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April 2013 Students for the Advancement of Global Education

Serving the Lafayette Community Earth Day Celebration in Lafayette

When Budd Mackenzie first started Trust In Education in 2002, he wondered if a California community would support a rural village half a world away. Eleven years later, the answer appears to be a resounding “yes.” The grass-roots organization, which provides educational, economic and health care assistance to villages in Afghanistan, has continued to garner assistance through the years from a variety of local groups. One of MacKenzie’s key support groups is SAGE – Students for the Advancement of Global Education – an Acalanes High School club focused on educating women and children and promoting healthy living conditions in Afghanistan.

For the eighth year in a row, residents of Lafayette and surrounding communities are welcomed to attend our own Earth Day celebration, hosted by Sustainable Lafayette, Lafayette Chamber of Commerce, and Lafayette Library. Mark your calendar for Sunday, April 21st, and join the festival at the library, 3491 Mt. Diablo Blvd., from 11am to 3pm. There will be activities and displays for every member of the family. This year’s theme is WASTE – or more precisely, what we can do to reduce, or even eliminate, waste of all kinds. Did you know that the city’s goal is to reach a 75% diversion rate? Lafayette is a very green city, but we can do even more to cut down on the food, plastic, paper, and glass that we send to the landfill every year. At the No-Waste Zone, you can find interesting displays about how to reduce waste, hear Girl Scouts give presentations, and sign a commitment at the pledge wall to make one or more waste-reducing actions.

By Fran Miller

Featuring a “No Waste” Zone

See Earth Day continued on page 5

The Mt. Diablo Astronomical Society SAGE members.

SAGE originated three years ago as a “Three Cups of Tea” club - an homage to author Greg Mortenson’s best-selling book. When the book’s and author’s credibility was called to question, the students re-branded their group, changed their name, and hitched their wagon to MacKenzie’s incredibly successful efforts. “We were also inspired by Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner and especially A Thousand Splendid Suns because it focuses on the plight of women in Afghanistandepicting their lives realistically and revealing the oppression that they have endured for over 25 years,” says SAGE’s 16-year-old president, Briana Grether.

The Stars Belong to Everyone By Jim Scala

Drive up Mt. Diablo on April 20th to the lower summit parking lot to arrive by about 6:30PM for an inspiring evening with the stars. Thanks to the Mt. Diablo Astronomical Society (MDAS), you’ll see the universe as

Jupiter showing small storms that might be visible on April 20th.

Making wapi’s (a device used to determine when water has reached 150o.

SAGE raised more than $3,000 last year through car washes, calendar sales, bake sales, speaking engagements, and other events. They donate all the funds they raise and

See SAGE continued on page 20

Local Postal Customer

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


never before, and the night sky will take on new meaning. Many men and women will be standing by their telescopes and at the club’s observatory to show you celestial objects. You’ll see craters of the Moon, the rings of Saturn, Jupiter’s many colored markings along with its moons, and possibly a comet or Volume VII - Number 4 galactic nebulae. The views will capture 3000F Danville Blvd #117 your imagination, and the night sky will Alamo, CA 94507 Telephone (925) 405-6397 never be the same again. Every visitor Fax (925) 406-0547 says, “Wow!” at least once during a viewing. At twilight, before observing starts, you’ll be treated to a short talk Alisa Corstorphine ~ Publisher which this month asks, “Are we alone?” The opinions expressed herein belong to the writers, and do not necessarily reflect that of LaTo make the point, some scopes will be fayette Today. Lafayette Today is not responsible set on another solar system – a sun with for the content of any of the advertising herein,

See MDAS continued on page 5

nor does publication imply endorsement.

Page 2 - April 2013 ~ Lafayette Today


you, and blast all of those nasty cobwebs from the All outdoor living eaves of your home at areas power washed no additional charge.

starting at $249


A Toast to Tutoring, a Benefit for the Buena Vista Tutorial Program

Buena Vista Auxiliary of Assistance League® of Diablo Valley is a nonprofit, volunteer organization that operates the Buena Vista Tutorial Program, an early-intervention literacy program for elementary age schoolchildren in Contra Costa County. To date, the tutorial program has helped over 3,600 children improve their reading skills in a private, differentiated learning environment. Buena Vista Auxiliary is thrilled to be hosting this year’s “A Toast to Tutoring” at Round Hill Country Club (located at 3169 Round Hill Road, Alamo) and to be celebrating 25 years of service in our local community. The event will be held Friday, April 12th from 6pm-10pm and will feature wine and beer tasting, seated dinner, and silent and live auctions. For more information, please visit In 1988, a small group of women from Contra Costa County wanted to make a difference — Buena Vista Auxiliary was born. For the first six years, Buena Vista Auxiliary aided Assistance League® of Diablo Valley in their many volunteer efforts. With this experience, they were inspired to start their own program focusing on children's literacy. In 1993, the Buena Vista Tutorial Program was launched at Meadow Homes Elementary School in Concord. Twelve children participated that first year. Since then, over 3,600 children in Contra Costa County have been served. Currently 12 elementary schools in the Mount Diablo Unified and Walnut Creek School Districts participate in our program.

11th Annual “Taste of Lafayette” – Tuesday, May 21st

The Lafayette Chamber of Commerce and the Lafayette Community Foundation are once again teaming up for a great night out on the town at the “Taste of Lafayette,” a tour of Lafayette’s finest eateries that lets you sample the signature cuisine of each restaurant. The event begins in Lafayette Plaza at 5:30pm where you will check in, listen to live music, enjoy a glass of wine, nosh on appetizers, and get a chance to join in on a spectacular raffle that will DECKS • DRIVEWAYS • FENCES • FLAGSTONE raise money for the projects that the Lafayette Community Foundation will fund. Next, you stroll down Lafayette’s PATIOS • STUCCO • BRICKWORK • WALKWAYS Restaurant Row on Mt Diablo Blvd. or board the shuttle bus that will take you up and down the boulevard. Twenty-two HOUSING EXTERIORS • OUTDOOR FURNITURE local restaurants and catering companies will be participating. At each stop comes another “taste.” Finally, participants 9 2 5 - 9 5 3 - 3 5 3 7 will gather back in the park to enjoy coffee and dessert. Adding to the fun of this year’s event will include the BEST of Orinda and Moraga restaurants joining us in the Plaza for appetizers and dessert. This is your chance to try as many restaurants as you can squeeze into two College is Real Fundraiser & Dinner Dance th nd hours. If you would like to get a glimpse of a past “Taste” event, visit www. Help Richmond High School students “Beat the Odds” on April 27 at the 2 annual College is Real Fundraiser and Dinner Dance at Round Hill Country Club. and also listen for our Restaurant Row The community event will start at 6PM, and participants are encouraged to dress commercials on 92.1 KKDV. Proceeds from the event benefit the Lafayette Community Foundation in Kentucky Derby Style. That means wearing big, fun hats and spring sun dresses and the services and programs of the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce. for the women and brightly colored shirts/suits for the guys. Of course, all Derby attire is completely optional, but, we will have a judge for some of the best costumes! The Community Foundation serves a vital community resource, investing College is real helps students apply and get into college. It has grown from 16 in programs and projects which promote and enhance the civic, cultural, students in 2005 to over 100 students in 2012-13. In addition to the 100 students educational and environmental health of Lafayette. The Foundation provides on-campus that CIR serves, 77 students have graduated from the program, and 70 donors the opportunity to build a legacy by investing in Lafayette through have attended college. Last year over $60,000 was raised for the College is Real identification and support of community needs and organizations. For tickets or information stop by the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce, Program and there are over 20 new mentors working with Richmond students. Please help these deserving students beat the odds, and make their dreams located at 100 Lafayette Circle, Suite 103, visit, of college come true! Purchase event tickets and read more about the College is or call 925-284-7404. For more information about the Lafayette Community Foundation, Real program at

Family Fun Run

The J.F. Kapnek Trust of Zimbabwe operates the largest pediatric HIV/ AIDS transmission prevention program in Zimbabwe, Africa, serving approximately 900 birthing centers and 200,000 pregnant women. Through testing, training, counseling, education, and delivery of medications, the program helps in preventing more than 15,000 new cases of pediatric HIV/ AIDS each year. To support J.F. Kapnek Trust’s work in Zimbabwe, a fundraising 5K/1K Family Fun Run will be held Sunday, April 21st at 9AM at Miramonte High School in Orinda. Don’t miss out on the fun! Get your family and friends together, and run, walk,, dance, and play. There will be an African band, face painting, crafts and goodie bags for kids, prizes, brunch, and t-shirts! Go to and enter the keyword, “KAPNEK” to register. To find out more about the Family Fun Run or to learn more about J.F. Kapnek Trust, visit

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.

What’s in Our Hat?

Las Trampas presents its annual fundraiser, “What’s in Our Hat?” on Sunday, April 28th from 3pm to 6:30pm at the Lafayette Park Hotel located at 3287 Mount Diablo Blvd. in Lafayette. You are cordially invited to The America’s Cup – Catch the Wind! event sponsored by 92.1 KKDV with Don Potter. Tickets are $100 per person and include a chance to win $10,000! The event features Bay Area cuisine, premium wines, silent auction, raffle, and a live musical performance by Generations in Jazz. The mission of Las Trampas is to support adults with developmental disabilities to discover their capabilities and lead fuller lives in their homes, at work, and in the community. For more information, please call (925) 310-2362 or visit

DramaDons Present The Arabian Nights

The Acalanes High School DramaDons theater group presents The Arabian Nights,on May 1st-4th at the Acalanes Performance Arts Little Theater located at 1200 Pleasant Hill Road in Lafayette. A sultan’s bride in Bagdad hopes to save her life by entertaining her new husband with fascinating fables of adventure and honor. The show is a favorite for all ages, and it is expertly acted by the Acalanes drama students. Showtime is 7:30pm and doors open at 7pm. General admission tickets are $10 and students are $7. Tickets may be purchased online at www. or at the door. All proceeds benefit the Acalanes Performing Arts Boosters - Drama Discipline.

Lafayette Today ~ April 2013 - Page 3

Boulevard View

By Alisa Corstorphine, Editor

I recently served as a judge of an essay contest. Thirteen individuals took the time to create and submit an entry. Of those thirteen, one, perhaps two, followed all of the submission guidelines. If I had my way, those would have been the only entries which were allowed to proceed. Allowing entries that don’t follow the instructions sends people the message that rules and directions don’t matter. The guidelines gave directions as to how the entries needed to be formatted and presented - double spaced, 12pt font, and assembled in a three-ring binder. The rules clearly stated that only one entry per person was allowed, however, three of the thirteen submitted two or more entries. I remember in a high school career class taking a test that looked something like this:


1 1 th


Taste of Lafayette


This is a timed test--you have 3 minutes only! 1. Read everything carefully before doing anything. 2. Put your name in the upper right-hand corner of this paper. 3. Circle the word NAME in sentence two. 4. Draw five small squares in the upper left-hand corner. 5. Put an “X” in each square. 6. Put a circle around each square. 7. Sign your name under the title of this paper. 8. After the title write, “Yes, yes, yes.” 9. Put a circle completely around the sentence number seven. 10. Put an “X” in the lower left-hand corner of this paper. 11. Draw a triangle around the “X” you just put down. 12. On the back of this paper, multiply 703 by 66. 13. Draw a rectangle around the word “corner” in sentence six. 14. On the reverse side of this paper, add 8950 and 9805. 15. Put a circle around your answer, and put a square around the circle. 16. Punch three small holes in the top of this paper with your pencil point. 17. Underline all even numbers on the left side of this paper. 18. Now that you have finished reading everything carefully, do only sentences one and two. Unfortunately very few people passed the test. Most people rushed through items 2-17, completely ignoring item number 1, until they got to the last question and said, “Oops!” Following directions is a fundamental skill. While it may seem logical, and even straightforward, to follow directions - be they navigational directions, productusage directions, procedural or instructional directions, or cooking directions - some people, when tackling a task, just wing it and hope for the best. However, failure to follow directions can be a waste of time, a waste of resources, or even dangerous. Most directions have been developed so that you will know what to do, when to do it, and how to do it right. Baking is a great example to demonstrate the effect of not following directions. If you just lump all the ingredients together instead of following proper temperature, order, or mixing procedures, most likely your creation will flop. If you don’t follow directions when navigating, you may never arrive at your intended destination. In school, following directions is often a component in achieving a good grade. And most jobs have procedures, manuals, and guidelines that have been developed over years of trial and error to satisfy tasks or requirements that the employee was hired for. In professions such as medicine, following directions could be a matter of life or death. During Spring Break my daughter and I took a tour of the Guide Dogs for the Blind facility in San Rafael. The visit inspired my daughter to contemplate raising a guide-dog puppy. On the way home she started reading their 250+ page manual, full of directions on puppy handling and raising. After 70 years of raising guide dogs, they’ve amassed a wealth of knowledge and wrote a comprehensive manual for newcomers to follow which ensures the best chance of success for the puppy, the puppy raiser, the program, and the eventual recipient of a service dog. This wonderful organization offers yet one more example of the importance of following instructions! (If you are looking for a fun, free field trip, check out their program. Learn more at In this fast-paced world of instant access to information, it’s tempting to assume we know what to do, and don’t need instructions. Rushing through life can lead to adopting a casual attitude toward taking guidance. Taking the time to respect the wisdom of those who’ve come before us is a not only a good idea, but it can save your grade in school, your job or career, or even your life. Slow down, read the instructions, and breathe easier. • (925) 284-7404 Tuesday, May 21, 2013 5:30pm to 9:00pm

Plaza Park in Downtown Lafayette A benefit for the Lafayette Community Foundation and the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce

Experience the BEST OF LAFAYETTE Stroll down RESTAURANT ROW while sampling Lafayette’s culinary fare Spectacular Raffle to benefit the Lafayette Community Foundation Wine, Appetizers, Desserts and Music • Free Shuttle Service Tickets $45 for THE TASTE TOUR • Raffle tickets are $25 each or 5 for $100 Download your registration form or purchase tickets online at

The Alamo Women’s Club presents

Together We Give ~ Earth Day Date/Time: Where: How: Why:

Sunday, April 21, 1- 4:00pm 1401 Danville Blvd., Alamo Drive through and drop off! Community Donation Day Benefiting Local Charities ~Be an Angel of Hope~

How can you help?

On April 21st, clean out your closets, recycle, donate and help others through Together We Give’s Community Donation Day. Please note, since this is an item-specific drive, only items (not impacted by smoking) below will be accepted.  New/unused yarn (any type), knitting looms for hats/scarves, hat/scarf patterns for Knit For The Kids  Bikes/protective gear (helmets/pads), storage bins, DVDs for Young Adults, educational CDs/DVDs, gardening kits & tools, suitcases, large duffle bags and backpacks, sports equipment, arts & crafts supplies, radios with CD player, board games – ages 10-18, bath/face/hand towels, hair care products, digital cameras, clock radios, MP3 Music Players, non-perishable foods, gift cards for Youth Homes – Foster Care  Vintage items, linens, jewelry, fashion accessories, housewares for Hospice of East Bay  Jewelry, quality fashion accessories, perfume, holiday collectables, children’s books, small and unique home and garden items, toys and games, new twin size bedding (blankets, sheets, bedspreads, pillow covers, mattress covers), new towels, BART tickets for STAND! For Families Free of Violence  Useable “sunshine gifts” – a token of concern for Seniors – packs of cards, hand creams, etc., clean/used sleeping bags, children books, interview and work clothes for Men/Women and professional accessories (shoes, scarves, handbags, jewelry) for Wardrobe for Opportunity via VESTIA – Volunteer Emergency Services Team in Action  Eyeglasses and hearing aids for Lion’s Club  Diapers, baby clothes, baby toys, gently used strollers and car seats for Brighter Beginnings  School supplies, binders, nursery rhyme books, puzzles, towels for swim day, heavy push toys such as wagons, board games, sidewalk chalk, sand toys, buckets and shovels, Hot Wheel cars, jump ropes, boys dress up clothes, men’s ties for We Care Services for Children (ages 2-5)  Shoes, toiletries for Pledge To Humanity (donated to local Communities)  Canned and boxed food for the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano  Books, small pieces of furniture, Ewaste recycling - Computers, monitors, printers, laptops, TVs, iPods, stereos for CARH, Inc. (Community assistance for the disabled)  Gently worn coats, hats, mittens for One Warm Coat  New or gently worn dresses for middle-school girls (6th to 8th grade) for Dress It Up For Girls  Musical instruments for Local Schools  Blankets/Quilts for Contra Costa County Sheriff - Valley Station  Volunteer participation - puppy raising, assistance with special events and donations for Canine Companions for Independence For additional information, contact Pamela Singh at or go to for the most current information. Donation receipts will be provided – all donations are tax deductible per government guidelines.

Page 4 - April 2013 ~ Lafayette Today

Kitchen Tour

California’s #1 Classic Car Dealer

Lafayette Juniors will hold their14th Kitchen Tour on Saturday, May 18th, from 10am to 3pm. Tour six Lafayette kitchens in styles from rustic farmhouse to Mediterranean. The tour benefits New Day for Children, CoachArt, Contra Costa Interfaith Housing, the Lafayette Library and Learning Center, and We Care. Tickets are $40 ($30 tax deductible) with a box lunch available for $12. Purchase tickets online at www. or from Douglah Designs and Premier Kitchens in Lafayette.

Showrooms in Pleasanton, Benicia, and Fairfield.

When you attend a City Council Meeting, you get three minutes to “speak your mind.” When you join us for Coffee With the Mayor, you get an up front and personal discussion with Lafayette’s mayor Mike Anderson. We’ll throw in coffee and snacks, and we won’t cut you off at three minutes! The coffee session is open to the public. The next meeting is on Friday, April 26th at the Lafayette Chamber Office, located at 100 Lafayette Circle, #103 beginning at 8am.

Purveyors of classic, exotic, and high-performance cars for more than 30 years. Over 200 vehicles in inventory! | 800.600.2262 Emergency Preparedness Training

Emergency Preparedness for Individuals and Families

Don’t put it preparation for an emergency off any longer. This quick and easy class on Thursday, May 2nd, from 7-9PM will help you prepare yourself and your family for the next emergency whether you are at home, work, or out and about. Emphasis will be on earthquake preparation, but the information applies to other emergencies as well.

Neighborhood Captains’ Training

Join other Lafayette residents on Thursday, May 9th, from 7-8:30PM for training to become a neighborhood captain in the Lafayette Emergency Action Response Network (LEARN). This session is designed to help you organize your block or neighborhood in becoming self-sufficient for the first 72 hours following a major disaster. Attendance at a basic preparedness class (Emergency Preparedness, CERT, or Red Cross class) is recommended, but not required, prior to attending this class. Both classes will be held at the Lafayette Community Center, located at 500 St. Mary’s Rd. in the Elderberry Room (back parking lot). Classes are taught by the Emergency Preparedness Commission and are FREE. Please bring pencil and paper to these classes. Materials will be provided. Register for classes by calling the Lafayette Community Center at 925284-2232. The Lafayette Emergency Preparedness Commission can arrange classes specifically for Lafayette homeowner, church, or service groups, possibly closer to home. For more information, call the Commission at 925299-3220 or email

Lafayette Nursery School’s Science Day of Discovery!

On Saturday, May 4th from 10am-1pm, make a volcano explode, send a rocket into space, or explore the gooey texture of flubber. If that’s not enough, become an archeologist for the day and dig for dinosaur bones or create giant bubbles. These are just a few of the activities at the 37th annual Lafayette Nursery School Science Day of Discovery. The school is located at 979 First Street in Lafayette. This hands-on science fair features exhibits and experiments designed for children preschool age through third grade. It’s a great experience for the whole family! The cost is $4 per child. Proceeds are donated to math and science programs at needy local schools. For more information, call Lafayette Nursery School at 925-284-2448, or visit

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

Coffee with the Mayor

Lafayette Hiking Group

Thursday, April 18-San Francisco Presidio; Water, Art & History

Come enjoy a morning hike in the heart of the nation’s largest urban national park, the Presidio. Walking with Presidio Trust staff, we’ll get a behind-thescenes tour of an ambitious springs-to-bay watershed restoration project that is currently underway, walk along some of the park’s oldest and newest trails, and enjoy stops at art installations from acclaimed British artist Andy Goldsworthy. The hike is moderate with some hills and approximately five miles long. Leaders are Alison Hill and Presidio Trust staff. Meet outside the main entrance to Lafayette BART at 8:30am. Bring BART ticket or money, and lunch or lunch money. Wear good walking shoes and layered clothing. We will take the free Presidio shuttle to and from Embarcadero BART. Please RSVP to if you plan to come.

Saturday, April 27 - Briones Park in the Spring

Enjoy views of the Benicia and Carquinez Straits as you hike the Old Briones Road to the Briones Crest Trail and beyond. There are some shaded areas, and most of the trails are on fire roads. Walking sticks are useful. The hike is approximately four miles with some hills. The leader is Chester Jung. Meet in the parking lot out from Lafayette BART’s main entrance at 8:30am. We form carpools to the trailhead. Bring lunch or snacks, water, layered clothing, good walking shoes, sun protection, and money to contribute toward gas and parking.

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.

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

Patricia Wong is our winner! Luther was hiding on page 5 last month.

MDAS continued from front page

Lafayette Today ~ April 2013 - Page 5

Portable CIO Computer Service

planets – to add perspective. You’ll leave around 11PM with new concepts to discuss on the escorted drive down the mountain. You’ll want to return again in May. MDAS got started when the United States planned the Explorer satellites in the 1950s and the agency, that’s now NASA, asked amateur astronomers to help Serving Bay Area businesses and residents since 2002 out. They asked amateurs to set up specialized small telescopes – moon-watch How Can We Help You? scopes – to spot and accurately time the satellites passage by the stars. These amateurs built and set up the scopes in a precisely laid out pattern so that their timings could be used by NASA to determine the satellite’s orbit. Armed with the amateur’s data, professional astronomers turned the large Baker-Nunn tracking telescopes to follow and photograph the satellite. A small group of amateur astronomers and telescope makers from Contra Costa County formed the Mt. Diablo Astronomical society in 1957. They followed NASA’s request and stepped up to the country’s need. An astronomer described the MDAS’s timings simply: “They were so reliable we could count on them to come through every time.” Compliments don’t get better than that. In those early days, the group met in members’ homes, discussed observing and telescope making, sometimes invited a guest and even had some astronomers lecture to the group. Slowly the membership grew and now boasts about 200 members. The group meets in the Lindsay Wildlife center on the fourth Tuesday of the month (third Tuesday in November and December), doors open at 6:45PM and the meeting is called to order at 7:15PM. In addition to friendly fellowship, there are two PC / Mac/ Laptops/ Desktops/ Tablets/ Smartphones/ iPads|Repairs excellent illustrated talks. The first 15 minute talk, entitled What’s Up?, follows an Upgrades| Maintenance|Office Moves and Networking | Data Recovery over thirty-year tradition. It’s given by a member on a subject of current interest, Virus/Spyware/Adware Removal|Back-up Solutions|Internet/ Cloud Computing and after questions there’s a short refreshment break, and displays are examined Email Solutions|Remote Phone Support |Free Recycling by everyone. By 8PM, a professional astronomer speaks in layperson’s terms on a topic in modern astronomy. MDAS has many important modern astronomers speak, and in the past five years, at least two Nobel Prize winners have addressed the group. The meeting is usually over by 9:30PM. Astronomy is called the gateway science because many scientists, engineers, and medical doctor’s scientific interest and curiosity was sparked by an astronomical topic. That scientific interest might have started by some reading or a picture, but Join Portable CIO, Inc. on Facebook! it was usually nurtured along by looking through someone’s telescope. Ask any member what the club’s main mission is, and the answer will be short and clear: “Outreach is our main objective.” They might add, “We like to show everyone what’s out there.” That mission is verified by having their public viewings on Mt. Diablo, by sharing with schools as requested by a teacher, or helping to bring an interest in astronomy to other organizations for its members. Many young and old Bay Area people had their interest in science helped along by viewing the sky through MDAS telescopes and often become members. MDAS members are a diversified group which holds activities that interest most people who like astronomy. One very active special interest group (SIG) combines astronomy and photography in the Imaging Group. The Imaging SIG meets monthly to discuss and show – hands on – astronomical imaging equipment and techniques. They also project their latest images which are best described by one word – spectacular! Sometimes the group meets at a member’s house to view something special. Other MDAS members enjoy telescope making. People in this SIG often start with a glass disk and work to create a telescope through the Chabot Observatory telescope workshop. Many telescopes used on Mt. Diablo and other places began as a vision in someone’s mind’s eye that was nurtured by other telescope makers to become an excellent optical instrument. Everyone in MDAS – young and old – enjoys astronomy. They learn and are inspired by the excellent monthly lectures, viewing sessions, and observing times. However, nothing can excite anyone more than watching a young child, of any age – some are in their 80’s – who, while looking through the eyepiece of a telescope, loudly exclaims, “Wow!” Directions to the April 20th event are easy: On the MDAS website click on Public Program, then click on Jack Borde, a founder of MDAS, at the club’s telescope on Mt. Diablo. Directions to Mt. Diablo. You can insert your address and obtain personalized directions to the park and to the viewing site. Plan to enter the park before sunset and allow 30 minutes for the drive to the lower summit lot. Some people like to arrive by about 5:30PM, bring a sandwich, enjoy the sunset, and watch astronomers set-up telescopes. It’s an evening you’ll enjoy and talk about for a long time. Further MDAS information can be found at

Great People. Great Service.


Earth Day continued from front page

For kids there will be a bounce house, face-painting (from 11am –noon), earthfriendly art projects, and interactive activities in the Art and Discovery Center, presented by Lindsay Wildlife Museum and the Lawrence Hall of Science. For cyclists there will be a chance to have your tires, seats, and helmets adjusted by Sharp Bicycle, from 10am to 11am at Stanley Middle School, prior to a Self-Propelled/Bike Parade that departs at 11am. Also at Stanley an e-waste collection will be held. FRG Waste Resources will certifiably wipe the data from these devices, disassemble them by hand, and repurpose or destroy them and recycle the parts. For strolling booth-gazing attendees of all ages, a selection of non-profits and vendors will offer displays, information, and products to help you green your own lifestyle. Included will be Solar Universe, H2O at Home, Blodgett

Carpet, Bay Whole House Fan Co, Inspire Wellness Center, Green Alley, Urban Village Farmers’ Market, Lafayette Creeks, The Urban Farmers, Lafayette Open Space, Muir Heritage and Land Trust, John Kiefer, Chamber Green Committee, Lafayette Community Foundation, Master Gardeners of Contra Costa, Buttercup Garden, Bees, and the Lafayette Community Garden. At an authors’ booth, you can find books about nature, animals, backpacking, conservation, and how to live a plastic-free life. For everyone there will be vendors offering tasty lunches for purchase, live music by various local performers, a special screening of the movie Garbage Revolution, and the announcement of the City of Lafayette Green Award winners for 2012. For a schedule of events and more information, please visit www.

Page 6 - April 2013 ~ Lafayette Today

The Bookworm By Joan Stevenson

When you are a visitor to my home, you are greeted at the front door by a Terracotta Warrior. Well, it’s not a real one, but a smaller Chinese knockoff. My husband and I saw the “real” ones in Xi’an on a trip to China. It was awesome. We are delighted to learn that the Asian Art Museum will host an exhibit of some of the Terracotta Warriors until May 27th . Our own library WOW (Wonders of the World) program will feature a presentation by one of the show’s docents on April 9th at 2PM. If you decide you want to see the Warriors up close and personal, your library has just the resource you need. It is called Discover and Go. Here is how it works. Click on and in the column on the left select Discover and Go, provide your name and library card number, and voila! You can print a pass or passes for the family. While you are on the site, look at all the participating museums. Last year Lafayette Library and Learning Center provided 2,200 passes to library members. The WOW program continues on May 7th at 2PM with a docent presentation from the Crocker Art Museum, the first art museum in the Western United States. Located in Sacramento, the Crocker Art Museum collects, preserves, exhibits, and interprets outstanding works of art that are the product of human ingenuity and creativity, like the current exhibit of Origami. In recognition that school libraries cannot provide the level of resources that Lafayette Library and Learning Center can, our librarian Vickie Sciacca and the staff have been adding to the book collection with an eye toward those areas that tie to the school curriculum, such as non-fiction science, history, geology, and biography. There are funds available from the generous opening day grant from the Friends of LLLC. If you have ever dropped into the library after 3PM, you are aware how important the library is to our children. Do you ever wonder when we will experience another Big Shake? Well, scientists estimate that there is more than a 60% chance of a damaging

9th...Tuesday 11:00–12:00pm


9th...Tuesday 2:00–3:00pm


9th...Tuesday 7:00–8:30pm


10th...Wednesday 4:00–6:00pm


10th...Wednesday 6:30–7:30pm


12th...Friday 6:00–8:00pm


13th...Saturday 7:30–9:00pm


The Oakland Zoomobile..................................................Free An Oakland Zoo animal ambassador will bring awe-inspiring small animals and will discuss animal care and conservation. Ages pre-K - 1st. Friends of the LLLC present...........................................Free An Asian Art Museum Docent- A docent will share highlights of their latest exhibit, China's Terra Cotta Warriors: The First Emperor's Legacy. no reservations necessary Hiking The Camino de Santiago in Spain.......................Free Intrepid travelers Susan and Ralph Alcorn will give a digital presentation of their five-week trek along Spain’s most traveled route. no reservations necessary Henna Tattoo Workshop....................................................Free A Bay Area Mehndi Artist will be at the library to conduct a henna tattoo workshop. Learn the ancient art & get your own unique henna tattoo! Permission slips & registration at the info desk. John F. Kennedy University presents...............................Free Entrepreneurs and the Future - Dr. Raul Deju, Professor and author of A Planet in Conflict, will discuss entrepreneurs as the potential change agents that shape our future. John Muir Health presents...............................................Free Esophageal Cancer Awareness Seminar - Special guest and esophageal cancer survivor, the Honorable Ellen Tauscher, and specialists break down the disease. Gold Coast Chamber Players...........$35 gen, $30 sr, $10 stdt American Frontiers - Catch the American Spirit with Aaron Copland's evocative Appalachian Spring and Alan Louis Smith's Vignettes: Covered Wagon Women and more! earthquake striking where we live in the next 30 years. At least eight faults in the Bay Area are capable of producing earthquakes of magnitude 6.7 or larger! So, what’s the likelihood of the Big One on our Hayward fault? Are you prepared for it? On April 16th at 7PM astronomer and Saint Mary’s College Astrophysics Professor (and amateur seismologist) Dr. Ron Olowin is coming to Science Café to talk about the latest earthquake research retrieved from nearby seismic boreholes. He will discuss seven vital steps to earthquake safety. The cost is $5 per person. To reserve, call 925-283-6513 x103 or email You may remember that last year the Friends purchased 50 anthologies of poetry by residents of Juvenile Hall. Their powerful observations touched us. At Sweet Thursday on April 18th at 7:30PM we will welcome Lucille Lang Day. Of her stay at Juvenile Hall so many years ago, she wrote: The year I was thirteen I ran away from home and landed there. Back then my cell had a window. I could watch grass sway on a hillside, hear jays and warblers call. More pleasing than a work of art to me: a glimpse of sky, a hummingbird, a bee. She is now a grandmother, and a writer of poems, short stories, and creative nonfiction that have appeared widely in magazines and anthologies and now a memoir, Married at Fourteen. Most recently she was a staff scientist at Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute. You will not want to miss our evening with this amazing woman. News from the Friends Corner Book Shop: There will be a two day sale event the third weekend in April to coordinate with Lafayette’s Earth Day celebration. The shop will be open Saturday, April 20th and Sunday, April 21st from 9AM - 1PM. Recycling books, what could be kinder to do for the earth? For more Book Shop information, visit www. On a personal note, I want to thank Kathy Merchant, retiring Executive Director of Lafayette Library and Learning Center, for her dedication, vision, commitment and, most of all, her support and friendship. For such a little lady she leaves very big shoes to fill and a wonderful library as her legacy as well.


Science Cafe: What’s Shakin’?............................................$5 The Latest Earthquake Research - Seismic boreholes, earthquake safety and the likelihood of the next big one. Dr. Ron Olowin will share the latest data.


Berkeley Repertory Theater Docent Talk.......................Free Pericles, Prince of Tyre - A docent will share the action, adventure, emotion and awe as they tell the back-story of this Obie Award-winning take on Shakespeare.

18th...Thursday 7:30–9:00pm


Friends of the LLLC Sweet Thursday present..............Free Lucille Lang Day - The author of Married at Fourteen: A True Story joins us to share her tale. Lucille has also written children's books & eight poetry collections. no reservations necessary

19th..Friday 1:30–2:30pm


Lafayette Senior Services.......................$3 mbrs, $5 nonmbrs Spring has Sprung ~ Afternoon Jazz Piano - Hear songs from the Great American Songbook performed by Contra Costa Performing Arts Society. Light refreshments. Reserve: 284-5050

16th...Tuesday 7:00–8:00pm 17th...Wednesday 7:00–8:00pm

21st...Sunday 11:00–3:00pm

Library grounds

Lafayette’s 8th Annual Earth Day Celebration...............Free Join Sustainable Lafayette and participate in family-friendly activities, watch a film, jump in a bounce house, eat organic food, browse environmentally friendly vendor booths, & more!

23rd...Tuesday 6:30–7:30pm


The Commonwealth Club..$12 mbrs, $22 nonmbrs, $7 stdts Little Miss Sunshine Directors Valerie Faris & Jon Dayton The Walnut Creek natives provide an inside look at their future projects, their creative process & more.

24th...Wednesday 6:30–8:00pm


Alta Bates Summit Medical Center presents:..................Free No Pain, No Gain? Does pain come between you & the activities that you love? An Alta Bates sports medicine specialist discusses options for managing joint pain. To reserve call 510-869-6737

25th...Thursday 4:00–5:00pm


Young Adult Author Talk - Yvonne Prinz!........................Free The author of the Double Dare Clare series and co-founder of Amoeba Records joins us to discuss her latest books & the record biz. no reservations necessary

Do You Remember the Huddle Inn?

By Ruth Bailey for the Lafayette Historical Society

Lafayette Today ~ April 2013 - Page 7

On a recent Tuesday afternoon, several Lafayette Historical Society volunteers were looking at a collection of aerial photos of western Mount Diablo Blvd. taken in the mid-1950s. Volunteer Sherril Barber pointed to a spot near the old Cape Cod House and said, “That’s the Huddle Inn, where they served a flaming pizza!” Everyone got interested in that culinary curiosity and began searching the bound volumes of the Lafayette Sun for information. The search was rewarded with several Huddle Inn ads. On September 21 and 22, 1956, there was an announcement of a “Grand Opening for the Huddle Inn, one-half block east of Cape Cod House next to Craig Oil Station, home of the Flaming Pizza.” That advertisement went on to describe its offerings, with a little history lesson along with the menu offering: “You will want to try these outstanding pizzas from our extensive menu. Pizza Al Tonno Marie Antoinette – Named for Marie Antoinette, queen of France, wife of Louis XVI, ninth child of Marie Theresa and the Emperor Francis I of Austria. Led to the guillotine on October 16, 1793, it has often been said, when told the French people had no bread: “Let ‘em eat cake!’ and that this caused the French people to hate her. Definite evidence now shows that she was not hated by any others than the leaders of the French Revolution, and that her comment actually pleased the French people. Properly translated, the statement seems clearly to have been: ‘They have no bread? Then let ‘em eat Pizza!’ Pizza Alla Caruso – Named for Enrico Caruso, the most famous Italian tenor of all time. Superstitious to the extreme and subject to violent bouts with stage-fright, Caruso is said to have had this type of pizza especially prepared for him to settle his nerves and his stomach just prior to going on stage at each of his performances. For this reason, it is often called ‘pizza Aida,’ ‘pizza Carmen,’ or ‘pizza Samson and Delilah.’ It is said that at his last performance of Puccini’s ‘La Boheme,’ he even brought a slice of one on stage with him and was seen offering a piece to the soprano just before she died. Contrary to the beliefs of some, Caruso himself died, not of acute indigestion, but of pleurisy, in Naples, on August 2, 1921.” Note that neither colorfully named pizza discloses its ingredients, although Marie Antoinette’s version references “tonno,” which is the Italian word for tuna. And, neither is the origin or description of “Flaming Pizza” revealed. But according to our Pizza Correspondent Barber, the flames seemed to come from the center of the pizza –from a few drops of alcohol poured into a cup in the center of the pie and lit as it was served in the dining room (You evidently had to ignite your takehome pie yourself). Prices were reasonable, to say the least. When the restaurant opened, complete dinners (your choice: Veal Scalopini Florentina, Salisbury steak, baked or broiled halibut, or oven baked chicken) could be had for $1.85, including coffee and dessert. In 1958, they advertised that if you ordered a large pizza you could add a salad and beverage for twenty cents a person. For groups of 25 or more, the Huddle Inn would cater dinner in your home. “You provide the plates, place, and beverage, and the restaurant will deliver pizza, spaghetti, salad, and dessert”... all for $1 per person. Further research didn’t turn up when the Huddle Inn went out of business, but we can only hope that the Inn and its fabulous flaming pizza went out in a blaze of glory. It’s sad that none of Lafayette’s four fine pizza emporiums has carried on the tradition of the flaming pizza, introduced by the Huddle Inn more than half a century ago. It’s even more sad that we’ll never see prices like those again. The Lafayette Historical Society has bound issues of the Lafayette Sun from 1937 to 1979 in its archives. They are available for research at any time. The LHS History Room is located in the Lafayette Library & Learning Center (enter on Golden Gate Way) and is open Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday 10am – 2pm and by appointment.

Page 8 - April 2013 ~ Lafayette Today

2013 – The Year of the Library By District 2 Supervisor Candace Andersen

The Contra Costa County Library system is turning 100 this year, and the Board of Supervisors has declared 2013 as the Year of the Library. Since our District has some of the newest and most comprehensive library buildings and programs in the County, I thought it would be timely to highlight them and some of the technology used in the County system. Last year the Contra Costa Library system was one of only ten recipients of the National Medal for Museum and Library Service. The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor conferred on museums and libraries for service to the community and celebrates institutions that make a difference for individuals, families, and communities. The Contra Costa County Library is also recognized as a leader among libraries implementing technology. Snap & Go, a mobile application utilizing QR code technology, puts new and existing library content and services into the hands of mobile phone users. The service is designed to satisfy the reading and information needs of County residents at times when their local community library is closed or when they cannot make it into a library building. Another innovation, LINK+ is a great free service you can use to borrow books not available at a Contra Costa County Library. It's a cooperative effort among many California and Nevada libraries. You can use your Contra Costa County Library card to place a hold on up to 10 items that you pick up at your local Library. From the library’s website you can also download e-books and audio books in various formats, and access a significant amount of research materials. Lafayette Library - The 30,000 square foot Lafayette Library and Learning Center is the largest and most complex public/private project in Lafayette’s history. More than 10 years in the making, with $12.5M raised by private funds, $11.9M from a state grant, and the rest by public funds, it represents a community-driven effort to build a regional resource and national model for the library of the future. Located in the heart of Lafayette, it boasts a separate Children’s Area, Technology Lab, Teen Center and outdoor reading and meeting areas. Orinda Library - The Orinda Library has over 30,000 children's materials and an overall collection of over 70,000 books, recorded books, music and DVDs, along with 29 public computers, Wi-Fi, comfortable reading areas, and a tutoring room. It is a far cry from the first library in 1924, which consisted of two shelves in the local dry-goods store. The current library building, funded completely by Orinda residents, also includes an art gallery, community meeting rooms, a plaza, and a café. It was opened in October of 2001. Moraga Library - Flanked by majestic redwoods, the Moraga Library, home to almost 65,000 books, recorded books, music CDs and DVDs, as well as public computers, free WI-FI access, and large public meeting room, has served area residents in its current location since 1974. The Friends of the Moraga Library contribute significantly to the Library's materials budget and fund free programming for all ages. Interactive and lively story times, children’s and family programs, such as music and dance performances, magic shows, lectures, author visits, and workshops are offered regularly. The Moraga Historical Society maintains local history archives in a separate climate-controlled room, adjacent to the Library. Walnut Creek Libraries - Walnut Creek is fortunate to have two libraries. The Walnut Creek Library in Civic Park which was built in 2010, and the Ygnacio Valley Library on Oak Grove Road. The new Walnut Creek library opened in July 2010. It was funded through a private-public partnership, with $34 million from the City of Walnut Creek and $5 million raised by the Walnut Creek Library Foundation. It has a large children’s wing and garden, a Teen Zone, a Business and Career Center, a Technology Center, and three group study rooms. It also has the Oak View meeting room, which seats 150, and the 16-seat Las Trampas conference room can be rented through the City of Walnut Creek. Special collections include a Russian language collection, and an expanded health and wellness collection funded by John Muir Health. There are 39 pieces of public art and local artists may apply to display their work at the Community Art Gallery. All of our libraries in District 2 share the common theme of being built through tremendous support from the community. Each continues to thrive with not only dedicated library staff, but enhanced programs and additional hours of operation thanks to the contributions of time and generous support by Library Friends and Foundations. I offer my very sincere thanks and appreciation to all who make our libraries such an important part of our communities. Learn more about the libraries at

Lafayette Today ~ April 2013 - Page 9

Six Tax Facts Home Sellers Should Know By Art Lehman, Village Associates Realtors

It’s tax time and here are a few things to keep in mind. 1. If you owned or lived in your home for two of the five years prior to selling it, you can generally exclude up to $250,000 of the gain from your income ($500,000 on a joint return in most cases). 2. You are not eligible for this exclusion if you sold another principle residence within the past two years and excluded the allowable gain from your income. 3. If you can exclude all of the gain from the sale of your primary residence, you don’t need to report the sale on your tax return. 4. If you have a gain on your principle residence that exceeds the allowable deduction, it is taxable. 5. You can’t deduct a loss from the sale of your primary residence. 6. Special rules may apply when you sell a home for which you received a first-time home buyer credit (See IRS publication 523 “Selling your Home,” for details.) Always consult your accountant or tax attorney when you are contemplating buying or selling your home to see how tax rules specifically might apply to you. However, if you have any questions on selling or buying a home in the area, please contact me at 925-200-2591 or by email at If you’d like a free automatic email update of current listings and sales, call or visit my website to sign up, www. Advertorial

The World’s Most Favorite White Wine By Monica Chappell

How popular is Chardonnay? It’s popular enough to have sparked a backlash like the ABC Club – Anything But Chardonnay. Almost without question, Chardonnay is the world’s greatest white wine. With characteristics ranging from citrus and green apple in cool growing climates to pear, tropical fruit and fig in warmer areas, this classic white wine grape of Burgundy has become a worldwide favorite.

Growing Regions

Chardonnay grows in nearly every wine producing area in the world, but it shines in Burgundy, France. The French versions are often described as being more restrained and higher in acidity. Burgundy produces Chardonnay under many local place names such as Chablis, Pouilly-Fuissé, and Meursault as well as wines with Montrachet in the name, and in Champagne it turns into Blanc de Blancs. Among the many other countries that have caught Chardonnay fever America, Australia and Chile are standouts.

Style Variations

Chardonnay styles can vary dramatically based on origin and winemaker. When well made, Chardonnay offers bold, ripe, rich, and intense fruit flavors of apple, fig, melon, pear, pineapple, lemon and grapefruit, along with spice, honey, butter, butterscotch, and hazelnut flavors. Winemakers build more complexity into this easyto-manipulate wine using common vinification techniques. Look for the following words on Chardonnay labels: barrel fermented (which imparts toasty oak flavors), cold fermented (which preserves fresh, youthful fruit flavors), and lees contact or sur lie (increasing the contact time between the lees, or sediment, and the wine which adds complexity and richness).

Food Pairings

Pair Chardonnay in the leaner Burgundian style with roasted chicken or seafood; the more voluptuous New World Chardonnay can match the buttery richness of pasta dishes made with cream or cheese, with lobster or with other rich seafood. Caution, Chardonnay can be hard to match with food if it is high in alcohol (13-14%) or has a lot of oak flavor creating a heavier weight and body. Spicy food tends to accentuate the alcohol and oak in the wine and usually are not pleasant together. Cabernet Sauvignon is the king of reds, and similarly Chardonnay is considered the king of white wines making consistently excellent, rich, and complex whites. This amazingly versatile grape grows well in a variety of locations throughout the world and creates widely varied wines. Monica Chappell teaches wine appreciation classes in Lafayette, Walnut Creek and Danville. Visit www.wineappreciation101. for current class schedule.

LLLCF Executive Director Retires

The Lafayette Library and Learning Center Foundation (LLLCF) announced that Kathy Merchant, Executive Director of the Foundation since November 2010, will retire from her position. As a founding trustee, the first President of the LLLCF and a major donor, Kathy Merchant became the LLLCF’s first Executive Director. Kathy’s leadership in the decade leading up to the opening of the Lafayette Library and Learning Center was instrumental in raising community awareness of the benefits afforded by this unique library and consortium partner model. In addition, Kathy helped secure the necessary funding to launch initial construction and the library’s annual funding campaign. Despite an economic downturn following the successful “Imagine a Place” capital campaign that allowed the library to open its doors, Kathy helped the Board of Trustees successfully reach its $4 million goal for LLLCF’s “Open Doors, Open Minds” campaign to establish a sustainability fund in 2011. LLLCF provides over 50% of the Library’s total operating costs which supports longer open hours, enriching programs, and the sustainability of the building. Vickie Sciacca, Senior Community Library Manager said, “Kathy’s dedication to the Lafayette Library has been a tremendous gift to the community. Her passion for libraries, her commitment to excellence, and her understanding of literature, art, and education have been instrumental in shaping the direction of the Lafayette Library for years to come. We are absolutely grateful to Kathy for helping the Lafayette Community realize, and not just imagine, such a place.”

Cinema Classics Music of the Heart By Peggy Horn

The Cinema Classic for this month is, Music of the Heart, (1999) starring Meryl Streep. This movie is based on the true story of a violin teacher, Roberta Guaspari, who becomes a substitute teacher in a public school in Harlam, New York and sets up a successful violin program for the students. Preceding this movie is a documentary entitled Small Wonders, (1995) starring Roberta Guaspari and directed by Alan Miller, showing the real Roberta Guaspari at work enlightening and inspiring her classes. In the film Music of the Heart, Meryl Streep plays the role of Roberta Guaspari, a single mother with a lot on her mind. Much of the story is devoted to the struggles Ms. Guaspari faced as she worked and raised her two sons, Nick and Lexy. It wasn’t easy. But as her mother points out, Roberta’s eventual success never would have come about without the circumstance of her husband having left her. As the old adage says, “Tis an ill wind that blows nobody good!” And speaking of good, Isaac Stern and Itzhak Perlman make cameo appearances in this movie. The movie alludes to the benefits of music programs for students everywhere including making students more confident and generating better performances in other subjects generally. Aside from the intellectual reinforcements, a love of music is just plain enjoyable and enriches one’s life, and Music of the Heart, emphasizes this beautifully. It is also a reminder for us all to fight for what we cherish. Music of the Heart, is available for rental or purchase online.

Musical Notes

The fabulous Mark O’Connor, classical, bluegrass, jazz and country violinist and fiddler, is the subject of musical notes this month. Just about anything a person could download of his would be great, and “Ashokan Farewell,” performed by Mark O’Connor, is touching and full of gorgeous harmony. Mark O’Connor also appeared briefly and performed in Music of the Heart.

Page 10 - April 2013 ~ Lafayette Today

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11/16/12 9:28 AM

Lafayette Cadette Girl Scout Troop #31835 completed their Silver Award last fall. The Cadettes spent over 40 hours planning and hosting a “Let’s Go Camping” event for Brownie Troops at the Twin Canyons campsite in Lafayette. The Cadettes taught the Brownies the skills they had learned in their years of attending Girl Scout camping trips. The Cadettes spent many hours planning and practicing for the event which included a flag ceremony, outdoor cooking, a tent/sleeping bag set up, a nature hike, lanyard making, a large group game, troop skits, and a camping patch. The event was an overnight camp-out, so the Cadettes also planned all the snacks and meals. The event was a huge success with over 50 Brownies attending. From the left are troop members Emma Connolly, Hannah Lefcourt, Nikki Roos, Bridget Parry, Phoebe Howard, Julia Sabey, Julia Goddard, Claire Ruskin, Rachel Lom, and Caroline Wash.

Ask Dr. Happy By Bob Nozik, MD Dear Dr. Happy,

Bernie and I are both in our mid 30’s and have been living together for nearly ten years. Neither of us feels the need to get married, we don’t want children and we are both career oriented. I love Bernie and our life together. So, if everything is so perfect, why am I writing? Bernie chews his fingers—not his nails, but the dry skin around the nails. It makes me absolutely crazy! I’ve asked—no, beseeched him to stop. He claims he’s tried everything including putting bad tasting stuff there, but nothing works. I know it’s crazy, but Dr. H, I don’t know how much more of it I can take. ~Help!

Dear Help!,

Your complaint may sound trivial to many couples dealing with “serious”

Walking the Reservoir By Jim Scala

As I stood on the bandstand platform on a sunny day and inhaled the spectacular view, I thought, this could be a worldclass yoga studio. A fitness plan would be: walk the Rez to warm up your joints, and then do yoga for flexibility and mental conditioning. The walk-yoga combination would be synergistic. A yoga mat must be used. They’re light and come with a shoulder strap, so walk first and then do yoga. Maria and Joe Kita, two registered yoga instructors who run the Kita Yoga studio, recently produced an excellent, user-friendly video that makes the poses easy to understand and follow for beginners and advanced yogis. Their website is an excellent way to get started and it explains the video. Yoga began about 5,000 years ago in India and literally means to yoke or to unite. It brings body and mind together to make the practitioner whole – not holy. At first it was connected to Buddhism and part of spiritual training, but over the millennia it evolved into a sequence of poses that improves and maintains physical and mental health. It has no religious connections. Breathing carefully and fully during each pose teaches a person to focus on the moment and push body and mind to become One. It’s especially beneficial for us modern folks whose minds, in our connected world, are always active. When breathing and poses are done in complete synchrony, the person relaxes, and flexibility improves. A beginner will find some poses difficult, but as they learn to breathe correctly, it helps them relax into the pose so it becomes easier and more beneficial. In a 90 minute yoga session, a person breathes more air than in a full day without yoga. This combination improves the function of all organs and general health. Yoga is holistic. During its long history, many forms of yoga have emerged. The most common and most physically oriented is Ashtanga Yoga. An interesting, recent variation is Hot-Yoga which is practiced in a very hot, sauna-like studio at about 100°. The high temperature increases flexibility in the joints and muscles. So, if people started doing yoga after walking the Rez, it would be almost the same. Could it become Rez-yoga? Every session ends with the final pose, Savasana. This relax pose is usually done flat on the back, hands at the sides with eyes closed and mind blank for up to 10 minutes. It’s the most difficult pose because our minds are always busy, and they’re not easily stopped. Once the practitioner masters this corpse pose, they will be a more relaxed person. Some practioners even drift into sleep. Its mental health benefits become clear as sessions accumulate. Although I’m far from a qualified yoga teacher, I’ll be glad to share what I know with other folks. We could bring mats and give it a try at the Rez-bandstand. On April 16th, 18th, and 20th I’ll be there with my mat at 10AM. We can do some simple poses, and if a few interested people attend, we can discuss a way to get a group started. Who knows, a whole new Rez activity might emerge. One important point is that yoga shouldn’t be done on a full stomach, so, if you come have an early, light breakfast. If you’re interested, please email me to share thoughts and ideas. A t-shirt recently caught my eye it said, “Rowers use oars. We’re stronger.” My friend Ralph rented a rowboat, so I watched him row vigorously non-stop around the reservoir for about 45 minutes. His condition and general fitness for a man over 50 is above average. He attributes his fitness level to rowing the Rez. Besides, rowing the Rez comes with a fantastic natural setting at very low cost. More people should give “Rowing the Rez” a try. It’s an excellent fitness program, especially for a person with knee or foot problems. Rowing the Rez goes far beyond conditioning. It’s an excellent treat for children and a great way for any parent or grandparent to bond with them. Children can see, explore, and understand nature up close and personal. In the early morning or late afternoon, row to the east end reeds and sit quietly. Guaranteed, in ten minutes you’ll see magnificent dragonflies, many water fowl varieties, turtles, and much more. Bring some bread or frozen peas to feed the fish for even more pleasure. Where else can a grandparent do that with grandchildren? E-mail me at problems like infidelity and physical or emotional abuse. But death by a million tiny cuts is still death, and a relationship that is slowly deteriorating because of what sounds like a minor annoyance can eventually destroy it. I suspect, like most couples, you both have habits that could be annoying. If Bernie has tried without success to stop feasting on his peri-fingernail skin, then perhaps you need to accept it. Remind yourself of his good points, and focus on those and your love for him. Accept that he’s tried but can’t change right now. I wouldn’t be surprised if, soon after you’ve stopped making it an issue, he finds a way to stop.

See Happy continued on page 12

Lafayette Today ~ April 2013 - Page 11

Sustainable Lafayette Tip of the Month School Lunches, Minus the Waste

Have you ever dropped into the school lunchroom to see what it looks like after the students have returned to class? You’ll see trashcans packed with uneaten food, baggies, food packaging, foil, paper napkins, juice boxes, empty water bottles, straws, and more. Home-packed lunches are typically loaded with these “use and toss” items. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency has estimated that each child who takes a disposable lunch to school generates an average of 67 pounds of trash per school year. That’s 18,760 pounds of lunch waste for an average-sized elementary school! In the U.S., we throw away enough paper and plastic cups, forks, and spoons to circle the earth 300 times ( Each year the U.S. uses over 380 billion plastic bags, sacks and wraps (EPA), and almost 1/3 of the waste generated in the U.S. is from packaging. What an opportunity for waste reduction! If every student in Lafayette adopted a waste-free lunch (including finishing all their food), we could divert over 300,000 pounds of trash from our landfills each year and collectively save over $1 million dollars per year. A waste-free lunch costs an average of $2.65 per day, versus $4.02 per day for a disposable one. That adds up to a savings of about $246 per student, per year (side-by-side comparison at Do pack: • Reusable fabric lunch bags or lunch containers • Reusable water bottle or thermos for drinks. They come in kids’ sizes with cool designs. • Sandwiches in reusable wraps, bags or containers • Snacks purchased in bulk and packed in reusable containers or bags – Purchasing lunch foods in larger containers and bulk instead of single-serve packages costs less. Resealable containers make it easy for children to save uneaten food for an after-school snack. • Whole fruits without packaging • Cloth napkins • Stainless steel or bamboo reusable utensils Avoid: • Paper lunch bags • Plastic baggies and plastic wrap that are not reusable • Aluminum foil • Individually-wrapped snacks, meals, or desserts • Juice boxes – close to 2.7 billion juice boxes end up in the landfills every year • Single-use water bottles – It is widely suspected that single-use water bottles may leach chemicals into the water, and most are never recycled. • Disposable forks and spoons • Disposable straws • Paper napkins Visit these websites: For more information on how to pack waste-free lunches or start a wastefree lunch program at your school, visit: • - Company started by a Lafayette mom that sells eco-friendly lunchware • – Lots of helpful information and a large online selection of materials • – A very popular waste-free lunch system • – Many options for reusable containers, totes, etc. • – An online store for waste-free lunch supplies started by an East Bay mom Read success stories about how others in Lafayette are reducing their waste and living more sustainably at If you’d like to help reduce waste at your school, please send an email to Volunteers Needed for Earth Day! Please contact earthday@ to offer your help on Sunday, April 21.

Left to right, top row - Peter Clark Mitchell, Daniel Romero Samaniego, and Maxwell Raymond Mirner. Bottom row - Andrew Sadao Higake Nakahara, Weston Milo Borosky, and Juan Andres Pestana.

Troop 204 Eagle Scouts

Troop 204 is pleased to announce the following new Eagle Scouts and their Eagle projects - Maxwell Raymond Mirner conducted and supervised a six-week-long collection of new and gently used socks for patients at Children’s Hospital, Oakland, as well as non-perishable food and paper products for the Family House at the hospital. Juan Andres Pestana refurbished the entire wooden recreational structure at Shelter Inc. (an organization that works with homeless and near-homeless families in Contra Costa County) with the help of fellow Scouts and other youth he supervised. Daniel Romero Samaniego built a memorial bench and reading garden in memory of Mrs. Karri Robison, who passed away in 2012 of cancer. Mrs. Robison was a 3rd grade teacher at Cambridge Elementary School in Concord. Daniel worked with her 3rd grade students to personalize the pavers and tiles used as a platform for the bench then assembled, prepared, and painted the bench, cleared and prepped the soil and planted shrubs and flowers for a reading garden. Andrew Sadao Higake Nakahara completed his Eagle project at Burton Valley Elementary. Working with the Vice Principal, Andrew and his crew installed two benches and planted a flower bed. Peter Clark Mitchell built four planter boxes, which he assembled and installed at Shelter Inc. in Martinez. He filled the boxes with plants and in addition planted a lemon and orange tree at the site. Weston Milo Borosky worked with Walnut Creek CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) to design and build 18 new body boards for the group to use for classes or in an emergency.

Page 12 - April 2013 ~ Lafayette Today

Shop Talk from The Mechanic (formerly Urban Suburban) The Grand Opening By René Aguirré, The Mechanic

Finally, after a few changes, a few challenges, and lots of patience, we are officially The Mechanic or Lafayette, Foreign and Domestic Auto Repair. Celebrate with us! To make our change official, we are holding a grand re-opening event on April 20th at 6pm. We will have entertainment, refreshments, and much more. Urban Suburban has been a long standing member of the community. As The Mechanic we will continue the traditions we started under Urban Suburban - participating in Lafayette, Orinda, and Moraga community events, donating to local school and charities, and upholding high standards of customer service. The Mechanic is opening as an ASE and Better Business Bureau certified auto repair shop for all vehicle makes and models.

Lafayette has a new racing team! While making The Mechanic official this month, we have also been busy behind the scenes working on building our name and reputation. Eleven months ago we embarked on the project of our livesbuilding a race car. You may recall past articles mentioning Triple Nickel RestoRace-Fabrication and Triple Nickel Racing. To be accurate, we began converting a 1964 Ford Galaxie into an off-road Baja beast. The intention of the project is to celebrate vintage style racing by using one car to do many types of racing. Our first race is The Mexican 1000 which will be held April 28th – May 1st, 2013. The race runs from Mexicali to Cabo San Lucas. Our builders, Eric Dove and Joe Thompson, have worked their tail ends off to make this race car happen. Our premier sponsor, Buzz Weldy, of Energy Comm and Eco Electrical, has been with us all the way, keeping us moving forward. Without these guys, we would not have made it this far. The Galaxia de la Baja will make its public debut at our grand re-opening party on April 20th. You may be lucky enough to take a ride around town in this awesome machine! Keep up with the build and racing updates on our Facebook page, https:// Our race car has already attracted quite a bit of attention from radio interviews, to articles, to a new documentary about the build. Meet our team at our grand opening event. We hope to see you on April 20th at The Mechanic, located at 3328C Mt. Diablo Blvd, Lafayette. Coming up - Stay tuned for more information about this year’s Motorama World of Wheels Gala and Car Show ( The Lamorinda Sunrise Rotary Club is holding its second annual Gala on May 18th. Proceeds will go to the Lafayette Library and Learning Center Foundation. The car show will be held on Father’s Day, June 16th on Golden Gate Way, a larger venue to accommodate all things wheels! If you have any questions about this or any other “Shop Talk” issues, call The Mechanic today at (925) 283-5212. Our hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 7:30am - 5pm. We provide free shuttle service to the local area. The Mechanic is your personal car care consultant, taking care of all of your auto repair and servicing needs. Advertorial

Happy continued from page 10 Happiness Tip

Sometimes the best battles are the ones we don’t fight. When you’ve tried everything you can reasonably do to effect change without success, it’s time for acceptance. Recall the wisdom of the Serenity Prayer: “Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the courage to know the difference.” It sounds like ‘Help!’ and Bernie have tried their best to break his skin-trimming without success. It is now time for ‘Help!’ to accept it. Acceptance can magically turn an unending conflict into a non-issue. We don’t need to make a battle out of everything. Please send questions/comments for Dr. Happy to

Solar Currents

By Mark Becker, GoSimpleSolar

In my view, inspiration is what makes the world go round. Inspiration generates creativity, concepts and ideals. We’re all inspired in different ways. In these articles, I’m inspired to write about my passions, typically energy and the need for transparency in the contracting process. This month I’d like to focus on the interaction between customer and contractor, the creation of mutual trust and good will. Merchant Choice: Merchants with storefronts, high quality customer service ratings, and excellent company performance history naturally have a higher cost of business. If implemented properly, the higher cost of doing business results in happier clients. Happier clients result in more business for the service provider. In a perfect world, consumers recognize added value, and they are willing to pay a small premium for high quality service and products. Business owners and salespeople recognize some prospective customers will “shop” their business, gleaning data and knowledge, with ultimately no intent to do business with them because of the higher end cost associated with the service provided. Competing for business is a necessary part of sales. Customers who prioritize seeking the low cost provider should respect that service providers with excellent ratings and excellent products will rarely be the low cost provider. Integrity in the purchasing process is a two edged sword. I’m typically not a conspiracy guy, but PGE has given millions of dollars to researchers who have come to the conclusion that solar projects provide negative value to non-solar customers. A Lawrence Berkeley Lab study came to the opposite conclusion. Oil companies and solar: Chevron, Mobil, and Arco have acquired solar manufacturers, and then they’ve subsequently shuttered them. Recently, French oil giant Total acquired a majority stake in Sunpower, Inc. Hopefully history won’t repeat itself. Now that the international solar “playing field” has been leveled, the largest Chinese manufacturer, Suntech, has filed for bankruptcy. It seems that the tariffs imposed by the International Trade Commission and Department of Commerce for illegal dumping and government subsidies have had their effect. Proof positive: America can and will compete when trade is fair and free. Negotiation: After performing some research and deciding on a provider, should you negotiate on price, and if so, how? In the contracting business, we’ve been subjected to many differing negotiation tactics. There are certainly ways to improve your chances of being successful in negotiations. If you’re seeking lowest cost, get bids from lowest cost providers. They’re the lowest cost providers for a reason (Read the reviews and find out why). If you’re seeking savings from a reputable company, recognize that many businesses leave little on the table to negotiate with; providing a detailed and price sensitive proposal is necessary up front in order to be able to compete. Beware “outlier” proposals until understanding is gained. Tactics: Negotiation comes very easily to some, and for others, it’s an awkward conversation. Recently a prospective customer asked me in final negotiations, “Is there any way we can save some money?” This was a legitimate question and well presented.This customer was responsive and respectful during the bid process. That customer got a discount on the spot; it was clear to me that it would be a pleasure to work with them. Another customer who had his mind made up (unbeknownst to me) for us to install his solar project offered us 10% less than the contract cost. A bit stunned by his over-reaching, I countered with our best offer back to him and validated our counter-offer by outlining why we wouldn’t go any further down in price. We had a mutual agreement within minutes. Another prospective customer, whilst shopping around and relying on the industry experts to do every bit of his research for him, would continually assure us that he was “not asking to lower the price” but perpetually would attempt to whipsaw one contractors price and products against another’s. Competition is a good thing, however this passive aggressive manipulation was disrespectful and disingenuous. His approach was apparent, although he was certain he was hiding it well. Good businesses/customer relationships provide mutual long-term reward for both consumer and business. Allow the business to earn your trust, and don’t squander the opportunity of mutual trust. Businesses must sometimes be choosy about their customers as well. Mark Becker is the President of GoSimpleSolar, by Semper Fidelis Construction Inc, a Danville based Solar Installation Firm (License 948715). Mark can be reached at 925.915.9252. Visit GoSimpleSolar’s showroom at 114 West Prospect Avenue in Danville or, or email Advertorial

Lafayette Today ~ April 2013 - Page 13

Life in the Lafayette Garden By John Montgomery, ASLA, Landscape Architect Celebrate Spring! By John Montgomery, ASLA, Landscape Architect

This rainy season has been a little finicky. Winter was early and cold, and spring is really here, or NOT! These days, it’s sometimes hard to tell. If you look closely in the garden at the trees, shrubs, and perennials, you’ll see the glory of spring quietly emerging from the cold and wet. The beginning of spring is one of my favorite times in the garden. I love to observe the new and fresh leaves bud from dead and deciduous branches, and bright new lime green leaves stand out against older darker green ones. I like to watch how quickly daffodils, jonquils, and paper whites (Narcissus) push their fresh long leaves through the decaying leaves and mulch to bloom with bright and cheery colors. The days are warming, the sun is shinning, and like clock-work life in the garden labors to show us the glory of spring. There are some plants that you might have noticed that are the first to declare the beginning of spring. Trees like Cercis occidentalis (Western Redbud) blooms lavender flowers on smooth gray branches before leaves form, Magnolia x soulangeana (saucer Magnolia) blooms huge tulip-like pink to white flowers on deciduous branches. Shrubs like Daphne odora (Winter Daphne) with its intoxicating fragrance fill the air. Azalea, and camellia are first to transition to spring. Vines like Hardenbergia violacea ‘Happy Wanderer’ (Lilac Vine) weave a lively trail of lilac flowers. Perennials like Iberis sempervirens ‘Snowflake’ (Candytuft) trails profuse white flowers over the ground and one of my favorites, Veronica umbrosa ‘Georgia Blue’ (Speedwell), bloom profuse cobalt blue flowers as winter fades out. Other great note-worthy spring blooming trees are Pyrus calleryana ‘Redspire’ (ornamental pear), Magnolia stellata (Star Magnolia), and Prunus serrulata ‘Shirotae’ (Flowering cherry). After a long winter’s nap, we long to connect with nature to rejuvenate, relax, recreate, and renew ourselves. A garden is one of those places that has the gift to touch all of our human senses - sight, smell, touch, sound, and taste. Wandering through a beautifully designed Lafayette garden allows the senses to be stimulated by wonderful visuals, fragrances, textures, sounds, and tastes that nature can offer. As the spring days grow longer and warmer, more and more of our favorite plants come to life! You will see green fresh leaves popping from trees like birch, crape myrtle, Japanese maples, and dogwood. Then come along the old fashion classics such as roses, lilac, iris, lavender, flowering quince, Snowball Viburnum, and the butterfly bush. There are too many wonderful spring plants to name in one article. A hot tip from your local Landscape Architect - For the last three years I have announced my garden tour fundraiser in this article. I’m sorry to say that this year I will be taking a break from the fundraiser. I look forward to seeing you all turn out next year! Thank you for all of the fundraiser support over the last three years! Gardening Quote of the Month - “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” - Melody Beattie If you would like me to write on any particular subject email your ideas to or for design ideas visit

Lafayette Community Garden and Outdoor Learning Center

Please join us for one or all of our upcoming classes at the Lafayette Community Garden across the street from the Reservoir. These classes are interactive, informative and fun, so come join us and prepare to get your hands dirty! It can be muddy and cold in the winter, so dress appropriately.

April 13th 10am – 11:30am, Irrigation and New Norms for California Landscape

Scott Sommerfeld, landscape architect and EBMUD representative for water conservation, will emphasize site stewardship and resource efficiency as the new norms for local landscapes. He’ll discuss best practices for landscape and irrigation design, installation, and maintenance, and he’ll update us on the newest high efficiency irrigation equipment.

May 11 1:30 – 3 , Creating and Enjoying a Butterfly Garden th



Join Pamela Winther, landscape architect and adjunct professor at DVC, to learn all about butterfly gardens and the beauty and delight they bring. She’ll tell us the best plants to grow, what conditions they need to flourish, and which beauties you’ll find in your garden. We’ll explore the Community Garden’s new butterfly garden and maybe find some visitors. Classes are free although a $5 donation is appreciated. To register for a class, please visit, and click on classes.

Montelindo Garden Club

The Montelindo Garden Club monthly meeting will be held on Friday, April 19th at 9am, Orinda Community Church located at 10 Irwin Way, Orinda. The speaker will be Shawna Anderson, Orchard Nursery’s “Container Diva,” and owner of Thrillers, Spillers and Fillers talking about container gardening. For more information, visit

Contact Lafayette Today at 925.405.6397 or editor@

Page 14 - April 2013 ~ Lafayette Today

Tree of the Season

Japanese Maples By Blaine Brende & Joe Lamb

Japanese maples have an elegance and sculptural quality that resembles dance. Careful study of their form, in any season, can call the viewer back to the natural world. In winter, the falling leaves raise the curtain on the form of the trunks and put the dance on center stage. Winter rain intensifies the show by adding a sensuality to the movement of stem and bough, one that beckons to even the unpracticed eye. In spring, certain varieties of Japanese maples send out new leaves so bright a green they appear lit from within. In summer, upright cultivars that are well pruned have spaces between the branches, giving the canopy the appearance of being composed of many floating islands. And in fall, Japanese maples mark the change of season by turning colors ranging from yellow to scarlet, depending on the variety of maple; there are many varieties. Luckily, Japanese maples are relatively easy to grow and relatively tough. In their long evolutionary dance–fossilized maple leaves date back over 60 million years–Japanese maples have developed the genetic information necessary to protect them against most common garden afflictions. They are, however, subject to verticillium wilt, a soil-borne fungal disease that can cause dieback and sometimes death. There is no known cure for verticillium, but you can decrease the likelihood of your new maple getting the disease if you 1) don’t plant it in ground known to have verticillium, 2) make sure the soil around the tree is well drained so that the roots don’t remain soggy throughout the winter, and 3) protect the tree against environmental stresses by giving it summer water and keeping it well mulched. Maples can grow and remain healthy in gardens with a history of verticillium. If they are not stressed by soils too damp, too dry, or too compacted, some individual maples can thrive even though a near neighbor may die. It depends on the genetics of the individual. If your mature maple shows significant dieback, it may be fighting a case of verticillium. It is not necessarily a death sentence. Some trees succeed in fighting off the disease.

Gardening with Kate By Kathleen Guillaume

Spring is living up to all of its promises. My tree peony is in full bloom, and its 5” white blossoms look like tissue paper when back lit by the morning sun. My bush peonies have their first buds breaking through the ground. I have made many trips to Orchard and Mt. Diablo nurseries, picking up mulch and bark and eyeing precious plants that I hope to find room for in my garden. In the next weeks, I hope to repot some of my larger patio pot plants and add annuals and things to spill down the edges. The new soil will help my focal plants become hardy for the coming summer months. Now is the time to spread mulch and bark around the plants and cover up any large expanses of soil to encourage better water retention as the days get warmer. Lafayette Garden Club will be holding their annual fundraiser plant sale on Thursday, May 9th at the Community Hall at Our Savior Lutheran Church on Carol Lane in Lafayette. The sale runs from 10am - noon. Take the second driveway as the first leads to the church and the second driveway leads to the Community Center. There will be some great garden finds, propagated by LGC members, as well as old tools and garden items such as birdhouses and container-pot arrangements for sale. They will have several Master Gardeners available to answer your questions. This year I bought two new clematis from They are big flower varieties which stay in the 4-5 foot tall range. I have tucked them into the edge of two large pots and put in a metal trellis to hold up their weighty blooms. Today I noticed that I have a flower bud on one already, even though the plants have only grown one foot high at this point. Remember clematis need good drainage, and their roots must be shaded, even though they love full sun locations. You can keep the root area shaded by planting dense, low growing plants at its base or by placing a heavy layer of mulch. I have found that the low growing plants work best as they keep a deep shade at the base of the clematis. I look at my pears, and they already have little mini pears forming in clumps You can help them recover by pruning out the deadwood and improving the soil environment by mulching and aerating. Though some varieties can withstand full sun, Japanese maples do best in part shade. They do not thrive when exposed to the drying effect of constant wind. If you live on an exposed hillside, it is best to plant them in the lee of a larger tree. Dieback in Japanese maple crowns often is the result of too much sun, too much wind, or the even more deadly combination of the two. Maples need water. Keeping them moist throughout the summer and fall, and into the early winter in dry years, will make them happier and more disease resistant. Pruning, besides benefiting the mental health of the pruner, can enhance the grace of the plant. If your pruner is an artist, removing deadwood and teasing apart the plant’s natural layering opens little windows that reveal and accentuate the tree’s natural form. A well-pruned tree looks as if it hasn’t been pruned. Paradoxically, it looks more natural after pruning than before. Though it is sometimes necessary to lower the crown of a maple, as when it is beginning to block a treasured view, lowering should be done only when necessary, and the lowering should not be so drastic as to involve topping cuts (see the article on topping). Lowering a maple to gain a view is not something that you can do just once. Pruning down the crown stimulates new growth, and maintaining the view or the size reduction will require yearly pruning. No matter how good the artist, you can’t make a topped maple look as good as a natural tree. Much pruning, and therefore expense, can be avoided by planting the right variety in the right place. When planting a new tree, plant a cultivar that won’t exceed the desired height when it matures. This is almost always preferable to containing a variety that will grow beyond the desired size. It is our hope at Brende & Lamb that the pleasure our clients derive from their well-pruned trees exceeds the considerable pleasure we get from revealing the beauty inherent in their trees. If your trees need a little TLC, please call 510-486-TREE (8733) or email us at for a free estimate. Additionally, go to our website to see before and after pictures, client testimonials, and work in your neighborhood. Advertorial that once held a brace of blossoms. I wait until the fruit body gets about 1-2” in size and then start thinning them out. I start by leaving three pears per section, then thin latter to one or two so they have room to get big and plump. I still have two roses to prune. They are large climbers, and I know with all of my other garden tasks that they will only get one trim this year. My tomato beds are almost ready. They will set among my roses, as they seem to like the same water schedule my roses get. I keep them far enough away that I can gather tomatoes without donning my leather rose pruning gauntlets. I dig down 18” and mix my soil with a good mulch laced with chicken manure and other nutrients. Remember, tomatoes like to be planted deep. I leave just a few top leaflets above the soil to encourage the plant to set as deep a root as possible. In the coming weeks I will shop for my favorite annuals - lobelia and profusion zinnias. I love the long blooming splashes of color they provide. I will also treat my garden to several six packs of thyme, which I will plant between my perennials. My favorite is the lime thyme which has a bright green foliage and will bloom by summer making all of my bees very happy so they visit my tomatoes and squash more often. If you grow basil, thyme, or sage for cooking usage, remember to gather they leaves before the plants bloom, or keep them pruned so that they don’t bloom. Once they start setting flowers, their energy goes into those blossoms, and the foliage is not as wonderful for culinary use and the taste can become bitter. Just pinch off any blooms as they start up. Happy gardening.

Lafayette Garden Club

Tantalize your taste buds and learn to grow and cook delectable heirloom vegetables and herbs from Randall Barnes of Orchard Nursery at the monthly meeting of the Lafayette Garden Club on April 11th at 9:30AM. Barnes has a B.S. Degree in Horticultural Science from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and loves to cook his garden’s bounty. The meeting will be held at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church located at 1035 Carol Lane in Lafayette To find out more, e-mail

Crowded Wi-Fi

By Evan Corstorphine, Portable CIO

Wi-Fi has come a long way in the last few years. As recently as 10 years ago, wireless networking was a luxury reserved for very early innovators. Today, wireless networking and the devices that use it are as ubiquitous as payphones used to be. We’ve even become a little spoiled, expecting that when we go to a restaurant, airport, hotel, or even a city street in some locations, we will have broadband Wi-Fi access and be able to get to the internet just like we can at home. One of the limitations with Wi-Fi is that there are so many devices vying for a connection that the frequencies are becoming crowded. A simple analogy is listening to your favorite radio station, but it keeps fading in and out because a neighboring station is so powerful. Wi-Fi crowding is most evident in congested urban areas. Two examples are business parks with multi-story buildings and scores of tenants, or densely-packed environments such as around UC Berkeley where you’ll find hundreds of wireless hotspots. If you are one of the people residing in these congested areas, I can predict with certainty that your service has become more unreliable, and your actual network throughput speeds have tanked due to having so many people trying to use a very limited set of radio frequencies. All of this is invisible to the ordinary person trying

Doctor, Is It Safe for Me to Fly? By Barbara Persons, MD, Persons Plastic Surgery, Inc.

Medical tourism is a term which denotes travel across international borders for the express purpose of receiving medical care. While travel for healthcare has been around for quite some time, recent trends show that more people are traveling to countries with emerging economies to avoid treatment delays, to avoid prohibitive costs for life-saving procedures, or simply, to avoid high costs of elective surgery. At first glance, the imagery of resting on a beach after surgery seems enticing. It might even be appropriate if there weren’t potentially serious or life threatening complications to consider. While the price tag of a procedure may be appealing, the increasing push for international medical care has nothing to do with improved quality, greater safety, or better outcomes. In fact, surgery outside the United States, especially when sold as a vacation package, often involves significant, and numerous, risks. Although there are qualified physicians practicing all over world, it is very difficult to assess the training and credentials of surgery centers and surgeons outside of the U.S. Notably, almost one third of companies engaged in promoting medical travel receive referral fees from the overseas providers whose business depends on recruiting patients. Cosmetic surgery trips are often marketed as a vacation, and post-operative patients may be encouraged to engage in activities that could compromise their healing process and increase exposure to endemic diseases not found in the U.S. All surgeries involve risk. Infections are the most common complications seen in patients that go abroad for cosmetic surgery. Air travel combined with surgery is extremely hazardous. Individually, long flights or surgery increase the risk of blood clots and subsequent pulmonary embolism. Together, the risk of developing these potentially fatal complications is exponentially higher. Before flying, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons suggests waiting five to seven days after body procedures such as liposuction and breast augmentation, and seven to 10 days after cosmetic procedures of the face including facelifts, eyelid surgery, nose jobs, and laser treatments. In my practice, I have seen numerous patients returning from international “surgery vacations” with unsightly scars, hematomas, infections, and other horrific injuries (including loss of lips and other facial features). I am faced with the challenge of managing postoperative complications without knowing what surgical techniques the initial physician applied. If you are thinking of travelling for surgery, I urge you to consider the potential complications and general risk to your health. Cosmetic surgery is real surgery, and for it to be safe, it requires administration of anesthesia, sterile technique, and modern instrumentation, not to mention properly trained and certified surgeons. There are no U.S. laws that protect patients or oversee the certification of physicians or other personnel who perform plastic surgery abroad. If surgical negligence occurs, there may be no legal recourse. Devices and products used may not meet

Lafayette Today ~ April 2013 - Page 15 to use their computer, unless they have special tools to “see” the wireless network. Most people think it’s their equipment or their internet provider that is the problem. Some of our most challenging Wi-Fi clients are the Greek System houses at UC Berkeley. They have the most intense network requirements of any of our clients, residential or commercial. Evenings are when their networks are most stressed, and it stays that way until about 2AM. Most of these homes have invested in basic off-the-shelf Wi-Fi equipment to provide service to their seventy or so high-volume residents. When Wi-Fi was less common it was OK to address their complex, high-volume Wi-Fi situation with low-end equipment, but now it’s definitely not enough. What they couldn’t know is that their neighbors would eventually crowd them out. There are so many sororities, fraternities, and general apartment dwellers in their densely packed urban environment that their Wi-Fi signals have effectively been jammed. Everyone is affected. To analyze networks, you need the right tools. Last year we purchased a special tool called a spectrum analyzer, which we use to perform Wi-Fi site surveys. We observe how many networks are in a given area, how strong they are, and what types of interference is affecting them. Wi-Fi is a very fragile and “polite” protocol. By that I mean to say that if you and your computer are conversing with the Internet, and someone else is using the same frequencies on another Wi-Fi access point, you have to share that slice of the radio spectrum. When you get too many access points trying to share a limited radio space, the network speed available to any user decreases dramatically. You can have the fastest internet connection with Comcast, but if you are connecting to it through a congested Wi-Fi network, it’s going to seem slow or jerky. You shouldn’t spend money until you have the facts about what’s going on. Once we perform a wireless site survey, we can advise with certainty about how to proceed. There’s a new class of network equipment available called “dualband Wi-Fi.” In layman’s terms, it means that the new access points and wireless routers have a second radio built into them, which operates on a different set of frequencies. They’re not all created equally, and off-the-shelf equipment doesn’t compare to the higher end equipment we recommend. All new laptops, tablets, and smart-phones are able to use the new dual-band radio frequencies. The new frequencies are not congested like the old frequencies, and you don’t have to do anything special to use this capability. If a dual-band wireless access point or router is available, your equipment already knows how to take advantage of it. There are many factors involved in a successful network environment, and this is just one aspect. Having your Wi-Fi network squared away is definitely one of the biggies. If your network equipment is over four years old, or you’ve been noticing slower connection speeds and throughput, it might be time to “listen” with the spectrum analyzer to see what is going on. If you need new equipment, Portable CIO has partnered with Wi-Fi hardware vendors that we know will provide reliable and robust products. Networking is tricky, and it saves time to have an expert accurately evaluate your situation. If you’d like to have your network reviewed, contact the friendly staff at Portable CIO via email at, or call 925-552-7953. Advertorial

925.934.3743 • 925.934.1515 • 1271 Boulevard Way, Walnut Creek Monday-Friday, 8-5 • Saturday 9-1, Sunday, closed U.S. standards, medical record keeping may be nonexistent, and language barriers can become an unwanted adversity at a time when communication is paramount. When you are considering any surgical change to your body, please do your homework! Research the procedure, the benefits, and the risks. Refer to www. for the latest information on plastic surgery procedures. Most importantly, like with any medical care, chose and consult with a plastic surgeon that will remain accessible to you and is there to provide thorough follow-up care that is a must with any surgical procedure. 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 drbarb@ Advertorial

Page 16 - April 2013 ~ Lafayette Today

What Matters By Daniel A Barnes, CFA

What matters? As an investment advisor, my clients look to me for protection and guidance. They seek protection from their own emotions regarding money and guidance as to how to frame the larger questions of their life. Today I want to talk about those larger questions of life.

The Cortex

In Western society we are skilled at making decisions with information and logic. I call these cerebral, or cortex decisions. Paradoxically, it’s rare for cortex decisions and their outcomes to generate true satisfaction and joy.

The Heart

True joy and satisfaction comes from decisions and feelings of the heart. It’s my experience that for most of us, little true joy is derived from logical, rational building block decisions of work, productivity, and critical thinking. Such skills and actions simply enable us to thrive and prosper in a material way. And, if we do this well, civil society is built and grows in a functional way, providing abundance and wealth to enable the achievement and prosperity. Some would say we can achieve our human potential this way. But material accomplishment is but one facet of what matters, and it’s not the most important one. For most of us, at some point in our lives, we realize that most of our true joy and happiness is derived from the quality of the relationships in our lives. And the quality of relationships is largely a function of our ability to open up our hearts and forge real connections with our feelings to other people. that most clients derive from this is space and peace. With space and peace, clients can look inwards and develop themselves and the relationships that count in their lives with more ease because they know that the cortex and cerebral, some say “left” brain decision-making of their material/financial well-being, is well being taken care of. With an advisor, they have a trusted person in their life who is an expert at making these decisions, and who takes responsibility for them. With that freedom, they have a better possibility to connect somatically to their emotional selves and to develop and grow those emotional selves because the want and anxiety of their material and left brain decision making responsibilities are being well taken care of by their advisor. That’s the difference that a great advisor can make. I hope you’ve found one. 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

How can an Advisor Help?

For most clients, an advisor cannot develop or even help you develop and grow the heart and cortex sides of your life. What a skillful advisor can do is facilitate and steward your savings and investments within the framework of a thoughtful and detailed understanding of your life so that your material situation, and your ultimate sunset years, are better taken care of. The benefit

How Important is Your Title? By Robert J. Silverman, Attorney at Law

OK, for starters, the headline does not refer to your job title. Rather, I’m referring to the manner in which you hold title to your home, vacation property, and/or investment real estate you may own. If you own at least one piece of real estate, and you know how you took title, I applaud your knowledge. If you hold title in an optimal (rather than a far more common) manner, I congratulate you for your wisdom! This article will explore alternatives to titling and focus on the choice that is likely optimal. Of course, what is best depends on your particular facts and circumstances. Furthermore, it may be prudent to hold title to some properties in a different manner than others. When you were in the process of buying your property, you were probably asked by at least one person (e.g. your realtor, loan officer, or escrow officer) how you wished to hold title. When asked this question, the eyes of many buyers glaze over. Often, buyers answer this question with one of their own, such as, “What are my choices?” or “What do you recommend”? Advice about this subject from even the best, most well-intentioned real estate professionals (who are not lawyers) is incomplete, at best. In fact, they may refuse to give you any advice about this. Many standard real estate contract forms include bold warnings such as “The manner in which you hold title has serious legal and tax consequences…” Knowing what these consequences are and obtaining legal advice about them is fairly uncommon, but it is useful. Typically, unmarried buyers simply take title in their own name (e.g. “Jane Roe, an unmarried woman”). For unmarried people who are co-purchasing equal interests in a property with one or more others, the most common ways of holding title are: 1) as “tenants-in-common” or 2) as “joint tenants.” As a tenant-in-common, you can dispose of your interest on your death by Will to whomever you want. Alternatively, joint tenancy carries with it “the right of survivorship” (“R.O.S.”). This means that, upon your death, the entire fractional interest you owned in the property is automatically then owned equally by the remaining co-owner(s), regardless of what your Will states. People are occasionally confused by this joint tenancy vs. Will distinction, and this confusion sometimes leads to unintended consequences. Some single people

Lic# 1100014354; Bay Area Entertainment

hold co-ownership interests in joint tenancy when it’s not consistent with their wishes. Perhaps they were ill advised or their situation changed after they bought the property, and they don’t understand the ramifications. Joint tenancy trumps a Will. Suppose John owns a property with Jane in joint tenancy, but John’s Will states that on his death, everything of his goes to Bill. On John’s death the property will not go to Bill; it will go to his joint tenant, Jane (by virtue of the R.O.S. feature). In California, if you’re married, you have several additional choices. These include “community property”; and “community property with right of survivorship.” The vast majority of married property owners hold title in either joint tenancy or one of the community property forms. So, these methods of holding title are popular, but are they optimal? Usually they’re not. The R.O.S. feature tends to be highly touted because it’s very simple and straightforward when one joint tenant (spouse) dies. As I’ve explained, title immediately vests in the surviving spouse. But both joint tenancy and community property (with or without R.O.S.) have a major shortcoming for married couples. On the surviving spouse’s death, the asset will be subject to probate. As many people have heard or read, probate – a court-supervised estate administration process – is very expensive, inconvenient, takes a long time, and is public. The alternative is to establish a Revocable Living Trust. Holding title in a living trust is almost always optimal for both unmarried and married property owners because property titled in a living trust is statutorily exempt from probate. Trust administration is typically less expensive (often dramatically so), more convenient, less time consuming, and is handled privately. So, the “bottom line” is that your title is meaningful, and it should not be taken casually. If you don’t hold title to your property in a living trust, for the above reason (and many others), you should give it serious consideration. I would be happy to email or mail you a free “Estate Planning Primer” if you contact me and request one. Among other estate planning issues, a significant portion of the primer is dedicated to the benefits of a living trust. Mr. Silverman is an attorney with Buchman Provine Brothers Smith LLP, 1333 N. California Street, Suite 350, Walnut Creek, CA 94596; (925) 944-9700; rsilverman@ His practice emphasizes Estate Planning, Trust Administration & Probate, Real Estate, and Business. Mr. Silverman offers a free introductory consultation. This article is intended to provide information of a general nature, and should not be relied upon as legal, tax, financial and/ or business advice. Readers should obtain and rely upon specific advice only from their own qualified professional advisors. This communication is not intended or written to be used, for the purpose of: i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code; or ii) promoting, marketing, or recommending to another party any matters addressed herein. Advertorial

Your Personal Nutritionist

By Linda Michaelis, RD. MS. No More Diabetes with Sensible Nutrition

I see many people in my practice (often in tears) who have been referred by their doctors with newly diagnosed diabetes or pre-diabetes. Thirty years of research and practice have led me to one inescapable conclusion – most people can bring their blood sugar levels into the normal range within two months, without medication. Many clients tell me that their diagnosis of diabetes or prediabetes was one of the best things that ever happened to them because it gave them a forceful wake up call to get their health in order once and for all. Here are some key tips. Increase Protein and Fiber - Protein and fiber at each meal must become your new friend. Both protein and fiber are necessary to keep blood sugar levels stable and prevent you from feeling hungry all of the time. Protein for breakfast means having eggs, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, sliced ham, or Canadian bacon along with 100% whole wheat english muffins, Sandwich Thins, or other breads. For snacks you can have hard-boiled eggs, apple slices or celery sticks with peanut butter, or even beef jerky. For lunch it is very important to not skimp on protein, which is a prevalent problem I see with clients. A large soup or salad is not going to be substantial enough to keep your blood sugar stable unless it has at least four ounces of protein along with it. It is best to avoid the large traditional high protein meal at dinner time which will definitely raise your blood sugar. Fiber must be added to all meals and snacks to keep your blood sugar stable. For breakfast, vegetables, which are the best source of fiber, can be added to eggs. You can also try Kashi Go Lean, which is a high fiber cereal. For lunch have at least one cup of vegetables with your meal. For snack try wrapping sliced meats

Cancer Rehab Means a Better Quality of Life By Jewel Johl, MD

The concept of rehabilitation has been widely accepted in cardiac and pulmonary care, and in recovery from traumatic and orthopedic injuries, but few understand how important this concept can be for cancer patients. Almost 70 percent of cancer patients report fatigue and overall deconditioning during treatment. Other complaints that many cancer patients have include muscle atrophy and decreased bone density, medication side effects, loss of stamina, balance problems, and lymphedema. Currently there are very few institutions and cancer centers that offer formal oncology rehabilitation services, and these services are often omitted from cancer survivorship programs. An oncology rehabilitation program should be designed to educate, support, and empower patients who have or have had cancer to allow them optimal function and quality of life during and after their cancer treatments. The National Comprehensive Cancer Network’s guidelines say, “Rehabilitation should begin with a cancer diagnosis and should continue even after cancer treatment ends.” Oncology specific physical therapists can help patients overcome physical obstacles during treatment and provide tools for independent participation in a plan to remain healthy and vibrant after cancer treatment. Patients who have lymphedema of any body part, restricted mobility, scar tissue formation after surgery, fatigue, deconditioning or weakness, balance problems, difficulty walking, weight gain, and decreased muscle mass can benefit from early intervention in an oncology rehabilitation program. At Diablo Valley Oncology, we have developed a state-of-the-art Physical Therapy and Lifestyle Center to meet the growing needs of cancer patients. Our lead therapist, Alison Taba, is a licensed physical therapist with special training in oncology rehabilitation and lymphedema therapy. Alison and our team of physical therapy specialists provide cancer rehabilitation services to patients who have been diagnosed with cancer, those undergoing cancer treatment, and survivors of cancer to enable them to improve their quality of life and to help them successfully integrate back into society. In addition to physical therapy, our Lifestyle Center provides nutritional services by Tinrin Chew, RD, who specializes in providing oncology specific nutrition counseling for cancer patients. Other services include group exercise classes and educational programs. Additional integrative health services will be incorporated in 2013. Our Physical Therapy and Lifestyle Center is the only one in the East Bay area and of the few in Northern California to provide cancer specific rehabilitation services. Diablo Valley’s Physical Therapy & Lifestyle Center can be reached by calling (925) 400-9570. Advertorial

Lafayette Today ~ April 2013 - Page 17 around pickles. At dinner time fill half of your plate with greens. Small Frequent Meals - You can no longer skip meals and snacks, eat skimpy lunches, and consume too much at dinner. Your insulin will not accommodate this haphazard eating style. You must learn to eat small, frequent, healthy, balanced meals. Most clients find they wind up enjoying this new way of eating. Desserts - Yes, you can enjoy a dessert as long as it is not eaten on an empty stomach or in between meals. Desserts are meant to come after a meal and not eaten as a meal. If you are hungry and start eating sweets, you may find you will not be able to stop. If you would like to have a dessert after dinner, I advise avoiding starches with dinner. Alcohol - My clients are shocked when I tell them they can have alcohol. When people are exercising, their blood sugars are fine in the morning, even after having vodka with lite cranberry juice or wine the night before. When alcohol is desired, it should replace the dessert of the day. You can have a drink as long as it is planned along with a balanced meal. I always tell clients when they do intense exercise for 40 minutes, they may enjoy a couple of drinks. Beverages - Avoid beverages that have sugar. That includes juices, smoothies, milk, vanilla lattes, chai lattes, or frappacinos. Always check the nutrition facts of the beverage to make sure that next to sugar it says zero. The proliferation of tasty non-sugared drinks should result in you saving your sugar consumption for other treats. Sparkling water spiked with lemon or lime, unsweetened tea, sugar free SoBe, sugar free Snapple, and Crystal Light drinks are best for you. Losing Weight - There is no doubt about it, losing 10-20 pounds will get your blood sugar slowly back into the normal range. The pancreas will not have to work as hard to produce all the insulin for those extra pounds you have. Exercise - You will need to start becoming more active compared to where you have been. Walking at least 30 minutes twice a day, once in the morning and once before dinner, is the best “pill” you can take. You will find consistent exercise will bring your blood sugar down 50 points. If you are committed to making change, I believe a knowledgeable and caring nutritionist could help with this transition. One to two initial education sessions would be followed by frequent (even daily) email/phone communications to track progress and plan specific meal events. The good news is most insurance companies wisely pay for nutritional counseling for diabetes. Please feel free to call me and tell about your nutritional concerns. I can be reached at (925) 855-0150 or e-mail me at Visit my website LindaRD. com to see all of my services as well as past articles and nutrition tips. Advertorial

Brainwaves by Betsy Streeter

Page 18 - April 2013 ~ Lafayette Today

Relapse: Expect it and Respect it By Michael Anne Conley, LMFT

I didn’t like needles as a kid, but I was fascinated at how casually my grandfather would stick one into himself. He was a diabetic, and in those days the only treatment was an insulin injection. I suppose anyone would become casual doing something like that day in, day out. In last month’s column I compared diabetes with addiction, saying that once you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, you become responsible for managing the disease. This is also true of alcoholism and other addictions. When you have a condition like diabetes or an addicted response to alcohol, drugs, or other temptations, the treatment protocols call for changes in behavior that have been routine parts of your life. This is not easy to do, so relapse is common. If you are like most people who are handed these diagnoses, you believe at some level that you’re going to be the exception to the rule and won’t have to follow the recommendations. You might believe you can master this situation your own way, and you might want to do it by yourself. This is one reason that the relapse rates for Type 1 diabetes and drug addiction are similar and significant (30 to 50% of diabetics regress and 40 to 60% of addicts backslide). It turns out that people with hypertension and asthma actually relapse more often (50 to 70% for each). But even though diabetes and addiction have some things in common, there is an important difference: People with diabetes usually aren’t blamed for relapsing, much less for being sick in the first place. But people with addictions are held accountable, by others as well as by themselves. After almost 30 years as an addiction specialist, I think this is a problem. We’re still splitting the body from its mind, even though we know better.

Sympathy if it’s Physical

Situations that are clearly physical soothe our sympathy buttons. For example, when was the last time you called the office and said, “I’m taking the day off today, but I’m not sick.”? Noooo, unless you’re the boss, and even then, isn’t it easier if you have something specific, like an achy throat

Events for Lafayette Seniors

All classes are held at the Lafayette Senior Center (LSC) located at 500 Saint Mary’s Rd in Lafayette unless otherwise noted. Space is limited. Please call 925-284-5050 to reserve a spot. Annual Membership fee: $10 per person. General Event fee: Members $1; Non-Member $3. Special Concerts fee: Members $3; NonMembers $5. Ongoing Caregiver Support Group: Members: no charge; Non-members $1. Lamorinda Dance Social Every Wednesday • 12:30 – 3PM • Live Oak Room, LSC

or a cough, to justify your sick day?

Suspicion if it’s Mental

Many of us are uncomfortable with uncertainty and mystery. Addictions and many chronic conditions have behavioral components. The consequences sneak up on us, whether we’re the one with the problem, or we love the one with the problem. The tendency is to not want to deal with the confusion and worry. So, we avoid, hoping everything will be better tomorrow. That’s not likely. Therefore, relapse is actually to be expected, but the person with the problem and the people around that person don’t always know it. They feel confused about what they’re experiencing, and they try to take care of things themselves with limited understanding of what they’re dealing with. Few medical conditions are so stable that you’ll follow the same treatment protocol for years. Your fitness routine needs to adjust and change over time, so why not your recovery plan? In the process, don’t let this attitude get in your way: “My mind is a dangerous neighborhood. I can’t go in there alone.” Because most addictions create problems with your brain’s perception of reality, trying to fix this all on your own is like being your own heart surgeon. Addiction treatment specialists are committed to helping you get the care you need, and they can support you in creating your best plan for a healthy and safe recovery. A new class to help you achieve an addiction-free life, “Recovery Plus ~ New Skills for the New You,” will be held on Tuesdays 04/09 and 04/23. Michael Anne Conley, LMFT, will introduce you to an elegant and powerful process for achieving your recovery goals. Apply for a free consultation to discover if the class, or any of Michael Anne’s private services, could be a fit for you. Learn more at get-support. Michael Anne is a holistic addiction therapist and director of Stillpoint integrative health center in Lafayette. Contact her at maconley@ or 925-262-4848. Advertorial Our mission is to provide personalized care, help maintain independence and enhance our client’s quality of life on a daily basis.

Heartfelt & Supportive At All Times...

Lafayette Senior Services Commission 4th Thursday of the month from 3:30 – 5:30 , LSC PM

Senior Nature Walk and Bird-Watching Every Wednesday • 9AM - 11AM

• Call LSC to find out weekly meeting locations Come Play Mahjong! Every Tuesday 1PM–3:30PM • Sequoia Room, LSC Self-Discovery and Aging, Creative Writing Workshop 2nd and 4th Thursday monthly 4/12, 4/26, 5/10, 5/24 • 3 - 5PM • Elderberry Room, LSC Positive Living Forum (“Happiness Club”) Thursdays 4/11, 5/9 • 10:30AM – noon • Toyon Room, LSC Bi-Monthly Caregiver Support Group Mondays 4/22, 5/6, 5/20, 6/3 • 1:30–2:30PM • Elderberry Room, LSC Book Club 3rd Tuesday monthly 4/16, 5/21 • 1 – 3PM • Elderberry Room. Anne Randolph: Fall Prevention 4/26 • 11:30 – 12:30 • Sequoia Room, LSC Free Peer Counseling 4/17, 5/15 • Cedar Room, LSC Document Your Life Story Wednesdays 4/17, 5/8, 5/15 • 1–3PM • Sequoia Room, LSC - If you have wanted to write the stories, memories, and experiences of your life but haven’t known where to start, wait no longer. Michael Caligaris will guide you through the process of leaving a living history for future generations. “Spring has Sprung” Piano Jazz Concert 4/19 • 1:30–2:30PM • Lafayette Library, Community Hall 3491 Mt. Diablo Blvd. - Come hang

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


out with our cool cats. Songs from the Great American Songbook may include tunes by Miles Davis, Jerome Kern, Charlie Parker and more, as interpreted by members of Contra Costa Performing Arts Society. Cross-Stitch for Beginners Every Thursday • 1–3PM • Elderberry Room, LSC - Join this ongoing, drop-in group for one-on-one instruction, guidance, or simply a relaxing afternoon spent with fellow stitchers. Allow Ben to guide you regarding designs and supplies for a new project, or bring your own. Veterans’ Benefits Tuesday, 4/30 • 10:30AM – noon • Elderberry Room, LSC - Ensure that you and/or your spouse qualify for, and receive the benefits to which you are entitled. Gain an understanding of what should be done so as not to be disqualified from receiving funds. Yak n’Yarn 4/18, 5/2, 5/16, 6/6 • 1–3PM • Elderberry Room, LSC - Knit or crochet in a social setting with people of similar interests. Drop-in and join us to work on your current project while enjoying an afternoon of camaraderie. All levels are welcome. Digital Camera – The Basics Wednesday, 4/24 • Digital Camera – Archiving Your Photos Wednesday, 5/8 • Both classes 10:30AM – noon, Cedar Room, LSC - The Basics - Learn the basics of how to take photos efficiently, download them to your computer, organize, view, and print them. In Archiving Your Photos we will learn how to back up your photos for posterity.

Lafayette Today ~ April 2013 - Page 19

Making a Vibrant Community Brighter

By Mary Bruns and Mauna Wagner, Lamorinda Senior Transportation, an Alliance of Transportation Providers

“Many thanks for taking me to my destinations – especially the gym… Each day I look at your calendar (of pictures), and it brings back memories and warm feelings of riding the Spirit Van.Thank you for your warmest service.” This letter of appreciation came to us from a passenger who moved out of our service area to be closer to his wife who lives in a care facility. Lamorinda Senior Transportation is a team of four organizations with many drivers and dispatchers who help life run smoothly for our community of elders who need a little help to “age in place.” Many of our drivers are retired and enjoy meeting the people we serve and hearing their stories. John Vocke retired from PG&E where he spent 38 years specializing in labor law. You will often see him on the tennis court. You know Dave Cummins is from London by his English accent. Employment with Chevron brought Dave to the U.S. His mother used a transportation service in England which they all appreciated, so he volunteers with us. Bob Kelly, retired corporate officer, also volunteers for Meals on Wheels. Bob likes giving seniors the opportunity to get out and about, and he likes talking motorcycles with Jim at the C.C. Café. Eddie Caravalho has driven paratransit vans for the last 12 years for the disabled community and now also drives the Spirit Van. “It’s a job I love to do – people are so appreciative...” Reigh Granlund is a retired Federal Aviation Safety Inspector and a 20-year Lafayette resident. Joined by passenger escort, Lisa Strahan, they take Lafayette shoppers to errands at local stores and businesses. “On the go” describes Holly Erickson-King, an attorney and parent of twin nine-year-old boys and a sixyear old daughter. The family enjoys their backyard aviary, home to a dozen parakeets, and Holly is active at the elementary school. Ben Pettersson was born in Sweden, grew up on a farm, and worked as a painter and merchant seaman. Now he creates amazing cross stitch designs and leads a bird watching and hiking group. Mauna Wagner retired from Pacific Bell after 30 years in the telecommunications industry. She is an avid hiker, creates beautiful quilts, drives the van, dispatches, and volunteers for John Muir Hospital and the Lesher Center. Steve Rogness is a firefighter with the Moraga-Orinda Fire District, and he loves back-packing, skiing, and rafting. He and his dad are working on plans to build a house. As with many of our drivers, Jim Wilbanks came to the Spirit Van Program because of experience with an elderly relative, in this case, his 101-yearold mother-in-law who uses a wheelchair. Formerly in construction, Jim enjoys traveling and playing golf. Doug Layfield comes to us with over eight years of experience as a driver for the County Connection LINK. Besides working in transportation, he also worked at legal research and writing for attorneys. His primary interests remain in current affairs. Warren Garrison’s background is in






ARCHITECT JOHN ROLF HATTAM - ARCHITECT Specializes in modest budget, new and renovated residences. Over 200 completed projects. Brochures available for all of our professional services •RESIDENTIAL RENOVATION •NEW RESIDENCES •CHURCHES •COMMERCIAL •MULTI-FAMILY. For the brochure meeting your need call 510-841-5933. 737 Dwight Way, Berkeley.

Norine, Dori, and Jim at the C.C. Café.

finance. He likes talking to our passengers, many who lived here before it was built up. He’s active with golf, tennis, yoga, bowling, and working out. Malcolm Hendry was one of our first volunteer drivers, also having retired from the world of finance. He enjoys old cars, hiking, and gardening. Mike Madden, formerly a civil engineer, also tutors math at the East Bay Rescue Mission. Lamorinda Senior Transportation is a vibrant and active team of individuals who enjoy contributing to the Lamorinda community by driving older adults to their appointments, shopping, and errands. If you would like to join this illustrious group or financially support senior transportation, contact the Lamorinda Spirit Van Program, Senior Helpline Services Rides for Seniors, or Orinda Seniors Around Town. If you have expertise in locating grants that support senior transportation, please call 284-5546 or email

Lamorinda Senior Transportation An Alliance of Transportation Providers

Lamorinda Spirit Van


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

Contra Costa Yellow Cab and DeSoto Company 284-1234 20% discount for Lamorinda seniors.

Orinda Seniors Around Town


Senior Helpline Services Rides for Seniors


Volunteer drivers serving Orinda seniors with free rides to appointments and errands. Phone for information, opportunities to volunteer, and to donate. Volunteer drivers serving Contra Costa seniors with rides to doctors’ appointments during the week. Grocery shopping on Saturdays. Phone for information, opportunities to volunteer, and to donate.







Lafayette Today Classifieds

Reach over 12,000 homes and businesses in Lafayette - Help Wanted, For Sale, Services, Lessons, Pets, Rentals, Wanted, Freebies... $35 for up to 45 words. $5 for each additional 15 words. Send or email submissions to: 3000F Danville Blvd #117, Alamo, CA 94507 or Run the same classified ad in our sister papers “Alamo Today” or “Danville Today News” and pay half off for your second and/or third ad! Payment by check made out to “The Editors” must be received before ad will print. Your cancelled check is your receipt. We reserve the right to reject any ad. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Name_________________________________________ Address___________________________________________ # of Words_______________

Page 20 - April 2013 ~ Lafayette Today

SAGE continued from front page

supplies they collect to TIE. This year the club held a successful winter clothing drive at school, built 400 water pasteurization indicators (thermometer-like devices that indicate when water is safe to drink), and packed a warehouse full of rice and clothing to be shipped to Afghanistan. Grether and club vice-president Rory Noone recently spoke at The Berkeley School to help raise awareness outside of the Lamorinda bubble. “Speaking at The Berkeley School felt really good because we were really nervous about how the kids would react to us,” says Noone. “It was a huge success, and it was very heartwarming to see so many kids interested in charity.” “I am very encouraged by the support for TIE from local schools and from SAGE in particular,” says MacKenzie. “The student members of SAGE have become an integral part of TIE's support base. Students are stepping up, taking responsibility and are committed. SAGE informs and inspires others to become involved and has taken the lead in many activities. They aren't just waiting for someone to tell them what to do. This is extraordinary. They are a go-to organization, responding to every request for help.” SAGE members meet at Acalanes every other Thursday at lunch. They have a membership of about 25 students. Their club advisor is teacher Bruce Downing. “Mr. Downing acts as our voice of Afghani students with donated school supplies. reason and assists us in much of our decision-making,” says Grether. “He also helps with connecting to other organizations, and he speaks on our behalf to other teachers on the Acalanes campus. He encourages us to communicate for SAGE and to do all of our advertising, organizing, and fundraising.” “The club is much more organized this year and visible,” says Downing. “Most everybody on campus knows about us, and we get more students joining each meeting. We set our goals higher than most high school clubs because the members feel very strongly about their cause.” Grether claims that most club members stumbled into a meeting by accident, and then they were compelled by the cause to stay. “They become so inspired by that they chose to stay and set aside time from their busy lives to help out,” says Grether. “What I love about this organization is that we are so closely connected with TIE, so we get pictures, videos, and stories right from the front line. It is inspiring to work so closely with Budd MacKenzie and his organization and be able to see the direct fruits of our labor, whether it's actual buildings being constructed or simply grateful faces of the people we help. “Working with SAGE makes me so grateful for everything that I have, living in such a wealthy community and attending such a prestigious school,” continues Grether. “I want to share the gifts that I have been given, and I think that everything Budd MacKenzie is doing simply comes from the right place and has really changed people’s lives. My hope is that SAGE will simply continue to spread these messages: the message that we all should help those less fortunate than ourselves, the message that we are all equal and deserve equal rights, and the message that anyone can help- that it’s easy to help.” SAGE is hosting a benefit concert, Friday, April 12th, from 7 – 9pm at the Acalanes High School Performing Arts Center. Twenty-four talented Acalanes students will perform, and Budd MacKenzie will talk about his recent trip to Afghanistan. Tickets are $5 for students and seniors and $10 for adults, and they can be bought at the door or online at http://acalaneshs.revtrak. net/tek9.asp?pg=products&grp=57.

Lafayette Today, April 2013  

Lafayette Today, April 2013. The town of Lafayette, California's monthly advertiser-supported community newspaper.

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