November 2013 Library Insiders
By Fran Miller
Once upon a time, libraries were quiet retreats for reading and research. But as times have changed, so have libraries. Computers have replaced card catalogues, and paper books are being swapped in favor of e-books. But technology cannot replicate a library’s essential role in a community – that of a social and intellectual gathering place where doors are open to all. But not everyone has the confidence to utilize all that the library offers. Many feel that they are on the outside looking in – especially those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. In an effort to welcome these specific library patrons, the Library Insiders program was created by the Contra Costa County Library system. Originated in 2007 as the result of astute librarians noticing that those with developmental disabilities were not getting the most out of their library visits, the Insiders program helps to ensure that all library patrons feel valued and welcome. Insider programs were implemented in Antioch, Hercules, Concord, San Ramon, Walnut Creek, and most recently in Lafayette. Lafayette Library and Learning Center Adult Services Librarian Emily Koster oversees Lafayette’s Insiders program, which takes place the second Monday of each month from 1pm to 2pm. Her first planned activity included a pictorial scavenger hunt that helped to orient participants to all aspects of the library building and introduce them to staff. The following month, she brought the Animal Rescue Foundation’s Pet Hug Pack to the library’s homework center where Insider participants were invited to practice their reading skills by reading to trained service dogs. For December, Koster is planning holiday card making and cookie decorating. She hopes to add music and exercise classes to the calendar. Kathy Middleton, Acting Deputy County Librarian, created the Library Insiders program and the blueprint that can be used by others to create successful local programs. “By demonstrating that we welcome Insiders to be part of everything the library has to offer, participants feel comfortable accessing computers, asking reference questions; checking out DVDs, books, CDs, and magazines; exploring the entire library, and so forth,” says Middleton. “They are high-fiving staff and talking about their Facebook pages and joining Wii or other gaming sessions. This is because CCC Library staff work to break any attitudinal barriers to access.” The program has garnered awards and recognition from the American Library Association and the California Library Association. Last year, Contra Costa County library staff provided Library Insider training to San Francisco Public Library staff. “We hope the Library Insiders model will be adopted by other public libraries,” says Middleton. “All public libraries share similarities, and knowing how to navigate one public library is all that is needed to access another.” In order to provide relevant experiences for her Lafayette Insider participants,
See Insiders continued on page 24 Local Postal Customer
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Serving the Lafayette Community The Medical Clown Project: Reaching the Person Inside the Patient By Jody Morgan
The seven professional clowns of the Medical Clown Project (MCP) bring skills honed with Cirque de Soleil, the Big Apple Circus, and other world-renowned companies to medical facilities throughout the Bay Area. Laughter, proven by recent scientific studies to be excellent medicine, is only one part of the therapy they provide. Whether relaxing pediatric patients by stimulating their inherent desire to play or temporarily reconnecting dementia patients with their ability to respond to others who care, the clowns engage the person inside the patient. In 1986, the Big Apple Circus started Clown Care, the first program in the United States utilizing professional clowns to provide therapy in medical facilities. Today the group visits 225,000 pediatric patients a year. In 2002, Dream Doctors, also targeting pediatric patients, introduced therapeutic clowning in Israel. In the past decade, scientists have proven that laughter promotes better blood circulation, relieves stress by regulating the secretion of the anxiety-response hormone cortisol, promotes the release of en- Mahsa Matin finds the key to connecting with the person inside dorphins (natural the patient. (Photo by Lenny Gonzales) painkillers), and even reduces blood sugar levels in diabetics.
See Clown continued on page 8
Community Thanksgiving Breakfast
The Lafayette Chamber of Commerce invites you to join city leaders, residents, and the business community for breakfast as we have done for 34 years. The 35th Annual Community Thanksgiving Breakfast will be held on Friday, November 22, from 7AM – 8:30AM, at Our Saviors Lutheran Church at 1035 Carol Lane in Lafayette. Breakfast will be graciously provided by Dave’s Cuisine. This event is our way of bringing the community together before we all get too busy with the holidays. Tom Franier, co-founder and owner of SemiFreddi’s Bakery, is this year’s featured guest speaker, and our Chamber President Leila Douglah will take care of the MC duties. This event is held each year in the Volume VII - Number 11 loving memory of Barbara Bupp, who 3000F Danville Blvd #117 organized the first breakfast 34 years Alamo, CA 94507 ago. Telephone (925) 405-6397 Begin the holiday season in a Fax (925) 406-0547 significant and meaningful way. email@example.com Reservations can be made by calling Alisa Corstorphine ~ Publisher the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce The opinions expressed herein belong to the and do not necessarily reflect that of Laat (925) 284-7404 or by visiting our writers, fayette Today. Lafayette Today is not responsible website at www.lafayettechamber.org. for the content of any of the advertising herein, nor does publication imply endorsement. Cost is $20 per person.
Page 2 - November 2013 ~ Lafayette Today
Town Hall Meeting for all Residents Thursday, November 14th, 7pm-9pm
3328 Mt Diablo Blvd, Lafayette (925) 283-5212 | Monday - Friday 7:30AM-5PM
Lamorinda Moms Hosts Preschool Fair
Lamorinda Moms will host the 16th annual Preschool Fair, designed to help parents find the perfect preschool for their children, on Thursday, November 14 from 6:30 – 8:30PM. The free event is open to the public, and children are welcome to attend. The event will take place at the Oakwood Athletic Club which is located at 4000 Mt. Diablo Blvd. in Lafayette. Directors and teachers from more than 40 local preschools will be available to discuss their programs and answer questions. The Preschool Fair is a wonderful timesaving event for parents. Attendees will receive a comparison of each of the participating preschools and have the opportunity to meet and talk with the directors and parents from each school. Lamorinda Moms is a social and support club for parents with children under five years of age in the greater Lamorinda area including the cities of Lafayette, Moraga, and Orinda. Lamorinda Moms strives to help members enrich their lives through cultivating new friendships, fostering personal and professional growth, and encouraging community involvement. Since its origin in 1995, Lamorinda Moms (formerly Lamorinda Moms Club) has evolved to become one of the largest parenting organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area, with more than 900 members. The club hosts dozens of activities and special events each month, and provides valuable resources to parents in the Lamorinda area. For more information, visit lamorindamoms.org.
AARP Tax-Aide Call for Volunteers
Do you like working with people? Are you good with numbers? Contra Costa County AARP Tax-Aide is looking for volunteers to become members of a team providing free tax preparation for individuals of all ages. Tax-Aide volunteer positions include Tax Counselors, who are trained by TaxAide and certified by IRS, and Client Facilitators, who schedule appointment and assist clients at tax sites. Orientation is in November 2013, and classes for tax counselors start in January 2014. If you are interested, call LaVerne Gordon at (925) 726-3199 for information and to apply.
Diablo Symphony Concert
The Diablo Symphony will continue its 51st Season of Musical Stories with a concert featuring pieces inspired by nature on Sunday, November 17th at 2pm at the Lesher Center. Nature has long been a source of inspiration for poetry, and both have been an inspiration for music. Narrator Bella Merlin brings to life some of the poetry that inspired these pieces. In performing Benjamin Britten’s hauntingly beautiful Sea Interludes, we will also celebrate the centenary of the birth of this great British composer. Finally, Berlioz’s Harold in Italy, inspired by Byron’s epic poem “Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage,” will feature violist Ellen Ruth Rose. Tickets are available by calling 925-943-SHOW (7469), online at www.lesherartscenter.org, or at the Lesher Center Box Office. The Diablo Symphony Orchestra is a Central Contra Costa-based community orchestra, and its second season under the leadership of Music Director Matilda Hofman. The orchestra performs five concert sets a year, as well as additional concerts and events through its Outreach Program.
All Lafayette residents are invited to a town hall meeting at the Veterans Memorial Hall located at 3780 Mt. Diablo Blvd. on Thursday, November 14th from 7pm to 9pm to hear a “State of the City” address by our Mayor, Mike Anderson, followed by a question and answer period from the audience. Items to be discussed include: • What more can be done about our roads, traffic and parking? • What is going on with the surge of development in our town? • What does it mean to have our downtown designated a “Priority Development Area” (PDA)? • What does the Association of Bay Area Government’s (ABAG) “Plan Bay Area” mean for you, a concerned Lafayette resident? • How do we respond to regional planning issues and still maintain our semi-rural atmosphere? The event is sponsored by the Lafayette Homeowners Council (LHC).
Classic Comedy Comes to Acalanes High School
The Man Who Came To Dinner by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman, acknowledged as one of the funniest comedies ever written, is coming to the Acalanes High School theatre, November 13 through 16, and is directed by Ed Meehan. When a freak accident on the Stanley family’s Ohio doorstep lands venomous theater critic Sheridan Whiteside in a wheelchair, the house is under siege from his extended reign of terror. Hysteria runs rampant as the convalescing curmudgeon interferes, blackmails, lies, and runs roughshod over everyone. The play runs November 13 through 16, with a 7PM curtain (house opens at 6:30). General admission tickets are $10 for general admission and $7 for students. Tickets are available at the door or online at www. ahsperformingarts.org. All proceeds benefit the Acalanes Performing Arts Boosters-Drama.
The Lafayette Community Foundation is excited to announce the first ever Garage Tour on November 10th from 1pm – 5pm, featuring custom garages, shops, and mancaves in the Lamorinda area. In addition to some great ideas for transforming your garage in to the retreat of your dreams, there will be classic cars, live music, and food trucks. Tickets are $35 and available online at www.LafayetteCF.org. Local ticket purchases can be made at Blodgett’s Flooring, Lafayette Car Wash, and the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce. Day-of-the-tour tickets will be available at Blodgett’s Floor, 3291 Mt. Diablo Court, Lafayette. Proceeds from the Garage Tour support neighborhood projects through the Lafayette Community Foundation. Learn more at www.LafayetteCF.org. Early sponsors and supporters include Blodgett’s Flooring, Concord BMW, Dudum Real Estate, Lafayette Car Wash Lafayette Chamber of Commerce, and Minuteman Press. Additional sponsorship and advertising opportunities are available. Email info@LafayetteCF.org or call us at 925-284-8214. Let us know if you or someone you know has a great garage. It’s never to early to start planning for next year. See you on the tour!
Handel’s Messiah Community Sing
A community sing of Handel’s Messiah will be held at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 66 St Stephens Drive in Orinda, on Friday, December 6 at 7:30PM. The Messiah Sing will be directed by Minister of Music Robert Train Adams, with Festival Choir, professional soloists, and chamber orchestra with harpsichord and organ. This event is an annual fundraiser for the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano Counties. Childcare is available by reservation. A free-will offering will be taken. For more information, contact Brenda Free at firstname.lastname@example.org or (925) 254-3770 x10.
By Alisa Corstorphine, Editor
I remember back in my math, computer, science, and logic classes learning about “IF->THEN statements.” IF the batteries are dead, THEN the remote control won’t work. IF you eat too much turkey and trimmings on Thanksgiving Day THEN you’ll feel like you will pop. I’ve been thinking about IF->THEN a lot lately and how it has impacted my life. In elementary school my middle child participated in sports but hadn’t found his niche. In fourth grade he received a postcard in the mail for the newly formed hockey league at the Golden Skate roller rink. He decided he wanted to check out the sport and see if was for him. He had no hockey equipment, could barely skate, and definitely couldn’t stop or skate backwards. Now, fast forward almost 15 years, and that one postcard led to a sports passion that continues to this day, both as a spectator and a participant. It led to travel opportunities all over California as well as Minnesota and Illinois to play hockey. It led to friendships that continued through college and into the workplace. IF he hadn’t had received that postcard in the mail, THEN his friend network, travel experiences, and love of hockey probably would have been completely different. My husband wouldn’t have gotten involved in coaching and playing, his brother and sister wouldn’t have picked up the sport, and I would have found a different way to spend my time rather than stepping up to run the league for almost five years. The activities and relationships of people with our whole family would have taken an entirely different direction...all because of one flimsy little postcard. Imagine that. IF->THEN. There is a ripple effect from every event, a multitude of unimagined and unintended consequences. Years ago we were having our carpet replaced in our home. The carpet installer and my husband were talking about work, and the installer mentioned that his brother would like the kind of work my husband was doing with computers. My husband told the installer to have his brother send over a resume. That led to my husband hiring the carpet installer’s brother as a new employee. Ironically, several months into his employment, I connected the dots with the new
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Lafayette Today ~ November 2013 - Page 3 employee’s last name and found the employee was the nephew of one of my hockey coaches! The brother spent nine years with my husband’s company, met his wife on the job, and introduced another great employee through his family. IF->THEN. When we moved to the Bay Area from Seattle, we looked at many neighborhoods and cities. My husband was taking a job in Pleasanton, and we looked at dozens of homes along the 680 corridor. We could have chosen many different homes and neighborhoods, and every one of them would have come with a completely different future for our family. There are so many paths forward, and these micro-decisions we make have a huge, unsung effect on our lives. The homes we looked at, within a 15 mile radius of Pleasanton, all had different neighbors, schools, commute patterns, stores, weather, etc. We seldom stop to think about how these little choices add up to huge changes in our lives. The relationships and experiences change with each little choice we make. One of my guilty pleasures is reading my way through the “A, B, C, D...” detective novel series of Sue Grafton books, and I am now in the middle of W is for Wasted. Early on in the story the author writes, “Pulling out of the parking lot, I thought about the oddities of life, that something as insignificant as a slip of paper could have a ripple effect. For reasons unknown, the dead man had made a note of my name and phone number, and because of that, my path had touched his...Sometimes the import of a minor moment makes all the difference...” Every choice we make has an impact on something around us. Each day we make hundreds of them. The IF->THEN equation constantly swirls around us. The choice can be something as simple as what we eat, what we wear, what we do for the next hour of our time, or which road we drive down. The THEN part of the equation might become apparent immediately, or the consequences may become apparent years down the road. Many of these choices feel like second nature, and we fail to recognize them as a choice at all, because we don’t even realize we’re making them. The joy of life is in the journey, and it’s illustrated by the multi-colored tapestry of decisions and consequences that are woven from the experiences of our lives. It’s a lot of fun to look back through our lives and connect the random dots of unplanned events to significant and wonderful things that have made our lives special. What are some of your IF->THEN’s?
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Page 4 - November 2013 ~ Lafayette Today
Snow falls onstage and the Christmas tree magically grows to great heights in the beloved annual California Academy of Performing Arts (CAPA) presentation of The Nutcracker. With more than 100 local Lamorinda performers ranging in age from 6 – 18 years, this elaborate production features sumptuous sets, live narration, and absolutely gorgeous costumes. Performances will be held on Friday, December 6th at 7PM, Saturday, December 7th at 2PM and 7PM and Sunday, December 8th at 2PM at the Del Valle Theatre, 1963 Tice Valley Boulevard in Walnut Creek. (Location change due to Campolindo construction). Tickets ($22) can be purchased beginning November 4th at http://www.lesherartscenter.org/ticket-office-information/, and more information can be found at www.capadance.net. Don’t miss this Lamorinda favorite holiday tradition! For more information, please contact email@example.com.
Celebrate the Joy of Remembrance at Hospice of the East Bay’s 27th Annual Tree of Lights
Hospice of the East Bay invites the public to participate in its 27th Annual Tree of Lights Ceremonies to be held in Contra Costa throughout November and December. The tree lightings offer community members a way to honor the lives of their friends and loved ones. Funds raised allow Hospice of the East Bay to provide essential programs and services such as the Vigil Program which ensures no one has to die alone. Each light on every tree is symbolic of a life and will shine in honor or memory of a beloved friend or family member. By dedicating a Memorial Light for a minimum gift of $25, you can honor someone you love while directly supporting end-of-life patient care. Memorial donors of $100 and higher will have the option to have their names listed in the lighting ceremony program of their choice. For light dedications, donations, sponsorships, and event questions, call (925) 887-5678 or visit www.hospiceeastbay.org. Please join any of the commemorative ceremonies to enjoy music, poetry, remembrances by family members and Hospice staff, and the special moment when the tree lights up. • Walnut Creek: 1511 Mt. Diablo Boulevard, Walnut Creek Sunday, November 17, 5:00PM • Pleasant Hill: Gregory Lane near Cleaveland, Pleasant Hill Thursday, November 21, 5:30PM • Rossmoor: Creekside Clubhouse, 1010 Stanley Dollar Dr, Walnut Creek Wednesday, December4, 5:00PM • Orinda: 31 Orinda Way, Orinda (by Bank of America) Saturday, December 7, 4:30PM • Moraga & Lafayette: Moraga Country Club, 1600 St. Andrews Dr, Moraga Sunday, December 8, 5:30PM • Alamo & Bruns House: Alamo Women’s Club, 1401 Danville Blvd, Alamo Wednesday, December 11, 12:15PM Hospice of the East Bay provides compassionate end-of-life care to terminally ill patients, while offering emotional, spiritual, and grief support for the entire family. As a not-for-profit organization, we accept all medically qualified patients, regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay. Hospice of the East Bay has served over 22,000 patients and their families since 1977.
$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
Alyssa Armanino is our winner! Luther was hiding on page 15 last month.
Scottish Country Dancing is Back in Town!
Come dance every Thursday evening, year-round (with the single exception of Thanksgiving)! No partner is required and no Scottish ancestry is required. Adult beginner classes for Scottish Country Dancing take place each week with free lessons at 7PM followed by more experienced dancers dancing at 8PM. Once a month Ceilidh dancing will take place as well. Dancing will be held at the Lamorinda Theatre Academy, located at 83 Lafayette Circle in Lafayette. All dance nights are drop-in. Three weeks of free beginner lessons are offered. Afterwards the cost is $8/night or $6/night if attending a 10-week session paid in advance. Call Witsie 925-676-3637 or Kathleen 925-934-6148 for more information. For children’s classes ages 7 and up, please contact Cathy at 925-284-9068 for dates and fees.
AAUW November Meeting
Is the Affordable Healthcare Act Really Affordable?
Please join the Lafayette-Orinda-Moraga (LOM) Chapter of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) on Tuesday, November 19th, at 9:15AM, at the Serbian Cultural Center, located at 1700 School Street, Moraga for our November meeting. Alison McKenzie will talk on the topic “Is the Affordable Healthcare Act Really Affordable?” Having served as an Administrative Law Judge in Social Services for the State of California, Alison knows firsthand the “ins and outs” of many of the state’s publicly funded service programs, including Home Supportive Services, CalFresh (aka Food Stamps), Foster Care, and Aid to Adoptive Children. Although newly retired, Alison continues to be involved with administrative hearings on a part-time basis and, because of her familiarity with MediCal eligibility, has been recruited by the California State Department to train county leaders about the Affordable Health Care Act (ACA) and its implications. Alison will highlight the ACA provisions: “What it is, who it covers, and how it works.” Her presentation applies to a broad audience of all ages and includes many of our children who may find themselves in serious need of health coverage at some point in the future. Bring your friends, enjoy some refreshments, and share in the camaraderie! For more information about the event, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Weekly Dance Social
Dance for joy at the weekly Social, or just come to chat; all are welcome. Twirl, chat, and tap your feet to the beat. The Social is for all-level and all-style dancers, music lovers, and observers. The Social is held Wednesdays from 12:30 to 2:50PM at the Lafayette Community Center located at 500 St. Mary’s Road. The longtime event, with continuous, professionally recorded music, is held in the big, bright Live Oak Room. The Social specializes in ballroom, but any style dance adds to the charm. For more information, visit sites.google.com/site/lafayetteteadance. Fees for the event are $2 for members of the Senior Center and $4 for non-members.
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.
Library Material Abuse Highlighted in Girl Scout Gold Award Project
Teresa Lo, a Girl Scout Ambassador of Lafayette Girl Scout Troop 31042 and a senior at Acalanes High School, has worked for the past year towards earning her Girl Scout Gold Award. Her project to accomplish this goal focuses on the abuse of library materials and is called “How to Take Care of Your Library.” After attending public school in Lafayette and volunteering at the Lafayette Library, Lo saw many damaged and mistreated library books. She believes the point of the library is to be a place where everyone can enjoy the library materials, but if damaged, the materials will not be able to be fully enjoyed. Feeling strongly that the root cause of the issue is lack of awareness and education, Lo created a project to educate and raise the awareness of the younger generation on treating the library materials properly. She created media to help achieve this goal which includes posters, bookmarks, and a video. These items were submitted to Marissa Comins, the Librarian of Lafayette Elementary School, to distribute and show to her students at the beginning of this school year. Posters and bookmarks were also delivered to the Happy Valley, Burton Valley, and Springhill Elementary School and Stanley Middle School libraries as well as the San Pablo Public Library. The media serves as reminders to the students to be more considerate by treating the library materials properly. As a result, the library materials will last longer and more people will be able to enjoy them. Instead of replacing or repairing damaged items, the library could use its budget to acquire new materials or technology, and the whole school community benefits from the project. Mrs. Comins, Lafayette Elementary School Librarian, says, “ALL of the classes at our school have seen [the] video during their library class last week, and each student received a bookmark. They LOVED the video! When I showed it, in the lower grades I saw an awful lot of huge eyes and ‘oh my gosh!’ statements that students would do such bad things to books. In the upper grades there was a lot of laughing and ‘that is so funny, who would do that?!’ The video really made an impact upon them. I even had a kindergarten teacher tell me that a parent came to her and relayed the following story. The 9:00 & 11:00 a.m. student and mother were reading a book together, LOPC.org and the mother started to dog-ear the page, and the Programs for Kids student jumped up and 6-mos. through grabbed a piece of paper 12th grade to use as a bookmark. So the message really sunk in!” LAFAYETTE-ORINDA To watch Lo’s PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH video, go to http:// Where everyone is welcome, nobody is perfect w w w. y o u t u b e . c o m / and anything is possible with God. watch?v=aHRsJSIxzyg.
Lafayette Today ~ November 2013 - Page 5
Our Holiday Tradition Continues… 35th Annual Community Thanksgiving Breakfast Presented by the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce
Friday, November 22, 2013 7:00 – 8:30am Our Saviors Lutheran Church 1035 Carol Lane, Lafayette $20 per person
Breakfast provided by Dave’s Cuisine
For registration visit www.lafayettechamber.org or call 925-284-7404
Reservations are required
Celebrate the Service of a Veteran By Monty Stanford
November 11th is designated in the United States as Veterans Day, a day to honor those who have served in the armed forces. It was originally proclaimed in 1919 as Armistice Day to commemorate the end of World War I. In 1954, Congress passed legislation that changed the name to Veterans Day and broadened it to honor all veterans. If you want to meet an historic veteran of World War II and the Vietnam War, there is one nearby. The aircraft carrier USS Hornet (CVS-12) is now a museum of naval aviation. She is docked at Pier 3 in the former Naval Air Station in Alameda. The Hornet has special exhibits, 15 aircraft aboard, a flight simulator that you can take a ride in, and self-guided as well as docent-led tours. The Hangar Deck also has artifacts from Hornet’s service as the recovery ship for the Apollo 11 and 12 space capsules. It is a great place for the whole family to visit on Veterans Day. See www.uss-hornet.org for more information. The USS Hornet Museum is an independent non-profit organization. Veterans Day originated with World War I, which is the one war that has no national memorial in Washington, DC. There are national memorials dedicated to veterans of World War II, the Korean War, and Vietnam, but there are none for World War I. The last surviving US veteran of World War I, Frank Woodruff Buckles, led a campaign to establish a World War I memorial, but he was unsuccessful and died in 2011 at the age of 110 years. The last surviving veteran of World War I from any nation was Florence Patterson Green who was a member of England’s Women’s Royal Air Force. She died in 2012, also aged 110 years old. Most other nations who were combatants in World War I celebrate November 11th as Remembrance Day or Armistice Day. Those nations honor veterans who died in wars on this holiday. In the United States, the men and women who died while serving are honored on Memorial Day, the last Monday in May. Memorial Day originated to honor those who died while serving either side in the US Civil War. Today there are approximately 23 million veterans in the US, over 7% of the total population. In California, there are about 1.8 million veterans, nearly 5% of California’s total population. So, you probably know, or can find, a veteran to thank for his or her service on this their special day. Monty Stanford is a resident of Lafayette, a freelance writer, and a US Navy veteran. You can reach him by email at email@example.com.
Page 6 - November 2013 ~ Lafayette Today
The Bookworm By Joan Stevenson
I’d like to start with a special message from our librarian, Vickie Sciacca - “Thank you to Diablo Foods and Whole Foods for their generous donation of pumpkins for the library! The pumpkins have brought smiles to the faces of many young people when they come to the library and pass the bright orange array in the Zen Garden near the Information Desk. The pumpkins will be adorning the garden until Thanksgiving at which time they will turn into delicious pumpkin pies!” For all of you Black Friday shoppers, The Friends Corner Bookshop will be open November 29th and November 30th (half price sale day)! Where else can you find over 25,000 volumes shelved by category, genre, and subject for easy browsing and priced to sell quickly? In Grand Style is the title of the Asian Art Museum exhibit which celebrates Korean Art during the Josean Dynasty. A docent from the museum will join us on Tuesday, November 12th from 2-3PM to discuss this exhibit of over 100 works of art. In Grand Style illustrates the history of the dynasty’s 27 kings and queens through their rituals. This WOW (Wonders of the World) program is presented by the Friends of LLLC. John Muir Health comes to us on Tuesday, November 12th from 10–11:30AM with a message about screening for lung cancer. It surprised me to learn that lung cancer is the leading cancer killer for both men and women in this country. It kills more people each year than colon, breast, pancreas, and prostate cancers combined. Join Dr. Michaela Straznicka, Co-Medical Director for the John Muir Health Thoracic program who will present the latest information related to the diagnosis of lung cancer, current recommendations for screening, and current early stage treatment and outcomes. The event is free. The Friends have invited Corina Vacco, winner of the Delacorte Prize for Young Adult literature, to Sweet Thursday on November 21st, at 7:30PM. Her debut novel, My Chemical Mountain, has received rave reviews. It is a story of three friends living in the fictional small town of Poxton, New York. Jason,
www.yourmonthlypaper.com Charlie, and Cornpup hate Mareno Chem. It’s the largest chemical plant in the state, and it has turned their community into an ecological wasteland. Hoping to bring down the plant, the three search for an illegal chemical they believe that the plant has secretly manufactured. But how can three teenagers possibly fight a ruthless corporate giant? Science Café will be held on Tuesday, November 19th at 7PM. Host Paul Giroux, recipient of the American Society of Civil Engineers’ prestigious Civil Engineering History and Heritage Award for 2013, will come to LLLC to discuss the building of the Panama Canal. He will share highlights of this remarkable construction feat, illustrating how the right men, the right machines, and the right methods all came together in 1904 to build a project of unprecedented scope and challenges. The cost is $5/person. Make reservations at www.LLLCF.org. Tim Green is coming to the Lafayette Library on November 20th at 6:30PM in the Homework Center as part of the Authors and Athletes series designed for kids and teens. Tim Green is a best-selling author of the series, Football Genius, which includes The Perfect Season, Unstoppable, and Force Out. He is a lawyer, TV broadcaster, former professional football player, and father of five kids! He knows it is not easy growing up, but it sure can be fun! He will share his compelling stories of what he’s learned about being successful at home, on the field, and in the classroom. Adults admission is $5, and youth admission is free. Reserve your seats today! Travel writer and TV personality, Rick Steves, is the next author in our Distinguished Speaker series. Rick is the host of the PBS show Rick Steves’ Europe and will join us to share his unique travel wisdom and anecdotes on Friday, December 6th at 6:30PM at the Orinda Theatre. The cost is $35/ main floor and $25/upper level seating. Reserve at www.LLLCF.org. “Could libraries be our shelters from the storm?” That title from the New York Times piece by Michael Kimmelman caught my eye. That is exactly what happened in our family a month ago during the Morgan Fire, when a frail elderly family member was evacuated as the fire threatened his home. He was taken to the Clayton Library where fellow evacuees gathered. Unlike a school gymnasium or a coliseum, a library already is a de facto community center, a familiar venue for toddlers and teenagers, young moms, the unemployed, senior citizens, and oh, yes, the readers. It is the go-to place, the port in the storm…the community anchor. I am so thankful for our wonderful Lafayette Library.
Historical Society Commemorates 150th Gettysburg Address Anniversary
When your fourth grader comes home and asks if you know why President Eisenhower bought his Pennsylvania farm, you can cleverly say, “Because he wanted a Gettysburg address.” (Or, to be kind, you can let her give the punch line.) But however you decide to handle the riddle, you are invited to join members and friends of the Lafayette Historical Society in a rare opportunity to become much more knowledgeable about that acclaimed Address. The 150th anniversary of the immortal Gettysburg Address is coming up in mid-November, and in commemoration the Historical Society has invited a scholar of the Gettysburg Battle, the Soldiers’ Cemetery there, and of the Address itself to participate in its Speaker Series. Lamorinda resident John J. Fitzpatrick, Jr., Esq., attorney and arbitrator, is also a veteran (no, not of the Civil War) as well as a licensed Gettysburg Battlefield tour guide. After more than five years of active service in the U.S. Marine Corps and 23 years U.S. Air Force active reserve service, Colonel Fitzpatrick was invited by the National Park Service to lead tours of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery dedicated by President Lincoln. While leading more than a thousand battlefield tours over the course of 10 years, Col. Fitzpatrick began researching the background of the November 19, 1863, cemetery dedication. He was particularly interested in all of the problems President Lincoln had to deal with in the middle of the Civil War with no end in sight, when he made the four-hour train trip to Gettysburg and delivered his two-minute speech. This is the speech that makes one of the most mistaken predictions of all time: “The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here….” Col. Fitzpatrick will explore how President Lincoln prepared for the occasion, realizing he was not to be the featured speaker. That honor went to acclaimed orator and former president of Harvard Edward Everett, who occupied the podium for two hours before turning it over to the President. According to Doris Kearns Goodwin’s prize-winning book, Team of Rivals, “When Lincoln finished, ‘the assemblage stood motionless and silent,’ according to the awestruck George Gitt. ‘The extreme brevity of the address together with its abrupt close had so astonished the hearers that they stood transfixed. Had Lincoln not turned and moved toward his chair, the audience would very likely have remained voiceless for several moments more. Finally there came applause.’ Lincoln may have initially interpreted the audience’s surprise as disapproval. As soon as he finished, he turned to Ward Lamon. ‘Lamon, that speech won’t scour! It is a flat failure, and the people are disappointed.’ Edward Everett knew better and [wrote Lincoln the following day]: ‘I should be glad if I could flatter myself that I came as near to the central idea of the occasion, in two hours, as you did in two minutes.’ “Lincoln had translated the story of his country and the meaning of the war into words and ideas accessible to every American. The child who would sleeplessly rework his father’s yarns into tales comprehensible to any boy had forged his country an ideal of its past, present, and future that would be recited and memorized by students forever,” Goodwin noted. Plan to come to the Lafayette Library’s Community Hall at 3PM on Sunday, November 17th to hear from one of the most knowledgeable experts in the country about the immortal speech, the dedication of the Gettysburg National Cemetery, and the issues of that day 150 years ago that have parallels today. Children under 14 and students in high school with student ID are welcomed without charge. Donations of $10 for Historical Society members and $15 for non-members are requested.
Lafayette Today ~ November 2013 - Page 7
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www.yourmonthlypaper.com Lafayette Hiking Group
To participate in hikes, meet at the city parking lot at 941-945 Moraga Road at 8:30AM. Bring lunch or snacks, water, layered clothing, good walking shoes, sun protection, and money to contribute toward gas ($3 local).
Tuesday, November 12 - Sutro Heights Park & Golden Gate Park
We will be taking BART and Muni - bring money or a Clipper Card. We will have beach and city views from Sutro Heights Park. We will then be in the western two-thirds of Golden Gate Park. Sights include four lakes, a waterfall, fly-casting ponds, Drake’s Cross, soccer fields, the bison field, golf course, and archery range. Easy 5 miles, though if the order is reversed there will be some uphill or steps. Leader: Roxana Yau
Wednesday, November 20 - Rocky Ridge, King’s Canyon Loop, Moraga
We will start from the Valle Vista staging area and head east on the Rocky Ridge Trail to the King’s Canyon Loop trail, with views of the Upper Sam Leandro Reservoir and interesting bird sightings. Bring hiking sticks if you use them, and wear boots if there has been rain. Somewhat hilly 5 - 6 miles. Leaders: Alison Hill and Joyce Tse E-mail any questions to LafayetteHiking@comcast.net.
Page 8 - November 2013 ~ Lafayette Today
Pipeline Safety in Our Community
By Supervisor Candace Andersen, Contra Costa County, District 2
Although we don’t usually associate the fall season with planting and landscaping, many of us do take on final projects around the yard before winter sets in. It’s always good to remind everyone that any time you or your contractor digs on your property, you need to call 8-1-1. The 811 number is a national “Call Before You Dig” phone number designated to help save lives by minimizing damage to underground utilities. One easy phone call to 811 quickly begins the process of getting underground utility lines marked. Local One Call Center personnel notify affected utility companies, who will send crews to mark underground lines for free. Knowing where underground utility lines are buried before each OFF digging project begins can prevent injury, expense and penalties. The depth of utility lines may vary, and Up multiple utility lines may exist in one area. Simple digging jobs can damage utility lines and can disrupt To vital services to an entire neighborhood, harm those who dig, and result in expensive fines and repair costs. Marked lines show those who dig the approximate location of underground lines and help prevent undesired consequences. Call 811 before you dig or visit www.call811.com for more information. Utility line safety has come to the forefront recently along the Iron Horse Corridor, often referred to as the Iron Horse Trail. The County has begun reviewing property lines along the Corridor as they have become aware that some property owners have dangerously encroached into the utility easements. As most people know, the Iron Horse Corridor was previously the Southern Pacific Railroad Right-of-Way. It was purchased by Contra Costa County with grant money from the state and the sale of utility easements. The Corridor is typically 50-100 feet wide and includes various underground utilities, including fiber optic, sewer and water McCaulou’s Lafayette lines, as well as a high pressure petroleum pipeline owned by Kinder Morgan. It is approximately 19 miles McCaulou’s Danville and stretches from Concord to the San Ramon/Alameda County line. East Bay Regional Park District has a license agreement with the County to operate and maintain the Iron Horse Trail within the Corridor. McCaulou’s Shoe Boutique Over the years, some property owners have extended fencing, retaining walls, structures, bridges, stairs, pavers, landscaping and drainage into the corridor, landing near or on top of the Kinder Morgan pipeline. Kinder Morgan cannot allow encroachments in their easement as directed by the State Fire Marshall. It is a serious safety issue. The County is therefore requiring property owners to remove the encroachments which have been built in this easement. We are fortunate to have an amenity like the Iron Horse Corridor. As we enter the month of November, it is a great opportunity to reflect upon all we are grateful for, including our great community and exceptional quality of life. Medical Center, describes why clown therapy is so successful. “The goal of clownClown continued from front page ing therapy is to ground people in the here and now. Patients laugh, clap, and sing, Although 90% of medical clowning finding richness in the moment. It does not need to be theatrical because ultimately worldwide focuses on pediatric care, MCP it is about being with people and not performing for them. People become more devotes much of its time to adults, particualert when the unexpected is introduced. A patient left sitting all day in a wheelchair larly patients diagnosed with dementia or without stimulation tends to shut down mentally.” Alzheimer’s. “Pediatric patients going into a Putting the patient in charge is an MCP hallmark. “The patient directs each hospital are scared. All clowns have a sense interaction,” Ben Johnson, head clown, notes. “We use their verbal and non-verbal of play that gives permission to the patients to cues to determine duration, tone, content, etc.” Patients always have the option of play. When they do, they feel comfortable and refusing a visit. “We play to the person and not the patient,” he continues. “Hopeit relieves their anxiety,” MCP clown Calvin fully that gives them the breathing room to interact on a human level which in turn Kai Ku explains. “The approach with adults is generates a renewal of the energy needed to heal.” Clowns receive a staff briefdifferent from the approach with children. For ing at the beginning of every shift so that they have a sense of what each patient adults, we provide a sense of camaraderie and might find comforting. Clowns perform wherever they are needed: patient rooms, friendship as someone who isn’t going to prod intensive care, group settings, and even at nursing stations. you and talk about your medical situation.” MCP clowns work in pairs. Because they take their cues from patient response, How did MCP, the first program of its kind improvisation is the order of the day. “Each of our performers comes to the table with established on the West Coast, come to address an individual repertoire of skills,” Johnson notes. “We also have common performance the needs of patients of all ages? Artistic Direcvocabulary including bits of business everyone knows, so your partner can step in tor Jeff Raz also founded the Clown Conservaand play any role that the situation requires.” Clowns are prepared to simply have a tory, the only comprehensive clown-training conversation if that is what the patient wants. “You need to be open with what’s going program in the United States. His students were on with the patient. It’s not about you as a fabulous performer, but what each patient Jef Raz, MCP co-founder and Artistic performing outside a hospital when the nurse Director, has toured with Cirque de can get from you,” Kai Ku elaborates. “We are capable of temporarily dissolving Soleil, performed with the Pickle Circus, in charge of one of the adult units rushed up to dementia patients’ confusion. Through this we can get them to talk about themselves and founded the Clown Conservatory. them. “Do you work on adult units?” she asked so we can discover what brings each individual joy and happiness.” (Photo courtesy of MCP) before exclaiming, “I need you now!” Michelle Fouts, Executive Partner for Secure Dementia Unit at Laguna Honda As Raz notes, medical staffers often grasp the significance of what MCP proHospital, expresses her enthusiasm for MCP success on residential floors known as vides before the clowns complete their introductory demonstration. Kai Ku adds: “neighborhoods.” A staff nurse discussed one patient labeled unresponsive. “She used “Having an excellent rapport with the medical staff is important. We have the same to talk to me regularly, but she hasn’t spoken for the last year. But she was talking goal, but the form of therapy we offer is very different. By working together, we today with the clowns!” Fouts continues, “Agitation in persons with dementia is a enhance the therapeutic experience.” symptom of an unfulfilled need. They are not able to tell us that need, and we have In 2010, MCP ran its first pilot program at California Pacific Medical Center to be detectives. Some people end up on medication to treat the agitation. Our goal where Sharon (Sherry) Sherman, MCP Executive Director, has practiced. Dr. Sheris to be great detectives so that less medicine will need to be taken and people with man, Raz’s spouse, is a Licensed Psychologist and Community Health Consultant dementia will be able to live the fullest life possible. One of our needs is for fun and with a specialty in Health Psychology. She recognized immediately the role medical engagement. The Medical Clowns help bring spontaneity and joy to the moment.” clowns could play in treating adults as well as children. See Clown continued on page 24 Robert Sarison, Program Manager & RCFE Administrator at California Pacific
Birds of a Feather By Evan Corstorphine, Portable CIO
Lafayette Today ~ November 2013 - Page 9
11 Critical Home Inspection Traps to be Aware of Weeks Before Listing Your Home for Sale
I have a lot of fun writing this article every month for you. Seriously! Lafayette - According to industry ex- sale or, worse, turn prospective buyers I get 750 words to talk with you about perts, there are over 33 physical prob- away altogether. In most cases, you can something we share in common, and lems that will come under scrutiny during make a reasonable pre-inspection yourself it’s a cathartic experience that most a home inspection when your home is if you know what you're looking for, and people never get. There is so much I for sale. A new report has been prepared knowing what you're looking for can help want to tell you about that it’s hard to which identifies the 11 most common you prevent little problems from growing choose how to spend my valuable words. This month I want of these problems, and what you should into costly and unmanageable ones. to talk about paint. To help home sellers deal with this issue know about them before you list your home Windows Paint? Paint Shop Pro? Paint.net? None of the for sale. before their homes are listed, a free report above. Just paint. This month we had the building which Whether you own an old home or a brand entitled "11Things You Need to Know to houses our office painted, and it dawned on me how many new one, there are a number of things Pass Your Home Inspection" has been similarities there were between Narciso Rodriguez’s paint that can fall short of requirements during a compiled which explains the issues involved. company and Portable CIO. We are both reputation-based home inspection. If not identified and dealt To hear a brief recorded message about companies. Sure, I carry an ad in these papers, but that’s about with, any of these 11 items could cost you how to order your FREE copy of this report, it. Both of us have been doing our professions for decades. We dearly in terms of repair. That's why it's call toll-free 1-866-265-1682 and enter both have teams of highly specialized and skilled employees. critical that you read this report before 2003. You can call any time, 24 hours a day, We both respect our teams very greatly. We both seek perfec- you list your home. If you wait until the 7 days a week. tion, and we offer a keen value for the work we perform. We building inspector flags these issues for Get your free special report NOW to learn clean up after ourselves, we leave things noticeably better than you, you will almost certainly experience how to ensure a home inspection doesn't the way we found them, and you can tell right away whether costly delays in the close of your home cost you the sale of your home. we did a good job or not. The similarities go on, but I think This report is courtesy of J. Rockcliff Realtors #01763819. Not intended to solicit buyers or sellers currently under contract. Copyright © 2013 you get the point. We’re service businesses, and I consider of mine with Portable CIO. We understand the jobs we scope better than our Narciso an equal, just doing with paint what we do with computers. I wanted to mention Narciso Rodriguez’ house painting business specifically competition because we have a fundamentally different approach, and we because I was so impressed by the way he approached our job. If you have ever have done enough of this work that we are able to accurately predict the labor employed skilled laborers to do work on your home in Danville, Diablo, Alamo, involved. We keep costs down because we’re efficient, and we set accurate or Lafayette, you know what I mean by the term “Zip Code Pricing.” It seems expectations for what the client will experience. We’re not trying to make a that whenever we’re getting work estimates, the contractor jacks up the price killing on a customer’s back because we would rather have a long-term, referbecause they figure everyone with these zip codes is so wealthy they don’t care ring relationship. And like Narciso, we don’t ask to be paid until the project how much they spend. You can understand then how much I appreciated Narciso’s has been satisfactorily completed and the client is demonstrably happy with quote which was a full 40% cheaper than the previous quote I received. He also our work. When you’re good at what you do, you can deliver consistent and included more scope, gave me specific dates, and didn’t want a dime from me predictable results under a variety of circumstances. We make our living by for paint or labor until the job was complete. I’m not exaggerating when I say I repeating this process over and over, building a wider circle of positive shared was blown away by the quality of his team’s work. Every time I walk outside I experiences. Like Narciso, we’re blessed and grateful for the opportunity to share what we’re good at with others and be remunerated. We receive daily marvel at how thick and consistent the paint job appears. This is the best paint job I’ve ever experienced (and there have been many, as I used to paint in college), validation that what we’re doing matters and is valued by the community. I’m not surprised that Narciso is so busy. We are too. Narciso’s become a and we had a complex job because of the age and condition of the building. His favorite of local real estate agents because he’s able to quickly and expertly team was meticulous, dedicated, polite and friendly. One more thing: Narciso ’s team liked him and respected him. His was a team in the classic sense of the paint houses being readied for sale, or he can help a new home owner freshen the residence. People who are good at what they do seldom have to worry about word, and he wasn’t your typical task-master with laborers. They worked together like a well oiled Swiss clock. Narciso is certainly doing things right, and more keeping their pipeline full. If you’d like Narciso’s number, give me a call at the office (925)552-7953 or email our firstname.lastname@example.org account, and contractors in this area should pay attention to his habits. Advertorial Narciso caught my eye on this project because his approach mirrors that I’d be happy to share him with you! Happy Thanksgiving!
Junior Achievement Needs You
Junior Achievement, a non-profit funded by foundations and businesses, offers an exciting opportunity for you and your office to partner with local schools to educate students about business and financial literacy. By volunteering in the schools or hosting a Job Shadow, companies can increase outreach. Programs are offered to the schools at no cost. For more information, please contact Shaun Rundle at 465-1082, email email@example.com, or visit www.janorcal.org.
San Ramon Valley Genealogical Meetings
The San Ramon Valley Genealogical Society meets at 10 am the third Tuesday of every month, except August and December, at the Danville Family History Center, 2949 Stone Valley Road, Alamo. A speaker is at every meeting. Everyone is welcome. For information, call Ed at (925) 299-0881, or visit http://srvgensoc.org.
Lic# 1100014354; Bay Area Entertainment
Page 10 - November 2013 ~ Lafayette Today
Keeping Warm in Winter
By Linda Riebel, Sustainable Lafayette
Independent service and repair for Jaguar After the hot Indian summer, it’s easy to forget that we’re going to be chilly soon. But now is a good time to get ready for the cold season. This month we share tips on keeping comfy – without using a lot of energy. For the average California home, 31% of the total annual energy use is for heating. Fortunately, CARLOS “KIKO” CAICEDO there are many simple things that you can do to save money and reduce your carbon footprint. Shop (925) 284-4852 Set Your Thermostat: Set the thermostat to 68°F when you’re at home and awake, and lower it Cell (925) 285-0783 firstname.lastname@example.org when you’re asleep or away. Each degree that you lower your thermostat cuts your heating bill by 3 to 5%. Turn the temperature down further at night (PG&E recommends 55°F) and when you’re 3470 Golden Gate Way , Lafayette, CA 94549 away for more than four hours. Do you wish your thermostat could be used from a smartphone? Now it can be. Apple offers the Nest Learning Thermostat (www.nest.com) and Honeywell has a Wi-Fi smart thermostat. Wear a Sweater: Clothing is one of the most efficient Independent service and repair for Mercedes Benz forms of insulation. Wear a sweater and thick socks around the house. Long underwear keeps you toasty and can be found JERRY FIGUEROA in smart fabrics that are light and non-bulky. Let the Sun Shine In: Open the drapes and shutters on Shop (925) 284-4852 Cell (510) 754-1942 sunny days to help warm your home. Close the drapes at night email@example.com to help insulate the house from the cold outside air. 3470 Golden Gate Way , Lafayette, CA 94549 Clean or Replace Your Furnace Filter: Inspect, clean, or change your system’s air filters regularly (monthly), following manufacturers’ instructions. Dirty filters hamper airflow and overwork the furnace. Tune up Your Furnace: A heating system can waste up to 50% of the energy it uses if it’s not operating efficiently. Gas furnaces should ideally be tuned up every two years. A simple tune-up can improve a furnace’s efficiency by 5%, saving about nine therms of gas per year, with a corresponding drop in emissions. Close Fireplace Dampers: For safety, be sure the fire is out and the ashes are cold before closing a damper. Consider installing a glass door because the fireplace is a major source for heat loss in the home. Try not to use the fireplace and heating system at the same time. Fire needs oxygen and will draw warm air from the rest of the house and replace it with cold air from outside through any leaks that may exist. Seal the Cracks: The gaps around the windows and doors of the average American house add up to 10 inches by 10 inches. Use weather stripping and caulk to seal leaks around windows, doors, heating ducts, and plumbing. Check any interior utility closets to see if there is cold air coming through them into your home. Consider Additional Insulation: If you live in an older home that has not been extensively remodeled, then you would likely benefit from adding insulation in the attic. Just the Lafayette Stats! A program called “Energy Upgrade California” will help you fund insulation, By Art Lehman, Village Associates Realtors upgrade your furnace, repair your ducts, etc. and receive generous rebates and At the time of this writing, Lafayette has 54 incentives. Learn more at https:// homes on the market (very low) of which 19 are energyupgradeca.org. under $1,000,000. Twenty-two are between $1 and 2 Monitor your energy use over million, and the rest above that. Interestingly, the 28 the winter using your PG&E SmartMeter System, which allows you to view your pending sales have more than half under $1,000,000, hourly electric and daily gas energy usage data. Go to pge.com and create an account. 40% between $1 and 2 million and only 10% above To find more tips and to read real-world sustainability success stories $2 million. written by your neighbors, visit sustainablelafayette.org. How do the 285 closed sales year-to-date on MLS break down? FortyClassic(al) Rock two percent are under $1 million, 51% are between $1 and 2 million, and the The Contra Costa Wind Symphony will unite with Bay Area rock musi- remaining 7% are about $2,000,000. cians for the US premiere of a new arrangement for wind symphonies and Overall, it looks like prices have been fairly consistent. It makes sense rock bands of Deep Purple’s Concerto for Group and Orchestra on November that the largest concentrations of prices are under $2,000,000 and more in 17 at 7:30PM at the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek. The concert the middle range. Certainly, it is very different than the “dark times” when will also feature the music of Queen, the Beatles, Deep Purple, and Led Zep- we had 150 homes on the market, nearly none selling above $2,000,000, pelin, with special guests bassist Terry Miller (currently touring with the Zac with a very large percentage being under $1,000,000. We have come back Brown Band) and Terry’s Kids. not to the height of 2005 prices, but we have seen a healthy recovery. We Lesher Center for the Arts is located at 1601 Civic Drive in Walnut Creek. still have low interest rates, and in general more people feel secure enough in Tickets are $25 adults, $18 seniors, and $10 students and can be purchased their jobs to make moves. This year a supply and demand issue has pushed by calling (925) 943-SHOW or visiting lesherartscenter.org. prices up – not as many sellers are willing to sell, but plenty of motivated For more information, visit www.ccwindsymphony.org. buyers are ready to buy – to a point. Clearly, the market has slowed a bit from the crazy February to May period of this year and now it just seems steady. There are short market times and homes are selling. I’ll take that kind of market any day – I think we call it balanced. For those residents who are considering selling their home or would simply like more in-depth information, I can provide a customized home value report and a strategy for how to make a home worth more. The detailed information I provide helps homeowners better understand the value of the investment they have made in their home by detailing key factors such as 925.934.3743 • 925.934.1515 a home’s value based on current market conditions and amenities, recent www.dumploadsonus.com • www.erecycleonus.com home sales in Lafayette and listing prices of other homes that home buyers 1271 Boulevard Way, Walnut Creek may be considering in the neighborhood. You can call me at 925-200-2591 Monday-Friday, 8-5 • Saturday 9-1, Sunday, closed or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Advertorial
Walking the Reservoir
Lafayette Today ~ November 2013 - Page 11
By Jim Scala
As Thanksgiving gets close, gift giving isn’t far behind. One book that’ll keep on giving is The Lafayette Reservoir, A Visual Celebration by Steve Hobbs. His spectacular pictures explore the reservoir’s wildlife and people and bring the ever changing seasonal beauty to life. His vistas taken from the rim trail show beauty far beyond Lafayette. The book is available at Orchard Nursery, Clocks Etc., Oakwood Athletic Club, the Chamber of Commerce, and Orinda Books. It’s ideal for any Lafayette home because it’s about a resource in their own backyard. It will inspire anyone to visit and walk the Rez. Steve’s pictures show people fishing, so please go to the visitor’s center and peruse the binder named Fish Pics. You’ll see photos of rainbow trout over three pounds, bass approaching five, much larger catfish and some proud young people who caught them. Our clear 126-acre lake, surrounded by 928 acres of open space, is only a mile from Diablo Foods. So, all these excellent recreation possibilities are within everyone’s reach. Folks often ask, “Does the reservoir supply our home water?” No, in the early 1930s it was built to serve the then, sparsely settled Contra Costa County. As water demands grew, it slowly segued into a backup reservoir and now its primary use is recreation. Its over 1.5 billion gallons of pure water stands by in case a catastrophic event, like an earthquake, takes out our normal water supply. We could probably get along for a month or so depending on how the reservoir water was rationed. Do you recall those dry times when signs said, “If it’s yellow let it mellow; if it’s brown flush it down?” I hope they never return and we stick to recreation. I encourage Rez walkers to do upper body exercises with two-to-five pound weights in a simple, but effective ritual. Holding a weight in each hand at your side, lift one up to your shoulder, then over your head, next back down to the shoulder and then to the side. Repeat with the other arm as you walk. Jennifer asked while she demonstrated, “How do I firm up this floppy upper underarm?” With small weights, hold one arm out behind for a count of ten and then repeat with the other arm. It’s easy, even going uphill. Follow the plan regularly and in four weeks you’ll see results. A secondary benefit is that folks with weights don’t text and talk on the phone – my ulterior motive. Ginni Halstead is new to Lafayette. She walks and jogs the Rez to music and admits that sometimes the songs cause a silly grin on her face as she comes to the home stretch on the dam. In her words, “I’ve only lived in Lafayette a short time, but the reservoir has made me feel at home.” A walking friend recently joined the one-in-three-adult Americans with high blood pressure (HBP). With two books on HBP, I told him that 85% to 95% of the condition can be controlled with weight, diet and exercise. Weight loss is simple – it’s about calories. Diet is about the ratio of potassium to sodium – the K-factor. Nature took care of that for us. So, by eating vegetables, fruits, grains, meat and fish cooked without salt, you’ll have low sodium and plenty of potassium. When purchasing processed foods, read the labels carefully and select those with the lowest sodium. If it’s not listed, avoid it! Season with spice, such as Mrs. Dash. Several careful studies proved that 45-to-60 minutes of daily, moderately brisk walking helps lower blood pressure. A Rez walk takes 47 to 60 minutes and is ideal. I finished by quoting Kenneth Cooper, “Golf is a great way to ruin a healthy walk.” Yogis usually practice at the bandstand and I’ve seen a few on the grassy area by the upper parking lot. Some people have even started Tai Chi. If you’re unfamiliar with this excellent conditioning technique, it’s worth learning. That bright star in the southwest during evening twilight is Venus. A pair of binoculars shows it like a small, crescent moon. Have children spot it before sunset and learn why it exhibits phases. It’ll bring astronomy to life. Recently, a young mother was walking with a child carrier holding a baby I couldn’t see, so I asked, “Is there a baby in there somewhere?” She pulled back the cover showing a cute, three-week old infant. Is that a record for walking the Rez? Contact me at email@example.com.
Meals on Wheels
Seniors in our community need your support! Meals on Wheels and Senior Outreach Services have been supporting seniors in YOUR neighborhood since 1968. Two of the programs, Meals on Wheels and Friendly Visitors, rely on the support of volunteers, and we need your help now more than ever. Meals on Wheels volunteer drivers deliver meals to local homebound seniors through regular two hour shifts once per week or as substitute drivers. Friendly Visitors volunteers provide weekly one-hour companionship visits to isolated seniors. To volunteer for either program, please call (925)937-8311.
Page 12 - November 2013 ~ Lafayette Today
SFJAZZ By Linda Summers Pirkle
My daughter’s music class assignment was to attend a concert and write a paper about the experience. She chose the SFJAZZ Center and me as her partner. The concert we attended was SFJAZZ Collective, commemorating the very talented group’s 10th Anniversary, highlighting their greatest arrangements and original compositions. The music was a real hit with my daughter, who at the intermission was surprised an hour had passed; she thought it was twenty minutes since the concert started. Jazz in the City, the largest non-profit presenter of jazz and world music, held its first concert in the fall of 1983. They performed in locations such as the Davies Symphony Hall and Masonic Auditorium. Thirty years later, in January 2013, the new SFJAZZ Center opened in Hayes Valley. It is beautiful! I spoke to Marshall Lamm, Publicist who explained why the Center is so special. “Jazz is now elevated to a place alongside the major arts institutions such as the San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco Opera, and San Francisco Ballet in the Civic Center Performing Arts district. It is truly a modern home for jazz and a welcoming environment in which to hear, learn, and be inspired. We have the intimacy of a jazz club, but it has all the elements of a performing arts center. It is the only stand-alone jazz venue in the world.” The “main theater,” or Miner Auditorium, of the SFJAZZ Center accommodates 750 people. According to Annette, a long time volunteer at the many concert halls in the area, says her favorite place to usher is SFJAZZ Center. “It is so lively here, and the sound is great from every seat.” My daughter and I sat in the balcony and had a perfect view of the band, and the sound was just great. The SFJAZZ Center Café, South, is located on the first floor of the Center. It is operated by chef and restaurateur Purchase a Pavé Gift Set for $200. Featuring a PANDORA Charles Phan. South is small with seats for around 60 people at small tables and at the bar. Ken, our very friendly Clasp Bracelet, two “You’re a Star” clips and one pavé bartender, explained their philosophy. “Our wine list reflects our commitment to our relationship with ecologically charm of your choice up to $65 (Retail value $240.00). While supplies last. See store for details. minded individuals who understand stewardship, clean farming, and balance. Our cocktail menu reflects our take on classic cocktail recipes, many of which were created before the prohibition era.” We tried the Standard, a light, crisp, not too sweet cocktail (minus the alcohol). It was just perfect as an accompaniment to delicious fried chicken, 3518 B Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette (925) 299-1024 mashed potatoes, and crisp lettuce wedge salad. Bartenders will gladly supply plastic cups if you want bring your drinks into the theater. You are welcome to go in and out of the theater during the concert, although Cinema Classics and Musical Notes it is best to do so in between songs. By Peggy Horn *Although not on the menu at South, ask for the Mint Julep; it looked very interesting. The Bad News Bears This month’s Cinema Classic is The Bad News Bears, from 1976, *To reachSouth, call firstname.lastname@example.org. starring Walter Matthau and Tatum O’Neil. Bill Lancaster, son of actor *SFJAZZ Center is located at 201 Franklin Street, San Francisco. Burt Lancaster wrote the screenplay, which won an award from the Call 866-920-5299 or visit www.sfjazz.org. Check out their calendar; you can listen to excerpts of upcoming events. Writer’s Guild of America. As a result of this movie’s huge popularity, * Two blocks from the SFJAZZ Center is a wonderful artisanal two sequels were made as well as a remake, The Bad News Bears, with chocolate shop called Christopher Elbow. Their Fleur de Sel and Billy Bob Thornton (2005). Champagne are the most popular, and they were indeed delicious. The movie focuses on a middle-aged man who drinks too much, The tiny shop is also known for their “Chocolate Liquid,” a perfect Mr. Morris Buttermaker, played by Walter Matthau, who is being paid to coach a Little League to-go drink for a cold November evening. team comprised of kids who have little or no athletic ability. The attorney father of one of the * BART is my preferred way to get to concerts in the Performplayers has sued the Little League Association for having excluded these players (including ing Arts area. One of San Francisco’s finest police officers adthe attorney’s son) from the League, and to settle the case, the League has reluctantly agreed vised staying on Grove Street, “which is lit up like a Christmas to allow them to play after all. Tatum O’Neil plays the role of Amanda Whurlizer, the team’s tree at night. We keep an eye on all you folks heading back to only girl who has been recruited by Buttermaker due to her excellent pitching skills. One the Civic Center BART station,” he said. To share your “Quick Trips” ideas email Coverthemap@ of the most emotional moments in the movie occurs when Buttermaker realizes the League The Writing Studio Lamorinda Weekly 3.875 x 4 Fall 2013.pdf 1 9/26/2013 7:19:32 PM gmail.com. demands of playing the game (as well as his own) are out of alignment with the benefits to the kids and their objectives. Watching Buttermaker’s face as this realization dawns on him might remind viewers of the old comic strip character, Pogo, who comments, “We have met the enemy, and he is us.” Being that it is autumn and school has resumed, I’m reminded of a favorite essay topic from my A Place for Young Writers November 1 1 - Feb day: ‘Comparison and Contrast!’ So, as a salute to the return of school days, I have assigned myself ruary 7 the task of comparing and contrasting the two versions of The Bad News Bears. The 1976 version Join THE WRITING STUDIO this fall as your children enter a world is similar to the 2005 in plot, dialogue, and main characters. Both coaches are heavy drinkers, but of CREATIVE NARRATIVE AND ESSAY-BASED EXPOSITORY WRITING PROJECTS. Through grade appropriate classes and one-on-one both have a conscience that leads them to the right path in the end. Both movies even use the same consultations, students learn proper sentence structure, background music. Both contain foul language, but the 2005 version in contrast to that of 1976 organizational skills, the elements of well-written essays, creative carries the raunchiness to excess. In both movies the acting is great, but the 1976 version is richer use of descriptive words, correct grammar, usage, and so much more. in additional details that magnify the story, whereas the 2005 version relies on its crassness as a THE WRITING STUDIO is open to elementary, middle and high school substitute for plot and characterization. In conclusion, although there are similarities between the students who strive to improve their writing skills. Projects consist two movies, the contrast is significant, and the 1976 version is my preference. See what you think! of absorbing writing assignments, from ﬁrst person narratives and persuasive essays to biographies and research projects. Our Both movies can be rented or purchased online.
The Writing Studio
Jerry Fielding wrote the score for the 1976 version of The Bad News Bears, and it is comprised of selective use of musical themes from the opera Carmen, by Georges Bizet. Even those who are not opera fans typically love the opera Carmen, which was first performed in 1875. Its spirited, joyous music is familiar and enjoyable to hear anytime, making it a wonderful candidate for downloading.
ten-week program will take place November 11-February 7. For further information, contact www.lafayettewritingstudio.com or call 925-285-0311.
THE WRITING STUDIO Where Words Come to Life
3455 Golden Gate Way, Suite A, Lafayette (925) 385-0211
Lafayette Today ~ November 2013 - Page 13
By Mark Becker, GoSimpleSolar
As I paid for my items recently at Home Depot, I saw a Marine Corps logo on the checkout clerk’s lapel. Instantly the bond of those that have served translated into smiles, and the traditional “Marine greeting” was given. The standard questions were asked to determine if we’ve previously crossed paths while serving on this continent or some other “clime or place.” Interestingly, we had. Also on duty in Home Depot at that time was a Korean War Veteran and an Iraq/Afghan War Veteran. Between the four of us, we had all the major combat engagements covered from the last 65 years. Contrary to the manner in which solar PV is marketed by Solar City and other installers, solar PV panels and other solar products are NOT commodities. Commodities are interchangeable products such as gasoline, copper, or pork bellies. Treating solar panels like they are a commodity is the first step in which the sales process can simply become focused on lowest installation cost. The personnel who install the products are not of equivalent qualification either. “Commodifying” solar is simple, yet disingenuous and deceptive, but it “simplifies” the sales process for the seller. The longevity claims of solar manufacturers whose products have been in production less than 10 years are founded not in practice, but by internal, NOT independent testing. Some products have been on the market less than four years and have been subject to recalls. Our licensed electrician recently performed a site visit to a solar project in Lafayette. The solar panels had electrically shorted out and failed, rendering over 50% of the system useless (and also potentially a fire hazard). With proper product and installation team, a solar PV system will safely return hundreds of thousands of dollars in bills NOT paid to PG&E over its lifetime. The only right answer to “PROVE to me that these products will last” is manufacturer documentation of 25 plus years of performance history of that product line. When considering a 25-year investment, ask the difficult questions and demand definitive answers. Data backs up the fact that solar panels are not created equally (remember, not a commodity). The purchase of a solar PV system can be an extremely simple or difficult process. How that transpires depends on the customer’s desire for knowledge and their choice of installer. In person, with products and documentation at hand, a solar contractor should be able to allay any trepidations that a customer may have about roofing penetrations and electric integration (solved by our licensed roofer and licensed electrician), aesthetic concerns (solved by mutual design between installer and homeowner), and initial investment cost (solved by discussing differing payment, loan or Power Purchase Agreement options). All these details should be covered in a 30-minute presentation, all backed up by documentation of everything that is said by the contractor. In most cases, it’s more costly in PGE territory NOT to go solar. It’s a bit perplexing how some consumers make a solar PV purchase decision solely over the Internet. Our solar showroom is an educational facility set up to help you make the right solar choices. Drop by and we will answer any questions you might have. We’ll also provide comparisons of solar proposals free of charge. The knowledge gained in a fifteen-minute visit could save you tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars. For instance, did you know that on January 1st, some Contra Costa County residents will be subject to new regulations that will reduce the amount of roof space they can use for solar PV? While these new regulations may not affect everyone, more roof space oftentimes equals a higher return on investment from solar PV. Much like Mayor Newell Arnerich and Danville Town Council, Home Depot is an employer who “walks the walk and talks the talk” when it comes to supporting our veterans or active/reserve service members. Perhaps next door to you there is a WWII veteran (thousands passing away daily), a Beirut veteran, a Grenada veteran, a Cold War veteran, a Somalia veteran, or a veteran from many of the other wars or actions into which our government has sent our troops into harms way. Veterans are of all race and gender, political persuasion, and economic demographic. On Veteran’s Day, thank a veteran. 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 NEW and larger showroom at 100 Railroad Avenue, Suite B, Danville (behind Pete’s Brass Rail) or www. GoSimpleSolar.com, or email Mark@GoSimpleSolar.com. Advertorial
Thanksgiving Wine Advice By Monica Chappell
The ultimate Thanksgiving meal is about more than the menu. If ever there were a food lover’s holiday, Thanksgiving would be it. And one of the pleasures of my Thanksgiving is that every family member has a role in the big meal. My role is a peach. I'm the wine gal. It’s a fine job for a number of reasons with my favorite being the many tastings I conduct leading up to the final wine choice. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it! I do receive some advice along the way; don’t bring anything too expensive and don’t bring anything too weird. To fit the bill, the wine needs to be a crowdpleaser and match the menu. No problem. This year I think I've got it covered. I’d like to share a few tips on planning the wine for this delicious yet tricky wine-pairing meal.
Red or White?
Either! Stuffing is a good guide: if you serve a basic bread-and-celery dressing, try a white such as Chenin Blanc or an off-dry Riesling. Add mushrooms or sausage and a red, like Beaujolais, is great. But the best rule is to let guests drink what they like.
Choosing the Right Wine?
Here's an easy answer: No single wine will work perfectly with your meal so serve a few. Regardless of which wine you choose, the style to look for is medium-bodied, fruity, and without a lot of oak.
How Much Wine to Buy?
A bottle is about five glasses, so plan on a bottle for every two people. If you’re serving wine before dinner, add a glass or two more per person to the equation. With all that’s going on in the world, Thanksgiving is a good time for us to count our blessings. Whether you’re out at a restaurant or celebrating at home, I hope you'll be enjoying a good bottle of wine with friends and family. Monica Chappell teaches Wine Appreciation classes locally. For a current list of classes, please visit www.wineappreciation101.blogspot.com.
Page 14 - November 2013 ~ Lafayette Today
The Tree of the Season Coast Live Oak, Quercus agrifolia By Blaine Brende & Joe Lamb
If you have a coast live oak in your yard, you will understand that its Latin name, Quercus agrifolia, is appropriate. Agrifolia means spiny leaves. And though the tree retains green leaves throughout the year, it also sheds dead leaves, many dead leaves, and they are less than friendly on bare feet. If you are lucky enough to have a mature coast live oak in your garden, you are well aware that its sculptural qualities more than compensate for the ongoing maintenance this big beast requires. I find comfort in the manner wherein old trees twist into their strangely beautiful form, their rugged bark accentuating, in counterpoint, their grace and openness. The generous shade offered by their broad crowns seems to invite one to lounge against their trunks and think about things that are never on TV. Agrifolia became the dominant tree of the costal plain, not because it’s beautiful, but because it’s tough. Though plagued by several diseases and pests, the continuing ubiquity of live oaks over the millennia is testament to their ability to resist diseases and fight off pests. Several fungal diseases, with the generic names “twig blights” and “oak branch dieback,” attack the crowns of live oaks. Brown patches in your oak’s canopy are most likely from these fungal diseases. An aesthetic debit, they rarely pose a serious threat to the life of the tree. Unsightly deadwood can be pruned out. Though these diseases come from water-borne fungi, they often occur in oaks weakened by drought stress. It is common knowledge that over-watering coast live oaks is a good way to kill the tree. Too much summer water promotes the growth of oak root fungus, a common soil fungus that can turn lethal in soggy soils. Less widely appreciated is that summer watering of oaks can make them more disease- and insect-resistant IF, and it is a big IF, they are watered correctly. Correct summer watering of coast live oaks requires placing a soaker hose in a circle around the tree at least ten feet from the trunk and running the water for about two hours–sunset is a good time. It is important to water the tree not more than once a month: once in July, once in August, once in September, and once in October. Over-watering
www.yourmonthlypaper.com can kill oaks by stimulating parasitic fungi. Judicious watering during dry summers gives the tree a boost but doesn’t encourage root diseases. It’s better not to water oaks at all than to over-water them; and lawns, grown under the canopy of the oaks, are a common cause of over-watering. One way to make your oak (and the many creatures it supports) happy is to turn lawn under the canopy over to native, drought-tolerant plants. This saves water, and reduces the likelihood your oak will get a root disease. Oaks also appreciate a layer of mulch. Mulch helps aerate the soil and improves the environment for beneficial soil creatures. Given that the current stewards of the coastal plain seldom burn the woodlands, most of our oak forests have built up a significant load of dead wood. To prevent a crown fire, like the one that ravaged the East Bay in 1991, it is important to make all landscape trees and shrubs more fire safe. At Brende and Lamb it is our fervent hope that all current players in the ongoing drama of the oak woodlands act to maintain a healthy ecosystem in which coast live oaks, and the many creatures that depend on them, continue to appear center stage. Unfortunately, we a starting to see a few cases of Sudden Oak Death (SOD) in the East Bay, concentrated mostly in forested parklands. The SOD pathogen infects susceptible oaks during spring rainstorms. It is difficult to prevent an oak from being infected, but there are steps to reduce the probability of infection, such as the application of Agrifos in autumn. Further more, California bay trees can be a host to SOD, where it occurs as a leaf disease. Infected bays don’t die, but they can spread the spores to oaks as water drips from the bay leaves onto the trunk of an oak. Studies show that pruning back bay trees to give a 10 foot separation from your oaks can significantly lower the infection rate. At this time, preventative action is the only way of treating the disease. It takes two years for an infected tree to show any sign of infection, and once infected there is no way to cure the disease. The best place to find current information on SOD is the California Sudden Oak Task Force at www.suddenoakdeath.org. If your trees need a little TLC to protect them against winter winds, or if your property could use a little fire protection, please call 510-486-TREE (8733) or email us at email@example.com for a free estimate. Additionally, go to our website www.brendelamb.com to see before and after pictures, client testimonials, and work in your neighborhood. Advertorial
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Life in the Lafayette Garden
By John Montgomery, ASLA, Landscape Architect Creating a Family Garden
What is a Family Garden? Well, it is a term that has newly emerged from families I’ve been working with in the creation of their outdoor environments. A “Family Garden” is a yard that has all the elements in it that attract kids to want to stay at home and play. With growing concerns and real and perceived dangers in the world, parents have been asking me to create outdoor environments that will attract their children and their friends to their home. The main idea is to keep children and teens at home were they are safe, occupied, and within a parent’s watchful eye. An outdoor environment that is geared toward being a “Family Garden” has many elements that allow children and teens to be active, be together with their friends, and most importantly be a place where they want to stay. The yard has to be multi-purpose. The elements of the landscape need to challenge a child physically, mentally, and visually. In other words, there needs to be places to physically exert the enormous amounts of energy that children and teens have. There need to be places for adventure, imagination, games, reflection, and risk-taking. Within that environment of physical and mental challenge, it has to be visually pleasing to children. It has to look cool! A child will naturally be attracted to stay and play. Plastic-coated steel play equipment made in primary colors is not the prerequisite for engaging a child’s attention. If you were asked to recall your favorite childhood place, it would probably be a special tree you climbed, a space for a “secret” house or fort under a hedge, or somewhere you could mold dirt or sand into fantasy landscapes. Play equipment is certainly an added activity center for your “Family Garden,” but it’s not enough. It is now recognized that risk-taking is an important element of play and physical development. A “Family Garden” is designed intentionally to provide an environment for your children and their friends to develop an appreciation of risk in a controlled play environment rather than a place where they would be taking similar risks in the uncontrolled and unregulated wider world. Your yard should have levels of graduated challenge. In design terms, this means that children of different ages, abilities, and levels of daring need to find activities that are within their capabilities, plus some that are just beyond them. What are some of the elements in an Lafayette yard that can provide this kind of environment? The landscape itself is definitely the primary element that provides the environment for this to occur. A lush, tree-filled, sunny yard with large lawn spaces and plantings that children are allowed to interact with provides hours upon hours of play. Play sets, swings, slides etc. will give your child a place for hours of extended energy output. Places for games to be played are necessary. Lawns are wonderful places for any child who is sport-minded. Soccer, baseball, football, tag, croquette, volleyball, hide-and-seek, gymnastics, and cartwheels can be enjoyed, and the list can go on and on because children are not limited to play on a plastic play set. Swimming pools definitely add the element of water play and physical activities to the point where a child needs to be pulled from the water because they look like a prune. Some recent additions to some of my pool designs are beach areas or “Shamu” shelves, water slides, waterfalls, and diving rocks. Beaches and shelves provide shallow areas for the younger ones so they can safely play in the pool, water slides for the older ones provide adventure and fun, waterfalls add sound, action, and adventure, and diving rocks are perfect for safe risk-taking. Sports courts are great for all kinds of activities. Basketball, paddleball, rollerhockey, volleyball, and badminton are just a few. It’s unbelievable what children can create to do when they have an environment that supports their imaginations. Remember that children are limitless when it comes to creativity and energy. Provide spaces for quiet play and contemplation as well. Include a shade tree to lay under and day-dream and watch the sunlight dapple across their faces. Children need places to wonder and explore and, of course, a place to play with mom and dad. A hot tip from your local Landscape
Lafayette Today ~ November 2013 - Page 15
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Architect: Remember to plant flexible and resilient plantings that can stand the occasional trampling. “Family Gardens” are great for multi-family entertaining. Gardening Quote of the Month: “We have not inherited the earth from our parents; we have borrowed it from our children.”~ L. Brown, 1981 If you would like me to write on any particular subject, email your ideas to email@example.com or for design ideas, visit www.jm-la.com. Advertorial
Page 16 - November 2013 ~ Lafayette Today
City of Lafayette Contacts
Below are key city departments and their contact information. Administration: Responsible for overall city operations such as human resources, finance and office operations. Key staff members include the City Manager, Administrative Services Director, City Clerk, and Financial Services Manager. The City Offices are located at 3675 Mt. Diablo Blvd., #210, Lafayette. Hours are 8am – 5pm Monday-Friday. For information call (925) 284-1968 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Planning: Responsible for current and long-term planning for the physical development of the community that is consistent with the General Plan, Zoning Ordinance and the direction of the City Council. Planning Department hours are 12pm – 5pm Monday-Friday. For information call (925) 284-1976 or email email@example.com. Police: Responsible for public safety, law enforcement, emergency operations, and parking control. The Police Department is located at 3675 Mt. Diablo Blvd, #130, Lafayette. Hours are 8am-12pm & 1am-5pm Monday-Friday.For general questions call (925) 299-3220. For police dispatch call (925) 284-5010 or 911. Public Works: Responsible for maintaining the infrastructure of the City including road repair, storm drains, and landscaping of public property. The Public Works Corp Yard is located at 3001 Camino Diablo, Lafayette. Hours are 7am – 3pm Monday-Friday. For questions call (925) 934-3908. To report potholes, streetlight outages, traffic signal problems and other issues call the Hotline at (925) 299-3259. Parks & Recreation: Responsible for the management and operation of a variety of recreation programs, special events and facilities including the Lafayette Community Center, the Community Park and a system of city trails. The Parks & Recreation (Community Center) is located 500 St. Mary’s Road, Lafayette. Hours are 9am – 5pm Monday-Saturday. For questions call (925) 284-2232. Code Enforcement: Responsible for enforcing the Lafayette Municipal Code. The Code Enforcement Officer concentrates on the investigation and abatement of complaints involving land use (zoning), housing conditions, abandoned vehicles, signs, animals and vermin, weeds/fire hazards, fences and general public nuisances. Contact Mark Robbins at 925-299-3207. For more information visit www.ci.lafayette.ca.us.
Gardening with Kate By Kathleen Guillaume
Nights have become crisp with sunny days that have a slight bite in the air, and the trees are treating us to a frenzy of fall colors. We know that winter will be upon us in a blink of an eye. Hummingbirds do not travel far and generally over-winter with us, still gathering nectar from those fall and winter blooming plants that will sustain them until spring. If you want to be kind to these wonderful creatures, and your own eyes, make sure that you have in your garden some winter color to brighten your day. Shrubs and trees: Mahonia likes filtered light and morning sun. Arthur Menzies is a good variety, needs little water after established, and can be kept at 4’ with pruning. Mahonia repens a 2’high by 4’ wide variety has winter blooms, with summer berries. Ribes sanguineum Claremont, has pendulous sprays of pink flowers. This is perfect natural planting that does well under oaks as it needs little to no irrigation, and it provides late winter blooms. The Arbutus unedo & A. Marina, known as the Strawberry Tree grows great in natural habitat settings, helps with erosion control, and deer don’t like them...what more can you ask? Sarcococca confuse, also known as Winter Box, is a highly fragrant loose form shrub, evergreen which likes filtered light or morning sun and rich soil. It grows 3’ to 5’ feet high, and looks great along a path or near a window. For a lower variety, try S.hookeriana v. which grows to 1.5’. For another great winter bloomer (and it is no longer your Grandmother’s Bottle Brush), look up these varieties: Callistomen viminalis which has bright red 6”+ flower brachs with dense foliage, and in looser forms look for white C. salgnus and in yellow C. palidus. I have the pink and lavender varieties which also have a loose and open form. Try Little John for a shorter shrub. Of course you have the ever wonderful and so fragrant Winter Daphnes, which hate rich soil, love morning sun, and don’t take too much water.
Lafayette Garden Club
The Lafayette Garden Club holds meetings on the second Thursday monthly, except for July and August. The next meeting will take place on November 14 at 10AM at the Lafayette Christian Church which is located at 584 Glenside Dr. in Lafayette. The program for November is entitled “Encouraging Children to Garden” and will feature author Stephanie McInnis. Visitors and new members are welcome. For more information, contact Carolyn Poetzsch at (925) 944-1737.
Walnut Creek Garden Club
The Walnut Creek Garden Club (WCGC) will hold its November meeting on Monday, November 11 at The Gardens at Heather Farm, located at 1540 Marchbanks Road in Walnut Creek. The general meeting begins at 9:30 with community and socializing from 10:30 to 11. At the WCGC you can stimulate the knowledge and love of gardening and the environment, aid in the protection of native plants and birds, encourage civic planting, find community and socialize, and participate in philanthropy. You DO NOT need to be a gardener to join the club.
Montelindo Garden Club
The next Montelindo Garden Club Meeting (third Friday, September through May) will be held on Friday, November 15th at 9AM at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, located at 66 St. Stephens Drive in Orinda. Visitors are welcome. The topic for November’s meeting is “Flowering California Native Shrubs for Gardens.” The speaker will be Ted Kipping, an arborist who travels the world, locating rare flora and fauna. For more information, visit www.montelindogarden.com.
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www.yourmonthlypaper.com They are temperamental in that they either like where you plant them or they won’t and will up and die. Buy them in one gallon sizes so that if you misplace one you won’t feel bad. They are worth every penny. The foliage is perfect as fillers for flower arrangements. Close to winter Daphnes are the Peris Japonicas, which are getting ready to set flowers. There are many varieties and these are angels in the garden. Correas also fall into this category as a good structural shrub. For protected areas, under eaves or under cover (as these are frost tender), try My Ichroma cyaneum. Royal Blue is still pushing flowers like crazy and will do so until our first frost. It took a while for my hummers to recognize that blue flowers hold nectar...they also come in red, Red Wine. Mine grows under a large roof gable. Deer don’t bother the plant but if you have reactions to the sap of Brugmansia ( Angel Trumpet), the sap might be irritating. Also great for similar locations or in pots under covered porches is Fuchsia Boliviana, a long tubed fuchsia. For plants with vines try Winter Jasmine, Jasmium nudiflorum. For color try Heaths (Erica). Mine are just setting bud and will be glorious in late November and early December. These vines need moist soil until they are established. Visit www.heathsandheathers.com if you want the largest variety. For more photos visit them on Facebook. Primroses are good to 32o and like moist rich soil. I also like the japonicas. There are many fragrant varieties. I have some that have survived in my garden for over six years. Russian Sage with its wonderful plumes of bright purple flowers is a must for fall gardens and will bloom till first frost. In late winter prune them aggressively and they will be ready to go again come spring. Visit your local Lafayette nurseries and check out what they have. Happy Gardening.
Common Estate Planning Myths By Robert J. Silverman
A considerable number of myths exist about Estate Planning and in particular, Revocable Living Trusts. Although increased media coverage and a higher level of consumer sophistication have helped debunk many of these misconceptions, I still encounter quite a few. I’ve outlined some of the more common ones below and attempted to set the record straight as to each. 1. Myth: If you are not wealthy and you have a Will, you do not need a Revocable Living Trust. Reality: Residents of California who die with or without a Will (but no Trust) and whose assets are valued at more than $150,000 (other than certain kinds of assets, such as automobiles, joint or P.O.D. accounts, joint tenancy assets, and insurance and retirement accounts with named beneficiaries) are subject to Probate. Probate is a public, court supervised estate administration process. It typically takes nine months to a year or longer, and it requires a great deal of paperwork and hassle, substantial attorneys’ fees, executor fees, and other costs which are incurred. Revocable Living Trusts are an excellent “Will substitute” in most respects. Note that you should still have a simple “pour-over” Will that accompanies your Trust as a “safety net” – to catch any assets when you die that may not have been transferred to your trust. Fortunately, all assets in your Trust are simply exempt from Probate under the law. So, Probate is easily avoidable, trust administration is generally handled privately, it is much less expensive and inconvenient than Probate, and avoiding Probate usually results in significantly more money going to your loved ones and a lot less to attorneys, executors, the court, and other third parties. 2. Myth: It is time consuming and complicated to establish a Revocable Trust, fund, and manage a Revocable Living Trust. Reality: It takes little more time to establish than a Will, it does not have to be more complicated than a comprehensive Will, Trusts are generally quite straightforward to fund (retitling your assets), and managing your own trust assets is virtually identical to the way you manage them before you establish a Trust. 3. Myth: There are income tax implications and extra tax filing requirements when you establish a Revocable Living Trust. Reality: Establishing a Trust for yourself triggers no additional income taxes or property taxes nor any additional tax filing requirements. 4. Myth: You should be afraid to do a Trust because you’ll be locked into the decisions you make. Reality: A Revocable Living Trust is revocable and amendable. You have the ability to revise your trust any time and as many times as you wish. As your personal, familial, and financial position changes, it is quite easy and affordable to work with your estate planning attorney to revise your document so that it continues to reflect your current wishes. In fact, a good rule of thumb is to undergo an estate planning review at least every 3-5 years. In contrast, Irrevocable Trusts, which are not commonly used, generally cannot be changed, however, they can, in some instances, have benefits that outweigh the disadvantage of irrevocability. 5. Myth: If I sign a Power of Attorney, I don’t need a Will or Trust. Reality: Every adult should have a Power of Attorney. It vests legal authority in someone you trust to transact financial business for you in the event of incapacity. If you become incapacitated and don’t have a valid Power of Attorney, a very expensive and cumbersome conservatorship court procedure may become necessary to enable someone to manage your finances. However, as helpful as a Power of Attorney can be during your life, it has no effect whatsoever once you’re gone; it dies when you do. Your Trust and/or Will then become the necessary governing document(s). 6. Myth: If you establish a Revocable Living Trust, your trust assets will be protected from your creditors. Reality: As fantastic as Revocable Living Trusts are, they are not useful to protect your assets from your creditors. If a Trust conveyed that benefit, everyone would establish a Trust and no creditors would be able to be paid; thus, no credit would be available! However, in contrast, if a Trust is drafted with appropriate provisions, very robust creditor protection is available to those assets kept in your trust for your loved ones after you die. Mr. Silverman is an attorney with R. Silverman Law Group, 1855 Olympic Blvd., Suite 240, Walnut Creek, CA 94596; (925) 705-4474, rsilverman@ rsilvermanlaw.com, www.silvermanlaw.com. * Estate Planning * Trust Administration & Probate * Real Estate * Business This article is intended to provide information of a general nature, and is not intended nor should it be relied upon as legal, tax 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
Lafayette Today ~ November 2013 - Page 17
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Ask Dr. Happy By Bob Nozik, MD Dear Dr. Happy,
My girlfriend, Angie and I have been in relationship for six months. We get along great and are talking marriage for some time next year. Sounds good, right? So, what’s my question? Angie and I are very different. I am outgoing and have many friends of both sexes. Angie, on the other hand, is shy and has just one close girlfriend. I think her shyness is cute and sweet, but Dr. H., are we too different to make a success of marriage together? ~ Wondering
While it is true that opposites attract, most successful, long term marriages involve those who are similar. We are naturally drawn to, and fascinated by, those who function well doing and living in ways that differ from us. However, as time passes, we may begin to wonder: “How can you actually live that way?” What attracted us in the beginning can turn annoying over time. This doesn’t mean that being opposites wrecks your chance for marital success. Still, you’d be wise to let more time go by before marrying. This will allow each of you to see how time affects how you feel about being with someone who functions in the world so differently from you. While your differences add difficultly, still, your marital success will depend much more on your long-term attitudes about those differences.
Some of the most satisfying marriages result from relationships involving couples who possess very different personalities. They live with a constant source of mutual interest and fascination that is often missing when spouses are more similar to one another. But, still, there is a danger that, over the long-haul, those differences may eventually lead to annoyance and exasperation. That’s why different personalities who contemplate marriage really should allow plenty of time to experience each other’s life-temps before they marry and have a family. They should see, over time, whether their attitudes towards each other move in the direction of delight or annoyance before settling down. Send questions/comments for Dr. Happy to Pollyannan@aol.com.
Page 18 - November 2013 ~ Lafayette Today
Why is the Market...?
By Deborah Mitchell, CFA, MSW
One of the many great quotes from John Wayne is “Life is tough! It’s even tougher when you’re stupid.” Too bad Mr. Wayne isn’t around to share this sentiment with the folks in Washington. October 1st came and went with no resolution in place for funding the government or increasing the debt ceiling. As a result, Capital Hill, and related agencies, shut down for 16 days. At the eleventh hour, Congress came to an agreement to fund the government through January 15, 2014 and elevate the debt ceiling limit through February 7, 2014. The deal addressed all of the concerns, yet really none of the concerns. In addition, the sequestrian (or sequester) was maintained. Recall, that the sequestrian was the $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts set to take place over 10 years. To sum it all up, the can was kicked down the road again. It will be some time before the impact of the shutdown and political uncertainty on the economy is quantified. It is expected that many facets of data will be negatively affected by the closure and the encore performance set to take place in early January 2014. Economic growth will most likely remain below its full potential over the next several months. Consumer confidence for the month of September was below expectations, coming in at the lowest level since February. Pre-shutdown, consumers were worried about the impact the bipartisan impasse would have on the economy. With the holiday shopping season gearing up, the question is will consumers gobble up merchandise? Early indications from retailers are that shoppers may be more timid. Some businesses have already reported slower foot traffic. Also, the holiday shopping season is six days shorter this year versus 2012. Yet, gains in the stock market may provide some retail incentive, especially for high net worth individuals. Consumer spending makes up over 70% of the nations Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which is a core measure of economic growth. Due to the two week plus federal sabbatical, there will be approximately 120,000 fewer jobs created during the fourth quarter, according to Washington’s Chief
Coping with the Death of a Pet
When you lose your pet, you often feel like a part of you is lost. The death of your beloved animal companion is one of the most difficult losses you may ever feel. This loss is sometimes made more painful by society’s seeming lack of support for pet grief. Hospice of the East Bay and the Tony La Russa Animal Rescue Foundation is offering a support group where participants can share memories and feelings and talk to others who truly understand and care. Meetings will be held the first Tuesday of each month from noon - 1:30PM at the Tony La Russa Animal Rescue Foundation, 2890 Mitchell Drive, Walnut Creek. For further information and/or to register, please call Bereavement Services at Hospice of the East Bay (925) 887-5681. Pre-registration is required. Hospice of the East Bay Bereavement Services are provided free of charge to all community members in need. However, donations are greatly appreciated.
Hospice Volunteers Needed
Hospice of the East Bay is seeking volunteers to assist Hospice patients and their caregivers. Opportunities include: • Licensed Hair Stylists to offer hair cuts and styling • Certified Massage Therapists to provide massage therapy • Mobile Notaries to witness the signing of important documents • Bereavement Support Volunteers to provide support to family members after their loved one has died • Patient Support Volunteers to provide companionship and practical assistance To apply for free training, call Hospice of the East Bay at (925) 887-5678, and ask for the Volunteer Department, or email email@example.com. Established in 1977, Hospice of the East Bay is a not-for-profit agency that helps people cope with end of life by providing medical, emotional, spiritual, and practical support for patients and families, regardless of their ability to pay. To learn more or to make a donation of time or money, please contact (925) 887-5678 or visit www.hospiceeastbay.org.
www.yourmonthlypaper.com Economic Advisor, Jason Furman. The negative impact of the “brinkmanship” in such a short time is considerable. The unemployment report for September was delayed for several weeks because there was no one on payroll to collect and report the data. The new jobs created were lower than expected at 148,000, although August jobs were revised upward to 193,000. The unemployment rate itself was slightly lower at 7.2%. Given the weaker labor market numbers, among other factors, it is highly unlikely that there will be any tapering initiated by the Federal Reserve (FED) over the next few months. With the political drama set to resume again shortly, it is widely believed asset purchases will continue into the New Year. The fact that the market has held up so well despite the government shutdown and debt ceiling turmoil is puzzling. The S&P 500 Index has continued to soar onto new highs. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is also giving a good account of itself, although it has not been able to surpass the all time midSeptember top. If the political drama was truly behind us, the strong market performance would make more sense. But, with Congress revisiting these critical issues early next year, the uncertainty is still a significant overhang. It is possible that part of the reason the market has continued to perform so well is the FED’s accommodative actions. In the absence of strong confirmation that the economy is in a consistent recovery, Chairmen Bernanke and his crew continue to buy bonds to stimulate the economy. Despite the FED’s prop, the unresolved budget and funding issues will come back to haunt us. And it is expected that the market will not be pleased. However, longer term, we are entering the seasonably favorable time period of November through April, which historically has displayed stronger performance metrics. Technically, the primary uptrend is still in evidence, but the market is susceptible to corrective action near term. If you have any comments or questions, please contact Deborah at 925-2992000 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Deborah Mitchell holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation, a Bachelors degree in Psychology, and a Masters in Social Work degree. She is a Vice President for Noroian Capital Management, an independent investment advisory firm located in Lafayette, California for individuals and businesses. Advertorial
Brainwaves by Betsy Streeter
Self-Care for the Caregiver! By Michael Anne Conley, LMFT
When my father died four years ago, it saved my mother’s life. My father’s death in November 2009 ended many years of my mother’s role as the primary caregiver of a loved one with a long-term illness. He had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and it was about time to move him to a higher level of care than she could provide at home. At the same time, it was becoming clear that years as a family caregiver was wearing my mom down. Her own health was increasingly at risk. As this anniversary approached, I learned that November is both Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month and Family Caregivers Month. Surely, there is no coincidence there. Even if you’re not an elder like my mother, if you are in a similar situation in your own family, you know the pressure. Some part of you never lets down. Yet you need support, too. The Caregiver Action Network has some suggestions for this time of stress.
10 Tips for Family Caregivers
1. Seek support from other caregivers (The caregiver movement started here in the Bay Area in 1977 with the Family Caregiver Alliance, which now offers support nationally. Start here: http://tinyurl.com/familycaregivergroups). You are not alone! 2. Take care of your own health so that you can be strong enough to take care of your loved one (Get that checkup, take a yoga class, go for walks. Feel reluctant? Read #3, #5 & #6.). 3. Accept offers of help and suggest specific things people can do to help you (Lotsa Helping Hands is a support coordination website for those times you need respite and other help: https://www.lotsahelpinghands.com. My colleagues Kathy Anolick, Chris Phelps, and Gary Tartaglia were supported in this way before they died, and it made it easier for the rest of us to help). 4. Learn how to communicate effectively with doctors (The National Family Caregivers Association offers this video: http://tinyurl.com/talktohealthpros).
Ask the Doctor
My Stiff Aching Shoulder By Dr. Jeffrey G. Riopelle, MD
Patient: Doctor, my shoulder has been hurting for two months, and I have trouble lifting it up over my head. I didn’t have an injury; it just started on its own. What do you think is going on with it? Doctor Riopelle: Try this easy test. Bend your elbow to 90 degrees and keep it in against your body. Now rotate your shoulder and arm out away from your body while keeping your elbow bent at 90 degrees. Notice how far out you can rotate it. Now do the same thing on the other side with the good arm. How far does it go? Patient: My shoulder on the right (my bad one) rotates out about 40 degrees. My left shoulder rotates out 90 degrees. Doctor Riopelle: Now rotate inward and reach up behind your back as if you are scratching your back from below. How high can you reach with each arm? Patient: My right shoulder cannot reach nearly as high as my left. There is about a four inch difference. Doctor Riopelle: From this simple test I can tell you that you most likely have Shoulder Adhesive Capsulitis, also known as a frozen shoulder. The other possibility is shoulder arthritis, but if it was arthritis alone, and you have never had an injury, you would expect both shoulders to be more similar. Shoulder Adhesive Capsulitis, or frozen shoulder, is one of the most common shoulder problems we see. It usually occurs in patients ages 40 to 70 and is more common in women than men. It can occur spontaneously or after an injury. It is often associated with shoulder arthritis, although technically the pathologic problem is different than in arthritis. Frozen shoulder occurs due to adhesions that form in the shoulder, sort of like scar tissue that restricts the motion. Anything that causes shoulder pain can lead to frozen shoulder as the patient favors the shoulder, not moving it adequately, and then adhesions are allowed to occur. Symptoms of frozen shoulder include pain, stiffness, and restriction of motion, especially rotation. X-rays and an MRI scan are typically negative, and we make the diagnosis primarily by exam. By contrast, X-rays and MRI in arthritis
Lafayette Today ~ November 2013 - Page 19 1-hour class 5. Caregiving is hard work, so take respite breaks often (If you can’t get away from home, Habits Into Health — respite can come to you. At Stillpoint Center, New Skills For the New You we have a massage therapist who makes house with calls! http://wellnesslafayette.com/contact or Michael Anne Conley 925-262-4848). Tuesday • Nov 19, 2013 6. Watch out for signs of depression, 7-8 pm and don’t delay in getting professional help Lafayette when you need it (If you’re wondering about this, contact me. I offer a limited Does someone else’s habit create problems and pain for you? G number of complimentary consultations Are you good at covering up how each month and can help you find referrals, bad you really feel about your too. Apply at http://wellnesslafayette.com/ own unhealthy behaviors? contact or 925-262-4848.). 7. Be open to new technologies that can Join me to practice ways you can stop feeling out of control help you care for your loved one (Here are and options: http://tinyurl.com/caregivertech). start feeling just as powerful 8. Organize medical information so it’s on the inside up-to-date and easy to find (Keep a file with as you look on the outside! your loved one’s health and medical history, 1st visit is free physician contact info, allergies, a medication Reserve your place list, and insurance information.). http://www.habitsintohealthgroup.eventbrite.com or 9. Make sure legal documents are in Apply for a complementary consultation order (Try http://tinyurl.com/caregiverfacts). to learn if this class is a fit for you: 10. Give yourself credit for doing the email@example.com best you can in one of the toughest jobs there is! Despite the challenges, our family was blessed in the end. Before he had for Thetheir Caregiver! to be moved from home and my mother, justSelf-Care weeks before 59th wedding anniversary, my father quickly exited this life after breaking his hip in a fall. He By Michael Anne Conley, LMFT also ended his journey before he forgot his bride’s name. Michael Anne Conley, LMFT, is a holistic and four habit change Whentherapist my father died years ago, it saved m specialist, practicing since 1991 in Lafayette, where she founded and directs father’s death in November, 2009, Stillpoint Center for Health, Well-Being &My Renewal. You can reach her at ended m of a loved one with a long-term illness. firstname.lastname@example.org or 925-262-4848. Advertorial typically show degenerative changes, but remember patients can often both and He had been diagnosed withhave Alzheimer’s, arthritis and frozen shoulder. than she could provide at home. At the same ti Initial treatment includes antiinflammatorywasmedication, wearing my cortisone mom down.injections, Her own health w range of motion exercises, and physical therapy. Typical physical therapy can be As thisbeyond anniversary approached, learned quite painful as the therapist must push the shoulder where it wants toI go to that and Family Caregivers Month. Surely, no coin try to break up the adhesions. Do not try this on your own! Most adhesive Capsulitis takes six months up to even two years to resolve andif goes Even you’reaway not angradually. elder like Forced my mother, if y manipulation under general anesthesia to break up the adhesions is sometimes helpful. In our office we treat using a variety of techniques. We treat most forms of shoulder injuries, acute and chronic. We also have an ongoing patient sponsored study for joint treatment with autologous stem cells. We did our original training with Dr. Joseph Purita, the physician who performed the stem cell joint procedure on A’s pitcher Bartolo Colon. We want to stress that this protocol uses your own stem cells removed and purified out from your own fat and replaced in the joint the same day, NOT one of the highly controversial fetal stem cell procedures performed in other countries. The study protocols involve the treatment of the following conditions: joint problems, especially the shoulder and knee, erectile dysfunction, diabetes, and emphysema. For further information, please call 925-275-9333.
Halloween Candy Buyback Contest- We Need Your Candy!
Dr. Riopelle and his daughter Natalie have organized a Halloween candy buyback contest for schools. Students turn their candy into a school rep, who collects the candy and turns it in to our office. Schools win up to $1,000 and the candy goes to the Blue Star Moms for holiday packages for overseas troops. This event is sponsored by contributions from Dr. and Donna Riopelle and a number of generous caring local doctors. We are looking for student volunteers to get out the word and coordinate collection of the candy at each school. Student volunteers can do a valuable service for their schools and also write about their involvement in their college essays when they are older. To help out or volunteer your son, daughter, grandson, or granddaughter, call 925-275-9333. Candy collection will take place between November 1 and November 10, so call now. For information on any of our programs, please call our office, San Ramon Valley Medical Group, Inc., at (925) 275-9333 or visit our website at www. riopellecosmetic.com. We are located at 5401 Norris Canyon Rd, Ste. 312 in San Ramon. Advertorial
Page 20 - November 2013 ~ Lafayette Today
Your Personal Nutritionist
With all of this Exercise, why am I not Losing Weight? By Linda Michaelis RD,MS
Are you going to spinning classes or doing TRX, Bootcamp, or Body Pump and still not losing weight? This frustrating story is common. Let me tell you about my client Diane who takes Bootcamp classes at 6:30AM most mornings and has not lost one pound - in fact, she has gained a few since starting. Before class Diane had a slice of sourdough toast with peanut butter and two veggie sausages that she thought were very healthy. She would stop for a Chai Latte at Starbucks on her way home, and then once back home she prepared a Greek yogurt with an excessive amount of granola and slivered almonds. Soon after she raced to work where she would buy a prepared salad at the local café for lunch. She wound up being hungry most of the day and succumbed to office snacks such as chocolate covered almonds, dried fruit, granola bars, and too much fruit. Diane then would arrive home famished and snack on what she was making her kids for dinner, like macaroni and cheese or chicken nuggets, before she sat down with her husband later. She would then eat dinner with her husband most of the time, even though she was not hungry. I explained to Diane that after she exercises intensely her metabolism is sped up to three times the normal rate, and therefore she should be eating most of her high calorie meals soon after. Diane realizes now that her body temperature remains hot for several hours after spinning, and this is the time when calories will be burned off most rapidly. The problem was that Diane was eating most of her calories at the end of the day. Her food choices were lower in protein and fiber and higher in fat and starches than she realized. Her breakfast was very high in fat between the peanut butter and sausages, and she was shocked to realize that she was consuming very little protein and no fiber. In addition, Diane did not realize that her low-fat Chai came to half of its calories from fat and was very high in sugar due to the Chai syrup. Her Greek yogurt was a great choice but she added too much granola and nuts that contained more fat than she realized. I often tell my clients that a one ounce serving of nuts has 150 calories and is 2/3 fat. Nuts are great to have during the day as a snack but not good to snack on in the evening. I told her to add a sprinkling of granola and a tablespoon of nuts to her yogurt. Diane’s lunch was very skimpy since all the places that have prepared salads never have enough meat added and always end up having too much cheese, croutons, tortilla strips, or other surprises. Of course, the dressing needs to be monitored, and I recommend to always use half of what is served. I strongly suggested Diane bring her lunch that should contain at least six ounces of protein, a whole grain bread, and veggies. A sample lunch might include a tuna and white bean salad or grilled chicken strips with one cup brown rice, quinoa, or whole wheat couscous and at least one cup of veggies with a yummy sauce such as pico de gallo, BBQ
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www.yourmonthlypaper.com sauce, or even curry. I told Diane that fruit should be considered a dessert and not eaten all day long as a snack if she wanted to lose weight. Fruit has a lot of calories which is not an easy fact to know because fruit is not packaged with a nutrition label. I also told Diane that she should be eating dried fruit sparingly since it is very concentrated in calories, and that granola bars do not fill you up when you are hungry because they lack protein and fiber. I suggested she bring snacks such as turkey jerky, hearty bean soups, oatmeal, cottage cheese, or even hard boiled eggs with veggies. I am glad to tell you that when Diane now comes home she is not snacking on her kids’ dinner because she is not hungry. She realizes that when she sits down with her husband she has an appetite and can enjoy the meal. For dinner she is having a small serving of protein, a veggie, and salad or even just a sweet potato and a veggie. Diane is a dessert girl and always enjoys her Skinny Cow ice cream sandwich. I counseled Diane via phone and e-mail for two months and she is thrilled to finally lose those 15 pounds that she could never take off. Please look at my website, LindaRD.com for the eight week Royal Treatment program for details on how I worked with Diane. As many readers know, I am a gym person myself and love working with women that need the support to lose weight even though they are exercising. I am glad to inform you that insurance companies will cover nutritional counseling. Please visit LindaRD.com for the list of companies and past articles and more information about nutritional concerns. Call me at (925) 855-0150 or e-mail me at email@example.com. Advertorial
Shine a Light on Lung Cancer By Gigi Chen, MD
The most effective way to reduce lung cancer is by cancer prevention. Smoking is thought to be the cause in 85% of lung cancer. With our progress in smoking cessation, there is a recent decline in lung cancer rates and mortality. However, 19% of the population in the US are still smokers. We also know that the risk of lung cancer after smoking cessation still takes many years before it declines significantly. Therefore, there is a need for an effective screening modality for lung cancer. Previously, studies using chest x-ray as a screening modality have not shown that screening reduces lung cancer deaths. More recently, the National Lung Screening Trial, conducted by National Cancer Institute, compared annual screening using low-dose chest CT scanning with chest x-ray for three years in high risk individuals and found a reduction lung cancer deaths. Several observation trials, including the early lung cancer project (ELCAP), showed that low-dose chest CT can identify early asymptomatic lung cancer. This would allow treating lung cancer at an early stage and improve the overall cure rate. CT screening is recommended only for people who are at high risk where the benefit would outweigh the risk. High risk is defined as age 55 to 74 with a 30 pack a year smoking habit, and if no longer smoking, smoking cessation within 15 years. Lung cancer screening should be done in a multidisciplinary program which involves a number of experts to guide the screening. There have also been new and exciting advances in the treatment of advanced lung cancer. We now have a better knowledge of the molecular pathways that drive lung cancer growth. In a patient with an identifiable “driver mutation” such as EGFR mutation or ALK rearrangement, we have targeted therapy such as erlotinib, afatinib or crizotinib, which are highly active in treating these cancer types. In patients who do not have an identifiable driver mutation, we have a combination of chemotherapy as well as monoclonal antibodies that are active in treating lung cancer. Many clinical trials that use new targeted agents as well as immunotherapy are being studied in the area of lung cancer. Gigi Chen, MD is a Medical Oncologist and Hematologist practicing at Diablo Valley Oncology, located in the California Cancer and Research Institute, Pleasant Hill. Join an engaging panel of lung cancer experts as they cover the most current information regarding early detection, new screening recommendations, clinical trials, treatment options, surgical techniques, and survivorship issues on November 16th from 3–5PM at the Walnut Creek Library. Register by calling 925-677-5041 x272 or online at www.shinealightonlungcancer.org. Advertorial
By Barbara Persons, MD, Persons Plastic Surgery, Inc.
This month I decided to stray away from my usual article relating to a reconstructive or cosmetic procedure and write about shared experiences—events we endure as a community. The last year has been marked by several life-altering events for me. I experienced the death of a kindergarten classmate of mine, and friend to many, and the death of a young local boy. These loses, combined with trials occurring in my own life, left me feeling quite thoughtful. Ultimately, I asked myself what I wanted to say in the simplest terms. It was, “Thank you, to my community.” Thank you for teaching my children, who in turn teach me. Thank you for being a community when I needed a community - at a festive gathering one day and a touching memorial the next. Thanks for coming into my office and bringing cupcakes for my staff, and for giving me the opportunity to do what I love every day. Thank you for sharing a day at the Art and Wine festival with me and for exclaiming, “I never knew you did such wonderful things at work!” These moments remind me that, despite how hectic our lives may be, life is utterly fulfilling. It is easy to get caught up with our crazy schedules, but it is essential to take the time to realize how blessed we are. It takes more than skill to perform delicate surgeries and more than a
Bladder Leakage - Solutions for Incontinence By Parminder Sethi, MD
Lafayette Today ~ November 2013 - Page 21 kind heart to be a compassionate doctor every day. Thank you, in short, for inspiring me, for inspiration is of great worth in my profession, and it is something I find from many people I am inspired by teachers whose lessons have taught me a great deal and will not be forgotten. I am inspired by my patients whose courage astounds me and whose gratitude make every extra hour at the office worthwhile. Most importantly, I am inspired by family, they are my greatest support system and can turn a long, stressful day around with a simple smile. No matter what the inspiration, I am grateful for it. It’s a reason to listen a little more, to perfect that suture, and to make that extra stop at the hospital. While there are moments when all of this is nearly overwhelming, somehow the people who need me are also the ones that inspire me. I hear my father, when asked if he needed anything sitting in his hospital bed at John Muir, simply respond, “Will you pray with me?” I hear a patient, who is facing difficult challenges, say wisely, “I learned a long time ago not to lose my cool, it doesn’t get me anywhere.” I hear my son say, “Mom, it’s important to hold hands and stick together.” So, in summary, thank you for inspiring me to be a good surgeon, a good physician, and good person. Thanks for making my job wonderful. Thank you for brining community to me and letting me serve you. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Advertorial done in the out-patient setting. For men and women with overactive bladder conditions who have failed to improve with pharmacological management, we can now provide a new treatment option which uses mild electrical pulses to stimulate the nerve that controls the bladder and surrounding muscles that manage urinary function. From pharmacologic management and behavioral modification to pelvic floor rehabilitation and minimally-invasive reconstructive surgical techniques, effective solutions exist for virtually every form of incontinence. Dr. Parminder Sethi is a Urologist at Pacific Urology. He specializes in treating patients with urinary incontinence and bladder dysfunction. He sees patients in Walnut Creek, San Ramon, and Livermore. To reach Dr. Sethi, call 925-830-1140. Advertorial
One of the most common urological problems I treat is urinary incontinence - the loss of control over urination. In some instances, it’s as minor a problem as losing a few drops of urine while running or coughing. In other cases, one may feel a strong, sudden urge to urinate just before losing a large amount of urine. Many patients experience both symptoms. Both women and men can become incontinent from neurologic injury, birth defects, stroke, multiple sclerosis, and physical problems associated with aging. Women experience urinary incontinence twice as often as men. Pregnancy Dumploads OnUs and childbirth, menopause, and the structure of the specializes in female urinary tract account for this difference. Incon- providing the ultitinence in men is mostly related to prostate problems, mate junk removal but there are other neurological and bladder problems solution. We’ll haul that contribute. away just about anything - from old household junk to construcIncontinence stems from problems with muscles tion and yard waste. The only items we are unable to accept are and nerves that help to hold or release urine. During hazardous urination, muscles in the wall of the bladder contract, • Computers materials. We forcing urine out of the bladder and into the urethra. make getting • Cables At the same time, sphincter muscles surrounding rid of your • TVs the urethra relax, letting urine pass out of the body. unwanted junk Incontinence will occur if our bladder muscles sud• Monitors as easy as denly contract or the sphincter muscles are not strong 925.934.3743 • 925.934.1515 • Servers enough to hold back urine. Urine may escape with less 1-2-3; we load, www.dumploadsonus.com • www.erecycleonus.com • Phones pressure than usual if the muscles are damaged, caus- we sweep, and 1271 Boulevard Way, Walnut Creek • Printers ing a change in the position of the bladder. Obesity, then we haul Monday-Friday, 8-5 • Saturday 9-1, Sunday, closed •Copiers which is associated with increased abdominal pres- away. It’s that sure, can worsen incontinence. Fortunately, weight easy! • Fax Machines • Power Supply Units • Discs and Tapes loss can reduce its severity. Plus we do it • Scanners • Printer Cartridges and Toners • And More... Urinary incontinence is not inevitable with age or with a smile! ‘something you have to live with.’ Urinary incontinence is a medical problem. Many people aren’t aware that a specialty exists for the management and care of incontinence conditions. Highly effective, minimallyinvasive treatments are available, and most can be
Page 22 - November 2013 ~ Lafayette Today
Events for Lafayette Seniors
Our mission is to provide personalized care, help All classes are held at the Lafayette Senior maintain independence and enhance our Center (LSC) located at 500 Saint Mary’s Rd client’s quality of life on a daily basis. in Lafayette unless otherwise noted. Space is • Free in-home assessments • Regular home visits limited. Please call 925-284-5050 to reserve a ensure the right care plan • Hourly care Heartfelt & spot. Annual Membership fee: $10 per person. for you • Live-in care Supportive • Fully bonded and insured • Geriatric care mgmt. General Event fee: Members $1; Non-Member • Elder referral and placement $3. Special Concerts fee: Members $3; NonAt All Times... 3645 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Suite D Members $5. Ongoing Caregiver Support Lafayette, CA 94549 Group: Members: no charge; Non-members $1. (beside Trader Joe’s) www.excellentcareathome.com 925-284-1213 Lamorinda Dance Social Every Wednesday *skip 11/27, 12/25 • 12:30 – 3PM • Live Oak Room, LSC las Flores, 2100 Donald Drive, Moraga - Lafayette, Orinda and Moraga - Enjoy afternoon dancing every Wednesday, and learn some great new are pleased to presentthis technology class taught by Ed Zeidan, owner and dance moves. On the first Wednesday monthly, professional dancers Karen CEO of Nerd4Rent. Gain an understanding of how your iPad works and and Michael will provide a dance lesson and live DJ services, playing your all you can do with it. Call Lafayette Senior Services to reserve your spot. favorites and taking requests. $2 Members/ $4 non-members. Senior Services Members: $10/class; Non-members $11/class. Fee includes Lafayette Senior Services Commission 4th Thursday of the month lunch and refreshments. from 3:30 – 5:30PM at the LSC - View agendas at the City of Lafayette of- Maintain You Home’s Interior Thursday 11/7 • 10:30AM – Noon • fice or at www.ci.lafayette.ca.us. Lafayette Library, Arts & Science Room - Interior maintenance tasks Lamorinda Nature Walk and Bird-Watching Every Wednesday are critical to the long-term performance of your home. Regularly• 9AM - 11AM • Call LSC to find out weekly meeting locations - Experience scheduled maintenance can help you avoid serious problems, or at least nature at its finest along our local trails. Delight in the beauty that unfolds identify issues early so problems can be addressed in a timely manner around each bend, all the while learning to identify a variety of birds. Bring with minimal adverse effects. Mark Shaw, 15- year real estate broker, a water bottle; binoculars will be helpful if you have them. Join us every will share his professional knowledge of keeping your home in tip-top Wednesday or whenever you are able. shape and maintaining its value! Come Play Mahjong! Every Tuesday • 12:30PM–3:00PM • Cedar Room, Words of Wisdom…From the Philosophical to the LSC - Come join us on Tuesdays for a drop-in game of mahjong. Mahjong is a game of skill, strategy, and certain degree of chance. All levels welcome. Lighthearted 11/19, 12/17 • 10:30 –Noon • Elderberry Room, LSC Bring your card, a mahjong set, and a snack to share (optional). RSVP not - Join discussion group leader Craig Janke, and take part in this freewheeling exchange of inspiration, information, and humor. Topics – from required. Creative Writing Workshop 2nd and 4th Thursday monthly 11/7, soup to nuts - will be explored, examined, and discussed by participants. 11/21, 12/5, 12/19 • 10:30AM - noon • Cedar Room, LSC - Join creative Stories and photographs will stimulate humorous discoveries regarding the writing and English instructor Judith Rathbone, and examine the possibilities benefits of becoming the ‘elders of our tribe.’ Discovering Opera: Hänsel und Gretel Wednesday, 11/13 • 1 – of self-expression through writing. This friendly group, with an everpm changing membership but lots of returning participants, will welcome you 2:30 , Lafayette Library, Arts & Science Room - Yes, it’s the Grimm and any of your writing efforts. Find encouragement and feedback and bring brothers’ fairy tale, translated into operatic form by the “original” Engelbert out the writer in you. If you can speak, you can write, and we will show you Humperdinck, not the pop singer of recent fame. With a Wagnerian range of colors and textures applied to music of melodic and rhythmic appeal, but how! Beginners to established writers welcome. Positive Living Forum (“Happiness Club”) Thursday 11/14, 12/12 without Wagner’s philosophical undertones, his first opera remains highly • 10:30AM – noon • Sequoia Room, LSC - Brighten your day with Dr. Bob popular 120 years after its premiere. Opera lover and lecturer Bradford Wade Nozik, MD, Prof. Emeritus UCSF and author of Happy 4 Life: Here’s How will describe the background of Hänsel und Gretel and discuss its plot, to Do It. Take part in this interactive gathering which features speakers on a complete with musical examples. wide range of topics that encourage and guide participants towards a more Is Food a Problem for You? ideal and positive life experience. Overeaters Anonymous offers a fellowship of individuals who, through Bi-Monthly Caregiver Support Group Mondays 11/18, 12/9, 12/16 shared experience and mutual support, are recovering from compulsive • 1:30–2:30PM • Elderberry Room LSC - If you are a family member helping overeating. This is a 12-step program. The free meetings are for anyone to care for an older adult, join our support group to find balance and joy as suffering from a food addiction including overeating, under-eating, and bulimia. The group meets Wednesdays at 6PM at Our Savior's Lutheran you manage your responsibilities. Drop-ins are welcome. Free Peer Counseling 3rd Wednesday of the month, 11/19 • Alder Room, Church in Lafayette. Visit www.how-oa.org for more information. LSC - Contra Costa Health Services offers free one-on-one counseling with Hearing Loss Association senior (55+) counselors who use their life experiences to help other older adults Come to meetings of the Diablo Valley Chapter of Hearing Loss cope with life changes, problems, crises, and challenges. Confidentiality is Association of America at 7pm on the first Wednesday of the month at the strictly observed. Appointment required. Call LSC to sign up for one of the Walnut Creek United Methodist Church located at 1543 Sunnyvale Ave., following appointment times: 10:00, 10:30, 11:00, or 11:30AM. rd ‘As the Page Turns’ Book Club 3 Tuesday monthly 11/19 • 1– Walnut Creek Education Bldg., Wesley Room. Meeting room and parking are at the back of the church. All are welcome. Donations are accepted. 2:30PM • Elderberry Room, LSC - Looking for a good book to talk about Assistive listening system are available for T-coils, and most meetings are with others? Join this informal group of book lovers, and enjoy enrichment, captioned. Contact HLAADV@hearinglossdv.org or (925) 264.1199 or discussion, fellowship, and refreshments. Hearing Screening 1st Wednesday monthly 11/6, 12/4 • 1 – 2:20pm www.hearinglossdv.org. • Alder Room, LSC - By Audiologists from Hearing Science/Diablo To share your story, advertise, Valley Ear, Nose, and Throat. Appointment required. Minimum of two or see past issues, visit sign-ups required in order for screenings to take place. Please call Lafayette Senior Services at 284-5050 to sign up for one of the 20-minute www.yourmonthlypaper.com appointments. or call 925.405.6397 Lunch n’ Learn: iPad Tuesday 11/19 • 10:30AM–1PM • Hacienda de
Lafayette Today ~ November 2013 - Page 23
Elder Abuse Laws
By Mary Bruns, Lamorinda Senior Transportation
Lamorinda Senior Transportation is wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving! We are grateful for your patronage, donations, and for those of you who volunteer to drive our older adults to their destinations. All Senior Transportation programs need more volunteer drivers in order to expand services. Please consider providing this gift of service to your community. One of the advantages of attending the Advisory Council on Aging meeting is that information on legislation affecting older adults is distributed. The following is a partial representation of the finalized list of Elder Abuse bills that were signed by the Governor. This is quoted from a list of “Senior Bills” provided by Matt Traverso, Legislative Analyst, Consumer Federation of California. If you would like the full list, email email@example.com. AB 140 Undue Influence Chapter 668 Summary: This bill would change the definition of undue influence to mean excessive persuasion that causes another person to act or refrain from acting by overcoming that person’s free will and results in inequity. The bill would require, in determining whether the result was produced by undue influence, the vulnerability of the victim, the influencer’s apparent authority, the actions or tactics used by the influencer, and the equity of the result to be considered. The bill would specify that an inequitable result, without more, is not sufficient to prove undue influence. AB 261 Chapter 290 Summary Residential Care Bills and Charges: This bill would prohibit a residential care facility for the elderly from requiring advance notice for terminating an admission agreement upon the death of a resident, would prohibit the accrual of any fees once all personal property of the deceased is removed from the facility, and would prohibit the facility from impeding the removal of a deceased resident’s personal property, as specified. The bill would require a residential care facility for the elderly to issue a refund of any fees paid in advance, covering the time after a deceased resident’s personal property has been removed, within 15 days of that property being removed. AB 381 Chapter 99 Summary: Current law provides that a person found liable for taking, concealing, or disposing of property belonging to the estate of a decedent, conservatee, minor, or trust through the use of undue influence in bad faith, or through the commission of elder or dependent adult financial abuse, is liable for twice the value of the property. This bill would provide that a person may, in the court’s discretion, be liable for reasonable attorney’s fees and costs in these actions, except as specified. The bill would specifically apply these provisions to property belonging to an elder or a dependent adult. AB 663 Chapter 675 Summary Training Requirements: Current law requires the administrator of an adult residential care facility or an administrator of a residential care facility for the elderly to undergo training, including specified subjects, including, but not limited to, business operations and the psychosocial needs of the facility
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
Mauna Wagner receives one of the Culture to Culture Senior Volunteer Awards
residents. Current law also requires the Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman to sponsor training of ombudsman, to be completed prior to certification as an ombudsman. This bill would require the administrator and ombudsman training to include training in cultural competency and sensitivity in issues relating to the underserved aging lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. AB 1217 Chapter 790 Summary: This bill would enact the Home Care Services Consumer Protection Act, which would provide, on and after January 1, 2015, for the licensure and regulation of home care organizations, as defined, by the State Department of Social Services, and the registration of home care aides. The bill would exclude specified entities from the definition of a home care organization and would not include certain types of individuals as home care aides for the purposes of these provisions. All of these bills contain other related provisions and other existing laws.
Lamorinda Senior Transportation An Alliance of Transportation Providers
Lamorinda Spirit Van
Takes Lamorinda Seniors to errands and appointments, grocery shopping, and to lunch at C.C. Café.
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. Volunteer drivers serving Contra Costa seniors with free rides to doctors’ appointments during the week. Grocery shopping on Saturdays.
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PLACE YOUR CLASSIFIED HERE!
Page 24 - November 2013 ~ Lafayette Today Insiders continued from front page Koster collaborates with Barbara Townsend, the program director for Futures Explored Incorporated, a local organization providing life skills and work-related training for adults with developmental disabilities. “The Insider’s program is unique because it values people with developmental disabilities,” says Townsend. “It is important that our community understands that folks with disabilities are contributing members of society. Our participants pay sales tax, are employed at various businesses in our community, and enjoy a rich social life including going to restaurants, movies, and parks just like anyone else. The impact is that when you have full participation in a community, everyone benefits by getting to know people from other walks of life. Everyone has something to offer, and people with disabilities add to the fabric of our community.” “I am really enjoying my role with Lafayette Insiders, and it feels good to make these visitors welcome at the library,” says Koster. “Our participants are adults who appreciate being treated like adults. They are interested in learning skills to help them successfully navigate life, such as résumé building and managing money. It has been a fun challenge to create relevant programming.” “Participants in Library Insiders are confident and seeking information based on their own preferences,” says Middleton. “We encourage and support this independent exploration. Their feedback fuels future programs. We encourage any adult with or without disabilities to join a Library Insiders program.” For more information on Library Insider programs at the various Contra Costa County libraries, visit the library's online calendar at CCClib.org.
Clown continued from page 8
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Music plays an important role in relaxing patients. “Music creates movement within a person, a kind of vibration that reaches something within a patient and generates an emotional release,” explains Mahsa Matin, who can be seen performing in San Francisco as the one-person Beat Feet Orchestra. “The unexpected is what we generate. At first you need props, but as you get better all you need to be successful as a medical clown is yourself.” While medical clowns may delight their audience by doing handstands on a walker or performing up-close magic tricks, much of the time they spend with adult patients involves finding the connection that generates joy. Raz believes the MCP clowns have an innate ability to understand and respond taking on whatever role is appropriate. “In a performance dropping out of character is a negative, but in the case of medical clowning, you sometimes need to drop out of character and become just a human being in order to engage the patient. Once you have the patient finishing telling a story or completing another interaction, you can go full into a routine and then slide back halfway out of character to let the patient know you’ve had fun spending time together.” One challenge the MCP clowns face is transitioning between perceived realities. “Our job is not to take people anywhere but where they are. We need to enter their world and at the end of the session find our way back into our
own world,” Raz says “For patients who have no one left, we can become family. Our visits once a week replace that socialization.” Having witnessed the clowns’ impact, Fouts notes, “If I had my way, I would have them perform on every neighborhood on a regular weekly schedule two or three days a Calvin Kai Ku delights patients by balancing on one of their walkers. Photo by Lenny Gonzales. week.” As a non-profit organization, MCP is grateful for community support. To learn more, visit www.medicalclownproject.org, email Jeff Raz at jeffraz@aol. com, or call 510-337-1564.