Page 1

October 2011 Taking Time to Talk with Trees

Serving the Lafayette Community A New Director

By Fran Miller

By Jody Morgan

The art of bonsai culture seeks to distill the essence of a tree’s encounter with the forces of nature over the course of a lifetime by presenting in a container a miniature specimen carefully trained to express the struggles the tree might have undergone and overcome in the landscape. Developed in Japan from an even more ancient Chinese practice of growing trees in pots, the centuries old art made its first major debut in Europe at the Paris World Fair Exposition of 1889. Initially unable to make their own bonsai survive, Europeans began gossiping about “Oriental secrets� and “Japanese magic.� Today bonsai clubs across the United States, including our local Diablo Bonsai Club, eagerly share information about creating, caring for and exhibiting bonsai.

The play Eurydice is a twist on the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. Providing another twist on this tale of a young wife’s descent into the jaws of death are the Acalanes Drama Dons with their November production of Eurydice. The spin? This will be the first play in Acalanes’ history to be directed entirely by a student. 17-year-old Acalanes senior Abby Faber has “student directed� many times for Acalanes drama teacher and theater director Student director, Abby Faber. Ed Meehan, providing general support and helping to bring Meehan’s visions to life, but this time it’s different. With Eurydice, Faber is completely in charge. The vision of the play is hers everything from costume styling to set design, to day-to-day rehearsals. Being director is a position of great responsibility. “Not only am I working with a sizeable budget, but between the cast and crew I am essentially overseeing a team of 15-20 people,� says Faber. “It’s an amazing opportunity, and most teenagers don’t get the chance to take on a project of this size, which is part of why this whole process is so exciting.� Abby was a sophomore when Meehan first hatched the idea for her to direct a production. She had already student directed and acted for him, and he had a clear picture of how she worked. “I knew that she would be ready to direct on her own by the time she was a senior,� says Meehan, who first met Faber when she was freshman in his Drama 2 class. Meehan quickly figured out that Faber had great theater knowledge and a drive that is unique for someone her age.

See Director continued on page 20

Byron Nobriga gets advice from K Akabane

Patience is the essential virtue practitioners of the art of bonsai require. Although the Japanese term bonsai loosely translates as “to plant in a basin,�

See Bonsai continued on page 13

Guitars Not Guns

By Fran Miller





Sunday, October 30th

The fastest 5K and the toughest 10K in the land. The Lafayette Reservoir Run is the city’s most popular “family affair,� involving kids, parents, grandparents, and hundreds of serious runners from all 6XQGD\2FWREHU overDP'RZQWRZQ/DID\HWWH the Bay Area. Over 2,500 participants compete in a 10K, 5K or two mile race through the heart of downtown Lafayette, around the reservoir, and back. Sprinters, walkers, the “stroller brigade,� and many of Lafayette’s top four legged residents share the streets on the last Sunday morning in October. Race times begin at 8am, and “day of� registration begins at 6:30am. There are division awards for all top participants in the 5K and 10K. The two mile fun run is a non-timed event. Enjoy music provided by Stanley Middle School and a pancake breakfast provided by the Lafayette Rotary Club. Parking is available at the BART parking lot. Walk down to Plaza Center (Mt. Diablo Blvd. at Moraga Rd.) where all the fun will take place. Pre-registration can be done by visiting the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce website,, or Volume V - Number 10 PO Box 1335 Beneficiaries of the event are the Lafayette, CA 94549 local schools and the services and Telephone (925) 405-NEWS, 405-6397 programs of the Lafayette Chamber Fax (925) 406-0547 of Commerce. For more information, visit or see Alisa Corstorphine ~ Publisher our YouTube video at The opinions expressed herein belong to the writers, and do not com/results?search_query=lafayette+ necessarily reflect that of Lafayette Today. Lafayette Today is not responsible for the content of any of the advertising herein, reservoir+run&search_type=&aq=f. nor does publication imply endorsement. .A M


Jimi Hendrix or John Mayer they likely will never be, but the children and teens who participate in weekly guitar lessons through the Guitars Not Guns program don’t seem to care. Most simply are pleased to have some positive adult attention – something to which most are not accustomed. Guitars Not Guns (GNG) California Vice President and lead guitar instructor Randall Davis recalls a particular lesson session in Martinez, attended by three sisters, who all had different

See Guitars continued on page 16 PRSRT STD U.S. Postage PAID Permit 21 Lafayette CA

Lafayette Reservoir Run

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(continued on side two) L A F A Y E T T E Investing in ever y child

Minuteman Press Lafayette

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ever y child Diablo magazine â&#x20AC;˘ 2520 Camino Diablo â&#x20AC;˘ Walnut Creek, CA 94597 â&#x20AC;˘ (925) 943-1111 â&#x20AC;˘ Fax (925) Investing 943-1045 in â&#x20AC;˘


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Page 2 - October 2011 ~ Lafayette Today

Lamorinda Moms 14 Annual Preschool Fair th

For nearly 15 years, Lamorinda Moms has organized an annual preschool fair designed to help local parents find the perfect preschool for their child. This free event is open to Lamorinda Moms members as well as the general community. Representatives from more than 35 Lamorinda preschools will be available to discuss their programs and answer questions. Children are welcome! The event will be held Thursday, November 3rd from 6:30pm to 8:30pm at the Oakwood Athletic Club located at 4000 Mt. Diablo Blvd. in Lafayette. Lamorinda Moms is a social and support club for parents with children under five years of age in the greater Lamorinda area including the cities of Lafayette, Moraga, and Orinda. Lamorinda Moms strives to help members enrich their lives through cultivating new friendships, personal and professional growth, and community involvement. Since its origin in 1995, Lamorinda Moms (formerly Lamorinda Moms Club) has evolved to become one of the largest parenting organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area, with more than 800 members. The club hosts dozens of activities and special events each month, and it provides valuable resources to parents in the Lamorinda area. For more information, visit

Assistance League of Diablo Valley

When planning your goblins, ghosts, and ghouls festivities this autumn, browsing through the Halloween merchandise and costumes at Assistance League® Way Side Inn Thrift Shop, located at 3521 Golden Gate Way in Lafayette, is an absolute must. Through October 22nd, you can create that special costume that will exude blood curdling screams and paroxysms of fright when visiting unsuspecting friends and bothersome neighbors. Likewise, give heart to transforming your home into a creature-infested crypt that tests the intestinal fortitude of the most seasoned masters of the macabre! On Tuesday, October 25th, the Thrift Shop will take on a boutique-like ambience where you can prepare for colder weather by shopping the Cashmere Sweaters and St. John Knits promotions. Assistance League of Diablo Valley member volunteers are most grateful for your donations and purchases. Your generosity improves the lives of those at risk and in need in our community by funding eight philanthropic programs. Remember to ask for a tax donation receipt, and please sign up on our electronic mailing list to learn about up-to-the-minute specials. Please visit our website at

HW Construction 925-497-2687 Do you have a list of projects you would like to get done? Ask us about our specials... Mention this ad at the time you receive your FREE estimate and get 20% off labor! • Kitchen and Bathroom Remodels • Crown Molding, Casing, Baseboard • Window and Door Installation • Tile and Hardwood Installation • Drywall Installation and Repair • Decks and Fences • Toilet and Faucet Installation • Handyman Projects Free Estimates

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Lafayette Community Center

Fall is a beautiful time to visit the Lafayette Community Center. We have many classes for all ages. Our younger crowd can enjoy Soccer, Kung-Fu, and Gymnastics. Need a little inspiration in the kitchen? We have cooking classes to tempt your taste buds. Also, the community center has a wide variety of exercise, art, and even film criticism classes for adults.

You can join us for a ghoulishly good time as the Lafayette Youth Commission presents its annual Haunted House on Friday and Sunday, October 28 th and 30 th. From 5pm-7pm, parents can accompany children ages 7 and under for the not too scary version. Then...let the fright begin! Children 8 and over come down between 7:30pm-9:30pm for the very scary version. Cost for ages 7 and under is $3 and ages 8 and over is $5. Proceeds benefit Lafayette Youth Commission projects. The Lafayette Youth Commission (LYC) is going PINK to support Breast Cancer Awareness (BCA) not just in October, but for the rest of the 2011/2012 school year. The commission is stepping up their efforts by selling spooky sweets and “Lafayette For A Cure” t-shirts at the Haunted House. LYC will be donating 10% of all their 2011/2012 proceeds to Breast Cancer Awareness. Wondering what to do with the kids during all those school breaks? Look no further than your local Lafayette Recreation Department! We are offering “Awesome Day” where your child(ren) can spend the day doing an art project, playing in our game room, and playing lots of indoor/outdoor games. This year we have Awesome fun on November 11th and 21st-23rd, and December 16th. Campers will be divided into groups based on age. Camp Awesome runs 9am-2pm in the Manzanita Room at the Lafayette Community Center. Early care and after care is available for an additional fee. In addition to all of the classes and activites, we also have picnic areas, trails, bocce ball, petanque, and much more! Spend a fall day or evening with the Lafayette Community Center. For more information, visit or call 925-284.2232. The Lafayette Community Center is located at 500 St. Mary’s Road in Lafayette.

Lamorinda Peace and Justice

The Lamorinda Peace and Justice Group meets on the fourth Tuesday of each month from 7 – 9PM in the fireside room of Lafayette Methodist Church, 955 Moraga Road, Lafayette. Our group is committed to working to support a healthy planet, a thriving local community, and a safe, equitable world for all. For more information, call 925-946-0563.

Boulevard View

By Alisa Corstorphine, Editor

Lafayette Today ~ October 2011 - Page 3

Saint Johnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Anglican Mission

Do you remember what you wore four weeks ago? Probably not. Can Member World-wide Anglican Communion you remember what you wore to your high school prom, to your first day of kindergarten or to your wedding? Quite possibly you do. While most Sunday Worship 11am of the clothes we wear may end up â&#x20AC;&#x153;handed downâ&#x20AC;? to someone else or at Chapel of Santa Maria Church, Orinda donated to a charity without another thought about them, some items hold Visitors Welcome a special spot in our memories. 925.386.6393 I recently had some old slides scanned by the local Aberscan photo â&#x20AC;˘ ning service. It was a delight to find some hidden gems I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know existed. One small stack of pictures included my fathersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; beloved Auntie Dee and her husband whom he thought he had no pictures of. (The price to scan those slides and come up 6SR QVR with that treasure was worth every penny.) Another photo UHG E\  that jumped out to me was of my Grandma Horine. In the margins of the slide Grandpa Horine had carefully labeled the photo â&#x20AC;&#x153;Graceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new red coat.â&#x20AC;? In the photo, Grandma stands proudly in her bright red coat with the black fauxfur trim. I reflected how some clothes can be very special. Some are almost an event unto themselves. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not sure of the story behind Grandmaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s coat, but I am certain that, to her, the coat was a special purchase. My other grandmother, Dorothy Parizek, once told me about a jacket she dreamed of owning and how it led to the .A M E Diablo magazine Ad Materials Specs only job she ever held. She recounts, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I very, very briefly held a job. When I was first married, I saw there was a Sears store not too far away, and I saw something in the window I wanted. It was a great jacket. I decided I would go to Sears and see if I could work during the Christmas !G $UWZRUNLQVSLUHGE\ E rush to make money to buy the jacket. 0LNDHOD9DOHULR $JH So I worked for three weeks at Sears in a department where they sold trimmings and curtains and accessories. I did alright, I guess. .AME !GE After the three weeks I quit. I took my money and bought the 6XQGD\2FWREHU jacket. That was my big experience in the work force.â&#x20AC;? DP'RZQWRZQ/DID\HWWH These special purchases can define the seasons. They are planned 3DUNLQJDYDLODEOHDW%$57 for and saved for. The back-to-school season is synonymous with the !GE !GE .AME .AME 0LOH5XQ:DON DP Â&#x2021;. DP Â&#x2021;. DP

purchase of new fall attire for many kids. I was looking at a photo my 7RUHJLVWHUJRWRZZZDFWLYHFRPRUZZZODID\HWWHFKDPEHURUJ sister posted of my niece on her Facebook page. Whitney is entering <RXFDQFDOOWKH/DID\HWWH&KDPEHURI&RPPHUFHDW second grade and was decked out in fancy tall Sketchers boots that appear woolly and warm...great for fashion, not great for the hot end 7KLVHYHQWVXSSRUWVORFDOHGXFDWLRQ of summer days. Whitney insisted on wearing them on the first day PARTNERS IN 7KDQN\RXWRRXUVSRQVRUVDQGSDUWQHUV EDUCATION of school even though it was a very warm August day in California. Minuteman By the time Whitney got home, her pants were rolled up to her knees, Press Lafayette PARTNERS IN EDUCATION and she had a sheen of sweat on her forehead. However, despite the heat, she did not regret wearing her new boots. Her mom (my sister) recalls a similar first day of school of her own. She began seventh /DID\HWWH3ROLFH'HSDUWPHQWÂ&#x2021;/DID\HWWH3XEOLF:RUNV grade on a sweltering September day wearing the latest style of plaid &RQWUD&RVWD6KHULIIÂśV6HDUFKDQG5HVFXH wool skirt, argyle sweater vest, and knee socks. My husband, Evan, and I went to our high school Winter Ball together in 1980. I wore a white floral Book Your Party at The Gardens at Heather Farm Gunne Sax dress. It was the â&#x20AC;&#x153;coolâ&#x20AC;? Embracing a rolling hillside in Walnut Creekâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Ygnacio Valley, The Gardens at Heather Farm reside thing to go to the Gunne Sax outlet on six acres adjoining Heather Farm Park. Parties and other gatherings are held in the Camellia (When outlets were really outlets!) Room, with views of Mt. Diablo and the gardens. Fully climate controlled, with neutral walls and a in San Francisco in order to find the newly installed floor, this pleasant space is easy to decorate. perfect dress. Evan wore a matching The Gardens at Heather Farm is proud to have been awarded the Best of the East Bay award white tux with a ruffled pale blue shirt from Diablo Magazine for Best Garden in 2005. We are a Certified Wildlife Habitat and a Contra and coordinating white vinyl shoes. Costa Certified Green Business. While these are certainly not outfits The Gardens are located off Ygnacio Valley we would buy now, it sure brings back Road, two miles from downtown Walnut Creek. fun memories of those times. Holiday party sale: Mention this article Just like a certain song or a unique and receive 25% off the base rental fees for any scent can unlock a memory, so too can rental date on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday in special clothing items. What clothing November or December 2011. brings back special memories to you? Weekend dates are still open for rental this year. Please send me a note, let me know, We can accommodate parties of up to 150. and include a photo if you have one. Call us at (925) 947-1678 or e-mail rentals@ You may be included in a future article for more information. in Lafayette Today! Printing:



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Anticipate a 24 percent dot gain, +/-4 percent, as measured in the 50 percent target 150 material accordingly. Total four-color dot density should not exceed 280 percent with no m Maximum screen density for any color: 85 percent; a required value over 85 percent shou color dot density in any area: 170 percent, with no more than one solid.

Digital Specifications Diablo Publications is a Macintosh format Computer to Plate (CTP) environment and Ado page layout program used. PDF/X-1a and Macintosh formatted InDesign documents subm DVD) with a high-quality SWOP-standard proof are the preferred advertising material form Pre-press Form must accompany all digital filesâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;request a Digital Pre-press Form from yo or the advertising production coordinator. Ads submitted without a completed Digital required documentation will be assessed a $25 processing fee. If the document ca its components are substandard, the disk will be returned. All ads must be sized exactly a bordered, or charges may apply. Clients will be advised of appropriate production charges meet specifications detailed on the Digital Pre-press Form.

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L A F AY E T T E Investing in every child

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Page 4 - October 2011 ~ Lafayette Today

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Mark Yudof, President, University of California: The Fate of Higher Education in California

With budgets being slashed, tuitions on the rise, and more students than ever seeking limited UC acceptance, California’s public higher education system is in troubled waters. What does the future of the renowned University of California hold, and what does it say about the state of higher education in America? Join the Commonwealth Club for an exclusive conversation with UC President Yudof, and get your questions answered. The event takes place at the Lafayette Library and Learning Center located at 3491 Mt Diablo Blvd in Lafayette on October 25th. Check-in is at 5:45pm, and the program begins at 6:30pm. The cost is $22 for general admission, $12 members, and $7 students. For tickets or information, visit or call 415-597-6708.

Lost Dog!

$50 REWARD If you find him and your name is drawn!

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

Lafayette Luther is Missing He has become lost in this paper.

To be eligible send a letter telling us where you found him, along with your name and address to: Lost Dog! Lafayette Today, PO Box 1335 • Lafayette, CA 94549

Gail Wright is our winner! Luther was hiding on page 12 last month.

Toe-Tapping, Chat-Friendly, Seniors Dance Social Invites You!

Toe-tapping lively music, a conversation-friendly table set-up, and monthly dance lessons are popular features of the only seniors afternoon Dance Social in the Lamorinda area, held Wednesdays from 12:30 to 2:50pm at the Lafayette Community Center. Music lovers, all-level dancers, and social fans are invited to the longtime event. “We’re in the big, bright Live Oak Room, so there’s plenty of space to swirl, twirl, enjoy the music, and socialize, any or all of these you enjoy,” Dance Social board members report. “We specialize in ballroom, but other kinds of dancers also like to join us.” “Prospective newcomers often ask about dance training, and we have ballroom lessons the first Wednesday of each month. Our longtime professional duo, Karen and Michael, mix upbeat music, and vary lessons from a peppy variety of Latin dances, to waltz and swing.” Other weeks, Elroy Holtmann, Dance Social president, and longtime Lafayette resident, presents a popular selection of recorded ballroom music, compiled by a professional DJ. The dance social is $2 for members of Lafayette Senior Center and $4 for non-members. It’s just $10 yearly to join the Center and enjoy the complete range of activities. The Lafayette Community Center is located at 500 St. Mary’s Road. A map, additional details, and any upcoming skip dates are posted at sites.

Blue Star Mom’s Drop Zone

East Bay Chapter 101 Blue Star Moms is having a Drop Zone on October 29th from 10AM to 3PM at Safeway located at 3540 Mt. Diablo Blvd. in Lafayette to collect donations for their upcoming “Holiday Hugs” care package mailing to our Troops. All donations will be mailed to our brave men and women serving our country overseas. Come say hello, sponsor a care package mailing ($12.50), make a postcard or two, or drop off a donation to show your gratitude for what our brave troops do for all Americans each and every day! Our goal is to send out 2,000 care packages, and we cannot do it without the generous support of our community. Go to and click on care packages for more information, including a list of our donation items. Thank you for supporting our Troops!

Cantare Chorale Presentation

Directed by David Morales, the Cantare Chorale presents Sit Down! You’re Rockin’ the Boat, a family concert featuring a Duke Ellington medley, Broadway tunes, American folk, and popular and patriotic songs. An après-concert ice cream social will cap off Cantare’s Silver Anniversary Season opening event. The presentation will be held Sunday, October 16th at 4:00PM at LafayetteOrinda Presbyterian Church located at 49 Knox Drive in Lafayette. Tickets cost $10-$60. For more info and tickets, go to or call (510) 836-0789.

Daniel Pearl World Music Days

Temple Isaiah will host a special concert in honor of the 10th annual Daniel Pearl World Music Days ( to be held Sunday afternoon, October 23rd at 2PM at its hilltop sanctuary. Admission is free and open to the public. Temple Isaiah is located at 3800 Mount Diablo Blvd. in Lafayette. The entrance is on Risa Road. To commemorate the October birthday of journalist/musician Daniel Pearl, who was abducted and killed by extremists in Pakistan in 2002, musicians of all genres will participate in concerts worldwide and use the universal language of music to spread a message of hope and to unite people across geographical and cultural borders in a quest for a better world. The concert will feature performances by an array of artists of different musical styles, as well as remembrances from friends who knew Pearl. ForfurtherinformationabouttheDanielPearlFoundationvisitwww.danielpearl. org. For more information about the concert, contact Michael Gill (mg@maxjas. com), the Temple Isaiah office at 925.283.8575, or visit the event’s Facebook page at

Sustainable Lafayette Tip of the Month

Lawns are so common around Lafayette and the U.S. that they seem like a normal part of our landscape that has been around forever. In fact, if you added up all the lawns around the U.S. they would cover 90% of Germany or almost 60 million football fields! But traveling in California prior to 1900 you’d have a hard time finding any lawn anywhere in the state. That’s because they aren’t naturally found in California. They are an import from Europe, where they first emerged in 17th century England at the homes of large wealthy landowners who could afford a large gardening staff to cut and weed, and they didn’t need to worry about watering because of the moist, mild climate. Features of the “British Estate” first appeared in the U.S. at city parks in the mid-18th century and later migrated to suburban yards in the 1950s (with the mass-production of mechanical lawn mowers). So, all of the lawns you drive by in Lafayette are really remnants from the English countryside! Because short green grass is not a native feature in California’s dry, Mediterranean climate it is an ongoing battle to maintain a lawn. The first challenge is water. Since we don’t get any rain for half the year, lawn watering uses more than half of all the water used by most California households (the average irrigated home lawn uses more than 10,000 gallons of water each summer). You also have to contend with persistent weeds, broken sprinklers and coverage problems, gophers and other rodents, loud mowers, chemical fertilizers and weed control, and more. Lawns are actually treated with more pesticides and herbicides per acre than any other “crop” grown in the U.S. More and more Lafayette residents are discovering that native plants and grasses are far easier to care for, which makes sense, since they evolved to thrive in this area without

any help from us; they actually like it when we leave them alone! Fall is the perfect time to convert a distressed and unused grass area to a beautiful, native, sustainable garden that requires almost no water or maintenance and is much better for the environment. Using a technique called “sheet mulching,” it’s much easier to convert your lawn than you might think. There are five basic steps. 1. Prepare the Site – Soak the area with water. Flag your sprinkler heads (for conversion to drip irrigation). Edge the lawn next to hardscape. 2. Spread Organic Material - Spread organic material on top of your lawn, such as grass clippings, leaves, compost, or manure to help the lawn decompose. 3. Cover with Cardboard - Cover with a layer of cardboard to suppress weeds. Overlap by 6-8 inches and soak with water. It will eventually break down and become part of the soil. 4. Layer with Compost & Mulch - Cover with 1-2 inches of compost and then 2-3 inches of mulch for a total of 3-5 inches. 5. Plant Your Native Garden - You can plant immediately by digging holes through the cardboard or wait six months (Spring?) for the cardboard and lawn to break down. Sustainable Lafayette has created a special web page on lawn conversion where you can access a Lamorinda Lawn Conversion Guide and many other resources to help make your project as easy and affordable as possible. There is also a special Facebook page where you can share ideas with other residents about lawn conversion. Just go to and type “lawn conversion” in the search box. There are also many local success stories about how residents are creating more sustainable homes and yards.

Lafayette Today ~ October 2011 - Page 5

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All w donork by o e wne r

Lamorinda Reads! ‘Carter Beats the Devil’ By Glen David Gold

The Lafayette, Moraga, and Orinda Libraries launched the fifth-annual Three Communities, One Book program, Lamorinda Reads! With Lamorinda Reads! the libraries encourage all community members to read the same book, at the same time, creating a community-wide book club and encouraging participation in a series of events that celebrate the book. This year’s Lamorinda Reads! selection is Carter Beats the Devil by Glen David Gold. Originally published in 2001, Carter Beats the Devil was named a Washington Post Book World Notable Book of the Year, an Entertainment Weekly Editor’s Choice and one of the “Best Fiction Books of 2001,” it was a Los Angeles Times Book Review “Best Books of 2001” pick, and a Publishers Weekly “The Year in Books 2001” pick. Carter Beats the Devil is at once historical fiction and a fast paced thriller set in the Bay Area in the 1920s. The book tells the story of real-life magician, Charles Carter, and centers on the mysterious death of President Harding, who dies shortly after taking part in Carter's stage show. It is fun, fast, and full of bright and interesting characters who journey through a magical – and sometimes dangerous – world where illusion is everything. Glen David Gold writes about history in a narrative style, and his books have been hailed as very respectable ventures into historical fiction. Gold’s second novel, Sunnyside, was published in 2009. He has written several short stories, including The Tears of Squonk, for McSweeney’s and has also ventured into writing for comic books. Copies of Carter Beats the Devil are available to the public for checkout at any of the Lamorinda libraries. Programs celebrating the book continue through the month of October. Lamorinda Reads! culminates in an “Evening with the Author,” Glen David Gold, on November 1st. •Vaudeville Follies A puppet production by The Fratello Marionettes; fun for all ages! Saturday, October 15, 2-3pm at the Moraga Library. •The Royal Society Jazz Orchestra will be playing the tunes that made 1920s San Francisco roar! Wednesday, October 19, 6:307:30pm at the Orinda Library. •Book Discussion led by Moraga Mayor, Karen Mendonca on Thursday, October 20, 7-8pm at the Moraga Library. •Orinda’s Mystery Book Club discusses Carter Beats the Devil on Friday, October 21, 3-4:30pm at the Orinda Library. •Lafayette Book Club discusses Carter Beats the Devil on Wednesday, October 26, 7-8pm at the Lafayette Library & Learning Center. •An Evening with the Author, Glen David Gold Discussion and Book Signing Tuesday, November 1, 7pm at the Lafayette Library & Learning Center. For more information on Lamorinda Reads! 2011, call the Lafayette Library at (925) 385-2280, the Moraga Library at (925) 376-6852, or the Orinda Library at (925) 254-2184 or visit http://

Page 6 - October 2011 ~ Lafayette Today

The Bookworm By Joan Stevenson

I love the giddiness of hanging out in the children’s section of LLLC. That is where laughter reigns, and who doesn’t need that experience? So ratchet up the excitement because guess who is coming back to the library? Doctor Noize! Librarian Susan Weaver has invited this amazing Pied Piper of children to the Community Hall on October 23rd from 11am-noon. Doctor Noize is the author of The Ballad of Phineas McBoof and composer of special music children love. Expect the room to be full of magic, energy, and music as the kids join in with the songs Doctor Noize has written. This free event is underwritten by the Friends. Sweet Thursday returns on October 20th at 7:30pm. Chairman Maria Hjelm will welcome Joyce Maynard for an evening of conversation about the writing life. Joyce started her writing career as a teenager and was thrust into the limelight in 1972 with her ironically titled New York Times Magazine piece titled An Eighteen Year Old Looks Back on Life. Called the voice of a generation, Joyce turned the article into memoir, Looking Back. Joyce will discuss her writing process, where and how she finds inspiration, and how and why she searches for truth when writing about herself. A beloved writing teacher, Joyce will draw on her fascinating life to share her wisdom, warmth and encouragement with both writers and readers. On November 17th 7:30pm Sweet Thursday will host authors Dayna Macy who wrote Ravenous and Edward Abramson who wrote Emotional Eating. These authors focus on the deeper underpinnings of eating and examine what it means to be satisfied, and ultimately how to forge a path to balance and freedom. It is an appropriate discussion in the weeks before the holidays! It is that time of the year – Lamorinda Reads. The selection is Carter Beats the Devil by Glen David Gold. Filled with historical references that evoke the excesses and exuberance of Roaring Twenties, pre-Depression America, Carter Beats the Devil is a complex and illuminating story of one man’s journey through a magical – and sometimes dangerous – world, where illusion is everything. Glen David Gold, author of Carter Beats the Devil, discusses his book Tuesday, November 1st at 7pm. The Friends Board had the opportunity to meet Nadia Bagdasar, the librarian for the two juvenile hall facilities. For most of us it was an awesome learning experience. Let me fill you in on a few statistics: The Martinez juvenile hall facility averages 160 residents, and there are an average of 350 visits to the library each month. Last year’s circulation was 23,491 books. The Orin Allen Youth Rehabilitation Facility in Byron has accommodations for 100 residents. Ninety-five percent of the residents have a book checked out at any time, and 26% have a book on hold. Many of the residents state that they never read an entire book until they used the library at Juvenile Hall, and, more important, they thought they hated reading until they discovered all the books that speak to their experiences and involve subjects that are geared towards their interests. Education at the facilities is done through the Contra Costa Public School System. The Friends Book Shop donated a box of like-new, age-appropriate books to the facilities. When the Friends learned that the students had published a book of poetry, they purchased copies that are available at the Book Shop. Take a look when you stop by and read some of the powerful poems.

Rotary Focuses on Children’s Literacy

As a part of the Lamorinda Sunrise Rotary’s (LSR) new focus on Children’s Literacy, the Club decided to “adopt” Cambridge Elementary School in Concord; a school that benefit from Buena Vista Auxiliary’s literacy tutorial program. At LSR’s charity auction gala, Motorama, enough funds were raised by the event’s attendees to provide an entire school year of tutoring sessions through Buena Vista Auxiliary’s tutoring program. Students who are selected by their teachers to participate in the program will receive 16 one-hour sessions over a four to six-week period. The Club’s generous donation will provide enough funding for 31 students at Cambridge Elementary to participate in the program. Buena Vista Auxiliary, a part of Assistance League® of Diablo Valley, is a nonprofit volunteer auxiliary that provides an early-intervention literacy program to local elementary school children who read below grade level. LSR, in its 25th year of operation, offers a variety of ongoing community service projects, including support of education and, through its HOME team, rendering minor home-repair services to elderly and handicapped homeowners. It additionally participates in programs sponsored by Rotary International, among them the quest to eradicate polio worldwide.




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Fall Film Series ...................................... $8, Seniors $6 Food, Glorious Food: Like Water for Chocolate, Magic & romance unfold in this film. Chabot Space & Science Center...................$12/child Geology Rocks - Tykes transform to volcanologists for the day and explore the exciting nature of volcanoes! Ages 2 1/2 - 5 Astrobiology, Aliens & Art...................................Free A NASA scientist will describe how & where we search for ET. Ages 9-13. no reservations necessary Science Cafe: The Post-Japan Tsunami Era:.........$5 Is Nuclear Energy Still an Option? Professor Heino Nitsche discusses future energy options. Oakland Zoomobile...............................................Free An Animal Ambassador brings awe-inspiring small animals & animal artifacts. Ages pre-K to 1st. 2 sessions

12th…Wednesday 7:00–9:00pm CH 15th…Saturday 10:00–11:00am Chabot 17th …Monday 3:30–5:00pm 18th…Tuesday 7:00–8:00pm


SH c

19th...Wednesday 10:00–10:45am 11:00 - 11:45am CH

19th …Wednesday 7:00–8:00pm A&S 20th…Thursday 1:30–3:00pm

Berkeley Repertory Theatre Docent talk.............Free How to Write a New Book for the Bible - hear the back story of Bill Cain’s new play. Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI)............ $10 Tony Platt- Facing the Past: Legacies of Genocide, Grave Looting and Culture Wars in CA. Star Party:............................................................... Free Celebrationg the Year of the Solar System


20th…Thursday 7:00–9:00pm A&S 20th…Thursday 7:30–9:00pm



Lafayette Library and Learning Center Foundation – Information at or 925-283-6513



Astronomers help us see the spectacular night sky. Chabot will provide hands-on activities reservations necessary

Friends of LLLC ~ Sweet Thursday.................... Free Joyce Maynard- join the acclaimed author for an evening





Chabot Galaxy Explorers..................................... Free Be the first to experience the wonders of the night sky in Chabot’s cool, new Digital Inflatable Planetarium. Doctor Noize Super High-Octane Kids Show..... Free Musical performer & author Dr. Noize brings the room alive with interactive songs, dancing & more! California Shakespeare Theater...........................Free Stage Combat: 5th - 7th grade students will learn how to make stage fighting look like the real deal. California Shakespeare Theater...........................Free Stage Combat: 8th -12th grade students will learn how to make stage fighting look like the real deal. Commonwealth Club - Mark Yudof (GSLC).......$12mbrs, $22 nonmbrs, $7 Students Mr. Yudof will discuss: The Fate of Higher Education in California. Fall Film Series ........................................$8, Seniors $6 Food, Glorious Food: Babette’s Feast A 1987 Oscar winning Danish film often described as “delicious.”

22nd...Saturday 10:00-12:00am 23rd ...Sunday 11:00–11:45am


23rd...Sunday 12:00–1:00pm


23rd...Sunday 1:00–2:00pm


25th...Tuesday 6:30–7:30pm


26th...Wednesday 7:00–9:00pm CH

26th...Wednesday 7:00–9:00pm Mezz

California Shakespeare Theater.......................... $125 ... Cal Shakes Literary Society: The Individual and the Reflected Self in Shakespeare’s Time. (series of 4 classes)

27th...Thursday A&S 3:30–4:30

Lindsay Wildlife Museum ...............................$5/child Skeleton School - Discover more about “dem bones” through fun hands-on activities and experiments. Ages 6-10.

of conversation about the writing life. no reservations necessary


C lub


Commonwealth Club



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Science and Health

LEGEND: CH=Community Hall, A&S=Arts & Science Discovery Center, HC=Homework Center, VM=Veterans Memorial, GSLC=Glenn Seaborg Learning Consortium Program


Check for Updates at

Cemetery Walking Tour and Talk to Reveal Personal Side of Lafayette History By Julie Sullivan, Lafayette Historical Society (LHS)

Two October events sponsored by Lafayette Historical Society promise a unique glimpse into the personal side of Lafayette’s history - a walking tour of Lafayette Cemetery on October 30th, and a talk, “Who’s Who in the Lafayette Cemetery,” on October 26th about how the cemetery came to be and the early families buried there. In 1854 there was no cemetery in Lafayette. The parents of Henrietta Hodges, who died at age 13 of tuberculosis, received permission from Medford Gorham to bury Henrietta on a portion of his land adjacent to their home on a “pleasing, grassy knoll” near what was then “the road from Martinez to the Redwoods.” The site, at the intersection of what is today Mount Diablo Boulevard and Pleasant Hill Road, was removed from the family’s daily life yet convenient to access. After 1857 when Lafayette became the official name of the post office, the graveyard was called Lafayette Cemetery. Other burials, including those of two infants, were recorded in 1858, but it was not until 1874 that the four and one-half acre site was purchased from Medford Gorham and the Cemetery Corporation of Lafayette was officially established. Elam Brown, George Washington Hammett, Benjamin Hodges, John Taylor and C. S. Whitcomb were the directors. Three of them and most of their families are buried there. Walking through the cemetery is like reliving Lafayette history. Other headstones include Benjamin Shreve, first school master and post master, Carrie Hough Van Meter, early post mistress and librarian, Peter Thomson, blacksmith, and Jennie Bickerstaff Rosenberg, early school teacher and lifelong resident. These were real people who, as they lived their lives, made Lafayette what it is today. In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, residents of Orinda, Moraga, Pleasant Hill, Walnut Creek, Alamo, and Danville as well as Lafayette were buried in Lafayette Cemetery. In 1910 a cemetery in Walnut Creek at the site of what became the Broadway Shopping Center was closed, and the graves were moved to the Lafayette Cemetery. In 1937 the Board of Supervisors established the Alamo-Lafayette Cemetery District, and residents agreed to a tax for the upkeep of two cemeteries in Lafayette and Alamo. Lafayette Cemetery’s grassy hills resemble a park, and many people who drive by are probably unaware of its real purpose, but it is still considered an active cemetery. It is open to residents and taxpayers of the district, which includes Alamo, Blackhawk, Danville, Diablo, Lafayette, Rossmoor, a small part of Walnut Creek, and San Ramon. To sign up for the tour or the talk, email Lafayette.history@comcast. net or call 925-283-1848. Separate donations of $15 for non-members and $10 for members are requested for each event, with a $5 discount for those registering for both. The talk will take place Wednesday, October 26th, at 3pm in the Lafayette Library. Lafayette Historical Society board members Mary McCosker and Nancy Flood will share anecdotes about the cemetery and recount the development of the Alamo-Lafayette Cemetery District. Seating is limited. The tour will take place Sunday, October 30th at 1:30pm. Walking over the hilly, uneven ground requires sturdy shoes. For more information, call 925-283-1848 or visit www.lafayettehistory. org. LHS History Room in the Lafayette Library and Learning Center is open Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday from 10am – 2pm.

Lafayette Today ~ October 2011 - Page 7



Architectural Plans Interior Design Project & Construction Administration Home Furnishings


Best White Cabernet in the Valley! Tasting Room Open Weekdays - By appointment Weekends 11am to 6pm For private parties please call 510-861-2722 5700 Greenville Rd, Livermore Come shop in our Winery Boutique Store. We have gifts for the entire family, including your pet! We have homemade pet treats, handmade scarfs, wine accessories, barrel creations, candles, artwork, photography, paintings, jewelry and custom gift baskets.

Page 8 - October 2011 ~ Lafayette Today

The Dollar is Beautiful By Daniel A Barnes, CFA

Beautiful, that is, compared to her competition for the world’s reserve currency. I meant to pen this in August. Then I did write it up in mid-September. By the time you read this, another month will have passed. But the bottom line is the same: the US Dollar is still beautiful, relative to its competition. Since July, the dollar has risen 10% against the Euro and other currencies. I believe this trend will continue. You see, currencies are both a beauty contest and a weighing contest. The European Union has to bail out its banking systems. The cost of monetizing Euro debt is going to run several trillion Euros. That makes the Euro closer to a Lira than a Deutschmark. Result: a weaker currency. Further, currencies reflect a region’s economic growth prospects. The growth prospects for the Euro economy are not rosy. With its overvalued currency, the Euro’s growth prospects dim. The Euro needs to fall in order to improve its competitiveness and future growth prospects. When the Euro falls, the U.S. Dollar gains.

Swiss Franc Pegged to Euro

In August, two events have reinforced the dollar’s strengthening. First, the Swiss Franc had been acting as one of the last “iron-clad” hard currencies, but it lost its independent status. It is now, for all extensive purposes, tied to the Euro. This is probably a good thing, since a cup of coffee in Geneva is rumored to cost $11 these days. With this event, investors lost the safe haven of the Swiss Franc. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that the Swiss Franc was ever a legitimate reserve currency. It never had enough “volume” to handle petrodollars. (The Arabian Peninsula has more than half a trillion in dollar revenues per year.) The Saudis were never exchanging most of those dollars for Francs. But still, as long as the Swiss Franc has been rising these last few years against the dollar and the Euro, it created the impression among some investors that there was an alternative to the dollar.

A Peak at 2012!

By Art Lehman, Village Associates Realtors

ECB Finally Softens

The next shoe to drop was at the beginning of September, when the European Central Bank (ECB) gave multiple signals that it will acquiesce to monetizing its banking problem. Yes, that’s right, they will take a page out of the playbook of the Federal Reserve and use easy money to cover the bad loans and other issues of the weak European periphery economies (the PIGS- Portugal, Italy, Greece, and Spain). But easy money = an easy currency, which is one that is not hard and not strong.


Gold is also functioning as a currency, since it is one of the only storehouses of value, which can scarcely be “monetized” or inflated away. But the Gold market is not large enough to handle the trade flows of imports and exports.


There is only one true reserve currency in the world, the U.S. Dollar. Its demise has been greatly exaggerated. To be a reserve currency, you must have political stability, large deep markets (large enough to absorb trillions of inflows), and faith in the judicial system and the sanctity of contract and property rights. No other currency fulfills these requirements today. The Euro is a long-term candidate to be a reserve currency. Theoretically, so are the Japanese Yen and, someday perhaps, the Chinese Yuan. But each of those countries has very significant issues, which cause the owners of the trillions in petrodollars to find undying solace, for better and worse, in the US Dollar. I don’t expect that to change in the next decade. One last point. If you live in the U.S., probably more than 90% of your future liabilities and other expenses are dollar denominated. So whether the dollar rises or falls considerably, you are unlikely to notice it most of the time. Barnes Capital LLC is a Registered Investment Advisor. We manage trusts and retirement income portfolios. Financial planning is an integral part of our process. We protect client capital using municipal bonds, high-quality dividendincreasing companies and precious metals, which have protected wealth in every epoch spanning five millennia of bankruptcies, inflation and other forms of attrition. Call 925-284-3503 and visit Advertorial On top of these predications, according to a new survey of economists, real estate professionals and analysts based on Standards & Poor’s and the Case-Shiller Housing Index, the housing market remains shaky and is unlikely to deliver significant growth in prices over the next five years. So where does this leave us? In some ways it’s the same old repeat – if you need to sell and you have a plan on the other end, it could be a very good opportunity to make a move. Remember the one constant that has stayed strong are LOW interest rates. That certainly helps on the purchase side. And of course if you have no particular place to go, then just sit back, enjoy your home, make the necessary improvements, and one day this will all seem like it never happened. At least let’s hope so! If you have any questions on selling or buying a home in the area, please contact me at Village Associates at (925) 200-2591 or by email at art@ If you’d like a free automatic email update of current listings and sales, visit my website to sign up or call! Also, if you Advertorial have any topics for future articles, please let me know!

Anyone hoping that 2012 is the year real estate bounces back – think again, at least according to the experts. According to the California Association of Realtors® (C.A.R.) 2012 California Housing Market Forecast, “California home sales and median price are predicted to improve only slightly in 2012, as the continuation of the tepid economic recovery, uncertainty about the future, and funding challenges for residential mortgages are expected to keep the market moving sideways, with little foreseeable momentum in either direction. The forecast for California home sales next year is for a slight one percent increase.” C.A.R. Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young states, “2012 will be another transition year for the California housing market, as the continued uncertainty about the U.S. financial system, job growth, and the stability of the overall economy remain in the forefront for all market participants. An improvement in job growth, consumer spending, and corresponding gains in housing are essential to a broader recovery in the economy, but would-be buyers will remain cautious as they weigh these myriad uncertainties against the clear opportunities presented by today’s very affordable housing market.” Beth Peerce, C.A.R. President says, “Discretionary sellers will play a larger role in next year’s housing market. Those who held off selling in 2011 may list their homes in 2012, thereby improving the mix of homes for sale compared with the last few years. Additionally, distressed sales will remain an important segment of the overall market as lenders continue to work through the foreclosure process.” Appleton-Young believes “The most likely scenario is for the modest recovery to continue, and this should push sales up slightly next year by one percent and maintain levels that are significantly higher than those recorded during the depths of the housing downturn.” “The wild cards for 2012 are many, including federal, fiscal, monetary, and housing policies; the contentious political climate during an election year; and the strength of the U.S. economic recovery,” Lic# 1100014354; Bay Area Entertainment

The Perfect Present

A Personalized Photo Gift! By George Swan, Aberscan Imaging

As we fast approach the holiday season, this is a great time to dig out all those print photos and slides you have hidden away in albums and boxes, and use them to create that extra-special personalized gift for family members and friends. The first step is to convert your print photos and slides into digital images. If you have less than 50 photos, then you can either convert these yourself using an in-house scanner, or use the scanning services provided at many photo labs. If, like most people, you have hundreds or thousands of photos and slides, then you should use a professional scanning company like Aberscan. It’s a much better use of your time, and you’ll be much happier with the quality of the results. The second step is to search the internet for companies that can make the personalized photo gift you want. Kodak, Snapfish, Picoaboo, and Shutterfly are a few of the more popular sites out there, but there are hundreds of others to choose from. The third step is to give the present to your loved one, and watch the smile on his/her face when they open it!

Photo Gift Ideas

To get those creative juices going, I’ve listed a few ideas below: • Photo books: Photo books can be a real keepsake. You select which photos you want on each page and add captions as needed. You can then get creative with layouts and styling. The final offering is a professionally printed and bound book that will last for years. • Digital photo album: For the person who likes to view their photos on-line, there are many options for creating an online photo album. The concept is similar to the printed photo book, but you can add music, animation, and usually have more flexibility in the editing effects on images. • Games for the kids: Make a set of trading cards using photos of team players. Create cards for the “memory game” using family or vacation photos. Create a pack of playing cards with customized photos on the back. Create jigsaw puzzles using a photo or a collage of photos created by you. • Photo Stamps: For those family members that still like to write letters, create a sheet of stamps with your family photo on them. • Digital photo frames: Purchase a digital photo frame and pre-load it with a set of photos that is special to the person receiving the gift. • Photo calendars: Create twelve special memories, then make a calendar – one memory for each month. • DVD slideshows: If there is an event coming up where all the family is together in one house, it’s a great time to compile a family slideshow that everyone can enjoy on the TV. Then make copies for each person to take home. • Keepsake Family Trees: Capture and share family history, especially from all those photos and slides hidden away in your parent’s or older relative’s homes. Capture the memories before the history is lost forever, and send copies to siblings. • Merchandise: Any number of items can now be manufactured with personalized images on them: cups, t-shirts, tote bags, coasters, and plates are only a few of the possibilities. • Scrapbooking: If you know someone who loves scrapbooking, then make re-prints from your scanned images and let them scrapbook to their hearts content! As you can see, the options are limitless. Make this holiday period a special one with that oneof-a-kind personalized photo gift! It all starts with getting your photos and slides out of the closet and scanned into digital images. Visit the Aberscan website at, call 925-362-0801, or email custservice@ Contact us today and find out how easy and convenient scanning can be! We are located in Alamo. Advertorial

Film Screening of The Man Who Will Come

The International Film Showcase will screen The Man Who Will Come, L'Uomo che verrà, beginning October 21, at the Orinda Theatre, as part of a UC Berkeley Law School symposium on the civilian massacres committed by the Nazis in Italy during World War II. On Saturday, October 22, the sponsors will host a special event, The Man Who Will Come: A Conversation about Remembering the Monte Sole massacre of 1944, starting at 6:30PM followed by the screening of the film and a Q&A session. Guest speakers will include Italian director/actor Germano Maccioni, who will speak about his experience in the making of the film, Lenore Kitts, a UC Berkeley scholar, and Andrea Speranzoni, an Italian jurist and expert on the 1944 massacre at Monte Sole. Dr. Speranzoni will talk about the legal and human outcome of the historical events depicted in the film. Sponsors of the symposium and screening include Lamorinda Film and Entertainment Foundation, UC Berkeley Law School, the Miller Institute for Global Challenges and the Law, and UC Berkeley’s Human Rights Center, and the Jewish Federation of the East Bay. For more information about the screening and ticket prices, please check our website at, or contact Efi Lubliner directly at

Lafayette Today ~ October 2011 - Page 9

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Cinema Classics My Six Loves By Peggy Horn

This month’s movie is, My Six Loves, (1962) starring Debbie Reynolds, Cliff Robertson, and David Janssen. Is this a lighthearted movie? Yes. Fanciful at times? Yes. Slightly corny? Yes. Funny? Yes! Touching? Yes!! Very entertaining? YES!!! Afficionados of wholesome, comical, heartwarming movies from the sixties will love this film as I do. Miss Reynolds plays the part of Janice Courtney, an actress who is driven by exhaustion to her country home in Connecticut to recuperate. She is accompanied by her very amusing personal assistant, Ethyl (Eileen Heckart), and monitored by her producer friend, Marty Bliss (David Janssen). Shortly after arriving at her home, Janice discovers six children living on her property, and eventually, with the help of the local minister, Reverend Jim Larkin (Cliff Robertson), she becomes their temporary guardian. The kids are adorable, and the relationship between Janice, Ethyl, Reverend Larkin and the kids seems real and believable. While serving as guardian to her six charges, Janice is offered an important role in a new play involving, as described by the playwright, a so-called sybaritic woman who “rebels against the dichotomy of modern living and seeks her euphoria in depravity.” Before she has a chance to fully comprehend what this means, Janice must choose between the lead role in the play and her custodial role with the kids. Her decision affects the outcome of the film. The film is directed by Gower Champion, who was an actor, a dancer, a choreographer, a director, and a recipient of numerous Tony Awards for his work in the theatre. Also noteworthy is the performance of a song by Miss Reynolds entitled, It’s a Darn Good Thing, which was written by Sammy Cahn and James Van Heusen. Both men were hugely famous in a previous era for their many popular compositions. Finally, the main title piano solo is performed by the great Peter Nero, a noted pianist who was especially popular in the 1960s. All this great stuff is available for the inexpensive price of one DVD! My Six Loves is available for purchase online through various movie distributors.

Page 10 - October 2011 ~ Lafayette Today

Hang Up!

By Evan Corstorphine, Portable CIO

Every month I could fill this space with information about scam artists, viruses, and the seedy underbelly of computing. Usually I don’t, because I think you’ll get bored reading the same old warnings. But, there is a new scam affecting the computer community, and we already know several people who’ve been approached, so I think you should know about it. The scam begins with a simple telephone call. The caller says they are calling either from “Microsoft” or from “Windows.” The caller informs the victim that the victims’ PC system is reporting major problems and says they can show the victim where the errors are on their system. The scammers know that almost all computer logs will look to most people like there’s a serious problem, so they play on your fears to trick you into cooperating. Just for reference, almost every PC computer registers these “error events.” You will see logs filled with warnings and errors which usually mean nothing, but they look scary to the uninformed. The scammers convince the victim to go to a website which allows installation of a remote control tool on their computer. The access allows the scammer to take control of the victim’s computer where they lead the victim to the error logs. The scammer then directs the victim to a website that requires the victim to pay between $40 and $300 a year for an antivirus scanning tool. In a recent case, the victim figured out he was scammed, refused to pay the $300, and hung up. However, the victim had no idea what the scammer could have copied onto his system while it was being remote controlled. What he did was really dangerous. Doing a little research, I found that this scam is a worldwide problem. ComputerWorld ( wrote an article in April about this, from which I quote below. “Microsoft Australia has admitted an inability to effectively shut down an Indian-based telemarketing scam which offers users of its Windows operating system virus protection. (It’s based on the same tactics as the one I mention above.) The scam, known as Windows Event Viewer - or simply ‘eventvwr’ - involves telemarketers requesting the recipient’s authority to run a Windows program by the same name in order to fix ‘bugs in the operating system.’ Other callers claim they can remove the virus for a fee and ask for people’s credit card details. However, the telemarketers only charge the credit card for the amount the customer agrees to and, according to the vendor’s research, do not use the card details again. (It’s by these nuances the scam artists are avoiding prosecution.) “The difficulty that we have here [in Australia] is that because the telemarketers seem to be based in India, there are some intricacies of the Indian law which suggest they may not be breaking any laws there. Even if they are breaking some consumer laws in Australia, trying to prosecute anyone under Australian law in India is exceptionally challenging. What I do know is that from an enforcement perspective in Microsoft, we’ve been very active in trying to track down people who have used our logos without permission or tried to represent themselves as having an alignment to Microsoft.” Since telemarketers weren’t impersonating MiHave you seen a cow wandering around Lafayette? crosoft employees or claiming to be from the comWe have lost our cow! If you have seen her, please call pany - instead mentioning key brand names such as Rene at Urban Suburban ~ 925-283-5212. Windows Vista or XP - they were treading a “fine line” on the case. The scam involves a random telephone call made to an Australian number from an offshore call center. A computer is used to do predictive dialing and connect the call, which is characterized by a delay of a few seconds before the calling party answers. The caller then claims to be a representative of a software company and requests the recipient to run a program to fix ‘bugs’ in the operating system. The point I want to drive home here, is that Microsoft, or “Windows” will never call you. Neither will any of the other big technology companies. I need you to be extremely skeptical when “Good Samaritans” claim to be acting on your behalf. Honestly and unfortunately, I’ve not ever been contacted by 3328 Mount Diablo Blvd • Lafayette someone who truly had something of real value for me that didn’t want even more in return. If it seems too good (or too amazing, or too scary) to be true, it most likely is. The world is full of scam artists, and as economic times put the pinch on more people, Monday - Friday 7:30am - 5pm the bad guys are getting more brazen and desperate. Don’t be their next victim. When someone Our mission is to provide personalized care, help calls and says they want to fix your PC, maintain independence and enhance our hang up and call Portable CIO. We’ll tell client’s quality of life on a daily basis. you the truth. • Free in-home assessments • Regular home visits If you want an actual evaluation of ensure the right care plan • Hourly care Heartfelt & your system, or have a problem you wish for you • Live-in care Supportive to address, give the friendly and honest • Fully bonded and insured • Geriatric care mgmt. • Elder referral and placement staff at Portable CIO a call, 925-552-7953, At All Times... or email us at helpdesk@theportablecio. 3645 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Suite D Lafayette, CA 94549 Advertorial com. (beside Trader Joe’s) 925-284-1213

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Kidney Disease in Cats and Dogs: Are There Any Alternative Options? By Dr. Jennifer Luna-Repose

Kidney disease is one of the more common problems seen in aging pets. While chronic kidney failure is more common in cats, it is certainly a problem we see in dogs as well. Acute kidney failure is generally the result of poisoning or external toxins of some type. Chronic kidney failure is usually a slowly progressive disease that often goes unnoticed for quite some time. The kidneys function is to filter out and excrete toxins from the body through the urine. When the kidneys are damaged they become less able to concentrate the urine, and therefore more fluid is used by the body to excrete toxins. This is why one of the first symptoms you may notice in your dog or cat with kidney disease is their desire to drink more water and in result they have to urinate more frequently. Other signs include nausea, vomiting, weight loss, constipation, low energy / fatigue, and poor appetite. Most animals do not show signs of kidney failure until about 70% - 75% of kidney function has been lost. Diagnosis is made by blood and urine tests performed by your veterinarian. Traditional therapies perform the functions of the kidneys for your animal whereas holistic therapies help to restore the functions of your animal’s kidneys. Some holistic therapies that can be used along with conventional treatments include: 1. Omega 3 Fatty Acid Supplements - Omega 3 fatty acids from marine fish oil have been shown to slow the progression of kidney disease in a clinical trial with dogs. The antiinflammatory action of the Omega 3’s may also reduce kidney inflammation. 2. Probiotics – Probiotics, a supplement comprised of the healthy bacteria found in the gastrointestinal tract, have been shown to help reduce the level of toxins that can build up in the blood of animals with kidney disease. 3. Diet - A low-protein, low-phosphorus, and low-sodium diet may be recommended for a cat or dog with kidney disease. Some studies suggest that feeding a diet low in phosphorus may help slow the progression of kidney failure by reducing mineral deposits in the kidneys. Low-protein diets are a bit more controversial. Low-protein diets generate fewer nitrogenous wastes - high levels of which can cause nausea and vomiting. However, the diet for each cat or dog with kidney disease should be tailored to their own specific needs as indicated by the stage of the disease and the blood and urinalysis test results. For many animals, a diet with HIGH QUALITY protein will be better than a low-protein diet. Typically I recommend a homemade diet for my patients that addresses their individual needs. 4. Neutraceuticals –There are a number of neutraceutical supplements that can help restore and support kidney function in multiple ways through their use of whole food nutrients, tissue extracts and concentrates, botanical ingredients, and indirectly by supporting associated organs. Many animals with kidney disease will have an improved response to treatment when additional liver support is added. Kidney disease also causes increased demand on the heart, adrenal glands, and nervous system and these organs need to be supported as well. 5. Acupuncture - Acupuncture can be very helpful for animals with kidney disease. Regular acupuncture can help slow the progression of the disease, stimulate the kidneys, and boost the overall vitality of a dog or cat. Acupuncture can also help with the side effects of kidney disease such as nausea,

Lafayette Today ~ October 2011 - Page 11 constipation, low appetite, and pain. 6. Herbal Therapies – Traditional Chinese herbal formulas help to restore kidney function through their actions of antioxidation, antifibrosis, and improving kidney blood flow and metabolic disturbances. Not all animals with kidney disease present the same way from a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) viewpoint, and therefore not every animal will be prescribed the same herbal formula. The beauty of TCM is its ability to recognize and treat the individual and not just the disease. Should you wish to find out more information on Holistic options for the treatment of kidney disease, Dr. Luna-Repose can be contacted at 925-283-6160. She is a veterinarian, Veterinary acupuncturist, and Chinese herbalist at Alternatives for Animals located at 1042 Brown Ave, Lafayette Advertorial

Page 12 - October 2011 ~ Lafayette Today

The Law and Unintended Consequences

Dawn King

By Robert J. Silverman, Esq.

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The estate planning “game” is one every adult plays, but some play more actively and more intelligently than others. The challenge lies in • QuickBooks Setup • Cash Flow Planning understanding how all the rules work, and thus it is the optimal way to play. • A/R, A/P, Bill Payment • Online Remote Services It can be pretty tricky and difficult without expert professional advice. • Bank Reconciliation • Paperless Office Solutions • Financial Statements Nobody likes losing. Sadly, however, if you lose this game, your loved ones usually suffer the worst. Despite best intentions, unintended consequences happen all too fre925.933.0553 quently, as in the hypothetical examples below. Family #1: Judy has two adult children, John and Jane. Judy’s primary assets are a $1 million home, with no mortgage, and a $200,000 bank account. Family #2: Bob has two adult children, Bill and Betty. Bob’s primary asset is his $1 million 401K. Judy and Bob divorced their first spouses, got married, and have been happily married for 15 years, living in Judy’s home. They keep a small joint checking account for routine living expenses, but they otherwise maintain separate assets. Judy and Bob know that all responsible adults make Wills. Thinking they don’t need a lawyer, they download basic Will forms from the internet, and they each sign one. Each Will states that on the death of the testator, all assets go to his or her children in equal shares. Simple enough, and they are satisfied… Other salient facts: 1) Judy and Bob take out a home equity credit line on Judy’s home, and to qualify, Bob’s income is needed. So Bob goes on title as required. Their neighbor (who seems like a pretty smart guy) tells them that he and his wife hold title to their home as “joint tenants,” as do most married people. Judy and Bob tell their lender that they’ll take title as joint tenants. 2) In case anything ever happens suddenly to Judy and Bob, Judy wants one of her children to have authority to access funds from her bank account. She thinks about adding both John and Jane, but since the kids don’t get along well (and Judy wants to avoid a conflict) and Jane lives in N.Y., Judy adds John as a signer. 3) After Bob divorced his first wife, he listed his children, Bill and Betty, as beneficiaries of his 401K. Let’s explore the very harsh unintended consequences when Judy or Bob dies: 1) Judy’s $1 Million house. Joint tenancy carries with it the “right of survivorship” (“R.O.S.”), which trumps a Will. This means that at the death of one joint tenant, title vests fully in the name of the surviving joint tenant. Since Judy added Bob as a joint tenant when they took out a home equity line, the R.O.S. feature results in Bob becoming the owner of 100% of the house on Judy’s death. Even though John and Jane are in Judy’s Will to receive all of her assets, they receive no interest whatsoever in their mother’s house. 2) Judy’s $200,000 bank account. Judy didn’t understand that adding John as a signer meant that he became the legal co-owner of this account. Notwithstanding the Will’s express language that John and Jane share equally in all of Judy’s assets, on Judy’s death, the joint account acts the same as a joint tenancy - John owns 100% of it. Instead of John and Judy each receiving $100,000 as Judy intended, John gets all $200,000. Disliking his sister, John, as the legal owner of the account, doesn’t feel any obligation to share half or any of it with Jane. live your life to the fullest at every stage 3) Bob’s $1 Million 401K. ERISA (Federal law governing 401Ks) dictates that the wife of a 401K owner is entitled to it on the death of the plan participant. If Judy had signed a written waiver, formally consenting to having Bob’s kids as the beneficiaries, Bill and Betty would each receive half of Bob’s 401K, as intended and consistent with the beneficiary designation on file with the custodian. But no such waiver is on file, so Judy is entitled to all of it, and Bill and Betty none. Next month, I’ll describe how good planning offers some very interesting and effective alternatives for Judy, Bob, and their respective children. Mr. Silverman is an attorney with Shapiro Buchman Provine Brothers Smith LLP, 1333 N. California Street, Suite 350, Walnut Creek, CA 94596; (925) 944-9700; His practice emphasizes Estate Planning, Trust Administration & Probate, Real Estate, and Business. Please call for a free introductory consultation. Full-charge bookkeeping services. 20 years’ experience.



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Initiative and Referendum Process Focus of Meeting

The American Association of University Women, Orinda, Moraga, Lafayette Branch (AAUW, OML) invites the public to our October 18th meeting. Helen Hutchison, President of the League of Women Voters, Oakland, will be speaking about the Initiative and Referendum Process. Ms. Hutchison will discuss the history of the process and focus on California. Is California’s process different than other states? She will also review issues identified with the current initiative and referendum process in California. The meeting will be held from 9:30-11:30am at the Holy Trinity Serbian Orthodox Cultural Center, 1700 School Street in Moraga.

Lafayette Today ~ October 2011 - Page 13

Bonsai continued from front page

putting a tree in a pot is just the beginning. Kunitoshi Akabane founded the Diablo Bonsai CONTRA COSTA ONCOLOGY Club in 1981 to teach others the art that he first observed as a boy helping his grandfather tend trees in Japan. Known to his friends as K, Akabane insists that anyone willing to take the time to properly follow the basic steps he teaches can successfully grow bonsai. For some, he admits, expressing the essence of a tree comes easily, for others it is a difficult process. But he believes any novice enthusiast willing to take the necessary time to move sequentially through the process of nurturing and training can produce a pleasing specimen. The first step, K explains, is to keep your tree alive. Sustaining a life is a responsibility. Pruning and shaping the tree come after you have lived with a tree for the first year. Once you have watered daily, fed, repotted and studied the nature of your tree, you are ready to envision how the tree would age in the landscape. Observing the way full-size trees develop in a natural setting enhances your ability to plan for the style that will best suit the tree you have chosen. Making the first cut is a terrifying experience for many beginners. “It’s ok. Why don’t you make a mistake,” K urges. Making a mistake is the best way to learn a lesson you will never forget. Club Secretary Steve Huskins refers to the daily care demanded by his bonsai as “limitless entertainment.” His favorite aspect is watching a tree develop and “seeing it grow into the tree you’ve planned for should that ever happen.” Lois Naye agrees. “Bonsai is a continuing art. Nothing is ever finished.” Although she has enjoyed many other hobbies including refinishing furniture and restoring antique clocks, Lois says, “Bonsai is the most interesting of AT CONTRA COSTA ONCOLOGY, we are committed to providing WALNUT CREEK the things I’ve done.” the highest quality care. Specializing in comprehensive cutting-edge treatment SAN RAMON Byron Nobriga, Club President, explains, programs for all forms of cancer and blood disorders, our nationally recognized CONCORD “You have to keep at trees. They don’t grow oncology experts and specialized oncology nurses are dedicated to providing ROSSMOOR the way you want them to.” At a recent Diablo the best possible care experience. We understand the wide array of concerns Bonsai Club workshop at Tassajara Nursery, and challenges faced by you and your family, so we ensure the most sophisticated DANVILLE [ Opening this Fall ] levels of medical oncology and hematology care, while providing you with the Nobriga sought K’s advice on a pine he has utmost support, compassion, and respect. been working with for 10 years. He’s wired it 925.939.9610 and supported it with a stainless steel stake and is ready to take the next step in shaping the tree. “I think I’ve been patient long enough, but K will probably just tell me to let the wound and permits the “hack” to heal. Over time it will disappear. K listens carefully as students explain their problems with each tree they it grow.” Stressing trees to get them to contort or even straighten as they may have in response to wind, drought or abundant sunshine may involve the use have brought for his advice. Marcia Cozens learns that her maple needs more water, her ivy needs branches removed, and her willow is ready to be tied down of clamps, supports, tie-downs, or fishing weights in addition to wiring. Sensei Akabane prefers to use trees he has grown from seed because they to grow into a weeping style. Byron has been caring for an ancient Utah junigrow quickly, and he can control all the important elements of the trees devel- per a fellow club member asked him to save after it was left soaking too long opment: roots, base, branches, and apex. He is also expert at taking a tree in a while she was on vacation. K suggests applying a solution of root hormone nursery pot and pruning it down so it can be trained into a bonsai. A specimen and waiting to see whether the most stressed branches push new growth. New members are welcome. No experience is necessary. Steve Davis ready for exhibition will have the proper spatial relationship between trunk joined Diablo Bonsai Club last year after winning a tree during a demonstraand overall size and will have the shape of a scalene triangle sketched by the tion at Golden Gate Park. He’d first seen bonsai many years before when he’d first two branches and the apex. But in order to get the trunk to grow to sufficient size, branches extraneous to the ideal may be kept temporarily. Byron stumbled into the enormous exhibition at San Francisco’s annual Northern explains that it takes about 6 months to prepare a mature bonsai for exhibition. California Cherry Blossom Festival, an event Akabane chaired for many years. When he won his first tree, Davis joined the club to learn how to keep it alive. The size, shape, and condition of the pot are also important. His juniper was wired for the demonstration. After eight months he removed Bonsai nurseries grow trees in ground and dig them for the buyer. They will ask if you want to trim or “hack” the tree yourself or have them cut it. Taking the wire, and he has repotted the tree once. Monthly meetings of Diablo Bonsai Club are held the second Tuesday of 3 feet off the top of the tree provides a specimen with a full trunk. A lower See Bonsai continued on page 16 branch can be pulled up and wired in place to form a new apex. Cut paste seals

With Them

my story Continues.

Page 14 - October 2011 ~ Lafayette Today

Fall Pruning

By Blaine Brende & Joe Lamb

Now is a great time to prune your trees to protect them against winter storms. Judicious pruning can reduce the likelihood of branches falling and causing damage to person or property. Evergreens, such as cedars, and many species of deciduous trees, such as valley oaks, can be pruned in the late fall and early winter, and it’s by far the best time to prune pines. Monterey pines should be pruned from October 15th to February 15th. Sap from pruning cuts attracts beetles that are destructive to pines. These beetles become dormant during the fall and winter months. Some species of beetles carry pine pitch canker, an increasingly common fungal disease that disfigures pine trees, and sometimes kills the trees. If your tree has dead tips scattered throughout the canopy, it probably suffers from pine pitch canker. To prolong the aesthetic life of the diseased tree, now is the best time to prune out the infected tips. Pruning trees for safety is a craft requiring study and experience. A wellpruned tree should not only be safer, it should look beautiful. At Brende & Lamb we take great pride in both the science and the art of pruning. Each plant has a natural growth pattern. Our trimmers are experts at accentuating the shape given the plant by nature. Within the bounds of what is healthy for each species, Brende and Lamb works to make trees as beautiful as possible. Our trimmers are well practiced in aesthetic pruning and are attuned to the artistic flow inherent in tree forms. The form may be weeping, as with Willows and Chinese Elms. In some species, such as Monterey Cypress, branches ascend at acute angles to the trunk, giving the tree an upswept look. Branches

Gardening With Kate By Kathleen Guillaume

Autumn came on us with a rush. For years I remember the rains coming just in time to get all of the pumpkin fields muddy before 1st and 2nd grade students went on their week-before-Halloween field trips. The recent rain was glorious for my thirsty garden which needed a long gentle soak. Fall is the time to buy bulbs and a wonderful selection of perennials that will get their roots established before spring. This is truly the time to plant; you no longer have to worry that heat will add to transplant shock and destroy the ever joyful purchase you have made. I know it was tempting in June and July to buy those “in full bloom” summer beauties...the truth is, now is the time. I just bought a bundle of Red Rouge Ranunculus to mix around some of my blue spring bloomers and some single hybrid Oberon Freesia, a bright red with yellow throats, figuring that in spring I will crave some hot spots in my garden. Freesias are one of my favorites. They naturalize wonderfully creating new bulblets therefore doubling my investment every two years! I love them spilling over the edges of pots, and they have an intoxicating fragrance. I also bought some single hybrid Safari Freesias which are pale yellow to plant at the edges of my dwarf citrus pots. My dwarf lime is in a large pot, and the delicate yellow will contrast beautifully with its dark foliage. Also in that pot I have a glorious tuberous begonia that has deep yellow blooms edged in red which starts blooming toward mid-summer when the freesias have long faded and are gone. The foliage of my lime creates a dappled shade which gives it enough sun to make it happy. I know those ugly tuberous begonia bulbs just can’t grab you the way a one gallon pot in full bloom that sells for more than $24 in the summer can. You have to get over that and learn a little patience...that ugly little tuber cost a few dollars, and that puts twenty dollars in your pocket! The greatest thing is you will probably forget about the tuber until you pass by and are startled by all of the brilliant blossoms. All a tuberous begonia wants is well drained potting soil. It needs to stay moist and never too wet, much like a tulip bulb, which by the way likes to be purchased and planted this time of year as well. I just bought a “Plum Pudding” collection, 18 bulbs of lavender, and medium and dark purple tulips which I tucked into my large salvia pot. What makes a good potting soil? First you have to remember that commercial potting soils are all compost and have absolutely no soil in 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.

Brende & Lamb Client Testimonials:

• Excellent work - I wish I had found you sooner. ~ J.R., Alamo • Great Job! My blue oak looks beautiful. Thank you for your expertise. Your crew knew exactly what they were doing. ~ M.R., Alamo • I have never been happier with a tree trimming! ~ D.H., Danville •Thank you - your workers showed great professionalism. ~ S.M., Danville • You have a very happy customer. Thank you - pleasure to do business with you! ~ Mrs. S., Danville • I felt as if I were getting real trained professionals instead of just laborers! I was looking for someone with a sense of aesthetics and found them with B&L! ~ S.B., Walnut Creek If your trees need a little TLC, give us a call at 510-486-TREE (8733) or email us at for a free estimate. Additionally, visit to see before and after pictures, client testimonials, and work in your neighborhood. Advertorial them whatsoever. Soil is what holds onto the minerals and nutrients that plants need. If you are going to pot up anything, you need some soil. I buy one bag of topsoil which I mix in my wheelbarrow with a good nutrient high compost in a one (topsoil) to three (compost) ratio. Next I add a good portion of Perlite to enhance drainage. I have a tarp that I cover my wheelbarrow with to keep out the rain, so I can pot or re-pot between winter storms. You can buy Perlite in a large bag. It seems a little pricy, but if you have a lot of potted plants, it will last you several seasons of soil mixing. I spray the soil mixture regularly with water to keep it damp, so when I pot something up I don’t have to worry about the mix pulling moisture out of the roots of the plants I am potting up. Remember to leave a well of at least one to three (depending on the size of the pot) inches at the top of the pot, so when you water you can fill up the pot with water without the soil washing away. Fall is a good time to re-pot all of your plants. This should be done at least every two years. I lay out a tarp and turn the pot on its side and tease out the plants and slowly separate them if there is more than one plant in the pot. I set aside the bulbs and tubers. Next I do a little root pruning. I then prune back and shape the plants and reset them and the bulbs in the new soil mix followed by a good watering. The plants will be so happy with a fresh set of nutrients and new soil. I take the old soil mix and use it as mulch in my garden beds...everything is happier for my potted plants and my bedding plants. It’s truly a win-win. Happy gardening.

Junior Achievement Needs You

Junior Achievement, a non-profit funded by foundations and businesses, offers an exciting opportunity for you and your office to partner with local schools to educate students about business and financial literacy. By volunteering in the schools or hosting a Job Shadow, companies can increase outreach. Programs are offered to the schools at no cost. For more information, please contact Jenni Beeman at 465-1082, email info@janorcal. org, or visit

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Life in the Lafayette Garden

Surface Trends By John Montgomery, ASLA, Landscape Architect #4059

One of many important decisions you will make while designing your Lafayette garden will be what kind of surface materials will you be using for your patios, walkways, decks, and hardscape. Today the choices in materials are numerous. Sometimes the choices are overwhelming! When you think of what has been available in the past, you think of dull gray broom-finished concrete, tan Arizona flagstone, and red brick. When you think of decking materials, redwood has dominated the industry for the past fifty years. Today, a myriad of hardscape materials are available. Natural stone products such as flagstone, slate, wall ledger, and rock have dominated current trends in hardscape materials. In the past ten years the natural stone industry has grown by leaps and bounds. When considering natural stone as your primary surfacing material, you must understand this is the most expensive approach. Generally, natural stone surfacing runs $15 to $35* a square foot when mortared over a concrete base. *Prices indicate current market averages including material, labor, and profit by licensed contractors. With the awareness of “green” building methods, manufactured surfacing material choices have also gone off the chart. There is an abundant choice of manufactured stone and pre-cast concrete products in a multitude of colors. These products make long-lasting affordable surfaces for patios, walls, and veneers. They are less expensive and less labor-intensive to install, and prices range from $12 to $25 a square foot depending on your surface and product. A popular trend that came into the industry about fifteen years ago is interlocking concrete pavers. When first introduced, the shapes, colors, and surface choices were limited. Today interlocking pavers span a wide range of colors, textures, and shapes. Pavers have become the new “cheaper” solution to large expanses of surfacing such as driveways, patio, plazas, and streetscapes. Concrete once dominated the industry as the number one choice of surface materials. Recently pavers have taken over because of effective cost, ease of installation, sustainability, and a more creative design detail. Interlocking paving generally ranges from $9.50 to $15 a square foot, although large expansive streetscapes can be installed as low as $3.50 a square foot. Concrete is still one of the most popular choices for hardscape. It is cost effective, although concrete prices have sky-rocketed over the past five years as petroleum prices increased shipping costs. Concrete’s versatility is its strong point. Innovations in concrete treatments have soared in efforts to keep up with the natural stone industry growth. New treatments, such as dust-on color hardeners, pigmented acid stains, multi-colored stamped concrete, and creative designs, have given concrete a new lease on life. These new treatments have replaced exposed aggregate, salt finish, and broom finished concrete. Concrete prices range from $9 to $25 a square foot. Other uses include lightweight concrete counter tops for outdoor kitchens. A specialized product that I have been enjoying lately is a product called “ArcusStone™,” aka “Coolstone” and “Patternstone.” These products are very attractive and durable. They add an element of elegance and uniqueness that other hardscape materials don’t have. Basically the material is an overlay of a cementitious limestone with natural mineral pigments that can be customized into any design and color range thinkable. When you think of “Old World” techniques, this is exactly that. It takes a trained craftsman to apply it because it is totally shaped, colored, and created at your project site. It runs $10 to $25 a square foot when overlaying a concrete or wall and can be used as a patio, walkway, wall face, cook center countertops, fireplace, or bar top. Wood surfaces have fallen in popularity because of rising costs, maintenance concerns, and environmental issues. Redwood was once abundant locally but has now become expensive and marginal in quality because of the halt in foresting and environmental concerns. If a natural wood product is what you’re looking for, redwood has been replaced with Ipe (epay) or ironwood and other sustainable woods. Manufactured wood products such as “Trex” and “TimberTech” have also become extremely popular because of their environmental approach and low maintenance. If you are looking for a wood look as a choice in hardscape, there are many choices ranging from $15 to $25 a square foot. One of my favorites is the use of gravel or decomposed granite for informal

Lafayette Today ~ October 2011 - Page 15






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patios and paths. This is the lowest cost solution ranging from $3-$5 a sq ft. When I work with my clients in the creation of their garden environment, choosing the hardscape material can sometimes be one of the highest hurdles to get over. With adherence to the design process, the choices are narrowed by the design goals and budget decisions to an appropriate choice that you will be happy with for many years to come. A hot tip from your local Landscape Architect: Don’t order catalogs; the internet is a great place to start your search for hardscape materials. A lot of suppliers and manufacturers have good pictures of ideas on their websites. Gardening Quote of the Month: “Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.” ~Thoreau If you would like me to write on any particular subject, email your ideas to Advertorial or for design ideas visit

Page 16 - October 2011 ~ Lafayette Today

Guitars continued from page 16

fathers, each in prison. Due to their mother’s drug issues, the girls lived with their grandmother. “About halfway into their eight-week course, the girls did not appear for class although they were always eager to attend and had each made great progress,” says Davis. “We inquired and learned that the County's Child Welfare Service Agency had made a surprise visit to the home and found the grandmother smoking crack cocaine. Thus, the three girls were separated for the first time and sent to three different foster homes. Their guitars remained in their grandmother's home. “The girls so wanted to play guitar and see each other, that they insisted the Agency retrieve their guitars and that their foster home guardians bring them to class. Thereafter, they came to virtually every session we held in Martinez, to learn guitar and to see each other. Their new guardians told us it was the GNG courses that were a stabilizing force in their fractured lives.” The goal of GNG is to help prevent violence in schools and on the streets by providing foster kids and at-risk youth with focus and self-actualization – by means of weekly guitar instruction. Using music as a catalyst, GNG encourages children and teens ages 8 – 18 to use their creativity to foster personal development and to help divert them from self-destructive influences such as drugs, alcohol, and gang-related activities. In addition to learning how to master chord changes, children learn perseverance, discipline, and self-esteem. More importantly, the kids learn to enjoy the positive adult interaction. Founded by Ray Nelson, GNG is headquartered in Georgia, with branches across the United States and Canada. The completely volunteer-run program consists of eight consecutive weekly classes with a maximum of 10 students and three adult instructors. Those who complete the full program are allowed to keep the guitar. “We are providing these kids with adult attention, discipline to deal with their stress and circumstances without resorting to violence, and the skills to critically think about the consequences of their actions - all this simply by teaching them to play guitar,” says GNG California President Frank Darling. A retired paper company executive, Orinda resident Darling learned of the program through his wife, who attended an event at which GNG was being promoted. Before he knew it, Darling was hooked. “One of my favorite parts of this program continues to be the smiles I see when we tell the students at the end of the course that they get to keep their guitars.” Darling emphasizes the ulterior benefits of the program. “Over time, we have come to know that this is much more than guitar instruction. We know that the learning of music assists with learning in school. We also feel that we are providing life lessons such as responsibility (they are assigned a guitar to take care of for 8 weeks), focus and perseverance (they come to class and have a purpose), discipline (practice, practice, practice), feeling valued (instructors are volunteering their time to be with the kids), and finally, the feeling of completion (most of these kids have never completed anything in life).” See Guitars continued on page 24

The 21st Century Woman – Part III

Thyroid and Female Hormones, Friends or Foes? By Dr. Michael Ruscio

Female hormones and thyroid hormones are like a nineyear-old brother and sister. Put them in the wrong environment, and they will drive you crazy. Give them what they need and they will make you smile. Female hormones and thyroid hormones can work together, leaving you feeling great, or fight one another leaving you feeling stressed, frustrated, and in need of a vacation. Understanding their relationship can help the 21st century women resolve a chronic complaint. Navigating the relationship between female hormones and thyroid hormones can be tricky. The symptoms of low thyroid function include fatigue, weight gain, being cold, depression, slow thinking, constipation, thinning hair, dry skin, high cholesterol levels, and low libido which have a strong overlap with those of female hormone imbalance. To complicate things further, female hormones can cause thyroid imbalances, and thyroid can cause female hormone imbalance. So where do we begin? Let’s start with how estrogen can affect the thyroid. When estrogen levels become too high, they actually block thyroid hormones. Many women suffering with this will express symptoms of high estrogen along with symptoms of low thyroid. These women may not respond well to thyroid replacement therapy. This is because estrogen is working against thyroid hormones. It’s like giving love to one of our two fighting nine-year-olds without doing anything to make the other one happy. One child might be happy, but the family “system” will not be harmonious. Why am I high in estrogen? The answer might surprise you. Possibly the greatest reason for high estrogen, which suppresses thyroid, comes from environmental toxins. It is well documented that certain common environmental toxins function as estrogens. You might be saying, “Well if this was the case, how come my doctor has not mentioned this to me?” My answer is I don’t know. What I do know is what current science is saying. But don’t take my word for it, as in my last article I will show you the science. Simply type any of the following study ID numbers into www., and you will see the exact scientific study I am referencing. Study, 20030460, showed that common environmental toxins interfere with thyroid hormone in a variety of ways. Another study, 19478717, showed that environmental toxins function as estrogens in the body and can even derange puberty in young boys and girls. What can you do? The most basic action is to eat organic food, drink filtered water, and use natural/biodegradable household cleaners and cosmetics (soaps, shampoos, skin creams, etc.). Performing a periodic cleanse program can also be very helpful. Why does a women’s body temperature fluctuate with her cycle? This is

because progesterone has a thyroid enhancing effect. After a woman ovulates, she produces much more progesterone. Fertility clinics track a women’s body temperature to determine when she will have the best chance of getting pregnant (see body temperature chart). If a woman has low progesterone, which I often find in women, she will not get this thyroid enhancing benefit. Women with low progesterone can benefit greatly from dietary and lifestyle modifications. This is because dietary stress and lifestyle stress will deplete progesterone. Women can also benefit greatly from herbal medicines to help balance progesterone as I discussed in my last article. Are you starting to see how female hormones and thyroid are related? Well, it’s not only female hormones that impact the thyroid. The thyroid can affect female hormones too. If a woman is low thyroid (hypothyroid), it can interfere with her ability to make estrogen and progesterone. This holds true whether she is still cycling or menopausal. In this case it’s necessary to correct the thyroid hormone imbalance in order to balance female hormones. I will dedicate an entire article to thyroid problems in the future. I hope this helps! For more info, visit Dr. Ruscio’s YouTube page, michaelruscio, view his recent newsletter visit, or email Dr. Michael Ruscio is the director of Functional Medicine at Johnson Chiropractic Group, 115 Town & Country Dr., Suite E in Danville, 925.743.8210. Advertorial

Bonsai continued from page 13 each month in the upper level Rotary Room at the Garden Center at Heather Farm. At 7:30pm the meetings begin with a half hour talk by Sensei Akabane on a topic of interest. Workshop time finds members critiquing one another’s trees. Jim Stalker, Treasurer, hopes that the club will find an affordable venue with lots of foot traffic to mount a show again this year with demonstrations to acquaint non-members with the art. K came to the US in 1959 to work in the import/export trade. He realized as he worked temporarily for a landscaper that “plants respond.” Studying with a Japanese bonsai master in Oakland, K was amazed by how much knowledge he had absorbed helping his grandfather. Now he is happy to share his expertise with anyone patient enough to take time to talk with trees. Between meetings you can find him at Tassajara Nursery, which he and his wife founded in 1979. K does prune and repot large bonsai for customers lacking the time or skill to tackle a job that may take an entire day. For more information about Diablo Bonsai Club, contact Byron Nobriga:

Habits are Helpful – Except When They’re Not By Michael Anne Conley, MFT

“Helping people is my hobby. I don’t care if they want help or not.” The teaser from Dr. Ravi’s latest movie, Help Me Help You, got my attention. As a helping professional, it’s my privilege to support people who want my help. Sometimes they aren’t sure how to give or receive help themselves. Ravi Godse is a Pennsylvania doctor with a passion for creating films in which he’s the fool. This takes courage, which he uses to make points about the human condition. You can check out the trailers for his films, which include I Am a Schizophrenic and So Am I, and Dr. Ravi and Mr. Hyde, at All three films have a mental health ring to them, although Dr. Ravi is an internist, not a psychiatrist. “I have seen,” he says, “how many problems well intentioned, but misguided, help can cause.” The thing is, we’ve all got habits. We couldn’t get through life without them. Learning and repeating is hardwired. Consider the alternative: Figuring out how to walk all over again every day, or how to drive a car, read, or buy groceries.We habituate as a basic part of living. Most of our habitual behaviors serve us. We eat, brush and floss, work, smile, take out the garbage, play with the kids, and make love. Then there are the problems: Working too much, gambling our savings away, gossiping, etc. Some habits—overeating, undereating, smoking, alcoholism, and drug abuse—can lead to serious illness or even death. Most problem behaviors don’t kill, but they do cause a great deal of unhappiness. On the continuum from life-serving habits to those that selfdefeat, one that is very problematic is helping. Really? But aren’t we all supposed to help out? Pitch in? Serve? Not so fast. Motive is the key. In How Can I Help, Ram Das and Paul Gorman write,“Catering to our own needs and expectations, we may be less likely to hear what others feel they really need.”

Lafayette Today ~ October 2011 - Page 17 They recommend being alert to our own agendas before we extend a hand. “The more you see yourself as a ‘helper,’ the more need for people to play the passive ‘helped.’ You’re buying into, even juicing up, precisely what people who are suffering want to be rid of: limitation, dependency, helplessness, separateness.” In other words, you’re not really helping. For instance, when someone has a problem, do you jump into the fray, or do you ask, “Is there something you want from me around this?” Maybe the person needs a shoulder to cry on or wants to brainstorm. What if your friend just wants to complain or needs you to fix the situation? Wouldn’t it be good to know that? If you ask first, then you can decide whether you can or want to help. None of us is immune to helping to fill our own need.“In real life,” Dr. Ravi says, “I have been both the recipient and perpetrator of that problem.”His words are humbling, and I think of times when I offered to help based on what I would have wanted for myself had situations been reversed. Helping can create more problems than it solves. How can we know when our helpfulness is misplaced? Feeling resentment is a good sign.When helping comes without conditions, without the need to serve something in yourself, and without seeking praise, you won’t suffer from resentment or its buddies (irritation, frustration, anger). If you notice, however, that you want a response, or if afterwards you feel a twinge, tightness or compression, check out your motives, because you may be feeling the resentment that comes from unmet expectations. If your helpfulness leaves you with resentment instead of contentment, I invite your comments and questions ( call 925-262-4848 or email maconley@ I will let you know about the schedule for a small group screening of Help Me Help You, followed by conversation that we’ll make helpful in the satisfying kind of way. Michael Anne Conley is a health educator, marriage and family therapist, and the director of Stillpoint Integrative Health Center at 953 Mountain View Drive in Lafayette. She has been offering holistic approaches to habit change and addiction issues for 27 years. You can learn more at Advertorial

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Dear Kitty,

Well, I want to give you a lot of credit for doing exactly what you should have done in getting away from Uncle Jerry and telling your dad; your dad, however, not so much. But because Dad didn’t come through for you, now you need to do more; you need to find an adult ally…NOW! Tell your mom what happened, or tell another family member. If you still don’t get support and protection, consider telling one of your teachers or the school nurse. The important thing is to do it NOW; don’t wait. From now on, do not allow yourself to be alone with Uncle Jerry. What he did was way out of line and posses a real danger to you. Your dad, I’m sorry to say, failed in his primary duty of protecting you, his child.

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I am, a twelve year old girl, and my father’s brother, my uncle Jerry, came to see my parents a little while ago. My parents went to the store so I was home alone. Uncle Jerry came in, grabbed me, and said, “How about a little kiss for your favorite uncle?” I broke free and ran outside. When Dad got home I told him what happened, but he got mad at me! What should I have done? ~ Kitty

While Uncle Jerry might be entirely innocent of any perverse intent; it would, in my view, be a mistake to assume so. And potential sexual abuse of children is much too dangerous to not be taken seriously. Perhaps our greatest responsibility as parents is to protect our children from harm. Kitty is twelve years old, old enough to know and sense potential danger. Her dad, I’m afraid, is showing very poor judgment in rejecting out of hand his daughter’s danger instinct. If Kitty were my daughter, I would not allow her to be alone with her Uncle Jerry; the risk is just too great. Please send questions/comments for Dr. Happy to

Page 18 - October 2011 ~ Lafayette Today

Saline or Silicone?

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

Every woman is born with breasts that are not perfectly even. Some patients wish they were born bigger.As a female plastic surgeon with specialized training and experience, I can improve a womanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s natural breasts with breast implants. Implants make it possible to enhance each womanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s natural beauty while giving her the size she desires. In a typically week, I consult with a dozen or so women seeking breast augmentation. A number of questions and topics are discussed with the most popular being...saline or silicone? There are many factors involved in making the proper choice. This makes the need for an in-depth consultation even more critical. In general, most women are better suited for the new generation of silicone cohesive gel implants versus saline, although an increasing number are also opting for fat grafting. Recent studies have supported the use of fat grafting to the breast. Both silicone and saline implants have an outer silicone shell. The silicone implants come pre-filled with a cohesive silicone gel whereas the saline implants are filled with sterile saline after being placed. As an aside, the debate surrounding the safety of silicone implants has largely been resolved, as there has not been a single substantiated case of silicone filled implants causing systemic disease. Depending on the patientâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s decision regarding implant choice, approach and size, the implant is placed in a pocket created under the pectoralis-major muscle (subpectoral) or under the breast tissue (sub-glandular). The type of implant placed will be determined by a number of factors discussed during the consultation. For now, we can look at the general differences and advantages of each type of augmentation. Saline implants tend to be chosen by a younger demographic prior to having children. Because these implants are filled after they are placed under the breast tissue, the incision can be more distant (such as the umbilical method of implantation) and will result in almost no visible scaring, which is a big appeal for this age group. Saline implants have a lifespan of 7-10 years before replacement or revision. For women in this age group the timing usually works out well as there could be an additional need

Brainwaves by Betsy Streeter for a breast lift after childbirth at which time it is convenient for the patient to replace her implants. Risks associated with saline implants include breast pain, changes in nipple sensation, infection, capsular contracture, deflation, and the need for revision. Saline implants are less optimal for women seeking larger implants such as a D cup, as the heavier weight of saline increases the risk of downward displacement and rippling. This heavier weight also makes saline feel less natural. Silicone implants have once again become the more popular choice among all age groups (even though the implants themselves cost more) as the thicker, gellike consistency creates a more natural look and feel. These implants are highly effective at creating a natural effect for women desiring small, moderate or ample breast size. Arriving from the manufacturer pre-filled and sized, the augmentation procedure using this type of implants requires a small incision below the breast and results in a small scar, typically hidden under the breast. The risks associated with silicone implants are similar to those associated with saline. Silicone implants have a significantly longer lifespan. If you have existing silicone or saline implants and are unhappy or have noticed changes to the shape of your breast(s), please make an appointment for a consultation to ensure that an implant deflation or leak has not occurred. Recent advances in fat harvesting and grafting has made fat transfer the fastest growing method of breast augmentation in my practice. It is ideal for women looking to increase their breasts by one cup size, for example from B to a small C. Fat transfer is often incorporated with breast lift (mastopexy), reconstruction, and augmentation. Mild liposuction is used to remove the fat from an unwanted area such as the flanks or abdomen. The fat is then processed to obtain the highest quality and number of fat cells and adipose derived stem cells. It is then injected into the desired areas in tiny droplets using a syringe and without a need for any additional incisions, a superior aesthetic result is the norm. The final result of fat transfer becomes visible by the end of the first month and improves over the first twelve months. The grafting acceptance rate averages about 60% of volume, but unlike implants the fat grafts last for the lifespan of the patient. The one aspect of my plastic surgery training that I am most proud of is my fellowship in Aesthetic, Breast & Laser surgery. In addition to nine years of surgical training, trauma and plastic surgery, my cosmetic fellowship provided me with exceptional tools and incomparable experience in creating the most suitable outcomes for these types of surgeries. The Cosmetic & Reconstructive surgery center in Lafayette has one of the largest consignments of implants in the Bay Area which enables us to find the perfect size and shape for you. Whether you are considering a breast augmentation for the first time or are a patient with existing implants looking for a change, I look forward to sharing my experience and expertise in determining the most suitable augmentation option for you. Barbara Persons MD owns Persons Plastic Surgery, Inc. located at 911 Moraga Rd. in Lafayette. Please call 925-283-8811 or email drbarb@ Advertorial

Share Your News and Events With Us! Contact us at 925.405.6397

Hospice Gala

Hospice of the East Bay will hold their Heart of Hospice Gala fundraiser, on November 5th, at the Blackhawk Country Club in Danville. Enjoy a memorable evening that includes cocktails, dinner, dancing, and silent and live auctions with Wendy Tokuda as Master of Ceremonies. Tickets are $175. The first beneficiary of the annual Sue Bruns Award for Philanthropy will be awarded to the Friends of Hospice, Orinda, a group that has committed itself, through its gifts of time and financial support, to support Hospice of the East Bay for more than 20 years. 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. Hospice of the East Bay relies on the support of the community it serves. To sponsor, purchase tickets, or support the Heart of Hospice Gala, visit

Neck Pain

By Elliot Wagner, O.M.D., L.Ac. Doctor of Oriental Medicine, Lafayette Acupuncture Center

I see a lot of patients with neck pain. Most are women. They are often hurting badly, with chronically stiff and sore muscles and a limited ability to move the neck. By the time we see them they have often tried other therapies: chiropractic, massage therapy, physical therapy, epidural injections, even rhizotomy - a therapeutic procedure to cauterize the offending cervical nerves with radio frequency waves that can be quite effective for a few months to a year. What a dilemma these patients are in! So many normal activities seem to contribute to this problem, including driving, using a hand-held phone, and sleeping, as well as working under air conditioners, and poor posture, particularly at the computer (“Sit up straight!” my mama told me). Why don’t therapies work for this condition? Well, honestly, for many they do. It is to those who have not gotten the hoped-for help that I address this column. For them there can be several reasons why their neck pain has proved unresponsive. One is looking in the wrong place for the problem. It is common for neck pain sufferers to have pain not only in the posterior neck, the most likely area, but also in the lateral neck, the trapezius muscles (between the shoulder and the neck), and a particularly nagging area beneath the shoulder blade, or between the shoulder blade (scapula) and the spine. A careful examination of the area by the practitioner is needed to learn what and where the problem is. Another issue is being distracted by referred symptoms. Many problems seem to arise in one area of the neck while actually stemming from

Breast Cancer Awareness Month Is Here Again! By Tiffany Svahn, MD

About 1 in 8 women in the United States (12%) will develop invasive breast cancer in their lifetime. Breast cancer is a very important health issue for women – it is the most common cancer and the second most common cause of cancer death. In 2010, there were more than 200,000 new diagnoses and more than 39,000 deaths in the United States. The good news is that death rates have been decreasing since 1990 as a result of treatment advances, earlier detection through screening, and increased awareness. On October 15th, “The Many Faces of Breast Cancer” will take place at the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek, from 10AM – 12PM. This educational community event focuses on the unique needs and issues of survivors, providing the latest information on breast cancer. Heather Quarterman from KKDV 92.1 FM will be the moderator, and medical experts will speak on issues effecting survivors and offer insight into treatment options and lifestyle changes that can help with rehabilitation. There is no charge for the event, however reservations are required as seating is limited. RSVP at (925) 677-5041, x231. This year, Diablo Valley Oncology, Sunvalley Shopping Center and Arthur J. Gallagher Insurance are partnering together to host a special Breast Cancer Awareness event entitled “Pink Up The Mall.” Throughout the month of October, Sun Valley merchants will feature “Pink” themed merchandise and special discount offers. The highlight of the event will take place on October 16th at 1PM in the Grand Court. Breast Cancer survivors will be recognized by their oncologists and surgeons where they will be featured in the Surviving in Style Fashion Show. Join John Muir Health for a fun night out to help support and raise awareness for breast health in Contra Costa County on October 20th from 6-9PM at the Women’s Health Center in Walnut Creek. The evening in-

Lafayette Today ~ October 2011 - Page 19 someplace else entirely. Patients can have pain or numbness or tingling or other strange symptoms behind the shoulder, in the forearm, wrist, hand, or even in the upper chest. These symptoms commonly have cervical spine (neck) origins. The best example of a source of referred pain and other symptoms is the scalene muscles that attach at the side of the neck between the upper ribs and the cervical vertebrae. The number of possible referral spots (locations that don’t seem to have an obvious connection with the pain source and yet show up with pain, tenderness, numbness, etc.) from these muscles is astonishing; they can be all the way from the neck itself to the mid-back, to the arms and hands, and even mimicking carpal tunnel symptoms! Another issue is looking at the wrong tissues. Although it is not unusual for a patient with neck pain to have arthritic signs and even show diffuse arthritis on an x-ray, it is often not the arthritis that is the problem but the common, everyday stresses that we have mentioned, usually accumulated over a long period of time. When the pain and immobility strikes, it feels as though it has just occurred (“What happened to me?” “What could I have done?”) when, actually, the issue has usually been developing for some time. What to do? Acupuncture is one option. At the Lafayette Acupuncture Center we have been able to help many people with neck pain and discomfort. Acupuncture has the ability to focus directly on the unique tissues that are the source of the tension, and pain. It works by stimulating and directing the immune system to reduce inflammation, muscle spasms, and pain, and to restore blood flow. It is such good medicine, particularly for problems of this kind! Private consultations with Dr. Wagner are available, at no charge, to discuss your neck pain or other health condition. Call Gizelle at 925-9622287 to make an appointment. Dr. Wagner can also be reached at the Lafayette Acupuncture Center, 919 Moraga Road in Lafayette, or online at www. Advertorial cludes education, special offers and goodies from participating downtown restaurants and businesses, and raffle prizes. Proceeds benefit the Every Woman Counts Program. These are a just a few of the Breast Cancer Awareness events in our area. Raising awareness about the importance of early detection is one of the most important things we can all do to make a difference in the fight against breast cancer! Dr. Svahn is a Medical Oncologist and Breast Cancer Specialist at Diablo Valley Oncology in Pleasant Hill and San Ramon. She is on the Medical Staff at John Muir Medical Center and San Ramon Regional Medical Center. She can be reached at 925-677-5041 or at www. Advertorial

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Page 20 - October 2011 ~ Lafayette Today

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Wine Types Demystified By Monica Chappell

I’ve come up with a list of terms my students often want to know about regarding the world of wine. Many of these are simply terms that you might hear in any polite conversation about wine. I have avoided almost all wine-tasting terms, which are a whole column in their own right. Ready? Here they are, in alphabetical order. Bordeaux. French region best known for classy reds made primarily from Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Burgundy. French region best known for reds made from Pinot Noir and whites made from Chardonnay. Cabernet Sauvignon. Red-wine grape responsible for famous Bordeaux wines and many California “cult wines.” Cava. Spanish sparkling wine. Chablis. French region (part of Burgundy) making special, seafood-friendly wines from Chardonnay. Champagne. French region making outstanding sparkling wine from Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay grapes. Chardonnay. Great white grape of Burgundy. No. 1 “varietal” wine in America. Chenin Blanc. Fine grape for dry and sweet wines. Sometimes used in U.S. to mean “cheap white,” but sometimes a fine varietal. Gewurztraminer. Peppery white wine that’s a specialty of the Alsace region of France. Merlot. Bordeaux blending grape. First bottled as a U.S. varietal in 1972 by Louis Martini. Top red varietal in the U.S. Muscat. Honey-like grape grown all over the world to make slightly sweet to very sweet wines. Nebbiolo. Great grape of Barolo and Barbaresco in the Piedmont region of Italy. Pinotage. Spicy, unusual red wine of South Africa. Pinot Grigio. Italian wine - same grape as Pinot Gris - that recently became the most popular imported wine in the U.S. Pinot Noir. Great red grape of Burgundy. Specialty of Oregon. Riesling. Great white-wine grape at its best in Germany. Rioja. Spanish district best known for woody red wine. Sangiovese. Great grape of Chianti. Sauvignon Blanc. White grape that makes grassy dry wines all over the world. Also used in dessert wines. Same as Fume Blanc. Shiraz. Australia’s signature red-wine grape. Same as Syrah. Varietal. Wine named for a grape type, like Chardonnay. In U.S., a wine must be at least 75% of a grape type to be called that. Zinfandel. U.S. red grape (originally from Croatia). White Zinfandel, with juice allowed a little skin contact for color. Remember, you don’t need to memorize this list to enjoy a delicious glass of your favorite wine. Cheers! Monica Chappell teaches wine appreciation classes in Lafayette, Walnut Creek, and Danville. For upcoming classes, go to

Director continued from front page

“I have a lot of very motivated and talented students,” says Meehan, “but it is unusual to find the level of talent that Abby displayed early on. It’s her vision that sets her apart.” When Meehan first approached Faber about the possibility of her directing, she was dubious yet intrigued. Last fall, Meehan and Faber began consulting over an eight-month period about what sort of project she might like to undertake. Faber was reading three to five plays a month and handing them over to Meehan when she found something interesting. When she came upon Sarah Ruhl’s production of Eurydice, she knew she had found the perfect project. The story is a retelling of the myth of Orpheus from the perspective of his wife, Eurydice, and focuses on her choice to either return to earth with Orpheus or to stay in Hades with her father. “Ruhl is one of my favorite authors, and Eurydice is one of my favorite plays,” says Faber. “I was hesitant to take it on, since it is such a new and ambitious work, but after Mr. Meehan read it, he strongly encouraged me to pursue it, and we went from there.” “For all the time I have known her, Abby has lived and breathed the theatre,” says Meehan. “She’s worked extensively at Town Hall Theatre as an actress and behind the scenes. While there, she was a sponge. She was clearly learning from every director she worked with. Over her time at Acalanes, I’ve had many conversations with her that demonstrated her knowledge of the theatre as well as her point of view. It’s that point of view that makes her different.” Faber’s interest in theater began at Town Hall at age seven, and she has been involved there, and at Acalanes, Cal Shakes, and other venues ever since. She has participated in nearly every aspect of drama production – from acting, to stagemanaging, to costuming. Solo directing was one aspect of theater production that eluded her. “Directing is new for me,” says Faber, “but it’s given me a pretty amazing perspective on this crazy thing called theatre that has pretty much consumed my life - though I wouldn’t have it any other way.” She admits that working with her peers from a position of authority is probably the hardest aspect of the job. “It can definitely be difficult to go from working on an English project with someone to giving them a list of tasks I need accomplished for rehearsal, because the whole dynamic of the relationship changes. At the same time, it is incredibly fun to get to work with my friends and people my age, since we speak a common language and know each other really well. Faber was pleased with the audition process and found the students responded well to direction within their individual auditions. “I have an amazing cast that I feel I can work well with,” she says. “Sometimes it can just feel like hanging out with your friends, even while you’re accomplishing things, which is amazing.” In addition to her directorial duties, Faber is currently in the process of applying to acting conservatories. She intends to pursue theater as a career. But right now, the main focus is on the play; performance dates are November 2- 5, at 7:30pm in the Acalanes Little Theater. “I am just looking forward to seeing everything come together on stage – there is nothing quite like seeing the hard work of dozens of people all come together to create one cohesive work of theatre, and I think that is really fulfilling.” For information on the Acalanes Drama Dons program, and to purchase tickets for Eurydice, visit www.dramadons. org. Tickets can also be purchased at the Acalanes Web Store: Please include the following phrase with your order: "All proceeds go to the Acalanes Performing Arts Boosters - Drama Discipline.”

Your Personal Nutritionist By Linda Michaelis, RD. MS. Simply Lowering Cholesterol

I am glad to tell you about my client Tom that was referred to me by his doctor to provide nutritional counseling for high cholesterol and weight loss. Tom’s doctor wanted to give him the chance to lower his cholesterol by diet alone before going on medication. Tom was very motivated since he was already on medication for hypertension and did not want to add another pill to his life. During my years of practice and research I have devised simple, effective ways to lower cholesterol levels while eliminating much confusion. Our liver produces cholesterol in addition to the cholesterol that we take in our diet. The amount of cholesterol made in the liver is dependent upon what we eat. Saturated fat is the main culprit in producing high levels of LDL cholesterol which can cause heart attacks and strokes. The goal with my clients is to cut back on saturated fat intake without giving up great meals. I made it easy for Tom by saying he could have one meal a day which included his favorites: red meat, cheese, dark meat chicken, salami, pepperoni, and prosciutto. For the opposite meals that day I told him to turn to turkey, fish, egg whites, and non-fat dairy products which have very little saturated fat, or something vegetarian such as a meatless chili or a pasta primavera dish. Tom needed to plan his meals with more veggies, fruits, legumes, and whole grains. A typical daily meal plan for Tom includes oatmeal with a yummy topping or an egg white omelet filled with veggies for breakfast. For snacks he enjoys fat-free cottage cheese and veggies, flavored non-fat Greek yogurt, nuts and fruit. For lunch he can still enjoy his hamburger, Buck Horn Grill Steak, or chicken sandwich with a salad. Then for dinner he can have a baked potato topped with non-fat sour cream and veggies, chicken, fish, pasta, sautéed greens, and a fudgesicle for dessert. Fiber. The addition of soluble fiber to Tom’s diet is important because it dissolves in water and when absorbed lowers cholesterol. Oats from his oatmeal contain beta-glucan which is a soluble fiber that soaks up excess LDL cholesterol and removes it from the body. Apples contain pectin which is also a

Stroke Season

By Dr. Michael Nelson

The sky is different. The days are getting shorter. To a neurologist, this means that stroke season is approaching. You might think that I have lost my mind, but there are more strokes over the winter than there are over the summer. There are many reasons why this occurs. The way I think of it is people get sick with a cold or flu, get dehydrated, their blood becomes thick, and whoops, here comes a stroke. A stroke is a blockage of blood flow to part of the brain which then becomes permanently damaged. This can be a vessel closing on itself (thrombotic) or a tiny blood clot within the artery (embolic). For those of you who are familiar with someone who had a stroke, having a stroke can be more concerning than death itself. I have heard from many of my patients that they fear being a burden on the family or having a severe disability. There are a wide range of symptoms after a stroke from none to requiring nursing home care. This is because we do have vacant real estate in our brain. Sometimes I will tell the family it’s like a bomb going off in western Nebraska or downtown San Francisco; which one is going to do more damage? Fortunately, there are some treatments for stroke. The most important treatment for stroke is avoiding one in the first place. Diabetes, smoking, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol are the most important risk factors for stroke. Do these sound familiar? It’s the same for having a heart attack. Age is important too, but there’s only one alternative to continuing to age. As neurologists, we order additional tests for anyone who has a stroke when they are less than 60 years old. Diet and exercise are important too, but this is mainly due to reducing the cardiovascular risk factors listed above. Strokes are medical emergencies. I still have patients who do not go to the ER until they can’t make it to work on Monday morning. Or they thought their arm would just start working again. At the other extreme,

Lafayette Today ~ October 2011 - Page 21 soluble fiber and great for lowering cholesterol. A cup of beans is another good soluble fiber so Tom eats lots of burritos and tacos with whole beans. Since we need 30 grams of fiber per day, I suggested Tom add Metamucil to his diet since he travels and often is not consuming enough soluble fiber. Remember high fiber in general moves the food through your gut faster allowing fewer contaminants and carcinogens to be absorbed into the intestine. Flaxseed. We added flaxseed to Tom’s diet which is high in fiber and Omega 3 fatty acids. Flaxseed has been proven to prevent platelets from getting sticky which reduces the risk of heart attack. Grinding your flaxseeds provides the full benefit and refrigerating extends the shelf life. Tom now keeps it in easy reach and sprinkles it on a variety of foods throughout the day. Fish Oils. Tom, like most people, heard about the benefits and confusion of fish oils. It is important to buy one that provides the right kinds of Omega-3 in the right amount. Look for the bioactive ingredients, EPA and DHA which are Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish. It is recommended to get at least 650 milligrams of these key Omega-3 fats. Since Omega-3’s are not very well regulated I told Tom it would be best to purchase ones that have the highest grade of potency and purity like Nordic Naturals, Carlson, or Lovaza, available by prescription. I encouraged Tom to eat at least two oily fish meals a week such as salmon, herring, sardines, anchovies, and tuna where then he would not have to use supplements. Since fish is not his favorite food, we decided he needed to take the fish oils. Plant Sterols and Stanols. I introduced Tom to products that are fortified with plant sterols and stanols. They are components of plant membranes. Recent studies have shown that consuming two grams per day can block the absorption of cholesterol from your diet and can lower your LDL’s by 10%. The best results come from consuming them twice a day at different times with other foods. Benecol and Take Control margarine spreads are very popular for this reason. After reviewing Tom’s food diaries and talking on the phone a few times a week for two months Tom’s total cholesterol went down from 270 to 225. I know with consistent exercise and losing more weight Tom will be in the normal range. Another piece of good news is that his health insurance covered my sessions where all he had to pay was a weekly copay. To discuss your nutrition needs call me at 925-855-0150 or email info@ Visit my website at Advertorial I have had patients drive themselves to the ER when they were having a stroke. Please don’t do this. The other drivers going down Ygnacio Valley Road will appreciate it. Unfortunately, some patients are completely unaware that they have had a stroke. A stroke affecting the left body or causing vision loss commonly causes this phenomenon. Hopefully, there is someone around who can call 911. There is a medication called t-PA which is a clot buster that can be given within three hours of the onset of stroke symptoms. Stroke symptoms are rapid onset (seconds to minutes) and can include one sided weakness/numbness, language difficulty, dizziness, vision loss, incoordination, swallowing difficulty, and/or slurred speech. Please call 911 if these symptoms are present. The reason for hospital admission for stroke is to rapidly determine the cause and start appropriate treatment. If you were to stay home, then there is a very high chance of another stroke or TIA within six weeks of the first event. You will have multiple blood tests, heart tests, and scans of your head. In the age of modern medical care, patients and family members are always very interested in the appearance of the stroke on their brain scan. Neurology is complicated and I have to explain that the most helpful information is how the patient is actually doing. I have seen a very small stroke on the brain scan with a patient that is severely disabled, and I have seen huge strokes with virtually no clinical findings. You will also meet physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy to make sure you are safe to go home, and if not, direct the most appropriate therapy. Thank you for taking the time to learn more about stroke. I hope everyone reading this article will escape stroke season all together. The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and does not substitute for proper neurological care. Dr. Michael Nelson is a board certified adult neurologist who has been serving general neurology patients in the East Bay for the past nine years. His office is located at 970 Dewing Ave, Suite #300 in Lafayette. He can be reached at (925) 299-9022 to schedule and appointment and can also Advertorial be found on the web at

One year ago hiking the Grand Canyon from the North Rim to the South Rim with a group of 14 women reminded me of the delight of experiencing natural spaces. For this year, I chose a trip that is more level, yet not without its challenges. The southern Sierra, specifically in Sequoia National Forest and Sequoia National Park, was my destination. The tremendous snow pack in the Sierra this year Dr. Shanny Baughman, Alamo resulted in streams flowing like creeks, and usually tame creeks were roaring like rivers. Details of the challenges of the Sierra can be found on a blog written by Erin S, a woman who just completed the Pacific Crest Trail, a journey of 2650 miles from Mexico to the Canadian Border ( Her narration of the Sierra, during June and July made for fascinating reading, but the idea of navigating creek crossings through thigh or knee high water sounded too ‘hard core’ for me. Yet her images reminded me of the stark, elegant beauty of the Sierra. A late August hike would have abundant water, yet stream crossings would be manageable. Berries would be ripe at lower elevations, and flowers would be lingering. My destination was the Kern River Canyon, a spectacular glacial-formed U shaped canyon, nearly 20 miles long, that resembles a petite Yosemite. Accessible only by trail, the canyon is 18 miles from the closest trail head. Access is via Horseshoe Meadows, Lewis Camp, Shake Camp, Mineral King, or from the John Muir/Pacific Crest Trail. The valley has several meadows, a hot springs, boulders 70 feet tall surrounded by Horsetail, Equisetum, and fields of ferns that brushed my shoulders as I walked through. Native brown trout and golden trout are sought after by fly fishermen. Even though I hiked in shade a fair portion of the day, I was scrupulous about sun protection. The daily routine included ELTA MD UV Shield SPF Dr. Kelly Hood, Lafayette 45 applied liberally throughout the day, and a wide-brimmed hat and long-sleeved sun protective shirt from Coolibar. Their garments are always stylish, light-weight, and fun to wear. Ten years ago, I hiked the canyon with my father and two other women on a transSierra trip, from Springville to Mount Whitney, so the area was familiar. This time I hiked alone with a GPS locator for emergencies added to my camping gear. Highlights included seeing a scrawny bear cub, two rattlesnakes, and a pollywog. I camped near the Kern River four nights, listening to its sound as I fell asleep. The immersion into nature, helped ‘defrag’ my mind and brought clarity and energy back to my life. There will be follow-up hikes in the local hills. I invite you to go take a hike. To schedule a consultation with one of us, contact Dr. Shanny Baughman at Alamo Oaks Dermatology, 3189 Danville Blvd, suite 130, Alamo, 925-362-0992, or Dr. Kelly Hood, 970 Dewing, Advertorial Suite 301, Lafayette, 925-283-5500,

All classes are held at the Lafayette Senior Center (LSC) located at 500 Saint Mary’s Rd in Lafayette unless otherwise noted. Space is limited. Please call 925-284-5050 to reserve a spot. Annual Membership fee: $10 per person. General Event fee: Members $1; Non-Member $3. Special Concerts fee: Members $3; Non-Members $5. Ongoing Caregiver Support Group: Members: no charge; Non-members $1.

Tuesday, 11/8 • 11:00-12:30PM • Sequoia Room, LSC Meditation has long been known to promote improved health and well-being, increased self-awareness, growth, and a deeper spiritual connection. You’ll learn to release tension, quiet the mind, heal the body, and connect with your spiritual nature. These practices will help you to integrate your life experience into greater understanding and wellness.

Tuesday, 10/18 • 10:30-Noon • Elderberry Room, LSC Winemaker Bob Kain will share his personal passion for and intimate involvement with winemaking and vineyard ownership. He will give you an insider’s view of ‘all things wine,’ from planting a vineyard, harvest time, the crush, distribution, purchasing, storage, and finally, enjoying! Learn about ordering wine in a restaurant, what a ‘flight’ is, how to taste the wine you’ve ordered, and what to do if you need to send it back. There will be time for questions and answers.

Fridays 10/21, 11/4, 11/18, 12/2, 12/9 • 1:30 – 3:30PM • Elderberry Room, LSC Write to explore issues around aging, emotion, and perception–or get support to write on any topic! Workshop sessions include writing prompts, feedback and encouragement, and information about the world of writers, writing, and publishing. Bi-Monthly Caregiver Support Group Mondays 10/17, 10/31, 11/7, 11/28, 12/12 • 1:30–2:30PM • Sequoia Room, LSC Caring for frail older adults in the home often creates great stress and emotional anguish for spouses and family members. Licensed Geriatric Care Manager Carol Shenson, M.A., CMC, offers a bi-monthly support group for family members who will be or are involved with the direct care of an older relative. Drop-ins welcome. Lamorinda Dance Social Every Wednesday 12:30 – 3PM • LSC: Live Oak Room Enjoy afternoon dancing every Wednesday, and learn some great new dance moves. On the first Wednesday monthly, professional dancers Karen and Michael will provide a dance lesson and live DJ services, playing your favorites and taking requests. $2 Members/ $4 non-members. Positive Living Forum (a.k.a “Happiness Club”) Thursdays 10/13, 11/10, 12/8 • 10:30 – noon Positive Living Forum features eminent speakers on a wide range of topics that will stimulate and guide participants towards a more ideal and positive life experience. Drop-ins are welcome. Moderated by Dr. Bob Nozik, MD. Lafayette Senior Services Commission - The Commission meets on the 4th Thursday of the month at 3:30 – 5:30PM at the Lafayette Senior Services Center. View agendas at the City of Lafayette office or at

Page 22 - October 2011 ~ Lafayette Today

Go Take a Hike

By Dr. Shanny Baughman

Events for Lafayette Seniors

Why Meditation?

Winemaking and Vineyards

Self-Discovery and Aging, Creative Writing Workshop

Afternoon Jazz Piano at the Library

Friday, 10/21 • 1:30 – 2:30PM • Community Hall, Lafayette Library Join us for an afternoon of jazz to keep your fingers wigglin’ and your toes a-tappin’. Enjoy the music of talented musicians as they bring out the best of the library’s beautiful Steinway piano. Light refreshments will be served.

Falling is Life-Changing for Older Adults

Wednesday, 10/26 • 10:30-Noon • Elderberry Room, LSC More than one-third of older adults fall every year, suffering severe, life threatening injuries. You’ll learn steps and comprehensive solutions to improve your balance, adjust your living spaces, check your medications, and address daily choices that can reduce the risk of falling.

Greeting Cards Galore

Wednesday, 11/2 • 10:30-Noon • Elderberry Room, LSC Come to this hands-on workshop with Greeting Card Specialist, Linda. You will glue, color, staple, design with cutouts, create, and have a ball making unique and personal greeting cards for holidays and other special occasions. Materials and assistance provided. Class size is limited.

What’s Happening in Senior Transportation?

By Mary Bruns, Program Coordinator Lamorinda Senior Transportation, An Alliance of Transportation Providers

“Love is the condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.” - Robert A. Heinlein The driving force and joy behind Lamorinda Senior Transportation is to help seniors improve the quality of life and maintain their independence by making transportation available to essential activities of daily living: grocery and sundry shopping, errands, medical, physical therapy, dental appointments, hair appointments, and social outings.

Win $1,000 Gas Card or Cash Value

One of our partners, Senior Helpline Services is offering raffle tickets for $25 each. A drawing will be held and winners will be notified on November 1, 2011. Win one of five $1,000 gas cards (your choice of gas brand or cash value)! Call 925-284-2207 to purchase raffle tickets or to make a donation. This program provides rides for seniors, reassurance phone calls, information, and referrals. It also offers opportunities for seniors and others who care about aging issues to become “agents of change” for our communities.

Getting Around: Senior Transportation Today and Tomorrow

• What is this? It’s a discussion of older driver issues and transportation options that are available for non-drivers. The discussion will be held by experienced professionals from the CHP, DMV, Medical Field, and Senior Transportation. • When? Wednesday, October 26th from 8:30am to noon. • Where? Gateway Clubhouse (Fireside Room) in Rossmoor, 1001 Golden Rain Road, Walnut Creek. • Who Should Attend? Older drivers, seniors seeking alternatives to driving, their families, relatives, and friends from all over Contra Costa County. • FREE EVENT! A light breakfast will be available starting at 8:30am. • Transportation Available via the Lamorinda Spirit Van. Call 925-2833534. • Pre-Registration Required – Call early (925) 602-4172. “...The process of Mastery, then, is one of acceptance. It is a quiet embracing of what is. It is a non-resistance. It is a gentle walking into the moment, knowing that it holds for us, always, what is best for us in all ways...” Neale Donald Walsch







Birthday Celebration

Lafayette Today ~ October 2011 - Page 23

On the second Thursday of each month (this month - October 13th), we hope all seniors will join us for the birthday lunch at the Methodist Church in Lafayette. The cost is $8. Chair yoga precedes lunch and entertainment. A very tasty lunch is catered by a local restaurant and is followed by cake, ice cream, and bingo (two games for $1). Call Shirley Jennings at 283-3874 to make your reservation. To reserve a ride on the Spirit Van call 925-2833534 and let us know you want to go to the “Birthday Luncheon.”

Lamorinda Senior Transportation An Alliance of Transportation Providers

*Call each program for information, opportunities to volunteer and to make tax-deductible donations. Volunteer drivers are always appreciated.

Lamorinda Spirit Van


Serving Lamorinda seniors. Make new friends with free rides to the C.C. Café for lunch Monday through Friday. Lunch is $2. (To reserve your lunch, call 280-7310 one business day ahead of time by 11am and ask to ride the Spirit Van.) Call 283-3534 to ask about rides to grocery shopping, errands and medical appointments, special events, and the birthday lunch. (Two business day’s notice by 1pm) $10 round trip.

Contra Costa Yellow Cab and DeSoto Company 284-1234 20% discount for Lamorinda seniors. A taxi is often an economical alternative to owning, insuring, and maintaining a car.

Volunteer Driver Program

Volunteers driving their own cars provide free rides for seniors.

Orinda Seniors Around Town


Senior Helpline Services Rides for Seniors


Serving Orinda seniors with rides for appointments and errands.

Serving Contra Costa seniors with rides to medical appointments Monday through Fridays and to grocery shopping on Saturdays. Ask about reassurance phone calls.

Is Food a Problem for You?

Overeaters Anonymous offers a fellowship of individuals, who through shared experience and mutual support, are recovering from compulsive overeating. This is a 12-step program. Meetings are for anyone suffering from a food addiction including overeating, under-eating, and bulimia. The fellowship is free. The group meets Wednesdays at 6PM, at Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Lafayette. See the website for additional meetings and more information at






BE HEALTHIER. BE YOUR BEST. BE YOU. Personal Fitness training designed with YOU in mind. Improve your body composition, balance, core PERSONAL FITNESS strength, and flexibility through customized weight training in the privacy of a home studio in Lafayette. Whether you're an avid athlete or just starting out, personalized training can help you be your healthy best. $40/ hour. References available. Call Erica Beeman, NCAA Accredited Certified Personal Trainer, to schedule a COMPLIMENTARY fitness assessment. 925.324.6624,



MUSIC INSTRUCTION with Robbie Dunbar. Bach to Beatles and beyond. Piano, guitar, other instruments. All ages and levels welcome! I travel to your home. Decades of experience, including Masters of Music Composition. Also PIANO TUNING. (925) 323-9706,

JOHN ROLF HATTAM - ARCHITECT Specializes in modest budget, new and remodeled residences. Over 200 completed projects. AUTHOR: Houses on Hills and Other Irregular Places. Also, National Parks from an Architect’s Sketchbook Call for a brochure: 510-841-5933. 737 Dwight Way, Berkeley.

Lafayette Today Classifieds

Reach over 11,500 homes and businesses in Lafayette - Help Wanted, For Sale, Services, Lessons, Pets, Rentals, Wanted, Freebies... $35 for up to 45 words. $5 for each additional 15 words. Send or email submissions to: PO Box 1335, Lafayette, CA 94549 or Run the same classified ad in our sister papers “Lafayette Today” or “Danville Today News” and pay half off for your second and/or third ad! Payment by check made out to “The Editors” must be received before ad will print. Your cancelled check is your receipt. We reserve the right to reject any ad. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Name_________________________________________ Address___________________________________________ # of Words_______________

Page 24 - October 2011 ~ Lafayette Today

Guitars continued from page 16

“I applaud Frank’s program,” says Stuart Mc Stuart McCullough, Executive Director of Youth Homes in Walnut Creek, who has seen first-hand the positive effects on his charges. “It is very difficult to make a highly traumatized foster care adolescent do something they do not want to do,” says McCullough. “All of our kids who participated in the program did so willingly and really enjoyed the learning. About half of the kids finished the course, and the celebratory evening was a wonderful event. Our kids have so few such successes in their young lives, and I believe that night will be something they will never forget.” For instructor Davis, the greatest reward is when the light goes on and the student willingly applies himself to learn. “Playing guitar is physically hard on the fingers,” says Davis, who has been playing guitar for 42 years. “It requires dexterity that only comes with repetition and practice, and these kids are provided little or no support at home. It’s cool when it all comes together for them.” Helping to spread the word about GNG’s good works is Barbara Gorin who, in addition to participating as an instructor, is the group’s Vice President of Fundraising and Public Relations. A legal assistant by day, Gorin spends most of her free time promoting the organization. She annually attends the National Association of Music Merchants show held in Los Angeles, where she meets music company manufacturers and artists, many of whom are successfully swayed by her enthusiasm about GNG. And, she organizes a variety of fundraisers at venues such as Walnut Creek’s Red House Studios, Slims, Vinnie’s in Concord, and other outdoor festivals. A Diablo Magazine “Threads of Hope” award winner for her work with GNG, Gorin is tireless in her fundraising efforts and has managed, through her connections, to obtain and auction autographed guitars from some of the biggest names in rock music – Slash, Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart, Sammy Hagar, and Blondie’s guitar player are all GNG converts. Gorin’s passion for the program makes it an easy sell. “I love this program so very much,” says Gorin. “Inspiring kids and building encouragement is very rewarding to me. It is always about the kids. I feel a sense of accomplishment when a shy kid begins the class, and eight weeks later opens up Gas Log & Firepit into a little future rock star. Learning to Season is Just play guitar is a fun part of this program, and we will definitely make participants Around The Corner better players, but we are also mentors, helping kids to understand that dedication, commitment and responsibility are important life lessons as well.” Gorin, one of the programs few female instructors, recalls story after story of young lives touched by GNG, and she was pleased when a former student recently contacted her via Facebook to update her about his life. “This former student is now working at a full time job, and he told me that although at the time it did not seem he appreciated what I did for him, I (and the program) helped him grow as a person. It 9 Piece Set meant so much to me to see he is doing Retail $3,748 well in society and that the program had a positive impact on him.” Clearance $1,999 For information on bringing the Guitars Not Guns program to your location, or if you are interesting in participating Danville 925.648.0293 as a volunteer teacher, please visit www. 3426 Camino Tassajara, or

End of Season Clearance Sale on Patio Furniture

Sale Ends 10/30/11 Limited to Stock on Hand

Open Tues thru Sat 10 to 6 Sunday 11 to 5 Closed Monday

Alamo 925.820.8492

3189 Danville Boulevard

Lafayette Today, October 2011  

Lafayette Today, October 2011. The town of Lafayette, California's monthly advertiser-supported community newspaper.

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