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Alamo • Danville • Blackhawk • Diablo • San Ramon

Look inside for the latest Regional in Nature Activity Guide!

Valley

The

Sentinel

always for the community VOL 18, NO 1 January 2013

valleysentinel.com SEVENTY-FIVE CENTS

SPOTLIGHT

Flower nursery owner decorates the Alamo Cemetery by Brian Yu

The Alamo Cemetery, established more than 150 years ago, is the burial site of many. Visitors often come to see the resting places of early pioneers of the San Ramon Valley or World War II veterans, but during the holiday season, they also find something else there–gravesites decorated with flowers. This is the work of Judy Sandkuhle, the owner of Sunset Color Nursery located in Danville. Founded in Oakland in 1906 by her grandfather, Ms. Sandkuhle moved the nursery to Danville in 1985, where it has been ever since. She specializes in pelargoniums and perennials, works with organically grown herbs, and also grows her own poinsettias.

Happy New Year! from all of us at the Valley Sentinel

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California Grizzly - The Golden Bear By James Hale

It was just a short time ago that the California Grizzly (Ursus horribilis californicus) was a dominant feature of the fauna of California. The grizzly was common to abundant throughout the state in lowlands, foothills and the western Sierra, being absent only in the deserts. Naturalists Tracey Storer and Lloyd Tevis found records of grizzlies in nearly every habitat. The California grizzly appears to have been unusually gregarious. In September 1846, John C. Fremont’s expedition party traveling in the Salinas Valley came upon a number of grizzlies in the oak woodlands. The party killed twelve and others escaped. A settler in the Napa Valley area in 1831 said one could see as many as sixty bears in a day. Settler John Watson saw three hundred grizzlies in a single valley

in the Santa Cruz mountains in the 1860’s. Local histories state that grizzlies were numerous in the Berkeley hills and east bay area. Names of nearby places such as Grizzly Peak and Bear Creek attest to the fact. Storer and Tevis suggest the statewide population for the California grizzly was perhaps close to 10,000 based on their extensive research. As late as 1850 grizzlies still wandered on the outskirts of San Francisco. The golden bear was so widespread in Old California that it earned a place on the state flag. Several features set the California grizzly apart from other bears, except their close relatives, the brown bears and other grizzlies. The shoulder hump, the long front claws, the color of the pelage, and

the structure of the skull and teeth are diagnostic and species specific. The hump results from the size and placement of the muscle mass above the shoulder blades. The front claws are longer, slightly curved, heavier and broader than in other bears. They are an adaptation for their omnivorous diet in digging for bulbs, roots, rodents, invertebrates and insect larvae. Carrion was a perennial favorite. One of the earliest accounts for the California grizzly was by the Spanish explorer Vizcaino, who in 1602 observed grizzlies scavenging beached whales in Monterey. The abundance and diversity of oaks provided a seasonal bounty of acorns for the large numbers of huge bears. It is estimated they could gain several pounds a day from this

This month’s Special Section:

New Year–New You! pages 8-9

Grizzly Adams and Bear Ben Franklin

rich resource. I find it interesting to note that the introduced wild boar appears to have reoccupied the ecological niche that was vacated by the extirpated California grizzly. See BEARS page 11


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

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The Valley Sentinel

Broadway Revealed: Behind the Theater Curtain Now - February 17 Bringing the breadth, ambition, and showmanship of New York’s iconic theater district to Walnut Creek, B ro a d way Reve a l e d w i l l offer viewers a behind the scenes look at world-class theater production. Featuring artist Stephen Joseph’s p h o t o g ra p h s o f s o m e o f Broadway’s most critically acclaimed productions alongside theatrical props, costumes, and other artifacts,

January 2013

this exhibition showcases the complex support network of design, lighting, directing, and staging that comes together to create the magical world of the theater. Joseph’s composite, 360 degree photographs allow us to uncover the hidden heroes responsible for the dramatic flare and beautiful staging that has made Broadway a global leader in theater. Bedford Gallery at the Lesher Center for the Arts: 1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek. Information: Visit www.bedfordgallery.org or call 925-295-1417.

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C y p re s s S t r i n g Q u a r t e t Dvorak’s Voices January 13 What happened when the composer returned to his beloved homeland after two years in America? Cypress Quartet will perform Dvorak’s great Op. 96 “American” Quartet, alongside his great Op 106 Quartet, written just after his return to Prague. You’ll be fascinated at the impressive way Dvorak could soak up the music and sounds that surrounded him. The Cypress Quartet will also share selections from “The Cypresses”, Dvorak’s only ‘song cycle’ for String Quartet, from which they take their name. Firehouse Arts Center: 4444 Railroad Avenue, Pleasanton. Information: Visit www.firehousearts.org or call 925-931-4848.

Jazz Jam at the Hedley January 16 7:30-9:30pm. Join the Jazz Jam at the Hedley with trumpeter John Worley and saxophonist Oscar Pangilinan! If yyou are a musician, bring Agenc your instrument and get in the groove. Don’t be shy! Don’t miss this unique opportunity to play and network with other musicians. If you’re not a musician, sneak in to witness the best-known, unknown, and

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Thursdays @ the VT January 17 8pm. The Town of Danville presents a classic movie on the third Thursday of every month. Join us for an evening of great movies at a great price. Bring the whole family. $5. Village Theatre, 233 Front Street, Danville. Information: 925820-1278 or www.danville. ca.gov/Enjoy_Danville/Art_ and_Culture/Village_Theatre.

Expecting Isabel January 18 - February 9 Like many modern couples, Miranda and Nick decide to have a baby. Their difficulties in conceiving lead them through the booming baby business as they run the madcap maze of the fertility trade, the adoption industry and their own families. Lisa Loomer’s frenetic farce is a hilarious yet tender look at what it can take to “have a family” in the 21st century.

The Village Theatre: 233 Front Street, Danville. Information: Visit www.villagetheatreshows. com or call 925-314-3466.

Dixieland Jazz January 19 2-5pm. On the 3rd Saturday of every month you can enjoy the music of the Devil Mountain Jazz Band. Bring your own beverages, snacks and a friend or two! There is a large dance floor and lots of free parking. $15. Grange Hall, 743 Diablo Road, Danville. Information contact Ken at www.jazznut.com or phone 925-625-2707. Mozart and Tchaikovsky January 20 4pm. Called a real d a z z l e r, c o n d u c t o r S e a n Newhouse, one of the most exciting conductors of his generation, leads the California Symphony in Tchaikovsky’s monumental Fifth Symphony with the enduring beauty of Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto as its complement. Lesher Center for the Arts: 1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek. Information: Visit www.lesherartscenter.org or call 925-943-7469. Graffiti Art Lettering Workshop for Teens January 26 10am - 12 pm. Students will learn basic graffiti art lettering styles and study how See A & E page 3

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

valleysentinel.com

January 2013

A&E from page 2

The Valley Sentinel

page 3

Record Low Low Rates! Rates! Record Jason Brown

Sr. Vice President Mortgage Counsultant

line and shape are important in developing this exciting art form. The instructor, Larry Stefl, has a Masters in Fine Art and has been an art instructor to all levels of education for over 25 years. This workshop is for teens ages 11-17. Registration re q u i re d a n d s u b j e c t t o cancellation in case of low enrollment. Information: Visit www.danvillerecguide.com, search barcode 28042, or call (925) 314-3400.

Gilbert and Sullivan’s Princess Ida January 25 - 27 A twenty year old treaty states that Princess Ida and Prince Hilarion are to marry when they come of age. That time has come but Ida refuses to marry and goes off to start a women’s university. The prince however, is an unabashed romantic, and in order to win Ida’s love he sneaks into her university along with two friends. This starts the love story between the princess and the prince. Lesher Center for the Arts: 1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek. Information: Visit www.lesherartscenter.org or call 925-943-7469.

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Old Wicked Songs February 1 - March 2 Hoping to reconnect with his music and shatter the artistic block that’s plagued his career, a young American piano prodigy ventures to Vienna in the spring of 1986. He is assigned to an elderly vocal teacher who gives him the “Dichterliebe” song cycle by Robert Schumann. Nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, this is the inspirational journey of two very different men, with music as their one common bond, who must find a way to break through their pasts. Center REP: 1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek. Information: Visit www. centerrep.org.

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Trapped in a Rumor February 7 7:30pm. Join Bay Area’s P re m i e r I m p rov Tro u p e, specializing in comedy improvisation for a night of hijinks and unscripted comedy $8/$10. Village Theatre, 233 Front Street, Danville. Information: 925-820-1278 or www.danville.ca.gov/Enjoy_ Danville/Art_and_Culture/ Village_Theatre.

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The Valley Sentinel

January 2013 Advertorial

Acupuncture for cancer patients By Dr. Michael Forrest

a re a l s o c o m p l e m e n t a r y treatments which can help with side effects of traditional therapies, both during and after treatment. These are used along with, not as an alternative, to standard therapies. Complementary therapies that have shown benefit in cancer patients include acupuncture, mind-body modalities (such as guided imagery, meditation, and hypnosis), support groups/ counseling, massage, physical activity, and nutritional counseling. These modalities help patients get through treatment by increasing one’s sense of control, hope, and i m m u n e re s p o n s e w h i l e reducing inflammation and

We are all familiar with the benefits of standard c a n c e r t re a t m e n t s s u c h as surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. But, there

stress. The benefits of diseaseappropriate diet and physical activity are obvious. Less obvious is how some of the other complementary therapies work. Acupuncture, for example, has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years, and is an important part of modern Chinese medicine as well. It consists of insertion of very fine disposable needles a short depth into the skin by a licensed acupuncturist. The needle locations are quite specific for the problem to be addressed. Needles can be placed either into the external ear or throughout the body, according to longstanding charts that localize ‘acupoints’ along the body’s ‘meridians’. Acupuncture has shown benefit in cancer-related pain, both musculoskeletal, such

valleysentinel.com as joint pain from hormonal therapy in breast cancer patients, and nerve pain caused by certain chemotherapy drugs. There are also reports showing that acupuncture reduces nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy, both in adults and children. It can also help improve saliva flow after radiation therapy to the head and neck. Data for acupuncture to relieve hot flashes due to hormonal therapy are less firm. But, in those with severe hot flashes more than seven times per day, it is as helpful as prescription medication, without the negative side effects. Acupuncture has been tried for many other conditions. It seems to be helpful in combination with education for smoking cessation. It may also be helpful in cancerrelated shortness of breath, fatigue, and post-surgery pain. Side effects from acupuncture are exceedingly rare, but the needles used are regulated in

the USA as a medical device and should only be performed by a licensed acupuncturist. At Epic Care Cancer Care Centers, we recommend and offer the latest standard cancer therapies including radiation, chemotherapy, hormonal, and biologic treatments. But, we also strive to help our patients through these sometime difficult therapies, by discussing and referring for complementary modalities such as acupuncture. Many insurers will cover acupuncture for certain indications and there are charitable groups, such as the Sandra Wing Healing Therapies Foundation, that provide grants to patients for this and other complementary treatments. Dr. Michael Forrest is a board certified radiation oncologist with Epic Care, an East Bay group of experts in the diagnosis and comprehensive treatment of cancer and blood disorders. Dublin, CA 925-4521852 www.epic-care.com.

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matter if the pain is from a recent injury or long ago. 3. Whiplash - Whiplash injuries respond well to CST. It can help relieve the pain associated with whiplash as well as the mental changes that come from this type of injury. 4. Temporomandibular joint disorder - TMJ is often a symptom of a restriction somewhere else. Finding that restriction has relieved TMJ as well as other dental issues.

5. It’s Gentle - With CST, I am facilitating the body to make the correction. This light touch allows the tissues to relax and selfcorrect without force. It can be effective in stress management, headaches, neck and back pain, TMJ, depression, post traumatic stress disorders, chronic pain, sleep disorders, and vertigo to name a few. For more information log onto www.therhythmwithin. o r g . To s c h e d u l e a n appointment please contact Marchelle Milligan at 925-2866237. Located in Alamo. New clients receive $15 off a one hour session.

San Ramon Receives Traffic Safety Grant The City of San Ramon has been awarded a $38,000 grant for a new traffic collision and software database system. The grant was awarded in August 2012, and the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration provides funding. The grant-funded software will aid in identifying patterns in traffic crashes and identifying areas in need of safety improvements to reduce future crashes and deaths. Many agencies in the Bay Area have improved their ability to spot and react appropriately to collision trends through the use of automated traffic records

software. The Office of Traffic Safety funds will be used to acquire such a system for the City of San Ramon. The software will be customized to the City’s needs. It is expected to improve efficiency of data input and management of traffic collision reports. Other features include: A graphic display of collision information to assist in spotting individual problems–the locations as well as corridor trends, the ability to generate automated location-specific collision history diagrams (needed f o r e n g i n e e r i n g s t u d i e s, complaint investigations, and grant applications), the capability of providing corridor collision studies

(needed for traffic signal timing, studies, and grant applications), the enhanced accessibility of collision and speed survey data by the City, enhanced customized reporting capabilities, and the ability to electronically transmit collision reports to the Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System. The new software will be used primarily by the City’s Police, Community Development, and Engineering Services departments. Preliminary work needed to procure and deploy the new software has already begun, and is expected to be completed in the summer of 2013.


valleysentinel.com

January 2013 Advertorial

Sciatica can be a pain in the rear! By Dr. Niele Maimone, DC

The condition known as Sciatica is one of the most common conditions that we treat at Align Healing Center. Some of the typical symptoms of Sciatica are sharp pain in the low-back and/or buttocks accompanied by numbness, tingling, aching or burning down the back of the leg. In severe circumstances, weakness in the leg may also be seen. The Sciatic Nerve is large and travels down the back of the leg to the foot. The nerve is buried deep within the muscles of the buttock and leg making it difficult to treat with common physical therapy methods. The Sciatic Nerve is composed of several smaller nerves and originates from the low back. It passes under the piriformis muscle (underneath the main buttock muscles) on its way down the leg. Irritation of the

Sciatic Nerve at any point along its path is commonly known as “Sciatica”. Understanding Sciatica Let’s talk about nerves for a moment. Nerves are the electrical wiring of the human body. They carry the signals that allow us to move, feel, digest, detoxify, respond to our environment, and so much more. Plain and simple, if the nerves do not work the body will not work. That being said, it is important to understand that unlike other tissues, the primary blood supply to nerve tissue is actually located WITHIN the nerve itself. So, if a nerve becomes impinged or compromised, so does the blood supply to the nerve. Without proper blood supply, the nerve does not receive the energy and nutrition that are needed for the nerve to heal itself. Over time neural impingement leads to a painful chronic condition called Neuropathy. The definition

of Neuropathy is a disease or injury affecting nerve cells. The common symptoms of Neuropathy include sharp pain, burning, muscular weakness, numbness or tingling either at the site of the nerve injury or wherever the nerve travels. The condition known as Sciatica is a form of Neuropathy that specifically affects the Sciatic Nerve. What can I do to relieve my Sciatica without drugs or surgery? Since 1999 Align Healing Center has been offering many different modalities to heal Sciatica. We have found that a combination of Class IV laser therapy and spinal decompression offer outstanding results in healing stubborn Sciatica. Class IV Laser Therapy allows the practitioner to stimulate healing within the damaged tissue by delivering the necessary energy directly to the injured area. This creates an optimal

San Ramon community awards presented On December 6, 2012, the San Ramon Chamber of Commerce presented the 28th Annual Night of the Stars Community Awards at the Bridges Golf Club. More than two hundred guests, including nominees, corporate sponsors and elected officials attended the event. The San Ramon Chamber presented five awards: C i t i z e n o f t h e Ye a r ; Hermann Welm: Former San Ramon Mayor and community volunteer, Hermann has served in elected positions, including the San Ramon City Council and the Planning Commission. He has been a youth soccer coach for 24 years, a volunteer at the Lindsey Wildlife Museum and at San Ramon Regional Medical Center. He is a member of the Blackhawk Chorus and the San Ramon Rotary Club. Business Person of the Year; Mary C. Whipple: Attorney at The Law Offices of Mary C. Whipple, focusing on family law. Mary specializes in family law, which includes divorce, custody, support, prenuptial agreements, and domestic-violence restraining orders. She is a Chamber Ambassador, and a volunteer at the Contra Costa County Superior Court, where she assists self-represented litigants in completing their

divorces. She is a member of Divorce Angel, where she provides information regarding family law matters to members of the community. Educator of the Year; Mark Corti: Mark is Principal at California High School. Under Mark’s leadership California High School was named a National Blue Ribbon School (2006) and a California Distinguished School (2005, 2009). The school has been recognized numerous times by Newsweek as one of America’s Best High Schools. He became principal of California High in 1999. Before that, he served as an assistant principal at San Ramon Valley High School for six years. Employee of the Year; Darlene Kittredge: Community Resources and Youth Service Unit at the San Ramon Police Department, Darlene works as a Crime Prevention Specialist and facilitates many programs, including Crime Free MultiHousing, Neighborhood Watch, National Night Out, Coffee with the Cops, and Stranger Danger education for children. She is a member of the Board of Directors for the San Ramon Chamber of Commerce. Green Company of the Year; Sunset Development Company/Bishop Ranch. A l e x a n d e r M e h r a n , J r. , general manager and senior

vice president of Bishop Ranch Development, accepted the award. Bishop Ranch excels in green business activities. The company has an award-winning transit program that eliminated 10,000 cars on the road by providing free bus passes to their tenant commuters. A majority of their buildings are Energy Star rated and in the final stages of LEED Gold Certification. Bishop Ranch has energy-saving initiatives, including using only greencertified products in janitorial and cleaning, saving 200,000 pounds of waste annually by using microfiber cloths instead of paper towels, and utilizing a comprehensive recycling program. In addition to the C o m m u n i t y Awa rd s, t h e Chamber of Commerce presented the Ambassador of the Year Award to D. Christian Claytor, attorney at Claytor Law Group for his volunteer work with the chamber. For information about the San Ramon Chamber of Commerce, contact 925242-0600 or e-mail stewart. bambino@SanRamon.org. The San Ramon Chamber of Commerce office is located at 2410 Camino Ramon, Suite 125, Bishop Ranch 6, San Ramon, CA 94583.

The Valley Sentinel healing environment that reduces pain and inflammation, swelling, muscle spasms and stiffness. In addition to laser therapy we implement spinal decompression to restore spinal disc health. Decompression works by gently stretching the spine, creating a vacuum effect which can restore disc height and even reduce the severity of bulging disc conditions associated with chronic pain and neurological symptoms. We have found laser and decompression therapy to be most beneficial for patients with pinched nerves, arthritis, herniated discs, and degenerative disc disease. This unique combination of non-

page 5

invasive therapy offers a chance for realizing a permanent cure. The treatment is finite and typically lasts for about a month. This eliminates the long-term care commitment forced upon patients by other symptomatic sciatica treatments. With proper care and rehabilitation of your spine and nervous system you can be back to your healthy self quickly! Dr. Niele Maimone, DC of Align Healing Center in Danville, CA has been active in natural health & wellness since 1999. For more information or to set up a consult call 925.362.8283 or visit www. alignhealingcenter.com.

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Seniors page 6

valleysentinel.com

January 2013 SENIOR BUZZ SESSION

What’s new in Medicare for 2013

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Danville Senior Center, Veterans Memorial Building 115 East Prospect Ave., Danville, CA Topics: Capital Gains, Ways to Hold Title, Property/Fence Lines Presenters: Ann Donough, CPA, Linda Moss, First American Title Larry Smith, Attorney Join us for an informative session regarding home/property ownership. This will be a great event–not to be missed!

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The Affordable Care Act strengthened Medicare in important ways. Signed in 2010, the federal health law already has provided free preventive health benefits to millions of people with Medicare, and saved billions of dollars for those who hit the gap in their Part D prescription drug coverage. I n 2 01 3 , d i s c o u n t s on prescription drugs for people who reach the Part D “donut hole” will increase, and Medicare will cover screenings and counseling for alcohol misuse, behavioral therapy for cardiovascular d i s e a s e, c o u n s e l i n g f o r obesity, and more. If you reach the “donut hole” in 2013, you’ll pay only 47.5% for covered brandname drugs and 79% for generic drugs. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, these discounts will gradually increase until the “hole: is closed in 2020.

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In 2013, Medicare will cover one alcohol misuse screening per year for adults with Medicare (including pregnant women) who use alcohol, but don’t meet the medical criteria for alcohol dependency. I f yo u r p r i m a r y - c a re doctor or other primarycare practitioner determines you’re misusing alcohol, you can get up to four face-toface counseling sessions per year (if you’re competent and alert during counseling). A qualified primary-care doctor or other primary-care practitioner must provide the counseling in a primary-care setting such as a doctor’s office. Medicare also will cover o n e v i s i t p e r ye a r w i t h your primary-care doctor to help lower your risk for c a r d i o v a s c u l a r d i s e a s e. During this visit, your doctor may discuss whether taking aspirin is appropriate for you, check your blood pressure, and give you tips to make sure you’re eating well. If you have a body mass index of 30 or more, Medicare will cover intensive counseling to help you lose weight. This counseling may be covered if you get it in a primary-care setting, where it can be coordinated with your personalized prevention plan. In 2013, Medicare also will cover screenings for chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and Hepatitis B. These screenings are covered for people with Medicare who are pregnant and/or at increased risk for sexually transmitted infection. Medicare covers these tests once every 12 months or at certain times during pregnancy. In addition, Medicare c ove rs u p t o t wo h i g h intensity behavioral counseling sessions each ye a r f o r s ex u a l l y - a c t i ve a d u l t s a t i n c re a s e d r i s k f o r s ex u a l l y t ra n s m i t t e d infections. Medicare covers this counseling only in a primary-care setting. Counseling in an inpatient

setting, like a skilled nursing facility, isn’t covered as a preventive service. Yo u p ay n o t h i n g f o r any of the above services if your primary-care doctor or other qualified primarycare practitioner accepts Medicare’s payment amount. Medicare now covers one depression screening per year, too. The screening must be done in a primarycare setting that can provide follow-up treatment and referrals. You pay nothing for this test if the doctor or other qualified provider accepts Medicare payment, but you generally have to pay 20% of the Medicare‑approved amount for the doctor’s visit. Besides these services, Medicare covers a long list of preventive benefits – often at no cost to you – to help you stay healthy and detect disease in its most treatable stages. Medicare-covered preventive services include tests and screenings for breast, prostate, cervical, and colon cancer; screenings for conditions that may trigger heart attack or stroke; checks for diabetes and glaucoma; and counseling to help you stop smoking. You’re also entitled to a one-time “Welcome to Medicare” checkup during the first 12 months after you take Medicare Part B, and wellness visits with your doctor each year after that. These visits are free. Shots to protect you against flu and pneumonia also are free. The Affordable Care Act eliminated deductibles and co-pays for most Medicare preventive services in order to encourage people to use them more. Please take advantage of them!David Sayen is Medicare’s regional administrator for California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii, and the Pacific Trust Territories. You can always get answers to your Medicare questions by calling 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).

be kind to the environment– please recycle this newspaper


valleysentinel.com

January 2013

The valley Sentinel

page 7

“The True Story of Glory Continues” documentary and panel discussion The following the San Francisco Bay Area to

The Walnut Creek Library Foundation will host a special screening of the powerful documentary, “The True Story of Glory Continues,” followed by a panel discussion with Saint Mary’s College history professor and Civil War scholar Carl Guarneri and Shad Small from the Black Families Association. N a r ra t e d by M o rg a n Freeman, this 45-minute documentary tells the true story of the patriots of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment, the first black fighting unit of the American Civil War. Recruited in the North, these valiant soldiers launched the assault on Fort Wagner, South Carolina, in July 1863, stunningly portrayed in the Academy Award® winning film Glory. Following the screening, panelists Guarneri and Small will discuss the role of AfricanAmerican soldiers in the Civil

War and their influence on the attitudes of white soldiers– north and south–and on the outcome of the war. “The True Story of Glory Continues” Documentary and Panel Discussion Monday, January 14, 2013, 7pm Oak View Room, Walnut C re e k L i b ra r y, 1 6 4 4 N . Broadway, Walnut Creek Free; register at www. WCLibrary.org The screening is the second in a month-long series of special events aligned with the national traveling exhibit, “Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War,” on display at the Walnut Creek Library through February 8, 2013. Hosted locally by the WC Library Foundation, the exhibition is traveling to select cities and venues around the country through 2015. Walnut Creek is the first in

host this extraordinary exhibit. “Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War,” offers an innovative perspective on President Abraham Lincoln and focuses on his struggle to meet the political and constitutional challenges of the Civil War. The WCLF and Walnut Creek Library have partnered with the American Library Association Public Programs Office and the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia to bring this exhibit to Walnut Creek. The traveling exhibition is funded by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to the National Constitution Center. For more information about the “Lincoln” exhibit, associated programs and events, and the Walnut Creek Library Foundation, or to register for an event visit www.WCLibrary.org, or call 925-935-5395.

Telephone scams becoming more common As with many other things, crime and criminals change and evolve. Creative bad guys have now branched out and begun working telephones scams as an easy way to swindle victims out of money or private information. After making fifty or so telephone calls it just takes one “participant” to make it a fruitful endeavor. These are faceless phantom suspects using assumed names. Telephone scams work well because we are an information rich society. This means the bad guys will already have some specific information about their victims. They will be very polite and sound very official. Recently in the Danville area there has been a rash of these types of calls: In many of the cases, the victim is called by someone claiming they are calling on behalf of a loved one or acquaintance. The victim

will be told that the loved one is in some sort of danger or peril (such as being in jail, or have lost their wallet and ID) and that he/she named the victim as someone who would help. There will be a sense of urgency. In cases like these there are several constants: • They will create a sense of urgency and panic • They will ask the victim to wire money or ask for bank routing numbers or other financial information • Once a victim falls for a scam, they are very likely to be the subject of such calls and scams again Danville Police encourage any person who is approached in a situation like this to contact their local police department. During the call though, it is very important not to fall for the sense of urgency and act without thinking.

Check the facts, make sure that what they are telling you makes sense, and if it doesn’t, ask questions. Check with the relative. If the caller then tries to increase the urgency, that is a red flag. Do not allow yourself to be bullied into acting without information. Another way to be more secure is to establish a code word for family emergencies. Ask the caller for the code word. If they are unable to provide it, hang up and contact the police. In many cases, victims will say that what they were being told didn’t make sense, and yet they still allowed themselves to be fooled into sending money. Remember that if a story sounds odd, it likely is. Be Safe! For more information on phone scams, contact Crime Prevention Specialist Carol Burroughs at (925) 314-3700 or cburroughs@danville.ca.gov.

free “Lincoln” exhibit companion events also take place at the Walnut Creek Library in the Oak View Room, 1644 N. Broadway, Walnut Creek. “Wit & Wisdom of Abraham Lincoln” Thursday, January 17, 2013, 6:30pm Lincoln historian Arnold Kunst presents Lincoln’s humorous side in this program designed for all audiences interested in a good laugh and a dose of inspiration. “The Songs & Poetry of the Civil War” Wednesday, January 23, 2013, 6:30pm Hear the personal stories of the Civil War through popular wartime anthems and the poetry of some of the most prolific and profound Civil Warera writers. “A Nation Divided–21st Century Lessons from the American Civil War” Tuesday, January 29, 2013, 7pm UC Davis Constitutional Law Professor Vikram Amar

presents Lincoln’s views on partisanship, states’ rights, and the institutional role of the Supreme Court and explores what lessons Lincoln’s approach might have for the modern era. “Lincoln at the Movies” Thursday, January 31, 2013, 7pm To c o m m e m o r a t e the historic January 31, 1865 approval of the 13th Amendment by the U.S. House of Representatives, Saint Mary’s College history professor and Civil War scholar Carl Guarneri will discuss Steven Spielberg’s acclaimed movie “Lincoln” and expand on the film’s story lines. Q&A follows. 190-D Alamo Plaza, Alamo, CA 925-831-3600 M-F: 10 to 6; Sat: 10 to 5 Closed Sunday

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New Year–New You! page 8

The valley Sentinel

January 2013

Navigating the New Year with a New You By Darrell MacAulay

T h e N ew Ye a r. I t i s almost impossible to think about the new year without thinking about the old one. A cursory examination of last year’s major headlines quickly reveals this is a deeply troubling and challenging time

to be alive. Fears, suffering, and widespread violence are broadcast everywhere, the ideologies of globalization and the push for continued growth have usurped the significance of healthy, local communities, and there is a slowly dawning comprehension

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that the human race has barely reached its adolescent stage, developmentally speaking. At the same time, this is a wildly exciting and transformative time to be alive. There are signs of regeneration a n d re b i r t h eve r y w h e re such as the incorporation of sustainable practices, increasing accountability and an increasing value on all things natural and organic. The formation of countless g ra s s ro o t s o rg a n i z a t i o n s arising in response to the needs of their communities are addressing a wide range of complex issues including local economy, ecology, and equity, such as micro-loans, crowd funding platforms that encourage small business, and community gardens and urban farms in neighborhoods previously considered food deserts. If you are reading this article, we have successfully passed the long-prophesied doomsday date of December 21st, the end of the Mayan calendar year. The winter solstice was celebrated by many as a gateway that is ushering in a higher consciousness and a new paradigm based on cooperation, harmony, and an understanding of deep time that will sow the seeds of hope, mutually beneficial relationships and loving action. It seems that for all our immaturity as a species, we also have the creativity, ingenuity and energy to meet the world and our place in it with an intention to make it better. So how do we navigate this complex and dynamic state of affairs? Although it seems that entering a new year is laced with an implied request for a resolution that addresses how we are going to make it better, whether “it” is the planet, the community, your home, or yourself, I would like to propose a different perspective. First of all, if you are an individual who is truly content with yourself and the world around you, maybe you would consider sharing your insights with those of us who have some sense of continued suffering or discontent. I know I’d like as many opportunities to soak up the wisdom and energy of anyone who has come to this place of internal peace. If you are not one of those people however, perhaps you might

valleysentinel.com consider approaching the new year in a different way. Rather than think about the standard new year’s resolution, what’s wrong with the world or with yourself, and how you are going to make it better or set an intention to do some future good, I invite you to relax into the space you are already in. That might deter many as I’ve discovered that people don’t like to simply be, neither who nor where they are. Rather than jumping into action, busying yourself with the specifics of how, what, who, when and where you are going to make a difference, take some of the deep time perspective mentioned above and slow down. In fact, sit or lie down and simply be present to how you feel without doing anything at all. The first step in knowing where you want to go is knowing where you are. Raising awareness about your own internal state of affairs with special attention to your bodily sensations will give you an unlimited fount of information you can draw from in order to make effective plans and joyful decisions. But you’ve got to be willing to be still and quiet long enough to discover what is already present. Without exception, we humans have learned to fill our minds with narratives, stories by which we live and create our lives. No doubt some of those stories are wonderful, full of heroes, villains, enlightened beings and idealized love. But they are still stories, many of them vastly complicated, and as comfortable as they are they keep our minds captive rather than allowing our attention to be directed towards our bodies and how we actually feel. By releasing ourselves from our familiar method of logically thinking things through to determine our next steps, we can tap directly into our inherent guidance system greatly simplifying the whole process. When we entertain a particular thought, there is always a corresponding sensation in our bodies, subtle though it may be. Increasing our ability to distinguish how we feel about the thought we are entertaining holds the key to clearly navigating our path. Sensations such as tightness in our chest, knots in our stomach, shallow or constricted breathing, or tensed muscles in our forehead or jaw can all be indicators that the

thing we are thinking about is perhaps not the best direction to move in or might be fraught with difficulty. Alternately, feelings that expand our lungs, send warmth into our gut, relax our shoulders, straighten our back or bubble up from below to create a lightness of being might be signs that whatever is on your mind holds the key to something valuable worth exploring. Practicing this kind of awareness not only leads us straight into an attitude of eager anticipation, but builds trust in ourselves and affords a promise of a deeply congruent experience, no matter the outcome. Any time we lose our way and begin to feel at odds with ourselves or our environment, we can easily return to the reference points anchored in our body and reconnect to the way we feel, both emotionally and physically, to determine the next best step based on the information we receive. You can think of it as a built-in GPS for navigating through life! If that wasn’t enough to help you relax into less doing and more being, think about the roots of the word resolution. The earliest record from the early 15th century defines it as “a breaking into parts”, which comes from Latin words meaning the “process of reducing things into simpler forms” and “loosen”. So, as you prepare for the arrival of the new year, I invite you to loosen up, to let go of your expectations of yourself and others that stem from fabricated ideas of what makes something better and to begin to appreciate all the parts that make up your current experience, including your senses, emotions and intellect. This simplification will a l l ow yo u t o m ove i n t o compassionate action based on what is most meaningful to you with all the added benefits that accompany living with an open heart. Aligning our inner world of thoughts and feelings is one of the most powerful ways we can engage with the external world, no matter the state of affairs. And with practice, we realize that we are always new in every moment and in every new year. Darrell MacAulay is a graduate student of consciousness and transformative studies. Questions and comments welcome: darriere@gmail.com.


New Year–New You! valleysentinel.com

January 2013

Regional Parks in the New Year By Beverly Lane, East Bay Regional Parks District

Despite challenging economic times, in 2012 the East Bay Regional Park District operated with a balanced budget, keeping all parks open. In December, we approved another balanced budget for 2013. For more details, view our website at www.ebparks. org. It appears that revenue from taxes and assessments in both Alameda and Contra Costa Counties is trending upward, which will fund more than 80% of the 2013 park operations. Of course staff will work to leverage tax dollars by seeking additional grant funds for projects such as wildfire prevention, land acquisition and the new Atlas Road bridge project at Point Pinole Regional Shoreline. A behind-the-scenes accomplishment in 2012 for

the Park District was the opening of a new corporation ya rd i n Pa c h e c o , w h e re workers store the tools, equipment and vehicles they use to keep Regional Parks well-maintained, safe and welcoming places. This new location brings staff closer

Round Valley Bridge

to many of our Contra Costa County projects, trails and parks. Trails Challenge 2013 marks the 20th anniversary of this popular, self-guided hiking program. Once again,

Regional Park staff has pulled together about 20 different hikes, ranging from easy to challenging, all across the district. Registration is free, thanks to continued support from Kaiser Permanente, and opens January 16 online at www. regionalparksfoundation.org. You may want to get a head start, so here’s a sneak peek at one of the featured 2013 Trails Challenge hikes. It’s in Round Valley Regional Preserve. You may choose between a 4.39- or 7.46-mile loop, rated moderate to challenging, respectively. No dogs are allowed in this Park. Driving Directions: Take Hwy. 4 east through Antioch, Brentwood and pass Marsh Creek Reservoir; turn right onto Marsh Creek Rd. and left into the staging area for Round Valley. Or begin in Clayton and take Marsh Creek Rd. for over 10 miles to the Round Valley staging area (on the right). Pick up a park brochure as your guide. From the staging area, head west on the Miwok trail along Round

New pool at SRVHS to benefit community– Pool construction to be completed by year’s end Students and athletes at San Ramon Valley High School will enjoy the new $3.8 million pool in the new year. The renovated pool, expected to be completed by summer, will be open for the community to use for group, private, and parent-child swim lessons and water exercise classes. The new pool replaces an outdated pool built in the early 1950s. The Town of Danville invested $500,000 in new pool construction, with the remaining project costs paid for by the San Ramon Valley Unified School District. In exchange, the Town will use the pool during the summer months to operate swim classes five hours per day. Town Manager Joe Calabrigo noted this effort as one of many successful partnership with the school district. “This example of the Town and School District pooling resources for a facility used by students and the communityat-large is a win-win for both agencies and our taxpayers,” said Calabrigo. The new pool will provide for both the Town’s needs, as well as the high school’s. Measuring 25 yards by 35 meters, the pool

will feature 14 swimming lanes, with two parallel wall water polo courses or one floating water polo course, two 1-meter diving boards and one 3-meter diving board. The pool’s depth ranges from a minimum of 3’ 6” at the bottom of the stairs to 13’ at the deep end. The project will allow for the addition a thermal solar system.

Construction of the pool will be completed by December 2013 and the added entry structure is scheduled to be completed by May 2014. For more information about the Town of Danville’s involvement in the SRVHS Pool Project, please contact Town Administration at 925-3143388.

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The valley Sentinel Valley Creek. Once you reach the horse watering station, continue on the Miwok trail right from the fork. At the third horse watering station, head right onto Murphy Meadow Trail away from Los Vaqueros Reservoir; go right at the next fork away from Round Valley Group Camp and across the creek. Head right on Murphy Meadow at the East-West fork and take it to the new multiuse bridge; take the connection for Miwok and head North in the direction of the parking lot. At this point, hikers and equestrians could go right on the single-track Hardy Canyon trail and loop back to the parking lot; bikers who are not permitted on Hardy Canyon trail should continue on Miwok trail to the start. Have a happy and healthy New Year, and enjoy your Regional Parks! Beverly Lane is a member of the East Bay Regional Park

page 9

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page 10

The valley Sentinel

January 2013

valleysentinel.com

Shellie Awards nominees announced The Shellie Committee recently announced the names of the nominees for the Thirty-Fourth Annual Shellie Awards. The nominees will be feted at a gala celebration honoring outstanding performing arts achievements in Central Contra Costa to be held Saturday, January 12, 2013 at 7:30pm at the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek. Tickets are priced at $30, which includes a post ceremony reception. All proceeds from ticket sales go towards the continued support of the Shellie Awards program and the participating performing arts companies. The Shellie Awards are sponsored by a generous donation from the Diablo Regional Arts Association. The evening will feature production numbers from each of the nominated musicals along with scenes from the nominated plays. Ken Bergmann will conduct the Shellie Awards Orchestra. Shellie Awards innovator, producer, director, Scott Denison, says “The Shellie Awards were founded thirty four years ago in order to recognize outstanding achievement in the performing arts in the Central Contra Costa/Diablo Valley region. This is an evening to honor the nominees as well as the award winners.” Patterned after Broadway’s Tony awards, the 34th Annual Shellies will honor over 100 individuals and their work in musical and nonmusical theatrical productions which took place between September 1, 2011 and August 31, 2012. The eleven regional companies participating this year are: Butterfield 8 Theatre Company, Center REPertory Company, Contra Costa Musical Theatre, Diablo Actors’ Ensemble, Diablo Theatre Company, Onstage Theatre, Pittsburg Community Theatre, Role Players Ensemble Theater, Town Hall Theatre Company, Vagabond Players and Willows Theatre Company. This year’s nominees are: NOMINEES – MUSICALS OUTSTANDING ACTRESS – Brittany Danielle for Xanadu, Center REPertory Company Annemarie Martin for Sunset Blvd., Contra Costa Musical Theatre Bailey Hanks for Legally Blonde, the Musical, Diablo Theatre Company Marlene Ward for The Kids Left, The Dog Died, Now What?, Pittsburg Community Theatre Sara Sloan for The Mikado, Role Players Ensemble Theatre Rebecca Pingree for Scrooge!, Town Hall Theatre Company Deborah Del Mastro for The Light in the Piazza, Willows Theatre Company OUTSTANDING ACTOR – Tim Homsley for Spring Awakening, Center REPertory Company Robert Brewer for Little Shop of Horrors, Contra Costa Musical Theatre Danny Cozart for The Wizard of Oz, Diablo Theatre Company Mark Hinds for The Kids Left, The Dog Died, Now What?, Pittsburg Community Theatre David Zelenka for The Mikado, Role Players Ensemble Theatre John Blytt for Scrooge!, Town Hall Theatre Company Zachary Franczak for Chess: The Musical, Willows Theatre Company SUPPORTING ACTRESS – Maureen McVerry for Xanadu, Center REPertory Company Nicole Helfer for Sunset Blvd., Contra Costa Musical Theatre Lynda DiVito for Legally Blonde, the Musical, Diablo Theatre Company Siobhan O’Brien for The Kids Left, The Dog Died, Now What?, Pittsburg Community Theatre Sara Couden for The Mikado, Role Players Ensemble Theatre Kathy Ferber for Scrooge!, Town Hall Theatre Company Rebecca Pingree for Chess: The Musical, Willows Theatre Company SUPPORTING ACTOR – Isaiah Tyrelle Boyd for Smokey Joe’s Café, Center REPertory Company Derek Travis Collard for Little Shop of Horrors, Contra Costa Musical Theatre Jeff Seaberg for The Wizard of Oz, Diablo Theatre Company Robert Brown for The Kids Left, The Dog Died, Now What?, Pittsburg Community Theatre Charles Woodson Parker for The Mikado, Role Players Ensemble Theatre Justin DuPuis for Scrooge!, Town Hall Theatre Company Jonathan Spencer for The Light in the Piazza, Willows Theatre Company DIRECTOR – Jeff Collister for Xanadu, Center REPertory Company Michael Ryken for Sunset Blvd., Contra Costa Musical Theatre Gia Solari for Legally Blonde, the Musical, Diablo Theatre Company David Ward for Pinocchio, Pittsburg Community Theatre Eric Fraisher Hayes for The Mikado, Role Players Ensemble Theatre Jessica Richards for Scrooge!, Town Hall Theatre Company David Faustina for Anything Goes, Willows Theatre Company MUSIC DIRECTOR – Sean Kana for Smokey Joe’s Café, Center REPertory Company Karl Pister for Sunset Blvd., Contra Costa Musical Theatre Sean Kana for Legally Blonde, the Musical, Diablo Theatre Company David Ward for Pinocchio, Pittsburg Community Theatre Robin Taylor for The Mikado, Role Players Ensemble Theatre Min Kahng for Scrooge!, Town Hall Theatre Company Kim Vetterli for The Light in the Piazza, Willows Theatre Company CHOREOGRAPHY – Jennifer Perry for Xanadu, Center REPertory Company Suzanne Brandt for Little Shop of Horrors, Contra Costa Musical Theatre Renee DeWeese & Gia Solari for Legally Blonde, the Musical, Diablo Theatre Company Lisa Luttinger for The Kids Left, The Dog Died, Now What?, Pittsburg Community Theatre Tom Segal for The Mikado, Role Players Ensemble Theatre Emily Morrison for Scrooge!, Town Hall Theatre Company Staci Arriaga for Anything Goes, Willows Theatre Company

COSTUMER – Victoria Livingston-Hall for Xanadu, Center REPertory Company Carol Edlinger for Sunset Blvd., Contra Costa Musical Theatre Marianna Ford for The Wizard of Oz, Diablo Theatre Company Marlene Ward for Pinocchio, Pittsburg Community Theatre Lisa Danz for The Mikado, Role Players Ensemble Theatre Bessie Delucchi for Scrooge!, Town Hall Theatre Company Sharon Bell for The Light in the Piazza, Willows Theatre Company SCENIC DESIGN – Kelly James Tighe for Smokey Joe’s Café, Center REPertory Company Kelly James Tighe for Sunset Blvd., Contra Costa Musical Theatre Kelly James Tighe for White Christmas, Diablo Theatre Company Jeremy Ward for Pinocchio, Pittsburg Community Theatre Bo Golden & Ryan Terry for The Mikado, Role Players Ensemble Theatre Emily Greene for Scrooge!, Town Hall Theatre Company Adam Puglielli for Anything Goes, Willows Theatre Company LIGHTING DESIGN – Kurt Landisman for Xanadu, Center REPertory Company John Earls for Sunset Blvd., Contra Costa Musical Theatre Michael Palumbo for Legally Blonde, the Musical, Diablo Theatre Company Ronn Ton for Pinocchio, Pittsburg Community Theatre Jon Gourdine for The Mikado, Role Players Ensemble Theatre Chris Guptill for Scrooge!, Town Hall Theatre Company Daniel Maher for The Light in the Piazza, Willows Theatre Company OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION – Xanadu by Center REPertory Company Sunset Blvd. by Contra Costa Musical Theatre Legally Blonde, the Musical by Diablo Theatre Company The Kids Left, The Dog Died, Now What? by Pittsburg Community Theatre The Mikado by Role Players Ensemble Theatre Scrooge! by Town Hall Theatre Company Anything Goes by Willows Theatre Company NOMINEES – PLAYS OUTSTANDING ACTRESS – Deborah Doyle for Lettice and Lovage, Butterfield 8 Theatre Company Lynda DiVito for Rumors, Center REPertory Company Ann Kendrick for The Gin Game, Diablo Actors’ Ensemble Mya Brynn Ewing, The Philadelphia Story, Onstage Theatre Lisa Luttinger for The Quality of Life, Pittsburg Community Theatre Eden Neuendorf for Mourning Becomes Electra, Role Players Ensemble Theater Ginny Wehrmeister for Pygmalion, Town Hall Theatre Company Teresa Grosserode for Steel Magnolias, Vagabond Players Sally Hogarty for Vaudeville, Willows Theatre Company OUTSTANDING ACTOR – Edwin Peabody for The Tempest, Butterfield 8 Theatre Company Mark Anderson Phillips for Rumors, Center REPertory Company John Hetzler for The Gin Game, Diablo Actors’ Ensemble Ryan Terry,The Philadelphia Story, Onstage Theatre Bill Schneider for The Quality of Life, Pittsburg Community Theatre Khary Moye for Laura, Role Players Ensemble Theater Joel Roster for Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Town Hall Theatre Company Barry Hunau for Beyond Reasonable Doubt, Vagabond Players Michael Barrett Austin for Vaudeville, Willows Theatre Company SUPPORTING ACTRESS – Molly Kate Taylor for The Tempest, Butterfield 8 Theatre Company Kerri Shawn for Rumors, Center REPertory Company Karen Fryer for Steel Magnolias, Diablo Actors’ Ensemble Rhonda Taylor, The Dixie Swim Club, Onstage Theatre Natalie Rapp for Laughter on the 23rd Floor, Pittsburg Community Theatre Janice Fuller Leone for Laura, Role Players Ensemble Theater

Louise Fisher for Distracted, Town Hall Theatre Company Ms. Ben Walker for Beyond Reasonable Doubt, Vagabond Players Erika March for Vaudeville, Willows Theatre Company SUPPORTING ACTOR – Gary Mutz for Lettice and Lovage, Butterfield 8 Theatre Company Dorian Lockett for Rumors, Center REPertory Company Jerry Motta for A Few Good Men, Diablo Actors’ Ensemble Mark Berry, Christmas Belles, Onstage Theatre Kevin Burns for Laughter on the 23rd Floor, Pittsburg Community Theatre Michael Fay for Mourning Becomes Electra, Role Players Ensemble Theater Dennis Markam for Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Town Hall Theatre Company Bill Dietz for Beyond Reasonable Doubt, Vagabond Players Morgan Mackay for Vaudeville, Willows Theatre Company DIRECTOR – John Butterfield for The Tempest, Butterfield 8 Theatre Company Timothy Near for Rumors, Center REPertory Company Scott Fryer for The Gin Game, Diablo Actors’ Ensemble Helen Means, The Dixie Swim Club, Onstage Theatre Betty Brown for The Quality of Life, Pittsburg Community Theatre Eric Fraisher Hayes for Mourning Becomes Electra, Role Players Ensemble Theater Lisa Anne Porter for Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Town Hall Theatre Company Sharon Redman for Beyond Reasonable Doubt, Vagabond Players Eric Inman for Vaudeville, Willows Theatre Company COSTUMER – Liz Martin for The Tempest, Butterfield 8 Theatre Company Michael A. Berg for Rumors, Center REPertory Company Hope Birdwell for Steel Magnolias, Diablo Actors’ Ensemble C. C. Cardin, The Philadelphia Story, Onstage Theatre Betty Brown for The Quality of Life, Pittsburg Community Theatre Lisa Danz for Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, Role Players Ensemble Theater Maggi Yule for Pygmalion, Town Hall Theatre Company Allena Behnke for Steel Magnolias, Vagabond Players Sharon Bell for Vaudeville, Willows Theatre Company SCENIC DESIGN – John Butterfield for Lettice and Lovage, Butterfield 8 Theatre Company Nina Ball for Rumors, Center REPertory Company Loren Hoselton for The Gin Game, Diablo Actors’ Ensemble Diane McRice, The Dixie Swim Club, Onstage Theatre Dianna Schepers for Laughter on the 23rd Floor, Pittsburg Community Theatre Bo Golden & Ryan Terry for Mourning Becomes Electra, Role Players Ensemble Theater Martin Flynn for Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Town Hall Theatre Company Jan Zimmerman for Vaudeville, Willows Theatre Company LIGHTING DESIGN – John Butterfield & Kathleen MacKay for The Tempest, Butterfield 8 Theatre Company Scott Denison for Rumors, Center REPertory Company Nathan Bogner for The Gin Game, Diablo Actors’ Ensemble Randall Nott, The Dixie Swim Club, Onstage Theatre Ronn Ton for The Quality of Life, Pittsburg Community Theatre Chris Guptill for Laura, Role Players Ensemble Theater Chris Guptill for Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Town Hall Theatre Company Eric Johnson for Stepping Out, a Tap Dancing Comedy, Vagabond Players Daniel Maher for Vaudeville, Willows Theatre Company OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION – The Tempest, Butterfield 8 Theatre Company Rumors, Center REPertory Company The Gin Game, Diablo Actors’ Ensemble The Dixie Swim Club, Onstage Theatre The Quality of Life by Pittsburg Community Theatre Mourning Becomes Electra, Role Players Ensemble Theater Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Town Hall Theatre Company Beyond Reasonable Doubt, Vagabond Players Vaudeville, Willows Theatre Company


valleysentinel.com BEARS from page 1

The pelage of the California grizzly was quite varied in color, more than that of most other mammals, ranging from gray to brown, yellowish or golden, red, silvery, or white-patched, and often with multicolored long hairs or “grizzled” whitish tips. The annual molt, which came in late summer or autumn, gave the animal a new coat with more insulation for the winter and hibernation, although it’s presumed grizzlies remained active during the winter throughout most of the state. The largest bears in the lower forty-eight states were found in California until just after 1900. California grizzlies averaged six hundred pounds with some individuals reaching enormous size. A mammoth male bear came out of the San Onofre Canyon, in the low, coastal Santa Ana Range, that weighed in at one thousand four hundred pounds. This was larger than the great buffalo-killing grizzlies of the

January 2013 Plains states and equaled only by the largest Kenai Peninsula brown bears of Alaska. In 1873, John Lang shot the bear the locals called “the California King” in Soledad Canyon, on the northern flank of the San Gabriel Mountains. It was said to tip the scales at an incredible two thousand two hundred pounds. Its feet were sixteen and a half inches long with over four inch claws. Equally gargantuan bears were found throughout the state as far north as the San Francisco Bay area. Many were more than seven feet from nose to tail and over ten feet tall. Grizzlies were somewhat smaller in the north part of the state and southern Sierra Nevada. Females were often half the bulk of the giant males.

From the Mission Period through the Gold Rush, many persons in California (padres, vaqueros, hunters, trappers, miners, farmers and others) met grizzlies in various circumstances. One man stands out and is preeminent in the literature on California grizzlies because of the extent and variety of his recorded experience with these bears, John “Grizzly” Adams. Grizzly Adams was unique because he made a regular business out of capturing and dealing

SRVHS students raise money for Afghan School By Staff Writer

In September 2012, San Ramon Valley High School junior Hadya Amin started the Coins for Classrooms Club with the intention of holding a fundraising coin drive to provide money for Haywaad School in Logar, Afghanistan. The town is extremely poor and secluded, with government-run schools being too far away for students to attend, with some of these kids also being needed to work and help provide for their families. Hadya’s aunt, with the help of her family raised funds and built the small school in January 2012. It currently serves 75 boys and girls. There are two teachers. The money raised by those who contribute provides all of the necessary supplies and funds for the school, the teachers and the students. Recently more money was raised to provide shoes for the students needed due to the harsh winter. Hadya’s goal is to raise enough money to build a larger school so that more of the local students can attend. She

went on to explain that during her father’s visit to the school he was told that families and students alike are frightened of attacks by the Taliban like those that have been carried out against schools throughout the country. “I take school for granted and even dread it most times, but these kids are willing to risk everything for an education”, she said. In a recent email, San Ramon Valley High School’s Janet Willford explains, “This

is a unique cause because all of the money is guaranteed to go directly towards the school. Recently, they inherited a large

section of land right by the Haywaad School, and we are hoping to build a larger school with various classrooms and teachers that would be able to facilitate more students. To do so, they will need much more time, money, and effort. It currently costs about $300 per month to fund the school and provide an education for these students. It will cost about $5000 to build a larger school, in order to provide even more students with an education.” The recent Coin Drive at San Ramon Valley High School raised $667.35 for the Haywaad School, plus an additional $140 that was raised by History teacher Matt Stephans’ daughter’s second grade class of Meher Elementary. “This means that San Ramon Valley High School has raised enough money to support funding for two months of school. We are proud to help other schools in need!”, said Ms. Willford. For more information or to contribute to this effort, send an email to Hadya at hadyaamin@ hotmail.com.

The valley Sentinel in live animals such as grizzlies, m o u n t a i n lions, smaller carnivores, deer, elk and others. In the spring of 1855, he took his collection of animals to Corral Hollow in eastern Alameda county, where he hunted and lived briefly before traveling throughout the Sierra and state. In 1856 he established the Mountaineer Museum at 143 Clay Street in San Francisco, which later became the Pacific Museum at Kearny and Clay. His trained pet California grizzly and hunting companion, “Ben Franklin” was constantly at his side. The natural ferocity and superstitions associated with the California grizzly inspired terror among the Native Americans. The respect the Indians had for the grizzly was reflected in the reluctance for many tribes to trap or hunt them. Throughout most of California there were three specialized classes of shamans: bear shamans, rattlesnake shamans, and rain shamans; of these the first was the most varied in its manifestations and the most extraordinary. The Spaniards and early American settlers had equal respect for the California grizzly, however conflicts with the bears combined with their greater ability to kill them with large

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steel traps, strychnine and in later years the repeating rifle sealed the fate of the grizzly. As the Spanish settlers established the cattle industry in the last part of the 18th century, the bear was offered a great new food supply. The herds of cattle proliferated. Horses became so numerous that they threatened the range and were killed by the thousands. Herds were driven into the sea at Monterey in 1810. Storer suggests that with so many live and dead bodies of domestic animals to be had without effort, grizzlies multiplied as they never had before. The California grizzly was hunted extensively from the Mission Period through the early American Period. The Spaniards roped grizzlies for “sport and entertainment”, and pitted them against bulls in arenas. The California grizzly bear had been around for more than a million years by the Gold Rush. As thousands of pioneers poured into the state, slaughter of the bears began in earnest. Grizzlies were extirpated from the San Francisco Bay area by the 1880’s. There had been 10,000 California grizzlies, but in less than 150 years by the 1920’s, the once dangerous grizzly was extinct. The last California grizzly was killed in Tulare County in 1922. James M. Hale is a wildlife biologist and Vice Chair of the Contra Costa County Fish & Wildlife Committee.

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January 22 8:30-10am • RSVP (925) 362-7239


Community Calendar

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January

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January

For additional Community Events visit: www.ValleySentinel.com If your event is not listed... Please email your information to info@valleysentinel.com

We hope to see you there! COMMUNITY EVENTS Danville Farmer’s Market Every Saturday, Year-round 9am-1pm. Get the freshest seasonal fare at the Danville Certified Farmers’ Market. You’ll find fruits and vegetables direct from local farmers, along with fresh-cut flowers, bedding plants, fresh breads, and delicious specialty food items. Railroad & Prospect Avenue, Danville. Information: www.ci.danville.ca.us. Forest Home Farms Historic Park & Glass House Museum– Open for Fun on the Farm 2nd Saturday of each month. 10am-2pm. Enjoy free tours of the site and activities. 19953 San Ramon Valley Blvd, San Ramon. Information: 925-973-3284 or visit www.sanramon.ca.gov Contra Costa County Rose Society’s Annual Rose Pruning Demonstration January 12 10am-1pm. The Gardens at Heather Farm will host the Contra Costa County Rose Society for their annual rose pruning demonstration in the Cowden Rose Garden at Heather Farm. The public is invited to learn firsthand from members of the Rose Society. Bring gloves and pruners. Rain re-schedule date will be January 19th from 10am to 1pm. Information: Annie Stovall with the CCRS at 925-330-6212, or Patrice Hanlon, Garden Director for The Gardens at Heather Farm at 925-947-1539 or email at Patrice@gardenshf.org. or visit www.ccrose.org. Crab & Pasta Feed January 12 6pm. Food, friends & prizes to win! Sponsored by: GFWC Dublin/San Ramon Women’s Club. Proceeds benefit local philanthropies. $40. St. Raymond Church Hall, 11555 Shannon Ave., Dublin. Information: 925-413-5134. Food For Thought Speakers Series-Get Your Family Back to the Table–with Real Food January 23 6:30-8pm. The Danville Library and Sustainable Danville Area present a three-part speaker series to nourish your spirit, feed your mind and body, and help our environment. Learn how to encourage your family ‘Back to the Table’ with simple, whole foods that you can prepare together. Veterans Memorial Building 400 Hartz Avenue, Danville. Information: sustainabledanville.wordpress.com. Eugene O’Neill Foundation Awards Banquet January 24 6-9pm. Awards Banquet open to the public, recognizing significant contributions to the Eugene O’Neill Foundation and the arts in Danville. $75. Crow Canyon Country Club, 711 Silver Lake Drive. Danville. Information email taohouse@ eugeneoneill.org or call 925.820.1818. Create your Own Comic January 26 1:-1:45pm. Author and artist Oliver Chin shows aspiring artists how to create their own comic books or manga. Participants will learn how to write and draw their own stories, and get free comics! This hands-on workshop is appropriate for kids, tweens and teens in the 3rd grade and up. San Ramon Library, 100 Montgomery Street, San Ramon. Information: 925-973-2850. San Ramon Library Winter Book Sale January 26 - 27 Saturday, 10am-5pm; Sunday, 12-5pm. Purchase gently used books to support San Ramon Library and Dougherty Station Library collections, events, and programs. San Ramon Library in the Community Room upstairs, 100 Montgomery Street, San Ramon. Information: call 925-973-2850 or visit sanramonlibraryfriends.org.

Contra Costa County Needs Volunteers to Help Count the Homeless January 30 6am. Contra Costa County’s biennial homeless count, which helps our community assess needs and secure vital state and federal funds, is in search of volunteers. A new web-based form makes it easy for people to sign up for the count. Hundreds of volunteers will meet for a 30-minute orientation before fanning out across the county in cars to tally homeless persons. To volunteer email homelessprogram@hsd.cccounty.us, fill out the web-based form at cchealth.org/services/homeless, or call 925-313-6124. The Second Annual Creating a Peaceful School Conference February 2 8am-4pm. The Mt. Diablo Peace and Justice Center in Walnut Creek announces its Second Annual conference for anyone who works with young students in K-12, including parents, teachers, administrators, classroom aides, school personnel, and afterschool program providers. Participants will develop the skills they need to make the classroom, school, and the community a more peaceful place. A catered lunch is included. $35 early registration fee required. The event is taking place at Seven Hills School, 975 North San Carlos Dr., Walnut Creek. Information or to register: call 925-933-7850 or visit creatingpeacefulschools.weebly.com. Valley Humane Society’s Valentine Crab Feed February 9 6-10pm. Treat your Valentine to a tasty crab feast and help save the life of a loveable local pet at the Just Like New Valentine Crab Feed. Join us for dinner, raffle, and silent auction. All proceeds will benefit local animals through Jackie Barnett’s Just Like New program, which relies solely on private donations and contributions from the community and provides financial assistance for urgent veterinary medical needs to prevent unnecessary euthanasia of animals in the Tri-Valley area. The event is at the Shannon Center, 11600 Shannon Ave, Dublin. Dinner tickets are $45 per person until January 19, and are $50 after. Tickets are available at www. valleyhumane.org or by mail; please send checks to Just Like New-VHS, PO Box 3436, San Ramon, CA 94583. Information: contact event coordinator Cindy Ferrin at cferrin@pacbell.net or 925-323-8517.

SENIORS Danville Seniors Unless otherwise noted, the following activities are held at the Danville Senior Center, Veterans Memorial Building, 115 E. Prospect, Danville. For more information call 925-314-3490. Buzz Sessions: Get the buzz on topics and issues facing today’s older adults and talk with the experts. Buzz Sessions are always free! Information: 925-314-3400. Sneaker Trips: All trips meet at the Danville Park & Ride lot unless otherwise noted in the trip details. Reserve your spot at the Danville Community Center, 420 Front Street, on or before the registration date beginning at 8:30am. Information: 925-314-3400. San Ramon Seniors The following events are held at the Alcosta Senior & Community Center, 9300 Alcosta Blvd., San Ramon, unless otherwise noted. For more information call 925-973-3250. Wisdom Wednesdays: Free Workshops and informational sessions that will benefit you. They will give you free access to coffee, knowledge and a better understanding of important issues. Information: 925-973-3250. Trips Trip Desk is open Tuesday & Thursday, 10am-1pm. Information: 973-3250. Sign up for Casino Trips and Van Trips at the travel desk or by depositing payment with registration form in the gold drop box found at the main entryway.

BUSINESS Danville Area Chamber of Commerce 2013 Business Kick Off Luncheon January 18 11:30am-1:30pm. Join the Danville Area Chamber of Commerce and community businesses and leaders for the 2013 Business Kickoff Luncheon and introduction of the 2013 Danville Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. Guest speaker: Dr. Jon Haveman, Chief Economist, Bay Area Council Economic Institute will present “What Will the Bay Area Economy do in 2013, and how will it affect your business?” Blackhawk Country Club, 599 Blackhawk Club Drive, Danville. $35. Reservatons required by January 11. Tickets and information: www. danvilleareachamber.com or call 925-837-4400. San Ramon Chamber of Commerce Third Thursday Mixer January 17 5:30-7:30pm. Annual January Martini Madness Mixer. $5 for San Ramon Chamber members, $20 for non-members. San Ramon Insurance Agency, 2206 Camino Ramon, San Ramon. Information: www.sanramon.org. San Ramon Chamber of Commerce Mixer and Open House January 24 5:30-7:30pm. Please join us for a mixer and open house at Nob Hill Foods, 130 Market Place in San Ramon. FREE. Alamo Chamber of Commerce Annual Crab Feed and Installation Dinner February 1 6-10pm. Please join us for the Annual Alamo Chamber of Commerce Crab Feed and Installation Dinner. Raffles, silent auction and Super Bowl pool tickets. $50 per person. This is always a sell-out so get your tickets now. Located at the Alamo Women’s Club, 1401 Danville Boulevard, Alamo. For tickets, call 925-208-4707. Walnut Creek Chamber of Commerce B.A.S.H. January 31 5:30-7pm. This event is FREE to all Walnut Creek Chamber Members; please remember to bring your business card. Nonmember admission is $10 (cash, payable at the door only) and a business card. Hosted by Accardo Financial Services and MassMutual Financial Group, event will take place at Il Fornaio Restaurant, 1430 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Walnut Creek. Information 925-934-2007.

CLUBS and ORGANIZATIONS Fibro? CFIDS? Chronic Pain? If these are familiar to you, call about the San Ramon Valley support group for people who need support, information, classes and friendship from people who know what it’s like. We like to laugh while getting well. Call 925-837-0510. Hope Hospice Grief Support Groups Ongoing The Hope Hospice Grief Support Center offers grief support groups tailored for adults, teens and children which are open to the community at no or minimal charge – whether or not Hope Hospice provided end-of-life care to a loved one. Private one-on-one sessions are also available. Please call 925-829-8770 to learn more and to schedule an informational interview or visit www.HopeHospice.com. Volunteers Needed: Read to Preschoolers Volunteers are needed to read to kids ages 3-5 in preschool childcare centers in Concord, Pittsburg, and West County. The Contra Costa County Library will supply books and resources. For more information, please contact Maureen Kilmurray at 925-927-3288.

Please email your calendar events to the Sentinel at Info@valleysentinel.com by 5pm on the 20th of the month preceding publication month. Inclusion in the calendar pages is at the sole discretion of Sentinel Newspapers, Inc.


valleysentinel.com

January 2013

The Valley Sentinel

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Community Calendar (continued from page 12) San Ramon Valley Genealogical Society Meeting January 15 10am-12pm. The program will be of interest to both beginner and the more advanced genealogist. LDS Church library, 2949 Stone Valley Road, Alamo. Information: call Ed O’Donnell 925-299-0881, or srvgensoc.org. Alamo-Danville Newcomers Club January 24 10am to noon Please join us at a free Welcome Coffee to learn about the Club. Information: 925281-1307. Recurring: Mondays: Danville Rotary 12pm. Meets every Monday. Faz Restaurant, Danville. Information: danvillerotary.org. San Ramon Alzheimer Support Group 7-9pm. Meets the second Monday of each month, except on holidays. Sponsored by the Alzheimer Association. People who know or are caregivers of Alzheimer victims can get information on how to help them through this difficult time in life. San Ramon Senior & Community Center, 9300 Alcosta Blvd., San Ramon. Information 925-973-3250. Tuesdays: Danville AM Toastmasters 7-8:30am. Meets every Tuesday. New members welcome. Father Nature’s Restaurant, Danville. Information: danville am.freetoasthost.org.

Danville/Sycamore Valley Rotary 7am. Meets every Tuesday morning. Crow Canyon Country Club, Danville. Information: dsvrotary.com. Diablo View Toastmasters 8:15-9:15am. Meets every Tuesday. CMG Mortgage, 4th Floor Conference Room, 3160 Crow Canyon Rd., San Ramon. Information: 4160. toastmastersclubs.org. ARF Pet Loss Support Group 12-1:30pm. Meets first Tuesday of every month. In a nurturing small group, you are encouraged to process feelings of grief resulting from the loss of pet. Register with Vicki at 925887-5678 or vickis@hospiceeastbay. org. ARF, 2890 Mitchell Drive, Walnut Creek. Information: arf.net. Walnut Creek Kiwanis Club 12:10-1:30pm. Meets every Tuesday. Massimo’s Ristorante, 1604 Locust Street,
 Walnut Creek. Information: kiwanisofwalnutcreek.org. Walnut Creek Rotary 12:15-1:30pm. Meets every Tuesday. Heather Farms Garden Center, 1540 Marchbanks Drive, Walnut Creek. Information: rotarywc.org. Prostate Cancer Group 7:30–9pm. Meets 2nd Tuesday of the month. Drop-in prostate cancer group for men and their loved ones. Sa n R a m o n R e g i o n a l Me d i ca l C e n t e r, S o u t h B u i l d i n g , We s t Day Room. 6001 Norris Canyon Road, San Ramon. Information: 925.933.0107 or www.twc-bayarea. org/community-programs.html.

Wednesdays: Exchange Club of San Ramon Valley 12pm. Meets the second Wednesday of every month. Sign-in and social time begins at 11:30. Guests are welcome with lunch reservations. Faz Restaurant, 600 Hartz Ave., Danville. RSVP 925-275-2412. Information: coachstepper@yahoo. com.

Church, 989 San Ramon Valley Blvd., Danville. Information: diablovalleyquilters.com.

Alamo Rotary 12:15pm. Meets every Wednesday. Round Hill Country Club, 3169 Roundhill Road, Alamo. Information: alamorotary.org.

Veterans of Foreign Wars 7:30pm. Meets the third Wednesday of every month. Veterans Memorial Hall, 400 Hartz Avenue, Danville. Information: Post Commander Ernie Petagara at 925-362-9806 or vfwpost75.org.

Walnut Creek Host Lion’s Club 12:15pm. Meets the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Wednesdays of each month. Black Bear Diner, 700 Bancroft Road, Walnut Creek. Information: walnutcreeklions.org. San Ramon Valley Rotary 7pm. Meets every Wednesday. Crow Canyon Country Club, 711 Silver Lake Drive, Danville. Information: sanramonvalleyrotary.com. Walnut Creek Toastmasters 7-8:15pm. Meets every Wednesday. 1660 Oak Park Blvd., Pleasant Hill. Information: walnutcreek. freetoasthost.net. Blue Star Moms 7-9pm. Meets the second Wednesday of every month. Danville Veterans Memorial Building, 400 Hartz Ave. Information: bluestarmoms.org.

D a n v i l l e To a s t m a s t e r s C l u b #1785 7:30-9pm. Meets every Wednesday. R o o m W 2 0 4 a t D i a b l o Va l l e y College,1690 Watermill Road, San Ramon. Information: danvilletoastmasters1785.com.

Thursdays: San Ramon Valley Newcomers 11:30am-2pm. Meets the third Thursday of every month. Faz Restaurant, 600 Hartz Ave., Danville. $21 for lunch. New and long-time residents are welcome. Reservations/ information: 925-828-8554. Rotary Club of San Ramon 11:45am. Meets every Thursday. Crow Canyon Country Club, 711 Silver Lake Drive, Danville. Information: sanramonrotary.org. A Course in Miracles 7-8pm. Meets every Thursday. Each meeting is spent discussing the

concepts of A Course in Miracles and how to apply this practical philosophy in everyday life. Move through the lessons and reading at your own pace. Donations accepted. Windbell Wellness Center, 1924 A Oak Park Blvd., Pleasant Hill. Information: www.windbellcenter. com/wp. Diablo Numismatic Society 7-9pm. Meets the third Thursday of every month. Concord Police Community Meeting Room, 1350 Galindo Street, Concord. Information: diablocoinclub.org. Clutterers Anonymous 7-8 pm. Meets the second Thursday of every month. St. Luke’s Lutheran Church room 7, 
2491 San Miguel Drive, 
 Walnut Creek. Information: 925-736-8627. Diablo Valley Lions Club 7:30pm. Meets the 1st, 3rd, and 4th Thursday of every month. 1400 Montego Drive, Walnut Creek. Information: diablovalleyca.lionwap. org. Saturdays: Diablo Region of the Porsche Club of America 7:30-9am. Meets every Saturday. Buttercup Bar and Grill, 660 Ygnacio Valley Road, Walnut Creek. Information: diablo-pca.org.

Diablo Valley Quilters 7-9pm. Meets the third Wednesday of every month. No charge for guests. Danville Congregational

Classifieds FOR SALE Exceptional landscaping plants at great low prices. Local. Call 925 2850351. Hand crafted oak cabinet. 30x30x12. Brand New! Paid $300-asking $200. 925-828-2812. Lt. Maple Bedroom furniture; nightstand 24x26, dresser 66x32, chest of drawers 63x28. Best Offer. Call 925 858-2186.

SERVICES Pool Service-If your pool looks like a pond, call John at 925-584-6333. It’s the last pool maintenance call you will have to make. LaserJet printers, computer, laptop and network repair Do you need help with your computer, laptop or home network? Do you not have time to go out to a repair shop or just don’t like how those “Geeks” charge you an arm and a leg for their mediocre services?! I’m offering my computer expertise to you in case you just don’t have money and/or time to go out and get it fixed yourself by the nearest “Geeks” or similar computer repair shop. I will come to you!!! I’ve been an IT for 10+ years and have the knowledge and know-how of fixing/repairing a lot of hardware and software. I prefer to offer my basic services to you if you are running Windows-based systems

small networks; and LaserJet Printers – HP, Dell, Samsung, and Lexmark. I charge $75.00/hour, plus the cost of any parts or software. If your needs stretch outside of that scope feel free to call me for a free quote. I accept cash or all major credit cards. Phil’s Printers & PCs. 925-269-9817.

HELP WANTED Looking for female companion with a car. Free room and private bath. Must have references. Please call 925-945-7199 for interview.

Senior Application Software Engineers Web-Tech Solutions, Inc. has full time openings. Dvlp obj. structure for frontend & back-end dsgn.; Dvlp. web user interface using Flex/Action Script, HTML, Javascript, Java; Dvlp. proof-of-concept (POC) using HTML, Flex/Action Script & Java; Intg. Srvs. w/front end apps.; Document rqmts & prepare high-level/ low-level dsgn docs. Job may req. travel, that is, relocating to various unanticipated client locations throughout the USA. Job Site: San Ramon, CA and various unanticipated client locations throughout USA. Resumes to HR, 2263 Rosemount Lane, San Ramon, CA 94582. Complete job details: www.web-techsolutions.com.

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Community News & Information Publisher/Editor - Denise Rousset Chief Financial Officer - Jeff Gummere Graphic Designer - Laurie Prindle Advertising Manager - Roseann Chamard Writer, Auto - David & Judy Colman IT Support - Light Speed Systems Interns - Michelle Du, Aaron Peng, Brian Yu 390 Diablo Road, Suite 145 Danville, CA 94526

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page 14

AUTO March 2009 January 2013

The valley Sentinel

2012 Fiat 500 Abarth By David and Judy Colman

It’s been a long time since the name “Abarth” meant anything to motorists in North America. Back in the 1960s, Karl Abarth’s tuning firm, which got its start in Italy by modifying Fiats for road racing, also sold high performance exhaust systems for almost every economy and sports car. These exotic looking exhausts were expensive, but worth the extra cost for the great improvement they provided in sound if not actual performance. When Fiat recently returned to North America to sell the diminutive 500 sedan, it was only a matter of time before they resurrected

the Abarth name for a high performance version of the 500. The resulting combination of Fiat style, Abarth performance and bargain pricing has resulted in the performance deal of the year. And yes, it sounds great when you gas it. In basic form, the Fiat 500, with its 101hp “MultiAir” 1.4 liter 4, is a beguiling car to behold, but ultimately unsatisfying to drive, due to the performance limitations of its underpowered engine’s 98 lb.-ft of torque. The new Abarth version retains the same small displacement 4, but turbocharges it to gain an extra 35hp and 52 lb.-ft. of

torque. At 135hp, the Fiat 500 Abarth becomes a much more interesting prospect for drivers seeking kicks. Turbocharging infuses the performance envelope with such a rush that the Abarth will gleefully scoot through openings in traffic that simply don’t exist for the base model 500. Ladling out further enjoyment is the close ratio 5-speed manual transmission, which seems to have a cog for every occasion and a gate precise enough to preclude missed shifts. Although the Abarth still sits a little high, and thus feels a bit tipsy, its contact patch grip level is substantially augmented by the addition of Pirelli P Zero Nero tires (205/40R17)

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at each corner. These rubber G-force generators mount on $1,000 optional 17 x 7 inch “Forged Aluminum Hyper Black Wheels” which carry an Abarth inscription on the rim and an Abarth Scorpion insignia on the hub. Inside each black rim glows the red painted caliper of a disc brake. On a “Rosso” red car like our test vehicle, the contrast effect is beguiling. The Abarth is the perfect car for an owner suffering from an identity crisis. There are no less than 19 separate “Abarth” ID medallions, stickers or signs adorning the little speedster, including 8 on the wheels, 6 on the body, 1 under the hood, and 4 more inside. If you like scorpions, you’ll love the Abarth 500. We loved all these medallions. At an all-in price of just $26,200, the Abarth is a terrific buy. You can even shave the price by eliminating the $1,000 optional “Performance Leather Trimmed High-Back Bucket Seats” which look great in black with red piping, but don’t offer as much side bite as the Fiat’s chassis does. If you can live with just 17 Abarth ID tags instead of 19, you can drop the bottom line price by $350 by eliminating the “Black Mirror Caps With Body Side Stripes.” If you need a navigational aid, Fiat offers a unique Tom Tom

which uses an adaptor to slide into a receptacle on the dash top near the steering wheel. This extra will cost you $400. There is room for improvement on a couple of fronts with the Abarth. The instrument cluster places a large speedo front and center with a tachometer mounted inside the speedo. In daylight, the tach is difficult to read, and at night, impossible, since the gauge glows the same color red as the tach needle. Fiat has thoughtfully provided a separate boost gauge, hung off the left side of the dash where it is easy to see and read. Why not switch the positions of the tach and the boost gauge? For spirited drivers, the Fiat 500 Abarth is THE performance deal of the year: affordable, cute and nasty all at the same time. 2012 FIAT 500 ABARTH ENGINE: 1.4 liter inline 4, 16 Valve MultiAir Turbo HORSEPOWER: 135hp TORQUE: 150 lb.-ft. FUEL CONSUMPTION: 28 MPG City/34 MPG Highway PRICE AS TESTED: $26,200 HYPES: Turbo Transforms the 500 GRIPES: Invisible Tachometer, Poor Side Vision STAR RATING: 10 Stars Out Of 10

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January 2013

Forest Home Farms open for fun on the farm Come to Forest Home Farms Historic Park and the Glass House Museum for Fun on the Farm from 10am to 2pm the 2nd Saturday of each month. On these days you can step back in time to explore the site, enjoy tours, and participate in a free activity from days gone by. On January 12, 2013 the theme for the day will be “Textiles and Toys.” On a chilly winter day it is time to work and play under shelter when you can. Visit the Walnut Barn to see demonstrations of old time fiber arts such as spinning, knitting and embroidery, and try your hand at darning. When

your work is done, have fun testing your skills at games such as marbles, pick-up sticks, and Jacob’s ladder then make a wooden top to take home. Tours of the restored Victorian Glass House Museum will be held at 10:00am, 11:00am, 12:00pm and 1:00pm and tours of Forest Home Farms Historic Park, including the tractor museum, 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. Tour tickets can be purchased in the Gift Shoppe. Children ages 2 and under are free.

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Four Bay Area artists featured in new gallery exhibit Village Theatre Art Gallery’s upcoming exhibit in Danville examines how cultures and artistic media can intermingle to bring new visions to light. Cultural Currents, the new exhibition curated by artist and educator, Larry Stefl, runs from now through February 22, 2013. In Cultural Currents, Larry Stefl highlights the work from four prominent Bay Area artists that deeply explore a unique cultural influence in their art making practice, contributing to a vital and transforming cultural landscape. “In this unique geographical area, artists are independent and follow a deeply personal muse of multiplicity,” Stefl stated.

Featured Artists Andres Cisneros-Galindo, Tomoko Murakami, Raymond Haywood and Larry Stefl explore their connections to this cultural landscape by investigating personal motifs, dreams, ethnicity, music, political and environmental concerns in addition to types of mark-making that signify to the viewer the richness of such a complex world. Mixed media collages, largescale dream screens and brightly abstracted monoprints energize the space with innovative urban narratives that strike universal chords in us all. With this exhibit, Stefl asks “How does the mixing of cultures and ideas create new and compelling work from artists

in this multicultural area?” To find out, come see the exhibit that will kick off the New Year. The opening reception will be on Friday, January 11 from 5-8pm and will feature an artist talk from 7-8pm. As always, there is no admission fee and the event is open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. Regular gallery hours are Wednesday through Friday, Noon-5pm and Saturday, 11am3pm. Private appointments to view the exhibit are available by appointment. For more information or to schedule a viewing call 925-314-3460. Visit www.villagetheatreartgallery. com for additional information regarding this and upcoming exhibits.

FLOWERS from page 1

say that a lot of the graves are decorated for Christmas.” Over the years, she’s had help from her friends and their children. “It’s a lot of fun,” she noted, “There are a lot of graves that nobody ever goes to–a lot of World War II vets were buried there, and they’re forgotten.” By decorating the cemetery with her flowers, she’s been able to give the cemetery and those buried there the attention that they deserve. Ms. Sandkuhle’s beautification of the cemetery has become a pleasant sight for visitors in the community at Christmas. “I think it’s very

neat–starting something that the community would see,” she explained, “and the next thing I knew, a lot of people started coming back to the gravesites to decorate, too.” S a d l y h o w e v e r, o n December 24, 2012, Ms. Sandkuhle decorated the Alamo Cemetery with poinsettias for the last time. Due to economic struggles, Christmas Eve was the final day of operation for her small business, and she is closing down Sunset Color Nursery. While this may mean that she will no longer be decorating the cemetery for the winter holidays, she hopes that the community of the San Ramon Valley continues the tradition. “I think the main thing is that even though I won’t be decorating the cemetery anymore, I hope the people who started decorating their family plots and graves keep it up. I hope more people get involved in it,” Ms. Sandkuhle concluded, “Because it’s not about me, it’s not about small business. It’s about decorating the cemetery to brighten it up and make it look pretty.”

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