchairs but for the people who don’t have one.”

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Volume: The overall volume of the face is reduced and temples begin to hollow. The rounded curves and heart shape of the upper face volume give way to a more squared look as volume is both lost and “moves south.” Support: The ligaments of the face, superficial muscular aponeurotic system fascia beneath the skin, and deep layers of the skin sag with age. This can cause heavy eyes, tear troughs, sagging cheeks, nasal folds, marionette lines, jowls, and extra neck skin. Stress Expressions: These include forehead creases, glabella 11 lines, crow’s feet, bunny nose, smokers lines, and downturn of the mouth. A balanced approach in addressing these issues is key. Skin: Pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles, red spots, scars, and laxity. These signs of ageing are especially noticeable around the eyes and mouth. To start the process of facial rejuvenation, I examine the patients face. I immediately see what procedures will create or recreate the beautiful normal that they desire. Many of you know I am the poster child for facial surgery. At 25 I was hit by a semi-truck whose driver had a seizure from drinking and not taking his seizure medication. After 18 surgeries, bone grafts, implants, titanium plates, and screws, I still work on the five elements every year. I want the beautiful normal. I have personal experience with the products I use on my patients. I value my plastic surgeon’s expertise and know my face is worth it. Many of my patients have wasted tens of thousands of dollars on therapies that simply do not work. When a modality actually works, I will add it to my other modalities and promote it like crazy. When I see you, I will be honest about what will make the most significant and excellent improvement in your face over time, with the least risk, and within your budget. I will make sure you are within your comfort zone, doing what I do best, which is to perform surgery and procedures. Using my hands, my heart, and my artistic sense, our private surgery center in Lafayette is one of my most perfect places on this earth where I can make a real positive difference in your life. Persons Plastic Surgery, Inc. is located at 911 Moraga Rd, Suite 205 in Lafayette. To contact me call 925-283-4012 or email drbarb@ Advertorial

Skin Cancer

By Dr. Jerome Potozkin

May marks Skin Cancer Awareness month. There are about 3.5 million skin cancers diagnosed each year in the United States, making it the most common form of cancer. Fortunately, it is also preventable. This year there will be about 132,000 cases of melanoma diagnosed. Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer because it can be lethal. However, the good news is that early diagnosis can lead to complete cures. Surprisingly, melanoma is the most common form of cancer for young adults aged 25-29. Approximately 75% of skin cancer deaths are from melanoma. While melanoma can be deadly, most patients that we see are diagnosed at an early and fully curable stage. Basal Cell Carcinoma and Squamous Cell Carcinoma are the two most common types of skin cancers. These can appear as non-healing sores or crusted bumps. Some simply appear as a red patch that can be misdiagnosed as dry skin or eczema. The good news is that these skin cancers are much less likely to spread than melanoma. Most skin cancers have a genetic component. The other key ingredient is sun and ultraviolet exposure such as that from tanning beds. In order to prevent skin cancer, I recommend an ounce of prevention. Do what you love but avoid the peak sun hours between 10am and 2pm. A good guideline, is that if your shadow is shorter than you are then you are out during the suns peak hours. Apply and reapply a broad-spectrum sunscreen. Do not allow your skin to burn as sunburns can dramatically increase your risk of developing melanoma. Forget about going to tanning beds (spray on tans are fine). People who use tanning beds increase their risk of melanoma by 75%. Lastly, see a board certified dermatologist once a year for a full body skin check. It is often a good idea for you to check yourself once a month so that you will be able to notice if a mole or a spot is changing. Many people have started to worry about getting enough vitamin D if they use sunscreen. The simple solution is to take a vitamin D supplement which is equally as effective as the vitamin D you get from sun exposure. If you have any spots that you are concerned about or if you can’t remember the last time you were checked from head to toe by a board certified dermatologist, please call my office now at 925-838-4900 to schedule an appointment. Dr. Potozkin is a board certified dermatologist who has been serving the local community since 1993. His fully accredited dermatological and laser facility is located at 600 San Ramon Valley Blvd, Suite 102 in Danville. He is accepting new patients. Please call (925) 838-4900 Advertorial or visit for more information.

Health Tips for Gardening

By Melissa Ko, DC, Sycamore Valley Chiropractic

Spring is here and many people are spending more time outside planting bulbs, pruning, mowing the lawn, and pulling weeds. Gardening can provide a great workout, but with all the bending, twisting, reaching, and pulling, your body may not be ready for exercise of the garden variety. Gardening can be enjoyable, but it is important to stretch your muscles before reaching for your gardenDr. Ko ing tools. The back, upper legs, shoulders, and wrists are all major muscle groups affected when using your green thumb. “A warm-up and cool-down period is as important in gardening as it is for any other physical activity,” said Dr. Scott Bauth of the American Chiropractic Association’s (ACA) Council on Occupational Health. “Performing simple stretches during these periods will help alleviate injuries, pain, and stiffness.” To make gardening as fun and enjoyable as possible, it is important to prepare your body for this type of physical activity. The following stretches will help to alleviate muscle pain after a day spent in your garden.

Garden Fitness Stretches

• Before stretching for any activity, breathe in and out, slowly and rhythmically; do not bounce or jerk your body, and stretch as far and as comfortable as you can. Do not follow the “no pain, no gain” rule! Stretching should not be painful! • While sitting, prop your heel on a stool or step, keeping the knees straight. Lean forward until you feel a stretch in the back of the thigh, or the hamstring muscle. Hold this position for 15 seconds. Do this once more and repeat with the other leg. • Stand up, balance yourself, and grab the front of your ankle from behind. Pull your heel towards your buttocks and hold the position for 15 seconds. Do this again and repeat with the other leg. • While standing, weave your fingers together above your head with the palms up. Lean to one side for 10 seconds, then to the other. Repeat this stretch

Danville Today News ~ May 2014 - Page 25

three times. • Do the “hug your best friend.” Wrap your arms around yourself and rotate to one side, stretching as far as you can comfortable go. Hold for 10 seconds and reverse. Repeat two or three times. Finally, be aware of your body technique, form, and posture while gardening. Kneel, don’t bend, and alternate your stance and movements frequently.

When the Bulbs are Planted…

If you already feel muscle aches and pains and did not complete the warm-up and cool-down stretches, there are ways to alleviate the discomfort. Apply a cold pack on the area of pain if it happens within the first 48 hours, or apply a heat pack once the pain severity has reduced.

If the Pain Persists…

Pain, discomfort, or stiffness may be caused by spinal misalignments or a muscle injury and may worsen if not addressed properly. Have a Doctor of Chiropractic check your spine for healthy alignment and function, and make that appointment as soon as possible; getting care early in an injury has been shown to improve recovery time and outcome! Who do you know who is a green thumb? Consider chiropractic to keep enjoying the garden! Sycamore Valley Chiropractic is located at 565 Sycamore Valley Rd. West in Danville. Please visit www.sycamorevalleychiropractic. com or call 925-837-5595 for more information or to schedule an appointment. Advertorial

Page 26 - May 2014 ~ Danville Today News

The Eye Opener

By Gregory Kraskowsky, O.D., Alamo Optometry Why Do I Need to Get My Eyes Dilated?

As you can imagine, I get this question at the office on a daily basis. Most patients understand that having their eyes dilated is part of the comprehensive examination, but they don’t always know the reasoning behind it. Therefore, patients are always trying to get out of doing it. The dilation is a very important (some would argue the most important) part of the exam, which helps determine the status of your ocular and systemic health. The most valuable asset of the retina is that it is the only place in the body where neural tissue (the optic nerve and retina) and blood vessels can be directly viewed without an invasive procedure. Trying to evaluate the retina through an undilated pupil is very difficult because as light is used to see into the eye, the pupil constricts to a pinhole. Looking through a very small aperture does not allow the entire retina to be viewed. The dilating drops will open up the pupil and will not allow it to constrict. Since the muscles within the eye control the focusing power of the eye and the opening and closing of the pupil in response to light levels, paralyzing these muscles is why patients will experience light sensitivity and poor reading for a few hours after the drops are instilled. The typical timing for the drops to wear off is between two and three hours. A dilated examination can both diagnose and evaluate the progress of many systemic diseases; along with assuring the patient that the eyes and retina are healthy and free of any conditions. The main ocular conditions found during dilation include cataracts, diabetic and hypertensive retinopathy, glaucoma, macular degeneration, and retinal holes, tears, and detachments. Systemic ailments such as diabetes, high blood pressure, multiple sclerosis, brain tumors, and heart and carotid artery disease can be diagnosed in the course of a dilated evaluation. For otherwise young and healthy patients, dilation should be done about every two years. For patients who are diabetic, have cataracts, have glaucoma, or are taking certain medications, dilation should be done annually at the minimum. For these patients, in addition to visiting your internist, endocrinologist, rheumatologist, etc., an annual dilated examination should be conducted. Most physicians realize the importance of dilation and will require it of their patients. When these patients come into the office, a letter to the primary doctor will be sent to update him/her on the condition of the eyes. When an eye professional needs to assess the health of the back portion of the eye, dilation is still the standard of care. There are new digital imaging systems that take relatively good views of the retina. However, they are generally not able to reach the far periphery of the retina, and they are only able to give a two-dimensional view of the retina as viewed on a computer monitor. Dilation using an instrument called a binocular indirect ophthalmoscope (BIO) allows the doctor to see all around the retina in three-dimensions. Keep in mind that although reading ability will be impaired for a few hours, distance vision remains the same. Light sensitivity might make it harder to see outdoors, but the actual vision does not change. Please bring your sunglasses with you to your exam; if you don’t own any, we have some shields that will help protect you from the sun. Dr. K. at Alamo Optometry is your hometown eye doctor for outstanding service, vision care, and designer eyewear. He can be reached at 820-6622 or visit his office at 3201 Danville Blvd., Suite 165 in Alamo. Visit our newly updated website at, and like us on our Alamo OptomAdvertorial etry Facebook page.

Death Cafe in Danville...Are you Curious?

Are you curious about what others think about death and dying? Do you have concerns or feelings about your own death? Death Cafe is an international movement, started in Europe, dedicated to taking death out of the closet and discussing it publicly to increase awareness of death with a view to help people make the most of their (finite) lives. Death Café is NOT a support group, a counseling session, or a workshop! Death Café is simply people coming together in a relaxed, comfortable atmosphere, sipping tea or coffee, munching treats and sharing a respectful, engaging, thought provoking and life affirming conversation. Join in or just listen at the upcoming gathering on May 15th from 6-8PM at the Chapel of San Ramon Valley located at 825 Hartz Way in Danville. The evening is free. Please RSVP to Alan Vengel who is a consultant, author, and professional facilitator, at 925-837-0148.

Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer: Treatment Options By Sophia Rahman, MD

Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer. Some form of skin cancer is diagnosed in more than three million people each year in the U.S. The vast majority of skin cancers (over 90%) are of the non-melanoma variety, with most being basal cell (BCC) and squamous cell carcinomas (SCC). While they have malignant potential, most BCC and SCC are unlikely to spread to other parts of the body when caught early. They may be locally disfiguring if not treated. Because non-melanoma skin cancers rarely metastasize, the prognosis is generally very good. There are certain characteristics, however, that are linked with a higher risk of recurrence or metastasis. Some of these high risk features are large tumor size, greater tumor depth, poorly defined tumor border, aggressive tumor growth pattern, tumor invasion near nerves or blood vessels, recurrent tumors, and tumor location in the head and neck region. Treatment of most non-melanoma skin cancers depends on the size and location of the cancer, whether it is a BCC or SCC, patient age, and overall medical condition. Treatment of the majority of BCC and SCC most often involves surgery, but there are non-surgical approaches that may be considered in certain situations. With surgery, the goal is to destroy or remove the entire skin cancer with a margin of cancer-free tissue around the tumor. There are different types of skin cancer surgery, and the choice of which to use depends in part on the characteristics and location of the tumor. Mohs micrographic surgery is a highly specialized type of surgery for skin cancer and requires special expertise. The Mohs procedure removes the skin cancer one layer at a time, checking each layer for cancer cells, until it is completely cleared. The Mohs procedure removes the least amount of normal tissue and also has the highest published surgical cure rates for both primary and recurrent skin cancers. Other common types of skin cancer surgery are simple excision and curettage with electrodesiccation. Simple excision involves the use of a scalpel to remove the skin cancer with a small margin of surrounding normal tissue. Curettage uses a spoon-shaped instrument (curette) to scrape off the skin cancer, and electrodesiccation uses an electric current to cauterize the edges to control bleeding and destroy any remaining tumor cells. Common non-surgical options for BCC and SCC include cryotherapy, topical therapy, and radiotherapy. Cryotherapy is used to destroy a skin cancer by freezing it with liquid nitrogen. Topical skin cancer therapy involves application of medications like 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) or Aldara (imiquimod) directly to the tumor on the skin. Radiotherapy for skin cancer is completely non-invasive and uses high-energy X-rays to kill cancer cells by preventing them from growing and dividing. Common types of radiotherapy used to treat skin cancer include electron therapy, superficial or orthovoltage therapy, and brachytherapy. Like Mohs surgery, treatment with radiotherapy is very technical and, in order to optimize outcomes, requires expert involvement of a highly trained team of personnel, including radiation oncologist, radiation physicist/dosimetrist, and radiation therapist. Radiotherapy may be appropriate for older patients with wound-healing problems who cannot tolerate surgery or in cases where surgery may be difficult and/or disfiguring. Sometimes, radiotherapy is recommended after surgery to kill any residual cancer cells that may be hiding in the operated region. When diagnosed in the early stages, the cure rates for BCC and SCC are very high (over 95%) with good cosmetic outcomes. Within the first five years after diagnosis of a non-melanoma skin cancer, between 30% and 50% of patients will develop another non-melanoma skin cancer. Patients who have had non-melanoma skin cancer are also at an increased risk for developing melanoma, which is known to be more aggressive and challenging to treat. Dr. Rahman is a radiation oncologist with Diablo Valley Oncology. Located in the California Cancer and Research Institute at 400 Taylor Blvd in Pleasant Hill, the practice is home to the largest single site for cancer treatment in Contra Costa County. For more information call 925-825Advertorial 8878 or visit our website at

Danville Today News ~ May 2014 - Page 27


GORGEOUS OAKMONT MEMORIAL PARK SITE #34 Meditation Ridge. Cremation site for three people which overlooks oak trees and Mount Diablo. Private sale. Please call 925-820-7337 or email


WOMEN’S LACROSSE GOALIE COACHING available June 25-September 15. Eight years playing experience, has won College Club (WCLA) National Championship, All-League Team (WWLL), All-Tournament Team (WWLL/WCLA). Please contact Amy Corstorphine at amy.corstor@gmail. com for more information.


New Treatment for Advanced Prostate Cancer By Brian Hopkins, MD

A new treatment that effectively targets cancer cells is offering pain relief, improved quality-of-life, and extended survival time for men with late-stage prostate cancer that has spread to the bones. This new cancer treatment, Xofigo (Radium-223 dichloride), is for patients with advanced-stage prostate cancer that has metastasized to the bones but not other organs. Xofigo was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in May 2013 for treatment of metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. Diablo Valley Oncology’s cancer center in Pleasant Hill is among the first in the Bay Area to offer this new treatment. Xofigo uses radiation to target cancer cells in bone tissue, while causing less damage to surrounding tissue than other types of radiation treatment. Its ability to chemically mimic calcium makes it especially effective in bone tissue. “This drug has very low toxicity and has the potential to create comfort in men who are suffering, and it may even prolong their lives,” says Sachin Kamath, M.D., a Diablo Valley Oncology radiation oncologist. “It is an important drug — similar to other types of radiation treatment but more effective.” Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States, and it is the second most common cause of cancer death in men. The New England Journal of Medicine published results of a study in July 2013 showing Xofigo significantly improved overall survival rates in men with advanced prostate cancer. Dr. Hopkins is a urologist with Pacific Urology. He sub-specializes in cancer of the prostate, kidney and bladder. He also has extensive experience with reconstructive and minimally invasive surgeries. For more information or to schedule an appointment please visit or call 925-937-7740. Advertorial

Ability continued from page 24

San Ramon Valley High School and Monte Vista are holding Basketball Game Fundraisers showcasing their athletes competing against the nationally ranked BORP Warriors Wheelchair team. Local teams have volunteered to accept the challenge of playing in wheelchairs. Carly Lutz, SRVHS Leadership student reports that sign-ups for “Ride-in-a-Wheelchair for a Day” are filling up quickly. Janet Willford, SRVHS Leadership teacher, describes planned lunchtime activities: “a wheelchair relay race, wheelchair bowling, and a pep rally.” Costa Rica and Honduras (getting Foundation donations for the first time) are slated to each receive a container of 280 wheelchairs at a cost of $42,000 per container. As of April 17th, $61,258.05 has been collected, with many schools about to commence the project. Teachers, parents, and older students accompanied by an adult have been invited to come on this summer’s distributions trips. Ken Behring is awarding stipends of $2,000 toward travel costs to the elementary, middle, and high school achieving the highest per student donations. Visit for information or to donate.

PARENTING WORKSHOP - Learn to find the peace and joy amidst the chaos. Saturday, May 17, 9:30-1:30 at The Lounge at Civic Park, Walnut Creek. You’ll learn how to respond and not react, have more effective discipline, and create greater connections with your child. Visit or call 925-212-2996 for more info or to register. Class taught by Joree Rosenblatt, MA.


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 Call TRI VALLEY TRAPPER for a FREE phone consultation and estimate (925)765-4209.


GOT AN UGLY DECK? IS THERE SUN DAMAGE, DRY ROT, OR DINGINESS? Decks are subject to the same elements as your home resulting in mold, stains, mildew, moss, and structural failures. KDL CONSTRUCTION helps maintain the integrity of your deck and the safety of your family. Proper maintenance enhances the longevity and beauty of your deck. Cleaning, repair, color restoration, and refinishing. Call for a free assessment. Ask about our OTHER SERVICES. KDL CONSTRUCTION RestorationRemodel-Maintenance-Repairs CA License #989926. Call 510-590-2846.

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.

PLACE YOUR CLASSIFIED HERE! Danville Today Classifieds

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

Page 28 - May 2014 ~ Danville Today News

The Combs Team

Professionals You Can Count On



Call the Combs Team


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Diablo Creek Single Story

Dollars Per Square Foot

As a reality check, at least once during the calendar year, I like to look at the market for 4 bedroom 2-3 bath homes, since the majority of Danville properties fall into this segment. It makes sense to view this grouping of Danville homes apart from everything else as I believe it provides the least cloudy view of the Danville Real Estate Market, free from the distortion of luxury homes and condos. If you look at the attached chart you can see that the market bottom for Danville was somewhere between calendar year 2011 and 2012 when average home prices dipped to $785,000 and square foot prices dove to $322 per square foot. That was indeed the true bottom for the Danville Real Estate Market. It hasn’t stopped climbing up since then. Last year, was a good year for this segment of the market in Danville. Square foot prices advanced from $344 per square foot to $353 per square foot, for a solid 3% increase. The average home price climbed significantly faster at about 21% to $950,000 reflecting higher proportion of more expensive homes in the sales mix. As of this writing (April 21, 2014) the average square foot price is up 18% for the first third of the year and the average price is up about 8% to $1,022,000. Given we are coming into the strongest part of the selling season it’s anybody’s guess where we will end up. “Up” is definitely the operative word. Looking at the 22 currently active properties in this category, they are carrying an average asking price of $449 per square foot and a list price of $1,434,000. One of these properties is our own listing with a square foot price of $509 and a list price of $1,649,000. It’s currently under contract and furthers the argument for continued market strength. Nearly every day I talk to someone, still sitting out the housing market rebound, whose question is, “When is it going to go back down again, so I can get in?” The assumption is that we are in another bubble and it 4 bed 2-3 bath homes sales Danville will be bursting soon. My Year $ sq. foot Avg. Price Size sq. ft answer is, “I don’t think 2010 $ 330 $ 856,000 2593 it’s going to burst, I don’t 2011 $ 322 $ 800,000 2484 think this is a bubble. 2012 $ 344 $ 785,000 2350 The Danville Real Estate 2013 $ 353 $ 950,000 2691 Market is just now return2014 $ 418 $ 1,022,000 2450 ing to normal.” Someday, yes of course, the market

Danville Family Home

Danville Family Home Danville Family Home will correct again like it did $450 $450 in 1929 and again in 2008. I $450 $400 $400 just don’t think it will happen $400 $350 $350 $350 again in my lifetime. $300 $300 People sitting out the $300 $250 $250 $ sq. foot $ sq. foot market from 2011 until today $250 $200 $200 $ sq. foot $150 have lost 30% in what might $200 $150 $100 best be called “Rebound $150 $100 $50 Appreciation.” These were $100 $50 $1 2 3 4 5 $50 gains due largely to the mar$Years 2010-14 $ket over selling to the down 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 2010-14 4 5 Years side and quickly returning Years 2010-14 to more normal levels. In “Danville Average Dollars,” missing that initial rebound cost a fence sitter $237,000. Ouch! To return to normal, Danville average price will need to be $1,112,000 and square foot price for this class of home will need to exceed $436 per square foot. Those numbers were achieved during 2006 and had very little to do with the massive sub-prime melt down that led to the financial crisis of 2008. At that time there were more than 22 four bedroom homes on the market, interest rates were pushing 6%, fewer people were living in the East Bay, Danville incomes were lower and if I’m not mistaken, the dollar was worth more than it is today, so it’s not a huge leap of faith to think these numbers will be eclipsed in the not too distant future. I am often asked the question, “When is the best time to buy or sell a home?” My usual answer to both questions is, “When the prices are moving up.” If you asked me that question today, my answer would be, “right now!” Nancy and I have more than 1,100 email subscribers who receive this article in advance of publication. You can add yourself to the list by sending me an email. I assure you no spam will follow. Even if you are not thinking about putting your home on the market, you should know the value of your home. It’s probably worth more than you think and given the run up you may not be adequately insured. Nancy and I will be happy to provide you with a free personal consultation. Just call 925-989-6086 or send me an email It will be our pleasure to provide you with this service. Dollars Per Square Foot Dollars Per Square Foot

Danville Real Estate Market: Prices Continue Rising… Faster!

Alamo Oaks




Amazing updated 4 bedroom single story has it all. Large level lot beautiful pool and pavilion. Call for details.

Updated 4 bedroom 3595 sq. foot home with 1.13 acre lot. Perfect for horses or a vineyard. Call for details.

Danville Executive Home

Auction Sale



PEN Spacious, luxurious, 4 bed 3 bath home, Chef’s kitchen,view lot, putting green and spa. Call for details.

Beautiful 4 bedroom 4 bath 4200 sq. ft. home. We are representing the buyer. $1,450,000

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

Danville Single Story




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The picture is the view from the level back yard of this charming single story 3 bedroom home. Call for details. J. Rockcliff Realtors 15 Railroad Ave., Danville CA. 94526

Danville Today News, May 2014  

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