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valleysentinel.com

May 2012

VOL 17, NO 4

SEVENTY-FIVE CENTS

SPOTLIGHT

Beloved teacher retires

For the past thirty years Maureen Wroblewski has taught History, Religion and Language Arts to junior high students at St. Isidore’s. She said she has seen countless changes at the school, made lifelong friends with her colleagues, dear friendships with families of her students and has been deeply involved in St. Isidore Parish since 1974. In addition to her role of educator, Maureen was a parent whose own four children attended St. Isidore School. She will retire at the end of the school year. Maureen’s history lessons are always filled with multiple life lessons and famous quotes to live by. She says she hopes that her students seek out an understanding of where they came from in order to know where they are going. Former students frequently visit school and always make a quick right turn into her classroom.

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See TEACHER page 5

San Ramon Valley Girls Athletic League (SRVGAL) U-10 Girls Red Competitive Division, Team Dynamite coached by Greg Aynesworth and Rich Mendoza, and Team Sabertooth Tigers, coached by Dinesh Govindaroa playing at Danville’s Vista Grande April 5 with Sabertooth Catcher Remy Laflamme, Dynamite baserunner Riley Mendoza and Sabertooth Pitcher Ella Romero all in action at home plate. Dynamite went on to defeat the Sabertooth Tigers 10-4. (Photo by Jeffrey Weil)

New Veterans Memorial Building dedication a rousing success

Postmaster: Dated Material

By Denise Rousset

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

On Saturday, April 28, the community celebrated the reopening of the newly renovated Veterans Memorial Building. Master of Ceremonies Rear Admiral Mary P. O’Donnell USCG (Retired) called the assembly to order. The National Anthem was sung by Georganne Seavey, and Danville’s own Poet Laureate, Lea Kagel read a poem especially written for the occasion. Danville Mayor Candace Andersen spoke of the partnerships, hard work and dedication of everyone involved in the project and directed everyone to the front of the new building for the ribbon cutting. A reception (catered by Sideboard Café), and tour of the facility revealed a beautiful resource center for both area veterans and Danville’s senior

communities. Every detail of the facility was carefully planned and tastefully executed. The $8.1 million renovation project was begun in July 2010. Veterans groups raised $2 million, while the Town of Danville put $5 million into the project. $1 million was provided from a Measure WW East Bay Regional Park District grant, and in 2010 Congressman Jerry McNerney secured $200,000 in federal funding for the redevelopment of the Veterans Memorial Building. Originally built in 1925, it had hosted meetings and events of area veterans for 85 years. Programs for seniors were also housed within its walls.

Located on Hartz Avenue in downtown Danville, the size of the building has now been doubled from 6,300 to 12,792 square feet. The conceptual building plans were approved for the renovation in August of 2009. The community hall and parking area that had been located to the rear of the building were

demolished to accommodate the new expansion into a larger two-story space with dedicated senior center, large community hall, classrooms, catering kitchens, meeting rooms, staff offices and more. The main hall is designed so that it can be divided into 3 separate spaces to accommodate See VETERANS page 15

This month’s Special Sections...

Home & Garden

Page

Kids’ Camps

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• ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT •

page 2

valleysentinel.com

dining out • music • art • theater • fun events May 2012

“So Many Choices” Exhibit Now-May 12 Twice a year new work is juried and selected for the gallery’s exhibition of paintings in many styles and media, from representational to abstract and from oil to pastels, watercolor and collage. Valley Art offers these works for rent and for purchase. Fine crafts and jewelry are also featured. Valley Art Gallery, 1661 Botelho Drive, Walnut Creek. Information: 925-935-4311. “Colorscapes” Exhibit Now-June 15 The Town of Danville’s Village Theatre Art Gallery presents Colorscapes, featuring an array of paintings by seven contemporary artists. Colorscapes is an exhibition that celebrates

paint, color and the landscape. Village Theatre Art Gallery, 233 Front Street, Danville. Information: 925-314-3400 or villagetheatreartgallery.com.

will be performed by Maestro D u a n e Carroll and the Contra Costa Wind Symphony in a concert billed as “Sublime to Silly.” Tickets: $1025. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek. Tickets/information: 925-9437469 or lesherartscenter.org.

Contra Costa Wind Symphony presents “Sublime to Silly” May 12 Music ranging from Rachmaninoff to Godzilla

2012 Martinez Peddlers Faire

Road, San Ramon. Tickets/ information: sanramon.ca.gov and bactheatre.org. Claudia Nygaard and Jaime Michaels at Devil Mountain

Coffee House May 18 8-10:30pm. Americana singer-songwriter Claudia Nygaard is a born storyteller with a quick wit, a fearless emotional vulnerability, and stunning guitar and vocal talent. Jaime Michaels’ craftsmanship in his music is unparalleled. See both at their one-nigh concert. Mt. Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church, 55 Eckley Lane, Walnut Creek. Information: dmch. mduuc.org.

May 19 & Aug. 4 8am to 4pm

Antiques & Collectibles | Arts & Crafts Show

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Featuring over 100 booths along Main St. & Ferry St. in downtown Martinez. John Humphries, collectibles author, radio and tv host, will evaluate your treasures (up to 3 carry-in items) for a $5 donation to the Martinez Historical Society. At Main St. & Ferry St.

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The True Story of the Three Little Pigs May 12-20 This time the wolf gets to tell his side of the tale—but do you believe him? Based on the Book by John Scieszka. Presented by the Bay Area Children’s Theatre. Tickets: $15-20. Front Row Theater, 1 7011 B o l l i n g e r C a nyo n

Seussical Jr. May 18-20 T h e Yo u t h T h e a t r e Company presents Seussical Jr. Come see the wonderful world and characters of Dr. Seuss brought to life! Del Valle Theatre, 1963 Tice Valley Blvd.,

Walnut Creek. Tickets/ information: 925-943-7469 or lesherarts c e n t e r . org.

Xanadu May 18-June 23 A young artist is trying to paint his enduring masterpiece (in chalk) on the boardwalk of Venice Beach and before you can say “roller disco!” his Muse appears in the form of Olivia Newton-John. Based on the legendary cult film and packed with chart-topping hits, this is inspired lunacy at its most buoyant and hilarious. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek. Tickets/ information: 925-943-7469 or lesherartscenter.org. San Ramon Symphonic Band: “An American Portrait” May 25 7:30pm. Bring the entire family to enjoy an evening of music provided by the 65 member San Ramon Symphonic

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• ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT •

page 3

dining out • music • art • theater • fun events

valleysentinel.com

May 2012 band under the direction of Larry B. Colón. Tickets: $6, children under 12 and students with ID are free. Dougherty Valley Performing Arts Center, 10550 Albion Road, San Ramon. Tickets/information: sanramon. ca.gov.

Medanos College Recital Hall, Pittsburg, Tickets: $5 - $10 at the door. Sunday, 5/20, 7:30 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, Walnut Creek, Tickets: $10 - $30 at the door, by phone (925-943-SHOW), or online at www.LesherArtsCenter.org

Company C Contemporary Ballet Spring Program May 25-27 T h e program is filled with a variety of different performances. From bluegrass renditions of Led Zeppelin songs to classical technique infused with world music, this is one program you will not want to miss. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek. Tickets/information: 925-9437469 or lesherartscenter.org.

Night at the Improv June 9 8pm. An interactive evening of improvisational comedy. (Not suitable for children under the age of 18.) $10 Tickets can be purchased online or at the door. Front Row Theater, 17011 Bollinger Canyon Road, San Ramon.

Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra presents “Triple Play!” May 19-20 The presentation includes works by Beethoven and Brahms, featuring the awardwinning Villa Piano Trio. Saturday, 5/19, 7:30 p.m. Los

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Tower Of Power Wonderbread 5 38 Special Lonestar Salt-N-Pepa The Fair is Closed Evolution Jars of Clay Rick Springfield America ConFunkShun Carmen Jara The Fair is Closed Heartbreaker Red, White and Blues Festival The Temptations Hoobastank Morris Day & The Time Kellie Pickler

June 20 June 21 June 22 June 23 June 24 June 25 June 26 June 27 June 28 June 29 June 30 July 1 July 2 July 3 July 4 July 5 July 6 July 7 July 8


page 4

The Valley Sentinel

May 2012

valleysentinel.com

Advertorial

Healing Chronic Pain and RSD/CRPS Naturally By Dr. Niele Maimone, DC

Align Healing Center was established in Danville in 1999 and since first opening my doors I have seen a progressive increase in chronic pain and Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD), now called Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) in our community. RSD/CRPS is a chronic, painful, and progressive neurological condition that affects the skin, muscles, joints, and bones. The syndrome usually develops in an injured limb, such as a broken leg, or following surgery. However, many cases of RSD involve

only a minor injury, such as a sprain. And in some cases, no precipitating event can be identified. RSD/CRPS is characterized by various degrees of burning pain, excessive sweating, swelling, and sensitivity to touch. Pain may begin in one area or limb and then spread to other limbs. In some cases, symptoms of RSD/CRPS diminish for a period of time and then reappear with a new injury. Causes and Risk Factors for RSD/CRPS An exact understanding of RSD/CRPS is not complete. It appears to involve a complex interaction among the sensory, motor and sympathetic

nervous systems as well as involvement of the immune system. Currently Western Medicine is not sure what causes RSD/CRPS. It is believed that in most cases the sympathetic nervous system plays an important role in sustaining the pain. Another theory is that CRPS is caused by a triggering of the immune response, which leads to the characteristic inflammatory symptoms of redness, warmth, and swelling in the affected area. Treatment Options for RSD Patients Medical treatments for the management of RSD/ CRPS include analgesics, antidepressants, physical therapy, occupational therapy, nerve blocks, and multiple other drug therapies. The Natural Approach for Chronic Pain and RSD/ CRPS Holistic, non-invasive treatments for RSD/CRPS offer new possibilities patients may consider for pain and symptom management. As with traditional treatments, holistic treatments may need to be combined for optimal

results. Natural Medicine (vitamins, herbs, natural compounds, etc.) has proven to be effective and long-term in helping calm the sympathetic nervous system and reduceing systemic inflammation. At Align Healing Center we are currently seeing beneficial results in the treatment of chronic pain and RSD/CRPS. The combination of Laser Therapy Natural Medicine is yielding hopeful results. L a s e r t h e ra py i s t h e application of low levels of laser light to areas of the body that have been injured or damaged. Contrasted with high-powered lasers used in health care that cut tissue, such as surgical or hairremoval lasers, therapy lasers produce beneficial chemical and biological interactions that can help relieve pain and repair injured/damaged tissue. Just as photosynthesis creates energy for plants, the absorption of the laser light by your cells causes increased production of cellular energy. In areas of injury or damage, this means there is more energy available to improve the rate and quality of healing.

Studies on tissue cultures have revealed a wide range of beneficial physiological effects, including increased levels of endorphins, reduced levels of inflammatory compounds and an increased rate and quality of tissue healing. We often have patients notice improvement after the very f i rs t t re a t m e n t s e s s i o n ; whereas with chronic pain or RSD/CRPS it is realistic that it may take a few treatments. The effect of laser therapy is cumulative, meaning that each successive treatment builds on previous ones. T h e re s u l t s t h a t we are experiencing with our patients are nothing short of remarkable. Class IV Laser Therapy has exceeded our expectations of the healing potential that it ignites in the body and it is our mission to share it with anyone who is seeking freedom from their pain. Dr. Niele Maimone, DC is the owner and founder of Align Healing Center in Danville, CA. She has been active in our natural health & wellness community since 1999. For more information or to set up a consult call 925.362.8283 or visit www. alignhealingcenter.com.

Greathouse Visitor Center Re-Opens at Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve By Beverly Lane, East Bay Regional Park District Board Member

The Greathouse Visitor Center at Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve will open again to the public on May 12, 2012. Due to storm damage to the portal in 2007, the Visitor Center entrance became inaccessible and has been closed for five years. Visitors may take S o m e r s v i l l e Ro a d f r o m Highway 4 in Antioch to the Preserve. The official reopening and dedication on Saturday, May 12 at 11 a.m. will be a fun-filled event. At the celebration, you can meet East Bay Regional Park District Board of Directors, elected officials, and descendants of coal and sand mining families. From noon to 4:30 p.m., there will be an open house for the Visitor Center and adjacent Hazel-Atlas Mine. Repairing the portal to Greathouse required extensive engineering work which met strict mine safety regulations. Today the portal is finished and offers an impressive entrance

to its famous Visitor Center. The center, an underground sand mine which was excavated in the 1920s, now features new exhibits which interpret the sand and coal mining history of the area. Whenever you visit the mines, dress appropriately for a visit underground where the temperature is a cool 5658 degrees. Children must be at least seven years of age to enter the Hazel Atlas Mine but are welcome at the Greathouse Visitor Center. You may join District Naturalists for nature walks and visit the historic Rose Hill Cemetery and Eureka Slope (coal mine entrance) as well. The new book, Rose Hill – A Comprehensive History of a Pioneer Cemetery, will be for sale, with author Traci Parent available to sign books. Please RSVP for the May 12 event to Brenda Montano at bmontano@ebparks.org or 510-544-2200. Beverly Lane is a member of the East Bay Regional Park

At the mines then...

District Board of Directors. Her ward includes Central Contra Costa County from San Ramon through Concord and Pleasant Hill through Clayton.

At the mines now


valleysentinel.com

May 2012

How Medicare Covers Hospice Care By David Sayen

Coping with terminal illness can be very difficult, both for the patient and his or her loved ones. That’s why I wanted to tell you about Medicare’s coverage for hospice care and how it works. Hospice is a program of care and support for people who are terminally ill. The focus is on comfort, not on curing an illness. Hospice is intended to help people who are terminally ill live comfortably. If you qualify for Medicare’s hospice benefit, you’ll have a specially trained team and support staff available to help you and your family deal with your illness. You and your family members are the most important part of the team. Your team may also include doctors, nurses, counselors, social workers, physical and occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, hospice aides, and homemakers. The hospice team provides care for the whole person. That includes his or her physical, emotional, and social needs.

Hospice services are generally provided in the home and may include physical care, counseling, drugs, and medical equipment and supplies for the terminal illness, plus any related conditions. Your regular doctor or a nurse practitioner can also be part of your team, to supervise your care. Who’s eligible for Medicarecovered hospice services? You have to meet several conditions. For one, you must be eligible for Medicare Part A, which is hospital insurance. Also, your doctor and the hospice medical director must certify that you’re terminally ill and have six months or less to live, if your illness runs its normal course. You have to sign a statement choosing hospice care instead of other Medicare-covered benefits to treat your terminal illness. (Medicare will still pay for covered benefits for any health problems that aren’t related to your terminal illness.) Also, you must get care from a Medicareapproved hospice program. If you qualify, your doctor and the hospice team will work with you and your family to set up a plan of care that meets your needs. A hospice doctor and nurse will be on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week to give you and your family support and

care when you need it. Medicare’s hospice benefit allows you and your family to stay together in the comfort of your home unless you need care in an inpatient facility. Keep in mind that you have the right to stop hospice care at any time. Medicare will pay for a one-time-only consultation with a hospice medical director or hospice doctor to discuss your care options and how to manage your pain and symptoms. After that, Medicare covers doctor and nurse services; equipment such as wheelchairs or walkers; supplies such as bandages and catheters; drugs to control pain or other symptoms; hospice aide and homemaker services; physical and occupational therapy; and social worker services. Medicare also covers dietary counseling; grief and loss counseling for you and your family; short-term inpatient care for pain and symptom management; and short-term respite care. Respite care is designed to help the caregiver for a terminally -ill person. Often a spouse or other family member becomes the caregiver, and at some point they may need a rest. You can get inpatient respite care in a Medicare-approved facility (such as a hospice inpatient facility, hospital, or

Advertorial

How to Help Prevent Cancer By Gautam Prasad, M.D., Ph.D.

When I see men and women who were diagnosed with cancer, they frequently ask, “why me?” Many tell me that they have led healthy lifestyles by engaging in regular exercise, not smoking, and drinking in moderation. Unfortunately, cancer is the result of mutations in our cells and cannot be fully prevented. However, there are several things you can do to improve the odds in your favor: 1. U n d e r g o r o u t i n e screening tests as directed by your primary care physician. These include annual mammograms for women and annual rectal exams for men. In addition, a colonoscopy every 10 years is recommended. Many times these tests can find pre-cancerous conditions which can be treated with minimal side effects and much better outcomes.

2. Eat healthily with an emphasis on fresh fruit and vegetables. Colorful fruits and vegetables are full of important vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. While you can get some of these nutrients by taking multi-vitamins, they cannot replace raw fruits and vegetables. 3. Exercise regularly. While you don’t have to go to an expensive gym, it is important to regularly engage in physical activity. You can jog, speed walk, ride a bike, or swim at least three times per week for 30 minutes or more. 4. Don’t start smoking or, if you do smoke, quit as soon as possible. Smoking is a causative factor in numerous cancers including those of the lung, head and neck. Even if you smoke heavily, quitting dramatically reduces your risk of cancer. 5. A s k y o u r f a m i l y members about their own personal experiences with cancer. If you have had multiple family members with cancer it is possible that you may have a genetic disorder that predisposes

you to cancer. If that is the case, your primary care physician can recommend specific preventative measures or screening tests. Otherwise healthy patients sometimes ask me why they can’t simply get a “scan” (CT or MRI) to see if they have cancer. The problem is that these scans, if done indiscriminately, very rarely find cancer but often show benign “lumps” or “masses.” Biopsying these masses to rule out cancer can be painful and cause numerous side effects. For instance, if you have a mass in your lung and it is biopsied with a needle it can cause your lung to collapse and require you stay in the hospital with a tube in your chest. This is why doctors must remain judicious in ordering scans. While you cannot fully prevent cancer, the above steps are proactive measures you can take to improve your odds. 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

The Valley Sentinel

page 5

nursing home) if your caregiver needs a rest. You can stay up to five days each time. You can get respite care more than once, but it can only be provided on an occasional basis. How much do you pay for hospice under Medicare? There’s no deductible. You’ll pay no more than $5 for each prescription drug and similar products for pain relief and symptom control.

If you get inpatient respite care, you pay five percent of the Medicare-approved amount. For example, if Medicare pays $100 per day for inpatient respite care, you’ll pay $5 per day. David Sayen is Medicare’s regional administrator for California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii, and the Pacific Trust Territories. You can get answers to your Medicare questions by calling 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800633-4227).

TEACHER from page 1

want to try a little harder, not because you had to, but because you knew you could do it, so why not give it a try here within the walls of her classroom at St. Isidore School?” She goes on to say, “Even now, I attribute my detail orientation and organizational skills to Mrs. Wroblewski. I will always remember her laugh, her guiding hand upon the shoulder of a student and the way she infused my willingness to learn more. Mrs. Wroblewski always taught beyond what was written in textbooks, she gave us her own knowledge and life experiences unabashedly.”

She has earned the reputation of being the celebrity teacher on campus for her sometimes unusual methods, big personality, and emphasis on note taking, outlining, time management and her use of famous quotes. Jen Laughlin Chapman, St. Isidore School, class of 1986 and mother of two daughters at St. Isidore’s, describes how Mrs. Wroblewski was the type of teacher who not only made you want to sit a little taller in your seat, but who awakened that inner eagerness. “She simply made you

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Spring Home & Garden page 6

The Valley SenTinel

May 2012

valleysentinel.com

Look for Energy Efficiency Tax Rebates By Nora Heston

With tax season over for most people and refunds trickling in through the mail, many people have recently dealt with tax breaks and credits, and most have probably claimed some, but that doesn’t mean they got their full refund – or

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Sentinel

get them bigger refunds on their taxes next year. Tax credit programs change from year to year but often include many of the same, or similar, programs and rebates. Homeowners are currently eligible for multiple energyrelated tax credits.

Other stipulations also apply. Window improvements cap at $200 and require an Energy Star qualification; furnace and boiler changes cap at $150 and must meet 95 percent Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, or AFUE; an advanced main air circulating fan allows for an additional $50 and air conditioners, air source See REBATES page 13

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May 2012

The Valley SenTinel

page 7

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Kids’ Camps page 8

The Valley SenTinel

May 2012

valleysentinel.com

Preparing for Camp By Nora Heston

As the end of school nears and summer approaches, kids may be getting antsy for their summer activities. And while summer is still a few weeks off, it may be time to start preparing for your child’s camp departure. While the actual camp may still be a month or more away, preparation is key. Kids should start packing several weeks in advance to avoid forgetting important items, rushing or adding extra stress to the situation, and even before it’s time to pack there are things parents and kids can do to start getting ready early. An article on FamilyFun. go.com has a printable checklist of common items and little extras

that may be a good starting point for parents and their camp-going children. Before packing, glance over the list, or a list provided by your child’s summer camp, and make sure your child has all of the items they need. Start a shopping list of items you need to purchase before camp so you can get them on your next trip instead of making last minute stops to pick up the necessary items. Aside from the basics, like clothes and equipment specific to their type of camp, some camps require or suggest additional items, as well. In order to make sure your child is prepared for the camp they are attending, ask for a list of necessities or

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suggestions from their specific camp. The camp may come up with things you didn’t think of that could make your kid’s camp experience less stressful and more enjoyable. SummerCampHandbook. com offers a list of packing principles to help you get prepared for your child’s departure. First off, the website suggests labeling everything. Without proper labeling, lost items will be just that, lost. From clothes and sunscreen to sleeping bags and even socks, there are many options for labeling. Iron-on or sew-on labels, indelible ink stamps and laundry-marking pens are some of the examples provided on the website, which also includes an entire section on sock-labeling tips. Labeling everything can be a good activity to get started on early. The more you do now to prepare your child for camp, the less you will have to do later on. S e c o n d l y , SummerCampHandbook.com suggests washing and wearing everything before taking it to camp, including the new items you purchase just for the occasion. Getting a head start on your shopping by creating a list of what you need will help you make sure all items have been washed and worn before your camper heads off for the week. “Whether it’s socks, shoes or a T-shirt, we recommend that kids wash and wear all new items of clothing before packing them,” reads the website. “It’s upsetting to realize, after you get to camp, that all your socks are too small or that your new T-shirt comes up to your belly button.” If your child is heading off to an extended summer camp where the facility offers laundry services, make sure to ask questions about the frequency to get a better idea of how many of each clothing item you will need to pack for your child, reads SummerCampHandbook.com. Lastly, after doing all of the proper research, preparing your child’s items and going shopping for the items you still need, make a list of everything your child will need to pack. Be as specific as possible to ensure that you and your child don’t forget anything. Making a list early and beginning to set aside items for packing as the departure date nears will eliminate extra stress and allow you to enjoy your last night at home with your child, instead of spending it packing and running last minute errands.


valleysentinel.com

• Education •

The Athenian School named among first-ever U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools

One of 78 Schools Nationwide To Receive the Federal Environmental Award The Athenian School’s commitment towards environmental stewardship, installation of solar arrays that provide 70 percent of their power and student-led efforts to save energy, reduce waste and increase green initiatives, have garnered The Athenian School the U.S. Department of Education’s ‘Green Ribbon School’ Award. The award is a federal recognition program that opened in September 2011. Honored schools exercise a comprehensive approach to creating “green” environments through reducing environmental impact, promoting health, and ensuring a high-quality environmental and outdoor education to prepare students with the 21st century skills and sustainability concepts needed in the growing global economy. “This is excellent news and a tribute to years of effort by the students and adults at Athenian,” said Eric Niles, Athenian’s Head of School. “We are proof that a commitment to the environment enhances education, is the ethical choice for a school to make, and creates measurable cost-saving benefits as well.” Athenian is an EPA Green Power Partner, a founding member of the Green School’s Alliance, and is certified as a green business by the Contra Costa Green Business Program. Athenian is the recipient of several environmental awards, including the Waste Reduction Award from the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery, winner of the 2010 Green Cup Challenge, and was recently named a finalist in the Acterra Sustainable Business Awards, the only school to be named. (Visit www.athenian.org/green for more information.) Environmental stewardship is a founding pillar of the School, established in 1965 by Dyke

page 9

libraries • schools • camps • events

Brown, and nearly all of the 472 students are involved with an eco-friendly project. Activities range from converting a gasengine Honda into an electric car, creating biodiesel in the science labs, reducing water use through sustainable agriculture techniques and improving rain catchment, and working in one of the two student-run organic gardens on campus. The environmental science class recently created a bio-swale project to redesign an area of the campus that led to flooding. Using techniques learned in class, the area is now dotted with native plants and is a small animal sanctuary. Seventh graders put in a “sensory garden” to connect to their literature class. Ninth graders handle the School’s recycling program as part of their community service requirement. This year’s senior gift of fruit trees will help kick start an orchard project using the runoff water from the baseball field as irrigation. Environmental and sustainability concepts are integrated throughout the curriculum. Eighth grade science completes a month-long pollution paper project where students research and make contacts in the community on topics of their own choosing. Topics have ranged from pesticides on apples and light pollution to paper versus plastic bags. Furthering the School’s commitment to environmental literacy, the junior class spends 26 days in either Death Valley or the High Sierras, where students gain an appreciation of the wilderness and an understanding of the importance of regenerative ecosystems. The School also offers a summer permaculture course for students and adults. Almost 60 percent of the School’s hauled waste is recycled, and no green waste leaves the campus due to the composting program. The School’s carbon footprint has been radically

reduced in the last six years. Non-renewable electrical power usage has been reduced by 60 percent; water consumption is down 25 percent; waste haulage costs are down 45 percent; and natural gas consumption has been decreased by 40 percent. The award was announced by the U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, together with White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson. The 78 awarded schools were named winners f ro m a m o n g n e a r l y 10 0 nominees submitted by 30 state education agencies, the District of Columbia and the Bureau of Indian Education. More than 350 schools completed applications to their state education agencies. Among the list of winners are 66 public schools including 8 charters, and 12 private schools. Winners will be invited to a recognition ceremony in Washington, D.C., which will begin June 3rd in the evening and conclude June 4th in the afternoon. U.S. Department of Education: Read all U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools blogs.www. ed.gov/blog/tag/green-ribbonschools.

C o n n e c t w i t h U.S. Department of E d u c a t i o n G re e n R i b b o n

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The valley Sentinel

May 2012

valleysentinel.com

The Brown Act - California’s Open Meeting Law By Steve Mick

The above title sounds like this article offers a boring treatise on an obscure part of California law, but it really doesn’t. The requirements of the Brown Act can cause consternation, puzzlement and possible legal implications to the members of public bodies. Read on to find out why this is true. Fundamentally, the Brown Act requires that public agencies

in California must conduct their business in public. This means that adequate notice of a meeting must be provided, that there be no secret votes or meetings, and that the public must be allowed to participate in public meetings and the deliberative process. By the way, the Brown Act is not named for Pat or Jerry but for Ralph M. Brown, the author of the legislation. The introduction to the

Brown Act reads as follows: “The people of this State do not yield their sovereignty to the agencies which serve them. The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know. The people insist on remaining informed so that they may retain control over the instruments they have created.”

To k e e p t h e p e o p l e informed and allow sunshine into meetings, members of public bodies must comply with the Brown Act before meetings, during meetings, and at all other times. Before meetings The Brown Act reasonably states that it’s “no fair” for a public body to meet unless the public is notified not only about the time and place of the meeting but also about the items to be discussed. Notice of the meeting and an agenda must be provided to the public at least 72 hours in advance of the meeting. The agenda must be specific and must offer sufficient details of the discussion and action items so that members of the public can decide if they want to participate. The meeting must also be held in a publiclyaccessible location that doesn’t charge admission for entry. The notice of the meeting is usually done by posting it in a location that is freely available to the public 24 hours a day. Other notice mechanisms can include a community bulletin board, information offered on a website, and notices in the newspapers. In addition, a person can request that an agenda be mailed to them (a

small cost recovery fee can be charged for this request). These days it’s more common to receive agendas though email. Note that Contra Costa County has established the Better Government Ordinance (BGO), which is stricter than the Brown Act in many respects. For example, the BGO requires that agendas be posted 96 hours before a meeting. During meetings Pe rs o n s a t t e n d i n g a meeting cannot be required to sign in to attend. The public must have an opportunity to comment on an agenda item before it is considered and discussed. Typically there is a time limit for speakers. Each person can offer an opinion on each agenda item. The public can also comment on nonagenda items that are in the reasonable jurisdiction of the body. However, no action can be taken on non-agenda items. To keep track of speakers, it is usual to request people to fill out a speaker’s card. Discussion of items not on the agenda is prohibited except for brief clarifications or to respond briefly to questions from the public. There can be no secret ballots - all votes must be in the open. However, there is a provision to hold closed sessions.


valleysentinel.com A public body can go into closed session only under very strict and specific guidelines. Some examples are: to receive legal advice on litigation, to discuss labor negotiations or real property negotiations, or to take employment actions. The agenda must describe in general terms the matters to be discussed in closed session. Finally the body must “report out” the results of the closed session. The closed session report is dependent on the nature of the items discussed. It must be stressed that for most county advisory bodies a closed session would be an extremely rare occurrence. At all other times The Brown Act specifies that members of a body can only make decisions and develop concurrence in a properly noticed public meeting. Therefore, there are strict prohibitions against members having discussions outside of a public meeting. It is a violation of the Brown Act if a quorum of members gets together outside of a meeting to discuss the body’s business. In addition, members must avoid inadvertently creating a “serial meeting.” This is a chain of communication among the members that results in the majority of them conferring on a given issue. For example, in a five-member body if member Bill talks with member Joan about a specific issue and then member Joan later talks with member Anne about the same issue, that would create an illegal serial meeting of a majority of the body. Members are not forbidden from talking to each other. Two members of a five-member body can legally discuss and consult with each other on an issue outside of a meeting, but none of them can then discuss that issue with any other member. Doing so would also constitute an illegal serial meeting. The members do not even have to meet face to face. Email or other forms of communication cannot be used for discussion or deliberation of council business. Sometimes there is a need to form a subcommittee to study and gather facts about a specific issue that will come before the body. However, the number of members of such a sub-committee must always be less than a quorum and they must not share information with any other member of the body unless in a properly noticed meeting. Now all this is not to say that members cannot be in the same room or otherwise attend social, ceremonial or educational functions and talk to each other. The determining factor is that a majority of the body cannot gather and discuss business except at an open and properly noticed meeting.

May 2012 In summary, the Brown Act legislation was enacted to promote, protect and encourage a participatory society. I suggest you think about attending a local advisory body or city council meeting where you can watch

the Brown Act in action. There are many additional facets and requirements of the Brown Act. For more information, do a web search on the Brown Act or on California Code Section 54950.

Beautiful new full service pharmacy opens in Danville

The Valley SenTinel

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On Tuesday April 24th, Danville Area Chamber of Commerce members gathered to celebrate the opening of the new Danville San Ramon Pharmacy. Under new ownership and having undergone a complete remodel, owners, Ali Hadjughafouri and wife Nancy are seen here, (center). Ali was a pharmacist for 28 years for Rite Aide Corporation before coming to Danville. “We will provide better service and competitive pricing for prescriptions, including compounded medications, and free delivery”, said Nancy. “We are committed to making Danville San Ramon Pharmacy the best choice for the entire community”. The pharmacy is located at 905 San Ramon Valley Blvd., Ste. 106 in Danville. Call (925) 820-4603.

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COMMUNITY CALENDAR

May

May

May

May

May

May

May

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

We hope to see you there! COMMUNITY EVENTS Wine & Chocolate Stroll May 10 6-9pm. Fun-filled evening of wine tasting, decadent chocolates, music and shopping. Receive commemorative wine glass. Sponsored by Discover Danville, Danville Chocolates, the Wente Family of vineyards, and Elliston Vineyards. $25. Downtown Danville. Tickets/information: discoverdanvilleca.com.

Simply Delicious Danville Culinary Event May 26 10am-3pm. Discover Danville’s thriving food scene during Simply Delicious Danville, a culinary walking tour. Get acquainted with mouthwatering cuisine, delightful wines, decadent hand-made chocolate and desserts-- and enjoy a variety of scheduled culinary demonstrations by some of the town’s leading chefs. Downtown Danville. Information: danvilleinstyle.com.

2012 Youth Soccer Symposium May 12 8:30-12pm. The Sports Performance Institute (SPI) of San Ramon Regional Medical Center invites student athletes, coaches, trainers, and parents to a free educational symposium, Strategies for Healthy Performance. The symposium will be held in the South Conference Room in the South Building located on the San Ramon hospital campus at 7777 Norris Canyon Road, San Ramon. Continental breakfast and registration will start at 8 a.m., and the presentation will be held from 8:30 a.m. to noon. Space is limited and reservations are required. Please call 800.284.2878 or register on www.OurSanRamonHospital. com under orthopedics events.

San Ramon Art and Wind Festival May 27-28 10am-5pm. The San Ramon Art & Wind Festival will feature 200 arts & crafts booths. Central Park, 12501 Alcosta Blvd., San Ramon. Information: www.ci.san-ramon.ca.us.

Mother’s Day at Ruth Bancroft Garden May 13 Celebrate Mother’s Day at Ruth Bancroft Garden with free admission for moms, family photos, refreshments and theme tours. Ruth Bancroft Garden, 1552 Bancroft Road, Walnut Creek. Information: 925-944-9352 or ruthbancroftgarden.org.

The 31st Annual Walnut Creek Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau Art & Wine Festival June 2-3 Stop by “Flavors of the Creek,” the 31st Annual Walnut Creek Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau Art & Wine Festival. Distinguished by its spacious park setting and familyfriendly activities, the popular festival runs Saturday, June 2, 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., and Sunday, June 3, 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Free. Heather Farm Park, 301 N San Carlos Drive, Walnut Creek. Information: walnut-creek.com.

One Heart Music Program May 19 1pm. Families, join the Dougherty Station Library for an early childhood music program with One Heart Music. The program is designed for young children, infant to 5 years, where parents and children will learn that making music is fun! Free. Dougherty Station Library, 17017 Bollinger Canyon Road, San Ramon. Information: 925-973-3380 or ccclib.org. Free Day at Lindsay Wildlife Museum May 20 10am-5pm. Come learn more about the wild world around us by spending a day with 50 species of local California animals and engaging with the new interactive exhibits. Get closer to wildlife during special feeding and training presentations throughout the day, including a behind-thescenes look at our wildlife hospital. Free. Lindsay Wildlife Museum, 1931 First Avenue, Walnut Creek. Information: wildlife-museum.org. 19th Annual Greater Danville Golf Tournament hosted by Danville Rotary at Blackhawk Country Club Lakeside Course May 21 All proceeds for this event will benefit the San Ramon Valley Veterans Memorial Building. Tickets include lunch, putting contest, and wine with appetizers with the presentation of the winner’s trophy! Raffle prizes will add to the fun. Golfers and non-golfers can participate to support our veterans. For information call (925) 518-7137 or register at www.greaterdanvilleopen.com. Doggie Night May 24 5-8pm. Calling all dog owners and lovers alike! Danville’s Doggie Night offers a map with businesses offering free dog treats and canine couture. Prance through the pet fair where you’ll meet pet sitters, photographers, trainers, veterinarians, and more. Molly’s Pup-Purr-ee, 425 Hartz Avenue, Danville. Information: discoverdanvilleca.com.

Memorial Day Ceremony May 28 10:30am-12pm. Honor and remember our fallen veterans at Danville’s Memorial Day Celebration. Enjoy live music, entertainment, and a special ceremony including guest speakers and tributes to past and present service members. Bring a picnic lunch and share this patriotic and educational event with the whole family. Oak Hill Park, 3005 Stone Valley Road, Danville. Information: vnvdv.com.

SENIORS Senior Health Fitness Day May 22 9am-12pm. The morning will begin with an early bird fitness walk. Throughout the morning of the event, enjoy fitness demonstrations, exciting health presentations, free massages and health screenings, over 20 local health and fitness exhibitors, a gift basket giveaway and light refreshments. Senior Center in Veterans Memorial Building, 400 Hartz Avenue, Danville. Information: 925-314-3490 or danville.ca.gov. Danville Seniors Sneaker Trips: All trips meet at the Danville Park & Ride lot unless otherwise noted in the trip details. Reserve your spot at the Danville Community Center, 420 Front Street, on or before the registration date beginning at 8:30am. Information: 314-3400. Buzz Sessions: Get the buzz on topics and issues facing today’s older adults and talk with the experts. Buzz Sessions are always free! Information: 314-3400.

San Ramon Seniors The following events are held at the Alcosta Senior & Community Center, 9300 Alcosta Blvd., San Ramon. Information: 973-3250 Wisdom Wednesdays: Free Workshops geared towards informational sessions that benefit your needs. They will give you free access to coffee, knowledge and a better understanding of important issues. Information: 973-3250. Trips Trip Desk is open Tuesday & Thursday, 10am-1pm. Information: 973-3250. Sign up for Casino Trips and Van Trips at the travel desk or by depositing payment with registration form in the gold drop box found at the main entryway.

BUSINESS Danville Area Chamber of Commerce May 12 New Member Orientation 4pm. Chamber offices, 117 E. Town and Country Drive, Danville. Information: danvilleareachamber.com or call 925-837-4400. Business After Hours Mixer 5:30pm. Chamber offices, 117 E. Town and Country Drive, Danville. Information: danvilleareachamber.com or call 925-837-4400. San Ramon Chamber of Commerce May 17 Third Thursday Mixer 5:30-7:30pm. Meet other business owners for an opportunity to network and make your business more visible. $5 for members and $20 for non-members. Heritage Bank of Commerce, 387 Diablo Road, Danville. Information: sanramon.org. San Ramon Chamber of Commerce May 22 New and Future Member Orientation 4-5pm. Please come and learn about the various Chamber services that can benefit your business. No RSVP is needed. Free. Bishop Ranch 6, 2400 Camino Ramon Conference Room 158/K, San Ramon. Information: sanramon.org. Alamo Chamber of Commerce May 23 Fourth Wednesday Mixer 5:30-7:30 pm. Business owners and members of the community are invited to join with Chamber members for our Mixer at Alamo Ace Hardware. Great food and enjoyment for all! Alamo Ace Hardware, 3211 Danville Blvd., Alamo. Information: alamochamberofcommerce. com. Walnut Creek Chamber of Commerce May 30 New Members Orientation 4-5pm. Join us at our orientation for new members, existing members and prospective members. This meeting offers an overview of the Chamber, programs and events, public policy initiatives and activities, sponsorship opportunities, networking, and ways to get involved. Chamber Conference Room, 1777 Botelho Drive, Suite 103 Walnut Creek. Information: walnut-creek.com or 925-934-2007. May 31 B.A.S.H. Monthly Mixer Please join us at our monthly B.A.S.H. (Business and Social Hour). The B.A.S.H. is a great opportunity to network with Chamber Members, Government Officials, Educators and Local Businesses. Please bring your business card. Free to all Walnut Creek Chamber Members and guests of members; $10.00 for non-members. Lindsay Wildlife Museum, 1931 First Avenue, Walnut Creek. Information: walnut-creek.com or 925-934-2007. CLUBS and ORGANIZATIONS Fibro? CFIDS? Chronic Pain? If this is 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 tend toward laughing while getting well. Call (925) 837-0510 Veterans of Foreign Wars May 9 7:30pm. Every third Wednesday of the month. Veterans Memorial Hall, 400 Hartz Avenue, Danville. Information: 925-875-1747 or vfwpost75.org.

Please email your Calendar Events to the Sentinel by 5pm on the 20th of the month proceeding publication month. Info@valleysentinel.com or go to valleysentinel.com to enter your event online. Inclusion in the calendar pages is at the sole discretion of Sentinel Newspapers, Inc.


valleysentinel.com

May 2012

COMMUNITY CALENDAR CONTINUED Mt. Diablo Business Women May 10 5:45-8:30pm. All business women are welcome whether you are a woman with your own business, an entrepreneur or in the corporate world. $39 for members, $47 for guests. Reservations by May 7. Lafayette Park Hotel, 3287 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette. Information: Miriam at 925-457-1027 or mtdiablobusinesswomen.org. San Ramon Valley Newcomers Club May 17 New and long-time residents of San Ramon are welcome to the monthly luncheon. This is a very special luncheon as it is dedicated to the Incoming and Outgoing Executive Officers, Committee Chairs and Activity Chairs. $23. La Finestra Ristorante, 2065 San Ramon Valley Blvd., San Ramon. Reserve: Grace at 925-8288554. Information: srvnc.com. Montelindo Garden Club May 18 10:30am with social hour at 9am. Speaker Barry Hoffer will discuss the topic of Japanese Maples. Barry and Sue Hoffer are arborists and owners of Maples for All Seasons in Pleasanton, California. The Hoffers have been involved in the growing, care and pruning of Japanese maples for over fifteen years. Public welcome. Orinda Community Church, 10 Irwin Way, Orinda. Information: montelindogarden.com. Mt. Diablo Branch of the California Writers Club May 19 11:30am. Lindsey Grant, MFA, will present “The Power of Beginning.” This event honors the annual Contra Costa Middle School Young Writers Contest winners. Zio Fraedo’s Restaurant, 611 Gregory Lane, Pleasant Hill. $20 for members, $25 for guests. Reservations by May 16: Jean at jeaniegpops@comcast. net or phone 925-934-5677. Information: cwcmtdiablowriters. wordpress.com. Recurring: Mondays: Danville Rotary 12pm. Meets every Monday.

Faz Restaurant, Danville. Info: danvillerotary.org. Tuesdays: Danville AM Toastmasters Club 7-8:30am. Meets every Tuesday. New members welcome. Father Nature’s Restaurant, Danville. Info: danvilleam.freetoasthost. org. Danville/Sycamore Valley Rotary 7am. Meets every Tuesday morning. Crow Canyon Country Club, Danville. Info: dsvrotary. com.

1690 Watermill Road, San Ramon. Information: danvilletoastmasters1785.com. Walnut Creek Toastmasters 7-8:15pm. Meets every Wednesday. 1660 Oak Park Blvd, Pleasant Hill. Information: walnutcreek. freetoasthost.net. Blue Star Moms 7-9pm. The second Wednesday of every month. Danville Veterans Memorial Building, 400 Hartz Ave. Information: bluestarmoms. org.

Diablo View Toastmasters 8:15-9:15am. Meets every Tuesday. CMG Mortgage - 4th Floor Conference Room, 3160 Crow Canyon Road, San Ramon. Info: 4160.toastmastersclubs.org.

Thursdays: Clutterers Anonymous 7:15-8:45pm. Meets every Thursday. St. Luke’s Lutheran Church room 9, 
2491 San Miguel Drive, 
Walnut Creek. Information: clawalnutcreek.eventbrite. com.

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

Diablo Valley Lions Club 7:30pm. Meets every 1st, 3rd, and 4th Thursday. 1400 Montego Drive, Walnut Creek. Information: diablovalleyca.lionwap.org.

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

Rotary Club of San Ramon 11:45am. Meets every Thursday. Crow Canyon Country Club, 711 Silver Lake Drive, Danville. Information: sanramonrotary.org.

Wednesdays: Alamo Rotary 12:15pm. Meets every Wednesday. Round Hill Country Club, 3169 Roundhill Road, Alamo. Information: alamorotary.org. Walnut Creek Host Lion’s Club 12:15pm. Meets the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Wednesdays of each month. Black Bear Diner, 700 Bancroft Road, Walnut Creek. Information: walnutcreeklions. org. San Ramon Valley Rotary 7pm. Meets every Wednesday. Crow Canyon Country Club, 711 Silver Lake Drive, Danville. Information: sanramonvalleyrotary.com. Danville Toastmasters #1785 7:30-9pm. Meets every Wednesday. Room W204 at Diablo Valley College

Saturdays: Diablo Region of the Porsche Club of America 7:30-9am. Meets every Saturday. Buttercup Bar and Grill, 660 Ygnacio Valley Road, Walnut Creek. Information: diablo-pca. org. Danville • Blackhawk • Alamo Diablo • San Ramon

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. COMPUTERS Sr. IT DB Admin: M.S. in Eng., C.S. or rltd, & 2 yrs. exp. & exp. in RAC, config. Oracle GG for RTDR to multiple targets, OLTP and OLAP DBs. CV to: Bank of the West, 2527 Camino Ramon, San Ramon, CA 94583. ATTN: H.R. or send to careers@bankofthewest.com. EEO. The position is in San Ramon, CA. HELP WANTED Sales Executive: 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 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@valleysentinel.com Sr. IT EIM Teradata DB Admin.: Bach. in C.S., C. E., or rltd, 5 yrs. exp., and exp. w/ Teradata Mgr.; Teradata performance tuning; & multi-terabyte production data warehouse. CV to: H.R. @Bank of the West, 2527 Camino Ramon, San Ramon, CA 94583 or go to www.bankofthewest. com/about-us/careers/job-search. html. Position is located in San Ramon, CA.

REBATES from page 6

heat pumps, water heaters and biomass stoves cap at $300, according to the website. Aside from PG&E, other programs honor rebates as part of an effort to move into more renewable energy sources. The Go Solar California! campaign is a joint effort of the California Energy Commission and the California Public Utilities Commission. The goal is to encourage Californians to install 3,000 megawatts of solar energy systems on homes and businesses by the end of 2016, making renewable energy an everyday reality, according to the website, gosolarcalifornia. org. The program also has a goal to install 585 million therms of gas-displacing solar hot water systems by the end of 2017. Go Solar California offers a SASH, or Single Family Affordable Solar Housing, program to low or very low income households, according to the website. To qualify for the program, homeowners must be in the service territory, which includes PG&E customers, currently reside in the house where they

Community News & Information

Publisher/Editor – Denise Rousset Chief Financial Officer – Jeff Gummere Graphic Designer – Laurie Prindle Writer, Auto – David & Judy Colman Intern – Stephanie Steinbrecher 390 Diablo Road, Suite 145 Danville, CA 94526

925-820-6047

www.valleysentinel.com

The Valley Sentinel is seeking interns with web experience and interest in journalism, marketing, and community outreach. Please email us at drousset@valleysentinel.com, with your qualifications and interests. We’re developing various outreach projects in several departments and would love an interested person along who wants to learn and be part of the team. Xerox Business Services, LLC (formerly Affiliated Computer Services, LLC) seeks a Design Architect: Req. BS in CIS or CS & 3 yrs exp as a technical design architect on next generation Land Records Systems using Windows Workstation & Server, SQL Server, & .Net Development. Position located in San Ramon, CA. Mail resumes to: Recruiting, Attn: JL191933, 2828 N. Haskell Blvd, Bldg 4, Fl.1, Dallas, TX 75204. EOE.

page 13

wish to put solar, have a total household income of 80 percent or less of the Area Median Income (AMI) and be California Public Utilities Code (P.U.) 2852-compliant, according to the website. “A fully subsidized 1 kW system is available to households that meet the legal definition of ‘very low-income’ defined as 50 percent or below the area median income,” according to the website. The program also offers Multi-Family Affordable Solar Housing, or MASH. For questions about the California Solar Program, contact GRID Alternatives at 866-921-4696, by e-mail at sash@gridalternatives.org or visit their website at www. gridalternatives.org/sash/.

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AUTO March 2009 May 2012

page 14

VOLVO C30 T5 2-DOOR HATCHBACK By David and Judy Colman

Volvo’s been down this road before. Forty years ago, they took their 2 seat sports car, the P1800, added 2+2 seating, station wagon storage accessible through a hatchback, and called the result the P1800ES. They resurrected that once successful formula by bringing the C30 to market several years ago. In 2012 form, the C30 has matured into a very handsome, useful and affordable hatchback. Volvo’s frequent forays into worldwide sedan racing have yielded dividends in refashioning the C30’s aerodynamic contours. These racing program refinements, called “R-Design”

tricks, contribute new front and rear spoilers as well as the honeycomb front grill. With the help of this trim package, the C30 presents one of the loveliest silhouettes on the road. Its appearance is as memorable as that of the P1800ES was in its day. Let’s climb aboard for a test hop. You’ll need to drop down and in because the C30 is only 57 inches tall. Immediately impressive is the R-Design twotone look of the interior, with front and rear seat cushions split into dazzling black and cream segments. Flop into the deep front buckets, and they feel even more supportive than they

look. But if you’re climbing into the back seat, the drill is more complicated. First, use the handy seat-top button to slide the front seat forward. Then tilt the front seatback forward, push the safety harness aside, duck your head way down, and twist yourself into one of the two rear seats. Once ensconced back there, you’ll love the lounge chair seating position, and appreciate the big window next to your head, but rue the lack of headroom due to the C30’s sloped roofline. The rest of the interior appointments befit the cleanly sculpted R-Design exterior. OpArt patterning embosses the swatches of anodized aluminum

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trimming the door tops and center stack. Metallic blue instrument faces mimic the dials of a chronograph wristwatch. The center stack, made from extruded aluminum, is a simple pillar of beauty, with all HVAC and stereo knobs conveniently laid out, rather than hidden from view as is the rage these days. The performance of the C30 is in keeping with its straightforward appearance. The transversely-mounted, in-line 5 cylinder engine, which is both intercooled and turbocharged, lights off with a twist of the plastic proboscis on the stubby key. You’ll need to keep the revs up as you move off from a standing start, though, as the motor wants to stall when you first dump the clutch. From then on, however, the silky 5 makes enough torque down low in the rev range to incite appreciable torque steer in this front-wheeldriver if you prod the accelerator in the middle of a turn. Our test C30 featured R-tuned suspension, plus sticky 18 inch Pirelli P Zero Nero tires (225/45R18) mounted on anthracite 5-spoke R-Design alloys. This combination of suspension/tire/wheel endows the petite sportback with a plush

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ride, enough shock travel to soak up potholes, yet sufficient stability to scorch tight turns with aplomb. In its $35,000 price range, the C30 with R-Design refinements is well worth the entry fee. It will really transport 4 adults if needed, but serves primarily as a 2 seat sports sedan featuring high performance limits plus enough storage space to pass itself off as your family sedan. 2012 VOLVO C30 T5 2-DOOR HATCHBACK ENGINE: 2.5 Liter InLine DOHC 5, Intercooled and Turbocharged HORSEPOWER: 227hp at 5,000 rpm TORQUE: 236 lb.-ft. at 1,500 – 5,000 rpm FUEL CONSUMPTION: 21 MPG City/29 MPG Highway PRICE AS TESTED: $35,720 FOR: Lithe Lines, IKEA Interior, Wheel-spinning Power AGAINST: Touchy Clutch Tipin, Nil Rear Seat Headroom STAR RATING: 9 Stars Out of 10.

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Seniors valleysentinel.com VETERANS from page 1

events. The high windows allow natural light to enter. The part of the original building that was preserved was lifted from its foundation and a lower level was excavated to create a large basement that will have storage areas for the 6 different Veterans groups that use the facility. The basement will also house the utilities, elevator machinery, telecommunications, and security systems. The new building is state of the art, providing cable and Internet to every room. There is ample display cabinetry, and a social area with a fireplace and comfortable furniture for veterans. On the second level there are two unisex bathrooms, an elevator, a janitor’s closet, a veterans’ event hall that seats up to 56 guests and a small kitchen. There is also a veterans’ resource room with staff that will provide services for returning veterans. The Senior Services wing of the building will have Town staff, a small meeting hall for private consultations, art classroom and other meeting rooms. The new expanded facility will be a prestigious location for anniversary parties, fundraising events, concerts, weddings,

May 2012 banquets, crab feeds, class and family reunions, youth a c t i v i t i e s, a n d b u s i n e s s events. “Our grateful nation built Legion halls to serve WWI soldiers who immediately opened their doors to the wider community. Today, we are so honored that a unanimous council and a unified San Ramon Valley reenergized this mission through a successful partnership of veterans, elected officials, the Veterans Memorial Building Development committee, Town

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staff, and you—the community,” wrote Danville Town Council member and Director of Veterans Memorial Building Development Committee of the San Ramon Valley Karen Stepper. “In just 7 years, the vision has materialized, not just retaining its historic character, but a place to nurture veterans, support seniors, encourage nonprofits, and revitalize the economy. Truly this building honors our veterans and the character of our compassionate, caring community.”

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The Stratford defines living well as enjoying your independence in the loveliest of settings, where your health and happiness is our priority.

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