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October 2014 Spread Kindness – It’s Contagious! By Jody Morgan

Maria Haswell woke up one morning in February 2009 wanting to perform some random acts of kindness. Her online search found no area organizations that matched her vision. Encouraged by husband Mark, Maria gathered a small group of like-minded locals. Taking on a life of its own, the project grew, suggesting the need for a formal structure. In January 2010, the Haswells registered Spread Kindness as a 501 (c)(3) non-profit. They wanted their gestures to be community-based, but they soon found their local acts had a global reach. Kindness is contagious, spreading a spirit of generosity that gives back to the donor while reaching out to embrace countless strangers.

Serving Danville Chrysanthemums Set to Take Center Stage at the Gardens at Heather Farm By Jody Morgan

Aspiring to upstage the neighboring roses with a performance unlike any previously witnessed by the majority of area garden enthusiasts, chrysanthemums newly installed at the Gardens at Heather Farm (GHF) are getting set to open. Thanks to Walnut Creek resident Steve Dawkins’s generous gift of specimen plants, expertise, time and labor, visitors will see many of the thirteen classifications recognized by the National Chrysanthemum Society blooming side-by-side. Typically peaking toward the end of October, these dramatically distinctive mums often take up to 30 days to open completely from the time their buds begin to display color. Once fully costumed for starring roles, however, they keep their show running for weeks.

Steve Dawkins shows Brian Larsen how to disbud the new GHF mums to encourage a few spectacular flowers on each plant.

Mark and Maria Haswell with one of their Spread Kindness t-shirts available in a variety of colors. Photo courtesy of Spread Kindness.

During the first event Spread Kindness organized at San Ramon’s Central Park, volunteers distributed flowers and treats and performed additional small acts of kindness. A group of friends the Haswells nicknamed “Dream-Team” helped brainstorm a variety of ideas including paying for the person in line behind you for coffee, tipping well and leaving a compliment, and dropping off flowers with a thoughtful note at a neighbor’s house. These suggestions and several more are printed on the back of “Kindness Cards” which can be ordered in packs of eight. As you complete your act of kindness, you hand a card to the recipient. The front reads: “You’ve just experienced a random act of Kindness. Now it’s your turn to do something for someone else and pass this card along.” Requests for cards now number 50-100 a month. They come from across the globe: Canada, India, New Zealand, Australia, England, Tasmania, and Norway. In February 2010, Stephanie Klinzing, then Mayor of Elk River, Minnesota, asked for and received 1,000 cards for the city’s “1,000 Acts of Random Kindness Campaign.” Spread Kindness mails the first pack of eight cards free, but they request a modest contribution for additional cards. Mark notes: “We want people to understand the power of kindness – why it’s good and the positive effect it can have.”

See Kindness continued on page 28

Local Postal Customer

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


Dawkins began cultivating chrysanthemums 30 years ago when a friend, whose father was a grower, invited him to join their small independent local club. The members were looking for younger folks to carry on their work. For many years the club held an annual show at Orchard Nursery in Lafayette during the first week of November. As the final club member able to share his passion and extensive experience, Dawkins affirms: “I am committed to making this happen for

See GHF continued on page 20

San Ramon Valley High School Ski, Board, and Bike Swap ~ November 1st

The San Ramon Valley High School-Parent Teacher Student Association has been hosting a community-wide ski and snowboard swap for over 36 years, but this year the event will also include bikes. This year the event takes place on November 1st, from 10am to 6pm for one day only. Admission is $5, and children 5 and under free when acVolume V - Number 12 companied by an adult. 3000F Danville Blvd. #117, SRVHS Ski, Board, and Bike swap is Alamo, CA 94507 the largest swap in the East Bay with over (925) 405-6397 $1 million in inventory brought by local Fax (925) 406-0547 residents as well as from large retailers Alisa Corstorphine ~ Publisher offering goods at bargain prices. The San editor@ Ramon Valley High School cafeteria and yourmonthlypaper.com gym will be filled to the brim with new and used merchandise. Come join the The opinions expressed herein belong to the writers, and do not necessarily fun with a live broadcast from KKIQ, reflect that of Danville Today News. Danville Today News is not and enjoy yummy treats from local food responsible for the content of any of truck vendors. the advertising herein, nor does

See Swap continued on page 25

publication imply endorsement.

Page 2 - October 2014 ~ Danville Today News

Boulevard View

By Alisa Corstorphine, Editor You Never Know

A few weeks ago I had a glorious weekend planned for myself. It was actually quite simple. The weekend I planned was all about me! I was going to do nothing but stay at home and work on fun things on my “To Do” list. Because of its never-ending nature, in our household the To Do list sometimes has a negative connotation, but this was a fun list of things I enjoy but just needed to make the time so I could dig into them. I was going to harvest and replant the garden. I was going to work on some picture projects. The only planned outing I had was a horseback ride on Mount Diablo. Me, me, me! On Thursday evening prior to the weekend, I went to the grocery store and stocked up with food. Not only was I doing the regular family shopping, but I was making sure there was no reason to leave home for the next several days. I bought an extra gallon of milk and an extra pack of chicken, fruit, etc. Everything was set. I told everyone in the office of my plans for my “all about me” weekend. But, the best made plans must sometimes change. Come Friday night I got a call from a friend needing help. In evaluating the situation, their need was far more important than my plans, and I rushed to help out. The need for my help continued into the weekend, and my To Do list was largely ignored. During the weekend I began laughing at the irony of how my designated “Me” weekend had morphed into something far beyond my wildest vision. Helping out was something I chose to do. It just hadn’t been on the To Do list at the time! I ended up learning from my redirected time. Sometimes you have to roll with the punches, go with the flow. I met some interesting new people and had some interesting new experiences. They simply hadn’t been part of my original vision. You never know. A friend was recently telling me a story about his wife who works for a



local non-profit organization. Seven years ago a man contacted her to talk a little about the organization and to take a tour of the facility. They spent a few hours together, had lunch, then said their good-byes. She never saw or heard from the man again. Seven years pass, and the woman received a call from an attorney representing the man’s estate. To her great surprise, her non-profit organization was listed as the prime beneficiary of the man’s estate. The proceeds from his house, car, stocks, and belongings amounted to well over a million dollars for the non-profit organization. The woman was amazed and elated. The simple interaction she had years ago had obviously made an impression with the man. He had never spoken about his intentions, but he knew that one day he’d leave a legacy of love and generosity that would touch many, many people. His gift will have a positive impact for years to come. These incidents reinforced a couple of lessons I wanted to share with you. First, be open to the possibilities presented to us. As in the movie Yes Man with Jim Carrey, we never know what opportunity, or what consequence from those opportunities, will follow unless we take the leap of faith and say ‘yes.’ It means being willing to subjugate our agenda long enough to participate in what life offers us. Have you ever imagined where your life would lead you if you said ‘yes’ to everything as the character in that movie did? Of course there are limits and life isn’t a movie, but I think the concept is exciting. The second lesson is to strive to treat every person we interact with as the special and unique individual they are. What if my friend at the non-profit had been indifferent, or was having a bad day when that gentleman came calling and she had been gruff with him? What if he left with a favorable impression of the institution but a sour impression of her? Would he have made the same choices? By her being an amazing person and exuding love and excitement for life, she created the conditions for something wonderful to occur. We can all do that. We simply never know which word we utter will resonate with someone, which touch will leave a lasting impression, or which conversation will be remembered fondly. I think that’s part of the joy of existence. If we treat every person with kindness, love, honesty, and respect, you never know what amazing things can happen.


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CERT Presentation “Fire in the Hills!

We all have heightened concern for grass fires in our hills, and we need to know how best to be prepared for one. Speaker, Captain George Laing of the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District, will provide an overview to the nature of hill fires and its multiple hazards. He will also address such questions as: • What lessons were learned from the Oakland Hills fire? • How much firefighting help is currently available here? • Is our current water shortage another problem during a fire? • What can we do to protect our home? • How can we find out there is a fire coming our way? • How much time will we have to act? • What can we do if we can’t get out of the way of the fire? • Will our vehicles interfere with first responders arriving? • What do we take with us? How far away should we go? • Should we turn off our gas lines before we leave? Captain Laing will also direct participants to additional details for reducing chances of loss during a fire. The free presentation begins at 7PM on Wednesday, October 29, in the Walnut Creek Library’s Oak View Room. The library is located at 1644 N. Broadway, adjacent to Civic Park. This program is hosted by Walnut Creek’s Community Emergency Response Team. For additional information, contact Joe Bologna, Walnut Creek CERT, at (925) 963-7114 or Gayle Vasser, City of Walnut Creek, at (925) 943-5895.

Search and Rescue

The Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team needs volunteer members to respond to missing person incidents, disasters, and other critical incidents. Team members are on call 24/7 year-round. The program provides required training; including wilderness traveling, first aid, map and compass usage, tracking disaster response, and search skills; and may also include special training for canine, equestrian, technical, mountain bike, or other rescue skills. For information and applications, visit www.contracostasar.org or call 646-4461.

Danville Today News ~ October 2014 - Page 3

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An Evening of Mystery

On Thursday, October 9th at the Walnut Creek Library’s Oak View Room, Project Second Chance, Inc. is sponsoring “An Evening of Mystery.” The event begins at 6pm with light desserts, followed by a panel discussion with authors Cara Black, Laurie R. King, and Terry Shames talking about their acclaimed mystery books. There will also be a raffle for prizes. Tickets are $15, with proceeds benefiting Project Second Chance. For ticket purchase by credit card, call (510) 918-4768. Visit the PSC website at ccclib.org/psc for more information.

Delta Nu Psi Care Packages for the Troops

Delta Nu Psi will be at CVS in Alamo on Friday, October 5rd from 11am-2pm, and at Lunardi’s Market in Danville on Friday, October 10th from 11am-2pm to collect “gourmet junk food” and postage for shipments for our servicemen. Beef jerky and trail mix is especially requested. Please visit deltanupsi.org for more information as well as photos and emails from the men and women in the War Zone.

Alamo-Danville Newcomers Club

Are you new to the area or a long time resident interested in making new friends and participating in various social activities? We are a women’s organization whose purpose is to enrich the lives of all its members and their families in a social manner. Check out all we have to offer by visiting our website at www.alamodanvillenewcomers.com. Our next new member coffee will be held October 28th at 10AM. RSVP to alamodanvillenewcomers@gmail.com.

AARP Tax-Aide Call For Volunteers for 2015 Tax Season

Do you like working with people? Are you good with numbers? Contra Costa County AARP Tax-Aide is looking for volunteers to become members of a team providing free tax preparation for individuals of all ages. Tax-Aide volunteer positions include Tax Counselors who are trained by TaxAide and certified by IRS and Client Facilitators who schedule appointment and assist clients at tax sites. Orientation is in November 2014, and classes for tax counselors start in January 2015. If interested, call LaVerne Gordon at (925) 726-3199 for information and to apply.

Page 4 - October 2014 ~ Danville Today News


The Blackhawk Museum Guild Presents

San Ramon Valley Republican Women Federated

Two docents from the Museum of the San Ramon Valley will lead a tour through the historical Alamo Cemetery. Patty Dobbin will present the history of the Cemetery, and Carmen Curtis will portray Mary Anne Jones, a member of one of the prominent pioneer families. The Alamo Cemetery was established in the 1850’s and includes burial plots of many San Ramon Valley pioneers including members of the Jones, Wood, Stone, Bollinger, Baldwin, Humburg, Boone, Cox, Young, Love, Close, Wiedemann, and Hall families. The first recorded burial, in 1856, was a six year old girl, Callie Chrisman. Meet at the Alamo Cemetery located on El Portal (off Danville Blvd) on Wednesday, October 8th at 10:30AM. Please wear comfortable shoes. Following the tour join the Museum Guild group at noon at Uncle Wang’s restaurant located at 150 Danville Blvd. in Danville.

The San Ramon Valley Republican Women Federated will present Middle East expert, Larry Greenfield, speaking on the topic, “Are we at War with Islam?” Larry is a much sought-after speaker. He is also a frequent lecturer and debater on foreign policy issues including the Middle East conflict and the West’s response to the rise of Islam. He is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley and Georgetown University Law School in Washington D.C., where he worked on the arrest warrant for PLO Chief Yasser Arafat. Presently, Greenfield is a Fellow in American Studies at the Claremont Institute, in Claremont, California, founding executive Director of the Reagan Legacy Foundation, and a Senior Fellow at the American Freedom Alliance. He served in the U.S. Armed Forces in Naval Intelligence Reserves and has traveled to some 80 countries, including eight war zones. With the threat of ISIS perhaps in our own country, you won’t want to miss hearing this dynamic speaker! The dinner and talk will be held at the Crow Canyon Country Club located at 711 Silver Lake Drive in Danville, on Tuesday, October 28. Social time begins at 6pm followed by dinner and speaker at 6:30pm. Please RSVP by email to srvrwf.lunch@gmail.com or visit www.srvrwf.org to pay with Paypal. Reservations are due by Wednesday, October 22nd. Save the date for our November luncheon to be held Tuesday, November 18th at noon at the Crow Canyon Country Club. For more information, visit www.srvrwf.org.

“If Tombstones Could Talk!” a Tour of the Alamo Cemetery

Republican Women Federated Lead to Victory in November

The Blackhawk Republican Women present Carla Embertson, Northern Division President, California Federation of Republican Women; Sue CaroChairman of the Alameda County Republican Party and Vice Chair of the Republican County Chairs Association; and Becky Kolberg, Chairman of the Contra Costa County Republican Party and Director of the California Republican Party, on October 8th at the Blackhawk Country Club. The event will begin at 11:30AM with check-in and a social and be followed at noon with a luncheon and speakers. The cost is $25. The most high-profile and experienced panel of Republican Women Federated ever assembled at a club meeting will clue attendees in to how to make things happen for the republican party. Come hear from these movers and shakers about how they can move republican candidates to victory! Please make your reservations with a check made payable to “Blackhawk Republican Women,” as well as any cancellations, by Monday, October 6th, with Marilyn Bradley with mail to 116 Sedgefield Court, San Ramon 94583, e-mail to marebradley@aol.com, or a call to (925)828-2360.

Presents Larry Greenfield, Expert on the Middle East

Exchange Club of SRV

The Exchange Club of San Ramon Valley meets for lunch the second Wednesday of every month in downtown Danville. Sign-in and social time begins at 11:30AM. The meeting starts promptly at noon and ends promptly at 1PM. The program features guest speakers and a business networking speaker. For more information, call Karen Stepper at (925) 275-2312, email coachstepper@yahoo.com, or visit www.srvexchangeclub.org.


Chromatica to Perform October Concerts

Danville Today News ~ October 2014 - Page 5

Cherubini “Requiem in C Minor,” Brahms’ “Liebeslieder,” and more!

Chromatica, the San Ramon Valley based classical and contemporary music chorus, will perform four concerts in October: a concert reserved for Rossmoor residents and public concerts on October 18, 19 and 25 in Orinda, Danville and Clayton Valley. Locations and addresses are Holy Shepherd Lutheran Church, 433 Moraga Way, Orinda; Peace Lutheran Church, 3301 Camino Tassajara, Danville; and Clayton Valley Presbyterian Church, 1578 Kirker Pass Road, Clayton. Titled “The (Mostly) A.B.C’s of Music,” the concerts will include works from Thomas Arne, Leonard Bernstein, Johannes Brahms, Luigi Cherubini, Cecilia McDowall, and Frank Ticheli. Cherubini’s “Requiem in C Minor,” written for King Louis XVIII of France for a memorial service for his grandfather Louis XVI, guillotined in the French Revolution, was described by Schumann as “being without equal in the world.” It was performed at Beethoven’s funeral at his request. By a strange twist, Brahm’s “Liebeslieder,” a series of eighteen love songs, is believed to have been inspired by his frustrated love for Clara Schumann’s daughter. First performed in January 1870, they have continued to be much loved by audiences across the classical music world and are often seen as Brahms’ homage to Schubert. Adding to these two extraordinary works are a short piece by Thomas Arne titled “Which is the Properest Day to Sing?”, a moving setting of “There Will Be Rest” by Frank Ticheli and a chorus from Leonard Bernstein’s musical Candide as well as a hauntingly beautiful setting of “A Red, Red Rose” by contemporary English composer Cecilia McDowall. Chromatica was founded in 2011 and now includes 26 men and women singers. It has performed two prior series of ticketed concerts, attracting large and enthusiastic audiences. Directed by San Francisco Opera tenor David Huff, Chromatica’s repertoire includes music by Brahms, Cherubini, Elgar, Fauré, Mozart, Schubert, Strauss, Verdi, Britten, and Vaughan Williams among others. Tickets for each concert are $20 for adults, $10 for students, and free to children 5 to 10. Tickets may be purchased online or at each location the evening of the performance (cash or check only, please). To purchase online tickets or to learn more about Chromatica and opportunities to audition, visit www.chromaticachorale.org.

Live Music Returns to Village Theatre

Music lovers should mark their calendars as the Town of Danville’s fantastic series, Thursdays @ the VT, returns to the historic Village Theatre and Art Gallery.

October 16, 7:30pm ~ Slim Jenkins

San Francisco’s Slim Jenkins is a celebration of great American roots music and its tradition of innovation and energy. Harking back to the heyday of hot jazz and blues, Slim Jenkins evokes a world of seduction, mystery, love, and betrayal. Sultry and smooth, or jumping and hot, their music keeps the dance floor energized and alive. The show will take place at the Village Theatre and Art Gallery, 233 Front Street. Beer and wine will be available for purchase. Tickets are $10 presale and $15 at the door and can be purchased by calling (925) 314-3400 or visiting www.villagetheatreshows.com. For more information, contact Performing Arts Coordinator David Lam at (925) 314-3466 or dlam@danville.ca.gov.


BARKTOBER W Coupon not valid for balloons or helium.

Barktober Wine Tasting

The White Kitty Foundation presents Barktober Wine Tasting. Please come enjoy a night of appetizers, wine tasting, music, an auction, and desserts on Friday, October 10th from 6:30pm until 10:30pm. The event will be held at the Danville Veterans Memorial Hall, located at 400 Hartz Avenue in Danville. There will be a live auction featuring a signed Willy Mays baseball (with letter of authenticity), ticket vouchers for the San Francisco Operajoin andus Ballet, a 50 year Please on Friday, old bottle of Vanilla Rum from Madagascar, and much more! Octobertickets, 10th from 6:30Tarozzi pm to Pre-sale tickets are $45. For questions or to purchase call Cris at 925-837-2411 or Kim Clutts at 925-858-2363. 10:30 pm at the Danville

www.yourmonthlypaper.com Veterans Memorial Hall for appetizers, wine tasting and desserts.

Page 6 - October 2014 ~ Danville Today News

Medicare Open Enrollment Coming Soon Changes to Medicare Advantage Plans Expected

Medicare open enrollment is occurring October 15 to December 7. Word is that there will be changes to Medicare Advantage Plans this year. Some plans may be leaving Contra Costa County, and provider networks for participating plans could change too. Besides changes to the Advantage plans, it’s always a good idea to review your health or drug plan each year anyway to make sure your medications are still covered at the lowest cost to you. Your needs and medications may have changed since last year, and plans can change their formulary of approved drugs and copays too. Contra Costa HICAP (Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program) has many special events planned to help you understand your options during open enrollment. Besides their regular one-on-one counseling at local senior centers, HICAP volunteers will also be giving community talks about the upcoming 2015 Medicare plan changes at the Danville Senior Center, Pleasant Hill Senior Center, John Muir Hospital in Walnut Creek, and San Ramon Regional Medical Center, among other places. HICAP will also be holding several special counseling events this fall, including a Saturday session at the County office in Pleasant Hill. No appointment is necessary for that event which will offer free individual counseling on a drop-in basis on Saturday, November 15th between 9AM to 3PM at 500 Ellinwood Way in Pleasant Hill. You can get assistance with any Medicarerelated issue at that event. In addition, HICAP has scheduled several special counseling sessions focused on reviewing your prescription drug plans for next year to ensure that you have the best plan for you. These events require an appointment and a worksheet listing your medications to be submitted in advance. Nearby sessions will be held at the Walnut Creek Senior Club on November 20 and the Danville Senior Center on December 2. Worksheets can be picked up at the senior centers or downloaded from the HICAP website. HICAP can potentially save you a significant amount of money and help you get the right plan for you. HICAP is sponsored by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the California Department of Aging, and Contra Costa County. HICAP does not sell or endorse any products and offers free, impartial information and assistance to all Medicare beneficiaries or their caregivers. Call HICAP at (925) 602-4163 or visit their website at www.cchicap.org for more information. A complete schedule of presentations and special counseling events is posted, and in early October specific details on plan changes and options for people whose plan is being discontinued or changing will be available.

Hike for Shelter

Homelessness is a growing problem in our community. Contra Costa County estimates there are at any one time approximately 8,250 homeless, which includes over 2,000 children. On Sunday, October 19th the 5th annual Hike for SHELTER at Mt. Diablo State Park will be held to raise funds and awareness of this growing problem. This family-friendly event is open to all ages and abilities, from walkers to seasoned hikers. There will be three trails, including a 2.4-mile family hike, a 5.2-mile moderate hike, and a 6.7-mile summit hike! A post-hike celebration will follow complete with catered lunch, local celebrity speakers, and fundraising prizes. SHELTER Inc. of Contra Costa County is an independent non-profit whose mission is to prevent and end homelessness for low-income families in Contra Costa County. The full service agency gives families a safe place to live - meeting their most basic needs, while offering individualized services such as education, employment development, and counseling in order to give them the tools to be self sufficient. SHELTER Inc. served 5,000 people last year who were homeless or at risk of homelessness. Ninety-five percent of those who were at risk of homelessness were able to stay in their homes, and 76% of those who were homeless were moved back into a permanent home due to the community’s support. SHELTER Inc. also owns or master lease about 200 residences throughout Contra Costa, renting to low-income, vulnerable residents. Please join in on the Hike for SHELTER. While you are enjoying a beautiful day hiking on one of the most beautiful state parks, you are also helping strengthen the community where we live. Please go to www.shelterhike.org to sign up.


Blackhawk “First Sunday” Cars & Coffee

Blackhawk Automotive Museum hosts a monthly Cars & Coffee event year round for all car enthusiasts. Held on the “First Sunday” of each month, starting at 8AM and going to 10AM, the Museum welcomes all classic, collector, and special interest car owners and enthusiasts. On Cars & Coffee Sundays the Museum opens an hour earlier, at 9AM, and participating car owners will receive complimentary Museum admission tickets. The Museum is located at 3700 Blackhawk Plaza Circle in Danville. For more information, visit www.blackhawkmuseum.org/carsncoffee.html, call 925-736-2280, or email museum@blackhawkmuseum.org.


Forest Home Farms Historic Park, located at 19953 San Ramon Valley Blvd. in San Ramon, will be hosting an Oktoberfest celebration on October 11 from 11AM to 4PM. Enjoy live music and dancing with Blow Musik!, Olympia Fields Brass Band, and Golden Gate Bavarian Dancers. Beer will be available for purchase from Schubros Brewery. Tickets are available online through PayPal by visiting SRHF.org. For more information or to become a sponsor, e-mail sanramonhf@gmail.com.

Storytelling at the Museum

Saturday Indian storytelling will be featured at the Museum of the San Ramon Valley on Saturdays, October 4 and October 25 at 10:30 and 11:30AM. These stories will be told by Museum volunteer Marty Buxton and feature animal mounts from the Lindsay Wildlife Museum. Suitable for children of all ages, these creation accounts and stories from various California Indian tribes are not to be missed. Storytelling accompanies the Museum of the San Ramon Valley’s new exhibit on “California Indians: Where Were You 5,000 Years Ago? The First People of the San Ramon Valley.” The exhibit is on display at the Museum until November 9. The Museum of the San Ramon Valley is located in Downtown Danville on the corner of Railroad and Prospect Avenues, at 205 Railroad Avenue. Museum hours are Tuesday – Friday 1-4PM, Saturday 10AM – 1PM, and Sunday noon – 3PM. The Museum is closed on Mondays. There is ample parking in the lot behind the Museum. Please visit www.museumsrv.org for more information.

AAUW Candidates Forum

The Danville-Alamo-Walnut Creek and San Ramon Branches of AAUW (American Association of University Women) are sponsoring a candidates forum that is open to the public. The upcoming election on November 4th is not only important with all of the issues facing us at the state and national level but also to make the choice of the right candidate to represent us at both the Assembly and Congressional level. Assemblymember Joan Buchanan has termed out, and the 16th district State Assembly election features Tim Sbranti (D) and Catharine Baker (R) running for her seat. Judge Tue Phan Quang (R) and Mark DeSaulnier (D) are running from the 11th Congressional district for the seat of George Miller, who is retiring after 40 years. The League of Women Voters will moderate a debate style forum for the Assembly race, and then AAUW will moderate the Congressional candidates section. Unfortunately, Mark DeSaulnier is unable to attend due to a prior commitment, however we have access to his political views and service in the senate. Judge Tue Phan Quang will be available to answer any questions and is running for the first time for an elected office. Join us for an informative session on Saturday, October 11th from 9:30am-noon at the Shadow Hills Cabana, 1001 El Capitan Drive, Danville. Contact Asha at ashakiran@gmail.com for further information. Please remember to vote and stay informed.


Veterans’ Voices…

...A new way to reach out to those who have served By Supervisor Candace Andersen

Each year, more than a quarter of a million Americans take off their service uniform for the last time, and for many of them, one of the biggest questions upon returning to civilian life is, “What’s next?” That transition can be a very difficult process, and Contra Costa County’s Veterans Service Office is constantly looking for ways to help. Our County is home to more than 65,000 veterans, and we have expanded our outreach efforts considerably over the past couple of years to provide even more resources and assistance to veterans and their families. Outstations in Brentwood and Danville now supplement services delivered at the main office in Martinez and the Richmond branch location as well, but many veterans are reluctant to go to a County office for help. Thanks to a unique partnership within the County, help is now coming to them online and on cable TV. Veterans’ Voices is a live, interactive talk show hosted monthly by our County Veterans Service Officer Nathan Johnson. Produced at the Contra Costa TV (CCTV) studios in Martinez, Veterans’ Voices is specifically targeting vets with mental health issues, particularly those who haven’t sought care before or aren’t even sure what help is available. Each month, Nathan and co-host Kevin Graves focus on a specific topic, bring in guests, and taking calls, emails, and live chat messages from viewers. August’s show featured authors who are using writing to express themselves as they have transitioned back to civilian life. September’s show shined a light on the help caregivers can bring and offered a glimpse into the experiences of those who provide that much needed care. October’s show, to be broadcast on Monday, October 20th, at 7pm, will tackle the topic of suicide prevention. “Suicide: It’s Worth Talking About” will feature Martinez Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic’s Suicide Prevention Coordinator Brian Adkinson as well as a veteran whose life has been impacted by the suicide of a close friend and fellow veteran. This episode

Danville Today News ~ October 2014 - Page 7

will not only shed light on the effect suicide has on family and friends but will also give helpful advice and resources to those who are suffering from suicidal thoughts and offer support information for family and friends affected by the loss of a loved one. Funded by a state mental health grant, a year’s worth of shows are planned with the hopes of hearing directly from veterans along the way regarding what their needs are and how we can best connect with them. If you have questions or want to suggest ideas for the show, you can contact our Veterans Service Office at 925-313-1481. Veterans’ Voices airs at 7pm the third Monday of each month on CCTV, and replays on Saturdays at 9am, Mondays at 7pm and Wednesdays at 11pm. CCTV can be found on Comcast Channel 27, Astound Channel 32, and AT&T UVerse Channel 99. You can also watch any of the previous episodes online at the Veterans' Voices website, www.contracosta.ca.gov/5163/Veterans-Voices. 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 SupervisorAndersen@bos. cccounty.us or 925-957-8860.

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

Patty Fairchild is our winner!

Page 8 - October 2014 ~ Danville Today News

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Sons in Retirement

Sons in Retirement - Las Trampas Branch 116 will hold a luncheon meeting on October 15th at 11:30AM. The guest speaker for this meeting is Mrs. Barbara Casados, a tri-valley native, mother of three young boys, and the founder of Capes4Heroes. Guest are welcome to attend. Lunch is $15. Reservations can be made by calling (925) 322-1160. The meeting will be held at the Walnut Creek Elks Lodge, located at 1475 Creekside Dr. In 2010, Mrs. Casados’ son Maddox was diagnosed with autism and refused to wear anything but a superhero cape. Barbara bought a sewing machine, taught herself how to sew, and made several different capes for him. Other parents saw the impact that the superhero capes had on Maddox and asked Barbara to make capes for their children with special needs. Over time, friends wanted to start buying capes for children who were chronically ill and could use some support and encouragement. Barbara recruited additional volunteers to help sew capes, and the idea of a non-profit organization that could spread strength and empowerment to children across the country was born. To date, Barbara and Capes4Heroes has distributed superhero capes to over 4,000 brave children at hospitals, camps, Ronald McDonald Houses, and similar organizations in the Bay Area and beyond. If you are retired or semi-retired and want to make new friends, participate in fun activities and better enjoy your leisure time, we welcome you to join with us. Our group activities include book discussions, bridge, computers, fishing, golf, walking, investments, poker, travel, and more fun things. For information about our activities for retired men, please visit www.Branch116.org.

Blackhawk Museum Oktoberfest

Celebrate Munich Style at the Blackhawk Museum for an outdoor Oktoberfest in a traditional biergarten on the Museum Plaza on October 4th. The event kicks off at 7PM and lasts until midnight. There will be beer along with traditional German food for purchase, as well as music, dancing, and entertainment provided by Deutscher Musikverein and Golden Gate Bavarian Club, and there will be a tap-the-keg ceremony. General Admission is $25. Attendees must be 21 years or older. The Museum is located at 3700 Blackhawk Plaza Circle in Danville. For more information, visit www.blackhawkmuseum.org/Oktoberfest14, call 925-736-2280, or email museum@blackhawkmuseum.org.


GFWC Danville Women’s Club

Come join us for lunch! On Thursday, October 16th, the Danville Women’s Club program features the Child Abuse Prevention Council of Contra Costa County. Executive Director, Carol Carrillo, will be speaking on this very important topic. We gather at our Clubhouse, located at 242 Linda Mesa Ave. in Danville, at 11:30AM, and lunch is served at noon followed by the program and business meeting. Reservations can be made by calling (925) 837-1165. Guests are always welcome and lunch is free for first-timers. It’s a great way to discover who we are and what we do in our communities. Calling all Bridge Players…Our Scholarship Bridge Luncheon Fundraiser will be held on Thursday, October 30th from 11:30AM to 3PM. Gather a foursome and come for a luscious lunch and an afternoon of bridge. Attending is not limited to ladies; men are welcome, too. The cost is $80 per table of four players. A hot lunch is served and includes dessert and beverages. Winners at each table take home a prize. This is a fabulously fun event. Proceeds support the Club’s Patty Hart Memorial Scholarship Fund that provides scholarships to Tri Valley high school seniors. Get a head start on holiday preparations, decorations, and gifts at the third annual Holiday Boutique at the Clubhouse. Mark your calendars for Saturday, November 8th from 10AM to 4PM. The Clubhouse and patio will be filled with lots of wonderful handmade and unique gifts, arts and crafts, children’s clothing, accessories, decorations, baked goodies, and just plain fun stuff. Come out with your friends, have a great day of shopping, and enjoy free hot coffee and apple cider. There will be lots of free parking. If you are hungry, you can enjoy a dish of hot chili for a small donation. Net proceeds benefit the Scholarship Fund. At our luncheon on Thursday, November 20th, we will be talking best sellers/books with Mike Barnard of Rakestraw Books in Danville. We meet in December as we enjoy the holidays with family, friends, and community. At the January 22nd luncheon meeting, the program features Linda Michaelis, RD, speaking on Nutrition and a Healthy Lifestyle. It will be a perfect topic for helping everyone cope with any holiday excesses. The 103 year old Danville Women’s Club is a member of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC) International and California Federation of Women’s Clubs (CFWC). For more information about any of these events or the Club, please visit us on the web at www.danvillewomensclub.org. Did you know that our Clubhouse is available for rental? Please contact us for complete details.

An Evening of Fun and Laugther

On Saturday, October 11th at 7:30PM at the Village Theatre, located at 233 Front Street in Danville, and Discovery Counseling Center will be presenting an evening of music and laughter featuring local comedian David Vanavermaete, California High School graduate and past winner of the UCLA songfest; Courtney Randall; and accomplished singer/songwriter Jeff Campbell, who recently appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live. This is a chance to see San Francisco-quality entertainment in the suburbs. Bullying is widespread and perhaps the most under-reported safety problem on American school campuses. Contrary to popular belief, bullying occurs more often at school than on the way to and from there. Once thought of as simply a rite of passage or relatively harmless behavior that helps build young people’s character, bullying is now known to have long-lasting harmful effects, for both the victim and the bully. Bullying is often mistakenly viewed as a narrow range of antisocial behavior confined to elementary school recess yards. Perhaps more than any other school safety problem, bullying affects students’ sense of security. Funds from this event will help Discovery Counseling Center to expand their highly-regarded anti-bullying program to more schools in the San Ramon Valley Unified School District. For every dollar raised at the antibullying fundraiser, Quest Foundation, a local family foundation that supports children’s mental health programs, has generously pledged $30,000 as a 2:1 match. With a successful event, over 2,000 4th and 5th graders will be able to participate in Discovery’s powerful and effective anti-bullying course. Tickets are $35 and can be purchased by calling 925-837-0505 or going online to www.discoveryctr.net/eventsandnews/fallfundraiser.html.


Danville Today News ~ October 2014 - Page 9

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Stone Valley Middle School

By Shaun K. McElroy, Principal STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) Guest Speakers Needed

Have an expertise in a STEM field? Come join us as a guest speaker in February 2015. Speakers will be asked to provide a one-hour presentation that includes your background and skills needed, a look at a day in the life of your job, and a hands on activity for students. Let’s help grow the future of our children! Please contact me at smcelro@srvusd.net if you are interested in being a speaker. We have a new Assistant Principal and Student Support Counselor on board at Stone Valley. Please welcome Sandy Kontilis. Sandy recently earned her Masters of Educational Administration and Administrative Tier 1 Credential from St. Mary’s College. In addition to education she has gained administrative experience from her part-time Teacher on Special Assignment (TSA) position last year where Sandy worked as the TSA to the principal at Montevideo and Neil Armstrong elementary schools. This past summer Sandy was the principal of Bollinger Canyon Summer School, and she also taught 6th grade Core at Pine Valley for the past ten years. Also please welcome Stone Valley’s new Student Support Counselor, Lauren Haynes. Over the past several years, Lauren taught both General Education and Special Education students. Her background will definitely help support her transition into Middle School counseling. Lauren’s goal for this school year is to build relationships with Stone Valley’s students in order to best support their needs and assist them to be successful in school and beyond. She is excited to be here and is looking forward to having a great year!


Your presence on our campus benefits all students, plus you can earn your very own Stone Valley car magnet! Just put in two hours of volunteer time, and our PTA will reward you with a handsome fixture for your car. For specific volunteer opportunities please contact one of the following people.

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

Lunchtime Supervision – Trish Theobald, ttheobald@srvusd.net. You pick the day(s); each supervision is a 30 minute commitment. School Site Council – Sandy Kontilis, skontilis@srvusd.net. The Council meets three times per year and shapes the school vision and monitors/advises about program expenditures. Principal’s Advisory Council – Shaun McElroy, smcelro@srvusd.net. Roundtable discussion/think tank on school improvement. The group meets quarterly. School Climate Committee – Chelsea Rivas, crivas1@srvusd.net. Help shape the programs that lead to an improved school climate. The group meets six times per year. Teachers Angels – Janet Nunan, Janetnunan@aol.com. Help specific teachers in the classroom on an as-needed basis

Stone Valley Community Garden Update

The Stone Valley garden will be attended by a record number of students this year now that it is on the 6th grade “wheel” and garden participation is still offered to upperclassmen through the Environmental Science class. I am delighted that our natural treasure will now host a whole new crop of beneficial plants, and that every new Stone Valley student will have the privilege of spending time in our beautiful garden. Thanks to some industrious sixth graders and their parents, our recent workday was a success! There will be more opportunities to get your hands dirty throughout the year. If you are interested in helping out, please contact Jeff Hager at jhager@ srvusd.net or Rachel Day at rachel.day31@gmail.com.

Stone Valley has Gone Social!

Attention Stone Valley students and parents! Stone Valley Middle School has gone social! “Like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/StoneValley-Middle-School. Follow us on Twitter - @StoneValleyMS. Sign up for Text Alerts by texting @0c3a67 to 925-392-0796. Be sure to stay connected all year long!


Page 10 - October 2014 ~ Danville Today News

Del Amigo High School By Joseph A. Ianora, Principal

September was a very busy month for Del Amigo. We have much to celebrate as the changes we have made in our philosophy have helped our students focus on their learning. For years, Del Amigo existed as a credit recovery school, and while our charge is still the same, we are much more focused on creating an Alternative Learning Environment that supports student learning. Here is our vision of Del Amigo. Del Amigo will be a 21st Century Alternative Learning Facility that is innovative, creative, tech ready, project based, and Common Core infused, which models PLC tenants and meets the needs of the individual student as well as the whole while developing Rigor, Relevance, and Relationships. In order to accomplish the vision, here are some of the changes we have instituted. A new grading system – We are helping our students focus on their academic achievement by attaching the amount of credit to the grade earned. Students are not allowed to fail – they are given alternative assignments in order to show/demonstrate mastery over a specific skill or concept. Homework - We recognize that in the post-secondary or job market, our students will need to work beyond their scheduled work hours. We need to help our student master this necessary skill. To that end, all teachers will be providing homework each quarter. This homework, if completed with 70% accuracy, will be worth an additional half credit per class. Homework can consist of: • Traditional practice of skills • Gaining a further understanding of a concept • Introduction to a new skill, thought, idea or concept • Completion of prior classroom work Progress Reports – These bi-weekly reports help each student control, understand and appreciate their credits, graduation status, and classes needed. Students can track their grades/credit progress and meet with their Advisory teachers each Wednesday to discuss their progress and the options/choices for their success. We have seen a remarkable change in our students as they start to take control of their learning and plan for their future success. The typical Del Amigo student did not see much success when attending a traditional high school. What we see now is that the Del Amigo student has a direction and is working on a vision of who they want to be once they complete high school! To gain a better understanding of Del Amigo, I encourage you to visit our web site at www.dahs.srvusd.net, or feel free to contact me at jianora@ srvusd.net.


St. Isidore is Falling into October By Maria Ward, Principal

October is one of our many busy months at St. Isidore. We start the month with our Scholastic Book Fair. “Let’s Build a Reader!” This is a wonderful opportunity to discover a plethora of books for all ages. Our library team, along with many parent volunteers, spends endless hours turning our small gym into The Frozen Fortress, our book fair theme this year. We invite you to stop by and participate after each Mass during the weekend of October 4th and 5th to support our school. We look forward to seeing you there. Our parish holds an Annual Dinner Auction, “Father Frank’s Fiesta,” on Saturday, October 4th. We are excited that our guests from the NPH orphanage, otherwise known as, “Father Frank’s Kids,” are visiting us again this month. We partner with the parish and host about 24 young people. Father Frank’s Kids is a ministry of our parish that visits our school annually. These children share a bi-lingual Mass with our school and explain their culture while visiting with our students. We would love for you to share this evening with us. For further information, please visit www.fatherfranks.org. On Saturday, October 4th, the annual Blessing of the Animals is at San Damiano Retreat Center, right here in Danville, at 2pm. We are fortunate to have established a wonderful relationship with our neighbors up the hill. We will be encouraging our school community to walk their furry friends to get a special blessing that day. Throughout the year, the Franciscan friars help celebrate Sunday Mass with us. We enjoy supporting the Franciscans at their Fall Fundraiser, which will be held on October 26th this year. Our middle school students serve at this yearly dinner auction. If you would like to attend this special evening to support them, please visit their website at www.sandamiano.org. Our parent/teacher conferences are held during the week of October 20th. Teachers meet with each student and their parent or guardian. We celebrate the student’s successes and develop a plan for areas of growth. Being a Catholic school, we start each meeting with prayer. We discuss not only academics but also social, emotional, physical, and spiritual development. During the last week of school this month our school will participate in Red Ribbon Week. At St. Isidore we focus on being healthy individuals and making good choices. We integrate our Gospel Values into Red Ribbon Week, which helps us promote a Christian atmosphere where students feel valued and safe. The theme this year is, “Your choices are the key to your dreams.” At St. Isidore we strive for our first choice to always follow Christ. We invite you to join us at one of our many events this month. If you are interested in our school, please contact me and I am happy to schedule a tour or answer any questions you may have.

California Writers Club

Lic# 1100014354; Bay Area Entertainment

Amanda McTigue will present a workshop on “Authentic, Compelling, Memorable: What Voice Can Do for Your Writing” at the next luncheon meeting of the Mt. Diablo Branch of the California Writers Club (CWC) on Saturday, October 11 at Zio Fraedo’s Restaurant, 611 Gregory Lane, Pleasant Hill. McTigue will conduct a hands-on workshop to explore techniques to find one’s writer’s voice. Her presentation will include short writing exercises and conversation. Amanda is a Yale graduate, who has been a writer/consultant for Disney Entertainment and Paramount, and most recently, a lecturer at Sonoma State University. Her debut novel, Going to Solace was KRCB’s Best Read of 2012. Her short story collection, This is Not Water, and novel Monkey Bottom are her current projects. Check-in begins at 8:30am. A full breakfast will be served at am 9 . The workshop is from 9:45am to 12:45pm. Cost is $35 for CWC members, $45 for guests. Reservations are required, and must be received no later than noon on Wednesday, October 8. For reservations, contact Robin Gigoux at ragig@aol.com, or phone 925-933-9670. The California Writers Club Mt. Diablo Branch web address is http://cwcmtdiablowriters.wordpress.com.


Monte Vista High School

By Janet Terranova, Principal

Danville Today News ~ October 2014 - Page 11

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

Monte Vista is finishing our fourth week of school. It has been a busy Danville - According to industry experts, away altogether. In most cases, you can four weeks as students settle into their there are over 33 physical problems that make a reasonable pre-inspection yourself classes and get used to the routine will come under scrutiny during a home if you know what you're looking for, and of being back in school. As much as inspection when your home is for sale. knowing what you're looking for can help students may groan about having to A new report has been prepared which you prevent little problems from growing go back to school, we know that stuidentifies the 11 most common of these into costly and unmanageable ones. dents enjoy the routine of school and the process of learning. problems, and what you should know about To help home sellers deal with this issue And they have been busy learning; as I walk into classrooms them before you list your home for sale. before their homes are listed, a free report Whether you own an old home or a brand entitled "11Things You Need to Know to I see students engaged in rich discussions, participating in new one, there are a number of things Pass Your Home Inspection" has been Socratic seminars, working together to complete lab projects, that can fall short of requirements during a compiled which explains the issues involved. solving math equations, and getting hands-on experience home inspection. If not identified and dealt To hear a brief recorded message about in Sports Medicine and engineering classes. Our Visual with, any of these 11 items could cost you how to order your FREE copy of this report, and Performing Arts classes are getting ready for their first dearly in terms of repair. That's why it's call toll-free 1-866-265-1682 and enter performances and shows. critical that you read this report before 1003. You can call any time, 24 hours a day, Our staff is learning too. This year all schools in our you list your home. If you wait until the 7 days a week. District will be participating in semester long cohorts within building inspector flags these issues for Get your free special report NOW to learn their schools or District wide. This semester our teachers have you, you will almost certainly experience how to ensure a home inspection doesn't chosen to study a variety of subjects: Literacy with Media and costly delays in the close of your home cost you the sale of your home. Visual Texts, Student Presentations, Interactive Lecture, Sosale or, worse, turn prospective buyers cratic Seminars, and Research. Staff will be learning strategies This report is courtesy of J. Rockcliff Realtors #01763819. Not intended to solicit buyers or sellers currently under contract. Copyright © 2013 in these areas to engage and enhance learning for our students. Every year, on the last Friday in September, Monte Vista holds a Club Faire. Each club sets up a table in the amphitheater at lunch, and students have San Ramon Valley High the opportunity to look at all the clubs on campus and join one or several clubs. This year we School have over 90 clubs from Anime to Youth and Government, so there is a club for everyone to By Ruth Steele, Principal join. All students are welcome to join any club, and we encourage participation. We know In October, there are two big that the more involved students are in school, the more successful they will be in high school. events happening at SRVHS. Encourage high school students you may know to get involved. Street Smarts is bringing the Activities are underway. We have had our first rally and fall sports (cross country, football, CHP “Start Smart” program back men and women’s water polo, and women’s tennis, golf, and volleyball) are practicing and to the San Ramon Valley on Octocompeting. We have homecoming in October, and the month of October will find our clubs ber 15th. Start Smart is a two-hour having their first meetings. driver safety education class given For more information about Monte Vista and our activities, please visit our website at www. mvhs.schoolloop.com. by the California Highway Patrol to new and future teenage drivers and their parents/guardians. At the event, Charlotte Wood Middle School CHP officers will discuss collision factors associated By Christopher George, Principal with teen drivers, collision avoidance techniques, and We have gotten off to another great start at Charlotte Wood this year driver/parent responsibilities. Parents must attend with already. We were thrilled to welcome our 1,120 kids back to school their teens. (Note: The presentation contains extremely on August 25th. While last year was a year of great change for us, this graphic images.) year promises to be one of reflection, revision, and improvement. The October 15 event is free and open to teens/parents. Last year, we began our block schedule and Advisory curriculum, To register, visit http://chpstartsmart-101514.eventbrite. continued with Common Core Implementation, and began efforts to- com. For more information, please contact Cathy DeLuca, wards rebuilding department curricula. Our teachers and kids worked Street Smarts Coordinator, at 925-314-3382 or cathy@ remarkably hard to implement all these changes all while planning, street-smarts.com. implementing, and assessing kids on a daily basis. This year, we have taken feedback from those Homecoming 2014 is October 20th-25 th efforts, and we have revised and improved those curricula and programs in the best interest of kids. The themes this year are: Freshman Theme-Forrest Most importantly, this year we have decided to focus as much of our energy as possible on Gump, Sophomore Theme-Toy Story, Junior Theme-How improving our curriculum and instruction. We have had much professional development and the Grinch Stole Christmas, Senior Theme-Grease. learning centered around our view of learning, our expectations of kids, and how we best provide Set up for the parade begins at noon on Friday, October success for all of our students in the classroom. We have focused all of our professional efforts th pm into following a framework which includes the idea that all kids can learn, and it is our respon- 24 . The annual parade will begin at 2:40 . Our SRVHS sibility to help 100% of them achieve success. In doing so, we have realized that our vision of band will lead our parade out of the SRVHS main parking learning has adapted from learning as a collection of best practices and strategies to a view that lot turning right onto Danville Blvd and then yielding right onto Railroad Ave. The parade will head down Railroad, the best teaching and learning is a process which revolves around the following questions: make a left at Prospect Ave., then take a left onto Hartz. • What do we all want kids to learn? The parade will end by 3:10pm. • How do we best teach those concepts? We hope you will be able to be a part of this wonder• How do we know when they’ve learned them? ful occasion. It is something very special and unique to • What do we do when they haven’t (and what do we do when they have)? Danville. Every year we get to celebrate school spirit, This process has revitalized our discussions and work around learning, and we will be sharing much more with you in the months to come. We look forward to this year, and as always, our traditions, and our alumni during this wonderful event! welcome questions, concerns, and comments.


Page 12 - October 2014 ~ Danville Today News

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Role Players Ensemble presents Arsenic and Old Lace

The Role Players Ensemble will be presenting Arsenic and Old Lace from October 31 – November 16. Performances, held at the Village Theatre located at 233 Front Street in Danville, will begin on Fridays and Saturdays at 8PM and on Sundays at 2PM. Mortimer Brewster fears that he may be going crazy. It seems to run in his family. His uncle thinks he’s Teddy Roosevelt; his sweet, innocent aunts comfort lonely old men by poisoning them; and his brother is a career criminal with a Boris Karloff complex. And you would be crazy to miss this celebrated classic screwball comedy. Tickets are $20-28 and are available online at www.RolePlayersEnsemble. com, at the Danville Community Center, 420 Front St in Danville, or by calling (925) 314-3400.

San Ramon Valley Christian Academy By Jamie Westgate, Principal

Mmmmm...Remember the days of elementary school when you brought an apple to class to contribute to a batch of homemade applesauce? You may have studied Johnny Appleseed or discussed the growth process of apples while they cooked and filled the room with their scrumptious smell. Recently I walked through the hallways and caught this sweet aroma as a group of students sat on the rug waiting patiently for a bite of the delicious treat. The harvest season is a time when we celebrate the completion of something that’s been cultivated for a long time. Both parents and educators appreciate that raising children is a bit like cultivating a garden. It requires just the right conditions, some intentional care, and a bit of pruning here and there in order to produce a good crop. Recently I spoke in chapel and reminded students that we all bear fruit. Our behavior is a product of the things growing in our hearts. For a visual understanding we looked at some photos of good fruit and rotten fruit. It was easy to agree we don’t want our behavior to represent the type of fruit that spoils the bunch. Even a five year old can articulate the importance of being a good friend, the type who is kind, shares at recess, and puts another’s needs before their own. Producing good fruit can be a difficult process requiring discipline and patience. Fruit isn’t grown overnight, nor is a heart filled with love, peace, and joy. Our children must be taught how to love others, how to rely on God for His peace, and how to find joy in all circumstances. This is something that if we try and rush will produce in us unripe and bitter fruit! “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” This verse from Hebrews 12 encourages us to be intentional in our efforts to raise children. It’s never fun to discipline a child, but if parents and educators work together to model and provide accountability, we can cultivate hearts that demonstrate the “good fruit” we hope to harvest.

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SALE (L-R) Barbara Ann Cecchetti, Damien Seperi, Ann Kendrick; Photo by Robert Shattuck

Come to a Sneak Peek at the Danville Library, 400 Front Street, on Tuesday, October 21st at 7PM. Admission is free for this entertaining look at the production process with the show’s creative director, actors, and designers. More information can be found at www.RolePlayersEnsemble.com.

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Cornerstone Sonoma

Danville Today News ~ October 2014 - Page 13

By Linda Summers Pirkle

My small backyard is divided into four outdoor rooms. Our talented landscape architect created a very special space; a dining area for a group of 12, a table for two nestled among containers of potted plants on a brick lined patio, a fire pit area, and a pool and spa. I love my backyard. However, I have one project, my “secret garden” which is a 10’ by 6’ area hidden behind a fence and accessible by a pathway behind my house, that sorely needs some love. One of the places that I visit for gardening inspiration is Cornerstone Gardens in Sonoma. What a place! Located off Highway 121, Cornerstone Sonoma features three wine tasting venues, some lovely home and garden shops and galleries, a café and nine acres of amazing, ever changing ,walkthrough gardens created by landscape architects and designers from around the world. Cornerstone Gardens was inspired by the International Garden Festival at Chaumont-sur-Loire in France, and the aim, according to their website, is “to create a cultural and creative haven celebrating the connection between art, architecture, and nature. The gardens contribute to the art, philosophy, and future of garden design; they focus on themes and ideas, establishing or uncovering new directions in garden design and art.” It is amazing. Each artist is given approximately 1,800 square feet to design as they wish. I so enjoy walking through the different gardens; each one is unique and inspiring. One of my favorite gardens is “White Cloud” created by Andy Cao (Los Angeles) and Xavier Perrot (Paris). Bai Yun or White Cloud, as the website describes, is a sculpted cumulus cloud hovering over an undulating surface of compacted granite, crushed glass, and oyster shell. The “clouds” made of swirls of wire mesh and supported by slender posts are enhanced by thousands of clear, cut crystals that catch the light from morning to moonlight. It is just gorgeous. Each time I visit Cornerstone Gardens I get a new idea about a project, or I simply feel relaxed and reinvigorated. I am in good company, I guess, as Robert Redford and Diane Keaton as well as other personalities have been known to wander the grounds, unnoticed, enjoying the tranquility. Winter Circus for the Holidays, an annual family event based on the French tradition-Le Cirque de Boheme features all sorts of entertainment reminiscent of Paris Theater of the 1920’s. The nine holiday performances begin the weekend after Thanksgiving on November 28 thru the end of the year. Tickets can be purchased online at www.cornerstonesonoma.com. The 10th annual Lighting of the Snowmen at Cornerstone takes place at 3PM on Sunday, December th 7 . This free event includes live music in the snowflake filled Courtyard, classic holiday films in the Olive Grove Cinema, wine tasting, carolers, and free gift wrapping. Even if you are not a dog lover, you will be charmed by Axel the English Bull dog who toggles around Cornerstone with a huge bucket in his mouth. Stop to pet him and he leans toward you, bucket in mouth, eyes closed in a state of complete relaxation. He is adorable; he even has his own official YouTube video. • Cornerstone is located at 23570 Arnold Drive, Sonoma, CA 95476. Their phone number is 707.933.3010 and their website is cornerstonesonoma.com. Hours are daily from 10AM to 5PM and entrance is free. On weekends the garden may close as early as 3PM for special events. Cornerstone is a beautiful and popular venue for weddings and special occasions. • Pathways are flat with some seating along the way. Tours last about an hour and a half. 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.” What a great place to live, so much to see, so much to do.” To share your “Quick Trips” ideas, email Coverthemap@gmail.com. White Cloud garden at Cornerstone Sonoma


Page 14 - October 2014 ~ Danville Today News

has Frozen in stock!

Large selection of apparel, toys, and accessories!

The Golden Rule

By Evan Corstorphine, Portable CIO

Every day we make choices about how to act in a myriad of situations. Each choice can present many consequences--many we cannot yet see, many that are unintended. Each of us, and everything and everyone around us, is the culmination of our decisions thus far in our lives. Our businesses are the same way. I try to live my life by the adage, “Do unto others as they would do unto you.” The point? We all need to treat each other well, whether at an interpersonal level or at a business level. And why do I write this today? I do so because, I was just treated poorly by a vendor who I have purchased thousands of dollars of product from, and they are completely indifferent, smug in their petty rules which ignore the reality of their product and how it behaves, insulated behind a wall of internet connections, call-centers and voicemail, indifferent because to them I realize I’m a nobody. I often say, “No one in the big corporation hears you scream,” and this is a perfect example. In our business of dealing with technology and especially the internet, we’ve run across many people who have been ripped-off or otherwise mistreated at the hands of both crooks and legitimate companies. It’s easy to stand there and say, “Boy, that’s a tough one,” to someone who’s just had a bad encounter, but the truth is, it takes a lot of self-control not to get ticked off and cynical when it happens. It is true that we cannot change other people, only ourselves. All we can do is set the best example possible and hope that others copy our positive behavior if they find it useful or attractive. I know we’ve not always been perfect at Portable CIO, but we try to do the right thing. That means that not every job is going to be profitable to the business. It means we’re going to have to take the extra time to do something that was unplanned, unpleasant, or unintended just to ensure that the end result is what we ourselves would want if we were in the customer’s shoes. In our management meetings, we

call it “Vitamin P,” and it is the reason people choose us over our competition. People who work with us get a collection of smart people who are focused on making your situation right, who look at your situation through the “Vitamin P” lens. Empathy. Walk a mile in someone’s shoes. That’s something I keep telling my staff to practice. Try to look at all of these strange situations people confront from the standpoint of someone to whom this is completely foreign. Try to imagine what it feels like when we tell a business owner that instead of a little something that needs doing on their laptop, the hard drive has died and taken their data with it. While these situations are not of our creation, we can certainly imagine what it’s like to be in their shoes, and we act with the courtesy and respect appropriate to the situation. So, back to my issue. I bought software for my server. It didn’t work, and it didn’t say why it didn’t work in the error messages; it just didn’t work. It took a long time to figure out what the problem was, and it took longer still to contact the manufacturer when I discovered we needed a different product from them, one twice as expensive ($2,000 not $1,000) and that I’m willing to purchase if I can exchange my earlier purchase. But their policies say they won’t return software older than 30 days. Period. No exceptions, even on appeal. I couldn’t have known the root cause of the problem in time to act within 30 days, because their software’s error messages was so cryptic. So regardless of their product being part of the reason, their response was, “tough beans!” The truth of the matter is that since they are completely insulated from me, they really don’t care. I get it; I just don’t like it. We must never treat people like this. What will I do? I’m undecided. Maybe this is the cost of doing business with big internet companies. A one-man protest against this company will hurt me, not them, as I don’t have a good alternative to their product, and I need the functionality it offers. But on principle, it’s a very bitter pill. If you need assistance from a company that does care, that will empathize with your situation and address your technical problems, perhaps Portable CIO is the right choice. Give us a call at 925-552-7953, or email Advertorial helpdesk@theportablecio.com.


Danville Today News ~ October 2014 - Page 15

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Preparing for the Ban: Three Alternatives to Using Single-Use Plastic Bags

Sustainable Danville Area – Tip of the Month By Loren McDonald

On August 29, the California State Legislature passed SB 270, a bill that will prohibit the distribution of single-use plastic bags in grocery stores, convenience stores, and drugstores. Governor Brown, who has until September 30 to take action on the bill, has stated he is likely to approve the measure. According to Californians Against Waste, there are currently 98 ordinances in the state that already ban plastic bags in 122 cities and counties. Locally, Walnut Creek passed such an ordinance in March of this year, and in August, the Danville Town Council directed staff to prepare a local measure for review. Learn more about this at www.danville.ca.gov/plasticbags, and send comments and questions to plasticbags@danville.ca.gov.

So What’s The Problem With Plastic Bags?

Single-use plastic bags are convenient for consumers and inexpensive for owners of stores, however, their drawbacks are significant and include: • Plastic bags are believed to take hundreds of years to decompose. • In California, CalRecycle estimates that only about 3% of plastic bags are recycled. • They are a key source of litter, partially driven by their light weight and ease of flying away. • According to the Worldwatch Institute, each year tens of thousands of whales, birds, seals, and turtles die from contact with ocean-borne plastic bags. • They are made from non-renewable natural gas and petroleum.

Three Alternatives to Plastic Bags

One of the issues with single-use plastic bags is that they aren’t just used to carry items home from the supermarket, fast-food restaurants, or pharmacies. Once at home, many consumers like to re-use these bags for other purposes,

primarily to line trash baskets and for dog waste. The following are some alternatives to the plastic bag for the above common uses: 1. Reusable shopping bags: With or without bans on plastic bags, consumers have been adopting the use of reusable bags in a big way, appreciating their larger size, durability, and strength. The biggest challenge for most consumers to make the switch is to remember to bring them into the store. Here are a few tips to consider. • Buy several bags and keep at least three or four in your vehicles. • When you get out of your car to go shopping, simply grab the bags and go. After a few months, this process will become second nature, and you will rarely forget to take them. • Wash your bags on a regular basis. Use soap and water when washing by hand – many can be tossed into your washing machine. • Preferably, purchase a ‘Made in the USA’ cloth-type bag, made of cotton or similar materials. Alternatively, opt for a bag made of recycled materials. 2. Biodegradable dog waste bags: One of the most common complaints about plastic bag bans is from people who like to use them for their dog waste. But if you put your dog’s waste into a plastic bag, then A) that bag is definitely not usable; and more importantly B) it is no longer recyclable. The best alternative is to purchase biodegradable dog waste bags. Depending on the material used, biodegradable bags will break down typically within a few months or 1-2 years. They are widely available at stores including most pet supply stores and online retailers. If you buy in bulk, biodegradable bags only cost about a penny more than non-biodegradable bags. If you use two bags per day you would pay less than $4 per year (the cost of one latte). 3. Paper or biodegradable compost and trash bags: A key problem with using plastic bags in trash bins and baskets in your kitchen, den, bathrooms and garage, is that they inhibit the decomposition of items in the bag in the landfill.

See Sustain continued on page 27

Page 16 - October 2014 ~ Danville Today News


Stone Valley Rd. Exit West off Hwy 680 to www.ShopRichards.com Ad prices effective through 10/30/14 Danville Blvd., Right 1 Block.

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For Supporting Local Family Danville Business Today News ~ October 2014 - Page 17 Mon. - Fri. 9:30-8:00, Sat. 9:30-6:00, Sun. 11:00-5:30


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of All Skeletons and more All tasteful to Ghoulish! Thank You For Supporting Local Family Business decoratingAcrylic Tube Paints Scarecrows Scarecrows Beau Thank You For Supporting Local Family Business bring Thank You For Supporting Local Family Business Everyday Floral also 40% off 50% off 50% off 8:00, Sun. 10:00-6:00 Stem Mon. - Fri. 9:30-8:00, Sat. 9:30-6:00, Sun. 11:00-5:30 Witches, &&Vultures, Witches,Crows Crows Vultures, www.ShopRichards.com Ad prices Business effective through 10/30/14 Thank You For Supporting Local Family 5' Scarecrow w 5' Scarecrow w The Marketplace • Off Bollinger Canyon Road near the library San Ramon Store 359-6900 AlamoBush Stor Skeletons and Skeletons andmore more VALUABLE COUPON! The Marketplace Shopping Center Alamo Plaz www.ShopRichards.com Ad prices effective through 10/30/14 Valid Through 10/30/14 and Pr ThankDaler You The For Supporting Local Family Business $7.49 Rowney Graduates 75 ml Marketplace •300Off Bollinger Canyon Roadproducts-come near the library $7.49 Market Place., 1-680/Bollinger Canyon Rd. Stone Valley We have beautiful and inspiring new visit! reg.$14.99 $14.99 Danville Blv Rd. Exit East to AlcostaNow Blvd. 2.5" widethe library reg. Thank You For Local Family Business $9.99 -products-come 24.99 Any One (Compare at) Priced Item TheSupporting Marketplace •beautiful Off Regular Bollinger Canyon Road near Mon.-Satand 9:30-8:00, Sun. 10:00-6:00 Mon. - Fri. 9: We have inspiring new visit! Beautiful Tube new colors Paints to reg $19.99 to $49.99 12" to 48" HighAcrylic Now

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Sign up for our e-mail list and enter a monthly drawing for a $50 Gift Certificate!

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Sign up for our e-mail list and enter a monthly drawing for a $50 Gift Certificate! Sign up for our e-mail list and enter a monthly drawing for a $50 Gift Certificate!

I’m already on the list! I’m already on the list! per day. Cannot be combined with other offers. Excludes custom framing and prior sales, Klutz Books, Demdaco, Spellbinders, Sizzix, Willow Tree, Wilton, Games, Martha Stewart, One coupon per family

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Stems10:00-6:00 * Sprays * Swags * Picks * Berries Bushes Mon.-Sat 9:30-8:00, Sun. * Wreaths * Garlands * Pre-Made Arrangements

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Page 18 - October 2014 ~ Danville Today News

Life in the Danville Garden

Oddballs in my Garden! By John Montgomery,ASLA, LandscapeArchitect

Are there any “oddballs” in your garden? Oddballs are those plants that just show up at their own will. They are eccentric enough that you may want to keep a permanent place for them in your garden. If they get too eccentric, they may find their stay a little more temporary. Some people may think they are weeds, but as you know weeds are only “unwanted” plants. So, if you let them grow you might be stunned by the results of letting the oddball grow. Some of the oddballs that showed up in a few of my Danville gardens this year ended up being exciting additions to the usual palette of plants. Now, to be clear about the definition of oddball versus weed, here is the dictionary version: oddball - one whose behavior is eccentric; weed - is a plant of no value and usually of rank growth and one that tends to overgrow and choke out more desirable plants. As you can clearly see, there is a huge deference between the two. Don’t get the idea that Bermuda (witch) grass, crab grass, purslane (although a nice addition to salad), spurge, dandelions (also a nice addition to salad), puncture vine, poison oak, or prickly lettuce (that nasty stuff with the prickly stalk) are the kind of oddballs you want in your garden. These and many more like them are definitely weeds and they need to go. Now, go look in your garden. What looks eccentric to you? Some of the oddballs I’ve seen this year have those eccentric qualities such as exotic leaves, unbelievable flowers, brilliant colors, strange fruit, and interesting odors. Artichokes are one of those eccentric oddballs that have exotic leaves with silver foliage, strange fruit, and if you let the fruit bloom, hold on to your hat, the colors are absolutely vibrant. Don’t confuse artichokes with thistles. Thistles are definitely weeds! Recently, I had what looked like a zucchini sprout up in my planter bed, so I let it grow. What I found is that I really enjoyed the huge green leaves that soon grew to over twelve inches across. The plant started blooming huge yellow flowers that eventually (in a week!) turned into big yellow squash of unknown variety. It looked exotic so I let it grow. I thought, “I can always yank it out later.” I have another oddball that I didn’t even know what the heck it was. It sprouted up early this spring in my veggie box, so I let it grow. I thought maybe it was a sunflower at first. (By the way, sunflowers are one of those “oddballs.”) As it grew the leaves got bigger, like eight inches across, and it grew to over six feet tall with very odd flowers that looked like alien pods. Later I discovered it was Okra, definitely an oddball! It is a surprising treat when these oddballs show up by themselves. But, when your landscape architect starts specifying them in your planting plan, then you may have to begin to worry. Not really! Some of these exotic introductions are an exciting addition to a normal planting palette. Plants such as Brugmansia (angel’s trumpet), Cynara cardunculus (artichoke), Rheum palmatum (ornamental rhubarb), Melianthus major (honey bush), Agave Americana (century plant), Eryngium giganteum (Miss Wilmot’s ghost), Sedum ‘Autumn Joy,’ Echeveria (Hens & Chicks), Aloe, Ricinus communis ‘Carmencita’ (castor bean) and the king of the oddballs, Gunnera. Some of these oddballs are poisonous, so be careful to properly identify yours! Oddballs are fun and exciting. They bring a touch of whimsy and variety to a garden. They provide opportunity for eccentricity when intentionally designed into the planting plan. When you are in your garden and you Offer expires 11/30/14

see what appears to be an oddball sprouting, give it a chance. You might be pleasantly surprised! A hot tip from your local Landscape Architect: Check out www.google.com images and type in the names listed above to see photos of some of these oddballs. Gardening Quote of the Month: Gardening without fear means taking risks that saner heads would never contemplate. – Thomas Hobbs If you would like me to write on any particular subject, email your ideas to jmontgomery@jm-la.com. For design ideas, visit www.jm-la.com. Advertorial

Offer expires 11/30/14

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Fall Pruning

By Blaine Brende & Joe Lamb


Now is a great time to prune your trees to protect them against winter storms. There are three kinds of tree failure: branch, column, and entire tree. Judicious pruning reduces the likelihood of all three kinds of failure. Selective removal of weight from leggy branches makes it much less likely that a branch would fall, causing injury or damage to property. It takes a lot of “in tree” experience to identify branches with weak crotches and/or with unsafe weight distribution. Thinning the canopy to reduce fricA Bay-Friendly Qualified Professional tion from the wind greatly reduces the odds of a column breaking, or of the can help you design and maintain a beautiful entire tree falling over. When done correctly, a tree pruned for safety should still look natural, even after 30% of its foliage is removed. drought-resistant landscape or garden. Many evergreens, such as cedars, cypresses, and redwoods, and many species of deciduous trees, such as valley oaks, can be pruned in this time of year. Monterey Pines should only be pruned between October 15th and FebFind one today at: A Bay-Friendly Qualified Professional ruary 15th unless compelling safety reasons dictate otherwise.. The timing for pruning is restricted because sap from pruning cuts attracts bark beetles that can help you design and maintain a beautiful A Bay-Friendly Qualified Professional are destructive to pines. These beetles become dormant during the fall and A Bay-Friendly Qualified Professional drought-resistant landscape or agarden. can help you design and maintain beautiful winter months. Some species of beetles carry pine pitch canker, an increasingly can help you design and maintain a beautiful drought-resistant landscape or garden. common fungal disease that disfigures pine trees, sometimes killing them. If drought-resistant landscape or garden. your tree has dead tips scattered throughout the canopy it probably suffers Find one today at: from pine pitch canker. To prolong the aesthetic life of a diseased tree, prune Find one today at: Find one today at: out the infected tips before February 15th. BayFriendlyPro.org October is also a good time, if you haven’t already, to make your landscape BayFriendlyPro.org more fire safe. It is not uncommon for the East Bay to experience hot, dry, and gusty winds in the fall due to sinking air from the bay combining with inland high-pressure systems. The Oakland Hills fire of 1991 occurred on October 20th, its precursor, the 1923 Berkeley Fire, started on September 27th. Removing dead wood, breaking up fire ladders, and limbing vegetation back from your home can greatly improve the chances of your home surviving a wildfire. Brende & Lamb knows how to fire prune your landscape in a way that improves fire safety, without sacrificing the natural aesthetic. Clearing some under-story trees and removing dead wood usually enhances the natural feel of a landscape by making it look more like a mature forest. Pruning trees for safety is a craft requiring study and experience. A well-pruned tree should not only be safer, but it should look beautiful. At Brende & Lamb we take great pride in both the science and the art of pruning. Each plant has a natural growth pattern, and our trimmers are expert at accentuating the shape given the plant by nature. Our trimmers are well practiced in aesthetic pruning and are attuned to the artistic flow inherent in tree forms. One form is weeping, as with Willows and Chinese Elms. In some species, such as the Monterey Cypress, branches ascend at acute angles to the trunk, giving the tree an upswept look. Branches in the Coast Live Oak bend and twist, forming complex arcs. Each tree species has a unique form and flow. When necessary, trees and shrubs can be reduced in size, but crown reduction requires a good eye: a poorly reduced tree looks like a thicket of stubs. Topping is almost always a bad idea. However, the crown of many trees can be reduced by cutting back long branches to the crotches formed by shorter branches growing in the same direction. If the branch doesn’t fork, we cut back to the lowest growth point that will neither create a thick stub nor undermine the arching quality of the branch. When a tree or shrub has been reduced in this way, it’s difficult to detect the cuts or tell that the branches have been shortened. If your trees need a little TLC to protect them against winter winds, or if your property could use a little fire protection, please call 510-486TREE (8733) or email us at bl@brendelamb.com for a free estimate. Additionally, go to our website www.brendelamb.com to see before and after pictures, client testimonials, and work in your neighborhood. Advertorial Call for details

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Search and Rescue

The Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team needs volunteer members to respond to missing person incidents, disasters, and other critical incidents. Team members are on call 24/7 year-round. The program provides required training; including wilderness traveling, first aid, map and compass usage, tracking disaster response, and search skills; and may also include special training for canine, equestrian, technical, mountain bike, or other rescue skills. For information and applications, visit www.contracostasar.org or call 646-4461.

Page 20 - October 2014 ~ Danville Today News

Upgrading your Exterior: It Begins and Ends with ColorThe Bay Area’s premier painting By Maya Modacure, company.MB It’s Jessee all in thePainting details.

If you are considering an exterior home remodelCall us for a complimentary consultation ing project, fall510.655.7000 in the San Francisco Bay Area is the | www.mbjessee.com perfect time to move ahead. Beautiful green shrubbery | HILLSBOROUGH | PIEDMONT | OAKLAND | DANVILLE/ALAMO MARIN and planters SAN willFRANCISCO give your exterior a natural burst of color. Your front | door shutters and trim add warmth and character with color. A beautiful exterior LICENSE NO. 702138 can make a house seem more inviting, and it will give guests and potential buyers a sense of fondness towards it. Whether subtle or dramatic, color plays a major role when creating curb appeal. We’ve composed a few tips to help you make your home exterior more beautiful. One of the easiest ways to update the curb appeal of your home is to replace your front door. Older entry doors are typically not energy efficient. Old doors tend to warp, crack, and have areas of rot. Settling of the door frame can cause visible gaps. These issues can lead to air leakage, make your heating and air conditioning systems work harder to maintain the inside temperature, and result in higher energy bills. Replacing your entry door not only saves energy. New doors are more durable, improving the security against would-be burglars. You can complement your current architecture by installing a similar-style replacement door, or you change the look of the exterior by choosing a different style with multiple panels, glass panes, or by incorporating side lights. It’s important to

GHF continued from front page

the community. There’s a ‘wow’ factor when they bloom. Most people have never seen anything like it.” Raised on his own property in Walnut Creek, the chrysanthemums Dawkins has donated to GHF are fully hardy. But keeping them going as exhibition-worthy specimens takes far more than popping plants in the ground and watching them bloom. Dawkins explains, “I’m a chrysanthemum enthusiast, not a scholar. I grow plants that want to grow for me. I let nature take me where it wants to go.” After overwintering the mums in their garden beds, Steve takes cuttings in the spring, roots them in sand, pots them up in 4-inch pots, and finally installs the vigorous new specimens in-ground in early-mid June. Have you ever wondered how florists manage to get huge blossoms to market? The bedding varieties typically offered by nurseries, supermarkets and discount retailers are pinched to produce a profusion of flowers all relatively uniform and diminutive in size. In

remember a change of paint color renders the most impact for the investment. Soft paint shades in neutrals, blue, and green provide a calming feeling, while brighter shades of red, orange, or yellow add energy and excitement to your entryway. Outdoor areas are often the last to receive design attention, but they shouldn’t be. What surrounds your home is just as important as what is inside. Whether it’s a manicured front lawn, stone paver pathway, or intricate garden design, these spaces benefit from the same attention to detail as any bathroom or kitchen. Well-designed landscaping ideas can complement your home’s architecture and design, and the right plants, flowers, and shrubbery can greatly enhance your curb appeal by adding color, texture, and even fragrance to your yard. Consider including plants that maintain their look during the fall and winter as well so that your property can be beautiful all year around. Painting the exterior of your home, while more of an investment in terms of time and possibly money, will spectacularly change the look and value of your home. As a rule of thumb, most homes in the Bay Area require a new exterior painting job every five to ten years. Owners of traditional homes in the Bay Area often choose to honor and reflect the history of their home by choosing colors of the era in which the home was built. Benjamin Moore has a Historical Colors line that is geared towards traditional homes and color schemes. However, a traditional home needn’t always be painted in a traditional color palette. Many homeowners choose to spice it up a bit and use brighter, more vivid colors to highlight the decorative and architectural details of older homes. Using darker colors adds drama to your home and draws attention to details, while lighter colors make a home seem larger. Select colors that flatter your home and bring out its best elements. Paint color can also be used to camouflage imperfections. Keep in mind that high-quality paint results require professional application. Upgrade your old, drafty front door to a new energy efficient one. Plant an herb garden, add a flower box, or redesign your entire landscape. Update the color of your home; whether the trim color or the complete exterior. Increasing the curb appeal and value of your home can be accomplished with clever use of color. MB Jessee Painting has experience with painting the finest homes in the Bay Area over the last 20 years. MB Jessee Painting also offers color consultations at no additional cost. Please contact us at 510-655-7000, email us at info@mbjessee.com, or visit our website at www.mbjessee. com. Advertorial

Steve Dawkins is committed to replicating this chrysanthemum display in his own garden for the community to enjoy at GHF. (Photo courtesy of Steve Dawkins)

order to generate a few immense blooms on species bred for centuries for their spectacular flowers, growers disbud the plants, carefully choosing the buds and branches that should remain. Staking the plants before they become too tall is important. Plants in Dawkins’s home garden routinely reach six feet in height. Because nitrogen is essential to growing these heavy-feeders, GHF Garden Manager Brian Larsen

See GHF continued on page 24


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Danville Today News ~ October 2014 - Page 21


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Clip Notes

By Jody Morgan

You don’t have to know anything about gardening to realize that the onset of fall is imminent when truckloads of chrysanthemums begin weighting down shelves at nurseries and supermarkets. Pinched until all their energy has been forced into producing innumerable flowers, then stuffed into pots with insufficient root systems to establish themselves before winter, these colorful mums are best adopted as annuals even though they come from perennial stock. Once the blossoms begin to look tattered, it’s hard to believe that these plants are honored in the Far East as symbols of longevity and the ability to withstand all adversities. Chrysanthemums first appeared in Chinese literature around 1500 BC. Confucius thought them worthy subjects for meditation. Myths about the arrival of chrysanthemums in Japan sometime in the fourth century AD tell conflicting stories, but a stylized version of the flower has served as the Mikado’s personal emblem since 791 AD. Also reminiscent of the sun, the seal of Japan’s Emperor has 16 petal tips peaking through 16 flattened petals. Combining “chrysos” from the Greek meaning golden and “anthemon” translating as flower, Carl Linnaeus created a botanical label for the genus in 1753 that has since been adopted as the common name as well. Grown in Europe as early as the 17th century, chrysanthemums remained a rarity there until the Victorian era. Although the original wild progenitors of these species bore yellow blossoms, the first chrysanthemum known to have reached the United States was a variety called ‘Old Purple.’ ‘Old Purple,’ rather youthful in terms of chrysanthemum history, was the only survivor of three specimens shipped from China to Marseilles in 1789. From France where it was bred, it traveled to England, blooming for the first time at the Royal Gardens at Kew in 1795. Passage for its crossing to the New World was arranged by Colonel John Stevens III in 1798. Riding today through the “farm at Hoebuck” that Stevens acquired at auction when it was confiscated from its Tory owner after the American Revolution, you’d wonder how New Jersey ever became known as the Garden State. But when ‘Old Purple’ disembarked, the

City of Hoboken was still on the drawing board. Stevens envisioned ‘Old Purple’ as a major attraction in his “Elysian Fields,” a park he planned for his new city. After serving in Washington’s army, Stevens had a successful career in law and engineering. Responsible for the 1790 petition that formed the basis for United States Patent Law, Stevens is far better known for his pioneering work with steamboats and steam locomotives than his horticultural endeavors. Despite the plethora of chrysanthemums available now at bargain prices, plant hunters from the Western Hemisphere initially had limited success shipping home the exotic forms they found in Asia. Plants available for purchase were often forced for market and potted in local heavy clay that became waterlogged on the long journey back to Europe. Crews on vessels neglected to water the precious specimens and salt spray did nothing to improve their chances of survival. Gradually collectors devised better means of preparing plants by establishing their root systems in appropriate soil and protecting their cargo while in transit. Credited with bringing England chrysanthemum varieties that made horticultural news, Robert Fortune described his reaction to discovering them in his 1863 book Yedo and Peking (as quoted by Mary and John Gribbin in The Flower Hunters): “Quite distinct from any of the kinds at present known in Europe. One had petals like long thick hairs, of a red colour, but tipped with yellow, looking like the fringe of a shawl or curtain; another had broad white petals striped with red like a carnation or a camellia; while others were remarkable for their great size and brilliant colouring.” By the time Japanese immigrants Sadakusu Enomoto and his brother Eikichi established their business in Redwood City in 1906, chrysanthemums were readily saleable in American cities. Like other growers, they cut flowers early every morning and brought them into San Francisco. Soon the local market was saturated. How could they save their business? Carefully packing their product for long-distance travel, they engaged Wells Fargo’s four-day “Ocean-to-Ocean” service on refrigerated rail cars, making the first commercial interstate shipment of chrysanthemums in 1914. In 1915, Enomoto Brothers chrysanthemums reached New Orleans for the All Saints Day Parade. Chrysanthemums bloom naturally only in fall. Mid-twentieth century breeders discovered simulating the low-light conditions of autumn could keep flower production going to supply the floral trade year round.

Page 22 - October 2014 ~ Danville Today News

It’s All About Your Health By Robert J. Silverman, Esq.

Of all of the core estate planning documents I draft for clients, the Advance Health Care Directive (AHD) is arguably the most important. After all, nothing is more essential than our health. Yet, the other three core estate planning documents - Trust, Will, and Durable Power of Attorney - all tend to get more attention. Simply put, if you are a legal adult (at least 18 years old), you should have an AHD. Why? What does an AHD accomplish? First and foremost, it enables you to appoint someone you trust to communicate with health care providers about your health care needs if you are ever unable to do so yourself. Additionally, your preferences about many health care issues are inserted into the document as “directives” that can be carried out by your agent. These may include, among others, decisions about whether or not you would want your agent to have the discretion, under certain circumstances, to withhold or withdraw “heroic measures” to keep you alive; organ donations; autopsy; disposition of remains. It is awkward for many people to discuss the above-referenced kinds of directives with family and/or friends. But, if your agent ever needs to invoke these AHD provisions, it can be a huge source of comfort and relief to your family and friends that your agent knows that your wishes are being honored. Some people fear they are ceding valuable control by doing an AHD. The fact is that you can revoke the AHD and establish a new one, with a different agent, any time and as many times as you wish. Furthermore, the law in California is crystal clear that as long as you are capable of articulating your

Assistance League of Diablo Valley Seeks Corporate Partners ®

Assistance League® of Diablo Valley is a nonprofit, member volunteer organization which is dedicated to improving lives in our community through hands-on programs. Established in 1967, with eight philanthropic programs and two auxiliaries today, the organization continually puts “Caring and Commitment into Action” by reaching out to people of all age groups in the Contra Costa community who are vulnerable. The chapter’s primary fundraiser, Assistance League Way Side Inn Thrift Shop, is located in Lafayette. Another funding source comes from its Corporate Partners Program which enlists hands-on and financial help from the business and corporate communities. Corporate Partners Committee Chairman Lesley Salo reported that since 2006, more than 21 companies, as well as various community and elected officials, have participated, with many repeating each year. Consequently, the Corporate Partners Program has benefited from the efforts of 484 employee volunteers who have amassed 1,450 service hours and have donated $110,000 in grants and donations. Due to a challenging economy and a growing client base, Assistance League of Diablo Valley is seeking additional businesses and corporations to join the list of corporate partners. While employee volunteers have helped primarily with Operation School Bell® in the past, thrift shop opportunities and food box assemblage provide additional hands-on activities. Assistance League of Diablo Valley takes pride in its 76% return to the community in 2013-2014. With your help, we hope to match, if not exceed, that amount. To learn more about the Corporate Partners Program, please visit www.diablovalley.assistanceleague.org, or call (925) 934-0901 and ask for Lesley Salo or Linda Mercer, Corporate Partners Committee Co-Chairs.

Do you have a story idea or sporting news? Call us at 925.405.6397, or email us at Editor@YourMonthlyPaper.com.


health care needs to physicians and other providers, your decisions control and your agent has absolutely no authority. The real danger is if you become incapacitated, and you do not have an AHD in place. In that instant, court proceedings could be initiated, resulting in someone being appointed to make your health care decisions whom you would never have chosen and don’t want. In many states, different (and sometimes multiple) documents are legislated and/or used commonly, including Living Wills; Medical Directives; Health Care Powers of Attorney; Health Care Proxies; and others. For many years, California law provided for the use of a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care Power (DPAHC), but there were also other documents in use with various titles, including Natural Death Act and Directive to Physicians. Then, in 2000, California’s AHD law was enacted to consolidate the various forms that indicated health preferences. Generally, validity requires that the principal’s signature on an AHD be notarized or witnessed by two individuals. If you have an older DPAHC, it is not, per se, invalid; however, you should be on alert about a few things. One is that for many years, a DPAHC was effective for only seven years after executing it. So, some people believe they still have an effective document but it may, in fact, be expired. Another word of caution is that in 2003, HIPAA, a federal privacy law, became effective, under which strict rules govern when and to whom a health care provider may disclose “protected health information.” All properly drafted AHDs should have a HIPAA release provision (or alternatively, an applicable HIPPA release form attached to the AHD), specifically authorizing health care providers to turn over your medical records to your appointed AHD agent. NOTE: Shockingly, some of the most common forms (pre-printed by large organizations) still do not contain a HIPAA release. A word to the wise – if you have a valid AHD, and you only appointed one agent, consider establishing a new one in which you designate a primary agent and at least one alternative agent. Without an alternate agent listed, if you and your agent (e.g. spouse or child) are in a common accident or your agent is for some reason unable or unwilling to serve upon your incapacity, nobody you trust will have legal authority to make your medical decisions on your behalf. Upon your request, I would be happy to provide you with any or all of the following, free: i) a tri-fold brochure on the pros/cons of alternative methods of holding title to property, ii) an “Estate Planning Primer,” iii) a complimentary introductory meeting. Mr. Silverman is an attorney with R. Silverman Law Group, 1855 Olympic Blvd., Suite 240, Walnut Creek, CA 94596; (925) 705-4474; rsilverman@rsilvermanlaw.com. This article is intended to provide information of a general nature, and should not be relied upon as legal, tax and/ or business advice. Readers should obtain specific advice from their own, qualified professional advisors. Advertorial

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Planning for a Long Retirement By Christopher T. McClure

In conjunction with Lincoln Financial Advisors /Sagemark Consulting, a division of Lincoln Financial Advisors, a registered investment advisor

Americans are living longer than ever, thanks to advances in health care, improved diets and better exercise. A 65 year old today can reasonably expect to live another 15 to 20 years; among retired couples, there is a 50% chance one spouse will live past 90, according to the Society of Actuaries. This is great news of course. But, it also presents you with a significant financial challenge: making sure your money lasts longer than you do. The possibility of running out of money is one of the biggest risks many retirees will face in the years ahead. The challenge: If you are close to retirement, it’s more important than ever to think about how to make your money last by addressing some key issues. For example:

Your spending habits

Don’t assume that your expenses will decline significantly once you leave the workforce. The old rule of thumb that you’ll need only about 70% of your preretirement income no longer makes sense for most of us. Retirees today and in the future are likely to be much more active than previous generations and will pursue lifestyles that require more money. True, some expenses may go down; you may, for instance, downgrade to a smaller home. But others – such as travel and leisure, healthcare and prescriptions – will almost certainly increase.

Your portfolio

A longer retirement gives inflation more time to erode your purchasing power. Conventional wisdom is to become less aggressive with your investments as you near retirement. The problem is that bonds and other fixed-income investments may not keep up with inflation. This means you’ll probably want to start your post-career life with a healthier allocation in growth-oriented investments such as stocks. Stocks have had a better track record outpacing inflation than other forms of securities, although they also carry greater risk and volatility.

Your withdrawal strategy

The amount of money you draw from your portfolio each year will have a big impact on whether or not your savings can go the distance. In the past, retirees often could safely withdraw 8% a year or more from their portfolios to cover living expenses. That’s not the case anymore. Withdrawing more than 5% a year (adjusted for inflation) can significantly boost the risk that you may run out of money during retirement. To help generate a steady stream of income for a period of years or over your entire lifetime, consider annuitizing a portion of your portfolio to cover necessities. An annuity can be your own guaranteed account to cover the necessities in life. (Guarantees are subject to the claims paying ability of the issuing insurance company.) Think of your other investments as the bucket that allows you to live your dreams, the ones you feel comfortable doing knowing the necessities are covered.

Your health care costs

An extended retirement may mean a greater need for specialized medical care down the road – and with fewer employers offering lifelong health insurance; the burden will fall largely on individuals. Therefore, your plan also should set aside some assets to pay for long-term care. The national average cost for care in an assisted living unit is $3,550 a month on average, according to MetLife* - an amount that can quickly deplete a retirement portfolio. That makes it imperative to plan for unforeseen medical and health care problems before they occur. If you review your situation and discover that you’re not as well prepared as you’d hoped, don’t panic. There are plenty of smart moves you can make to get on track. You might consider looking for ways to build up your retirement savings – for example, by saving more or investing any bonus or inheritance you receive. Another option is to increase your investment allocation to stocks and high-yielding fixed income instruments if you can handle the risk or vehicles that will help to ensure a lifelong income stream. An additional alternative is to join the growing number of Americans who are choosing to delay retirement or work part time in retirement to generate additional income. In short, you have options. The key is to start planning now. But since your situation is likely to

Danville Today News ~ October 2014 - Page 23 change over the years, you’ll need to meet with your financial planner periodically to discuss your financial plan, how it is performing and if changes have occurred that could affect your plan. By giving yourself as much time as you can to implement a comprehensive financial plan – and to review it along the way – you’ll increase your chances of achieving a comfortable and secure retirement, and live the life you’ve dreamed of for decades to come. *”Market Survey of Long Term Care Costs” (https://www.metlife.com/assets/cao/mmi/ publications/highlights/mmi-market-survey-long-term-care-costs-highlights.pdf), assessed 2012.

Please contact Chris McClure to schedule a complimentary review of your financial situation. Call (925) 659-0213 or email Chris.McClure@LFG.com. CRN 201303-2078185 Christopher T. McClure is a registered representative and investment advisor representative of Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp., a broker dealer (member SIPC) and registered investment advisor, 3000 Executive Parkway, Suite 400, San Ramon, CA, offering insurance through Lincoln Marketing and Insurance Agency, LLC and Lincoln Associates Insurance Agency, Inc. and other fine companies. This information should not be construed as legal or tax advice. You may want to consult a tax advisor regarding this information as it relates to your personal circumstances. The content of this material was provided to you by Lincoln Financial Advisors for its representatives and their clients. Advertorial

Page 24 - October 2014 ~ Danville Today News

Just Chillin’

By Monica Chappell

Never panic over warm white wine again-how to chill it down quickly

As the weather stays warm during our Indian summer, more of us will continue to sip lighter wines, and knowing how to chill these wines quickly is key to their deliciousness. Just as the right glass will enhance your wine experience, serving wine at the ideal temperature is equally as important. Now, this is not something to lose sleep over, but the fact is that properly chilled wines do taste noticeably better. Serving wine at its proper temperature enables you to taste the wine at its full potential. Most of the enjoyment that comes from drinking wine involves its aroma. Vapors are created as wine warms up, so the wine needs to be a few degrees below its ideal drinking temperature for you to enjoy it at its finest. The best way to chill a bottle of wine is to place it in the refrigerator overnight, and remove it 15 to 30 minutes before serving. Most of us, however, rarely use this kind of planning in our wine consumption. You just got home from work and a cold glass of rosé sounds perfect, or a friend stopped by to celebrate a promotion and you want to pop open some bubbles, but oops...the bottle is at room temperature.

Refreshing Whites

Light to medium bodied white wines, like pinot grigio and sauvignon blanc, should be served slightly warmer, at 45-50 degrees Fahrenheit. Fullbodied whites, like an oaked chardonnay and rosé, can be served lightly chilled, at 50-55 degrees Fahrenheit. Chilling white wines properly preserves their freshness, but if they are too cold they will be nearly tasteless. White wines served too warm will taste alcoholic and flabby.

Bubbling Beauties

Sparkling wine and sweet wines should start out totally chilled and are best served between 40-45 degrees. Put them in the refrigerator an hour and a half before serving or in an ice bucket with water for at least 20 minutes before serving. For vintage-dated Champagne and other high-quality bubbly, you should let the bottle warm up a bit if you don't want to miss out on the mature character for which you’re probably paying extra. Wine will not stay at a constant temperature once it’s out of the fridge so keep an ice bucket handy or put the bottle back in the refrigerator between pourings. You needn’t become a maniac with a thermometer to get wine to the right temperature range; a little experience and a little tasting, and the wine itself will tell you everything you need to know. So chill this summer and enjoy a perfectly chilled glass of wine. Monica Chappell teaches wine appreciation classes in the East Bay. Visit www.wineappreciation101.blogspot.com for a list of classes.



Cars • Trucks • Vans • Boats • Real Estate Live Operators on hand 7 days a week Tax deduction • All transfer documents handled Free pick-up • Running or not in most cases



www.yourmonthlypaper.com GHF continued from page 20

is accenting the beds with nitrogen fixing bean plants. A drip irrigation system provides adequate water without waste. Both Larsen and Dawkins are concerned that the GHF garden got a late start this year. Plants were not set into the beds until July. While the debut of the GHF chrysanthemums promises to be exciting, they are confident that next year’s show will be even more breathtaking. Cast members are nonetheless an impressive collection. Spiders, Spoons, Pompons, Quills, Reflexes, Regular Incurves, Decorative, and Anemone Classifications are all represented in the 150 plants on display. You don’t have to know their names to appreciate that these blossoms burst open like a silent presentation of fireworks and linger like the best-preserved floral bouquet. Speaking of bouquets, these mums make excellent cut flowers. Dawkins finds they last for weeks. He doesn’t use floral food or conditioning solutions, but he does re-cut the stems under water to ensure they hydrate. Sometimes he also hardens them by submerging the cut blooms up to their necks in water. You can support this endeavor and others at GHF while strolling with a glass of champagne and indulging in catered small plates at the GHF Wine and Roses event on Sunday, October 5th from 4-7pm. For additional information or online reservations, visit www.gardenshf.org or phone 925-947-1678. The chrysanthemums will remain discreetly back stage for the early October fundraiser, but you can visit them repeatedly as they begin their performance. GHF is an independent 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization. The Gardens at 1540 Marchbanks Drive, Walnut Creek are open free to the public daily during daylight hours.

www.yourmonthlypaper.com Cinema Classics By Peggy Horn The Thin Man

This month’s Cinema Classic is The Thin Man, (1934) starring the debonair William Powell and the enigmatic Myrna Loy. The Thin Man was based on the novel of the same name and written by Dashiell Hammett. The director, W.S. Van Dyke, shot the whole movie in twelve days and managed to garner four Academy Award nominations. The film also features Maureen O’Sullivan, famous for her role as Jane, the wife of Tarzan (“Me Tarzan – You Jane”), and also famous for being the real life mother of actress Mia Farrow. William Powell plays the role of Nick Charles, an urbane and jovial gentleman who is also a highly successful detective – so expert that the criminals who have been caught by him brag about it, claiming no other detective could have done it. Nick is married to Nora (Myrna Loy), who is as elegant as she is beautiful. Moreover, she is a good sport and seems to enjoy sleuthing as much as her husband does. The extremely attractive duo together work out who murdered the victim, all the while living their sophisticated lives, walking their dog, celebrating Christmas, and throwing parties. Even the dog, Asta, a wired hair fox terrier, is refined. What makes Nick Charles particularly lovable is his circle of friends that includes criminals and the most ordinary members of the hoi polloi – they love him! The Thin Man generated five sequels, all as fun and as jaunty as the original. It has been said that the characters Nick and Nora are loosely based on Dashiell Hammett and his real life sweetheart, Lillian Hellman. Whatever the basis, watching the film is especially enjoyable due to the refinement and grace of Nick and Nora’s movements, appearance, and manners – they are both so elegant! And the film is beautifully made with lots of shadowing and gorgeous portraits. The Thin Man and its sequels are available for rent or purchase online. Musical Notes: And on the subject of elegance, I nominate Peggy Lee singing, “Why Don’t You Do Right?” (1942). Not even the summer temperatures can stand up to the ultimate cool Miss Lee seems to generate; she appears to know a secret that we don’t know. See for yourself!


Are Food Sensitivities Causing Your Chronic Pain?

How Chiropractic Care Can Help By Melissa Ko, DC, Sycamore Valley Chiropractic

Food sensitivities and poor diet are known to have negative effects on health; effecting digestion, immunity, brain function, and beyond. In my practice, I’ve found that food-sensitivity can worsen or even cause chronic pain. I’d like to share some of these observations that my colleagues and I have made in our clinical experience. My focus here will be on gluten (a protein found in wheat and other similar grains) because it is a very common sensitivity, and we will examine some research about what we know so far.

Gluten and Inflammation

In 2003, a study in the Journal of MoIecular Medicine concluded that “the gluten response in the intestinal tract with gluten-sensitive and Celiac Disease subjects promotes a severe inflammatory cascade.” Inflammation turns up the pain dial, much like turning up the volume of music, even when there is no obvious or new injury. Frequently eating foods that cause inflammation continually “fuels the fire,” which is why adhering to anti-inflammatory diets (ie. avoiding allergens, toxins, food-sensitivities, refined sugars, alcohol, caffeine, etc) is such a powerful way to fight inflammatory pain.

Gluten and Joint Pain

According to the Cleveland Clinic, people with gluten-sensitivity have common symptoms that include joint pain, swelling, and stiffness. In some cases, inflammation may cause flare-ups of pre-existing arthritis. Or, in other cases, inflammation can cause pain that mimics arthritis symptoms. I perform a thorough evaluation to determine the true cause of joint pain because there are different treatments depending on the source.

Gluten and Migraine Headaches

Dr. Mark Hyman of DrHyman.com states that gluten is one of the most

Grief Support Groups and Classes

Hospice of the East Bay has announced a schedule for their support groups and workshops for adults, children, and teens who are experiencing grief after the death of a loved one. Classes will be offered at Hospice’s Administrative Offices, located at 3470 Buskirk Avenue, Pleasant Hill. Bereavement Services are provided free of charge to all community members in need, however, donations are greatly appreciated. Pre-registration is required for all groups and classes, except the drop-in group. To register, please call Hospice of the East Bay at (925) 887-5681.

Groups for Adults

•Adults Who Have Lost a Parent ~ Mondays, 6pm - 8pm, October 6 November 24 •Widow and Widowers’ Support ~ Thursdays, 1:30pm to 3:30pm, September 4 - October 23 and Mondays, 6pm to 8pm, September 29 - November 17 •Drop-In Bereavement Support Group ~ 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month, 4:30pm - 6pm

Groups for Children and Teens

•The Bridge - Bi-monthly support program for grieving children and teens. Support is also available for parents/guardians. Sign up now for the fall session. Hospice of the East Bay provides compassionate end-of-life care to terminally ill patients, while offering emotional, spiritual, and grief support for the entire family. As a not-for-profit organization, we accept all medically qualified patients, regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay. Hospice of the East Bay has served over 22,000 patients and their families since 1977. To learn about making a donation of time or money, contact (925) 887-5678 or visit www.hospiceeastbay.org.

Books for the Homebound

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

Danville Today News ~ October 2014 - Page 25 common causes of headaches and migraines and may be due to nervous system inflammation. A study published in 2001 in the medical journal, Neurology, found that many chronic headache patients have some level of gluten-sensitivity. Many patients find that avoiding gluten in their diet is very effective in reducing their chronic headaches; in 2003, a study in the American Journal of Gastroenterology found that gluten-free diets improve migraines for gluten-sensitive patients.

Gluten and Fibromyalgia

There has been an increase of Fibromyalgia patients in my practice-usually women suffering from unrelenting pain in different areas of the body. According to Dr. Vicki Peterson of HealthNow, individuals with gluten-sensitivity have a higher rate of fibromyalgia compared to those without gluten-sensitivity. Research now supports a strong connection between digestive problems and fibromyalgia.

How Can Chiropractic Care Help?

If food-sensitivities are the root cause of chronic pain, chiropractic care can provide enormous relief. The therapies I use at my practice are targeted towards fighting inflammation, relieving pain, increasing mobility, and reestablishing alignment and stability. These therapies include chiropractic spinal and extremity adjustments, physiotherapy, therapeutic exercise, and massage. We perform a thorough exam to determine the source of the pain, and if food-sensitivities are a contributing factor, I work with getting my patients on an anti-inflammatory diet. If you are suffering from chronic pain and suspect or already know of gluten-sensitivity symptoms, please be assured that there are natural solutions like chiropractic care that will not only help with alleviating your symptoms, but will also help you achieve optimal wellness for the quality of life you want and deserve! 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

Swap continued from front page

This year we have added bikes, biking equipment, and apparel. A large inventory of new and used bikes for all ages and skill level will be on hand. Danville bike retailer 6Fifteen Cyclery and Stix & Stones, the mobile bike and ski service will be there to help with questions and recommendations, as will members of the San Ramon Valley High School Mountain Bike Club. The Ski and Snowboard Swap is a great place to see the latest products and outfit the entire family. There will be a huge selection of boards, skis, boots, helmets, and clothing, along with experts to assist you. Representatives from local ski clubs will be available to answer questions about their clubs and the sport. Retailers include Hughes Ski Hut, Nor-Ski Sports, Milosport, Sports Cove, Demo Sport, Uli Seiler Ski Shop, and Four Seasons. In addition, community members are invited to sell their bikes, ski and snowboard equipment, and clothing on consignment. Consignment equipment check in is at SRVHS on Thursday, October 30th 6pm-8pm and Saturday, November 1st 7am-9am. Donations are accepted anytime by contacting srvswap@aol.com. Join us and bring your friends on November 1st and take advantage of this great opportunity to update your bikes, ski and snowboard equipment and support the students at San Ramon Valley High School. Directions to SRVHS: Highway 680 to Danville, exit El Cerro West, two blocks to Danville Blvd., turn left, San Ramon Valley High School is one block on the right. For more event information, visit http://skiboardbikeswap.com.

Meals on Wheels

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

Page 26 - October 2014 ~ Danville Today News

Your Personal Nutritionist Let’s Feed Our Kids Right By Linda Michaelis, RD, MS

As parents we need to realize that eating right in childhood is the most powerful weapon against the growing epidemic of adult diabetes and cancer. Early adoption of sound eating habits is the best bet for having healthy teens and adults of tomorrow. Michelle Obama tells how she was criticized by her pediatrician about her family’s poor diet and thought as a Princeton and Harvard educated woman, “If I don't know how to adequately feed my family, then how do other parents do this?” Our job as adults is to make sure our kids eat what they need and not what they want. If we asked kids what they want for dinner it would be pizza, pasta, french fries, and rarely any veggies. Below are healthy guidelines for meals and snacks.


I often see kids being fed waffles, Poptarts, bagels, sugary cereals, and juice for breakfast. There is no nutrition in these foods. They are laced with sugar and are what I call, “paste and glue, sleepy foods.” The key to breakfast is to make sure your child starts their day with a source of protein and fiber. Some good ideas are oatmeal topped with brown sugar or honey and raisins, Oatmeal Squares cold cereal, eggs with veggies and a sprinkle of cheese, Greek yogurt with berries and a little low sugar granola, cereal, or 100% whole wheat toast with peanut butter. It is fine to have some sugar in the meal as long as it is balanced with protein and fiber.


Snack time also needs to include protein and fiber. This will help improve your child’s attention span and focus at school or during their afternoon studying period. For school snacks, kids enjoy apples or celery with peanut or almond butter, beef or turkey jerky with a tangerine, hard boiled eggs with some grapes, Cinnamon

Interested in Participating in Government? Seeking Volunteers for County Advisory Boards


Oatmeal Squares or Kashi Go Lean cereals with dried fruit, or even a half meat sandwich. After school at home, serve bean soup, low fat chili, baked potato with broccoli and cheese, or a sandwich. Always have cut up vegetables on the counter or in eyesight when your child opens the refrigerator.


Being hydrated is very important for brain function. Look closely at what your child is drinking, and make sure you are reading the food label for sugar content. Water is always a good choice.


Large amounts of protein and fiber are important for lunch. Many kids are very busy at lunch and may like to play more than eat. Good lunch choices include leftover chicken, steak, or other meat with some raw or cooked veggies. Try adding salsa or other low fat dipping sauce. Another option that holds up better in the warm weather is a cup of grains such as quinoa, farro, or whole wheat pasta with meat and veggies. Sandwiches often get soggy and are not eaten. Lunch is not the time for a lot of chips, crackers, dried fruits, or granola bars which often lack much nutrition.


If your child eats well during the day, they should not have a huge appetite for dinner. If dinner is too “heavy” your child will tend to fall asleep and not study well. Evening is the time that protein should be consumed in small amounts because we are more sedentary. As protein is more difficult to digest, it does not burn off as quickly. A good dinner consists of 50% veggies, 25% meat and 25% grains. Try stir-frying veggies with garlic and olive oil, or roasting them. Dinner suggestions include a potato topped with chili, broccoli and cheese, cottage cheese and veggies, or Greek yogurt and chives. Also, try a cup of whole wheat pasta with two cups of sauteed broccoli, spinach, or fresh tomatoes, garlic, and basil.


Many parents do not “believe” in desserts, which often results in excessive consumption of too many starches and too little veggies. Children like desserts. Puddings, Fudgesicles, and Skinny Cows are quite acceptable and often reduce after-dinner snacking.


Your child needs at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day. Be a role model for your kids, and make sure there are different forms of exercise that they can enjoy on their own or with the family. I would be thrilled to meet with your family at your home or in my office and evaluate each member’s present eating habits and strive to create a healthy plan that includes their favorite foods. I am glad to inform you that I am contracted with Aetna, ABMG, Hill Physicians, Sutter Health and other established companies. Please feel free to call me at (925) 855-0150 or email me at Lifeweight1@gmail.com and tell me your nutrition concerns. Refer to my website www.LindaRD.com for past articles, recipes and nutrition tips in my blog section. Advertorial

Supervisor Candace Anderson is looking for interested, motivated residents to serve on a few Contra Costa County citizen advisory boards. These voluntary boards usually meet monthly and advise the Board of Supervisors on a variety of issues. They play a vital role in county government, and provide important input. District 2 includes Alamo, Canyon, Danville, Lafayette, Moraga, Orinda, Parkmead, Rossmoor, San Ramon, Saranap, and Walnut Creek (West of N. Main Street). Applications are currently being accepted from residents of District 2 for seats on the following boards: • Alcohol and Other Drugs Advisory Board: Applicants shall have a professional Dumploads OnUs interest in, or personal commitment to, alspecializes in leviating problems related to drug abuse and providing the ultimate inappropriate alcohol use in their community. junk removal solution. • Aviation Advisory Committee: Advise the We’ll haul away just Board of Supervisors on aviation issues as they relate to the airports in Contra Costa County. about anything - from old household junk to construction and yard • In Home Support Services Public Authorwaste. The only items we are unable to accept are ity Advisory Committee: Make recommendahazardous • Computers tions to the BOS regarding the IHSS program. materials. We • Mental Health Commission: Reviews and • Cables make getting evaluates the community's mental health needs, rid of your • TVs services, facilities. Consumer Seat available. unwanted junk • Alamo Police Services Advisory Com• Monitors as easy as mittee: Advise the District 2 Supervisor and the 925.934.3743 • 925.934.1515 Sheriff on the needs of the Alamo/Danville com1-2-3; we load, • Servers www.dumploadsonus.com • www.erecycleonus.com munity for extended police services. we sweep, and 1271 Boulevard Way, Walnut Creek • Phones • County Service Area P-5 Citizen Advisory then we haul Monday-Friday, 8-5 • Saturday 9-1, Sunday, closed Committee: Advise the District 2 Supervisor and • Printers away. It’s that the Sheriff on the needs of the Roundhill, Regency easy! •Copiers Woods, and Windsor Green communities for Plus we do it extended police services. • Fax Machines • Power Supply Units • Discs and Tapes with a smile! For more information about each board, go • Scanners • Printer Cartridges and Toners • And More... to http://contra.napanet.net/maddybook. For an application, go to www.co.contra-costa.ca.us/ DocumentCenter/View/6433. For additional assistance, contact Jill Ray at (925) 957-8860 or jill.ray@bos.cccounty.us.


New Procedure for Detecting Prostate Cancer By Stephen Taylor, MD

For patients with elevated PSA’s and enlarged prostates, urologists often recommend a prostate biopsy. The urologist typically uses the standard 12core ultrasound biopsy technique – a technology that has had relatively no change since the 1980’s. This procedure obtained samples from the lower portion of the prostate and often resulted in normal or negative biopsies. The dilemma we face is that approximately 30% of prostate cancers are discovered outside of this biopsied zone. A new procedure has come along that is practice changing! The medical community has great hope for a new technique that uses MRI with ultrasound imaging to more accurately reach and biopsy suspicious lesions. In a recent Phase 3 study, researchers showed that using a specialized MRI technique along with transrectal ultrasound (TRUS) in men with an elevated PSA resulted in a prostate cancer detection rate that was twice as high compared to men undergoing the standard 12-core biopsy. After evaluating 105 men using the MR/ultrasound biopsy approach, prostate cancer was detected in 62 percent of men compared to approximately 30 percent using ultrasound alone for the biopsy method. At Pacific Urology, providing the highest level of medical care to our patients has always been our goal. My colleagues and I believe the benefits of this new MRI guided biopsy procedure are significant for patients, which is why we implementing this cutting-edge technology into our practice. We will be the first practice in Contra Costa County to have this procedure available. Dr. Stephen Taylor is a Urologist with Pacific Urology. He specializes in robotic urologic surgeries and prostate, kidney, and bladder cancers. To reach Dr. Taylor, call 925-937-7740 or visit www.pacific-urology.com.

Cancer Support Community


The Cancer Support Community located at 3276 McNutt Avenue in Walnut Creek offers the following free support classes. For information and reservations please call (925) 933-0107.

Frankly Speaking About Metastatic Breast Cancer

Information about the latest treatments for metastatic breast cancer will be presented. The talk includes treatment options, side effect management, and ways to cope with the social and emotional challenges. The meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 4th from 4pm – 6pm with Lesley Martin, MD, an oncologist with Mt. Diablo Solano Oncology.

Breast Reconstruction

Learn about breast reconstruction options, planning for reconstruction, and recovery, choosing not to have breast reconstruction, managing side effects, and choosing a healthcare team. The talk will be held Tuesday, October 21st from 6pm–8pm with Eric Mariotti, MD, a board certified plastic surgeon. The events is for cancer patients, their families, and friends.

Hospice Volunteers Needed

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

Danville Today News ~ October 2014 - Page 27

Dreams Come True for Adults, Too! By Michelle Frankland, NP

Imagine if you will, being 58 years old and never having experienced “The Happiest Place on Earth.” When the Dream Foundation learned about a pancreatic cancer patient’s long time dream of going to Disneyland, they made his dream come true. Thanks to this organization, he and his family spent several fun filled days in the theme park making special

memories together. Then there was the 93 year old Army Veteran who was battling terminal lung cancer. One of his favorite sports was sailing, and his dream was to be on a boat feeling the salt air on his skin. The Dream Foundation made it possible for this wheelchair bound sailor to set sail again by taking him on a delightful day cruise on the bay. Dreams like these come true every day and are made possible by the Dream Foundation. It is the first and largest national wish-granting foundation for adults with a terminal illness. “The mission of the Dream Foundation is to enhance the quality of life for individuals and their families facing a life-threatening illness by fulfilling a heart’s final wish.” Headquartered in Santa Barbara, California, the Dream Foundation has hundreds of volunteers who partner with over 600 Hospice and Healthcare Organizations nationwide to fulfill thousands of dreams each year. There are three simple requirements in order to be considered. Patients need to be 18 years or older, have received a life expectancy diagnosis of one year or less, and lack the resources to achieve dreams on their own. Learn more about the Dream Foundation on October 15th at the Lafayette Park Hotel as a group of Genentech employees create awareness by hosting an ‘Evening of Dreams.’ Enjoy tasty bites, wine, and philanthropy. Donations are suggested at the door. To register, call Laura at (201) 248-6455. Or visit www.dreamfoundation.org to learn more about how you can volunteer or donate time, money, airline miles, or hotel points. Michelle Frankland is an oncology trained nurse practitioner with Diablo Valley Oncology & Hematology Medical Group. Located at the California Cancer and Research Institute in Pleasant Hill, the group provides comprehensive cancer care to patients by bringing together medical oncology, hematology, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, diagnostic imaging, clinical trials, oncology rehabilitation and supportive care all in one convenient location. For more information call (925) 677-5041. Advertorial

Sustain continued from page 15

A better approach then is to reuse compostable paper bags from the supermarket or other store. Even better, however, is to purchase biodegradable trash bags. Depending on the brand and quantity you purchase, 13-gallon kitchen or smaller 3-gallon biodegradable bags will typically cost just a few pennies more per bag than the traditional plastic trash bag. Biodegradable trash bags are a bit harder to find in your local store than plastic trash bags, so I like to order several boxes at a time from Amazon.com, which will last me for a year or so. Like the end of using chlorofluorocarbons in aerosol spray cans in the late 80s, single-use plastic bags are rapidly being phased out across the U.S. and world. The transition away from plastic bags for both merchants and consumers will be an easy one, as the alternatives are many and widely available today. We want to hear about your alternatives to plastic bags. Write to us at sustainabledanville@gmail.com or visit us at www.facebook.com/sustainabledanvillearea. Loren McDonald is a Danville resident, member of the Sustainable Danville Area, and a blogger about green issues at Loren-Green.com.


Page 28 - October 2014 ~ Danville Today News

Kindness continued from front page

At the Dublin St. Patrick’s Day Parade each year, Spread Kindness hands out 500 Kindness Cards along with candies and other treats. Their signature offer of “Free Hugs” caught the attention of Barbara Roudebush, marching immediately ahead of their group in the parade. Roudebush, organizer of Bras for the Cause, an annual 10K Walk in Pleasanton raising money for breast cancer research, treatment and education, enthusiastically describes the station Spread Kindness subsequently staged for her fundraiser. “Next year will be our tenth event,” Roudebush explains, “and Spread Kindness has participated in half of those walks. I wish they could be there every year. Their hugs add a fun dimension for the walkers and bring out the neighbors, too.” Setting up at Mission Hills Park, about a third of the way along the route, Spread Kindness encourages participants and spectators with hugs and high-fives. (Go to www.trivalleysocks.org to read about this fundraiser.) Jeremy Damec, who asked to join the “Dream-Team” when the Haswells founded Spread Kindness, has high praise for their dedication. “Maria and Mark are genuine, loving, fun, full of energy, and are passionate about their work, spreading kindness. They live what they believe and believe what they live. They believe in helping, supporting, encouraging, and spreading kindness to the world. Their mission in life is to create a better world through acts of kindness, and that they do.”

Ohlone College students participate in "Kindness Week." Photo courtesy of Spread Kindness.

To celebrate her 40th birthday, Maria decided to spend the day performing 40 acts of kindness. She invited friends to choose a few acts to perform themselves, but Maria managed to accomplish all 40 items on the list herself. “It was the best day,” Maria recalls. “I spent a lot of time planning. I felt I was really making a difference in the community.” On her next birthday, she performed 41 acts of kindness. Friend Cherie wanted to pay for the next person in line at Starbucks. Finding no one behind her, she bought pastries for two policemen seated nearby. When she explained her mission, they laughed. “Maria already brought donuts to the station!” But they happily accepted their obligation to pass along a second thoughtful gesture. Theresita Gonzalez, Resource Coordinator for Shelter, Inc. of Contra Costa County, gets calls from many organizations wanting to do something to be helpful to Shelter. Founded in 1986, Shelter, Inc. works to break the cycle of homelessness by providing education and employment counseling as well as temporary affordable housing. When Spread Kindness contacted her the first time, she suggested they sponsor a family barbecue. Gonzalez was amazed by the result. “They ran a very polished event. Everything including games and prizes was very age appropriate even though the families had children from infants to teenagers.” Twice for the holiday season, Spread Kindness went shopping with a wish list from the families and came prepared with wrapped gifts and stuffed stockings individually designed for each child. Snacks and a sing-along engaged everyone in the fun. Spread Kindness made sure all the families knew in advance what to expect so they could relax and enjoy their time together.

See Kindness continued on page 30


What’s The Best Medicine? By Dr. Jerome Potozkin

As a physician, I have had patients ask me what the best medicine or treatment is for their particular problem. Some problems are easy to diagnose and treat, whereas others are more challenging. People often ask if stress can make their skin condition worse or take its toll on their appearance. When people ask you if you’re stressed out, don’t take it as a compliment. They are telling you something looks wrong. In my experience, stress can cause a flare of almost any inflammatory skin condition. The old saying that “The mind and body are one” is completely true. My prescription for this month’s article is simple: Laughter. Many of us are so busy that we don’t take time to laugh. I have some recommendations to help. Recommendation number one is not to seek the help of Jerome Potozkin, M.D. but rather seek the help of Jerome Seinfeld. Jerome Seinfeld, who I’m sure you all know as Jerry Seinfeld, is a master of comedy. He has the most successful hit comedy series Seinfeld. Many of us felt that the episodes were written for us. They had universal appeal. Jerry Seinfeld will be performing two shows this month in Oakland. I have seen him several times and found him incredibly funny. He is a true comic genius as he makes us laugh about everyday things and doesn’t need to use profanity in his act. In a word, he is awesome. Many of us spend significant time in our cars commuting or driving our kids around. Most of our cars have satellite radio with several comedy channels. I used to listen to CNN and news while driving. After a while I found it depressing and anxiety provoking. There was a simple fix: I now listen to Comedy Central radio and similar stations where you can listen to many of today’s popular comics. Tom Papa is one who has a weekly show, Come to Papa, where he interviews other top comics. I discovered Tom Papa initially opening for Jerry Seinfeld when I first became a parent. He had one of the best lines when talking to people who are about to have kids and think that kids will not change their lives: “Don’t worry; kids don’t change your life, they obliterate your life!” He also has content available on Netflix. He has appeared in the Bay Area at Tommy T’s in Pleasanton and Cobbs Comedy in San Francisco. Netflix streaming is a great source of comedy. Jim Gaffigan, one of the funniest people alive, has several concerts available. He talks a lot about food and is a cult favorite for his bit about “Hot Pockets.” Gary Gulman has an incredibly funny concert titled In this Economy. Netflix has stated it is committed to expanding its comedy content. The previously funny men use little, if any, profanity. Other comedians that you might find on Netflix that would definitely not be suitable for kids include Kat Williams, Hannibal Buress, and Amy Schumer. These acts are only suitable for a mature audience. Laughter truly is the best medicine. The happiest people I know are those that don’t take themselves too seriously and are able to laugh about life. My prescription for this month is comedy and laughter. I guarantee it will make you look and feel better. 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 Potozkin.com for more information.

Vegas Charity Night Poker Tournament

Registration is open for the Vegas Charity Night Poker Tournament which will be held on October 11 at 5:30PM at the Danville Veterans Memorial Building. Active Charity and Lazarex Cancer Foundation are pairing up to present a “Vegas Charity Night On The Danville Strip,”benefiting Lazarex Cancer Foundation. There will be a no-limit Texas Hold ‘Em poker tournament, Black-Jack, and Craps Tables. Food, adult beverages, and a room full of fabulous people will be provided. Prizes will be awarded to the Final three, but everyone will walk away with a new pair of trendy sunglasses. The Danville Veterans Memorial Building is located at 400 Hartz Avenue in Danville. The event will begin with 5:30 pm Check-in and Registration, and the Poker Tournament begins and Craps and Black-Jack tables open at 6:30PM. For registration or other information, visit https://lazarex.ejoinme.org/poker.


Danville Today News ~ October 2014 - Page 29

Page 30 - October 2014 ~ Danville Today News

Kindness continued from page 30

“When other groups come in asking to volunteer to do an event,” Gonzales remarks, “I use what Spread Kindness presented as a model. The fliers they produced to tell families what each event was going to offer are very helpful as guides for other groups.” Recognizing how important it is for each child to arrive on the first day of school with a new backpack expressing his or her personality, Spread Kindness also put together a Back-to-School Party. They worked with suggestions from the families. “They put a lot of time and effort into getting the appropriate items. The surprise was how accurate the backpacks and items filling them were to what each child wanted,” Gonzales recalls. For Damec the Back-to-School Party defines the impact sharing kind deeds has on all the participants. He writes: “It was such an uplifting experience to see the families laughing, playing together and participating in the activities, and to see the smiles on the faces of the mothers Jeremy Damec, Spread Kindness “Dream-Team” member, assists and their children. at a barbecue for Shelter, Inc. families in Pittsburgh. Photo The families were so provided by Spread Kindness. very gracious and thanked us for spending the day with them and for the backpacks. We left full of gratitude and appreciation for the families we spent the day with. Sharing this experience with Spread Kindness reminds me to this day that when we share and do acts of kindness for others, everyone benefits, and in the end, we all feel happy.” (Visit shelterincofccc.org to learn more about their mission and their October 19th Hike for Shelter on Mount Diablo) Spread Kindness visits area care facilities, including the VA Hospital in Livermore, to spend quality time with residents who don’t otherwise get much company. They’ve inspired Kindness Week at Ohlone College and a Kindness Club at Cal High. Ideas for simple acts anyone can perform are posted on their website, and suggestions are encouraged. Information on their next Adopt-a-Soldier event will soon be on the website. Spread Kindness asks for nominations of a soldier and follows up by getting a list of items the soldier and unit-mates want, ranging from basics like tube socks to a favorite candy. Shipments often run to eight boxes. One grateful unit in Iraq sent back a flag flown on the 4th of July to honor Spread Kindness. Funding comes from sales of Spread Kindness T-Shirts and Wristbands and from generous donors and volunteers. “Kindness and compassion go hand-in-hand. Working your compassion muscles honors the connection we all share,” Mark explains. Make someone else smile and you realize you feel happy, too. Connect with Mark and Maria at their Danville Yoga and Wellness Center, 125 Town and Country Drive, Danville or at www. spreadkindness.org.

Scottish Country Dancing

Come dance every Thursday evening, year-round (with the single exception of Thanksgiving)! No partner is required and no Scottish ancestry is required. Adult beginner classes for Scottish Country Dancing take place each week with free lessons at 8PM. More experienced dancers also begin at 8PM. Once a month Ceilidh dancing will take place as well. Dancing will be held at the Danville Grange, located at 743 Diablo Rd in Danville. All dance nights are drop-in. The first beginner lesson is free, afterwards the cost is $8/ night or $6/night if attending a 10-week session paid in advance. Call Witsie at (925) 676-3637 or Kathleen at (925) 934-6148 for more information. For children’s classes ages 7 and up, please contact Cathy at (925) 284-9068 for dates and fees.


The Eye Opener

By Gregory Kraskowsky, O.D., Alamo Optometry I Don’t Know What Insurance I Have…

Insurance benefits these days have become quite confusing. We are finding that a lot of patients are either unaware and/or misinformed regarding their medical and vision benefits. Vision insurance and the difference between vision and medical benefits are something that is confusing for a lot of our patients. When making an appointment for a comprehensive exam at the office, we need to know which vision insurance carrier you have so we can make sure you have benefits prior to the exam. The plans we are in-network providers for include Vision Service Plan (VSP), Eyemed, and Medical Eye Services (MES). These are stand-alone plans that have exam coverage and material benefits (towards either glasses or contact lenses). These plans vary greatly in material benefits and coverage terms, but all have exam benefits. Some of these vision plans are associated with your medical insurance, but they are usually administrated differently. For example, Cigna health insurance is associated with VSP, and Aetna coordinates some of their vision plans through Eyemed. Even though they are related, your medical insurance and vision coverage are usually separate entities. That being said, sometimes medical plans do have routine vision coverage. The problem we have found with plans such as Anthem Blue Cross and United Health Care is that patients are confused as to whether their benefits apply towards medical eye visits or routine care. The main difference is that for a medical benefit, a medical diagnosis must apply. Such things as conjunctivitis, cataracts, allergies, glaucoma, diabetes, dry eyes, etc. are medical diagnoses. Myopia and astigmatism are not considered medical and therefore would not be covered. For instance, a patient who comes to the office with only a vision issue and does not have an ocular medical condition, medical coverage alone cannot be used. So when a patient calls the office and tries to use their medical insurance for a routine exam, we have to assume there will not be a medical diagnosis. Therefore, we need to know what coverage there is for routine vision care and materials. If a patient is calling to schedule an office visit for a red eye, infection, allergies, etc., the opposite is true. The medical insurance is now primary because the routine vision plan will not pay for a medical eye visit. Now that we all understand the difference between medical and vision insurance, it is important to understand what benefits you have before calling the office to schedule an exam or office visit. If you are not sure, the human resources department through your employer should be able to help you navigate through the chaos that is insurance. If you don’t have any vision insurance through your employer or are self-employed, VSP now has individual plans available for purchase. These plans have exam coverage along with material benefits. For patients who need contacts annually or need glasses, the individual plans have basic frame and lens coverage, and then discount any upgrades to the frames and lenses. For patients who don’t need any materials, it probably doesn’t pay to purchase these plans, but for those who need glasses and/or contacts, your out-of-pocket costs will be much less than paying privately. 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 website at www.alamooptometry.com, and join us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter Advertorial @Alamo Optometry.

Hearing Loss Association

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


October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month By Dr. Barbara Persons

On the three to four days a week that I am in the operating room, my attire is comfortably predictable - scrubs and my favorite pair of clogs. The clogs happen to be pink, and I am often asked, “Why the pink shoes?” I usually respond by simply tugging up my pant leg a bit to reveal the familiar pink ribbon logo used by so many worthy causes that support breast cancer research and education. I don’t think about breast cancer for one month out of the year--I think about it every day. As I have mentioned in previous articles, my breast cancer patients hold a very special place in my heart and in my practice. Like most cancers, early detection is key to a successful outcome in breast cancer patients, and I urge everyone to become educated on breast selfexamination and regular mammogram screening. All too often breast cancer is discovered in advanced stages, requiring surgery and breast reconstruction along with radiation and chemotherapy. The physical toll of breast cancer is costly enough, but the emotional toll of losing our breasts can be devastating. Unlike earlier courses of breast cancer treatment in which tissue removal and reconstruction were done in separate surgeries, sometimes months or years apart, breast reconstruction can often be performed in conjunction with a mastectomy. Breast reconstruction surgery can drastically improve a patient’s emotional and mental recovery. In fact, many national studies support immediate reconstruction to preserve the patient’s sense of womanhood. Women who opt for immediate reconstruction can keep their physical form closer to what it was, never wake up without any breast form, and can feel more whole during their recovery. In addition, many patients find that it is easier to face additional cancer treatments including chemotherapy or radiation with their breasts more intact. While not every patient is a candidate for reconstruction at the time of a mastectomy, my personal experience and recent studies agree that first stage reconstruction at the time of mastectomy should be the standard of care in treating this cancer. The patient’s breast cancer team can provide her with the information she needs to make the decision that’s right for her. After an initial breast cancer diagnosis, there is usually an initial consultation with a general surgeon, who will perform the lumpectomy or mastectomy. This surgeon then assembles and coordinates the team of other doctors needed to treat the cancer, including the oncologist, the radiation oncologist, the genetic counselor, the radiologist, and the plastic surgeon. We are very fortunate in the greater East Bay and Bay Areas to have several very talented and caring general surgeons who I regularly team-up with to provide exceptional and leading-edge results for our patients. While the breast reconstruction process is just that, a process that can take three to twelve months and three surgeries to complete (including one major and two minor procedures for implant placement and nipple reconstruction), the patient can should consider this process as early as the timing of the mastectomy. I am so fortunate to be part of the team of people to make a positive impact in my breast cancer patients’ lives by giving back to them something they thought was lost. Through advances and innovations in technique as well as new surgical materials, artful reconstruction of the breast post-mastectomy has become a reality. The theme behind the Breast Cancer Awareness Month campaign is education and awareness. Realize that breast cancer affects us all. I encourage you to support the efforts of wonderful organizations like Susan G. Komen or the Avon Foundation. Join me in wearing your pink shoes proudly every day and feel free to contact my office any time with questions or if you have the need for a consultation. Barbara L. Persons, MD is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and owns Persons Plastic Surgery, Inc. located at 911 Moraga Rd, Suite 205 in Lafayette. She may be reached at 925.283.4012 or Advertorial drbarb@personsplasticsurgery.com.

Danville Today News ~ October 2014 - Page 31

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Page 32 - October 2014 ~ Danville Today News

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Danville Real Estate Market: Strong Market Higher Prices!

Unless we see a tsunami of new properties hit the market in the next couple of months, there will most likely be a continuing rise in Danville prices. There is an important change occurring in the price mix in Danville. A total of 79 homes have sold for more than $1,268,000 with an average price of $1,796,017 and median price of $1,550,000. This is a pretty strong sign that the high-end market, which has been struggling since the down turn in 2008, is coming back. This normalization of the market should be good news for people who have been holding on to their high-end real estate investments, awaiting a better time to sell. It looks like that better time may be upon us. If the Fed is successful in moving interest rates up gradually (emphasis on gradually) beginning next year, as they have suggested, then the Danville Real Estate market should continue to prosper. When interest rates on home loans return to a more normal 5-6%, I think the most likely scenario will be for days-on-market to extend from less than a month to a more normal three to six month time frame. We’ll probably see fewer multiple over bids, more negotiation will take place throughout the sales process, and more effort required to attract a buyer. Danville price appreciation will probably return to a more modest 3-4% annual increase. Until those things happen, the Danville Real Estate Market should continue to be very strong. Nancy and I have more than 3,000 email subscribers who receive this article in advance of publication. Sign up on our website, or just send me an email, and we can add you to the list. I assure you no spam will follow. It’s important to remember that there really is no “average” home, and no two homes are exactly alike. If you would like an honest, no strings attached opinion of your home’s current market value and suggestions for getting it ready for market, please give me a call 925-989-6086 or send me an email joecombs@thecombsteam.com.

As of this writing there are 42 Danville single family homes listed as active on MLS. Three-hundred, fourteen properties are listed as pending, and during the last nine months, a total of 315 properties were sold. The average days on market before a sale is completed stands at 19. This is by any measure a seller’s market. We’ve included a bell curve and divided the Danville Real Estate market into 25%, 50%, and 75% percentiles to give you a better sense of how properties fared at different price points. Of note is that the lowest price points and the highest price points closed in 21 and 23 days respectively while the middle price point homes stood at 17 days on market. Within each of the three groupings you’ll see that average and median price are very close with the greatest difference occurring in the grouping of the most expensive homes. The majority of homes are selling between $881,500 and $1,268,000 with the average falling at $1,059,640. This average price is about $121,000 higher than last year’s average price. This is more than last year’s increase in price and is a very large rise in the price of Danville Real Estate in a very short space of time. As markets tend to balance with regard to supply, demand and price, low inventory and high demand are driving prices higher. The question remains,“Will the supply of Danville homes for sale begin to increase in response to rising price?” The attached chart, titled “New Properties” suggests that supply, while remaining low, is increasing only marginally. From December 2013, inventory rose markedly through March and gradually declined through June, then jumped again in July, and is now at lower levels than the same time last year.

Diablo Creek Single Story

Alamo View Home

G N I D D L PESNO Amazing updated 4 bedroom single story has it all. Large level lot beautiful pool and pavilion. Priced to sell $1,679,000.

Magnificent Mt. Diablo views from this lovely updated 4 bedroom 3.5 bedroom home. Two Master suites. Priced to sell at $1,250,000.

Danville West Side

Magee Ranch Executive Home


SO Coming Soon. Nicely updated West Side single story. Backs to open space, large level yard. Oak trees. Price available upon request.

Immaculate 5 bedroom Single Story, Great Flow, Pool spa Level play yard. Priced to Sell $1,639,000

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.

Anderson Ranch Single Level



Replace copy with; Nicely updated 4 bed single level with level lot and Views! Priced to Sell $995,000 J. Rockcliff Realtors 15 Railroad Ave., Danville CA. 94526