Lafayette Today ~ January 2014 - Page 25
Serving the Lafayette Community Emergency Preparedness Commission By Fran Miller
How does one properly prepare for an event that one has never experienced and may never experience in a lifetime? This is one of the most difficult charges of the City of Lafayette’s Emergency Preparedness Commission – trying to get citizens to imagine, practice, and prepare for unforeseen catastrophes. The Emergency Preparedness Commission (EPC) coordinates preparation and planning efforts to mitigate the effects of natural and man-made disasters such as earthquakes and floods. The main focus of the EPC is to bring the Emergency Operations Center to a state of readiness by providing the necessary materials and resources. In addition, the EPC sponsors the Neighborhood Captains Program and provides training opportunities. “It is very hard to instill in others the need for preparedness when they have By the end of the Sister-to-Sister Summit, everyone is happy.
Sister-to-Sister: Smoothing the Bumps in the Middle School Ride By Jody Morgan
The 15th annual Sister-to-Sister Summit (S2S), sponsored by the OrindaMoraga-Lafayette Branch (OML) of the Association of American University Women (AAUW), invites middle school girls to enjoy a full day of bonding with high school age “big sisters.” Girls find a vocabulary to discuss issues ranging from personal image to dating to dealing with feeling left out and learn how others have handled the problems they face. Although publicity centers on Lamorinda schools, applicants from any area middle school are welcome to attend the March 22nd Summit at the Bentley School in Lafayette. What makes the program so successful that many girls who come in 6th grade return in 7th and 8th? High school girls, who have recently worked through the same stressful phase, plan and lead every activity. Adults are not present in the small group discussions. “Because the Summit is filled with time to talk over tasty food, social games and more intimate and safe discussion groups, the relationships formed can come from sharing in each other’s laughter but also hearing about each other’s struggles,” wrote Jen Vaccaro, one of the numerous middle school participants who elect to be “big sisters” when they reach 9th grade. In her article published in Lamorinda Weekly on February 16, 2011, she comments: “Whether it was because they could provide a different perspective on situations, or because these friendships reminded me that I was not confined within the borders of my own school, the friends I made at Sister-to-Sister are still a big part of my life.” How are the high school facilitators prepared for their responsibilities? Extensive training over the course of the six months leading up to each Summit gives the group of 35-40 high school facilitators the skills they need to effectively engage younger girls in small group discussions. The trainers are professional women who take time from their careers as counselors, corporate trainers, and teachers to impart the life skills such as listening, questioning, managing group dynamics, and relating to different personalities that empower the high school girls to help their younger “sisters” articulate their individual concerns. These same adults maintain a low profile at the Summit, but they are always present if a situation arises that requires their support. A nurse is also on duty to back up all the enthusiastic volunteers.
See Sister continued on page 13
Local Postal Customer
PRSRT STD U.S. Postage PAID Permit 21 Lafayette, CA
A CERT trainee and his pal practice fire suppression training at a Lamorinda CERT exercise and Safety Fair. Photo by Carol Yates.
See Preparedness continued on page 19
Toni McShane, Lafayette’s Citizen of the Year Leaving a Profound Impact on Generations of Students, Families, and Educators Alike By Jay Lifson
If you have raised your family in Lafayette, chances are Toni McShane is no stranger to you. She has been serving our community as Stanley Middle School’s Assistant Principal since 1996. Toni has been a teacher, surrogate mother, advocate, and godmother to thousands of kids “Remarkable energy, enthusiasm, and charm,” “Grace and dedication!” and “Responsive and open!” are what her peers say about her. Toni is adored by everyone who comes in contact with her. She is a cheerleader at all the games, she chaperones every dance, and she attends every play. She goes way beyond the expectations of her job. Community members have been campaigning for Toni to be Citizen of the Year for a long time. With Toni retiring after this school year, this is her moment to finally give the students, the teachers, and the parents an opportunity to say, “Thank you Toni!” Volume VIII - Number 3 The Citizen of the Year dinner is sponsored 3000F Danville Blvd #117 by the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce. The Alamo, CA 94507 event will be held at the Lafayette Park Hotel Telephone (925) 405-6397 & Spa on March 28th. A registration form Fax (925) 406-0547 is available on the Chamber’s website, firstname.lastname@example.org www.lafayettecahmber.org. Cocktails Corstorphine ~ Publisher begin at 6pm and dinner will be served at TheAlisa opinions expressed herein belong to the 7pm. Please join us as we congratulate writers, and do not necessarily reflect that of Lafayette Today. Lafayette Today is not responsible Toni! for the content of any of the advertising herein, nor does publication imply endorsement.
Page 2 - March 2014 ~ Lafayette Today
By Alisa Corstorphine, Editor
One website I enjoy receiving daily updates from is www.mariasfarmcountrykitchen.com. Author Maria Rodale writes about food and recipes, gardening, organic issues, and “random thoughts.” A while back Maria wrote a piece titled, “When I was a Kid…” She reflected on things from her youth - which just happens to be the same timeframe as I grew up in. As Maria reflected on “our” childhood, she noted, “There were only three channels on the TV, and the TV turned off at midnight! Or it went to static. There was only AM radio stations and they had lots of static. There was no VCR, DVR, or TiVo. You either saw a show or you didn’t. Half of the shows were in black and white.” In our home we waited anxiously each week for Little House on the Prairie or Magnum P.I., and the whole family watched the shows together. We wrote reports, aka term papers, in school, typed on a typewriter. We had to take a six month typing class just to figure out how the typewriter keyboard functioned, and we did this by repeatedly typing, “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog,” which gave our fingers the practice to find every letter of the alphabet. We used Wite-out for the ever-common typoos as there was no “Delete” key. The “facts” for our reports came mostly from one source, the red, fauxleather bound “World Book Encyclopedia” set which was previously owned by my grandparents. It provided dated information about world events, which at the time we thought was fairly current - not news that was updated by the nanosecond from billions of sources. Cameras required film that you had to wind through each shot and rewind back into the canister when you got to the end of the roll. And, as Maria noted, “You had to WAIT to see your pictures,” days, weeks, maybe months. Each single shot cost MONEY in film and processing, even if the picture was a dud. If you were lucky enough to have a Polaroid camera, then you had to wait a whole MINUTE to see your images. However, if you had a Polaroid you couldn’t make copies or share the image with all of your friends. The photos were all one square size, and the image always had a dingy tinge. My guess is that most children had just a few hundred images of themselves that covered their WHOLE childhood. I think about our current use of and envelopment by technology. We didn’t spend hours each day sitting in front of screens or randomly surfing and sharing every moment of our daily lives. There was no Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or even email. We didn’t “pin” things on our wall or make videos of every activity. While it may seem that today everyone around us has some type of smartphone, one of the first players in the smartphone industry, the iPhone, has only been in existence for less than seven years!
Organic Food Direct to You
In college there was one phone in the hallway for our whole floor of 20 or General law practice with a so girls to use. The concentration on phone was attached Divorce and Estate Planning. to the wall and had 925.283.2500 | 925.451.6679 a cord to a handset. email@example.com Calls were planned in www.WagleyLaw.com advance so we could 3433 Golden Gate Way, Suite B | Lafayette hopefully catch the other party when they were around as there were no answering machines. Growing up, if we wanted to call our grandparents who lived far away, the call had to be after 6pm for “better rates,” and whenever a “long distance” call came to the house, everything stopped as a long distance call was somehow even more important. Maria recalled that in school, “Girls went to ‘Home Ec’ and learned how to sew buttons on clothes and make cinnamon rolls. Boys went to ‘Shop’ and learned how to use a power saw.” When I read that I remembered the flower printed skirt I sewed in our junior high class and think of the lamp on our shelf that my husband made via laminating different wood types together and forming the lamp shape on a lathe. Unfortunately, these hands-on skills have gone by the wayside, which I think is a shame. Packages rarely arrived on our door step, and if they did they weren’t from an order placed on Amazon.com less than 24 hours before. Many stores were closed on Sundays, and again you would have to WAIT for the following day to purchase what you needed or wanted. Sometimes the rapid speed of today’s life is a little too much. There are too many bells, whistles, interruptions, and alerts. Most of the time “Breaking News” seems to be of little importance, not very relevant to me, and certainly not worth the interruption. I feel all the news alerts give me the feeling of the “boy who cried wolf” with the false alarms making me numb to the times when there is news of something of great importance. The simplicity of life that the blog “Maria’s Farm Country Kitchen” conjures up makes me sometimes want to go back to “When I was a Kid.”
Have you ever wondered about the easiest way to get fresh, local, organic food? Come to a presentation in the Arts and Science Discovery Room at the Lafayette Library at 7PM on Thursday, April 10 to learn about ways local organic farmers are delivering their delicious wares to folks in Lamorinda. Sustainable Lafayette is hosting a display, presentation, and movie. Meet with farm representatives to find out your produce options, and meet with current customers who enjoy fresh weekly produce boxes. Following, stay to see the 50-minute movie Grow, which takes a look at “a new generation of sustainable farmers through the eyes, hearts, and minds of 20 passionate, idealistic, and independent young growers.” Light refreshments will be provided. This event is brought to you by Sustainable Lafayette. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
You have the most precious resource of all, blood! It may save a life. Moraga Valley Presbyterian Church (MVPC), working with the American Red Cross, is sponsoring a blood drive on Saturday, March 22 from 9AM – 2PM at MVPC, 10 Moraga Valley Lane in Moraga. This drive is open to everyone, so please tell your friends. Sign-up online at www.redcrossblood. org (enter Sponsor Code: Moraga925). For more information, call Les Deane at (925) 283-5648.
Girl Scout cookie sales end March 16th. Pictured above, Lafayette Troop 31042 Girl Scouts have plenty of cookies for you to choose from. The girls will use their cookie earnings to fund community service projects, fees for camps, learning projects, memberships, and travel. To buy cookies, contact Sandra Patterson at Lafayette326cookies@gmail.com.
Art & Writing Challenge
The Mt. Diablo Peace and Justice Center has announced the topic for its th 17 Annual Dennis Thomas Art & Writing Challenge. Consistent with the theme of “The Multicultural Classroom” from its recent Creating a Peaceful School Conference, the Center is utilizing quotes from Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King, Jr. as prompts for this year's contest. Students of middle and high school age from all of Contra Costa County are encouraged and eligible to participate. Monetary awards have been increased for this year, and the winners will also be recognized at an Awards Dinner on May 10th in Walnut Creek. Four categories will be judged: Essay, Creative Writing, Art, and Video. Submissions must be received by April 11th. More specific information on the topic, contest rules, and flyers may be found at www.creatingpeacefulschools.weebly.com or by calling the Center office at (925) 933-7850.
Free Tax Preparation
Free tax preparation for the 2014 tax season is available from AARP’s TaxAide and United Way’s Earn It, Keep It, Save It (EKS) programs. All tax preparers are trained and certified by the IRS. While both programs serve taxpayers of any age, Tax-Aide does not have an income limit in whom they can serve, but EKS can only serve individuals whose incomes do not exceed $50,000. For information or to make an appointment for the Tax-Aide sites serving the Walnut Creek area, please call (925) 943-5851 for the Walnut Creek Senior Club site, (925) 405-6278 for the Walnut Creek Grace Presbyterian Church site, or (925) 979-5013 for the Walnut Creek St. Paul’s Episcopal Church site. For general information and other site locations, call (925) 726-3199. For information on EKS sites, call 2-1-1 or visit www.earnitkeepitsaveit.org. To complete your tax return, Tax-Aide will need you to bring to the appointment your: • Social Security Card or ITIN letter for all individuals to be listed on the return • Photo ID for yourself and spouse • Copies of all W-2s • 1098s and 1099s • Other income and deductions • Your 2012 Tax Return.
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Lafayette Today ~ March 2014 - Page 3
The Friends of the Lafayette Library Bookmark Contest is happening again! Calling all kids who love to draw! The contest is open to students in all grades 1st-8th at all Lafayette Elementary Schools, St. Perpetua, and Stanley Middle School. Entry forms may be picked up at all of the school libraries, at the Lafayette Library & Learning Center, and at the Friends Corner Book Shop. The entry deadline is Wednesday, March 26th. Winners will receive a gift certificate to a local bookstore at our awards ceremony on April 30th at the Lafayette Library & Learning Center. For more information, contact Mary Ransdell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Friends Corner Book Shop located at the Lafayette Library and Learning Center at 3491 Mt. Diablo Blvd. in Lafayette, is holding a half-price book sale on Saturday, March 15th from 9AM - 5PM. Stop by for some great deals!
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 at (925) 676-3637 or Kathleen at (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.
The San Ramon Valley Genealogical Society meets at 10 am the third Tuesday of every month, except August and December, at the Danville Family History Center, 2949 Stone Valley Road, Alamo. A speaker is at every meeting. Everyone is welcome. For information, call Ed at (925) 299-0881, or visit http://srvgensoc.org.
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Page 4 - March 2014 ~ Lafayette Today
Lafayette Hiking Group
To participate in hikes, meet in the parking lot out from Lafayette BART’s main entrance at 8:30AM unless a different meeting time or place is indicated. We form carpools to the trailhead. Bring lunch or snacks, water, layered clothing, good walking shoes, sun protection, and money to contribute toward gas, bridge tolls, and parking ($3 local, more if further).
March 15 - Lafayette Ridge: A Different Perspective
Walk from BART along Deerhill Road to Elizabeth St., and follow the steep EBRPD trail to the ridge. Hike up the ridge for awhile and enjoy great views of Lafayette and Mt. Diablo. Then, descend from the ridge on the City’s Petar Jakovina Trail to Sierra Vista and back to BART. Hiking poles would be helpful. The hike is steep with stairs and covers about five miles. The hike leader is Alison Hill.
March 29 - John Muir National Historic Site & Hulet Hornbeck Trail, Martinez
Hike the Hulet Hornbeck Trail, with views of the Carquinez Strait and mountains. Then, visit the John Muir National Historic Site, watch a video on the life of John Muir, and tour the site. Wine tasting and munchies are TBD. The hike is about three miles and is steep at the beginning and moderate otherwise. The hike leader is George Denney. E-mail any questions to LafayetteHiking@comcast.net.
Lafayette Community Garden and Outdoor Learning Center
Spring is around the corner, and a new season of classes is beginning at the garden to educate, inspire, and delight you as we celebrate nature!
Big Gardens in Small Spaces: Container Gardening Sunday, March 30 ~ 3 to 4:30pm
Please join us for the first class of 2014 with Lori Caldwell, certified Master Gardner Composter, and a favorite teacher at the Community Garden. If you have small space or want to grow your own food without being overwhelmed by a big garden, this is the class for you. Topics such as types of containers, maintaining soil fertility, best plants for container gardens, proper watering, and crop rotation will be covered. It’s a great way to start a garden or add on to an existing garden to maximize your garden possibilities. You will be able to get your containers ready for spring planting! We’ll meet rain or shine at the Lafayette Community Garden on Mt. Diablo Boulevard across from the Lafayette Reservoir. A $5 donation per person to support our education programs is appreciated but not required. Register for classes at www.lafayettecommunitygarden.org.
“Mow no Mo’!” or “Lose the Lawn” Workshop A workshop Organized by Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour Saturday, March 29 ~ 10am – 3pm
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.
Lamorinda Peace and Justice
The Lamorinda Peace and Justice Group meets the fourth Tuesday of each month from 7 – 9PM in the Fireside Room of Lafayette Methodist Church, 955 Moraga Road, Lafayette. We are committed to working to support a healthy planet, a thriving local community, and a safe, equitable world for all. For information, call (925) 946-0563.
In this hands-on workshop you’ll get information and lists of resources on how to remove your lawn, select native plants, and design a water-conserving, pesticide-free garden that attracts wildlife and saves you money. You’ll have the hands-on experience of sheet-mulching a lawn, and depart confident that you can do this at home. We’ll meet at a Lafayette garden that currently has a lawn but won’t when we are through with it! If you have them, bring a long-handled shovel and rake, and gardening gloves, as we will be sheet mulching—cutting back turf, shoveling compost, layering cardboard, and spreading woodchips. We’ll work at the site until everyone has had a chance to try everything. Bring a lunch to enjoy while you get your sheet-mulching questions answered. Pre-registration is required at www.bringingbackthenatives.net/ select-tours.
Diablo Choral Artists
Diablo Choral Artists (formerly Voices of Musica Sacra) will be performing Dona Nobis Pacem, a concert of songs of struggle and peace, both ancient and modern. • March 22, 8PM ~ St. Paul’s Episcopal , 1924 Trinity Ave., Walnut Creek • March 23, 3:30PM ~ St. John Vianney Catholic Church, 1650 Ygnacio Valley Rd., Walnut Creek Visit www.vmschorus.org or e-mail email@example.com for info.
International Program: “Women Helping Women Around the Globe”
The American Association of University Women (AAUW) Orinda-Moraga-Lafayette (OML) Chapter presents “Women Helping Women Around the Globe” on Tuesday, March 18th at the Serbian Cultural Center, located at 1700 School Street in Moraga. A social gathering will start at 9AM, and the program begins at 9:30AM. Women are often the innocent victims of conflict, ignorance, and political turmoil in diverse regions around the globe. The AAUW OML Chapter March program will present an international panel of three fascinating women who will address the issues of conflict, education, and the empowerment of women and girls in the Middle East, Afghanistan, and Cambodia. Panelists include Minoo Moallem, Ksenija Olmer, and Zohra Tawakali. Bring your friends, enjoy some refreshments, and share in the camaraderie! For more information about the event, please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lafayette Today ~ March 2014 - Page 5
First Annual AAUW Shred-Fest
Plan ahead to shred your boxes of papers and documents at the 1st annual American Association of University Women, Orinda-Moraga-Lafayette Branch (AAUW-OML) Tech Trek Shred-Fest! The event will take place on March 29 from 9AM - 1PM at AAAAA Rent-A-Space, located at 455 Moraga Road in Moraga. State-of-the-art, cross-cut shredding starts at just $5 per file box. Save your boxes of papers to be shredded. All proceeds fund AAUW-OML Tech Trek Scholarships for Lamorinda girls. Help support Tech Trek by telling your friends, neighbors, organizations, and business contacts about the event. Financial advisors, attorneys, medical offices, and other businesses can meet their legal obligation to dispose of clients’ information responsibly, while helping to send Lamorinda middle school girls to AAUW’s Tech Trek Science & Math Camp. Certificates of destruction and donation receipts will be provided.
Need A Tutor?
LAFAYETTE RECREATIONAL TRAILS
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A system of Regional and Local Trails Within and Bordering the City of Lafayette
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Elam and Margaret Brown Plaza
B A R T
HOW ARD HILL S E
Silver Springs Trail
Murray Lane Trail
Buckeye Fields Park
Moraga Road to Reservoir Rim Trail
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RESERVOIR TE ET T ION A R E A AY REA EC
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TRAIL RULES, REGULATIONS AND RESTRICTIONS
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B A R T
LAFAYETTE COMMUNITY PARK
FIRST SESSION FREE!
• Trails are open to the public from dawn to dusk. • Alcoholic beverages and smoking are not permitted. • Firearms, hunting, shooting, ﬁreworks, ﬁres of any type, TO REPORT A CITY MAINTENANCE ISSUE OR TO including matches and lighters, are not permitted. VOLUNTEER, DONATE, OR HELP WITH TRAILS: • All plant, wildlife and geological features are protected by Email the PTR Dept: Trails@loveLafayette.org laws. Do not capture, collect or harm. FOR GENERAL TRAILS INFORMATION: • Dogs must be securely leashed and under owner’s control http://www.ci.lafayette.ca.us/ at all times. Dog waste and trash must be carried out. TO REPORT SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY: • With the exception of motorized wheel chairs, motorized Email the Police Tip hotline: email@example.com vehicles of all types are prohibited. EBRPD/EBMUD EMERGENCY & MAINTENANCE: • Respect private property and be considerate of neighbors See reverse for emergency and non-emergency and fellow trail users by keeping noise down. • Cutting, breaking, defacing or disturbing a sign, fence, bench, contact information or other city property located on trails is prohibited. • Placing a rope, wire, mark, writing, or sign on a tree, plant or 24 city structure located on, or next to, a trail is not allowed. • Bicycles are not permitted on trails that have been posted as unsafe for bicycle use. • Bicycles shall be operated in a safe manner especially when sharing trails with pedestrians. Bicycle speed, on mixed-use trails shall not exceed 15 mph on straightaways and 5 mph around corners and hills. Call out when pedestrians are ahead.
CITY EMERGENCY & MAINTENANCE CONTACTS Police Dispatch: 925.284.5010 Public Works: 925.934.3908 Parks, Trails & Rec. Dept.: 925.284.2232
49 Knox Drive, Lafayette 925-283-8722
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Walnut Creek, Lamorinda, Berkeley, Castro Valley
LAFAYETTE-ORINDA PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
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Programs for Kids, 3-mos.-12th grade Classes & Activities for Adults
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BRIONES REGIONAL PARK
Sunday Worship — 9:00 & 11:00 a.m.
Lafayette Trail Types City Trail EBMUD Trail EBRPD Trail Lamorinda Loop Trail
City Trail Maps
Beautiful new city trail maps are now available for pickup at the Lafayette Parks, Trails, & Recreation office located at 500 St. Mary’s Rd in Lafayette and at www.ci.lafayette. ca.us/index.aspx?page=184. Come get yours today!
Host Families Sought for French Students Lafayette Municipal Code Chapter 8-22, contains a complete listing of the rules, regulations and restrictions applicable to all Lafayette trails. Violations will be subject to citations and ﬁnes.
Lafayette Parks Public Open Space
December 19, 2013 Map Prepared by Chippie Kislik
2014 Eagle Scouts of Troop 204
On March 15th at the Lafayette Orinda Presbyterian Church from 1:30-4PM, Lafayette Boy Scout Troop 204 will honor 13 young men who have achieved the Eagle Scout Award, the highest rank in the Boy Scouts of America. Troop 204 has awarded this prestigious honor to 358 scouts since 1935.
Scouts and their Community Service Project Descriptions
For the ninth consecutive year, high school students from the south of France are coming to the area. Host families are needed during their stay from April 27th until May 9th . The teens will have a full itinerary of activities with their class during the days and only require your attention in the evenings and on one weekend. For more information or to find out about past year’s programs, please contact Martine Causse (teacher in charge of the group) at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. The local contact is Kevin Dimler, who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 925-718-5052.
Nick Anderson: Nick built wooden duck boxes and donated them to the California Waterfowl Association. Marc Davis: Marc developed an iPhone app which offers a self-guided tour of historic sites in Lafayette for the Lafayette Historical Society. Sam Fraser: Sam collected preschool supplies for the JF Kapnek Trust, a Lafayette-based organization that works to prevent the transmission of pediatric HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe and aims to open over a hundred preschools for needy children. Will Goldie: Will worked with Trust in Education, a local nonprofit, and raised over $20,000 through online funding. He designed and assembled over 65 computer systems for impoverished schools in Afghanistan. Chris Hansen: Chris used donated wood and built 50 drawers out of plywood for student desks in two third grade classes at Burton Valley Elementary. Chris also built a movable bench to be used inside and outside the classroom, allowing the students a place to sit and read. Jack Hood: Jack worked with Contra Costa Interfaith Housing and managed, fundraised, and ran a week long science-based summer camp for underprivileged children. Jack held his camp Back row: Kevin Hull, Ben Westphal, Grant Smith, Chris Hansen (sitting), Grant Pedder, Marc Davis in the Los Medanos complex in Pittsburg for kids aged 7 to 14.
See Scouts continued on page 18
and Will McCandless. Middle row: Michael Samaniego, Jack Hood, Sam Fraser and Nick Anderson. Front row: Peter Goldie and Preston Tso.
Page 6 - March 2014 ~ Lafayette Today
www.yourmonthlypaper.com March 27 at the library beginning at 6 . Imagine a gathering of 25 critically acclaimed authors mingling over cocktails, the conversation filled with literary concerns, followed by a sumptuous multi-course dinner prepared by Barbara Lewellyn Catering. Make your reservations today by visiting LLLCF.org, and you just may find yourself seated at a table with your favorite author. While you are at the website, check out both “The Great Escape Raffle” and auction. I believe it is the best list of auction items I have ever seen, and we all win when we participate. The “Bookies” from the Friends Corner Book Shop are planning their next half-price sale for Saturday, March 15th from 9am - 5pm. This is another winwin with books at bargain prices that support the programs at LLLC. Katrina Alcorn comes to Sweet Thursday on March 20th at 7:30pm to discuss her book, Maxed Out - American Moms on the Brink. Alcorn was a 37-year-old mother with a happy marriage and a thriving career when one day, on the way to Target to buy diapers, she had a breakdown. Her carefully built career shuddered to a halt, and her journey through depression, anxiety, and insomnia - followed by medication, meditation, and therapy - began. Commenting on Maxed Out, writer Kelly Corrigan wrote, “This is important, even essential, food for thought. We have to stop and take stock of our lives. We have to make sure that if it all ended tomorrow, we would feel right about the way we spent our time. That’s the conversation this book wants to start.” Saint Mary’s Professor Dr. Anthony Talo is coming to Science Café on March 18th at 7pm with his talk about his course “Battle of the Beverage Titans: Coffee vs Tea.” He will explore the physiology, biochemistry, and histories of the two plants used to create these popular drinks: Coffea and Camellia sinensis. Dr. Talo will trace their African and Asian origins and explain their critical role in the plantation economies. Let’s hope our mission project ends with a soft landing and March leaves quiet as a lamb because on April 8th we welcome a discussion of Yoga: The Art of Transformation. We will hear about the latest exhibit from the Asian Art Museum which explores Yoga’s goals. The presentation takes place in the Community Hall from 2-3pm. It is free, thanks to the generosity of the Friends. th
By Joan Stevenson
March roared into Lafayette Library and Learning Center like a lion. The month is filled with spectacular events for every age starting with Mission: Mars! If you haven’t already done it, your training manual for the adventure is ready to start. On March 13th at noon the Lawrence Hall of Science is bringing a day of “Gravity” to preschoolers who will engage in fun experiments that demonstrate the laws of gravity and motion with toy cars, water, air, marbles, paint, and blocks. They’ll build their own ramps to find out how fast an object will roll down and what they need to do for it to go faster or slower. On Wednesday, March 19th NASA Scientist Dr. Margaret Race will share the latest research on other signs of life in the universe with the elementary school kids. Finally, on March 25th an event for all ages will be held at 6:30pm when we will welcome Dr. Pascal Lee, Director of the Mars Institute, who will share his knowledge and experiences with planning future human missions to Mars! We may not all be on the same page, but in Lafayette, Moraga and Orinda readers are invited to be in the same book. This year it will be Mary Roach’s latest, Gulp, and the kickoff is March 8th when you can step into any Contra Costa County Library to borrow a copy of the book, thanks to the Friends of the Lamorinda Libraries. The Washington Post calls Mary Roach America’s funniest science writer, and with Gulp she returns with a humorous look into the mysterious and underappreciated mechanics of the human body. She explores questions such as: Why is crunchy food so appealing? Why doesn’t the stomach digest itself? Can constipation kill you? Mary Roach comes to Lamorinda on March 27th at 7pm at the Veteran’s Memorial Building in Lafayette. The admission is free. The doors open at 6pm, first come, first seated. Join us for this hilarious, irreverent, and fun evening with Mary Roach. You are invited to a very special event – A Literary Feast – hosted by the Lafayette Library and Learning Center Foundation. The event will be held
LAFAYETTE LIBRARY AND LEARNING CENTER HOME OF THE GLENN SEABORG LEARNING CONSORTIUM
LAFAYETTE LIBRARY AND
F O U N D A T I O N
Lafayette Library and Learning Center Foundation – Information and Updates at LLLCF.org or 925-283-6513
Date–Time–Location WINTER PROGRAMS
10th...Mon...Arts&Sci 3:00–5:00 pm 11th...Tue...Comm Hall 2:00–3:00 pm 11th...Tue...Comm Hall 6:30–7:30 pm 13th...Thu...Comm Hall 12:00–1:00 pm 13th...Thu...Comm Hall 3:00–4:30pm 13th...Thu...Arts&Sci 6:00–7:00pm 18th...Tue...Comm Hall 7:00–8:00pm
A Literary Feast
GLENN SEABORG LEARNING CONSORTIUM
Martian Monday......................................................................................Free Join us to view the “training film” Rocket Man, try your hand at a robotic arm and more! Prizes for best alien, astronaut, or “earth protector” costume! no reservations necessary de Young Museum Docent Lecture........................................................Free Modern Nature: Georgia O’Keefe and Lake George. Learn about Georgia’s Lake George years, her most prolific and transformative. Sponsored by the Friends of the LLLC. reserve@LLLCF.org The West Without Water............$10 members, $15 non-mbrs, $7 students The Commonwealth Club brings authors B. Lynn Ingram and Frances Malamud-Roam to the LLLC to discuss the current water crisis, the region’s climatic past as well as predictions about the future. commonwealthclub.org Lawrence Hall of Science: Gravity!....................................................$5/child We’ll engage in fun experiments that help us understand why we don’t float off into space and why something that we drop falls to the ground! Ages 3-6. reserve@LLLCF.org OLLI@Berkeley Info Session in Lafayette!.............................................Free Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) Meet faculty and OLLI members & learn about the compelling courses offered in Lafayette and Berkeley this winter. olli.berkeley.edu Financial Abuse of Seniors: It's a Crime!................................................Free Join guest speaker Shirley Krohn, director of CASE (Communities Against Senior Exploitation) to learn more about the prevention of senior financial abuse. tinyurl.com/elderabuseworkshop Science Cafe: Battle of the Beverage Titans: Coffee vs. Tea.....................$5 Saint Mary’s Professor Dr. Anthony Talo will explore the origins of coffee and tea and their growth to becoming the global powerhouses they are today. Tasting, too. tinyurl.com/ScienceCafeCoffee
19th...Wed...Home Cent 6:30–7:30 pm
Reserve Your Seat Now reserve@LLLCF.org.....925-283-6513x103
Your chance to dine with Great Authors! Fundraiser hosted by the Lafayette Library Foundation.
20th...Thu...Comm Hall 7:00–8:00 pm
25th...Tue...Comm Hall 6:30–7:30 pm 25th...Tue...Arts&Sci 7:00–8:00pm 27th...Thu...Vets Hall 7:00–8:00pm 30th...Sun...Arts&Sci 1:00–2:30pm
8th...Tue...Comm Hall 2:00–3:00pm
Curiosity Corner - Is There Life Out There?...........................................Free NASA Scientist Dr. Margaret Race is coming to our “Curiosity Corner”. Help “Make a Martian” using the scientific facts you discover! no reservations necessary Sweet Thursday with Author Katrina Alcorn ..........................................Free Friends of the LLLC present the author of Maxed Out – American Moms on the Brink. Hear Alcorn’s deeply personal story about “having it all,” failing miserably, and what comes after. http://tinyurl.com/maxedoutalcorn Director of the Mars Institute, Dr. Pascal Lee at the LLLC!..................Free Join us as Dr. Lee shares his knowledge and experiences in planning future human missions to Mars. Copies of his book, “MISSION: MARS” will be available for purchase and signing. All ages. no reservations necessary Accidental Death of an Anarchist - Docent Talk.....................................Free A Berkeley Rep docent describes this madcap show penned by Nobel-Prize winner Dario Fo. Directed by Christopher Bayes, this play marks the return of the criminally funny Steven Epp. reserve@LLLCF.org Lamorinda Reads presents: Author Mary Roach..................................Free Join us for a hilarious, irreverent and fun evening with Mary Roach, deemed America’s funniest science writer by the Washington Post. Roach returns to Lafayatte to discuss her latest book, Gulp. no reservations necessary An Armchair Tour of Mount Diablo.......................................................Free Greenbelt Alliance’s famed Outings Coordinator, Ken Lavin, will discuss our beloved local treasure. This presentation will take us on a journey of discovery through the history of Mount Diablo. greenbelt.org Asian Art Museum Docent Talk - Yoga: Art of Transformation...........Free Join us for an artful afternoon as a docent shares highlights of the more than 130 works in the exhibit. The exhibit explores yoga’s profound philosophical foundation. Sponsored by Friends of the LLLC. no reservations necessary
Science CAFE --------LAFAYETTE
Battle of the Beverage Titans:
Coffee vs. Tea
Saint Mary’s Professor Dr. Anthony Talo explores the physiology, biochemistry, and histories of our favorite morning beverages. Tasting, too!
Thank you for your support - all funds raised through Foundation program fees go to support the Library
Tue. March 18 7 to 8pm
$5 / person Community Hall To reserve: tinyurl.com/ScienceCafeCoffee 925-283-6513x103
“Mining Nuggets” from the Lafayette Historical Society By Ruth Bailey
For 2014, the Lafayette Historical Society column heads in a different direction - “mining nuggets” from 50 years ago, courtesy of our collection of bound (but not gagged) copies of the Lafayette Sun. The Lafayette Plaza Shopping Center neared completion in January of 1964 after nearly two years of hill leveling. Owner Russ Bruzzone noted this was a local project: “Architects for the Spanish-style plaza were Perata and Sylvester, a Lafayette firm.” Businesses already in operation, or soon to be, included Lucky Store, McTavich Ice Cream, Cracker Barrel Delicatessen, Rousseau Realty, Nick the Barber, Rochelle’s Pastry and Coffee Shop, Guy’s Drug Store, Lafayette Camera, Robert Omo Men’s Apparel, Park and Shop Liquor Store, The Fashion Plate Bar and Restaurant, and a Mobil gas station. Other businesses in the new center included McCaulou’s Department Store, the Shoe Stable, Macil’s Women’s Apparel, Iden Interiors, Mr. Robert’s Beauty Salon, Kandi’s Children’s Apparel, Charley’s Shoe Repair, DeFretas Coin-Operated Dry Cleaning and Laundry, Nan’s Women’s Apparel, and the Wood and Martin Gift Shop. The paper announced “Citizen Award is In--Man of the Year is Out” “This is the last year The Sun will present an award for outstanding community service to ‘Man of the Year.’ By changing from ‘Man’ to ‘Citizen,’ it can go to a man or woman without causing a blush. It certainly would have been changed long ago if men had been receiving ‘Woman of the Year’ awards.” In 1963, the California legislature had passed the Rumford Fair Housing Act to help end racial discrimination by property owners and landlords who refused to rent or sell their property to “colored” people. The Act provided that landlords could not deny people housing because of ethnicity, religion, sex, marital status, physical handicap, or familial status. In 1964, a petition was circulated by the California Real Estate Association in central Contra Costa County and throughout the state to counteract the effects of the Rumford Act by putting it to a statewide vote. The petition garnered more than one million signatures and went on the ballot as Proposition 14. It read: Neither the State nor any subdivision or agency thereof shall deny, limit or abridge, directly or indirectly, the right of any person, who is willing or desires to sell, lease or rent any part or all of his real property, to decline to sell, lease or rent such property to such person or persons as he, in his absolute discretion, chooses. There were efforts by many churches and other bodies to oppose the
Spread the Word…One Pill can Kill By County Supervisor Candace Andersen
Several years ago a close friend confided in me that she was addicted to prescription pain medication. With great remorse she confessed that she had stolen pain pills from my medicine cabinet, replacing the prescription drugs with similar looking aspirin tablets. Fortunately, today she is doing well and is no longer abusing prescription medication. This scenario is not so unusual in our community. I had filled the prescription for my husband following oral surgery. He didn't end up needing it after the first day, but we kept the pills in the medicine cabinet “just in case” we might need them for an emergency in the future. Instead, we should have immediately and properly disposed of them. Over the past ten years we have seen a significant increase in the abuse of prescription drugs in our community by both adults and our youth. The prescription drugs sitting in our medicine cabinets can easily get into the hands of others, bringing about dangerous and sometimes fatal consequences. Contra Costa County has declared the month of March to be Prescription Drug Abuse Awareness Month. The National Coalition Against Prescription Drug Abuse (NCAPDA) is leading a coordinated effort by several prevention agencies and organizations to sponsor activities aimed at raising awareness about the abuse and misuse of prescription drugs, promoting prescription drug safe storing and disposal, and encouraging the use of medications only as prescribed. Some startling statistics about prescription drug abuse include that there were more deaths caused by drug overdoses in 2010 than traffic accidents among people 25 to 64 years old. That same year, drug overdoses in the United States caused 38,329 deaths, and 22,134 of those were from prescription drugs. In 2009, 1.2 million emergency room visits were related to the misuse or abuse of pharmaceuticals (an increase of 98.4% since 2004). Non-medical use of prescription
Lafayette Today ~ March 2014 - Page 7
Mt. Diablo Blvd. circa 1940. The original Park N Ride before the Lafayette Plaza Shopping Center.
initiative—the Walnut Creek City Council passed a resolution “affirming its support of the principles of the Rumford Act and opposing realtors’ attempt to repeal it by constitutional amendment”— and the Orinda Council of Civic Unity appealed to the realtors to discontinue their campaign. There was a paid ad in The Sun signed by more than 1,000 citizens protesting the initiative. And the president of the Orinda Fair Play Council stated that the placing of the ad was to call to the attention of realtors “the large developing sentiment in favor of fair housing in the county. The realtors may be sincerely interested in protecting property rights, but to the general public, on this particular issue, they will be favoring racial segregation.” Despite these efforts, however, the initiative proved to be overwhelmingly popular statewide, and it was passed by a 65% majority vote in the 1964 California election. Soon after it was passed, the federal government cut off all housing funds to California. With these funds cut off, and with the support of Governor Pat Brown, the constitutionality of the measure was challenged soon afterward. In 1966, the California Supreme Court held that our state’s Proposition 14 violated the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment to the federal Constitution. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the California Supreme Court’s decision in Reitman v. Mulkey (1967), holding that Proposition 14 was invalid because it violated the equal protection clause of the Constitution. Proposition 14 was repealed in the November 1974 election. painkillers costs health insurers up to $72.5 billion annually in direct health-care costs. Overdose deaths involving opioid pain relievers (OPR) now exceed more deaths than heroin and cocaine combined. As many as 70% of people who abuse prescription drugs get them from a relative or friend instead of a doctor. Awareness Month activities include parenting conference seminars at local high schools, Teens Tackle Tobacco Conference workshops, police officer trainings, screening and discussion of the documentary, Behind the Orange Curtain in Orinda, San Ramon and Concord, and the “ENOUGH! Rally” on the south steps of the Capitol in Sacramento on March 24th. The NCAPDA was founded by San Ramon Valley resident April Rovero, who tragically lost her own son Joey because of a lethal mix of alcohol and misused prescription drugs. April has devoted her life to helping educate the community, change laws, and raise awareness so that others not face what she had to. For information about these events, visit the website of NCAPDA at www.ncapda.org; click on Media Center and Events. To register for the Rally, visit www.enoughrally.com, or contact April directly at email@example.com or 925-980-5490. You can help with the safe disposal of your unused and unwanted prescription drugs by dropping them in a pharmaceutical collection bin in your community. Not only does it keep them out of the wrong hands, but it keeps drugs from entering our water supply through the sewer system. You should never flush medication down toilets. Take your drugs to the green drop box at any one of the locations in District 2 listed below. • City of Walnut Creek, City Hall Lobby, 1666 North Main St., Walnut Creek • City of Lafayette, Police Department, 3675 Mt. Diablo Blvd., #130, Lafayette (no liquids) • Town of Moraga, Police Department, 329 Rheem Blvd., Moraga • City of Orinda, Police Department, 22 Orinda Way, Orinda Together, there are many things we can do to make our community a safer, better place to live. Please join me this month in both raising awareness about this issue and properly disposing of prescription drugs. We will change and save lives.
Page 8 - March 2014 ~ Lafayette Today
Italy the Beautiful
Come see what’s new in our Pantry at Alamo Hardware A tasty selection of new favorites for cooking, entertaining, and gift giving.
Roasted Chipotle & Garlic Baked Dip Mix Beautifully packaged, these dip mixes are as pretty as they are tasty. Simply add a cup of sour cream or Greek yogurt and a cup of Mayo. It’s that simple!
Ancho Chili Rub A combination of bold, spicy, smoky and sweet ﬂavors, this rub will put your chicken center stage.
Tangerine & Red Pepper Jelly Fresh and fragrant Tangerines ﬂirt with a hint of Red Chili in this addictive savory jelly. Irresistible when served as a condiment to chicken and pork … we like it over Brie!
Check Our Recipe Of The Month Video On Our Website: www.AlamoHardware.com/Kitchen
By Monica Chappell
Are you looking for a beginner’s guide to the world of Italian wines? Trying to distill down Italy’s wine regions, varietals, producers, and vintages into a beginner’s guide is like trying to thread a rope through a needle, but here it goes...
Three Simple Steps for Conquering Italian Wines
• Get to know the two most famous regions: Tuscany and Piedmont • Familiarize yourself with the “cheaper-butgood” - wines that are widely available and inexpensive • Dabble with one-of-a-kinds. These are too original and delicious to miss
First things First!
Tuscany – Tuscany is the major center for experimentation and the headquarters for the “classic” Italian reds. Tuscany is a very visual region with beautiful architecture and walled hilltop towns. The classic red wines of Tuscany are Sangiovese based wines. Styles vary from everyday to world class. Next to Napa, Chianti is probably the second most popular wine region with most Americans. There are seven subzones within the Chianti region: Chianti Classcio (heart of the chianti zone), Chianti Rufina, Chianti Montalbano, Chianti Colli Senesi, Chianti Aretini, Chianti Colli Fiorentini, and Chianti Colline Pisano. Piedmont – If Tuscany is visual, Piedmont is aromatic. One can smell and taste the richness of the foods. Piedmont translates to “Foot of the Mountain.” The best known red wine grapes of Piedmont include Dolcetto, which produces light bodied wines; Barbera, which is the most widely planted grape and the workhorse of Piedmont; and Nebbiolo, the prized grape of Piedmont which makes Barolo and Barbaresco both powerful wines that can age with complexity.
Three ways Italian Wines are Named Check out our New Gift Registry! The Kitchen at Alamo Hardware & Garden Center 3211 Danville Blvd. Alamo, CA 94507 · Call (925)837-2420 or Text (925)272-9262
• Regional names – a village or district like Chianti • Grape name plus a regional name – Barbera D’Asti • Proprietary name – brand or fanciful made up name – Sassicaia and Tignanello Monica Chappell is a wine writer and educator. Visit www.lafayetterec. org for the next class on Italian Wines.
USA Pan * Le Creuset *Emile Henry *Evaco Cast * Mauviel * Bodum *Bo’s Best * Cuisipro * Chantal * Global Amici * Lodge * Microplane * Nespresso * Pillivuyt * Rösle * Swiss Diamond * Wüsthof * and many more
Contra Costa Cribbage Club
MARGARITA IT’S ALL IN THERE! JUST POUR OVER ICE & ENJOY
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15-two, 15-four, a pair for six and a run of three make nine. Hearing this gibberish while seeing two opponents, a deck of cards, and a slab of wood that looks like it was attacked by a crazed but linear minded woodpecker can only mean one thing. The game is cribbage, a two-person card game dating back to its inception in England during the early 1630s. Cribbage came across the pond with the Pilgrims and has flourished ever since. In 1979 the American Cribbage Congress (ACC) was formed to standardize the rules and promote the game on a national basis. The ACC Grass Roots program was then created to promote cribbage through organized play at the hometown level. It awards lifetime ranking points for players to be recognized locally, regionally, and nationally. The Contra Costa Cribbage Club (CCCC) is one of 188 active Grass Roots clubs across the country. Club director Adrian Levy learned the game when he was 10-years old from his British father. Decades later, he’s still happy to play the game and offer it to others. “Cribbage is a game of probability and psychology, much like poker. But most of all, it’s a fun social game for people of all backgrounds and ages,” says Levy. The members of the CCCC can be found every Wednesday evening at 6pm “salting the crib” and avoiding the dreaded “skunk.” They play a nine-game format. The CCCC offers cribbage aficionados a chance to play this great game at an affordable price, too. Members pay a $1 entry fee to the club. Optional pools are paid out to the top 25% of the participants, as well as the high hand. The Club meets at the offices of Dudum Real Estate, 1910 Suite100, Walnut Creek. Visitors are welcome. For further information, call Adrian Levy at (925) 899-1928.
Mount Diablo State Park is looking to recruit several hundred volunteers to help as course marshals, in hospitality, in media support, and in a host of other volunteer roles at the Stage 3 finish of the 2014 Amgen Tour of California bike race. To register as a prospective volunteer, please visit www. amgentourofcalifornia.com/Tour/volunteer.html.
GENE’S FINE FOODS
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Danville & Walnut Creek
Volunteers Needed for Amgen Tour
2/24/14 4:52 PM
Caring for Your Lawn During a Drought By Linda Riebel, Sustainable Lafayette
Lafayette Today ~ March 2014 - Page 9
11 Critical Home Inspection Traps to be Aware of Weeks Before Listing Your Home for Sale
Did you know that the single biggest water user for a typical home is not the dishwasher or the shower – but the Lafayette - According to industry ex- sale or, worse, turn prospective buyers lawn? A lawn that is 500 square feet (about 20 feet by 25 perts, there are over 33 physical prob- away altogether. In most cases, you can feet) can use over 18,000 gallons of water every year! So, lems that will come under scrutiny during make a reasonable pre-inspection yourself adjusting how you care for your lawn during a drought a home inspection when your home is if you know what you're looking for, and offers the greatest potential for water savings. Just follow for sale. A new report has been prepared knowing what you're looking for can help these tips: which identifies the 11 most common you prevent little problems from growing • Don’t water during the winter unless it’s truly needed. of these problems, and what you should into costly and unmanageable ones. Turn your irrigation controller off, and just do a manual know about them before you list your home To help home sellers deal with this issue cycle when necessary. There is no need to water when a for sale. before their homes are listed, a free report Whether you own an old home or a brand entitled "11 Things You Need to Know to storm is on the way or has come through recently. • Reduce the watering schedule. Reduce the number of new one, there are a number of things Pass Your Home Inspection" has been watering days per week, reduce the minutes of watering that can fall short of requirements during a compiled which explains the issues involved. per day, or reduce both. The lawn won’t look its best, but home inspection. If not identified and dealt To hear a brief recorded message about with, any of these 11 items could cost you how to order your FREE copy of this report, it will survive. • Check your sprinkler heads to make sure they are dearly in terms of repair. That's why it's call toll-free 1-866-265-1682 and enter operating properly. Repair broken, bent, or sunken heads critical that you read this report before 2003. You can call any time, 24 hours a day, and clogged nozzles. Adjust the spray pattern to prevent you list your home. If you wait until the 7 days a week. building inspector flags these issues for Get your free special report NOW to learn sprinklers from watering pavement. am am you, you will almost certainly experience how to ensure a home inspection doesn't • Water early in the morning (between 3 and 8 ). The temperatures are cooler, the wind is calm, and there costly delays in the close of your home cost you the sale of your home. This report is courtesy of J. Rockcliff Realtors #01763819. Not intended to solicit buyers or sellers currently under contract. Copyright © 2013 is little evaporation. That means more water goes where you want it to go. Girl Scouts Leaders Awarded • Use the cycle and soak method of watering. For spray head sprinklers, Each year, Lafayette Girl Scouts Service Unit 326 recognizes water in three cycles, 3-6 minutes per cycle. For rotor heads, water in three extraordinary leaders that go beyond their expected roles. Former leaders cycles, 10-12 minutes each cycle. Space each watering cycle about an hour Gretchen Caulfield (Troop 32787) and Susan Barnes (Troop 32788) were apart to allow the water to soak in. each presented with the Volunteer of Excellence Award. • Hand-water small dry spots rather then turning up the watering schedule. Gretchen co-led a troop for six years. She went beyond basics to make • Lawn areas in shade (north/east side of the house) will generally require sure the girls were a part of meaningful lessons, learned from activities, and 50% less water than lawns on the sunny side of the house. Adjust your didn’t just going through the motions to check off a badge. watering schedule accordingly. With Susan’s leadership and mentoring, the girls of Troop 32788 not • Mow lawns 2½-to-3 inches high or higher than your normal length. only gained invaluable experiences and memories, but they topped off 5th Taller grass blades will promote deeper roots and the taller grass will shade grade with organizing and hosting a successful 2013 Father/Daughter dance. the soil, resulting in less water evaporating from the soil. Susan made sure the 18 girls of both 5th grade troops were able to see how • Mow frequently enough that you don’t remove more than the top one- individual jobs fit into the big picture of organizing an event. third of the grass blades. With the women passing the leadership torch, their troops merged and the girls • Keep lawn mower blades sharp. Dull mower blades shred grass tips, have recently teamed up with other Stanley Middle School 6th grade troops to host causing the lawn to look brown. a film festival featuring girl-produced movies at Rheem Theatre. On behalf of • Don’t fertilize. Actively growing plants use more water, and fertilizers Lafayette Girl Scouts Service Unit 326 and Girl Scouts of Northern California, a can damage already stressed root systems. humble “thank you” is given to the volunteer leaders for caring enough to support • Trim the grass adjacent to sprinkler heads to ensure the sprinkler spray your girls’ development of courage, confidence, and character through scouting. is not blocked. The Lafayette Girl Scouts 2013-2014 Recognition Awards are now open These wonderful tips come from the Contra Costa Water District for submission. Nomination deadline is Wednesday, April 16, 2014. Awards (CCWD) guide, Drought Survival 101: Watering Your Lawn. You can view will be presented May 30. Categories include Volunteer of Excellence, the guide at www.ccwater.com/files/Drought101Lawn.pdf. There are many Green Angel, Rookie of the Year, Family of the Year, Father of the Year, more tips in this guide. The CCWD website (ccwater.com) is a goldmine of and Community Partner. For information and nomination forms, see www. other ideas and tips. Check it out! lafayettegirlscouts.org or contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Another great resource is the EBMUD’s Water Smart Center, which offers loads of information on water conservation, including a watering guide. Go to EBMUD.com and click on “Stretch our supply by 10%” or “WaterSmart Center.” Of course, the most valuable and long-lasting option is to replace unused If you find him and your name is drawn! lawn areas entirely. Besides heavy irrigation, lawns involve noise and He is very small, so you will have to look hard if you want to find him. emissions (if you use a power mower), battling gophers/moles/voles, and water pollution from chemical weed killers and fertilizers. Many Lafayette citizens have replaced their lawns and are delighted with the results. Find He has become lost in this paper. out all about lawn conversion at www.sustainablelafayette.org/resources/ Send a letter telling us where you found him, along with your name and address to: yard-2/lawn-conversion. Learn more about water conservation and read real-world success stories Lost Dog! Lafayette Today, 3000F Danville Blvd #117, Alamo, CA 94507 at sustainablelafayette.org.
Lafayette Luther is Missing Virginia La Faille is our winner! Luther was hiding on page 17 last month.
Page 10 - March 2014 ~ Lafayette Today
Golden Gate Fields By Linda Summers Pirkle
It was not difficult for me to choose who to invite to the historic Golden Gate Fields - the place for horse racing since the 1940’s. Golden Gate Fields Independent service and repair for Jaguar is located alongside the Bay crossing the Albany/Berkeley city lines. The racetrack is in Albany, and the stable area is in Berkley. CARLOS “KIKO” CAICEDO My daughter, Lindsay is known for her luck; she has won tickets to Shop (925) 284-4852 Hawaii, various concert tickets, a signed electric guitar, t-shirts...so of Cell (925) 285-0783 course she was going to the race track with me. We arrived on a Friday email@example.com am morning at 11 , an hour before the first race of the day. Kent Faulk, 3470 Golden Gate Way , Lafayette, CA 94549 parking attendant for the past 45 years, told us some stories about the track. He remembers when people arrived in fancy cars, women wearing long gloves, and men in their best suits. “It was a different time. The big owners from Los Angeles would arrive in their big cars.” He noted, “I saw Bing Crosby, Telly Savalas, Mickey Rooney, Jack Klugman Independent service and repair for Mercedes Benz Joe Dempsey, and Burt Bacharach.” He explained how the track opened in February 1941, and two weeks later it closed. Torrential rains caused poor track conditions and then the war started. During WWII, the track was used as a naval amphibious landing craft base. The track JERRY FIGUEROA re-opened in 1947. Shop (925) 284-4852 Tom Ferrall, Publicity Manager for Golden Gate Fields, mentioned some of the great historical Cell (510) 754-1942 firstname.lastname@example.org moments in racing history. The list of Hall of Fame horsemen to campaign at Golden Gate Fields includes jockeys Willie Shoemaker, Johnny Longden, Ralph Neves, Laffit Pincay, Jr., Chris Mc3470 Golden Gate Way , Lafayette, CA 94549 Carron, Gary Stevens, Eddie Delahoussaye, and the current kingpin, Russell Baze. It’s not just about the racing though. We talked to Phillip Bencivenga who was with a group from the San Ramon SIRS organization, a fraternal organization of retired men in Northern and Central California. “I haven’t been here is 20 years. I don’t bet, but I’m having a great time watching the horses, enjoying the food, and being with friends. It’s a good day.” Lindsay and I sat above the finish line in the Turf Club. Each table has a small TV screen to watch the race. Our entrance fee included a buffet lunch with lots of food, including prime rib, turkey, and various salads. I always enjoy views of the Bay and the view from inside the women’s lounge at the Fields is truly extraordinary. In doing research for my article I found a quote from the late great Bay Area newspaper columnist Herb Caen Cinema Classics and Musical Notes
Citizen Kane By Peggy Horn
Entrance to Golden Gate Fields
who wrote, “The best view of the city of San Francisco is from the men’s room in the Turf Club at Golden Gate Fields.” Golden Gate Fields will throw the biggest Kentucky Derby party in Northern California on Saturday, May 3, when it simulcasts the Run for the Roses from Churchill Downs in Louisville and also puts a live racing card of its own. They will have table seating in the Turf Club, and whisky and cigar parties on an outdoor patio. Reservations are necessary, and this event always sells out. Lindsay and I stayed for five races. Oddly, she didn’t win any of the races. I won in the first and third race; a whopping $12 and $10. As I collected my winnings, Lindsay checked our “losing” tickets at the checker machine. Out popped a receipt for $19--we still don’t know for which race! It proved me right again, Lindsay is lucky. *A good value is” Dollar Day” on Sundays: racing program, general parking, general admission, programs, hot dogs, beer and sodas all cost just one dollar - a real step back in time! *Golden Gate Fields is located at 1100 Eastshore Highway, Berkeley, CA, 94710. Their phone number is 510-559-7551. Inspired by the many wonderful places to visit in the Bay Area, Linda Summers Pirkle organizes day trips, either for groups or for friends and family. “If it’s a trip for my husband and me, my husband drives and I talk (he’s a captive audience) – the perfect combination! What a great place to live, so much to see, so much to do.” To share your “Quick Trips” ideas email Coverthemap@gmail.com.
This month’s Cinema Classic is, Citizen Kane, (1941) starring Orson Welles and Joseph Cotten. It is an extraordinary film regarded by some as one of the finest movies ever made, and by some fans it is considered the finest film ever made! Orson Welles was only 24 years old when he made the film. Not only did he star in it playing the lead role of Charles Foster Kane, but he produced, directed, and co-wrote the original screenplay as well. It won the Academy Award for Best Writing (Original Screenplay) for the script that Mr. Welles co-wrote with Herman Mankiewicz. Mr. Mankiewicz was the brother to the talented screenwriter of All About Eve, Joseph Mankiewicz. Citizen Kane is reputedly based on the real life publisher, William Randolph Hearst who actively sought to keep the movie from being seen and spitefully succeeded in negatively impacting the career of Orson Welles thereafter. The screenwriters alleged the character of Kane was actually a fictitious composite of several different people, a notion most rejected. The plot is very cleverly written around a search for the meaning of Kane’s last word before he died: “Rosebud.” Only the viewers are privy to the fact that this word refers to the happiest time in Kane’s life – before he had money. If one could boil the whole movie down to a single line, it might be “Money can’t buy happiness,” because every lavish expenditure in the film is punished. For instance, the very funding of the bank trustee who takes eight year old Kane to live away from his family backfires. Kane’s attempts to buy an operatic career for his second wife fails. Kane hires the entire writing staff away from a competing newspaper to staff his own newspaper, but they lead him astray. Cinema Classics has regularly presented movies that are funny and or uplifting, and Citizen Kane is neither, but it is a beautifully photographed, thought-provoking film that continues to entertain and impress viewers tremendously. Citizen Kane is readily available for rental or purchase online.
After a movie like Citizen Kane, a mood lifter is recommended and “You’re Just In Love/I Wonder Why,” performed by Donald O’Connor and Ethel Merman is just the song we need to hear! This happy duet, written by Irving Berlin, was brought to my attention by my brother, Paul, and comes from the 1953 movie, Call Me Madam.
A Customer’s Perspective By Mark Becker, GoSimpleSolar
Milestone: As of press time, California has surpassed over 200,000 solar PV project installations. The recurring theme of this column has been that the decision to “go solar” has been primarily financially driven -- safe and highly reliable financial return from a safe and reliable investment, considering of course, a properly installed project, with quality field-proven products. Below I let Alan, one of our customers, do the writing. The details of his solar success were originally sent to me as an informative email. Immediately I recognized the value of what he said, and I asked him for his blessing to use his words for this article. The goal of what he said is to inform you about his success story and the process by which he achieved this financial success. We entertained quotes from four different solar installation companies. While GoSimpleSolar was not the lowest cost quoted, the price was very competitive, and we felt it represented the best overall ‘value.’ That value decision was based upon several criteria. We had a strong degree of confidence that Mark was really interested in educating us about the total purchase – to include the proper sizing for our particular needs, the best orientation and layout to maximize the efficiency of our particular orientation to sunlight, and the best manufacturers of the components. He was professional and low pressure. American made – We were pleased to be placing American made solar panels on our roof from SolarWorld, and my wife liked the all-black aesthetic of the panels we purchased. The Enphase micro-inverters gave us the added benefit of visibility of the kilowatt production of each of the 16 panels we installed, and we were excited about Enphase’s online 24/7 real-time interface to show how much electricity our panels are producing. The Enphase interface lets you see solar production by the day, week, month, or year. Beat expectations – Our system outperformed Mark’s benchmark expectations of kilowatt production in the first year by 18%. Our system offset approximately
Lafayette Today ~ March 2014 - Page 11 85% of our annual electricity costs. Our year-end true-up bill from PG&E was $237. Our total electric outlay to PG&E pre-solar for 12 months was $1,760, so we saved approximately $1,523 in year one. My principal and interest on the loan at 2.8% fixed for 12 months is $108/month or $1,296/year. So we have pulled off what nobody thought was possible and what I thought we couldn’t do - which was to go cash positive in year one based on the low interest rate of 2.8%, which is rolled into our 15-year fixed mortgage. Plug-in Prius – In late 2013 I purchased a new Toyota Plug-in Prius. In addition to Federal and State tax incentives that reduce the net cost of the purchase price, having a partial electric car, Mark informed me that I could go to PG&E and qualify for a different rate plan that further reduces our cost per kilowatt and enables me to charge my car for a kilowatt rate that is below Tier 1 from PG&E. This essentially enables me to drive in the electric mode for virtually free for the first 11 miles I travel each day. Mark and Bob have been true professionals throughout the entire process from the initial sales presentation, to further education, and are always there to field any emails or phone calls with questions post sale. What is the take away of Alan’s quote? A homeowner who is passionate about saving money. Recognition of what is the lowest long-term cost of ownership versus the lowest initial cost. An engaged sales process with a tailored approach to determine customer’s needs. The strive for efficiency to couple with solar PV. Consultation on navigating the financing options that best fit the customer’s financial circumstances. Continuing education after the sale is complete. The advantage of doing business with a company that has a brick and mortar place of business so the customer can see the products and meet the installers before purchasing decisions of this magnitude are made. Taking and executing the right approach should be the baseline from which all businesses should start. Mark Becker is the President of GoSimpleSolar, by Semper Fidelis Construction Inc, a Danville based Solar Installation Firm (License 948715). GoSimpleSolar can be reached at 925-331-8011. Visit GoSimpleSolar’s NEW and larger showroom at 100 Railroad Avenue, Suite B, Danville (behind Pete’s Brass Rail) and receive a $500 discount on your solar system. Go to www.GoSimpleSolar. Advertorial com for a free quote, or email info@GoSimpleSolar.com.
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Page 12 - March 2014 ~ Lafayette Today
Preparing Your Home for Sale
By Art Lehman, Village Associates Realtors
I’ve had a number of clients call over the past few weeks to get information on what they need to do to prepare their home to put on the market. A good agent will assist in helping you to prepare your home for sale by performing a thorough evaluation of your home and property. Based on the results, the realtor may provide a number of recommendations to improve the overall curb appeal and presentation of your home for interested buyers. Below are a few “bottom line suggestions” that you can do, as a homeowner, to have the best possible atmosphere to show your home to its greatest potential: • Make the space less personal by removing an excess of family photos, posters, collections, etc. • In order to maximize space, clear high traffic areas of too much furniture. • Make sure the rooms standout and key features are highlighted and not blocked by furnishings, plants etc. • If the carpet and flooring are in bad shape, shampoo it, fix it, or better yet replace it. • Remove all small items from shelves to assist in de-cluttering the rooms. • Touch-up or repaint your walls. All I’m suggesting is to use common sense. What you’re creating is an environment that a buyer can walk into that’s simple, clean, and good looking, and that they can imagine their furnishings fitting into. It is very difficult for most buyers to see through other’s tastes and clutter, so you’re helping them out and making it easy. Professional staging is another great option. Statistics show that a staged home sells more quickly and typically for more money. You can discuss this option with your realtor and have them introduce you to the best providers of those services. Most stagers will work with you based on your budget and needs. Have your agent discuss with you the advantages and disadvantages of being proactive in completing various inspections before your home goes on the market. The rationale for doing the inspections is so the seller understands the overall condition of their home and specifically the items that are in need of repair. This information can be factored in for arriving at correct pricing. A seller may decide to make repairs prior to sale so that the items no longer become an issue. Every home is unique and as such may require more or
Walking the Reservoir By Jim Scala
fewer inspections. Typically a pest report and occasionally Donate Your Car a home inspection are done. 800-YES-SVDP (800-937-7837) If certain areas of your home • FREE same day pickup present issues or concerns, • Maximum Tax Deduction you may decide to do more • We do DMV paperwork i.e. roof, chimney, drainage, • Running or not, no restrictions etc. • 100% helps your community There are many schools Serving the poor since 1860 of thought regarding pre- www.yes-svdp.org ST. VINCENT DE PAUL SOCIETY sale inspections. Some agents will say that the buyer will do their own anyway, so why spend the money? Others respond by saying, “How can you realistically price a home without taking into account its condition?” Furthermore, inspections allow a buyer to make an offer that initially reflects what condition they believe the home to be in. These are all good reasons! In some cases where the reputation of the inspector is known, a buyer may choose to do fewer inspections because they feel the seller’s report was adequate. Sellers should go out of their way to use mainstream inspectors with good reputations. Please consider that many sellers bring a realtor into the process a bit too late. Sellers want to make the home look better for the agent in the hope of getting a better price estimate. As a result, many of the fixing projects and the best use of funds for getting the home ready are unnecessary, and many projects that should have been done to maximize value don’t get done. Get help early, spend you money wisely, and make your home look great – your home is likely to sell quicker and give you a greater return even in a strong market. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’d like a free automatic email update of current listings and sales visit my website to Advertorial sign up www. artlehman.com or call!
Mountain lions are spotted at the reservoir. One bright morning in late April 2009, Phil started the rim trail and reached the west end ridge by 9AM. Sensing a presence, he stopped, looked into the woods, and saw a mountain lion slinking silently between the trees. He said, “I thought I was seeing things. It was about 30 yards away and stood a little taller than our lab. It stopped and looked at me. I stood still and tall, as you’re supposed to do, and faced it directly. We looked at each other for maybe half a minute, though it seemed longer. Then it turned its head and walked slowly away and faded into the brush.” Whenever Phil recounts the experience his eyes light up. Over a year later, Kimberly had reached the same general area from the other direction and had an even more surprising experience. She recounts, “It was a mother with a cub about a third her size and sort of fluffy.” She thought a moment and added, “I don’t think they saw me because they were moving and didn’t look my way. The mother walked slowly and her cub seemed to just tag along, stopping and then running up to her and jumping as they faded into the brush. They were beautiful. If only I had a camera then, but now I always carry one.” Late last May a mountain lion was spotted twice on Sweet Drive, a well populated area enclosed by Route 24, Pleasant Hill Road, and Olympic Boulevard. The first time, it was walking in a backyard where he stood out against the lawn and bushes. Two days later, a man taking pictures spotted it by chance in a tree where it was blended in so well it was barely visible. In contrast to those sightings, with over 925 acres, the reservoir area is a vast habitat where lions can easily hide. Comparing the reservoir to the sweet sightings, I suspect that lions are not seen at the reservoir more often because they blend in so well. Improve your balance at the bandstand. People often ask why our balance declines as we get older. It’s actually surprising how poorly many young people do on a balance test. Gayle, a Rez-walker, said, “Sometimes when I lean one way or the other I almost feel like I’m going to fall down.” I suggested a very simple test that Tom, a doctor friend, gave me. It’s done in bare feet while standing near a railing, so the bandstand is excellent. Put your feet one behind the other, heel to toe, and outstretch your arms shoulder high. Ideally, you can count to ten slowly. Reverse feet and do it again. With work, most people can achieve a thirty count. Another more advanced test is to stand bare footed near a railing support with arms out shoulder high, and prop one heel against the ankle of the other foot, almost as if you’re standing on one foot. Then slide the sole of the foot that was propped against the ankle up to the calf so you’re actually on one foot. Try for a five count, and move the foot higher on your leg. It helps to gaze at a nice horizon, and that’s why the bandstand is ideal. Switch legs. Aim for a 30 count. If you can pass those tests, your balance is fine. If you can’t, use the first, heel to toe, test as a regular exercise. Then add three simple yoga poses called Warrior A, B, and C regularly, and always do them in bare feet. On Saturday, March 22nd at 10AM, I’ll be at the bandstand ready to demonstrate a more sophisticated balance test that yields a Functional Balance Age. It’s a well researched test, and you’ll probably be surprised. If you decide your balance can stand improvement, I’ll show a few yoga poses that can help. I also promise a few laughs while we learn about our balance. We live in harmony with the animals. Spotting Rez-lions, as Phil and Kimberly did, illustrates how animals have adapted and live harmoniously with us. We’re the interlopers. Walk the paved or rim trails and, rather than text, look for animals. Someday, as your acuity improves, you might see a lion or a bobcat. Let me hear from you at email@example.com.
Lafayette Today ~ March 2014 - Page 13
Acupuncture for Animals
By Dr. Karen Rettig and Dr. Bettina Herter, Alternatives for Animals What is veterinary acupuncture?
Veterinary acupuncture is the placement of needles into acupuncture points on the surface of the body. This form of medicine has been used by the Chinese for over 3,000 years in the treatment of diseases ranging from musculoskeletal problems to internal medical conditions. It can be used as a treatment for a pre-existing ailment or can be used to prevent disease. Today, veterinary acupuncturists use a variety of techniques to stimulate acupuncture points. They consist of dry acupuncture needles, electroacupuncture, hypodermic needles, lasers, heat therapy, aquapuncture, and gold bead therapy. Veterinary acupuncture can only be performed by a veterinarian with appropriate training in veterinary acupuncture.
How does it work?
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Acupuncture works by stimulating nerves, increasing the blood circulation, relieving muscle spasms, and causing the release of hormones such as endorphins (one of the body’s pain control chemicals) and cortisol (a natural steroid).
For which conditions is acupuncture indicated?
The answer is just about anything! It is can be used for chronic musculoskeletal pain, post surgical pain control, allergies, inflammation, as an adjunct for cancer treatment, chronic ailments such as diarrhea, vomiting, reproductive disorders, skin problems, paralysis, asthma, behavioral disorders, kidney failure, endocrine disorders, lick granulomas, and many other diseases.
How many treatments are usually required?
This varies from animal to animal and how chronic the condition is. Acute conditions, such as a strain, may only require one treatment. A chronic hip dysplasia case may require weekly treatments for a month and afterwards a gradual taper of the treatments, with repeat treatments only as required. This may be as little as once or twice a year. In chronic cases a positive response is usually seen after the first, second, or third treatment.
How long does a treatment take?
The initial consultation lasts for one hour with approximately 20 minutes dedicated to history taking, 20 minutes on the exam and 20 minutes for the actual treatment. Follow ups after this typically last 30-45 minutes.
Is it painful?
Typically treatments are pain free. In chronic cases, some acupuncture points may be mildly painful for the first treatment, but after the point is released, there is no pain on needle insertion. Lasers can be used to stimulate points that are particularly painful in patients. Typically the treatments are very peaceful, and the patient usually becomes very relaxed due to the endorphin release.
Is acupuncture safe?
Acupuncture is one of the safest forms of medicine when performed by a qualified veterinary acupuncturist. Sometimes the animal may be sore for a few days after treatment, but this tends to be the exception. Animals that have been in pain for a long period of time may sleep for 24 hours after treatment due to the pain relief provided.
The use of acupuncture in conjunction with surgery
Today many surgeons and anesthesiologists are recognizing the importance of combining western techniques of pain control with acupuncture. The benefits of combining these methods is to lower the dose of pain medication required, improve blood flow to the area, and increase healing rates. Current literature supports a treatment within 24 hours of
Offer expires 03/31/14
Offer expires 03/31/14
surgery and another approximately one week later.
How do I find a Veterinary Acupuncturist for my pet?
The Veterinary Medical Association considers the practice of acupuncture to be the practice of veterinary medicine and as such should only be performed by a licensed veterinarian with additional training in veterinary acupuncture. The American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association lists veterinarians with additional training in holistic modalities. Their web page is www.ahvma.org. Alternatives for Animals is a holistic veterinary clinic located at 919 Moraga Road, Lafayette. During March and April Dr. Herter is offering 50% off the initial exam. Please call (925) 283-6160 for more information or to schedule an appointment. Advertorial
Sister continued from front page
Valerie Burgess has been involved with S2S since she managed to convince OML to offer the first of their Summits. As the mother of three girls, each encountering very different middle school dilemmas, she immediately recognized the value of the AAUW S2S format. In 1999, AAUW published Voices of a Generation: Teenage Girls on Sex, School, and Self, a study based on responses from more than 2,000 girls who participated in 50 S2S Summits around the country. Taking the original model and tweaking it each year to better answer the specific needs of local girls, OML has created a program that has all of the participants happy by the end of the day. The biggest challenge is never to get girls to return, but rather to get them to come in the first place. “This is the toughest group in the world to market to. It is the rare girl who has the courage to do the Summit on her own,” Burgess notes. High school facilitators travel with OML members to Lamorinda middle schools to promote the program. They invite interested girls to come during lunch to enjoy an ice cream social while learning about S2S. But even those who really love what they are hearing are reluctant to sign up if no one else in their clique is interested. “Despite all the academic and extracurricular activities these girls are involved in, nothing addresses what we provide,” Burgess explains. Input from the high school facilitators shapes the discussion topics offered. Based on their suggestions, part of the day now includes a community service project that reinforces the connection of girls throughout the world and an awareness of the struggles others are facing. In 2011, the girls tied blankets for Afghanistan. In 2012, their blankets went to a San Francisco shelter for homeless teenagers. This year they will create friendship bracelets for earthquake victims. Facilitators prepare all the materials so the project fits into the time frame available.
See Sister continued on page 24
Page 14 - March 2014 ~ Lafayette Today
Best Wireless Performance By Evan Corstorphine, Portable CIO
Last April I wrote about wireless networking from the perspective of the tools that we use to troubleshoot problems. I described how most people never invest the time and money to manage by fact, but that we do, and we have great results. The most common problems we find with wireless networks are poor placement, interference, and cheap equipment. I’ll talk about placement first, because it’s the most common mistake we see. Wireless signals are fragile. They don’t penetrate through objects very well, and they are easily distorted and deflected. When your wireless equipment is mounted improperly, you put your wireless network at an instant disadvantage and cut down its effective range. Using water as an analogy, think of wireless signals like you would a fire sprinkler in your house. If you wanted water from that sprinkler to get everything in your family room and kitchen wet, would you mount the sprinkler in an entertainment center cabinet at knee-height behind a thick door? Of course not. The reason we find this improper installation is because most of the people who install home wiring and AV systems don’t understand wireless technology, its limitations, and how it should be installed. Unfortunately, it’s you the homeowner who ends up paying the price, either in poor performance, additional equipment to fill in the coverage gaps, or in re-doing the job that should have been done correctly in the first place. We see this so often that I’m compelled to say something, because we find poorly planned wiring is unfortunately the rule, not the exception. If this article causes just one home or business-owner to consult us before they start a wiring project, it’s worth it. As long as I’m talking about vendors who install wiring, I have to mention Get Wired Communications. Started by Will Cardenas about eight years ago, Get Wired performs all types of low-voltage wiring (phone, computer data/wireless, alarm, cameras, cable TV). If you have any wiring project or are planning a home or office remodel, you should call them first. If your contractor assures you that they will handle wiring for you, I’d recommend a second opinion. Contractors are great at constructing buildings, but low-voltage wiring is a specialty unto itself and you want a professional who thoroughly understands it. You can reach Get
Gardening with Kate By Kate Guillaume
It is wonderful to take a drive and see the hills painted in a soft apple green, something we used to see by late October or early November. Winter was certainly bleak this year with hills that were drab grey. Now, at last we have green hills for the background of the white blooming wild plum, and our streets are garlanded with flowering pear and plum blossoms, pink buds of peaches, and a wash of daffodils...it is like you can taste spring in the air. The recent rains were welcome. They deeply soaked our gardens and washed pollution and pollen from the air we breathe. We hope to have a wet spring, but no matter how much rain we get, it will not likely leave us with enough water to fill our reservoirs and make us quite whole again. We are still at a stage where our water districts are asking us to voluntarily cut water usage. Let’s celebrate our slight respite from a lack of rain as we drink in the first harbingers of spring. My winter Daphne is flooding my garden with fragrance. My roses are covered with new soft burgundy leaflets slowly maturing to green, and my hummingbirds are darting around everywhere. There is still much gardening to do. The rains have allowed weed seeds to germinate, and they are pushing forth everywhere. I still hand-pick weeds, which to me is like a slow meditation as all mindless tasks are. I must wait a bit to wander from my paths as I do not want to compress the damp soil. For now I will limit my weeding to those areas I can reach along my paths. My favorite peach, the dwarf Alberta, has just set buds, and my crabapples are ready to burst forth with their abundant blossoms. With the too-wet soil I will have to wait until the end of the month to finish tending the beds I am preparing for my tomatoes. I will grow my tomatoes even if I abandon other plants by withholding water. I am looking forward to the spring heirloom tomato sale at Our Garden, supported by the Contra Costa Times in conjunction with Contra Costa Master
www.yourmonthlypaper.com Wired at (925) 609-4388, or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. I mentioned in April that we’re seeing a lot more wireless interference these days. In the ensuing ten months it’s become even more so, even in residential areas. I recently visited a home in Lafayette where the wireless signal was being heavily interfered with by neighboring homes and their improperly configured wireless networks. The neighbors were splattering their network signal across several wireless channels at once, monopolizing the frequencies that need to be shared. We see this in congested urban environments like UC Berkeley’s Greek housing, where the legacy 2.4GHz wireless is utterly unusable from approximately 6pm until 2am, when all the students are online. The answer to the interference problem is to go up-market in your wireless equipment. If you are in the market for new gear, make sure your wireless equipment is “Dual-Band” capable, because it allows you to use both the legacy 2.4GHz frequencies and the new uncongested 5GHz frequencies. The same thing goes for your computer, in that it must be dual-band capable to take advantage of what your wireless network is putting out. If you have a good laptop but it’s only single-band capable, consider adding a dual-band USB wireless adapter. You can buy them at Amazon.com and they cost between $35 and $65. In congested areas they’re well worth the expense. We’ve settled on two brands of wireless equipment for our clients. The highend is made by Meraki, a wireless company now owned by Cisco. They have the best cloud-managed wireless system I’ve ever seen, and it has revolutionized our ability to solve customer wireless problems. Ask us for a demo of this system if you’re curious, because it’s pretty fun to show people how much information this system gives us. The less-expensive wireless product we provide is by Engenius. Both the Engenius and the Meraki products are capable of outputting a full watt of wireless radio power, which is the legal limit. Most wireless gear isn’t this powerful, and we find this gives our equipment an edge in difficult installations. Wireless networking is a science, it’s an art, and it’s a little voodoo. One thing for sure is that you want to bring in someone who has done this before and has the tools and experience to design a wired and wireless solution for your environment that makes sense and uses facts instead of guesswork. Between us and Get Wired Communications, you have powerful friends in the networking business! If you’re thinking about networking, a remodel, or have wireless issues, give us a call at 925-552-7953 or email info@theportablecio. com, and we’ll point you in the right direction. Advertorial Gardeners. The Master Gardeners website http://ccmg.ucanr.edu is one that you will want to save to your Favorites as it is worth referring to often. They have a great ‘What to do in your Garden this Month’ section and tips for sustainable gardening. Put April 5th on your calendar for the mind boggling “Our Garden/ Third Annual Great Tomato Plant Sale,” which will be held from 10am to 3pm at Our Garden, located on North Wiget and Shadelands in Walnut Creek. People start cueing in line by 9am with wagons and boxes. They will have over 12,000 healthy plants, 60 varieties of heirloom tomatoes, and 20 varieties of peppers and eggplant. I will still plant my “Early Girl,” a common variety designed to set fruit in low temperatures, as it will bring forth my first tomatoes and produce abundantly all season. The heirlooms are for those special blend of tastes, and since they sell for around $3.99/pound in stores, they are definitely worth growing. What tomatoes want most is a well prepared bed with plenty of nutrients and consistency in watering. So, this year I will give them one long soak a week. If you water every other day, you must water every other day. Whatever watering plan you come up with, you need to stick to it since consistency is all that the tomato asks. On Thursday, April 10th The Lafayette Garden Club (LGC) will have a plant sale at their meeting location, The Lafayette Christian Church Community Center at 584 Glenside Drive, Lafayette. The plant sale will run from 10:30am through noon. Besides plants, there will be garden ornaments, stepping stones, and rustic tools. Stop by and support LGC’s major fundraiser of the year. The club has much to offer any gardener.
Lafayette Garden Club
The Lafayette Garden Club holds its meetings on the second Thursday of each month at 10AM at the Lafayette Christian Church, located at 584 Glenside Dr. in Lafayette. The program for the March 13th meeting will include speaker Stephan Andrews, Professor UC Berkeley, who will be speaking on “Good Soil, Bad Soil, and Soil.” The presentation will including a soil testing demonstration. The meeting will also feature a white elephant sale and book sale. For additional information, e-mail email@example.com.
Lafayette Today ~ March 2014 - Page 15
Life in the Lafayette Garden
By John Montgomery, ASLA, Landscape Architect More than a Garden
Over the many years of writing “Life in the Lafayette Garden” and following up with my clients after they have lived in their gardens, I have discovered some new distinctions about our Lafayette gardens. There are many aspects to a garden, and I have attempted to cover the important ones over the years. I have talked about the various elements of design as well as practical advice such as how to save and conserve water and select plants for deer territory. As a landscape architect with more than 35 years of experience in California, I have come to the conclusion there is so much more to a garden that meets the eye. When you think about it, it is more than a garden! A garden has the power to rejuvenate, inspire, and relax. When you take in consideration how we use our Lafayette gardens, what comes to mind are the endless hours of peaceful contemplation, lively gatherings, and toiled love. We use our gardens not just for something beautiful to look at; although that is part of it. When I design a client’s garden, I first have them
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lafayette 3360 Mt. Diablo Blvd.
2151 San Ramon Valley Blvd.
theserviceoutlet.com answer a questionnaire that I have developed over many years. I ask questions spanning the gambit from functionality and budget to their vision. I delve into specifics but I also try to go deep into what makes them feel they way they want to feel when they are in their garden. What I am bringing to the design is more than a garden! In this busy world we all deserve our own little paradise where we can retreat to. We are blessed to live in such a beautiful area where we can consider the garden as an extension of our homes. Here in Lafayette we can live outside just about as much as we live inside. Consider the time spent in the swimming pool, playing sports with the kids, barbecuing and eating outdoors, harvesting fruits and veggies, and reading a good book under a shade tree on a warm spring day. All these activities add so many dimensions to our lives outdoors, making the space more than a garden. When it is more than a garden we have the opportunity to use our gardens for other activities that contribute to our families, friends, and community. Think of the limitless activities and special events you can have such as weddings, anniversary celebrations, graduation parties, birthday parties, etc. Garden tours have also become a viable way to raise needed donations for some very worthy organizations. A well designed garden can present endless opportunities to bring family, and community, together. Over the years my wonderful clients have generously offered their gardens for various garden tours. By popular demand, I have been requested to organize our 4th Annual Garden Tour Fundraiser, “Life in the Alamo-Danville Garden.” Ticket sales will benefit local charities such as the Quincy Lee Foundation, the Bounty Garden (a community garden growing fresh produce for the Food Bank), Lazarex Cancer Foundation, Guide Dogs for the Blind Contra Costa Puppy Raising Club, Alamo Rotary, and others. Over the years the tour has been surprisingly successful! We have had between 300-500 people attend and generated close to $15,000 for these wonderful organizations. A hot tip from your local Landscape Architect: JMLA is delighted to announce our 4th Annual Garden Tour Fundraiser, “Life in the Alamo-Danville Garden,” a tour of five distinct gardens in Alamo and Danville. I invite you to come enjoy the afternoon with us. Stroll the gardens, chat with me, and enjoy several surprises we have planned. Mark your calendar for Saturday, May 3rd from 11am-4pm. For more info, go to our website and click on the garden tour page. It will be a pleasure to meet you all! Gardening Quote of the Month: “Gardeners are - let’s face it - control freaks. Who else would willingly spend his leisure hours wrestling weeds out of the ground, blithely making life or death decisions about living beings, moving earth
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from here to there, and changing the course of waterways? The more one thinks about it, the odder it seems; this compulsion to remake a little corner of the planet according to some plan or vision.” ~ Abby Adams, What is a Garden Anyway If you would like me to write on any particular subject, email your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org or for design ideas, visit www.jm-la.com. Advertorial
Page 16 - March 2014 ~ Lafayette Today
By Blaine Brende & Joe Lamb
Once again, it’s that time of year when the landscape grows lush, beautiful – and out of control. At Brende & Lamb, we prune to balance the practical with the aesthetic. When our clients ask us to restore their views, bring more light into their gardens, and reduce fire hazards, we do our best to keep their screening intact and to protect their privacy. At the same time, we work hard to enhance the natural beauty of their trees. Balancing your tree care needs are skills we’ve developed over decades of caring for trees.
Each plant has a natural growth pattern. Aesthetic pruning accentuates the shape given the plant by nature, and good pruning creates a light and open feeling. A well pruned plant enhances the observer’s experience by accentuating the interplay of light and shadow, open spaces and denser spaces, and the sculptural elements revealed in a tree’s trunk and branch. The first step in aesthetic pruning is to see the flow of the tree. We begin by looking at the base of the trunk, and then let our eyes follow the trunk upward into the branches and out to the branch tips. We notice how the flow of the branches determines the tree’s form. The form may be weeping, as with Willows and Chinese Elms. Perhaps, as with Monterey Cypress, the branches form at acute angles to the trunk, giving the tree an upswept look. Or the branches may bend and twist, forming complex arcs, as does the Coast Live Oak. Within these patterns, each tree has its own unique form and flow.
Pruning and Size Reduction
It is important to prune in a manner that does not harm the health of the tree. When thinning a pine, for example, it is important not to strip the major branches of their smaller branches, a practice called “lion-tailing” which leaves a branch denuded except for foliage at the end. Lion-tailing increases
Ask Dr. Happy By Bob Nozik, MD
Dear Dr. Happy,
I’m a 10-year-old boy. Joey and I have been best friends since even before we started school. Last month, at lunch in the school cafeteria, I got up to get something, and Joey stole my chair and wouldn’t give it back. I got mad and told him I wouldn’t speak to him unless he apologized. But he won’t and it’s been almost a month. I miss him but he was wrong. Dr. H, what should I do now? ~ I’m Missing Him
Dear Missing Him,
I have a question for you. Would you rather be right or would you rather be happy? Yes, Joey shouldn’t have swiped your chair, but insisting that he apologize is costing you your best friend. And, what’s more, his sin was just a small one. So, what I’m suggesting is that you be courageous enough to say something like this to Joey: “Joey, I was angry when you grabbed my chair, but it isn’t that important. Our friendship is too important to let a silly fight over a chair get between us. Let’s make up and forget about it, okay?” I suspect Joey will be happy to let the bad feelings go. And, from now on, remember that being right is never worth the cost of a good friend.
It’s good for ‘I’m Missing Him,’ at his young age, to learn how little being right gets you. In fact, I like to say that being right gets you the booby-prize of life. Yet, so many of us act as if being right is the most important thing in life. Well, it’s not. In fact, the contest to see who is right, in my view, is one of the major causes of unhappiness in relationships. I’ve found a great way to conclude a vigorous “who’s right” discussion is to say simply: “You may be right.” That usually ends the argument, everyone wins, and happiness returns. Send questions/comments for Dr. Happy to Pollyannan@aol.com.
Montelindo Garden Club
The Montelindo Garden Club will hold a meeting on Friday, March 21st at 9am at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church located at 66 St. Stephens Drive in Orinda. Visitors are welcome. Patrick Lannen, garden designer and consultant with Flora Grubb Gardens, will speak about “Succulent Jewel Boxes.” For more information visit www.montelindogarden.com.
www.yourmonthlypaper.com the chance of branch failure by concentrating the weight at the branch tips. A healthier tree, and more subtly beautiful look, is achieved by thinning to highlight the spaces or “layers” in a trees natural patterns. Removing diseased wood, and removing or reducing crossing branches that interrupt the natural flow, lets in more light and air, encouraging interior growth and overall health. Careful pruning can increase desired screening over time by encouraging interior growth.
Aesthetic View Work
In view work, the beauty of the view and the beauty of the tree often seem to be in conflict. Some tree-workers will sacrifice the tree for the view by “topping” the tree. Topping is almost always a bad idea. “Topping” creates a dense re-growth in “water-sprouts” that is unsightly. But more than the tree’s beauty is at stake here. Topping wounds the tree and promotes disease, including heart rot, and can make the tree dangerous. The water-sprouts on a topped tree are not deeply anchored in the trunk and are subject to failure in high winds. Add in the fact that these sprouts may be anchored onto a rotting trunk, and you have a safety problem that gets worse over time. Responsible arborists do not top trees. Removing a tree, perhaps replacing it with a smaller variety that can be kept out of the view, is usually preferable to beheading it. Looking at tree and view as two elements that complement each other can often solve view problems. Sometimes, lightly bringing the tree back without cutting into major branches can prevent further encroachment on the view. To open even more of the view, we create windows by selectively removing branches not essential for the tree’s natural form. We can enlarge these windows by removing branchlets that rise or drop into the view. Thinning above and below the window creates a feeling of openness, rather than gaping hole. The image formed by Mt. Diablo framed by the trembling leafs of a well-windowed tree proves that nature and civilization can complement each other. If your trees need a little TLC, please call 510-486-TREE (8733) or email us at email@example.com for a free estimate. Additionally, go to our website www. brendelamb.com to see before and after pictures, client testimonials, and work in your neighborhood. Advertorial
Brainwaves by Betsy Streeter
Why is the Market...?
By Deborah Mitchell, MSW, CFA
There has been some noise circulating about the first quarter 2014 earnings growth estimates, which has gone virtually unnoticed by market participants. The estimates have decreased significantly since the beginning of the year (according to Factset). Downward revisions are typical as the quarter end approaches (March 31st), making them easier to beat when actual results are released. It will be interesting to see the number of misses that are blamed on Mother Nature. What we do know is that lowered earnings revisions are not dampening the markets mood. The popular view remains that the current accommodative monetary policy of the Federal Reserve (FED) will help provide a foundation for stronger self sustaining corporate earnings in the quarters ahead. This thesis may be called into question if the softness in economic data persists. The FED needs to get a better read on the economy before dictating its next move. The expectation is to continue to reduce its bond buying program each month, unless evidence is provided that improvement has stalled. The poor winter weather even delayed new FED Chair Janet Yellen from providing Senate testimony during the month of February. She reiterated that additional assessment time is needed to determine the true impact of severe weather on the economy. The stance on asset purchases could be reassessed depending on the findings. FED Chair Yellen did note that “the economy is beginning to recover and we have made progress.” Also, the most recent meeting minutes revealed that a few officials raised the notion of “increasing the federal funds rate relatively soon,” while the large majority preferred 2015. Wall Street is waiting for spring to arrive to determine if the mixed economic reports are truly weather related. The Spring Equinox on March 20th marks the first official day of spring in the northern hemisphere, which is not too far off. The housing market data for January varied, but it was light for the most part. New home sales rose higher than expected, but existing home sales, housing starts, and building permits all disappointed. Not surprisingly, weather related issues were cited throughout. The housing start data revealed feeble results in the south and west, which was unexpected given the better climate conditions in those areas. These results suggest that more than increased snowstorms could be at work here. Retail sales and consumer confidence were also below par. Strife on the international front is heating up. Although China and Japan have done their best to dominate headlines with weaker economic reports, the winner by a landslide was Ukraine. Renewed tensions in the proRussian region of Crimea in southern Ukraine have surfaced, amid massive protests. Ousted President Yanukovych has gone into hiding outside of the country, following accusations of corruption, murder, and embezzlement. Given the volatile conditions, the economy has been deemed not functional and there has been a run on local banks. The U.S. is respecting Ukraine’s “territorial integrity” and is encouraging the same from Russia. But the concern remains that Russia will not stand down, in part due to reports of “exercises” of 150,000 troops a few hundred miles outside the border. The U.S. and International Monetary
Lafayette Today ~ March 2014 - Page 17 Fund (IMF) are weighing financial support options, in the hopes of preventing any sort of domino effect from spreading throughout the region. Market indices have made impressive strides over the month of February, which is encouraging following a discouraging January. The S&P 500 recently surpassed all time highs, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is within reach. Both indices are comfortably above their respective 50 day moving averages. The month of February is historically considered the “weak link” in the seasonally stronger November – April performance period, according to Stock Traders Almanac. Seasonal patterns certainly provide no guarantee. The upside displayed this past month puts this trend to shame. The market has been discounting the soft patch of economic reports, due to the severe weather. We remain suspicious of the markets’ behavior in the short term, given the extreme dips and soars over the past two months. If you have any comments or questions, please contact Deborah at 925-299-2000 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Deborah Mitchell holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation, a Bachelors degree in Psychology, and a Masters in Social Work degree. She is a Vice President for Noroian Capital Management, an independent investment advisory firm located in Lafayette, California for individuals and businesses. Advertorial
Page 18 - March 2014 ~ Lafayette Today
Estate Planning for IRAs By Robert J. Silverman
Many people establish an Individual Retirement Account (“IRA”), and much is written about these interesting investment vehicles. They are highly touted because they can be funded with pre-tax dollars (i.e. taxpayers can receive a tax deduction for IRA contributions, up to certain limits). Moreover, these accounts are able to grow on a tax deferred basis until funds are withdrawn, subject to certain penalties that can be imposed if the IRA owner withdraws before reaching the age of 59 1/2, and subject to mandatory minimum required distributions the year after the IRA owner turns 70 1/2. Despite the fact that aging workers and retirees have built up substantial wealth in IRAs and that IRAs commonly represent a very significant percentage of a person’s total assets, the topic of inheriting IRAs doesn’t receive a lot of media coverage. Even the basic rules and issues involved in inheriting IRAs are sometimes unknown to or misunderstood by IRA owners. So, what should an IRA owner know, and what should an IRA inheritor know about this subject? Below are important pieces of the puzzle, but first a caveat: whether you are an IRA owner or IRA inheritor, be sure to talk to your financial and tax advisors about all relevant details and alternatives before taking any action, as IRA rules and exceptions are many and complex! 1) The beneficiary designation on file with the IRA custodian (i.e. financial institution) at the time of the IRA owner’s death governs who is entitled to inherit the IRA, and the IRA goes to the beneficiary without being subject to probate. The IRA owner’s Living Trust or Will does not control this unless there is no beneficiary designated or no beneficiary alive upon the owner’s death. 2) It is imperative that you confirm that your IRA custodian has a beneficiary designation on file that: a) lists the primary beneficiary(ies) you want to inherit your IRA (and if multiple beneficiaries, the fractional interest to go to each); and b) designates a secondary/contingent beneficiary(ies) - in case the primary beneficiary predeceases you. 3) If you are the designated beneficiary and thus inherit all or a portion of an IRA, you have the choice to: a) continue to own the IRA as an “inherited IRA”
How do I know if I am Being Overmedicated?
By William Shryer, LCSW, DCSW, Clinical Director, Diablo Behavioral HealthCare
Many people being treated for depression, anxiety disorders, and other related conditions are often worried that they are not being properly medicated. Some clients have told us they felt as if they were someone’s ongoing experiment. We at Diablo Behavioral HealthCare see patients for second opinions all the time, and one would be surprised how often we find people on the oddest combinations of medications for behavioral concerns. One of the primary reasons this happens so often is that at the backbone of America’s health care are the primary care physicians that are responsible for treating many conditions that are really outside their scope of training. However, there are so few resources for them to refer out to that they end up having to treat many conditions that would normally be treated by a psychiatrist. Few realize that internists and family practice doctors do the majority of writing psychiatric mediation prescriptions in the United States. The same is true for children, as the primary care physicians/pediatricians write the majority of the prescriptions for this population. In addition, there is a dire shortage of child psychiatrists to serve this population. What are some of the pitfalls of this system? Managed care mandates that only a certain amount of time is spent per patient, leading up to the writing of a prescription. Many times when a child psychiatrist has seen a child and has not written a prescription the family is quite irritated, due to our society becoming used to or, more appropriately, indoctrinated into seeing a physician and getting a “pill.” For children this can prove to be especially harmful, especially when the child may be having symptoms that are due to an underlying emotional issue that needs to be addressed first. We see kids all the time that require diagnosticians that need to better understand the difference between deficits of attention and Attention Deficit Disorder. A child with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder has deficits of attention as does a depressed child, a traumatized child, a child with a mood disorder, a child with autism spectrum disorder, a grieving child, and the list goes on.
www.yourmonthlypaper.com or “stretch IRA”, which enables you to enjoy tax deferred growth of the IRA assets over your life expectancy OR b) cash out the IRA, pay all of the deferred taxes and be left with the remaining post-tax funds that will no longer be in a tax-deferred vehicle. Note that spouse beneficiaries have additional options. 4) IRA inheritors choosing to keep an IRA must be very careful in giving instructions to the IRA custodian. If you are not the IRA owner’s spouse, the IRA must not be put into your name or touch your hands in any manner; rather, it must stay in the name of the deceased IRA owner, with you listed as the beneficiary. 5) An IRA owner needs to coordinate estate planning of other assets - e.g. via terms of a living trust and/or a Will - to make sure everything is integrated. Absent such coordination, unintended consequences can occur. For example, suppose a person has a $500,000 IRA and $1.5 Million of other net assets. The IRA owner has a Living Trust that provides for cash gifts of $100,000 to each of his five grandchildren ($500,000 total) and the balance to his children. The IRA owner is under the impression that the $500,000 IRA will satisfy the $500,000 of cash gifts to the grandchildren specified in his Trust. However, if no express language to that effect is stated in the Trust, the result will be that the grandchildren receive the $500,000 IRA from the IRA custodian as the designated beneficiaries and an additional $500,000 in cash gifts from the trustee of the Trust. 6) If you have charitable intent, consider the tax efficiency of designating a charity as beneficiary of your IRA. Unlike with loved ones, the charity will not incur the burden of paying deferred income tax when the charity withdraws the IRA assets. 7) If you have minor or young adult children, you should discuss with your estate planning attorney the pros and cons of naming your Living Trust, rather than the children directly, as beneficiaries or contingent beneficiaries of your IRA. 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
How do these same phenomenon effect adults? Actually, it occurs very similarly. Take women that are mildly depressed who are often placed on an antidepressant without a comprehensive evaluation. We have found women on antidepressants with a thyroid problem, an undiagnosed ADHD, an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and with other treatable conditions. One of my favorite sayings that our staff is probably tired of hearing me say is, “The mark of a true professional is to know when you don’t know.” I actually take pride in saying to someone, “I’m not sure about that, but I will find out for you.” Not following this old adage simply leads to errors in diagnosis and proper treatment. So frequently we see patients on too much medication, and this may be due to trying to solve the problem too quickly. Oftentimes certain people have body systems that require a much more gradual increase of medication, but this takes time and managed care doesn’t provide the time or the appointments are far to spread out. One of the bright spots lately is the use of the technology of “pharmacogenetics.” This big word simply means, “Can my body tolerate this medication?” There are tests now that look at someone’s genes to determine if they can metabolize or process the medication that the doctor wants to prescribe. Most insurance companies are now covering these tests. This is one of the areas that makes sense as insurance companies don’t want you getting sick off the medications you’re prescribed, as it will cost them more in the long run. The long and short of this is that the healthcare system in the United States is broken, and no one really knows how to fix it as the special interests have such a hold on the system. This is where Diablo Behavioral HealthCare sets itself apart. We are comprehensive, our physicians are all Board Certified in Psychiatry, and we take the time to get it right. This is a rather rare occurrence in this time of hurry up and pass the pills. For more information on any behavioral or developmental concern, call our office at (925) 648-4800, and we will take the time to answer your questions. To learn more about behavioral disorders, visit our website at www.behaviorquest.com. Our location is 4185 Blackhawk Plaza Circle Suite 210, Danville, CA. Advertorial
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Your Personal Nutritionist
IntroducingYour Personal Weight LossApp: Me By Linda Michaelis RD,MS
Wherever you turn these days there seems to be an app to help you lose weight. New clients often tell me they have been using these apps to track their food and calorie intake and are not finding success. They say they were getting interesting information but still could not get motivated to follow the prescribed food plan. I tell my clients that I am their best app and can help them achieve their weight loss goals with consistency. Here are a few of the ways my “app” helps them out.
Lafayette Today ~ March 2014 - Page 19
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I have been in private practice for 25 years, and I know the syndrome - we do well the first few weeks but then fall off the wagon. Either our workload increases, we get sick, or family matters prevent us from going to the gym. Quickly, the weight comes back on, and we get frustrated. My job is to help prevent this relapse and show you how to move ahead, even if your weight stays the same for a week. You need to first make sure your cupboards and refrigerator are organized to meet your goals. There must be foods available for healthy dinners and snacks. I recommend having on hand sufficient protein items such as precooked chicken or shrimp, sliced meats such as turkey, roast beef, or ham, hardboiled eggs, tuna salad, cottage cheese, and Greek yogurt, which are all available at our wonderful grocery stores. Have sweet potatoes, precooked brown rice, and kidney, garbanzo, or black beans kept in the refrigerator for salads, or quickcook quinoa, whole wheat couscous, or whole pasta that can be cooked up instantly for tasty meals. For veggies, keep in the freezer steam-in-the-bag broccoli, string beans, or petite brussel sprouts which taste great. Of course I recommend buying fresh veggies, but people tell me during the busy times they do not get cooked. I’d say in that case steam them the day you buy them, and snack on them with salsa or dressing dips.
Meals that Keep You Happy and Full
Losing weight does not mean that meals should be tasteless and boring. When new clients come in and I look at their food diary, I often say, “No wonder you have not been successful. These meals look like you are on a diet, and you cannot eat this way forever.” I always find that people need to have a better understanding of how to balance meals with protein, fiber, whole grains, and fat to provide a fullness that will last for hours. This knowledge cannot be learned through apps. I strive to make sure my clients are enjoying food and not feeling like they are on a diet. If you are a dessert person, I can help you set up days which include two desserts that make you happy - one after lunch and one after dinner, but not in between meals. If my clients like salty snacks, then I make sure that they have the “crunch” at lunch, such as by having a serving of chips along with tuna salad made with lite mayo, celery, relish, and onions along with some cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and even a tomato soup.
Dining Out in Restaurants and Social Eating
One of the things I love to do is work with clients to plan out what to eat at restaurants or party meals. We look at the restaurant websites together and come up with an appetizer or two and/or an entree they would enjoy. Clients have told me that they walk into the restaurant and do not even look at the menu and just order what we had decided. Social eating requires lots of skill, and I take time role playing with my clients on how to handle the events.
How to Read Food Labels
In my first meeting with a client I make sure that they know how to read the food labels accurately. As I have written in past articles the food label is upside down and very misleading. They use grams instead of ounces, and I see many people that are confused and thus have purchased items that they thought were good food choices and weren’t.
Handling Emotions and Food
As I tell my clients, we all have slip-ups and wind up feeling guilty. That can start a vicious cycle of overeating and just plain feeling worse. I am a non-judgmental coach who has seen this scenario many times, and I teach my client to learn from their mishaps and actually become better for it. Often I will say to a client that I have been working with for awhile, “Remember you overate when there were struggles with the kids, but now you reach for a cup of tea and try to calm yourself and go take a hot shower and hop into bed.” Please feel free to contact me if you are struggling with weight loss and need the support, education, and motivation to keep you on track and finally reach your goal. I am glad to inform you that insurance can cover nutritional counseling. Please refer to my website www.LindaRD.com for a listing as well past articles and services. Email me at email@example.com or call (925) 855-0150 and tell me about your nutrition concerns. Advertorial
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yet to experience a disaster,” says EPC chair Fred Lothrop, a retired industrial safety expert at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. “Most of what we plan for will not occur in our lifetimes, but we on the commission try to persuade those in our community to know what is liable to happen, and to be ready.” The seven commissioners of the EPC are appointed by, and are advisory to, the Lafayette City Council; two are in the medical field and one is a retired firefighter. All volunteer their time in helping to make sure that Lafayette and its residents are ready when disaster strikes. In addition to encouraging all residents to have disaster plans and home emergency supplies, the EPC strongly encourages all residents to participate in CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) training. While Lamorinda’s first responders are well prepared to handle everyday emergencies, the scope and number of incidents during a disaster requires additional assistance. There are seven active fire engines and two ambulances on duty in Lamorinda at any given time - one first responder vehicle per 4,000 residents. CERT-trained volunteers are generally prepared to carry on during first responder delays. The CERT program is an all-risk, all-hazard training course designed to help citizens take care of themselves, their families, and their neighborhoods in emergency situations. CERT uses a positive and realistic approach to emergency and disaster preparedness. Training sessions are held throughout the year in various Lamorinda venues and include six, three-hour, one night per week classes. There is no charge for training. Emergency preparedness commissioners are available to speak to community groups about preparedness issues. “The rules of emergency preparedness are fairly straightforward,” says Lothrop. “Any Google search will reveal a ‘what to do’ list for any number of hazards - earthquake, structure and vegetation fires, mud slides, blocked roads, power outages, etc. What we try to do is reach people on a personal level – to really instill the need for planning. Our motto is ‘Be Aware, Plan, Prepare.’” The EPC lists ten things everyone should do to protect themselves, their families, and their homes: 1) Be aware that the unthinkable can and has happened. Take the time to imagine, ‘What would I do if?’ 2) Take first aid
See Preparedness continued on page 20
Page 20 - March 2014 ~ Lafayette Today
STAT MED Urgent Care: AnsweringYourBasic Questions By Dr. Armando Samaniego, MD, MBA
Flu shot requests, sport physicals, dog bites, tick removals, a broken elbow, strep throat and pneumonia - these are some of the health issues STAT MED Urgent Care has treated since our opening. We are equipped to handle nearly any health issue that active Lamorinda community members may face, and we are happy to answer any questions you have, such as the commonly asked ones below.
Q: Who are the doctors at STAT MED and what are their qualifications?
A: Our medical team is unique; unlike other urgent care facilities, all of our physicians are experienced in emergency medicine. I received my medical degree at Harvard, and have worked in busy ER’s for almost 25 years, including serving as Chief of Emergency Services at Hayward’s St. Rose Hospital. Dr. Stuart Shikora has cared for patients in the ER at John Muir Hospital for the past 30 years where he also served on the Board of Directors and as their Chief of Staff. Dr. Allan Drabinsky also brings to STAT MED deep expertise in emergency medicine and trauma care from his 30 year career with medical centers in the Central Valley, to our local Kaiser and John Muir hospitals. His expertise is often tapped on Contra Costa County Medical Advisory Committees. On a more personal note, our physicians have raised families in this area, and are keenly aware of the benefit of having a local urgent care provider.
Q: What are your capabilities?
A: STAT MED provides for all non-life threatening issues with the same breadth and quality of care as the ER, without the typical long waits and chaos. In addition to treating urgent matters such as infections, respiratory issues, minor burns, fractures and wounds requiring stitches, we offer immediate routine care, including last minute physicals and immunizations. Our on-site imaging (x-ray, MRI, Ultrasound) and laboratory blood testing services allow for quick and convenient coordination of services. See our website for a review of comprehensive services.
Q: How will my experience at STAT MED differ from that of the hospital ER?
A: Statistics reveal the average wait time in local hospital ERs is nearly one
Preparedness continued from page 19
and CPR training. 3) Know how and when to shut off utilities. 4) Know what to do during and after an earthquake. 5) Have two exit routes out of your home, workplace, and neighborhood. 6) Know your neighbors; let them know when you are away on vacation. 7) Make an emergency car kit, workplace kit, and a ‘go bag’ – items you will need if you have to evacuate in a hurry. 8) Have a structural engineer determine if your home needs seismic improvements. 9) Do a home contents inventory, and back up your computer. 10) Prepare a flash drive or computer disk with copies of important documents; keep it in a safe place. The EPC’s suggested disaster supply kit to last three days includes: Three gallons of water per family member, work gloves, pry bar, manual can opener, non-perishable canned and packaged food, change of clothing, rain gear, sturdy shoes, blankets or sleeping bags, first aid kit, prescription medications, eye glasses, special needs e.g. baby supplies, pet food, battery powered radio, flashlights, and plenty of fresh batteries. These items can generally fit into a large covered trash container. For further information on disaster preparedness, literature can be found at the Lafayette Library behind the main desk in the copy room. The EPC also suggests visiting www.redcross.com. For CERT information, visit www.lamorindacert. org. For more information on the City of Lafayette’s EPC, see the ‘Commissions’ page at www.ci.lafayette.ca.us. On April 15th at 7pm, The Lafayette Library and Learning Center Foundation will present “The Art and Science of Disaster Preparedness” with EP commissioners and the SETI Institute’s senior research scientist Dr. Margaret Race. Visit www.lllcf.org for details.
www.yourmonthlypaper.com hour, and nearly three hours before patients are released. At STAT MED, you will experience a more comfortable and minimal wait. You will be seen in a private room with a door (not a curtain) by the same doctor who will take the time needed to evaluate and treat you, then prescribe medication or follow-up care if needed. You will never be moved to another floor, wing, or facility.
Q: How does my primary care physician factor into my care at STAT MED?
A: Think of STAT MED as back up to your primary care physician or pediatrician. (If you do not have one, we can fulfill that role.) We are here to provide immediate care and immediate answers when your primary care office is booked, busy, or closed. We serve as a complement to local physician practices; in fact, local physicians have been recommending us to patients seeking the flu vaccine. Upon your request, medical notes are forwarded to your doctor to ensure continuity of overall care.
Q: How do I decide to go to STAT MED, versus an ER?
A: If your condition is life threatening and you require an ambulance, go directly to a hospital ER. If you (or a friend/family member) can drive to STAT MED, we can likely treat you. Once we evaluate you, if we determine you need to be seen at the hospital ER, we will call for transport, prepare you for travel, and let them know you’re on your way.
Q: Do you take insurance and if so, how does it work?
A: Yes, we are a participating provider for most insurance plans. You are responsible for your co-pay; we will bill your insurance company directly. Feel free to call us with any insurance or payment questions. STAT MED is located at 970 Dewing, Suite 100B. Hours are MondayFriday from 8AM to 8PM, and weekends and holidays from 9AM to 5PM. Referrals or appointments are never required. Please visit www.statmed.com or call Advertorial 925-297-6396.
Cancer Health Benefits of Fermented Wheat Germ By Jewel Johl, MD
A form of wheat germ called fermented wheat germ is a mixture of natural compounds created from an extract made from the fermentation of wheat germ using baker’s yeast to concentrate certain naturally active compounds called benzoquinones. It was first invented in the early 1990s in Hungary, and it is now available as a dietary supplement in the U.S. A study in the British Journal of Cancer published in July 2003, conducted in patients with colon cancer who had undergone various treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, concluded that fermented wheat germ extract, in combination with surgery plus radio/chemotherapy, may inhibit progression of cancer, including the formation of new metastases, and may prolong the survival of colorectal cancer patients. It is important to note that there were no serious side effects from this supplement, other than its unpleasant taste. Besides the benefit of this extract in patients suffering from colon cancer, it has shown promising activity in terms of reducing disease progression in patients with melanoma with stage III disease, a deadly form of skin cancer. In addition to having direct anti-cancer properties, this extract also improves quality of life and alleviates fatigue in patients with advanced lung cancer and head and neck cancer. Fermented wheat germ extract also regulates the body’s immune system to not only fight cancer cells, but also to decrease inflammation and pain in patients suffering from various autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. A study published in the journal Clinical Experiments in Rheumatology in 2006 demonstrated that morning stiffness was reduced when patients used the fermented wheat germ, and half of the patients were able to significantly reduce their use of steroids. Reducing the reliance on steroids allowed patients to have fewer side effects associated with these drugs such as digestive problems, skin thinning, hypertension, increased blood glucose, increased cancer risk, and weight gain. Please consult your doctor to see if this product is right for you. Dr. Johl is a Medical Oncologist and Hematologist with Diablo Valley Oncology. He will be speaking at the Many Faces of Colon Cancer on March 26, 2014 at the Cancer Support Community in Walnut Creek. For more information about this educational event please visit www.dvohmg.com or call 925-677-5041. Advertorial
Doctor, Is It Safe for Me to Fly? By Barbara Persons, MD, Persons Plastic Surgery, Inc.
Medical tourism is a term which denotes travel across international borders for the express purpose of receiving medical care. While travel for healthcare has been around for quite some time, recent trends show that more people are traveling to countries with emerging economies to avoid treatment delays, to avoid prohibitive costs for life-saving procedures, or simply, to avoid high costs of elective surgery. At first glance, the imagery of resting on a beach after surgery seems enticing. It might even be appropriate if there weren’t potentially serious or life threatening complications to consider. While the price tag of a procedure may be appealing, the increasing push for international medical care has nothing to do with improved quality, greater safety, or better outcomes. In fact, surgery outside the United States, especially when sold as a vacation package, often involves significant, and numerous, risks. Although there are qualified physicians practicing all over world, it is very difficult to assess the training and credentials of surgery centers and surgeons outside of the U.S. Notably, almost one third of companies engaged in promoting medical travel receive referral fees from the overseas providers whose business depends on recruiting patients. Cosmetic surgery trips are often marketed as a vacation, and post-operative patients may be encouraged to engage in activities that could compromise their healing process and increase exposure to endemic diseases not found in the U.S. All surgeries involve risk. Infections are the most common complications seen in patients that go abroad for cosmetic surgery. Air travel combined with surgery is extremely hazardous. Individually, long flights or surgery increase the risk of blood clots and subsequent pulmonary embolism.
Prostate Gland can Grow Over Time By Parminder Sethi, MD
One of the most common urological conditions is an enlarged prostate gland. Prostate enlargement happens to almost all men as they get older. As the gland grows, it can press on the urethra and cause urination problems such as a weak stream, difficulty urinating, or a sensation of frequent need to urinate. An enlarged prostate is often called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). It is not cancer, and it does not raise your risk for prostate cancer. Various treatments include medical and surgical therapies. Lifestyle changes for mild BPH symptoms can provide some relief. Self care techniques include: • Urinate when you first get the urge. Also, go to the bathroom when you have the chance, even if you don't feel a need to urinate. • Avoid alcohol and caffeine, especially after dinner. • Don’t drink a lot of fluid all at once. Spread out fluids during the day. Avoid drinking fluids within two hours of bedtime. • Avoid over-the-counter cold and sinus medicines that contain decongestants or antihistamines. These drugs can increase BPH symptoms. • Keep warm and exercise regularly. Cold weather and lack of physical activity may worsen symptoms. • Learn and perform Kegel exercises (pelvic strengthening exercises). • Reduce stress. Nervousness and tension can lead to more frequent urination. Men are typically started on medications and given a chance to see if the medications can improve their symptoms. Some men notice considerable improvement in symptoms with medication, while others do not. In general, most men tolerate the medications well, although some men prefer a minimally invasive procedure to relieve symptoms. In other instances, surgery is unavoidable. Minimally invasive heat therapies are performed in the doctor’s office. Thermotherapy delivers targeted heat within the prostate with either radiofrequency or microwave therapy to reduce excess prostatic tissue. These procedures require only local anesthesia in an office setting. The patient is able to return home shortly after the procedure has been performed and can resume normal activities within a few days. These therapies are ideal for patients who fail medications or do not want to take daily medications for
Lafayette Today ~ March 2014 - Page 21 Together, the risk of developing these potentially fatal complications is exponentially higher. Before flying, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons suggests waiting five to seven days after body procedures such as liposuction and breast augmentation, and seven to 10 days after cosmetic procedures of the face including facelifts, eyelid surgery, nose jobs, and laser treatments. In my practice, I have seen numerous patients returning from international “surgery vacations” with unsightly scars, hematomas, infections, and other horrific injuries (including loss of lips and other facial features). I am faced with the challenge of managing postoperative complications without knowing what surgical techniques the initial physician applied. If you are thinking of travelling for surgery, I urge you to consider the potential complications and general risk to your health. Cosmetic surgery is real surgery, and for it to be safe, it requires administration of anesthesia, sterile technique, and modern instrumentation, not to mention properly trained and certified surgeons. There are no U.S. laws that protect patients or oversee the certification of physicians or other personnel who perform plastic surgery abroad. If surgical negligence occurs, there may be no legal recourse. Devices and products used may not meet U.S. standards, medical record keeping may be nonexistent, and language barriers can become an unwanted adversity at a time when communication is paramount. When you are considering any surgical change to your body, please do your homework! Research the procedure, the benefits, and the risks. Refer to www.plasticsurgery.org for the latest information on plastic surgery procedures. Most importantly, like with any medical care, chose and consult with a plastic surgeon that will remain accessible to you and is there to provide thorough follow-up care that is a must with any surgical procedure. Dr. Barbara Persons is a Plastic Surgeon and owns Persons Plastic Surgery, Inc. located at 911 Moraga Rd, Suite 205 in Lafayette. She may be reached at 925.283.4012 or drbarb@ personsplasticsurgery.com. Advertorial the rest of their lives or do not want the risks of surgery. Technological advancements have made the surgical treatment of BPH less invasive, simpler, and safer for the patient. Two relatively recent advancements have been the use of lasers to perform vaporization of the prostate and the use of bipolar energy. Patients can typically go home the day of or day after surgery, and recovery is very fast. The treatment you choose will be based on how bad your symptoms are and how much they bother you. Your doctor will also take into account other medical problems you may have. If you have BPH, you should have a yearly exam to monitor your symptoms and to discuss changes in treatment. Dr. Sethi will be presenting a comprehensive overview of treatment options for enlarged prostate (BPH) on March 27, 6-7:30pm at the Civic Park Community Center in Walnut Creek. To register, call 877-585-0128. Dr. Sethi is a Board Certified Urologist with Pacific Urology. He specializes in minimally-invasive BPH treatments, incontinence, bladder dysfunction and surgery. Dr. Sethi was instrumental in developing Pacific Urology’s Continence Center for men and women. For more information Advertorial call 925-609-7220 or visit www.PacificUrology.com.
Lic# 1100014354; Bay Area Entertainment
Page 22 - March 2014 ~ Lafayette Today
Events for Lafayette Seniors
www.yourmonthlypaper.com 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 & for you • Live-in care Supportive spot. Annual Membership fee: $10 per person. • 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 (beside Trader Joe’s) Group: Members: no charge; Non-members $1. www.excellentcareathome.com 925-284-1213 Lunch n’ Learn: Digital Cameras - The Cities of Lafayette and Orinda and the Town of Moraga present a two-part Bi-Monthly Caregiver Support Group Mondays, 3/10, 3/24 • PM digital camera series facilitated by Fred Winslow, digital photography enthu- 1:30–2:30 • Elderberry Room LSC - If you are a family member helping siast. Lecture/Q&A: 10:30AM – noon. Lunch: noon – 1pm. Call Lafayette to care for an older adult, join our support group to find balance and joy as you manage your responsibilities. Drop-ins are welcome. Senior Services to reserve your spot at least three days prior to each class. • Part 2 - Digital Camera 102 - Wednesday, 3/26 • Elderberry Room, LCC Words of Wisdom…From the Philosophical to the Lighthearted Don’t lose those precious photos you’ve taken with your digital camera! 3/18 • 10:30AM –Noon • Elderberry Room, LSC - Join discussion group This class will teach you how to back up your photos for safekeeping. leader Craig Janke, and take part in this free-wheeling exchange of inspiration, Members: $10/class. Non-members $11/class. Fee includes lunch. information, and humor. Topics – from soup to nuts - will be explored, examined, Lafayette Oral History Project Do you have stories about Lafayette in the and discussed by participants. Stories and photographs will stimulate humorous days of yore? Allow Ryan to document that history which will then be included discoveries regarding the benefits of becoming the ‘elders of our tribe.’ in the Lafayette Historical Societies’ archives, preserved for generations to come. Free Peer Counseling 2nd Tuesday monthly • 10AM - noon • Alder All you have to do is tell those stories to Ryan; he’ll do the writing. You’ll receive Room, LCC - Contra Costa Health Services offers free one-on-one counseling a copy of the final document at the time of completion. Call Lafayette Senior with senior (55+) counselors who use their life experiences to help other older Services for details and to be a part of this project. No charge. adults cope with life changes, problems, crises, and challenges. Confidentiality Document Your Life Story 3/13, 3/27 • 10:30 – noon • Elderberry is strictly observed. Appointment required. Please call Lafayette Senior Room, LCC - If you have wanted to write the stories, memories, and Services at 284-5050 to sign up for one of the 60-minute appointments. experiences of your life but haven’t known where to start, wait no longer. Anne Randolph Physical Therapy Presentation: Art of Balance Yuska Lutfi, MFA Candidate in Creative Writing at St. Mary’s College, will 3/28 • 11:30AM - 12:30PM • Elderberry Room, LCC - Anne Randolph, guide you through the process of leaving a living history for future generations RPT, has been practicing physical therapy for 35 years. She provides outpatient therapy in Lafayette and specializes in the care of those 55 and over. Art of –what a gift! Included will be optional outings to St. Mary’s for their creative Balance: If you are worried about falling or the risk of falling, you should know writing reading series, “Afternoon Craft Conversations.” St. Mary’s College Afternoon Craft Conversations Wednesdays, about activities that improve balance. Learn how to gain increased balance and 3/12, 4/9 • 2PM – 3:35PM • Hagerty Lounge, St. Mary’s College, 1928 St. avoid the risk of falling. Mary’s Rd, Moraga Scouts continued from page 5 Lamorinda Dance Social Wednesdays • 12:30 – 3PM • Live Oak Room, Kevin Hull: Kevin rebuilt and refurbished a dilapidated deck at the LCC - Enjoy afternoon dancing every Wednesday, and learn some great new Lafayette Community Center. dance moves. On the first Wednesday monthly, professional dancers Karen Will McCandless: Will built a fire danger sign at Lafayette Reservoir to and Michael will provide a dance lesson and live DJ services, playing your indicate the fire danger level and the associated restrictions. favorites and taking requests. $2 Members/ $4 non-members. Grant Pedder: Grant constructed a 20’ long planter box out of cement Lafayette Senior Services Commission 4th Thursday of the month blocks outside of the Lafayette School District offices at Stanley Middle from 3:30 – 5:30PM at the LSC - View agendas at the City of Lafayette ofSchool. The planter box doubles as a much needed bench as well. fice or at www.ci.lafayette.ca.us. Michael Samaniego: Michael collected, cleaned, and prepared for Lamorinda Nature Walk and Bird-Watching Every Wednesday shipment 170 used soccer uniforms, cleats, and equipment. He traveled • 9AM - noon • Call LSC to find out weekly meeting locations - Experience to Managua, Nicaragua, where he personally delivered the uniforms to a nature at its finest along our local trails. Delight in the beauty that unfolds Lasallian elementary school that serves underprivileged children. around each bend, all the while learning to identify a variety of birds. Bring Grant Smith: Grant restored the marquee in the Acalanes High School a water bottle; binoculars will be helpful if you have them. Join us every parking lot. He also cleared the parking lot of weeds and debris. Wednesday or whenever you are able. Preston Tso: Preston rehabilitated the Stanley Middle School tennis Come Play Mahjong! Every Tuesday • 12:30PM–3PM • Cedar Room, courts. In addition, he cleared off ivy on the fences, put in new net straps for LSC - Come join us on Tuesdays for a drop-in game of mahjong. Mahjong is a all four courts, and built a bench from existing foundations. game of skill, strategy, and certain degree of chance. All levels welcome. Bring Ben Westphal: Ben restored the baseball backstops and benches at some your card, a mahjong set, and a snack to share (optional). RSVP not required. of our local schools. Creative Writing Workshop 2nd and 4th Thursday monthly • 10:30AM Widowed Persons Support noon • Cedar Room, LSC - Join creative writing and English instructor Judith The Widowed Persons Support (WPS) will hold their monthly meeting, Rathbone, and examine the possibilities of self-expression through writing. This Monday, March 24th, 7pm at the Lafayette Orinda Presbyterian Church friendly group, with an ever-changing membership but lots of returning participants, located at 49 Knox Dr in Lafayette. will welcome you and any of your writing efforts. Find encouragement and feedback There will be a DVD presentation on, “How To Be A Renegade Patient.” and bring out the writer in you. If you can speak, you can write, and we will show by Dr Tedde Rinker, D.O. The group will discuss how to make health you how! Beginners to established writers welcome. AM Positive Living Forum (“Happiness Club”) • 10:30 – noon • Sequoia decisions and the importance of being well informed. For directions and further information, call Ruth at 925-376-0321. Room, LSC - Brighten your day with Dr. Bob Nozik, MD, Prof. Emeritus UCSF and author of Happy 4 Life: Here’s How to Do It. Take part in this interactive For advertising information contact gathering which features speakers on a wide range of topics that encourage and Lafayette Today at 925-405-6397 guide participants towards a more ideal and positive life experience.
A New Mini-Van for the Lamorinda Spirit Plus: Tiered Pricing, Safety Tips, and Information By Mary Bruns Lamorinda Senior Transportation
The Lamorinda Spirit has received a new Dodge mini-van, funded through the 5310 Federal Grant Program and local donations. Our drivers and passengers are absolutely delighted with this new vehicle and the smooth ride it delivers. It seats four to five passengers or one passenger in a wheelchair and two ambulatory passengers. Dispatcher and volunteer driver, Mauna Wagner oriented our drivers to the features of this new vehicle. Tiered Pricing: To help make the Lamorinda Spirit Van Program sustainable, a tiered pricing system has been implemented as of March 1, 2014. • $5 one-way/$10 round-trip for rides to destinations within Lamorinda • $10 one-way/$20 round-trip for rides to Concord, Martinez, Pleasant Hill, and Walnut Creek • $2.50 one-way/$5 round-trip for rides to lunch at the C.C. Café, Walnut Creek Senior Center • $4 one-way/$8 round-trip for residents of Senior Housing to destinations within Lamorinda as well as to Concord, Martinez, Pleasant Hill, and Walnut Creek Our goal in implementing these prices change is to cover gas and maintenance costs and to continue to provide service to destinations outside of Lamorinda. Volunteer driver, Holly has been gathering informational articles to pass on to you. • Safety Tip #1: The headline from JD O’Connor at News 24/680 reads: “Flood of Door-to-Door Solicitors Continue – Arrests Made. Local towns and cities have since taken steps to control the periodic invasions of solicitors, requiring permits and registration with police before sales efforts can commence. But these requirements are routinely skirted, police say.” When you don’t know the person knocking on your door, it’s really better not to answer the door, especially if you are alone. Often the people knocking on your door are part of hired crews, “falsely claiming they’re selling magazines to raise scholarship money or collect for charity.” • Safety Tip #2: Reporter Kate Snow writes: “Medicare pays for rehab only for people admitted to a hospital for three or more days as ‘inpatients.’ Medicare will not pay for rehab if they were classified as ‘observation status’ when they received treatment at the hospital.” Some helpful websites to help you avoid scams include www.seniors. ca.gov, www.dca.ca.gov and click on The Consumer Connection Magazine, www.seniorgateway, and www.seniors.ca.gov. The County Connection bus transit service offers free rides to seniors between 10am and 2pm. Seniors also get a 50% off discount outside those hours. The regular bus fare is $2, so seniors pay $1. A 20 ride senior pass costs $15. Phone numbers are listed in the information box. To qualify for LINK service,
C L A S S I F I E D S HEALTH
WOMEN’S SPIRIT RECOVERY GROUP: For women in transition and/or recovering from addictions, trauma, and/or grief, provides safety and support for healing and spiritual growth. Group structure meets the needs and concerns of members including specific topic focus and experiential process. New groups starting March – April. Contact Lynn Goodman, MFT, SD, CAS (925)385-7060 or firstname.lastname@example.org. NEW ARTHRITIS FOUNDATION TAI CHI CLASSES starting, call Linda Summers Pirkle at 925-820-8101 for meeting times. DREAM SPIRIT GROUP: For women at any stage of life who seek greater harmony and attunement with their authentic Self. Using information, discussion, and guided process, we work with the dynamic energy of dreaming. The group provides safe, sacred space for exploring the healing power of dreams. New groups starting: March – April. Lynn Goodman, MFT, SD, CAS (925)385-7060 or email@example.com.
ARCHITECT JOHN ROLF HATTAM - ARCHITECT Specializes in modest budget, new and renovated residences. Over 200 completed projects. Brochures available for all of our professional services •RESIDENTIAL RENOVATION •NEW RESIDENCES •CHURCHES •COMMERCIAL •MULTI-FAMILY. For the brochure meeting your need call 510-841-5933. 737 Dwight Way, Berkeley.
Lafayette Today ~ March 2014 - Page 23
be willing to describe your age-based disabilities – such as: “I can’t walk to the bus stop,” or “I can’t stand at the bus-stop.” “Senate Bill 727 would establish a pharmaceutical collection program to address the home storage and improper and illegal disposal of home-generated Mauna Wagner and Karen Chanda with the new van. pharmaceuticals that has exacerbated concerns over increased drug abuse and impacts on water quality…The stockpiling of unused medications in the home allows for easier access for children and teens, thus fueling youth drug abuse...Poisoning is the fastest rising cause of accidental death among older adults, particularly from overdoses of prescription drugs and over-the counter medications. Unintentional poisoning of adults over 60 resulting in hospitalization increased by 43% in Alameda County from 1998 to 2006. Unused pharmaceuticals – like toxic waste – need to be kept out of the municipal waste stream because they can leach into groundwater. Flushing medications into sewage systems harms the environment and contaminates the water we drink...” SB727 (Jackson) Fact Sheet – 07/18/13
Lamorinda Senior Transportation An Alliance of Transportation Providers
Lamorinda Spirit Van
Takes Lamorinda Seniors to errands, appointments, grocery shopping, special events, and to lunch at the C.C. Café. Reserve your ride two business days in advance (or sooner) by 1pm or when you make your appointment.
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.
County Connection LINK Reservation Line 938-7433 LINK Applications and Questions 680-2066 or 2067 Fixed-Route Bus Service Information 676-7500
GOPHER AND MOLE REMOVAL : NUISANCE WILDLIFE CONTROL Trapping No poison, safe for your family, pets and the ecosystem. I’m a licensed and insured state trapper; resolving human and animal conflicts. Habitat modification, ( to make your home or property less desirable), exclusion barriers, (fencing, wire mesh or sheet metal to keep the animal/s out of your home or property), and trapping, (removing problem wild animals.) For more information visit www.trivalleytrapper.com. Call TRI VALLEY TRAPPER for a FREE phone consultation and estimate (925)765-4209.
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.
Page 24 - March 2014 ~ Lafayette Today
Sister continued from page 13
Carnival, the theme chosen by the facilitators, recognizes the emotional roller coaster ride middle school girls experience. By the end of the day, they won’t be worrying any longer about the funhouse mirror images of themselves that they think others see. Building self-esteem is one of the major goals of the Summit. Girls leave with strategies to solve their problems and confidence in their ability to do so. The theme also suggests games to play and chances to just enjoy the moment. Each year the girls are given t-shirts designed by the “Big Sisters.” One year all the t-shirts arrived undersized. Laura Wittenberg, who has been working with S2S for the past five years, was amazed at the facilitators’ resourceful response. They picked up scissors, cut holes in random places, and turned a potential disaster into a fabulous fashion statement. “These kids have wonderful talents if you just give them the opportunities to use them.” Wittenberg, a Marriage and Family Therapist, has also worked as a school counselor. She joined AAUW when she learned about S2S. “In facilitators,” she explains, “we are looking for girls with empathy and understanding of their own feelings who want to make a difference in other girls’ lives.” “The S2S program teaches girls the language to communicate their feelings, helping them to build closer and more meaningful relationships with their peers and families,” Wittenberg continues. They learn to use non-judgmental approaches, read nonverbal cues to understand the communication behind the words being spoken, and reflect back that understanding to affirm that their grasp of the essence of the communication is correct. High school guidance counselors advise college applicants to list S2S at the top of their credentials. Despite their intensive training, first time facilitators often begin the Summit with a touch of stage fright. By the close of the day they are comfortable in their role. As Burgess describes their newfound self-confidence: “At the end of every Summit day, I see the high school facilitators walking at least two inches taller. It is so empowering for them to find they have something valuable to offer someone else through their leadership and life experience.” As one of the facilitators related: “I felt that the day instilled confidence in my ability to problem-solve and gave me pride in my responsibility. The middle school girls were happy to be there and excited to make better choices.” One tangible take-away is a booklet written by the high school facilitators on their personal struggles in middle school and how they addressed their own problems. Each participant is also given a journal to record her evolving story. Registration for this year’s Summit closes on March th 17 . The program runs from 9-3 on March 22nd. After the opening keynote address by Stefana Serafina of Intuitive Dance, parents are invited to stay for her presentation to them: How a Parent Can Support a Growing Girl’s Acceptance of Her Body. The cost to participants is $45. Need-based scholarships are available. For applications and Part of the day involves a community service project. In 2012 participants tied blankets for a San Francisco information, go to http://oml-ca.aauw/s2s. shelter for homeless teenagers.
Published on Mar 8, 2014