October 2013 Mt. Diablo Interpretive Association Needs Your Help
Serving the Lafayette Community Youth Commission Presents Haunted House
The wildfire that just one month ago ravaged the eastern side of Mount Diablo is a memory, but the devastation left in its wake is ever-present. While naturalists acknowledge that such a fire is merely part of the environmental cycle, and that it will take only three to five years for the area to regenerate, they also acknowledge that Mother Nature could use a hand in the healing process. Assisting in the rehabilitation of the charred picnic areas, mangled fencing, and damaged signage is the Mount Diablo Interpretive Association (MDIA), a non-profit volunteer organization which assists the California Department of Parks and Recreation in maintaining and interpreting Mt. Diablo State Park for its 700,000 visitors each year. Started in 1974 as an informal interest group, MDIA later became formally recognized by the State Park system as the single cooperative association for Mt. Diablo State Park. MDIA’s responsibility has grown over the years to include the publication of guidebooks, maps, and newsletters and the overseeing of all merchandising. The
Brave visitors to the Lafayette Youth Commission’s annual Haunted House can expect bigger scares this year. This local Halloween tradition is observing its tenth anniversary, and youth commissioners promise some new surprises for those seeking shelter in this year’s themed Haunted Motel.
By Fran Miller
By Fran Miller
Lafayette Youth Commission Chair, Julia Goddard, inspects the dinner fare (event volunteer Robbie Plafker) at last year's LYC Haunted House.
Offering “not too scary,” and “definitely scary” options, the Haunted Motel will be open for business on Friday, October 25th and Sunday, October 27th at the Community Center’s Live Oak Room. Young
See Haunted continued on page 11
Photo by Steve Hutchcraft
association is proud to have played a major role in the construction and recent remodel of the museum atop Mt. Diablo’s summit, and it is responsible for the creation and staffing of the Visitor Center at Mitchell Canyon. MDIA publishes the popular Trail Map of Mount Diablo State Park, various natural history brochures, and Mountain News. MDIA was instrumental in the creation of an interpretive trail from Blackhawk to the summit, where hikers learn of 150 million years of geologic history, ancient landscapes, prehistoric animal life, evolving plant forms, and also the massive tectonic forces that formed the mountain today. The association is operated by a number of committed volunteers who work handin-hand with park staff and carry out duties as requested. MDIA President Jim Mitchell, who retired this past April as Director of R&D for the Clorox Company and now spends much of his time on Mt. Diablo, says that MDIA often has more volunteers in the park than park staff. “It’s like running a small business,” says Mitchell. MDIA’s day-to-day focus is to enhance the public’s appreciation of the mountain through education programs, nature hikes and other sponsored activities, but the association and its volunteers are ready to jump-in during a crisis. MDIA will be teaming with the State Park to accomplish restoration, repair, and replacement of fire-damaged
See MDIA continued on page 24
Local Postal Customer
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Mountain Lions in our Midst By Fran Miller
Mountain lion, puma, cougar – the moniker might differ, but the beautiful and often misunderstood creature is one in the same. Despite occasional news reports of local mountain lion sightings, the chances of seeing one in our area are very rare. In fact, 85-90% of all reported sightings in California are actually cases of mistaken identity. The odds of an encounter – defined as actual interaction between cat and human – are even lower. So why are hikers and runners Zara McDonald on Bay Area trails so fearful? They needn’t Volume VII - Number 10 be, claims Zara McDonald, Executive 3000F Danville Blvd #117 Director of the Felidae Conservation Alamo, CA 94507 Fund, based in Marin County. In fact, Telephone (925) 405-6397 mountain lions are a fundamental and Fax (925) 406-0547 critical puzzle piece in our ecosystem. email@example.com “Very small numbers of the general Alisa Corstorphine ~ Publisher public understand that mountain lions The opinions expressed herein belong to the and do not necessarily reflect that of Larepresent an extremely low risk to writers, fayette Today. Lafayette Today is not responsible humans,” says McDonald. “The tangible for the content of any of the advertising herein,
See Lion continued on page 8
nor does publication imply endorsement.
Page 2 - October 2013 ~ Lafayette Today
Lafayette Safety Fair and CERT Exercise
Lafayette Reservoir Run – October 27th
On Saturday, October 12th, from 8AM to 1PM, head on down to Stanley Middle School, located at 3455 School Street. There you will find firefighters, police, EMS, Red Cross, and CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) members and employees at the free Lafayette Safety Fair and CERT Exercise. Helicopters will be landing on the field and East Bay Regional Park District plans to have a horse patrol and trail patrol present. A bike rodeo with an obstacle course to teach kids how to ride safely to school will be offered by police. There will be hands-on fire extinguisher training. CERT members will show you how to secure items in your home for earthquake resistance and will demonstrate disaster medical operations and radio communications. Psychologists will talk with parents about disaster psychology and how to deal with children following an earthquake or wildfire. Medical Triage, Moulage, and Treatment stations will be demonstrating CERT skills. A sample neighborhood cache display will be available for viewing. The Red Cross will demonstrate sheltering of residents and pets in a large emergency.
The Lafayette Reservoir Run is the city’s most popular “family affair,” involving kids, parents, grandparents, and hundreds of serious runners from all over the Bay Area. Over 2,500 participants will compete in a 10K, 5K, or 2 mile race through the heart of downtown Lafayette, around the reservoir and back. Sprinters, walkers, the “stroller brigade,” and many of Lafayette’s top four legged residents will share the streets on the last Sunday morning in October. Race times begin at 8am, and “day of” registration begins at 6:30am. Enjoy music provided by Stanley Middle School and a pancake breakfast provided by the Lafayette Rotary Club. This event is presented by the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce and the City of Lafayette. Parking is available at the BART parking lot. Walk down to Plaza Center (Mt. Diablo Blvd. at Moraga Rd.) where all the fun is taking place. Pre-registration can be done by visiting www.lafayettechamber.org and clicking on the “Res Run” button on the home page. Beneficiaries of the event are the local schools and the services and programs of the Chamber. There are medals for all top participants in the 5K and 10K. The two mile fun run is a non-timed event.
Saturday, October 12th, 8AM to 1PM
Trick or Treat Street
This year a special evening has been added by the Chamber of Commerce to October happenings in Lafayette. On Friday, October 25th come downtown for a fun, safe Halloween event. Children and their parents are invited to Trick-or-Treat on Mt. Diablo Blvd. Starting at 4pm, head down to boo-tiful downtown Lafayette. All participating businesses will display a poster and have balloons at their door. Following Trick-or-Treating, head over to the plaza for a special moviein-the-plaza at 6pm. There will be a costume party and refreshments. Trickor-Treating is for children nine and under.
Holiday Fashion Show - October 15th, 10am-1pm
Join the Orinda-Moraga-Lafayette Branch (OML) of the American Association of University Women as they present a holiday fashion show to support the AAUW funds for Legal Advocacy and to showcase Community Women Entrepreneurs. Eliza Jamkochian, of Glamorous Boutique, will present holiday wear, cocktail outfits, scarves, and accessories. In addition, creations by OML artisans will be on display and available for purchase during the event. A buffet lunch will be provided for all attendees. The cost of the event is $20. Proceeds will benefit the AAUW which funds Legal Advocacy, supporting women in academia and the workplace who encounter sexual harassment and unfair hiring and firing practices. Visit www.aauwoml.org for more information.
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.
Speaking in Tongues Film Screening and Discussion A screening of Speaking in Tongues, the award-winning film about bilingual education, will be shown at 7pm, Thursday, October 17th, at the New Rheem Theater, Moraga. Speaking in Tongues follows four diverse kids on a journey to become bilingual. This charming story will challenge you to rethink the skills that Americans need to succeed in the 21st century. A panel discussion about language education in the US will follow after the showing of the film. Tickets are $12 in advance at www.casabilingue.org/ events, $15 at door, space permitting. For questions or information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
“The fastest 5K and the toughest 10K in the land”
Lafayette Community Garden Fall Harvest Celebration Sunday, October 20th, Noon to 3pm
The Lafayette Community Garden and Outdoor Education Center opened last spring after three years in development. Located on EBMUD land across from the Lafayette Reservoir, it has become a beautiful site where community members collaboratively grow food, participate in workshops about sustainable practices, and harvest and share food. The garden is being developed as a place where all community members can visit, witness, and learn about a thriving garden and the native plants that are part of Lafayette Creek’s riparian ecosystem. We hope you will join us at the garden to share in our Fall Harvest celebration. A $5/individual, $10/family donation is requested. There will be garden tours, informal classes, local musicians, a scavenger hunt, a raffle, and art projects for all ages. For more information, visit www.lafayettecommunitygarden.org.
Lafayette Juniors 20th Annual Rummage Sale
It’s time for the Lafayette Juniors 20th Annual Rummage Sale. The sale will be held Saturday, November 2nd from 8am – 2pm. A $5 Early Bird Entrance will begin at 7am. The sale will be held at the Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church, located at 49 Knox Drive in Lafayette. For sale will be pre-loved designer clothes, baby and kid clothes, toys and gear, furniture, household goods, and much more. The sale is cash only. All sale proceeds will go to the Juniors 2013-2014 beneficiaries, including First Place for Youth, the Lafayette Library, SEED, STAND!, and Twin Canyon Camp. Visit www.lafayettejuniors.org for more sale information.
“Not-So-Scary Animals for Halloween” at Lindsay Wildlife Museum
Not all “scary” animals are really scary! Meet some not-so-scary animals for Halloween as part of the Bay Area Science Festival events at Lindsay Wildlife Museum. Meet live animals like a bat, an owl, a spider, a snake, or a vulture in family-friendly presentations. Find out why some animals stay up all night. Learn how they find their way in the dark. Explore how animals that slither and creep help the environment. Discover if bats are blind, if snakes are poisonous, and if toads can give you warts. The events take place Saturday, October 26, Sunday, October 27, Wednesday, October 30, and Thursday, October 31. The museum is located at 1931 First Avenue, Walnut Creek, adjacent to Larkey Park. Learn more about all of the museum’s events by visiting wildlife-museum.org or calling 925-935-1978.
By Alisa Corstorphine, Editor
Twenty-two years ago our young family was living in Oregon. An opportunity arose to host a high school student from Japan for two weeks. We thought the opportunity would be an enriching experience for all. We signed up and received our student Kyoko. Through a lot of pantomiming and dictionary thumbing, we were able to communicate and had a wonderful time welcoming Kyoko into our home. Another family hosted Kyoko’s friend Satomi, and the two girls and two families participated in many activities for those couple weeks. The following year we repeated the experience with our new student Fumi. After moving to the Bay Area we participated in a similar program with French students. We have enjoyed both cultures and have made lasting friendships across both oceans. Not only have we learned some new vocabulary (which has become infinitely easier with the advent of computers and smartphones), but we have enjoyed different cuisines, and we have also used the experiences to explore more of our region and state. This summer one of our French students, Delphine, returned for a six week visit to brush-up her English skills as she prepares for a big college entrance test next spring. As this was Delphine’s second journey here, she wanted to explore Los Angeles as well. The opportunity provided us with an excuse for a long weekend of L.A. sight-seeing capped off by a visit to the Space Shuttle Endeavour at the California Science Center, which was something I personally always wanted to see. This month Satomi returned to visit our family for a three day stay. We had stayed in touch and had a previous brief visit 10 years ago. Her visit this time gave us a chance to hike around the Lafayette Reservoir, walk the Iron Horse Trail, and see some sites that have made our area famous and which many of us just take for granted - today we took the Silicon Valley tour with stops and pictures in front of Yahoo, Steve Jobs’s boyhood home, Apple, Microsoft, Google, Stanford University, and Facebook. The day was capped off by a night
Lafayette Today ~ October 2013 - Page 3 at the A’s ballgame. Our lives have been enriched from these connections. About six years ago I received an email from Erick, one of my Lafayette Today readers, who was trying to help an email contact from Sweden find information on her great grandfather who was believed to have lived in the Lafayette area in the early 1900s. Viktoria, in Sweden, had contacted Erick via the www.findagrave.com website. The site is useful to genealogists who can ask for help in finding and posting grave site information for their relatives, include headstone pictures. Having a passion for genealogy myself, I contacted Viktoria and did some research for her at the Martinez Court House. We became email and Facebook friends. Fast forward to this summer. My daughter was traveling in Sweden, Denmark, Ireland, and Scotland. When I asked Viktoria for a helping hand in finding places for my daughter to visit, an arm was extended and my daughter was welcomed into Viktoria’s home Amy, Viktoria, and Hedvig as a “bonus daughter.” It was an amazing experience for all. Another contributor to the Lafayette Today paper, Kathleen McAdam, has held a Scottish dancing class in the area for years. We connected at one of her classes. When I recently mentioned my daughter’s trip, Kathleen too reached out. Not only did she offer wonderful advice about things to see and do in Ireland and Scotland, but she contacted a cousin who lives in a suburb of Edinburgh. The suburb was originally a village named...Corstorphine, our surname. Kathleen’s cousin met my daughter at the bus stop and took her on a personal tour of the “homeland.” The connections we make with people introduces us to new ideas, new foods, and new sights and makes the world we live in a little smaller and a little more personal.
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Page 4 - October 2013 ~ Lafayette Today
Lafayette Hiking Group
To participate in hikes, meet in the parking lot out from Lafayette BART’s main entrance at 8:30am. Carpools to the trailhead will be formed. Bring lunch or snacks, water, layered clothing, good walking shoes, sun protection and money to contribute toward gas, bridge tolls, and parking. ($3 local).
Saturday, October 12 - Tilden Park & Botanical Gardens
Join leader George Denney for a 4.5 mile loop hike with some ‘ups’ and ‘downs.’ Starting at the Brook Picnic Grounds at the end of Brook Road, we will take the Wildcat Gorge Trail and the Meadow Canyon Trail, and we will eventually arrive at Lake Anza and the Botanical Gardens.
Saturday, October 26 - Lafayette Reservoir rim and side trails
Join hike leader Alison Hill on a strenuous 5-6 mile hike. Discover new areas of our favorite Lafayette walk. We will follow part of the rim trail, then hike down into a valley on one trail and back up to the rim on another. There is a possibility of seeing some interesting birds, so bring binoculars. There are steep hills, so bring hiking sticks if you use them. The hike will be modified if the ground is very muddy. For questions, email LafayetteHiking@comcast.net.
11 Critical Home Inspection Traps to be Aware of Weeks Before Listing Your Home for Sale Lafayette - According to industry experts, there are over 33 physical problems that will come under scrutiny during a home inspection when your home is for sale. A new report has been prepared which identifies the 11 most common of these problems, and what you should know about them before you list your home for sale. Whether you own an old home or a brand new one, there are a number of things that can fall short of requirements during a home inspection. If not identified and dealt with, any of these 11 items could cost you dearly in terms of repair. That's why it's critical that you read this report before you list your home. If you wait until the building inspector flags these issues for you, you will almost certainly experience costly delays in the close of your home
Go Nuts for Girl Scouts
This report is courtesy of J. Rockcliff Realtors #01763819. Not intended to solicit buyers or sellers currently under contract. Copyright © 2013
Snacks & Magazine Sale Helps Girls, Community
To help fund service projects and activities in the fall and winter, Girl Scouts from Lafayette will be selling sweets, nuts, and magazines through November 24. In addition to providing money for girls to pay for lifechanging program opportunities, camp, and community service projects, the Girl Scout Fall Sale is designed to help girls learn five key skills: goal setting, decision making, money management, business ethics, and people skills. The Fall Sale prices range between $5 and $8. You can also donate snacks to the food bank or military through the Care to Give program. To find a troop near you and arrange purchases, please call Sharon Evans (925) 998-9767 or visit GirlScoutsNorCal.org/gonuts.
Friends Corner Book Shop 1/2 Price Sale Saturday, October 19th, 9 - 5pm
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.
$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
Renee Anderson is our winner! Luther was hiding on page 13 last month.
sale or, worse, turn prospective buyers away altogether. In most cases, you can make a reasonable pre-inspection yourself if you know what you're looking for, and knowing what you're looking for can help you prevent little problems from growing into costly and unmanageable ones. To help home sellers deal with this issue before their homes are listed, a free report entitled "11Things You Need to Know to Pass Your Home Inspection" has been compiled which explains the issues involved. To hear a brief recorded message about how to order your FREE copy of this report, call toll-free 1-866-265-1682 and enter 2003. You can call any time, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Get your free special report NOW to learn how to ensure a home inspection doesn't cost you the sale of your home.
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.
Women Educators Share Roots at Conference
Local women educators are invited to attend the upcoming Delta Kappa Gamma (DKG) Conference entitled “Genealogy and Artifacts” which will be held at the Crow Canyon Country Club, located at 711 Silver Lake Drive in Danville, on Saturday, October 19th from 10:30AM to 1:30PM. The event, which includes lunch, costs $30 for those registering by October 10 and $35 for those who make reservations after October 11. No on-site registration will be available. Everyone is welcome. For information and reservations, email Area3conferenceemail@example.com. Alpha Beers Quincy, a distinguished retired educator, fifty-year DKG member and Lafayette resident, will discuss how she uncovered stories of her ancestors for the book she authored, We Lived American History ~ 1600 to 2000. Flora Ninomiya, representative from the Rosie the Riveter Museum, will highlight the plight of Japanese-American florists in Richmond following the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor and show the film, Blossoms and Thorns ~ A Community Uprooted. Attendees will enjoy collegial networking as well as the sharing of family artifacts during a luncheon. Opportunity baskets, donated by DKG chapters, will be given to some lucky ticket holders. The Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, established in 1929, is an honorary association comprised of approximately 90,000 women educators in 18 countries. Their mission is to promote personal and professional growth and to support excellence in education. Area III includes ten chapters in the Bay Area with more than 400 members. Chapters engage in a variety of community-oriented activities such as assembling activity kits for hospitalized children, backpacks for needy students, literacy programs for adults and children, and tuition grants to women and men who are aspiring to teach or to those educators who wish to further their education.
Lafayette Today ~ October 2013 - Page 5
Emergency Preparedness Class and Neighborhood Captains’ Training Emergency Preparedness for Individuals and Families Wednesday, October 23rd, 7-9PM
Don’t put it off any longer! This quick and easy session will help you prepare yourself and your family for the next emergency whether you are at home, work, or out and about. Emphasis will be on earthquake preparation, but the information applies to other emergencies as well. Bring pencil and paper. Materials will be provided.
Neighborhood Captains’ Training Wednesday, October 30th, 7-8:30PM
Join other Lafayette residents in becoming a neighborhood captain in the Lafayette Emergency Action Response Network (LEARN). This session is designed to help you organize your block or neighborhood in becoming self-sufficient for the first 72 hours following a major disaster. Attendance at a basic preparedness class (as above, CERT, or Red Cross class) is recommended, but not required, prior to attending this class. Bring paper and pencil. Written materials will be provided. All classes will be held at the Lafayette Community Center, 500 St. Mary’s Rd. in the Elderberry Room (back parking lot). The free classes are taught by the City of Lafayette Emergency Preparedness Commission. Register for these classes by calling the Lafayette Community Center at 284-2232. The Lafayette Emergency Preparedness Commission can arrange classes specifically for Lafayette homeowner groups, church or service groups, and possibly be closer to home. For more information, call the Commission at 299-3220 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Join THE WRITING STUDIO this fall as your children enter a world of CREATIVE NARRATIVE AND ESSAY-BASED EXPOSITORY WRITING PROJECTS. Through grade appropriate classes and one-on-one consultations, students learn proper sentence structure, organizational skills, the elements of well-written essays, creative use of descriptive words, correct grammar, usage, and so much more. THE WRITING STUDIO is open to elementary, middle and high school students who strive to improve their writing skills. Projects consist of absorbing writing assignments, from ﬁrst person narratives and persuasive essays to biographies and research projects. Our ten-week program will take place November 11-February 7. For further information, contact www.lafayettewritingstudio.com or call 925-285-0311.
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ONLINE REGISTRATION: WWW.LAFAYETTECHAMBER.ORG Member volunteers lurking about Assistance League® Way Side Inn Thrift Shop, whose haunts can be found at 3521 Golden Gate Way in Lafayette, boast of “Spook-tacular” finds to help you recreate a fabulous Halloween event. From now until Saturday, October 19, you can transform your home into a ghoul infested crypt, as well as unearth racks and racks of costumes, masks, and makeup. All eyes will be on you as you recreate a “fangtastic” miasma, a “Fright Night” that promises to chill the skull. Forge a myriad of pumpkins, wall hangings, garlands, and lights, all artfully draped from well-chosen limbs, that will virtually flood your guests’ senses and entice them to stay for a spell. On Tuesday, October 22, at 10AM sharp, you will find yourselves among discerning shoppers as you are ushered into a thrift shop that will be lined with an array of cashmere sweaters. You’ll have no difficulty shaking off the autumn morning or evening chill after you select that perfect sweater, whether a cardigan, v-neck, scoop neck, long sleeve, three-quarter length sleeve—the possibilities will be endless. October 22 will also launch the St. John/Misook event, an absolute must when considering career, holiday, and evening attire. The words “timeless, classic, versatile, elegant, sophisticated, and affordable” will surely come to mind when you sample items previously owned, yet infrequently worn. You’ll also be in a quandary when you weigh the St. John upscale, women-feature-friendly, formal, sport, and cruise attire against the varied sized, easy-to-care-for and travel with, nearly spot and stain resistant Misook. When you donate and purchase the above-mentioned, lovely items, you help fund Assistance League of Diablo The Writing Studio Lamorinda Weekly 3.875 x 4 Fall 2013.pdf 9/26/2013 also 7:19:32 PM Valley’s eight philanthropic programs. The 1chapter has a Speakers’ Bureau whose members present our story to various organizations, free of charge. For more information about scheduling a speaker to present to your group, please visit our website diablovalley.assistanceleague.org, find the About Us column on the left hand side of the page, and select Speakers’ Bureau. Shops At Plaza Center
Solar Technologies Lafayette
Dudum Real Estate Group
Member volunteer Luise Jones looks forward to giving you a tax receipt for your donations and helping you find that “boo-tiful” Halloween look.
Page 6 - October 2013 ~ Lafayette Today
The Bookworm By Joan Stevenson
It is with great excitement that the Friends of the Lafayette Library and Learning Center (LLLC) welcome back author Linda Lee Peterson to Sweet Thursday on Thursday, October 17th at 7:30PM. Interviewing Linda will be another Friend, Maria Hjelm. What a delightful reunion! Linda’s latest, The Devil’s Interval is a mystery with a murdered socialite, a convicted killer, a mother who thinks her son is innocent and Maggie Fiori, who we met in Linda’s last mystery, Edited to Death. Maggie, magazine editor, sleuth and heroine, uses her powers as a journalist to dig into the world of San Francisco’s elite after a limo driver is convicted of murdering the socialite. Who doesn’t love a good “whodunit”? The event is free, and no reservations are necessary. Have you notice that Joyce Maynard and her new book and movie have garnered media attention everywhere of late? Well, she is coming to our city… to our library on October 22nd at 6:30PM. I just finished, After Her, a novel loosely based on the Trailside Killer that traumatized Marin County in the 1970s. This tale follows two girls, sisters, who live near Mt. Tamalpais and roam the trails freely until a body is found and then another and another. Maynard will read from this story of family, friendship, and suspense. The ticket price is $20. There will be a raffle (tickets $20/each or 3 for $50) in connection with the event. The Grand prize is an evening with Joyce Maynard! She will join your book club at a private gathering. For reservations, go to www.LLLCF.org or call 925-283-6513 x 103. What could be more fitting for October than The Art and Science of Beer? In Munich, Oktoberfest, which lasts sixteen days, begins with a twelve gun salute and the tapping of the first keg of Oktoberfest beer at 12:00AM by the Mayor of Munich. Our affair, Wednesday, October 23, lasts from 7-8PM, and I could not confirm if Lafayette Mayor Mike Anderson will tap anything. Black Diamond Brewing Company Brewmaster Paul Mallory will share some scientific secrets to crafting the perfect thirst-quencher, and Whole Foods Market will provide delicious food pairings. Cost is $5/person, and you must be 21 years old to attend. To reserve, call 925-283-6513 x103 or email reserve@LLLCF.org.
www.yourmonthlypaper.com Berkeley Repertoire kicks off the new season with the 2013 Tony Award Winner for Best Play, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike! A docent from Berkeley Rep will enlighten us on how the playwright, Christopher Durang, Obie Award winner of such rollicking comedies as Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You and The Marriage of Bette & Boo, turns Chekhov on his head in this witty and incisive new farce. The discussion takes place on Tuesday, October 8th from 7 – 8PM in the Art and Science Discovery Center. The event is free. The Friends Corner Book Shop has announced the next ½ Price Sale which is set for Saturday, October 19th from 9-5. Patrick Brogan, Library Assistant for Teen Services, shares the news about Lafayette’s own “The Battle of the Bands” on stage at the LLLC on Friday October 18th from 5-7PM. All you budding rock stars, get out of the garage and onto the stage at Lafayette Library. The top four finalists will compete for prizes. For more information, mail Patrick at email@example.com. Scare-master Robert San Souci, creator of haunted houses, ghosts, goblins and spiders in his award winning children’s books of frightening folklore and well-known tales, will join us to celebrate Halloween. Come meet the master of “spooky” on Thursday, October 24th, 6:30-8:00 in the Community Hall. A Halloween costume contest will be held! There will be no tricks here, only treats! WOW (Wonders of the World), brought to LLLC by the Friends, introduces us to the Art of Bulgari: La Dolce Vita and Beyond, 1950-1990 on October 30th from 2– 3PM in the Community Hall. This exhibit, currently on view at the de Young Museum, features the spectacular works created by this innovative Roman jeweler. A docent from the museum will describe the highlights of the 150 pieces with a particular focus on clients familiar to us, Elizabeth Taylor, Sophia Loren and Audrey Hepburn. Richard Burton once said of his wife, “The only word that Elizabeth knows in Italian is Bulgari!” This event is free. The Lafayette Insiders Club is a new program organized by Emily Koster, Adult Services Librarian. Adults with disabilities can enjoy enrichment activities and discover the library as a place for fun and friendship. There will be a different event each month which will vary from arts and crafts, to music and dance, to special speakers, and much more. To learn more about the Insiders Club, contact Emily at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Red Scare not Confined to Red Square
Lafayette Today ~ October 2013 - Page 7
By Lafayette Historical Society
Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear, when open gambling along the Tunnel Strip was the hottest story under the sun... the Lafayette Sun, that is. A special issue of the Hollywood Reporter was circulated throughout this area, debunking revelations of illegal or, at least, shady doings - brought to light by Sun Publisher Herman Silverman. He asked who paid the big bucks to print the issue, and he wondered why Hollywood Reporter’s editor, Jimmy Tarantino, cared about Silverman’s expose. In reply, Tarantino produced a second issue of the Hollywood Reporter with a cover story centered on Silverman himself: “Sun Publisher Under Surveillance As Communist.” The story inside gave the scoop. “Herman Silverman, civic-minded publisher of the Sun, should watch out when hurling the wolf cry at the masses. It would be best for him to analyze his own … background before he tries to bolster his… circulation [and position himself] as protector of the populace.” “It is alleged that Herman Silverman, since his student days at Stanford University in ’40,’41,’42, was very much interested in the philosophy of the Russian Kremlin. And to date, it is also reported that his leanings are still in that direction. He is currently being investigated to sift out the ashes and bring some of the live RED coals out in the open. When the full reports reach this columnist’s office, THEY WILL BE PRINTED. It is evident that he might also be using a Communist tactic with his campaign by arousing people to a pitch. By that time he can play with them at will, regardless of printed lie. Communists always seek typical American strongholds to invade. “What can be better for someone like Silverman (who bought the Sun 2 ½ years ago) to strike at highly rated Contra Costa County? This man who worked in a metropolitan city like San Francisco suddenly decided to buy into Contra Costa. Why? Who sent him? Where does a man working as a reporter on a San Francisco newspaper acquire enough money to buy a newspaper? What group is backing him? Could they be Kremlinites? “Herman Silverman, who used three editions to rouse peaceable communities with a pack of lies (he has yet to prove anything), is working right in line with Communistic code of aggression. Communism has a master plan to create dissention and hatred. Thereafter, the people become tools. “The erstwhile publisher...headlined last week’s edition ‘SUN ASKS F.B.I. TO INVESTIGATE.’ This headline alone is enough to make people believe something awful is going on. He mailed the F.B.I. issues of the Sun and a letter. This is the most stupid formal complaint against gangsterism ever witnessed by this columnist.” Intrepid columnist Tarantino claimed to have checked with the F.B.I. and learned that the agency is “not interested in the case because they’re aware that Chicago gangsters never appeared in Orinda and that NO GANGSTER MEETING TOOK PLACE IN ORINDA.” He claimed that “the F.B.I. resents that Silverman used their agency in a headline when no proof was evident, thereby striking unnecessary fear into the hearts of Orinda families who probably thought the town was invaded by machine guns and killers. “There is discussion at the F.B.I. agency about the town’s only newspaper who dared hurl a fake kidnapping on the public of a friendly town with the impact of an atom bomb. Dana McGaugh, who admits he was hitch-hiking on that fateful night of his faked kidnapping, must have taken a shot in the arm to concoct so unrealistic a story. The best thing Herman Silverman and Dana McGaugh can do to right themselves with the citizens of Lafayette and Orinda would be for them to submit to a lie detector. That needle would go off in crazy gyrations no doubt... Silverman and McGaugh has better clean up their own quarters. “Orinda does not have mobster gamblers in its midst, nor does it have prostitution, smoke-filled vice dens or shootings. The only place where anything irregular goes on in Orinda is among certain individuals associated with the Sun.” This excerpt from the 1950 Lafayette Sun provides a hometown glimpse into the Red scare practice of labeling (and libeling) someone a Communist. We’ve probably heard of it but likely never witnessed it so close to home. The story will continue...
Lamorinda Idol 2013 Winners Announced
Winners of Lamorinda Idol 2013 are as follows. • Grades K - 2 Soloist Category: Mia Polichio (Camino Pablo) • Grades 3 - 5 Soloist Category : Elizabeth Becker (Orinda Intermediate) • Middle School Soloist Category: Leah Woodcox (Miramonte) • High School Soloist Category: Tosca Maltzman (Miramonte) • K-5 Group Category: US2: Kiera Glenn (Orinda Intermediate) and Maggie Heiskell (St. Perpetua) • Grades 6-8 Group Category: Lindsey & Arriana: Arriana Glenn (Orinda Intermediate) and Lindsey Wallace (Orinda Intermediate) • Audience Award: Lleyton Allen (Camino Pablo) More details about the winners are available at http://www. orindaartscouncil.org/lamorinda_idol_winners.php.
Page 8 - October 2013 ~ Lafayette Today
Online Sometimes is Offline!
By Art Lehman, Village Associates Realtors
Lion continued from front page
risk of this intensifying conflict is the threat to future regional lion populations, and thus to the health of the ecosystems they help regulate.” McDonald explains that mountain lions play a critical role in maintaining the balance of the natural systems where they live. As the last remaining keystone predator around the Bay Area, they help keep deer populations in check, foster healthy prey populations, and help reduce disease in the system, including those that affect humans such as Lyme disease. “As demonstrated in other regions, when mountain lions disappear from an ecosystem, the disruption to the natural balance can be dramatic, resulting in serious environmental problems for both fauna and flora,” says McDonald. Mountain lions, about the size of a large dog, are low density, living in home ranges of roughly 30 to 100 square miles in the San Francisco Bay Area. They require a habitat with cover, and they avoid active areas where humans recreate. They are elusive and secretive and very effective at avoiding being seen. They are most likely to be seen at dusk or dawn, when they are most active. The most likely place to see a mountain lion is in or near large natural wild land areas abundant with deer and water. They work very hard to avoid humans, and generally they are successful, even in increasingly urbanized fringe areas such as Lamorinda and the Diablo corridor. In some cases, a mountain lion will watch a human out of curiosity, though most disappear before they are seen. “The most often real sighting description is of the flash of the tail as it disappears into the cover,” says McDonald, who offers the following rules in the rare event one does come in contact with a wild cat: * Always be aware of your surroundings (don’t wear headphones) * Avoid hiking alone, and avoid hiking at dawn or dusk * Make noise (however, they hear you long before you’re there) * Never approach an animal carcass, or a wild cat or its young * Keep small children close…they are more vulnerable than adults because they are small * If you feel threatened, do not run…stand your ground. If you are approached or attacked, yell, throw things, and fight back…this technique works!
See Lion continued on page 24
Not a week goes by that I don’t have to explain, point out, justify, educate, or argue with clients both buyers and sellers, that their home is not worth the $1.7 million that Zillow® or any of the other online “appraisal” sites are saying it is. I am sorry when I have to say it is “only” worth $1.1 million. So why do the online services state one figure and realtors state something else in most cases? I’m not in a position of knowledge to explain all the logarithms that are used to develop price with these sites. What I do know is that many websites are not taking into account, in most cases, the condition, the location, and all of the nuances realtors use to find comparable homes and price them. These all contribute to a large difference! Imagine throwing all the homes that have sold on your block, neighborhood, within X miles, or your city, and then averaging them together in some specific timeframe and seeing what you get. What happens if you take a few homes in a mixed priced neighborhood and average them? Well, when you take the house down the block in terrible condition, the price per square foot of that home may not reflect the neighborhood at all, but it could bring all of the home prices down. In the opposite case, there could be very expensive homes that sell which don’t reflect the area at all. Once again, that’s the difference between general and specific comparable properties. I think that the more uniform the subdivision and the neighborhood is, the closer these sites work. Lafayette don’t count your chickens using these sites – in many cases they are only enjoyable entertainment. I will say some sites give the owner the option to go in and add or make changes to criteria (i.e air conditioning, two car garage, central heat, and on and on). I have tried it many times on my own homes and found that the adjustment was rather insignificant given how off the estimate was. The great concern I have is that very superficially when just the number is looked at it is an uphill fight to establish a price for a seller or buyer in their minds. On the other hand, for you to use home pricing websites as a tool to pull up homes that have sold in your area for your own education – well that can be helpful. Just know that in the end a home’s sales price is all about what a buyer is willing to buy it for, and a seller is willing to sell it for. If you rely on information that is not solid both buyer and seller may never come together, and that is why we have professional realtors and appraisers. If you have any questions on selling or buying a home in the area, please contact me at 925-200-2591 or by email at email@example.com. Please feel free to email a topic for the next article too. If you’d like a free automatic email update of current listings and sales, call or visit my website to sign up, www. artlehman.com. Advertorial
Oakland Strokes Varsity Women team returned with a boatload of gold medals from the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta, in Saint Catharines, Ontario, Canada. The Regatta is one of the largest rowing tournaments in North America and boasts a 131- year tradition of competition. Of the 21 events they entered, Oakland Strokes boats reached six finals and won three of them: Senior Lightweight Womens Dash 8+, Under 23 Lightweight Womens 8+, and Under 19 Womens 8+. Between the three boats, seventeen athletes won a total of 27 gold medals. Oakland Strokes is a non-profit youth organization dedicated to providing all Bay Area Middle and High School students the opportunity to learn to row and compete ultimately at a national level and international level. For more information, visit www.oaklandstrokes.org or call 510-434-1755. Pictured above is the U19 Womens 8+ (left to right): Amy Tarczynski (St. Marys HS), Jillian Lundstrom (Miramonte HS), Jennifer Mundelius (San Ramon Valley HS), Abby Vare (St. Marys HS), Margaret Ross (Miramonte HS), Madelynn Prendergast (Head Royce School), Olivia Klinkenberg (Acalanes HS), Marie Johnson (Miramonte HS), and Gabriella Pascual-Mead (St. Marys HS).
Walking the Reservoir
Lafayette Today ~ October 2013 - Page 9
By Jim Scala
Tina, whose smile can totally disarm the toughest lawyer, said, “Jim, you’ve overlooked dog education at the Rez.” She had her German Pincer pup, Kobe, show off his moves to her commands. Tina explained that General law practice with folks socialize puppies by bringing them into contact with other canines a concentration on Wills & Trusts and Real Estate Law. and teach them to get along, not bark and not act aggressively. The Rez is the ideal place for socializing animals because the pets are leashed and 925.283.2500 | 925.451.6679 they encounter all breeds, sizes and shapes. Does that make our reservoir a firstname.lastname@example.org canine preschool? It seems like it. www.WagleyLaw.com Tina’s children keep count of the number, size, and breeds Kobe meets. 3433 Golden Gate Way, Suite B | Lafayette Since he’s learning, and the kids are keeping tabs on the diversity of his social development, everyone’s a winner. Speaking of Rez canines brings Steve Hobb’s book to mind. Steve speaks with pictures and his book, Lafayette Reservoir, A Visual Celebration, brings the Rez’s personality to life. In the section, “Dogs of the Reservoir,” through pictures he lets us see the dogs and their owners’ personalities and shows glimpses of the personality created by the combination of the two. A sub-section, “Easy Riders,” shows pets being carried in arms, baby carriers, and riding in strollers as if they were children. Riders come in all sizes with an understandable skewing towards older dogs. Each picture is a study of the dog and its owner. Steve’s book will be out in November, and anyone who enjoys our unique Rez should get a copy. T-shirts catalyze interesting encounters. Tom, a regular, wore a t-shirt emblazoned with NASA’s logo, including its blue globe. I asked, “Do you work at NASA?” Turns out he’s a contractor for them. As we walked, I spoke of my involvement with Apollo astronauts and especially Alan Shepherd. He asked the typical question, “What was he like?” I told how Alan and I, accompanied by our wives, did a speaking tour in Japan, and that we brought our nine-year old daughter, Kim. On the train ride from Kyoto to Tokyo, Kim sat on Alan’s lap. In her 4th grade school report she described Alan in one sentence, “He’s been to the Moon, and I fell asleep on his lap.” Books have been written about him, but in those 11 words his greatness and humanness came to life. Creative T-shirts are a type of shorthand that says a lot in little space. An elegant gray-haired lady made my point. First line: Wine improves with age. Second Line: I improve with wine. I gave her two thumbs up, and shouted, “Ditto!” T-shirts, and on cooler days sweatshirts, are a form of Rez communication. Everyone enjoys their creativity – give it a try. Insomnia is an affliction that some are born with and others acquire as 3328 Mt Diablo Blvd, Lafayette they travel life’s road. As a card carrying insomniac, I keep up with the research hoping for a simple, drug-less cure. Recently, a Northwestern Med (925) 283-5212 | Monday - Friday 7:30AM-5PM School sleep research group published a paper dealing with exercise and insomnia in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. They learned that reasonable exercise, like walking or jogging the Rez, can definitely help, but that the relationship between them is convoluted and bears explanation. In the short term, sleep has more of an effect on exercise than visa-versa, as they proved that poor sleep equates to lousy exercise sessions. It’s probably a reason many insomniacs don’t exercise. In the study of moderately sedentary insomniacs, they found that after 16 weeks of regular exercise they were sleeping longer and better. The exercise program was similar to walking or jogging the paved Rez trail five times weekly, so it applies nicely. They proved that consistency is the key. They also made it clear that insomniacs are neurologically different. So the findings don’t extrapolate to folks who have an occasional sleepless night. However, it does say that if you’re troubled with consistent sleep problems, walking the Rez five times weekly can help, but you have to stick to it for the results to last. I say “hello” or “good morning or afternoon” to people I meet walking. Occasionally, I’ll say to a pretty lady, “When I saw you come around that bend, I thought, ‘They’re making a movie!’” Those and other comments usually get a similar happy reply except from folks wired up with earphones or talking into a phone so they can’t hear anything. What concerns me are people who never respond – not even a grunt. I understand they’re carrying heavy thoughts, but there’s got to be more. Please, tell me what you think: email@example.com.
Beethoven’s 5th Featured at First Diablo
The Diablo Symphony Orchestra will kick off its 51 Season of Musical Stories with a concert about “Fate” on Sunday, October 13th at 8PM at the Lesher Center in Walnut Creek. Centered around Beethoven’s iconic 5th Symphony, the concert will ponder the question of whether we are bound by fate or can shape our own destinies. Tickets can be ordered at (925)943-SHOW (7469), online at www.LesherArts.org, or at the Lesher Center Box Office. Also featured on the program is the Schumann Piano Concerto, which will be performed by acclaimed pianist Eric Zivian. The Orchestra is a Central Contra-based community group celebrating its st 51 season. The orchestra performs five concert sets a year, as well as additional concerts and events through its Outreach Program. Excerpts from this concert, including Beethoven’s 5th Symphony, will be featured at a free Family Concert on October 12th at 3PM at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Lafayette at 1035 Carol Lane. An Instrument Petting Zoo, where kids can meet the musicians and try out real musical instruments, will precede the concert at 2PM. For more information, contact Alexiss Floyd at firstname.lastname@example.org. st
Lafayette Garden Club
The Lafayette Garden Club will hold their monthly meeting at 9:30am on Thursday, October 10th at the Lafayette Christian Church located at 584 Glenside Dr., Lafayette. The Annual Oktoberfest meeting and festivities will include speaker Janet Thomas of the Lafayette Community Garden. A tour of the gardens will follow the meeting. For more information, contact email@example.com.
Walnut Creek Garden Club
The Walnut Creek Garden Club (WCGC) will hold its October general meeting on Monday, October 14 at 9:30AM at The Gardens at Heather Farm which is located at 1540 Marchbanks Road in Walnut Creek. The program will be presented by Leslie Bennett and Stephani Bittner, owners of Star Apple: Edible and Fine Gardening, who create aesthetically designed organic edible gardens. Bennett and Bittner are authors of The Beautiful Edible Garden. Further information about Star Apple can be found at www.starappleediblegardens.com. The meeting is open to the public. Guests and those interested in membership are welcome.
Page 10 - October 2013 ~ Lafayette Today
Leading the Way from Down Under
By Monica Chappell
Maybe you were cheering for Team Oracle USA to navigate back from the brink and hold on to the America’s Cup or perhaps you were ready for Emirates Team New Zealand to take the Cup. Either way, one cannot deny that in addition to racing the Kiwi’s are known for their delicious wines. In fact, Hawkes Bay is making heads turn by leading the red wine revolution in none other than New Zealand, where it ranks as the second largest and the second fastest growing wine-making region in the country (just behind Marlborough, which you may know for stirring up the Sauvignon Blanc scene). In a land where wine-making is on a rapid rise, Hawkes Bay helps lead the way and set a standard that assures a bright future for all who love rich fine wines.
Hawkes Bay Likes to Take New World Liberties
As an up-and-comer, unfettered by the traditions and rules of Old World wine-makers, New Zealand puts freedom first in its wine regulations, and Hawkes Bay wine-makers make the most of this creative license. The Certified Origin system requires simply that 85% of the grapes in the wine come from the region, and that the grape variety and the vintage be listed on the label, leaving plenty of leeway for experimentation. In Hawkes Bay, there are no sub-appellations to complicate labels or limit vineyard selection, and wine-makers are exercising their freedom of choice to finesse long-time favorites and test new ideas.
Diverse climates breed delightful possibility
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3470 Golden Gate Way , Lafayette, CA 94549 If you’ve ever stopped to give a thought to New Zealand’s climate, “cool” may be the word that comes to mind. In fact, New Zealand serves up a full spectrum of weather, and on the eastern shore of the North Island where Hawkes Bay is found, microclimates range from subtropical in the far north to cool Burgundian temperatures as longitude moves southward. Hawkes Bay also counts high-altitude coastal ranges, flat plains, and a wide mix of fertile and infertile soil in its purview, making for diversity in all but one domain: There’s plenty of sun everywhere you turn. Located in the rain shadow of the North Island’s volcanic mountain center, Hawkes Bay leverages this high-voltage advantage to turn out some of New Zealand’s tastiest red wines – especially Cabernet Sauvignon – thanks to the extra sun-basking time on the vine.
In recent history, New Zealand reds were best known as immature and aggressive due to the cool climes that pervade (but don't define) the country. With selective plantings, improved grape-growing and wine-making practices, and the gifts of Mother Nature, Hawkes Bay has turned the old reputation on its head to produce increasingly rich, ripe, complex reds that happily take their place in the global groove.
Chardonnay is a New Zealand favorite that many consider to be the country’s most important varietal, and Hawkes Bay has a major say in the citrusy take on the white wave. The Kiwis are crafting their own style of the European classic, relying on techniques from whole-bunch pressing, which involves pressing the grapes with their stems to create a more viscous juice, to natural yeast fermentation and techniques to bring out the varietal's true flavor. New Zealand’s winemaking scene may be moving at the speed of light, but there’s still time to slow down and smell the wine. Monica Chappell teaches Wine Appreciation classes locally. For a current list of classes, please visit www.wineappreciation101.blogspot.com.
Cinema Classics and Musical Notes By Peggy Horn Adam’s Rib
This month’s Cinema Classic entry is Adam’s Rib, from 1949, starring Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn. The script was written with Tracy and Hepburn in mind by their screen-writing friends, Ruth Gordon and Garsin Kanin. To complete the cast, Judy Holiday, David Wayne, and Tom Ewell co-starred, and the movie even featured a song by Cole Porter himself entitled, “Farewell, Amanda.” This movie deals with the issue of the so-called ‘double standard,’ the standards for social behavior applied by society to men differ from those applied to women. Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn play two lawyers, the elegant Mr. and Mrs. Adam and Amanda Bonner. Scene one begins with one Doris Attinger (Judy Holiday) trailing her husband surreptitiously as he makes his way to the apartment of his girlfriend. Shortly after Mr. Attinger arrives at the apartment, so does Doris who removes a gun from her purse and begins firing. This set of circumstances results in Adam Bonner prosecuting Doris for attempted murder, prompting Amanda to seize the opportunity to become Doris’s defense lawyer. The remainder of the film shows the antics between Adam and Amanda as they both struggle to win their respective cases. This is such a funny movie with well-written, witty dialogue which makes it enjoyable to see again and again, even after many previous viewings. And some thought provoking ideas are encased in its comedic script. For example, when Amanda asks her secretary why she thinks standards are different for men and women, the secretary replies, “I don’t make the rules.” Amanda stoutly contradicts her by saying, “Sure you do! We all do!” Adam’s Rib is available for purchase or rental online
In keeping with the movie Adam’s Rib, the musical entry this month is, “Don’t Fence Me In,” written by Cole Porter and Robert Fletcher. Mr. Porter purchased “Don’t Fence Me In” in a rough, unfinished form from Mr. Fletcher for $250, with the understanding that he would modify and change the song as he wished. Cole Porter added his own music, and although he retained many of Mr. Fletcher’s original lyrics, he rewrote and added to the song and made it his own. When the song was released with Cole Porter as sole author, Mr. Fletcher sued Cole Porter, alleging that the song had been stolen. The judge found that given Mr. Porter’s proven success in the music industry, he had no need to steal anything – Cole Porter reputedly wrote a song a day including lyrics! Nevertheless, the judge added Mr. Fletcher’s name to the authorship of the song to accommodate him on that point. The song has been recorded by Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Ella Fitzgerald, and Frank Sinatra, just to name a few, and it is available to you to download and enjoy.
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 ValFlavio Carvalho Law ley Road, Alamo. A Family Law speaker is at every Estate Planning Immigration meeting. Everyone is welcome. 2950 Buskirk Ave, Suite 300, Walnut Creek For information, Two locations to serve you 100 Pine Street, Suite 1250, San Francisco call Ed at (925) 2990881, or visit http:// 415.745.3324 | firstname.lastname@example.org srvgensoc.org. www.flaviocarvalholaw.com
Contra Costa County Releases Suicide Prevention Strategic Plan By Supervisor Candace Andersen, Contra Costa County, District 2
In September during National Suicide Prevention Week, the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors adopted a new county wide strategic plan to address suicide prevention. The Suicide Prevention Plan is intended to provide the community with resources and strategies to prevent suicides. Contra Costa’s suicide rate is 10.9 per 100,000 in population, higher than the state average of 10.3 per 100,000. Approximately 112 county residents take their lives each year, more than those who are killed in homicides. The tragedy of suicide crosses over socioeconomic status, age, gender, and ethnicity. Suicide has an everlasting impact on the survivors. Family members and friends are left to process the loss of their loved one. As a
Haunted continued from front page
children seven and under can “check-in” to the less scary version, accompanied by a parent, from 5pm to 7pm. Those eight years old and over can claim their motel room reservation from 7:30pm to 9:30pm. Cost is $3 per person for the early milder version, and $5 per person for greater spooks in the late evening. The Lafayette Youth Commission (LYC) is a group of high school and middle school students dedicated to representing and addressing the concerns of local youth by exploring and creating safe options and community service opportunities. Commissioners are appointed by the Lafayette City Council and advise on youth issues, create volunteer opportunities, and orchestrate large annual events and fundraisers such as the Haunted House, a three-onthree Basketball Tournament, the Father Daughter Dance, and Open Mic Nights. Proceeds from their various functions are donated to causes such as the American Cancer Society, the Lafayette Library, Stanley Middle School, the Lafayette Community Center Foundation, and Child Abuse Prevention. The LYC meets the second Monday of each month (except during summer) at 6pm in the Community Center’s Sequoia Room. Planning for the Haunted House begins in the spring and culminates with seven weeks of Sundays spent building, painting, and collecting props. Actual set-up takes place just a few days prior to opening. “The last couple days are very frantic!” says Julia Goddard, this year’s LYC chair. Goddard, a 15-year-old sophomore at the Athenian School, loves orchestrating the Haunted House and other LYC events that she attended as a middle-schooler. “My personal favorite events to plan and organize are the 7th and 8th grade Tri-City dances because I really enjoyed attending these two dances when I was younger,” she says. “It definitely gives me a good feeling to know that I can make that same great experience better for kids younger than me,” she says. “Hearing positive feedback from these events is what makes working with the Commission very rewarding.” Goddard acknowledges that her experiences with the LYC are benefiting many aspects of her life. “Not only have I seen myself become more confident and better at public speaking, I have also become much more task oriented,” she says. “I think most importantly, working with the LYC has helped me step out of my comfort zone. I believe that all of these things that I am experiencing through the LYC are helping to prepare me for college and even the professional world. I am so grateful to have this opportunity to create a great experience for the youth in Lafayette. ” The LYC hopes to raise between four and six thousand dollars from this year’s Haunted House. For more information on the Haunted House, the LYC, and how to apply for a commissioner position, contact Jonathan Katayanagi at (925) 284-2232.
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.
Lafayette Today ~ October 2013 - Page 11 result of the experience, they are at an increased risk for suicide themselves. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for youth and, generally, those over 45 years of age are at greatest risk. Suicides are preventable and these statistics can change if everyone takes action together. Adoption of the strategic plan culminates a two year collaboration between Contra Costa Behavioral Health Services, the Contra Costa Crisis Center, Contra Costa Regional Medical Center & Health Centers, John Muir Health, Kaiser Permanente, and other community groups and public agencies. The effort began with the formation of a Suicide Prevention Committee, charged with drafting a County-wide plan aimed at reducing attempted and completed suicides. Stakeholders were asked to contribute their knowledge, commitment, and resources to help implement the County-wide strategies. Suicide prevention and this collaboration is one project being funded through the California Mental Health Services Act (MHSA), adopted by voters in 2004 as Proposition 63, which was designed to expand and transform California’s county mental health service systems. The committee analyzed data provided by the Coroner’s Office to identify at-risk populations, common methods of suicide, and how to improve delivery of crisis-support and prevention services. Recommendations in the Strategic Plan include increasing coordination between county systems and community service providers to improve access to help, improving protocols for triage and assessment of at-risk people, and training about warning signs and effective prevention practices for healthcare providers and community “gatekeepers” such as teachers and the clergy. To download an electronic copy of the strategic plan, please visit www. cchealth.org/mental health. You can also receive a hard copy by contacting my office. Contra Costa Behavioral Health Services has also created an educational video as part of efforts to raise awareness about this preventable tragedy. The video is available online on their website at www.cchealth.org/ video. People who need support can call the free, 24-hour crisis and suicide prevention line at (800) 833-2900. If you would like additional information about this topic or other County issues, please do not hesitate to contact my office at (925) 957-8860, or by email at SupervisorAndersen@bos.cccounty.us.
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Page 12 - October 2013 ~ Lafayette Today
How to Reduce Toxic Chemicals in Your Home
By Sustainable Lafayette
The more we learn about toxic chemicals, the more we realize that they are everywhere – in our air, water, soil, homes, yards, and bodies. Even our homes, which we consider a place of safety, can be hazardous to our health. Products that we routinely use for cleaning, remodeling, gardening, pest control, personal care, and other things can contain any of the 84,000 different registered chemicals, many of them toxic. Some chemicals pose an immediate threat, while others gradually build up in the environment and in our bodies and are linked with health issues like cancer, asthma, learning disabilities, and other diseases and illnesses. Most of us have grown up using brand name products that we assume are safe, but only a small fraction of the chemicals in them have gone through complete testing for human health concerns, and only a handful of chemicals have been banned. This stands in stark contrast to Europe where 1,100 chemicals have been banned due to not being safe for humans. So, we are left to look out for ourselves by carefully reading labels and understanding what we’re bringing into our homes and yards. The good news is that simple changes in our everyday routines can easily reduce our exposure to potentially harmful chemicals, make our homes safer, and help us save money. Following are some tips: Use natural cleaning products. Many traditional cleaners, especially for the bathroom, are very strong and may be toxic to the user, and they are certainly toxic if a child or pet ingests them. Read the warnings on the labels. Many toxins are not removed by wastewater treatments and end up in San Francisco Bay. There are safe, natural products available in stores, and there are simple, effective homemade cleansers. Check your laundry and dishwashing products. Use detergents that do not contain phosphates, which are bad for the environment and have been phased out in much of Europe and Australia. Be careful of brightly colored detergent pods, which young children can mistake for candy. Skip fabric softeners, bleach, and dryer sheets, which contain allergy provoking chemical perfumes. Choose organic produce without pesticides. More and more people are choosing organic produce and growing some of their own food as they are concerned about the sprays used on non-organic commercial produce. The Lafayette Community Garden offers classes about sustainable and organic gardening. Avoid using chemical pest control products. There are safe, non-toxic alternatives for controlling pests and insects around the home. Remember that many insects are beneficial, and they help by eating some of the “bad” bugs. Chemicals that kill pests are also likely dangerous to children, pets, birds, and other wildlife. Switch to safe brands of personal care, including toiletries, shampoo, toothpaste, antiperspirants, cosmetics, and sunscreens – Personal care products in the U.S. contain many ingredients that have been banned in Europe. Almost all lipstick contains lead, although it is usually not listed as an ingredient. Research those products you regularly use, and consider if they are really necessary. Go to www.ewg.org/skindeep for more information. Avoid using artificial air fresheners and other synthetic fragrances as they can pollute the air you are breathing. They work by covering odors with perfumes and chemicals, including formaldehyde. Use natural lawn care methods. Residue from chemicals applied to lawns is easily tracked indoors where chemicals can persist in carpeting and furnishings. Try natural lawn care methods that eliminate the need for chemical fertilizers and herbicides. Remodel with low-VOC products. Use low-VOC paints, caulks, sealants, finishes, and carpeting. Look for low-VOC labelling on sealing and finishing products. Most major paint brands now carry 'low' and 'zero' VOC lines for interior painting. Ventilate. Modern homes and business are created to be leak proof; meaning, toxins are sealed in and fresh air is sealed out! Indoor air quality is typically much worse than outside. You can improve indoor air quality by opening windows, changing or cleaning your furnace and A/C filters regularly, and using toxin-reducing houseplants. To find safe product brands, try goodguide.com and betterworldshopper.com. In Lamorinda, Parents for a Safer Environment is working hard to reduce chemical exposure, especially related to weed control at schools and parks. You can volunteer for this group to help keep our neighborhoods safer. Learn more at http://pfse.net. To learn more about how residents in Lafayette and the surrounding communities are living more sustainably, please visit sustainablelafayette.org.
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Russian River Rose Company By Linda
Lafayette Today ~ October 2013 - Page 13
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Fall is a particularly nice time to visit the wine country in the Russian River area. Our destination, Russian River Rose Company, is a mile from downtown Guerneville. During the harvest season the two-lane road leading to the Rose Company is lined with vines hanging with bright purple grapes. Their brochure says, “Stop and smell the roses.” Stepping out of our car, I was pleasantly greeted with the smiling face of Jan Tolmasoff, co-owner of the Rose Company as well as the lovely fragrance of roses. The rose garden is a nursery and garden 20% discount on treatments with arches, meandering pathways, a butterfly garden, and beautiful roses of all kinds. The and products*, including: family business began in 1982, when Jan, her husband Michael, and their two children Alex o Restylane-L o Sculptra and Tanya spent weekends at the local farmers’ market selling home grown fruit and vego Perlane-L o Epionce etables. One Saturday, Jan set a small potted rose on the table to brighten up their stand. A o Dysport o Elta MD customer came by asking the price of the rose. The idea sprang from that exchange, and then the quest for roses began. Since then roses have been collected in the village of Mendocino, from old homesteads, other rose friends, and Announcing Epionce Intense Defense Serum – Award winning serum which many other sources. Their collection grew to over 650 and keeps growing. promotes anti-aging and repair. Contains active vitamins A, B, C, D & E. Tanya, who grew up on the rose farm, reminisced about her childhood. “I remember my brother Alex and me getting up at 5AM to help our dad (a chemical engineer) collect roses for the rose water and perfume. It was a slow process. The fruit trees were removed, making more room for meandering paths and rose vines. It is strange to think I played on a swing set that was now where an arch drip*Discount applies when purchased at the Open House ping with roses is now located.” Now, at age 30, Tanya, a dancer and codirector of the UPside Dance Company, is back at the farm helping out and bringing her own spin to the family business. Last May she hosted the May Day Frolic, which was a huge success. “So many people of all ages were inspired by seeing contemporary dance among the roses.” Even grandson William, age 17, shares the family rose passion. His science projects revolved around roses, and at age 10 he cultivated his own rose called “Little White Star.” In 1976 the original Tolmasoff home was an 850 square foot 1950’s wood sided house sitting on 15 acres. Jan says, “Our children lived in a happy construction zone .Now, after many years of design, engineering, and building, the home has a turret and a second story wing. The south facing bank of French doors and the dining room behind them are a passive solar collector, storing heat (or coolness) in dining room floor tiles laid over a two-inch concrete pad.” They are proud of the solar panels that have supplied hot water since 1980 and even added a 5KW solar photo-voltaic power plant, installed in 2011, which generates all of their electricity. The farm is enchanting to explore. All roses are labeled. Visitors are encouraged to wander the grounds and take advantage of the “sweet scented seats.” The self-guided tour describes each area. The Rose Allee, for instance, is a series of eight 12’ by 12’ iron arches constructed by Michael Tolmasoff in 2001. The Allee leads through the vineyard and perfume rose fields to the Wine and Roses garden and provides a happy home for 28 beautiful ramblers. The Russian River Rose Company will be hosting a Russian Tea and Fragrance Festival on October 19 & 20. They will be celebrating the debut of their 2013 estate produced Rose Oil perfume called “Rose Embrace.” Their brochure describes the occasion as an event with “maidens in Russian costumes, offering samples of the rose water and rose oil mist. The festival will feature live Slavic Folk Music, Mystical Tealeaf readings, and the aromatic ‘Swee-tooch-nee Tea’ prepared in their Antique Russian Samovars and of course real Russians!” The Russian River Rose Company is located at 1685 Magnolia Drive, Healdsburg, CA 95448. Their phone number is 707.433.7455.Their website is www.russian-river-rose.com. Linda Summers Pirkle has been arranging and leading tours for the Town of Danville for several years. Inspired by the many wonderful places to visit in the Bay Area, she organizes day trips, either for groups or for friends and family. What a great place to live, so much to see, so much to do.” To share your “Quick Trips” ideas email Coverthemap@gmail.com.
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Page 14 - October 2013 ~ Lafayette Today
By Mark Becker, GoSimpleSolar
“What are you going to do with the savings?” That’s a question I’ve always wanted to ask our customers after we complete a solar PV installation for their home or business. Solar PV systems installed on my home, place of business, and investment properties have generated savings for my family and business. These savings go to a variety of personal and community investments. A 401K, the children’s 529 plan, local Veteran’s charities and events, and most recently, a solar system donation to a high school in Bangladesh. If you were “solarized,” what would you do with the savings? Average solar system lifetime savings vary from $100,000 to oftentimes more than $300,000. We’ve installed residential projects that are projected to save over half a million dollars during the warranted 25-year/expected 30 year-plus life of the system. Note: Your PGE bill doubles every 10 years and quadruples every 20 years at the current annual utility escalation rate. Impact - Solar energy provides financial return for Americans, but it provides life changing social impact for those who have no electricity at all. The Bangladeshi High School students tell of educational, cultural, and economic impact in their “Thank You” letters to us. We all know the pain points of a recurring electric bill - The main pain point of a recurring electric bill is a zero return on investment. Taking control of the cost of your electric bill by changing electric providers is what installation of a solar energy system achieves. Sometimes there are barriers to this process. As a business owner, it’s important for me to communicate that with our unique approach and lifetime roof warranty there is no threat to the integrity of the customer’s home due to water leakage. With an appropriate amount of time dedicated to design, panel color choice, and location, any aesthetic concerns (if there are any) can be allayed. Most importantly, the misconception that “solar is expensive” has to be corrected. With the great variety of financial options available, it’s much more expensive to be buying power from PGE than it is to be providing it TO yourself from your own rooftop. Simply switching electric providers by entering into a “power purchase
Names and Labels
By Evan Corstorphine, Portable CIO
Documentation isn’t glamorous, but it makes our job so much easier. Just ten years ago, we used to burn up the printer with customer reports, and we stored manila folders with accumulated client information. I’m happy to say that as of this month, we’ve scanned anything relevant into a PDF and given away our huge file cabinet, and all of our records are now electronically kept. Instead of storing atoms (paper), we store bits (electronic files). Everything is either online on our office server, or we store it on our Microsoft Sharepoint server that comes with our Exchange service. If we have client notes, we scan them with our Canon multifunction printer/ scanner/fax/copier, where they are then placed on our server as an Adobe PDF file. Realistically, we should commit to either our internal server or Sharepoint, but we haven’t quite figured out which will serve us best. I like parts of Sharepoint, but parts still seem clunky when I need my files. My file server works terrifically, so it holds the preponderance of the data we use. Eventually, we’ll make it all cloud-available. We frequently encounter situations where another technical company has been working. I appreciate it so much when the previous technician took the time to document what he did for the client in plain English. There are many ways to configure technology, and unwinding someone else’s work without a cheat-sheet is time consuming for us and expensive for the client. Sometimes technicians are of the opinion that if they share their decisions and work with the client, they’re making themselves less valuable, so they don’t document their work. Worse yet, they drag their feet and won’t answer questions. That sort of immaturity and insecurity is an example of the worst my profession offers, and it should be corrected immediately if encountered. I certainly won’t tolerate it. There are other areas of documentation that have been made easier with improvements in technology. For instance, when computers enter our shop, they immediately get their own name-label we make on a little Brother personal label maker. If you go to a friend’s home and see a white label on the top bezel, you’ll know Portable CIO has been there to service the computer! I recently purchased another more advanced Brother label printer system for advanced labeling. This label printer is extremely versatile, and we’re still figur-
www.yourmonthlypaper.com agreement” (PPA) with a finance company reduces electric bill costs from day one, oftentimes with zero money down. One of my favorite quotes, “Having solar is like having an ATM on your roof.” If you’re a resident of Contra Costa County, especially Danville, the amount of available roof space allowed by building code for solar panels is about to get smaller. The Town of Danville (and at some undefined point in the future the rest of Contra Costa County, we’re told) will, on January 1st, 2014, begin to enforce the State Fire Marshall PV Installation Guidelines. The result of this clear pathway requirement on a residential roof can be a less efficient solar installation, cutting into the savings a solar PV system can provide. Of course fire safety is critical, but less restrictive and more thought-out guidelines to accommodate differing roof designs should be considered. Adapting business practices to achieve lowest cost of installation - The majority of solar installers have been focused on lowest initial installation price. Pundits say a business must adapt to this strategy to compete. The solar business is not exempt from seedy players or practices. Perform your due diligence by validating references. Utilize the resources of the Better Business Bureau and Contractor’s State License Board. Set priorities as to how important it is for you to have reliable products installed by specialty licensed personnel and by a company with experience and longevity. Many people prefer a local contractor. A local responsive contractor typically means greater customer support and satisfaction. Relying on Yelp.com reviews alone is NOT a means of appropriately vetting a contractor. Yelp is notorious for its inability to weed out false positive and negative reviews. I’ve been moved to emulate - Instead of entering into a solar PPA with a third party financier for one of my investment properties, I’ve purchased a solar PV system for the home, thus becoming the financier. I’m selling the power to the tenants at a cost lower than PG&E rates. The tenants save money, and I earn money, increase the value of my home and get the 30% federal tax credit for the system. I’ll also depreciate the solar system as a business asset. It’s a win-win for everyone (except PG&E, I suppose). 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 ing out how to take advantage of all its tricks. Two great features that sold me are that you can connect it to your computer and download graphics for incorporation into your labels, and you can generate unique sequential serial numbers for successive labels. We use these specialized labels as our service tags to put on customer monitors, and they look great. I wasn’t too surprised to see labels similar to ours adorning every electronic device and gadget I saw during a recent visit to ABC News 7 studios in San Francisco. Our family had the opportunity to watch a live newscast from within the studio, and I marveled at the technology they use behind the scenes. Everything is labeled, from the cables, mice, keyboards, monitors, desks, lights, racks, etc.! It shows how versatile these little label printers are and how it helps complicated operations stay on track. When a million viewers expect the broadcast to be perfect, a label telling someone which remote control to grab can make all the difference. To me, good documentation extends from the initial proposal we make, all the way through to the invoice. It’s similar to the old adage we were taught when writing a paper in high-school: tell them what you’re going to say, say it, and then tell them what you said. In my experience, disagreements occur at the intersection of complicated work and poor communication. Documentation is our best communication, because written words cannot be ignored and are harder to misconstrue, particularly if they’ve been signed. It protects both the client and the vendor to have clear and distinct goals before we begin working on their behalf. If we do our job right, there are clear expectations set through a written estimate which explains exactly what we are going to do and how much it should cost. There shouldn’t be any surprises when the invoice comes. When we invoice, we use plain-English explanations. Nothing irritates me more than a vendor who tries to obfuscate the true costs of a job by lumping everything together under one line-item on an invoice. So, we write invoices the way we want to receive them. I want each invoice to tell a small story about the issue we addressed for the client. We have to be realistic that at some point, someone else may be taking our place, and they’re really going to appreciate that we were professional enough to clearly write down what we did for that client. I think we’re all still figuring out computers and how to effectively use them to better our lives. Certainly having great documentation is a step in the right direction. Do you need help getting your documentation in order? Your friends at Portable CIO can help. Call us at 925-552-7953, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Advertorial
Life in the Lafayette Garden
By John Montgomery, ASLA, Landscape Architect Water-Wise Design
It’s always a challenge to understand what kind of rainy season we are going to have. So, over the years I have implemented into my practice water-wise landscape design. I am a 5th generation native Californian and have been designing landscapes for over 35 years here. Over the years, living in and out of drought conditions, I have learned to stay the course of good water-wise landscape design. As residents of Lafayette, it is vital to conserve water as a habit. It seems we should know better by now, but we get fooled from season to season when we experience many years of El Nino. With global warming concerns, it is time to get smart and stay smart. Here are seven practices I always implement into my designs, and these are some of the same practices you can take to implement into your new or existing landscape no matter what the forecast might be.
Lafayette Today ~ October 2013 - Page 15
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1993 One: Start with your soil. Thriving soil with good organics is the foundation of a water conserving landscape. How much water you need to keep your landscape alive is directly equivalent to the amount of compost in your soil. Compost increases permeability and capacity to hold water, thus reducing the amount needed for irrigation and thus lowering your watering bills. Two: Use the EBMUD book Plants and Landscapes for Summer-dry Climates of the SF Bay Region. These types of plants have adapted to summer dry conditions and once established can survive dry summers with little or no water. There is an old gardener’s adage: “right plant – right place.” Appropriately designed planting requires less watering, pruning, fertilizing, and spraying, thus lowering operating costs and use of resources. Minimize your lawn area. One thousand square feet of turf can save about 10,000 gallons of water per dry season. If you absolutely need a lawn, minimize the size and place it where it will be used for relaxation and play. Three: Cluster your plantings by water needs. This method is known as hydrozoning. In a hot sunny location group sun-loving, low water use plants, and then design the irrigation system to water that cluster of plants. The same goes for shade areas. Hydro-zoning can more easily match plant requirements, thus saving water. Hydrozoning allows you to separate your irrigation valves so each zone can be managed more accurately. This method can save you an unbelievable amount of water! Four: Design and install high efficiency irrigation systems. Use bubbler and drip irrigation where possible so that water can be applied directly to the root zone. Minimize spray irrigation where possible. Use the newest irrigation technology: MPR (matched precipitation rates) sprinkler heads, bubbler, drip, micro-sprays, and soaker lines, and upgrade to a new controller. There are many choices that offer high technology that use historical weather data, solar and moisture sensors, and rain sensors. Some systems can detect problems like a broken sprinkler head. I was able to adjust my controller last summer to save 15%. With new technology I believe you could easily save 25-50% of the water you use for your landscape now! Five: Manage your landscape water use. Know your landscape watering needs and how much water is being applied. Adjust your controller often as weather conditions change. Install a new “Water Smart” controller. Set your controller to water early in the morning when evaporation rates are low and wind is calm. Water deep and less often; this will allow water to get into the root zones. Avoid over watering and run-off. Good water management saves thousands of gallons! Six: Mulch! Mulch reduces water loss and prevents weed growth. Mulch often! Regularly mulch around your trees, shrubs, and ground covers, and cultivate your soil regularly to allow water to penetrate more easily. Seven: Make saving water important to you! Every drip counts! Get involved in your garden. Use licensed landscape professionals to assist you in
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water-wise design and implementation of your garden. A hot tip from your local Landscape Architect: Investing in a water-wise planting and irrigation design for your new or existing garden can save you thousands of dollars over time! The savings can well exceed the cost of the design itself! Gardening Quote of the Month: “The frog does not drink up the pond in which he lives.” - Native American Saying 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 - October 2013 ~ Lafayette Today
By Blaine Brende & Joe Lamb
Now is a great time to prune your trees to protect them against winter storms. There are three kinds of tree failure: branch, column, and entire tree. Judicious pruning reduces the likelihood of all three kinds of failure. Selective removal of weight from leggy branches makes it much less likely that a branch would fall, causing injury or damage to property. It takes a lot of “in tree” experience to identify branches with weak crotches and/or with unsafe weight distribution. Thinning the canopy to reduce friction from the wind greatly reduces the odds of a column breaking, or of the entire tree falling over. When done correctly, a tree pruned for safety should still look natural, even after 30% of its foliage is removed. Many evergreens, such as cedars, cypresses, and redwoods, and many species of deciduous trees, such as valley oaks, can be pruned in this time of year. Monterey Pines should only be pruned between October 15th and February 15th unless compelling safety reasons dictate otherwise.. The timing for pruning is restricted because sap from pruning cuts attracts bark beetles that are destructive to pines. These beetles become dormant during the fall and winter months. Some species of beetles carry pine pitch canker, an increasingly common fungal disease that disfigures pine trees, sometimes killing them. If your tree has dead tips scattered throughout the canopy it probably suffers from pine pitch canker. To prolong the aesthetic life of a diseased tree, prune out the infected tips before February 15th. October is also a good time, if you haven’t already, to make your landscape more fire safe. It is not uncommon for the East Bay to experience hot, dry, and gusty winds in the fall due to sinking air from the bay combining with inland high-pressure systems. The Oakland Hills fire of 1991 occurred on October 20th, its precursor, the 1923 Berkeley Fire, started on September 27th. Removing dead wood, breaking up fire ladders, and limb-
Gardening with Kate By Kathleen Guillaume
Thank goodness it is officially autumn! We’ve had our first good rain, and the temperatures have dropped enough to make working in the garden a pleasure. The ground is still warm for a few more weeks; eventually night temperatures will fall enough to cool the soil down. If you are thinking about winter vegetables, that they go in the ground now. The soil has to be warm enough to get those seedlings started and established. Recently we had a presentation at the Lafayette Garden Club by Orchard Nursery, which has some very talented staff who knows everything there is to know about winter vegetables. The Nursery is carrying some of the new hybrids and some interesting heirlooms. The time to visit them and plant is now. They also described some of the best practices in getting your soil ready for this new crop. Many of you may still have tomato plants with enough fruit on them that you don’t quite want to tear them out to make way for winter crops. If you pull them out (the whole plant) and hang them upside down in a cool dry place, like your garage, they will continue to ripen, and you can take a trip to your garage to harvest them for your lunch or dinner. If you are not going to plant a winter veggie garden, then you might want to think about garden clean-up and getting everything in order for your spring garden. A friend called this week and was thinking about adding a Chinese Pistachio to her landscape. If you are looking to add a tree for fall color, wait until the trees in the nursery turn their fall colors to see how they look. Not every tree of a certain type is born or bred equally, and you need to see them firsthand to know how it will look. We are at that time of year to start visiting your nursery weekly, just to see how those trees are doing. While you are waiting to see the actual my-leaves-have-turned-and-I-am-gorgeous tree, you can start preparing the site where you are going to plant it.
www.yourmonthlypaper.com ing vegetation back from your home can greatly improve the chances of your home surviving a wildfire. Brende & Lamb knows how to fire prune your landscape in a way that improves fire safety, without sacrificing the natural aesthetic. Clearing some under-story trees and removing dead wood usually enhances the natural feel of a landscape by making it look more like a mature forest. Pruning trees for safety is a craft requiring study and experience. A well-pruned tree should not only be safer, but it should look beautiful. At Brende & Lamb we take great pride in both the science and the art of pruning. Each plant has a natural growth pattern, and our trimmers are expert at accentuating the shape given the plant by nature. Our trimmers are well practiced in aesthetic pruning and are attuned to the artistic flow inherent in tree forms. One form is weeping, as with Willows and Chinese Elms. In some species, such as the Monterey Cypress, branches ascend at acute angles to the trunk, giving the tree an upswept look. Branches in the Coast Live Oak bend and twist, forming complex arcs. Each tree species has a unique form and flow. When necessary, trees and shrubs can be reduced in size, but crown reduction requires a good eye: a poorly reduced tree looks like a thicket of stubs. Topping is almost always a bad idea. However, the crown of many trees can be reduced by cutting back long branches to the crotches formed by shorter branches growing in the same direction. If the branch doesn’t fork, we cut back to the lowest growth point that will neither create a thick stub nor undermine the arching quality of the branch. When a tree or shrub has been reduced in this way, it’s difficult to detect the cuts or tell that the branches have been shortened. 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 510-486TREE (8733) or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org 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 Remember that trees last a long time, and they can grow a lot. Make sure you pay attention to their expected height and width. If the tree is going to eventually be 20 feet wide, you want to plant it at least 12 to 15 feet away from any structure (including fences) just to be safe. Remember that trees and shrubs that brush against a house and hang over roofs are “rat and raccoon ladders.” These animals will climb those trees and drop down on your roof and find or make an access into your attic. In addition, when tree branches hang over a roof on windy days, they can scratch and damage your roof covering. As far as a trees’ height, make sure that you are not planting under any power lines, or you will spend a fortune pruning the tree back each year so it doesn’t bring the lines down. When it’s a little baby tree it looks so small when it is set out so far away from things, but in five years it will have grown a lot, and you will be glad that you took a little time in the selection of a location. Trees do not ever want to be planted in a hole that puts their base below the soil line...this will just create a well that will allow too much rain and irrigation water to collect and is likely to cause root rot. Plant the tree slightly higher than you want it to be, as when the loose soil you back fill with settles you will find that in spite of your intentions that it has settled too low for its own good. I usually place trees so they begin sitting about 12 to 18” above the soil line. That way when you get it watered in it should settle to a final place about 8 to 14” above the adjacent soil line. Happy gardening and have a glorious autumn.
Montelindo Garden Club
The Montelindo Garden Club’s monthly meeting (held every third Friday from September to May) will take place on Friday, October 18th at 9AM at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church located at 66 St. Stephens Drive in Orinda. The topic for the meeting is “Floral Designs.” The speaker will be Howard Arendtson, owner of H. Julien Designs in Berkeley. Visitors are welcome. For further information, visit www.montelindogarden.com.
Inheritance Jackpot: Will the Kids be Happy? By Robert J. Silverman
Where we live many people have sizable estates. Consequently, when they die and their kids (or other loved ones) receive an inheritance, it can be analogous to hitting the jackpot. The goal of many of my clients - aside from avoiding unnecessary taxes and estate administration costs - is to help make their children comfortable. Sometimes, they articulate their desire to give their kids a better life than they’ve had. Naturally, many say something like: “I just want my kids to be happy.” This begs the question: Will the receipt of a substantial inheritance actually help make the kids happy? Almost everyone’s gut reaction is to answer this affirmatively. Interestingly, when looking at lottery winners, the happiness answer is not so clear. In a Wall St. Journal article from last December, the author wrote about what he captioned “America’s Dangerous Powerball Economy.” He cited a famous 1978 study about lottery winners, finding an initial “happiness boost” right after winning; however, within a few months their happiness had receded to a pre-lottery winning level. Then, as more time passed, they were actually less happy than they had been before winning. The author points out that it would be misguided to conclude that money makes us unhappy. Rather, he points to a huge amount of research demonstrating that money, when earned, is typically associated positively with happiness. Conversely, when it is unearned and raw purchasing power is untethered from hard work and merit, people are much less likely to be happy and feel successful. I did not delve into applicable research, but the findings and principles are consistent with anecdotal evidence and applicable to my 20 years of experience helping people plan and administer their estates. When people establish and/or review their estate plan, a reasonable question for them to ask is, “What kind of legacy do I want to leave?” In some cases, it can help to ask, “How much is too much to leave the kids?” As with most estate planning topics, there is no “one size fits all.” The answer varies widely among clients. For some, the answer might be $1 million, or $1 million per child. For some, it might be 5-10 times that amount, or more. For others, the answer is that no amount is too much to leave the children. Might you feel better and your kids be just as happy if you were to leave a bit less to them and some portion to worthwhile charitable organizations - either directly or in one of several kinds of charitable trusts? In fact, there are a number of compelling types of charitable trusts, with tax and non-tax advantages, that are known as “split interest” trusts, in which the interest being gifted is split between charitable and non-charitable beneficiaries (e.g. the kids). An important related question: When is the right time for kids to receive an inheritance outright, with no strings attached? Many clients who have minor or young adult children include in their living trust a customized trust for their children. Typically, such trusts provide that if a child has not reached a certain age when his or her parents die, the trustee is to dole out money for the child’s needs (e.g. health, education, maintenance and support); however, distributions beyond those needs are withheld until the child reaches an age, or a percentage at each of several ages, at which the client projects that the child will be able to handle such distributions responsibly. Sometimes, people choose instead to create a lifetime trust for each child, in which varying standards of distribution are set forth, but no age mandates outright distribution. This option can be helpful for creditor protection purposes and/or to help shield assets for the inheriting child in the event he or she marries and then divorces. Once a child develops a solid work ethic and starts to experience significant successes based on the fruits of his or her own labor, the receipt of an inheritance is less likely to create problems. But picking the right age(s) is not easy and it’s a moving target. Your kids change as do your assets and your objectives. So, be sure to revisit your estate plan regularly to ensure that your trust distribution provisions are consistent with your current wishes, and consider the merit in trying to avoid falling into the inheritance powerball trap. I offer a complimentary Estate Planning primer and/or free introductory meeting. 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 ~ October 2013 - Page 17
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Ask Dr. Happy By Bob Nozik, MD Dear Dr. Happy,
I am a single woman in my late 20’s, and I am still a virgin, though not by choice. While I admit I am a “Plain-Jane,” my friends tell me that I am a good conversationalist and an interesting person with a great sense of humor. I really, really want to be married. I’ve tried everything: friends fixing me up, singles’ bars, on-line dating, even church socials. I’m not shy and have no hesitation introducing myself to men at parties, at the grocery store, or while waiting in line at the bank. I’ve had some dates but am rarely called back for a second or third date. I’m starting to panic. Maybe Mr. Wonderful is just not out there for me. ~ Plain-Jane
You may be trying too hard. There is nothing wrong with what you are doing, but rather there could be issues with how you are doing it. You seem, even in your question, to exude desperation, and almost nothing will scare men off faster than that. Sure, good looks attract, but for sustaining and advancing a relationship, a good sense of humor and conversational ability count for more. What I suggest is that instead of focusing on your desire for marriage, concentrate more on getting to know a guy and finding and sharing common interests. Connecting in this way is far less threatening and is a much more natural and organic way for establishing the close relationship you seek. This is the best way for you to feature your strengths without scaring off your dates.
While physical beauty does attract, over time it tends to become less important, especially as compared to qualities like personality, kindness, and a great sense of humor. Yes, rather than emphasizing her many positive qualities, Plain-Jane has parlayed her being plain-looking, into relationship-killing desperation. Whether physically blessed or not, it is always best to highlight friendship over romance. Aiming for friendship is the pressure-free way for creating the closeness that may, when the fit is good, turn into a romantic connection; one based on solid, lasting qualities rather than simply physical attraction. Send questions/comments for Dr. Happy to Pollyannan@aol.com.
Page 18 - October 2013 ~ Lafayette Today
Why is the Market...?
By Deborah Mitchell, CFA, MSW
For all intents and purposes, the Syrian conflict is now history, based on the limited media coverage on the subject. Early last month, after several days of heated discussions, it appeared the situation in Syria would be a real nail biter. The Syrian conflict seemed destined for some measure of military action. But then Russia swooped in and brokered a deal, which apparently cemented a foundation for working toward an agreement involving weapon site identification and destruction. In the interim, a few more bricks were added to the proverbial wall of worry. The new issues troubling investors are the status of financing the federal government, the debt ceiling, and attempts to de-fund Obamacare. Congress has been scrambling to come up with legislation to keep the federal government from shutting down. Presently there is no budget for the fiscal year beginning on October 1st, 2014. Quite a ruckus erupted over the funding bill approved by the House of Representatives. Attached was a surprise provision to eliminate money for the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). After much posturing, including a 21-hour marathon speech by one senator, complete with Dr. Seuss stories, the Senate voted in favor of a bill which did not de-fund the health care law. If the legislation moves forward the government would be able to operate though mid-December. With additional debates expected, along with muddling through the minutia, anything can change in the days ahead. If an agreement is not reached, the federal government may shut down temporarily. There could be some negative implications for the economy, particularly in the areas of consumer confidence and consumer spending. Shutdowns have occurred under previous administrations due to Congressional deadlocks. Most have been relatively short-lived, with resolutions made within hours or days due to the enormous pressure placed on lawmakers. Another near term headwind is the debt ceiling. Although a different issue, the political game of cat and mouse remains the same. The debt ceiling limit was hit in May and emergency measures have been used to ensure obligations are fulfilled. But, if
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 the limit is not raised by October 17 , the Treasury is expected to run out of borrowing options. As a result the government will be unable to pay its bills. Monkeying around with the U.S. Government potentially defaulting on financial commitments is akin to playing with fire. Worldwide, there is tremendous confidence in the ability of America to pay its debt in a consistent and stable manner. To shatter that confidence would create massive uncertainty in global markets. However, now that the stakes are high, a closer move toward compromise among politicians is expected. If history is any guide, lawmakers will negotiate a deal most likely at the eleventh hour. Given the backdrop, it should not come as a huge surprise that the Federal Reserve (FED) decided to stay on course with the bond buying stimulus program at the September meeting. FED Chairman Ben Bernanke conferred that the threat of a government shutdown “could have very serious consequences for the financial markets and economy.” In the post meeting statement, officials made it clear that more evidence of a strengthening economy was needed before paring back on purchases. The months of September and October have historically been associated with frightful volatility. The Stock Traders Almanac has referred to October as the “jinx” month because of the significant down days in years such as 1929, 1987, and 2008. Yet in mid-September both the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and S&P 500 closed above new all time highs. Over the last several months, charts of major indices have indicated a pattern of higher highs and higher lows, which is positive for a long term up-trend pattern. That being said, there is a tremendous amount of uncertainty present which has evolved rather quickly. The unknown outcome of financing the federal government and related programs has given investors a case of the jitters. As such, we are holding some cash in the event that there is some near term market weakness. Importantly, we remain optimistic longer term. If you have any comments or questions, please contact Deborah at 925-2992000 or email@example.com. 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 th
Brainwaves by Betsy Streeter
Your Personal Nutritionist By Linda Michaelis, RD. MS.
You graze when bored, or you reach your hand into the office candy jar each time you pass by. You feel sluggish in the afternoon and head to the vending machine for a pick-me-up. These are opportunities to eat for reasons other than hunger. No matter why food calls your name, one thing rings true--we have all eaten when we weren’t hungry. Here are common situations in which my clients eat when they are not hungry:
Emotions are a common trigger to eat. Happy? You might eat a treat to celebrate. Sad? You might have comfort food to soothe yourself. Angry? You may take it out with a fork instead of the person who really caused your anger. If you turn to food for emotional reasons, you won’t resolve the underlying issues. I help my clients track their food and note their emotional state when they head for a snack. Writing your feelings down helps you make a connection never seen before. In the future you will know to look for a different outlet for dealing with your feelings.
Out of Boredom
Some individuals eat out of boredom. They are usually busy people who find that when they have time on their hands they use food for entertainment. I have these clients keep a list of tasks that need to be done and tackle that list when they feel bored.
Because Other People are Eating
When you’re enjoying a dinner with friends, it is easy to eat past the point of fullness. It is easy to indulge when others around you are eating, too. Research shows that our habits mimic our companions’ actions in situations like these. When your dining companions devour a second basket of bread or order dessert, don’t automatically follow suit. I always tell my clients to leave the table and go to the bathroom to get away from the food and check in with their hunger.
Because Food is There
Do you have a candy jar at the office that calls your name? Do you feel powerless to pass up food at a party, even if you’ve already eaten? When food is in sight, it is easy to grab a handful because it’s there. Any food that is visible and easily accessible is hard to turn down. Keep treats out of sight and enjoy them when you plan to have them. If you buy cookies, put them on a high shelf in a cabinet—not on the counter. When you’re already full and food is out at a party, stand with your back to the table or in another room.
Because It’s a Special Occasion
If you work in a big office or have a big family, it seems like every day is someone’s birthday. If celebrations often involve cake or alcohol, it might seem that every party is calorieladen. If you don’t want to have cake, don’t get in the cake line —you can always just show your face at the celebration. Remember, celebrations are about the people, not the food.
Because You’re Tired
The dreaded afternoon energy lull can drive the most disciplined of us to food— especially sugary treats. That sugar rush might be followed by an even worse crash. Instead, take a walk around the office, or choose a refreshing drink like iced coffee.
Because the Clock Says so
Do you pull out your lunchbox at noon just because the clock indicates the lunch hour? Or do you head to the kitchen at 6pm just because that’s your dinner time? Don’t eat when the clock tells you to! When mealtime hits, use it as a cue to check in with your hunger level. Are you hungry? If so, whip up a healthy meal. If not, wait until you are hungry, and ignore the clock.
Lafayette Today ~ October 2013 - Page 19
Bed Wetting- It’s More Common Than You Think By Jeremy Lieb, MD
Approximately 10% of children who are ten years old still continue to intermittently wet the bed at night. In fact, I’ve had patients as old as 16-17 who complain of intermittent bed wetting episodes. Often the kids are very socially and physically capable, but their bladders are not quite as mature. Fortunately, most bed wetting will improve and resolve over time. The goal of treatment is to have dry nights. This will allow for less anxiety for sleepovers and hopefully help build your child’s self confidence. There are several different ways to address treatment. The first is to focus on the overall bladder and bowel behavior. It is important to discourage your child from holding their urine until there is an emergency. Regular voiding can help to build healthy bladder function. Also, regular daily bowel movements help to reduce pelvic pressure. It is important to limit evening fluid intake and reduce fluids that can stimulate the bladder and increase urine production, such as soda. Make sure your child goes to the bathroom at bedtime. This should be a routine done after brushing their teeth. The reported treatment with the most success is using a night time wetness alarm. Even though it is reported as an excellent treatment, I’ve found it’s usually best at waking up the parents, your dog, and the neighbors while your child continues to sleep. I’ve found the best success with using the pill or nasal spray form of DDAVP (desmopressin acetate). This medication works by producing less urine at night and therefore less urine to leak on the bed. This medication does not create a dependency and will not delay natural progression to dry nights. It is safe and often very effective. Parents should not forget that bed wetting is an accident. The best thing you can do is to be understanding, and let your child know you are there to help. Also, be sure to work with your doctor as a team so your child feels secure and gets all the help needed. Dr. Lieb is a Board Certified Urologist with Pacific Urology and focuses on treating pediatric patients. Pacific Urology has offices in Walnut Creek, Concord, San Ramon Brentwood, Livermore and Antioch. For more information, call (925) 609-7220 or visit www.PacificUrology.com. Advertorial
Stroke Support Group
On Monday, October 14th the Stroke Support Group of Contra Costa County will hold a free Support Group meeting in the Lesher Auditorium at John Muir Medical Center - Concord Campus, (2540 East Avenue, Concord) from 7-9pm. The speaker will be Sharif Frink, with the California Telephone Access Program. After the program, attendees will break up into three coping groups: stroke survivors without aphasia, stroke survivors with aphasia, and caregivers and families of stroke survivors -- each group led by a trained professional. For further information about the Stroke Support Group, contact Ann Dzuna at 925-376-6218.
Because You Can’t Say No to Food Pushers
If you’re a people pleaser, it can be hard to say no, especially when friends offer you scrumptious food. And sometimes people who push food don’t take no for an answer. When encouraged to eat food that is not wanted, I tell my clients to say that they are not hungry now but that they would love to take it to eat later. Then they can tell their friend how yummy the food was and not hurt anyone’s feelings.
Because You Suffer from Clean Plate Syndrome
Most of us have grew up hearing, “There are starving kids who would love to eat that.” Do you still feel obligated to clean your plate, even when you’re not hungry enough to comfortably finish it all—especially at a restaurant where you’re paying for a meal? To prevent overeating, take stock throughout your meal to gauge how hungry you are; you might find that you don’t need those last few bites after all. If that doesn’t work, use smaller plates at home to eat less! I enjoy setting up personalized meal plans based on individual health concerns and strive to teach people to listen to their body hunger. My office is located in Alamo and I am happy to talk with you about nutrition concerns. I am glad to inform you that insurance often pays for nutritional counseling. Please visit www. LindaRD.com for more information on services or call (925) 855-0150. Advertorial
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Page 20 - October 2013 ~ Lafayette Today
A History Lesson
By Barbara Persons, MD, Persons Plastic Surgery, Inc.
As tribute to the new school year, I thought it would be an appropriate time for a brief history of the craft and art form that is plastic surgery. Interestingly, it is a longer-standing discipline than one might believe. While many great advances in modern cosmetic and reconstructive surgery have occurred in recent years, many advances made prior to the turn of the 20th century are the foundation of this field of medicine. Historians believe that the first reconstructive surgeries were performed in India around 600 B.C. with facial feature reconstructions being the most common procedures. During this time in India, criminals and traitors noses, ears, and lips were commonly removed as punishment for crimes. To repair the wounds, skin was grafted from the forehead, cheeks, or arms and stitched in place. The Western migration of Indian cosmetic surgery techniques can be attributed to traveling traders who would have seen the procedures (or perhaps been themselves operated upon) in the North Indian markets. The techniques learned in India traveled west where they were developed to fit the needs of the societies they encountered. In Egypt, post-mortem plastic surgery was practiced on mummies to eternally preserve a deceased person’s most distinctive features. Across the Mediterranean, the egocentric culture of the Roman Empire created a market for cosmetic surgeries within the upper classes. Scar revisions, male breast reductions, and nose and ear reconstructions on maimed gladiators were all common procedures in Ancient Rome. With the rise of Christianity during the Middle Ages, cosmetic surgery was branded as unholy, and practice of the craft was forbidden. However, despite the church’s strong opposition, cosmetic surgery was studied and practiced in secret. Knights sent on crusades in the Middle-East encountered the forbidden surgeries and medical texts. Homebound knights imported the practices they learned abroad, opening secret surgery practices in Western Europe. By the 16th century, cosmetic surgery began to be publicly practiced again. Bologna-born Gasparo Tagliacozzi recognized his patients’ desire for an emotional recovery from physical deformities and abnormalities. Cosmetic surgery allowed his patients to achieve their emotional recovery through a physical transformation. However, the masses were less sympathetic to Tagliacozzi and his patients. After his death in 1599, his written work was largely destroyed and forgotten. It wasn’t until the late 18th century that cosmetic surgery was rediscovered by the Western world. In 1794, British soldiers stationed near Pune, India witnessed the miraculous transformation of a nose-loping victim. The victim, a cattle-driver who was imprisoned and punished by an enemy Sultan underwent a rhinoplastic procedure by a local bricklayer. A year after his nose was cut-off, the cattle-driver reappeared one day with a fully intact nose. The curious British soldiers inquired after the man’s transformation and were taken to where the cattle-driver had received his rhinoplasty. This story quickly circulated in Britain and Europe through newspapers and magazines. The procedure’s journey to Europe followed shortly after and quickly gained interest. German surgeon, Karl Ferdinand von Graefe coined the term “plastic surgery” in 1818 and like Tagliacozzi wrote numerous texts on the budding field. Many of the most modern cosmetic and reconstructive surgeries were not perfected until 20th century physicians realized the importance of plastic surgery. Injured soldiers returning from World Wars I and II came bearing devastating injuries. Out of necessity, surgeons perfected skin grafting, and limb and facial reconstructions. These new surgical skills gradually were adapted to serve patients outside of wartime hospitals. In recent years, plastic surgery has experienced a great rise in popularity. The patients I see in my clinic are typical of most plastic surgery patients with interest in preserving and perfecting their physical image. The specialty of plastic and reconstructive surgery has made great advancements since the first rhinoplasty in ancient India. Though such procedures are now routine, I hold a great deal of respect for the history of the craft and make continued learning a critical part of my practice. We are continuing our celebration of the new school year in our Lafayette office. Please call 925-283-4012 or stop by to hear about laser and skin care specials we are offering to help heal the damage that the long summer has caused. I look forward to meeting you during a consultation soon. Barbara L. Persons, MD is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and owns Persons Plastic Surgery, Inc. located at 911 Moraga Rd, Suite 205 in Lafayette. She may be reached at 925-283-4012 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Advertorial SOURCES:www.plasticsurgery.org/about-asps/history-of-plastic-surgery.html,http://plasticsurgery.about.com/od/historyofplasticsurgery/a/ history_of_PS.htm, www.plastic-surgery.net/history-plastic-surgery.html, www.aafprs.org/patient/about_us/h_father.html, www.ncbi.nlm. nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1438692, www.randomhistory.com/2008/08/31_plastic.html, www. plasticsurgery.com/breast-augmentation/the-history-of-plastic-surgery-a1751.aspx, www.apsi. org.in/History/HISTORY%20OF%20INDIAN%20PLASTIC%20SURGERY.html, www. baps.org/Spiritual-Living/Weekly-Satsang/Enlightening-Essays/Sushrut-(Father-of-CosmeticSurgery)-2155.aspx, http://archive.ispub.com/journal/the-internet-journal-of-plastic-surgery/ volume-4-number-2/sushruta-the-first-plastic-surgeon-in-600-b-c.html#sthash.ZHcWlxUd.dpbs, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2845369, www.ayurvedapilescure.com/blog/?p=167, http://lifestyle.iloveindia.com/lounge/history-of-plastic-surgery-4082.html.
Breast Cancer Awareness: Focus on Survivorship By Tiffany Svahn,MD
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is the ideal time to focus on survivorship. Because of advances in research, early detection and improved treatments have led to higher cure rates and a growing population of breast cancer survivors. In the United States today, there are an astounding 2.5 million breast cancer survivors! Health care providers involved in the treatment of breast cancer now spend a significant amount of their attention on addressing the issues of survivors in addition to the actual treatment of the disease. Breast cancer survivors have a unique set of needs – there are both psychological and physical side effects of going through breast cancer treatment. Many of the side effects are short-lived and resolve soon after treatment ends. However, there are unfortunately many side effects that persist for many years and sometimes indefinitely – they can be related to surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, or hormonal therapy. Tools that can help with after treatment side effects include prescribed exercise programs, physical therapy, lymphedema therapy, nutritional changes (think Mediterranean diet), and psychological therapy, to name a few. Some centers that treat breast cancer now have survivorship programs – the practice where I work, Diablo Valley Oncology, will be rolling out its survivorship program this October, in time for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This program will be very closely associated with our Lifestyle Center. On October 12th, we will be having our annual Many Faces of Breast Cancer survivorship program at the Lesher Center in Walnut Creek, where a panel of experts will address the many issues that survivors face, including a question-and-answer session with the panelists. We hope to see many of you there as we celebrate all of those who have survived breast cancer, and those who continue to fight the battle. Tiffany Svahn, MD is a Medical Oncologist and Hematologist with Diablo Valley Oncology. Dr. Svahn specializes in treating patients with breast cancer. Dr. Svahn sees patients at Diablo Valley Oncology’s comprehensive cancer center is located at the California Cancer and Research Institute in Pleasant Hill and at their satellite office in San Ramon. For more information, call (925) 677-5041. Advertorial
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What do ED and Arthritis Have in Common? By Dr. Jeffrey G. Riopelle, MD
ED, the nickname for erectile dysfunction, has several important causes. ED simply involves the inability to achieve an erection adequate for satisfactory intercourse. Under age 40 it is most typically caused by psychological factors, although the cause can occasionally be due to rare factors such as chromosomal abnormalities, congenital defects, or previous trauma. In men over 40 ED is more commonly caused by physical abnormalities. One of the most common causes is development of a venous leak. In order to achieve an erection, the brain sends stimuli to the penis which causes the arteries to dilate, sending extra blood to the organ. Simultaneously the veins in the corpus cavernosum (the body of the penis) contract, keeping blood in the penis. This venous constriction allows the penis to accumulate a large volume of blood, which physiologically stays in the penis until after ejaculation. Unfortunately with age these blood vessels may become leaky and produce only a partial erection or no erection at all. Alternatively, an erection may occur, but it is lost too early. Another important cause of ED is arterial obstruction or clogging by plaque. In this case the arteries are too clogged to send enough blood to the penis to cause an erection. If the penile arteries are clogged, the coronary (heart) arteries may be clogged as well. if arterial clogging is suspected, the patient should be tested with exercise stress testing to see if he is at risk for a heart attack. Another important cause of ED is the inability of the arteries to dilate due to inadequate production of a dilating substance called nitrous oxide. Low testosterone, also known as low T, can also lead to ED. Blood testing provides the answer. Trauma or previous surgery, especially prostate surgery, can also play a role. Finally, psychological insecurity also plays a role as the worry of being unable to attain an erection can make any type of ED worse.
Your Creativity in Action
By Michael Anne Conley, LMFT
A great way to grow a child into a wholesome adult is to support the creativity that exists within her just by nature. Introduce children to a room full of toys, and soon they’re using those objects and their imaginations to shape fanciful stories. Consider your own early years. Did you sing in the tub? Draw pictures? Dance in playful circles in the yard? Dress up? Invent new games with your friends or write a program for your computer? We humans are creative beings, and it seems to me that’s what makes us special – way more than our intelligence, our ability to walk upright, or ability to speak. After all, we didn’t just use our opposable thumbs to make tools. We also painted on the walls of those caves in Lascaux. When we can’t go someplace that doesn’t support human life, this hasn’t stopped us. We create replicas of ourselves to go in our stead. In 1977, for example, two human works of art were sent off world. Last year, Voyager 1 became the first human-made creation to leave the solar system and fly into interstellar space. What’s more, Voyager I and its companion, Voyager II, were designed to last only five years — but they have continued to teach us about the universe, without a single touch by human hand, for 36 years. We did that. Just by being born, you inherited this legacy of creativity, no matter how it shows up in you. I’ve had a chance to be reminded of this lately by my friend and colleague Sandy Guderyon, SoulCollage facilitator and more, through the business she calls Attract a Great Life. This month, you’ll have a chance to tap into your intuition, creativity, and self-discovery in a very special way. On Saturday, October 26, Sandy and I are hosting Body & SoulCollage, a live event where you can take a break from the pressures and demands of your life, connect with the wisdom of your body, and express your creativity in a unique form of art. Believe it or not, this doesn’t require any artistic ability at all, but as Sandy discovered in 2006, it engages the imagination with great creative force. That’s
Lafayette Today ~ October 2013 - Page 21 The mainstay in the treatment of ED is currently the use of Viagra, Levitra, or Cialis. These three medications all work by increasing the levels of nitrous oxide in the penis. Nitrous oxide causes the arteries to dilate, sending more blood to the penis, causing the erection. These medications work great in psychological ED, and they also may help in most other forms of ED, especially in cases of venous leaks and inadequate nitrous oxide production. A much less popular but even more effective treatment is injection of the penis with a medication, alprostadil, sold under the brand names Caverject, Edex, and Prostin VR. Alprostadil can also be given as a penile suppository named Muse. Alprostadil works for about 80% of men with ED. Finally, in the case of low T, the ED can respond to testosterone supplementation either as a gel, an injection, or a pellet implant. So what do ED and arthritis have in common? Well, besides both becoming more prevalent with age, autologous adipose derived stem cells are being tested for use in both arthritis and ED. In both cases, fat is removed from the abdomen or sides, the stem cells are removed from the fat, and then these stem cells are re-injected back into either the penis or the affected joint the same day. This is a patient sponsored FDA approved study, meaning patients must pay for the treatment, but a perfect candidate would be someone who wants fat removed anyway and wants to see what effect the stem cells in that fat might have on either ED or an arthritic joint. We want to stress that this study involves the use of one’s own stem cells and not the use of the controversial fetal stem cells done in other countries.
Annual Halloween Candy Buyback Contest - We Need Your Candy!
Dr. Riopelle and his daughter Natalie are organizing a Halloween candy buyback contest for schools. Students can turn their candy into a school rep, who will collect the candy and turn it in to our office. Schools can win up to $1,000, and the candy will go to the Blue Star Moms for holiday packages for overseas troops. This event is sponsored by local doctors. 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 when she attended her first SoulCollage experience. Sandy told me, “The first time I experienced SoulCollage, I realized, ‘Wow, this is a conversation with my soul.’ It’s a soul-tending process!” With little more than scissors, glue, and images of your own choosing from magazines, calendars, photos from your own life and other resources, you will create your own personal messages to guide you in your life. “Anyone can cut-and paste,” Sandy says – and having experienced SoulCollage, I can attest to that! Sandy and I liked the little play on the common phrase “body and soul,” so to add another dimension to this rich stew, we’ll have an extra treat for you. I’ll be guiding you in specific practices that I’ve learned that will help you access your creativity in magical and powerful ways. So bring yourself and be art! You can learn more and reserve your place at http://bodyandsoulcollageoct26. eventbrite.com. I promise that you’ll surprise yourself -- from the soles of your feet to your highest Soul. Michael Anne Conley, LMFT, is a holistic therapist and habit change specialist, practicing since 1991 in Lafayette, where she founded and directs Stillpoint Center for Health, Well-Being & Renewal. You can reach her at email@example.com or 925-262-4848. Advertorial
Page 22 - October 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 10/23, 11/27, 12/25 • 12:30 – 3PM • Live Oak Room, by Ed Zeidan, owner and CEO of Nerd4Rent. Staying in touch with people LSC - Enjoy afternoon dancing every Wednesday, and learn some great new who matter in your life is made easy with tools such as Facebook and Skype. dance moves. On the first Wednesday monthly, professional dancers Karen Learn how simple it is to stay connected! Do you have an iPad? Gain an and Michael will provide a dance lesson and live DJ services, playing your understanding of how your device works and all you can do with it. favorites and taking requests. $2 Members/ $4 non-members. • Skype • Tues 10/15 • Orinda Parks & Rec Dept, 28 Orinda Way Lafayette Senior Services Commission 4th Thursday of the month • iPad • 11/19 from 3:30 – 5:30PM at the LSC - View agendas at the City of Lafayette ofAutumn Leaves Piano Jazz Concert Friday 10/18 • 1:30PM – 2:30PM, fice or at www.ci.lafayette.ca.us. Lafayette Library, Community Hall 3491 Mt. Diablo Blvd. - Come Lamorinda Nature Walk and Bird-Watching Every Wednesday hang out with the swingin’ performers of the Contra Costa Performing Arts • 9AM - 11AM • Call LSC to find out weekly meeting locations - Experience Society and celebrate autumn! Songs from the Great American Songbook nature at its finest along our local trails. Delight in the beauty that unfolds may include tunes by Thelonious Monk, Jerome Kern, Duke Ellington and around each bend, all the while learning to identify a variety of birds. Bring more, as interpreted by members of CCPAS. Join the fun! a water bottle; binoculars will be helpful if you have them. Join us every Maintain You Home’s Interior Thursday 11/7 10:30AM – Noon, Wednesday or whenever you are able. Come Play Mahjong! Every Tuesday • 1PM–3:30PM • Cedar Room, Lafayette Library, Arts & Science Room, 3491 Mt. Diablo Blvd - Interior LSC - Come join us on Tuesdays for a drop-in game of mahjong. Mahjong maintenance tasks are critical to the long-term performance of your home. is a game of skill, strategy, and certain degree of chance. All levels welcome. Regularly-scheduled maintenance can help you avoid serious problems, or at Bring your card, a mahjong set, and a snack to share (optional). RSVP not least identify issues early so problems can be addressed in a timely manner with minimal adverse effects. Mark Shaw, 15- year real estate broker, will required. Creative Writing Workshop 2nd and 4th Thursday monthly 10/10, share his professional knowledge of keeping your home in tip-top shape and 10/24, 11/7, 11/21, 12/5, 12/19 • 10:30AM - noon • Cedar Room, LSC - Join maintaining its value! am pm, creative writing and English instructor Judith Rathbone, and examine the Driver Safety 8-Hour Course 10/22 AND 10/24 • 9 - 1 Elderberry possibilities of self-expression through writing. This friendly group, with an Room, Lafayette Community Center - Refine your driving skills, develop ever-changing membership but lots of returning participants, will welcome safe defensive techniques, and possibly lower your insurance premium. you and any of your writing efforts. Find encouragement and feedback and First come, first served determined by date check is received. Send check, bring out the writer in you. If you can speak, you can write, and we will made payable to AARP, to Lafayette Senior Services, 500 Saint Mary’s Rd., Lafayette, CA 94549. Prior to sending check, please call 284-5050 to show you how! Beginners to established writers welcome. Positive Living Forum (“Happiness Club”) Thursday 10/10, 11/14, determine space availability. The cost is $12 AARP members and $14 non12/12 • 10:30AM – noon • Sequoia Room, LSC - Brighten your day with Dr. members. Bob Nozik, MD, Prof. Emeritus UCSF and author of Happy 4 Life: Here’s Words of Wisdom…From the Philosophical to the How to Do It. Take part in this interactive gathering which features speakers Lighthearted on a wide range of topics that encourage and guide participants towards a 10/15, 11/19, 12/17 • 10:30 –Noon • Elderberry Room, LSC - Join more ideal and positive life experience. discussion group leader Craig Janke, and take part in this free-wheeling Bi-Monthly Caregiver Support Group Mondays 10/21,11/4, 11/18, exchange of inspiration, information, and humor. Topics – from soup to 12/9, 12/16 • 1:30–2:30PM • Elderberry Room LSC - If you are a family nuts - will be explored, examined, and discussed by participants. Stories and member helping to care for an older adult, join our support group to find photographs will stimulate humorous discoveries regarding the benefits of balance and joy as you manage your responsibilities. Drop-ins are welcome. becoming the ‘elders of our tribe.’ Free Peer Counseling 3rd Wednesday of the month, 10/15, 11/19 • Alder Physical Therapy Presents Therabands Friday, Room, LSC - Contra Costa Health Services offers free one-on-one counseling Anne Randolph am pm 10/25 • 11:30 – 12:30 Sequoia Room, LSC - You’ve probably seen with senior (55+) counselors who use their life experiences to help other older adults cope with life changes, problems, crises, and challenges. Confidentiality people using those stretchy, multi-colored exercise bands. Come learn how to is strictly observed. Appointment required. Call LSC to sign up for one of the use them yourself to easily maintain and increase strength and feel your best! Anne Randolph, RPT, has been practicing physical therapy for 35 years. following appointment times: 10:00, 10:30, 11:00, or 11:30AM. ‘As the Page Turns’ Book Club 3rd Tuesday monthly 10/15, 11/19 • She provides outpatient therapy in Lafayette and specializes in the care of 1– 2:30PM • Elderberry Room, LSC - Looking for a good book to talk about those 55 and over. with others? Join this informal group of book lovers, and enjoy enrichment, Discovering Opera: Hänsel und Gretel Wednesday, 11/13 • 1 – 2:30pm, Lafayette Library, Arts & Science Room, 3491 Mt. Diablo Blvd discussion, fellowship, and refreshments. Hearing Screening 1st Wednesday monthly 11/6, 12/4 • 1 – 2:20pm • - Yes, it’s the Grimm brothers’ fairy tale, translated into operatic form by the Alder Room, LSC - By Audiologists from Hearing Science/Diablo Valley “original” Engelbert Humperdinck, not the pop singer of recent fame. With Ear, Nose, and Throat. Appointment required. Minimum of two sign-ups a Wagnerian range of colors and textures applied to music of melodic and required in order for screenings to take place. Please call Lafayette Senior rhythmic appeal, but without Wagner’s philosophical undertones, his first opera remains highly popular 120 years after its premiere. Opera lover and Services at 284-5050 to sign up for one of the 20-minute appointments. Lunch n’ Learn: Computers Tuesdays • 10:30AM–1PM - Lafayette, lecturer Bradford Wade will describe the background of Hänsel und Gretel Orinda and Moraga are pleased to present three technology classes taught and discuss its plot, complete with musical examples.
Starting Over at 70 – A True Story of Courage and Success By Mauna Wagner, Lamorinda Senior Transportation
Shirley had led a charmed life. She had been married for almost 40 years to a successful, hard-working husband. Early on in their marriage, she cut back on her professional career to raise a family. Busy with two children and a part time job, she was also active in her church and had many good friends. The future looked safe and secure. At age 65, with one conversation, it all changed. After 40 years as one-half a couple, she was suddenly single. She lost her source of income and had to give up her large, beautiful home. What was once a quick plane trip to see the kids and grandkids was now a seven-hour solitary drive. Previously able to shop often and give generous gifts, she had to live within a tight budget. How did Shirley adjust to her new reality? For one thing, she had the help and support of friends and her church, relationships she had built and nurtured over the years. After rooming with a friend for several months, she was able to buy a small condo on a short sale. She started seeing a therapist regularly. And amazingly, she started a home-based business. She didn’t give up and she didn’t give in. Now, five years later at 70, Shirley’s life is back on a track - a different track to be sure, but a full and satisfying one. She’s making a success of her business. She remains active in her church and keeps connected to her friends. Friends are supportive, yes, but she stills sees a therapist, which she believes provides a healthy resource for working through remaining issues. She visits her children regularly and delights in her grandchildren. She takes it one day at a time and has created a wonderful new reality for herself. There’s a plaque in Shirley’s kitchen which gives her inspiration. It reads: “When you come to the edge of all the light, you have known and are about to step out into the darkness. Faith is knowing one of two things will happen. There will be something to stand on, or you will be taught how to fly.” (Author unknown) About Mauna Wagner, By Mary Bruns - On September 22, Mauna Wagner was one of the recipients of the Culture to Culture Award at the Pleasant Hill Community Center. She is one of those volunteers that you would give your right arm for. Retired from Pacific Bell after 30 years in the telecommunications industry, she brings her business expertise to assist in the development of the Lamorinda Spirit Van Program. What makes her so special is that she assumes responsibility for making situations work, researching issues, and presenting ideas and solutions. As a volunteer driver for the past five years, Mauna takes Lafayette, Moraga, and Orinda passengers to their medical appointments, shopping, and errands. When additional drivers are needed for a particularly busy day, she often assigns herself the task of taking the extra shift. For Mauna, dispatching and driving the Spirit Van is a great way to help people in a very special and personal way. Passengers and friends alike sing her praises as a caring, responsible, reliable, trustworthy, and careful driver. Since 2007, Mauna has also volunteered one-half day a week at the John
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.
Lafayette Today ~ October 2013 - Page 23 Muir Medical Center, where she is an escort messenger and a docent – giving guided tours of the hospital. At the Lesher Center for the Arts since 2004, Mauna volunteers as an usher. Since 2010, she has served on the Bond Oversight Committee for the Contra Costa Community College District. Mauna not only serves our community in these four distinct capacities; she also manages a family, hikes, quilts, and is a voracious reader. She and her husband, Jack, recently completed their “visit all 50 states” goal. We are grateful for Mauna’s many hours of service as well as having her on our team, working with us to make this program successful.
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.
Hearing Loss Association
Come to meetings of the Diablo Valley Chapter of Hearing Loss Association of America at 7pm on the first Wednesday of the month at the Walnut Creek United Methodist Church located at 1543 Sunnyvale Ave., Walnut Creek Education Bldg., Wesley Room. Meeting room and parking are at the back of the church. All are welcome. Donations are accepted. Assistive listening system are available for T-coils, and most meetings are captioned. Contact HLAADV@hearinglossdv.org or (925) 264.1199 or www.hearinglossdv.org.
Is Food a Problem for You?
Overeaters Anonymous offers a fellowship of individuals who, through shared experience and mutual support, are recovering from compulsive overeating. This is a 12-step program. The free meetings are for anyone suffering from a food addiction including overeating, under-eating, and bulimia. The group meets Wednesdays at 6PM at Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Lafayette. Visit www.how-oa.org for more information.
The Family Circus
Walking the Tightrope of Elder Care and Aging Saturday, October 26 • 8:30am-3:30pm
Join in for a day of workshops to empower families or boomers planning for the future with solutions, ideas, and knowledge on the challenges of aging. The event is presented by professionals focused on positive aging. For more information visit, http://tinyurl.com/lpk4tlg. RSVP to 925-9372018 or email@example.com by Thursday, October 24th.
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Page 24 - October 2013 ~ Lafayette Today
Lion continued from page 8
McDonald states that there has not been a mountain lion attack on a human in the Bay Area for over 100 years. Many researchers, such as herself, who study mountain lions for years have never had the privilege of seeing a mountain lion in the “wild” outside of capture settings for research. Even when actively looking for mountain lions, it is very difficult to track them down in real time. “Mountain lions really do want to avoid us,” says McDonald. “But habitat fragmentation due to human activities has forced mountain lions to navigate and move through areas they would naturally avoid. They need space, from each other as much as anything, and they need movement pathways to connect their populations for healthy gene flow. When we fragment their habitat by building roads and housing developments and towns in previously pristine wilderness, these cats, especially young adults that need to leave their natal range and find a territory of their own, will wander and travel. If the only place to go to get away from the established resident male is toward a human populated area, they may end up there until they find their way back out. The fact that there are so few encounters, given how many of us there are moving in and around their habitat, is a testament to how good they are at avoiding us.” McDonald says there are many things we can do to give mountain lions the space they need in order to thrive, such as retrofitting culverts under highways and ensuring that new development takes account of habitats and movement corridors, leaving channels and pathways for these animals to get from one habitat to another. Educating the public about the causes of conflict and getting people to support wise development strategies can help, as can promoting predatorsafe livestock husbandry, such as fencing, caging, and guard dogs to dissuade predators from earning a living off of domestic animals. “Mountain lions, as the last remaining apex predator in the region, play a key role in balancing and maintaining the health of our ecosystems,” says McDonald. “If we lose these cats, environmental degradation is certain to follow. It is in all of our interests to find healthy ways to coexist with them.” For more information on living with mountain lions, join Zara McDonald at the Lindsey Wildlife Museum, Wednesday, October 23, 7 – 8pm. Visit www.wildlife-museum.org for details.
SPARE THE AIR USE GAS LOGS Danville 925.648.0293
3426 Camino Tassajara
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MDIA continued from front page park areas – but they need help. The fire, which began at 1pm September 8 on Morgan Territory Road southeast of Clayton, burned more than 3,000 acres. It took 1,300 personnel from Cal Fire, local fire districts, cooperating agencies and state park staff to battle the weeklong blaze. While park roads, trails and campgrounds have been reopened, many are severely damaged and in need of repair. “We are asking for those who cherish Mount Diablo State Park to help us fund much of this work,” says Mitchell. “Donations of any amount are appreciated and will be used for the designated purpose of helping the park recover and repair.” MDIA seeks to raise $30,000 to cover costs. Donations of any amount are appreciated, and MDIA offers the following thank you gifts: $100 donation or more - The Mount Diablo Guide, MDIA’s newly revised guidebook to the Park which includes all new color photographs and updated maps and illustrations. $250 donation or more - Mount Diablo, The Extraordinary Life and Landscapes of a California Treasure, a fine art photography book by photographer Stephen Joseph and writer Linda Rimac Colberg. $500 donation or more – a choice of either book or a popular Mount Diablo bike jersey. “Fundraising started out strong,” says Mitchell, who emphasizes that because theirs is a 100% volunteer organization, every dollar donated goes right into the Park. “But we still need help, and we are pleased with any amount that people can donate.” For more information about MDIA and to donate, please visit www.mdia.org. Damage at Muir Picnic area. Photo by Jim Mitchell