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Alamo • Danville • Blackhawk • Diablo • San Ramon




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always for the community VOL 18, NO 5 May 2013


Danville teen a national champion By Staff Writer



Lucille Hooper competed at the Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) Finals in Syracuse, NY on April 19, 2013. Riders from all over the country had to qualify at the regional level in order to be invited to compete at the National Finals. The event featured more than 350 of the nation’s leading middle school and high school riders. The riders represented 184 teams from 10 zones throughout the United States. The format requires that riders compete in unfamiliar tack on unfamiliar mounts. They draw their horses the day of competition and enter the arena after a brief, if any warm-up. Lucille competed in the Varsity Intermediate Over Fences Division in which she won the top honor of National Champion! Lucille rides for the Diablo Equestrian Team and is a sophomore at Monte Vista High School.

On Monday April 29, the sun was shining on Danville’s Bounty Garden where volunteers Judy Benedict of Alamo, and Roger Tuma of Danville were busy harvesting some of their chard and spinach for one of two weekly pick-ups by the Contra Costa/Solano Food Bank. The Garden will have its ribbon cutting and grand opening on Saturday June 1 at 10am. (See article on page 11 for more information.)

“Care package” donations and volunteers pouches/pull top cans needed for overseas troops Tu n a / c h i c ke n b ox

Postmaster: Dated Material

By Staff Writer

Sentinel Newspapers, Inc. 390 Diablo Road, Ste. 145 Danville, CA 94526 925-820-6047

The East Bay Chapter 101 Blue Star Moms is having a Drop Zone to collect donations for their upcoming “Star-Spangled Thank You” care package mailing to Troops in June. So while you are out shopping, please consider picking up some extra items to donate. Help them show the Troops that they have not been forgotten nor all that they are doing to keep the US safe. The goal is to send out 1,000 care packages, but that cannot be done without the generous support of the community. All donations will be mailed to the brave men and women serving in the US military overseas. Come say hello, sponsor a care package mailing ($12.60), make a postcard or two, or drop off a donation to show your gratitude for what the brave

troops do for all Americans each and every day. Check the list below for donation items needed. Star-Spangled Thank You 2013 Donations List J u s t Ad d Wa t e r INDIVIDUAL serving sizes: Instant hot cereals - oatmeal, Cream of Wheat To p R a m e n / i n s t a n t individual soup mixes Hot drinks - hot chocolate, s p i c e d c i d e r, t e a b a g s (individually wrapped) Instant coffee packets, sugar and instant creamer Powdered drink mixes - i.e. Crystal Light, Propel Mio/water enhancers etc. P ro t e i n s - I n d i v i d u a l SINGLE Serving Sizes: Tuna or chicken - foil

w/ crackers Beef jerky, Slim Jims, beef sausage rolls Protein bars, Power Bars, Cliff Bars, Muscle Milk Peanut butter - Jiff to go, sunflower seeds, NUTS Ready to eat chili, pasta, soup in pouch/pop-top lid Clothing - White/black COTTON: Long athletic socks, t-shirts Dark colored knit hats, beanies, Snacks - INDIVIDUALLY wrapped packages: Nuts and seeds - all kinds, crackers, trail mix, Corn Nuts, sunflower seeds, microwave popcorn, gum Granola bars (no Nutrigrain), Pop Tarts, hard candy, mints

This month’s Special Sections:

Spring Home & Garden pages 8-9 Kids Camps & Education page 10

Dried fruit, fruit snacks, fruit rollups, cereal cups Pop-top canned fruit (no plastic), Kraft Easy Mac/cups Crackers plain/w/cheese, cheese packs (non-refrigerated types) Personal Items – TRAVEL SIZE: Baby wipes, hand sanitizer, sunscreen, lip balm/SPF Dental floss, toothbrushes, See CARE PACKAGES page 4

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

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The Valley Sentinel

Pilgrims Musa and Sheri in the World Now-May 12 Pilgrims tells the story of Egyptian immigrant Musa and his budding romance with Sheri, a white American waitress. It uses the romantic comedy genre to explore the differences between American and Middle Eastern cultural values and expectations. It contains profane and salty language, and adult themes often used for comedic effect. Tickets starting from $20. The Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Drive in Walnut Creek. Information: Visit or call 925-295-1400. Role Players Ensemble Presents Requiem for a Heavyweight Now-May 18 Friday & Saturday, 8pm. Sunday 2pm. This Emmy awardwinning drama by Rod Serling about a boxer against the

ro p e s o f life was a national sensation when it was first broadcast live on CBS’s Playhouse 90. Tickets start at $20. Village Theatre, 420 Front Street, Danville. Information and tickets: visit or call 925 314-3400. Peaceable Kingdom: Animals, Real and Imagined Now-May 19 See a collection of innovative and appealing works by national artists. This juried exhibition will explore the presence of animals in the visual arts, and how they appear as metaphors, totems, objects of fear, and sources of emotional attachment and affection. The history of human and animal interaction is filled with tales of failed domestica-

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tion, unusual friendships, and fearsome predators. Artists are encouraged to meditate on these complex and diverse relationships, addressing such issues as antagonism, admiration, attachment, and even the politically charged issue of animal rights. Adult tickets are $5; youth (13-17) tickets are $3, and children under 12 are free. The Bedford Gallery, 1601 Civic Drive in Walnut Creek. Information: Visit or call 925-295-1417.

Women’s Caucus for Art (NCWCA) which focuses on the unity of women as artists. Village Theatre Art Gallery, 233 Front Street, Danville. Information: visit Danville/Art_and_Culture/ Village_Theatre_Art_Gallery or call 925-314-3460.

Fresh Works 3rd Annual Open Juried Exhibit Now-May 25 This exhibit features a variety of paintings, photography, and sculpture by both emerging and accomplished artists from the greater Bay Area. Harrington Gallery: 4444 Railroad Avenue in Pleasanton. Information: Visit www. or call 925-931-4850.

Blackhawk Food Film & Wine Festival May 9 5:30-8:30 pm. Danville/ Sycamore Rotary Club presents the 23rd annual food film and wine festival. The featured film Visual Harmony: Connecting is Dr No. It’s a James Bond evening of great food, wine & Women through Art entertainment. All proceeds Now - June 16 g etowards n c y community Ag en and T h e ex h i b i t f e a t u re s A go o r i g i n a l a r t i n c l u d i n g international projects. Minisculpture, painting, drawing, mum donation $50 per person. photography, printmaking, Blackhawk Auto Museum, ceramics, assemblage, collage, 3700 Blackhawk Plaza Circle, mixed media, fiber art, artist Danville. Information: Call book, and jewelry all by artists Elaine Betts at 510-326-0763 or from the Northern California visit

Company C Contemporary Ballet presents Spring Program in Walnut Creek May 9-12 M a y 9-11, 8 pm; May 12, 1 pm. A world premiere by long-time Company C dancer David von Ligon; two Company premieres, one by Ballet San Jose founder Dennis Nahat and also Carl Flink and John Bohannon’s “A Modest Proposal”; as well as the riveting “Bolero” by Artistic Director Charles Anderson round out a captivating program. $23-$45. Lesher Center for the Arts; 1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek. Information: and www.lesherartscenter. org or call 925-943-7469. Concert for a Cure May 11 6-11pm. Each year, local families have put on Concert for a Cure, a fundraiser ctoy help research a cure for Spinal Muscular Atrophy (, the number one genetic killer for children under age 2. Often 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

May 2013

The Valley Sentinel

A&E from page 2

fatal, it is a disease that destroys the nerves controlling voluntary muscle movement affecting crawling, walking, head and neck control, and even swallowing. This will be held at the Blackhawk Country Club, 599 Blackhawk Club Drive, Danville, CA. For more information, call Kristin Johnson at (925) 406-4077. Or visit

Knuffle Bunny, A Cautionary Musical May 11-19 Prepare for the clothes to fly in this musical version of the hilarious picture book about the adventures of toddler Trixie and her beloved stuffed animal, Knufflebunny, when they go off to the laundromat with her somewhat distracted dad. Recommended for all ages. Tickets starting from $15. Front Row Theater, 17011 Bollinger Canyon Road in San Ramon. Information: Visit SanRamonPerformingArts. com or call 925-973-3343.

Abstract Paintings in Acrylic and Watercolor by Trevor Pawlak May 15 - July 6 What does autism have to do with art? For 10-yearold Trevor Pawlak poetry and painting are his connections to the greater world. He is nonverbal but enjoys writing poetry to share his feelings as he addresses his struggles with autism. The Bedford Gallery, 1601 Civic Drive in Walnut Creek. Information: Visit or call 925-295-1417. Dixieland Jazz May 18 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 The Lady From The Sea May 19 3pm. A staged reading of Henrik Ibsen’s play of romance and self-realization. Part of Playwrights’ Theatre series in the Old Barn at Eu gen e O’Ne il l N at ion al Historic Site in Danville. The play is an important example of how Ibsen and other European dramatists influenced the writings of Eugene O’Neill. Presented by Eugene O’Neill Foundation in partnership with the National Park Service. $25. Performed in the Old Barn at Tao House, The Eugene O’Neill National Historic Site. Shuttle service to/from Tao House from the Museum of the San Ramon Valley, 205 Railroad Ave, Danville. Information: www. or 925-8201818.

San Ramon Symphonic Band Swinging the Night Away May 24 Bring the family to enjoy an evening of music provided by the 55 member San Ramon Symphonic band. Adult tickets $6, tickets for children under 12 and students with their ID are free. Dougherty Valley Performing Arts Center, 10550 Albion Road in San Ramon. Information: Visit SanRamonPerformingArts. com or call 925-973-3343. Night at the Improv May 24 8pm. Join San Ramon Improv U Players and resident troupe Twisted Gray Matter for an interactive evening of improvisational comedy. The show is created on the spot with the help of audience participation and suggestions. Not suitable for children under the age of 18. $10. Front Row Theater, Dougherty Sta-

Bring the family for a spectacular close up view of six hot air balloons as they lift slowly into the sky (weather dependent). San Ramon’s Central Park: 12501 Alcosta Blvd, in San Ramon. Information: 925-973-3200 or visit tion Community Center, 17011 Bollinger Canyon Road, San Ramon. Information: 925973-3343 or www.sanramon.

T h e D i a b l o Wo m e n ’ s Chorale: Rockin’ on the River June 1 3pm. The program features mostly American river songs in the jazz, rock, pop,

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spiritual and folk traditions. Director Mary Sorenson and pianist Stephen Evans will pilot their lively crew of singers and musicians along with the River Rat Band in a concert all ages will enjoy. Following the concert there will be refreshments and a silent auction. Tickets: Adults $15 at the door and $10 for students. Mt. Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church: 55 Eckley Lane in Walnut Creek. Information: Visit

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The Valley Sentinel

May 2013 Advertorial

New Breast Density Notification Law By Gautam Prasad, M.D., Ph.D.

“ Yo u r m a m m o g r a m s h ows t h a t yo u r b re a s t tissue is dense. Dense breast tissue is common and is not abnormal. However, dense breast tissue can make it harder to evaluate the results of your mammogram and may also be associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. This information about the results of your mammogram is given to you to raise your awareness and to inform your conversations with your doctor. Together,

A new law went into effect on April 1, 2013 in the State of California that will notify women with dense breast tissue they could be at an increased risk for breast cancer. The Breast Density Notification Law will require all women whose mammograms show dense breast tissue to receive a letter stating:

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you can decide which screening options are right for you. A report of your results was sent to your physician.” The new law requires t h a t wo m e n w i t h d e n s e breast tissue be sent this letter of notification and given information about an alternative or additional test, such as an ultrasonography. About 40 percent of women have dense breast tissue– characterized by additional fibrous or glandular tissue, but little fat. Breasts generally become fattier with age.


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T h i s i s n o t a ny t h i n g abnormal. The problem lies in how a dense breast appears on a mammogram. Fibrous breast tissue shows up white, as does breast cancer. If a woman has dense breasts it could be more difficult for the radiologist to find breast cancer in that dense breast tissue. If your breasts are dense, it is very important to discuss with your physician. If you a re a t p a r t i c u l a r l y h i g h risk for breast cancer due to factors such as family history then your physician may order another kind of imaging study such as an ultrasound or breast MRI. However, it is important that

these alternatives be used judiciously in women with high risk. California will join C o n n e c t i c u t , N ew Yo r k , Texas, and Virginia, which have already passed similar legislation. In addition, laws a re b e i n g c o n s i d e re d i n about a dozen other states, including Florida, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oregon, and Utah. There is also a federal bill pending in the U.S. House of Representatives. D r. G a u t a m P r a s a d is a Radiation Oncologist with Epic Care, a group of experts in the diagnosis and comprehensive treatment of cancer and blood disorders.

Celebrity Golf Tournament and Bocce Ball to benefit Fallen Heroes Scholarship Fund By Staff Writer

Po l i c e a n d F i re : T h e Fallen Heroes, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is proud to announce their 4th Annual ‘Fallen Heroes Celebrity Golf Tournament & Bocce Ball’ with evening Tribute Dinner at Diablo Country Club, Diablo, CA on June 10, 2013. The event begins with a cook-to-order breakfast by FAZ at 8:30 a.m. and honor guard tribute and national anthem at 10:00 a.m. Golf will be a shotgun start/ shamble format with a Bocce Tournament kicking-off at 1:00 p.m. The Reception/ Silent Auction/Tribute Dinner begins at 5:00 p.m. in the Diablo Country Club dining room, followed by a live auction and evening musical entertainment. Proceeds will benefit the Fallen Heroes Scholarship Fund for the children of fallen peace officers and firefighters CARE PACKAGES from page 1

Do you know what to do about back pain?

toothpaste, deodorant, body lotion, Q-tips, disposable razors, foot/baby powder, pocket tissues, Tylenol, bug spray B a t t e r i e s ( p re f e ra b l y AA) Entertainment: Silly putty, Nerf or tennis balls, yo-yos, Crossword puzzles, word search, Sudoku, and playing cards Current paperback books, magazines, CD’s Specialty Items: Ground coffee (Peets and Starbucks are popular) Local grocery store gift cards, zip lock bags (all sizes)

who died in the line of duty in California. Event highlights will include: • Evening musical entertainment by Ray Parker, Jr., and featuring Johnny Gunn & members of Tower of Power, the Gregg Allman Band and Jefferson Starship! • Kinder’s Meats & Deli will provide lunch to Golf and Bocce Ball players • On each hole: Margaritas, Bloody Marys, iced-coffee, cupcakes, ice cream, sliders, jello shots and more! • Live and Silent Auctions • Celebrity Appearances by Steve Wisniewski, Barry Sims, Vida Blue, Ron Masak and many more! During the tribute dinner we will hold our first Scholarship Awards Presentation for children who have experienced the

loss of a parent in the line of duty. Additionally, all peace o f f i c e rs a n d f i re f i g h t e rs who died in the line of duty in California in 2012 will be honored for their sacrifice in protecting their communities. The Title Sponsors for this event are Kaiser Permanente & Chevron. For additional information or to sign-up for the event, please visit our website at, or call (925) 831-2011. Po l i c e a n d F i re : T h e Fallen Heroes is committed to honoring and supporting fallen California Law Enforcement and Fire Service personnel by paying tribute to their sacrifice and providing relief to their family members who have lost their beloved heroes in the line of duty. For more information, please visit

We c a n ’ t s h i p g l a s s containers, so plastic or metal only please! We can’t send religious material, perishable foods or pork, fireworks, firearms, aerosol cans or pornographic material. Drop Zone Dates (10:00 am – 3:00 pm) May 18th, Safeway, 3496 Camino Tassajara, Danville (Blackhawk) June 1st, Lucky, 21001 San Ramon Valley Boulevard, San Ramon June 8th, Safeway, 200 Alamo Plaza, Alamo All donations are greatly appreciated! Our Troops thank you. This is our small way to thank them.

Packing Day Saturday, June 22nd, Camp Parks Vo l u n t e e r s w i l l b e packing all donations to send to the Troops on Saturday, June 22nd, from 10am to approximately 2pm at Camp Parks located in Dublin. If you are interested in helping, please email beavolunteer@ The Blue Star Moms thank you for your generous support. For more information contact Blue Star Moms, P.O. Box 2537, San Ramon, CA 94583. Carepackages@ or visit and click on “care packages.”

May 2013 Advertorial

Help for Pinched Nerves and Bulging Discs, Naturally! By Dr. Niele Maimone, DC

I f yo u a re s u f f e r i n g from a pinched nerve or herniated disc, you know how debilitating it is and how the pain slowly leaks the vitality from your life. Since 1999 when Align Healing Center opened its doors, we have been specialists in treating pain naturally; whether it’s back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain or any other pain, we have been there to awaken the healing potential in the body and relieve the pain. That being said, we are always in search of miraculous new ways to relieve pain without the use of drugs, invasive procedures and certainly without inducing more pain! If you or someone you care about suffers from pinched nerves or disc related pain, it is worthwhile to explore the exceptional, non-invasive, natural therapies that are available today. How can I heal my pain without drugs or surgery?

1. Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression Therapy Non-surgical spinal decompression is a state of the art treatment that has been helping thousands of patients with chronic neck or low back pain, sciatica, and herniated, bulging or degenerated discs. This is an entirely different treatment from traditional chiropractic adjustments. Many of the patients who are candidates f o r t h i s p ro c e d u re h ave already tried chiropractic, physical therapy, injections, and/or were told they would need surgery. This breakthrough treatment works by gently separating the vertebra which decompresses the disc, thus causing the bulging material to be drawn back into the disc. It does this by reversing the internal disc pressure, thus creating a vacuum effect. According to the Journal of Neurosurgery (vol. 81, 1994), decompression was found

to substantially reduce the pressure inside disc, therefore allowing water and nutrients to be absorbed and initiate the healing process within the disc itself. Non-surgical spinal decompression is very effective, has a high success rate, and can be utilized for both cervical and lumbar disc injuries. 2. Class IV Laser Therapy Laser treatments at Align Healing Center are done with the K-laser 1200 Class IV Laser. Class IV Laser therapy gets to the root of the injury and treats it at the cellular level, providing energy to the cells so they can heal. This laser does not cut or burn but is gently absorbed by the tissue. During each painless treatment, laser energy increases circulation, drawing water, oxygen and nutrients to the damaged area. This creates an optimal healing environment that reduces inflammation, swelling, muscle spasms, stiffness and pain. As the

Local Citizens recognized for excellence Walnut Creek Chamber Announces 2013 UXL Awards world. Ingrid was recognized as the Business Person of the Year The Walnut Creek Chamber at the Chamber’s Installation of Commerce & Visitors luncheon where she was joined Bureau recently announced by her husband Brian James. the recipients of the 2013 Citizen of the Year – Primo UXL Awards, which Facchini recognize two local Primo Facchini has been individuals for their an active volunteer on many business excellence levels for over 40 years. Anyone and contributions to attending a Walnut Creek City the community. Council meeting or a City This year’s Planning Commission honorees are meeting in the last 35 Business Person years has probably of the Year, Ingrid seen Primo sitting James, President attentively in the front and CEO of James row and speaking up Consolidated, on important issues. Inc. and Citizen Primo has also served of the Year, Primo as a dedicated Board Ingrid James Facchini, community member with the volunteer. A l a m o - L a f aye t t e These deserving recipients from painful Cemetery District, were honored at the Chamber’s pressure sores. Wa l n u t C r e e k I n s t a l l a t i o n L u n c h e o n , This led Ingrid, Historical Society, Tuesday, April 10 at Scott’s as President and worked with the Primo Facchini Seafood Restaurant, Walnut and CEO of James State Bar Discipline and C re e k . “ T h e s e h o n o re e s Consolidated, Inc., to seek Fee Arbitration Department for exemplify excellence within out the right to import and nearly 40 years. He is also a our community,” said Bob market a bed turning system founding member of the Walnut B row n , n ew l y i n s t a l l e d that could dramatically improve Creek Sister Cities International Wa l n u t C r e e k C h a m b e r the lives of afflicted individuals. group. Primo was recognized Chairman of the Board. “We As a result of Ingrid’s efforts, the as the Citizen of the Year at congratulate them for these Völkner® Turning System is now the Chamber’s Installation awards, but more importantly, manufactured here in California, luncheon where he was joined for their accomplishments and is used in nursing facilities, by Rosemarie, his wife of 56 a n d d e d i c a t i o n t o t h e rehabilitation centers, hospitals years, and his daughter Monica community.” and private care around the Facchini.

By Staff Writer

About the 2013 UXL Recipients Business Person of the Year – Ingrid James As a public health nurse in Alameda County, Ingrid James was extremely concerned about the number of patients that were suffering

The Valley Sentinel injured area returns to normal, function is restored and pain is relieved. There is hope! We have found that a combination of Class IV laser therapy and spinal decompression offers outstanding results in healing stubborn pain due to a pinched nerve, bulging discs or spinal degeneration. As a general rule, most patients experience significant changes in symptoms within one to three sessions. Occasionally, a more advanced degenerative condition or multiple level herniated discs may take 8-10 sessions before realizing a major decline in symptoms. Relief response

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varies according to age, body morphology and the degree of severity. This unique combination o f n o n - i n va s i ve t h e ra py offers a chance for realizing a permanent cure for neck or back pain. This eliminates the long-term care commitment forced upon patients by other symptomatic low-back pain treatments, such as drugs, injections or surgery. With proper care and rehabilitation of your spine you can be back to your healthy self quickly! For more information about Dr. Niele Maimone, DC or to set up a complimentary consult call 925.362.8283 or visit www.alignhealingcenter. com.

7 Things You Must Know Before Putting Your Home Up for Sale San Ramon Valley - A new report has just been released which reveals 7 costly mistakes that most homeowners make when selling their home, and a 9-Step System that can help you sell your home fast and for the most amount of money. This industry report shows clearly how the traditional ways of selling homes have become increasingly less and less effective in today’s market.The fact of the matter is that fully three quarters of homesellers don’t get what they want for their homes and become disillusioned and worse–financially disadvantaged when they put their homes on the market.

As this report uncovers, most homesellers make 7 deadly mistakes that cost them literally thousands of dollars. The good news is that each and every one of these mistakes is entirely preventable. In answer to this issue, industry insiders have prepared a free special report entitled “The 9 Step System to Get Your Home Sold Fast and For Top Dollar”. To hear a brief recorded message about how to order your FREE copy of this report call toll-free1-866-265-1682 and enter 2000. You can call any time, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Get your free special report NOW to find out how you can get the most money for your home.

This report is courtesy of J. Rockcliff Realtors #01763819. Not intended to solicit buyers or sellers currently under contract. Copyright © 2013

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May 2013

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If two mechanics are working on your car, but they’re not talking to one another, the results may not be so good. Likewise, if a baseball coach doesn’t communicate well with his players, he’s not likely to win as many games as he could. Good coordination can improve outcomes in all sorts of human activities. Health care is no exception. That’s why Medicare places so much emphasis on getting doctors and other health care providers to work together more closely and to share information on their patients. For one thing, Medicare is encouraging the formation of accountable care organizations, or ACOs. An ACO is a group of doctors and other health care providers who agree to work together and with Medicare to give you the best possible care by making sure they have the

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most up‑to‑date information about you. ACOs are designed to help your providers work together more closely to give you a more coordinated and patient-centered experience. If you have Original Medicare and your doctor has decided to participate in an ACO, you’ll be notified of that, either in person or by letter, and the ACO may request your personal health information to better coordinate your care. You’ll have the option of declining to have your Medicare claims information shared with the ACO. Your Medicare benefits, services, and protections won’t change. And you still have the right to use any doctor or hospital that accepts Medicare at any time, just as you do now. For more information, visit html or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users should call 1‑877‑486‑2048. Medicare also gives financial incentives to doctors and other providers who adopt health information technology. Health IT can help manage your health information, improve how you communicate with your health care providers, and improve the quality and coordination of your care. These tools also reduce paperwork, medical errors, and health care costs. One example is electronic health records, or EHRs. These are records that your doctor, other health care provider, medical office staff, or a hospital keeps on a computer about your medical care or treatments. EHRs can help lower the chances of medical errors,

eliminate duplicate tests, and may improve your overall quality of care. Your doctor’s EHR may be able to link to a hospital, lab, pharmacy, or other doctors, so the people who care for you can have a more complete picture of your health. You have the right to get a copy of your health information for your own personal use and to make sure the information is complete and accurate. Electronic prescribing is another way to coordinate and improve care delivery. It allows your doctor (or other health care provider who is legally allowed to write prescriptions) to send your prescriptions directly to your pharmacy. Electronic prescribing can save you money, time, and help keep you safe. You don’t have to drop off and wait for your prescription. And your prescription may be ready when you arrive. Prescribers can check which drugs your insurance covers and may be able to prescribe a drug that costs you less. Electronic prescriptions are easier for the pharmacist to read than handwritten prescriptions. This means there’s less chance that you’ll get the wrong drug or dose. And prescribers can be alerted to potential drug interactions, allergies, and other warnings. David Sayen is Medicare’s regional administrator for Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, and the Pacific Territories. You can always get answers to your Medicare questions by calling 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-6334227).

Meals on Wheels Needs Help to Feed Homebound Seniors A local community group that provides the meals delivered to homebound seniors throughout the county could use some help of its own. Their need is often desperate by the time Meals on Wheels receives a first call for help, but 200 fewer Contra Costa County homebound elders will receive the daily nourishment they need from Meals on Wheels deliveries starting this year. Additionally, for the first time,

the Meals on Wheels program has waiting lists of 70 or more homebound elders each day who need Meals on Wheels but who can’t be served. Decreased funding and community donations are causing Meals on Wheels to significantly decrease the number of available meals and perhaps even reduce the number of daily delivery routes. See MEALS page 11

May 2013

Health care law protects consumers against worst insurance practices

Key health insurance protections for all Americans moves forward The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on February 22 issued a final rule that implements five key consumer protections from the Affordable Care Act, and makes the health insurance market work better for individuals, families, and small businesses. “Because of the Affordable C a re Ac t , b e i n g d e n i e d affordable health coverage due to medical conditions will be a thing of the past for every American,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “Being sick will no longer keep you, your family, or your employees from being able to get affordable health coverage.” Under these reforms, all individuals and employers have the right to purchase health insurance coverage regardless of health status. In addition, insurers are prevented from charging discriminatory rates to individuals and small employers based on factors such as health status or gender, and young adults have additional affordable coverage options under catastrophic plans. To d a y ’ s f i n a l r u l e implements five key provisions of the Affordable Care Act

that are applicable to nongrandfathered health plans: Guaranteed Availability Nearly all health insurance companies offering coverage to individuals and employers w i l l b e re q u i re d t o s e l l health insurance policies to all consumers. No one can be denied health insurance because they have or had an illness. Fair Health Insurance Premiums Health insurance companies offering coverage to individuals and small employers will only be allowed to vary premiums based on age, tobacco use, family size, and geography. Basing premiums on other factors will be illegal. The factors that are no longer permitted in 2014 include health status, past insurance claims, gender, occupation, how long an individual has held a policy, or size of the small employer. Guaranteed Renewability Health insurance companies will no longer refuse to renew coverage because an individual or an employee has become sick. You may renew your coverage at your option. Single Risk Pool Health insurance companies

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will no longer be able to charge higher premiums to higher cost enrollees by moving them into separate risk pools. Insurers are required to maintain a single state-wide risk pool for the individual market and single state-wide risk pool for the small group market. Catastrophic Plans Young adults and people for whom coverage would otherwise be unaffordable will have access to a catastrophic plan in the individual market. Catastrophic plans generally will have lower premiums, protect against high out-of-pocket costs, and cover recommended preventive services without cost sharing. In preparation for the market changes in 2014 and to streamline data collection for insurers and states, the final rule amends certain provisions of the rate review p ro g ra m . A n d , H H S h a s increased the transparency by directing insurance companies in every state to report on all rate increase requests. A new report has found that the law’s transparency provisions have already resulted in a decline in double-digit premium increases filed: from 75 percent in 2010 to,

The valley Sentinel according to preliminary data, 14 percent in 2013. In addition, today the U.S. Department of Labor announced an interim final rule in the Federal Register that provides protection to employees against retaliation by an employer for reporting alleged violations of Title I of the Act or for receiving a tax credit or cost-sharing reduction as a result of participating in a Health I n s u ra n c e E xc h a n g e, o r M a r ke t p l a c e. Ad d i t i o n a l information is available at

press/osha/osha20130327. htm or For more information on how this final rule helps create a better health insurance market for consumers, please visit: http://cciio.cms. gov/resources/factsheets/ marketreforms-2-22-2013.html. For information on the rights and protections guaranteed by the health care law, please visit: features/rights. For the full text of the proposed rule, please visit: www.

Seniors Celebrate Fitness at a free continental breakfast. Annual Event with Afterwards, seniors can enjoy Fitness Day promotes nutrition, physical fitness and preventative care. Danville seniors will get the opportunity to celebrate a healthy lifestyle as the Town of Danville holds its annual Senior Health Fitness Day. Set for Tuesday, May 21 at the Danville Senior Center, 115 E. Prospect Avenue, the event provides seniors an opportunity to see some of the many healthy life chioces available, through demonstrations of health, exercise and nutrition. The event runs from 9:00a.m.-12:00p.m., starting


free massages, lectures, health screenings, door prizes, and visit our exhibitor hall to receive information from health and wellness experts. Experts in the fields of nutrition, health, and physical fitness will be speaking on issues facing the senior population. Learn ways to improve your health and meet the experts who can make your life healthier and happier. For additional information, contact the Danville Senior Center at (925)314-3490 or via e-mail at seniors@danville.


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The valley Sentinel

May 2013 Advertorial

Notice: The Second (Indianhead) Division Association is searching for anyone who ever served in the Army’s 2nd Infantry Division at any time. For information about the association and our annual reunion in Columbus, Georgia from September 17 - 21, 2013, contact secretary-treasurer, Bob Haynes, at or 224-225-1202.

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Usage, tax credits, complexity of system, financial considerations for solar installations solar installation is available

By Mark Becker, GoSimpleSolar

If site conditions and e n e rg y u s e a re r i g h t , a solar energy system is an investment that provides guaranteed returns, unlike many other investments. A l s o , t h e e n v i ro n m e n t a l benefits of solar power are widely accepted. We’ll focus o n t h e f i n a n c i a l re t u r n s provided and how they are achieved. Given the right circumstances, installing a solar system will provide longterm double-digit financial returns. Factors affecting returns on an investment in solar: how much electricity you currently use; how much electricity your solar system produces; how much it costs to purchase and install the solar energy system and the current and future costs of electric power purchased from your utility. Proper sizing of a solar system to reduce highest cost power is one of the most critical factors to maximize financial returns. In PG&E territory, residential power rates vary from $.04 to $.55. It just so happens that the least expensive rate is for charging an electric car during off peak hours. Offsetting the most expensive tiers of PG&E utility rates over the long term with solar makes

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the solar investment “pay back” itself through these savings. Many companies will size a system to offset all of your electric power; this method may work best for them to sell you the largest solar system, but will create a longer payback time. A more appropriate approach is for the solar contractor to describe the differing options of system size and to balance the most appropriate size with the customer’s budget and financial goals in mind. When designing an array, a contractor and customer preference the considerations of aesthetics and production. An attractive and productive array keeps the neighbors happy, and generates the contractor more business. How much electricity a solar system produces depends on how much sunlight the panels receive, air temperature, and the number and nameplate wattage rating of the panels. The sun’s radiation is converted into DC power by the array then into AC power by inverter(s). A solar system’s power output is most efficient when oriented in a southerly direction with minimal shading. Other orientations and some shading are acceptable; many orientations south of an east west line can remain quite efficient. How much your system costs to install is an important factor. Costs of solar systems vary with the type of system and the complexity of the installation. USA made products are of a higher quality and have better warranties than foreign (Chinese) products. When considering products, the main concern should be compatibility of product and future availability of product should there be a need for replacement of any one of the modules or inverter during their greater than 25 year lifetime and warranty. Installation costs are offset by tax credits and sys t e m d e p re c i a t i o n f o r home-based or commercial business use. The Federal tax credit of 30 percent for

until 2016. Your electricity use is a fundamental piece of the investment equation. If you have a moderate electric need, you will reap lucrative returns typically in the 1114% range over the life of the system. Based on past trends, PG&E electric rates are expected to increase an average of 6.7%/year for residential customers and 5 percent for commercial ra t e s. D u r i n g t h e 2 5 - t o 40-year lifetime of a solar system, your utility bill will increase more than fivefold. Investment in a solar power system now serves as a hedge against rising utility bills. These power cost increases make solar a compelling investment. Delaying a decision on installation for “new technology” and “lower prices” is a red-herring; new technologies are becoming available, but will not be within financial reach for typical customers for years, d e l ay i n g a n i n s t a l l a t i o n for future lower price expectations will be simply offset by lower available rebates and the lost value of savings that a solar system installed today can provide. Another benefit of a s o l a r p owe r sys t e m w i l l be an increased appraisal value of your property. It is recommended appraisal industry practice to increase the valuation of a residence up to $20 for every $1 saved on annual electric bills. Because of California law, an increase in assessed value as a result of this home improvement will not increase your property taxes. As long as tax incentives remain available to offset installation costs, and as utility rates continue to rise, solar can be a very savvy investment. Mark Becker is the President of GoSimpleSolar, by Semper Fidelis Construction Inc., a Danville based Solar Installation Firm (License 948715). Mark can be reached a t 9 2 5 . 91 5 . 9 2 5 2 . V i s i t GoSimpleSolar’s showroom at 114 West Prospect Avenue i n D a n v i l l e o r w w w., or email

Spring Home & Garden

May 2013

May in the Contra Costa Garden Provided by the Contra Costa Master Gardeners

General Garden Care Check irrigation: unclog heads, make sure coverage hasn’t changed - repair as required. Change the time on irrigation clocks to water in the early morning. Deep soak trees. Control emerging weeds: hand pick, hoe, pour boiling water over them (carefully) or spray with a fatty acid-derived herbicide such as Safer weed and grass killer. Renew mulch. To stop weeds and keep moisture levels consistent, mulches need to be 3” thick. Keep mulch pulled away from the trunks & root crowns of woody plants. Solarize soil in full sun areas where weeds went to seed last year. Aerate lawns, fertilize wa r m s e a s o n g ra s s e s i f not growing rapidly. Mow frequently, leaving grass as tall as you and your mower can stand. Remove lawns to save water and resources.

Fruits & Vegetables Thin fruit. Stake or cage tomatoes that were planted last month. Check soil temperature b e f o re p l a n t i n g va r i o u s summer crops. Soil thermometers are available from various suppliers. Plant seeds of beans, corn, melons and okra once soil temperatures are at least 65°F (18.3°C). Successive planting of beans and corn will extend your harvest. Plant seedlings of tomato, eggplant, peppers, squash when soil is warm enough. Plant herbs in full sun with good drainage: basil, chives, oregano, parsley, r o s e m a r y, s a g e, t h y m e, cilantro, marjoram, borage. These do well in containers. Flowers & Landscaping Cut back the foliage of ornamental grasses before new growth emerges. Remove foliage of spring blooming bulbs only after it has turned brown.

Apply iron chelate to acid-loving plants if chlorotic: citrus, azaleas, camellias, rhododendrons, Pieris. Acidic soil amendments will help lower soil pH. Purchase perennials and interesting annuals if you have enough water to keep them going. Great local sources abound! Garden Pests & Diseases Earwigs: Trap by placing moistened, tightly rolled newspaper or corrugated cardboard in the garden in the evening. In the morning, dispose of the paper and trapped insects. Another method of control is a covered container such as a small margarine tub with holes cut halfway up the sides. Pour in about an inch of soy sauce and a thin layer of vegetable oil in the container. Empty as needed. Remember, they eat aphids and other pests. Fireblight: This bacterial pest affects ornamentals in the rose family: Pyracantha, Cotoneaster, flowering pear, crabapple, mountain ash, hawthorne and fruit trees (apple, pear and quince).

The valley Sentinel Prune to remove affected branches. Fruit tree borers: Paint trunks of fruit trees with 50/50 mix of white latex paint and water. The paint can often be picked up for free at the hazardous waste recycling center at Central Sanitary. Gophers: Ultrasonic devices, chewing gum, hair, urine, kitty litter and all the other “great” home remedies are ineffective. Snails & Slugs: Control with hand-picking, yeast traps or iron phosphate baits. Snapdragon rust: Forms unsightly dark brown or rust colored pustules or blisters on the leaves and stems. Keep your plants growing vigorously by watering and feeding properly. Other pests common i n M ay i n c l u d e a p h i d s, scale, powdery mildew, and coyotes. Contra Costa County Master Gardener Program Master Gardeners are trained volunteers for the U n i ve rs i t y o f C a l i f o r n i a Cooperative Extension (UCCE). They are residents who have an active interest

page 9

in horticulture, have taken the Master Gardener training offered by the UCCE, and now share their knowledge with other members of the community. They provide University of California research-based horticultural information to the citizens of California through their volunteer efforts as Master Gardeners. It is the acquisition of knowledge, the skill in gardening, and giving back to the community that distinguishes a Master Gardener from other gardeners. The first Contra Costa Master Gardener class was held in Pleasant Hill in 1983. The early classes were taught by UC Agriculture Department professionals and were quite academic. Over the years, the focus has shifted to educating home, community, and school gardeners on sustainable, environmentally friendly gardening practices. Yo u c a n c o n t a c t t h e Contra Costa County Master Gardeners by visiting www., by calling (925) 646-6586 or by emailing us at mgcontracosta@ucdavis. edu.


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The valley Sentinel

May 2013

District Announces Two “Teachers of the Year” By Staff Writer

San Ramon Valley High School and Live Oak Elementary School teachers will represent San Ramon Valley in Contra Costa County competition Two teachers from schools in San Ramon and Danville have been selected as the San Ramon Valley Unified School District’s 2013 Teachers of the Year. Cindy Egan (Secondary School Teacher of the Year), environmental science/engineering teacher at San Ramon Valley High School in Danville and Nick

Zefeldt (Elementary School Teacher of the Year), 5th grade teacher at Live Oak Elementary School in San Ramon will represent San Ramon Valley in the Contra Costa County Teacher of the Year Program. They were both recognized by the SRVUSD Board of Education at its meeting on Tuesday, March 19th. “Cindy and Nick both re p re s e n t w h a t i s t r u l y amazing about education,” said Superintendent Mary Shelton. “We are proud of what they do

every day to engage and make a difference in the lives of their students.” Egan has been teaching for eight years, and entered the teaching profession after a career as an environmental engineer. She has also been recognized as an outstanding educator by the Alamo Rotary Club, the Danville Chamber of Commerce, and was named “2013 Volunteer of the Year” by the Town of Danville. “Cindy epitomizes our district’s focus on rigor, relevance and relationships,” said Ruth Steele, Principal of San Ramon Valley High School. “She spends countless hours at school, working individually with students and running many afterschool activities.” Zefeldt has been teaching for six years, including three years at Live Oak. He is involved in Live Oak’s PTA and Site Council, and also acts as the school’s Instructional Technology Coach. “Nick is an amazing educator who truly connects with each individual student,” said Nadine Rosenzweig,

Principal of Live Oak Elementary School. “He is held in the highest regard by our staff and parent community.” Each year all of the public school districts in the county select Teachers of the Year. An expert committee, with representatives from education and the community, then chooses one of these candidates to represent Contra Costa County in the State Teacher of the Year Program. Last year, Mona Keeler, teacher at Iron Horse Middle School in San Ramon, was one of three finalists for Contra Costa County Teacher of the Year.

Summer Camp Builds Confidence in Kids By Nora Heston

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With summer just around the corner, you may be wondering about enrolling your child in an overnight or day camp. If you and your child are first timers new to the experience, apprehension is normal, but fear not, because summer camps have been linked to building independence and developing character in children, all while making new friends and enjoying new experiences. According to the New York State Citizen’s Coalition for Children (NYSCCC), “Summer Camp can provide children with an opportunity to build independence, new friendships,

and pursue interests while providing families with much needed respite.” Building independence at an early age is important for childhood development and summer camps can make the experience enjoyable because of the myriad summer camps that surround the residents of the San Francisco Bay Area, including camps right here in Danville and San Ramon. Dr. Michael Ungar of Psychology Today says that good camps help make children resilient because they build a powerful identity, foster a sense of healthy living and

offer children a better sense of culture - skills they may not get anywhere else. If your child is shy or needs some encouragement to break free from their shell, camps are a good place for them to do so because they are filled with camp counselors who organize activities for children and foster a team environment. Camps can make children feel included and that they belong, which will build confidence that the child can bring home with them, making camps good for both introverted and extroverted children. See CAMP page 15

May 2013

Splash into summer at Castle Rock Beverly Lane, East Bay Regional Parks District

When summer’s heat sends you in search of places to go for a swim, consider Castle Rock Regional Recreation Area. It’s a hidden gem, secluded yet conveniently close to home. Castle Rock is located at the end of Castle Rock Ro a d i n Wa l n u t C r e e k , out past Northgate High School. Privately owned as a recreational haven for generations of Central County residents, the park has more recently been owned and operated by the East Bay Regional Park District. The pool itself is spacious – 30 by 70 feet. It’s located in a shady oak grove, bordered by picnic tables and barbecue stands. For the athletically inclined, there’s a ball field, basketball courts, volleyball and horseshoes. Castle Rock’s 2013 swim season begins on May 25. The

pool will be open on weekends and holidays through June 16, then Thursdays through Sundays from June 20 through Aug. 25. After that, operation reverts to weekends and holidays through Sept. 22. Swimming is allowed only when lifeguards are on duty, which is from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., depending on patronage, weather and staff availability. Parking is free at Castle Rock. Pool access fees are $3.50 for ages 16 through 61, $2.50 for ages 1 through 15, seniors and disabled visitors, and free for infants up through one year old. C a s t l e Ro c k ’s p i c n i c grounds and swimming pool are available for reservation for family groups and organizational events. For more information, visit the park district web site at, or call the reservations department at 1-888-327-2757. There’s plenty to explore beyond the pool and picnic grounds. The Old Stage Road

Trail leads up Pine Canyon past the imposing Castle Rocks themselves and on into Mt. Diablo State Park. The walk is mostly flat for the first several miles. There are four stream crossings, only difficult after winter storms. As the summer progresses, the Old Stage Road Trail becomes a shady refuge from the heat. Diablo Foothills Regional Park adjoins Castle Rock, and offers miles of trails for hikers, cyclists and equestrians. Pine Canyon is a good place to see spring wildflowers, too. Buttercups and sticky monkey flower are easy to spot, and paintbrush stands out with its bright red blossoms. Speaking of wildflowers, this spring has been a surprisingly good year for viewing them, despite the winter dry spell. Probably the best regional park for easy and abundant wildflower viewing is Sunol Regional Wilderness. It’s located on Geary Road off Calaveras Road, five miles south of Interstate 680 in southern Alameda County. At Sunol, get a park map at the entrance kiosk or visitor center. Then walk the Camp Ohlone Road to Little Yosemite, turn left onto Cerro Este Road, and return via the Canyon View Trail. You won’t be disappointed. There are also beautiful wildflowers along the Ohlone W i l d e r n e s s Tra i l , w h i c h connects regional parklands from Del Valle in the east, through Sunol, to Mission Peak in the west.

Danville Bounty Garden celebrates its Grand Opening June 1 By Staff Writer

The spinach is thriving and the chard and bok choy are growing like crazy. In a few short months, all these greens will be delivered into the hands of the local Food Bank as nutritious gifts to those who might not regularly get them. It was almost a year and a half ago that Heidi and Amelia Abrahmson were honored as Danville’s volunteers of the year. After a long and supportive relationship with the Town of Danville, their conceived plan to grow sustainable, organic vegetables for the needy is now a 501C3 non- profit organization called The Bounty Garden. It is in full swing towards fulfilling its mission. The Bounty Garden is an educational program that

teaches local volunteers how to grow organic vegetables. The Garden is tucked into a serene location along the creek at Hap Magee Ranch Park in the Danville/Alamo area. Everything that is grown is then donated to the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano Counties. Volunteers sign up to grow for one of the three growing seasons and are invited to attend various seminars along the way to teach them such things as how to compost, how to sprout seedlings and how to properly harvest. Wonderful volunteer master gardeners and staff from Contra Costa Allied Waste Disposal have offered to be available as contacts and speakers to the group.

Within the learning process, volunteers tell us that they feel good about both what they are learning and about their contribution to a bigger effort of feeding the hungry. The knowledge and the friends are theirs to keep and the hope is they will continue to grow either at home, or return for another season at The Bounty Garden. On June 1, 2013, The Bounty Garden will celebrate its formal Grand Opening at 10:00 AM. At the Opening, Danville’s Mayor Newell Arnerich and Larry Sly, the Director of the local Food Bank will speak along with founder Heidi Abrahmson. There will be a short ribbon cutting ceremony. A photographer will be on site to assist with any photo requests.

The valley Sentinel MEALS from page 6

Over 60% of Meals on Wheels Program funding comes from the charitable contributions by individual donors, foundation grants a n d f ro m t h e M e a l s o n Wheels Program participants themselves. Each of these revenue sources have either declined significantly, or failed to keep pace with an ever-expanding need in the community.

page 11

Contributions to Meals on Wheels of Contra Costa from individuals and charitable foundations are the largest single source of support for the organization and subsidize most of the 365,000 Meals on Wheels deliveries to nutritionally at-risk homebound elders each year. Donations can be sent to Meals on Wheels of Contra Costa, PO Box 3195, Martinez, CA 94553 or made via the website: www. mealsonwheelsofcontracosta. org.

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The Bounty Garden Grand Opening Saturday, June 1 10am Hap Magee Ranch Park 1025 La Gonda Way Danville Guest Speakers Mayor Newell Arnerich & Food Bank Director Larry Sly

Community Calendar














For additional Community Events visit: If your event is not listed... Please email your information to

We hope to see you there! COMMUNITY EVENTS Volunteers Needed: Read to Preschoolers Volunteers are needed at 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. 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: Free E-Waste Recycling Event 1st Saturday every month 9am-1pm. Got E-Waste? Bring unwanted electronic equipment, such as tvs, monitors, printers, computers and more to a FREE EWaste Recycling event. ALL e-waste collected will be recycled in the U.S. Sponsored by Electronic Waste Management, a U.S. Certified E-Waste Collector. DVC on Golf Club Rd. in Pleasant Hill. Please visit or call 866-335-3373 for accepted and nonaccepted items and more info. Forest Home Farms Historic Park & Glass House Museum– Open for Fun on the Farm 2nd Saturday of each month. 10am-2pm. Enjoy tours of the Glass House Museum, the farm and its history, interactive exhibits including the tractor museum, the beautiful grounds and free activities. Visit the Welcome Center and purchase old-fashioned toys and gifts at the Gift Shoppe. Tours are $5 per person, or $8 for both tours on the same day. 19953 San Ramon Valley Blvd, San Ramon. Information: 925-973-3284 or visit Gardens at Heather Farms Mother’s Day Event May 12 1-4pm. The Gardens at Heather Farm hosts a free Mother’s Day event in celebration of all moms! Six acres of gardens is the perfect place to enjoy a self-guided stroll that winds through 24 unique demonstration gardens in full bloom. Bring a picnic to enjoy in the shaded Meadow Garden overlooking more than 1000 organically grown roses. There will be craft activities for children to create a special gift for mom. The event will also feature an Artist’s Fair displaying nature inspired art and gift items for sale. All proceeds will directly benefit The Garden’s educational programs and gardens. Enjoy light refreshments and a garden gift just for mom – compliments of The Gardens! 1540 Marchbanks Drive, Walnut Creek. Information: Danville Business Outreach Walk Event May 16 Want to know more about Danville’s businesses? Volunteer to survey businesses for the 2nd Annual Danville Business Outreach Walk on Thursday, May 16. Just 30-45 minutes is all we ask. “BOW!” is a “face to face” informal survey of local businesses. The goal is to get 50 to 100 volunteers out on the streets of Danville to each ask just THREE assigned businesses FOUR burning questions: 1 - How is YOUR Businsess? 2 - Do you think Danville is headed in the right direction? 3 - What could be done to IMPROVE business in Danville? 4 - Are you involved in any community organizations? It’s easy to volunteer, just call the Danville Area Chamber of Commerce at 925-837-4400! Afterwards, be our guest at the “Day of the Town Barbecue/Mixer” (see listing under “BUSINESS”) Ivan Dickson Trail Day at Sunol Regional Wilderness May 18 To provide for visitor safety and to protect parkland resources, the East Bay Regional Park District staff and trail volunteers provide a much-needed source of labor to repair and enhance existing trails

and construct new narrow trails.Trail maintenance projects at various Regional Parks include helping with pruning, erosion control, post installation, trail improvements, and new trail construction. A great way to see the parks! (Maximum capacity: 60 volunteers) Information/registration: visit or call (510) 544-2631. Social Media Tools for Success May 21 11:30am-1:30pm. Learn the strategies and best practices to get the most out of your social media activities - social media, email and mobile - including time management, measuring the return on activities and knowing the elements for growing your business using social media marketing. $25 per person, w/ lunch. Crow Canyon Country Club, 711 Silver Lake Drive, Danville. Information: http://members.sanramon. org/events/details/social-media-tools-for-success-244m. Taste of Lafayette May 21 5:30pm.Tour Lafayette’s finest eateries and sample treats along the way. Purchase a raffle ticket and support local community projects. For tickets and information, call 925-284-2404 or visit Doggie Night May 23 5-8pm. Calling all dog owners and lovers alike... Danville’s Doggie Night offers fun for you and your four-legged friend. Follow the map to Doggie Night businesses for free dog treats and canine couture. Check out the variety of vendors through the pet fair where you’ll meet pet sitters, photographers, trainers, veterinarians, and more. It’s sure to be a howl. Address: Doggie Night will begin at Molly’s Pup-purr-ee at 425 Hartz Ave. Information: To learn more, visit and Memorial Day Celebration May 27 10:30am-1pm. Honor and remember our fallen veterans at Danville’s Memorial Day Celebration. Follow the American flags on Stone Valley Road to Oak Hill Park, where you’ll enjoy live music, entertainment, and a special ceremony including guest speakers and tributes to past and present service members. Bring a picnic lunch and share this patriotic and educational event with the whole family. 3005 Stone Valley Road. Information: and Mt. Diablo Mountain Biking Event June 9 8:30am. You won’t want to miss the 1st year of Diablo’s first mountain biking event–a dual distance mountain biking event at Castle Rock Park in Walnut Creek. 300 riders are expected to complete the 15.4 mile and 18.4 mile distances. Prizes are awarded to the top finishers at the post event expo with snack and beverages for all. Sponsored by Renaissance ClubSport and benefits Save Mount Diablo’s land conservation efforts. Information:

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 Lafayette Chamber Mixer May 8 5:30 pm. Mixer at Acalanes Fellowship Lodge on the corner of Moraga Road and Brook Street, Lafayette. Information: Energy Efficient Lighting May 9 10am-1pm.Efficient lighting is an easy way to save energy in a food service operation but it’s important to make sure that the lighting fits the mood and décor. Using the latest technologies in fluorescent and LED lighting, it is possible to illuminate the front of the house in a way that is appealing and inviting to your customers while cutting energy costs by 75% or more. The kitchen and the parking lot is where you find the workhorse lighting: lamps that are on the longest hours, operating in the most demanding applications and with the highest wattages. That is also where you often find the poorest lighting design, the most neglected fixtures and the most potential for energy waste. This seminar will cover the nuts and bolts of efficient and elegant lighting design for the front of the house and the back of the house. Free. PG&E Foodservice Technology Center (FSTC); 12949 Alcosta Boulevard, Suite 101, San Ramon. Information: Call (800) 398-3782 to register. Danville Day of the Town Mixer May 16 5-7pm. Come and enjoy some barbecue and fixings! Meet the Town Council and Town staff! Network with local business people! An informal barbecue and mixer for Town Council, Town staff and the business community to come together in an informal setting. No charge to those who RSVP by May 5th. After that, there will be a $5.00 charge. Museum of the San Ramon Valley, 205 Railroad Avenue, Danville. Information: San Ramon Chamber Mixer May 16 5:30-7:30pm. Please join us for our Third Thursday Mixer at Yogurtland in San Ramon! Meet other business owners for an opportunity to network and make your business more visible. Cost: $5 for Members and $20 for Non-Members. No RSVP Required. Checks and cash only please. Yogurtland is at 152 Sunset Drive, San Ramon. Information: details/third-thursday-mixer-firehouse-no-37-511. Alamo Chamber Mixer May 22 5:30-7:30 pm. Don’t miss a chance to explore the businesses in your town and show your support to your local area. Reinforce business connection or make new ones. Cost: $20 non-members, $10 members. RPM Mortgage; 3240 Stone Valley Road West. Information:

Please email your calendar events to the Sentinel at 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.

May 2013

The Valley Sentinel

page 13

Community Calendar (continued from page 12) Walnut Creek B.A.S.H Monthly Mixer May 30 5:30-7pm. Please join us at our next B.A.S.H. (Business and Social Hour). on the last Thursday of each month (except March, September, and December). The B.A.S.H. is a great opportunity to network with chamber members, government officials, educators and local businesses. This event is free to all Walnut Creek chamber members and guests of members; Non-member price is $10. Please bring your business cards. Information:



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 GroupsOngoing Hope Hospice provides support to help you understand and manage grief in a way that is healthy and appropriate. Our Grief Support Center is available to all community members at minimal or no cost–whether or not Hope Hospice provided end-of-life care for your loved one. We begin by listening to how your grief is affecting you and together select a program that best meets your needs. Hope Hospice offers individual grief counseling sessions and a variety of support groups tailored for children, teens, and adults, including a drop-in pet loss support group. Information: visit or call 925-829-8770 to discuss which programs may be most appropriate for you. Wind ‘n Sea Sailing Club May 22 7pm. “Basic Sailing Skills” class will be held at a member’s home in Danville, and will be followed by further sailing classes. Information: call 925-837-3381.

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/Sycamore Valley Rotary 7am. Meets every Tuesday morning. Crow Canyon Country Club, Danville. Information: Diablo View Toastmasters 8:15-9:15am. Meets every Tuesday. CMG Mortgage, 4th Floor Conference Room, 3160 Crow Canyon Rd., San Ramon. Information: 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 925-887-5678 or ARF, 2890 Mitchell Drive, Walnut Creek. Information: Newly Diagnosed Breast Cancer Workshop Tuesdays, April 16 through July 30 11am-1pm. This 12-week workshop is for women who have just been diagnosed and are either in treatment or starting treatment. This series will help them address the emotional and physical issues that surface after diagnosis. Guest medical experts will present information to the group. Meets at Cancer Support Community, 3276 McNutt Avenue, Walnut Creek. FREE. Please call to register 925-933-0107.


Walnut Creek Kiwanis Club 12:10-1:30pm. Meets every Tuesday. Massimo’s Ristorante, 1604 Locust Street,
 Walnut Creek. Information:

Mondays: Danville Rotary 12pm. Meets every Monday. Faz Restaurant, Danville. Information:

Walnut Creek Rotary 12:15-1:30pm. Meets every Tuesday. Heather Farms Garden Center, 1540 Marchbanks Drive, Walnut Creek. Information:

Tri-Valley Weight Loss Team Meetup Group 5pm-6pm. Meets every Tuesday. Join a small, supportive group of people who have a common goal of losing weight. Led by Dr. Dan Perez, the meetings focus on effective lifestyle strategies to lose weight and keep it off. Topics covered include diet, nutrition, eating strategies, exercises, motivational strategies, and any topic the group is interested in addressing. Information: www.meetup. com/Tri-Valley-Weight-Loss-Team. Prostate Cancer Group 7:30–9pm. Meets 2nd Tuesday of the month. Drop-in prostate cancer group for men and their loved ones. San Ramon Regional Medical Center, South Building, West Day Room. 6001 Norris Canyon Road, San Ramon. Information: 925.933.0107 or 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: Alamo Rotary 12:15pm. Meets every Wednesday. Round Hill Country Club, 3169 Roundhill Road, Alamo. Information: 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: San Ramon Valley Rotary 7pm. Meets every Wednesday. Crow Canyon Country Club, 711 Silver Lake Drive, Danville. Information: Walnut Creek Toastmasters 7-8:15pm. Meets every Wednesday. 1660 Oak Park Blvd., Pleasant Hill. Information: Blue Star Moms 7-9pm. Meets the second Wednesday of every month. Danville Veterans Memorial Building, 400 Hartz Ave. Information: Diablo Valley Quilters 7-9pm. Meets the third Wednesday of

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every month. No charge for guests. Danville Congregational Church, 989 San Ramon Valley Blvd., Danville. Information: Danville Toastmasters Club #1785 7:30-9pm. Meets every Wednesday. Room W204 at Diablo Valley College,1690 Watermill Road, San Ramon. Information: 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 Thursdays: San Ramon Valley Newcomers 11:30am-2pm. Meets the third Thursday of every month. New and long-time residents are welcome. Faz Restaurant, 600 Hartz Ave., Danville. $21 for lunch. 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:

Blvd., Pleasant Hill. Information: Diablo Numismatic Society 7-9pm. Meets the third Thursday of every month. Concord Police Community Meeting Room, 1350 Galindo Street, Concord. Information: Clutterers Anonymous 7-8pm. Meets the second Thursday of every month. St. Luke’s Lutheran Church room 7, 2 
 491 San Miguel Drive, W 
 alnut 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: 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:

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The valley Sentinel

AUTO March 2009 May 2013

2013 Ford Focus ST By David and Judy Colman

Ford’s Focus ST is a sensationally good hatchback. The recipe for this success combines equal parts practicality, performance and beauty. From the standpoint of daily ownership, the five door Focus is a marathon champ. You can slot four adults comfortably into its cabin, or drop the rear 60/40 folding seatbacks to make use of 23.8 cubic feet of storage space. We easily slid a 4.4 cubic foot mini refrigerator over the rear threshold and into the aft compartment. The Focus never lets you forget that it’s part station wagon, part panel van, thus all about utility.

For some, that would be reason enough to recommend purchase. That and the ST’s startlingly good mileage, which averages 26 MPG in combined city/highway driving. Given these benefits, you could pedal the ST all day long without realizing you’ve got a Porsche hunter under you. That’s right. This unprepossessing econobox is more than capable of running down big game in the open field. 911 drivers should go on full alert when they spot an ST in the rear view mirror. BMW pilots too have reason to fear the blue oval FORD nameplate attached to this diminutive road burner. Instead of the normally aspirated

2.0 liter Focus inline 4 good for 160hp, the ST plumbs a turbo into the intake system, upping output to 256hp. The turbo boost explodes low in the rpm range and continues to produce delicious bags of torque (270 lb.ft.) all the way to redline. In order to make maximum use of this abundant power, Ford has refined front-wheeldrive handling to new levels of excellence. Start with the contact patch of the tires: meaty Goodyear F1 rubber, made in Germany and measuring 235/40R18 dress up nifty Y-spoke silver painted alloys that set off the wheel wells like nothing you’ve ever seen on a Focus. Ford drops the suspension by 10mm, a ride height decrease that has no effect on comfort



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but pays blue chip dividends in handling precision. Best of all is the delightful exactitude of the electric power steering, which is variably assisted to produce quicker response at full lock. Between the Goodyears, the dropped suspension and the prescient response of the leather wrapped, fat rimmed steering wheel, the ST is built to scorch back roads like a demon. Then too, there’s the beauty part of the ST equation. The shape of the base car is so close to perfect that all that’s required to move to the next level is a slight cosmetic remake. To that end, the front of the ST benefits from the Mephistophelean scowl imparted by a new catfish grill, while the rear aspect is all about aerodynamic refinement, with venturi tunnels down low, spoiler slat up high, and twin pipes mounted dead center like twin ack-ack guns. Dress this one up in an outrageous $495 optional shade called “Tangerine Scream Tri-Coat,” and you’ve got a Kal Kustom looker that will shame cars costing three times as much. The eye-popping color scheme carries over to the interior, where sublimely supportive, real Recaro front seats play off tangerine bolsters against black cloth seating surfaces. Inside


the airy cabin, “ST” logos grace the headrests of the Recaros, the floor mats, and an aluminum insert at the bottom of the steering wheel rim. There’s also a three gauge cluster mounted atop the dash that keeps track of oil pressure and temperature plus turbo boost. Ford engineers haven’t overlooked anything in their relentless quest to make the ST the ultimate affordable road rocket. The fact that they’ve brought the ST “Equipment group 201A” to market for just $2,505 more than the car’s base price of $23,700 means you can slip this little jewel into your garage for a total cost of $28,290. It’s even built by the UAW in Detroit, so let the homie accolades flow as well. 2013 Ford Focus ST Engine: 2.0 liter DOHC, 16 valve inline 4, turbocharged Horsepower: 256hp at 5,500rpm Torque: 270 lb.-ft. at 2,700rpm Fuel Consumption: 23 MPG City/32 MPG Highway Price as tested: $28,290 H y p e s : Va l u e k i n g , great seats, ideal suspension calibration Gripes: Wide Turning Circle Star Rating: 10 Stars Out Of 10

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Perspectives on Mount Diablo

CAMP from page 10

New Exhibit at the Museum of the San Ramon Valley April 27 – June 30, 2013 Mount Diablo is fascinating and complex, and the new exhibit at the Museum of the San Ramon Va l l ey v i ews t h i s i c o n i c landmark from several angles, exploring its diverse qualities and intriguing history. Underwritten by t h e L e s h e r Fo u n d a t i o n , Pe r s p e c t i v e s o n M o u n t Diablo is a collaboration with the Mount Diablo Surveyors Historical Society, Mount Diablo Interpretive Association, Save Mount Diablo, and the Museum of the San Ramon Valley. Representatives from these groups will talk with visitors each Saturday from 10:30 to noon during the exhibit. The Perspectives on Mount Diablo exhibit includes: Surveys of Mount Diablo – The Mount Diablo

Surveyors Historical Society provides 19th century surveying instruments along with stories, photographs, and history about the Initial Point and other points on the mountain. Expansion of the State Park and Surrounding Open Space – Save Mount Diablo displays information on the Mount Diablo State Park and the restoration of the Mount Diablo Beacon. Map lovers will enjoy the maps and graphics showing the expansion of open space in Central Contra Costa County by California State Parks, the East Bay Regional Park District and Contra Costa Water District. This perspective explores the growth and history of the State Park and adjacent open space from 1921 to today. The history and restoration plans

The valley Sentinel

for Mount Diablo’s Beacon – known as the Eye of the Mountain – is featured. Images of the Mountain – Mount Diablo Interpretive Association (MDIA) brings photographs for visitors to view. Prominent nature photographers Stephen Joseph and Scott Hein display beautiful photographs of mountain trees and flowers. Eight WPA-created plant posters are also presented, with the opportunity to purchase in the Museum Gift Shop. Geocaching in Parks – MDIA mounts an informational display about geocaching, the new adventuring activity in which people search for “treasures” (caches) using G P S t e c h n o l o g y. A f i l m on geocaching – outdoor treasure hunting - is onsite for viewing. Visitors are welcomed to the Perspectives on Mount Diablo exhibit from April 27 through June 30 at the Museum of the San Ramon Valley located in the old train depot at 205 Railroad Avenue in Danville.

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