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always for the community VOL 23, NO 11

November 2018


Celebrate the opening of Walnut Creek on Ice’s 14th season with the Children’s Winter Festival Don’t miss the Children’s Winter Festival on Saturday, November 10, featuring discounted admission, live skating performances, Rocco’s pizza, hot chocolate, face painting, giveaways, a balloon artist and more. Children, families, and the young-at-heart can kick off the ice skating season. Walnut Creek on Ice welcomes


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Fall can be the most beautiful time to be out in the parks–not too hot, with stunning colors and views. A hike in nature can revive a tired mind and generate new ideas. This photo was taken from a trail in Briones Regional Park, using the Reliez Valley Road entrance. The smell of Bay Laurel and the joy of taking in the natural beauty of our hills and woodland areas is all encompassing as one goes further along the trail. Ahhh, heaven on earth.

The White Sturgeon

By James M. Hale

The White Sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus) is the largest freshwater fish in North America, with the maximum recorded length of any age class at 20 feet. The maximum published weight known is 1,799 pounds, with a reported age of 104 years. White Sturgeon greater than 15 feet are suspected of reaching weights in excess of 3,000 pounds. I have canoed portions of the upper Sacramento River in my 18 foot long expedition canoe, with schools of White Sturgeon and individuals approaching 15 feet passing underneath me. The hydraulics generated by these magnificent, prehistoric giants made it difficult to navigate. The White Sturgeon is an anadromous fish that ranges throughout the Eastern Pacific, from the Gulf of Alaska to Monterey Bay, California.

Landlocked populations occur in Lake Shasta, Montana, and the Columbia River Drainage. Sightings of White Sturgeon have been reported in northern Baja California, Mexico. Ancestors of the White Sturgeon originated around 45.8 million years ago. The Amur (Acipenser schrenckii), which is found only in Asia is a close genetic relative. The White Sturgeon is part of a Pacific clade or group of species with a common ancestor. These species include the Green Sturgeon ( Ac i p e n s e r m e d i ro s t r i s ) , Sakhalin (Acipenser mikadoi), Chinese (Acipenser sinensis), Amur (Acipenser schrenckii), and Kaluga (Huso dauricus). The White Sturgeon is also commonly known as the Pacific Sturgeon, Sacramento Sturgeon, Oregon Sturgeon, Columbia

Sturgeon, and Snake River Sturgeon. The specific name is derived from the Latin acipenser (sturgeon), trans (beyond), and montanus (mountain). The White Sturgeon is a unique fish. Instead of scales, it has five rows of bony plates called scutes that reach from its gills to its tail, covering its sandpaper like skin. The upper, dorsal color ranges from gray to brownish. The ventral, belly color is paler. The fins are gray. Similar to sharks, the White Sturgeon has a cartilaginous skeleton and a shark-like tail. Unlike most other fishes, its

taste buds are located on the outside of its mouth. Barbels, which are feelers located under the sturgeon’s snout, help to locate potential food. A toothless, protrusible, siphonlike mouth sucks up the food once its located. Juvenile White Sturgeon, less than two feet in length, feed on amphipods (freshwater shrimp, scuds or sideswimmers), especially Corophium spp., mysids, isopods, benthic invertebrates, (which are community of organisms that live on, in, See STURGEON page 5

This month’s Special Section:

Senior Services

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

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Dancing Lessons Now - November 17 Dancing Lessons centers on Ever, a young man with Asperger’s Syndrome, who seeks the instruction of a Broadway dancer Senga. $34 - $56. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek. Information: www. or 925943-SHOW (7469). Portia Munson: Her World/ Her Room Now – December 16 T h e B e d f o rd G a l l e r y welcomes Portia Munson for her first solo show here in the Bay Area. Portia is a visual artist working in photography, p a i n t i n g , s c u l p t u re, a n d installation. Her work has been shown internationally in major public and private exhibitions since the early 1990s. General

Admission: $5; Youth (13-17) $3; Children 12 and under, free; First Tuesdays are free; Free for BG Members. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek. Information: or 925-295-1417. DCMT presents Mary Poppins Jr. November 15-24 The jack-of-all trades, Bert, introduces us to England in 1910 and the troubled Banks family. Young Jane and Michael have sent many a nanny packing before Mary Poppins

Tree Lighting Ceremonies Danville Lighting of the Old Oak Tree Friday, November 23 5:15 - 8:30pm Lighting of the Old Oak Tree is a tradition with strong roots in the Town of Danville. The community gathers after Thanksgiving to honor the Old Oak. Diablo Road Old Oak Tree

City Center Bishop Ranch Tree Lighting Celebration Wednesday, November 28 Friday, November 30, 5:30 - 7pm Gather family and friends, come listen to live music and watch the ceremonial lighting of our spectacular tree. The guest of honor, of course, is Santa Claus! Be sure to bring your camera and strike a pose with jolly old St. Nick. There will be a variety of refreshments and activities for the kids. Bring your family and friends, your cozy attire, and help spread the holiday spirit! City Center Bishop Ranch 6000 Bollinger Canyon Rd. San Ramon

Alamo Community Tree Lighting Sunday, December 2 4:30 - 6:30 pm The Community Foundation of Alamo once again hosts this traditional holiday event, including caroling, music, treats, beverages, and photos with

Santa. Take part in the event’s food drive benefiting the Contra Costa Food Bank by donating canned or boxed non-perishable food items. Andrew H. Young Park at the corner of Danville Blvd. and Jackson Way Alamo

H o s p i c e Tre e o f Lights ceremonies Hospice Tree of Lights ceremonies offer members of the community a way to honor the lives of their friends and loved ones. A few of this year’s ceremonies are listed below. For information about events in other locations, please visit Danville Friday, Nov. 16, 5:30pm Town Meeting Hall 201 Front St. Alamo Tuesday, Nov. 20, 5:30pm Alamo Women’s Club 1401 Danville Blvd., Alamo Walnut Creek Wednesday, Dec. 5, 6pm John Muir Med Center Main Entrance 1601 Ygnacio Valley Rd. Blackhawk Tree Friday, Dec. 7, 5pm Blackhawk Rd. at Blackhawk Drive Hospice East Bay provides compassionate end-of-life care to terminally ill patients, while offering emotional, spiritual, and grief support for the entire family. For more information visit

November 2018 arrives on their doorstep. Using a combination of magic and common sense, she must teach the family members how to value each other again. Mary Poppins takes the children on many magical and memorable adventures, but Jane and Michael aren’t the only ones upon whom she has a profound effect. Even grown-ups can learn a lesson or two from the nanny who advises that “Anything can happen if you let it.” $8 - $10. Village Theater, 233 Front St., Danville. Information: www. or 925-314-3400.

The Christmas Ballet presented by Smuin Contemporary Ballet November 16 - 17 Light up your holidays with Smuin’s beloved yuletide tradition. From classical to cool and contemporary, lift your spirits with two inspiring acts filled with a stunning and original array of ballet, tap, and jazz. This year’s edition features new pieces alongside classic Smuin favorites. $58$84. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek. Information: www. or 925943-SHOW (7469).

Disney’s Frozen Sing-along: Special Movie Edition presented by West Coast Performing Arts Presenters with Special Guest Hosts Anna and Elsa! November 17 12pm and 4pm. Sing-along hosts Anna and Elsa will be on-board LIVE ONSTAGE to guide the crowd as we get ready for the winter season by reliving the magic of Disney’s animated hit Frozen in a singa-long event the whole family can enjoy. Watch the beloved movie play out on a large screen and sing along to all of the movie’s most popular songs, including “Let It Go.” On-screen lyrics make it easy to join in the fun, and dressing up as your favorite character only adds to the enjoyment. $19. Del Valle Theatre, 1963 Tice Valley Blvd., Walnut Creek. Information: www. or 925943-SHOW (7469).

Dixieland Jazz November 17 1:30-4:30pm. 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 visit or phone 925-625-2707.

Adventures in Jazz - Jackie Ryan Vocalist & Trio November 17 7:30pm. One of the outstanding jazz vocalists of our time, Jackie sings from the heart, whether a jazz standard, a luscious love song, or a Spanish ballad. Featuring Larry Vuckovich on piano. Adults $25, Students $20. San Ramon Library, 100 Montgomery Street, San Ramon. Information: 925-973-3343 or SanRamonPerformingArts. com.

The Ten Tenors: Wish You Were Here: A Celebration of Musical Legends November 17 8pm. Fresh off the success of their 20th Anniversary World Tour, The TEN Tenors return with their new show WISH YOU WERE HERE, a celebration of musical legends lost before their time. In this heartfelt tribute, Australia’s “vocal wonder from down under” (Broadway World) will take you on a feel-good journey through some of the world’s greatest hits of all time, including some of the group’s

own fan favorites - classic rock anthems of Queen, current day chart toppers of Ed Sheeran and Bruno Mars, even soaring arias of Verdi and other traditional favorites. Single Ticket Price: $44, Season Ticket Price: $40. Limited VIP seating available for this show. Dougherty Valley Performing Arts Center, 10550 Albion Rd. (Cross Street Bollinger Canyon Rd.) Located on the Dougherty Valley High School Campus. San Ramon. Information: www. or 925-973-3343.

Contra Costa Ballet’s The Nutcracker Presented by Contra Costa Ballet Company Featuring Youth Performers and Professional Guest Artists November 23 - 25 Returning for its 29th year, Contra Costa Ballet presents the Bay Area’s most familyfriendly production of The Nutcracker. For one weekend only, join Clara and her beloved nutcracker-turnedprince on a magical journey among giant mice and toy soldiers into the deliciouslydelightful Candy Kingdom. Contra Costa Ballet brings The Nutcracker to life in this festive production filled with colorful costumes, whimsical sets and an array of talented, young dancers. This one-hour performance is an elegant introduction to the holiday classic. $40. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek. Information: or 925-943-SHOW (7469). Alice in Wonderland Jr. Presented by Poison Apple Productions featuring Youth Performers November 23 - 25 Travel down the rabbit hole and join Alice, one of literature’s most beloved heroines, in her madcap adventures. Featuring updated songs from Disney’s thrilling animated motion picture, Disney’s Alice in Wonderland JR. is a fastpaced take on the classic tale. Ever-curious Alice’s journey begins innocently enough as she chases the White Rabbit. H e r a d ve n t u re s b e c o m e increasingly more strange as she races the Dodo Bird, gets tied up with Tweedle Dee

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT dining out • music • art • theater • fun events and Tweedle Dum, raps with a bubble-blowing Caterpillar and beats the Queen of Hearts at her own game! Disney’s Alice in Wonderland a fast-paced take on the classic tale. $20. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek. Information: www. or 925943-SHOW (7469). Holiday Concert presented by Walnut Creek Concert Band Music Direction & Conducted by Harvey Benstein November 27 7 : 30 p m . R i n g i n t h e s e a s o n w i t h t h e Wa l n u t Creek Concert Band and your favorite Holiday songs with some special musical gifts. $17.50 Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek. Information: www. or 925943-SHOW (7469). Once Upon a Christmas Presented by The Ballet School Ballet Joyeux featuring Youth Performers November 30 - December 1 A delightful narrated holiday ballet, which allows audience members of all ages to pass across the threshold of make-believe into a world where dreams can and do come true by learning to first believe in oneself. $12 - $30. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek. Information: www. or 925943-SHOW (7469). Disney’s The Jungle Book KIDS presented by Performing Academy in partnership with St. Isidore & St. Perpetua Schools featuring Youth Performers November 30 - December 1 Banished by the ferocious tiger, Shere Khan, a human boy named Mowgli and his panther friend, Bagheera, are on the run in the deepest parts of the jungle. On their journey, the two meet a sinister snake named Kaa, a herd of elephants and a giant bear named Baloo, who teaches them the swingin’ musical rhythms of the jungle. After surviving a dangerous encounter with a band of monkeys led by King Louie, Mowgli and Bagheera are forced to run for their lives. When Shere Khan returns, our heroes must rally their fellow animals into battle and restore peace throughout the jungle. Adapted from Disney’s beloved animated film and the works of Rudyard Kipling, the “man cub” Mowgli, bounds

November 2018 through the jungle and learns what it means to be human. $14 Del Valle Theatre, 1963 Tice Valley Blvd., Walnut Creek. Information: www. or 925943-SHOW (7469).

The Gift of the Magi M u s i c by D av i d C o n t e, Libretto by Nicholas Giardini after the short story by O. Henry November 30 - December 2 This holiday season Solo Opera and award-winning Bay Area composer, David Conte, bring to life the timeless turn of the century short story, “The Gift of the Magi”, by O. Henry. The plot concerns an impoverished young married couple named Jim and Della. One Christmas Eve, each gives up their most treasured possessions to buy gifts for each other. Della sells her luxuriant hair to buy a chain for Jim’s gold pocket watch, while Jim unknowingly sells his watch to buy combs for Della’s hair. Their love story will fill your spirit with holiday magic! $40. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek. Information: or 925-943-SHOW (7469).

featuring both old favorites and surprises. Free Del Valle Theatre, 1963 Tice Valley Blvd., Walnut Creek. Information: or 925-943-SHOW (7469).

The Jazz Room -- George Cole and Eurocana December 6 8pm. Gypsy Jazz, Uptown Swing, French Chanson. George Cole on guitar/vocal, Kaeli Earle on upright bass/ vocal, and Madeline Tasquin vocal, guitar, and percussion. Eurocana has a full complement of sound, three part harmonies delivered by three top-tier vocalists, and amazing instrumental virtuosity. $15 $30.Village Theater, 233 Front St., Danville. Information: or 925-314-3400. A Christmas Carol By Charles Dickens Presented by Center REPertory December 6 - 16 Brimming with music and dance, love and laughter, spectacular special effects and scary ghosts, it’s no wonder the critics have called it “THE Christmas Carol to see in the Bay Area.” Join the thousands who make this theatrical event a part of their annual holiday traditions. $28 - $42 Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek. Information: www. or 925943-SHOW (7469).

THE VALLEY SENTINEL Grant brings a host of Bay Area and L.A. comedians to the Village Theatre stage! Join these seasoned performers for this hilarious series. 16+ unless accompanied by an adult. $20.Village T h e a t e r, 2 3 3 F r o n t S t . , Danville. Information: www. or 925-314-3400. Platinum Presented by A l ex Ramon Magic Dec. 7 - 9 A family friendly magic show celebrating Alex’s 20th ye a r a m a z i n g a u d i e n c e s with visual and engaging magic. Come be a part of the show! $35. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek. Information: or 925-943-SHOW (7469).

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Monkey See, Monkey Do Family Friendly Improv December 9 2pm. Our special one-hour improv shows are designed specifically for children and their families to enjoy together! See your ideas come to life onstage and perhaps play a game and win a prize! Bring the entire family to this fun and fast-paced afternoon of laughter. $10. Front Row Theater, 17011 Bollinger Canyon Rd, San Ramon. Information: or 925- 973-2787.

Coats Sweaters Blankets (Clean and in good condition)

Men Women Children Infants Donations for those in need to Local East Bay & Outreach charities Now through January 4th Drop off points in Alamo, Danville, Rossmoor Pleasant Hill, San Ramon, Walnut Creek and beyond... For drop-off locations visit

Walnut Creek on Ice

Adventures in Jazz - Alvon Johnson December 1 7:30pm. “Ambassador of the Blues”, Alvon is one of the most versatile musician/ singer/guitarist/ entertainers on the music scene today. Adults $25, Students $20. San Ramon Library, 100 Montgomery Street, San Ramon. Information: 925-973-3343 or

P re s c h o o l Pe r f o r m a n c e Series: Comedian & Juggler Unique Derique December 7 10am. Making little ones laugh, dance, and sing along since 2009, the Town of Danville is pleased to continue to present fun and unique toplevel entertainers for preschoolaged children. Presented in 50 minutes with no intermission. Artist may be subject to change. $5.Village Theater, 233 Front St., Danville. Information: or 925-314-3400.

Winterfest Presented by Contra Costa Wind Symphony December 2 2pm. The Contra Costa Wind Symphony presents music for the Holiday Season,

Comedy with Liz Grant & Friends: A Monthly Stand-Up Series December 7 7:30pm. In this monthly stand-up comedy series, Liz

Presented by the Walnut Creek Chamber of Commerce & Walnut Creek Downtown Business Association

Open daily now through January 21 at Civic Park 1375 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek

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Tao House Eugene O’Neill theater travels to Ireland The Eugene O’Neill Foundation, Tao House took its first production abroad last month. After a successful run at Tao House, Eric Fraisher Hayes’ innovative adaptation of Eugene O’Neill’s Hughie was performed at the first annual Eugene O’Neill International Festival of Theatre in New Ross, Ireland. The play was performed at the St. Michael’s Theatre i n d ow n t ow n N ew Ro s s as part of the five days of performances celebrating Eugene O’Neill and his Irish roots. “Hughie was wellreceived at the festival,” says director Hayes, “It was very satisfying to hear the audience in Ireland respond to our production with the same enthusiasm as in Danville. Our experiment in adding a third character to the play seems to be universally appreciated.” Highlights of the festival included a formal welcome home for James O’Neill, Eugene’s father, who left Ireland on a famine ship from New Ross harbor as a boy. James O’Neill represents the quintessential immigrant success story as he endured great hardship as a child, made the dangerous journey to America, and eventually

became a famous stage actor during the latter part of the 19th century. In his honor, the silent film version of the play that made him famous, The Count of Monte Cristo, was shown at the St. Michael’s Theatre with original piano accompaniment by Phil Collins. Further notable festival events included a presentation of Eugene O’Neill’s powerful, but seldom produced, Mourning Becomes Electra featuring a cast of talented actors from all over Ireland as well as Walnut Creek native, Don Sage Mackay, who is now a London-based actor. Mackay played Yank in Bound East for Cardiff at Tao House two years ago and next month can be seen in True West on London’s West End. Additionally, three of Eugene O’Neill’s early Sea Plays were performed to great effect on the Dunbrody, a replica of a 19th century “famine” ship similar to the one that brought families like the O’Neills and other locals such as the Kennedys from New Ross to the New World. Seeing these tales of the hardscrabble life of sailors in the cramped quarters of an old ship brought an incredible authenticity to the experience.

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November 2018

Alamo News Update

Ball property project is heard by the Alamo MAC By Steve Mick

The Ball Estates project has been in the planning stage for a long time. The project consists of 35 new singlefamily homes to be located at the western end of Camille Drive. The site consists of about 60 acres. 20 acres would be used for the construction project and the remaining 40 acres would be dedicated to open space. A project of this magnitude a f f e c t s m a ny a s p e c t s o f Alamo. This includes traffic issues, zoning compliance, environmental impact, safe routes to schools and access to the Las Trampas Regional Wilderness and other issues. According to the California Environmental Quality Act this project required the creation of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR). The EIR addresses the issues relating to all aspects of environmental concerns. These include air quality, noise, land use and so forth. The EIR is available at or, if you don’t mind typing a lot, www.contracosta. Please note that this EIR is a lengthy document with over 27 sections. The proponents of the project spoke at the October A l a m o M AC m e e t i n g . A number of neighbors to the proposed project were in attendance. Most spoke in opposition to the project. Construction noise and privacy were some issues. A major concern was the question of whether or not there would be access to the site via Hemme Avenue. Not surprisingly, this was a hot button issue. There was concern that school traffic and other traffic would go west on Hemme Ave, pass through to Camille using a new access route via Ironwood Place. This “through” traffic would not be welcome by the neighborhood. However, it was recognized that access for emergency vehicles between Ironwood and Hemme was important. This led to a discussion of having a locking gate on Ironwood Place with keys provided to Rancho Romero School and to designated neighbors on both sides of the gate. This issue is yet to be resolved.

The west end of Camille leads into a trailhead for the Las Trampas Regional Wilderness. Currently, hikers park on Camille to access the trail. A staging and parking area is planned to be part of the project. However, the location of the staging area has not been decided. The East Bay Regional Parks District is vitally interested in the location and design of staging area. This decision has yet to be made. And in other Alamo News: The old Fire Station 32 on Stone Valley Road has been declared surplus property by the Fire District. Other governmental agencies are first in line for the acquisition of the property. If no agency expresses interest, then it can be made available to any interested party. Note that the Contra Costa Sheriff’s Office and the San Ramon Valley Unified School District have both indicated an interest in the property, so stay tuned. Steve Mick is a long-time Alamo resident and is active in a number of community organizations. Among them are the Community Foundation of Alamo, the Exchange Club and the Alamo Municipal Advisory Council. You can reach Steve at

Artist In Residence Program offers working retreat Application deadline is November 15 With the establishment of the Travis Bogard Artist in Residence Program (AIR) in 2015, the Eugene O’Neill Foundation Board of Directors, through its Advisory Board, realized a long-held goal. Tao House fellowships are given to persons focused on the performing arts for whom a space of time to work without distraction would be beneficial. Fellows benefit from working in the solitude and quiet of Tao House, the same creative atmosphere in which Eugene O’Neill produced his masterpieces. It is emphasized that there is no requirement that work be related to O’Neill. The AIR program at Tao House provides a working retreat for developing or established playwrights, scholars, or critics of the performing arts. In 2017, the Foundation established the Carey Perloff Fellowship under the Travis Bogard Artist in Residence Program to honor 2017 Tao House Award honoree Carey Perloff. The fellowship will be awarded each year, if appropriate, to an established

theatre artist who desires to transition into a writer. For example, a director or an actor may be changing disciplines to focus on writing. Those seeking a Carey Perloff Fellowship should so stipulate on the Program Application and in their project description. A valuable resource for Tao House fellows is the availability of the Tao House library and its holdings in the American theatre. At its core are documents and photographs pertaining to the life and works of Eugene O’Neill, as well as manuscripts and manuscript copies of original O’Neill materials. Included are unique collections donated to the Foundation by Sophus Winther, Horst Frenz, Travis Bogard, and others. Fellows live off site in comfortable, contemplative surroundings but spend their days at the nearby Eugene O’Neill National Historic Site. Housing, including meals and local transportation, is provided by the Foundation.. Residencies are available between April 1 and October 31. Each applicant can specify preferred residency dates—

from one week to one month— but the length of stay awarded will be determined by the AIR committee, based on various factors. Fellows will be encouraged to participate in a mutually agreed upon Foundation event, as appropriate. The Foundation and National Park Service will expect a copy or representation of the final project resulting from the fellowship and appropriate acknowledgment in any published work. The Travis Bogard Artist in Residence Program is the creation of the Eugene O’Neill Foundation, which funds the program. It is operated in cooperation with the National Park Service. Email applications are now being accepted for 2019 fellowships. The deadline for submissions for is November 15, 2018. Applications may be sent at any time until the November deadline to:, and cc: fbmcauley@comcast. net Guidelines and Application Form can be found on the Eugene O’Neill Foundation, Tao House Website at www.

November 2018


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Sponsored Content

Are Bulging Discs Getting On Your Nerves? By Dr. Niele Maimone, DC

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or near the seabed, also known as the benthic zone) as well as the eggs and fry of other fish species. Adults greater than two feet in length consume a variety of prey species as they adjust to a fish-eating, piscivorous diet. Starry flounder, herring, shad, goby, and benthic bivalves, such as clams, are common food items. Studies suggest that they are nocturnal foragers in the estuaries of large rivers where they primarily live. White Sturgeon are capable of spawning in multiple reproductive cycles over the course of their lifetime. As anadromous fish, they migrate upstream to freshwater to spawn. Their age at sexual maturity is uncertain, however, known ages range from 6 to 34 years old. Males are thought to spawn every 1-2 years, while females appear to spawn every 2-4 years. White Sturgeon spawn on gravel or rocky substrate, in moderate to fast currents, at depths ranging from 9-80 feet. Spawning behavior is not well known. The eggs sink when the female releases them during spawning. Upon contact with water, the eggs develop an adhesive coating

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Advertise in The Valley Sentinel! which facilitates attachment to the substrate. White Sturgeon are communal broadcast spawners, where a female’s eggs are fertilized by many males. Females produce from 100,000 to 4 million eggs per spawning. The hatching time for eggs is temperature dependent, ranging from 3-13 days, with optimal temperature between 57-61 degrees. Once the larvae metamorphose into young of the year and juveniles, they actively feed on the substrate. White Sturgeon are an important social and economic resource to many cultures around the world. In California, White Sturgeon are cultivated by aquaculture facilities, and juveniles can be legally sold to aquarists. In Contra Costa County, prehistoric Bay Miwok Saclan and Chupcan tribelets were proficient sturgeon fisherman for millennia. They would fish the Carquinez Straits from their tule-constructed canoes. Large amounts of White Sturgeon bones have been found in their village midden deposits. In the 1800’s, White Sturgeon were the main food source for the First Nations Peoples. By the early 1900’s, commercial fleets overfished the population for caviar to the point of near extinction. In 1917, California

banned commercial and sport fishing for White Sturgeon. White Sturgeon are used for meat, caviar, oil, and isinglass. Isinglass is a kind of gelatin obtained from the swim bladder, and used for making jellies, glue, and for clarifying ale. The selling of wild White Sturgeon and their eggs is illegal in California. However, legal caviar from California White Sturgeon farms may be purchased. Poaching is a serious problem. Black market caviar sells for 100-150 dollars a pound, while legally made California White Sturgeon farm caviar sells for 40-700 dollars an ounce. In California and the Pacific Northwest, White Sturgeon sport fishing is an important recreational activity. Historical ranges have been modified substantially due to over- harvesting, low river flows, and habit changes due to dams, pollutants, and river regulations, all of which affect habitat quality, suitability, and connectivity. NatureServe ranks White Sturgeon as imperiled in California due to impacts on their habitats. James M. Hale is a Vertebrate Zoologist, Wildlife Biologist, Ethnobiologist, and Ecological Consultant based in Contra Costa County. Please visit his website at

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November 2018

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One of the many East Bay Regional Parks with an unusual and interesting history is Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve in Antioch. For millennia before the arrival of Europeans in California, the area that is now Black Diamond Mines was in the backcountry between three Native American tribes. There’s little evidence of permanent habitation, it was more likely an area for hunting and gathering. With the arrival of Spanish, Mexican and American settlers, the area became ranchland. Then after coal was discovered in the hills, five mining towns were established and became active from the 1850s through the early 1900s. This was California’s largest coal mining operation. Nearly four million tons of coal were extracted from the hills, helping to fuel California’s industrial revolution. At the height of the mining era, Somersville and Nortonville were among the largest towns in Contra Costa County. Coal mining ended due to rising costs, competition from other fuel sources, and the discovery of a better grade of coal in Washington Territory. However, from the 1920s through the early 1940s, mining made a comeback as silica was extracted for use in glassmaking and steel production. The second mining era ended due to competition from Belgian glass sand and the closing of the foundry.

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Ranching resumed, and the East Bay Regional Park District began acquiring property for the preserve in the early 1970s. Besides its mining history, Black Diamond Mines is home to a variety of wildlife, including coyotes, deer, bobcats, occasional mountain lions, and birds of prey. The park is the northernmost location of Coulter pine, black sage and desert olive. Springtime wildflower displays can be spectacular. Public programs at Black Diamond Mines highlight both the cultural and natural history of the park. Weekend underground tours of the former Hazel-Atlas sand mine continue through November, shut down from December through February, and resume in March. Generally the tours cost $5 per person and are restricted to ages seven and older for safety reasons. However, Black Diamond Mines is hosting an open house from noon to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 17, during which you can take a free, selfguided tour of the mine. There will be aboveground activities for children ages six and under, and all ages are welcome at the underground Greathouse Visitor Center (dogs, too). The visitor center is wheelchair accessible, the mine is not. The mine walk includes descending 112 stairs, though you may opt to turn around and exit at the level on which you entered. Park naturalists offer lots of above ground programs, too. For example there’s a walk from 10 a.m. to noon on Sunday, Nov. 11 to historic Rose Hill Cemetery, where many of the 19th century miners and their families are buried. Or you can use binoculars and magnifiers to examine the natural world in a program from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 24.

There’s a “Nature Discoveries” program from 10 to 11 a.m. every Saturday in December, with a different nature subject each week. And Black Diamond Mines has snakes in residence. They’ll be fed during a program from 1 to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 1. All except the snake program meet at Black Diamond Mines’ uppermost parking lot on Somersville Road, 3½ miles south of Highway 4. The snake program is at the Sidney Flat Visitor Center just past the entrance kiosk. Black Diamond Mines has a parking fee of $5 per vehicle when the kiosk is staffed. For general information on the park, call 888-327-2757, ext. 2750. For more information, or to reserve a guided mine tour, go to https:// ebparks/Activity_Search Whether the mine tours are in season or not, Black Diamond Mines is a great park to explore, with more than 60 miles of trails and abundant wildlife. It’s well worth a trip, especially when winter rains green the hills, or in the spring when the wildflowers are in bloom.

Senior Services

November 2018


page 7

Two words that can immediately make any dementia behavior less stressful By Paula Spencer Scott, author of Surviving Alzheimer’s: Practical Tips and Soul-Saving Wisdom for Caregivers

How many times can one man take apart and try to repair an old clock? You can’t imagine. Or maybe you can, if you’re dealing with Alzheimer’s or another dementia. Over and over in a single day, my dad would carefully take the antique off the wall, remove its back and sometimes a part or two, frown, leave the mess, and walk away. What didn’t solve the problem: Pointing out, “Dad, you already did that!” or saying, “Leave it alone; it’s fine!” Or just getting mad. If someone in your life has dementia, curious behaviors are sure to follow. Repetitive actions. Repetitive comments or questions. Losing track of tools, glasses, threads o f c o n ve rs a t i o n . S ay i n g nonsensical things. Doing nonsensical things—at least, things that seem not to make sense to us, like hoarding, wandering, shadowing, skin picking, resisting help, hitting, talking to the mirror, wearing inappropriate clothing, and all the rest. You might, as a result, feel annoyed or frustrated. You might also be exhausted, frightened, or overwhelmed. I’ve seen this firsthand. Five of my family members have had forms of dementia. What’s more, as a dementiacare educator and health journalist, and for my book Surviving Alzheimer’s, I’ve been privileged to interview scores of leading experts (doctors, therapists, social workers, advocates) on best coping practices. From all of these experiences, I’ve learned two simple words that can be lifechanging when dealing with someone who has dementia: why and try. Together, “why” and “try” can transform the way you live with the many irritating behaviors of cognitive impairment—and the effects they have on you. The “Why-This, Try-This” Approach I call it the “Why-This, TryThis” approach to dementia care. It’s a pathway to problemsolving that consists of two basic parts: 1 . F I RS T, A S K W H Y: Before you respond (and that includes sighing, snapping, arguing, or fantasizing about running away from home), pause to consider why the

person may be doing what he or she is doing. With dementia, behavior almost always has meaning. It’s a reaction to a set of circumstances. So it’s critical, before anything else, to think about the context. What is it about the disease, the person’s state of mind or body, or the particular situation that might be contributing to what he or she is saying or doing? It’s almost never intentional meanness or outto-get-you stubbornness. There may be one simple trigger or multiple things going on. 2 . T H E N , T RY: Yo u can then use that insight to consider the best ways to respond. You can’t change the fact of the disease itself. You can, however, find clues about the situation to change things that you can influence: the setting, who’s there, your reaction, what happens before and after, and so on. There’s seldom one single “right” solution to a challenging behavior or situation. There are usually a variety of things you can try until you hit on something that works. “Why” and “Try” Open the Door to Solutions ` Once you start the habit of thinking in a “why-this, try-this” way, you can get “unstuck” from unproductive responses that get you nowhere or make things worse. You can head off trouble at the earliest signs. You can stretch your patience the tiniest bit farther. Some of the relentless stress will ease up a bit, and in turn you’ll pass on less stress to the person with dementia. Stress is contagious, after all. Best of all, you’ll find it easier to maintain a calm, supportive, and less contentious relationship with the person who has dementia. “But how to know what’s going on or what to do?” The beauty of the “whythis, try this” approach is that it starts working the very second you decide to use it. Simply hitting pause and remembering that there is a “WHY” puts a little essential distance between the problem and you. It’s so easy to take dementia behaviors personally and lose your patience or your temper. After all, we’re often the receiver (or the target) of what can be distressing, embarrassing, annoying, or, let’s face it, seem downright mean.

Recognizing that there’s a “why” refocuses these complicated feelings back to the right spot: on the disease. It’s not willful behavior on your loved one’s part. It’s not neglectful or insufficient behavior on your part. Asking “why?” reminds you that the issue has begun deep in the brain of the person with dementia. This makes it easier to “try” a way to deal. You’ll find you react in a way that’s less emotional, more constructive. And fortunately, there are many possible solutions to most situations—many different ideas you can try. “Why-This, Try-This” in Action: Some Common Situations Let’s go back to The Case of the Broken Clock. Tired of picking up the pieces and putting them back together over and over, I tried to figure out why my dad was so fixated on it. He wasn’t using the wall clock to tell time; he wore a watch that he was obsessed with. That’s when it dawned on me that he passed the clock on his way from his favorite easy chair to the bathroom— and he used the bathroom many, many times a day. Each trip, he’d see that the clock time didn’t match his watch, which triggered his impulse to fix it. A former mechanical engineer and life-long Mr. Fixit, this was a strong urge. But his moderate-stage dementia meant he no longer had the wherewithal to follow the complicated series of steps involved: Open the back, see the problem, identify the needed tool, figure out where the tool is and fetch it, and so on. Even if I’d helped him locate the tool, he wouldn’t have been able to use it. Solution: Take the clock down! Interrupt the trigger by removing it from his view. After I did this, he never once asked, “Hey, where’s that broken clock I need to fix?” It was out of sight, out of mind. “Why-this, try-this” works in countless situations: * Refusing to bathe or shower: Possible “whys” include modesty and embarrassment, feeling cold, and fear of falling or of the feeling of water on the face and head (common in dementia). It’s easier to just say “no!” Because of unpleasant past experiences, the very words

“bath time” or “shower time” can trip a power struggle. A few examples of things to “try”: Avoid talking about what’s coming. Simply get the bath ready and lead the person there. Go bit-by-bit, starting with the feet and then the hands (stressing how relaxing it feels). Smile and talk about the weather or news about a fond relative—anything to distract from the personal

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nature of what you’re doing. And try warming towels in the dryer for 10 minutes before they’re needed to build a positive association with bath time. * Saying, “I want to go home”: Thinking about “why” can help you look past a literal interpretation. For people with dementia, who often See TWO WORDS page 9

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Senior Services page 8


November 2018

How to shop for Medicare health and drug plans By Greg Dill

When you shop for a new car or truck, you don’t just buy the first one you see, do you? Probably not. You shop around, looking for the best deal you can get on a vehicle that fits your driving needs as well as your pocketbook. Well, it’s the time of year when you can shop for a Medicare health or drug plan. Medicare’s open enrollment period began Oct. 15 and runs through Dec. 7, 2018. If you have Original Medicare, meaning that you can choose any doctor or hospital that accepts Medicare, you don’t need to think about open enrollment. But if you have a Medicare Advantage (Part C) health plan, or a Medicare (Part D) prescription drug plan, you may want to see whether there’s another plan on the market that would be a better match for you, at a lower price.

If you’re enrolled in a plan and you’re happy with it, you don’t need to do anything. But Medicare health and drug plans – run by private insurers approved by Medicare – can change from year to year. A plan can raise its monthly premium or drop a medicine that you need. So it makes good sense to review your coverage each year. Make sure your plan still is a good fit for you in terms of cost, coverage, and quality. If it isn’t, look for another plan. During open enrollment, you can sign up for a Medicare Advantage health plan or Part D prescription drug plan, or switch from one plan to another. Your new coverage will take effect Jan. 1, 2019. How do you shop for a new plan? One way is the “Medicare & You” handbook, mailed each fall to every Medicare household in the country. This booklet lists all the Medicare health and drug plans available where you live, along with basic information such as premiums, deductibles, and contacts.

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There’s also the Medicare P l a n F i n d e r, a t w w w. Look for a green button that says, “Find health & drug plans.” Click on that, plug in your zip code, and you’ll see all of the Medicare Advantage and Part D plans available in your area. You can compare them based on benefits, premiums, co-pays, and estimated out-of-pocket costs. Contact information for the plans is listed. The website also can help you decide whether Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage is better for you, and can help estimate your out-of-pocket costs with either type of coverage. Each Medicare health and drug plan has been assigned a star rating of from one to five stars, with five stars being the best in terms of quality. If you don’t have access to a computer, call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-

4227). Our customer service representatives can help you with questions about Medicare health and drug plans. The call is free. Another terrific resource is the State Health Insurance and Counseling Program. SHIP is an independent, nonprofi t organization that provides free, personalized counseling to people with Medicare. You can make an appointment to speak with a SHIP counselor in-person or over the phone. SHIP counselors are welltrained volunteers who often are enrolled in Medicare themselves, so they know the issues. They can help you sort through different health and drug plans and find one that’s right for you. They’re not salespeople and they won’t try to sell you a specific plan. To contact your local SHIP office, go to www.

If you’re enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan as of Jan. 1, 2019 but you’re not satisfied with it, you have a 3-month window to dis-enroll. Between Jan. 1 and March 31, 2019, you can drop your plan and return to Original Medicare (and join a standalone Medicare prescription drug plan). Having trouble paying for your Part D plan? You may be eligible for the Extra Help program, which helps cover your premiums, deductibles, and co-pays. Medicare beneficiaries typically save about $4,000 annually with Extra Help. For more information about Extra help, go to www. Greg Dill is Medicare’s regional administrator for Arizona, California, Nevada, Hawaii, and the Pacific Territories. You can always get answers to your Medicare questions by calling 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-6334227).

TWO WORDS from page 1

WHO are you dealing with? Reading up on your loved one’s stage of dementia, and what that’s like, can reveal important insights. So can your own knowledge of his or her background, moods, rhythms, likes and dislikes, and general health. What’s different today? Has she been ill? Is he usually upbeat but suddenly not? Does he like to fix things or have particular interests or obsessions? WHAT else is going on that might be a trigger? Think beyond the immediate behavior to the overall scene. Is it noisy and hard to hear? What’s been playing on the radio or TV? Is it hot or cold? Did someone just say something that might have tripped a reaction? Is there a new aide around or a change in routine that particular day? WHEN does it happen? Is this a one-off behavior or does it occur every day? If daily, is at the same time or at random times? Only after the sun goes down? Or after a bad night’s sleep or a missed meal? When YOU are rushed and stressed yourself? Remember we all act different when we’re bored, or frightened, or hungry, or tired, or rushed, or feeling insecure. Alzheimer’s can magnify your loved one’s response to these states. WHERE does it happen? Out in public? In crowds?

Indoors or outdoors? While sitting in a particular chair or room? Try to crouch down and assess the setting from their vantage point. For example, is there something upsetting the person sees—a painting, a clock, a mirror, the way the afternoon light hits the window—that you could remove from the line of vision by repositioning a chair or closing a shade? In Surviving Alzheimer’s: Practical Tips and Soul-saving Wisdom for Caregivers, I present scores of common situations families experience when someone has dementia. For each, I walk readers through the common “why” factors before listing actionable “try” ideas that have worked for thousands of others in similar situations. “Why-This, Try-This” is more than a problem-solving approach. It’s a stress-relieving approach to dementia care in general. You can set your clock by it! Alzheimer’s and caregiving educator Paula Spencer Scott is the author of Surviving Alzheimer’s: Practical Tips and Soul-Saving Wisdom for Caregivers and An Oral History: Preserve Your Family’s Story. Five of her close family members had forms of dementia. Learn more at or On Facebook: survivingalz.

speak figuratively, “home” tends to have the emotional connotations of the word, rather than meaning a specific actual place. My grandmother would say it, I realized, right after dinner, when she was tired and sad about her visitor’s impending departure. Helping her settle for a nap, rather than leaving her seated in a chair, raised her comfort and calm. * Wearing inappropriate or filthy clothes: Why would s o m e o n e we a r f l e e c e i n summer or a dirty sweater day after day? Because certain items are easier to pull on as coordination is affected by advancing dementia. Having a go-to outfit requires less mental energy than choosing and matching other clothes. Solution: Simplify. Put away seasonally-inappropriate or hard-to-put-on clothes. Replace them with interchangeable, easy-on choices, and swap out dirty things at bath time or while the person is sleeping. It can also help to buy multiple, identical versions of favorites, so one set can be washed while the other is worn. More Clues to “Why” As you think about what’s behind a behavior, it can help to use the “5 W’s” of information-gathering: Who, what, when, and where (along with why).

Senior Services

November 2018

Retirement Advice By Robert Cucchiaro

Fall in Danville & Alamo is my favorite time of year. After a hot summer I look forward to the change in temperature, the holiday season, and the MLB playoffs/World Series that consume all of my t.v. time in October. But while most people think of April as “tax season”, real tax pros know that tax season takes place in the fall. If you’re a regular reader of my columns you know that tax planning cannot be done in March or April, the time to do it is now (October - December). To re i t e ra t e w hy t a x planning is so important, 2 things you should know as we head into the end of 2018: 1. T h e a m o u n t y o u pay in taxes is not fixed and it is not the same for everyone who receives the same amount of income. Small business owners and those with significant aftertax investments (brokerage accounts and rentals) tend to be the ones most in need of guidance because they can take advantage of the rules and avoid overpaying their taxes. 2. A significant change in our tax code has taken effect and will show up for the 1st time when you file your 2018 tax return. With that in mind, here are five actionable strategies that can help you manage your income tax exposure in 2018: 1. Estimate your 2018 tax bill – ask your tax advisor or financial planner for a 2018 tax projection so you will at least know where you stand. Do this now so you still have time to plan based on the results. 2. M a x i m i z e deductions to 401k’s, FSAs and HSAs – The maximum contribution for an individual into their 401k plan is $18,500 this year, plus those over age 50 can add an additional $6,000 catch-up contribution.

page 9

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Flexible spending accounts and Health savings accounts are additional ways to fund pre-tax savings. The FSA limit is $2,650 and the HSA limit is $6,900 for a family and $3,450 for an individual. All of these accounts are funded pre-tax which means they lower your tax-bill considerably. 3. Establish a donor advised fund – If you have any large unrealized gains in your brokerage account A N D yo u n o r m a l l y g i ve donations to charity at year end, combine the two by establishing what’s called a donor advised fund (DAF) and funding it with appreciated stock. This provides 2 big tax benefits in one as you get a tax deduction for funding t h e DA F a n d yo u avo i d capital gains taxes when the stocks are sold inside of the DAF. This could also be a great way to trim your portfolio and reduce risk if you have a few funds that have performed really well and you haven’t rebalanced because you fear taking the tax hit. 4. Consider a Roth IRA conversion – If your income will be lower in 2018 than it normally is or than what you expect it to be in the future, take advantage by converting some or all of your IRA into a Roth. You will pay taxes on the conversion now but the Roth will grow tax-free forever and produce tax-free income for you in retirement. 5. Donate all or part of your RMD’s directly to charity – Once you turn 70.5 the IRS forces you to start making withdrawals from your retirement p l a n s ( 4 01 K / 4 03 B / I R A ) . These withdrawals are called required minimum d i s t r i b u t i o n s, o r R M D s. These get added to your income, pushing up your adjusted gross income and reducing the value of certain itemized deductions. The IRS allows you to donate up to $100K per year of RMDs direct to charity, and this strategy can help lower your taxes. Plus under the new tax law your charitable contributions might not even count, so all the more reason to give away RMD money and lower your tax bill.


We are proud of the fact that our office in Danville has 3 Certified Financial Planning Professionals on-site and we are here to help families in Danville & Alamo make better financial decisions. Visit our website, give us a call at 925-927-1900 or email me at rob@swrpteam. com. Robert Cucchiaro is a Certified Financial Planner and owner of Summit Wealth & Retirement, a financial planning firm that has been serving Danville for over 30 years. Summit Wealth has 3 Certified Financial Planners (CFP®), a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), an MBA and a Tax Director (EA) all on staff and in Danville. Visit us at www. summitwealthandretirement. com

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IRS, and Client Facilitators, who schedule appointments and assist clients at tax sites. Orientation is in November 2018, classes for tax counselors start in January 2019. Service is from February through April 15, 2019. If interested, apply online at or call (925) 726-3199 for additional information.

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November 2018

Healthy Teeth for a Lifetime By Linda Porteous RDH

ease are at an increased risk for breast, esophageal, gallbladder, skin and lung cancer, according to a 2017 study. Healthier Kidneys: The link between poor periodontal health and kidney disease has been well established, studies now link chronic kidney disease to poor dental health.

Poor dental habits can have a surprising ripple effect throughout your body. Practicing good hygiene habits could help prevent diabetes, cancer, heart disease and more. Sharper Brain: People with severe periodontal (gum) disease were 3 times more likely to have Alzheimer’s disease, according to some studies. Additionally stroke patients had higher levels of certain bacteria in their saliva. Clearer Lungs: If you find yourself heading for the hospital, bring your toothbrush. A recent study found that good oral care while in the hospital decreased instances of hospital related pneumonia by 39%. Lower Cancer Risk: Postmenopausal women who’ve experienced periodontal dis-

Stronger Heart: Endocarditis is an infection or inflammation of the inner lining of the heart chambers and valves, caused by germs invading the bloodstream. While uncommon, it can be fatal. The Na-


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The healing art of Reiki (pronounced “RAY-key”) is a simple, natural, safe method of healing that anyone can use.

Innercompass Reiki Upcoming classes: ART/Master Holy Fire III: January 4, 5, & 6 Children’s Reiki: January 13 Karuna Reiki: February 1, 2 & 3 Gift certificates available (Reiki Sessions are $150)

390 Diablo Rd., Suite 115 Danville, CA Phone: 510.499.4332

tional Institute of Health warns that “poor dental hygiene and unhealthy teeth and gums increase your risk for infection. Lower Blood Sugar: People with diabetes and periodontal disease may have a harder time controlling their blood glucose levels. Brush And Floss Away Your Health Risks After 50 Brushing Tips: Place your brush at a 45-degree angle to the gums. Brush back and forth or in little circles in short gentle strokes. For inside surfaces of the front teeth, hold your brush vertically and use up and down stokes. Brushing should take at least 2 minutes, two times per day. Brush your tongue gently also, stroke from base of the tongue to the tip at each brushing for even more bacteria removal. Tongue brushing will improve your breath also. Always use a soft toothbrush. Flossing Tips: You need about 18 inches of floss. Holding floss around your fingers wraps better around the tooth than the little floss sticks. The more effective floss to use is the thicker more rigid type rather the slick, thin type. Though easier to use the thinner, slick floss does not grab and hold on to the sticky plaque as well that you are wanting to remove. Daily flossing is as important as daily brushing. Toothpaste: Choose what you like. Avoid whitening toothpaste, they can cause tooth sensitivity. To address gingivitis and bleeding gums look for a toothpaste with stannous fluoride. Toothpastes containing potassium nitrate can significantly decrease sensitivity. Mouthwashes: An antimicrobial mouthwash to fight plaque and gingivitis should have the active ingredient chlorhexidine. Fluoride rinses will give you extra protection against decay. Biotene products will help a dry mouth, often caused by medications. A dry mouth leads to other dental problems. Practicing good dental hygiene habits, eating a well balanced diet, drinking plenty of water and visiting your dentist on a regular basis will help insure you enjoy a lifetime of good oral health and better health overall. Linda Porteous is part of the Porteous Family Dentistry team. Some content provided by AARP BULLETIN Oct. 2018.

San Ramon Chamber of Commerce announces the recipients of its 34th Annual Business and Community Awards Wengel, Fine Arts Teacher, The San Ramon Chamber of Commerce recently announced the recipients of its 34th Annual Night of the Stars Business and Community Awards. The San Ramon Chamber will present seven awards Thursday, December 6, 2018: Citizen of the Year, Business Person of the Year, Employee of the Year, Green Company of the Year, Educator of the Year, Teen Council Citizenship Award and Ambassador of the Year. “The Business and Community Awards event is an opportunity to thank and give appreciation to individuals who have made a s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e re n c e and contribution in our community,” said San Ramon Chamber of Commerce Chair, Gina Channell with Embarcadero Media. “Come and network, enjoy good food and honor those around us who help to make San Ramon an exceptional place to live and work.” The honorees are the following: Citizen of the Year Award: Dominique Yancey, Director at San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District & Deputy District Attorney with the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Offi ce; Business Person of the Year: Robert Downum, Owner, Liberty Tax Services; Employee of the Year: Vance P h i l l i p s, C h i e f B u i l d i n g Official, City of San Ramon; Educator of the Year: Kelsey

D o u g h e r t y Va l l e y H i g h School, San Ramon Valley Unified School District; Green Company of the Year: Dublin San Ramon Services District; Ambassador of the Year: Joe Tagupa, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices; Outstanding Teen Citizenship Award: Erin Ku, Dougherty Valley High School The San Ramon Chamber of Commerce Business and C o m m u n i t y Awa rd s w i l l be presented at a dinner held Thursday, December 6, 2018 at The Bridges Golf Club, 9000 S. Gale Ridge Road (off Bollinger Canyon Road) in San Ramon. The awards event will begin with networking at 5:30 p.m., and dinner will begin at 6:30 p.m. The evening will end by 9 p.m. Tickets are available through the Chamber of Commerce at $75 each or $600 for a table for eight. Tickets are limited. Sponsors include Chevron, the City of San Ramon, San Ramon Regional Medical Center, Bishop Ranch / Sunset Development, Pacific Gas & Electric Company and Sunrise Villa San Ramon. Fo r a n y q u e s t i o n s o r tickets, please call Kathy Fanning at the Chamber office at 925.242.0600 or e-mail at kathy.fanning@sanramon. org. The San Ramon Chamber of Commerce office is located at 2410 Camino Ramon, Suite 125, Bishop Ranch 6, San Ramon, CA 94583.

Donate Your Used Crayons

Danville Youth Council collects crayons for Crayon Initiative Have extra, unwanted crayons? The Danville Youth Council encourages you to donate them for a program to help make young people at hospitals across the U.S. very happy. The DYC is partnering with the Crayon Initiative to host a Town-wide crayon drive. From November 5-15, 2018, community members can drop off their crayons at participating locations: Danville Community Center, Danville Library, Creekside Elementary School, Greenbrook Elementary School, Monte Vista High School, Sycamore Valley Elementary School, and

Tassajara Hills Elementary School. Upon collection, members from the Danville Youth Council will sort the crayons by color and then they will be donated to the Crayon Initiative. The Crayon Initiative is a non-profit organization that collects used crayons. They melt the old crayons down to create new ones, which are sent across the country to a multitude of hospitals for the enjoyment of the children that are admitted. Any type or color of crayon will be accepted. For more information, call the Danville Community Center at 925314-3400.

November 2018

Making the University of California Accessible to Californians By Catharine Baker, Assemblywoman

With college application deadlines coming later this year, students and families are reminded how important it is for the University of California (UC) to be accessible to our California kids. The Legislature enacted measures this last term to make that possible. In the 2018 – 2019 State B u d g e t , t h e L e g i s l a t u re enacted new accountability reforms for the University of California Office of the President (UCOP). For the first time, the UCOP must annually report to the Legislature, not just to the UC Regents, how that office is spending student dollars, on how it is using those dollars to follow the mission of the University system, and how that spending is serving o u r C a l i f o r n i a s t u d e n t s. These reforms came after a nonpartisan, independent audit conducted last year revealed significant budget and spending problems at the UCOP. With the reforms, the Legislature was able

to provide more funding $92.1 million - to UC, so more spaces are available to more California students, but with critical, sustained accountability. The UC admissions process also has seen reform this last term. Last year my bipartisan bill, Assembly Bill 1674, was signed into law to ensure California students are treated more fairly in admissions. An independent, nonpartisan audit of UC found the system actually had eased admission standards by which out-of-state students could get in, and maintained tougher standards by which our California kids were measured. The audit found that these lighter admissions standards for out-of-state s t u d e n t s d i s p l a c e d ove r 16,000 California students from admission. To correct this problem, I worked with two Democratic colleagues to author Assembly Bill 1674. As a result, California kids are put first in admissions, and out-of-state students must meet or exceed the standards to which our kids are compared in order to gain UC admission. This will return fairness to our California kids applying to UC. As a parent of high

school twins and a California law graduate, I look forward to seeing these measures implemented. T h e L e g i s l a t u re a l s o enacted measures affecting our K-12 education system. In the last few years, I worked with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to increase K-12 funding by 16%. While this funding allowed the state to fully fund the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), we need to ensure that structural change to the LCFF also happens next. Otherwise, our local schools will not receive adequate funding from the LCFF going forward. To that end, one of my good Democratic colleagues and I authored Assembly Bill 2808, which reforms the LCFF to increase investment in the base grant our local schools receive and to set higher benchmarks for state funding in the coming years. This bipartisan legislation can be a model for reforming LCFF in the next legislative term. Our children and schools deserve our sustained s u p p o r t eve r y d ay. B e s t wishes to all local AD16 students, teachers, and staff for a successful 2018 – 2019 year!

Annual Kiwanis Food Drive will Brighten the Holidays for Those in Need Give Generously

In collaboration with NBC and Safeway Grocery Stores on Saturday November 17th, the Kiwanis Club of the San Ramon Valley will hold their annual food drive. They will be collecting food for the needy in our community, helped by over 30 volunteers, when approximately 850 bags of groceries totalling an estimated 10,000 lbs. of food will be gathered. ICE from page 1

emcee NBC Bay Area’s Marcus Washington Also, this year’s skating performance will feature Olympian Polina Edmunds. There will be free admission and skates for the first 250 guests; $5 admission until 5 p.m., and then regular price of $15 per person. Includes skate rentals. You know the holiday season is near when Walnut C re e k t ra n s f o r m s i n t o a

Collection points will be outside Safeway stores in Alamo, Blackhawk, Dougherty Valley and San Ramon/Crow Canyon from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., where shoppers will be asked to purchase a $10 bag of food in the stores. Tax-deductible cash donations can also be made. All food and funds will be delivered to the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano.

The Kiwanis will also donate $4,000 directly to the Food Bank to purchase yet more groceries. The Kiwanis Club of San Ramon Valley meets weekly for lunch every Wednesday at the Black Bear Diner in Danville. More information is available at www.srvkiwanis. org.

winter wonderland. Skaters of all ages and levels will e n j oy g l i d i n g a l o n g t h e smooth ice of the well-lit rink located on the corner of Civic Drive and Broadway. There will be fun for the whole family on select Tuesdays from 5 to 8pm for Family Skate Night. For more information and hours, visit The rink is open for birthdays and party rentals.

You can throw your party on the ice! Packages are available and include a tent area with a table, chairs and a host to greet your group and assist with setup. Walnut Creek On Ice N ove m b e r 9 , 201 8 – January 21, 2019 Children’s Winter Festival: Saturday, November 10 • 11am-1pm Civic Park, Walnut Creek Admission: $12-15


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Shop and Save for 2019 T h e 2 01 9 C o v e r e d California rates and plans have been announced, and there is plenty of good news for consumers in Contra Costa County. First, the average overall rate increase for existing consumers in the county, who renew the plan they have now, is 8.4 percent, which is below the statewide average rate change of 8.7 percent. Better still, consumers can bring their rate increase down to an average of just 1.7 percent if they shop around and switch to the lowest-cost plan in the same metal tier. “Covered California’s marketplace fosters competition that puts consumers in the driver’s seat and gives them the power to shop and save,” Covered California Executive Director Peter V. Lee said. “Health care is local, and the price of coverage varies by health plan and region, so consumers will be encouraged to shop when they renew this fall.” The most recent data shows there are more than 44,000 Covered California m e m b e rs i n t h e c o u n t y, and depending on their ZIP code, Contra Costa County consumers will once again be able to choose plans from Blue Shield, Health Net and Kaiser Permanente. Despite the recent federal decisions aimed at changing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, all 11 insurers currently serving Covered California consumers across the state will return

for the 2019 coverage year. The exchange’s competitive marketplace continues to promote choice, with 96 percent of consumers being able to choose from two insurers or more and 82 percent of consumers having three or more choices. Consumers can find out what they will pay for their 2019 coverage when they visit Covered California’s website at www.CoveredCA. com and begin using the Shop and Compare Tool for 2019. Consumers who do not have health insurance were able to start signing up for 2019 coverage on Oct. 15. Others with special qualifying life events, like losing their coverage or moving, can enroll year round. Medi-Cal enrollment is also year round. People who are interested in signing up should go t o w w w. C ove re d C A . c o m where they can get help to enroll. They can explore their options and find out if they qualify for financial help by using the Shop and Compare Tool. They can also get free and confidential enrollment assistance by visiting www. and searching among 800 storefronts statewide, or more than 17,000 certified enrollers who can assist consumers in understanding their choices and enrolling, including individuals who can assist in other languages. In addition, consumers can reach the Covered California service center by calling (800) 300-1506.


November •







For additional Community Events visit: Please email information about your events to November 10-12 Veterans Day Weekend Open House 9am to 5pm- Saturday, 9am-5pm Sunday, and 9am-3pm Monday. Veterans in the San Ramon Valley are inviting residents to come to the Veterans Memorial Building on the weekend of Veterans Day for a PopUp Museum Exhibit in the main auditorium of the Veterans Memorial Building, as well as outside the building. This educational event always has something for everyone! Displays will focus on the Centennial of World War I and the 50th Anniversary of the Tet Offensive in Vietnam. The Huey helicopter, am F-8 cockpit and a howitzer will be on display outside. Veterans Memorial Building, located at 400 Hartz Ave., Danville. For information call 925-362-9806.

December 6 Business and Community Awards Dinner 2018 5:30-9pm. Please join us at The Bridges Golf Club in San Ramon, to recognize the amazing achievements of the Nominees for the 2018 San Ramon Chamber Business and Community Awards. The Awards Dinner will begin with networking and “no host” cocktails. The Bridges Golf Club, 9000 S. Gale Ridge Road (off Bollinger Canyon Road) in San Ramon. Tickets are $75 each or $600 for a table for eight. Tickets are limited so purchase your ticket today! Ticket sales close November 22. Call Kathy Fanning, 925-242-0600 or e-mail at kathy.

November 11 Holiday Fantasy 11:30am-3:00pm. Dublin San Ramon Women’s Club’s major fundraiser at the Marriott Hotel, S. R. is a grand event. This year, our beneficiary is New Day For Children working with youth who have been victims of sex trafficking. You will have a wonderful meal, holiday trees, centerpieces, etc. great prizes. and you will be supporting a great cause. You can go to pay pal for tickets, or contact me at Marriott Hotel San Ramon, at $65 includes you meal and donation to our beneficiary. For more information visit

Hope Hospice – Volunteers Wanted Are you interested in becoming a Hope Hospice volunteer? We are currently looking for volunteers in the Alamo, Danville, Walnut Creek, Rossmoor and Concord areas. If you’d like to learn more about the services our volunteers provide, contact Jill Smith, RN, director of Volunteers at; or Nikki Tildesley, Volunteer manager at, call (925)829-8770 or visit for more information.

November 16 Hospice Tree of Lights, Danville Come support the Danville Women’s Club and Hospice of the East Bay/ Tree of Lights event in Danville on Friday, November 16, 5:30 p.m. at the Town Meeting Hall (201 Front Street). Coffee, wine, light appetizers, and cookies will be served. Please go to for more information. November 17 & 18 Christmas Sew Easy Boutique Sat: 10am-4pm, Sun., 9am-1:30pm. Christmas Sew Busy Boutique at the Walnut Creek Presbyterian Church gym located at 1801 Lacassie Ave. in Walnut Creek on Saturday, and Sunday will feature hand and machine sewn items. We have kitchen towels and linens, holiday pillows and pillow cases, children items, novelty linens, cloth grocery and wheel chair bags, colorful quilts, baby blankets and baby bibs and clothing, decorative handmade cards and Christmas decorations. For more information call Bev Samuel (925) 949-8490. November 18 Pasta Dinner at San Damiano 4:30pm. We would love to have you join us for our Pasta Dinner Night. Cost is $15 for adults and $10 for kids 12 and under. Please bring a nonperishable item for our Food Drive supporting the Food Bank of Contra Costa & Solano County. San Damiano Retreat, 710 Highland Drive, Danville. For more information call us at 925-837-9141. November 20 Putting the Kitchen of the Future to the Test 9am-11am. Energy and water efficient equipment might look great in the lab, but how do savings hold up in the tough and unpredictable environment of a real world kitchen? The only way to find out is to “take it to the field” and measure the results. This session will share the stories behind several case studies and offer some practical tools for estimating savings and cost—justifying efficient equipment. Attendees will learn about energy efficiency, benefits, impact to the bottom line, and the importance of training and education when adapting to new equipment. Food Service Technology Center,12949 Alcosta Blvd. STE 101, San Ramon. For information visit November 23 Danville’s Lighting of the Old Oak Tree 5:15-8:30pm. Make memories with your loved ones at Danville’s annual Tree Lighting Ceremony on Diablo Road. Watch as Father Christmas and the Snow Angel sprinkle a little magic dust on the old oak tree and bring it to light. Warm feelings will quickly quell the cool air as local choral groups provide musical accompaniment, and neighborhood businesses pass out hot beverages. Keep the magic going as you stroll downtown and enjoy refreshments, entertainment and Holiday Shopping. Then make sure to go by the Museum of the San Ramon Valley to see the Christmas exhibit. A delight for the whole family!


Special Services for Children with Cancer and Their Families Cancer Support Community offers short-term counseling (12 to 20 sessions) at no cost to children with cancer and their families. Counseling can be for the family, siblings, and/or kids coping with cancer. Counseling is provided by doctoral interns or post doctoral fellows under the supervision of our clinical psychologists. To request this service, please call us at 925-933-0107 and ask to speak with our program director, Margaret Stauffer, LMFT. 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. Alamo Farmer’s Market Every Sunday, Year round 9am-2pm, rain or shine. Fresh seasonal fruit and vegetables, nuts, local honey, live music, delicious varieties of hummus with fresh pita and pita chips. Located in the Alamo Plaza Shopping Center, at Stone Valley Road and Danville Blvd., with convenient parking. Danville Farmer’s Market Every Saturday, Year-round 9am-1pm. Get the freshest seasonal fare at the Danville Certified Farmers’ Market. Railroad & Prospect Avenue, Danville. Information: (You can make donations of fresh vegetables and fruit for our local food pantries at the Loaves & Fishes Booth at the Danville Farmers Market.) San Ramon Farmers Market Every Saturday & Thursday Year-round Buy fresh, seasonal produce directly from local farmers at San Ramon Farmers Market. Connect with your community while shopping at a festive gathering place with live music! Bishop Ranch 3, 2641 Camino Ramon, San Ramon. Canine Companions for Independence Puppy Class each Saturday 10-11am. Become a puppy raiser! The East Bay Miracles Chapter invites you to help train puppies to become assistant dogs for children and adults with disabilities. Athenian High School, 2100 Mt. Diablo Scenic Blvd., Danville. Information: 925-838-3213, eastbaychapter Forest Home Farms Historic Park & Glass House Museum– open for Fun on the Farm Every Saturday 11am-2pm. Enjoy tours of the Glass House Museum, the farm, and its history. Tours are $5 per person, or $8 for both tours on the same day. 19953 San Ramon Valley Blvd, San Ramon. Information: 925973-3284 or visit

mation: 925-314-3400 or visit Seniors/Senior_Hiking. 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 or visit parks/programs/ages55+.htm. Wisdom Wednesdays: 10:30am-12pm. 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 Tuesdays from 10am-1pm. Sign up for trips at the travel desk or by depositing payment with registration form in the gold drop box found at the main entryway. Information: 925-973-3250. Wednesday Morning Hikes (time and location varies) Join the San Ramon Trailblazers if you are interested in meeting new people, enjoying the outdoors, having fun and getting in shape. To find out the exact meeting location, please call the Senior Center at 925-973-3250 or email Page Turners Senior Book Group Third Tuesday of the month 1:30pm. Drop in–all are welcome! Copies of this month’s book are on reserve for you at the Dougherty Station Library Front Desk. Book group meets at Alcosta Senior and Community Center, 9300 Alcosta Blvd. Information: Carol Yuke, Adult Services Librarian. 925-973-2850. BUSINESS Notice: The Danville Area Chamber of Commerce helps businesses improve digital footprint In partnership with The Economic Development Committee and the Town of Danville, it is our goal to help every business in the Danville Area to improve their digital footprint and customer outreach. We are doing so by helping businesses get online and improve their online presence. This is a service and resource that we are offering for FREE to both members and non-members, so book your appointment today and bring your neighbor with you! Contact me, Zae Perrin: (925) 837-4400 or email: November 15 Third Thursday Mixer - Sunrise Villa San Ramon 5:30-7pm. Please join us with The San Ramon Chamber of Commerce for our Third Thursday Mixer at Sunrise Villa San Ramon. Meet other business owners for an opportunity to network and make your business more visible. Pricing: $5 for Members and $20 for Non-Members. No RSVP Required. Checks and Cash only please. Sunrise Villa San Ramon, located at 9199 Fircrest Lane, San Ramon. For more information please call Kathy Fanning, at 925-242-0600. $5 for Chamber Members, $20 for Non-Members. Checks and Cash only Please. No RSVP Required. November 15 Business BASH and Ribbon Cutting Walnut Creek 5:30-7pm. Join with the Walnut Creek Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau for Our November BASH & Ribbon Cutting Ceremony being hosted by Summit Bank in their new location at 1701 N. California Blvd. The BASH will be held on Thursday, November 15 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Our host has a wonderful BASH planned, so we hope to see you there. This event is FREE to all Walnut Creek Chamber Members; please remember to bring your business card. Non-member admission is $20.00, cash or check only, and a business card. See you there! For information visit www. walnut November 15 First Steps To Successful Start-Ups 9:30am-12:30pm. Learn about the attributes of a successful entrepreneur, invaluable sources of information for the nuts and bolts of starting your business including; Licenses and permits, business planning process, key information sources for developing your business plan, how to take advantage of the Small Business Development Center’s free and low cost services for your new business, and more! Join us at Contra Costa SBDC, 300 Ellinwood Way, Bodega Room, Pleasant Hill to learn about the key success factors every new business owner needs before starting their venture. Call Oscar Dominguez at 925-671-4570 for more information.

December 1 Super Holiday Boutique 10am-2pm. Join us for the Super Holiday Boutique There will be free holiday arts and crafts activities allowing kids to make a keepsake present for their family and friends while their parents are shopping. There will also be holiday decorations, ornaments and books galore. Each attendee will receive a free raffle ticket for prizes donated by Boutique vendors. The donation of food to the Food Bank of Contra Costa & Solano will earn the donor another raffle ticket for each can donated.The 1st 200 families through the door daily get a Holiday Gift Bag. Super Holiday Boutique is free to the public with ample free parking. Visit www.superholidayboutique. com for more information. Pleasant Hill Community Center, 320 Civic Drive, Pleasant Hill.

Saturday without Reservations at the Tao House Every Saturday 10am, 12pm, and 2pm. Come explore this National Historic Site in Danville. Catch the shuttle at the bus stop in front of the Museum of the San Ramon Valley, 205 Railroad Ave.

December 2 Alamo Community Tree Lighting Event 4:30-6:30pm. The Alamo Business and Community Foundation will present the 36th Annual Tree Lighting. The Tree Lighting is a festive family event and is attended by local groups, businesses, schools, community leaders, and of course, SANTA CLAUS. Light beverages and treats to enjoy while listening to seasonal music. There are donation opportunities for Contra Costa Food Bank, and more. Taking place at Andrew H. Young Park, 3000 Danville Blvd., Alamo. For info visit

Sneaker Trips: The Town of Danville’s Senior Sneakers program is a great way for you to make new friends and get out and around the greater Bay Area. There’s always something new to see and learn.

November 15 Business Master Mind Class For Women Entrepreneurs 12-2pm. Join us for the meeting of Women Business Owners getting together to network and support each other in Entrepreneurship. Different business topic each month, (marketing, branding, financials, taxes, growth strategies and more), and an opportunity for discussion, problem solving and support. Sign up today. Come and bring a lot of business cards. For information call Mari Lovalvo at 925 437 3303. Intero Real estate Service, 5990 Ygnacio Valley Rd., Ste. 102, Walnut Creek.

The Danville Area Senior Hikes (DASH) is open to all adults and meets on the second and fourth Wednesday of every month. The group starts at 8:45am at Osage Park, 816 Brookside Drive, Danville and returns about 1pm. Infor-

November 27 Website Building Basics-Building and Publishing Your Very Own Website 9:00am-Noon. This inspiring and interactive 1-day workshop is

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 or visit Recreation/Seniors.

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.

suitable for any level of experience or ability. It is designed to introduce you to building and publishing your own website. Bring your laptop for an interactive session and learn Wordpress. Introduction, Setting up a Wordpress Website, Themes, Plugins, Menus, How to create or edit pages, How to create or edit articles, Security, Performance and Backup, How to get found on the internet, Wordpress Maintenance, and more. Join us at Contra Costa SBDC, 300 Ellinwood Way, Bodega Room, Pleasant Hill to learn about the key success factors every new business owner needs before starting their venture. Call Oscar Dominguez at 925-671-4570 for more information. CLUBS & ORGANIZATIONS Alamo Danville Newcomers Club The Alamo Danville Newcomers Club is a woman’s organization, whose purpose is to enrich the lives of all its members and their families in a social manner. Check out all our club has to offer by visiting . For December we are hosting an Evening Wine & Cheese Social, on December 4th from 7:00pm to 9:00pm. RSVP to Check out all our club has to offer by visiting www. . California Writers Club: Building Complex Characters 11am-2pm. David Corbett will present “The Compass of Character” at the November 10 meeting of the Mt. Diablo Branch of the California Writers Club (CWC) at Zio Fraedo’s Restaurant, 611 Gregory Lane, Pleasant Hill. Mr. Corbett will reveal how to build complex characters that generate compelling stories. Sign-in is from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm, luncheon 12:00 pm to 12:45, including a short business meeting, and speaker from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm. Registration is $25 for CWC members, $30 for guests. Reservations at https:// Danville Veteran Service Organizations 8am-11am. Every Saturday at Veterans Memorial Building of San Ramon Valley – in Danville – the VSOs jointly host a “Veterans Coffee Social” from 8AM until 11AM… Bring a friend or fellow Veteran and show them the museum - share some social time. Drop In - no reservations – all Veterans welcome… stop for a few minutes - or stay for hours! Please share information about our VMB /SRV Military Museum & Library open daily M-F from 9-3 and it’s free! Tri-Valley Fly Fishers Visitors welcome. Meetings feature speakers who share their knowledge of the sport. Held at 7:00 PM on the first Thursday of every month, September through June at the LivermorePleasanton Rod and Gun Club, 4000 Dagnino Road, Livermore, CA 94551. Information: email Roger Perry at D a n v i l l e - A l a m o - Wa l n u t C r e e k Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) Advances equity for women and girls. AAUW membership is open to all graduates of accredited four year colleges or universities and those holding an Associate Degree Visit daw-ca.aauw. net for meeting dates. For information contact Marsha at ‭(925) 351-8188 for details.‬‬ ‬ ‬ Cancer workshops and support groups-Ongoing Most are free. Cancer Support Community, 3276 McNutt Avenue, Walnut Creek. Information / reservations call 925-933-0107 or visit Fibro? CFIDS? Chronic Pain? If these are familiar to you, call about the San Ramon Valley support group for people who need support, information, classes and friendship from people who know what it’s like. We like to laugh while getting well. Call 925-837-0510. Hope Hospice Grief Support Groups–Ongoing Hope Hospice provides support to help you understand and manage grief in a way that is healthy and ap-

November 2018


Community Calendar continued from page 12

propriate. Our Grief Support Center is available to all community members at minimal or no cost. Information: visit or call 925-829-8770.

Hospice of the East Bay Support groups and workshops for adults, children and teens experiencing grief after the death of a loved one. Classes will be offered at Hospice’s Administrative Offices: 3470 Buskirk Avenue; Pleasant Hill and the Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation: 2890 Mitchell Drive, Walnut Creek. Pre-registration is required for all groups and classes, except our drop-in group. To register, please call Hospice of the East Bay: (925) 887-5681. Information: RECURRING Mondays: The Walnut Creek Garden Club 9:45am November 12 Program: Designer Barbara Gordon Holiday Designs - Barbara is a National Garden Clubs Master Flower Show Judge and a gardener. She will inspire us with creative and unique designs for decorating our homes during the holidays. The Walnut Creek Garden Club meets on the second Monday of each month at The Gardens at Heather Farm in the Camellia Room. The center is just off Ygnacio Valley Road at 1540 Marchbanks Drive. Call 925-947-1678 for directions. The business meeting is at 9:45am, socializing time is at 10am, and the program is at 11am. Contact for more information. You do not need to be a gardener to join the WCGC! Sons In Retirement (Las Trampas Branch) Monthly Luncheon 11:15am. Meets the third Monday of each month, except for May and December. Make new friends and participate in fun activities. Make $25 luncheon reservations by calling 925322-1160 by the preceding Wednesday. The Clubhouse at Boundary Oak, 3800 Valley Vista Road, Walnut Creek. Information: visit Danville Rotary 12pm. Meets every Monday. Black Bear Diner, 807 Camino Ramon, Danville. Information: San Ramon Alzheimer Support Group 7-9pm. Meets the second Monday of each month, except on holidays. Sponsored by the Alzheimer Association. 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: TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) We meet every Tuesday at St. Timothy’s Offi ce Building, Grace House, Basement 1550 Diablo Rd. Danville CA Our hours: Weigh in 8:15am, meeting is 9:30 - 10:30am. We are a weight loss club. Information, please call Mary Stoneburner, at (925) 837-1882 Danville am Toastmasters 7-8:30am. Want to improve your speaking and presentation skills? Toastmasters can help! Meets every Tuesday in downtown Danville. Danville/Sycamore Valley Rotary 7am. Meets every Tuesday morning. Crow Canyon Country Club, Danville. Information: Diablo View Toastmasters 8:30-9:30am. Meets every Tuesday. CMG Mortgage, 4th Floor Conference Room, 3160 Crow Canyon Rd., San Ramon. Information: Divorce Angels 5:30 - 7:30pm Going through a divorce is often a life altering experience, one that can make you feel lost. Divorce Angels is a volunteer organization that can help. We are made up of different professionals within the following industries: Legal, Financial, Real Estate, and Psychology. Our goal is to provide you with practical information so you can confidently move forward in your life. Visit Join us on the first Tuesday of each

month at 5:30 pm at the Danville Area Chamber (117 Town & Country Drive Suite #E ) for help with the issues you are facing.

Danville Congregational Church, 989 San Ramon Valley Blvd., Danville. Information:

San Ramon Valley Geneological Society 10am. Meets every third Tuesday at the LDS Church, 2949 Stone Valley Road, Alamo.

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

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

Diablo Singles Dance Club 7-10pm. Meets the last Wednesday of every month. Live music, refreshments. Members $8, Guests $12. All welcome. 111N. Wiget Lane, Walnut Creek.

ARF Pet Loss Support Group 5:30-7pm. Meets second Tuesday of every month. Register with Vicki at 925887-5681 or vickis@hospiceeastbay. org. ARF, 2890 Mitchell Drive, Walnut Creek. Information:

Danville Toastmasters Club #1785 7:30-9pm. Meets every Wednesday. Room W204 at Diablo Valley College,1690 Watermill Road, San Ramon. Information:

Divorced and Separated Workshop 7- 8:30pm. A new workshop series for divorced and separated people is being held on at St. Joan of Arc Parish, 2601 San Ramon Valley Blvd., San Ramon. Contact: Sue at 925 -819-1809. 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: Danville Tennis Club (DTC) 6:30-9 PM Wednesday Night DropIn Tennis at San Ramon Valley High School, 501 Danville Blvd., for men and women of 4.0 level or above (and strong 3.5). Also have USTA teams and social events. Join free at https:// Exchange Club of San Ramon Valley 12-1pm The Exchange Club meets every 2nd Wednesday at Noon at Faz Restaurant. Lunch included, $20 for members, $25 for non-members. RSVP, 275-2412. Faz is located at 600 Hartz Avenue, Danville 9526. Walnut Creek Toastmasters 7-8:15pm. Meets every Wednesday. 1660 Oak Park Blvd., Pleasant Hill. Information: Sons in Retirement (San Ramon Valley chapter) Monthly Luncheon 10:30am; Social Hour, 11:35am meeting and lunch. Meets the 3rd Wed. of each month. Reservations, please email us at by Friday prior to the luncheon. Bridges Golf Club, 9000 S. Gale Ridge Rd., San Ramon. Alamo Rotary 12:15pm. The Club meets on Wednesdays at 12:15 p.m at Round Hill Country Club located at 3169 Roundhill Rd, Alamo. Feel free to drop in any Wednesday, and you will be greeted by a club member! The first lunch is on us. Walnut Creek Host Lion’s Club 12:15pm. Meets the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Wednesdays of each month. Black Bear Diner, 700 Bancroft Road, Walnut Creek. Information: walnutcreeklions. org. Danville Lions Club 6:30pm. Meets the first and third Wednesday at the Crow Canyon Country Club, 711 Silver Lake Dr., Danville. Information: Truman Howard 925-7872565 San Ramon Valley Rotary 7pm. Meets every Wednesday. Blackhawk Country Club, 599 Blackhawk Club Drive, Danville. Info: Blue Star Moms 7-9pm. Meets the second Wednesday of every month to participate in service activities supporting sons/daughters serving in the military. Danville Veterans Memorial Building, 400 Hartz Ave. Information: Diablo Valley Quilters 7-9pm. Meets the third Wednesday of every month. No charge for guests.

Thursdays: Danville Women’s Club 11:30AM Meets third Thursday. On November 15, Gale Self, formerly with Williams-Sonoma will be demonstrating “the proper use of knives, We will be collecting old eye glasses and sunglasses which will be donated to the Lions Club. On Nov. 16 at 5:30 The Danville Women’s Club is the sponsor for the lighting of the Hospice Tree of Lights, working with civic leaders, the Town of Danville and Hospice of the East Bay to light the memorial tree for the holidays. Danville Alamo Garden Club Meets on the 2nd Thursday of the months between September and June starting at 9:15 am at the Alamo Women’s Club 1401 Danville Blvd, Alamo.. If you have any questions, contact Susan at or go to our website: San Ramon Valley Newcomers 11:30am-2pm. Meets the third Thursday of every month with a featured guest speaker at a local Tri-Valley restaurant. New and long-time adult residents are welcome. Reservations/information: or www. Rotary Club of San Ramon 11:45am. Meets every Thursday. Crow Canyon Country Club, 711 Silver Lake Drive, Danville. Information: San Ramon Valley Kiwanis Club Thursdays at Noon. Black Bear Diner, 807 Camino Ramon, Danville. www. Clutterers Anonymous 7-8pm. Meets the 2nd and 4th Thursday of every month. St. Luke’s Lutheran Church Room 3, 
 2 491 San Miguel Drive, W 
 alnut Creek. Information: 925736-8627. Diablo Valley Lions Club 7:30pm. Meets the 1st, 3rd, and 4th Thursday of every month. 1400 Montego Drive, Walnut Creek. Information:

page 13

Fridays: Transitions-“Navigating Life’s Turning Points Together” 9-11:30am. Our mission is to encourage and support women from empty nest, to aging parents and everything in between. Community Presbyterian Church, Room 116, 222 W. El Pintado Rd., Danville. Information: Contact Donna Hill at hillmom3@ Saturdays: Canine Companions for Independence 10-11am. Come join or watch the weekly class for service dog puppies. We are always looking for new volunteers. Our East Bay miracles chapter is a group of volunteers raising puppies to become service dogs. We give our dogs free to prople with disabalities. Class is 10-11am each Saturday, usually at Danville Grange, 743 Diablo Rd. Sometimes there are field trips so check the calendar at www.cci. org/eastbaychapter for updates. For more information call Sharon at (9250 838-3213. 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: Parkinson’s Disease Support Group 9am-12pm. Meets every 3rd Saturday. Join us to share, laugh, and learn from each other. Grace Presbyterian Church, 2100 Tice Valley Blvd., Walnut Creek. General questions may be directed to CoChairs Lance Gershen, (925) 932-1028; or Abraham Raja, (925) 304-2064.Web site:

Classifieds HELP WANTED IT Manager, Senior, Business Intelligence: Master’s in Comp. Engr., Comp. Sci., or rltd. & 3 yrs. rltd. exp. Bank of the West. Job in San Ramon, CA. CV to careers@bankofthewest. com. EEO. Senior Audit Leader: Bachelor’s in Acct., Econ., or rltd. & 5 yrs. rltd. exp. Bank of the West. Job in San Ramon, CA. CV to careers@bankofthewest. com. EEO. Sales Executive: Sentinel Newspapers, Inc. has an immediate opening for an advertising sales person for the Valley Sentinel. Sales territory includes Danville, Alamo, San Ramon, and Walnut Creek. Sales experience helpful. Will train the right person. Must have an outgoing personality and a positive attitude. This is a commission-only position. Local Central Contra Costa residents only need apply. Please email your resume and request for interview to us at

Community News & Information Danville • Blackhawk Alamo • Diablo • San Ramon Publisher/Editor-Denise Rousset Chief Financial Officer-Jeff Gummere Graphic Designer-Laurie Prindle Auto-David & Judy Colman


P.O Box 130 Danville, CA 94526

page 14

AUTO March 2009 November 2018


2018 Honda Clarity Plug-In TRG By David and Judy Colman

Let us be perfectly clear about this - Honda’s Clarity is a plug-in hybrid that doesn’t act like one. And that’s much to its benefit. It doesn’t have squishy, unpredictable brakes. It doesn’t have an interior layout that looks like it was designed by a bathroom remodeler. Its dashboard doesn’t constantly bombard you with eco reinforcement messages. And its handling is neither treacherous nor slovenly. In other words the Clarity is miles ahead of other plug-in hybrids because it behaves like a real car, not an overpriced golf kart. But where this hybrid does pay off is efficiency. It’s capable of travelling 89 miles on a full electric charge that takes 2.5 hours at 240 volts or 12 hours on 120 volts. So if you run a 45 mile commute each day and have 240 volt chargers at either end, you can basically drive your Clarity for free. But unlike range limited pure electric cars, Clarity has a backup system under the

hood - a 1.5 liter inline 4 that will kick in when the hybrid battery discharges. In regular gas-powered mode, the Clarity still returns 42MPG. The only caveat is that the gas engine draws from a small 7 gallon fuel tank, so you will be looking for a fill up well before the odometer records 300 miles. Honda stylists seem determined these days to emulate Ray Gun styling. The exterior of the Clarity is an eye opening pastiche of samurai sword slashes, from the diagonal side sweep of the sheet metal to the fussy detailing of the front and rear fascias. One touch that set this Honda apart from anything else on the road is the semiskirting of the rear wheel enclosures. A set of turbinevane alloy rims, with silver and grey spokes alternately fluted and flat, distinguishes the wheel wells of the Clarity. These psychedelic wheels mount sizeable Michelin Green X radials (235/45R18) that dig in and get a grip when

you press Clarity through a succession of curves. Given its hefty curb weight (4,045lbs.) this full size sedan comports itself with dignity and grace. We wouldn’t go so far as to call it nimble, but it certainly merits the term sure footed. Honda thankfully provides its pilot with a “Sport” button that, when engaged, instantly causes the car to spurt ahead as the throttle setting recalibrates itself to more instantaneous response. Simultaneously, steering feedback stiffens slightly, as Clarity enters a more polished sporting dimension. Honda equips the steering wheel with diminutive paddles to control the operation of the CVT transmission. This manual oversight seems to have a rather negligible effect on the car’s actual performance. You’re never quite sure what simulated “gear” you’re in because the video display on the instrument panel does not record gear number, but rather displays a series of tiny chevrons which increase as

you shift up and decrease as you paddle shift down. The infotainment center d e r i ve s f ro m a n e a r l i e r generation of Honda video screens which lack volume control or station changing knobs. This makes accessing desired programming difficult and distracting, especially on bumpy roads when your hand bounces from one visual icon to another. On the positive side, the steering wheel does contain a volume control rheostat which is much easier to operate than the video screen call out. The simplified interior of the Clarity is thankfully devoid of the exterior’s exuberance. In fact, this cabin is restful and well laid out. Of particular note is the suede-like material Honda has applied to the dash face and door surfaces. This helps deaden noise, provides a plush look, and melds nicely with the perforated headliner and leather trimmed seating surfaces. The rear seat backs can be partially folded forward using release levers located inside the car’s spacious, 16 cubic foot trunk. While the

pass through orifice is not large enough for mammoth objects, it will still allow long boards from Home Depot or the surf shop to be accommodated. The rear seat backs split in time honored 60/40 division. Clarity is the plug-in hybrid for ecologically conscientious buyers who seek a normal sedan environment with few Tommy Tomorrow styling cues. The exterior, however, is a bit more flamboyant so the extrovert in you won’t mistake the Clarity for anything else on the road. 2018 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid TRG Engine: 1.5 liter inline 4 plus electric motor H o r s e p o w e r : 21 2 h p combined Torque: N/A Fuel Consumption: 110MPGe/42MPG gas only Price As Tested: $37,490 Hypes: Great Burst of e-Torque, Solid Handling Gripes: eCVT Difficult to Manage, Limited Rear Visibility, No Rear Wiper Star Rating: 9 Stars out of 10



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Looking for Ways to Help this Holiday Season? By Candace Andersen. Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors

As the holiday season draws near, many residents of Contra Costa County are interested in how they can help those in our extended community who are less fortunate and in need of assistance. The following are several worthy programs the County partners with, and which I know could use your help. Every day, thousands of people in our community struggle to meet their basic nutritional needs. The Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano Counties distributes food directly to people in need through their many programs. You can make a difference right now by contributing to the cause, either by volunteering to collect or distribute food through the food bank programs, or by making an online donation. Monetary donations are preferred over canned goods, because every dollar contributed provides the Food Bank with $3 in buying power, providing two full meals. Contra Costa and Solano Counties have been competing since 2004 for the prized Big Apple Trophy in the “Counties Care Food Fight” to raise money for the Food Bank. The trophy and bragging rights pass back and forth, but the real winners are the hungry of both counties. More than $1.7M has been raised by the two counties to help feed the community. The Contra Costa Board of Supervisors compete with each other to raise the most

donations, with the winner getting to take home the Little Apple Trophy. Visit the Food Bank’s website at www. to sign up to volunteer or donate. Another very worthy cause is VESTIA (Volunteer & Emergency Services Team in Action), a nonp ro f i t o rg a n i z a t i o n t h a t serves individuals and families receiving benefits from Contra Costa County’s Employment & Human Services Department (EHSD). VESTIA is a safety net for low-income children and families in Contra Costa County that provides supplemental support to clients when other resources are not available. Every year during the holiday season, VESTIA sponsors the Holiday Helpers Warehouse, which provides holiday assistance of gifts, clothing and food t o l ow - i n c o m e c h i l d re n . They accept gifts through Friday, December 7th at their office at 500 Ellinwood Way, in Pleasant Hill, and can arrange for pick-up if needed. For more information, please call Volunteer & Emergency Services at (925) 521-5061 or visit their website at www. Your faith congregation may already participate in the Winter Nights Family Shelter program and you can volunteer directly. If your faith congregation doesn’t participate, you can inquire a b o u t h ow t o b e c o m e a h o s t o rg a n i z a t i o n . Fa i t h congregations provide space, meals, and volunteers on a two-week rotating basis to homeless families in Contra Costa. Professional staff supervise the shelter at all times. The Winter Nights program has family-centric goals for supporting the

Danville seeks Commission volunteers Heritage Resource Commission – 2 regular vacancies, 1 alternate (4-year terms begin 1/1/19) Design Review Board – 2 regular vacancies, 1 alternate (4-year terms begin 1/1/19) Planning Commission – 3 regular vacancies (4-year terms beginning 1/1/19) Contra Costa County Library Commission 1 Danville representative (term 12/21/18 - 6/30/22) Information and applications are available on the Town website at commissionrecruitment or by calling Marie Sunseri, City Clerk at (925)314-3401. Deadline is November 15 at 4:00 p.m. Interviews will be conducted by the Town Council on December 11 and 18

homeless which include; providing shelter and food to homeless families t h r o u g h o u t t h e w i n t e r, helping homeless families find sustainable housing, keeping homeless children in the school from which they went homeless, helping homeless children achieve at grade level, encouraging reading habits, and keeping homeless families together during the stressful period of homelessness. To donate or for more information about the program, visit t h e i r w e b s i t e a t w w w., or call (925) 933-6030. The Contra Costa Crisis Center is another worthy nonprofit in need of your help. Volunteers work year-round to keep people alive and safe, helping them work through crises, and connecting them w i t h c u l t u ra l l y re l eva n t resources in the community. The crisis center has several p ro g ra m s i n c l u d i n g 211 , the national toll-free phone number to call 24 hours per day for information about local health and social services, enabling people to find out about valuable and up to date resources in their community. They also provide homeless services, grief counseling, Help Me Grow - a system focusing on early detection, referral, and treatment for children with

developmental or behavioral concerns, and the Share the Spirit Grant Making Project. You can donate to the Contra Costa Crisis Center with a monetary gift or by shopping at their Leftovers Thrift Shop, which is a minidepartment store benefiting the Crisis Center located at 2281 Olympic Boulevard in Walnut Creek. To donate online, visit The Contra Costa Housing Security Fund is a county-wide community fund that covers costs that can prevent many people, including seniors, veterans and families, from getting back into housing. It also protects participating property owners who offer screened renters an opportunity for housing. Your donation to the Contra Costa Housing S e c u r i t y Fu n d c a n h e l p end homelessness. Contra Costa Continuum of Care homeless service providers distribute the funds. To donate online, visit www. give/99297/#!/donation/ checkout. For questions about the fund, please email homelessprogram@hsd. The Monument Crisis Center nearby in Concord also relies heavily on volunteers and donations. They provide the working

page 15

poor and low income individuals and families with support, addressing essential needs that can include providing food and medical or dental care. They host an annual Holiday Food Box Drive, which feeds families in need by accepting boxes filled with all the trimmings. To see the list of suggested items for a trimming box, or for more information a b o u t t h e o rg a n i z a t i o n , visit their website at www. Lastly, please join me a n d my D i s t r i c t 2 S t a f f for some holiday treats. I will be hosting a holiday open house on Wednesday, December 12th, from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at our Danville office located at 309 Diablo Road. This is an informal opportunity for me to personally thank so many of you who make a difference throughout Contra Costa County. My office is here to serve the residents of Contra Costa County District 2, which includes San Ramon, Danville, Alamo, Walnut Creek, Saranap, Parkmead, Lafayette, Moraga, Canyon and Orinda. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if we can provide you with additional information on this topic or on other County issues. I can be reached at SupervisorAndersen@bos. or (925) 9578860.

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The Valley Sentinel_November 2018  

Community News and Information, Danville, CA, Alamo, CA, Blackhawk, CA, Diablo, CA, San Ramon, CA, Education, Community service, Seniors, To...

The Valley Sentinel_November 2018  

Community News and Information, Danville, CA, Alamo, CA, Blackhawk, CA, Diablo, CA, San Ramon, CA, Education, Community service, Seniors, To...