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November 2012

Serving the Lafayette Community

Karr Helps Guide Students

Community Thanksgiving Breakfast

By Fran Miller “Where do you want to go to college?” This simple question, asked frequently of high school seniors, has become difficult for most to answer. It is often met with a shrug of the shoulders and the reply, “Wherever I can get in.” No longer can a qualified student assume his or her acceptance into a college of choice will occur. Record numbers of applicants are allowing schools to be extremely

The Lafayette Chamber of Commerce invites you to join city leaders, residents, and the business community for breakfast as we have done for 32 years. The 33rd Annual Community Thanksgiving Breakfast will be held on Friday, November 16th, from 7AM – 8:30AM at Lafayette United Methodist Church located at 955 Moraga Rd in Lafayette. Breakfast will be graciously provided by Dave’s Cuisine. This event is our way of bringing the community together before we all get busy with the holidays. Our new Lafayette Police Chief Eric Christensen is this year’s featured guest speaker and our Chamber President Caesar Perales will take care of the MC duties. This event is held each year in the loving memory of Barbara Bupp, who organized the first breakfast 33 years ago. Begin the holiday season in a significant and meaningful way. Reservations can be made by calling the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce at 925-284-7404 or by visiting The cost is $20 per person.

East Bay Sea Serpents

Joan Karr, Acalanes High School's college counselor, believes there is a college for everyone.

selective, and in California, budget cuts have led admissions offices to admit record numbers of out-of-state students in order to reap their out-of-state tuition fees. But according to Acalanes High School’s college counselor, Joan Karr, there is a school out there for every student. Karr’s Acalanes office wall, adorned with a multitude of school pennants from around the country, is a visual tribute to this belief and a source of inspiration to the many students who utilize Karr’s services. Karr has collected her pennants during the 16 years that she has been at the helm of Acalanes’ College and Career Center – a job she fell into, and which she loves. She had volunteered in the Center while her now grown daughters were Acalanes students. A subsequent job with the district as a special education transition assistant put her in the district “know,” and when the College and Career Center job became available, she jumped. She works a 30 hour week and is at her desk from 7:30am to 1:30pm Monday through Friday. Students and parents are welcome to make appointments, or just drop-in to her spacious office, which is filled with a plethora of resource materials. Karr also maintains a job board for student job seekers, listing job description, duties, and pay. (She usually has many requests for babysitters, tutors, and yard workers.) Parent volunteers, such as Amy Goodheart, are usually on-hand to help assist. “Students walk in with questions, and Joan knows most of them by name. No matter what their questions are, she gives them a huge smile and is always very reassuring,” says Goodheart. “She has an excellent library of books and files on most colleges.” Karr reaches out to every Acalanes student, starting in the sophomore year

See Karr continued on page 12 Local Postal Customer

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By Fran Miller

One of the area’s most highly regarded swimming programs is the result of serendipity. Several years ago, Special Olympics volunteer Joleen Silverfoote was helping at a basketball game when a fellow volunteer suggested she start a Special Olympics swim team. With no formal swim training, Silverfoote found the suggestion a little crazy. “But after several weeks of being cajoled, I would say the stars lined up all at the right time,” says Silverfoote.

Sea Serpent volunteer coaches Evan Wentzel (left) and Jack Garrett (far right) assist Kevin, a Sea Serpent athlete participating in the learn-to-swim program. Photo by Deanna Wentzel

Eleven years later, the East Bay Sea Serpents swim program meets every Sunday afternoon at the Campolindo High School Soda Center, serving Special Olympics-registered athletes primarily from the Lamorinda area and Diablo corridor. A large pool of volunteers, mostly students from the area’s high schools, runs the program. There is no cost to the athletes who range in age range from 6 to over 40. “I never thought Sea Serpents would be a success,” says Silverfoote, a Moraga resident whose three grown daughters Volume VI - Number 11 all participated as coaches. “But the 3000F DANVILLE BLVD #117 program continues to be a win/win for ALAMO, CA 94507 both the athletes and our volunteers who Telephone (925) 405-6397 are mostly high school swimmers and Fax (925) 406-0547 water polo players. They get as much, if not more, out of their experience as the Alisa Corstorphine ~ Publisher participants do, and our athletes get the The opinions expressed herein belong to the and do not necessarily reflect that of Lapleasure of working with teens they con- writers, fayette Today. Lafayette Today is not responsible for the content of any of the advertising herein, sider peers, to build not only swimming

See Serpents continued on page 15

nor does publication imply endorsement.

Page 2 - November 2012 ~ Lafayette Today

Lafayette Improvement Association Lafayette Improvement Association (LIA), Lafayette’s first community service organization founded in 1911, is seeking board members. The LIA is a non-profit organization and the steward of the Lafayette’s Town Hall building. We are looking for individuals who have a strong commitment to preserving this historic community resource and have experience working in fundraising and marketing. Community members who are interested in learning more about the LIA can visit and contact for more information.

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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.

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Lafayette Hiking Group

Weekly Dance Social

The Lafayette Hiking Group has two upcoming hikes. To participate in the hikes, meet in the parking lot out from Lafayette BART’s main entrance at 8:30AM. Carpools to the trailhead will be formed. Bring lunch or snacks, water, layered clothing, good walking shoes, sun protection, and money to contribute toward gas, bridge tolls, and parking ($3 local, more if further). November 10th - Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve, Oakland Hills Hike from the Old Tunnel Rd trail head. The beginning is slightly steep. See ponds and panoramic views. Volcanic rock information will be available. The hike will be followed by optional wine tasting, from Bartholomew Park Winery, and munchies. The cost is $5, and there may be a quiz with a prize. The hike is a moderate 3 to 4 miles with very little shade. The hike leader is George Denney. December 1st - Lafayette Reservoir - rim and adjoining trails Discover new areas of our favorite Lafayette walk. We will follow part of the rim trail and then hike down into a valley on one trail and back up to the rim on another. There is a possibility of seeing some interesting birds, so bring binoculars. There are steep hills so bring hiking sticks if you use them. This strenuous 5-6 mile hike will be modified if the ground is very muddy. The hike leader is Alison Hill. E-mail any questions to

Dance for joy at weekly Social, or just come to chat; all are welcome. Twirl, chat, and tap your feet to the beat. 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 Social specializes in ballroom, but any style dance adds to the charm. For more information visit Fees for the event are $2 for members of the Senior Center, and $4 for non-members.

Farmers Market Last Day of the Season The Farmers Market at the Lafayette BART south parking lot will transition to a seasonal market. The last day for the 2012 season is Sunday, November 11th. The market will re-open in April 2013.

Lafayette Gallery Presents Irrestibile The Lafayette Gallery’s new show Irresistible - The Gift of Art will run from November 13 - December 29. The Gallery is located at 50 Lafayette Circle and is open Tuesday - Saturday from 11am-5pm and on Sunday from 11am-2pm. The show is free. For more information, call 284-2788 or visit

WCSA Lafayette Songwriters’ Competition Stop by Lamorinda Music located at 81 Lafayette Circle, in Lafayette on November 14th at 7pm for the inaugural Lafayette West Coast Songwriters’ Association (WCSA) Competition. Thecostis$5,andallagesareinvited.Youdonothavetobeasongwritertoattendthisevent. Live music lovers are welcome! For more information visit

International Film Showcase The November selection for the International Film Showcase is the German film, Three Quarter Moon. It will screen November 16-20, five days only, at the Orinda Theatre. Daily showtimes are 1:30PM, 4PM, and 6:30PM with additional screenings on Friday and Saturday at 8:45PM. Please go to or for more details. Cantankerous cabbie Hartmut has one more thing to complain about when he discovers his wife is leaving him after 30 years. Stubbornness has finally driven a permanent wedge between the man and his most important relationships, those with his wife and adult daughter. One day, sixyear-old Hayat, a Turkish girl who doesn’t yet know German, climbs into his taxi. Her mother is a performer who’ll be leaving town, and Hayat is supposed to stay with her grandmother for a few weeks. Fate, however, intervenes once she crosses paths with the grumpy Hartmut. The equally stubborn girl disarms the wizened old man as well as the audience with her precocious performance. Soon, the joyless monotony of Hartmut’s life is replaced with the relief and purpose that comes from caring for another. A lovely soundtrack reminiscent of Little Miss Sunshine’s bittersweet folkpop adds feeling to this sweet, but not saccharine, tale. This endearing dramedy shows how change sometimes comes when, and from where, you least expect.

Lafayette Today ~ November 2012 - Page 3

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Boulevard View By Alisa Corstorphine, Editor My mother was a list maker, I am a list maker, and my kids are list makers. I was trained early. When I was growing up, there was often a “to do” list written with a black Flair pen on a 3x5 index card. Every day, mom taped the card to the window right by the door so we’d see it each time we went out. Mom used the list to keep her five kids on schedule and to make sure things like taking out the trash, handing in school forms, and vacuuming and mopping the floors (making sure we used at least five buckets of water for the mopping job) got done. “The List” was as much a part of our lives as eating and sleeping. Lists give us something to do, something to remember, something to think about, or something to be thankful or grateful for. And, they can also be a lot of fun. Over several summers my daughter and I participated in a family scavenger hunt that had a list of several hundred things to find or do. Scavenger hunts are great games for those that like to tackle lists! This hunt included things you knew you’d seen somewhere, but couldn’t quite put your finger on where. When you found the item, proof was made in the form of a picture or phone-video of the item or event, and an then an upload was posted to a Facebook account. It was a blast. Some of the tasks included, “Find a pigeon pecking at a pizza crust,” “Find a wacky wavy inflatable arm man,” and “Find a man pushing a shopping cart filled with items that are higher than his head.” They weren’t at all impossible, but you had to be really observant, get creative in the interpretation of the requirement, and always keep your list at hand! A friend has recently been posting a “Gratitude List” on her Facebook wall. This is not a bucket list of things to do or accomplish (like my son has; supposedly we will be roasting a whole pig in our backyard for Christmas?!). Rather, it’s a list of things to be thankful for and things that invoke the senses such as: music with memories, food for my table, warm PJs, talking with my daddy, a few goals reached, patience, iced tea in a mason jar, friendships, laughing boys, autumn smells, silence, dinner with friends, the smell of rain, warm tea, and work to keep busy. Every week she adds another five or so items to the

list. It’s a great, public reminder of the things that keep her grounded in her life, and it resonates with her friends who follow her posts. In a email written 15 years ago, my mother noted some of her favorite things. She mentioned flannel sheets in winter, and light, fluffy, cuddly warm down comforters. The note went on reflecting on a treasured alpaca blanket that was brought from South America in the early 1900s by her grandfather. She commented, “It was my mother’s for many years, and she gave it to me. It is now getting thin and threadbare, but I love it. It is warm and makes me feel secure, and I have used it since I was a small child.” Further on she included a list of her favorite things she jotted down as a teenager – a vegetable garden, white fences, baked potatoes roasted in coals, watching a snail eat a blade of grass, the outside layer of a roasted marshmallow, views from high places, a train’s whistle, the roar of the sea, people with no prejudices, good hot soup, the muscles of a running horse, a hot bath and hearty dinner after a day at the beach, the smell of vanilla or strawberry bark, the moon over the rim of a mountain, a firm handshake, talking to older people about their childhood, big puffy white clouds, eating freshly roasted pumpkin seeds, the toothless grins of babies, clean sheets, exploring caves, riding in a bumpy jeep, sprouting avocado seeds in glass jars, a thunderstorm on the desert, fresh baked cookies, and secret places. My lists are plentiful and endless. My husband and I have businesses to run, a house to care for, and our own plans and aspirations. My husband didn’t grow up with lists, so the list-making process isn’t as automatic for him, but he loves the final ‘check-off’ when a task has been completed (don’t we all?). Last weekend we sold two cars that had been sitting in our driveway, and these were a direct result of being listed and acted upon. It felt great. Something happens when we write these lists. We’re committing our heretofore hidden thoughts to a physical, tangible medium. We’re expending the effort to become clear in our intent and to communicate it to others. Lists cause action, and lists motivate people. Lists are plans, and the person with the best plan usually wins. Therefore, list-makers are usually winners who have taken the superb and glorious step of converting thought into action, and they’re the folks around you who are probably getting everything done. Thanks mom!

Page 4 - November 2012 ~ Lafayette Today

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AAUW Holiday Home Tour The Danville-Alamo-Walnut Creek AAUW group will hold their 8th Annual Holiday Home Tour on December 7th and 8th from 10am - 4pm. Six decorated homes in Danville, Walnut Creek, and Alamo will be included in the tour. Tickets costing $25-$35 can be purchased at the East Bay Flower Company located at 206 Sycamore Valley Rd. West in the Danville Livery. AAUW advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research. Danville-Alamo-Walnut Creek AAUW offers scholarships and supports women for personal and professional growth, community leadership, and friendship. AAUW membership is open to all graduates of accredited four-year colleges or universities and those holding an Associate Degree or equivalent. Prospective members can contact Tena at (925) 837-0826 or membershipvp@aauw-da. org. For more information, visit

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Orchestra Features Music from Moonrise Kingdom Discounts for Families The Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra will present Benjamin Britten’s most famous work, The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra in their concert entitled Parts of the Whole. Anyone who has seen Wes Anderson’s recent quirky movie Moonrise Kingdom fell in love with Britten’s music, which was the basis for the magnificent soundtrack. For over 60 years Britten’s piece has introduced listeners to the orchestra, usually resulting in a lifetime passion for classical music. As part of its commitment to community and families, the orchestra is offering half-off Adult tickets with every Youth ticket purchased. Another young person makes an appearance in this program: Felix Mendelssohn. Remarkably, Mendelssohn was only 12 years old when he wrote String Sinfonia No.1. To add educational value to the program, conductor Timothy Smith will introduce each piece with fascinating insights into the composers’ lives and work. The show will be held Sunday November 11, at 7:30pm at the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek. Tickets are $10 - $30 at the door, by phone (925943-SHOW), or online at

Lost Dog!

$50 REWARD If you find him and your name is drawn! He is very small, so you will have to look hard if you want to find him.

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

Cole Grakauskas is our winner! Luther was hiding on page 5 last month.

The Lafayette Garden Club meets the second Thursday of each month at 9:30AM at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, which is located at 1035 Carol Lane in Lafayette. On November 8th our guest speaker will be Laurel Ann Winzler, one of San Francisco and the Bay Area’s outstanding floral and event designers. She will share her magical ideas for having “Fabulous Holiday Décor.” E-mail any questions to

Montelindo Garden Club Montelindo Garden Club meeting Friday, November 16th at 9am, at Orinda Community Church, 10 Irwin Way, Orinda. Janet Sluis, consultant for plant development and horticulturist, traveled the world for 20 years to search for unusual plants. Hear how and why these plants made the cut to become Sunset Western Garden Collection plants.

Walnut Creek Garden Club Walnut Creek Garden Club will hold its meeting on Monday, November 12th at 9:30am at the Gardens at Heather Farm in the Camellia room located at 1540 Marchbanks Rd. in Walnut Creek. The program is presented by the Ventana Wildlife Society and is called “Condor Reintroduction.” Guests and those interested in membership are welcome to attend this free event. Learn about the extreme efforts by the Ventana Wildlife Society to reintroduce the California condor back into the wild.

Widowed Persons Support Group Counseling sessions continue each Saturday until November 17th. The sessions are informal discussions for those in need of emotional support after the loss of a loved one. Everyone is invited to attend as this can be very beneficial especially during the holidays. Sessions in Oak Room at St. Stephens Episcopal Church located at 66 St. Stephens Dr, Orinda from 10am to noon. Call (925) 210-0333 for additional information.

Santa’s Bag Boutique A Lafayette Tradition Santa’s Bag Boutique, with a selection of Celebrity Gift Baskets and Boutique shopping, will be held Friday, November 30th from 11am–7pm, Saturday, December 1st from 9am–5pm, and Sunday, December 2nd from 9am–5pm at the Lafayette Community Center. located at 500 Saint Mary’s Rd in Lafayette. Admission is free. All sales benefit the Lafayette Community Center Foundation. For more information, call Judy Gregerson: (510) 918-2280.

Annual Holiday Concert and Sing-Along With the Rossmoor and Moraga Community Chorus Lafayette Senior Services kicks off the festive season on Friday, December 7th from 1:30-3pm in the Live Oak Room at the Lafayette Senior Services Center. There will be an afternoon of holiday favorites including a rousing sing-along, together with delicious appetizers, and holiday treats. All ages are welcome! Enter the raffle and take a chance on winning one of many wonderful prizes. One hundred percent of the funds raised from the sale of raffle tickets will go to The Lamorinda Spirit Van senior transportation program. Call 284-5050 to reserve your spot and purchase raffle tickets!

Lafayette Today ~ November 2012 - Page 5

Thrift Shop Sales Support Assistance League Member volunteers at Assistance League® Way Side Inn Thrift Shop located at 3521 Golden Gate Way in Lafayette, will hit the ground running during the month of November. Tuesday, November 6th will be the launch day for the Silver Plate, Sterling, and Fine Linens Promotion. The 300 pieces of silver plate will include teapots, creamers, trays, platters, gravy boats, water pitchers, baby cups, bowls, and butter dishes. Sterling pieces, such as vases, picture frames, coaster sets, souvenir spoons, and baby utensils, will add sparkle to your home and make wonderful gifts for holidays. Imagine these lovely pieces sitting on fine linens, also available for purchase. A return visit during the week beginning November 13th is a must. You will find a wide selection of coats, bibs, gloves, mufflers, turtlenecks, goggles, and hats for those weekend getaways to the Sierra. Who said that skiing has to be expensive? On Tuesday, November 20th the Thrift Shop will again transform, this time into a “Yuletide Wonderland.” There will be brightly colored ornaments, garlands, wreaths, Santas, assorted holiday figures, and Christmas wrap. The Quirky Christmas Sweaters Promotion begins Tuesday, November 27th. When you support Assistance League Way Side Inn Thrift Shop with your generous donations and much appreciated purchases, you will improve the lives of those in our community who are vulnerable. To learn more about Assistance League of Diablo Valley and the eight philanthropic programs that the Way Side Inn Thrift Shop funds, visit

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Example of a $750,000 purchase price with a 30 year term at 3.375% rate: FHA loan

FHA10% loan down payment =$ 75,000.00 10%Base down payment 75,000.00 Loan Amount = = $ 675,000.00 1.75% UFMIP == 11,812.50 Base Loan Amount 675,000.00 Base Loan Amount + UFMIP == 686,812.50 1.75% UFMIP 11,812.50 1.45% annual premium MIP == 9,787.50 Base Loan Amount + UFMIP 686,812.50 Monthly payment = 3,036.37 1.45% annual premium MIP = 9,787.50 + MIP of $815.63 (9787.5/12) + 815.63 Monthly payment = 3,036.37 Monthly payment = 3,852.00 + MIP of $815.63 (9787.5/12) + 815.63 Monthly payment = 3,852.00 Example of a NO MI $750,000 purchase price with a 30 year 1st mortgage

at 3.375 and a HELOC rate of 5.24%:

Example of a NO MI $750,000 purchase price with a 30 year 1st mortgage 10.1% Down =$ 75,750.00 at 3.375 and a 2nd HELOC rate of= 5.24%: 9.99% HELOC mtg 74,925.00 1st Down mortgage Loan Amount = = $ 600,000.00 10.1% 75,750.00 Monthly payment == 2,652.58 9.99% HELOC 2nd mtg 74,925.00 + HELOC 2nd payment $327.17 == 327.17 1st mortgage Loan Amount 600,000.00 Total payment = 2,979.75 Monthly payment = 2,652.58 + HELOC 2nd payment $327.17 = 327.17 Total The payment = $872.25 2,979.75 difference in payments:

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The difference in payments: $872.25

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Campo Girls Tennis Team Brings Home 1st PlaceTrophyatFreedom High School Invitational Tournament Campolindo High School Girls Tennis Team went into the finals against Amador Valley, which narrowly defeated Carondelet High School, to earn their place in the finals. Down 1-6 in the eight game pro-set, sophomores Sara McCauley and Emma Price from Lafayette were cheered on by their teammates in an astounding turnaround, coming back and winning seven straight games to defeat their opponents 8-6, earning Campolindo their first 1st place trophy in the tournament. The victory is a testament to the strength of the entire team.

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American Association of University Women The Orinda-Moraga-Lafayette Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW-OML) will hold its November General Meeting on Tuesday, November 13th at 9:45AM at Holy Trinity Serbian Church Cultural Center, located at 1700 School Street in Moraga. Social time begins at 9AM. The topic of the November meeting will be The Education State of Mind: What Can We Do to Build One? Two very well-qualified and engaging speakers will address concerns around school readiness issues, literacy gaps, and what AAUW-OML can do to support and build an educational state of mind in young students. The speakers will be Debbie Supple and Dr. Evie Grouch. Debbie Supple, MA and Director of the Bay-Region 4 California Preschool Instructional Network (CPIN), will explain what she does in the context of her CPIN administrative role to “close the readiness gap” so that most kindergartners are equally ready for “real” school and have the needed skills for successful lifelong learning. Dr. Evie Grouch is a field supervisor, coach, and mentor for new administrators studying in graduate schools of education throughout the Bay Area. Professional development comprises most of her work, especially in literacy, vocabulary development, communications, memory, and generational and gender differences. For more information about AAUW-OML, visit

Page 6 - November 2012 ~ Lafayette Today

The Bookworm By Joan Stevenson The tow-headed toddler watched as the library door magically opened. He looked up at his mom with a puzzled expression and pointed to the door. She smiled and said, “Use your words, Honey.” Yes, little one. This is a place of words. That thought came powerfully home to me when I had a chance to read the book of poetry published by the libraries at Contra Costa Juvenile Hall. Each year a month long poetry contest is held there as part of National Poetry Month, and a powerful thought provoking anthology is the result. Here are a couple of lines from a poem by J.H. I’m a young black artist on this canvas of life Trying to draw balance living on the edge of a knife Searching for change, freedom’s on the edge of my sight In support of the project, the Friends of Lafayette Library and Learning Center have purchased 50 copies of the book. Half were given to the Lafayette schools, and the remainder are available free at the library’s main desk. Someone had better warn Marian the Librarian to cover her ears because November is National Drum Month! On November 10th at 1PM we welcome DRUMM and their “One Beat” Rhythm Drums! This is a family event, a chance to make noise at the library…well, at the amphitheater. A big drum roll for the Friends of the Lafayette Library & Learning Center for generously sponsoring this celebration of Drum Month! Join us on November 15th from 2-3PM for a discussion of the latest Asian Art Museum exhibit, Out of Character: Decoding Chinese Calligraphy. It is a bold and unprecedented presentation of Chinese calligraphy as a visual art. Rather than content, the fluid strokes, dots and lines that form each character are its focus. This presentation will teach us to decode the secrets behind the art. Because of the incredible response to the new WOW (Wonders of the World) programs, we have moved to the library’s community hall to accommodate attendees! The Friends welcome Anita Amirrezvani on Thursday, November 15th from 7:30 – 9PM. Born in Iran but raised in the United States, her book Equal of the Son was named Great Read for June 2012 by the Indie Next List for Great Reads. When she was 14 years old, her father let her choose a carpet for herself, and the old and beautiful rug she selected led her to imagine the lives of the people who might have designed and created it long ago. In her novel, Equal of the Sun, she brings those long ago days to life, crafting a tale of power, loyalty, and love in the royal court of Iran with Princess Pari Khan Khanoom Safavi. Equal of the Sun is a page turner with plenty of gripping moments, but it’s also a thought-provoking study of the intersection between gender and power. Buy your books in advance at the Storyteller Bookstore in Lafayette, and 20% of the proceeds will go to the Friends of the Lafayette Library and Learning Center. Free. The next Science Café, Tuesday, November 27th from 7-8PM, is titled, “Addressing Climate Change: Carbon Cycle 2.0 at Berkeley Lab.” PaulAlivisatos, Director, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, will share his latest research on building a sustainable energy future, entitled Carbon Cycle 2.0 (CC2.0). Familiar buzz words you can expect to hear include climate change, greenhouse gases, carbon footprint, and sustainable energy. This is the science of our lifetime. Tickets cost $5 per person. To reserve, email reserve@, or call 925-6513x101. Boxed meals are available for pre-purchase. Beer, wine, cookies, and coffee will be available in the community hall. A panel of experts will join us on Thursday, November 29th from 6:30 – 8:30PM in the Community Hall to discuss The Many Faces of Gynecologic Cancers. The presentation, sponsored by Diablo Valley Oncology, John Muir Health, Cypress Women’s Cancer Treatment Center, Cancer Support Community and the American Cancer Society, will offer insight into the latest information on early detection, family history and genetics, treatment options and cancer specific nutrition. More information on this free seminar is available at Those of us who are of a certain age vividly recall where we were on December 7, 1941 at the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor. For me it was huddled before a small Phillips radio with my family listening to the words that would change our lives. Many years later I would stand on the deck of our home to watch the commemorative light on the top of Mt. Diablo, and five years ago in Hawaii I listened as the sun was setting on December 7th to the reading of the names of those lost that night. On December 2nd the Lafayette Historical Society will host WWII teacher Wayne Korsinen and survivor Chuck Kohler in their talk entitled, “How Could it be Pearl? The Japanese Surprise Attack of 1941.” Calling it one of the most tragic days in American history, they wonder why were our national leaders so shocked despite the fact that they received so many clues that indicated that an attack could occur at any time? For reservations or information, call 925283-1848 or email

Mysteries of Historical Tidbits

Lafayette Today ~ November 2012 - Page 7

By The Lafayette Historical Society

Here at the History Room, we sometimes have to face up to one cold, hard fact: history involves a lot of detritus. Ticket stubs, snapshots, old beauty supplies, and even horseshoes float in and out of our storage room on a regular basis. Part of our job is figuring out what is important to the historical record. Luckily, lots of great stuff also comes into our hands. When we have a healthy new box of historical tidbits, our job is to figure out where they came from and who the objects or pictures are concerned with. This is where we run into some delightful mysteries, and we think you can help us with the puzzle! Take for instance the box of cheery vacation slides found outside of a drugstore in Lafayette by some of our volunteers. Pictured is a family enjoying what is clearly Italy--eating gelato on ancient stone steps, photographing the views, and smiling in group shots. The problem is that we have no idea who these people are! Do you recognize this 1990s lady and boy? Did anyone you know take a once-in-a-lifetime (we assume!) trip to Italy... and then lose all their slides? We would love to know! Please get in touch with us at the History Room. You can reach us at (925) 283-1848 or email Sometimes we have more luck. A charming, enormous print of a 1950 Acalanes Junior Senior Ball portrait came into our hands, and with some help from our volunteers Sherril Barber and her granddaughter Sierra Barber, we discovered their names: Richard Breuner and Joan McCrum. One more mystery has been solved, and their cute date night is safe in our photography files. Other mysteries remain. A wicker basket with metal attachments was left to us with just a typed insert: “bike backpack, 1910.” After some wrangling, volunteer Michael Troutman was able to piece the item together, but our research has never turned up a replica to this backpack. Could it have been homemade? One of a kind? Or is the design lost to the swirl of time? A collection of antique bottles, donated by Sean Sally, still sits on our shelves. The bottles come in all shapes, sizes, and descriptions. They were purportedly dug up by Mr. Sally from a privy of a razed home on Moraga Road south of the Methodist church. Our volunteers started researching the bottles, and apparently one of the hexagonal bottles was poison. Poison was typically stored in oddly shaped containers to prevent confusion with safe medicines. As pretty as they are, we know nothing more about them. Similarly, we have a gorgeous 1920s or 1930s era Kodak camera. The outside is leathery and tattered, but inside the lens and mechanics seem well preserved. No serial number remains, and we do not know where it came from. These are the bits and pieces that sandwich our well documented collection. History can often be a fog, and the historian’s job is to preserve and document as well as they can for the benefit of the future. One hundred years from now, what of yours will come through our doors? Your camera, your prom picture, perhaps a box of your vacation slides? We’d love you to do us a favor and write your name on the back along with any stories or tid-bits, but saving that, come visit us and see if you can’t find a piece of your history in our ‘unlabeled’ files. The History Room is in the Lafayette Library and Learning Center (enter on Golden Gate Way) and is open Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday from 10AM to 2PM. Volunteers are happy to give you a tour!

Celebrate the Joy of Remembrance at the 26th Annual Hospice of the East Bay Tree of Lights Hospice of the East Bay invites the public to participate in its 26th Annual Tree of Lights ceremonies to be held in 11 locations throughout Contra Costa in November and December. Each light on every tree is symbolic of a life and will shine in honor or memory of a beloved friend or family member. Please join any of the commemorative ceremonies to enjoy music, poetry, remembrances by family members and friends of Hospice, and the special moment when the tree lights up. • Walnut Creek Tree ~ Saturday, November 17th, 5PM, 1511 Mt. Diablo Boulevard, behind Va de Vi Restaurant, Walnut Creek • Rossmoor Tree ~ Tuesday, November 27th, 5PM, Creekside Clubhouse, 1010 Stanley Dollar Dr., Walnut Creek Purveyors of classic, exotic, and • Moraga & Lafayette Tree ~ Sunday, December th PM high-performance cars for more than 30 years. 9 , 5:30 , Moraga Country Club,1600 St. Andrews California’s #1 Classic Car Dealer Drive, Moraga Over 200 vehicles in inventory! Lights can be dedicated for a minimum gift of $25. Donors of $100 or more have the option of having their name listed in the tree lighting program. Tax-deductible tree sponsorships range from $250 to $10,000. Proceeds from Tree of Lights ceremonies benefit our communities and the patients and families in the care of Hospice of the East Bay. Established in 1977, Hospice of the East Bay is a not-forprofit agency that helps people cope with end of life by providing medical, emotional, spiritual, and practical support for patients and families, regardless of their ability to pay. Showrooms in Pleasanton, Benicia, and Fairfield. For light purchases, donations, sponsorships, and event | 800.600.2262 questions, call (925) 887-5678 or visit

Page 8 - November 2012 ~ Lafayette Today

Cinema Classique

By Peggy Horn

Diva This month’s movie review is based on a French film entitled Diva. I saw it when it first came out in 1981, and it was advertised as a ‘new wave thriller.’ Whether or not I knew what that meant then, I do not remember, I certainly don’t recall what it means now…but I love this movie! It has an intriguing plot, romance, beautiful music, beautiful people, drama, and suspense all rolled into a single movie filmed in Paris with English subtitles. The movie stars Frederic Andrei as Jules, a young and humble postman who delivers the mail by moped and happens to be a huge opera fan. He favors one opera star in particular, an American named Cynthia Hawkins played by Wilhelmina Wiggins Fernandez. Ms. Hawkins is a diva, a word that originally meant a celebrated female opera singer, and since opera stars have been seen as difficult and temperamental, the term diva often encompasses these traits as well. Ms. Hawkins’s claim to diva status is generated by her refusal to be recorded. Nevertheless, our hero, the postman, manages to record one of her performances as a tear glistens in the corner of his eye. It is a flawless recording and one that is witnessed by two men sitting behind him during the performance. Although Jules made the recording exclusively for his own enjoyment, it has tremendous monetary value, and immediately there are characters that seek to force him to share the recording with them – whether he wants to or not. Jules is also involved in a subplot that involves him in extreme danger. Nadia, a prostitute claiming to be part of a crime ring in which women are traded for drugs, has made a tape exposing the principal parties responsible. Unbeknownst to Jules, Nadia has placed the tape in Jules’s mail pouch just before she is killed. Consequently, Jules is pursued thereafter by some very evil forces, but thanks to his extremely clever friends, he is able to survive. This is a fun, quirky movie that has the added benefit of romance, making for superb entertainment.

Our Holiday Tradition Continues… 33RD Annual Community Thanksgiving Breakfast Presented by the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce

Friday, November 16, 2012 7:00 – 8:30am Lafayette United Methodist Church 955 Moraga Rd, Lafayette $20 per person

Breakfast provided by Dave’s Cuisine

For registration visit or call 925-284-7404 Reservations are required

Musical Notes The film Diva prominently features a lovely aria: “Ebben? Ne andro lontana,” from the opera La Wally by Alfredo Catalani, first performed in 1892. This aria has been recorded by many opera stars, including the performance in the film by Wilhelmina Wiggins Fernandez. The performance by Ms. Fernandez is available for downloading at a very reasonable price for your listening pleasure!

Secrets of Cooking with Wine By Monica Chappell There’s no better way to spend an evening than creating a delicious dish while sipping a well-made wine for inspiration. When the topic of food and wine pairing comes up during one of my wine classes, the usual flow of conversation revolves around what wine to drink with dinner. Yet sometimes the tougher decision is what wine to put in dinner. That’s because when listed as an ingredient, wine is often suggested in the most generic terms, and you’re left to wonder - will any wine do? But there is more to cooking with wine than using up last night’s leftovers. Take a look at my top 10 tips. 1. Leftover Wine – As a general rule, never cook with any wine you would not drink. The month old leftovers in the refrigerator won’t do. Any off flavors in wine become more concentrated during cooking. 2. Cooking Wine – Avoid using these all together. They are made of a thin, cheap base wine to which salt and food coloring have been added. 3. Dry White Wine – If a recipe calls for dry white wine, the best all-around choice is an American Sauvignon Blanc. This wine will be dry and offer a fresh light herbal note that will enhance nearly any dish. 4. Aromatic White Wine – If the dish has bold or spicy flavors, go for a more aromatic white wine such as Gewurztraminer, Riesling, or Viognier. These wines have fruity flavors and exotic floral aromas that counterbalance heavily spiced dishes. 5. Dry Red Wine – If a recipe calls for dry red wine, consider the heartiness of the dish. A long-simmered meat dish calls for a correspondingly hearty wine, such as a Zinfandel. A lighter dish might call for a less powerful red such as Pinot Noir. 6. Sparkling Wine – When you cook sparkling wine, you eliminate its primary qualities, bubbles and alcohol. However, a simple beurre blanc sauce can benefit from the two remaining qualities of a good sparkler; high acidity and yeast flavor.

Fortified Wines Fortified wines are among the best wines good cooks can have on hand. They pack the most intense flavors and with the added alcohol have the longest shelf life. Here are a few to try. 7. Port – Ruby port is probably the best for cooking. It has a rich sweetness and depth that’s especially good in meat-based casseroles. Port is powerful stuff and should be used in modest amounts. 8. Sherry – True Spanish sherry adds considerable character to a dish. It’s complex roasted nutty flavors can enhance just about any soup, stew, or sautéed dish. The two styles of sherry that work best are Amontillado or Oloroso. 9. Madeira – There is no good substitute when a recipe calls for Madeira. Its lush toffee-caramel notes are hard to replace. Madeira sauces have an affinity for beef, game, and mushroom dishes. 10. Marsala – This Sicilian wine is a staple in southern Italian cooking. Marsala comes in both dry and sweet styles. Seek out the sweeter, richer style for cooking. Monica Chappell, Wine Writer and Educator, offers wine appreciation classes. For a list, visit

Lafayette Today ~ November 2012 - Page 9

Sustainable Lafayette - Tip of the Month There are few in Lafayette who don’t enjoy the pleasure of stopping by a local coffee shop for a cup of coffee. We are not alone. Over the past couple decades, American’s love of coffee has grown steadily and reached epic proportions. According to, Americans now drink over 100 billion cups of coffee per year. And it’s not just for adults anymore. Coffee shops now offer hot cocoas for kids, serve up frapuccinos and sweet latte drinks for pre-teens, and provide a place for teenagers to stop for a coffee on their way to or from school. There’s one problem. A growing percentage of coffee and other hot drinks are now consumed in disposable paper coffee cups which are not recyclable and are all thrown in the garbage. According to Starbucks, the percentage of their transactions where reusable mugs are used is now 1.9%, up from 1.3% in 2008. Because of this, it is estimated that 14 billion paper coffee cups are thrown away every year – enough to circle the earth 55 times and weigh 900 million pounds. And that’s just from the cups. There are also the plastic lids and cardboard sleeves to consider. Coffee waste has grown so dramatically that it now generates a disproportionate amount of all paper and cardboard waste which makes up 40% of all solid waste going to landfills. Unlike newspaper and cardboard boxes, disposable paper cups are not recyclable. This is because of the polystyrene coating on the cups that is required to make them waterproof. Besides not being recyclable, manufacturing this coated paper stock is very energy intensive, produces greenhouse gases, results in loss of trees, and leads to degradation of natural ecosystems. And all of these cups need to be transported to coffee shops. By the time a disposable cup reaches your hand, it has caused 0.25 lbs of CO2 to be emitted into the atmosphere (same as driving ¼ mile). You get the idea. The good news is that there’s a simple solution: use re-usable coffee mugs. If you’re going to have coffee at the shop, just start asking for a “for here” mug. A real honest to goodness coffee mug! It feels better to hold and doesn’t expose your coffee to a plastic coating and lid. If you often drink coffee on the go, then invest in a re-usable coffee mug, travel mug, tumbler, or thermos that you can bring to the coffee shop with you. They’ll happily fill it and often give you a .10 discount for saving them a cup! It can be hard to remember to bring your own mug along. Start by getting in the habit of leaving your re-usable mug in your car. When you are finished with your coffee, rinse or wash the mug as soon as you get a chance, and place it back in your car for the next use. Just like re-usable shopping bags, it’s often easier to have a few mugs to cover your needs and keep them in your car, office, and kitchen. So, challenge yourself to start using a re-usable coffee mug on a more regular basis. Small changes like this can have a huge impact if millions of Americans start doing it. Let’s help start the wave right here in Lafayette! For more ideas about how to reduce your environmental impact and read success stories by Lafayette residents, visit

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Page 10 - November 2012 ~ Lafayette Today

Contra Costa County Supervisor Your Elected Officials are Talking Trash! By Supervisor Candace Andersen, Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors, District 2 Last month the Central Contra Costa Solid WasteAuthority (CCCSWA) held public workshops in our community to talk about issues related to garbage and recycling, which is often referred to as “solid waste.” The CCCSWA is responsible for franchising solid waste services. Their service area encompasses the cities/towns of Alamo, Danville, Lafayette, Moraga, Orinda, and Walnut Creek, and unincorporated Contra Costa County. The objective of the workshops was to inform residents and businesses about what garbage, recycling, and other reuse programs will look like in coming years and to get feedback from the community to shape the future of recycling and solid waste programs. The CCCSWA outlined how the solid waste industry is changing. State law requires that 75% of all waste must be recycled by the year 2020. Recycling by businesses is now mandatory. New technology and innovative approaches are also impacting the industry. The current contracts with service providers will expire in February 2015. The Authority is beginning the process now, with feedback from the community, to determine what the next franchise agreement will include. They will take this input and develop agreements with service providers based on what the consumers need. The most common requests for new services include home composting, sharps disposal, curbside e-Waste recycling, and food scrap recycling in the green bins for areas of South County that do not already have that service. If you were not able to attend one of the public workshops, the CCCSWA still welcomes your input about waste pick-up services or recycling services via the feedback form on their website You may also call them directly at (925) 906-1801. I currently sit on the Board of CCCSWA and have been a member since 2007. The CCCSWA was formed in 1989 when the Central Contra Costa Sanitary District and cities decided to form a Joint Powers Authority (JPA) to consolidate administrative functions and find strategies to lower the solid waste and recycling costs to consumers. New services went into operation March 1, 1996, with the Board of Directors consisting of two members from each of the member agencies. By joining together, the Authority has been able to save residents 25% – 35% on rates over the years. In

The Great Shakeout Drill for Lamorinda CERT addition to weekly curbside service, CCCSWA has other recycling and waste management programs you can take advantage of: • Special Cleanup Days provide curbside collection of reusable items twice each year. You should receive a flyer two weeks before your cleanup date, or see the schedule at • Residents are also entitled to a once-a-year garbage pick-up of their choosing. To schedule it, call Allied Waste Services at (925) 603-1144 and press 2 to arrange an appointment. Extra recycling or green waste pick-ups can also be scheduled by calling Valley Waste Management at (925) 935-8900. • Prescription and over-the-counter medications that are no longer needed or have expired can be dropped off at the City of Lafayette Police Department during business hours: Monday – Friday from 9am to Noon, and 1pm to 5pm. • Medical Sharps that might otherwise harm solid waste workers and others can also be properly disposed of by dropping them off at the Lafayette Police Department • Batteries should be recycled and not thrown in the trash receptacle. Below are drop off locations, or you can recycle batteries curbside during your twice-yearly reuse days: Lafayette - CVS/Pharmacy, 3625 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Ace Hardware, 3311 Mt. Diablo Blvd. • Currently, over one-third of the waste generated by Central Contra Costa County communities consists of yard and food waste. Organic waste material, like yard clippings and food scraps, can be given “new life” through composting. CCSWA conducts workshops to teach residents how to reduce garbage and create healthy soil for plants through home composting. Visit, or call (925) 906-1801 x306 for the next scheduled workshop. The County and CCCSWA continues to look at the idea of a plastic bag ban. One reusable bag can eliminate thousands of single-use bags over its lifetime. I encourage you to bring your own bag when shopping, and recycle the plastic bags you do have in the recycling receptacles located outside most local grocery stores. Representatives from each of our cities are currently meeting to set rates for next year. Talk to your elected officials, and let them know what services are important to you. You are always welcome to join us at a future meeting of the Solid Waste Authority. The next meeting will be held at 3pm on December 13th at Walnut Creek City Hall, and future meeting dates can be found at Should you have any questions or other County issues you wish to discuss, please don’t hesitate to contact me. As your County Supervisor, I’m here to serve you. I can be reached at (925) 957-8860 or

Photo by Rebecca Carrington

The Great Shakeout in Lamorinda concluded on Saturday, October 20th with a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Drill at Donald Rheem Elementary School in Moraga. CERT members are volunteers from the community who have completed special training that prepares them to be of immediate help in the event of a major disaster. The Drill was designed to provide experience in the critical areas in which volunteers have been trained such as triage, emergency medical, and light search and rescue to be used in the event that a disaster overwhelms our professional emergency services. Nearly 100 participants gathered for the CERT exercise. The earthquake scenario gave an opportunity for CERT members to be joined by local and regional resources to conduct operations that would integrate volunteers with law, fire, and Emergency Medical operations. The Moraga and Lafayette Police Chiefs, and the Moraga-Orinda Fire District Chief were present as was the American Red Cross, Salvation Army, and the Contra Costa County Medical Reserve Corps. Training Stations at the school site included a Medical Station where a Triage Team identified victims who needed immediate, delayed, or minor care. Red, yellow, and green tarps and wristbands augmented the triage process and identified patients prioritized for medical treatment. Victims in need of treatment beyond the scope of CERT were quickly referred to the nearby Medical Reserve Corps station. A Logistics section provided medical supplies, food, and communications. CERT members also learned to evaluate the safety of a damaged building before entering during Search and Rescue. After a call to possible victims trapped inside, volunteers practiced working as a team to secure their own safety while responding to the needs of potentially trapped victims. In the school gymnasium, American Red Cross volunteers trained CERT members to set up and manage a shelter. Client registration, food, health services, logistics, and more are part of the well-organized aid for residents who would need shelter following a major disaster. Cots and blankets are provided, and a strict set of rules must be followed to ensure a healthy environment during their stay. The Salvation Army sent the special division of Emergency Disaster Service to the exercise. The team consisted of all volunteers, most of whom are ham radio operators. The result of the Lamorinda Great Shakeout Drill for CERT is that the participants were able to put into practice the skills they learned in their training classes. The teams are better prepared to help themselves, their families, and their neighbors when the disaster hits. Many CERT members participate because they believe that neighbors helping neighbors is what will save lives and property when another large earthquake happens. If you are interested in learning more about CERT or taking a CERT training class, you can visit the Lamorinda CERT website at

Solar Currents

Lafayette Today ~ November 2012 - Page 11

By Mark Becker, GoSimpleSolar

The term “thriller” is typically reserved for the description of a murder mystery or spy novel. I recently read a “thriller” that was neither. The book tells the story about the challenges and development of a social business which has completely changed the fabric of a third world nation. For any entrepreneur, business major, sociologist, or those with interest in renewable energy, Green Energy for a Billion Poor by Nancy Wimmer should be required reading. The nation of Bangladesh is a secular democracy with an agrarian economy and a flood prone land. Grameen Shakti is a private venture rural solar installation business there. Detractors believed the challenges of selling solar to a very poor society were insurmountable. However, in ten years, 500,000 solar systems were sold by the profitable business proving the detractors wrong. With less than half the population and 1/6th the average annual income, Bangladesh now has more solar systems than the United States does. The average solar system in Bangladesh is 1/100th the size of an American solar home system. What is the most thrilling to me is I learned that virtually all the business principles surrounding the sales of a solar system and its advantages are inherently the same worldwide, no matter the differences in societies. Initial cost, financing structure, and financial benefits “drive the sale.” Once the Bangladeshi consumers became educated to the technology of solar energy, the social and financial advantages of solar system ownership became readily evident to them. A single 25 or 50-watt solar panel, and its associated battery, provides the light to allow their children to study into the night and their businesses to remain open after dark. The nighttime lighting also reduces crime. New businesses and jobs were created. With increased economic activity, income and educational levels continue to rise. The transformation of rural Bengali society has been amazing. For all the aforementioned reasons, and many more, this book is an excellent read. Our two nations share the advantages that solar electricity offers. Bangladesh is a nation and society that is very different than ours, especially in terms of annual income, yet the impact solar energy has had on their society is indisputable. Solar’s contribution to American energy independence will ultimately be our greatest social reward. As we strive towards that goal, Americans reap the financial rewards of solar. 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 www. or email Advertorial

Real Estate Succession Planning II By Robert J. Silverman, Attorney at Law I opened this topic in last month’s article (“Real Estate Succession Planning I”), listing a few situations in which making a specific bequest of property, particularly to one of multiple children, is worth serious consideration. Here, I’ll elaborate by outlining a few pertinent property tax reassessment rules. I’ll show how these rules can easily cause a burdensome increase in property taxes. I’ll also demonstrate how the strategic use of the rules in an estate plan can result in a remarkable, positive difference for those inheriting a property. Real estate transfers involve many moving parts, including personal circumstances and potential tax (e.g. income, estate & gift, and property tax) liability. It is wise to evaluate and obtain sound advice from experienced professionals (e.g. legal, tax, real estate, and financial) before transferring any property. This holds true regardless of whether the transfer will be by lifetime gift or sale, or testamentary bequest. Below are a few relevant California property tax reassessment rules (oversimplified) [see CA Revenue & Taxation Code Section 63.1]. 1. Principal residences: Any parent to child (or child to parent) transfer is entitled to an unlimited reassessment exemption. Assuming required forms are completed and submitted timely to the County Assessor, property taxes remain the same in the hands of the child (or children) to whom a property is transferred as when the parent owned it. 2. Non-principal residence property(ies), transfers between parents and children are entitled to a reassessment exemption up to an aggregate maximum (for all such non-principal residence property transfers) of $1 million in assessed value. Given the prevalence of intra-family principal residence transfers, I’ll focus on the principal residence rules. You’ll see contrasting examples that demonstrate how beneficial it can be to structure your estate plan to synchronize optimally with these rules. Hypothetical facts regarding your principal residence and other assets: a) You bought your home forty (40) years ago; b) current “Prop. 13” assessed value (i.e. value reflected on the property tax rolls for your home) is $200,000; c) the home’s fair market value is $1,000,000; d) you have a $200,000 mortgage; thus $800,000 of home equity; e) you have cash, stocks and bonds (“liquid assets”) totaling $800,000; and f) you have two (2) children - one living in the Bay Area

and one settled on the East Coast - and the child living here would like to own your home upon your death. If you establish a typical Living Trust, it would likely state simply that half of your assets go to each child upon your death. On your death, the successor trustee might (depending on a number of provisions in your Living Trust) sell the property, which would be unfortunate for the local child. Instead, the trustee might offer the home to the local child and credit the equity ($800,000) toward that child’s one half share, and the other child would be given the liquid assets of equal value ($800,000). Assuming the trustee is authorized to, and does, transfer the home to the local child, the assessor will likely determine that the transaction essentially involved a transfer of: i) one half of the property by you, the parents, to the local child; and ii) one half of the property from the East Coast child to the local child. The harsh result is that the half characterized as a sibling-sibling transfer is not entitled to any exemption, and it is reassessed. Here is the monetary difference: A) The assessed value of the exempt half stays the same. Half of the current $200,000 assessed value = $100,000. At the applicable rate (about 1%) this translates into approximately $1,000/yr. in property tax. B) The assessed value of the non-exempt half is reassessed at half of the then current fair market value of $1,000,000 ($500,000), with property tax payable at $5,000/yr. C) The new assessed value (adding both halves) is $600,000, resulting in total property tax payable at $6,000/yr. So, with a commonly drafted Living Trust, the local child pays $6,000/yr. in property taxes. Alternatively, if the Living Trust states (among other important clauses) that the local child is to receive 100% of the home and the other child is to receive 100% of the liquid assets, the whole transaction should be an exempt parent-child transfer. Thus, the local child would enjoy the home with the same low $2,000/yr. property taxes that you, the parent, enjoyed. Mr. Silverman is an attorney with Buchman Provine Brothers Smith LLP, 1333 N. California Street, Suite 350, Walnut Creek, CA 94596; (925) 944-9700; His practice emphasizes Estate Planning, Trust Administration & Probate, Real Estate, and Business. 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

Page 12 - November 2012 ~ Lafayette Today

Quick Trips By Linda Summers Pirkle Special Olive Oil Sciabica Family Olive Oil Company in Modesto, an hour drive from the Bay Area, is a fun place to go. Owner, Dan Sciabica gives a great talk about the history of the olive oil industry and the Sicilian roots of the Sciabica 100% extra Virgin California Olive Oil, and you can taste the many flavors of the cold-press olive oil. Pennie Brown, receptionist at the store says, “People from all over the Bay Area, especially those heading up to Tahoe, make their travel plans to include a stop at Sciabicas.” Some years back, I discovered an interesting connection between the family run Sciabica olive oil business and the Dominican Sisters Mission Olive Oil in Fremont. After Dan’s lively presentation, he mentioned “a very special limited quantity olive oil” can be purchased once a year from the Dominican Sisters Mission San Jose located in Fremont, 40 miles south of San Francisco. Dan explains the historical significance of the special Dominican olive oil saying, “The Dominican Sisters, I believe, consistently produce the most authentic California Extra Virgin Olive Oil with the most exquisite Mission Variety Olive Oil flavor of all productions in California. They have the largest planting (over 200 trees) of original “Mission Era” olive trees in the entire State of California. These are the very same trees planted by the Franciscan Padres over 200 years ago. The acidity levels are extremely low, which is one of the indications of the exceptional quality of their olive oil. Additionally, the flavor profile is that of the original Mission Variety olives; identical to the flavor the Padres developed and enjoyed two centuries ago. All the Mission Variety Olive Oil produced in the state comes from groves which were propagated from these original plantings throughout the 21 missions.” The Sciabicas and the Dominicans have been working together for 13 years. Sister Jane Rudolph, O.P., a Dominican, explains the connection, “The Sciabicas have been pressing and bottling our olive oil since the year 2000. We sisters are tremendously grateful to Mr. Dan Sciabica and the whole company for doing the pressing, bottling, and labeling for us at their expense! We sisters harvested, pressed, and bottled the olive oil from 1933 until 1965. We had our own press at that time. The adventure with the olives began again in December 1999.” I have been going to the Dominicans’ olive oil sale for the past three years. The olive grove is located behind the Mission. Take time to see these historic trees, but purchase your olive oil first! Sister Rose Marie Hennessy, Administrator of the Motherhouse says, “It’s a very special event. We always sell out of our olive oil, but since the sale is Saturday and Sunday, we keep a reserve to put out on Sunday.” Don’t miss the boutique sales in the great hall. Row after row of tables are set up with hand crafted items and baked good, including the sisters’ secret recipe fruitcake. The sisters are extremely welcoming. Proceeds go to the retired sisters’ needs at the Motherhouse in Fremont. *Holiday Boutique at Mission San Jose is November 17th and 18th, 10am-4pm. Their address is 43326 Mission Boulevard (entrance off Mission Tierra Place), Fremont. For more information, visit their website or call 510-657-2468. I will see you in line! *Sciabica Family Olive Oil Company is located at 2150 Yosemite Blvd. in Modesto. They can be reached at 209-577-5067. Their hours are 8am-5pm MondayFriday. During the holidays from Thanksgiving to Christmas, the store is open on Saturdays from 10am -4pm . Linda Summers Pirkle, travel consultant and long term Danville resident, has been arranging and leading tours for the Town of Danville for several years. Inspired by the many wonderful places to visit in the Bay Area, she organizes day trips, either for groups or for friends and family. “If it’s a trip for my husband and me, my husband drives and I talk (he’s a captive audience) – the perfect combination! What a great place to live, so much to see, so much to do.” To share your “Quick Trips” ideas email also showed me a way you can compare all your grades and scores to other Karr continued from front page school’s grades and scores so that was helpful when I was looking for when she conducts career search interest inventories. During the junior year, other schools to add. She is overall a friendly person and had a ton of great she introduces all students to Naviance, a secure web-based software program information to share.” that offers a number of features to assist students in their college search. When asked if she has any particularly memorable stories from her During fall and winter of the senior year, Karr offers application workshops years of work, Karr recalled a boy who had adamantly declared he was not on a variety of topics, and she hosts numerous college representative visits cutout for college. “He then came to me in March, well after the application where students are invited to learn more about particular schools. She deadlines and at a once-upon-a-time when deadlines could be extended, and is available to all seniors and can help with everything from essay topic had changed his mind and decided he did in fact want to apply to college,” exploration, to navigating the applications, to scholarships and financial aid. says Karr. “I helped him pull together an application for Chico, and I even “Joan is invaluable to the students and parents at Acalanes,” says Acalanes called the admissions office to tell them another application was on the way. Lead Counselor Lynn Millar. “She helps guide students through the entire He got in and was thrilled to have the opportunity. college application process, from beginning to end, and she guides them This is why I do this job. I really enjoy helping kids find a great fit. I well. I trust her experience and her knowledge. I know when she works with really enjoy what I do.” one of our students, that student is covered; I know that student is in good hands. She is always there for the kids.” One of the perks of Karr’s job is getting to travel the country touring college campuses as an invited guest. These visits are crucial to Karr’s ability to assess a student’s compatibility with various colleges. And, she recommends that students do the same and get out there to visit as many campuses as possible. Karr also promotes California’s community colleges as an attractive post-high school option, and she sites several former students who took that route, eventually to graduate from the UC system. In her office, she also maintains a database of vocational schools. “I like helping students to see that they have options,” says Karr. “Not every student is meant to take the four year college route.” Those seeking Karr’s assistance give her rave reviews. “Ms. Karr has been incredibly helpful,” says senior Annie Nelson. “She helped me put together a list of colleges based on location and cost and also recommended several colleges I otherwise wouldn't have looked at. She is always happy to help, no matter how small the question.” Maddy Myall, also a senior, is grateful for Karr’s essay expertise. “She’ll read all my essays, and she’ll grade them in a day,” says Myall. I find her helpful because she literally has all of the answers to my questions. She Lic# 1100014354; Bay Area Entertainment helped me pick schools and also understand my chances of getting in. She

Shop Talk from Urban Suburban AKA “The Mechanic” Ethanol is not just moonshine anymore… By René Aguirré The end of October is bringing us roaring into the holiday season this year! Congratulations to the San Francisco Giants for a well-deserved World Series championship! Feelings of celebration are flowing into all of us as we prepare to draw 2012 to a close. It seems every year, time flies ever faster René Aguirré as we ride the roller coaster of life. As we go through this holiday season, remember to enjoy your family and friends, and cherish the special times together. Most of all, remember to have fun! What is ethanol doing in my gas? The agricultural industry in our country has been hit hard these past few decades. The oil industry continues to see unstable situations around the world. To alleviate dependence on foreign oil and help our own agriculture, the legislature passed regulations in 2007 to raise the content of ethanol in gasoline to 15%. States with high emissions issues saw an immediate result with this cleaner fuel, and farmers have an additional market to sell to. These are two wonderful outcomes for our environment and agriculture. But for the consumer, you may wind up with additional repair work you are not used to. It is important to understand the evolution of gasoline at the pump in the past five years. While newer automobiles advertise higher rates of miles per gallon, the simple truth is the recent changes in the composition of gas have adversely affected miles per hour in most cars. Are you driving a model newer than 2008? Unless you are driving a brand new vehicle, with an updated design in the fuel system, chances are you will see fuel problems down the road. Studies show anything greater than 5% ethanol calls for a dramatic redesign of the fuel system for your vehicle. In our business, we are seeing a dramatic rise in fuel system repair work because our vehicles do not have the system to handle the 15% addition of ethanol

Lafayette Today ~ November 2012 - Page 13

to our gasoline. Ethanol is highly corrosive to the fuel lines, fuel tank, fuel filter, fiberglass parts, and even metal parts - basically anything not specifically designed to use alcohol-bearing fuel. Ethanol-free gas stations do exist, but they are few and far between, and they are very expensive. To avoid some of these issues in older vehicles, do not allow gasoline to sit in your tank for long periods of time. You can have your mechanic drain it, or make sure to periodically drive the vehicle. Additionally, your mechanic can check the seals and hoses on your system to ensure everything is in working condition with no visible cracks or leaks. A fuel smell in your vehicle may indicate failing parts within the fuel system. A complete filter service can help fend off some of these issues. What has Triple Nickel Racing been up to? We are really excited about the progress this month. We are very lucky to have such a talented team working on the 1964 Ford Galaxie. We just posted the latest pictures of the car. You can see the fantastic attention to detail and great welding work going on. See the pictures on our Facebook page https://www. News around town- Now that the holiday season is here, consider US for a holiday event venue. Have your office party, a small concert, or even a membership meeting for free at our place. It is a unique location with many opportunities to have any kind of event you can imagine. Our shop is the cleanest in the Bay! Krysten has hosted many different kinds of events from Chamber mixers to major fundraisers in our shop, providing a unique background for people to enjoy. Contact us if you are interested in having your event with us. “Like” our page on Facebook to keep up with our events, car tips, and special offers. If you have any questions about this or any other Shop Talk issues, call US today at 925-283-5212 or visit our website 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 Advertorial servicing needs.

Page 14 - November 2012 ~ Lafayette Today

Obamacare Real Estate Investment Tax? By Art Lehman, Village Associates Realtors

Grief Support Group Helps People Cope with the Death of a Pet When you lose your pet, you often feel like a part of you is lost. The death of your beloved animal companion is one of the most difficult losses you may ever feel. This loss is sometimes made more painful by society’s seeming lack of support for pet grief. Hospice of the East Bay and the Tony La Russa Animal Rescue Foundation is offering a support group where participants can share memories and feelings and talk to others who truly understand and care. Meetings will be held the first Tuesday of each month from noon - 1:30PM at the Tony La Russa Animal Rescue Foundation, 2890 Mitchell Drive, Walnut Creek. For further information and/or to register, please call Bereavement Services at Hospice of the East Bay (925) 887-5681. Pre-registration is required. Hospice of the East Bay Bereavement Services are provided free of charge to all community members in need. However, donations are greatly appreciated.

(This is excerpted from a National Association of Realtors® article) Ever since health care reform was enacted into law more than two years ago, rumors have been circulating on the internet and in e-mails that the law contains a 3.8% tax on real estate. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) quickly released material to show that the tax doesn’t target real estate and will in fact affect very few home sales, because it’s a tax that will only affect high-income households that realize a substantial gain on an asset sale, including on a home sale, once other factors are taken into account. Maybe 2-3% of home sellers will be affected. Nevertheless, the rumors persist and the latest version that’s circulating falsely says NAR is advocating for the tax’s repeal. But while NAR doesn’t support the tax (it was added into the health care law at the last minute and never considered in hearings), it’s not advocating for its repeal at this time. The characterization of the 3.8% tax as a tax on real estate is an example of an Internet rumor, says Heather Elias, NAR’s director of social business media. The tax will affect few home sellers because so many different pieces must fall into place a certain way for the tax to apply. First, any home sale gain (principal residence) must be more than the $250,000-$500,000 capital gains exclusion that’s in effect today. That’s gain, not sales amount, so you really have to reap a substantial amount for the tax to even come into play. Very few people are walking away with a gain of more than half a million dollars today, even in the high-end home market, so right off the bat only a few home sellers would be a candidate for the tax. For the few households that do see a gain of more than the $250,000-$500,000 exclusion (that’s $250,000 for single filers and $500,000 for joint filers), only the amount above the exclusion would be factored into the tax calculation, and that would still only apply to high-income households, which the law defines as single people earning $200,000 a year and joint filers earning $250,000 a year. So, if you are a household with annual income of $250,000 or more, and you earn a gain of more than $500,000 on your house (again, that’s after the $500,000 exclusion), any amount of gain above the exclusion would be plugged into a formula to see if it’s taxable. If it turns out that it’s taxable, then the amount could be subject to the 3.8% tax. If the household had a gain of more than $500,000 but you only earned $249,000 a year in income, the tax wouldn’t apply. Note that these are just hypothetical examples. To know if a case would really be subject to the tax, a professional tax preparer or tax attorney has to look at all the particulars of the tax filer’s case. Only a tax professional is in a position to say the tax is applicable, but the examples cited here could help you get a sense of how the tax works. The other thing about the tax worth noting is that, although it takes effect in 2013, any impact on taxes wouldn’t happen until 2014. That’s because the tax filer would do the calculation in 2014 for the 2013 tax year. Because, it’s not a tax on a real estate sale but rather on a capital gain, it’s not calculated at the time of an asset sale, whether that asset is a house or something else. It’s calculated at the time the filer figures his or her tax. 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 art@artlehman. com. If you’d like a free automatic email update of current listings and sales, visit my website to sign up at or call. Also, if you have any topics for future articles, please let me know! Advertorial

Lafayette Today ~ November 2012 - Page 15

System Monitoring By Evan Corstorphine, Portable CIO We all know our homes and businesses have become dependent on technology. Whether it’s email, access to a customer database or a child doing homework, computer systems and access to the internet have become mission critical for everyone. Our challenge is how to keep them running at their best. Besides being the best service company around, the goal at Portable CIO is to work ourselves out of a job. I know that sounds funny, but really, if we’re doing the right things for you and your computers, we’re setting you up to not constantly need us. Let’s face it, computer repairs can be costly, and if you’re always seeing us, either we’re not doing our job right, or you’ve had a real string of bad luck! Whether that means using the right antivirus, choosing a new computer, or replacing aging network equipment, the goal is the same -- reliable and stable computer systems that don’t need attention. The truth is that despite our best efforts to create a bulletproof environment, physical equipment failures, poor user habits, and the ever-present threat of virus infection conspire to keep us very busy. Obviously it’s financially impractical to have Portable CIO visit you every day to ensure your systems are in top shape. But, what if there was a way to have us there helping you without setting foot in your home or business? What if we could be checking all of those things that we know are important every moment your computers were turned on? Happily, the answer is that it’s possible. Whether someone uses a Macintosh or a PC, there are countless factors that can be remotely monitored, measured, and corrected, which enable us to keep you and your computers happy. In the home environment, common issues are hardisks that fill up, virus and malware infections, and computers that never get updated or backed up. In the commercial arena the focus is on keeping computer systems upto-date, ensuring the network infrastructure is functioning, that company file servers are running in top condition, and of course that backups are occurring for mission critical data. Our software works in the background, and proactively it looks for indicators these key processes are occurring. When they don’t, you and we get an alert to take action before a small problem becomes big. We’re able to set specific thresholds that alert us when a condition changes for the worse. We can tell you when your system is running low on disk space, and we can make sure that your antivirus is kept current and that your computer has all of its security patches from Microsoft. We can tell your server to reboot every week in the middle of the night, and we can verify that your backups are occurring as scheduled. If you’re a business, we can help you keep track of all of your computers, and we can audit the software that’s on each system to ensure there’s no illegal music downloading, or that employees aren’t making changes to hardware and software settings that will adversely affect the computer. We can keep your family computer ready and available for the kids to do their homework. Wherever you are, we can be your portable IT department, ready to alert you should there be an indicator of trouble and able to hop on remotely at a moment’s notice if you need help. When people use our monitoring system, they’re able to identify problems before they get off the ground. You are able to maintain a level of control and awareness over their environment that you’ve never had before. The great part of these systems is that they’re inexpensive, particularly for how much work they do. We charge by the month for these to be installed in your environment. Covering all of a home’s computers costs much less than we charge for an hour of work, which is amazing when you consider how many ways the software is preventing trouble for you on a daily basis. And, it almost goes without saying that having this software installed is far less expensive than paying for repairs when everything has gone wrong. Are you or your business a candidate for this type of system support? Whether you use Mac’s or PC’s, everyone can benefit. Give the friendly and capable staff at Portable CIO a call at 925-552-7953, or drop us an email at Advertorial to discuss your particular needs.




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Serpents continued from front page skills, but also pride, self esteem, confidence, and acceptance.” Sea Serpent athletes represent a range in abilities and ages. The youngest swimmers work one-on-one with a coach in the shallow pool in order to become comfortable in the water. They then move on to the learn-to-swim program. At the other end of the spectrum, older, more accomplished swimmers participate in an organized practice with varied sets. Volunteer coaches must be 8th grade age or older, and they must commit to participating in a minimum 80% of the practices for each season. The Sea Serpent’s official season, funded by Special Olympics Northern California (SONC), runs March through June, at which time the athletes participate in a Bay Area-wide meet at Laney College in Oakland. The fall season (Labor Day through the first weekend in November) is optional, and it is funded by charitable donations. (SONC halted fall funding due to budgetary constraints.) In 2011 the OMPA Swimming League funded the fall season, and this year members of Moraga Country Club Swim Team held a swim-a-thon, the results of which are fully funding this 2012 fall season. As Silverfoote sought a few years ago to ease her commitment in order to spend more time with family, particularly a new grandson, she began to lean on regular volunteer Brian Wentzel, a Lafayette resident who had been active with Sea Serpents for several years. Last year, Wentzel took over as head of the program. Silverfoote continues to provide support and direction as needed. Working with Sea Serpents is a family-oriented activity for the Wentzels. Brian’s wife Deanna is the team photographer, and their two high school aged sons are involved in coaching and instructing. Their 12 year-old daughter also enjoys the Sunday afternoon practices and is often found poolside encouraging and cheering the athletes. Wentzel, a director of national accounts for a foodservice beverage division of Nestlé, provides direction to the more than 30 weekly volunteers and handles the administrative aspects of the program. “Sea Serpents really pulls together a lot of opportunities and experiences for me,” says Wentzel. “First and foremost, being a swimmer myself, it feels

See Serpents continued on page 24

Page 16 - November 2012 ~ Lafayette Today

The Tree of the Season Coast Live Oak, Quercus agrifolia By Blaine Brende & Joe Lamb If you have a coast live oak in your yard, you will understand that its Latin name, Quercus agrifolia, is appropriate. Agrifolia means spiny leaves. And though the tree retains green leaves throughout the year, it also sheds dead leaves, many dead leaves, and they are less than friendly on bare feet. If you are lucky enough to have a mature coast live oak in your garden, you are well aware that its sculptural qualities more than compensate for the ongoing maintenance this big beast requires. I find comfort in the manner wherein old trees twist into their strangely beautiful form, their rugged bark accentuating, in counterpoint, their grace and openness. The generous shade offered by their broad crowns seems to invite one to lounge against their trunks and think about things that are never on TV. Agrifolia became the dominant tree of the costal plain, not because it’s beautiful, but because it’s tough. Though plagued by several diseases and pests, the continuing ubiquity of live oaks over the millennia is testament to their ability to resist diseases and fight off pests. Several fungal diseases, with the generic names “twig blights” and “oak branch dieback,” attack the crowns of live oaks. Brown patches in your oak’s canopy are most likely from these fungal diseases. An aesthetic debit, they rarely pose a serious threat to the life of the tree. Unsightly deadwood can be pruned out. Though these diseases come from water-borne fungi, they often occur in oaks weakened by drought stress. It is common knowledge that over-watering coast live oaks is a good way to kill the tree. Too much summer water promotes the growth of oak root fungus, a common soil fungus that can turn lethal in soggy soils. Less widely appreciated is that summer watering of oaks can make them more disease- and insect-resistant IF, and it is a big IF, they are watered correctly. Correct summer watering of coast live oaks requires placing a soaker hose in a circle around the tree at least ten feet from the trunk and running the water for about two hours–sunset is a good time. It is important to water the tree not more than once a month: once in July, once in August, once in September, and once in October. Over-watering

Gardening with Kate By Kathleen Guillaume Finally we got a wee bit of rain, and my garden is very happy to have received the long slow showers. Remember to stop picking and deadheading your roses. You want to coax them into dormancy, and they have to produce seed, those lovely rose hips, to be convinced that it is time to stop blooming and pushing new growth. By doing this they will be ready for pruning in three months. Soon we will have an abundance of leaves to rake and gather. Remember leaves make great mulch. If you don’t have a compost pile or bin, you can layer the brown leaves with lawn cuttings in a black plastic bag. Make them slightly moist, tie them closed, and in a few months everything inside will be broken down into a great humus that you can spread on your beds in spring. There have been some new plants introduced that you might think of adding to your garden. Autumn is a perfect time to plant shrubs, trees and perennials, because it allows their roots to get established so they are picture perfect for next spring and summer. There is a new Abelia “Kaledoscope” which is a dwarf shrub with a variegated foliage that tinges with gold in spring and tinges orange in the fall. It grows about two feet high with a three and a half foot spread. It is a great structural plant that looks attractive all year long. It is especially attractive if you have it run in repeats through your landscape. Another great mini shrub/ground cover type is the Ceanothus “Diamond Heights” which grows about one foot high with a four foot spread. This great hill and open space cover has a dark green splotch on its leaf surrounded by a chartreuse/yellow surround. Its unusual foliage brightens any garden. can kill oaks by stimulating parasitic fungi. Judicious watering during dry summers gives the tree a boost but doesn’t encourage root diseases. It’s better not to water oaks at all than to over-water them; and lawns, grown under the canopy of the oaks, are a common cause of over-watering. One way to make your oak (and the many creatures it supports) happy is to turn lawn under the canopy over to native, drought-tolerant plants. This saves water, and reduces the likelihood your oak will get a root disease. Oaks also appreciate a layer of mulch. Mulch helps aerate the soil and improves the environment for beneficial soil creatures. Given that the current stewards of the coastal plain seldom burn the woodlands, most of our oak forests have built up a significant load of dead wood. To prevent a crown fire, like the one that ravaged the East Bay in 1991, it is important to make all landscape trees and shrubs more fire safe. At Brende and Lamb it is our fervent hope that all current players in the ongoing drama of the oak woodlands act to maintain a healthy ecosystem in which coast live oaks, and the many creatures that depend on them, continue to appear center stage. Unfortunately, we a starting to see a few cases of Sudden Oak Death (SOD) in the East Bay, concentrated mostly in forested parklands. The SOD pathogen infects susceptible oaks during spring rainstorms. It is difficult to prevent an oak from being infected, but there are steps to reduce the probability of infection, such as the application of Agrifos in autumn. Further more, California bay trees can be a host to SOD, where it occurs as a leaf disease. Infected bays don’t die, but they can spread the spores to oaks as water drips from the bay leaves onto the trunk of an oak. Studies show that pruning back bay trees to give a 10 foot separation from your oaks can significantly lower the infection rate. At this time, preventative action is the only way of treating the disease. It takes two years for an infected tree to show any sign of infection, and once infected there is no way to cure the disease. The best place to find current information on SOD is the California Sudden Oak Task Force at If your trees need a little TLC to protect them against winter winds, or if your property could use a little fire protection, please call 510-486-TREE (8733) or email us at for a free estimate. Additionally, go to our website to see before and after pictures, client testimonials, and Advertorial work in your neighborhood. Two new Loropetalums (Chinese Fringe) have hit the market. “Emerald Sno,” is a standard shrub that eventually gets over three feet tall and has deep green foliage with lime green new growth and large white fringed blossoms. The sweetheart miniature called “Purple Pixie” has deep purple foliage and showy pink blossoms, and it grows to about one foot high and three to four feet wide. This is perfect as the base plant in large patio pots as it has a weepy habit. It makes a bold statement as a ground cover. These can generally be found in one gallon containers at your local nursery, and they are shrubs that provide interest year round. I am in the process of harvesting the last of my Fuji apples. This was a great year for apples. If you don’t think you have a lot of room for this great producer...think again. My favorite tree is planted as a “step over” apple (type “step over apple” in a web browser to see images of this wonderful way of growing and training these trees). To create a step over, find a whippy bare root Fuji. These will be available in the next few months when bare root shipments hit your nursery. Plant it, and place two deep stakes about two feet high on either side of the trunk. Bend it as close to 90 degrees as you can from its base and about 18” from the ground. Tie the tip and mid trunk to stakes to keep these also about 18” off of the ground...this works well along fences. Because the tree will grow horizontally, you can keep its branches pruned so that it never gets taller than three to four feet, which makes harvesting apples a joy. My salvias are still blooming which makes my Allen hummingbirds happy and keeps them near my garden. They love salvias and penstemons, which provide them with food and you with great colorful blooms, something a hummingbird feeder doesn’t provide. There is a new penstemon series, which includes “Blue Riding Hood” and “Hot Pink Riding Hood” which are compact at 18” and great along borders. For the back of the garden bed, there is a new salvia “Amistad” which grows three feet by three feet and has deep burgundy flowers on a near black calyx; it blooms spring to frost. Feed the birds and feed your eyes. Happy Gardening.

Lafayette Today ~ November 2012 - Page 17

Life in the Lafayette Garden Spruce Up the Tired Garden By John Montgomery, ASLA, Landscape Architect Let’s talk Tired Gardens! You know what I’m talking about. You look out into your Lafayette garden with a huge sigh and see uninspired plantings that you have looked at for years. The gardener continues to prune plantings that are clinging to the edge of survival. Once glorious flowering shrubs and perennials have been reduced to woody stalks that seem to suffice because they are still alive. It may be a single small area, or it could be the balance of your front and back yard, but something needs to be done! What do you do when your garden is tired? In some cases it is wise to design a new Master Plan and start anew, and in others it makes sense to “spruce up.” Instead of bulldozing the entire garden, you can “spruce up” what you have. The fundamental criteria for a “spruce up” is that you are happy with the basic functionality of your hardscape and garden layout.

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Maturity brings radical changes to landscapes that are often welcomed. It also brings other changes that are not. Trees finally provide shade cover and shade out once sun-loving plants. Lack of care and poor maintenance practices have taken their toll. Hedges and shrubs have become overgrown, hiding the house and blocking good views. These changes give cause for a “spruce up,” although the overall context of a “well-designed” landscape may still prevail. Within the life of your Lafayette home, an owner’s uses will change for many reasons; kids grow-up or a family matures and changes. Lifestyles evolve and change. Once busy families that had no time to work in the garden are now retired and have time to play. This brings a whole new reason for the landscape to be spruced up. These changes call for careful consideration and should be well thought out. They should be logical and creatively resolved. Updating landscape

projects are challenging yet satisfying when properly executed. In addition to our full spectrum of landscape design services, we offer garden consultations that cover a wide range of solutions for sprucing up an existing landscape. Our consultation service is intended to provide clients with simple and doable solutions that satisfy their need for a beautiful and inspiring garden without the need of a master plan. Our basic consultation includes a site visit to assess the

condition of your garden; we provide practical recommendations for planting, irrigation, drainage, and soil problems. Whether you are tired of a small planting bed or your whole yard, we can provide solutions to “spruce up” your tired garden. Especially in today’s economic climate, in many cases it makes sense to “spruce up” your tired Lafayette garden instead of completely gutting it. Consultations for sprucing up may reach beyond just the planting and may include solutions for updating hardscape elements such as sitting areas, benches and seat walls, arbors and trellises, play courts and kid zones, water features, and sculptures, etc. Adding dramatic landscape lighting or adding colorful pots and décor around the entry for the holidays can make all the difference to inspire a tired garden. Like the design of a new landscape project, a garden “spruce up” should be well thought out and planned before executing. A hot tip from your local Landscape Architect: Whether you are interested in a “spruce up” or Master Plan, now is a great time to design and execute your project. While fall and winter set in think ahead to spring and be ready to implement your project so you can enjoy your yard during next year’s summer months. Gardening Quote of the Month: “Gardening is a matter of your enthusiasm holding up until your back gets used to it.” ~Author Unknown If you would like me to write on any particular subject, email your ideas to or for design ideas visit Advertorial

Page 18 - November 2012 ~ Lafayette Today

The Brilliance of Bankruptcy By Daniel A Barnes, CFA Nestled in the Federalist Papers, the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence and the British traditions of common law, the United States of America is a bold experiment. Our legal framework allows, and even encourages, citizens to try, to fail, to try again, and again, and again, and still, after many bouts, succeed. That’s uncommon. It’s uncommon to find an ethos and set of laws that allow for failure without shame (see www. Entrepreneurial endeavors without remorse are the genius of creative destruction and creation. A memorable line in Aaron Sorkin’s brilliant movie The Social Network is when a taciturn Larry Summers tells the crew-jock twins that Harvard believes “it is better to create a job than to get a job.” The Great Recession has kicked the financial stuffing out of the Baby Boomers balance sheets. Those Boomers are now reaching age 65 at a rate of more than 300,000 each month. It’s a financial tragedy for them because, while Boomers have wide experience and often good health, their “lost decade” has been ruinous to many a retirement plan and sense of well-being. In Germany, if you must file for bankruptcy, you are bankrupt for life. There is no forgiveness. The blasphemous “B” of “Bankrott” follows you and your credit profile around, forever. And many formerly successful, entrepreneurial “B” - Boomers, are trying to start new businesses with the anchor of past mistakes. How do you create a “job” with the albatross of $50,000 of credit card debt saddled around your neck? Let’s dig into the rationale of this a little more: Why does the US government forgive Third World Debt? Why did hyperinflation burn the German middle class to a crisp in 1923? Why do we bail out banks to the tune of trillions of dollars? The answer is always the same - it is better to forgive debt than to destroy productive capacity. All entrepreneurs carry a certain amount of productive capacity, which doesn’t go away, even when they make a financial misstep -- unless they are permanently scarred, as in Germany.

Brainwaves by Betsy Streeter Any person who endeavors to make a business has one essential ingredient, and that’s his or her energy, or productive capacity. Take away a person’s mojo, and it doesn’t matter what is left. That’s the genius of forgiving bankruptcy laws. Bankruptcy is a solemn act of asking for forgiveness, in a public forum, for unsuccessful decisions. It delivers absolution and rebirth. It is open, transparent, and public. It is this openness that gives bankruptcy and debt forgiveness its cleansing properties. In stark contrast to the brilliance of bankruptcy is the moral turpitude of monetary debasement. Economist John Maynard Keynes, whose prescient writings have been so warped as they are rewritten by present-day monetary authorities, understood clearly in 1921 when he wrote, “By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens.” Further, Lenin understood this when he concurrently wrote, “There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency.” At Barnes Capital, we advise clients with great wealth. We also advise clients who have friends and family members who would be well advised to admit defeat and file for bankruptcy. Doing so is not shameful. I spent the better part of this past week at the Opal Financial Conference for Family Offices in Napa. In a seminar on the relationships between trustees and beneficiaries, it was obvious how entwined great advisors must be to provide wise wealth counsel of liabilities as well as assets. The balance sheet of all economic factors includes both a left and a right column. On the left sit the assets, which should generate safe, consistent returns. On the right, lurk the monsters of the known and the unknown - known debts and unknown liabilities. It behooves the astute advisor to provide wise counsel to clients regarding both columns. Abetted by the generous wisdom and foresight of our legal structure, the prudent advisor has the ability to provide tremendous value to clients and their families by casting paternal holistic assessment across the personal situation and balance sheet of each of his client family. Barnes Capital, LLC is a Registered Investment Advisor. We build balanced portfolios for clients seeking conservative growth, retirement income, and capital preservation. We offer a level of service which clients struggle to find elsewhere. To learn more call (925) 284-3503 and visit Advertorial

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

Hearing Loss Association Come to meetings of the Diablo Valley Chapter of Hearing Loss Association of America at 7pm on the first Wednesday of the month at the Walnut Creek United Methodist Church located at 1543 Sunnyvale Ave., Walnut Creek Education Bldg., Wesley Room. Meeting room and parking are at the back of the church. All are welcome. Donations are accepted. Assistive listening system are available for T-coils, and most meetings are captioned. Contact or (925) 264.1199 or

Lic# 1100014354; Bay Area Entertainment

Wear Your Pink Shoes Proudly By Barbara Persons, MD, Persons Plastic Surgery, Inc. On days that I am scheduled to operate (3 or 4 days a week), my attire is comfortably predictable - scrubs and my favorite pair of clogs. The clogs happen to be pink, and I am often asked, “Why the pink shoes?” I usually respond by simply tugging up my pant leg a bit to reveal the familiar pink ribbon logo used by so many worthy causes that support Breast Cancer research and education. I don’t think about breast cancer for one month out of the year -- I think about it every day. Reconstructive surgery makes up a good portion of my practice. I feel so fortunate that my practice allows me to actively participate in the care and treatment of many breast cancer patients. As a staff member at John Muir Hospital, I participate in weekly Tumor Board meetings, often as a panelist. The cases presented at these meetings help us coordinate excellent treatment plans for our patients, and they demonstrate that breast cancer does not spare any particular demographic. One in nine women will be diagnosed with breast cancer including the elderly, the 28 year old newlywed, the healthiest fitness guru, the couch potato, the vibrant career woman, and the mother, pregnant with her first child. Like most cancers, early detection is key to a successful outcome in breast cancer patients. All too often breast cancer is discovered in advanced stages, requiring surgery and breast reconstruction along with radiation and chemotherapy. The physical toll of breast cancer is costly enough, but the emotional toll of losing our breasts can be devastating. I am fortunate to be part of the team of people who make a positive impact in breast cancer patients’ lives by giving back to them something they thought was lost. Through advances and innovations in technique as well as new surgical materials, artful reconstruction of the breast has become a reality. Reconstructive breast surgery is now routinely performed at the

Women Healing Women By Michael Anne Conley, MFT When women bond together in a community in such a way that ‘sisterhood’ is created, it gives them an accepting and intimate forum to tell their stories and have them heard and validated by others. The community not only helps to heal their circumstances, but encourages them to grow into their larger destiny. ~ Sue Monk Kidd, afterward to The Secret Life of Bees

In 1993, I noticed some of my women clients were seeking help for similar concerns. Wanting comfort and understanding, they brought experiences of busy lives juggling work, heath issues and, especially, relationships. Like most people, they were not mentally ill — even if they felt depressed, anxious, or used the word “crazy.” No, they were dealing with “problems in living.” So why did they invest their precious time and money in therapy? It turns out that they had some things in common: 1. They were committed to their own growth. 2. They didn’t want to do this alone. 3. They were familiar with the 12-step self-help programs. 4. Something was still missing and they wanted more. First, these women had made a decision to change their lives, usually triggered by pain such as a divorce or relationship breakup, the death of a parent, a growing attachment to alcohol or drugs, and/or co-parenting with a hostile ex-partner. Whether they were sucking on cigarettes or parenting by helicopter, feeling victimized in relationship or trapped in a job that fed the family but didn’t nourish their souls, no matter what their individual concern, they knew their patterns and habits did not serve their future. Second, they were around people — kids, partners, co-workers, fellow volunteers on school, church or community projects, friends, and family, and yet they felt alone and wanted companionship for their growth. Third, my clients had discovered groups that offered something they didn’t get elsewhere. In these gatherings, they could share their pain with others who had experienced their own variation of that pain. Whether it was

Lafayette Today ~ November 2012 - Page 19 same time as the mastectomy in close coordination with the general surgeon, enabling women to wake up from surgery with breasts. In some cases the nipples and surrounding areolas can be saved as well. The emotional testimonials and thanks I receive from my breast cancer patients feed my soul. I am continually amazed by the strength and courage these women possess through such tragic circumstances. I recently had the pleasure of seeing a 60 year old woman who was told she could not have her breast reconstructed after mastectomy 10 years ago because of thin skin. Now, with new techniques and materials, she will soon have breasts again. She will feel whole. The theme behind the breast cancer campaign is education and awareness. Realize that breast cancer affects us all. Please take the time to educate yourself, perform self breast exams every month, and please don’t delay your routine mammogram screening. To find instructions on how to perform a breast self-examination, please visit our website at Support the efforts of wonderful organizations like Susan G. Komen or the Avon Foundation. Join me in wearing your pink shoes proudly every day. Dr. Barbara Persons is a Plastic Surgeon and owns Persons Plastic Surgery, Inc. located at 911 Moraga Rd, Suite 205 in Lafayette. She may be reached at 925.283.4012 or Advertorial

Come Taste Our Award Winning Wines! 5700 Greenville Rd, Livermore | | 510-861-2722 drinking, drugs, gambling, sex, finances, food, or controlling others who had these problems, they had found relief. Some of them were newcomers, and others had been participating for years. Some were joyfully committed to their recovery, while others were reluctant visitors who didn’t trust the “God” thing, the “powerless” thing, or any number of other things. Fourth, many of these women felt lost. Something was still missing. Meetings, the steps, having sponsors, and being sponsors weren’t bringing them the rewards they wanted or had previously experienced. They were sure that something was wrong with them and that they were destined to relapse. They didn’t know they were ready to benefit from talking with other women and sharing feedback, which self-help programs discourage for a good reason: Great power comes from telling one’s truth and not have anyone else put their spin on it. But there is also power in speaking, listening, and responding, especially when you have a guide who manages any spin. Listening to them, it seemed this was one reason some of them wanted even more anonymity — a place where they could talk, know that their concerns would not go anywhere else, and also learn how others experience who they are. Listening, I heard some of them wanting to honor the sacred without being linked to religious beliefs. They had sought therapy for this, and they needed to keep it affordable. I realized they could learn so much more from each other and that I could be their guide. I invited them to come together. For 19 years, incredibly awesome women have entered the Women Healing Women group, nourished themselves, and offered the same to others. They have left and re-entered their own lives more whole, and sometimes returned for replenishment. The Women Healing Women group is here for you. Michael Anne Conley, MFT, supports people in transforming old habits into new behaviors. She is a health educator, licensed marriage and family therapist and director of Stillpoint integrative health center in Lafayette (http:// can listen to her weekly podcast, Habits Into Health, at To find out more about the Women Healing Women group or her other services, contact her at maconley@wellnesslafayette. com or 925-262-4848. Advertorial

Page 20 - November 2012 ~ Lafayette Today

Causes of Pigment Loss By Dr. Kelly Hood

Dr. Kelly Hood, Lafayette

One of the most common concerns patients have surrounds pigment loss. There are many causes of lightening of the skin. Most people are concerned that they have a fungal infection or “Michael Jackson disease.” These conditions can be a particularly distressing cosmetic problem in dark-skinned individuals. A patient with vitiligo suggested that an article on loss of pigment could be helpful for many our readers.

Vitiligo Vitiligo is known as the “Michael Jackson disease.” Vitiligo is a disorder in which patients have a characteristic loss of pigment or skin color. Any part of the skin may be involved. It is a common disorder affecting approximately 1% of the population. About 20% of people who develop vitiligo experience some pigment loss before age 20. Most people are in good general health. Sometimes vitiligo can be associated with other autoimmune conditions such as thyroid disease or hair loss. The cause of vitiligo is unknown. Most people experience a rapid loss of pigment followed by a prolonged period in which the pigment remains stable. The combination of pigment loss followed by periods of stability may go on for many years. Only rarely does a patient with vitiligo repigment spontaneously. Perscription treatments are availble in some instances. Sunscreen is vital as the skin has no protection from the natural pigment cells. The skin can cosmetically be colored with self tanning lotion.

Tinea Versicolor Natural yeast that lives in all of our skin causes tinea versicolor. It usually presents as white spots on the trunk that may extend to the upper arms. A fine scale is present. The lesions usually show a loss of pigment, but they may occasionally

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month By Gigi Chen, MD Lung cancer accounts for about 14% of all cancer diagnosis. However, it is responsible for almost 29% of all cancer deaths. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for both men and women in the U.S. In 2012, an estimated 226,200 new cases of lung cancer will be diagnosed. The incidence and death rates have been decreasing for men, but had been rising for women until around the year 2000 when they began to level off. The major cause of lung cancer is smoking, which is responsible for 85% to 90% of lung cancer. Other risk factors include environmental and occupational exposures such as asbestos, radon, air pollution, radiation, and second hand tobacco. More than 95% of lung cancer consists of one of the four major types: squamous, adenocarcinoma, large cell, or small cell cancer. Squamous, adenocarcinoma, and large cell are together called non-small cell lung cancer. Adenocarcinoma comprises of 50% of lung cancer in the U.S. The most common symptoms patients experience are decreased appetite, fatigue, weakness, and cough. Currently most patients with lung cancer are diagnosed at an advanced stage. There has been recent promising data in the area of lung cancer screening. The National Lung Cancer Screening trial enrolled 53,000 current or former heavy smokers and showed that screening high-risk patients with low dose CT decreased mortality from lung cancer by 20% compared to chest Xray. High risk patients are either current or former smokers with 30 pack year smoking history, aged 55 to 74 years. The International Early Lung Cancer Action Program (I-ELCAP) assessed whether annual screening with low dose CT can increase early detection in patients at risk for lung cancer. They found that if lung cancer is detected in stage I and promptly removed, the 10 year survival is 92%. These trials suggest that early screening can decrease the risk of death from lung cancer in high risk patients. Treatment of lung cancer requires a collaborative effort between patients and have a yellowish or brown color. Rarely the face is involved. When the conditions are right in the skin, such as increased oil or pH, the natural yeast can overgrow causing these lesions. Treatment consists of antifungal creams or shampoos. In resistant cases, antifungal pills are prescribed. The yeast is treated before the color improves. The persistent lightness or darkness of the lesions does not necessarily indicate treatment failure.

Pityriasis Alba This condition of hypopigmentation shows round to oval patches most commonly on the face although the Dr. Shanny Baughman, Alamo upper arms, neck, or shoulders can be affected. The color is white to light pink. The scales are fine. As a rule P. alba is asymptomatic, but it can occsionally itch. It chiefly occurs in children or teenagers. Dry skin seems to be contributory. Most of the lesions tend to disappear with time. Repigmentation can usually be accelerated with treatment generally consisting of moisturizing and proper cleansing. Healing occurs over weeks with treatment.

Halo Nevus Halo nevus is characterized by a mole with a surrounding white ring. The mole is usually normal looking with a sharp border and brown pigment. These lesions most commonly develop in teenagers. Treament is not indicated. Over time the central mole usually disappears. The white area will remain depigmented for an unpredictable time, but eventually repigmentation will take place. Very rarely these lesions can be associated with melanoma elsewhere on the body. A trip to the dermatologist is usually indicated. Depigmentation of the skin has several causes. Please give us a call to accurately diagnose your condition. For any questions about your skin or nails please contact Dr. Kelly Hood, 970 Dewing, Suite 301, Lafayette, 925-283-5500, or Dr. Shanny Baughman at Alamo Oaks Dermatology, 3189 Danville Blvd, suite 130, Alamo, 925-362-0992, Advertorial their medical oncologist, thoracic surgeons, and radiation oncologist. Treatment strategies for non-small cell lung cancer can include surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation or a combination of these methods. Treatment for small cell lung cancer typically involves chemotherapy or combined chemotherapy and radiation. There are a number of new and exciting drugs for lung cancer that can target cancer at a molecular level. Erlotinib is an oral drug that works effectively in patients with EGFR mutation, which can be found in up to 50% of Asian patients and about 10% Caucasian patients. Another example is Crizotinib, which is effective in patients with tumor express EML4-ALK rearrangement, which occurs in about 10,000 patients in the U.S. Bevacizumab and Cetuximab, which are monoclonal antibodies, can be used in conjunction with chemotherapy in newly diagnosed non-small cell lung cancer. Understanding lung cancer genomics and biology will enable development of medicines that are more effective and have fewer side effects. November is National Lung Cancer Awareness Month, and our cancer center has arranged to offer complimentary consultants for screening during the week of November 12-16. To learn more about this lung cancer awareness program, please call 925-826-1900. Dr. Chen is board certified in medical oncology and hematology and practices with Diablo Valley Oncology, located at the California Cancer and Research Institute in Pleasant Hill. She treats all forms of cancer and blood disorders Advertorial and has a special interest in lung and gynecologic cancer.

The Many Faces of Gynecologic Cancers The Many Faces of Gynecologic Cancers will be held November 29th from 6:30-8:30PM at the Lafayette Library and Learning Center. Join medical experts as they explore the unique issues of ovarian, cervical, uterine, vaginal, and vulvar cancers. The panel will offer insight into the latest information on early detection, family history and genetics, treatment options, and cancer specific nutrition. The event is sponsored by Diablo Valley Oncology, John Muir Health, Cypress Women’s Cancer Treatment Center, Cancer Support Community, and the American Cancer Society. Register by calling (925) 677-5041, x272.

Lafayette Today ~ November 2012 - Page 21

Your Personal Nutritionist

By Linda Michaelis, RD. MS. Enjoying Restaurants the Healthy Way

Enjoying restaurants can be part of a healthy weight loss plan. It is important to have a strategy to not fall off of the wagon. I often visit restaurant websites with my clients and help them select the best entree or appetizers for that day according to their tastes and what else they ate that day. Often I will call ahead to a restaurant and talk to the manager to find out the specials and soup of the day. Clients have told me as a result of our pre-planning they often do not even open the menu because they already know what they will order. The first goal is to be able to order at restaurants without feeling deprived. A critical tip is to not arrive too hungry to the restaurant. We all know the painful feeling of being hungry and then overeating to the point where we feel uncomfortably full. If you are not too hungry, you may want to order an appetizer and a salad or maybe two appetizers. Alternatively, you may order your normal number of courses and either split it with a friend or take half home. Ask for a doggie bag at the beginning of the meal so that you make sure you stick to your plan. Some great choices for appetizers are mussels or clams in wine sauce, oysters, crab cakes, shrimp cocktail, gourmet salad with a sprinkle of cheese and nuts and light vinaigrette, grilled prawns, chicken satay, ceviche, ahi tuna tartare, or even a soup like minestrone or vegetable that is not full of noodles or cream. Think about transforming an entree into an appetizer portion such as by having lamb chops minus the mashed potatoes. Have some sauteed greens and enjoy a slice of crusty, fresh baguette. Watch those delicious caesar salads where between the croutons, cheese, and dressing there is often too much fat. If you take the option of splitting an entrée, such as fettuccine alfredo, I suggest ordering double veggies, starting with a minestrone or tomato basil soup, and skipping the bread. The best entrées to order for dinner are grilled fish, with a double serving of veggies and no starch so bread can be enjoyed along with a cocktail. I would leave the more oily salmon, sea bass, swordfish, trout dishes for lunch and eat the less oily petrale sole, halibut, cod, tilapia, scallops, shrimp, and ahi tuna for dinner. You might think that ordering chicken is healthy, but that is often not true. Typically the chicken you find at upscale spots has been marinated in oils and is as rich as store bought rotisserie chicken. If you are a meat fan enjoy a petit filet, a beef kebab, or even veal marsala or scallopini which are great choices. They typically are served in smaller portions. There is always the option of scanning the menu and asking for an entrée such as a petit filet with a baked potato instead of mashed potatoes or even sauteed spinach instead of creamed spinach. You are eliminating an incredible amount of fat with making simple substitutions. In Japanese restaurants miso soup is great to start with. Try sunomono (cucumber salad) or seaweed salad to prevent you from eating more than a reasonable cup of rice. Your sushi rolls should not contain more than one cup of rice. You can tell the server to add more cucumbers instead of the rice. Also, try seafood nobe, chicken yakitori, or even chicken teriyaki as long as it is white meat only. For Chinese food your best options are snow white chicken (white meat only), shrimp, scallops, calamari, or even lean beef with veggies such as snow peas, broccoli, or string beans and up to a cup of brown rice. Order entrees with low fat content. Clients tell me they notice a difference. Try your kid’s chow mein or enjoy one pot sticker. You can also order a cup of hot and sour soup and then take home half of your entrée. It heats up nicely for lunch the next day. I always tell my clients to assess their hunger when walking into the restaurant, and make sure your head is attached to your stomach. It is easy to go with your eyes and nose without paying attention to your appetite. If you want to focus on dessert, just be social and order a simple salad as an entrée, and delight in having a yummy dessert. If you had a small appetite to begin with then you will walk out of the restaurant having a light feeling and sleep well that night. You should be able to continue enjoying one of life’s goodies – great restaurants – and still eat sensibly. My services are often covered by insurance. Please see my website for more information. Feel free to call me at (925) 855-0150 or e-mail me at and tell me about your nutritional concerns. Refer to my website for past articles, recipes and nutrition tips in my blog section. Advertorial pressure, and trying to make enough money to stay in the black, especially during this period of Ask Dr. Happy economic stagnation, is negatively impacting the well-being of many of us. It is not surprising By Bob Nozik, MD that all evaluations of happiness show that people in this age group are less happy than those Dear Dr. Happy, in any other age category. So, finding ways to reduce stress is vital, not just for happiness, but I’m generally a pretty up-beat guy for our health as well. With that in mind, it is amazing how much a few small changes like the but lately, I seem to have morphed into a ones I suggested for ‘What’s Wrong,’ can reduce stress and elevate happiness. The key is to morning grump. My wife, June, gets up recognize when your stress level is increasing and make changes to reduce it. early, 6AM, feeds the kids (boys, 6 and 7), Please send questions/comments for Dr. Happy to and makes my breakfast; and she does it all AM cheerfully too. I get up at 7 and am crabby already. I get dressed…resentfully…gulp Dumploads OnUs specializes in down the coffee, eggs, and toast that June prepared all the while doing providing the ultimy best not to scream at her and the kids before dashing out the door mate junk removal to work. Evenings are better but then, it starts all over again the next solution. We’ll haul morning. ~ What’s wrong with me? away just about anything - from old household junk to construcDear What’s Wrong, tion and yard waste. The only items we are unable to accept are You have developed some bad morning habits plus, maybe, hazardous some job stress, as well. I don’t know enough about you and your materials. We • Computers job so let’s stay with the morning habits. Here are some suggestions: make getting • Cables Get up an hour earlier, 6AM instead of 7AM, but before you get up, rid of your • TVs smile; yes, smile. And, not just a polite little grin, make it a big, fullunwanted junk • Monitors faced, toothy smile and hold it for a full 30 to 40 seconds. I think as easy as 925.934.3743 • 925.934.1515 • Servers 1-2-3; we load, • you’ll be amazed at how doing just this will improve your mood. • Phones we sweep, and Next, do 10-15 minutes of mindfulness meditation. You can do it 1271 Boulevard Way, Walnut Creek • Printers then we haul Monday-Friday, 8-5 • Saturday 9-1, Sunday, closed sitting on a floor-cushion or a chair, whichever is more comfortable. •Copiers away. It’s that Close your eyes, breath slowly and deeply, and simply observe your • Fax Machines • Power Supply Units • Discs and Tapes easy! thoughts without judging them. Finally, have a leisurely breakfast Plus we do it • Scanners • Printer Cartridges and Toners • And More... with your family. Enjoy them and make it a point to really taste the with a smile! food. Rising an hour earlier will give you plenty of time to do all this. And, I’ll bet it’ll help you break free of your morning funk.

Happiness Tip Nowadays, lots of people, especially those in their 30’s to 50’s, are experiencing a lot of stress in their lives. Child-rearing, intense job

Page 22 - November 2012 ~ Lafayette Today

Events for Lafayette Seniors

Our mission is to provide personalized care, help All classes are held at the Lafayette Senior maintain independence and enhance our Center (LSC) located at 500 Saint Mary’s client’s quality of life on a daily basis. Rd in Lafayette unless otherwise noted. • Free in-home assessments • Regular home visits Space is limited. Please call 925-284-5050 ensure the right care plan • Hourly care Heartfelt & to reserve a spot. Annual Membership fee: for you • Live-in care Supportive • Fully bonded and insured • Geriatric care mgmt. $10 per person. General Event fee: Members • Elder referral and placement $1; Non-Member $3. Special Concerts fee: At All Times... 3645 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Suite D Members $3; Non-Members $5. Ongoing Lafayette, CA 94549 Caregiver Support Group: Members: no (beside Trader Joe’s) 925-284-1213 charge; Non-members $1. Lamorinda Dance Social Every Wednesday • 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. Lafayette Senior Services Commission 4th Thursday of the month from 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 (SKIP 11/21, 12/19, 12/26) • 10AM - Noon • Outside the Alder Room at LSC 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. ‘Common Threads’ Stitching Group Every Wednesday (SKIP 11/21, 12/19, 12/26) • 2 – 3:30PM • Elderberry Room, LSC You will be amazed at the works of art Ben Pettersson, AKA Stitcher Extraordinaire, has created with needle, embroidery floss, and cross-stitch fabric. Whether you are a seasoned cross-stitcher or newbie beginner, join this ongoing, drop-in group for instruction, guidance, or simply a relaxing afternoon spent with fellow stitchers. Allow Ben to guide you regarding supplies and designs for a new cross-stitch project, or bring your own (needlepoint, knitting, crochet, etc. are welcome, too!) Come Play Dominoes! Wednesdays 1:30-3PM • Cedar Room, LSC Join us every Wednesday for a rousing game of dominoes, refreshments, and socializing. Come out and challenge your brain, meet friends – old and new, or just spend an enjoyable afternoon over the game table. Feel free to drop in any time. Come Play Mahjong! Every Tuesday 1PM–3:30PM • Sequoia Room, LSC Come join us on Tuesdays for a drop-in game of mahjong. Mahjong is a game of skill, strategy, and certain degree of chance. All levels welcome. Bring your card, a mahjong set and a snack to share (optional). RSVP not required. Words of Wisdom…From the Philosophical to the Lighthearted Discussion Group Tuesday, November 20 • 10:30AM –Noon • Cedar Room, LSC 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 resident Paul Fillinger’s stories and photographs will stimulate humorous discoveries regarding the benefits of becoming the ‘elders of our tribe.’ Hearing Screening • First Wednesday of the Month: 11/7, 12/5 • Cedar Room, LSC Audiologists from Hearing Science/Diablo Valley Ear, Nose, and Throat will screen your hearing. An appointment is required. Please call Lafayette Senior Services at 284-5050 to sign up for one of the following appointment times: 1:00, 1:20, 1:40, 2:00 Self-Discovery and Aging, Creative Writing Workshop with Judith Rathbone, Creative Writing and English Instructor 2nd and 4th Thursday monthly 11/8, 11/29, 12/13 • 10AM – noon • Cedar Room, LSC Write to explore issues around aging, emotion and perception–or get support to write on any topic! Workshop sessions include writing prompts, feedback and encouragement, and information about the world of writers, writing, and publishing. Take a seat around our table! Positive Living Forum (“Happiness Club”) Thursday, 11/8, 12/13 • 10:30AM – noon • Toyon Room, LSC Brighten your day with Dr. Bob Nozik, MD, Prof. Emeritus UCSF and author of Happy 4 Life: Here’s How to Do It. 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! Bi-Monthly Caregiver Support Group Carol Shenson, MA, Certified Geriatric Care Manager, ResCare HomeCare Mondays 11/19 • 1:30–2:30PM • Elderberry Room, LSC If you are a family member helping to care for an older adult, join our support group to find balance and joy as you manage your responsibilities. Drop-ins are welcome. Town Hall Theatre Sneak Peak: It’s a Wonderful Life Wednesday, November 14 • 10:30AM – noon • Town Hall Theatre 3535 School St., Lafayette Presented by Clive Worsley, Creative/Artistic Director. Meet and talk with the actors up-close and personally at this behind-the-scenes look at the upcoming production of Frank Capra’s timeless classic It’s a Wonderful Life. George Bailey, his life and finances in ruin, decides the world would be better off without him -- until he is paid an unexpected visit. Two-for-one tickets for the full production of the show will be offered to those in attendance. Light refreshments provided by the Chateaus Independent and Assisted Living. Please call Lafayette Senior Services to reserve your spot: 284-5050. Create A New Health Care Directive For Free! Thursday, November 15 • 10:30AM – noon • Cedar Room, LSC An Advanced Health Care Directive is critical to communicating your preferences for end-of-life care. How long has it been since you updated your directive? Are the addresses and phone numbers for your agents correct? Has it been updated to include changes in the law? Estate Attorney Stefanie West will take you through the Directive and will notarize - for free - any directives completed at the workshop. What’s All The Hype About Skype? Tuesday, November 27 • 10:30AM – noon • Elderberry Room, LSC Skype is for doing things together, whenever you’re apart. Skype’s free video chat makes it simple to share experiences face-to-face with the people that matter to you, wherever they are. Come to this class led by Valerie Riveiro of Mass Mutual Financial Group for a live Skype demonstration and learn how to install it and use it on your own computer to chat with family and friends. If you’d like help installing and using it on your own computer, please bring a laptop or iPad if you have one.

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Lafayette Today ~ November 2012 - Page 23

Wellness Improved by Gratitude, Humor, and Positive Thinking By Mary Bruns, Program Coordinator Lamorinda Senior Transportation, an Alliance of Transportation Providers We are entering the holiday season – a time of Thanksgiving and celebration. Halloween reminded us to look below the surface, to peek under the public mask we wear to see what’s next in our transformational process. What old thought patterns are we ready to let go of to embrace new beginnings in the coming year? As we approach Thanksgiving, we remember to practice the attitude of gratitude as appreciation helps us to lift our thoughts and our energy to a higher plane where we are able to attract more of what we want into our life. At the recent Lafayette Senior Symposium, Dr. Alan Brast, Ph.D. spoke on the topic of “Aging Gracefully with the Mind/Body Connection” and provided some tools that will help all of us stay healthier. In his work with trauma patients, he noted that even under the worst of conditions, many patients are able to bring humor to their situation. He pointed out that the way we think and the attitude we have toward life impacts our physical well-being. Some of us look at the glass and see it half full; some of us see it as half empty. In the case of people with serious illnesses, the upbeat group of patients was found to have a 69% higher survival rate than those who were negative about their condition. This powerful statistic reminds us to stay positive and proactive about every challenge. The mind is incredibly powerful and has a direct impact on the body. As an example, when people go to the doctor, their blood pressure often goes up. That’s why your blood pressure is checked more than once – giving you time to settle down and be less anxious. Dr. Brast told a story about a patient whose leg was amputated under hypnosis with no anesthetic, and the healing was faster – again the power of the mind. He went on to give us a few more stories and tips to help us stay healthier and happier: 1. Some people put off doing what is unpleasant. For example, a patient told the doctor they were never going to see someone again because of something they had overheard that person say. Dr. Brast suggested that the patient ask their friend what they meant and when they did, they learned that it was nothing like they thought, preserving a friendship. 2. Another person may worry all weekend when the doctor’s office calls to say that the doctor wants to see him. This anticipatory worry increases stress. It would be beneficial to practice putting the concern on the back burner until it can be






Lamorinda Spirit Van drivers and dispatchers.

addressed rather than allowing yourself to worry all weekend. Take control of what you allow in your mind and shut off the negative and fear-producing mind chatter. 3. A challenge we will all face is losing something we can’t recover – such as learning we can no longer drive. The doctor suggests we should be proactive and make alternative arrangements – accept our loss and move on. 4. Limit how much time you spend with negative people. 5. Develop a sense of humor – one shot of belly laughter is one of the best medicines, increasing positive hormones. 6. Exercise – people are not meant to sit all day. He suggests a minimum of 30 minutes a day – taking a brisk walk, for example. Otherwise our inner fluids become stagnant. 7. Think good thoughts. Remember what you are grateful for. Remember the good moments in life, and write them down. The doctor gives this assignment to people and finds that even negative people come to their next appointment with several pages of things they are grateful for, making it clear that whatever we put our attention on – positive or negative – gets bigger. 8. Practice guided imagery – turn on reflective music, put your feet up, take seven or eight deep breaths, and visualize yourself successfully getting through the challenge or accomplishing the goal. I would add, rev up positive emotions of love, peace, joy, gratitude, and successful accomplishment. Not only will you improve your mood, but you will improve your health and immune system. There are many studies of the positive benefits and life changes that have been made through this practice. (Reference: “Investment in Excellence” by Lou Tice) The Lamorinda Spirit Van Program and I are most grateful for your patronage, your donations, and our community of volunteer drivers and staff who take Lamorinda seniors to grocery shop, to medical appointments, and on errands. For more information, please call 925-283-3534. Happy Thanksgiving!






WILLS/TRUSTS/PROBATE/ESTATE PLANNING WILLS/TRUSTS/PROBATE/ESTATE PLANNING - Elizabeth Johnson, J.D.(Juris Doctorate), LL.M.(Master of Law in Taxation), is an attorney with over 20 years of experience. She provides legal services in the areas of Wills, Trusts, Estate Planning, Probate Administration, Advance Health Care Directives, Elder Care issues, and Guardianships. Her legal expertise and personal approach allow you to confidently plan for your future and the future of those dear to you. Please call 925-362-1010 or visit

HOUSING WANTED HOUSING WANTED IN TRADE FOR SERVICES - Lafayette native, female, elected official, 62 years old, seeks housing in trade for services such as: legal or paper work, writing or editing, personal training, or personal assistance. Call 925-283-2803 or email


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.

EXCELLENT, EXPERIENCED PET CARE SERVICE. Lock and leave, no worries. At your home. Daily visits, dog walking, grooming and vet appts kept. Start planning holiday dates early. References. Reasonable rates. Call Barbara Monroe at 925-998-9317.

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 24 - November 2012 ~ Lafayette Today

Serpents continued from page 15 great to be able to give back to others in the sport that I love and which has been a big part of our family as well. Seeing our athletes swim best times at meets, or learn a new stroke, and “high-five� a coach because “I did it!� makes it all worthwhile. And, it’s great to be involved in a program that the coach/volunteers actually look forward to each week. I think a lot of other community service activities for our high school youth might just feel like checking a box. Working with the Sea Serpent athletes provides so much more. I think our volunteers walk away with a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment.� Miramonte junior Jack Garrett has been a volunteer coach for two and a half years. His empathy for those with special needs led him to the program. He guides the athletes in stretches, helps them put on goggles, and teaches stroke technique and how to push off the wall. As a swimmer and water polo player himself, he is accustomed to taking instruction rather than giving, and he enjoys being on the other side for a change. “I really like helping the kids and interacting with them, and when I break down technique for them, I find that it actually helps my own swimming. I really like interacting with the athletes. It’s pretty fun and I’ve made a lot of friends. It’s a blast.� “The high school coaches are a real asset to the team,� says Alamo resident Linda Knowles, Sea Serpent volunteer coach Jack Garrett assists one of the learn-toswim Sea Serpent athletes. Photo by Deanna Wentzel. whose two grown sons Trevor and John have participated for years as athletes in the program. “I think that working with the special needs community has taught the young coaches so much! A few of the coaches have even gone on to study Special Ed in college because of their work with Sea Serpents.� Trevor Knowles, 23, a 2007 graduate of San Ramon Valley High School and now a cashier at Taco Bell, started swimming with Special Olympics when he was five years old. He joined the Sea Serpents several years ago mostly due to the excellent coaching staff. “I love the workouts and seeing the coaches,� says Trevor. “I also really like seeing my friends. Swimming with the Sea Serpents has shown me that I have become a really good swimmer over the years.� Trevor’s brother John, 26, just recently graduated from the Transition to Independent Living (TIL) program at Taft College and is now living on his own in Danville and continuing to frequent the Sunday afternoon workouts. “To me, the program shows that I can do anything if I work hard at it, regardless of my disabilities,� says John. “Swimming has been wonderful for my boys,� says Linda. “The Sea Serpents is a great program.� For more information on the Sea Serpent program, visit



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Lafayette Today, November 2012  

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

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