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November 2010

VOL 15, NO 11



Election Snafu—How Did It Happen? By Dana Guzzetti

Pre-election confusion over the vote for Director of the Central Sanitary District is what Contra Costa County Clerk-Recorder Stephen Weir will focus on now that final election counts are complete. “We goofed,” Weir said. I know from experience that we will identify it, fix it, and move on.” Weir has been running elections for 21 years in Contra Costa and was clearly dismayed by a turn of events that resulted in the need to send out new vote-by-mail ballots only one week before the Nov. 2, 2010 election. Sanitary District boundaries and precinct boundaries do not coincide. “Over the years, local issues have been added to the federal and state elections. We have 294 distinct ballot types. Central San has islands of areas that are excluded and four annexations just occurred,” Weir explained. On Oct. 12, a voter alerted the Elections Office that he was in the Dublin-San Ramon Services District but that contest was not on


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This photo was taken at the annual Halloween parade at the Boo Festival Soccer Tournament in Sacramento. The Crunch team dressed up as a chocolate CRUNCH bar with their coaches: Coaches: Brittnay Cameron, Danielle Spann. Girls: Kendal Madsen, Holland Ericson, Kinsey Brillheart, Katie Peruzzaro, Krista Ambrose, Mia Lang, Peyton Delaney, Reagan Campbell, Stephanie Ellis, Malia Groth, Megan Abrabanel, Paige Gerhart. This is the MUSTANG CRUNCH - D1 U9 Girls Soccer Team. The Mustang Crunch team took 3rd in their division. The Mustang Legends, D1 U9 Girls took 2nd in their division. Photo by Kathy Brillheart

First People of the East Bay By Beverly R. Ortiz Note: We first ran this story in 2003 and wanted to run it again to encourage readers and their families not to miss the Indian Life Exhibit at the Museum of the San Ramon Valley, Located at the corner of Railroad and Prospect Avenues in downtown Danville through November 13. Winter hours are Tuesday to Friday 1 to 4, Saturday 10 to 1. For more information call the museum at (925) 837-3750.

At the dawn of time, Oj·ompil·e (now called Mount Diablo) was the sacred birthplace of the world. Supernatural beings, the First People, the people before Indian people, lived here. The First People are often designated with the names of animals whose attributes are reflected in their personalities – Condor, Prairie Falcon, Eagle

Special Section...

and Coyote. The First People made Indians, providing them with a bountiful, beautiful world; a world which only two centuries ago was much different from the world today. A world in which condors still flew, a reminder of a sacred time. In the late 1700s, it’s estimated that between 280,000 and 340,000 people lived in what is now California. They spoke about 100 distinct languages. Three such languages were spoken in the East Bay: Bay Miwok, Ohlone/Costanoan and Northern Valley Yokuts. The people were organized into small, independent nations of one to five villages including a capital. Six such nations spoke the Bay Miwok language


– the Chupcan of presentday Concord, the Julpun of Oakley-Brentwood, the Ompin of Pittsburg, the Saclan of Lafayette, the Tatcan of Danville and the Volvon of upper Marsh Creek. Villages had anywhere from 40 to 160 people. They lived in houses constructed of willow frames, thatched with tule or native bunchgrasses. M a ny i t e m s, s u c h a s tools, beads and baskets were an integral part of daily life, and these required precision, patience and technical ability to make. Specialists and professionals often served economic and ritual roles. Hunting and gathering activities required in-depth knowledge of natural cycles. Plant resources were cultivated for optimum harvest with

Holiday Gift Giving

horticultural techniques, such as pruning and burning. At various times, neighboring groups gathered for Big Times, events which featured ceremonial feasting and dancing of several days’ duration. Social bonds were renewed and strengthened, news was shared and goods were traded. Some trade items went through several groups before arriving locally. Obsidian for arrow points came from Napa, while bows appear to have been imported from the Sierra. Disputes were mediated by community leaders, spiritual leaders and family members. See page 10

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

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November 2010 Now – November 20 Chorus Line Seventeen Broadway dancers put themselves on the line for their dream. Only 8 will reach it. Their stories pour out in song, providing a powerful metaphor for all human aspiration. Lesher

Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. Information: 295-1400

Lesher Center, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. Information: 295-1400

November 16 & 17 Wintervention Warren Miller's 61st Annual Skiing feature film. Tickets: $21. Hoffmann Theater at The

November 19 & 20 A Night at the Improv 8pm. Join San Ramon’s own Improv U Troupe 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. Tickets: $10. Front Row Theater, 17011 Bollinger Canyon Rd., San Ramon. Information: 9732787

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November 20 Dar Williams 8pm. A Joan Baez protégé, creates insightful, melodic story-songs that preserve the integrity and e m o t i o n t h a t h ave b e e n hallmarks of her sound, along with a beautifully intimate, bell-clear voice. Bankhead T h e a t e r, 2 4 0 0 F i r s t S t , Livermore. Information and tickets: 373-6800 November 21 Simon and Garfunkel Tribute 2pm. ABC Music Store of Livermore presents the music of Simon & Garfunkel as performed by the nationally touring duo AJ Swearingen and Jonathan Beedle. With only their two voices and an acoustic guitar, Jonathan and AJ bring back to life music’s most famous 1960’s duo. Proceeds benefit Livermore Valley Education. Bankhead T h e a t e r, 2 4 0 0 F i r s t S t , Livermore. Information and tickets: 373-6800

November 21 George Komsky in Concert 7:30pm to 9:30pm. Danville a re a - b re d s i n g e r G e o rg e Komsky, who immigrated with his family to the United States in 1988, will return to his old stomping grounds for a San Francisco engagement. Enjoy a night of opera and pop opera, along with some other classical selections and a few surprises, including an homage to the 65th anniversary of the end of World War II and a tribute to his Russian-Jewish heritage. Tickets: $30-$40. A portion of the proceeds from Komsky’s performance will go to the San Francisco-based Jewish Family and Children’s Services San Francisco War Memorial Opera House. Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco. Information: (415) 392-4400 November 26 34th Annual Lighting of the Old Oak Tree in Danville 5:15pm. Gather at the Old Oak Tree on Diablo Road in Danville. 6:15pm 6:30pm. Ceremonial lighting of the Old Oak Tree by Father Christmas and the Snow Angel. 6:30pm - 8:30pm. The magic continues with holiday music, entertainment and refreshments located at various businesses throughout downtown Danville. November 26 Walnut Creek Tree Lighting Ceremony 6:00pm at Civic Park Gazebo, Walnut Creek. After the ceremony, make it a night of family fun! The Walnut

Creek Ice rink will be open for skating until 11:00pm. For more information call: (925) 933-6778 November 26 & 27 The Christmas Ballet Combines Smuin's dual p e rs o n a l i t y ; e l e g a n t a n d classical with sexy and charming and danced to timeless traditional music. Hoffmann Theater at The Lesher Center, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. Information: 295-1400 November 26 – December 4 White Christmas An all-new stage adaptation of Irving Berlin's 1954 holiday favorite. Two buddies who put on a show in a picturesque Vermont inn, finding their perfect mates in the process. You will leave the show with a happy heart, ready to enjoy the holidays. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. Information: 295-1400 December 2 9th Annual San Ramon Bishop Ranch Holiday Tree Lighting 5:30p.m. to 7:30p.m. This event will be staged at Bishop Ranch One (6111 Bollinger Canyon Road). Enjoy the spectacular lighting of our 65-foot holiday tree. Live music, sleigh rides photo opportunities with Santa, and Cinderella and her beautiful carriage. One Warm Coat and the Contra Costa Food Bank will also be on hand accepting donations. For additional information on the Tree Lighting call (925) 866-0100. December 5 Alamo Tree Lighting Festival 5:00pm - 7:00pm. The Alamo Chamber of Commerce is hosting the 8th Annual Tree Lighting Festival on December 5 at the Andrew H. Young Park in Alamo (on Danville Blvd across from Bank of America). The evening features several local school groups from Elementary to High School and others. Santa also makes his annual appearance. For information call Nancy Combs (925) 3516999.

November 2010

The Valley SeNTiNel

page 3


Blood Clots and Air Travel By Cannon Milani, M.D.

As you embark on that long awaited dream vacation, the last hurdle you need after finally checking in is a blood clot. Developing a blood clot, or venous thromboembolism (VTE), after long plane rides is often referred to as “economyclass syndrome.” However, first-class and business-class passengers also get VTE, so this problem isn’t solely due to sitting still in tight quarters for many hours. VTE consists of two related conditions: 1) deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and 2) pulmonary embolism (PE). DVT occurs with a partial or complete blockage of a deep vein by a blood clot, most commonly in the legs. The clot may potentially break off and travel to the vessels in the lung, causing a life-threatening PE. Some common risk factors for developing venous thromboembolism (VTE) include recent surgery, pregnancy, obesity,

immobility, malignancy, hormone replacement therapy, oral contraceptives, previous venous thromboembolism and inherited or acquired hypercoagulable conditions increasing an individual’s propensity for clotting. Symptoms of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) include swelling, redness, pain or tenderness and increased warmth over the skin. It may be difficult to distinguish from muscle strain or skin infection. Further, symptoms of PE range from mild and nonspecific to acute, resembling a heart attack or stroke. Once a clot has traveled to the lungs, common symptoms of PE are chest pain and shortness of breath. Other symptoms include dizziness, fainting, anxiety and malaise. PE can occur in the absence of overt signs of DVT. Specialized imaging tests (e.g., duplex venous ultrasound, computed tomography (CT) scans) are used to make a definitive diagnosis of VTE. Recently the American College of Chest Physicians published their Antithrombotic and Thrombolytic Therapy Evidence-Based Clinical

Practice Guidelines as it pertains to VTE. For travelers taking flights over 8 hours, the following measures are recommended: Avoidance of constrictive clothing around the lower extremities or waist, maintenance of adequate hydration with non-alcoholic beverages, doing frequent calf muscle contractions, and, if you are on an airplane for more than four hours, get up and walk in the aisles, pumping your feet up and down For long-distance travelers with additional risk factors for VTE, the use of properly fitted, below-knee compression stockings or an injection of low-molecular-weight heparin injected prior to departure is recommended. Ultimately it is crucial to speak with your doctor to formulate a practical approach in terms of the risks and benefits of any intervention. Cannon Milani, M.D. is board eligible in hematology and medical oncology. He is a member of Epic Care in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties Dr. Milani’s colleagues include Dr. Shoba Kankipati, Dr. Kenneth Chao, Dr. Tyler Kang.

Come Enjoy the Spirit of Danville Three great locations – one fantastic evening! Downtown Danville, The Livery and the Rose Garden Shopping Center come together to celebrate the best Danville has to offer during the Spirit of Danville! Stroll along downtown streets and outside Livery and Rose Garden shops where participating merchants and restaurants will offer special discounts. There will be a free commemorative ornament per charitable ticket. Music and choral performances will be around town to entertain you along the way. Hop on the free trolley to travel between downtown, the Livery and the Rose Garden. There will be wine tasting downtown and at the Livery. Forget cooking and make dinner reservations at your favorite Danville restaurant to ensure an evening complete with fun, relaxation, shopping and wine! Purchase charitable tickets benefitting the San Ramon Valley Education Foundation, Blue Star Moms, Chelsea’s Hope, Danville Alamo Garden Club, Veterans Hall Memorial Building Fund and more at: Cottage Jewel, 100 Prospect Ave.; Molly’s Pup-Purr-ee, 425

Hartz Ave.; Presence Gifts, 422 Hartz Ave.; La Buena Vida, 806 Sycamore Valley

Road West; Olive, 730 Camino Ramon; or online at www.


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The Valley Sentinel

November 2010

Take Care of your Joint Pain, Naturally Dr. Niele Maimone, DC

Joint pain is not an inevitable sign of aging, nor is it always a sign of a condition like arthritis. Instead, joint pain is most often a sign of chronic inflammation or hormonal imbalance. When a person learns to solve these underlying problems, most find their joint pain and stiffness significantly improve or disappear altogether. What’s inflammation got to do with it? The healthy immune system triggers the inflammatory response to deal with sporadic threats like injury or infection. But in many, the inflammatory response is constantly on a low “simmer.” This chronic, lowgrade inflammation prevents cell regeneration and repair

and gradually tears down tissues — including those in your joints. Chronic inflammation can be caused by a diet that’s too high in refined carbohydrates and sugars and too low in essential fatty acids. A highcarb diet promotes prolonged high levels of insulin, which disrupts cellular metabolism and spreads inflammation. Undiagnosed food allergies or sensitivities also contribute to inflammation. Many people with chronic inflammation also suffer from digestion problems due to an inflamed digestive tract. Stress is also an issue. Cortisol, the hormone released in response to stress, works as an inflammatory agent. Sustained stress — the kind most of us experience — can cause inflammation to spread like wildfire.

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Joint pain and hormonal imbalance M a ny o f o u r f e m a l e patients first report joint pain when they are approaching menopause. The hormone shifts that occur during this transition, especially fluctuating estrogen levels, can impact how our joints feel. Because estrogen normally has an anti-inflammatory effect in the body, falling estrogen levels also exacerbate the symptoms of chronic inflammation. For women whose joint pain is related to hormonal fluctuations, phytotherapy can gently and effectively support hormonal balance and, for some, help lessen joint pain. Phytotherapy works by using specific herbs/plants to create balance within the body. The natural approach to joint pain There’s a lot you can do to relieve your pain, starting with solving the underlying cause. A few simple dietary changes, like reducing refined carbohydrates a n d s u g a r, c a n m a ke a dramatic difference in your joints. We recommend eating more fruits and vegetables, which contain natural antiinflammatories, and adding a high-quality multivitamin to fill in any nutritional gaps. An elimination diet or lab tests can help identify any food allergies or sensitivities.

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releases endorphins (natural pain killers), offering immediate relief to aching joints. Natural medicine, chiropractic, acupuncture and massage therapy also can be useful in natural pain and inflammation reduction. We’ve had great success helping people solve the causes of their joint pain. If you suffer from chronic pain it is worth your while to spend some time figuring out which factors are contributing to your pain — and which combination of therapies will help heal it. The good news is you can do it without drugs, and you don’t have to give up any of the activities you love! D r. N i e l e M a i m o n e, DC of Align Healing Center in Danville, CA has been active in natural health and wellness for over 10 years. For more information or to set up a consultation call 925.362.8283 or visit www.

Hospice Volunteers Needed Hospice of the East Bay is seeking volunteers. Opportunities include: Volunteers who are fluent in Spanish. Patient Support Volunteers to provide companionship and practical assistanceto hospice patients and their caregivers. Bereavement Support Volunteers to provide support to family members after their loved one has died. Thrift Shop Volunteers to help in one of our six thrift shops (in Dublin, Alamo,

Concord, Antioch, Danville, and Walnut Creek) by sorting, pricing, preparing and selling merchandise. Vigil ProgramVolunteers who can sit with patients that are actively dying--who do not have family or friends available--to ensure that no one has to die alone! To apply for free training, call Hospice of the East Bay at (925) 887-5678 and ask for the Volunteer Department, or email volunteers@hospiceeastbay. org.

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For our patients with joint pain, we recommend a highquality omega-3 fatty acid supplement. Essential fatty acids are very effective at fighting inflammation, but it’s almost impossible to include sufficient omega-3’s in the average diet. You can increase your omega-3 intake by eating wild, not farmed, fish caught in the United States; these will be low in toxins and mercury. Lifestyle changes Stress relief and moderate exercise can help regulate cortisol levels and reduce your inflammatory burden. A gentle but regular exercise program will also help you maintain a healthy weight and prevent excess wear on your hips and knees. Explore natural therapies Class IV Laser pain relief naturally breaks the i n f l a m m a t o r y cyc l e a n d


The San Ramon Valley Rotary invites the community to help for those in need this winter. They are collecting for the homeless and the impoverished of the Bay Area. Coats, Sweaters and Blankets for men, women, children and infants are collected until Wednesday December 15th 2010 at various spots in Danville, San Ramon & Dublin. They received over 7,500 items last year and made a huge difference for the receiving local east bay & Outreach charities. On December 2nd, come to the Bishop Ranch Holiday Tree Lighting with a coat, sweater or blanket in good, clean condition to donate and enjoy refreshments, Santa's arrival and more. The celebration will take place at 6111 Bollinger Canyon Road in San Ramon from 5:30-7:30pm. Information: 899-6771.

Drop off locations in Danville: Crow Canyon Country Club: 711 Silver Lake Drive; Heritage Bank: 387 Diablo Rd. Pascal’s Café: 155 Railroad Ave. Bulgary Jewelry: 301 Hartz Ave., #107; Denny’s: 807 Camino Ramon Drop Off Locations In San Ramon: Whole Foods Market: 100 Sunset Dr.; DVC-SR Campus: 1690 Watermill Rd. A A A / D M V: 2 4 3 5 S a n Ramon Valley Blvd.; San Ra m o n L i b ra r i e s : 1 701 7 Bollinger Canyon Rd. or 100 Montgomery; San Ramon Community Center: 12501 Alcosta Blvd. San Ramon Chamber of Commerce: 12667 Alcosta Blvd. # 160 San Ramon Valley Fire Dept.: Bollinger Canyon Rd. Club Sport: 350 Bollinger Canyon Lane; Has Bean: 2475 San Ramon Valley Blvd Peets Coffee: 166 Sunset Dr.

November 2010

The Valley Sentinel

page 5

New Regional Trail Connections in the East Bay Bev Lane EBRPD Board of Directors

By: Beverly Lane

The East Bay Regional Park District is proud to be a leader in offering paved Regional Trails connecting to transit, schools, neighborhoods and shopping areas. The Iron Horse, Lafayette/Moraga, Contra Costa Canal, Alameda Creek and Delta de Anza trails are just some of these multi-use trails popular for commuting and outdoor exercise. In October, the Park District learned that it was one of only a handful of California agencies to receive funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation to fill gaps in a nearly 200-mile-long network of paved trails. The $10.5 million

Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER II) grant will help fund a number of Park District trail projects throughout the East Bay, including building an underpass at I-580 in Pleasanton, extending the Iron Horse Trail at the Dublin/ Pleasanton BART station and completing a missing Bay Trail segment from Martinez to Crockett. “We’re very pleased with this significant award,” states Park District General Manager Pa t O ’ B r i e n . “ T h e Pa r k District began developing this integrated network of paved trails in the 1970s, and we’ve seen the use of these trails just explode with the population growth over the past several decades for both commuting and recreational purposes. With this grant, we will be able to expedite closing critical

gaps in a Green Transportation network, providing a real boon to those who live and work in the East Bay.” Speaking of paved trail connections, the Robert I. Schroder Bridge over Treat Boulevard along the Iron Horse Trail in Walnut Creek is now open. This impressive modern bridge spans eight lanes of Treat Boulevard, connecting the trail to the Pleasant Hill BART station while providing a safe crossing for pedestrians and bicyclists. Contra Costa County Supervisor Susan Bonilla, Representatives George Miller and John Garamendi and Assemblyman Mark DeSaulnier all spoke during the October 2 dedication. The bridge was named in honor of Robert I. Schroder, the former longtime mayor of Walnut Creek. He and fellow trail advocate,

The Robert I. Schroder Bridge is now open for people to cross over Treat Boulevard along the Iron Horse Trail in Walnut Creek

Hulet Hornbeck, retired East Bay Regional Park District Chief of Land Acquisition, attended the dedication. Hulet worked to list this regional trail on the Park District’s Master Plan and has been a pioneer in promoting trails in the East Bay and throughout the nation. If you would like more information about our regional trails and parks, visit Historic information and printable

trail maps are available on the website. Also, the Park District’s November/ D e c e m b e r “ Re g i o n a l I n Nature Activity Guide” is now online with many fall hikes, family programs and events throughout the East Bay. Beverly Lane is vicepresident of the East Bay Regional Park District Board of Directors. Her ward includes Central Contra Costa County from San Ramon through Concord.

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9/11 Essay Winners Announced By Staff Writer

Congratulations to all of the students who entered the 9/11 Essay Competition. Karen Stepper, Exchange Club President said she was overwhelmed by the response to the contest and so impressed by the writing and research skills of students of all ages. Encouraged by teachers and families, students had the opportunity to learn more about a time in history before the 9/11 attack, and about the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Skye Larsh will begin November 8th By Staff Writer

Independent • College Preparatory Preschool • Elementary • Junior High Walnut Creek • Alamo

Danville – The San Ramon Valley Unified School District Board of Education approved the selection of Skye Larsh as the new principal at Rancho Romero Elementary School in Alamo. Larsh will begin her new assignment on November 8, replacing Hope Fuss, who because of a job opportunity for her husband, will be relocating to the east coast.

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“Ms. Larsh is an experienced teacher and administrator,” said Superintendent Steven Enoch. “While we are sad to be losing Hope Fuss, I am confident that with the support and collaboration of parents and staff, Ms. Larsh will continue to move this excellent school forward.” Larsh will be leaving the Dry Creek Elementary School

District (near Sacramento) where she serves as Director of Curriculum and Staff Development. Prior to her employment with Dry Creek, she was Program Director of Educational Services for the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education. She holds an Administrative Services Credential from Chapman University and a master’s in Educational Management from the University of La Verne.

Rotary Youth Exchange Student Host Families all shapes and sizes that might countries with Rotary host Wanted include young children, older families, anywhere from a few

By Staff Writer

Nearly 100% Admitted to Outstanding 4-Year Colleges

Expressing gratitude for their participation, Stepper said that the sponsors for the 9/11 Essay Contest included Tom Guarino of PG&E, Ken Mintz of AT&T, Steve Moore of Pacific Rim Recycling and Uri Eliahu of Engeo. College scholarship competition will begin in early February. Those who want more information are invited to visit the Exchange Club website at srvexchangeclub. org, or call Karen Stepper at (925) 275-2412.



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Middle School winners are: $300 1st place, Trevor Carter, Pine Valley Middle School; $200 2nd place, Mimi Evans, Windermere Ranch Middle School; $100 3rd place, Kyle Harmon, St. Isidore. High School Winners are: $500 1st place, Clarmen Zheng, Oakland Technical; $300 2nd place, Katarina Eng, Venture School, San Ramon; $100 3rd place tie, Frank Nguyen, California High School, and Demitria Rose Richard, Fame Charter School.

New Principal for Rancho Romero School

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T h e Ro t a r y C l u b o f San Ramon is sponsoring a Youth Exchange student from Columbia, for the 2010-11 Monte Vista Valley High School year. Felipe is 18 years old and will be a senior at Monte Vista. While Spanish is his native language Felipe does speak English. The Rotary Club of San Ramon is looking for volunteer host families to host Felipe, each family for a 3 to 4 month period in the fall, winter and spring. Host families come in

children, or no children at all. Like other Rotary-sponsored Youth Exchange students, Felipe will be provided a monthly allowance by the Rotary club. Each year Rotary districts worldwide arrange more than 9,000 international youth exchanges for secondary school students. A primary goal of the program is to foster world understanding through intercultural exchange. I n a d d i t i o n , Ro t a r y sponsors outbound students to live abroad in one of 188

months to an entire year. If your student has an interest, contact us. The Rotary Youth Exchange plan is for students 15 to 18 years old. We find the majority of American students choose to go right after they graduate high school. Most colleges will hold the student’s admission slot because the exchange experience makes much better students. For more information, please contact Kathy Gailey The Rotary Club of San Ramon at 925-577-9919 or KGailey@

Dennis Richmond award helps great teachers By Staff Writer

T h e re i s a n exc i t i n g award opportunity for all Bay Area teachers. Ala Costa Centers is currently accepting nominations for the Dennis Richmond Community Impact Award for Outstanding Teachers. This award will recognize three outstanding K-12 Public School Teachers in California with funding for their classroom or school project. This is the first year for this award, so

the chances of winning this award will never be easier then now; First prize winner receives $5,000, second prize $2,500, third prize $1,000. School districts with the most nominations also receive $1,000. Teachers may nominate themselves or be nominated by others. Nominations are made through our web site at and by clicking on the "Community Impact Award" tab. Each

nomination requires a $5.00 tax-deductible processing fee that will go towards helping children and young adults with developmental disabilities at Ala Costa Centers. Deadline is Dec 31, 2010. Every nomination increases the chance for the district to win a $1,000.00 award for the highest number of nominations. For more information please visit us at www.

• Education • SNAFU from page 1

his ballot. Also, the vote for Central Sanitary Director was on his ballot. Weir could not identify why he and 411 other voters were mailed incorrect ballots. “If you find a mistake, there is a chance that there is another one. And that is what happened," Weir remarked. It was discovered on Oct. 22nd that vote-by-mail voters in three precincts, including Alamo, Danville, and Pleasant Hill, received miscoded ballots. This situation impacted 2,720 voters. When the second, corrected ballots were received by the Elections Office, they were held unopened. The first, erroneous ballots were also not opened until all the ballots in those areas were collected. Then the corrected ballots were opened and counted. In cases where a second ballot was not received, the first ballot was counted. All of the remaining unopened ballots were considered canceled. Weir made no effort to hide the problem and acted promptly to rectify it, however the consequences could have been major in a close vote. “We do want to be forthright and we want to be as close to perfect as possible,” Weir commented. “If you voted on the first one and left the country and could not vote on the second one and if the election is a squeaker, this could mean a contest (meaning a contested election),” Weir said. “If the election is within a very small margin, such as 10 votes, a judge would attempt to determine the results. He could say, “I can’t determine the outcome and we could have to do it over.” Weir said he is reviewing the coding and verifying procedures for future elections. This is especially important because the State of California will be reapportioned in 2011, and many federal, state and local boundaries will be changed. Central San candidate Michael McGill said before the election, “I generally feel that they do yeoman’s work at the Elections Office. I am sure that Steve will do whatever is needed to correct it.” For More Information about Education, visit

page 7

libraries • schools • camps • events

Contra Costa Health Dept. to Hold Nine Free Flu Clinics in One Day By Kate Fowlie

C o n t ra C o s t a H e a l t h Services will hold a free oneday, flu vaccination event in nine Contra Costa cities. Contra Costa Health Services plans to hold the free flu clinics from 1 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, November 10 to “Vaccinate Contra Costa.” Only one vaccine is needed this year to protect against H1N1 and two other flu strains expected to be circulating this year, said Contra Costa Health Services Immunization Coordinator Erika Jenssen. People need this vaccine even if they received seasonal and H1N1 flu vaccine last year, and some children will need two doses, she said. “The beginning of November is the perfect time to get vaccinated,” Jenssen said. “It’s right before families gather for the holidays, so you won’t spread or catch the flu from any relatives.” The flu is a serious respiratory disease that can cause severe illness and even death. Jenssen said a person could be contagious 24 hours before experiencing symptoms, which may include headache, body aches, nausea, fever and a dry cough. “Everyone older than 6 months should get vaccinated,

especially pregnant women and people who have contact with young children.” Vaccine at the Nov. 10 clinics will be offered for free in both shot and nasal spray forms. Jenssen said the nasal spray is a painless alternative to the shot, but is only available to healthy people age 2 to 49 years and who are not pregnant. Children under 9 years of age will need two doses of flu vaccine, one month apart, if this is the first time that the child is receiving flu vaccine, or if the child has never received an H1N1 vaccine before. The hours of the clinics are intended to allow families time to get vaccinated after work and school. The clinics will be held in Richmond (403 Civic Center Plaza), El Sobrante (5050 El Portal Drive), Concord (5298 Clayton Road), Martinez (30 Muir Road), Lafayette (952 Moraga Road), Danville (655 Old Orchard Drive), Pittsburg (200 Marina Boulevard), Antioch (1919 Buchanan Road) and Brentwood (30 Learning Lane). A podcast and video answering commonly asked flu questions is available on the CCHS website: www.cchealth. org/topics/flu.

To find out more about the flu or to locate a clinic near you, visit: www.cchealth. org/topics/flu/vaccination.

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Holiday Gift Giving

November 2010

Holiday Gift Giving 2010 By Dana Guzzetti

The tradition of giving gifts during the holidays is something we may take for granted or consider a burden. In any event, it is worth taking few minutes to think about why we do it and how it can be a pleasant, positive experience. Aside from Christmas and Hanukkah, gift giving in general is highly beneficial to the giver, according numerous psychological studies. The names on your gift list are a statement about who is important in your life. A gift is a way a partner can show interest or strengthen a bond. Gift Giving Shortcuts Gift cards are an easy to find short cut (if less personal) gift solution, particularly for teens. Order a DVD film of the month, wine of the month, fruit basket of the month, or a subscription to the recipient’s favorite publication or one that will nurture their interests. Donations to the recipient’s favorite charity or non-profit is a thoughtful gift. Perhaps your loved one is an animal lover who habitually gives to an

animal shelter or the symphony. In that case a donation in their name is thoughtful. If you are shopping ahead and encounter a wonderful gift that would be suitable for a variety of people at a great price, buy six, or however many you may be able to use for people who are in different social groups (the office, club, family business). Just make sure that two people are not going to open the same gift at the same place and time. Gifts such as coasters, a gift basket, or an attractive piece of costume jewelry are great to keep on hand, in case an unexpected guest arrives at a gathering where gifts may be opened. In fact, it is a good idea to pick up these kinds of gifts when the opportunity arises throughout the year to keep in reserve for birthdays or any unplanned gifting occasion. Stress free organization on a budget To m a ke a s h o p p i n g budget, figure out about how much you can spend on each person and annotate his or her interests. If it looks like the list

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could break the bank, it can be a matter of limiting gifts to the children of extended family. Cards or token gifts could be fine for the adults. In tough economic times the best gifts are often the ones that are home made with love. Buy colorful, inexpensive holiday tins (Richard’s Arts & C ra f t s i n A l a m o ) a n d festive papers. Fill them with Christmas cookies, homemade candy or peanut brittle. There are jokes about Christmas fruitcake, but some people just love fruitcake. H o l i d ay b row n i e s o r muffins in a fancy box are a great gift and one of the best gifts ever is a decorated gift bag containing homemade, gourmet spaghetti sauce, pasta, grating cheese and a bottle of red wine. A “This is your Life” style keepsake scrap-book of loaded with photos and memorabilia is a thoughtful present for a grown son or daughter or grandchildren. Give a gift certificate for services. This is especially popular with older relatives who most likely have what they need, but may have trouble raking their leaves, cleaning

The Valley SeNTiNel the gutters, washing the car, cooking dinner or mopping a floor. The gift of babysitting is certain to be appreciated by busy parents. Shop until You Drop! When you prepare to shop, leave home with the mind-set that it will be fun-filled holiday experience. Armed with a good night’s sleep, your list, an itinerary and a two to four hour window of time, it is easy to get caught up in the holiday spirit. Grandparents are often perplexed about what will appeal to children of various ages or what is “in.” Consider a checking a local store for help. You are likely to get personal advice on age appropriateness and how well a particular toy or game really works. “They can call and we can have it wrapped and ready to pick up when they get here. We know the toys and can help you decide,”said Sue Banducci, owner of Games Unlimited in Danville said. For Youngsters Consider the classic toys you loved in your own youth and try to find good, wellmade building blocks, puzzles, books and anything kids can

page 9

ride. Every young child loves to look at the illustrations and hear “Goodnight Moon” by Margaret Wise Brown read aloud. Most of all go to the stores with childish curiosity and have some fun looking at toys and games. Teens are tougher. Te e n t r e n d s c h a n g e like lightening. It is nearly impossible to keep up. Gift cards for book and media stores, movie or concert tickets and sports equipment are good bets. Make sure gifts reflect an awareness of environmentalism. Organic, recycled and fair trade is always a better choice. P r i c e y, b u t g re a t Technology Teens or almost any adult would be impressed, if not thrilled to have an iPhone (more applications) or a Droid (can create hot spots and provides spoken turn-by-turn directions). And iPod (pocket sized-holds 40,000 songs) is another high tech gift that is bound to please. Wii games are something wonderful for the whole family. It gets people off of the sofa and into action packed fun in front of a TV or monitor.


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The Valley SeNTiNel

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November 2010 FIRST PEOPLE from page 1

Spiritual balance was maintained through complex religious practices. Elegantly designed and carefully constructed featherwork was worn on ceremonial occasions. Dance served as a visible prayer. It was, and throughout California still is, performed to insure the health and wellbeing of the group. The world changed dramatically after the Spanish began to encroach on the East Bay in 1772. The panic and startled shouting with which the Tatcan living in the San Ramon Valley greeted the Spanish signaled what was to come. The Spanish invasion culminated in the establishment of a mission and presidio (fort) at San Francisco in 1776. While some East Bay people were attracted to the missions, once there they were not allowed to leave without permission of the priests. Many people resisted missionization. The Huchiun (Ohlone from present-day Richmond), Saclan, Volvon and Chupcan were among the groups whose members led the resistance. Their resistance efforts were partly responsible for the decision to locate Mission San Jose so near to Mission Santa Clara in 1797. Diseases of European origin killed large numbers of people at the crowded, unsanitary missions. Spanish military expeditions killed others. By the time the missions closed in 1836, local native peoples had been reduced to serfs on the land they loved and cared for all those thousands of years. These lands had become large Spanish and Mexican

ranchos. The destruction of the old way of life was completed during the early years of American settlement. As Contra Costa County settler John Marsh wrote in 1846: “… without them [Indians] the business of the country could hardly be carried on.” Indian kidnapping and slavery is part of the legacy of Euro-American settlement. A statement by John Monroe Walker, who owned a ranch on Mount Diablo, sums up the treatment of Indians during this time: “When one bought a ranch, he bought the Indians that went with the property.” Despite the tremendous pressure against it, people c o n t i n u e d t h e i r c u l t u ra l traditions after missionization. A multi-ethnic community of former Mission San Jose residents and their descendants existed near Pleasanton into the 1930s. Composed primarily of Ohlone/Costanoan, Plains M i wo k , N o r t h e r n Va l l ey Yokuts, Patwin and Coast Miwok peoples, Alisal (the Pleasanton rancheria) was a center of traditional religious practices. Today, many California Indians have retained cultural values, traditions and history while living within the framework of contemporary society. Descendants of the Bay Area’s first peoples are involved in protecting ancestral village and sacred sites, participating in Big Times, creating traditional objects and interpreting their cultural history to the public. Bev Ortiz is a staff naturalist with the East Bay Regional Park District. Excerpted and updated with permission from Parkland Discoveries, 1990, a guide to the natural and cultural resources of East Bay Regional Park District. For further information, call 510635-0135.

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November 2010

Mental Health Services Act Achievements Highlighted on 5th Anniversary in Contra Costa Proposition 63, which passed in 2004, has improved outcomes for many residents. A county program that has brought an array of services to the mentally ill and helped transform the way services are delivered in Contra Costa will celebrate its fifth anniversary next week. For five years, service providers in Contra Costa funded by the state Mental Health Services Act have improved outcomes and given new hope to individuals who can benefit from mental health prevention, early intervention, and more intensive services and support. The Mental Health Division of Contra Costa Health Services will highlight the accomplishments, consumer stories, outcomes and lessons learned from the approximately 40 service providers in Contra Costa funded by the MHSA at a conference from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, November 3 at the Concord Crowne Plaza, 45 John Glenn Drive, Concord. Concord resident Renee Taylor said her life changed the day she entered the “Bridges to Home” Program, a collaboration of agencies with Rubicon Program as the lead agency. Rubicon,

as well as other “Bridges to Home” providers such as Anka Behavioral Health, Community Health for Asian Americans and Mental Health Consumer Concerns receive funds from MHSA. Taylor arrived at the program after being released from jail. She had sought help years earlier, but a lack of housing and other services had made it difficult for her to stay up on medications and appointments. At Bridges to Home, Taylor received housing assistance and job training in addition to mental health services, so she would have a stable environment to recover from her bouts of anxiety. “It’s brought my life full circle,” she said. “I’m now able to get the resources and support I need to control my anxiety, take care of myself and get a job.” Program Manager Sherry Bradley, who oversees the MHSA for Contra Costa Mental Health, said the act has helped transform mental health services with processes like full service partnerships, which combine housing, employment and other services around a person to improve outcomes. Bradley said the recurrence of homelessness and arrest dropped by 91% and 79%, respectively, for people once they enrolled in a full

service partnership. “The Mental Health Services Act gave us the ability to provide services we hadn’t been able to provide,” Bradley said. “It has bolstered community programs and put a focus on prevention and early intervention” The MHSA Outcomes Event will highlight successes like Taylor and lessons learned from all programs and projects supported by the act. MHSA funds are administered by Contra Costa Mental Health, which also drafts plans for how the money will be spent. The MHSA was passed in 2004 and levies a 1% tax on people with a taxable annual income of more than $1 million. Contra Costa’s success is due in large part to the stakeholder-driven planning process. “Input from the community helps us understand what the need is and where to focus services,” Bradley said. For people like Taylor, the services are the difference between recovery and relapse. “I see people on the sidewalk and think ‘That could be me,’” Taylor said. “If these services weren’t there, it would be detrimental. I would be scared.” For more about the conference, visit mental_health/prop63.

The Valley SeNTiNel


page 11

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We hope to see you there! EVENTS November 7 Trail Adventure 9am Start. Family Hike - 1/2 Marathon - 10K Run beginning at Castle Rock Park, 1700 Castle Rock Road in Walnut Creek. Climb the fire roads up the slopes of Mount Diablo and finish at Castle Rock. The event includes post race entertainment by a live band, expo and lunch for all participants. Registration: $40. November 8 Annual Holiday Party to Help Stock Food Bank of Contra Costa-Solano Counties 5-9pm. The only admission charge to the party is for customers to bring canned items or nonperishable dry goods to help stock the Food Bank. Cash donations or checks to the Food Bank will be accepted too. A truck from the Food Bank will be there with collection barrels, as well as local Boy Scouts. Complimentary entertainment, drinks and delicious appetizers. The Peasant and the Pear, 267 Hartz Ave., Danville. November 10 Meditation for Stress-Free Living: A Health and Wellness Presentation at the San Ramon Library 7-9pm. You can make this your best holiday season yet at the San Ramon Library, where Dr. Marshall O. Zaslove, M.D. will demonstrate how meditation can help you deal with the seasonal stress in your life. Zaslove will present the latest medical and scientific data regarding meditation and the prevention and treatment of many conditions including high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer and chronic pain. He will also explain how and why meditation helps you in a way that gives expression to your spirit, the source of all healing, and will show how to use meditation to access your own healing power. Free and open to all ages. Held in the second floor community room of the San Ramon Library, 100 Montgomery St., on the corner of Bollinger Canyon Blvd. and Market Place. Information, call the library at 925-973-2850. November 12 Girl’s Night Out 5:30-8pm. Blackhawk Plaza. Wrap up your holiday shopping before the rush. Blackhawk merchants will be featuring fabulous holiday gift items $50 and under. Enjoy a great night out with special offers, “girly” drinks and photo booth. November 13 Creating Wildlife Habitat in the Home 10:30am-12:30pm. Learn how to nurture nature’s web by attracting and protecting beneficial insects, bees and birds to your garden. Discussion on the effects of modern development on wildlife, and methods to support it by use of native plants, water, shelter and nesting sites. The San Ramon Library, 100 Montgomery St., San Ramon. Information: 9732850. November 13 Authors Under the Stars, A Literary Affair Evening Gala 6-10pm. Headliner is T.J. Stiles whose biography “The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt” won the 2009 National Book Award for Nonfiction and the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Biography. Stiles will be in conversation with Lisa Wrenn, Features Editor of the Contra Costa Times and Oakland Tribune. Other literary guests will be on hand. Tickets, which include reception, dinner, keynote address, and book signings, are $200 per person. Walnut Creek Library, 1644 N. Broadway, Walnut Creek. Info: 935-5395. November 13 Forest Home Farms Historic Park & Glass House Museum Tours 10am-2pm. Tours of the restored Victorian Glass House Museum and of Forest Home Farms, including the tractor museum. Each tour lasts approximately 45 minutes and the fee is $5 per person or $8 for both tours taken on the same

day. Children ages 2 and under are free. Special free activity: From Wool to Weave- All about Sheep” – Learn how to card wool, see a sheepherding demonstration, watch a wool spinning demonstration and enjoy a fun take-home craft. Forest Home Farm, 19953 San Ramon Valley Blvd., San Ramon. Information: 973-3284. November 20 Blue Star Moms ‘Drop Zone’ 9am-3pm. Donations for care packages are needed to send to the troops for the holidays. Go to, click on “care packages” and it will show what items we are asking for. Bring donations to Molly’s Pup-Purr-ee at 425 Hartz Avenue, in Danville. Information: 925-866-7035. November 26 Danville’s Lighting of the Old Oak Tree 5:15pm-8:30pm. Gather at the Old Oak Tree on Diablo Road in Danville for holiday refreshments, music and sing along with the San Ramon Valley High School Chorus and Danville Girls Chorus.Ceremonial lighting of the Old Oak Tree by Father Christmas and the Snow Angel. Afterwards, enjoy holiday music, entertainment and refreshments at various businesses throughout downtown Danville. November 26- December 20 Morning Glory Farms Christmas Tree lot 9am-9pm daily. Blackhawk Plaza. Bringing you a variety of fresh-cut Christmas trees, wreaths and garland. Great selection of large trees and flocking also available. Located in the far parking lot near Century Theatres. November 26- Friday, December 24* Photos with Santa! 11am-7pm daily in the main rotunda. BlackhawK Plaza. *December 24: 11am-6pm November 27 Holiday Art & Wine Stroll 12- 6pm. Blackhawk Plaza. Preview art, great gift items and enjoy tastings from local wineries. Tasting Wristbands: $10. Benefiting the Alamo-Danville Artists Society. Keep the arts alive in our schools. December 3, 10 & 17 Snow Show 5pm. Blackhawk Plaza December 4 & 5 Danville Recycling Events 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. With the holidays approaching, residents will want to start saving their wine corks instead of tossing them into the garbage, as in December they’ll have a chance to recycle instead. The Town of Danville is co-sponsoring two upcoming UnWaste events to be held at the Danville Park and Ride at Sycamore Valley Road and Camino Ramon. While all the usual items, such as clothing, accessories, electronics and small household appliances will be accepted, they have expanded their list of allowable items to include wine corks and mattresses. Smaller items can be recycled for free, while large appliances and mattresses will be accepted for a fee. Fees range from $5.00 for microwave ovens to $50.00 for a King mattress. For further information on the UnWaste event, contact Cleanwater Program Coordinator Chris McCann at (925) 314-3342 or December 4, 11 & 18 Dicken’s Carolers 12-3pm. Blackhawk Plaza. December 5 Livermore Dance “Holiday Treasures From Around The World” 1pm and 5pm. Dance from around the world including holiday, classical, and contemporary styles of dance and music. Dessert reception immediately following the performance. Bring a new, unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots if you wish! Tickets: $18 - $26. Bankhead Theater, 2400 First St, Livermore. Information: 373-6800.

BUSINESS Danville Chamber of Commerce Events: November 8: Business Connection, 11:30am. November 10: Sunrise Alliance, 7:30am. November 11: Veterans Day, Closed November 26: Lighting of the Old Oak Tree December 9: After Hours Mixer, 5:30pm. Patrick Davids, 651 San Ramon Valley Blvd. Danville San Ramon Chamber of Commerce: November 9: Monthly Networking Luncheon - Mike Conklin with Sentinels of Freedom. 11:30am-1:30pm. Crow Canyon Country Club, 711 Silver Lake Dr., Danville. November 18: Third Thursday Mixer and 10 Year Celebration, Sound of the Wind. 5:30-7:30pm. Music, wine, and food. Bring an upwrapped toy for Toys for Tots for the holidays. Sound of the Wind, 110 Ryan Industrial Court, Ste. 3-8, San Ramon. December 9: “A Night of Stars,” Business and Community Awards Dinner. 5:30-9pm. The Awards Dinner will begin with lots of networking and “no host” cocktails. After dinner, the evening will be hosted by our Master of Ceremonies (TBD). We will also hear from our Honorable Mayor, Abram Wilson, and Terry Church, Chairman of the San Ramon Chamber Board. The price is $70 per person, and $500 for a table of eight.

CLUBS Mondays Rotary Club of Danville 12:00 meeting at Faz: Call for information, (925) 838-8721. Tuesdays Danville/Sycamore Valley Rotary 7am. Join us at the Crow Canyon Country Club every Tuesday morning for a good breakfast and great company. Info: Scott Sampson, 925-743-8449. Wednesdays Alamo Rotary Noon. Meets every Wednesday at Round Hill Country Club, Alamo. Info: Mark Kahn, 925-837-3262. San Ramon Valley Rotary Club 7pm. Guests welcome. Join us at the Crow Canyon Country Club every Wednesday for dinner. A great way to make new friends. Info: 925-838-9110. Blue Star Moms 6:30pm. Chapter 101 meets every second Wednesday of the month at the Danville Veterans Memorial Building at 400 Hartz Avenue in Danville. Thursdays Rotary Club of San Ramon 12:15-1:30pm. Meets every Thursday at the Crow Canyon Country Club, San Ramon. Info: Bill Nethercott, 925-337-3311. Kiwanis of San Ramon Noon. Meets every Thursday at Round Hill Country Club, 3169 Roundhill Rd., Alamo. For information call 648-4800. Fridays: Montelindo Club General meeting and speakers, third Friday of the month, September through May. Meeting Place: Orinda Community Church, 10 Irwin Way, Orinda. Refreshments and plant and garden accessory sale at 9am, meeting at 9:30 and speaker at 10:30. The meeting is free and welcomes guests and new members. The speaker for November is nurseryman Erle Nickel. Web Site: Information: email Saturdays: The General Support Group of the Parkinson Network of Mt. Diablo 10am-12pm. Meeting: November 20. Questions and answers led by Bill Clinch. Guest speaker Lee Taylor will talk about Tai Chi and Parkinson’s. All are welcome. Information: 284-2189. The Young-Onset Group meets at 9-10:00am at the same location. Information: 336-9554.

Please email or fax your Calendar Events to the Sentinel by 5 p.m. Friday, November 19 for the December issue. Fax No. 925-820-6048, or go to to enter your event online. Inclusion in the calendar pages is at the sole discretion of Sentinel Newspapers, Inc.

page 14

The Valley SeNTiNel

November 2010

Seniors Veterans Memorial Building Renovation By Dana Guzzetti

Sidewalk superintendents were on duty when construction workers poured concrete last week, initiating the next phase of the Veterans Memorial Building restoration/ renovation at 400 Hartz Ave. in Danville. “They say they like it,” reports Andy Mack, superintendent and construction manager for the city.

“We are pretty close to schedule,” Danville Sr. Civil Engineer Michael Stella remarked. “We are right where we need to be.” Some might find a government-run project on schedule and on budget remarkable enough, but the big news is that the Town of Danville is well on its way to preserving and improving a centrally located historic building while enhancing its

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usefulness, in spite of tough financial times. The 85 year-old structure built to serve local Veterans is resting on piers while a solid foundation, basement and expanded facilities are constructed beneath. There are challenges beyond coordinating the work of about a dozen sub-contractors on a busy downtown street corner. “The most unusual aspect of the project was shoring up the existing building,” Stella commented, praising the contractor, Zorich & Sons of Hayward, for “coming up with some clever solutions and then moving on to the more traditional construction.” At this point the building appears to have been elevated, but according to Stella, it is actually within about an inch of its original height. When


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the work is complete, the Vets building will again have the familiar old-fashioned front porch, but the total size of the building will have doubled from 6,300 to 12,792 square feet. “ We a re ve r y p ro u d of the work we are doing on behalf of our veterans and the community,” Stella commented. The estimated $7.8 million project includes a larger, new community banquet hall with catering kitchen, separate veterans’ wing, dedicated senior center and a public plaza. The venue is expected to attract anniversary parties, fundraising events, big band concerts, weddings, banquets, crab feeds, family reunions, bridal shows, youth activities, class reunions, craft fairs and business events. Architect Charles Chase’s design will allow veterans to use the building at the same time that another community event is in session, without either gathering impacting the other. Chase, who was named

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2010 volunteer of the Year by the California Preservation Foundation, specializes in restoration. “We are finishing the portion of the basement of the existing building. Next we will do the outside. Then site grading and pour the slab for new building.” Strella said. “The site is very small and there is not a lot of room for staging and storage, so it has to be well thought out.” Mack said, “We have been very fortunate so far. The low bid contractor has been excellent, and work with the fire department, health, utility partners and EBMUD is moving smoothly.” Mack expects to have walls up by spring 2011. If all goes well, the project may be completed before the end of 2011. The project has been thoroughly reviewed and is in accordance with building code,” Mack remarked. “We are striving to achieve a green rating for the building and LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) should give it a silver rating.” The only reason the LEED rating is silver instead of platinum or gold is that the historic portion of the project cannot be made like new, without a loss of the original esthetic. Local veterans groups have been particularly helpful in fundraising for veterans’ needs programs, according to Mack. Marsha Somers, assistant town manager said, “The veterans are thrilled about it. Things are moving quite well and everybody is excited to see progress. So many people coming to do something together, it is a good feeling. We are already getting calls to rent it.” Although the work is going well, the need for fundraising continues. “We want the public to be aware of the fact that projects like this are very difficult to build because of budget constraints, Vice Mayor Karen Stepper said. “We appreciate public support and donations and there are naming opportunities.” (For details see Stepper explains that the veteran’s wing will serve as a place where veterans can come to find resources and to meet, as well as a place for a small museum with a library and display cases for veterans’ affairs. Donations of related books and objects for the museum are appreciated.


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page 15

March 2009 November 2010

2011Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup Edition By David Colman

The newly introduced 2011 Jetta is larger and more softedged than its predecessor. By upsizing their bread and butter sedan, VW hopes to entice North American buyers into abandoning Camrys and Accords in favor of a more family-oriented Jetta. But this move to the middle has left hard-core VW sports types wondering whether Germany has forsaken them. Wonder no more, because the optional $2,350 Cup Edition of the Jetta Diesel will restore their faith in the sporting integrity of the brand. For the past several years, VW has backed a racing series for beginners in the US called the TDI Cup. They did so for two reasons; The first was to focus American eyes on the performance (and sales) potential of clean Diesel powered sedans. The second motive was to create a professional and affordable series for novice young racers to compete against one another. By all measures, the TDI Cup has been a resounding success. VW finally has acknowledged their brainchild by launching this Cup Edition of the Diesel Jetta. While The TDI Cup may look like a

racecar, it still performs like a family sedan. Reskinned body parts distinguish the candy white Jetta Cup from the mom ‘n pop SEL sedan. An imposingly deep front airdam flows into ground effects sill extensions below the doors. The tail receives a diffuser-like lower valance plus a full trunk-mounted wing spoiler. This assemblage of pieces help lower the Jetta’s visual center of gravity. Cup Edition checkered flag graphics lend a purposeful air to the resculpted flanks. Inside, you’ll find TDI CUP door sill plates. Heavily bolstered front sports seats are upholstered in handsome plaid Interlagos cloth, named after the famous Brazilian track where Formula One once raced. The Diesel engine package boosts the base price of the TDI Cup Jetta to $24,990, but the surcharge is well worth the extra thousand dollars you’ll pay in lieu of the gas engine. The TDI’s advantage lies not in its 140 horsepower rating, which is actually 30hp less than the base Jetta SEL’s 2.5 liter gas engine, but rather in torque, where the Diesel’s 236 lb.-ft. really outshine the gas motor’s 177 lb.-ft. With that much torque advantage,

the TDI Jetta will leave its gas sibling in the dust most of the time. Not only that, but the TDI returns 30 MPG in city running and 42 MPG on the freeway (versus 20/29 for the gas version). In a solid week of running the Cup Edition around town we never managed to sink the fuel gauge below the halfway mark. This bodes especially well for long distance trips, where the Jetta’s exceptional interior comfort combines with its great mileage to make it a prime freeway GT. If you opt for the DSG automatic transmission, you’ll find the Jetta Cup Edition frees you from ever thinking about what gear you need to select. The DSG shifts unobtrusively through its range of 6 speeds with hardly a thump. In fact, when you combine the DSG with the TDI motor, you have one of the quietest, least obtrusive powertrains on the road. The TDI with DSG is sepulchral. If you crave more driver involvement, however, you can paddle-shift the DSG yourself by selecting “Sport” range. Or you can forgo the automatic altogether and select the 6-speed manual gearbox, and save yourself $1,100 in the bargain.

In a nod to the handling demanded by a race series, VW has provided top-level wheels and tires as part of the Cup Edition package. Tenspoke, 18 inch alloys feature painted aluminum recesses set off by brightly machined rims. Premium 225/40R18 Pirelli P Zero Nero tires secure each corner to the pavement. Standard AntiSlip Regulation works with Electronic Differential Lock to harness the TDI’s torque by reducing wheelspin. While the fat Pirellis will squeal at the

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page 16

The Valley SeNTiNel

November 2010

2011 Jaguar XJ

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