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valleysentinel.com

January 2011

VOL 16, NO 2

SEVENTY-FIVE CENTS

SPOTLIGHT

New Novel Gives Rare Glimpse of Life on Destroyer Escort

Happy New Year!

By Staff Writer

“In Dangerous Waters,” the debut novel by Alamo author Jack Russ, is set during the Korean War. Deployed to serve as communications officer aboard a ship bound for service along the Korean coast, Mike Kincaid also learns to navigate the treacherous waters of relationships with hostile senior officers and to stand his ground on what he believes to be true. His father’s World Wa r I I t r a g e d y creates problems and threatens to undermine his dream to fly for the Navy. The story is written in such a way as to provide even non-military readers the sights,

Best wishes for a wonderful and prosperous 2011 from all of us at the Valley Sentinel

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PRESORTED STANDARD US POSTAGE PAID DANVILLE, CA PERMIT NO. 70

See DANGEROUS page 2

Wildflowers on Mt. Diablo. Photo courtesy of Lucille Meinhardt.

Nature’s Beloved Son

Rediscovering John Muir’s Botanical Legacy Bedford Gallery, January 9 - March 27, 2011

Postmaster: Dated Material

By Staff Writer

John Muir was a botanist throughout his life and his fondness for the nature, and beauty of plants contributed significantly to his understanding of the need to preserve wilderness. Yet this aspect of the well-known conservationist’s passions is little known. In the spirit which John Muir embraced the botanical world, the traveling exhibition “Nature’s Beloved Son: Rediscovering John Muir’s Botanical Legacy” traces his travels to Canada, Indiana, the American southeast, California and Alaska. It presents vivid images and specimens of the actual plants that Muir held in his hands, carried in his pockets and preserved for all time.

Several hundred of these plant specimens were scanned at herbaria throughout North America, digitally enhanced by Pleasant Hill photographer Stephen J. Joseph and studied under the direction of Muir scholar and curator Bonnie Gisel. Having collaborated to create an exquisite and informative book published by Heyday Books (2008) they now pour their talents into this traveling exhibition.

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The Bedford Gallery was selected as the opening venue for this international tour because of its prominence in Contra Costa County as the premier art gallery. Contra Costa County is significant to the story of John Muir’s life, as he lived in the Alhambra Va l l e y i n Martinez on the family ranch from 1890 until his death in 1914. “Nature’s Beloved Son” includes high-resolution images of Muir’s plant specimens on large format canvas and paper prints, allowing the exploration of the structures,

patterns and anatomies of the plant world. Historic images, pages and drawings from Muir’s journals set the context for his plant collecting, and a set of original plant specimens shows visitors the real thing! To further inspire, the exhibition includes several quotes from Muir about his fascination with nature and devotion to plants. A film shown in the gallery and narrated by the curator and Muir reenactor Frank Helling features additional plant specimens and historic images. “Nature’s Beloved Son” is traveling to museums, botanical gardens and parks throughout North America and will appeal to a wide range of visitors ;0including people interested in botany, history, ecology,

A New Year... A New You! pages 7 - 9 Community Banking and Personal Finance pages 10-11

See JOHN MUIR page 4


• ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT • dining out • music • art • theater • fun events

page 2

Community “Spirit” sets the stage for 2011 By Staff Writer

Everyone loves a party, especially when the whole community is invited to celebrate the season of giving with shopping and dining discounts, free gifts, free wine stroll, free transportation, free entertainment, raffle prizes and a fundraiser for a handful of local charities. As Chairperson for the “Spirit of Danville”, Dr. Kelly Hall of Sycamore Valley Chiropractic helped unite The Livery, The Rose Garden and the Downtown for a memorable late night shopping extravaganza. Dr. Hall is already enthusiastically planning for the 2011 Spirit event with additional Candy Cane Strolls, food pairings and earlier charity ticket sales. Last year Kelly chose an image of the barn across from the Tao House at the Eugene O’Neill Foundation for the limited edition Danville ornament. What will it be for 2011? If you would like to cast your vote or learn more about Dr. Kelly’s chiropractic services, email her directly at drkelly@ sycamorevalleychiropractic. com.

Troop 3670 Girl Scout Stephanie Aurelius designed, crafted and delivered dozens of giant candy canes to Dr. Kelly Hall of Sycamore Valley Chiropractic to help turn Danville into a Candyland and guide shoppers to sweet deals and meals.

More community minded volunteers are always needed to spread the invitations and expand the participation in all the Discover Danville events. The 2011 calendar of wine strolls, doggie night and Shop Local events is already posted at www.DiscoverDanvilleCA. com, but look for special announcements as new events develop.

January 2011 January 14 Diavolo 8pm. A large-scale interdisciplinary performance which examines the ways individuals act with their environment comprised of dancers, gymnasts and actors. Outrageous and surrealistic sets. Tickets: $12-$62. Bankhead Theater, 2400 First St., Livermore. Information: 373-6800

January 21-22 Company C Winter Program 8pm. An eclectic and electrifying style ballet for a To celebrate Christmas 1183, King Henry II of England springs his captive wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine, from prison. Their three sons jostle for position as Henry’s successor. Eleanor schemes to land son Richard in the throne, while Henry plots to make young John his heir. Tickets: $15 - $25. Call

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new generation with its dynamic and adventurous repertoire. The excitement of dance pushed to its technical limits. Tickets: $18-$40. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. Information: 295-1400.

J a n u a r y 21 - 2 3 , 2 8 - 3 0 , February 4-6 Dirty Rotten Scoundrels 8pm. Also Sun Matinees: 2pm. Story of two very funny January 15 con men who try to outShellie Awards: Nominees con each other and make a for the 32nd Annual Shellie winner-take-all wager over the Awards announced! fortunes of a naïve American 7 : 3 0 p m . C e l e b r a t e soap heiress. Tickets: $27.50 the achievement of over - $37.50. Bankhead Theater, 120 individuals in musical 2400 First St., Livermore. and non-musical theatrical Information: 373-6800 productions. Live band and selections performed from January 21-February 12 each nominated musical and The Lion in Winter non-musical production. The evening concludes with a champagne gala honoring the nominees and award recipients. Tickets: $30. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. Information: 295-1400

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for times. Village Theater, 233 Front Street, Danville. Information: 820 1278. January 27 - 30 Wondering with Alice Jan. 27-29: 7:15pm, Jan. 29 & 30: 2:15pm. A new and magical retelling of a family favorite. Come wander through Wonderland with Alice and meet her most interesting companions as imagined by young local writers. Tickets: $10-$14. Knight Stage 3 Theatre at Lesher Center, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. Information: 295-1400. January 28 Al Jarreau 8pm. One of the world’s most precious treasures with seven Grammy® Awards, multiple hits, and scores of international awards and accolades. Enjoy his innovative musical expressions. Tickets: $ 5 9 . D o u g h e r t y Va l l e y Performing Arts Center, 10550 Albion Rd., San Ramon. Information: 973.3343 January 28 - February 26 Boeing-Boeing Living in a posh Paris apartment with three flight attendant fiancées, Bernard’s life suddenly hits turbulence when they all change their fail-safe flight schedules and he must maintain the illusion that he is faithful to each one. Tickets: Avg. $36. Call for times. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. Information: 295-1400.

AAUW Women in Film Festival “Miss Potter” is featured at the San Ramon AAUW’s 2nd Annual Women in Film Festival at the Front Row Theater, Dougherty Station Community Center in San Ramon on Sat., Jan. 22, 2011. The world famous 19th century author Beatrix Potter is portrayed by Renee Zellwegger. Potter wrote and illustrated

a series of children’s stories centered on Peter Rabbit and his imaginary animal friends. She eventually became an independent landowner and pioneering conservationist in spite of domineering parents and the conventions of the time, which discouraged such female behavior. Set in Great Britain’s scenic Lake District, the story of Potter’s life would

not be complete without Ethan McGregor as her first love and business partner and Emily Watson as her best friend and confidante. Potter’s good nature and perseverance are bound to inspire any audience, especially women and girls. For $25 tickets, call (925) 973-2787 or visit: www. sanramonperformingarts.com. Seating is limited.

DANGEROUS from page 1

of the ship, long periods of excruciating boredom for all on board, and sheer terror give the reader a feel for the difficult environment of the ship. The story ends abruptly when Mike is leaving the ship at the end of that assignment. The only thing missing is the tearful reunion with his new wife and baby after his long and lonely deployment, but that is just me missing the romance.

The book gets the thumbs up from Captain L.I. Moore, USN (Ret.) who said, “As a former destroyer captain and young officer on a destroyer escort at the time, the story brings back vivid memories that tells it like it was. His portrayal of key personalities and shipboard life of officers and crew is exceptional.”

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sounds and feel of the cramped quarters and the intensity of interactions between men confined for long periods on a ship. Written with descriptions of the shipboard protocol, the machinery, equipment, odors and incredible danger of the assignments the picture is complete. The rescues at sea, mines floating in the path


• ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT • dining out • music • art • theater • fun events

page 3

valleysentinel.com

January 2011

SRVHS Benefit Concert Features “Foreverland” On January 29, SRVHS presents “Foreverland,” a 14-piece tribute to one of the most amazing entertainers in the world, Mr. Michael Jackson. Based in San Francisco, the group was formed in March of 2009 to honor Michael’s musical genius and legendary showmanship. With four lead vocalists, four horns and a six-piece rhythm section, the ensemble is best described as a “Remarkable and Rocking Michael Jackson Revue.” The band has been packing people in at some of the Bay Area’s hottest spots including Bimbo’s 365 Club, Slim’s, Red Devil Lounge, Mezzanine, Last Day Saloon Santa Rosa, 19 Broadway and many more. In addition, the band was lucky enough to open for Kool and The Gang in December 2009. Rather than be limited by a Michael Jackson impersonator and pre-recorded backing tracks, the band’s unique approach is to celebrate the larger than life performances, imagination and infectious spirit of this legendary artist.

The result is a fabulous and thumping 14-piece show band that pays homage to his undeniable talent and timeless dance music. Doors open at 6:15 pm;SRVHS Instrumental Music Students will open the concert at 7pm. Tickets: General: $25 adv/$30 door, Gold Circle: $40, SRVHS students & staff: $10 Location: SRVHS Performing Arts Center, 501 Danville Blvd. in Danville. The Foreverland performance begins at 8pm.

Proceeds to benefit the San Ramon Valley High School Instrumental Music programs. For more information call 707-869-9403 or visit www. communityconcerts.com.

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The Valley SenTinel

January 2011

News Bits Beavers change the world According to Worth a Dam founder Heidi Perryman, “Man is the only species that changes the world more than beavers. Photos from space show that the Great Wall of China and a 2,800 foot-long Canadian beaver dam are clearly visible.” Worth a Dam is a non-profit founded when a family of beavers started damming up Alhambra Creek in downtown Martinez. City officials planned to get rid of them, but the beaver lovers eventually prevailed. Now elementary school classes and tourists come to see the beavers and the neighborhood of creatures they have attracted, including muskrats, fish, otter and even a mink. Visit www. martinezbeavers.org to get the whole story of the now worldfamous Martinez beavers. Award-winning Danville Citizens In case you missed it, these citizens were among the recipients of Community Service Awards at the 2010 Mayor’s Installation program: Ka re n S t e p p e r, C a n d a c e Andersen , Jim Wood, Herman Reller, Joe Calabrigio, George Momaney, Gary DeAtley, Katie Wesselschmidt, Tricia Grame, Bonnie Antoun, Doug Farry, Jim Powers, David Banducci, Peggy Hiramine, Bob Combs, Newell Arnerich, Lynn Overcashier, Marcia Harmon, Dana Wilke, Cynthia Ruzzi, Darlene Gayler, Tracy Bauer, Bob Ferrero, Mike Zumbo, Joe and Edie Farrell, David and Amy Duffield (Maddie’s Fund), Jim and Christine Edlund, Sarah Dittmore and Michael Bernard.

By Dana Guzzetti Forest Home Farms Spring Docent Training San Ramon City Lights Program is looking for potential volunteer docents for the Forest Home Farms spring training on Thursday, Jan. 20. There are four roles to play: grandma, grandpa, gardener and canner. Volunteers are needed for a number of other activities and are trained and mentored. It is a great way to support the museum and meet new people. Contact Stephanie at 925-973-3282 or visit sherscu@sanramon. ca.gov. New SRVUSD board meets Paul Gardner begins his term as president, and new member Denise Johnson will join the board for her first meeting Tuesday, Jan. 11. Check the district website, www. srvusd.net, for that upcoming agenda. A board workshop to discuss its mission statement and plans for the future is scheduled for Jan. 19. Watch for bird count results Watch for the results of the Audubon Christmas Bird Count for Contra Costa. Birdwatchers and counters were out in force to compare species and numbers of birds with their 57 years of data. Diablo Audubon President Jimm Edgars said they expected to find about 148 species in a fifteen mile diameter from the intersection of Concord Blvd. and Treat Ave., which includes much of Mt. Diablo State Park. See www.diabloaudubon.org.

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Monte Vista High School student wins football award Monte vista High School football player Bryce McGovern was awarded the Pete Villa Award for outstanding football player at the 14th annual D a n v i l l e Ro t a r y awa rd s luncheon in December 2010. Look for SRVUSD Speaker Series Announcement Families in the San Ramon Valley Unified School District can look forward to a four week series of talks to provide meaningful and engaging information for high school students and parents. Topics will center on teen career issues and skill sets, according to SRVUSD Community Relations Director Terry Koehne. “We are tentatively planning the programs for Wednesday nights, beginning in January, 2011 and we are hoping to present strong speakers and at least one big-name person,” Koehne said. Senior Discounts This is a partial list of local businesses who offer discount pricing for seniors: Alcosta Senior & Community Center Park & Gardens, Elegant image Salon (Mon. & Tues.) Indulgence Salon, Erik’s Deli Café, The Brass Door, Burger King, Taco Bell, McDonalds, Kathy’s Health Club and 24 Hour Fitness. If readers find other special values that may be of interest, please email danaguzzetti@ hotmail.com. JOHN MUIR from page 1

gardens, and parks throughout North America. It will appeal to a wide range of visitors, including people interested in botany, history, ecology, environmentalism, John Muir himself, and the history of science and art. Gardeners, hikers and outdoor enthusiasts will also enjoy this unique collection of botanicals. Through the beauty of botany visitors are asked how nature might inspire them as it did John Muir so profoundly and reflect on the status of the biodiversity of plants in today’s world. This exhibition has been generously sponsored by Shell Oil, Diablo Regional Arts Association and the Lesher Foundation. “Nature’s Beloved Son: Rediscovering John Muir’s Botanical Legacy” is produced and toured by the California Exhibition Resources Alliance (CERA) in partnership with Bonnie Gisel, Stephen J. Joseph, Heyday Books and the Bedford Gallery. This

valleysentinel.com

Donations Being Accepted for Deployed Troops Blue Star Moms Chapter 101 is accepting donations for the January 30 mailing to deployed troops for Valentines Day. For further information or donations, please contact us at carepackages@ bluestarmoms.org. Hearts for Heroes 2011 Donations List Just add water (Individual Serving Sizes): Hot drinks– hot chocolate, spiced cider, tea bags; Powdered drink mixes–Propel, Crystal Light; Hot cereals–oatmeal, Cream of Wheat; Instant soup mixes. Proteins (Individual Serving Sizes): Tuna or chicken-foil pouches; Beef jerky or Slim Jims; Nuts–all kinds; Protein bars–Power Bars, Peanut butter–Jiff to go. Clothing: White COTTON athletic socks; Dark colored knit hats; White COTTON crew neck T-shits (M or L). Snacks (Individually Wra p p e d Pa c ka g e s ) : Crackers, mints, gum, trail mix, Corn Nuts, sunflower seeds, microwave popcorn, granola bars, fruit snacks, fruit rollups, dried fruit.

Personal Items (Travel Sizes): Powder-Gold Bond, f o o t a n d b a b y p owd e r, baby wipes, waterless hand sanitizer, lip balm with SPF, toothbrushes and tooth paste, disposable hand and foot warmers, batteries (preferably AA) Stocking stuffers and entertainment: Silly putty, Nerf or tennis balls, yo-yos, crossword puzzles, word search and Sudoku puzzles, paperback books, CD’s, DVD’s. Specialty items: Ground coffee (Peet’s and Starbucks are popular) We cannot ship glass containers, so plastic or metal only please! We cannot send religious material, perishable foods or pork, fireworks, firearms, aerosol cans or pornographic material. Drop zone: Saturday, January 22 from 10am-3pm at Safeway, 3540 Mount Diablo Blvd, Lafayette Mailing date: Sunday, January 29 from 2pm-5pm at the Elks Lodge, 1475 Creekside Dr., Walnut Creek All donations are greatly appreciated!

exhibition was supported by the Skirball Foundation and private donors. Students and faculty from the University of California, Davis Design School and Design Museum designed the exhibition. About the curator and artist Bonnie J. Gisel is an e n v i ro n m e n t a l h i s t o r i a n and the curator at the Sierra Club’s LeConte Memorial Lodge in Yosemite National Park. She is the editor of “Kindred & Related Spirits: The Letters of John Muir and Jeanne C. Carr” (University of Utah Press, 2001) and Nature Journaling with John Muir (Poetic Matrix Press, 2006). She has published articles and lectured extensively on John Muir as well as her personal journies in wilderness and issues of environmental awareness and literacy. The recipient of the 2006 John Muir Conservation Award from the John Muir Association at the John Muir National Historic Site, Gisel received a Master of Divinity degree from Harvard University and

a PhD from Drew University. She also earned two degrees in fine art. Stephen J. Joseph has been a photographer for over forty years. His diverse skills range from creating daguerreotypes to modern digital photography. H i s i n t e re s t s i n c l u d e o f photographing Mount Diablo and the surrounding Bay Area, his California Artist Studio series, his historical photographic essay on Oneonta, New York, and supporting open space. After receiving his MFA from the California College of Arts and Crafts, he taught there and at Hartwick College. Joseph has had numerous exhibits of his work, including at the Oakland Museum of California, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco Legion of Honor, the Ansel Adams Gallery, and the LeConte Memorial Lodge in Yosemite National Park. Joseph is a member of the board of directors for Save Mount Diablo and lives in the Bay Area with his wife and son.


valleysentinel.com

January 2011

The Valley Sentinel

page 5

Park District Welcomes New General Manager By: Beverly Lane

Bev Lane EBRPD Board of Directors

The East Bay Regional Park District welcomes new General Manager Bob Doyle, a Walnut Creek resident with a remarkable 35-year history of open space advocacy and land acquisition experience. He has shown his dedication to the environment and the Park District beginning in high school, and with his extensive knowledge of open space in the East Bay, has become an industry leader. Prior to becoming the District’s general manager, Bob served as the Assistant General Manager for Interagency and Regional Trail Planning, Land Acquisition and Environmental Review. He began his career as

a park ranger, working in seven Regional Parks, and movedto the Planning and Design Department and then to the Land Acquisition Department as the trail specialist. Later, Bob became Chief of Land and Trail Planning before becoming an assistant general manager in 1990. The seven-member board of directors of the East Bay Regional Park District selected Bob from among several internal candidates after an extensive review and interview process. Board members stressed that Bob was chosen for his planning and management experience along with his impressive vision for the future of the Park District. Bob’s achievements at the Park District include coauthoring expenditure plans

Bounty Garden Gets Green Light By Dana Guzzetti

The Hap Magee Ranch Park joint planning and operations committee (JOPC) agreed to put the proposed Bounty Garden on its third phase list of park improvement priorities at their December, 2010 quarterly meeting. Conforming to the Americans with Disabilities Act and improving the Cottage (the primary meeting and offices location) are also now officially on the list. Bounty Garden organizers Heidi and Amelia Abramson were thrilled with evidence of forward movement on an initiative they and their supporters have been working on for about a year. They hope to use an area next to one of the old barns in the rear of the park to install a volunteer-staffed vegetable garden. Its purpose would be to grow fresh produce to

be donated to the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano Counties to distribute to those in need. The western-most barn would be open to the public for a meeting space and a seedling program with an ideal south facing orientation providing passive solar gain for the seedling room, according to Heidi Abramson. Barn modifications would also contain a gallery wall used to highlight artifacts, photographs and artwork from the Museum of the San Ramon Valley depicting the agricultural roots and history of the Hap Magee Ranch. More than 30 people showed up at JPOC meeting to help convince the committee to select the Bounty Garden as a priority. Without that approval, review by city and county staff would most likely not go forward.

for both the $500 million Measure WW Regional Open Space, Wildlife, Shoreline and Parks Bond Extension approved by voters in 2008, and the earlier Measure AA approved in 1988. He developed the master plan for the Park District’s nationally recognized multi-use urban trail system, which recently received a $10.2 million U.S. Department of Transportation grant. Bob was also the lead negotiator for a partnership with the Contra Costa County Habitat Conservation Plan that has resulted in thousands of acres of preserved open space in East Contra Costa County in the past three years. Bob is a founding member of Save Mount Diablo and served as board president. He grew the organization from 1,000 to 5,000 members. He also was a board member of the

Bay Area Open Space Council, a founding board member of the Bay Area Ridge Trail Council and was appointed to the first Board of Directors of the Agricultural-Natural Resources Trust of Contra Costa County. He has received industry recognition including a Mountain Star Award from Save Mount Diablo (2002) and a Lifetime Achievement Award from California Trails and Greenways (2010). He attended Diablo Valley College, San Francisco State University and Saint Mary’s College in Moraga. Bob completed continuing education courses at University of California at Davis, the International Right of Way Association and the National Park and Recreation Association. He replaces recently retired General Manager Pat O’Brien,

T h e A b ra m s o n s t o l d committee members that the enterprise would be self supporting and requires no county or city funding. Danville officials were previously given a large binder containing details for how the garden would work, including a plan to collect rainwater for garden irrigation, a seedling program and upgrade one of the barns. Bounty gardeners, caring for about 30 plots, would also mentor each other on composting, “bay friendly” gardening, plant propagation and how to recycle rainwater. The estimated cost for e s t a b l i s h i n g t h e g a rd e n improvements are estimated at $200,000, which would presumably be funded by Bounty Garden capital campaign contributions. Among those speaking on behalf of the Bounty Garden were a master gardener, Contra Costa County Rotary,

Sustainable Danville, the Danville Garden Club, Eagle Scout leaders, business persons and 4-H leaders who expressed an interest in conducting programs at the park. Danville officials will n ow b e g i n s c r u t i n i z i n g Bounty Garden plans. “Right now we have schematics. We have not really studied them. Until now, we did not want to use town resources to study something that was not urgent,” Danville Assistant Town Manager Marcia Somers remarked. “Now that it is prioritized in phase 3, we will

Danville Crab Feed Benefits Local Charities By Staff Writer The tender and sweet meat of Dungeness crab has become a star ingredient to the Cioppino, the Louis Saladand the California Roll. Yet nothing can compare to the simplicity of fresh cracked Dungeness crab taken from a bed of ice and served amongst friends. Cracked crab is not a solitary delicacy. Simply put, cracked crab tastes better when eaten within a circle of family and friends. Hence the tradition of crab feeds that are hosted by community organizations throughout the Pacific Coast. O n e C r a b Fe e d i n particular stands out as a local favorite, The Danville Crab

Feed. Danville resident, Pete Kaldveer, has reserved a table at the feed since its inception in 2002. “Every year I reserve a table months in advance,” says Pete, “And, every year, my friends line-up for a seat at my table.” The Rotary Club of Danville, the oldest service organization in town, underwrites this Crab Feed. Proceeds from the crab feed support local youth organizations, including the Discover Counseling Center. In 1969, the Rotary Club of Danville wrote the first check to start the Discovery Counseling Center. Today, the Center is providing over ten

thousand client sessions to over 1200 youth and families annually. While the Rotary Club does many good deeds, it leaves food preparation for The Danville Crab Feed to the professionals. Every course of the meal is professionally handled by local eateries, from the first course of antipasto, to the garlic bread, salad, pasta and the crab itself. The key to any crab feed is fresh crab stored and transported with the utmost care. The Danville Crab Feed, which has sold out every year, will serve over 400 crab lovers on February 5th, 2011.

The East Bay Regional Park District’s new general manager, Bob Doyle, takes a group of hikers on recently acquired land at Pleasanton Ridge. Photo credit: Brad Olson

who served the agency for 22 years. Beverly Lane is president of the East Bay Regional Park District Board of Directors. Her ward includes Central Contra Costa County from San Ramon through Concord.

go ahead with that and may have feedback for them by the end of January.” (Budget constraints gave staff a holiday furlough in December.) “When dedicating the land for something we have to think about competing uses and let the neighbors weigh in. There are neighbors right across the creek,” former JOPC member Beverly Lane said. “I think people feel very positive about the Bounty Garden, but we have to wait to see the staff analysis and of course see what the Alamo MAC’s response is.”

The Danville

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• Education •

page 6

libraries • schools • camps • events

New SRVUSD Board Member Advocates for Children fiscal challenges.

Considering private education? Start here.

By Dana Guzzetti

Newly elected San Ramon Valley Unified School District board member Denise Jennison officially joins the board’s ongoing budget battle for the first time this month. Although Jennison is new to the board, she is not new to the district’s

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As past PTA president of the San Ramon Valley Council of PTAs and former president of PTA at Diablo Vista Middle and Golden View Elementary Schools, the Danville resident has also represented the local PTA at the state level. Three of her four children

attended school in SRVUSD and one of them is still enrolled. Jennison has been a familiar face at board meetings and any other gathering that might help sustain and improve local schools. “I wouldn’t be able to do it if my husband was not so supportive,” Jennison said. “My volunteer work has been extremely important to me. When people ask me how I find time for myself, I say, ‘That is what I do for myself.’ Jennison recently returned to school to earn a teaching credential and taught in the classroom on a substitute basis. Her plan was to turn her passion and background experience as sites manager for Gymboree Corp. into a profession as a school principal or as a board member. “In these difficult times the children need someone who genuinely cares for them to speak out and advocate on their behalf,” Jennison states. As a SRVUSD school board member, Jennison plans to fight for a fair share of state funding. “Things are dysfunctional at the state level. People don’t see how it impacts local schools. The legislators don’t come to see what we are doing on a day -to-day level. “ I w i l l c o n t i n u e my advocacy on a volunteer basis at the state level,” Jennison asserts. “We have lost $1,000 per pupil. There has been an infusion of federal funds, but those funds tend to go to districts with more Title 1 students. Explaining that legislators appear to miss the connection between health and human services and education, Jennison said that state funding for health and human services to counties has been reduced, and schools are mandated to provide $1.5 million in services, including special education, without any way to raise the revenue to pay for it. “We have to stop cutting t h e r u g o u t f ro m u n d e r education. The future success of this state depends on it,” Jennison remarked.


A New Year...

A New You! valleysentinel.com

January 2011

A Field Guide to New Year’s Resolutions Secrets of the New Year Tradition Revealed By Lisa T. Wood

You knew it was coming. Weeks ago we started hearing about the upcoming new year amid the annual talk of resolutions and goals. This year, before setting any resolutions for myself, I decided to more seriously consider this idea of “becoming new” in a new year. For several days I asked everyone I encountered to share his or her thoughts with me about the concept of “New Year, New You.” Despite the initial eye rolling and chuckle or two, everyone had an opinion about the ideology that comes with starting a new year. Most of the discussions I participated in can be grouped into five main categories of responses. Let’s see if you recognize yourself in any of the following conversations. First let’s get the spoiler news out of the way—according to some studies, as many as 88 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail. Despite the

lackluster odds, many of us continue to try, year after year, for a more successful outcome. With determination and commitment, we start off strong only to peter out by mid-February, our goals left unrealized and withering. How does this happen? Perhaps the resolution itself is the problem. A friend of mine was wildly successful with his resolution last year. He shared with me how he carried the accomplishment throughout the entire year, encouraged by his repeatable results. Inspired, I asked what his resolution was. “To drink better quality liquor,” he responded slyly. I appreciated the implication—set a goal that motivates you and success will be yours. 1. Advertising Conspiracy Theory But I heard other ideas when people shared their thoughts about the idea of “New Year, New You.” Many feel the whole idea was conjured up

by “the marketing machine” to convince us to spend money on more stuff like diet plans or gym memberships. These people believe the best plan of action ignores the tradition of setting New Year’s resolutions, instead resolving to avoid the herd mentality and be the masters of their own goal-setting. A common response from this group was “If it’s a worthy goal, then it’s just as worthy in May as it is in January.” They’ve got a point. 2. Performance Pressure A group of women I spoke with like the idea of a fresh start to begin the year, but said they feel pressure to create a resolution and then stick with it. This idea of pressure regarding resolutions must be common—a quick Google search listed several articles and tips on how to manage this goal-setting stress. Ac c o rd i n g t o t h e s e re s o u rc e s, p re s s u re a n d self-doubt are some of the

The Valley SenTinel most common causes for the failure to achieve a New Year’s resolution or goal. The pressure to participate in New Year’s goal-setting may be a discomfort many of us share. Without a true desire to change or try something new, playing along just because the Babylonians introduced the New Year resolution tradition over 4,000 years ago certainly won’t guarantee us success. 3. Change–for the Better? The main idea of our modern New Year’s resolution tradition is to generate positive change in our lives or the lives of others. However, the concept of change held a

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different meaning for some of the people I spoke with. They immediately responded that the idea of “New You” implies something is “wrong,” and therefore needs to be changed. This mysterious lack of either character or behaviorcauses us to look for something to toss onto the altar of resolution sacrifices. The next thing we know, we hear ourselves saying, “Well, I could lose ten pounds” or “I guess I can try to be more organized.” Driven to rectify this identified lack, we’ve soon convinced ourselves

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A New Year...

A New You! page 8

The valley Sentinel

valleysentinel.com

January 2011 Advertorial

New Year’s Resolution? By Estee Goren, M.A.

As the New Year is here, many of us are planning to change our lifestyles. We set goals to work out more, lose weight, eat healthier, find a companion, and more. But we often end up keeping our commitments only for a short while, and soon fall back into our usual routine. Why is it that we can’t keep our commitments? Is it lack of willpower? Resistance to RESOLUTIONS from page 7

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of a half-hearted resolution. Without the proper motivation, however, you know how this story ends. 4 . Re s o l u t i o n s ? N o thanks. My conversations on this topic revealed two more responses. The first one is from a rare breed—these are the few folks who looked at me blankly then casually said, “What do I think about the idea of ‘New Year, New You?’ Nothing. Don’t feel compelled to pay attention.” With a mere flick of the calendar page and a few hiccups writing new numbers on checks, these lucky folks pass right by January 1st with a clear conscience. 5. Yes, but no luck! This brings me to the final common response people expressed when pondering the possibility of becoming somehow new in the upcoming year. This group responded enthusiastically. “New Year, New You? I love it! I try resolutions but they just don’t work for me.” Fortunately f o r d e d i c a t e d re s o l u t i o n supporters, there is no shortage of advice on how to set and stick with a goal. Check out these tips to help ensure success with your resolutions: 1. Commit to need vs. timing. When you really need the change, that’s the time to resolve to make it happen. Even if the month isn’t January. 2. Keep it simple. Work with one resolution at a time.

change? Or is it our unconscious mind that controls our feelings, thoughts and behavior? To make a lasting change in our life, we need to be fully aware of our beliefs, emotions, habits, and the effects they have on our lives. We need to have a clear vision of our desired lifestyle, and we need to understand our actions and reactions to certain events. We also must discover our underlying motives and the true reasons we pursue those goals and dreams. Only then we will truly create and follow a roadmap that 3. Bring self-awareness. Pay attention to behavior— be honest about motives. 4. Set a plan. Specifically, what will it take to achieve your goal? 5. Make a “commitment contract.” If you are truly ready for change, try an extreme idea published in The Economist. Put a sizeable sum of money into a bank account controlled by your partner or good friend. Reach your goal within 6 months and get your money back. If you don’t, the money goes to charity. The Economist reveals that field trials of this technique increased the likelihood of

promotes meaningful and lasting results. Estee Goren, M.A., is a marriage & family therapist intern IMF #61543 (supervised by Julie A. Albert, MFT, MFC 28884) working with teens, adults and couples. She is specializing in relationships, life transitions, illnesses, grief and personal development. Her goal is to help others gain a new perspective, overcome personal challenges, and improve their overall well-being. For more information please visit her website at www.EsteeCounseling.com or call (925) 399-1177. success by over 30%. To Resolve or Not to Resolve Did you recognize yourself in any of the previous discussions? Have you launched into 2011 with a full complement of resolutions to tackle or are you blithely abstaining? Either way, one thing is certain—resolutions or not, January 2011 is upon us. Happy New Year! Lisa is a graduate student of consciousness and transformative studies. Questions and comments are welcome: lisa1wood@yahoo. com

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valleysentinel.com

January 2011 Advertorial

Kick Your Plantar Fasciitis, Once and for All! Using laser therapy to heal foot pain By Dr. Niele Maimone, DC

What is Plantar Fasciitis? Plantar fasciitis is an irritation and swelling of the thick tissue (plantar fascia) on the bottom of the foot. The plantar fascia is a thick fibrous band of connective tissue originating on the bottom surface of the calcaneus (heel bone) and extending along the sole of the foot toward the five toes. The plantar fascia helps hold up the bones on the bottom of the foot, creating the arch. When this fascia becomes inflamed, it makes walking painful and difficult. The pain is usually felt on the underside of the heel and is often most intense with the first steps of the day. Plantar fasciitis is commonly thought of as being caused by a heel spur, but research has found that this is not the case. On x-ray, heel spurs are seen in people with and without plantar fasciitis. Risk factors for plantar fasciitis include: • Foot arch problems (both flat foot and high arches) • Obesity • Running • Sudden weight gain • Tight Achilles tendon (the tendon connecting the calf muscles to the heel) What treatments are available for Plantar Fasciitis? We s t e r n m e d i c i n e typically treats Plantar Fasciitis with oral and/or injectable anti-inflammatories. These may temporarily reduce the pain associated with Plantar Fasciitis, but they do not treat the cause of the problem, and by no means heal it. Long term correction of Plantar Fasciitis is a two step process. First: Heal the Damaged Fascia Ending the pain caused by Plantar Fasciitis requires stopping the cycle of inflammation. Class IV laser therapy is an excellent method for this, because it is presently the only modality that can both reduce inflammation and heal tissue simultaneously. Laser

treatments at Align Healing Center are done with the K-laser 1200, a Class IV Laser. This laser does not cut or burn, but is gently absorbed by the tissue. During laser therapy ,the infrared laser light interacts with tissues at the cellular level, increasing metabolic activity and improving the transport of nutrients across the cell membrane. This initiates the production of cellular energy (ATP) that leads to a cascade of beneficial effects, increasing cellular function and health. This creates an optimal healing environment that reduces inflammation, swelling, muscle spasms, stiffness and pain. As the injured area returns to normal, function is restored and pain is relieved. Second: Correct the Foot and Gait Mechanics This involves rehabilitation of the arch of the foot. Arch rehabilitation is achieved by utilizing specific insoles and/or specific taping of the

foot in order to re-establish proper motion of the arch while walking. Then specific strengthening and stretching exercises are used to rehabilitate of the musculature of the foot and lower leg to ensure lasting results. At Align Healing Center we are having great success treating plantar fasciitis, sciatica, shoulder and neck pain, migraines, arthritis, tendonitis, carpal tunnel, post surgical pain, sports injuries and more; even if it’s long-term residual pain. Even arthritis and degenerative disc disease sufferers can see long term benefits from this treatment without any of the negative side effects experienced with the long term use of medications. Dr. Niele Maimone, DC is the owner and founder of Align Healing Center in Danville, CA. She has been active in our natural health & wellness community since 1999. For more information or to set up a consult call 925.362.8283 or visit www. alignhealingcenter.com.

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Community Banking and Personal Finance valleysentinel.com

January 2011

The valley Sentinel

page 10

In Community: Where You Bank Makes a the community flourish.. community bank near them. Difference Community banks play a In a day and age where the By Nancy Sheppard

Many consumers today continue to feel wary about Wall Street banks with their government bailouts and big bonuses paid with the consumer’s tax dollar. This frustration has given way to consideration that may be new for many – a relationship with a community bank. You’re probably aware of one or more smaller community banks where you live or work, but how many of you have gone in and inquired about what it might mean to move your money to a community bank? With the proliferation and presence of big banks today, there are still many consumers that are unaware of the impact a small bank has on its community. Community banks have a unique relationship with their communities, one that has been around for more than 200 years. The kind of relationship community banks have is not easily replicated by big banks (despite fancy advertising campaigns stating otherwise) and often is a large driving factor of what makes

large role in the fabric of their neighborhood. They make 67% of outstanding U.S. small business loans. Decisions on lending are made locally. The management teams are involved in civic activities. For some communities, they are one of the largest employers in town and it’s quite common to see a neighbor or friend as a bank employee. The volunteer support given by community banks is seen not only in their sponsorship of the local Little League but in the lending provided to local non-profits that may otherwise have a difficult time getting a loan from a large bank. There are nearly 8,000 community banks in the U.S. with more than 50,000 locations–in fact, community banks constitute 97% of all banks in the U.S. With the federal government bailouts of some of the largest financial institutions in the U.S., both local businesses and consumers are starting to make greater consideration for moving their money from these “mega banks” to a

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ethics and ethos of the leaders of financial institutions are being questioned, a growing number of people are looking for a different kind of banking experience–one that they know will be in positive support of the community they work and live in with management they know and trust to do the right thing.. In early 2010, a group of Bay Area bankers put their heads together to develop a way to educate citizens about the advantages of community banking. These bankers knew that consumers were becoming more attuned to the “power of choice” and wanted to make active decisions that allow them to participate in and give back to their communities. From this discussion came the iBankLocal program and its website, ibanklocal.org. Represented by over 26 banks in the Bay Area, the iBankLocal. org website offers an easy-touse search feature to find a community bank close to you and provides resources to show you how easy it is to move your accounts. The website also offers connections to information that consumers and small businesses need to make the choice to move from a big bank to a community bank. And locals aren’t the only one starting to take note. Those in government have increased their awareness of the value local banks have to the economy and the communities they serve. Elizabeth Warren, assistant to President Obama and special advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury, reached out to community bankers in a late October trip

to California. She asked for a meeting with a small group of bankers to hear their views on regulatory reform and to discuss the newly formed Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The bureau’s charge, she says, “is to protect the American family” from unscrupulous products and service providers in the financial services environment. Warren made it clear that she understands the role community banks serve in their communities. “You see your customers in the community, at church and rotary,” she stated, “and you have a hard time building a business model out of using deceptive practices or gouging your customers.” She pointed out that many of our competitors are anonymous to the consumer and that her mission is to make sure there is a level playing field. With the five largest banks controlling about two-thirds of assets in the U.S. banking

system, it is likely the “too big to fail” banks are here to stay. However, citizens now have the power to help turn around the trend in which fewer banks are controlling the nation’s banking system by using the ibanklocal.org website to guide them. So know that where you bank does make a difference in your community. The power of choice and action is yours and ibanklocal.org can help! Nancy Sheppard is President

& CEO of Western Independent Bankers, a trade associate for community banks in the West. In coordination with the California Independent Bankers, Western Independent Bankers manages the iBankLocal program.

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guygreco@herbank.com 387 Diablo Road, Danville, CA 94526


Community Banking and Personal Finance valleysentinel.com

January 2011

Finding the Middle

Advertorial

By Billy Schmohl • Most municipal bonds Investment Information Coordinator are issued for public benefit.

Headlines in the news can send chills down our s p i n e s. H oweve r, b e f o re reacting to the news, it is essential to understand the basis behind it, and to reach an educated conclusion. Famed Wall Street analyst, Meredith Whitney, recently spoke on the television show 60 Minutes and discussed some of the risks associated with the municipal bond market, and made some bold predictions. While there is some validity to her arguments, she is widely overstating her opinions, which border on the impossible. The report does contain elements of truth. The municipal bond market has been impacted by the economic downturn, much like other markets. Municipalities across the country have experienced declining revenues, matched with rising pension and healthcare costs. While some municipalities are in better shape than others, the market as a whole remains stable. Whitney’s report predicts that there will be between 50 and 100 “significant” municipal defaults in 2011 worth “hundreds of billions of dollars.” Industry veteran and Bloomberg columnist, Joe Mysak, referred to this report as, “The boldest, most overreaching call of her career.” Let’s look at the almost $3 trillion municipal market at a glance: • General obligation bonds are voted upon.

The Valley SenTinel

• By law, debt service usually has the highest priority. • Municipalities have mandated to cut pensions and services before impacting debt service. • Chapter 9 bankruptcy does not impact pre-petitioned debt. • The municipal market has historically low relative default rates, with relatively high recovery rates among defaulted issuers. • Over the last 40 years, 54 total Moody’s rated municipal bonds have gone into default. While the municipal market has been in the headlines recently, Meredith Whitney’s claims are simply infeasible. The market has experienced some challenges in certain areas, but the vast majority of issuers are continuing to satisfy their debt service obligations. Municipalities have a far-reaching ability to satisfy their debt obligations and put bondholders first. If you have any credits that may be a concern to you, contact an Alamo Capital Representative, and they would be happy to give you a full analysis. This report is prepared for informational purposes only. It is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any financial instrument or service. Market prices and other data may be obtained from outside sources and is not warranted as to completeness or accuracy. Any

comments, statements and/or recommendations made herein are subject to change without notice. Investing involves risk. Consult with a Financial Professional for additional information to determine the suitability of this or any other financial product or issue as it relates to your particular situation. To contact an Alamo Capital Representative, please call or

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page 11

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page 12

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We hope to see you there! EVENTS Registration for the 2011 Danville Little League season is OPEN! Online registration is now open to all players and coaches on the Danville Little League website. DLL is open to boys ages 5-18. Go to www.danvillelittleleague. com to register for the coming spring season! Information: tbaizer@yahoo.com. Forest Home Farms Historic Park & Glass House Museum Open the 2nd Saturday of each month. Forest Home Farms Historic Park and the Glass House Museum are open to visitors from 10am to 2pm each 2nd Saturday of the month. Tours of the restored Victorian Glass House Museum are held at 10am, 11am, 12pm and 1pm and tours of Forest Home Farms Historic Park, including the tractor museum, are at 11am and 1pm. Each tour lasts approximately 45 minutes and the fee is $5 per person or $8 for both tours taken on the same day. Children ages 2 and under are free. Each month features special FREE activities for children. 2011 San Ramon Art & Wind Festival Poster Art Contest Attention all San Ramon Middle School and High School Students! The City of San Ramon is conducting a contest for a dynamic piece of art that represents the San Ramon Art & Wind Festival. The artwork will be used for the 2011 San Ramon Art & Wind Festival. The contest is open to all San Ramon middle school and high school students.The winning piece of artwork will be featured on festival posters, postcards and t-shirts. It will also be framed and hung in one of the community centers in San Ramon. The student who creates the winning art work will also receive a $200 savings bond. The second place winner will receive a $100 savings bond and the third place winner will receive a $50 savings bond. Prizes are provided by the San Ramon Arts Foundation. All entries will be displayed in the Lindsay Dirkx Brown Art Gallery, located at the San Ramon Community Center, during the month of May 2011. The contest entry form and info can be found online at www.artandwind.com. For more info, call (925) 973-3366. Save Mount Diablo Fundraiser Celebrating its 39th anniversary and still going strong. Efforts have helped increase local open space 14 times over since 1971. Half of Mount Diablo and its foothills are still at risk of being lost to development forever. That is why the first annual online fundraising campaign was developed and hope that you will join in. The online fundraising campaign, hoping to raise $39,000 in donations by year-end, is off to a steady start: $2,123.95 donated. One supporter has stepped forward and offered a challenge: She will match all donations made online by the end of the year, up to $10,000! Double the impact of your gift by making a donation now. Join in to preserve Mount Diablo for people and wildlife to enjoy forever. It’s your mountain; please help save it. January 10 – February 7 Cancer Transitions 5:30-8pm. Six week series focuses on many of the psychosocial and practical issues faced once cancer treatment is over. Learn ways to improve lifestyle, establish and incorporate exercise and nutrition goals, and understand medical monitoring during survivorship. Cancer Support Community, 3276 McNutt Avenue, Walnut Creek. FREE. Space is limited so please call to register: 933-0107. January 12 Walnut Creek Library presents “Walnut Creek” and “San Francisco’s North Beach & Telegraph Hill” 6:30-7:30pm. Enjoy over 40 historic images of Walnut Creek neighborhoods. Also includes 30 vintage photographs of one of San Francisco’s most beloved areas,

North Beach. These images were acquired from private collections, historical societies and the San Francisco History Room. Many of the photographs are rarely seen by the public. Walnut Creek Library, 1644 North Broadway Ave., Walnut Creek. Deadline January 18 Volunteers needed to count the Homeless Contra Costa Health Services’ Homeless Program is seeking volunteer drivers and counters to help count the homeless. Volunteers must attend a one-hour training. The count takes about three hours for a total of four hours volunteered. The count will take place Wednesday, January 26, 2011 from 6 to 8:30 am. Mandatory training dates will take place as follows: Jan. 19, 12:30 pm or 6 pm at Grace Lutheran Church, 2369 Barrett Avenue in Richmond. Jan. 20, 6 pm or January 21, 12:30 pm at Vineyard Community Center, 1970 Grant Street in Concord. Download a volunteer form at http://cchealth.org/groups/homeless. Signed forms should be sent to homelessprogram@hsd. cccounty.us or by fax to (925) 313-6761. Information: (925) 313-6145. January 19 – May 4 Newly Diagnosed Breast Cancer Workshops 10:30am – 12:30pm. This 16 week series is for women who have just been diagnosed and are either in treatment or starting treatment. The group aspect assists you in finding the tools for coping with the diagnosis and gaining the support of others who share similar experiences. Free. Cancer Support Community, 3276 McNutt Avenue, Walnut Creek. Space is limited. Register: 933-0107. January 20 Volunteer at the Newly Opened Glass House Museum 9:30am-12pm. An orientation to learn about the exciting new volunteer opportunities at the historic Glass House Museum located at Forest Home Farms Historic Park in San Ramon. Volunteers will be trained to lead a variety of tours, provide educational programs and participate in historic preservation. You are not required to volunteer after attending the meeting. The meeting will be held in the Boone House, Apt. B at Forest Home Farms Historic Park. The address is 19953 San Ramon Valley Blvd., San Ramon.

Public Library, 2661 Oak Grove Road, Walnut Creek. February 5 Tri-Valley Animal Rescue’s 6th Annual Claws for Paws Crabfeed Fundraiser Dinner and Auction 6-10pm. Join Tri-Valley Animal Rescue with all the crab that you can eat plus Caesar salad, pasta, French bread, dessert and coffee/tea. A no host bar will be available. Raffle baskets, silent auction items, along with a Kindle raffle. Net proceeds support TVAR’s mission to rescue homeless animals, providing them needed medical treatment, and support the fostering program. Tickets: $45 before Jan. 15, $50 after. Order tickets online at www.tvar. org, through PayPal or by mailing a check to TVAR, P. O. 11143, Pleasanton, CA 94588. Held at Shannon Center, 11600 Shannon Avenue, Dublin.

BUSINESS Danville Chamber of Commerce January 13, 5:30pm. After Hours Mixer. Anatomy Power Chiropractic. 3470 Camino Tassajara, Danville. San Ramon Chamber of Commerce January 11, 11:30am – 1:30pm. Monthly networking lunch with Mayor Abram Wilson who will present “The Annual State of the City Address”. Must be a chamber member to participate. San Ramon Golf Club–Wedgewood Wedding and Banquet Center, 430 Fircrest Lane, San Ramon. January 20, 5:30pm. Third Thursday Mixer, San Ramon Insurance Agency & Soroptimist International of San Ramon Valley. San Ramon Insurance Agency, 2206 Camino Ramon, San Ramon.

CLUBS Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW), Post 75, San Ramon Valley. Please note that our next regularly scheduled meeting will be on Thursday, January 13th, 2011. Happy holidays and best wishes to all of you from all the members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States.

January 27 & 28 Youth Theatre Company’s Teen Cabaret Performance 7pm. Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein take on a youthful twist. Thrill to the songs and dances from The Sound of Music, South Pacific, Oklahoma and The King and I. Tickets: $10. Shadelands Auditorium, 111 N. Wiget Ln., Walnut Creek. Information and tickets: 943-5842, or visit www. youththeatrecompany.org

January 15 The Parkinson Network of Mt. Diablo Support Group 10am to noon. After refreshments and a time of sharing general information, the group will divide into caregivers and Parkinsonians for more in-depth sharing. All are welcome, and there is no charge. Questions? Call 284-2189. Grace Presbyterian Church, 2100 Tice Valley Blvd., Walnut Creek. A group for Young-Onset Parkinson’s (20’s - 50’s) will meet at 9 am at the same location. Call Krystin Radke at 336-9554.

January 28 – 30 Danville Library Book Sale 10am-5pm. Bag sale: Jan. 30, 12-4pm. Fill a bag for $5. A sale of hundreds of gently used books. The Danville Library, 400 Front St., Danville. Information: 837-4889

January 21 Montelindo Club 9am. Speaker will be Laural Roaldson, owner of Laural Landscapes in Walnut Creek. Her topic is “Maximizing Your Yard Without the Lawn.” Club meets the third Friday of the month, September through May. The meeting is free and welcomes guests and new members. Orinda Community Church, 10 Irwin Way, Orinda.

January 29 & February 5 Free Young Writers Workshops for Contra Costa Middle School Students 9am-Noon. Workshops for middle school students, sixth, seventh, and eighth grade, to prepare for the annual Young Writers Contest. Both workshops will feature “How to write the best short story” or “Personal arrative by creating memorable characters,” with writing tips from two professional children’s authors. Register at www.lizbooks@aol. com to reserve a space at the workshop. Jan. 29 workshop held at the Concord Public Library, 2900 Salvio Street, Concord. Feb. 5 workshop held at the Ygnacio Valley

San Ramon Valley Rotary Club Wednesdays at 7:00 pm. Crow Canyon Country Club, 711 Silver Lake Dr., Danville. For information call Valerie Munoz at (925) 683-6310 or visit www.crow-canyon.com Danville Sycamore Valley Rotary Club Meetings held every Tuesday morning at 7am. Crow Canyon Country Club, 711 Silver Lake Dr., Danville. For more information, call Scott Sampson at (925) 743-8449.

Please email or fax your Calendar Events to the Sentinel by 5 p.m. Friday, January 14 for the February issue. Fax No. 925-820-6048, info@valleysentinel.com or go to valleysentinel.com to enter your event online. Inclusion in the calendar pages is at the sole discretion of Sentinel Newspapers, Inc.


page 14

The Valley SenTinel

January 2011

valleysentinel.com

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been the benchmark of success measuring cancer trials. Success Stories Perhaps the most storied therapy is that of Bevacizumab (Avastin, Genentech/Roche). An agent aimed at interfering with the growth of new blood vessels in cancerous tumors to thus impede their growth. Response has been seen in various types of cancer. In multiple phase III clinical trials, the most important type of trial to delineate true benefit of a drug in patients, it has shown that it can significantly improve the overall survival of patients with metastatic (stage IV) lung and colorectal cancer. It has thus received approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in these tumor types. I n b ra i n c a n c e r, f o r which few drugs can be deemed a successful t re a t m e n t , B eva c i z u m a b

lives in multiple phase II trials when compared to historical therapies that it prompted FDA to grant approval of its use. Setbacks Bevacizumab’s benefit in breast cancer was greatly anticipated, given its success in other tumor types. It initially received accelerated approval by the FDA in 2008 for metastatic breast cancer based on initially strong progression free survival (PFS) advantage in a major clinical trial, where it demonstrated improvement in the time before patients’ tumors progressed while on treatment. However, subsequent studies failed to show any actual improvement of patients’ survival (overall survival, OS), its approval was withdrawn in December 2010. This recent change of heart by the FDA has breast cancer advocates clamoring for injustice. Is it fair for breast cancer patients to have a potentially active drug be removed from the arsenal of treating oncologists? One can arguably say, any drug that has activity in cancer should not be limited in anyway for use in such devastating diseases as cancer. But the answer is usually more complex and has to deal with the socialeconomic ramifications the

healthcare system. To take the converse side to the extreme, for example, UK’s National Institute of Clinical Excellence recently ruled negatively against Bevacizumab’s use in metastatic colorectal cancer in that country, it was felt that even the overall survival of a few months, did not outweigh the cost of the treatment on their National Health Service, which can be hundreds of thousands of dollars per year of therapy. The Future Cancer is a devastating diagnosis, not only affecting those diagnosed but can also disrupt the lives of families and friends who help provide their care. Continued support of cancer clinical trials is the best way to discover new treatments that will hope to significantly improve cancer therapies. Judicious use of new treatments that have meaningful impact on patients’ lives will help insure we will have resources available for all those who need them. Dr. Kang is a board certified medical oncologist with Epic Care Partners in Cancer www. epic-care.com in Alameda and Contra Costa County. Dr. Kang works with Dr. Shoba Kankipati, Dr. Kenneth Chao and Dr. Cannon Milani

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Little things mean a lot when it comes to changing the direction of one’s life and well-being toward a healthier, happier existence. It’s never too late to make a New Year resolution that turns out be more than wishful thinking. After the busy holiday s e a s o n , t a ke a t i m e o u t . Everybody is entitled to time alone without any communication from others, electronic or otherwise. Relax and consider one or two goals that are achievable. Put the odds of following a different path in your favor by avoiding circumstances and people who may be firmly entrenched in the old path. Take a walk every day, join a book club, sign up to volunteer for any activity that will keep you moving, decide to eliminate negative comments from your vocabulary, adopt a pet, commit to spend time with an relative that is isolated, make a personal commitment for a quarterly personal cleanse or go back to school and learn a language or computer skills. Volunteering at an East Bay Regional Park, or participating in some of the Save Mt. Diablo events can improve health, contribute to the community and create new social connections and new ideas. Just take a walk on a trail in a local park or challenge yourself with long distances on the Iron Horse Regional Trail, which goes from Concord to Dublin/Pleasanton BART, and will extend 55 miles from Livermore to Suisun Bay when completed. Advanced runners and hikers love the challenge of Mount Diablo State park trails. Luckily Alamo, Danville and San Ramon are laced with wonderful walking trails that can be even more fun walking with a group or going on guided hikes. Seek out a yoga instruction to start feeling better without strenuous exercise. Yoga is not aerobic, but the results can be remarkable over time. Sometimes a trip to a sanctuary or relaxation spa can be the catalyst for continued practice. Personal trainers are no longer just for the rich and famous. Sedentary office personnel, and computer addicts are turning to them in record numbers. Trainers do more than show clients how to perform which exercises. “A personal trainer is an expert that can help guide people, and their improvement to a higher level with greater efficiency,” Fit Personal Fitness Studio owner reports. “It is motivating to work with a trained professional.”


valleysentinel.com

AUTO

maintenance • new cars • used cars • after market • safety

page 15

March 2009

January 2011

2010 BMW X6M By David Colman

2010 BMW 550i GT By David Colman

How does a $63,000 car end up costing $86,000? The answer is easy. It’s a BMW! But really, what more do you need than the basic 550 GT? After all, it’s got one of the best power plants in the world, a 400hp, 4.4 liter V8, turbocharged, intercooled, and borrowed from the much more expensive 7 Series. The standard 8-speed automatic gearbox with manual override offers more shifting options than you will ever need. The gaping Panoramic sunroof, which extends coverage over front and rear seats, is standard, as are ventilated disc brakes at each corner with ABS and Dynamic Brake Control. Also included as standard fare on the 550 GT are the following stellar features: self-leveling Bi-Xenon headlights, autodimming interior and exterior mirrors, front and rear park distance control, retractable headlight washers, halogen foglights, rain-sensing wipers and elegant ashe grain wood trim. How about a Neptune Blue Metallic exterior finish keyed to ivory white and black Dakota leather interior? No extra charge for even those luxurious niceties. What more, then, could you possibly need in this purposeful, striking four door sedan? Plenty, as it turns out. The option list on this BMW is enough to make your head swivel and you checkbook drain. First, there’s the $1,900 Convenience Package, which brings you keyless entry, power trunk opener and soft closing doors that virtually

shut themselves. Ventilated front seats will run you another $1,950, and you won’t want to miss the Premium Sound Package ($1,400) which allows you to connect your iPod. Twenty-inch diameter alloy wheels ($1,000), wrapped in Goodyear excellence run-flat rubber (245/40R20 front and 275/35R20 rear) contribute to the 550’s prodigious cornering stability. The $4,200 Sport Package is a must if you want shadowline trim, leather sports steering wheel and multicontour seats. And if you care enough about your rear seat passengers to provide the very best, you’ll surely opt for the $3,650 Luxury Rear Seating Package (sunshades, ventilated and heated comfort seats, 4-zone climate control) and the $2,200 rear seat entertainment package. Check a few more boxes here and there like Sirius Radio ($350 with 1 year subscription) and smartphone integration ($150) and you’re on the hook for $15,300 worth of extras you can probably live without. Especially forgettable is the $1,750 Integral Active Steering, which has a video game like feel, no matter what performance setting you’ve selected on the dash control button. In the Comfort mode, the steering reacts like a rheostat, with no sensitivity at all. On the Sport+ setting, the steering rack feels like it’s been dipped in cement, so save yourself the extra money on this option. An unoptioned 550 GT is the answer to your $64,000 question. This new sports tourer is good enough to stand on its own without $15,300 worth of embellishments. Make the 20–inch alloys your only option. That combination

gives you a nimble, comfortable four-seater with an impeccable level of fit and finish for just $64,000.January 2011 2010 BMW 550i GT ENGINE: 4.4 liter, 32 valve DOHC V8, twin turbocharged and intercooled HORSEPOWER: 400 at 5,500-6,400rpm TORQUE: 450lb.-ft. at 1,750-4,500rpm FUEL CONSUMPTION: 15 city MPG, 21 highway MPG PRICE AS TESTED: $86,525

If judged by the standards of the politically correct new green world order, the M version of the X6 is a ridiculous excuse for a transportation module. It weighs 5,000 pounds, consumes between 12 and 17 gallons of premium fuel for every mile traveled, carries just 4 adults, and costs $93,275. There’s clearly no rational case to be made for such conspicuous c o n s u m p t i o n i n t o d ay ’s sustainable landscape, right? You couldn’t be more wrong. The M version of the AWD X6, limited to a run of just 600 vehicles for 2010, is without question the most exciting BMW of the new year. It is faster, better handling and more stable in all weather conditions than any other BMW being sold today. When it comes to sheer jaw-dropping performance, the X6M is simply in a class of its own. One look under the hood explains the magic trick BMW has conjured here. By equipping the M version with a 4.4 liter, twin turbo V8 good for 555hp, the X6 scalds the 0-60mph run in under 4 seconds thanks to Formula 1 style launch control combined

with prodigious adhesion at all four corners. This Bimmer puts more rubber on the road than a Turbo Porsche 911. The enormous footprint of the rear 335/20 Michelin Sport Pilots make it virtually impossible to get the X6M sideways. Just be sure to push the “M” button on the steering wheel to unleash all of the engine’s p owe r a n d t h e c h a s s i s ’ resilience. Once you depress that button, horsepower jumps from 450 to 555, the exhaust note changes to a growl, and the sport suspension (with self-leveling air springing in the rear) retunes itself to cope with hard driving. Sybaritic interior comfort is yours as well, thanks to a pair of the best sport front seats in the industry. If you’re loafing along in non-“M” mode, you’ll have the time to appreciate the standard HD radio with its 16 speakers and full CD/ MP3/ Bluetooth adaptability. Standard front and rear Park Distance Control (PDC) helps you maneuver this large vehicle, especially when reversing in tight spaces. Although in most cases, PDC constitutes overkill, in the X6M, rear visibility is so limited that radar feedback is most welcome.

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The Valley Sentinel_Jan 2011