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July 2012 Teddy Bears Needed By Fran Miller

Serving the Lafayette Community

The heart-rending tug of a public service announcement heard over her car radio is what led Judy Miller to reach out and offer her volunteer services beyond the boundaries of Lafayette. It was 1998, and having faithfully given her time to the Lafayette schools from which her two children had graduated, she was now faced with a void that her vocation as an occupational therapist and avocation as an artist would not fill.

Junior Troop 30650 from St Perpetua School has earned the Girl Scout Bronze Award, the highest award a Junior Girl Scout can earn. Working toward this award demonstrates the Scout’s commitment to helping others, improving her community and the world and becoming the best she can be. The girls, who all begin sixth grade this fall, completed their project at Stanley Middle School when they hosted the Brownie and Daisy Songfest for all kindergarten through third grade Lafayette troops. The girls planned and organize the activity, learned and practiced the songs, and taught the younger girl scouts the songs. The girls also did a community outreach project where they worked with Judge Lois Haight of Superior Court of Contra Costa County by collecting new or slightly used stuffed animals. These stuffed animals were given to the children who have to appear in court providing comfort in a difficult time. Shown here are the girls of Troop 30650, including, Brennan, Katherine, Gabby, Alexis, Maddy, Meaghan, Mandalyn, Kristan, and Jaimie.

Ellsworth Selected for Leadership Award

Judy Miller's Teddy Bear Patrol helps to provide comfort to children in distress.

The provoking Public Service Announcement told the story of police officers who, throughout their rounds, provided the comfort of stuffed animals to traumatized children. It was a simple idea that seemingly yielded satisfying results. Miller thought to herself, “I can do that.” She gathered her friends, and with the cooperation of local police departments, formed “The Teddy Bear Patrol.” Her small committee raised funds, worked with local youth in helping to organize teddy bear fundraisers, and arranged donor events at venues such as a Golden State Warriors game. The Patrol members individually bagged the bears and provided them to the Oakland and Walnut Creek Police Departments, as well as to an ambulance company and a fire department, where they were gratefully accepted and utilized in situations where a child was upset or injured, such as a traffic accident or domestic abuse situation. The Teddy Bear Patrol was going strong until the traumatic events of September 11, 2001 diverted law enforcement to larger issues of national and foreign security. “Police Department focus changed dramatically as a result of 9/11,” says Miller. “There was no extra time or personnel for smaller community based efforts like The Teddy Bear Patrol. Due to police priorities, we went into hibernation.” Nearly a decade later, Miller received a call from Brenda Ivey, Neighborhood Watch Coordinator with the Oakland Police Department’s Police Activities League. “She asked if the program was still available, and if not, could I start it up again.” says Miller. “She said the Oakland Chief of Police, in his efforts to be more alert to the needs of his community, had personally asked to reinstate the program.”

See Bears continued on page 20 Local Postal Customer

PRSRT STD U.S. Postage PAID Permit 21 Lafayette, CA


Erich Ellsworth has been selected as the first recipient of Lafayette Boy Scout Troop 243’s newly established John A. Coleman Leadership Award for outstanding leadership in the Troop and community. The award, named in honor of longtime Troop 243 Scoutmaster John Coleman, will recognize one Life or Eagle Scout annually for his character, leadership skills, service, awards, honors, achievements, employment experience, and academic record. Ellsworth has been a member of Troop 243 for six years, and he is on the trail to Eagle. He currently serves as President of the Troop’s Venture Crew, a Scouting program in which scouts pursue special interests, develop leadership skills, and become good citizens. “Erich is calm and patient with the younger boys in our Troop and is able to motivate the older scouts,” says Seth Moldoff, Troop 243’s Committee Erich Ellsworth Chair. “He leads by example and has demonstrated clear and consistent leadership skills over the years. “He Volume V I- Number 7 never has to be asked to step-up, and 3000F DANVILLE BLVD #117 ALAMO, CA 94507 he is consistent in his participation at Telephone (925) 405-6397 Troop events. As the first recipient of Fax (925) 406-0547 this award, he sets a great example for those who follow of what the award is Alisa Corstorphine ~ Publisher about.” The opinions expressed herein belong to the The Award’s namesake, John writers, and do not necessarily reflect that of Lafayette Today. Lafayette Today is not Coleman, earned his own Eagle Award responsible for the content of any of the ad-

See Ellsworth continued on page 20

vertising herein, nor does publication imply

Page 2 - July 2012 ~ Lafayette Today

Friday Night FUN this Summer

The Lafayette Chamber of Commerce and the City of Lafayette have partnered to bring activity to our downtown. Friday nights will be your chance to step out, head for Lafayette Plaza, and enjoy the entertainment.

Movies in the Plaza - Friday nights at dusk • July 6 Field of Dreams • July 13 Jaws • July 20 Muppet Movie • July 27 Ironman Snack Bar compliments of Whole Foods

Rock the Plaza - Fridays from 6-8pm • August 3 Jazz Camp Concert (NOTE: Held 3-9pm at Stanley Middle School) • August 10 The Floorshakers • August 17 Mixed Nuts • August 24 Night Fever Come down and get your groove on! For more information, visit or stop by the Chamber office located at 100 Lafayette Circle, #103 in Lafayette.

Assistance League of Diablo Valley

During the hot, arid summer days in California, it’s difficult to imagine that our neighbors to the south, South America that is, are in the midst of their winter season. Member volunteers at Assistance League® Way Side Inn Thrift Shop, located at 3521 Golden Gate Way in Lafayette, will recreate a winter-like ambiance during the “Christmas in July” promotion, scheduled for July 17th through July 28th. With shopper-friendly hours of 10AM to 4PM, Tuesday through Saturday, you will have an opportunity to choose from a diverse selection of “holiday bling” as well as the traditional, timeless yule tide accoutrements. You’ll find items to grace the mantle, enhance your table, and serve as hostess gifts. Visions of colorful dishes, candle holders and silverware resting on fine table linens, and garlands laden with red berries will surely “dance in your heads.” Festive holiday wrap, wreaths, toys, and attire will virtually swirl from the shelves and racks, bound over the counter, and charge the door, so there will be no guarantees as to how long these items will be available. On the other hand, you might have a plethora of holiday “inventory” and would like to reclaim some of the square footage in your home without consulting a contractor. Member volunteers will be on hand to accept your donations, whether they’re decorative eye candy pieces or gifts of yet-to-be-determined value that have mysteriously found their way to the uppermost shelf of your linen closet. When you donate and purchase items at Assistance League Way Side Inn Thrift Shop, you get two gifts in one. You save money with our low prices, and you are given that one-size-fitsall tax receipt. Obviously, there’s a more significant reward - you provide vision and hearing screening for preschoolers, instill the love of reading among elementary school children, help outfit the children for a more successful school experience, and provide educational puppet shows to teach them that they have options. Who can put a price on that? To learn more about Assistance League of Diablo Valley, Corporate Partnerships, and its primary fundraiser, the Way Side Inn Thrift Shop, visit

San Ramon Valley Genealogical Meetings

The San Ramon Valley Genealogical Society meets at 10am the third Tuesday of every month, except August and December, at the Danville Family History Center, 2949 Stone Valley Road, Alamo. A speaker is at every meeting. Everyone is welcome. For information, call Ed at (925) 299-0881, or visit http://

Lamorinda Peace and Justice

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

Save the Dates!

On Saturday and Sunday, September 15th and 16th, the 17th Annual Art & Wine Festival will be held in downtown Lafayette. Spend the weekend enjoying music, food, drinks, and handmade crafts. For information, contact the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce at info@ or call 925-284-7404. The Big Band Dance/Concert continues on Friday, September 14th at the Rheem Theater, and Friday, October 19th at the Veterans Memorial Building. For information, visit On Sunday, October 28th, the 20th Annual Reservoir Run will be held in downtown Lafayette. For information, contact the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce at or call 925284-7404.

Lafayette Today ~ July 2012 - Page 3

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Boulevard View By Alisa Corstorphine, Editor Our home is located about a block off of the Iron Horse Trail. In the front yard there are wonderful orange and plum trees. Several weeks ago my husband went outside and noted a man taking oranges off the tree. My husband was about to admonish the man for taking without asking, but realized by the man’s appearance that he probably needed the oranges more than we did. Our yards have the potential to provide more than a pretty lawn or space-filling shrubs. Many of us have ample space to plant a fruit tree or grow vegetables. Poverty and food insecurity is rising, even in our comfortable and affluent region. This is not just a problem “somewhere else.” There are people in our own communities who find it difficult to purchase healthy food. Unfortunately, healthy food is often a luxury item for most people, unless they can manage to grow their own. My side yard has several large redwood trees. The area around their base makes a wonderful composting spot for my grass and leaf clippings, together with my fruit and vegetable compost scraps. They all end up back in my garden as rich, dark, nutrient-rich soil. After reading the Michael Pollan books, In Defense of Food and The Omnivore’s Dilemma, I have been inspired to plant and grow even more. Everyone benefits when we plant a garden to share. Our families eat better and we can contribute to the community to help others. As I’ve been researching different crops for our region and our seasons, I’ve been introduced to planting heirloom seeds. If you get the opportunity, check out a couple of my new favorite sites, www. or Each seed packet comes with its own story detailing the origin of the seeds and their history. With my last order of seeds, I learned about the upcoming 2nd Annual National Heirloom Exposition to be held in Santa Rosa in September. The website ( says there will be 3,000 varieties of fruits and vegetables. There are so many varieties of fruits and vegetables I have never seen or heard of before, and it occurs to me that the grocery store barely scratches the surface of what is available to plant, grow, and eat. I thought I was doing a good job with the 30 different fruits and vegetables in my yard, however I am inspired to broaden our variety even further! I don’t know why no one had ever told me that the greens from broccoli, cauli-

flower, beets, and horseradish were not only edible, but that they are delicious! All these years, my greens have been limited to things like spinach and maybe some kale. A backyard garden can open a whole new window to tasty, healthy, and hyperlocal food. If you find yourself with a new food and don’t know what to do with it, try searching for recipes through or The amazing network of internet users has brought together people from all over the world who know what to do with the ingredients we may not have tried before. Food can be trendy, and terms such as “local” and “sustainable” are buzzwords that are becoming a lot more mainstream. But more than being a fad, these terms define a new food awareness that is seeping into the American diet; we need to eat better and get back to basics. We are fortunate to live in an area surrounded by gifted people who take food seriously. If you want to supplement your diet with foods that aren’t in your own garden, I recommend you visit the wonderful new year-round Lafayette Farmer’s Market ( held in a parking lot directly behind the Lafayette BART station on Sunday’s from 9am-1pm. As noted by co-organizer Steve Richard on the “Lafayette Farmers Market” Facebook page, “This isn’t your typical farmers market; it’s more like the Ferry Building food emporium has arrived in Lafayette.” Those were my feelings too. It is a wonderful way to spend a Sunday morning. If your own garden has extra produce check out the local Urban Farmers Group ( They will help offload your excess and deliver it to the Food Bank for others. You may also register your tree for picking, or if you see a tree along your daily travels whose fruit is going to waste, let them know and they will try and arrange to get that fruit to those in need.

Page 4 - July 2012 ~ Lafayette Today

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7th and 8th Grade Girls Champions - Top Row (L to R): Coach Veronica Vinvetti, Kiera O'Brien, Sarah Santaguida, Takori Coleman, Genevieve O'Brien, and Coach Tyra Coleman. Bottom Row: Maddy West, Emilie Naughten, Johnna Gadomski, and Taylor Duckworth.

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6th Grade Girls Champions - Top Row (L to R): Lily O'Brien, Coach Anne Fuller, Hannah Edwards, Elizabeth Welch, Coach Robert McKendell, and Savannah Mone. Bottom Row: Theresa Nevins (seated), Emily Carrington, Kaitlyn McKendell, Holland Palau, Anna Dissman, and Serena Singh (seated).

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Lost Dog!

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Lafayette Luther is Missing He has become lost in this paper. Send a letter telling us where you found him, along with your name and address to:

Lost Dog! Lafayette Today, 3000F Danville Blvd #117, Alamo, CA 94507

Richard Zitter is our winner! Luther was hiding on page 4 last month.

5th Grade Girls, Team Penn State, earned 3rd place honors in the recent 14 team tournament. Team California and Team USC placed 1st and 2nd, respectively. Back row, from left: Sarah Westergren, Emily Gebhardt, Bianca Chao, Alex Fellner, Roxy Cummings, and Rachel Go. Front row, from left: Maddie Zuber, Thena Huisingh, Cali Boustani, Angelina Grine, and Maddie Low. Photo by Jim McKee.

Lafayette Today ~ July 2012 - Page 5

Sustainable Lafayette – Tip of the Month

Now that we’re starting to get some hot weather, you may be wondering how to stay cool without unnecessary air-conditioning costs. Air conditioning was a wonderful invention for staying comfortable when it gets really hot, but it is by far the largest electricity guzzler in most homes, especially in the summer when it can spike to over 50% of total electricity use. A central AC system typically uses a whopping 3,500 watts of electricity! For comparison, this is roughly 50 times as much electricity as a ceiling fan uses and roughly 10 times as much electricity as a refrigerator uses if it is left wide open! So, the secret to saving money on your energy bill in the summer is to minimize use of air conditioning. Use it only when you really need to. Following are specific tips for saving money and staying cool. Set Your Thermostat Higher - Set your thermostat to 78 degrees or higher. PG&E estimates that you save 3-5% per degree, so setting your thermostat 5 degrees higher should save about 20% on your cooling bill. If you'll be gone for more than a few hours, raise your thermostat to 85 degrees. Or better yet just keep your central AC turned off. Use Fans - Use fans to make indoor temperatures feel cooler. Most ceiling fans use less energy than a light bulb. If it's just a little too warm for comfort, use a ceiling fan without air conditioning. If it's hot enough to require air conditioning, using the ceiling fans at the same time allows you to raise the temperature setting by five degrees. Turn fans off when you’re not in a room. Close drapes, blinds, and shades during the day – to keep the sun’s rays out of the home, especially for south and west facing windows. Open windows at night – Luckily in the Bay Area it almost always cools off in the evening, so you can turn your AC off and open your windows while sleeping. When you wake in the morning, shut the windows and blinds to capture the cool air. Close registers in unused rooms - If you have central AC, you can close registers in rooms you're not using so you're not paying to cool them. Clean your AC filter – It pays to clean your AC filter once a month in the summer. A dirty filter makes your AC work harder, which uses more electricity. Your home improvement store sells permanent filters, which you can wash with a garden hose so you don't have to replace the filter each month. Don’t produce unnecessary heat - Any heat that's generated inside your home has to be removed by your cooling system, so avoid generating heat inside your home whenever possible. Avoid using your oven during hot spells. Try a cool shower - A cool shower can keep you cool for quite a while afterward. And the water cost is trivial compared to the electric cost. There are also many home improvements that can help cut your cooling costs: Install a new programmable thermostat – The new functions on a new ENERGY STAR thermostat can save over $100 per year. Paint your home exterior with a light color - The next time you have your home painted, use a light color. The darker the color of your house, the more heat it will absorb, so if you're building, buying, or considering repainting, choose lighter colors for the exterior. Plant shade trees - Well-positioned shade trees can reduce indoor temperatures by up to 20 degrees and energy use by up to 40%. Deciduous trees planted on the west and south sides of your home help to keep the house shaded during the season's peak heating times, but let the sun shine through in the winter. Have your ducts professionally sealed - Leaking ductwork accounts for 25% of cooling costs in an average home, so have your ducts tested and have any leaks or restrictions repaired or sealed by a qualified contractor. Make sure your attic is properly ventilated - Thirty percent of the heat in your house is absorbed through the roof. Vents in the eaves allow cooler air to enter. An attic fan or whole house fan can significantly reduce your cooling costs. Consider window treatments – For south and west Purveyors of classic, exotic, and facing windows without sufficient shading or covers, high-performance cars for more than 30 years. consider installing awnings or applying sun-control or California’s #1 Classic Car Dealer other reflective films on the windows. Over 200 vehicles in inventory! Replace your AC unit - If your old air conditioner breaks down, consider a high efficiency replacement. Replacing a 10-year-old central AC unit with an ENERGY STAR qualified model can cut 20-40% off your cooling costs. To read more tips and success stories about how to live more sustainably and save money, please visit www. Showrooms in Pleasanton, Benicia, and Fairfield. | 800.600.2262

Page 6 - July 2012 ~ Lafayette Today

The Bookworm By Joan Stevenson Looking for a really “cool” place to spend a hot summer afternoon…or morning…or evening? Search no further than the Lafayette Library and Learning Center. Just listen to what is going on inside those doors. Kids from 5-11 are invited to get crafty with icky-sticky-glue on July 10th from 1-2 PM when Ginny Golden shows them how to create great works of art suitable for framing with scissors and paste and paper. Beware as the sun is setting on July 11th because rumor has it that vampires and werewolves may be lurking about. Fearless teens and tweens are invited to a special showing of the movie Twilight (2008, PG-13) at twilight 6-9PM. Watch the movie. Eat the popcorn. Have fun. It is free. No reservation needed. (Children under 13 must have a parent or guardian sign a library permission slip) On July 10th from 6:30 – 7:30 PM, The Commonwealth Club will roll out the red carpet for Belva Davis, Emmy Award-winning TV Journalist/Anchor; Host, This Week in Northern California, KQED TV and author, Never in My Wildest Dreams: A Black Woman’s Life in Journalism. Ms. Davis covered the most explosive local and national stories of the last half-century, including the Berkeley student protests, the rise of feminism, the birth of the Black Panthers, the Moscone/Milk murders, the onset of the AIDS epidemic, and the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Join us as this extraordinary woman shares her story of courage, grace, and determination as she witnessed and reported on many of the most transformative events of her generation. Reserve your seat at www. The cost is $22 standard, $12 members. The Lafayette Historical Society will present Stephen Drew on Wednesday, July 18th from 3-4 PM. For the past 35 years he has been the chief curator at the Railroad Museum in Old Sacramento. His presentation, Nevada’s Famous Virginia & Truckee Railroad: 140+ Years Old and Coming Back to Life!, will trace the history of one of America’s richest short line railroads which operated between Reno, Carson City, and the Nevada Comstock Lode at Virginia City. After 80 years of operation, the last train ran on May 31, 1950. But in 1976,

5th..Thursday 1:00–2:00pm


10th...Tuesday 6:30–7:30pm


11th...Wednesday 6:00–8:00pm

17th..Tuesday 7:00–8:30pm



18th...Wednesday 3:00–4:00pm


18th...Wednesday 6:30–8:30pm



30th..Monday 6:30–7:30pm


31st..Tuesday 6:30–8:30pm


2nd...Thursday 6:30–8:00pm


11th...Saturday 11:00–12:00pm


Sustainable Lafayette Film Series............suggested donation $5 Switch - Dr. Scott Tinker travels the world to learn what it will really take to switch from oil and coal to their alternatives. no reservations necessary

12th...Sunday 1:00–2:30pm


Lafayette Historical Society...............$10 mbrs, $15 nonmbrs Stephen E. Drew - Nevada's Famous Virginia & Truckee Railroad: 140+ Years Old and Coming Back to Life! To reserve call 283-1848 Diablo Ballet “Dance on Film” Series..................................$5 The Red Shoes - Enjoy this dramatic 1948 film, a dark dance fairytale. Includes intro by the Artistic Director & a dancer, post -film Q&A & a raffle for two ballet tickets! Snoopy Fest........................................................................Free Learn about local icon Charles Schulz and Peanuts by learning to draw Snoopy. Make a Snoopy puppet and mask to take home, too! Ages 5 - 11. To reserve call 925-385-2280 The Commonwealth Club..$12 mbrs, $22 nonmbrs, $7 stdts A Taste of Place: Eating Your Way Around the East Bay A panel of locally minded chefs share what makes the Bay Area such a great place to grow, cook & eat.

14th...Tuesday 6:00–7:00pm


15th...Wednesday 6:30–8:30pm

A Literary Feast

21st...Saturday 12:00–1:15pm

Lafayette Firefighters Visit the Library!.........................Free Some of our city’s finest will be coming with their sirens and lights flashing! Come and learn about fire safety and see a fire truck up close. Designed for kids of all ages. no reservations necessary The Commonwealth Club..$12 mbrs, $22 nonmbrs, $7 stdts Belva Davis: A Black Woman’s Life in Journalism - The Emmy award-winning journalist recounts her harrowing journey as a Black female media figure. Screening of the film: Twilight..........................................Free Watch the film Twilight at twilight. Look out for vampires and werewolves! Eat popcorn, get scared and have fun. Under 13? Bring a permission slip. no reservations necessary Orinda resident Robert C. Gray began bringing the Bonanza Railroad “back to life”! Doesn’t it remind you of the Little Engine that thought it could? You will not want to miss this wonderful train tale. Fee: $10 for members, $15 nonmembers. For reservations, call 925-283-1848. For all our little beginner ballerinas all decked out in their tutus and the rest of us who love the beauty of ballet, a special presentation will take place on Wednesday, July 18th from 6:30 – 8:30 PM. There will be a screening of the 1948 dramatic dance fairytale, The Red Shoes. The film will be hosted by the Diablo Ballet! In this film, fledgling ballerina Victoria falls in love with brilliant composer Julian while they collaborate on a ballet that makes her a star. But overbearing company owner Boris, jealous of their love, fires Julian and forbids Victoria from performing. The Diablo Ballet Artistic Director and/or a dancer will provide an engaging introduction and then share the “back story,” focusing on the role of choreography, following the film. Attendees may participate in a special FREE drawing for a chance to win tickets for two to a Diablo Ballet performance! Tickets cost $5. For reservations call 925-283-6513x101 or email As you are planning and gathering essentials for that long awaited vacation, a trip to the Friends Corner Bookshop should be a priority. No suitcase is complete without reading material. To help you with your selections, here is the scoop on the books chosen for the library book clubs from July to September: The Big Rock Candy Mountain by Wallace Stegner, Lottery by Patricia Wood, Franny & Zooey by J.D. Salinger, Room by Emma Donoghue, The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy, and The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton. Think how pleased you will be to arrive at the discussion having read the entire book! Check the website for details The Friends Program Committee has been meeting to consider authors we may wish to invite to join us for Sweet Thursday. Do you know a local author who recently published a terrific book? Or maybe you read a book review and thought it would be perfect for Sweet Thursday. Here is your chance to share your ideas. Email your suggestions to Don’t forget to stop by The Bookmark Café for a long cool drink or one of Mona’s creative delicious literary sandwiches. Come to think of it, a trip to the Lafayette Library and Learning Center is a mini-vacation without getting on the freeway! Enjoy!



Sustainable Lafayette Film Series:..........suggested donation $5 Bag It - The film follows "everyman" Jeb Berrier as he navigates our crazy-for-plastic world exploring the question, are plastic bags really necessary? no reservations necessary Contra Costa Master Gardeners........................................$5 Preparing for Winter Gardens - Hear from a master and learn the steps necessary now to keep your soil at its peak and reap a bountiful winter harvest. Kenn Adams Space Adventure Theater!..........................Free Join us for some Out-of-this-World Family Fun! You create the story, sound effects and star in the play! All ages. Sponsored by Friends of the LLLC. no reservations necessary Greenbelt Alliance presents...............................................Free Native Trees - Join Ken Lavin as he shares interesting tidbits & stories about our trees, including how they were used in the past & what's in store with climate change. Dinosaurs Rock!.................................................................Free Dinosaurs are taking over the Lafayette Library! See an amazing display of dino bones and other fossils dating back to over 500 million years ago. Ages 5 - 11. no reservations necessary Diablo Ballet “Dance on Film” Series..................................$5 An American in Paris - Enjoy this 1951 MGM musical classic. Includes intro by the Artistic Director and a dancer, post-film Q&A and a raffle for two ballet tickets!

Lafayette Today ~ July 2012 - Page 7

Virginia & Truckee Railroad Rolls Again Hear the Story at LHS on July 18 By Julie Sullivan, Lafayette Historical Society (LHS) Stephen Drew is passionate about railroads and about the Virginia & Truckee short line railroad in particular, which is only natural since he recently retired after 35 years as Chief Curator of the California State Railroad Museum in Old Sacramento. On Wednesday, July 18 at 3pm, the Lafayette Historical Society Speaker’s Series offers the chance to hear Mr. Drew trace the history of what he calls “one of America’s richest short line railroads.” “A short line,” he explains, “is not a main line railroad, and it runs 100 miles or less.” The presentation will be held in the Lafayette Library. Donation is $10 for LHS members and $15 for non-members. Kids under age 14 are free when accompanied by a paying adult. Email lafayette. or call 925-283-1848 to make reservations. The V&T operated between Reno, Carson City, and the Nevada Comstock Lode at Virginia City for more than 80 years. Incorporated on March 5, 1868, the first train ran in 1869. Drew says, “The V&T literally pulled the weight of all its tracks and cars in gold and silver bullion.” He promises one thing his speech will not include “are a lot of technical, uninteresting specifications” but instead will be something everyone in the family can enjoy, highlighted with a photo display. In 1976 the V&T was reborn. Drew credits Orinda residents Robert (Bob) and Ardelle Gray for their “perseverance and energy. Before then, many organizations were interested in getting the V&T running again, but the Grays were the only ones who succeeded.” Bob Gray has a life-long love of railroads, beginning when he worked on a section gang for the Southern Pacific Railroad as a young man in Oregon. He was in Carson City, Nevada on business in 1971 when a friend told him about a group that wanted to rebuild the V&T. At that time there was nothing left of the line but an abandoned right of way. Bob got interested, and after the group’s efforts failed, he set about restoring the line on his own, acquiring 61 parcels of land then finding the historic rail cars. In 1976 the line made its inaugural run, and by 1991 the track was extended to Gold Hill. Over time Bob acquired three locomotives, two steam and one diesel. Today the line encompasses approximately 12.5 miles from Virginia City to Carson City. Bob’s son, Tom Gray, manages the railroad. At its height, 70,000 people rode the V&T each year. Today’s ridership is around 40,000. Stephen Drew, who researched the V&T for the last 45 years, also has railroads in his blood. “It must have started with that Lionel train I found under the Christmas tree when I was a kid,” he says with a chuckle. After graduating from UC Berkeley where he majored in music and history, Drew was on the staff of the Bancroft Library for five years, where he handled Nevada transportation and first discovered the then-defunct V&T. He served as a consultant to the Nevada State Railroad Museum, and when the newly organized California State Railroad Museum was ready to hire its first curator, they contacted him. Drew, who retired as Chief Curator in 2009, has written three books on railroads, including Virginia & Truckee Inyo: Nevada’s Brass Betsy and the Official Guidebook of the Virginia & Truckee Railroad. For more information, call 925-283-1848 or visit LHS History Room in the Lafayette Library and Learning Center is open Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, 10AM – 2PM.

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

sometime between 1591 and 1594. As proof of the play’s continuing popularity, a 1999 movie, Ten Things I Hate About You, is based on The Taming Of The Shrew, as is an earlier Cole Porter musical, Kiss Me Kate. All are available for rental or purchase online – inexpensively! MUSICAL NOTES – For your music downloading pleasure I propose a beautiful musical revelation by Richard Burton himself in the role of King Arthur from the 1960 Broadway musical Camelot, entitled, “How To Handle A Woman.” The method described in this song might have served Petruchio well. This musical by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe was popular in my youth, and many of the songs were well known. It is said that President Kennedy enjoyed listening to the recording of Camelot, especially Mr. Burton’s (King Arthur’s) moving description of Camelot itself.

Weekly Dance Social

Dance for joy at the weekly Social, or just come to chat; all are welcome. The Social is for all-level and all-style dancers, music lovers, and observers. The Social is held Wednesdays from 12:30 to 2:50PM at the Lafayette Community Center located at 500 St. Mary’s Road. The longtime event, with continuous, professionally recorded music, is held in the big, bright Live Oak Room. The whole scene gets extra lively the first Wednesday of each month when professional dance duo Karen and Michael DJ music and vary lessons from peppy Latin, to waltz, to swing. Other weeks, Elroy Holtmann, Dance Social president, and longtime Lafayette resident, presides as DJ. Fees for the event are $2 for members of Lafayette Senior Center and $4 for non-members. It costs just $10 a year to join the Center and enjoy the complete range of activities available. For more information, visit lafayetteteadance.

Page 8 - July 2012 ~ Lafayette Today




A Few Tips to Get That House Sold By Art Lehman, Village Associates Realtors Photos of Your Home Must be the Very Best Buyers and agents decide if they are going to look at a home based on the photos that they see online. Nine out of ten home buyers search for homes on the Internet. When the photos are not good, the buyers don’t show up. The more good photos they see online the better. On average, a minimum of 15 photos of your home will generate four times more leads than 6-10 photos. The best photos are those taken with a Digital SLR Camera, Ultra Wideangle lens, and enhanced with special photographic software by someone who really knows how to photograph a home.

Remove Your Personal Photos I know your kids or grandkids are cute, but buyers need to see themselves living in the home, and that does not happen when they see photos of “your” family throughout the home.

Best to Keep Your Favorite Sports Teams and Religious Affiliations to Yourself We know you are a true fan of your favorite sports team, but don’t display their memorabilia in your home. Fans of an opposing team may reject your home immediately if they see reminders of the team they like to hate. Likewise, displaying religious art and objects will brand your home as being fit only for someone with those same beliefs. You do not want to limit your market.

Remove the Clutter Clutter detracts from a home, cheapens it, and is a turnoff to buyers. You are going to need to pack up or throw away all that “stuff” anyway when you move, so do it now. You would “detail” your car to get a better price if you wanted to sell it, so why not “detail” you home?

Your Political Statements Can Cost You Keep you political leanings and statements out of view. This includes books in your bookcase. You don’t know what the buyer’s politics are, so remove anything that hints of an opinion. A buyer’s money is neither conservative nor liberal.

You Love your Cat, you Love Your Dog, but it’s Best to Send Them Away We love our pets, but they may limit how quickly a home can be sold and for how much. Barking dogs scare or annoy many buyers making them want to leave as quickly as possible. Cats especially can be bad for resale. Many buyers are allergic and the pet odors will drive them away. Nothing can kill the equity in your home as much as unpleasant odors.

Learn to Love Light and Bright When your home is shown, open the blinds and window treatment all the way and turn on all the lights. A bright house appears larger and more inviting. If you recall from the last issue, I have just put my home on the market. All I can say from that vantage point is that all of the above does matter – now all that’s needed is patience. If you have any questions on selling or buying a home in the area, please contact me at 925 200-2591 or by email at 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 have any Advertorial topics for future articles please let me know!

Shop Talk from Urban Suburban A Personal Note from Team Urban By René Aguirré We are making changes and expanding our reach! This year has been a busy one so far. One of our major goals is to increase our exposure in the community. We are always here to take care of all of your auto repair needs as well as to support the community we are a part of. Urban Suburban is celebrating 17 years in Lafayette! Getting ready for summer – After such a strange winter and late rains, I am sure you are ready to hit the René Aguirré road for some summertime fun in the sun! Bring your travel vehicle in for a safety inspection to make sure you are ready to ride. We will check all of your fluids as well as your brakes and your tires, and we’ll also make sure that your air conditioner is charged so you can keep cool if you happen upon some really hot weather. This summer we are offering a special to our existing customers. Summer is “Refer a Friend” time. If you are an existing customer and you “Refer a Friend” during July and August, you will receive a free minor service ($150 value), and your friend will receive 20% off selected services. Make your appointment today! What has Team Urban been up to? The year has taken off like a wild stallion. June is already here and the pace has not let off! Krysten dedicated the month of January to begin the daunting task of updating our shop systems and bringing all customer information online. We are working to improve our online presence and reduce our paper waste. On Father’s Day, we participated in the annual “Motorama – World of Wheels” vehicle display. There was much to see and do including the display of an airplane, Segway rides, vehicle touring opportunities, motorcycles, and many more cool things. The event was well attended, and a good time was had by all. In March, I took some time off for our annual Baja trip. This year, I was inspired by the off-roading community in Baja. The off-road race included trophy trucks, truggies, motorcycles, and even quads. It was an amazing thing to see. Over the years I have toyed with the idea of starting another racing team. Team Urban has always been involved with the American Federation of Motorcyclists, with myself as the premier motorcycle racer. Now, I want to try something a little different. I am pleased to announce the birth of Triple Nickel Racing. This team is converting a 1964 Ford Galaxie into a vintage-off-road-racing machine. We will have our inaugural race in Baja at the Mexican 1000 held May 2013. Two of my good friends and fellow motorheads are well into the process of converting the suspension and adding the roll cage. You can follow us via updates on our Facebook page - https://www.facebook. com/TripleNickelRacing555. A lot of our Urban Suburban clients and friends are showing an interest in participating in the event with us as a support crew. Krysten is putting together a vacation package to give you the opportunity to join us in Baja and be a part of a real racing team. Those details will come out over the next few months. You know how Krysten is - always planning a party! In other news - This summer, we will be returning to the Bonneville Salt Flats for another speed run. I hope to break the 163 mph run I had last year on the Suzuki 750 motorcycle. We will have our race car with us to advertise for potential sponsors. Please let us know if you are interested in sponsoring us. We are looking forward to attending many local events in Lafayette and car shows around the Bay Area to show everyone what we are up to. We will have a list of places to see us posted on our website soon. Urban Suburban is also available as a free small event venue. If you are looking for a unique place to showcase a local musician, hold a fundraising event, or have a celebration, we are available beginning in July. Our shop is the cleanest in the Bay Area! We have hosted many different events from Chamber mixers to major fundraisers in our shop which provides a unique background for people to enjoy. Contact us if you are interested in having your event with us. Speaking of websites, ours is undergoing major reconstruction. Stay tuned for updates and new things coming along - not only with our website but with Urban Suburban as well. If you have any questions about this or any other Shop Talk issues, call US today at 925-283-5212 or visit our website www. Our hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 7:30am - 5pm. We provide free shuttle service to the local area. Urban Suburban is “The Mechanic” to take care of all of your auto repair and servicing needs. Advertorial

The Car Guy By Paul Matthew Peterson, Specialty Sales Classics Collector Car Observations

Business is booming! The collector car market and prices are rebounding this spring, both at the classic car auctions and in our retail world here in California. Lots of overseas buyers are seeking specific vehicles for their clients, and we are seeing many more ‘first time’ collector car buyers. This is the BEST time of the year to sell a classic car since it’s the season for collector automobile events, shows, and cruising. Usually when a person owns a classic car, that car came into their life with a lot of planning, searching, and emotional drive of some kind to own it. Sometimes one is so emotionally attached or connected to a collector car that it stays with them for a lifetime. Another way a person finds themselves owning a classic car is when the person in the paragraph above leaves that classic car behind. As a son or daughter, niece or nephew, brother or sister, having such a tangible piece of someone’s memory can be a blessing and a way to stay ‘connected.’ Soon however, the reality of a family heirloom that’s ‘bigger than a bread box,’ (well, it may seem bigger than a bread TRUCK sometimes) that requires maintenance and proper storage to preserve its condition, can get quite overwhelming and expensive. Deciding to part with Mom’s Studebaker Golden Hawk or Dad’s Jaguar can be a tough decision that usually gets the whole family involved. Deciding how to sell the car and which family member gets the task of talking to prospective buyers can be daunting. The actual selling process itself can be challenging at best when you navigate newspaper classifieds, eBay for the first time, or Craigslist and the barrage of spam emails and phony ‘buyers’ who contact you about the vehicle. The cost of each shot-in-the-dark attempt at selling the classic vehicle adds up each time one’s lack of knowledge about Dad’s old car keeps it from selling. Add in costs for storage, upkeep, and the time invested in placing and answering ads, and the blessing can begin to seem like a problem instead. Specialty Sales Classics (SSC) is a business designed to directly address this situation. We provide an almost supermarket-like atmosphere and selection for the buyers of classic, exotic, and collectible automobiles. The majority of cars we offer for sale are consigned to us from the very folks I’ve been discussing this month. For a nominal fee, we provide a service that makes liquidating that heirloom, or any other classic car, a breeze. We do all of the hard work and meanwhile the car is kept in an insured, indoor showroom. We employ a large staff of collector car experts in four locations that handle

Lafayette Today ~ July 2012 - Page 9 everything from cleaning and servicing the car, readying it for sale, advertising - with professional photography, and answering all inquiries… from the ‘tire kickers’ to the ultimate purchaser. Our state-of-the-art website will feature the vehicle in its best light, and your car will also be listed on numerous other old car websites as well. The financing, shipping, trading, and other questions that a private party is going to encounter and may have no answers for, are standard daily operating procedure at SSC. We take care of everything from backing the car out of your garage to watching it load on a transporter for New York, Sweden, or some other place where mom’s old car can have a whole new life and create more memories for another family. If there’s a large metal object of affection that we can help you part with, feel free to contact one of our showrooms in Fairfield, Benicia, Pleasanton, or our soon to be open new Redwood City location. The classic car professionals here will explain the whole process, and the entire company will be trying to make someone else’s classic car dreams come true...and help you open up a “bread truck worth” of room in storage. Riddle: What’s bigger than a bread box and just paid for your son’s college tuition and a family trip to London? Answer: Uncle Bob’s ’53 Cadillac convertible that never left the neighborhood until we sent it to a museum in the Netherlands. Come in and see us, browse our website, give a call, or shoot us an email. We are always in the mood to talk old cars, and on a good day we can do some ‘bench racing’...(You old guys know what I mean). Maybe we’ll even sell you that dream car....they finance ’69 Firebirds these days you know. Check out our inventory at Feel free to email me at with any questions or comments, or call 800-600-2262. Advertorial

A Taste for Wine Country By Monica Chappell

Summertime is a perfect time to visit a wine country. I can think of at least three compelling reasons to spend time in a wine region. First, if you’re already a fan of a particular region’s wines, it can be an exciting experience to meet its winemakers who are passionate and eager to talk about their art. Second, there is no better way to explore the world then by visiting great wine properties; many older wine estates are built on the most spectacular sites. Third, where there is a first-rate wine, delicious food is rarely far behind. Living in Northern California affords us the opportunity to visit wine country as often as we care to. Here are a few tips to make your visit a success: • Book the wineries in advance. You can try simply showing up at the winery, but keep in mind that the finest places are often the least accessible. • Observe the basic rules of etiquette. If you have an appointment, call if you’re running more than 15 minutes late, and don’t be a no show. Word gets around. • Dress comfortably. Wine touring requires a lot of footwork. Dumploads OnUs If you’re sampling in a wine cellar, the floor will probably be cold specializes in and damp, so come prepared. providing the ulti• Show interest. Listen to what the pourer is saying and ask mate junk removal questions, but don’t pretend you are an expert. You’re there to learn solution. We’ll haul and have fun. away just about anything - from old household junk to construc• Offer a few words of praise. Start slowly; odds are your host tion and yard waste. The only items we are unable to accept are will begin with the lesser wines and work up to the more serious hazardous in the portfolio. Offering too much of a fuss too early on will seem • Computers materials. We insincere. make getting • Cables • Remember to spit. You won’t be expected to drink everything rid of your • TVs you are given to taste, but if you drain each glass, your day will be unwanted junk • Monitors over before lunch. as easy as 925.934.3743 • 925.934.1515 • Servers • Do comparative tastings. Tasting rooms offer a terrific op1-2-3; we load, • • Phones portunity to taste wines against each other. If there are two chardonwe sweep, and 1271 Boulevard Way, Walnut Creek nays being offered for tasting, taste them side-by-side. You’ll enjoy • Printers then we haul Monday-Friday, 8-5 • Saturday 9-1, Sunday, closed tasting the differences. •Copiers away. It’s that • Buy a bottle. You don’t have to but it’s a polite gesture, and if you’ve • Fax Machines • Power Supply Units • Discs and Tapes easy! had a nice chat with the winemaker, ask him to sign the bottle. Some winPlus we do it • Scanners • Printer Cartridges and Toners • And More... eries charge to taste and often deduct that fee from the cost of a bottle. with a smile! A visit to wine country can often be as entertaining as it is educational, so get out there and enjoy! Monica Chappell, Wine Writer and Educator, offers wine appreciation classes. For a list visit www.wineappreciation101.

Page 10 - July 2012 ~ Lafayette Today

Independence Day By Mark Becker, GoSimpleSolar July 4th is a proud and very celebrated day in our nation’s history. In Connecticut, down the street on which I grew up, marches the Stony Creek Fife and Drum Corps. One of the songs they play, “Yankee Doodle Dandy,” was written by the British before the Revolutionary War. The lyrics mock the American soldier as unsophisticated simpletons. It also essentially summarizes their disdain of “their” American colony. A collection of signatures on the Declaration of Independence precipitated our successful War of Independence. It’s a bit ironic that years after our liberation, a Brit, Winston Churchill said, “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.” Happy 236th Birthday USA! After college I left Connecticut and went on an “all expenses paid world tour” courtesy of the US Marine Corps, most of which I thoroughly enjoyed. The Middle East, the Far East, various ships, and Europe were “internship locations” for “foreign policy training.” During my Mid-East tour, I concluded that our foreign policy is tied to our energy policy. Those of you who differ in opinion, please contemplate the relationship you think we would have with these nations if it weren’t for the oil we are purchasing from them. vs. today’s price. Ten years from now, your electric bill will be more than double what it is now. With a solar system, you’ll pay a levelized kilowatt cost much less than today’s rates for the 25+ year life of the solar system. I purchased solar for my home and now my average kilowatt-hour (kWh) cost is $.05. The lowest PGE cost for non-solar customers is $.12/kWh, and the cost can reach $.33/kWh. When you buy solar, you buy 25+ years of electricity in advance, at today’s prices or less. In summary, a leased system saves the homeowner some cash every month, and an owned system will generate much greater savings for the home or business owner (typically in the 11-13% range). The biggest reason leased systems are popular is the big bank owners/investors of the solar systems realize that solar is a safe and strong investment. Homeowners can “go solar” via a lease or “go solar” via a system purchase. A solar system requires virtually no maintenance, will have a 25 year warranty, and will pay for itself up to 10 times over. Doing nothing is the most costly alternative. Mark Becker is the President of GoSimpleSolar, by Semper Fidelis Construction, a Danville based Solar Installation Firm. Mark can be reached at 925.915.9252. Come visit GoSimpleSolar’s new showroom at 114 West Prospect Ave. in Danville to see, touch, and discuss solar and energy efficiency products. For more details, see or email Mark@ Advertorial

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Solar: Lease or Buy? One of the most common and understandable questions we’re asked at our showroom is whether a customer should lease or purchase solar panels. After I describe each program, you’ll be able to answer that question based on how each program may fit into your budget or goals. Solar leasing has become very popular for numerous reasons. A zero-cost solar electric system can be installed at no cost to the homeowner. The big bank investor who owns the system makes a good return on the purchase of the solar electric system by the savings the system generates. Some of those savings are passed to the homeowner/host of the system. The homeowner saves money without putting any money down; the investor makes money on their investment. A solar electric system purchased by a home or business owner has an initial cost, a better term is “initial investment.” The home or business owner redirects the monies that would have been paid to PGE to pay off the solar system. This is commonly known as “payback time.” Once the system is “paid back,” the home or business owner has free power and is not subject to ever increasing utility rates (historically 6.7% year). Had you bought a lifetime supply of fuel for your car 10 years ago, you would have paid $1.35/gallon for the gas you are using today




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Life in the Lafayette Garden Outdoor Kitchens By John Montgomery, ASLA, Landscape Architect We are gearing up for what is looking to be a wonderful Lafayette summer. July 4th is the pinnacle of outdoor entertaining and family BBQ’s. So much of outdoor entertaining is built around cooking and eating that it has become a regular request by my clients to design outdoor kitchens into the hardscape. Our magnificent Lafayette weather allows us to use the outdoors as an addition to our home. So, why not have an outdoor kitchen? An outdoor kitchen doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive, or it can be! Outdoor kitchens range from the simple BBQ grill to a fully equipped kitchen. The area is designed based on the way you entertain and cook. Starting with a simple approach there is a huge market choice of portable or prefabricated BBQ equipment. Many portables are high-quality stainless steel products made by top brand names like Weber, Viking, DCS, and Wolf. Of course, there is still room for you die-hard Weber kettle fans! I have designed many outdoor kitchens for clients ranging from professional chefs to the guy who grills hamburgers and hot dogs. Like most kitchens in your home, the outdoor kitchen is the heart of your outdoor environment. So, as you think about what you want in an outdoor kitchen, many key elements must be considered - location, frequency of use, equipment, size and space, and integration into the hardscape and landscape. Location is instrumental to how much you use your outdoor kitchen. For instance, many clients like to grill year round, so the kitchen must be conveniently located and accessible to your indoor kitchen keeping in mind food prep, storage, and dining.

Choosing equipment is very important. Depending on your desired level of expertise, the market offers numerous choices and price points. First, consider the grill, the center piece to your outdoor kitchen. There are too many choices to mention in this article. Briefly, grills range from 18” to 60”, using charcoal, natural gas or propane, ranging from $1,000 to $13,000. The low-end uses charcoal and the high-end grill, made by Kalamazoo, is a hybrid that uses gas, charcoal, or wood depending on your grilling needs. Next, a side burner for boiling water, sautéing, and steaming is a good choice so you can cook your entire meal outdoors. Other cooking equipment includes lobster pots, wok burners, and countertop pizza ovens. Full-size pizza ovens are also a great addition. To keep things on the cool side, outdoor refrigerators of various configurations are available; wine fridges, keg-a-rators, ice makers, and now freezers. Storage is also an important aspect to the design of your outdoor kitchen. Again, all sorts of storage is available - stainless cupboards, drawer units, warming drawers, and complete cabinet units. Countertop space and materials are also an important consideration. A raised bar with stools, sink with hot and cold running water, and electrical are considerations. The size and space of your outdoor kitchen depends on frequency and level of entertaining. Your love of cooking and entertaining will determine the size and space you need. One of my clients, a professional chef, prefers to use his outdoor kitchen over his indoor one. Designing the location so that the kitchen is located in the heart of the hardscape is most important. It is a

Lafayette Today ~ July 2012 - Page 11

Community Garden and Outdoor Learning Center

Please join members of the Lafayette Community Garden and Outdoor Learning Center for the first series of classes offered at the new Lafayette Community Garden across from the Reservoir. These classes are intergenerational, interactive, informative, and fun, so bring your kids or grandkids, and prepare to get your hands dirty! Bugs: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly! ~ July 14 • 3 – 5PM Join Susanne Frey, landscape designer and gardener extraordinaire, as she teaches us how to recognize the insects in our gardens – those that promote plant health and those that wreak havoc. We’ll discuss the benefits of both and how to minimize the negative impact of the so-called “bad guys.” We’ll learn how to garden without harmful insecticides. California Edibles and What Native Americans Ate ~ August 4 • 3 – 5PM Join Kim Curiel, Burton Valley’s creative and entertaining teacher, as she takes us back in time. We’ll not only learn which native plants are edible, but she’ll also teach us how to prepare and enjoy these plants that Native Americans and early settlers depended on. Bring your curiosity and appetite! All classes are free, although donations will be gladly accepted. To register for a class, please visit our website at www., and click on “classes.”

social place connected to the dinning area, patio, pool, and garden. They can be enclosed in a cabana or under an open trellis. Other essentials to consider are wood burning pizza ovens, fireplaces, fire pits, and living room. What you can imagine can be designed and built! A hot tip from your local Landscape Architect: Adding an outdoor kitchen to your new or existing hardscape requires creativity, design, planning, and budget experience. Gardening Quote of the Month: Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity. ~Voltaire If you would like me to write on any particular subject, email your ideas to or for design ideas visit Advertorial

Page 12 - July 2012 ~ Lafayette Today

How Much are your Trees Really Worth? By Blaine Brende & Joe Lamb

With the world in economic and ecological turmoil, it pays to take a deep breath and consider the real value of your assets. It’s best to start this exercise close to home because for most Americans their largest asset is their home. A surprisingly large contribution— between 8 and 19%1 — to the value of your home comes from your trees, shrubs, and other landscape plants. If your house is worth $500,000, that places the value of your plants at between $40,000 and $90,0000. Your trees deserve care commensurate with the value they add to your home’s portfolio. Trees, of course, have value far beyond real estate. Here’s a quick tour of values economists give for urban trees: Trees add to home values and thereby form part of the tax base. In so doing trees help fund schools, fire protection services, and police. Trees work to clean the air. In the process of photosynthesis, trees absorb pollutants and even convert harmful chemicals, like nitrogen oxides and airborne ammonia, into benign forms. Trees act to reduce local tax rates by reducing infrastructure costs. Trees absorb rain and slow the speed at which storm water accumulates, thereby helping to prevent flooding and the need to install larger storm drains. Trees not only filter pollution, they help prevent it. Shade from trees can reduce air conditioning needs by as much as 30%, and trees planted to intercept prevailing winds can reduce heating needs significantly. “Projections suggest that 100 million additional mature trees in US cities (three trees for every unshaded single family home) could save over $2 billion in energy costs per year.” 2 Trees also help prevent car pollution. In the Sacramento area, an astounding 16% of air pollution comes from cars parked in the sun. Shade from trees greatly reduces the loss of gas, thereby reducing air pollution. Trees aid healing. When hospital rooms have views of trees, patients heal at a measurably faster rate. Trees help us fulfill Dorothy Day’s maxim: create a world in which it is easier to be nice to each other. Studies find that trees in public housing neighborhoods reduce levels of fear and decrease aggressive behavior; and students

Gardening with Kate By Kathleen Guillaume It is going to be a long hot summer. This morning in the early cool, I went out and gathered blueberries, getting buzzed by dragonflies which have just filled my garden. These are my midsummer blueberries, my late-summer blueberries are just setting fruit. Blueberries are really a must for a garden as they create beautiful foliage and are a delicious fruit. I have eaten my first warm sun-ripened peach, and I have a later variety that should be ripe by mid-August. These are treats. I lost most of my cherry crop to a few days of high 90o heat when I could not find time or friends to harvest before the over-ripe cherries fell to the ground. These are the joys and disappointments of home food production. A retired person certainly has an advantage of being around to harvest in those small windows that the weather provides. My rudebekias (Black Eyed Susanne’s are one variety) are setting buds which guarantees that while you are picking up this paper, I will have scores of brilliant yellow blooms scattered around my beds making a very joyous sight. I keep most of them in my backyard now as I have had them pulled, roots and all, from my front garden beds, no doubt by someone who did not want to pay for a large bouquet. A little selfish, yes, but I nurtured them along and want at least to enjoy them. I am having a very hard time with sunflowers this year. I’ve planted several varieties from wonderful burgundys to conventional yellows and pale peach, but just as they poke their fragile heads above the soil, we get one of those frying days that scorch them into oblivion. Very few nurseries offer sunflowers in six-packs or 4” pots, so it is hard to do anything, except replant them in hopes of having a late summer dazzle. I am ready to try a shade cloth cover to those sections of the beds where I’ve planted them. with ADHD develop more self-discipline when they play in natural settings. Berkeley calculates that for every $1.00 the city spends on planting and pruning city trees, its citizens reap $1.40 in measurable benefits; for Sacramento the return is $1.80, and for New York City an astounding $5.00 is the return for every dollar spent. The value added to pruning and planting trees on your own property is higher than that for street trees because trees have a real effect on real estate prices. Overestimating the value of trees to the entire planet is impossible: how can you put a price on the continuation of human life? If too many trees are stripped from the planet, then tipping points in the carbon cycle are crossed making global warming spin out of control… and making the world too hot for human life. Our Earth is small, and global warming makes it ever smaller. The easy division between what is global and what is local no longer holds: a ton of carbon dioxide from burning rainforests in Borneo heats the air as much as a ton of carbon dioxide from the tail pipes of commuter traffic on I580. We are all part of the problem. We are all part of the solution. Trees play a role in all three strategies to fight global warming. Trees help reduce energy use, and they may someday become a source of renewable biofuels. We can protect and restore rainforests and other carbon sinks. Through its work in the Borneo Project, Brende and Lamb works hard to leverage local support for the protection of rainforests. Closer to home we can all help with strategic planting of urban trees to sequester carbon, to reduce heat island effects, and to lower energy consumption. The dividends far outstrip the costs of caring for trees as a necessary part of the ‘green economy.’ Like other living beings, trees do require care. With people it costs less to avoid getting sick than to pay for a cure. The same is true with trees. Quality care improves the health of your trees, extends their lifespan, and increases their beauty. Quality tree work pays dividends to you and to the planet. If you need help, do not hesitate to give us a call for advice or to do the work. At Brende and Lamb, we have 20 years of experience balancing the aesthetics of your trees and shrubs and maintaining your screening needs. If your trees need a little TLC, please call 510-486-TREE (8733) or email us at for a free estimate. Additionally, go to our website www. to see before and after pictures, client testimonials, and work in your neighborhood. Advertorial 1. 2. Nurseries offer various types of shade cloth, and you can cut sections and hold them off the ground with stakes or pots to make a small tent to protect seedlings. Ask your nursery about the types they recommend. I think we will be using more of this type of material in the future as we seem to have hotter summers. If you haven’t done so already, you should set aside a weekend to spread a thick layer of mulch around your beds. My favorite is the very small sized bark. Remember to keep it away from the stems and trunks of plants, shrubs, and trees. Also leave some patches of bare ground here and there in your garden as many of our local bees are ground bees, and they don’t have the strength to move a thick layer of bark to get in and out of their homes. Not only does a thick layer of mulch keep down water use and moisture loss through evaporation, but it also suppresses weeds. That means less weeding and less chemicals to control weeds. Fewer weeds means more time to sit back with a cool glass of iced tea or wine and enjoy the beauty that is your very own garden. I know you are all tempted to buy plenty of blooming wonders when you are at the nursery. I am a sucker for plants in bloom too. Just remember that it is impossible for a small plant to survive a transplant on a hot summer day. Set out the plants you have just bought in the shade, if we are having a string of hot days, keep them well watered (probably means morning and night watering), then when we have a few of those cooler days get them in the ground, water them well, and cover the ground with mulch. You will have a much better survival rate. It is easier to buy blooming plants at the beginning of a cooling cycle and plant them right away. Just be kind to those babies, and then they will give you a summer of wonder and joy. Happy Gardening!

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Repair or Replace

Lafayette Today ~ July 2012 - Page 13

By Evan Corstorphine, Portable CIO

Last month my wife and I decided we needed to do something about our car situation. We thought we needed to buy a new car and trade in a couple of old ones to simplify our situation. We had to decide between making an investment in what we already owned or forgoing the investment and buying a new car. We immediately recognized the similarity between what we were experiencing with our cars and what we advise our customers to do with their computers. In our case, we had three cars that needed tires, shocks, engine maintenance, and full detailing to be back to “normal” and baseline. To be honest, if we had been better about maintenance, we wouldn’t have been looking at so much accumulated expense all at once. But there we were. If we were to buy a new car, we would be looking at the expensive up-front cost, the taxes, higher insurance, and higher annual registration. When we added it up, it began to make hanging on to our older automobiles more attractive. Like someone upgrading a computer, we could spend thousands of dollars in upgrades and enhancements, but at the end of the day we’d still have an old car with bolt-on parts. It wouldn’t be a new car, any more than a computer is new after it gets a tune-up. Sometimes that’s all it needs, and it’s OK. Other times, you really need that new system, and the extra expense is warranted. If it had been a computer, we would have discussed the average lifespan (whether you have a Mac or PC, a laptop or a desktop computer, the average lifespan is 3-4 years) and advised whether it would be better to repair or replace. Many times we can improve someone’s situation by adding more memory to the system, or swapping out an old, slow, low-capacity hardisk with a new and larger, faster hardisk. We’re big fans of extending the use of existing equipment, rather than junking it and buying new just to have the latest gadgets. Buying a new computer is expensive because it involves not only the hardware cost, but it also requires the soft costs of migrating data, applications, and peripherals. There are a lot of factors to consider. Sometimes a new machine is the right choice. As computers get older they have a harder time performing tasks that a more modern machine would find routine. Just as a Model T will still get you from point A to point B, it would have a tough time keeping up with the 65mph speed limit, the ride would be more bumpy, and in a crash there CONTRA COSTA ONCOLOGY would be no seatbelts and airbags to protect you. The Model T will still function as a car, but it can’t do the same job as a modern car. A lot of our clients have been getting new systems through Costco online (see I’m a big fan of purchasing a system through them because they double the factory hardware warranty. If you’ve ever purchased something and then had to service or return it through Costco, you know what I mean when I say they’re easy to do business with. The other thing about buying through Costco online is that they have arranged to carry extremely well-configured machines. Because of their volume purchasing agreement, we cannot match their pricing with our Dell Partner status. The result is that instead of buying a computer with the minimum standards, you can get 16gb of RAM, a 2 TB hardisk, and an i7 processor with a 1gb video card, all for less than $1,000 with a doubled warranty. It’s such a good deal I’ll probably end up buying one for myself. Keep in mind that when you buy a new system, the computer is just part of the cost. After the hardware is purchased there is software to purchase or upgrade, you’ll need Antivirus/ Anti-Malware software, you must evaluate the new system’s compatibility with your existing printers, and of course all of your data must be moved to the new system. The soft costs are often just as much as the hard costs. The new $1,000 computer may end up costing $1,600 or more, because there is so much more than the actual computer that is involved. If you have an older PC, be assured we’re going to do everything we reasonably can do to make it work well for you. But, we’re not going throw your money at it, either. The best analogy AT CONTRA COSTA ONCOLOGY, we are committed to providing WALNUT CREEK the highest quality care. Specializing in comprehensive cutting-edge treatment is to assure you we will treat your systems like SAN RAMON programs for all forms of cancer and blood disorders, our nationally recognized our own. We’ll be good stewards of your time CONCORD oncology experts and specialized oncology nurses are dedicated to providing and resources. ROSSMOOR the best possible care experience. We understand the wide array of concerns If your home or business is considering and challenges faced by you and your family, so we ensure the most sophisticated DANVILLE these decisions, a call to the experts at Portable levels of medical oncology and hematology care, while providing you with the CIO can help add the clarity you need to utmost support, compassion, and respect. ize your choice. We’re here to help you. We can 925.939.9610 be reached at or 925-552-7953. Advertorial

With Them

my story Continues.

Page 14 - July 2012 ~ Lafayette Today

An Ounce of Prevention…

By Robert J. Silverman, Attorney at Law

A few months ago, I wrote an article about a blended family trust/estate dispute I had handled. The response I received suggested that the compelling story resonated strongly with many readers. The new media story about the $50 Million+ estate of the recently deceased artist, Robert Kinkade (dispute over a handwritten document claimed by Mr. Kinkade’s girlfriend to represent key testamentary wishes of his) reminded me of a case I had a few years ago that has broad implications. I will use fictional names, as always. My client was 80 year old Trudy. Trudy hired me to administer the estate of her recently deceased 85 year old brother, Travis. I agreed, and in the coming weeks I learned the following facts. Trudy and Travis had a close relationship throughout their lives. When middle-aged, Travis even resided with Trudy and her children for a few years. Trudy was particularly special to Travis because the two had no other siblings, and Travis had never married nor had children. During his seventies, Travis told Trudy several times that he would be leaving his whole estate to her. Trudy had no reason to question this and didn’t think about asking him if he had a current Will or Living Trust. A few years before Travis died, Trudy sustained serious injuries from a car accident. Since Travis didn’t then drive, he and his sister did not see each other again before he died. Following Travis’s death, no Will, Trust or related correspondence was found in his apartment. I informed Trudy that under the California intestacy statute (governing who is entitled to inherit assets of someone dying without a Will), Trudy was the closest to Travis in kinship, and she was thus legally entitled to all of his assets. Although Travis had a fairly modest estate ($200,000 - $250,000), this was a major blessing to Trudy, who was living on a fixed income and had almost no assets. Inheriting from her dear brother would make her remaining years dramatically more comfortable and financially stress-free. A few weeks after I was hired, Viola, who had lived in the same apartment building as Travis since a few years before his death, hired an attorney who filed a probate petition on Viola’s behalf. The petition included a document purporting to be a handwritten Will signed by Travis less than a year before his death, stating that Travis was leaving his entire estate to Viola. Trudy was devastated. She recalled that Travis had mentioned Viola several times in passing. Travis told Trudy that Viola occasionally picked up groceries and did a few errands for him, but that she was frequently annoying. Trudy was sure that Travis would never have voluntarily written a Will leaving everything (let alone anything) to this casual, short-term acquaintance, Viola. During litigation of Viola’s claim, each side hired expensive handwriting analysts. Based on substantial, complex forensic analysis, Trudy’s expert concluded with a high degree of certainty that Travis’s signature had been forged by Viola. It’s no surprise that the “hired gun” analyst of Viola was prepared to testify that his analysis showed that Travis’s signature was bona fide. It soon became clear that even if Trudy succeeded at trial, she would “win the battle, but lose the war.” So, net of attorneys’ fees, Trudy settled for a small fraction of her brother’s estate. Some might conclude that this case illustrates how flawed our justice system is. I would argue this conclusion is wrong. We have one of the best legal systems in the world; however, people can be deceitful, instituting litigation is sometimes necessary, litigation is expensive and stressful, and the end result is typically far from ideal. Incidentally, handwritten (“holographic”) Wills are valid in California if they meet a few basic statutory legal requirements. But it is a precarious tool that should only be used in certain very limited circumstances. So, what would have likely happened if Travis had gone to an estate planning attorney Brainwaves by Betsy Streeter and made an extremely modest investment in a simple, attorney-drafted Will? Viola would not have been able to leverage any significant settlement by claiming under the bogus holographic Will, and Trudy would have rightfully inherited Travis’s assets. The moral of this story reveals a silver lining. Our system usually rewards those who plan - or in the case of trust/estate matters, it rewards the loved ones of those who plan. Conversely, it often punishes the loved ones of those who don’t plan. Mr. Silverman is an attorney with Buchman Provine Brothers Smith LLP, 1333 N. California Street, Suite 350, Walnut Creek, CA 94596; (925) 944-9700; rsilverman@ His practice emphasizes Estate Planning, Trust Administration & Probate, Real Estate, and Business. Mr. Silverman offers a free introductory consultation.

This article is intended to provide information of a general nature, and should not be relied upon as legal, tax, financial and/ or business advice. Readers should obtain and rely upon specific advice only from their own qualified professional advisors. This communication is not intended or written to be used, for the purpose of: i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code; or ii) promoting, marketing, or recommending to another party any matters addressed herein. Advertorial

Lic# 1100014354; Bay Area Entertainment

Quality Investment Advisors By Daniel A Barnes, CFA Today’s world headlines are sobering: • Greece conflagrates • China hits a hard landing • Government shuts down • Unemployment is sky-high Closer to home, there are other challenges as well: • Your college graduate can’t find a job • You worked as a slave to corporate life, made a very good living (although the Lafayette Jones’s never made you feel that way), and now you are 50-something and can’t decide whether or not to take a new job? Your mother doesn’t want to sell her $800,000 house, but she’s effectively already moved in with you, and you get financial advice from six different smart people. • You have four kids going to college in the next six years, and they are all doing well in school. What should you do with the money in their college accounts? What should you do with the Trust? What should you do with your 401k? • You own your own business. It’s got annual sales of nearly $2M, and you really want to sell it. But the best cash offer deal is for $75,000 up front and a $600,000 note. Should you take it? • The market in municipal bonds is melting down. They make up 50% of your liquid net worth. What should you do? • Your business nets you $200,000 to $500,000a year. But lately, it’s been closer to $200,000, and it’s really a lot different trying to run it with two kids and growing fatherly responsibilities, compared to your life just five years ago. • Both you and your wife work, and together you make $250,000 a year. You might inherit a house someday, but that day is nowhere in sight. Your spending and taxes are consuming most of that income. You’re disappointed in your lack of discipline. You used to save money when you were making $2,000 a month in law school. What happened? Why can’t you get on track? • You used to have a good handle on your money. Now you feel lost, scared, and inept. Where do you find something that pays more than 3%? These are all difficult situations. And they are all pretty normal around

Nail Cosmetics By Dr. Kelly Hood Some of the information in this article recently appeared in a dermatology journal and caught my attention as I enjoy a good manicure and pedicure myself from time to time. Nail cosmetics and procedures generate more than $6 billion annually in the United States. Attractive nails bring pleasure to women and now men too. Presently there are about 300 million services preformed Dr. Kelly Hood, Lafayette annually by 400,000 nail technicians in more than 160,000 nail salons in the United States.

Advice for Healthy Nail Care 1. Nails are not screwdrivers, scrapers, or staple removers; do not use them as such. 2. Chemicals, detergents, excess moisture, and trauma are harmful to nails. Avoid them when possible. 3. Wear gloves for household chores, gardening, and mechanical manipulations. 4. Avoid overaggressive nail technicians. Remember the cuticle protects the nail matrix, which when injured results in a damaged and/or weakened nail plate and could even cause permanent scarring. 5. Bring your own instruments, especially if you visit the nail salon regularly. 6. Use caution with extra long nails; they may easily result in substantial injury to the nail unit and its components.

Other Important Concerns for the Nail Salon/Spa 1. Check the facility to be sure it is licensed. 2. All metal instruments should be sterilized after each use. 3. Files should be disposable and preferably the nail polish should be the individual’s own. 4. Pedicure baths should be washed and all suction screens cleaned be-

Lafayette Today ~ July 2012 - Page 15 Lafayette. One thing they all do is shine the light on what’s difficult, and what’s important, in the advice business. These are the things to think about: • What matters in Investment Advice? • How does an Advisor do their job well? • How can they help improve the quality of your life? Let’s take the twenty-mile high view of your life and look at these questions. Here’s what I think: A good advisor is a thoughtful creature. He or she takes the time to know you. A really good advisor figures out who and what you really care about. The money decisions come later. It’s a cliche’, but thoughtful clients don’t really care what you know until they know that you care. And conversely, thoughtful advisors don’t really care about what your problems are, they care about whether or not you truly want help in making strategic and investment decisions. If you really don’t want help, if you aren’t truly willing to build a relationship based on trust, then chances are, you will not be a satisfying client to your advisor. Great advisors love to make a difference in your life. That won’t happen unless you are open to the intimacy of a trusting relationship. So, this touchy-feely element is very important. But, no matter how important the emotional intelligence of your advisor and the touchy-feely elements of the relationship are, you’ve also gotta ask, “Where’s the beef?” A great advisor really understands the craft of being an expert in capital markets. This includes skills in assessing a lot of things. If your advisor doesn’t truly understand assets, value, money management, and risk management, they are just not knowledgeable enough to entrust your life savings with! And if they haven’t already lost money of their own - and of other people’s a few times along the line - they aren’t seasoned enough, either. Because, greatness has its roots in intelligence and experience and the humility that connects the two. Can the people you trust with your hopes, dreams, and financial matters lay claim to that level of greatness? 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 and high-quality companies which raise their dividend every year. We add Gold to portfolios for diversification. Call Daniel at (925) 284-3503 and visit Advertorial tween nail clients. 5. It is prudent to check product labels to ensure they are intact and undiluted.

Possible Causes of Sensitivity Reactions Primary Irritants Acetone/acetates, polish gel removers Alcohol and other solvents Cuticle softeners Toluene (may cause fatigue, headache, dizziness)

Allergens Acrylics - sculptures, glues, mending kits Colorants, pigments Formaldehyde Nickel

Dr. Shanny Baughman, Alamo

Other Dehydrating agents - solvents, acetone (brittle nail syndrome) Dibutyl phthalate Eye irritants Inhalants UV exposure: bonding, gel nails

Conclusion Nail polish is protective and it retards dehydration of the nail. Nail cosmetics and accoutrements are fine, but patients should look out for hidden dangers. It is important to see you dermatologist with any nonhealing or persistent nail abnormalities. Nails may be sites for melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and psoriasis, as well as a host of other medical conditions such as bacterial, viral, and fungal infections. To have your nails and skin evaluated by a board certified dermatologist and have a treatment specifically designed for you, contact Dr. Kelly Hood, 970 Dewing, Suite 301, Lafayette, 925-283-5500, or Dr. Shanny Baughman at Alamo Oaks Dermatology, 3189 Danville Blvd, suite Advertorial 130, Alamo, 925-362-0992,

Page 16 - July 2012 ~ Lafayette Today

Sun Safety for Life By Barbara Persons, MD, Persons Plastic Surgery, Inc.

Best White Cabernet in the Valley! Tasting Room Open by appointment 925-449-1871 For private parties please call 510-861-2722 5700 Greenville Rd, Livermore

Fighting Cancer and Fatigue By Esther Catalya, MD Cancer Related Fatigue can be a symptom of your cancer or a side effect from cancer treatment. Normal day-today activities can be draining, and sleep may only provide a short reserve of energy. Fatigue resonates to every part of us, our physical, mental and emotional being. Seventy -100% of cancer patients experience fatigue during, or post treatment. This lack of energy causes a change in our daily activities, hobbies, work, and our relationships. There are other things that you can do to help manage your symptoms. ● Talk to your health care provider about managing symptoms. ● Plan rest breaks in your day, but avoid long naps in the late day so that you are able to sleep well at night. ● Even when you are tired, allow friends to visit. Human connection is very important in battling depression, which is closely linked to fatigue. Enjoying the uplifted spirit of a friend also gives you more energy. ● Meet with a dietitian to help establish your nutritional needs to help fight fatigue. Eating the right foods and getting plenty of fluids can give added energy. ● Delegate your needs by asking friends and family members for help with daily chores. ● Everyone has their own way of relaxing. Reading, needlework, listening to music, or creating small art projects tend to be relaxing activities. ● Consult your physician on what kind of exercise you are able to do like walking, yoga, swimming, or other activities. Exercising daily not only helps to lower blood pressure but also helps to improve appetite, sleep, and mood. Each person’s fatigue is unique and it is important to talk to your doctor about what treatment may work best for you. Keep a ‘Fatigue Diary’ recording your daily routine and your fatigue level on a scale of 0-10. By keeping track of your diet, exercise, and daily activities, you may be able to learn what works best for you in improving your energy level. Dr. Esther Catalya is a Medical Oncologist and Hematologist with Diablo Valley Oncology, located at the California Cancer and Research Institute in Pleasant Hill. 925-677-5041 or Advertorial

I’m often asked about the most common factors contributing to the aging process. Everyday exposure to the sun, pollution, and other factors in our environment contribute to the natural aging process. As residents of the Bay Area, we are fortunate to live in a very mild climate with lots of sunny days. However, this fortune comes at a price, as the sun is the number one enemy we battle in our quest to retain our youthful appearance. Frequency and intensity of sun exposure accelerates the aging process, damages skin, and increases the incidence of skin cancer. As such, part of any healthy lifestyle includes practicing sun safety. We start our lives with thin delicate baby skin and end up with thin delicate elder skin. The care we take to protect our skin really does make a difference. Wearing hats, sunglasses, protective clothing, and liberal use of sunscreen are necessary precautions to protect us from our infancy to our golden years. This summer, I have noticed children at the pool and playground becoming red and sunburned. Just one bad sunburn in childhood increases our lifetime risk of melanoma (the most fatal form of skin cancer). We need to take effective precautions to reduce these risks. While it is true that over-exposure to the sun may result in more sunspots and premature or excessive wrinkles, melanoma is a very serious consequence of enjoying too much sun throughout our lifespan. Recently, I removed over 50 skin lesions from a 70 year-old patient. Sadly, most of these lesions could have been avoided with a better understanding of how the sun damages the skin and knowledge of the best practices to protect it. The sun emits two types of ultraviolet rays - UVA and UVB. Either can cause sunburn and damage skin. It is a common misconception that cloudy days offer protection from sunburn. UVA and UVB rays penetrate clouds and still result in sunburn and damaged skin. Medications can also increase the risk of sunburn. These medications include many antibiotics, most acne medications, and some antidepressants. It is always wise to review your medications with your doctor or pharmacist regarding sun sensitivity. The best way to enjoy the sunshine is to limit exposure when the sun rays are most intense (between 10am and 4pm) and to use adequate sunscreen protection at all times. While the use of sunscreen is critical, it must be used properly in order to be effective. Follow these simple and effective guidelines for sunscreen use. • Sunscreens with a zinc base and broad spectrum coverage are optimal, and zinc is found in higher end brands (we offer Skinmedica, Skinceuticals, Obagi, and Image in our office). • While these brands are some of the most effective available, even the cheapest generic sunscreen is better than wearing nothing at all. • Do not wait until you are in the sun to apply. Sunscreens are designed to be absorbed into the skin. Apply liberally (two ounces, equivalent to a full shot glass, for arms and legs) 30 minutes before sun exposure. Sunscreen should be reapplied after swimming or excessive sweating. • Regular use of sunscreen can begin at six months of age and used indefinitely. • SPF means “sun protection factor.” SPF of four provides protection allowing four times the sun exposure before burning. SPF eight equals eight times and so on. SPF 15 blocks 93% of incoming UVB rays, SPF 30 blocks 97%, SPF 50 blocks 98%, and SPF 100 blocks 99% of UVB rays. • One year of sun protection yields noticeably improved skin and reduced risk. It is never too early, or too late, to start using sunscreen so start applying it now. • Yearly skin checks with your GP, dermatologist, or plastic surgeon will help detect skin cancer early. These recommendations are meant to be guidelines and need to be tailored to individual skin types. If sunburn does occur, use of cold compresses, over the counter Benadryl, and pain medication may help with the sting. In cases of longer-term sun damage or skin cancer, your dermatologist and your plastic surgeon can help. As always, I welcome the opportunity to help you explore the options available. I wish you a sun safe and happy summer season! Barbara L. Persons, MD is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and owns Persons Plastic Surgery, Inc. located at 911 Moraga Rd, Suite 205 in Lafayette. She may be reached at 925.283.4012 or Advertorial

Healing Massage is No Parlor Trick By Michael Anne Conley, MFT Choosing the right massage therapist can be a healthchanging experience. Whether you’re recovering from a sports or work-related injury, or if you’re dealing with stressful challenges in life, a necessary first step is to know that the services you seek are legitimate – because the difference between a massage “parlor” and a massage “practice” is a big one. Given the shenanigans that came to light over the last few months here in town with unregulated and inappropriate massage parlors, Lafayette leaders have taken the right steps to prevent the kinds of predatory practices that were operating under the radar. At Stillpoint Center where I practice, we’re glad that therapeutic massage, which is one of our health services, has been validated by these new regulations. By requiring massage therapists who practice here to be state certified and registered with the city, you can be assured that people who offer healing touch in Lafayette have been appropriately educated and vetted by the requirements of state certification. I recently asked Kaye Zahraoui, who offers massage services at Stillpoint Center, to share her thoughts on what people can do to make sure they’ve found the right kind of massage therapist for them. She has these suggestions: 1. Ask about experience and accreditation. “You probably want a massage that’s customized to your needs,” she told me. “A therapist trained and experienced in different modalities of massage, like cranio massage, reflexology and arthritic relief massage, will have a broader range of skills.” Even though the new city regulations require practitioners to be state licensed, Kaye says you should take care of yourself by knowing for sure. “Professional massage therapists will have no problem showing you their state license card,” says Kaye, “so be sure to ask.” In California, state certified practitioners have completed at least 500 hours of training and internship and have been fingerprinted for background checks. 2. Communication is very important, Kaye advises. “Good therapists will

Your Personal Nutritionist By Linda Michaelis, RD. MS. Weight Loss for Kids - Family Plan Summer is here! It is a great time to get your child in shape and help them achieve an ideal weight. The objective is to provide the right foods that your child will enjoy. Let me tell you about my recent work with a local Alamo family. My initial meeting was at the family’s home where I went through their refrigerator and cupboards to show them healthy and unhealthy items they contained. I interviewed all of the family members to find out what their favorite meal and snack foods were. I instantly saw why all of the family members had weight problems. Most of the foods they ate were highly processed foods such as Eggo frozen waffles and pancakes, boxes of mac and cheese, Lean Pockets, frozen pizzas, bagels, french bread, high sugar cereals like Honey Bunches of Oats, and tubs of rich ice cream. I first taught all of the family members how to read a food label and to look for important facts such as protein, fiber, fat, sugar, and calories per serving. I realized that it was my job to teach the family that healthy food can be delicious. I began by suggesting some modifications to their favorites such as Van’s whole wheat waffles and Krusteaz Oatbran Pancake Mix. I suggested they serve their macaroni and cheese with equal amounts of broccoli which they loved. I taught the family how to make their own pizzas from whole wheat pizza dough that is available along with low fat cheese, lighter pizza sauce, and veggies. I introduced them to many 100% whole wheat items like Orowheat Sandwich Thins, english muffins, La Tortilla Factory tortillas, couscous, and pasta. They now enjoy having one cup of cooked pasta, rice, or starch along with two cups of tasty veggies sautéed in garlic and olive oil along with a sprinkle of parmesan. We also discussed buying portion sized Fudgeicles, Creamsicles, and fruit juice bars rather than tubs of ice cream. Mom, dad, and I went to Trader’s Joes where I was thrilled to show them new items that they can add to the family menu such as healthy potstickers, soups,

Lafayette Today ~ July 2012 - Page 17 start with a conversation. They’ll ask you about your situation and your needs before starting a massage. They’ll offer you information and guidance about what to expect, and they’ll check in with you during the massage. They may also talk with you after the session about their assessment of your situation.” In addition, you can ask for suggestions about what you can do to support yourself after the massage so that you sustain the benefits you’ve received. Kaye also suggests that you return to someone who meets your changing needs. “A good massage therapist should be able to discuss treatment options for a number of issues, including chronic stress, pain and injuries — or special conditions, like pregnancy, as well,” she says. 3. Professionalism is vital, Kaye says. “A good therapist behaves appropriately, makes you comfortable, and treats you professionally. He or she offers effective treatment and provides a positive experience.” She adds, “You should choose a therapist you have safe, professional chemistry with. That person should have a gift for massage and an intuitive understanding of your body. You should feel immense benefits of personalized care and progress with regular treatment.” ~~~ Healing touch is an important component of many people’s journeys — and it’s one of the services we offer at Stillpoint Center, where we support your health, well-being, and your sense of renewal in your life. If you are looking for a therapeutic massage practitioner, consider our very own Kaye Zahraoui, CMT. She has 15 years of experience, and is state-licensed and trained in Swedish, Deep Tissue, Sports, Shiatsu, Reiki (Japanese hands on healing), Reflexology, CranioSacral, Pregnancy, Arthritic relief, post-knee and hip replacement, and geriatric massage. You can contact Kaye directly at 925-586-5135. You can find out about our other services at services.html. 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 supports people in transforming old habits into new behaviors. You can learn more at (925) 262-4848 or You can listen to her weekly podcast, Habits Into Health at Advertorial frozen wild fish, fresh arugula, spinach, and veggies in bags that are cleaned, cut, and ready to be cooked. We also discovered brown rice, quinoa, and whole wheat couscous, along with cottage cheese, Greek yogurts, and salads. I made a point to go over the food labels for each new item they bought so they could understand how nutritious they are. The family was amazed by the many great convenient items available to them. I returned to their home a week later where I reviewed everyone’s food diary. We discussed the best snacks to keep on hand that the kids would like. “Ants on a log” made of peanut butter stuffed in celery sprinkled with raisins was a favorite. The kids were happy to hear that they can have a dessert each day as long as they had veggies at lunch and at dinner. The parents discussed what restaurants they frequent, and I helped them learn what the best choices were from the menus. For example, once a week they order Chinese food. I helped them tweak their typical choices by adding more veggies and fewer noodle and rice dishes. Last week they enjoyed lettuce wraps, Mongolian chicken, and sweet snowpeas for dinner. Mom explained how difficult it is to get the kids to become more active. I told her goals needed to be set. I suggested a family bike ride a couple times a week, swimming a set number of laps each day, and having mom and dad switch off taking the kids for a walk. The kids are involved with summer softball, although it is not consistent exercise. Make exercise fun for kids by setting up incentives. If they exercise five days a week, let them go see a movie of their choice. This summer there will be slip-ups at backyard parties and sleepovers. When this happens talk with your child about how to make the next meal a better choice to balance out any overeating. I am meeting with this family each week, checking on their progress, and continuing to educate and support them in their desire to create a healthy family plan for the summer. Linda is located at her office in Alamo. She is glad to inform you that now most health insurances pay for nutritional counseling. Please visit for more information, helpful tips, recipes and Linda’s Advertorial blog, or call at (925) 855-0150.

Page 18 - July 2012 ~ Lafayette Today

Events for Lafayette Seniors

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; NonMembers $5. Ongoing Caregiver Support Group: Members: no charge; Non-members $1.

Our mission is to provide personalized care, help maintain independence and enhance our client’s quality of life on a daily basis.

Heartfelt & Supportive At All Times...

• Free in-home assessments • Regular home visits ensure the right care plan • Hourly care for you • Live-in care • Fully bonded and insured • Geriatric care mgmt. • Elder referral and placement 3645 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Suite D Lafayette, CA 94549

(beside Trader Joe’s)


Words of Wisdom…From the Philosophical to the Lighthearted 7/17 • 10:30- Noon • Toyon Room, LCC & 8/21, 9/18 • 10:30 –Noon • Elderberry Room, LCC

Take part in this free-wheeling exchange of inspiration, information, and humor. Topics, from soup to nuts, will be explored, examined, and discussed by participants. Long-time Lafayette resident Paul Fillinger’s stories and photographs will stimulate humorous discoveries regarding the benefits of becoming the ‘elders of our tribe.’ Discovering Your Inner Gifts Thursday, 7/19 • 10:30 – Noon • Sequoia Room, LCC Taken from the wisdom of the ages, this experiential workshop is designed to help you examine undiscovered aspects of yourself – especially your hidden talents - and examine ways you may be unintentionally keeping those talents hidden from yourself and others. Presented by George Kraus, Ph.D., ABPP Bi-Monthly Caregiver Support Group Mondays, 7/2, 7/16, 7/30 1:30–2:30PM Lafayette Community Center If you are a family member helping to care for an older adult, join our support group led by Carol Shenson, MA, Certified Geriatric Care Manager to find balance and joy as you manage your responsibilities. Drop-ins are welcome. Self-Discovery and Aging, Creative Writing Workshop Alternate Mondays • 7/9, 7/23, 8/6 Noon – 2PM Elderberry Room, LSC Join Judith Rathbone, Creative Writing and English Instructor to write about and explore issues around aging, emotion, and perception–or get support to write on any topic! Workshop sessions include writing prompts, feedback, encouragement, and information about the world of writers, writing, and publishing. Take a seat around our table! Lamorinda Dance Social Every Wednesdays (no Social 7/4 and 7/25) • 12:30 – 3PM • Live Oak Room, LSC 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”) Thursday, 7/12 • 10:30AM – noon • Elderberry Room LSC Brighten your day and take part in this interactive gathering which features speakers on a wide range of topics that encourage and guide participants towards a more ideal and positive life experience. Drop-ins 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 Center. View agendas at the City of Lafayette office or at Senior Nature Walk and Bird-Watching Every Wednesday • 10:00AM - Noon • Outside the Alder Room at LCC Experience nature at its finest along our local trails. Delight in the beauty that unfolds around each bend, all the while learning to identify a variety of birds. Trail maps will be distributed. Bring a water bottle; binoculars will be helpful if you have them. Paths are accessible to wheelchairs and scooters. Join us every Wednesday or whenever you are able. This free event is led by Ben Pettersson, long-time Lafayette resident, hiker, and bird-watcher. Anne Randolph Workshop Friday 7/27 • 11:30AM – 12:30PM • Sequoia Room, LCC

• Art of Balance If you are worried about falling or are at risk of falling, you should know about activities that improve balance. Learn how to improve your balance and avoid the risk of falling. Anne has been practicing physical therapy for 32 years. She provides outpatient therapy in Lafayette and specializes in the care of those 55 and over. Elder Law: Planning, Benefits, and Asset Preservation Thursday, 8/2 • 10:30 – noon • Sequoia Room, LCC Equip yourself and face the future with the peace of mind you will gain from learning about asset preservation, public benefits such as Medi-Cal and VA, planning for future health care issues, crisis prevention and management, and what to do when care is needed. Presented by Julie Fiedler, Attorney at Law.

Ask Dr. Happy By Bob Nozik, MD Dear Dr. Happy, John and I have been happily married for six years. We have two great kids, four-year-old Sam and Katie who just turned three. My problem is that John has a lady friend he’s known since high school. They work near each other and have lunch together about twice a week. He says they are just friends. I trust John. I don’t feel right asking him not to see her, but I am beginning to feel jealous even though I know of nothing wrong that they’ve done. ~Help

Dear Help, It sounds like you and John have a good marriage. Also, while there is not unanimous agreement on this, I see nothing wrong with married people having friends of the opposite sex, especially where the marriages are strong. Still, you are having intuitive signals, and it’s not wise to ignore these. I have a question for you and a suggestion. The question: How would John feel about you having a male friend you met with for lunch several

times a week? If he would be fine with it, that’s a good sign that his lunches are innocent. My suggestion is that you ask to join John and his friend at their lunches every now and then. If either objects, that would be a bad sign, a red flag. If that’s no problem, it’s a good sign. So, get a babysitter and do it; it’ll give you a better read on the situation.

Happiness Tip So, is it okay, once you are married, for you to have a platonic relationship with the opposite sex? The answer is a qualified ‘Yes.’ Here are some of those qualifications: 1) Your primary relationship must be good, strong. 2) It must be okay with both of you, husband and wife. 3) Importantly, platonic relationships must remain platonic. If the outside person begins making nonplatonic innuendoes, you must be clear in breaking it off and telling your marital partner what happened. 4) It’s always best, at least occasionally, to include your marital partner on some of your platonic lunches, and even better, if they become friends, too. 5) Agree ahead of time that your marital partner holds a veto if he or she has a negative intuitive feeling about the other person. There is more, but adopting these five rules will give you a pretty good beginning. Please send questions/comments for Dr. Happy to

Lafayette Today ~ July 2012 - Page 19

Community Involvement By Mary Bruns, Program Coordinator Lamorinda Senior Transportation an Alliance of Transportation Providers The Lamorinda Senior Transportation Program has put me in touch with a number of community groups that focus on transportation, aging, senior needs, and advocacy. These groups provide opportunities to expand knowledge and to find your particular niche to volunteer your service. The Advisory Council on Aging (ACOA) meets monthly, and it reports on what’s going on at the state and county levels concerning budget and at the local levels around programs and services. To participate in this group, it is required to also participate in a work group. Each work group focuses on a particular facet of senior issues: transportation, health, mental health, nutrition, legislative advocacy, planning, or marketing. Meetings are held on the third Wednesday of the month from 9:30AM to noon (no meeting in July) and are open to the public, making it a good way to become informed about senior issues. These meetings take place at 500 Ellinwood Way, Pleasant Hill in Board Rooms A&B. The Senior Mobility Action Council (SMAC) is one of the work groups. It focuses on advocacy related to transportation issues. A recent discussion had to do with people in wheelchairs who become stranded when their car or van breaks down – how will they get to their destination - particularly at night? San Francisco has developed many wheelchair accessible taxis which place them in a good position to help day or night. What started out as an experiment became a good business opportunity for taxi companies since wheelchair accessible taxis fill an important need. The Transportation Forum is a meeting of local transportation providers and representatives of communities who are interested in getting a senior transportation program going. Questions and situations are brought up, and there is usually someone present who has relevant experience to offer. For information, call 284-5546. At the latest ACOA meeting, Patricia Reilly gave a presentation on “Senior Center Without Walls.” They provide activities, friendly conversation, and an assortment of telephone groups to adults 60 and older in California who find it difficult to participate in activities in their communities. Participants call from the comfort of home. And it’s FREE! Call 1-877-797-7299 and learn how simple it is to be connected to group activities such as Armchair Travel, Short Stories Read Aloud, various support groups, LBGT Social Club, On Death and Dying, De-Cluttering Challenges, Book Club, and Armchair Bird Watching. One group focuses on Gratitude which has been found to create/promote well-being. This is a particularly wonderful way to stay connected when you are bed-ridden or house-bound. Senior Peer Counseling, (925) 521-5640, has counselors who are 55 and older that use their life experience to help other older adults cope with life changes. The Senior Peer Counselors provide a listening ear, support, and motivation to help others find their own solutions to a problem or help provide a different perspective about a situation. You will benefit from having a person to






Reigh, Sandy, Jeanette, Evelyn, Susanne – Lafayette Shopping Day

talk to about any type of life’s challenges. Counselors are open, caring and nonjudgmental, able to travel to visit you in your home, and willing to work with you on a specific problem or challenge for 8 to 12 weeks. Peer counseling will be available through Lafayette Senior Services (284-5050) starting this fall.

Lamorinda Senior Transportation An Alliance of Transportation Providers Call each program for opportunities to become a volunteer driver or volunteer, transportation information, and/or to make tax-deductible donations.

Lamorinda Spirit Van


Taking Lamorinda Seniors to medical appointments, grocery shopping, special events, and lunch at C.C. Café. $10 round trip; rides to lunch are free. Reserve your seat two business days ahead of time by 1PM.

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. Call 283-3534 for a discount card.

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 during the week and grocery shopping on Saturdays.






ARCHITECT 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: 3000F Danville Blvd #117, Alamo, CA 94507 or Run the same classified ad in our sister papers “Alamo 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 20 - July 2012 ~ Lafayette Today

Bears continued from front page So, in 2010, Miller once again grabbed her good friends Karen Erickson, Joan Upshaw, and Jean Murray and started collecting bears. She created specific giving programs, such as “Mother to Another” in honor of Mothers’ Day and the Valentine’s Day “Heart-to-Heart” program. “Presently we are focused on a small, grass roots campaign, and we are looking for opportunities to partner with other organizations and youth groups who want to help children in the community. We look forward to organizing bigger events in the future, such as our past Warriors game donation night,” says Miller. “We’re working as bears are needed, and right now, inventory is low.” Brenda Ivey says that the small offer of a stuffed animal to a distressed child makes a huge difference. “Our officers are here to serve and protect; when they are able to make a small gesture, such as the gift of a teddy bear, it allows them to form a trusting relationship with the child. It’s a winwin. It shows that the officer is prepared, that they care, and it provides consolement for the child.” Ivey tells of the instance where a thief ripped a gold necklace right off the neck of a small child in a stroller. An officer was on the scene immediately, and seeing the distress of the young victim, reached into his patrol car trunk and offered a teddy bear, which provided needed diversion and comfort. In another instance, Ivey tells the story of a young child who was caught in gun crossfire. “The child ended up at Children’s Hospital Oakland where an officer visited and provided a bear. The entire family was emotionally moved to see that someone from the police department cared enough to visit and provide a gift.” “We want to help make a difference in Oakland and other surrounding communities,” says Miller. “Research shows that children react to traumatic events in many different ways. An incident that has little effect on one child might prove to be quite disturbing and debilitating to another. If we can be pro-active in helping children cope during the immediacy of an event, hopefully he or she will be able to more effectively deal with their feelings and reduce the impact of the trauma in the larger context of their lives.” The Teddy Bear Patrol’s current goal is to keep each Oakland Police Department squad car equipped with three bears at all times. Miller hopes at some point to be able to provide bears to additional police departments. The Patrol, which is awaiting its status as a non-profit 501c3, is currently seeking either cash donations (which Miller uses to purchase bulk quantities of bears), or new stuffed animal donations. A “Bear Drop-Off” is scheduled for Saturday, July 21st between 11am and 5pm at The Lafayette Art Gallery (50 Lafayette Circle, Lafayette) during its Artist’s Market Gallery; a donation bin will also be available throughout the following week. Donations of new (with tags attached), medium sized stuffed animals will be gladly accepted. For more information on The Teddy Bear Patrol, please contact Judy Miller at, or visit

Ellsworth continued from front in 1974 as a member of Troop 243, from which he recently retired as Scoutmaster after 20 years of service. He continues to participate as the Troop’s Eagle Advisor. Coleman currently serves as Executive Director at the Bay Planning Coalition, a non-profit, membership-based organization representing public and private entities in the maritime industry and related shoreline businesses. He was elected to the Board of Directors of the East Bay Municipal Utility District representing Ward 2, and from 1996 to 2000, he served as President of EBMUD's Board of Directors and John Coleman was elected to serve as Vice-President in 2009 and 2010. Coleman is past president of the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce, former board member of the National Association of Service and Conservation Corps, and former member of the California Biodiversity Council. As part of his award, Ellsworth received a $1,000 scholarship to be used for college expenses.

Serving the Bay Area with honesty and integrity since 1973

Since 1973

3191-M Crow Canyon Pl San Ramon Carpets, Hardwood, Laminate & Stone (925) 866-2200 • In Loehmann’s Shopping Center (next to Lucky’s)

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

Profile for The Editors, Inc

Lafayette Today, July 2012  

Lafayette Today, July 2012. The town of Lafayette, California's monthly advertiser-supported community newspaper.

Lafayette Today, July 2012  

Lafayette Today, July 2012. The town of Lafayette, California's monthly advertiser-supported community newspaper.

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