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September 2011

VOL 16, NO 9



Danville native a world class baker By Alex Hicks

From an early age it was easy to see that Junell Starr Watson was destined to become, well, a star. The 25 year-old Monte Vista High School graduate and Danville resident has been gaining respect in the field of cooking for the past 11 years and shows no signs of slowing down. As long as she could remember, Junell’s passion was in the kitchen. “When I as a kid, I didn’t watch cartoons. I watched Julia Child,” she said. Following this love, she began working at Danville’s House of Bread at the ripe age of 14. She also began to study under Chef Kelly Jo in Monte Vista’s culinary


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Girls in sync at the Azuri Summer Classic. Girls U-9 Newark United coached by Marlene Rosa defeated the Mustang Sambas, coached by Brian Resendiz and Hannah & Mark Westgate. From left to right Newark United Kayla Serpa, Mustang Reyna Reseniz, and Newark United Lydia Bouza. Score was 7-0. Photo by Jeffery Weil.

Aid from Sentinels of Freedom provides better future By Dana Guzzetti

Ryan Sykes works in a wellappointed San Ramon office where he does internet research, makes reports and works hard with a special cognitive tool called Posit Science. What makes him stand out is the fact that after he nearly died fighting for the United States in Afghanistan, he came home with severe brain injuries, and in a wheel chair. In spite of his injures, Sykes is one of the seriously disabled veterans that is getting back on track to a full, self-sufficient civilian life because of the non-profit organization Sentinels of Freedom. Sykes is eager to demonstrate his newly re-acquired skills. ”When I first started, it was much harder,” he says.

In between work assignments, Sykes uses Posit’s game-like cognitive tools to retrain and increase memory function and speech recognition skills. In an adjacent office, Sentinels of Freedom founder and CEO Mike Conklin studies colored pin points scattered across a wall-sized map of the United States. Every pin point represents a town where local business and community leaders have taken a severely wounded veteran under their wing. Success in Northern California is the prototype for the others. Sentinels of Freedom was founded on an appreciation for the sacrifices that military

service personnel have made on behalf of all American citizens since 1998. “We want them (enlistees) to know that we were grateful for their service,” Conklin said. “They are doing the fighting for us.” After 9/11, the group began providing housing assistance, education, job training and retention, and mentoring so that the seriously wounded veteran can concentrate on building the foundation for long-term success in civilian life. “They (similar groups in other localities) were all here, but working independently before 9/11,” Conklin remarks. After 9/11, Conklin began building

the national organization to help other grateful communities reach out to more Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. Conklin talks about each veteran in the program as if he was one of his sons. Conklin’s three sons joined the Ranger’s, two are still active. The other is back in the U. S. and in college. Travis Fugate served as a member of the Kentucky National Guard and was mobilized on active duty in December of 2004, deployed to Iraq in February of 2005. He was severely injured in May of 2005 while on patrol on a routine mission just south of Baghdad where he had been in the turret of their vehicle. An

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

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September 2011 Now - September 10 Evil Dead The Musical This hilarious live stage show takes all the elements of the cult classic horror films, Evil Dead 1, Evil Dead 2, & Army of Darkness, then combines them to make one of the craziest theatrical experiences of all time. Tickets: $30-$35. Campbell Theatre, 636 Ward St., Martinez. Information: 798-1300.

Now – September 11 The Dixie Swim Club The Dixie Swim Club is the story of five southern women who spend a weekend together each year in August to recharge their friendship, laugh and meddle in each other’s lives. A friendship which began when they were all in college and on the swim team. Call for show


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times. Knight Stage 3 at Lesher Center, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. Information: 943-7469. Now – September 25 Quirkology of Quilts: Warmth to Whimsy Tues-Fri: 1am-4pm. Sat: Quilt Demos, 10am-1pm. Grab a Danville strolling map to help you locate a premier quilter’s resource, a treasure trove of button embellishments and eight colorful art-quilts displayed within our unique boutiques & bistros. Now through October 9 Smokey Joe’s Café Smokey Joe’s Cafe is the hottest joint in town. The tribute to songwriters Leiber and Stoller is a fast-paced nostalgic trip through 39 of rock-and-roll’s greatest hits from “Stand by Me” and “Yakety Yak.” Call for tickets & show times. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. Information: 925-1400

September 3-4 Scottish Highland Gathering & Games Sat: 9am - 6:30pm, Sun: 9am - 6pm. One of the world’s largest Celtic Festivals. 24 pipe bands, World Championship Heavy Events (Athletics), We s t e r n U . S . H i g h l a n d Dancing Championships, Irish Pavilion Step Dancing & the U.S. Marine Band. More than 100 vendors with wares and services from the British Isles - Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales. Adult: 1 day $20, 2 day $27; Child (12 - 17) $12; Seniors (65+) $12; Handicap $12; 11 & under Free. Parking: $8. Alameda County Fairgrounds, 4501 Pleasanton Ave, Pleasanton. Information: 800-713-3160 September 9 House of Floyd 8pm. The Pink Floyd Concert Experience. Enjoy the House Of Floyd performing the music of Pink Floyd. They capture the essence of each

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of the various Pink Floyd eras from the formative Syd Barrett days, through the 70’s and the final post-Waters era with sound effects, moving lights, lasers and video projection including many of the original, legendary backing films used by Pink Floyd. Tickets: $28-$35 Bankhead Theater, 2400 First St., Livermore. Information: 373-6800. September 9 & October 7. Trapped in a Rumor 8pm. Enjoy the unrehearsed, unpredictable, unprepared shows. Fast-paced, funny, energetic and rated PG-13. No two shows are the same. Tickets: $8 for students/ seniors, $10 for adults. Village Theater, 233 Front St., Danville. Information: 314-3400. September 10 – October 1 The Wizard of Oz Take the entire family down the Yellow Brick Road and beyond with Dorothy, Toto and their friends, the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion, in one of the greatest musicals of all time. Call for tickets & show times. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. Information: 925-1400 September 12 One City, One Book presents Jacqueline Winspear 7:30pm. Jacqueline Winspear is the author of the popular “Maisie Dobbs” series, and her 7th novel, The Mapping of Life and Death, is this year’s selection for One City, One B o o k : Wa l n u t C r e e k Reads. Enjoy a special visit and presentation by Winspear. Tickets $10. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. Information: 943-7469. September 15 National Acrobats of China 7:30pm. A combination of Chinese martial arts, illusion and acrobatics set to traditional music. The troupe magically transforms a host of ordinary objects – from tables and chairs, to flags, hats and bowls – into a magnificent display of visual wonder and excitement. Tickets: $14-$62. Bankhead Theater, 2400 First St., Livermore. Information: 373-6800. September 16 Lee Ritenour 8pm. Performing a cross-section of jazz, rock and Brazilian music. Often called “Captain Fingers” for his distinctive sound and fluid improvisation. Tickets: $14-$62. Bankhead Theater, 2400 First St., Livermore. Information: 373-6800. September 16 – October 1 Mourning Becomes Electra A sweeping epic. Betrayal, murder, revenge, honor and fate dominate Eugene O’Neill’s Mourning Becomes Electra, an adaptation of the Greek myth of Oresteia set in New England at the end of the American Civil War. The story is presented as a trilogy The Homecoming, The Hunted, and The Haunted. The Village Theatre, 233 Front St., Danville. Call for tickets and show times: 820 1278.

September 17 Sonny Landreth 8pm. Legendary guitarist Sonny Landreth is credited as

September 2011 redefining the very essence of slide guitar playing. His unique style combines the slide with fretted notes and chords, adding masterful finger picking to create a complex and multi-layered sound. Tickets: $14-$62. Bankhead Theater, 2400 First St., Livermore. Information: 373-6800. September 17 & 18 LVPAC Guitar Fest LIVE! A rare opportunity to get up-close and personal with world class guitarists as they share their techniques and talents. Enjoy concerts at the intimate Bankhead Theater starring a variety of legendary guitarists, attend a free clinic taught by your favorite guitar guru, check out the hottest new guitar gear, or kick back at the outdoor stages for free live concerts and hoist a pint o’ IPA or sip a glass of award winning wine. Bankhead Theater, 2400 First St., Livermore. Information: 373-6800 September 20 Love Story 8pm. Let Chanticleer into your heart to share this enchanting and disturbing emotion. Love Story includes music by de Victoria, Vivanco, R. Strauss, Whitacre, Paulus, Tavener, Ellington and more. Tickets: $20-$39. Hofmann Theatre at Lesher Center, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. Information: 925-1400.

The Valley SenTinel $29-$74. Bankhead Theater, 2400 First St., Livermore. Information: 373-6800.

September 22-25 & 30, October 1 & 2 Wake Up Your Weird Join Sesame Street puppeteer Leslie CarraraRudolph and her pal Lolly Lardpop for storytelling, music, art, puppets, movement and improvisation celebrating creativity and individuality! Call for tickets & show times. Knight Stage 3 Theatre at Lesher Center, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. Information: 925-1400 September 24 Romeo Opening Night Gala 5pm. Opening night galas will include dinner at Uncle Yu’s at the Vinyard and dessert at the Bankhead Theater. Tickets: $75 Gala only. Separate opera ticket required to attend Romeo et Juliette. Bankhead Theater, 2400 First St., Livermore. Information: 373-6800. September 24 & 25, October 1&2 Romeo et Juliette Sept. 24 & Oct. 2: 2pm. Sept. 25 & Oct. 2: 8pm. Two young innocents fall profoundly in love despite the long, bitter feud between their proud families, and the result is a timeless tragedy. Tickets:

September 29 MOJO and The Bayou Gypsies 7:30pm. Enjoy original Cajun and Zydeco dance beats in the Southwest Louisiana tradition, pulling audiences right onto their feet. Two receptions to be held in the theater lobby. included in the price of admission. Come early, 6pm., for the “Taste of New Orleans” welcome party and extend the party after the show with complimentary champagne, tea and coffee, plus a Southern-style dessert buffet. And if you’re really a d ve n t u ro u s, s i t o n t h e Bankhead stage with MOJO


Anita F. Venezia, local author of “Crosswinds At Campo Carcasso,” lives in Danville and is Senior Staff writer for ALIVE East Bay Magazine. Her sensational novel was recently launched with it’s 4-star rating on Amazon. It is offered on global internet sites and nationwide book stores. The recent premier book signing event at Robertsville Corners in San Jose was celebrated with the presence of renowned artist, designer and award-winning vineyard-owner Marilyn Dorsa, whose painting is on the book’s cover. Anita Venezia was recently featured at the First Annual Local Authors Festival sponsored by Rakestraw Books, drawing a good crowd for her presentation. Reviewers rave about the quasi-historiographical novel; “If you enjoy a sophisticated plot with complex characters, this is the best summertime read. ‘Crosswinds at Campo Carcasso’ is a journey through history set in Italy…I was transfixed, with all the twists and turns along the way….”— “I could not put the book down….”— “My copy arrived from Amazon today…I am dancing!” and “I liked it so

much I bought ten books as gifts so my friends and I can then discuss the story…I love the characters, they seem real to me and I visualize them on the big screen, an epic story…I thrive on controversy and there’s plenty in this book. A real good read and surprises…do not divulge the ending…it is a stunner!” Venezia’s debut novel draws from years of research and extensive travel on five continents. She was raised in Cape Town and married and lived in Italy. Her life experiences gave her a unique perspective to write about classical history and patrimonial treasures that never appear in museums. She is an art and antiques appraiser, was longtime docent at the San Jose Museum of Art and docent at Blackhawk Museum (presently inactive), served as period consultant on the movie “Whiskey Slide” for Almaden Films, and volunteers for public relations for Police and Fire: The Fallen Heroes. She lives in Danville near her grown son and daughters and cherishes time with her grandchildren. “Crosswinds At Campo Carcasso” is a riveting novel set against the backdrop of

and the band to truly celebrate a little Mardi Gras in September! Tickets $35-$65. Stage seating at $80. Bankhead Theater, 2400 First St., Livermore. Information: 373-6800.

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wartime Sicily and 1960s Italy when Charlotte, who becomes the erotic Carlotta, and her older lover Clarence, an archaeologist, get trapped in the web of illicit black market antiquities trading of cultural treasures leading to duplicity, greed and revenge. The compelling journey of a thousand tales tells about collectors of looted artifacts who possess and hoard the history of the past for their eyes only. The public is invited to a book signing and to meet the author at the Diablo Country Club on Saturday, September 17 from 4pm – 7pm. The event will take place in the Oak Room, located at 1700 Club House Rd. in Diablo. Complimentary light hors d’oeuvres will be served and a no-host bar will be available.

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The Valley Sentinel

September 2011

New book features Rose Hill Cemetery By Beverly Lane, East Bay Regional Park District Board Member

factories, and the steamboats that plied the Sacramento River. As many as 900 miners, both men and boys, worked underground. Altogether there were about 200 miles of coal mine workings. Coal mining ceased in the early 1900s due to rising costs of extraction and discovery of a better grade of coal out of state. But mining enjoyed a renaissance of sorts from the 1920s to the mid-1940s, when silica was extracted from the same hills for use in glass manufacture and foundries. The park district has established an underground mining museum in the old silica mine workings. At the end of the mining days, the land reverted to cattle ranching. In 1973, East Bay Regional Park District began acquiring the property for parklands.

One of the most historically significant East Bay regional parks is Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve in Antioch. From the 1850s to the early 1900s, the area that includes the park was the site of California’s most extensive coal mining operation. Based in the now-vanished coal mining towns of Nortonville, Somersville, Stewartville, Judsonville and West Hartley, miners extracted nearly four million tons of coal from the Mt. Diablo foothills. Somersville and Nortonville were the two most populous towns in Contra Costa County. The coal essentially fueled California’s industrial revolution. It was used as the energy source for homes,

Among its acquisitions was Rose Hill Cemetery, the Protestant cemetery established in the 1860s for miners and their families who lived and worked in the mining towns. It’s estimated that nearly 250 people are buried there, possibly more whose names are unknown and records lost. The last person to be interred at Rose Hill was William Davis, in 1954. The cemetery had been subject to neglect and vandalism in the years after mining was discontinued. Since acquisition by the park district, the Black Diamond Mines staff has worked to restore and protect the site. N o w, Tr a c i Pa r e n t , supervising naturalist at Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve in Antioch, has compiled a book on the cemetery entitled “Rose Hill: A Comprehensive History of a

Pioneer Cemetery,” published by the East Bay Regional Park District. Traci is also active in the Contra Costa County Historical Society. Relying on a variety of sources including old newspaper stories and i n t e r v i e ws w i t h f o r m e r residents and descendants, Traci has gathered as much information as possible on every known person buried at Rose Hill. At more than 1,000 pages, Traci’s book is a remarkable achievement. It’s a detailed account of the people interred in the cemetery, cross-referenced and illustrated with photos and diagrams. As far as is known, it’s the most comprehensive book ever written about an entire cemetery. The book reveals the stories behind the names on the headstones. Reading about these people brings home how difficult their lives

were and how great were the dangers they faced from mining accidents and disease. It’s a tribute to their endurance in the face of adversity. And it’s food for thought the next time you visit the park and stroll past the silent marble monuments. Traci’s book is available for sale at Black Diamond Mines’ Sidney Flat Visitor Center just past the park entrance on Somersville Road. The cost is $65.


Two ways to get your medicare benefits By David Sayen

Some folks may not realize it, but there are actually two ways to get Medicare benefits. The best-known way is Original Medicare. With Original M e d i c a re, yo u c a n c h o o s e any doctor, hospital, or other

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healthcare provider you want, as long as they accept Medicare. When you receive medical services or goods, Medicare pays the provider directly. The other way is Medicare Advantage, which is a form of managed care, like an HMO. Medicare Advantage is provided by private insurance c o m p a n i e s a p p rove d by Medicare. If you’re in Medicare Advantage, you generally must go to doctors and other providers in the company’s network. If you go outside the network, you may have to pay more. On the other hand, Medicare Advantage companies may offer some services – such a dental, hearing, and vision – that Original Medicare doesn’t. Most people with Original Medicare pay a monthly premium. If you’re in Medicare Ad va n t a g e, yo u p ay a n additional monthly premium to the private insurance company that covers you. With Original Medicare, you or your supplemental insurance must pay deductibles, co-pays, and coinsurance. To cover these “gaps” in Medicare, some people buy a type of supplemental insurance called Medigap. If you have a Medigap policy, Medicare pays its share of the covered costs, and then your Medigap policy pays its share. Medigap policies are sold through private companies.

All plans offer the same basic benefits, but some offer additional benefits. The costs vary between insurance companies, and often cost is the only difference between p o l i c i e s. S o m e M e d i g a p policies also offer benefits that Original Medicare doesn’t, such as medical care when you travel outside the U.S. Original Medicare g e n e ra l l y d o e s n ’ t c ove r prescription drugs. If you want drug coverage, you can get it through Medicare Part D. Part D policies are sold through private companies approved by Medicare. You have to pay an additional monthly premium for Part D. Most Medicare beneficiaries choose Original Medicare, but about onefourth of all beneficiaries are now covered through Medicare Advantage. M e d i c a r e Ad v a n t a g e companies must cover all of the services that Original Medicare covers, except hospice care. (Original Medicare covers hospice care even if you’re in a Medicare Advantage plan.) In all types of Medicare Advantage plans, you’re always covered for emergency and urgent care. You can join a Medicare Advantage plan even if you have a pre‑existing condition – except for End-Stage Renal Disease. People with ESRD usually are covered through Original Medicare. Most Medicare Advantage plans include prescription

drug coverage. But the plans can charge different out-ofpocket amounts and they have different rules for how you get service. For example, you may need a referral to see a specialist. And you may need to stay in their provider network, unless you’re willing to pay more to go outside the network. You should always check with the plan before you get a service to find out whether they’ll cover it and what your costs may be. If the plan decides to stop participating in Medicare, you’ll have to join another Medicare health plan or return to Original Medicare. How can you decide whether Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage is better for you? T h e re ’s a ve r y g o o d comparison of Original M e d i c a re a n d M e d i c a re Advantage in the “Medicare & You” handbook. An updated version of “Medicare & You” is mailed to all Medicare beneficiaries every fall. You can also find “Medicare & You” on our website, www. If you have any questions, you can always call Medicare’s toll-free number, which is 1-800-MEDICARE. David Sayen is Medicare’s regional administrator for Arizona, California, Hawaii, and Nevada, and the Pacific Trust Territories. You can get answers to your Medicare questions 24/7 by calling 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800633-4227) or online at www.

September 2011

Poof! You’re healed!

The Valley Sentinel


Exploring Class IV Laser for injuries and post-surgical healing By Dr. Niele Maimone, DC

In 2004, Align Healing Center began using laser therapy to help patients relieve their muscle, joint and nerve pain. Due to the near miraculous results that laser can provide to a sprain, strain or chronic pain, our patients began to ask, “What else can laser help heal?” Wondering the same thing, we began to branch out and use laser on any and all injuries and wounds that our patients were presented with. We have literally watched the healing process occur right before our very eyes. Swelling reduces within minutes, severe bruises dissipate with no visible sign within a day or two and surgical wounds become painless, with minimal

scarring and redness. We have had patients that have had knee surgery and hip replacements, shoulder surgery, spinal surgery, breast augmentation and reconstruction, rhinoplasty, face-lifts and c-sections that heal in a fraction of the time typical without the use of laser therapy. If you are intending on having surgery or have a stubborn injury that has taken longer to heal than you would have expected, it is worth your while to explore the benefits of Class IV K-Laser therapy. How Laser Therapy Speeds Tissue Healing I n j u r i e s a n d s u rg e r y cause tissue damage and inflammation which reduces the circulation to the injured tissue, thereby impeding the nutrition and energy available to

the damaged area. Laser therapy is the application of low levels of laser light to areas of the body that have been injured or damaged. Therapeutic lasers do not cut or burn, but instead, supply energy to the body in the form of photons of light. Light is transmitted through the skin's layers (the dermis, epidermis and the subcutaneous tissue under the skin). The wavelength of the Class IV Laser allows these photons to travel deep into the body; up to 8-9 inches. When laser light penetrates into the body, it stimulates damaged cells to start producing ATP. ATP is the “fuel” or energy source that all cells need to function and repair. When damaged cells have the energy they need to function properly, they can immediately start the repair process. Laser therapy


Cancer Screening Tests Can Save If you have a strong history of Your Life (and curable) stages. It is important to keep in mind that nobody knows your body as well as you. For this reason, you should bring any concerning symptoms (described below) to your provider’s attention and not rely solely on screening. Breast Cancer For women over the age of 40, it is recommended to receive an annual mammogram as well as an annual breast exam by your primary care provider. In addition, you should inspect your own breasts periodically and bring any abnormalities to the attention of your provider.

breast cancer in your family or have a history of radiation treatment to your chest (to treat lymphoma for example), then you should speak with your provider about more frequent screening. Colon Cancer For men and women, starting at the age of 50, it is recommended to receive a colonoscopy every ten years. Alternatively, your provider may test your stool for blood annually or have you undergo a procedure called flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years. If you notice new symptoms in your bowel habits such as presence of blood or “pencil-

reasons for the Sentinels of Freedom program’s nearly 100 percent success rate. Local business and community leaders in every location give more than money. In fact, most of the funding, material contributions and guidance/ mentoring have not been from major corporations. “Sometimes we can get a corporation interested in them, and them interested in the corporation, so that they each can see the possibilities,” Conklin said about finding employers who will hire a wounded veteran for a career path position, not just a temporary job. Mentoring and contributions from individuals, small and large businesses and from events such as the Sept. 3 Sentinels of Freedom Cycling Ride and the upcoming Oct. 3 Diablo Valley Veterans

Foundation Golf Tournament at Diablo Country Club make Sentinels of Freedom possible. Essentially, wounded veterans begin to heal and thrive because of Sentinels of Freedom’s extended, wellconnected family of experts. T h e w h o l e o rg a n i z a t i o n operates with only three paid employees. About 70 wounded veterans in 28 cities have been set on the path to personal success in civilian life. Whether on the phone finding funding and jobs, or introducing a seriously wounded veteran in recovery, or talking about his three sons that serve in the U. S. Rangers, Mike Conklin’s respect for veterans makes one stop and think about the historical perspective of what these service members and veterans bring home to our nation and community.

By Gautam Prasad, M.D., Ph.D.

As a cancer doctor, I often see patients who are diagnosed with cancer in advanced stages where treatment options can be limited. They often ask me, “What could I have done differently in my life to avoid getting cancer?” Sadly, there are no easy answers but there are ways to minimize the risk, including regular screenings for cancer. As our screening technology ever improves, we are catching cancer at earlier SENTINELS from page 1

IED blast hit him in the face. He sustained severe facial injuries and traumatic brain injury with loss of eyesight. “Travis Fugate is using his scholarship (Sentinels of Freedom) to transfer to California State University, Monterey Bay with a 4.0 GPA after completing studies at Monterey Peninsula College,” Conklin commented. With his backpack of study materials and his guide dog Fess, Fugate is headed for a degree in computer science and information systems. Fugate also finds time to represent veterans and speak to regional advocates such as Congressman Sam Farr. Pe rs o n a l , n u r t u r i n g guidance and the individual veteran’s dedication are

accelerates the healing of injured areas, decreases inflammation and eliminates pain, allowing patients to quickly return to normal activities. How long does it take to work? 95% of our patients notice improvement after the very first treatment. However, some conditions may take a few treatments to respond. Each laser treatment is cumulative, meaning that each successive treatment builds on the previous. The doctors at Align personally work with you each visit to ensure that you are progressing as quickly as possible. What People Are Saying about K-Laser at Align Healing Center “I cannot thank you enough for the "miracle healing" of my knee! It was such a bad fall thin” stools, you should consult your provider. If you have a strong history of colon cancer in your family or if you have an inflammatory bowel disease (like ulcerative colitis), then your provider may recommend more frequent screening. Prostate Cancer For men, screening for prostate cancer should happen once at age 40, again at age 45, and then once per year starting at age 50. Screening consists of two tests called a digital rectal exam (where the provider feels your prostate for abnormalities) and a PSA blood test. Symptoms which you should additional bring to your provider’s attention include

and yet after the first treatment I have never had any more pain and I have been able to be on my feet all day. Thank you so much for your great laser and your caring treatment”. –J. Frank, Walnut Creek “I'm entirely pain free this morning...You're a magician!! I'll encourage my patients to consider laser therapy for their pain. Thanks again”. –Dr. Navolanic, MD “Six months after my hip replacement I was still in debilitating pain when I walked any distance. After K-Laser therapy I am able to live a normal life, which for me includes hiking and biking without pain!” –J. Franco, Danville For more information about how laser therapy may be helpful to you, contact Align Healing Center to schedule a free consultation with Dr. Niele Maimone (925)362-8283. Visit us on the web at www. difficulty, pain or bleeding while urinating. If you have a strong history of prostate cancer or are African-American, your provider may recommend more frequent tests. Cervical Cancer For women, screening should begin at age 21 and be repeated every two years. O n c e yo u re a c h a g e 30 , your doctor may reduce the frequency of screening or discontinue it based on your age and risk factors. Dr. Gautam Prasad is a radiation oncologist with Epic Care, a group of experts in the diagnosis and comprehensive treatment of cancer and blood disorders. www.epic-care. com

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page 6

The valley Sentinel

September 2011

San Ramon Valley District’s free lunch program San Ramon Valley Unified School District announced its policy for providing free and reduced-priced meals for children served under the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program. Each school and the central office has a copy of the policy, which may be reviewed by any interested party.

A household size and income criteria will be used to determine eligibility for free, reduced-price, or full-price meal benefits. Children from households whose income is at or below the following levels are eligible for free or reduced-price meals; Children who receive Food Stamps (FS), California Work Opportunity

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and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) benefits, Kinship Guardianship Assistance payments (Kin-GAP), or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) benefits are automatically eligible for free meals regardless of the income of the household in which they reside. Eligibility for a foster child is based on a separate application and solely on the amount of the child’s “personal use” income. Application forms are being distributed to all households with a letter informing them of the availability of free and reduced-price meals for enrolled children. Applications are also available at the principal’s office in each school. To apply for free or reduced-price meal benefits, households must complete an application and return it to the school for processing. Applications may be submitted at any time during the school year. The information households provide on the application will be used to determine meal eligibility and may be verified at any time during the school year by school or program officials. Requirements for school officials to determine eligibility for free and reduced-price benefits are as follows: For households receiving Food S t a m p , C a l WO R K s, K i n -

GAP, or FDPIR benefits – applications need only include the enrolled child(ren)’s name, Food Stamp, CalWORKs, KinGAP, or FDPIR case number, and the signature of an adult h o u s e h o l d m e m b e r. Fo r households who do not list a Food Stamp, CalWORKs, KinGAP, or FDPIR case number, the application must include the names of all household members, the amount and source of the income received by each household member, and the signature and corresponding Social Security number of an adult household member. If the household member who signs the application does not have a Social Security number, the household member must indicate on the application that a Social Security number is not available. Under the provisions of the free and reduced-price meal policy, the determining official(s), as designated by the sponsor/agency, shall review applications and determine eligibility. Parents or guardians dissatisfied with the eligibility r u l i n g m ay d i s c u s s t h e decision with the determining official on an informal basis. Parents may also make a formal request for an appeal hearing of the decision and may do so orally or in writing with the sponsor/agency’s hearing official. Parents or

guardians should contact their child(ren)’s school(s) for specific information regarding the name of the determining official and/or hearing official for a specific school, agency, or district. If a household member becomes unemployed or if the household size increases, the household should contact the school. Such changes may make the children of the household eligible for benefits if the household’s income falls at or below the levels shown above. Households that receive Food Stamp, CalWORKs, Kin-GAP, or FDPIR benefits may not have to complete an application for free or reducedprice meals or free milk. School officials will determine eligibility for free meals based on documentation obtained directly from the Food Stamp, CalWORKs, Kin-GAP, or FDPIR office. School officials will notify households of their eligibility, but those who do not want their child(ren) to receive free meals must contact the school. Food Stamp, CalWORKs, Kin-GAP, and FDPIR households should complete an application if they are not notified of their eligibility by September 30, 2011. For more information or to download the application form, visit: parents/free_reduced_lunch.

Fundraising campaign for fun ecoeducational game app Gabe Zichermann, who called By Staff Writer

In an effort to help reduce lunchtime waste, ECOlunchboxes kicked off a campaign this week to raise funds to make a smart phone game teaching kids how to green their habits. “Lunchtime waste is a mounting problem,” said Sandra Ann Harris, a Lafayette mother of two who in 2008 f o u n d e d E C O l u n c h b oxe s which specializes in no-waste and no-plastic lunchware. “But learning to reduce waste and recycle can be a fun challenge. If kids can play our game and win – they’ll know enough to green their habits at lunchtime and in real life, too.”

The San Francisco Bay Area green business has developed a concept for a fun eco game for kids to sort flying lunch trash into recycling, compost and trash bins. Working against the clock with colorful lunchtime waste zipping across the screen, children will be entertained by the playful game and educated at the same time. “Kids and adults love to play, and most of us also love to learn. Connecting them produces the optimal neurological and emotional pleasure needed to reinforce the right behaviors,” explained gamification expert

the ECOlunchboxes game “a cool concept.” Zichermann, who is chair of the Gamification Summit slated for New York City in September, pointed out people often learn their “greatest lessons in life on the playground. The extension of this concept to digital games should come as no surprise.” ECOlunchboxes is reaching out for support from the eco-community to help fund development of the app game, which it’s calling Green Trash Ninja. For more information, visit or call (925) 298-9220.

Donations Needed

975 North San Carlos Drive, Walnut Creek • 925.933.0666

“Farmers” at San Ramon High School (students in the E2 Environmental Engineering Program) are looking for donations of your used garden hand tools. Please email us at and arrangements will be made for convenient drop off or pick up.

Women in Business

September 2011

The Valley SenTinel

page 7

Women in Business By Judy Delaney

If Betsy Ross had charged G e o r g e Wa s h i n g t o n f o r sewing the first flag, how much would she have gotten paid? Would it have been 20% less than Francis Hopkinson, (a member of the Continental Congress) who asked to be paid, “a Quarter of a Cask of the Public Wine?” Or is the question, “How did Betsy’s name come up in the first place?” Her family pew located adjacent to George Washington’s pew in Christ Church made networking easy. Remember the phrase, “location, location, location” when the market was an actual place with a street address? Now the global market, with an online address has changed the refrain to “network, network, network.” Finally, a market place where women are equal? Not by a long shot. The glass ceiling is still there. Only twelve women have crashed

through and made it to CEO (of Fortune 500 companies) even though women make up 60% of the work force. Why? J i l l E l l i s , Fo u n d e r of CEID (Center for Early Infant Deafness) in Berkeley, who started her non-profit o rg a n i z a t i o n i n t h e l a t e seventies, has some answers. “I had no idea how to penetrate the good ol’ boy network,” she said. “My naiveté saved me.” Jill was working as a teacher for the deaf in the late seventies when Proposition 13 passed and cut the funding for her job. It became imperative to start her own school for the deaf or there wouldn’t be one. Funding was the only way to keep the project going, so Jill researched Washington D.C. to find out who was in charge of the purse for federally funded programs. It wasn’t like today where anyone can Google the information. She worked at night and on

Jill Ellis

weekends to write a 70-page proposal, flew to Washington as a neophyte, and managed to get a government grant for her program. I asked her if being a woman was ever an asset instead of a detriment during the early years. Surprisingly, i t d i d h e l p b e c a u s e t wo influential women in the Bay Area took up her cause. Valerie Coleman (author and former Channel 4 news reporter) helped her work through the web of resistance in San Francisco when CEID started out in the City. Three years See CEID page 9

Align Healing Center

Coldwell Banker

Cottage Jewel

Blue Heron Graphics

Gayler Construction

Niele Maimone Dr. of Chiropractic

Jane Macken, MBA, MA Realtor / Author

Marcia Harmon proprietor

Laurie Prindle

Darlene Gayler

Dr. Niele Maimone, chiropractor and owner of Align Healing Center has been serving the Tri-Valley community for over 12 years, providing gentle chiropractic care, Class IV Laser Pain Relief and natural medicine with amazing results. Dr. Maimone addresses the whole body - physically, chemically and emotionally. Her passion for chiropractic as well her holistic approach to restoring health has provided relief for many people burdened with long-term pain and stubborn medical conditions. Dr. Maimone has recently added a new doctor, Dr. Sarah Hyre, DC to her wellness team who is also an expert in the health and wellness field. Together, they assist the community in finding drug-free solutions to their healthcare needs.

A professional real estate broker, Jane has experience in real estate mortgage brokerage and residential sales and has the business savvy, dedication and care it takes to help you make the most of your real estate opportunities. She has served on the faculty of John F. Kennedy University and is a published author of “The Art of Managing…How to Build a Better Workplace and Relationships.”

Danville’s treasure trove of one-of-a-kind mementos is the vision of award-winning jewelry designer and antiques specialist Marcia Harmon. From vintage couture buttons to Victorian rose-cut diamonds, this unique antiques boutique features a timeless range of budget-friendly embellishments for you and your home. Colorful vignettes of decorative porcelains and vintage bling make gift shopping a pleasure. This month Marcia celebrates six years in business and community service by hosting another huge antiques & art sale on Labor Day. Join the fun!

In 2001 Laurie founded Blue Heron Graphics, a full service graphic design studio specializing in branding and marketing solutions for local businesses. Her specialties include logo design and design for print. With her background in art, project management and adult literacy, Laurie brings her special blend of creative talents as well as communication and organizational skills to her work as a designer. Laurie has been committed to sustainability for many years. Blue Heron Graphics became a Contra Costa Certified Green Business in 2004. In 2008, Laurie founded the Green Business Network of Contra Costa.

Gayler Construction is a 50 year old design/build firm that specializes in residential and commercial remodeling and new construction projects. By performing both the design and construction, we provide the most beautiful, long-lasting and highest value construction projects in the industry. Our planning process is extremely thorough, which results in “no surprises” and a rapid and real timeline. Finally, we communicate constantly with the client, our partners and the city and other regulatory organizations so our timelines are optimized. 100% on-time and on-budget over the past 14 years.

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page 8

The valley Sentinel

Design Elements

Women in Business

BAKER from page 1

Judith Clark, FIFDA, CID 878 With over 30 years of interior design experience, Judith Clark has been creating beautiful spaces for clientele throughout the Bay Area. Judith is one of the few Certified Interior Designers in the San Ramon Valley. Certification requires education, testing and continuing education not accomplished by many. With a large entourage of artisans and product, she creates environments that exemplify the clients’ superb taste. Rely on Judith Clark for sources and know-how.

September 2011

department. “It was there that I realized I could make a career out of my love for the kitchen,” Junell said. After graduating from Monte Vista, Junell moved to San Diego to study elementary education. However, she worked as a cake decorator outside of school. She ultimately found that she couldn’t leave her true

passion behind. She packed up her things to study patisserie in London at the prestigious culinary institute Le Cordon Bleu. Despite the seemingly intimidating prestige of the school, Junell felt right at home. “I would go back in a heartbeat. It was great to be around people who shared that instant common interest,” she says.

Junell studied under such great chefs as Julie Walsh, Bidault Christophe, and Claire Clark, the former pastry chef at Napa’s French Laundry. Most of the chefs were French speaking and had their share of entertaining quirks. “French chefs talk to their food,” Junell recalls. “When we would ask Christophe if a dish was done, he would say ‘I don’t know, ask it!’” After a rigorous schedule of lectures, practicals and sixhour final exams, Junell finally graduated top of her class with a degree in Patisserie Arts. Still hungry to learn from the best chefs and expand her knowledge, Junell began working in all of the major food cities in California. She has worked as a pastry chef for such prominent restaurants as Brix and Tulocay in Napa, Pres a Vi and the Ritz Carlton in San Francisco, and Sideboard and Mangia Mi in Danville. In May 2010, she decided to “eat [her] way through another city” in Chicago. It was there that she was inspired to embark upon her most recent endeavor – to open her own bakery. “I spent the next few months sitting in bakeries and coffee shops writing my business

plan,” Junell said. In and out of town since 2008, Junell had been operating Cakes by Junell, a specialty cake and pastry business, for two years. When she decided to come back to Danville and go at it full force, she created JuneBug’s Bakery. JuneBug’s Bakery focuses on creating specialty cakes and desserts for various occasions such as weddings, graduations, birthdays and baby showers. It has already gained respect in the industry working with many local charities, including Danville D’ Elegance, the National Charity League, Susan G. Komen and St. Luke’s Junior Auxiliary. The bakery also works with local schools and many other top event planners and caterers. Though Junell currently operates out of her home, J u n e B u g ’s w i l l o p e n i n Downtown Danville at 122 East Prospect Avenue in the fall. It will have outdoor seating and coffee and pastries will be served in the shop. Junell’s ultimate goal is to implement children’s parties and classes to combine her two loves, children and food, as well as expand to other locations. But for now, opening her own business is a dream come true.

Koko FitClub

Sweet Street

Bollinger Canyon Animal Hospital

Didi Justin-Reed

Sandy Block, DVM

409 Sycamore Valley Rd. West Danville, CA 94526

(925) 837-5839

Empire Real Estate

Estee Counseling Therapy and Coaching for Couples, Teens, Adults

Jill Fusari What sets Jill Fusari apart from the rest in her field? Jill has spent her entire business career focusing on developing concrete business relationships to last a lifetime. She is passionate about her chosen career. Having closely monitored the changing real estate market conditions, she knows property values intimately. She has extensive contract negotiating experience and is committed to helping buyers and sellers attain the most fair and competitive price through persistent analysis. Her goal is to provide each client with outstanding service, clear communication and follow up that exceeds their expectations. Give her a call today!

380 Diablo Road Danville, CA 94526

Estee Goren, M.A., MFT, MFC 50146 • • • •

Relationships Life Transitions Marriage & Family Life Coaching

Estee Goren, M.A., is a therapist and coach working with adults, teens, and couples. Her goal is to help others gain a new perspective, overcome personal challenges, and improve their overall well-being. If you are going through a challenging situation and looking for support and guidance, or are ready to move into a new direction in your life, I look forward to working with you to define and achieve your most desired goals. For your Free initial consultation call:

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822 Hartz Way, Ste. 205A Danville, CA 94526

Val Rogers Val Rogers, owner of Koko FitClub Danville, says, “Koko is the place where people who hate gyms love to work out.” With its Smartraining technology and fitness oasis atmosphere, Koko offers an entirely new way to get in shape that’s nothing like the typical gym scene. Rogers is a mother of two who left a career in real estate appraisal to raise her children 12 years ago. She has always been passionate about health and fitness, and equally passionate about helping people improve their lives.

499-B San Ramon Valley Blvd. Danville 94526

(925) 743-0802

When Didi Reed graduated from Stanford, becoming an entrepreneur was the furthest thing from her mind. The Alamo mother of four became active volunteering in the schools, serving as PTA President and as SRVEF VP. Didi followed her own sweet dream when she bought Sweet Street in December. Sweet Street, a fun, interactive candy store located in the Danville Clock Tower, carries an assortment of candy that will satisfy the kid in everyone.

301 Hartz Ave. Danville, CA 94526 (925) 837-9338 (925) 83-SWEET

Dr. Sandy Block has been serving our pets of the Tri-Valley area since 1990. In 2008, she founded Bollinger Canyon Animal Hospital in San Ramon, a national award winning hospital providing compassionate, competent veterinary care. Dr. Block is actively involved in the community, including Scouts, PTA, St. Joan of Arc, and presides on the board of ARF. She also speaks at local schools about her career and implemented “Vet for a Day” program for the elementary schools. “It’s simple; the kind of personal care you wish you could find for your family is available here at Bollinger Canyon Animal Hospital.”

400 Montgomery St.

(corner of Bollinger Canyon Rd. & Alcosta Blvd.)

San Ramon (925) 866-8500

September 2011

The Valley SenTinel

Women in Business CEID from page 7

page 9

The Savvy Shopaholic

later, when her grant was not renewed and Jill was forced to rethink how CEID could go on, she told me, “One of the parents called me and said she’d give us her garage as a classroom for the summer. I taught out of her house for the summer for free. We gathered tables, chairs, desks and filing cabinets from our homes and set up school.” Wendy Tokuda (Channel 5 Eyewitness News) found out about the school for the deaf being taught out of a garage in the East Bay and brought her camera crew along to film the story for the evening news. By fall of that year, Jill had secured private and public funding to carry on. It was hard to hold Ms. Ellis down when her mission in life was to create a curriculum for deaf children that included educating parents on the importance of having their infants examined as early as possible after birth. Getting a child to an audiologist early and making sure the parent was present in the examining room was

a revolutionary concept in the 70’s and 80’s. Studies in child development, with the hearing impaired, had not progressed to include the affect of parental interaction. People didn’t know that family participation was vital. Jill navigated a labyrinth of red tape to gain further funding for a non-profi t. It was hard to start a business back in the early eighties, a non-profit even harder. “Supervisors were only interested in the bottom line,” she said. Jill found a way to make federal and local governments understand that having the parents of hearing impaired children on their side would save them money. Funding a school whose curriculum was designed to enable deaf children to matriculate into public schools at the elementary school level would save taxpayers money in the long run. It worked. She was finally in the market for a building. Berkeley fi t the plan. Jill aligned herself with audiologists, partnered with Children’s Hospital in Oakland and networked with local government and

the community to establish the thriving center CEID is today. CEID employs 30 people. It’s a small business owned by a woman. If you’re a woman with a vision, the path to owning your own business is paved with organizations created to help you. Resources are available on the Internet and in your communities including: EBWN



Bay Celebrations

JuneBug’s Bakery

Eyes on Hartz

Elizabeth Hodson

Kristy Crowell

Sharon Schuyler

Junelle Starr Watson

Jackie Pardini

Junell Starr Watson is the owner of the new JuneBug’s Bakery. Opening this fall in Danville, it will focus on creating specialty cakes and desserts for all occasions. Junell studied under such great chefs as Julie Walsh, Bidault Christophe, and Claire Clark, the former pastry chef at Napa’s French Laundry. She works with local schools, and charities including Danville’s Concours d’Elegance.. She is excited to open her own business where coffee and pastries will be served in the shop, and says that this is a dream come true!

Jackie has been in the fashion eyewear industry for 30 years. During that time she has garnered clients from all over the Bay Area. Her expertise in color and facial structure has been an asset to her clients. She believes in taking each client as an individual and works to achieve the proper design specific to that person. She feels that the most important accessory a person wears is that which is worn on the face. After all, when you meaningfully communicate with someone, it’s always with direct eye contact. Over the years she has been involved with helping to empower less fortunate women in seeking new career opportunities. She is a true giver.


Sharon Schuyler is your hostess along with her husband, Greg aboard “Bay Celebrations.” They founded Celebrations On The Bay in the mid 1990s. They operate their vessels out of the Oakland/Alameda Estuary and provide cruises on San Francisco Bay and Delta. She enjoys sharing her love of the San Francisco area with all of the passengers who come out with them. She has a background in event planning and food service. She says she is full of ideas for fundraisers, anniversaries, birthdays, rehearsal dinners, weddings, and more. Sharon serves on the board of directors of the Alamo Chamber of Commerce. She is also active in the Chambers of Commerce of Alameda, Danville, and Oakland.

(877) 499-4229

Elizabeth Hodson is the creative force behind ehCreative, a design studio in Danville specializing in affordable, professional graphic design for small businesses and organizations. ehCreative's portfolio of clients include retail, industrial, and service-oriented businesses as well as schools, non-profits, and professional organizations. Whether you are a new business looking to brand your image or an established business that's just in need of a little “facelift,” ehCreative can help while working within your budget. Catering to small business owners and organizations, ehCreative provides professional results for a reasonable price. See how a whole new look can attract a whole new crowd.

(732) 406-6770

Kristy Crowell opened Olive, the first eco boutique this side of the tunnel, three years ago and continues daily, to push her main vision; “I wanted to show people that keeping the environment in mind, never ever has to mean sacrificing style – the true meaning of an ecofashionista.” With a marketing and journalism background, she dove into a somewhat troubled economy with excitement and hopefulness in showing people the way to their inner ecofashionista through amazing clothing and jewelry they never knew existed!

The Rose Garden 730 Camino Ramon #130 Danville, CA 94526

(East Bay Women’s Network):; Office of Women’s Business Ownership under the SBA: about-offices-content/1/2895; S.C.O.R.E. (Service Corps of Retired Executives), who help entrepreneurs set up businesses with free advice and guidance to write business plans, apply for grants etc:; and many others.

Thinking about buying or selling a home? Call me for your FREE market analysis to find out if the time is right for you!

Deb Rosenberg Ten years as a professional buyer for women’s and junior’s contemporary apparel gave Rosenberg a savvy eye for the best fashion finds. The Savvy Shopaholic is her upscale boutique for style-conscious women and teens who believe fashion is essential. Her store carries new and consigned clothing, jewelry, accessories and purses at 50% or more off retail. The Savvy Shopaholic is passionate about fashionable clothing that make women look their very best without cleaning out their bank account.

411 Hartz Ave. #G Danville, CA 94526 (925) 362-3677

JILL FUSARI | Realtor®

Providing unparalleled expertise, service, and results. 925.817.7818 |

DRE# 01775608

JuneBug’s will be located at 122 East Prospect Ave. down the lane.


Please see ad on page 16

334 Hartz Ave. Danville, CA 94526 (925) 406-4887

defining eyewear

Home & Garden page 10

The valley Sentinel

September 2011 Advertorial

Hardwood floor maintenance: What to do/what not to do to keep them looking like new!

Are you composting yet?

By Dan Yorke, Danville Hardwood

best cleaners are those designed for hardwood floors – we recommend Bona Professional Hardwood Floor Cleaner because it contains a drying agent and it dries in seconds. Common problems and easy solutions: · P re v e n t d e n t s a n d scratches: Use walk off mats to clean feet and prevent the abrasive wear caused by dirt · Food spills – Wipe up spill, use Bona Professional Hardwood Floor Cleaner · Shoe marks  – Scuff marks can be rubbed off with a white grade pad · Furniture dents – Use felt pads under furniture · Pet scratches – Keeping  your dog’s nails trimmed can prevent or minimize scratching • Roofing · Shoe marks – High heel • Rain Gutters dents should be prevented – • Gutter Cleaning check to ensure heels have a and Screening protective, plastic cover. • Power Washing • Water damage, squeaking, • Repairs splintering, staining – consult a • Sheet Metal hardwood floor expert. For additional information, Specializing in the Danville area go to our website and click Over 20 Years Experience on “resources” at www. We’ll Beat Any Written Estimate All Raingutters Systems, Inc. Danville Hardwood is a Member of the National Wood #793315 925-381-7620 OverLic25 yearsFloor experience! Association

There is nothing like the beauty of a hardwood floor. With the proper care, it can remain beautiful for years.  Here are some tips to help you keep your floors looking like new! Daily care – To prevent abrasion and premature wear, remove dust, dirt, and food crumbs from the floor with a broom, dust mop, hardwood floor sweeper with micro fiber dusting pad, or vacuum cleaner set on “hard wood floors”— never use a vacuum cleaner with a beater bar.  Cleaning – 1. Start by removing dust,

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dirt, and food crumbs with a dust mop, hardwood floor sweeper with micro fiber pad, or vacuum cleaner 2. Use Bona Professional Hardwood Floor Cleaner, spraying a three or four foot square section of the floor 3. Use the micro fiber pad on the hardwood floor sweeper Cleaners – Never use oil soap, spray wax, or acrylic wax! Never use a mop, water and vinegar or household dust treatment sprays and oils – they can cause damage to the floor surface. Water is the enemy – the

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Home & Garden

September 2011

The Valley SenTinel

What is sustainable landscaping? Part II: By Jonathan Espalin

In our previous article, we addressed some core ideas of sustainable landscaping: to consider the function of all parts of your garden ecosystem, to be aware of the relationship of your garden to the future (both the future of the garden and the future of the planet), and to work in harmony with place, both the site of the garden and the climate and ecosystem that surrounds it. What are some practical ways that a gardener or homeowner can apply them in the real world? Waste not, want not: Plan, build, and maintain your garden so that you minimize waste. This will save you money and be immensely better for the world. This is where considering function comes in: much waste comes from garden features that don’t actually serve any of the homeowner’s needs. In addition to eliminating the dysfunctional, there are many other ways to minimize waste: from using recycled or local materials for construction, to installing and programming your irrigation correctly, to choosing site-appropriate plants that don’t need constant babying or hacking. Nurture your soil biology: Soil is the foundation of a healthy, environmentally s o u n d , l ow - m a i n t e n a n c e garden Most plants need a lot less water, fertilizer, and coddling than we think, but they need good soil to perform well. What is good

soil? Most gardens have far too little organic matter and biological activity in their soil. The construction of homes and roads, as well as many outdated gardening practices, leave the soil lifeless and unproductive. Organic matter, in a natural ecosystem, holds water and nutrients in the soil, maintains an open texture that makes root growth easier, and stabilizes soil temperatures and chemistry. Proper soil preparation is essential when installing or renovating a garden. Repairing lifeless soil with the addition of compost and mulch is the foundation of long-term soil and plant health. In a healthy garden, soil grows. Plants help build the soil as they grow, stabilize the soil with their roots, and shed leaves and flowers. Earthworms and other beneficial animals prosper and give back to the plants. For most plants, synthetic fertilizers do more harm than good. Spraying salt-based fertilizers on lifeless clay soil does not make it any better, in fact, it does harm by killing the biology needed to keep plants healthy. As important as soil is, in a mature garden, you shouldn’t see the soil. Any bare areas are a place for weeds to grow, for roots to overheat, for water to evaporate wastefully. A sustainably planned and managed garden will increase in stability every year, becoming easier to maintain and more rewarding to live in. Take time to enjoy your

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page 11

Master Gardeners Fall Event

garden, to pause and see what you have achieved, and see what you are giving back to the world. Next time: “But how’s it going to look? Framing your ecosystem.” –Jonathan Espalin, Garden Designer and Horticulturist, Calvin Craig Landscaping

September 10 from 9am–2pm Tour of the Garden of Learning. Plant Sale - Native & Drought tolerant plants, flowers & winter vegetable starts. Garden Art Sale - New and gently used garden items. Help desk and Sick Plant Clinic Free demonstrations: Composting & Vermiculture – 9:30am & 12:30pm. Plant Propagation from Cuttings – 10am & 1pm. Raising Chickens – 10:30am & 1:30pm. Drip Irrigation – 11am.

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For additional Community Events If your event is not listed... Please do so by clicking on CALENDAR and Post an Event

We hope to see you there! ANNOUNCEMENTS August 25 – September 25 Quirkology of Quilts: Warmth to Whimsy Tues-Fri: 1-4pm. Sat: Quilt Demos, 10am-1pm. Grab a Danville strolling map to help you locate a premier quilter’s resource, a treasure trove of button embellishments and eight colorful Art-Quilts displayed within our unique boutiques & bistros. September 5 Antique & Art Faire 9am-3pm. Railroad Ave. Parking Lot and Railroad Centre Shopping Center. Sponsored by Discover Danville Association. Information: 339-8330. September 7 Inside the Dancer’s Life: Black Swan and Beyond 6-7pm. Diablo Ballet presents an inside look at the lives and careers of ballet dancers. Learn what it takes to make it in this demanding profession. Dancers from Diablo Ballet will provide a behind-the-scenes talk about their work and lives in the company and as professional dancers. Did the movie “Black Swan” get it right? Walnut Creek Library, Oak View Room, 1644 N. Broadway, Walnut Creek. Advance registration is suggested: 977-3340. September 7 Glass House Museum, Orientation and Training 1-4pm. The 1877 Italianate style Victorian home is open for tours, educational programs and special events. 1-2pm will be an informal session. 2-4pm will be training. Call 829-4654. September 9 Preschool Performance Series: Dan Chan the Magic Man 10am. No other show like it, weaving magic, comedy, pickpocketing, mind-reading, juggling, escapes, dog tricks, and acrobatics to create the ultimate variety show. The Village Theatre, 233 Front St, Danville. Information: 820-1278. September 10 San Ramon Valley Emergency Preparedness Fair 9am-2pm. Have you ever wondered what measures your local, state and federal government have taken to prepare our community for a disaster? Come to the fair and find out. 655 Old Orchard Rd., Danville. September 10 How To Write a Great College Application Essay 11am-12pm. Attend this free seminar and learn: What colleges want to see in your essay, how to write a winning essay, how the essay factors in to your college application. Free. Ygnacio Valley Library, 2661 Oak Grove Rd., Walnut Creek. Sign up by calling 800-527-8378 or the library: 9381481. September 10 & 24 Chef Demo with Faz! 11am. Learn simple recipes with ingredients from the market followed by questions and answers. San Ramon Farmers Market, Bishop Ranch 2, Bollinger Canyon Rd/ Sunset Drive across from Whole Foods Market and Peet’s Coffee. September 10 – October 29 Works of Text and Image Pieces of work will include works of text and image, abstract painting, artist books, mixed media, comics, photography, sculpture and handmade postcards. Special Opening Night Reception: September 10, 4:15pm – 7:15pm. This Opening Night Reception is free and light refreshments will be served. This reception is for mature audiences only. Danville Community Center, 420 Front Street, Danville. Information: 341-3400.

September 11 Annual Victorian Tea honoring Ruth Quayle Boone 1-4pm. $35.00 per person. Your cancelled check guarantees your reservation. To guarantee seating together, all payments must be submitted with the same reservation form. Each table seats 10 guests. San Ramon Community Center, 12501 Alcosta Blvd., San Ramon. , September 11 Tenth Anniversary 9-11 Ceremony;“Our Community Remembers” 5:50pm-6:40pm. This event will feature prominent guest speakers, hundreds of scouts with an array of American fflags, joint police and fire dept. honor guard and fife & drum corps., a bagpiper, a flight of doves, renowned tenor George Komsky and many other patriotic contributions. Immediately following the ceremony there will be a free community “American picnic” featuring hot dogs and ice cream. All Wars Memorial, Oak Hill Park, 3005 Stone Valley Rd., Danville. September 15 Forest Home Farms Historic Park Fall Docent Training 9:30-12pm. Make a difference for 3rd graders in the San Ramon Valley. Meeting will be held in the Boone House, Apt. B, at Forest Home Farms Historic Park, 19953 San Ramon Valley Blvd., San Ramon. This training is open to the public and is for anyone who is interested in becoming a volunteer at the farm.You are not required to volunteer after attending the meeting. Information: 973-3282. September 16-18 Harvest Festival Original Art & Craft Show Fri: 10am - 6pm, Sat: 10am - 6pm, Sun: 10am - 5pm. Hundreds of booths featuring handmade art, photography, ceramics, blown glass, toys, jewelry, food, and more. All day stage and strolling entertainment. Adults: $9, Child: $4 (13 - 17), Seniors: $7 (62+), Handicap: $7, Military: $2. Parking: $8. Alameda County Fairgrounds, 1400 Pleasanton Ave., Pleasanton. Information: 415-447-3205. September 17 Parks Make A Difference 9am-12pm. Join the professional park maintenance staff for the first of several clean up events to maintain the San Ramon Parks. Open to all ages, children 13 and under must have an adult. Bring work gloves. Register by calling 973-3222. September 17 Dedication for O’Neill Sculpture at Tao House 2:30pm. Join in for a dedication of a bronze bust of O’Neill by the noted sculptor Jon Hair. Shuttle service to the event at the Museum of the San Ramon Valley, 205 Railroad Avenue in downtown Danville, beginning at 2pm September 19 - October 24 “Two Cities, One Tale”: Danville & San Ramon Joint City Read Join residents of Danville and San Ramon for a five-week book-sharing event to read one book together. This book is a story about love, family, and friendship during WWII America. Explore the strengths and strains of human relationships through the eyes of a young Chinese Boy and a Japanese Girl. Contact the Danville Library at 837-4889 or San Ramon Library at 973-2850 for more information. September 27 Art and History of the Japanese Tea Ceremony 7pm. Discover the history, culture, and elegant art form of the Japanese tea ceremony. Free. No registration required. Seating is limited. Danville Library, Mt. Diablo Room, 400 Front St., Danville. Information: 837-4889.

September 30 – October 2 Alameda County Home & Garden Shows Fri: 12pm - 6pm, Sat: 10am - 6pm, Sun: 10am - 6pm. Everything you need all in one great location. Skylights, ceramic tile, kitchen and bath renovations and more. Outdoor landscaping, wood decking, sunroom enclosures and heated spas. Adult $6, Child 12 & under free. Parking: $8. Alameda County Fairgrounds, 1400 Pleasanton Ave., Pleasanton. Information: 682-7227. September 30 Jazz at the Library – San Ramon 8pm. Kenny Washington Trio. Enjoy gospel, blues and jazz. Tickets: $20, Students and Seniors: $15. San Ramon Library, 100 Montgomery St., San Ramon. Information: 973-2850. October 1 Tri-Valley Mothers of Twins Club–Used Clothing & Equipment Sale 9am - 2:45pm (1/2-off sale 1:45-2:45). If you’re looking for maternity wear, clothing for newborns to teen, car seats, single and double strollers, swings, bouncy seats, baby carriers, cribs, high chairs, toys, books and DVD’s, this is your sale. Adults: $2, Children: $1. Parking: Free. Information: 899-3837.

SENIORS Danville Buzz Sessions are the buzz on topics and issues facing today’s older adults with the experts. Buzz Sessions are always free! The following sessions are all held at the Town Meeting Hall, 201 Front St., Danville. September 6 Love the Skin you’re in–At Any Age! 10-11am. Taking care of your skin at any age is important. Your home regimen can be very simple or many steps. Session will cover common skin and how stress affects your skin. September 13 Good Shoes Make Happy Feet 12pm-1pm. What you have under your feet can affect many parts of your body. Proper footwear is essential to continued exercise and getting around each and every day. September 20 How to Save a Small Fortune in Home Care Costs 1-2pm. Preventative and proactive measures seniors can take in order empower yourself to stay vital, independent and delay the need for care in the home. September 29 How to Handle Dogs and Grandchildren; Exercising Alternatives for your Dog 10-11am. Discussion on how to deal with an excitable dog and young children, as well as alternatives to walking in order to exercise your dog. This is a human only presentation; please leave your dogs at home. San Ramon All events listed are held or go through the Alcosta Senior & Community Center, 9300 Alcosta Blvd., San Ramon. Information: 973-3250. September 7 Personal Safety 10:30-12pm. Darlene Kittredge, Crime Prevention Specialist with the City of San Ramon Police Department, will discuss ways to stay safe both at home and away. September 11 Sunday Family Breakfast 9am-11am. Breakfast includes pancakes, scrambled eggs, fresh fruit and sausage. No reservations required. $4 Adults, $2 Children 12 and under. Continued on page 7

Please email or fax your Calendar Events to the Sentinel by 5 pm on the 15th of the month proceeding publication month. Fax No. 925-820-6048, or go to to enter your event online. Inclusion in the calendar pages is at the sole discretion of Sentinel Newspapers, Inc.

September 2011


Lunch Brunch Trips Sign up for the lunch bunch trips at the front desk. September 10: Vallejo Ferry to Ferry Bldg. Marketplace September 14: Sam’s Anchor Café, Tiburon September 26: Elephant Bar, Dublin September 28: Chopin Café, Pleasant Hill Marketplace Casino Trips Sign up at the front desk. September 12: Thunder Valley, Lincoln. $28/person. BUSINESS Alamo Chamber of Commerce Events September 21: Welcome Supervisor Gayle Uilkema. Luncheon 11:30-1pm. Round Hill Country Club, 3169 Round Hill Rd., Alamo. Cost: $25. September 27: Alamo & Danville Chamber Joint Mixer. 5:30-7pm. Diablo Country Club, 1700 Club House Rd., Diablo. September 28: Alamo Chamber of Commerce Mixer. 5:30-7pm. Sweet Celebrations, 170 Alamo Plz # C, Alamo. Danville Chamber of Commerce Events: September 8: Business After Hours Mixer. 5:30pm. Fastsigns, 2551 San Ramon Valley Blvd., Suite 113, San Ramon. September 21: Welcome Supervisor Gayle Uilkema. Luncheon 11:30-1pm. Round Hill Country Club, 3169 Round Hill Rd., Alamo. Cost: $25. September 22: Danville’s Going Places 2011. Business Showcase - Travel and Culinary Event. 5-8pm. Sample the best that 20 area restaurants have to offer, taste the wines of California, visit 10 different cruise lines and the treasures of the world by sea, meet over 40 Danville Area Businesses and their key staff and find out how they can help you and your business. September 27: Alamo & Danville Chamber Joint Mixer. 5:30-7pm. Diablo Country Club, 1700 Club House Rd., Diablo. September 29: Tri-Valley Mayors Summit. 11:30am. Danville, Mayor Karen Stepper, Dublin, Mayor Tim Sbranti, Livermore, Mayor Marshall Kamena, Pleasanton, Mayor Jennifer Hosterman, San Ramon, Mayor H. Abram Wilson. Seating is limited and reservations must be prepaid. Contact the Livermore Chamber of Commerce this year’s host at Chamber Members Fee: $40. Non-Member Fee: $50. Held at Wente Vineyards, 5050 Arroyo Road, Livermore San Ramon Chamber of Commerce Events September 15: Third Thursday Mixer - Blackhawk Gallery, in Blackhawk Plaza. 5:30 – 7:30pm. A night of great food, wine and fun at the Alamo Danville Artists’ Society’s Blackhawk Gallery in Blackhawk Plaza. $5 for Members and $20 for Non-Members. No RSVP required. Cash and Checks only please. Blackhawk Gallery in Blackhawk Plaza, 3461 Blackhawk Plaza Circle. Danville. September 29: Tri-Valley Mayors Summit. 11:30am. Danville, Mayor Karen Stepper, Dublin, Mayor Tim Sbranti, Livermore, Mayor Marshall Kamena, Pleasanton, Mayor Jennifer Hosterman, San Ra-


mon, Mayor H. Abram Wilson. Seating is limited and reservations must be prepaid. Contact the Livermore Chamber of Commerce this year’s host at Chamber Members Fee: $40. Non-Member Fee: $50. Held at Wente Vineyards, 5050 Arroyo Road, Livermore. CLUBS September 14 Exchange Club of San Ramon Valley 12:00 pm (11:30 Sign In) “New Trails, Shrinking Budgets, Keeping Our Regional Parks Open!” a presentation by Beverly Lane, President, East Bay Regional Park District. FAZ, 600 Hartz Ave., Danville. $16 Members/ $20 returning guests. For info, call 275-2412 or email coachstepper@yahoo. com. September 15 San Ramon Valley Newcomers Club 11:30-2pm. New & long-time residents are invited to the Crow Canyon Country Club, 711 Silver Lake Dr., Danville. Cost is $21. Our program will be a fashion show presented by Draper’s & Damon’s Ladies Fashion Store. Information & reservations: 560-0656. Mondays Danville Rotary 12:15-1:30pm. Meets every Monday. Faz Restaurant, Danville Info: Victor, 838-8721. Tuesdays Danville/Sycamore Valley Rotary 7am. Join us at the Crow Canyon Country Club every Tuesday morning for a good breakfast and great company. Info: Scott Sampson, 743-8449. Wednesdays Alamo Rotary Noon. Meets every Wednesday at Round Hill Country Club, Alamo. Info: Mark Kahn, 837-3262. San Ramon Valley Rotary Club 7pm. Guests welcome. Join us at the Crow Canyon Country Club every Wednesday for dinner. This is a great way to make new friends. Info: 838-9110. Blue Star Moms 6:30pm. Chapter 101 meets every second Wednesday of the month at the Danville Veterans Memorial Building at 400 Hartz Avenue in Danville. Thursdays Rotary Club of San Ramon 12:15-1:30pm. Meets every Thursday at the Crow Canyon Country Club, San Ramon Info: Bill Nethercott, 337-3311.

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Danville • Blackhawk • Alamo • Diablo • San Ramon

Community News & Information

Publisher/Editor – Denise Rousset Chief Financial Officer – Jeff Gummere Writer, Auto – David & Judy Colman Graphic Designer – Laurie Prindle Assistant Editor – Jason Bellini Interns – Stephanie Steinbrecher and Alex Hicks 390 Diablo Road, Suite 145 Danville, CA 94526 925-820-6047 Website:

The Valley SenTinel


page 13


’94 Electra Glide Custom Black on Black. 21” front wheel. Thunder header, etc. $8500.00. Contact Marc 925-639-4474. 2011 Entertainment Coupon Books for Greater East Bay Area available NOW! Only $30 each. Support California High School Choral Boosters. Call Cam Reed at 925-829-0628. Free delivery San Ramon/ Danville/Alamo/Dublin area. Beautiful Minolta Camera hardly used, in box. Must see, one year old. Paid $550, will sell for $200. Call (925) 735-3895. JVC Movie Camera, digital, almost new. Paid over $600, will sell for $250. Call (925) 735-3895. BUILDING MATERIALS Steel Buildings Discounted factory inventory. 24x36, 38x50, 48x96, 60x150. Misc. sizes, limited availability. Source# 0EN. Call (530) 8841920. HELP WANTED Sales Executive Position: The Valley Sentinel Newspaper has immediate openings for two sales positions. No sales experience necessary, we will train. Must have an outgoing personality and a positive

Marc Williams

attitude. Compensation based on performance. The Valley Sentinel covers the most desirable areas of the Bay Area. Alamo, Danville, Blackhawk, Diablo and San Ramon. Please email your resume and request for interview to us at drousset@ Proof Reader: Must be available for deadlines and special publications, usually a few hours per month. We have a good team and have fun together. We will need to find someone to help starting with the November issue. Please email your resume and request for interview to us at drousset@ SERVICES Pool Service -If your pool looks like a pond, call John at 925-584-6333. It’s the last pool maintenance call you will have to make. REAL ESTATE Ready To Lease Your Property or Looking To Rent It? Come To Hitchcock Realty Property Management Rentals, Listings, Advertising, Maintenance Full Services Low Rates Call Chris at 925-890-4482. CA License #0688647

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page 14

The valley Sentinel

September 2011

Boy Scout Troop 36 bikes to Southern California By StaffWriter

Boy Scout Troop 36 based at St. Timothy’s Church on Diablo Road in Danville recently bicycled from Half Moon Bay along Highway 1 to Ventura County in Southern California, covering almost 400 miles and 19,500 feet of vertical elevation during this seven-day ride. Beginning on

August 6, the 14 Boy Scouts and 12 adult volunteers rode between 35 and 72 miles daily, camping out at scenic beachfront campgrounds at the end of each day. Led by former Scoutmaster Dr. Stephen Krome and assisted by Assistant Scoutmaster James Kocins, this bike trek was the culmination of both

Troop 36 finally, after seven straight days of bicycle riding, arrive at Ventura McGrath State Park

a full year of careful planning as well as six months of intensive training rides. All riders were required to ride a minimum of six to nine prior bike rides, including a 50 miler, an overnight ride and a 3,000 foot elevation ride. All participants took bike safety and bicycle repair courses as part of their preparation for the trip. Bicyclist enthusiast Geoff Landon was the resident bike expert, and Greg Landon his son was the Troop Senior Patrol Leader at the head of the riders. Support vehicles hauled the camping equipment and shopped daily for fresh food. At Ventura the bicycles were dismantled and packed into a trailer for the ride back to Danville, and the Boy Scouts and adult volunteers boarded a bus to Disneyland, where they spent 14 glorious hours maxing out on rides. On the last day, they all boarded the Amtrak Coast Starlight train for a very scenic 12 hour coastal ride back to Danville.

Morro Bay

Itinerary Day 1: Half Moon Bay to Santa Cruz–58 miles bicycling. Camping at Manresa State Campground. Day 2: Santa Cruz to Monterey–35 miles bicycling Camping at Veterans Memorial Park, Monterey. Day 3: Monterey to Big Sur–70 miles bicycling. Camping at Limekiln state Park Campground.

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

2011 TOYOTA FJ CRUISER By David and Judy Colman

Ten hut you army wannabes! Fall in you Hummer chums! Toyota has a new dog tag for camouflaged ammo fans. It’s called the Upgrade Package 3 ($3,650) on the $26,880 FJ Cruiser. Check the box for “Army Green Exterior Color” and Toyota will send you packing with an FJ that looks like a five gallon Jerry can. Instead of the usual white roof, yours will be olive drab, just like the rest of the body, the interior door trim, the seat fabric inserts, and the face of the dashboard. Items that would normally be silver or chrome, like bumpers, exterior mirrors, grill, door handles and even wheels, are all matte black on this special FJ. Only the six lug nuts holding each steel wheel in place are chrome. The subdued colorless combo transforms the FJ from a pastel Lego brick into an MP bulldog. Although looks can be deceiving, the FJ’s military dress tells no lies. This Cruiser is fully capable of performing off- road maneuvers that would leave some tanks dead in their tracks. The makings of a ferocious outback attacker are apparent the moment you step tall into the FJ’s cab. Directly in front of the gated 5-speed automatic shift console is another stubby lever in charge of the FJ’s 2 speed transfer case. This mechanism allows you to select Low Range 4 wheel drive, or High Range 2 and 4 wheel drive. If you need special traction assistance in Low Range 4WD, you can lock the rear differential by simply depressing a button on the dash. Likewise, you can push the “A-Trac” button on the center console to activate traction control at creeper speeds. If you anticipate special circumstances which might tip the FJ over while crawling through rocks, you can even disable the side curtain airbags by depressing the RSCA (Roll Sensing Curtain Airbag) button to the left of

the steering column. In other words, Toyota has covered all the angles in tailoring the FJ for wilderness travel. Yet the camouflage Cruiser also works well as a means of everyday civilian transport. Its 240hp V6 is sophisticated enough to produce a welcome wallop of power when called on to dart through holes in traffic. Since it displaces a hefty 4 liters, the 24 valve engine also makes 271 lb.-ft. of torque, more than enough to tow 5,000 pounds of trailer. The optional $349 tow hitch and wiring harness thus make good sense. The downside of asking a V6 to power a 4,350 pound SUV is middling fuel mileage of 17/21MPG. The good news is that the FJ’s sizeable 20 gallon tank will take you 340-420 miles between refills. In a pinch, the FJ will carry four adults, with decent access to the rear seats through a pair of small suicide back doors that swing out via fat latches located on the inside of the B pillars. If you flip the 60/40 fold down rear seats flat, you’ve got 34 cubic feet of storage space to fill. The thoughtful addition of no less than seven tie-down eyelets allows you to secure any cargo with certainty. The hatchback door opens to one side, so access to the cargo bed is unimpeded, although the bed floor itself is not flat. The FJ’s full size spare (265/70R17 Bridgestone Dueler) is appended to the swinging back door. The tire mount contains a waterproof back-up camera, so you’ll want to be careful to protect it when reversing. The provision of a bottle jack in a side panel near the tailgate is poorly thought out. I was unable to remove the jack or toolkit after several minutes of fiddling – not the experience you need when changing tires in an emergency. It’s a curious failing in a vehicle that is otherwise as practical as a GI-issue knife.

March 2009 September 2011

page 15

The FJ is an iconic vehicle that looks like nothing else on the road. Dressing it in military fatigues just heightens the visual drama. If you need practical, stable transport for four, the FJ fills the bill at a reasonable base price of $26,880. Add $3,650 for the Upgrade Package 3 and you’ve still got a bottom line that would make the Pentagon military green with envy. Unlike more pedestrian forms of daily transit, the Cruiser will take you into the harshest outback with nary a care. Please do not attempt such forays in your economy sedan. 2011 TOYOTA FJ CRUISER ENGINE: 4.0 Liter DOHC, 24 valve V-6 with VVT-i

HORSEPOWER: 240hp TORQUE: 271 lb.-ft. FUEL CONSUMPTION: 17 City MPG/21 Highway MPG PRICE AS TESTED: $31,775

PROS: Go anywhere rig, startling appearance, huge HVAC dash knobs CONS: Droning exhaust note, cheesy jack, impeded rear vision



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Benefit for local schools sponsored by the Rotary Club of Alamo

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29th Annual Alamo Music and Wine Festival

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September 10, 2011 Noon - 11pm Dinner Tickets $15 Dinners provided by local restaurants

For more information, please visit

The Valley Sentinel Sept. 2011  

Community news and information