April 2015 Comic Book Day By Fran Miller
Comic books are back – in a big way. The surge in popularity can surely be attributed to Hollywood blockbusters such as The Avengers and X-men. But which came first? Any superhero fan knows that Batman and Spiderman were born not on the silver screen but in the pages of comic books. And any true comic book fan knows that the first Saturday in May is Free Comic Book Day, when comic book retailers around the world hand out free comic books.
Serving the Lafayette Community Come to the 10th Annual Lafayette Earth Day Festival Sunday, April 26, 11AM - 3PM
From bicycles to solar cars to electric scooters, modes of green transportation will roll, soar, and glide their way around the Lafayette Library at Lafayette’s 10th annual Earth Day Festival on Sunday, April 26. This special anniversary event; hosted by Sustainable Lafayette, Lafayette Chamber of Commerce, Lafayette Library and City of Lafayette; will feature hundreds of community members arriving on foot, bikes, skateboards, and other self-propelled means to enjoy food, fun, and entertainment and to discover the latest ideas and approaches for living a more sustainable life. The festival will take place on Golden Gate Way behind the library. The event kicks off with a “Bike Fest” from 9:30–11am at Stanley Middle School. The Bay Area Bike Mobile will perform free bike repairs, and Lafayette Boy Scout Troop 200 will register bikes for free on Bike Index. Wheel Kids will be instructing young cyclists on best practices for riding safety. At 11am, cyclists will depart from Stanley together for a short family group ride, arriving at the library at approximately 11:15 am. There will be free Clif bars for all cyclists.
See Earth continued on page 19
Top Six Reasons to Take Your Dog to Lafayette’s Dogtown Downtown Animator Sam Filstrup entertains young guests at last year’s Lafayette Library Free Comic Book Day.
But retail stores don’t claim all the action. The Lafayette Library and Learning Center (LLLC) will host its own Free Comic Book Day – Thursday, May 7th from 3:30 – 5PM – to celebrate all that is cool about comic books and graphic novels. Featuring a scavenger hunt, a costume contest, a comic book ‘Jeopardy’ trivia contest, door prizes, and of course, free comic books, the event is intended for all ages. In the world of comics, Free Comic Book Day is described as Christmas for comic book lovers. WonderCon creator and Concord comic book retailer Joe Field of Flying Colors Comics founded the event in 2001. He came up with the idea to give away free comics after seeing an out-the-door line at a local Baskin Robbins during ‘free scoop day.’ He knew he could adapt that same idea to the one item he found cooler than ice cream – comics. On Saturday, May 2, more than 2,100 comic book stores in 64 countries will hand out a variety of titles containing new and classic stories and iconic characters from publishers DC Comics, Marvel, Archie, IDW, Dark Horse Comics, Image Comics, and other major and independent publishers. The American Comic book – the genesis of all visual entertainment according to Field – originated in the early 1930s and was hugely popular through the 1940s. The first Super Hero comic book, published in 1938, is known as Action Comics #1 and was Superman’s first appearance. Batman came along in 1939 as Detective Comics #37. “If you look at how TV shows, movies, video games, advertising, and animation are developed, each starts with a storyboard--a series of panels that
See Comics continued on page 18
Local Postal Customer
PRSRT STD U.S. Postage PAID Permit 21 Lafayette, CA
April 11th, 10am to 1pm
Long considered a pet friendly town, Lafayette is giving top billing to its canine community for its 2nd annual Dogtown Downtown event, scheduled for Saturday, April 11, from 10am to 1pm at the Lafayette Library and Learning Center. This is an event about, and for, dogs and dog lovers. Designed to be a fun and festive canine-focused event, Lafayette Dogtown Downtown 2015 includes outdoor working dog and canine
See Dogtown continued on page 18
Enjoy the Birds with Diablo Audubon Society By Fran Miller
It’s prime bird watching season, and many locations along the Diablo Corridor are host to several species of migrating water, land, and shore birds. Beginning early April through May, birds making their Pacific Flyway return journey seek suitable habitats in which to Volume IX - Number 4 3000F Danville Blvd #117 feed, and many find a temporary Alamo, CA 94507 home in areas such as Walnut Telephone (925) 405-6397 Creek’s Heather Farms Park, the Fax (925) 406-0547 Lafayette Reservoir, Castle Rock firstname.lastname@example.org Regional Park/Diablo Foothills Alisa Corstorphine ~ Publisher Regional Park, and Mitchell Can- The opinions expressed herein belong to the writers, and do not necessarily reflect that of Lafayette Today. Lafayette yon in Clayton. Today is not responsible for the content of any of the ad-
See Birds cont. on page 18
vertising herein, nor does publication imply endorsement.
Page 2 - April 2015 ~ Lafayette Today
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By Alisa Corstorphine, Editor
My daughter recently came home from college for spring break. She has always been an environmentally conscious person and is pursuing a degree in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems. For one of her classes she had to read the book Waste and Want, by Susan Strasser. The book highlights the history of trash in the United States from the colonial periods all the way to current trends, explaining the mechanisms of change along the way. One section of the book was devoted to the then-common practices of sewing, mending, quilting, and re-purposing of materials. In the past, vast amounts of material for new clothing was prohibitively expensive, so women of the household would work to alter clothing to fit a new family member once clothes became too small. With the scraps from their alterations, they would either use the fabric as rags or scrap fabric to create beautiful quilts and rugs. In this day and age, our culture has steered itself away from the mending and reusing practices of our ancestors. With vastly abundant and cheap materials all around us, it seems like a waste of our energy to mend a coat or darn a sock. Why waste your precious time at home after work fiddling with fabric when you could be prepping a meal, helping a child with their homework, or taking some personal time to unwind? It is cheaper to buy a new pair of socks, anyway. This attitude has lead our country to produce miles and miles of landfills filled with what could have been useful material at one time. After my daughter graduated from high school, she collected all of her pep rally and homecoming week t-shirts and decided she wanted to make a t-shirt quilt. Well, she cut before she planned and was left with a garbage bag full of cut logos and designs that she wanted to keep, but they were going to be too difficult to quilt together. The bag of shirts sat for the past four years in the back of her closet until this spring break when she decided she wanted to make a braided rag rug out of them. We cut the remaining shirts and logos into strips, sewed them end-to-end to create balls of fabric, and braided them into one long snake of material.
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All that is left to do is lay the braid into a circular design, sew the back, and we’ll be done! If my daughter had not decided to make this rug, we most likely would have donated the shirts to the thrift store or thrown them away. But, who goes to the thrift store and wants an old high school PE shirt or a “2011 SENIORS” shirt? While the tide is turning on the wasteful practices, it is important to see what you can do as an individual to help. Instead of buying a braided rug from the store for $100, why not make creating one a fun craft project that you can do with your child? While it is a fairly labor-intensive project, we have made great progress over the past few days, and the resulting rug is going to be not just something to walk over in a room. You can see the little snippets of the shirt she got from lacrosse camp when she was 13 or the design of the band logo from the concert she went to in high school. The resulting rug is not just a bundle of fabric, but it is all of the memories of those shirts and the time that I was able to spend with my 21 year old kid putting it all together. This Earth Day, I ask you to think before you buy, and think before you throw away. An empty glass mayonnaise jar can be cleaned and used to hold leftover soup, or you can use it to hold miscellaneous screws in the garage. Instead of buying a lunch to-go that comes in a wasteful styrofoam container, bring your own lunch in a reusable glass container, which will not only save you money but encourage healthier eating and save one more container from the landfill. Next time you wear through your leather shoes, instead of throwing them away or donating them so that you can get the latest style, take them to your local cobbler to get them repaired. Purchase products that are meant to last, and maintain them. We still have a cast iron dutch oven from my husband’s grandparents that is in beautiful shape, and it will someday be passed down to our children. The memories of all the meals the dutch iron has cooked over the generations makes it a special part of our kitchen cookware.
Lafayette Today ~ April 2015 - Page 3
What's in Our Hat?-- When Local Stars Align!
When local stars align for a worthy cause, amazing things happen -- including the fact that some lucky person will win $10,000, a 24-hour Tesla Experience, or an Opus One 1986 case of wine! The excitement happens Sunday, April 26th from 3-6:30pm at the Lafayette Park Hotel & Spa. ABC Anchor Dan Ashley, Frank Sinatra (aka Mark Shaw of Orinda), and his Rat Pack pal Dean Martin (Matt Helm) will join locally-grown Generations in Jazz to support the 57-year old Lafayette-based Las Trampas organization which has been serving individuals with developmental disabilities since 1958. In keeping with the theme Luck Be A Lady, “guys and dolls,” so to speak, will join these local luminaries to celebrate the 27th annual What’s in Our Hat? fundraiser to benefit Las Trampas. The $100 tickets include a full bar, fabulous themed buffet, amazing silent and rare wine auction, great entertainment with Dan, Frank, Dean and magician Alan Leeds, and a chance to win the $10,000 drawing.
5th Annual Earth Day Cleanup at the Lafayette Reservoir
Please save the date for the 5 Annual Earth Day Cleanup at the Lafayette Reservoir. The cleanup will take place on Earth Day, Wednesday, April 22 from 12-2pm. As in the past, Byron Park will provide lunch for all volunteers. For more information and to sign up as a volunteer, please email Marie Montoya at email@example.com. th
Weekly Family Bike Ride
On Sundays, April 12, 19, and 26 from 9am-11:30am join other local families for a fun, casual bike ride to Moraga Commons and back. The ride is recommended for ages 7 years and up, but you are encouraged to bring younger children in a trailer or on your bike. They’ll have fun playing at the Commons. The group usually returns to Stanley Middle School by 11:15am. Bringing a snack and water is encouraged. Meet on the Lafayette-Moraga Trail at Stanley Middle School.
DOGTOWN DOWNTOWN SATURDAY APRIL 11 10AM -1PM
DOG PARADE 10AM ACTIVITIES • CONTESTS Lafayette Library and Learning Center www.LLLCF.org/dogtown/
Lafayette Community Garden and Outdoor Learning Center Class
An Irrigation Efficiency class will be held on Saturday, April 25 from 1 to 2:30PM at the Lafayette Community Garden, located at 3932 Mt Diablo Blvd Lafayette (across from and just west of Lafayette Reservoir). The class will be led by Seth Wright, a Landscape Contractor with 20 years experience in the landscape industry who now specializes in Irrigation Efficiency. Understanding the need to protect a precious resource has inspired his endeavor to conserve water through the implementation of efficient design, installation, and maintenance of irrigation systems. In this class, Wright will cover spray to drip conversions, EBMUD and CCWD rebate programs, as well as emitter layout and scheduling. He will emphasize landscape and lawn care during the drought but will also address issues of edible gardens. Students will leave this class better able to plan their gardens for optimal water efficiency. This class is free, but a $5 donation is appreciated to support the center’s education programs. To register for classes or for more information, please visit www. lafayettecommunitygarden.org.
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Earth Day is April 23rd
Come Help Zimbabwean Kids by Running for Fun
JF Kapnek’s 12th Annual Family 5k/1k FUN RUN is being held on Sunday, April 26th at 9am at Miramonte High School in Orinda. There will be face painting, crafts, brunch, Zimbabwean food, an African band, free T-shirt, a FUN RUN, prizes, and more. Go to Active.com (keyword: KAPNEK) to register today.
The 5th annual blood drive in memory of Rachael Wenger will be held at Springhill Elementary School, 3301 Springhill Road in Lafayette on Friday, April 24 from 12:30PM until 5:30PM. If you are able to donate blood, please consider coming. To avoid a delay, you may make an appointment by calling The American Red Cross at 1.800.RED.CROSS (1.800.733.2767) or logging onto www.redcrossblood.org and entering either sponsor code:RachaelWenger or zip code:94549. Walk-ins are also welcome. Blood is needed every day, so please come and donate. You could save a life.
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Page 4 - April 2015 ~ Lafayette Today
Montelindo Garden Club
The next Montelindo Garden Club Meeting (third Friday, September thru May) will be held on Friday, April 17 at 9AM at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 66 St. Stephens Drive in Orinda. Visitors are welcome. April’s meeting will feature James (Doc) Hale; a wildlife biologist, naturalist, and ethno biologist; who will be speaking on Wildlife in the East Bay. To find out about the Club, visit www.Montelindogarden.com.
Lafayette Nursery School’s 39th Annual Science Day of Discovery
Lafayette Nursery School will hold it’s 39th Annual Science Day of Discovery on May 2nd from 10am to 1pm at their school, located at 979 First Street in Lafayette. Come make a volcano explode, shoot a rocket, make slime, dig for dinosaur bones, and test your senses! These are just a few of the many hands-on activities to take part in. Experiments are designed for children preschool age through third grade. It’s a great experience for the whole family. The cost is $4 per child, and proceeds are donated to a local math or science based charity. For more information, call Lafayette Nursery School at 925-284-2448 or visit www.lafayettenurseryschool.org.
Call for Artists
The City of Lafayette Public Art Committee invites artists living or working in the Bay Area to submit proposals for exhibitions in the Library Art Gallery which is located at the Lafayette Library and Learning Center, 3491 Mt. Diablo Blvd. in downtown Lafayette. The Library Gallery at the LLLC was created to support rich and diverse artistic expression and to encourage the appreciation of the visual arts in the community. It provides an exciting opportunity for local artists to display their work in Lafayette’s cultural center. Individuals and non-commercial groups based in the Greater Bay Area may exhibit. Priority consideration is given to those in Contra Costa County. There is no cost to apply for review or to exhibit in the LLLC. Exhibitors interested in displaying artwork in the Library Gallery must submit a completed LLLC Gallery Exhibition Application and executed Art Gallery Release to the City of Lafayette, 3675 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Suite 210, Lafayette, CA 94549. Applications are available on the City’s website at www.lovelafayette.org. Click on the “Arts and Culture” tab. Completed applications will be reviewed by the Public Art Committee. The committee meets on the first Wednesday of each month. For additional information, contact Juliet Hansen, Staff Liaison, at (925) 299-3216 or JHansen@ci.lafayette.ca.us. Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis. The first review is scheduled for June 3.
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Sons in Retirement
Lamorinda Branch 174
We are a social organization of retired and semi-retired men who enjoy our leisure time with friends and activities. Our activities are golf, bowling, bocce ball, table pool, travel, fishing, computers & technology, bridge, poker, pinochle, investing, wine tasting, walking, astronomy, stamp collecting, etc. We meet for lunch at 11am the second Wednesday monthly at Holy Trinity Culture Center 1700 School Street, Moraga. Our guest speaker on April 8th will be Dick Callahan who is the Public Address Announcer for the Oakland Athletics. For attendance and membership info, call Fred at (925) 284-1763. Please visit our website at www.branch174.sirinc2.org.
Las Trampas Branch 116
Sons In Retirement - Branch 116 welcomes guests to socialize at their monthly luncheon beginning at 11:30AM on Monday, April 20th. The speaker, Jane Kreidler, Outreach Coordinator of the Contractors State License Board, will share her experiences that will help seniors recognize scams and provide steps to proactively resist fraud. The event will take place at the Walnut Creek Elks Lodge, 1475 Creekside Dr., and lunch costs $15. Guest are welcome and may make reservations by calling (925) 322-1160. Branch 116 is a group of active men whose only agenda is having fun in retirement. Among the many fun activities the group enjoys, golf is the most popular. Branch 116 has an active golf calendar for both 18-hole and 9-hole groups. The 18-hole group plays once a week in a tournament format with play alternating between local courses and courses that may be 10 to 50 miles away. The 9-hole group plays every Wednesday, rotating play between Buchanan Fields, Concord, Pine Meadows, Martinez, and Diablo Hills, Walnut Creek. Foursomes in both the 18-hole and 9-hole groups are arranged so that players can meet and enjoy playing with most, if not all, the other players in the branch during the year. The group also schedules two special golf travel events which include spouses and guests. The spring event will be held in Carmel Valley, May 19th and 20th, and the fall outing will be at Carson City, Nevada on September 10th and 11th. Guests are welcomed to attend these events as a good way of getting to know people and developing friendships. If you are a golfer and looking for a fun group to share your passion, then come to the group’s luncheon, and talk with member golfers, or for more information about golf activities, please visit www.branch116.org/116-golf/main.htm.
Blackhawk Chorus at the Lesher!
On Saturday, May 16th at 8PM, the 140 voices of the Blackhawk Chorus will perform its Spring Show, “America Sings.” The show will feature songs that live forever, including songs from the past which are known and loved, recent Broadway hits, Gospel music that will have you singing along, and performances by multiple special groups within the chorus. For tickets, call the Lesher Box Office at 925-943-7469.
Wayside Inn Thrift Shop Forecasts it will be “Raining Cats and Dogs!”
The dedicated member volunteers at Assistance League® Way Side Inn Thrift Shop, located at 3521 Golden Gate Way in Lafayette, can be heard humming “The Whoof’npurr Song” while busily preparing for the return of the “Raining Cats and Dogs” event which is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, April 14. Such necessities as feeding dishes, dog clothes, and cat and small dog carriers are available at “dog gone” great prices. Check out the cat and dog toys, books, feline and canine art, blankets, and comfy pillows. As animal lovers, treat yourselves to animal themed tee shirts and sweaters available in both children and adult sizes. To learn about Assistance League of Diablo Valley’s philanthropic programs that the thrift shop funds and the recently awarded GuideStar Exchange gold participation level status, please visit diablovalley. assistanceleague.org or the GuideStar Exchange.
Scholastic Photography Contest
Lafayette Today ~ April 2015 - Page 5
Save Mount Diablo is calling for student photo submissions for its third annual scholastic photography contest. Alameda and Contra Costa County students grades Kindergarten through 12, can submit their original photos from one of the Diablo parks, listed on the contest website, that showcase why he or she enjoys Mount Diablo's lands and thinks they should be protected for a chance to win prizes, have their art displayed, and more. Original student photos can be submitted from one of the Diablo parks listed at www.savemountdiablo.org/ photocontest.html. You will also find full details, rules, and contest entry information on the site. All entries need to be submitted by April 15th in order to be considered. Winners will be announced May 2nd. The contest raises awareness about Save Mount Diablo’s work and encourages students to visit their local natural parks, explained Public Relations Manager Beryl Anderson. “This contest is a great way for us to connect with students and for students to connect with the Diablo wilderness. After all, students are the future generations we are saving these lands for and who we hope will continue to save Mount Diablo.” Save Mount Diablo is a non-profit conservation organization which continues to preserve, defend, and restore the remainder of the mountain for people and wildlife to enjoy. For information, call 925-9473535 or visit www.SaveMountDiablo.org.
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Lafayette Juniors Kitchen Tour
Tickets are on sale for the Lafayette Juniors 16th Annual Kitchen Tour. This self-guided tour will be held on Saturday, May 16th from 10AM to 3PM and will feature six special Lafayette homes with beautifully designed classic, traditional, contemporary, transitional, and modern cottage kitchens, and a mid-century modern kitchen recently featured in Houzz “Kitchen of the Week.” Attendees will receive a Kitchen Tour program detailing all the special design elements of the kitchens as well as information on the architects, designers, and contractors who created these spaces. Proceeds from this year’s event benefit the work of five local non-profit organizations: Ruby’s Place, Boys & Girls Club of Diablo Valley, Las Trampas, Trinity Center Walnut Creek, and VESTIA. These organizations were selected by the Lafayette Juniors for the support they provide to children, families, and seniors in need in Contra Costa and neighboring East Bay counties. “In preparation for our 16th annual Kitchen Tour, I am reminded of what’s possible when we come together to raise funds for charity,” said Laura Lashinsky, President of the Lafayette Juniors. “We would like to thank everyone who is helping to make this year’s Kitchen Tour possible, from our sponsors and donors, to our generous homeowners who are opening their homes to us all.” Tickets are $40 ($35 tax deductible), with a box lunch available for $15. Tickets can be purchased online at www.lafayettejuniors.org and are also available at Premier Kitchens in Lafayette. For more information on the Lafayette Juniors Kitchen Tour and its beneficiaries, visit www.lafayettejuniors.org.
Don’t Miss Lafayette’s Favorite Dinner Party “Taste of Lafayette” Restaurant Stroll, Tuesday, May 19
There is no better way to experience Lafayette’s Restaurant Row dining than with friends, family, and neighbors – and that is exactly why “Taste of Lafayette” has become such a popular annual event. The Taste of Lafayette offers more than a chance to stroll through beautiful downtown Lafayette while sampling signature dishes from the town’s regionally popular Restaurant Row restaurants and local caterers – although that is as delicious as it sounds. Now in its 13th year, this popular culinary treat has become a much-anticipated annual community party. The restaurant stroll starts with a hosted wine and beer reception for all at 5:30pm at the Lafayette Plaza Park. Here, participants check in, meet friends, nosh on appetizers provided by local restaurants and caterers, and enjoy a complimentary glass of wine or beer, courtesy of Wine Thieves. There is always entertainment at the reception area. This year expect a special treat that just might inspire dancing. Red House Studios has organized musicians for a Beatles tribute in honor of the band’s 50th Anniversary. The “stroll” begins at 6:30pm, when ticket holders head out at their own pace with friends to stop at any or all of the participating restaurants for sampling. Enjoy as much as you can in two hours at the participating restaurants which include Amarin Thai Restaurant, American Kitchen, Back to the Table, Chevalier Restaurant, La Finestra Ristorante, Mangia Ristorante, Patxi’s Pizza, Postino, Round Table Pizza, Rustic Tavern, Susan Foord Catering, SusieCakes, The Cooperage, Uncle Yu’s Szechuan, and Yankee Pier. Don’t worry if some friends want to set a different pace. It’s an easy walk but for those who prefer to ride, there are two free shuttle buses. Everyone meets back at Lafayette Plaza Park at 8:30pm to compare notes over dessert and coffee. This fun community event also serves an important local fundraising purpose. It helps raise funds for Lafayette Community Foundation, a long standing local non-profit that investing in programs and projects which promote and enhance the civic, cultural, educational and environmental health of Lafayette. Please join in this fun, and tasty, community celebration. Tickets for this event are available online at www.lafayettechamber.org, at the Lafayette Chamber offices, located at 100 Lafayette Circle, Suite 103, or by calling the Chamber at (925) 284-7404. Get organized early and save: Tickets are $45/person when you buy them by May 8th. After May 8th, the price is $50/ticket. Tickets quantities are limited and will also be sold at the event registration table subject to availability.
Lafayette Garden Club
The next Lafayette Garden Club meeting, being held on April 9, will feature Rosemary Loveall presenting “Companion Planting with Herbs.” Rosemary is owner of Morningsun Herb Farm in the countryside of Vacaville. With degrees in both forestry and environmental horticulture, she operates this specialty nursery where she propagates and sells over 600 varieties of herbs and many unusual landscape perennials. Coffee time will start at 9:30AM, and the meeting and program will be held from 10AM-noon. The meeting will take place at the Lafayette Veterans Memorial Hall, 3780 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette. Lafayette Garden Club welcomes guests. Email any questions you have to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lamorinda Idol Auditions
Lamorinda Idol auditions start soon! Mark your calendars to join in the fun. Registration for the 2015 auditions will be open April 1-30. Auditions will be held at Orinda Intermediate School as follows: • Soloists K-2 Saturday, May 16, 3 - 5pm • Soloists 3-5 Saturday, May 16, 8:30 am - 12:30pm • Soloists 6-8 Thursday, May 14, 4 - 6pm • Soloists 9-12 Friday, May 15, 4 - 5pm and 6 - 7pm • Groups K-5 Saturday, May 16, 1 - 2pm • Groups 6-8 Thursday, May 16, 6 - 7pm • Groups 9-12 Friday, May 17, 5 - 6pm While there is no required fee for participation in Lamorinda Idol, families of those participating are requested to provide financial support. The suggested contribution for those auditioning is $10 per family, and contributions will be collected at the auditions. For more information, visit http://orindaarts.org/lamorinda-idol.
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.
Page 6 - April 2015 ~ Lafayette Today
The Bookworm By Joan Stevenson
I have a confession. As a youngster I read some racy adult books like Lady Chatterley’s Lover at night by flashlight, and I never got caught. But the tables have turned. Now adults are eagerly and openly reading books intended for the young like Harry Potter and The Hunger Games. Young Adult Fiction (YA) has become hugely popular. I met with Patrick Brogan, Library Assistant, Teen Services, who filled me in on the Teen Book Fest to be held at the LLLC Community Center on April 14th beginning at 5:45PM. Patrick has invited five well known writers in YA genre; Mitali Perkins, Yvonne Prinz, Frank Portman, Veronica Rossi, and Betsy Streeter; to discuss their craft, read from their work, and answer questions. The panel discussion will be moderated by Andy Ross who owned the former Cody’s Bookstore in Berkeley for 30 years. What an incredible opportunity for our teens to meet the writers of their favorite books! I dropped by The Storyteller, who will be selling books at the event, to pick up a couple for my New Zealand teenage grandchildren, and I was amazed at the number and variety of books available! By the way, one of the writers, Betsy Streeter, author of Silverwood, will return for Sweet Thursday on April 26th at 7PM. Her science fiction novel is a time traveling tale featuring shape-shifting human hunters. Streeter introduces us to an intrepid heroine in fourteen year old Helen Silverwood. In addition to a discussion of her book, Streeter will also provide insight into the writer’s process for incorporating science and speculative fiction. Let’s hear a big “thank you” to our friends at Lafayette Mechanics Bank who donated $200 to the Friends for the purpose of purchasing book bags for Friends Corner Book Shop. Support from our community is deeply appreciated. The next bag day sale-- all you can fit in the bag for $10--will be held on Saturday, April 18th from 9am-1pm at the Friends Corner Book Shop. Out of our abundance we have donated books to the new Family Justice Center in Concord, to an Africa Library Project, and to the Friends of the Pleasant Hill Library. Back by popular demand is the Second Annual Lafayette Dogtown
www.yourmonthlypaper.com Downtown event on April 11 . Bring your furry pal for activities, contests, and a dog parade. Dog Parade begins at 10AM at the Lafayette Plaza. There will be workshops, lectures, demonstrations, and dog adoptions. Contests include best team tricks, best costume, looks most like owner, waggiest tail, and best of show. This was a huge success last year, and you will not want to miss the fun, even if you don’t have a dog! The WOW (Wonders of the World) program hosted by the Friends continues to absolutely wow me. On April 8th at 2PM we will be introduced to masterpieces from the National Gallery of Scotland. The exhibit is titled Bottecelli to Braque and spans more than 400 years of artistic production. Highlights include works by Velazquez, Vermeer, Gauguin, and Picasso. Looking ahead to the May 27th program, you will not want to miss “High Style,” an exclusive West Coast presentation from the Brooklyn Museum’s distinguished costume collection. More will be explained about this next month. The LLLCF Distinguished Speaker Series is proud to present Joyce Maynard, Joe Loya, and special guest, author and journalist Kevin Sessums on May 1st from 7-9PM. In his latest, I Left It on the Mountain, Sessums chronicles his early days in NY as an actor, his years working for Andy Warhol at Interview and Tina Brown at Vanity Fair, his HIV Positive diagnosis, and his descent into addiction. It’s also the chronicle of one man’s spiritual redemption. Join us on Friday, April 24 at 7:30PM for a musical evening at the Lafayette Library. Performers Dwight Stone, composer-pianist, and Nika Rejto, flute7, will perform some classical favorites on piano and flute. They are a dynamic duo with technique and talent and a distinctive and appealing sound. This free event is sponsored by the Friends of the Lafayette Library and Learning Center. Imagine this…free comic books at the library! On Thursday, May 7th from 3:30 – 5:30PM in the Arts & Sciences Room, come and join the fun by celebrating all that is really cool about comic books and graphic novels. There will be prizes and the third Lafayette Comic Book Trivia Jeopardy “Throwdown”! Comic Book Day is for ages 5 and up. And, if you are under age 13, you will walk away with a free comic book. April is National Poetry Month. To celebrate, actor and writer Tim Holt presents “Walt Whitman’s Life and Work in Poetry and Prose” on April 30th at 6:30pm. Witness America’s Poet of the Open Road as he celebrates the energy, and the sprawling expanse and diversity of America in the mid-19th century. Did you ever hear of Poem in Your Pocket Day? People throughout our country select a poem, carry it with them, and share it with others throughout the day. Kids at LLLF will be doing it. What poem will you carry in your pocket? I have mine ready! th
That Was Then, This Is Now
By Ruth Bailey, Lafayette Historical Society
Lafayette Today ~ April 2015 - Page 7
11 Critical Home Inspection Traps to be Aware of Weeks Before Listing Your Home for Sale
The March 12, 1965, Sun carried a story that could easily have been written last week. “A lecture on Civil War reconstruction and its relationship Lafayette - According to industry ex- sale or, worse, turn prospective buyers to the present-day situation in Selma, Alabama, has prompted perts, there are over 33 physical prob- away altogether. In most cases, you can two Orinda students at Diablo Valley College to travel to that besieged area for a first-hand look at the racial problems there. lems that will come under scrutiny during make a reasonable pre-inspection yourself “Rich Anderson and Bob Davis, spurred on by their history a home inspection when your home is if you know what you're looking for, and instructor Larry Crouchette’s words that ‘There comes a time for sale. A new report has been prepared knowing what you're looking for can help when one must put his head on a chopping block and the time which identifies the 11 most common you prevent little problems from growing of these problems, and what you should into costly and unmanageable ones. is now—in Selma,’ volunteered to leave immediately. “The rest of the class volunteered to finance the trip, know about them before you list your home To help home sellers deal with this issue for sale. before their homes are listed, a free report collecting $33 as a starter. Crouchette added a $10 check and Whether you own an old home or a brand entitled "11 Things You Need to Know to Anderson and Davis figured they could raise another $50 new one, there are a number of things Pass Your Home Inspection" has been between them. that can fall short of requirements during a compiled which explains the issues involved. “They left Friday afternoon on the 2,000-mile trip, hoping home inspection. If not identified and dealt To hear a brief recorded message about to arrive in Selma in late afternoon Saturday. They plan to with, any of these 11 items could cost you how to order your FREE copy of this report, spend two or three days in Selma or Birmingham acquainting dearly in terms of repair. That's why it's call toll-free 1-866-265-1682 and enter themselves with the sentiments of both whites and Negroes, critical that you read this report before 2003. You can call any time, 24 hours a day, taking pictures, and obtaining first-hand knowledge of the you list your home. If you wait until the 7 days a week. situation in that strife-torn area.” building inspector flags these issues for Get your free special report NOW to learn Along with the 1960’s modest travel cost estimate (and you, you will almost certainly experience how to ensure a home inspection doesn't their ambitious timeline—were they taking the train?), here costly delays in the close of your home cost you the sale of your home. are a few more prices to make your mouth water. Payless This report is courtesy of J. Rockcliff Realtors #01763819. Not intended to solicit buyers or sellers currently under contract. Copyright © 2013 Cleaners in Orinda Village ran its Grand Opening Special of “3 pieces (slacks, skirts and/or sport shirts) cleaned for $1. Suits or dresses cleaned and pressed for $1.09; sweaters or pants, 59 cents each.” At the Louis Store [located where Trader Joe’s is now], a 1# tin of Folger’s coffee was also 59 cents. [I miss the cute little cents symbol we used to have on typewriters. Heck, I still miss typewriters.] Or, you could buy four cans of White Star tuna for $1. That buck would also go far at Safeway, where it would buy you three regular-size boxes of Cheerios or Wheaties, or five 6 oz. bags of Nestles morsels. But the buy of the year, hands down, was Safeway’s offer of “Cooked Dungeness Crabs, jumbo size, 99 cents EACH” [not per lb.]! Butler-Conti had 1965 Dodge cars for as low as $2,035 (“only $46.32 a month with normal down payment”) and Joe Brook’s Texaco on Main St. in Walnut Creek was offering a Free Lubrication with Fill-Up for the first week of March. Evidently March was Fire Prevention Month in those long-ago days, because the Sun announced “A door-to-door fire prevention inspection program is being carried out in Lafayette. The district received national recognition for the courtesy home inspection program in 1962. It was 1 of 3 districts in the county to receive a commendation from the International Association of Fire Chiefs. “Two men are working on the inspection in a continual process. It is completely voluntary. When the first tour of the area is complete, they will go around a second time. Anyone who is missed can call the department and make a special appointment. “In the previous inspection, for 1959-61, 5283 homes were covered, said Assistant Chief Ed Allen. The most frequent hazard found was flammable liquids not properly stored. Other hazards include rubbish not properly cared for, fuse box overstuffed, combustible materials too close to the stove, defective wiring, ashes not in metal containers, stove not properly insulated or no fire permit. “The department plans to distribute special decals for homes with invalids, Allen said. He added that the people of Lafayette were very cooperative with the inspections.” We’ll end with a little fashion note, with spring in full swing and summer just down the block. The headline writer even got into the oo-la-la spirit, writing “Boys’ Swimming Trunks Big Favorites in France—Tops are Sorta ‘Optional’” “Walnut Creek tasted the Spirit of Paris last Wednesday when four high-fashion models from France pranced around displaying new styles at Capwell’s store in the Broadway Plaza. And the models showed they intend to bring back a Spirit of America to France. “Well, not exactly a spirit—the petite quartet is taking home American-made men’s swimming trunks. Yup, these gals are not concerned with anybody else’s concept of couth when it comes to decorating European beaches. They claim they buy American swimming suits because of the better material and wider variety of styles. “After the frisky fashion show, the models all converged upon the men’s clothing department on the ground floor of Capwell’s. ‘This is the biggest thing they’re interested in,’ a Capwell’s spokesman told the Sun. ‘They buy the young boys’ swimming suits!’ [Yes, the spokesman included the !.] “The reporter encountered one of the models in the boy’s swimsuit department. He asked her, ‘Do you really wear these things in France?’ ‘Of course,’ she quipped, adding ‘Size 14.’ ‘Ahhhhmmm,’ the reporter continued, ‘What do you do for a top?’ ‘A top?’ she smiled. ‘Oh yes….I have my own top.’” It was the Age of Innocence. The first week of March 1965, the Park Theater featured the double bill of Strange Bedfellows, with Rock Hudson and Gina Lollobrigida, and Charade, with Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn. Search and Rescue
Looking for a Few Good Classic Automobiles for Moraga Classic Car Show
Area residents who own classic cars are invited to participate in the 7th annual Moraga Classic Car Show, which takes place on May 9 from 11AM to 4PM as part of the 2015 Moraga Community Faire. The $30 registration fee includes an entry ribbon, lunch for two, a commemorative photo, and a chance for owners to display their restoration work to the public. Prizes will be awarded. The registration deadline is May 1. To register, go to www.moragachamber.org/faire, or call Gloria at (925) 247-4473 or Jason at (925) 788-3889.
The Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team needs volunteer members to respond to missing person incidents, disasters, and other critical incidents. Team members are on call 24/7 year-round. The program provides required training; including wilderness traveling, first aid, map and compass usage, tracking disaster response, and search skills; and may also include special training for canine, equestrian, technical, mountain bike, or other rescue skills. For information and applications, visit www.contracostasar.org or call 646-4461.
Page 8 - April 2015 ~ Lafayette Today
Cinema Classics and Musical Notes
Easter Wines - Sparkling, Surprising, and Sweet By Monica Chappell
Nothing beats Sunday brunch, but, on Easter, it’s time to pull out all the stops. With such a wide variety of dishes at your disposal, why not start out with a refreshing glass of something sparkling. Prosecco fits the bill with its gentle softness that pairs nicely with almost any dish on the Easter table.
Don’t forget to save room for a big Easter ham at dinnertime. Now is a good time to explore white wines from Alsace. Whether made from Riesling, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris, they are a fantastic match with the natural saltiness and richness of the ham. If you are more of a red wine drinker, try a fruity but sophisticated Cru Beaujolais, made from the Gamay grape from the region’s top sites.
Maybe you’re nibbling the ear off a chocolate bunny and feeling left out right now. Fear not! Port, Madeira, or Vin Santo will accompany your sweet tooth. What dishes are on your Easter table? And what wines do you like to enjoy with them? Let us know at email@example.com. Monica Chappell teaches and writes about wine. For a class list, visit www. backtothetablecookingschool.com.
Be a TeleCare Volunteer!
Since the early 1970’s, member volunteers of TeleCare, a philanthropic program of Assistance League® of Diablo Valley, have been making daily reassurance calls, Monday through Friday, to seniors. As the chapter’s longest standing philanthropic program, TeleCare empowers seniors to live independently and remain in their homes. What ensures this is a daily confidential journal kept for each client that member volunteers consult prior to the phone calls. Last year alone, member volunteers made 3,296 reassurance calls to homebound seniors. If you live alone, or know someone who does, a daily phone call would be a great way to stay involved with life and make new friends. Other TeleCare activities include attending an annual holiday party and receiving greeting cards from the Assisteens®, kids learning community service at a young age. Here’s what one client said about TeleCare, “I am housebound. I only get out for medical appointments, so the daily call is vital. Without the call I would have no one to share my life with. Your caring means the difference between isolation and a warm feeling of family. Without exception, TeleCare is my connection to the world.” Another client’s commented, “For 13 years, TeleCare has been fantastic! I have loved every one; they are precious and so good and a big help in making me conversational.” It doesn’t get any better than that! Please make a call to (925) 934-0901, ask for a TeleCare information packet and application form, and get ready to meet some great listeners! To learn about Assistance League of Diablo Valley’s nine philanthropic programs that the thrift shop funds, visit diablovalley.assistanceleague.org.
TeleCare member volunteer Kathy Daly invites you to celebrate each and every day!
Alice Adams By Peggy Horn
This month’s Cinema Classic is Alice Adams, (1935) starring Katherine Hepburn and Fred MacMurray, and directed by George Stevens. The film was based on a novel of the same name by Booth Tarkington, and there was a prior film adaptation which was a silent film done in 1923. Katherine Hepburn was nominated for best actress for her performance in the movie, and the film was nominated for best picture at the Academy Awards ceremony of that year. This is an old fashioned movie. It’s sweet! Katherine Hepburn plays the role of Alice Adams, a young, single woman trying to make the best of a bad situation; she is poor. In the opening scenes she gets invited to the soiree of one of the wealthiest families in town. She attends the party on the arm of her reluctant brother with a corsage of hand picked violets, and her wealthy hostess will have little to do with her. One of the other guests, Arthur Russell (played by Fred MacMurray), is a member of the wealthy set, but he is attracted to pitiful, ostracized Alice. Alice is actually a very nice person whose gentle kindness and diplomacy are sources of great comfort to her father, and she uses her warmth and intelligence to smooth over numerous family squabbles. Poverty apparently makes her act silly and artificial around Arthur, but he is able to see through her defensive veneer. It’s a tribute to Mr. MacMurray’s acting ability that this movie works so well. He is elegant and debonair performing a role very different from the typical comical roles he often plays. Alice Adams is a charming film, and its old world values and situations are a big part of its appeal. The movie has a completely different ending from the novel, thanks to the producer’s insistence. I hope you will enjoy this movie as much as I do.
In researching music from 1935, the same year Alice Adams was released, I chose, “Top Hat, White Tie and Tails,” written by Irving Berlin from among the many wonderful selections that year. Fred Astaire performed the song in the movie, Top Hat, and the choreography Astaire helped create resulted in one of the cleverest routines ever!
Donation from “Mountain Jack” Ingram Benefits East Bay Hikers and Their Dogs
Hikers, joggers, bicyclists, and even dogs now have a place to rest and enjoy fresh drinking water on a popular Contra Costa County trail, thanks to a donation from an avid outdoorsman and former Lafayette resident who died in 2007. John “Mountain Jack” Ingram, who passed away in December 2007 at age 81, left $50,000 to the Regional Parks Foundation as a tribute to his parents, Stuart and Venita Ingram, who were longtime Lafayette residents. In honor of Ingram and his parents, the Regional Parks Foundation and East Bay Regional Park District recently dedicated a bench under a shady tree, a water fountain for humans and dogs, and a plaque embedded in a rock at the Olympic Boulevard Staging Area of the Lafayette-Moraga Regional Trail near downtown Lafayette. Ingram grew up in Lafayette and was in one of the first classes to graduate from Acalanes High School. He loved skiing and hiking, leading hundreds on mountain adventures in the East Bay and Sierra Nevada. Among his many contributions to Northern California outdoor life, he helped establish the Bay Area Ridge Trail, which so far includes more than 350 miles of stunning vistas and challenging terrain across the Bay Area’s hilltops. For more information about the Bay Area Ridge Trail, go to http://www.ridgetrail.org/. To learn more about the Lafayette-Moraga Trail, visit http://www. ebparks.org/parks/trails/lafayette_moraga. The East Bay Regional Park District is a system of beautiful public parks and trails in Alameda and Contra Costa counties east of San Francisco Bay, established in 1934. The system comprises 119,000 acres in 65 parks including over 1,250 miles of trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding, and nature learning.
Walking the Reservoir
Lafayette Today ~ April 2015 - Page 9
By Jim Scala
Senior Rez-walkers are going strong. Our group now totals over 35 people and is growing. We meet at the center bench at the Lafayette Reservoir at 10am, and some of us reconvene at the bandstand after walking the paved trail. At the bandstand we do some yoga poses that help improve flexibility, balance, and breathing. Beginner or advanced, we all work together. Though we’re feeling great after yoga, we have one more activity. Some bring a sack lunch, and we eat together. We’re usually heading home about 12:30. If you’re a senior who enjoys modest exercise and good fellowship, join us. Dogs are welcome and so far, they’ve all liked my dog biscuits. For two weeks, while I was called to jury duty, Dudley Braun took over and our group didn’t miss a beat – thanks Dudley. The drought gets worse. Thirty-five years ago, rain was so abundant, the west-end paved trail was under water, and I had to jog out in the field to avoid getting wet feet. Now, since there’s no water, I can walk through what was once marshes loaded with elegant white egrets seeking fish and frogs. Deep cracks are everywhere and the wildlife is gone. It’s going to be a tough summer and a continued setback for our wildlife, especially bad for insects and worse for birds. The water is very low, and it’s only April. What will things be like in August? Walking against cancer. Recent research has confirmed that exercise helps defeat cancer. It teaches that a person faced with the terrible diagnosis should stick with moderate exercise throughout the ordeal. Researchers confirmed that even rare cancers that defy chemotherapy have yielded to treatment when a regular exercise routine is followed. Here’s a chance to help a friend or loved one confronted with this terrible disease. Have them check with their doctor and explain that a good Rez-walk is about 250 calories and fits the research like the proverbial glove. Then, take them for a regular Rez-walk, and you’ll be giving a gift of life. Chris, the California Haircuts receptionist and regular walker, has defeated cancer three times. She is an excellent example of how exercise boosts the cancer treatment. Give her two thumbs up, and I promise you’ll get a great smile in return. Philosophy with a friend. I walked with Ed, a talented surgeon and Mt. Everest climber, who I worked with on three expeditions. As usual, we pondered life’s meanings and Ed observed that we strive for our perceived summit, but what really counts is how we make our climb. It seems like everyone can apply that wisdom. I added one of the Buddha’s teachings to his thoughts. We must all answer three questions. How well did you love? How fully did you live? How deeply did you let go? Lumps on Pelican’s bills. Andrea asked about the conspicuous lump that appeared on Rez pelicans’ bills in late February. Nature’s saying, “I’m ready to mate.” It’s good for pelicans but tough for fish. Pelicans gracefully glide. Notice how pelicans in flight often fly just above the water without flapping their wings. Aerodynamically, they’re using the Ground Effect. By skimming so close to the water, drag is reduced and extra lift is provided, increasing the efficiency of their wings. All birds take advantage of the effect, but none do it as gracefully as pelicans. Take an apple while you walk. Since some of my senior friends have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, I took a time out to see what modern research has uncovered about preventing this terrible disease that can tarnish, if not destroy, the golden years. I was pleasantly surprised that two preventive steps that have stood up are doing regular, moderate, aerobic activity and physical exercise that includes stretching and using balance. Obviously, walking the Rez and doing modest yoga is excellent. And there’s more about diet. Following a Mediterranean diet is also preventative, and eating apples stood out. The research adds substance to the old English adage, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Join our senior Rez-walkers, and you’ll see how easy and enjoyable it can be. See the evening star in the afternoon of April 18th. On this 240th anniversary of Paul Revere’s famous ride, I will set up a small telescope in the afternoon to show Venus to those who stop by. Bring some curious children, and Venus’ bright gibbous disk will raise some questions. I promise that the evening star will never be the same for you. Let me hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org.
$50 REWARD If you find him and your name is drawn!
He is very small, so you will have to look hard if you want to find him.
Lafayette Luther is Missing He has become lost in this paper.
Send a letter telling us where you found him, along with your name and address to:
Lost Dog! Lafayette Today, 3000F Danville Blvd #117, Alamo, CA 94507
Carmen Miramontes is our winner! Luther was hiding on page 6 last month.
Page 10 - April 2015 ~ Lafayette Today
Contra Costa’s Retirement Board Update
By Supervisor Candace Andersen
FREE Gift With Purchase! In my role as County Supervisor I was recently apPurchase 100.00 or more of Spartina Handbags, Jewelry or Accessories and receive pointed to serve on the Contra Costa County Employees’ a FREE Spartina Cosmetic Case (39.00 value) Retirement Association (CCCERA) Board of Trustees, which is the County’s Retirement Board. CCCERA is responsible for the administration, management, and guidance over a defined benefit pension system with assets currently worth close to $6 billion. Board trustees are fiduciaries who analyze the merits of investment products and work with staff ORINDA – HOLLYHOCK to determine successful diversification for the pension fund. (next to McCaulou’s) CCCERA manages the retirement pensions for not only Contra Costa County, LAFAYETTE – MADISON (next to McCaulou’s) but for the Bethel Island Municipal Improvement District; Byron, Brentwood, MONTCLAIR - McCAULOU’S SHOES Knightsen Union Cemetery District; Central Contra Costa Sanitary District; Contra Costa Housing Authority; Contra Costa Mosquito and Vector Control District; Local Agency Formation District (LAFCO); Rodeo Sanitary District; In-Home Supportive Services Authority; First 5 Children & Families Commission; Contra Costa County Fire Protection District; East Contra Costa Fire Protection District; Moraga-Orinda Fire Protection District; Rodeo-Hercules Fire Protection District; San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District; and the Contra Costa Superior Court. The Retirement Board is made up of 12 trustees. Four trustees (including an alternate) are appointed by theLafayette County Board of Supervisors; four trustees (including Today a police/fire “Safety” alternate) are elected by CCCERA’s active plan participants; and two trustees, including one alternate, are elected by the retired membership. Alternates vote in the absence of specific trustees. The County Treasurer serves as an ex-officio member. Board members serve three year terms, with the exception of the County Treasurer, who serves during his tenure in office. The Board reviews actuarial valuations, studies, and economic assumptions to protect and maintain CCCERA’s financial viability for current and future members. Board trustees make policy decisions that shape how this complex system functions, including implementing benefit structures and contribution rates for employee and employer members. It approves service retirements, disability applications, and retiree cost-of-living adjustments. It also makes decisions on a variety of issues, from listening to members with specific concerns, to IRS regulation compliance. Unfortunately, like nearly every public agency that has a defined benefit pension plan, ours is underfunded. The issue of unfunded and underfunded pension liability is prevalent in the news today as many government entities struggle to keep up with rising costs of providing retirement benefits to their current and future retirees. At the beginning of 2014, CCCERA had approximately $1.8 billion of unfunded liability. This translates to it being 76.4% funded when comparing the valuation of CCCERA’s assets against the l accrued liability determined by actuaries. Reducing unfunded pension liability is an ongoing challenge that needs to be continually addressed. Many retirement plans are still feeling the effects of the Great Recession in terms of both lost investment returns and sluggish economic growth. Back in 2007, before the Recession hit, CCCERA’s plan was 89.88% funded, and our unfunded liability, while still high, was $565 million. That’s less than half of what it is today. There are some positive things that have happened over the past two years that should help reduce the unfunded liability going forward. In March of 2013 the CCCERA board lowered its expected rate of return on investments from 7.75% to 7.25%. While it means that currently both the government employer and the employees have to put more money aside now for future pensions, it is a much more realistic number given historic trends. Another positive improvement is that CCCERA saw market gains of 14.1% in 2012 and 16.5% in 2013. Also, the Public Employee’s Pension Reform Act of 2013 (PEPRA) was passed by the State. This lowers pension benefits, and thus the expense of funding them, for new employees. PEPRA also closes loopholes that permitted the spiking of pensions. If you’re interested in learning more about our County Retirement Board, go to CCCERA’s website at CCCERA.org. You are also welcome to attend a Retirement Board meeting. Regular meetings of CCCERA are held on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month beginning at 9am. There are also quarterly and additional meetings on special topics that arise from time to time. Meetings are held at the CCCERA offices at 1355 Willow Way in Concord. Finally, my office is here to serve the residents of Contra Costa County District 2, which includes San Ramon, Danville, Alamo, Walnut Creek, Saranap, Parkmead, Lafayette, Moraga, Canyon, and Orinda. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if we can provide you with additional information on this topic or on other County issues. I can be reached at SupervisorAndersen@bos.cccounty.us or 925-957-8860.
A Breakfast to Celebrate!
Recently, Dave Obera, 88, originally from Lafayette and now a resident of “Old Town” Walnut Creek, celebrated his 500th consecutive Saturday Morning Breakfast (barring illness or surgery) at Hubcaps Diner in Walnut Creek. Each Saturday he had the same breakfast: French toast, eggs over medium, bacon, and coffee. Most of his neighbors and his family joined him for breakfast to celebrate the milestone with him!
To share a story contact Lafayette Today at 925.405.6397 or editor@ yourmonthlypaper.com Dave Obera celebrates with breakfast at Hubcaps.
Lafayette Motors Independent service and repair for Jaguar
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Lafayette Motors Independent service and repair for Mercedes Benz
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Sustainable Lafayette Tip of the Month Ways to Celebrate Earth Day
By Pamela Palitz
Lafayette Today ~ April 2015 - Page 11
This year is the 45th anniversary of Earth Day, considered the birth of the modern environmental movement. Earth Day 1970, which placed environmental concerns right up there with the anti-war and civil rights movements, was supported by Republicans and Democrats, rich and poor, urban dwellers and farmers, CEOs and labor leaders. The first Earth Day led to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts. The brainchild of Sen. Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin, Earth Day was “a national teach-in on the environment.” On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans demonstrated for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies. Today, Earth Day is recognized around the world on April 22, although festivals and rallies often are organized 410 Sycamore Valley Rd W, Danville on the weekends before or after. Many communities also observe Earth Week or Earth Month, sponsoring a series Pinotspalette.com/danville of environmental activities throughout the month of April. In Lafayette, we are celebrating Earth Day on Sunday, April 26 in the streets near the Lafayette Library from AM 11 to 3PM. The #1 thing you can do to observe Earth Day is to come to the Lafayette Earth Day event with your family, friends, and neighbors. Being surrounded by like-minded people might be as inspiring as the impressive array of vendors and exhibitors that Sustainable Lafayette has lined up for the event. 10% off Public Classes Here are eight other things you can do to get in the Earth Day spirit. #2: Volunteer. Pick a non-profit whose environmental mission appeals to you, and get in touch. You can work Disc Code: MOM10 (expires: 4/25/15) in the office, hack weeds on a trail, or host a fund-raiser. #3: Get out of your car. Carpool, tele-commute, ride a bike, or walk. #4: Pick an environmental issue and contact the appropriate elected official – local, county- 925-743-9900 wide, statewide, or national. “Share” an email or letter with your friends, and fire them up, too! #5: Install solar panels … or at least do some research to see if your house is a candidate and if it’s financially feasible. #6: Change your lightbulbs. Incandescent bulbs are so 2014. #7: Pay online. Save paper and protect yourself from mail theft. #8: Skip your shower! Just for the day, not the whole year. But keep washing your hands. Stroll Down A AStroll Down #9: Read – or re-read – Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring. The book documents the detrimental effects Resturant Row Restaurant Row of the indiscriminate use of pesticides, most notably DDT, on the environment and particularly on birds. It became a rallying point for the environmental movement in the 1960s, culminating in Earth Day. Tuesday, May 19, 2015 For more ideas about how to transform your home and your community into a more sustainable place 5:30 - 9 PM with enhanced quality of life for current and future residents, please visit sustainablelafayette.org. Knife and Fork Clipart
of Lafayette of
L a f a y e t t e
Wine & Appetizers 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. Lafayette Plaza Reception Live Music
Stroll & Taste 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. Sample 20+ Restaurants Walk -- or Take Free Shuttle
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Lafayette Plaza Reception
SPECTACULAR RAFFLE Tickets Limited! $50/person * http://bit.ly/Taste-Lafayette * Early Bird Price:
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Presented by Lafayette Chamber of Commerce
Ruth Bancroft Garden Plant Sale and Mother’s Day Events Plant Sale
Shake off the winter blues with the Ruth Bancroft Garden’s annual Spring Plant Sale. The sale is the Bay Area’s best source for drought tolerant plants, succulents, cacti, California natives, and members of the Protea family from Australia and South Africa. Featured succulents include Agaves, Aloes, and Echeverias, including gems propagated from the Garden’s plants, some dating back to Ruth’s original collection. The Garden’s expert staff, docents, and nursery propagators will provide insider tips and tricks to planting a stunning garden that looks great all year long with less irrigation than a lawn. The sale will take place Saturday, April 11 through Thursday, April 16 . Saturday • Member’s Only Sale: 9AM -11AM (memberships available at the door) • Public sale: 11AM – 3PM There will be free admission all day and the garden will be open until 4pm. Docent-led tours will be held at 11AM and 1PM. Sunday – Thursday • The public sale continues 10AM - 4PM each day
Start a Tradition - Make Memories with Mom
Come make memories with Mom on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 10. Relax in the Ruth Bancroft Garden on a beautiful spring day. Dad, pull together a picnic for everyone to enjoy in the Garden. Then, learn something new together on a docent tour. The Garden will be open 10AM - 4PM. • Free admission for Moms and children under 12 • Picnic seating available throughout the Garden • Hands-on garden activities for the whole family • Docent-led tours at 11AM, 12:30PM, and 2PM • Dish gardens and other garden inspired gifts for mom For more information, visit www.ruthbancroftgarden.org or call (925) 944-9352. The 3.5 acre Garden is located at 1552 Bancroft Road in Walnut Creek. It is filled with thousands of unique drought tolerant plants. Ruth Bancroft started the Garden, adjacent to her home, in 1972 with one-gallon pots of a wide variety of succulents, many of which are still part of the Garden. Opened to the public in the early 1990s, the Garden is an outstanding example of a water-conserving garden, appropriate for its Mediterranean climate, and its staff are respected authorities on succulents and dry gardens. The Garden houses important collections of aloes, agaves, yuccas, and echeverias.
Page 12 - April 2015 ~ Lafayette Today
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By Evan Corstorphine, Portable CIO
Wi-Fi has come a long way in the last few years. As recently as 10 years ago, wireless networking was a luxury and a bit of a novelty. When smartphones came out, it coincided with an explosion in Wi-Fi hotspots. Today, wireless networking and the devices that use it are everywhere. We’re a little spoiled and expect to have broadband Wi-Fi access wherever we go. Wi-Fi is really just the combination of radios with data. One of the limitations with Wi-Fi is that there are so many devices vying for a connection that the radio frequencies are becoming crowded. A simple analogy would be one of the old-fashioned party lines for telephones. Many people may be connected on the line, but only one person can talk at a time, or nobody can clearly hear what is being said. Wi-Fi protocols work the same way, and the more people who need to speak, the longer it will take to get your message across while everyone takes their turn. Does this make sense? Wi-Fi crowding is most evident in congested urban areas. All of this is invisible to the ordinary person trying to use their computer, unless they have special tools to “see” the wireless network. Most people think it’s their equipment or their internet provider that is the problem, and a lot of time is wasted trying to “fix” something that is unfixable without new equipment. Business parks have a lot of Wi-Fi congestion, but our most challenging Wi-Fi clients are the sororities at UC Berkeley. They have the most intense network requirements of any of our clients -- residential or commercial. One house may have 75 young women and 200 “devices” connecting to the Wi-Fi network. And all the students stream Netflix videos at night, which uses a lot of network bandwidth per user. The worst congestion hours are from 5pm until 2am. Many of the sorority houses originally invested in off-the-shelf Wi-Fi equipment to provide service to their high number of residents. And when Wi-Fi was less common, that was OK to address their situation. But with the number of computers, smartphones, and tablets trying to pull data over Wi-Fi now, it’s not enough. What they couldn’t know is that their neighbors would eventually
crowd them out as well. There are so many people using so many different wireless networks in their densely packed urban environment that their Wi-Fi signals have effectively been jammed. Everyone is affected. To analyze networks you need the right tools. We use a special tool called a spectrum analyzer, and we use it to perform extremely accurate Wi-Fi site surveys. We observe how many networks are in a given area, how strong the network signals are, and what types of interference is affecting them. We have found in business parks and the aforementioned congested urban areas, standard Wi-Fi equipment cannot cut through the congestion and newer dual-band equipment is required. Even suburban neighborhoods in our area exhibit this congestion, as our neighbors all add Wi-Fi hotspots and Comcast installs more of their “Xfinity” access spots. In addition to network congestion,Wi-Fi radios aren’t able to penetrate walls very easily and use a protocol that will momentarily stop transmitting if it senses someone else trying to use the same channel. If you and your computer are conversing with the Internet, and someone else is doing the same thing on the same frequencies on another Wi-Fi access point next door, your speed was just effectively cut in half while you share that radio space. When you get too many people trying to share a limited radio space, the speed decreases dramatically. In these cases, you may try connecting your device instead with a network cable and see if that improves things. A wire connecting you to your network is always going to be more reliable than using Wi-Fi. There are many factors involved in a successful network environment, and congestion is just one aspect. There’s a lot of misinformation in the marketplace, and off-the-shelf retail solutions have significant drawbacks. If you’ve been noticing slower speeds accessing your network and the internet, it might be time to “listen” with the spectrum analyzer to seeing what is going on. Maybe it’s time for dual-band network equipment, or simply a different approach. If you need new equipment Portable CIO has partnered with Wi-Fi vendors that we know will provide reliable and robust products. Networking is tricky, and it saves time and money to have an expert accurately evaluate your situation. If you’d like to have your network reviewed, contact the friendly staff at Portable CIO via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 925-552-7953. Advertorial
Life in the Lafayette Garden
Water-Wise Design By John Montgomery,ASLA, LandscapeArchitect
Lafayette Today ~ April 2015 - Page 13
It’s pretty clear now that we have a drought! It doesn’t look like we are going to be saved by late spring El Nino rains. EBMUD is asking you to cut back your water use even further from 10% in 2014 to 15% in 2015 because of the continued lack of rain. If needed, EBMUD is prepared to purchase Sacramento River water from their contract with the federal government to supplement our regular water supplies from the Mokelumne River. California has implemented emergency water conservation restrictions as follows. 1. Limit watering of outdoor landscapes to two times per week maximum, and prevent excess runoff. 2. Use only hoses with shutoff nozzles to wash vehicles. 3. Use a broom or blower, not water, to clean hard surfaces. 4. Turn off any fountain or decorative water feature unless the water is recirculated. Over the years I have implemented into my practice water-wise landscape design. I am a fifth generation native Californian and have been designing landscapes for over 35 years here. Living in and out of drought conditions I have Call for details learned to stay the course of good water-wise landscape design. As residents of Lafayette, it is vital to ALWAYS conserve water as a habit. It seems we should 925.939.8300 know better by now, but we get fooled from season to season when we experisolartechnologies.com ence many years of El Nino. With global warming concerns, it is time to get Lic. #932914 smart and stay smart. While the current restrictions don’t seem that drastic, here are seven practices I always implement into my designs which you can implement into your new or existing landscape no matter what the forecast might be. One: Start with your soil. Thriving soil with good organics is the foundation of a water conserving landscape. How much water you need to keep your landscape alive is directly equivalent to the amount of compost in your soil. Compost increases permeability and capacity to hold water, thus reducing the amount needed for irrigation and thus lowering your watering bills. Two: Use Plants and Landscapes for Summer-dry Climates of the SF Bay Region (EBMUD book); these types of plants have adapted to summer dry conditions and once established can survive dry summers with little or no water. There is an old gardener’s adage: “right plant – right place.”Appropriately designed planting requires less watering, pruning, fertilizing, and spraying, thus lowering operating costs and use of resources. Minimize your lawn area. One thousand sq. ft. of turf can save about 10,000 gallons of water per dry season. If you absolutely need a lawn, minimize the size and place them where they will be used for relaxation and play, or consider artificial turf. Three: Cluster your plantings by water needs. This method is known as hydrozoning. In a hot sunny location group sun-loving, low water use plants, and then design the irrigation system to water that cluster of plants. The same goes for shade areas. Hydro-zoning can more easily match plant requirements, thus saving water. Hydro-zoning allows you to separate your irrigation valves so each zone can be managed more accurately. This method can save you an unbelievable amount of water! Four: Design and install high efficiency irrigation systems. Use bubbler and in-line drip irrigation where possible so that water can be applied directly to the root zone. Minimize spray irrigation where possible. Use the newest irrigation technology; MPR (matched precipitation rates) sprinkler heads, bubbler, drip, micro-sprays, and in-line drip; and upgrade to a new controller. There are many choices that offer high technology that uses historical weather data, solar and moisture sensors, and rain sensors. Some can even detect problems like a broken sprinkler head. I installed a “Water Smart” controller last summer and have been able to save 20%. With new technology I believe you could easily save 25-50% of the water you use for your landscape now! Five: Manage your landscape water use: know your landscape watering needs and how much water is being applied. Adjust your controller often as weather conditions change. Install a new “Water Smart” controller. Set your controller to water early in the morning when evaporation rates are low and wind is calm. Water deep and less often; this will allow water to get into the root zones. Avoid overwatering and run-off. Most people overwater! Good water management saves thousands of gallons! Six: Mulch! Mulch reduces water loss and prevents weed growth. Mulch often! Regularly mulch around your trees, shrubs, and ground covers and cultivate your soil regularly to allow water to penetrate more easily. Seven: Make saving water important to you! Every drip counts! Get involved in your garden. Use licensed landscape professionals to assist you in water-wise design and implementation of your garden. A hot tip from your local Landscape Architect: Water is the new commodity! Investing in a water-wise planting and irrigation design for your new or existing garden can save you thousands of $$ over time! The savings can well exceed the cost of the design itself! Gardening Quote of the Month: “The frog does not drink up the pond in which he lives.” - Native American Saying If you would like me to write on any particular subject, email your ideas to jmontgomery@ Advertorial jm-la.com. For design ideas, visit www.jm-la.com.
Page 14 - April 2015 ~ Lafayette Today
Walnut Creek Veterinary Hospital Jill Christofferson, DVM 130 La Casa Via, Suite 103A Walnut Creek, CA 94598 925-448-2908 www.wcvethosp.com
St. Perpetua Wins 5th Grade American Division Diocese Championship St. Perpetua’s 5th grade boys basketball team capped a successful season with a 9-1 league record and the championship title in the Oakland Diocese American Division tournament. Back row, from left: Hector Chao, Tate Nelson, James Frye, Mike Kostolansky, Marco Chao, Noah Deitrick, Matt Nelson. Front row: Jack Wood, Kyle White, Harry Llewellyn, Will Stryker, Luke Souza.
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.
Tree of the Season
By Blaine Brende & Joe Lamb Japanese Maples
Japanese maples have an elegance and sculptural quality that resembles dance. Careful study of their form, in any season, can call the viewer back to the natural world. In winter, the falling leaves raise the curtain on the form of the trunks and put the dance on center stage. Winter rain intensifies the show by adding a sensuality to the movement of stem and bough, one that beckons to even the unpracticed eye. In spring, certain varieties of Japanese maples send out new leaves so bright a green they appear lit from within. In summer, upright cultivars that are well pruned have spaces between the branches, giving the canopy the appearance of being composed of many floating islands. And in fall, Japanese maples mark the change of season by turning colors ranging from yellow to scarlet, depending on the variety of maple; there are many varieties. Luckily, Japanese maples are relatively easy to grow and relatively tough. In their long evolutionary dance–fossilized maple leaves date back over 60 million years–Japanese maples have developed the genetic information necessary to protect them against most common garden afflictions. They are, however, subject to verticillium wilt, a soil-borne fungal disease that can cause dieback, and sometimes death. There is no known cure for verticillium, but you can decrease the likelihood of your new maple getting the disease if you 1) don’t plant it in ground known to have verticillium, 2) make sure the soil around the tree is well drained so that the roots don’t remain soggy throughout the winter, and 3) protect the tree against environmental stresses by giving it summer water and keeping it well mulched. Maples can grow and remain healthy in gardens with a history of verticillium. If they are not stressed by soils too damp, too dry, or too compacted, some individual maples can thrive even though a near neighbor may die. It depends on the genetics of the individual. If your mature maple shows significant dieback, it may be fighting a case of verticillium. It is not necessarily a death sentence. Some trees succeed in fighting off the disease. You can help them recover by pruning out the deadwood and improving the soil environment by mulching and aerating. Though some varieties can withstand full sun, Japanese maples do best in part shade. They do not thrive when exposed to the drying effect of constant wind. If you live on an exposed hillside, it is best to plant them in the lee of a larger tree. Dieback in Japanese maple crowns often is the result of too much sun, too much wind, or the even more deadly combination of the two. Maples need water. Keeping them moist throughout the summer and fall, and into the early winter in dry years, will make them happier and more disease resistant. Pruning, besides benefiting the mental health of the pruner, can enhance the grace of the plant. If your pruner is an artist, removing deadwood and teasing apart the plant’s natural layering opens little windows that reveal and accentuate the tree’s natural form. A well-pruned tree looks as if it hasn’t been pruned. Paradoxically, it looks more natural after pruning than before. Though it is sometimes necessary to lower the crown of a maple, as when it is beginning to block a treasured view, lowering should be done only when necessary, and the lowering should not be so drastic as to involve topping cuts (see the article on topping). Lowering a maple to gain a view is not something that you can do just once. Pruning down the crown stimulates new growth, and maintaining the view or the size reduction, will require yearly pruning. No matter how good the artist, you can’t make a topped maple look as good as a natural tree. Much pruning, and therefore expense, can be avoided by planting the right variety in the right place. When planting a new tree, plant a cultivar that won’t exceed the desired height when it matures. This is almost always preferable to containing a variety that will grow beyond the desired size. It is our hope at Brende & Lamb that the pleasure our clients derive from their well-pruned trees exceeds the considerable pleasure we get from revealing the beauty inherent in their trees. If your trees need a little TLC, please call 510-486-TREE (8733) or email us at email@example.com for a free estimate. Additionally, go to our website www.brendelamb.com to see before and after pictures, client testimonials, Advertorial and work in your neighborhood.
Lafayette Today ~ April 2015 - Page 15
GoSimpleSolar, Energy Matters It’s a Small World By Mark Becker, GoSimpleSolar
I recently had the pleasure to be contracted to install a ground mounted solar PV system for a fellow veteran. Naturally, we exchanged military experiences. He was a Navy surgeon and retired as an Admiral. I was a Marine attack helicopter pilot. During the First Gulf War, the most rewarding task assigned to my attack squadron was to fly armed protection for medevac helicopters as they performed casualty evacuations. After one such night escort mission at a remote field hospital, I distinctly remember a tough-as-nails Marine Master Gunnery Sergeant who had been driven to tears as he related how Allied fighter-bombers confused his self-propelled 8-inch gun platoon for Iraqi tanks and attacked them. Deployment of their surface-to-air Stinger missiles to shoot down the “friendly” Allied airplanes was the only way the “Master Gunny” could protect his Marines from the repeated cluster bomb attacks. Fortunately, the Allied fighter-bombers realized their mistake and called off the strike, but only after causing numerous casualties. After donning night vision goggles, our flight of two “snakes” and two “frogs” scrambled to respond to the medevac call. We had difficulty locating the self-propelled gun platoon; they had changed position to seek care for their wounded. Running low on fuel, we found the unit as we returned towards base. The wounded Marines were loaded onboard the medevacs and delivered to the field hospital where the surgeon (future customer) was stationed. He may have tended to these same casualties. It’s indeed a small world. PGE Alert: If you are on a PGE residential or business “Time of Use” (TOU) rate, beware. On May 1st, PGE “Peak” rates go into effect. This is the first summer that all businesses have been forced into TOU rates. Higher cost electricity theoretically de-incentivizes greater electric usage. Peak rates for businesses go into effect from 1pm to 7pm, and for residential customers from 12pm to 6pm. For residential and business solar customers, bill credits generated by solar energy exports (electricity back to the grid by solar) during more expensive peak hours increases the annual savings that solar already provides. PGE is mandated to credit solar customers the COST of the kilowatt at the time it’s exported to the grid. PGE will then sell it to neighboring homes or businesses. It’s almost always less expensive to generate your own energy via solar than to repeatedly pay electric bills to PGE which generate zero financial return. There are hundreds of thousands of combat veterans that have experienced emotional and/or physical trauma yet “soldier on” to live successful and rewarding lives. We’re proud to have multiple veteran customers and especially proud to have a veteran employee who is still serving. All veterans deserve our nation’s support and respect. By nature, they won’t ask nor extend their open hand. The solar industry is one of our nation’s fastest growing job sectors, now it has been coupled with a motivated work force as part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s “Sunshot” program. At select military bases, veterans are trained upon release from active duty for careers in solar PV sales, installations, inspections, and maintenance. Employment of our veterans whose military jobs skills are not typically transferable to the civilian work force is a shared public and private obligation. If you provide opportunity, our veterans will succeed. The US Military is the world’s largest purchaser of renewable energy, in particular, solar energy systems and biofuels. SunPower Corporation, a Silicon Valley based solar manufacturer of high efficiency solar PV panels, supplies many solar panels to the US Military. We’re proud to have recently become an authorized SunPower dealer. We’re also proud to continue to offer SolarWorld USA products, America’s largest manufacturer of solar PV panels. If you would like GoSimpleSolar to demonstrate how a solar PV system can save you money for your home or business, please visit our showroom at 115 West Linda Mesa Avenue, Danville. You can also submit a quote request via www.GoSimpleSolar.com/getquote. Please ask us about our veteran’s and public service discounts. Mark Becker is the President and business owner of GoSimpleSolar, by Semper Fidelis Construction Inc. CSLB 948715. GoSimpleSolar is one of the very few (and proud) solar PV installers utilizing both licensed roofers and licensed electricians for installation work, project managed by a solar PV NABCEP professional. For questions or comments email Mark@GoSimpleSolar.com. Advertorial
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Page 16 - April 2015 ~ Lafayette Today
By Linda Summers Pirkle
Forget scented candles--my son Reed’s beer making endeavors in my kitchen produce a wonderful hoppy aroma that rivals the homey smell of an apple pie baking in the oven. On a summer day, I welcome his beer making hobby because of the delicious scent from the large pot while it is brewing and for the inevitable gathering of his friends at our house. The beer at the beginning stage of being made is referred to as wort. It needs to ferment for weeks before it is ready, but I know at the beginning of the beer making process a tri-tip will be put on the grill later in the day and I will hear lots of laughing and discussion on the best home brew. I am reminded that the fun part is in the process. The process of making mead, an ancient elixir which was the precursor to ale and wine, has been for Gordon Hull, geologist turned mead maker, full of discovery. Now a successful business, Heidrun, Hull’s company, produces mead on a 16 acre farm in beautiful Pt. Reyes. The mead is served in restaurants including Greens, Chez Panisse, and the French Laundry, and it is sold in many markets such as Whole Foods and Cowgirl Creamery. I had no idea what to expect, but with my first taste of mead, I was a convert. All five samples were delicious and distinctly different, all of them refreshing. As Gordon Hull explained, “The spectrum of flavors among honey varieties (used in the making of mead) is far broader than grape varietals, and that is how we come to make mead varietals that can taste like everything from elegant Champagne to a robust Belgian Saison.” Traditional meads are very sweet, but Gordon Hull wanted to make sparkling, dry mead. On a whim, in 1995 he purchased a gallon of honey from a Humboldt County bee keeper. He recalls, “I was more than a little pleased with the results of that first try—the mead was light, crisp, delicate, and clean with very subtle floral notes. It was downright refreshing and easy to drink too.” It was so good that he thought the batch he made was a fluke, and he proceeded to try making a second batch. He wanted to replicate his first success, so he stayed with exactly the same recipe and ingredients. Unfortunately, the bee keeper was out of honey, so he purchased other honey from a different area. This time, instead of a blackberry honey, the new honey was a gallon of a
Gardening with Kate By Kathleen Guillaume
Joy of joys, I have several garden regular hummingbirds who are always with me. A few days ago I looked up from my weeding to say hello to the hummer hovering above my head, and it was a ruby throat. It is the first one that has ever visited my garden. It brought back so many memories of my Grandmother’s garden in Santa Barbara, where she had 20 plus ruby throats return every year on their migratory path, knowing that the garden held plenty of the fuel they needed for a long visit. Some hummers had come so often that she had named them and recognized them when they returned. They were used to her presence and the safety her garden provided. They would hover just over her head or inches from her face almost as though they were acknowledging the feast of nectars she provided. After Gramps went to work, Grams spent every waking minute outside in her garden. It was hard not to fall in love with the very act of gardening, as she made me a part of her daily rounds. Hopefully this ruby throat will bring others and make my garden a yearly refueling stop. I am sure that you have gotten the word that California’s drought has deepened, especially with the woefully inadequate snow pack in the Sierras this year. We will surely end up with water restrictions. For those of you who have voluntarily reduced your water consumption over the last four years, please note that most restrictions that are passed call for a blanket reduction of ‘x% over current usage. This short sided approach punishes those of us who have conserved and rewards water wasters, bringing them down to levels that often exceed our uses of five to six years ago. It is important to lobby on your own behalf to have a base water use per household and reductions based on use in excess of that amount. I have cut my water usage by almost 40% from the amount I used five or six years ago, as many of the gardeners I know have. This has been done by changing out our irrigation systems and watering habits. Grouping our
www.yourmonthlypaper.com darker wildflower honey, also of Humboldt County origin. The second mead Hull made was “delightful, but, interestingly, it had a different character—more notes of earth and spice than the previous batch.” The rest is history. Hull recounted, “Since nothing else I was aware of had been altered between the two batches, I was led to believe that the differing honeys had contributed the individuality of each batch. What a novel discovery, I thought, that there could be an equivalent in honey to varietals of grapes used in winemaking.” Heidrun Meadery recently opened their gates to the public, and in February 2015 they started offering tours and tastings. Samples are served icy cold in champagne flutes. The names of the different meads offered at Heidrun reflect the types of honey used in their making: Madras Carrot Honey Blossom, California Orange Blossom Honey, Alfalfa and Clover Blossom Honey, Point Reyes Wild Flower, and my personal favorite Hawaiian Macadamia Nut Honey. The Meadery is a wonderful place to gather, taste, tour, and learn more about the history of mead. Picnickers are welcome (no BBQ’s) by reservation. *Heidrun Meadery is located at 11925 State Hwy 1, Point Reyes Station and is open Monday-Friday from 10AM- 4PM and Saturday and Sunday 11AM5PM. Tastings are $10 per person (must be over 21 years of age) and tour and tastings are $15 per person. Their phone number is 415-663-9122, and their website is HeidrunMeadery.com. Chef dinners held at the Meadery sell out quickly, so check the website for their schedule. 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. To share your “Quick Trips” ideas email Coverthemap@gmail.com.
925.934.3743 • 925.934.1515
www.dumploadsonus.com • www.erecycleonus.com 1271 Boulevard Way, Walnut Creek Monday-Friday, 8-5 • Saturday 9-1, Sunday, closed higher water use plants in the same zone, having low water use plant material in all other areas, and not letting water run unused in our homes. I would be devastated by a cut of an additional 10 to 20% as I have nothing left to cut. All of our local nurseries are carrying more and more low water use plants, which will still allow us to have a healthy garden. Growers have worked on producing hybrids and reintroducing lovely specimens that use little to no water once established. Many have taken advantage of the rebates offered by water districts to eliminate or reduce lawn size, install wiser irrigation systems, and change out plantings. One of the areas of the Gardens at Fioli that I loved was a wave of santolinas and germanders planted in rows that swirled with curves. The beauty is created by the contrasting foliage of deep greens and grey greens. This can be accomplished with other low water use combinations, various lavenders interwoven with the above, or a series of clumping grasses, and Carexes such as fescues and orange sedge. You can take a low water use bed or an area of lawn and create a rewarding pattern. The best way to do this is to lay a garden hose in the center and create a series of undulating curves along its length. Then plant a row of plants following these curves. Remove the hose and plant the next row of a contrasting plant following the same curves as the original planted row on either side, and keep building on that. Remember to pay attention to the final size of each plant. If a lavender is to eventually grow to be 20” wide, they must be planted 20-24” apart. This can be done also on a smaller scale with thymes, a row of lime thyme, a row of silver thyme, then white thyme, followed by wooly them elfin...planting the tallest in the back of the area where it will be viewed from and the lowest elfin at the edge of the viewing area. The possibilities are endless to apply this concept on either a large scale or small. In shady areas this can be done with various sizes of ajuga, which has leaves from burgundy to bronze to deep greens and variegated, using the same method as the thyme wave. This is a fun way to play with a bed that guaranties an impactful appearance and water savings. Create your own wave bed, and have fun. Happy Gardening.
Estate Planning for Blended Families By Robert J. Silverman, Esq.
Remarriage is on the rise, particularly among older adults. Approximately 20% of adults in the United States have been married two or more times. As important as estate planning is for non-blended families, it is imperative for blended families to engage in careful estate planning. Failing to do so can result in detrimental unintended consequences and problems. Smart, thoughtful planning can help avoid such problems by balancing and reconciling potential competing interests. Let’s start a hypothetical case study so we can begin to explore some important estate planning issues facing blended families. Jay, 65, has children, Jeff and Judy, who are 40 and 35. Years ago, Jay divorced Jeff and Judy’s mother. Jay remarries another divorcee, Bea, 55. Bea has a 20 year old child, Betty. Jay brought into the marriage a house worth $800K (with no mortgage) and cash, securities and retirement plan funds totaling $200K. He and Bea live in his house. Bea brought into the marriage cash, securities and retirement plan funds totaling $400K. First, an estate plan cannot be done properly in a vacuum, so Jay and Bea need to answer many important questions before I can help them create an appropriate estate plan, such as those concerning any premarital agreement they may have, their health, children, income, retirement plans, how long they plan to keep Jay’s house, and how they handle their finances. Even after knowing the answers to the above questions, many types of plans and choices will be available. One choice would involve Jay and Bea keeping their assets separate and establishing a separate estate plan for each of them (a Living Trust, Will, Power of Attorney and Advance Healthcare Directive). They would each make their own decisions about to whom, how, and when their assets will be distributed on their respective deaths. Each of Jay’s and Bea’s Living Trusts may include distributions to his or her children, spouse or a combination thereof; and these distributions might be outright and/or to be held in trust for some period of time. Another common, efficient alternative is for Jay and Bea to establish a joint Living Trust for all of their collective assets, which trust splits into two pots (“subtrusts”) on the first death. By the way, contrary to a common misconception, a joint trust can contain both separate and community property assets. On the first death, the assets owned by the deceased spouse go into one sub-trust, and the
A Take on Supply!
By Art Lehman, Village Associates Realtors
There is no question that part of the reason that home prices in our area have skyrocketed is there is a low inventory of homes on the market. Why is this happening? I think one major reason is that baby boomers are simply not moving as many predicted they would. Baby boomers seem to be staying put. For many of them a big obstacle may be where they would move to. Some baby boomers dream of downsizing to a smaller place leaving their beloved “burbs” to head to the urban world of condos/apartments. They envision living within walking distance to restaurants, entertainment, and more. The trouble is moving to some of these urban areas with over-the-top housing prices, for instance San Francisco, makes our area seem cheap – and, what you may get for those inflated prices may be hard to rationalize. It can be hard to justify leaving a home that is largely paid off, larger in size, and familiar and safe. Young families looking to move into our communities (as many of us did years ago) may find that not much inventory is available and when a property is for sale they are paying premium prices. At this point in time the inventory doesn’t look like it will be increasing soon. The main reasons for homes coming on the market for sale appear to be due to relocation, death, or divorce. Those baby boomers that are moving often buy their next home out of the state where lifestyles maybe cheaper. If are considering putting your home on the market, it certainly is the best-selling market I have seen in my career. How long it will this last? I make no predications! 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 sign up www.artlehman.com or call! Advertorial
Lafayette Today ~ April 2015 - Page 17 assets owned by the surviving spouse go into another sub-trust. Once the assets are segregated in these two sub-trusts following the first death, sensitive decisions need to be made by Jay and Bea, related to the assets of the deceased spouse, including a) what access, if any, will the surviving spouse have to the assets in the deceased spouse’s sub-trust?; b) what assets, if any, that had been owned by the deceased spouse will go directly to his or her children (instead of going into the deceased spouse’s sub-trust to be available for the surviving spouse’s needs)?; and c) who will serve as trustee (“manager”) of the deceased spouse’s sub-trust during the surviving spouse’s lifetime? Unfortunately, the answers to these questions often lead to a Living Trust that is not optimal and instead leads to unnecessary conflicts. Most plans allow the surviving spouse access to the deceased spouse’s sub-trust for the survivor’s needs and then, when the surviving spouse dies, the children of the deceased spouse receive the balance, if any. Furthermore, the surviving spouse typically serves as the trustee of the deceased spouse’s sub-trust. This scenario is not necessarily right or wrong; however, serious consideration should be given to the dynamics created by such structure. During the lifetime of the surviving spouse, his or her interest (e.g. in withdrawing funds from the deceased spouse’s sub trust) is in direct conflict with the interests of the deceased spouse’s children – since the potential inheritance by the children will largely depend on how much their step-parent withdrew. Further, if the surviving spouse serves as trustee of the deceased spouse’s sub-trust, he or she is “the fox guarding the hen house” who not only exercises discretion as to withdrawals but may also invest the trust funds differently than his or her step-children would. Sadly, a frequent consequence of poor planning is damage or destruction of the relationship, and sometimes litigation, between step-parent and step-children. Next month, my article will explore some strategies that may help Jay and Bea balance and reconcile some of these potential conflicts. Upon request, I’ll be happy to provide you, on a complimentary basis, any or all of the following: i) an “Estate Planning Primer”; ii) a brochure on alternative methods of holding title to property; iii) an introductory meeting. Mr. Silverman is an attorney with R. Silverman Law Group, 1855 Olympic Blvd., Suite 125, Walnut Creek, CA 94596; (925) 705-4474; email@example.com. This article is intended to provide information of a general nature, and should not be relied upon as legal, tax and/ or business advice. Readers should obtain specific advice from their own, qualified professional advisors. Advertorial
Scottish Country Dancing
Come dance every Thursday evening, year-round. 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 8PM. More experienced dancers also begin at 8PM. Once a month Ceilidh dancing will take place as well. Dancing will be held at the Danville Grange, located at 743 Diablo Rd in Danville. All dance nights are drop-in. The first beginner lesson is free, 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.
www.yourmonthlypaper.com Lic# 1100014354; Bay Area Entertainment
Page 18 - April 2015 ~ Lafayette Today
Dogtown continued from front page
agility demonstrations, fun dog competitions, creative canine crafts, and other activities for dog lovers of all ages. Don’t miss this opportunity to see the Doggie Diner float! There will also be a special author reading of Saving Audie: A Pit Bull Puppy Gets a Second Chance that includes an opportunity to meet Audie! The Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) and Contra Costa County Animal Services will be available for pet adoptions and animal rescue group representatives and other dog-related vendors will be on hand. True to Lafayette’s passion for lifelong learning, the Dogtown Downtown event also has a strong educational offering, too. Plan on attending veterinary care presentations by local veterinary specialists. Don’t forget: Dogs are invited! Well-behaved dogs on leash and under the control of their pet owners are invited to attend.
Brainwaves by Betsy Streeter
Top Six Reasons for You to Take Your Dog to Lafayette Dogtown Downtown
1. This event celebrates dogs. Why would you leave yours at home? 2. Show furry family pride! Lafayette Dogtown Downtown kicks off with a Grand Parade that starts at 10am from Lafayette Plaza Park (Mt. Diablo and Moraga Road) and continues down Golden Gate Way to the Lafayette Library and Learning Center. After the parade, there are friendly competitions in the following categories: Best Dog-Owner Team Trick, Looks Most Like Owner, Best Costume (dogs only!), and Best of Show. 3. Encourage your dog to learn new tricks. Throughout the event there will be demonstrations from the “professionals” – service dogs, police dogs, and dogs advanced in agility training, among others. 4. Make easy conversation. Can you think of an easier way to strike up a conversation or find immediate common ground with neighbors at a dog event like this than to let your dog sniff out new friends? Woof. 5. Break the library rules. Chance of a lifetime: During the Lafayette Dogtown Downtown event only, dogs are allowed in the library and its classrooms, including during the veterinary presentations. 6. Get help picking out a new furry brother or sister. Tony La Russa’s ARF and Contra Costa County Animal Services will be on hand with adoptable pets. Is your family ready to expand?
Comics continued from front page
tell a story with pictures and words,” says Field. “That’s comics!” LLLC Teen and Adult Services Library Assistant Orlando Guzman brought Free Comic Book Day festivities into the Contra Costa Library system three years ago. A lifelong comic book fan, Guzman sought to pass on his love and passion for comic books and graphic novels, and help share
Comic book fans flock to the Lafayette Library and Learning Center’s Free Comic Day festivities.
the American art form with the public. “Comics can be used as a format for literacy, especially for kids and teens who just aren’t interested in or have difficulty with decoding the written word,” says Guzman. “When parents of young children come in to the Library and tell me that their child just doesn’t want to read or that they are having difficulty reading, I lead them to our children’s graphic novel section and show them the many adaptations
See Comics continued on page 20
Birds continued from front page
Mt. Diablo Audubon Society member Tracy Farrington has identified 96 bird species within Heather Farms Park within the last few years. He says the area tops out at about 130 different species. An avid “birder” since 1970, Farrington loves the treasure hunt aspect of bird watching. In a onehour period, he can identify about 35 species at Heather Farm. “It has a nice natural pond featuring water fowl, herons, and egrets, and small patches of mixed wood and grassy areas that attract hawk and vulture flyovers,” says Farrington. “It’s a wonderful, easily gotten-to location.” Farrington finds a child’s joy in bird watching. “The pursuit, the chase, the hunt – it’s endlessly fascinating and a fun challenge,” he says. He has traveled to Costa Rica and Florida to feed his birding “addiction.” With 10,000 species worldwide, the greatest number of land vertebrates, the hunt is unbounded. And the low pressure, non-performance hobby can be shared and enjoyed by anyone, anywhere. Ann Hoff, a volunteer at the Lindsay Wildlife Hospital and a member of the Golden Gate Audubon Society, says one need only look to their front yard to spot a myriad of birds, such as sparrows, goldfinches, house finches, hummingbirds, jays, and crows. “Once one begins to take notice of birds, it’s amazing how many different species one can spot,” says Hoff, who fell under the bird watching spell many years ago when she sought an outdoor activity that would better allow her to appreciate the beauty of the Bay Area. “Bird watching is an activity that feeds man’s urge to understand and name things, and to participate in a shared experience. And it is addicting. You develop a desire to see newer, rarer birds.” Both Hoff and Farrington describe the birding community as generous, helpful, and willing to share. “We welcome novice birders,” says Farrington, who recommends beginners start with outings sponsored by the Audubon Society. “Anyone is always invited to activities, and one need not be a member,” he says. “The vast majority of birders are generous with information, and we encourage participation.” Farrington admits to an enlightened selfish interest. “If people develop an interest in birding, they then develop a vested interest in the preservation of birds and their habitats. The more we can get others involved, the better off we all are.” For information on Bay Area bird watching, visit www.diabloaudubon. com for classes, a calendar of events, and membership information.
In Plastic Surgery, it’s the Little Things that Count By Barbara Persons, MD, Persons Plastic Surgery, Inc.
For most of us, the littlest things can have the biggest impact on our happiness. As a mother of three, nothing makes me happier than a pair of little arms from one of my kids wrapped around my neck. As a board-certified plastic surgeon, nothing is more precious to me than the big hug I get from a patient on whom I have operated after a difficult ordeal (like breast cancer) or performed a cosmetic procedure on that helps them get their ‘groove’ back. I think a lot about the little things as summer approaches and we begin to bare more of our skin. Many people panic about this level of exposure and we begin to focus on the parts of our body and face that feel less than perfect to us. What most people unfamiliar with cosmetic and reconstructive surgery do not know is that there are many little ways that we can address and improve how we look that can have a huge impact on how we feel about ourselves. In many cases, my patients experience the most satisfying results when we take an incremental approach to improvements. For example, using fillers like Radiesse®, Juvéderm®, and Restylane® in strategic spots on the face can create a look of vibrancy and youth that is completely natural, budget-friendly, and results in no down-time. This is also the time of year when many of my patients choose to do more advanced procedures like blepharoplasty (eyelid lifts) and breast augmentation or lifts. While these surgeries do require more healing time, the impact they have is quite remarkable. Here are a few of the procedures that we offer at Persons Plastic Surgery, Lafayette that can help you look and feel ready for summer: Fraxel® Laser is proven laser technology that can help reverse the visible effects of aging, naturally helping you look as young as you feel. Fraxel technology is proven, effective, and non-invasive.
Earth continued from front page
“There will be a variety of activities and attractions that will appeal to a wide audience, children and adults alike,” said Brad Crane, a Sustainable Lafayette board member who is chairing the event. “The theme of Green Transportation provides visitors will a greater opportunity to interact with vendors and products – a chance to ride an electric scooter or a solar bike/car hybrid.” Since Lafayette is a community with a growing number of electric and hybrid cars, the festival will showcase greener transportation alternatives that demonstrate a future without reliance on single passenger, gas-burning vehicles. The UC Berkeley solar car team, CalSol, will bring its solar powered car “The Zephyr,” designed by students at the university. Organic Transit will be offering test drives of its ELF Solar Powered Electric Vehicle - a solar and pedal hybrid vehicle powered by a driver and the sun. The ELF has been called “a revolution in urban eco-mobility” and can travel up to 20mph on electric power only and up to 30mph when combined with pedaling. The Earth Day Festival will also feature live music, art, storytelling, a scavenger hunt, and conservation-themed displays. Children’s author Deborah Lee Rose will read one of her environmentally conscious books to young children, and live music will be provided by the Contra Costa Children’s Chorus. Artists will lead a community youth art project, and the ever-popular Kids’ Scavenger Hunt returns with prizes for a completed conservation “passport.” Environmentally themed science fair projects from Lafayette’s elementary school students will also be on display. At noon, the Lafayette Green Awards will be announced. The awards recognize outstanding efforts by residents, local businesses, schools, community organizations, and in green building projects that contribute to a more sustainable community and help the city achieve its’ environmental goals. The festival will offer tasty and sustainable food options, including the No No Burger food truck, Vitality Bowls, Mariposa Bakery, and the ice cream bike from Curbside Creamery. There will also be fresh products for the home and garden, including veggie garden starters from the Lafayette Community Garden and certified, natural products by H20 at Home. “Farm Fresh to You” will also be at the festival to show residents how they can have organically grown fruits and vegetables delivered to their door. A portion of the funds raised for the 2015 Earth Day Festival will support alternative transportation initiatives for the Lafayette School District. Donations for Lafayette’s 2015 Earth Day Festival are tax deductible.
Lafayette Today ~ April 2015 - Page 19 Fraxel® Laser is the original fractional laser treatment that works below the skin’s surface to address fine lines and wrinkles, surface scarring, pigmentation (including age spots), and sun damage. Fractionated laser light energy stimulates your skin’s natural collagen, rejuvenating skin cells below the surface to help smooth the creases and pockets that cause wrinkles and scars. Patients can see results after a single Fraxel treatment and will continue to see softer, smoother, and more eventoned skin over the next 3-6 months. There are several types of Fraxel procedures to meet your specific needs. For most Fraxel Laser procedures, there are few side effects and low downtime. As with all procedures, a consultation with our expert staff will help you decide if Fraxel Laser or another laser treatment is right for you. Blepharoplasty is a surgical procedure for saggy eyelids. Eyelid surgery (upper and lower) is a great way to rejuvenate and refresh your appearance. This procedure targets the bulges, bags, and excess skin of the upper and lower eyelids that can make you look tired and droopy-eyed. While saggy eyelids may start as early as our 20’s, eventually, it affects everyone. Happily, no matter what your age, it can be surgically corrected to create a more youthful and vibrant-looking you. At Persons Plastic Surgery, we usually perform upper and lower lid surgery simultaneously. But we can address just upper or lower as needed, or in conjunction with face, neck, or brow lift surgery. What makes eyelid surgery such an excellent ‘quick fix’ procedure is that there is usually only mild discomfort and little downtime. You may see some discoloration, but this will improve after a week or two. And most patients can go back to work in 8 to 10 days. You will look like you, only better. As a Plastic Surgeon, I have a great passion to help my patients look and feel their best. At Persons Plastic Surgery, we take a holistic approach to helping you look and feel happy. We invite you to come in for a consultation. Even a minor procedure can have a major effect on your sense of well-being. Small can be the new big! Persons Plastic Surgery, Inc. is located at 911 Moraga Rd, Suite 205 in Lafayette. To contact me call 925-283-4012 or email drbarb@ personsplasticsurgery.com. Advertorial Attendees are encouraged to use green modes of transportation since there is limited parking around the event location. There will be free bike valet service and free Bike Index registration by Girl Scout Troop 32851 at the intersection of Golden Gate Way and First Street. For more information, visit www.sustainablelafayette.org/our-events/earthday-festival/.
No-Cost Energy and Water Assessments
This summer, Rising Sun Energy Center’s California Youth Energy Services (CYES) program will provide local residents with no-cost energy and water conservation services through a partnership with Pacific Gas and Electric Company the City of Lafayette, the Town of Moraga, and local water districts. CYES trains and employs local youth ages 15 to 22 to become ‘Energy Specialists’ who serve their city’s residents with Green House Calls (GHC). At each GHC, Energy Specialists perform an energy and water efficiency assessment; install energy-efficient lighting, water-efficient showerheads, and faucet aerators; perform a toilet leak detection test; inspect attic insulation; provide e-waste pick-up and disposal; offer tips on recycling and energy and water conservation to save money on utility bills; and give an energy-conscious gift from Rising Sun Energy Center — all at no cost to residents. The program helps cities reach their Climate Action Plan targets and do their part to address California’s drought. GHC will begin July 1 and run through August 6, and calls are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Reserve your spot now and start saving on your bills! Call 510-665-1501 x5 to schedule your Green House Call, or sign up online at www.risingsunenergy.org/content/greencall.html. For more information about Rising Sun and its programs, visit www. risingsunenergy.org.
The San Ramon Valley Genealogical Society meets at 10am 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.
Page 20 - April 2015 ~ Lafayette Today
Your Personal Nutritionist
Case History of a Prediabetic Six year old and Obese Mom By Linda Michaelis RD,MS
I recently received a referral from a pediatrician for a six year old girl with prediabetes. Though relatively rare, I decided to include this case study here since it illustrates important lessons for everyone. Mother Diane took her daughter Carly (names are changed) to see the doctor because, all of a sudden, Carly was wetting the bed, going to the bathroom often, and always wanting to go to sleep on the couch. The doctor took a blood and urine test and saw that Carly had elevated blood sugar levels. Needless to say, Diane was terrified and called me from the doctor’s office to make an appointment. Diane herself is obese and does not have any foundation concerning basic nutrition. Carly’s diagnosis from the doctor was a wake up call for both Diane and her child. I asked Diane to bring in a food diary of what Carly had eaten for the previous three days. Carly is not overweight, but I am sure over time she would follow in her mom’s footsteps. The food diary showed that for breakfast Carly drank orange juice, ate high sugar cereals such as Fruit Loops and Sugar Pops, or had pancakes with lots of maple syrup and butter each day. Carly also snacked on granola bars, high sugar yogurts, and gummy fruit snacks. It was no surprise Carly always felt tired in the morning. The lunch log showed Carly’s meal was typically a peanut butter sandwich or cup of noodles and lots of fruit. The saving grace was that Carly loves fruit, which honestly was the only good nutrition she was consuming. There was no trace of vegetables in Carly’s diet until dinner, if at all. Diane works and Carly, on most days, stays with her grandparents who indulge their granddaughter with baked cookies and ice cream. Grandma’s specialty meals were often macaroni and cheese or another pasta dish. Most days Diane picks up Carly from her Grandmother’s home after Carly’s dinner and has no idea what Grandma was feeding her. I often see parents serving unhealthy pizza or pasta for dinner with no vegetables. The parents often don’t realize that their child has not had a substantial meal or snack all day.
Comics continued from page 18
of classics and non-fiction books done in this medium.” “I’ve witnessed countless reluctant readers become avid readers after their introduction to high-interest subject matter found in comics,” says Field. “I believe that there are comics for every reader...and I always invite readers of all ages and interests to look to the comics medium for entertainment and enlightenment.” Guzman’s comic passion started with his uncle’s Spanish language Superhero comic collection. He started purchasing his own at the San Francisco Comic Book Co. and was fascinated by the stories of Captain America and the Falcon, Batman & Robin, The Avengers, and The X-Men. “I consumed everything I could get my hands on,” he says. “Comics kept me interested in reading and my imagination filled-in the foreground, scenery, sound effects, and gaps between panels.” The LLLC’s May 7 Free Comic Book Day events will begin with a brief presentation about Comic books have a unique appeal to all. the origins of Superhero comics. Local animator, illustrator and visual effects expert Sam Filstrup will be on hand to demonstrate comic book art and provide sketches, and guests will enjoy crafts, games, prizes and of course, lots of free comics for kids age 13 and under. (In addition, for the wee set, children’s story time earlier in the day will become Superhero story time.) For more information and to register for the LLLC’s Free Comic Book Day event, visit www.lafayettelib.org/calendar.
www.yourmonthlypaper.com In my initial session with Diane, I taught her how to read a food label specifically focusing on protein, fiber, and sugar. For Carly I calculated that she at most ate only a few ounces of protein a day when she needs at least 6 oz. a day. The only fiber she was getting was in fruit, which clearly she was eating too much of. For breakfast I suggested to Diane to replace all the dry cereals with oatmeal. I recommended serving whole wheat toast and eggs, french toast, toast with peanut butter, hard boiled eggs, or even leftover chicken from the night before for more protein in Carly’s diet. For lunch I recommended replacing Grandma’s macaroni and cheese with homemade whole wheat pasta where Diane can add cheese, chicken, and broccoli to balance out the nutrition. I emphasized that fruit should be considered a dessert and not be eaten in between meals, which causes a spike in blood sugar. By reducing Carly’s fruit consumption she could have a dessert each day. I recommended a portion sized frozen treat such as a fudgesicle or creamsicle. I noted that Diane consumed very few vegetables herself. I was adamant with Diane that she had to be a role model for Carly and show her how veggies can be tasty and must be added to both lunch and dinner meals. I also explained to Diane that she must start a walking program or ride a bicycle each day with Carly which will undoubtedly burn sugar, especially when she has had too many treats. I was thrilled that after two months of our work together Carly’s blood sugar was back in the normal range. Diane then decided to start working with me herself to lose weight because she now knew how important a healthy weight was for her daughter and herself. When I first worked with Diane I had to teach her how to listen to her body for real hunger signals versus cravings. Diane realized that she had been always eating Carly’s leftovers and often found herself stuffing food in her mouth when she was in the kitchen and saying to herself, “What am I doing?” I know this mindless eating was a great contributor to her obesity. Diane has agreed to work with me for six months to lose 50 pounds once and for all. I am glad to inform you that nutritional counseling is covered by many health insurances such as Aetna, ABMG, Hill Physicians, Health Net, Sutter Select and Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation. Please feel free to call me at (925) 8550150 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me about your nutrition concerns. Please refer to my website www.LindaRD.com for past articles and info about services. Advertorial
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Coping with the Death of a Pet
When you lose your pet, you often feel like a part of you is lost. The death of your beloved animal companion is one of the most difficult losses you may ever feel. This loss is sometimes made more painful by society’s seeming lack of support for pet grief. Hospice of the East Bay and the Tony La Russa Animal Rescue Foundation is offering a support group where participants can share memories and feelings and talk to others who truly understand and care. Meetings will be held the first Tuesday of each month from noon - 1:30PM at the Tony La Russa Animal Rescue Foundation, 2890 Mitchell Drive, Walnut Creek. For further information and/or to register, please call Bereavement Services at Hospice of the East Bay (925) 887-5681. Pre-registration is required. Hospice of the East Bay Bereavement Services are provided free of charge to all community members in need. However, donations are greatly appreciated.
Prostate Cancer Patient Case Study By Stephen Taylor, MD
J.D. has had a rising PSA for over 10 years with multiple standard systematic ultrasound biopsies, also over the past 10 years, some at my office (4), one at Stanford University, and one at the University of California at San Francisco, all negative for prostate cancer. This year his PSA reached 14 (normal is less the 4). In January 2015, J.D. had a multiparametric MRI, which revealed a highly suspicious area in his prostate, which was missed on all the previous biopsies. He then had a MRI-ultrasound fusion guided targeted biopsy of the suspicious spot, and high grade, aggressive prostate cancer (Gleason 8) was finally diagnosed. Fortunately, the cancer still seems to be confined to the prostate, and he has been offered treatment with curative intent: either radiation therapy with Calypso or surgery to remove the prostate. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men and the second leading cause of cancer deaths in men. Prostate cancer is curable if caught early enough, before it spreads out of the prostate. Therefore, finding prostate cancer early is imperative. Unfortunately, there are usually no symptoms of prostate cancer at its earliest and most curable stages. Doctors have relied on two tests, the PSA blood test and a digital rectal exam, to determine if a prostate biopsy is indicated. Neither test is 100% accurate, even when used in combination. If either test is abnormal, traditionally men have undergone “systematic ultrasound-guided” prostate biopsies. Unfortunately, the systematic biopsy technique, where 12 random biopsies are taken, often misses the cancer. A new technique, multiparametric MRI, has been shown to be very accurate in identifying prostate cancer, often in places which were not traditionally encompassed in the “systematic biopsy” technique. A prostate biopsy is still necessary to establish a definite diagnosis. However, performing the biopsy in the MRI machine itself is not possible. The multiparametric-MRI ultrasound fusion is a new technique, where the MRI images are transferred to an ultrasound machine. Then, a real time prostate ultrasound is fused with the MRI image, which allows accurate targeted biopsies of the suspicious areas to be obtained. Multiparametric-MRI in conjunction with MRI-ultrasound fusion guided targeted biopsy offers the promise of more accurate and timely diagnosis of prostate cancer. It is especially helpful in the following situations. • Men with previously negative prostate biopsies, continued rising PSA, presence of a prostate nodule on digital rectal exam, or a very high PSA • Men on “Active Surveillance” for “low risk” prostate cancer, where treatment is deferred until “high risk” features are identified Truly, MRI-ultrasound fusion guided targeted prostate biopsy is a “game changer” for the early and accurate diagnosis of prostate cancer. Dr. Stephen Taylor is a Urologist with Pacific Urology. He specializes in robotic urologic surgeries and prostate, kidney, and bladder cancers. For more information, please call (925) 937-7740 or visit www.PacificUrology.com. Join Dr. Taylor at an educational presentation on April 8, 7-8:30PM at the Piedmont Community Hall in Piedmont. The role and benefits of MRI and ultrasound fusion guided biopsy for prostate cancer will be discussed Advertorial with Q & A. To register, call (925) 677-5041 x272.
Church Provides Community Care
Lafayette Today 2014 --- Page Page 21 25 Lafayette Today ~January Lafayette Today ~~February Lafayette Today ~March April 2015 2015 Page 21
Head and Neck Cancer from HPV By Christine Chung, MD
My patient was a successful, 40-year old Caucasian surgeon with newly diagnosed throat cancer. On this gray day in January, he sat in a chair in my clinic, upset and confused. As a non-smoker who drank only occasionally, he thought that he had an extremely low risk of getting this type of cancer, yet his disease had started in his tonsils and had quickly spread to the lymph nodes in his neck. So why, he wanted to know, did he have cancer? The traditional stereotype of a head and neck cancer patient is a 70 year old down-on-his-luck alcoholic who smokes two packs a day. But there is a different group of head and neck patients – they are Caucasian heterosexual men in their late 30s, 40s, and early 50s, who are often economically stable. This group develops cancer from HPV, a sexually-transmitted human papilloma virus. HPV is extremely common, and most sexually active people will be infected during their lifetimes. Most people’s immune systems rid their body of the infection without any problems. However a small number of people develop asymptomatic chronic infections that can develop into cancer later in life – sometimes decades later. HPV is associated with cancers of the tonsil and the base of tongue. HPV also causes cervical cancer. Cancers of the head and neck are relatively uncommon, but the incidence of HPV-associated cancer is steadily increasing. In the late 1980s, only 16% of head and neck cancers were associated with HPV, while HPV is currently associated with 70% of cases in North America. The cancer starts in the tonsil or the base of tongue, which is located at the back of the throat. The cancer may be very small but can spread quickly to the lymph nodes in the neck. There is no good screening method for this disease, so a person should seek medical attention if there is a new neck mass, hoarseness, or persistent ear pain. Vaccines have been developed to prevent HPV infections, and vaccination is recommended for 11-12 year old girls and boys. While the vaccine was initially developed to help prevent cervical cancer in girls, researchers hope that it may help prevent future cases of head and neck cancer in boys as well. Cancers caused by HPV infection are treated the same way as non-HPV head and neck cancers, with a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. However, these patients often have a better prognosis and a better survival rate. On April 16, as part of national Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week, Dr. Arash Mohebati from Walnut Creek Surgical Associates will provide free visual head and neck cancer screenings. By appointment only. Please call (925) 933-0984. Dr. Chung is a Radiation Oncologist with Diablo Valley Oncology & Hematology Medical Group. She sees patients in Pleasant Hill and Berkeley and can be reached at (925) 825-8878. Attend an educational program on April 22 from 6-8PM at the Cancer Support Community in Walnut Creek. “The Many Faces of Head and Neck Cancer” will feature a panel of medical experts who will discuss the most current information regarding risks factors (including HPV), treatment options, nutrition, and survivorship. To register, call (925) 677-5041. Advertorial
Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian’s Stephen Ministry has 25 trained lay people who provide ongoing, one-on-one Christian care to those in our congregation and in the community who are experiencing transitions in their lives. LOPC Stephen Ministry is confidential and is provided at no cost. A Stephen Minister is... • A congregation member with a gift for listening, • A lay person who has received 50 hours training in providing emotional and spiritual care, • A committed caregiver who listens, cares, prays, supports, and encourages those who are hurting, and • Someone who will “be there” for his or her care receiver, meeting faithfully for about an hour each week, for as long as there’s a need. Stephen Ministers are available for those who are dealing with illness or hospitalization, loneliness, aging, being shut-in, separation due to military deployment, death or serious loss, separation or divorce, disabilities, or grief and anxiety. If you know of someone who would benefit from the ongoing confidential, no cost, spiritual, and emotional support of a Stephen Minister, contact Jean Lee at (925) 943-2237, or visit www.lopc.org/care_stephen_ministry.asp.
Page 22 - April 2015 ~ Lafayette Today
Events for Lafayette Seniors
All classes are held at the Lafayette Senior Center (LSC), located at 500 Saint Mary’s Rd in Lafayette, unless otherwise noted. Space is limited. Please call 925284-5050 to reserve a spot. Unless otherwise mentioned, events are free for members and $10 for non-members. Reservoir Walking Group Thursdays • 10AM – 11:30AM • Meet at reservoir center bench on the dam - Led by Jim Scala, Lafayette Today’s “Walking the Reservoir” Columnist. Join us every Thursday for camaraderie, fresh air, and enjoyable exercise, all in magnificent surroundings. Optional bonus: at the end of the walk, Jim will lead you through easy yoga poses and breathing exercises in the most beautiful outdoor yoga studio: the band stage overlooking the water. Increase your balance and fitness, both physical and mental, and leave each week feeling uplifted and radiating that overall sense of well-being! Please call (925) 284-5050 to add your name to the email notification list. Bring quarters or a credit card for the parking meter. Annual senior (62+) passes may be purchased at the reservoir visitor center. Discovering Opera: Mozart’s The Magic Flute Thursday 4/9 • 1:30PM -3PM • Community Hall, LLLC - The story of Mozart’s last opera is a curious combination of the noble Tamino’s search for enlightenment and the low comedy of his sidekick Papageno, not to mention the wicked queen, the sage elder, the damsel in distress, and the fantastical forest creatures that he meets along the way. It’s all set to some of Mozart’s greatest music, with some of the highest high notes and lowest low notes that you will ever hear in opera. Lecturer Bradford Wade will give a guided tour of The Magic Flute, with a description of the plot interspersed with musical examples. This lecture is given in conjunction with Opera San Jose’s production of The Magic Flute, April 18 - May 3.
Get Organized by Creating a Home Inventory, Gaining Control of Paper Clutter Wednesday4/29 • 10:30AM - Noon • Cedar Room, LCC - Home
Inventory: Protecting your legacy is the greatest gift you can give yourself and your family. If your home and possessions were destroyed, would you be able to recall the specifics of your belongings, including their value, for insurance purposes? Find out why and what you should inventory, how much value is potentially being overlooked, and the importance of leaving an organized, documented digital legacy for your loved ones. Controlling Paper Clutter: Everyday, rafts of paper flood into our homes. Tricia will teach you how to set up an efficient, simple filing system, and share with you organization tips on how to take control of the paper clutter once and for all. ‘As The Page Turns’ Book Club 3rd Tuesday • 1PM - 2:30PM • Elderberry Room, LCC - Looking for a good book to discuss with others? Join this informal group of book lovers and enjoy enrichment, lively discussion, fellowship and refreshments. Please call Lafayette Senior Services for the book title and to add your name to the email notification list: 284-5050. Smart Driver 8-Hour Initial Course offered through AARP Tuesday 4/28 and Thursday 4/30 • 9AM - 1PM • Elderberry Room, LCC - Refine your driving skills, develop safe, defensive techniques, and possibly lower your insurance premium. Max: 25 pre-paid registrants. First come, first served, by date check is received. Send check, made payable to AARP, to Lafayette Senior Services, 500 St. Mary’s Rd., Lafayette, CA 94549. Important: Prior to sending check, please call 284-5050 to determine space availability. $15 AARP Members • $20 Non-Members of AARP Lamorinda Nature Walk and Bird-Watching Wednesdays • 9AM - noon • Alder Room, LSC - Experience nature at its finest along our local trails. Delight in the beauty that unfolds around each bend, all the while learning to identify a variety of birds. Bring a water bottle; binoculars will be helpful if you have them. Join us every Wednesday or whenever you are able. For more information or to place your name on the route email/phone list, call Lafayette Seniors Services, 284-5050. Avoiding Falls Presentation Wednesday 4/22 • 11:30AM - 12:30PM • Sequoia Room, LCC - Falls are a threat to your health and independence. Learn how to gain increased balance, avoid falls, and remain self-sufficient. Apple Basics 1st and 3rd Thursdays • 11AM - 12:30PM • Cedar Room, LCC - This on-going series covers topics such as the technology needed for wireless communication, yourApple ID, iTunes, iCloud and the basics of iPad and iPhone usage. Topics for future sessions will be determined by participants’ input and needs. There will be time for Q&A at the end of each class. Please note: this series deals with Apple devices only. Free Legal Assistance for Older Adults (60+) Thursday 3/19 • 10AM and 11AM • Alder Room, LCC - NOTE: A $15 deposit, fully-refundable at the time of your appointment, is required to reserve your spot. Refund will be issued if cancellation is made at least 24 hours prior to appointment. In order for legal counseling to take place, both time slots must be filled. Please send check, made payable to Senior Legal Services, to Lafayette Senior Services, 500 St. Mary’s Road, Lafayette, CA 94549. • Landlord/Tenant Problems • Medi-Cal Issues • Durable Powers of Attorney • SSI Overpayment • Rights of Nursing Home & Long-term Care Residents
www.yourmonthlypaper.com Lafayette Senior Services Commission 4th Thursday of the month from 3:30 – 5:30PM at the LSC - View agendas at the City of Lafayette office or at www.ci.lafayette.ca.us. Lamorinda Nature Walk and Bird-Watching Every Wednesday • 9AM - Noon • Alder Room, LSC - Experience nature at its finest along our local trails. Delight in the beauty that unfolds around each bend, all the while learning to identify a variety of birds. Bring a water bottle; binoculars will be helpful if you have them. Join us whenever you are able. For more information or to place your name on the route email/phone list, call Lafayette Seniors Services. No charge. Positive Living Forum (“Happiness Club”) 2nd Thursday monthly • 10:30AM – noon • Elderberry 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. Brighten your day and take part in this interactive gathering which features speakers on a wide range of topics that guide participants toward a more ideal and positive life experience. Drop-ins welcome!
Words of Wisdom...From the Philosophical to the Lighthearted
Third Tuesday Monthly • 10:30AM–noon • Elderberry Room, LSC - Take part in this free-wheeling exchange of inspiration, information, and humor. Topics will be explored, examined, and discussed by participants. Stories and photographs will stimulate humorous discoveries regarding the benefits of becoming the ‘elders of our tribe. Come Play Mahjong! Every Tuesday • Noon–3PM • Cedar Room, LSC - Come join us on Tuesdays for a drop-in game of mahjong. Mahjong is a game of skill, strategy, and certain degree of chance. All levels welcome. Bring your card, a mahjong set, and a snack to share (optional). RSVP not required. Lamorinda Dance Social Wednesdays • 12:30 – 3PM • Live Oak Room, LSC - Enjoy afternoon dancing every Wednesday, and learn some great new dance moves. On the first Wednesday monthly, professional dancers Karen and Michael will provide a dance lesson and live DJ services, playing your favorites and taking requests. Hearing Screening & Telephone Distribution - 1st Wednesday monthly • 1-2:45pm • Alder Room, LSC. In addition to your hearing screening, if it determined that you are eligible for specialized telephone equipment, a representative from the California Telephone Access Program (CTAP) will provide you with a free adaptive telephone at your appointment. Appointment required. Call Lafayette Senior Services at 284-5050 to sign up for a 20-minute appointments.
Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Programs (HICAP) First Wednesdays and Tuesdays • 11:30AM, 11:00AM, and noon appointments •
Alder Room, LCC - HICAP provides free and objective counseling and advocacy services to Contra Costa Medicare beneficiaries and their families who need assistance with Medicare enrollment and issues involving Medicare and associated insurance programs, including prescription drug coverage. HICAP does not endorse or sell insurance products. For appointments, call Lafayette Senior Services: 284-5050. Free Peer Counseling - Contra Costa Health Services offers free one-on-one counseling with senior (55+) counselors who use their life experiences to help other older adults cope with life changes, problems, crises, and challenges. Confidentiality is strictly observed. Appointment required. Please call Lafayette Senior Services to sign up for one of the 60-minute appointments: 284-5050.
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What Can We Learn from the Very Young and the Very Old?
By Mary Bruns, Lamorinda Senior Transportation
Lafayette Today ~ April 2015 - Page 23
Merrill Gardens at Lafayette
Having a grandchild is a most wondrous experience. Since we have already raised our own children, we can simply relax and enjoy the unique qualities of each child as they grow and develop. So what can we learn from the very young? • If we are feeling cranky, we probably need a nap, a time out, a healthy meal, or a hug. • When a baby or young child smiles full out, s/he is irresistible. Laughter is contagious, bringing joy to those around us. Watching a funny movie will help you shift your mood – letting stress out and laughter in, helping you to lighten up and elevate your energy. • When a baby/toddler/young child is trying to learn a new skill, s/he never gives up. Babies and toddlers practice until they can turn over, grasp a toy, sit up, crawl, walk, and talk. There is joy in every accomplishment. Self-doubt and self-criticism never enter in. Theodore Roosevelt suggests: “Believe you can and you’re half way there.” And Ralph Waldo Emerson reminds us: “Every artist was first an amateur.” • When something makes us unhappy, it’s ok to cry. Emotions pass when they are not bottled up. Neale Donald Walsch notes: “…it could seem like you are losing something right now, but do not be fooled. This is simply a turn-around orchestrated by your soul...All of life only improves itself. It can’t do anything else. This is called evolution. Trust it...” • Help is generally available when we express our needs. Share what’s on your mind with several people you trust, and someone will have the answer or say exactly what you need to hear. • Physical activity is a joy in and of itself, makes us feel better, and helps us to build or retain muscle, enhancing our balance and our ability to walk. We invite you to come meet our team, see our • A supportive world produces faster growth than a critical/ punishing world. beautiful building and learn about the retirement • A warm bath soothes, relaxes, and washes away the day’s tension and debris. lifestyle at Merrill Gardens at Lafayette. • Distraction works wonders; a good book is a great escape and can help you go to sleep when worries creep in. • Do something you love, something you can completely Many of our apartments immerse yourself in. Young children live fully in the moment. have already been reserved. • Family/Community are those we can count on when we are a little vulnerable and need a little help. Don’t miss your opportunity • We need someone to provide transportation for us when to select your new apartment! we are very young and when we are very old. • And, finally, it’s fun to play outside in the sunshine with your friends. (925) 854-1858 AARP Update from Nina Weiler-Harwell: “Age-Friendly 1010 Second Street Communities (AFCs) is the over-arching umbrella Issue for AARP in California. AARP is an institutional affiliate for Lafayette, CA 94549 the World Health Organization on AFCs. We have worked Lic #079200358 merrillgardens.com with cities throughout the nation that have signed onto the Age-Friendly Network (AFN). In 2015 and beyond, AARP Retirement Living • Assisted Living • Memory Care California is reaching out to cities in California to encourage them to sign onto the AFN. While much of our focus will be 031615a_Lafayette_LafToday_A.indd 1 3/24/15 11:13 AM in Los Angeles and West Sacramento, AARP has a large suite of resources to help cities join the program and to create and implement their action plans.” For more information, visit http://www.aarp.org/livable-communities/network-age-friendly-communities/.
Lamorinda Senior Transportation An Alliance of Transportation Providers
Volunteer Drivers – Needed, Valued, and Appreciated Lamorinda Spirit Van 283-3534
Takes Lamorinda seniors to errands, appointments, grocery shopping, special events, and to lunch at the C.C. Café. Call early to reserve your ride. Wheelchair and walker accessible. $10 round-trip for rides within Lamorinda; $20 round-trip for rides to Concord, Martinez, Pleasant Hill, and Walnut Creek. $5 round-trip for rides to the C.C. Café. $8 round-trip for residents of Senior Housing and those with low income.
Contra Costa Yellow Cab and DeSoto Company
Orinda Seniors Around Town
Senior Helpline Services Rides for Seniors
County Connection LINK Reservation Line
20% discount for Lamorinda 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.
For people with disabilities including “age-based” disabilities. Describe your disability and you may be eligible for this service giving you additional transportation options.
Page 24 - April 2015 ~ Lafayette Today