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Alamo • Danville • Blackhawk • Diablo • San Ramon




Happy Valentine’s Day from all of us at The Valley Sentinel

always for the community

February 2011

VOL 16, NO 2



Mount Diablo Fine Art Photography Book Débuts March 12, 2011 By Staff Writer

Mount Diablo Interpretive Association (MDIA) announces the publication of “Mount Diablo: The Extraordinary Life and Landscapes of a California Treasure,” a fine art photography book showcasing Northern California’s iconic Mount Diablo in 181exquisite color and black and white images and panoramas created by local landscape photographer Stephen Joseph. The first-of-its-kind pictorial débuts at a book signing event Saturday, March 12, 1-3 pm at Barnes & Noble, 1149 S. Main Street, Wa l n u t C r e e k . Renowned for its comprehensive Mount Diablo interpretive guide books and detailed maps, MDIA has taken a bold step


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See BOOKS page 3

If you have never participated in the East Bay Regional Parks Trails Challenge, you’re in for a treat. You get a free t-shirt, maps and booklet, and the best is discovering the rich and diverse parklands that are available for our health and pleasure. Panoramic views, wooded trails and endless places to discover. Check it out and join in!

Washington’s birthday inspires Sentinels of Freedom supporters By Dana Guzzetti

One of the most remarkably successful U. S. veteran support organizations began with a quiet conversation in Danville. Mike Conklin reminds us that George Washington said, “The willingness of young men to enter the armed forces is based on the knowledge of how the veterans before them were treated.” Conklin is Chairman and CEO of the Sentinels of Freedom Foundation. He tells the story of how a few Danville business people became committed to help and mentor veteran and double amputee Manny Mendoza: “We gathered this group of about 15 together here in town. I said, ‘Here is what I am going to do: put a roof over his head, get him in school and help him find a career.’ Dan Coleman got a free apartment. Blue Star moms got furniture. AT&T offered a job and we assigned people as mentors. First

thing you know, we had eight (others).” Conklin describes Manny Mendoza’s adjustment to civilian life as “fantastic.” “He has saved enough to buy his own home and Manny is working on a master’s degree,” Conklin reports. It sounds simple, but the process is more like a community of people adopting a son or daughter, then following through with all of the little necessities of life; arranging for transportation, doctors and physical therapy, career counseling, legal and financial advice and friendship. “Most of these kids are high school graduates. A kid coming out doesn’t have a shot at an entry level job. Those are mostly loading dock positions,” Conklin says. “They have to

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get an education. You have to start in college and start an internship within your first year.” Clearly Conklin’s concern about how difficult it is for seriously injured veterans to not just sit home, but to get their life back, sparked the same heartfelt sense of responsibility in others. He soon realized that he needed to set up a non-profit corporation in order to turn to business leaders for donations of time and financial support. “Once we got started, I called the Chairman of Remax and he offered to pay for a year of education,” Conklin comments. “When they are in school, they can get a corporation interested in them and they interested in a corporation, so they (veteran) can see what the possibilities

are,” Conklin explains. The next step is an internship where the veteran, in spite of their injury can demonstrate that they can handle a job. The Sentinels of Freedom is an integration program, not a treatment program. They take a team approach and look at the corporate side as well as the veteran/team’s side and make it a win-win situation. It is true that some of the injured veterans do need more surgery and physical therapy. Ryan Sykes, who served five tours of duty in Afghanistan, one in North Africa and two in Iraq, was severely injured in a motorcycle accident during a night check in Afghanistan. The Dougherty Valley Rotary

Kid’s Camps page 9

This Month– EBRP “Regional in Nature” guide

See SENTINELS page 11

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

page 2

February 2011 February 5, 12 & 19, March 5 Science on Saturday 9:30 am. A series of science lectures for middle and high school students. Each topic highlights cutting-edge science occurring at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Presented by leading LLNL science researchers. Seating is a first come basis. Admission is free of charge. Students should check with their teacher in advance to determine if they will receive credit for attending

S O S . B a n k h e a d T h e a t e r, 2400 First St., Livermore. Information: 373-6800 February 9 Dave Mason 7:30pm. One of rock’s great guitar players! At 19, Mason penned the song “Feelin’ Alright,” that has since become a rock and roll anthem. A founding member of

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the group Traffic and inductee of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Tickets: $12-$51. Bankhead Theater, 2400 First St., Livermore. Information: 373-6800

February 11 Vienna Boys Choir 8pm. A world-class choir that encompasses Austrian folk songs, waltzes, classical masterpieces, beloved pop songs, holiday favorites and medieval chant. The Vienna Boys Choir presents timeless music with a universal popular appeal. Tickets: $12-$62. . Bankhead Theater, 2400 First St., Livermore. Information: 373-6800 February 11 - March 5 The Drowsy Chaperone The tale of the uproarious wedding day of a celebrity bride. A delightful combo of every classic, cliched plot thread ever to grace the stage. Tickets: $38-$48. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. Call for showtimes: 943-7469



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February 11- March 6 Heaven Can Wait As Mr. Jordan is checking passengers who are to depart for the “Hereafter” his routine is interrupted by the arrival of Joe Pendleton, a young prizefighter who is not scheduled to arrive for another 60 years. Thinking Joe has died, his manager has his body cremated. Mr. Jordan then must find him another body to return to earth in. Onstage Theater at Lesher Center, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. Tickets: $10-$20. Call for showtimes: 943-7469 February 13 Diablo Symphony: Music of Spain with Flamenco Dance Company 7:30pm. A concert featuring Carolina Lugo’s & Carolé Acuña’s Ballet Flamenco and works by composers influenced

by the musical traditions of the country. Tickets: $12 youths, $18 seniors, $20 regular. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek. Information: 943-7469 February 13 Swing, Swing, Swing 7:30pm. The Gene Krupa Tribute Big Band performs popular swing hits of the big band era. Also stars the Pied Pipers performing their many hits, plus Polly Podewell who was the last vocalist to perform with Benny Goodman’s orchestra. Tickets: $12-$62. Bankhead Theater, 2400 First St., Livermore. Information: 373-6800

February 15 In The Mood 2pm & 7:30pm. It’s the 1940’s big band, song and s w i n g d a n c e rev u e t h a t celebrates America’s greatest generation through the music of Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman, the Andrews Sisters and Frank Sinatra with six vocalistdancers and a high energy swing dance couple. Tickets: $39-$59. Hofmann Theater at Lesher Center, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. Information: 943-7469 February 18 America 8pm. Signature harmonies and a classic blend of rock, pop and folk. Celebrate a spectacular, multi-platinum 40th anniversary with such favorites as “A Horse with No Name,” “Sister Golden Hair” and “Ventura Highway.” Tickets: $49. Dougherty Valley Performing Arts Center, 10550 Albion Rd., San Ramon. Information: 973.3343 February 19 & 20 Annie Jr. Feb. 19: 1pm & 7pm. Feb. 20: 4pm & 7pm. Based on the popular comic strip, “Little Orphan Annie”, Annie Junior tells us of a spunky depressionera orphan determined to find her parents who abandoned her years ago on the doorstep of a New York City orphanage run by the cruel Miss Hannigan. Tickets: $8. Del Valle Theater at Lesher Center, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. Information: 943-7469

February 19, 20, 25 – 27 2pm., Little House On The Prairie Feb. 25 at 7pm. Based on the book by Laura Ingall’s Wilder. When the Ingall’s family leaves their little house in the big woods of Wisconsin for the unexplored prairie, the only thing they can count on is each other. Tickets: Adults $19, Children $15. Front Row Theater at Dougherty Station Community Center, 17011 Bollinger Canyon Rd. Information: 973-3343 February 22 Auditions for “Into The Woods” 7:30pm. Call backs on Feb. 23. Strong singers and actors are needed for this dynamic production. Go to www. sanramoncommunitytheater. org to get information and the audition application form. Shows run from May 13 through May 2 at the Front Row Theater in San Ramon. Front Row Theater, 17011 Bollinger Canyon Rd., San Ramon. Information: 389-7529 February 26 Shakespeare’s Associates 2011 Winter Fundraiser 6pm: Check-In with appetizers and wine. 6:30pm: Session I. 7:30pm: Appetizers and wine. 7:55pm: Session II. 9pm: Showcase, raffle, dessert... and more wine! Workshops with the director, dramaturg, fight choreographer and actors unlocking clues to the meaning of Shakespeare’s lines, stage combat techniques and acting techniques. Participate with the actors and directors in their own preparation in The Tragedy of Macbeth. Tickets: $60-$80. Food, wine, sodas and casual conversation with the artists round out the evening. Tickets: 1-800-838-3006. Bothwell Arts Center, 2466 8th St., Livermore March 4 New Orleans Bash 5pm. Celebrate Mardi Gras, New Orleans style! A night of live music and a great party. Masks are optional, and if you don’t have one, we offer a French Quarter-style shopping experience. Highlights include Hurricanes, New Orleans jazz and cuisine, and the option to attend a Preservation Hall experience, a tribute to the world-famous French Quarter jazz club, with concerts at 6 and 7pm. Tickets: $15. Bankhead Theater, 2400 First St., Livermore. Information: 373-6800



dining out • music • art • theater • fun events

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February 2011

32nd Annual Shellie Award Winners Announced

The 32nd Annual Shellie Award gala celebration honoring outstanding achievement in the performing arts in Central Contra Costa County was held Saturday, January 15th at the Lesher Center for the Arts. Patterned after Broadway’s Tony awards, this year’s Shellie Awards honored over 120 individuals and their work in musical and non-musical theatrical productions, which took place between September 1 , 20 0 9 a n d Au g u s t 31 , 2010. The custom designed porcelain Shellie statuettes were awarded to: Category Musical Play: Actress - Jessica Fisher for “Into the Woods” by Diablo Theatre Company; Ginny Wehrmeister for “Same Time Next Year” by Diablo Actors Ensemble; Actor - David Sattler for “All Shook Up” by Center REPertory Company; Clive Worsley for “Proof” by in BOOK

from page 1

producing this distinctive 13” x 13” pictorial that celebrates the incomparable natural beauty and diversity of Mount Diablo, one of California’s most significant historical, cultural and geological treasures. In this expansive photographic collection, Joseph has built a gallery of lush imagery from the perspective of both an artist and a naturalist, drawing on 25 years of trekking and photographing the mountain. Joseph’s work as a regional photographer, including his work as Muir Woods National Monument Centennial P h o t o g ra p h e r, i s w i d e l y published and exhibited; his signature panoramas are highly regarded. Now, from thousands of photographs of Mount Diablo, Joseph has reworked and remastered 181 creations to escort readers on a journey through this remarkable land, presenting a compelling body of images of quite unexpected beauty and quality. Supporting text by Bay Area writer Linda Rimac Colberg offers descriptive and intriguing background on Mount Diablo, with glimpses into its storied history as a geological wonder and cultural icon. Mount Diablo Interpretive A s s o c i a t i o n ( m d i a . o rg ) , founded in 1974, promotes public awareness of the natural and cultural history and significance of Mount Diablo through publications,

Town Hall Theatre Company. Supporting Actress - Elise Youssef for “Oklahoma!” by Contra Costa Musical Theatre; Siobhan O’Brien for “Glorious Sunset” by Onstage Theatre. Supporting ActorRandy Anger for “Scrooge the Musical” by Town Hall Theatre Company; Alex Moggridge for “Witness for the Prosecution” by Center REPertory Company. Scenic Designer - Adam Puglielli for “Avenue Q” by Willows Theatre Company; John B. Wilson for “Witness for the Prosecution” by Center REPertory Company. Costumer - Carol Edlinger for “On the Town” by Diablo Theatre Company; Victoria Hall for “Witness for the Prosecution” by Center REPertory Company. educational programs, events and outreach. As a nonprofit, cooperative association in partnership with California Department of Parks and Re c re a t i o n , M D I A h e l p s interpret Mount Diablo State Park for the benefit of the public to enrich visitors’ experiences in the park.

Lighting Designer – Jason Miller for “Forever Plaid” by Hapgood Theatre Company; James Sale for “The Syringa Tree” by Center REPertory Company. Director - Ro b e r t B a r r y Fleming for “All Shook Up” by Center REPertory Company and Jennifer Perry for “Oklahoma!” by Contra Costa Musical Theatre; Richard Elliott for “Barefoot in the Park” by Willows Theatre Company. Choreographer - Renee DeWeese for “Oklahoma!” by Contra Costa Musical Theatre. Music Director - Dolores DuranCefalu for “All Shook Up” by Center REPertory Company. Production - “All Shook Up” by Center REPertory Company; “Barefoot in the Park” by Willows Theatre Company. Stephen Joseph’s photographs are showcased in “Nature’s Beloved Son: Rediscovering John Muir’s Botanical Legacy,” written by Bonnie Gisel; Forest Meditations at Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy; and Oneonta 360, a celebratory homage to his New York hometown, Argian Press.

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A l s o S h e l l i e s f o r of the participating theatres Outstanding Contribution to along with, Congressman the Arts were awarded to Pat John Garamendi, Contra Costa Church by Butterfield 8 Theatre Supervisor Mary Piepho, Mayor Company, Sue Rainey by Center Cindy Silva from Walnut Creek, REPertory Company; Loren Mayor Laura Hoffmeister from Hoselton by Diablo Actors Concord, Vice-Mayor Carol Ensemble; Debbie Shelley by Federighi from Lafayette, Mayor Diablo Theatre Company; Jack Rob Schroder from Martinez, & Honey O’Leary by Pittsburg Mayor David Durant from Community Theatre, and Sharon Pleasant Hill, Mayor H. Abram Over 25 yearsWilson experience! from San Ramon, and Redman by The Vagabond Players. Guest presenters for the Scott MacCormac and Peggy evening included the presidents White from the DiabloRegional and artistic directors from each Arts Association.

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The Valley Sentinel

February 2011

News Bits the names of famous African American entertainers and athletes, Dr. Martin Luther King, W.E. B. DuBois and Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. Black History Month is a good time to find out more about less well known historic figures such as Bessie Coleman, the first female African American pilot, Lewis Latimer who invented the carbon filament for light bulbs while working with Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell, and George Washington Carver who developed peanut butter and 400 peanut plant products. Budget challenge for E B M U D ’s n ew g e n e ra l manager Alexander R. Coate took charge as East Bay Municipal

By Dana Guzzetti

The short month of February, 2011 has been filled with special events and by the time you read this, you will have missed your chance to watch for a weather predicting Ground Hog. Folklore says that if a ground hog comes out of its burrow on a cloudy Feb. 2, it will leave the burrow and that is a sign that winter will end soon. If it is sunny, the ground hog may see its shadow and retreat back into the burrow, signaling six more weeks of winter. No ground hog sightings were reported in Blackhawk, Danville, Alamo or San Ramon this year. Check the weather for the 2nd to verify the truth of the story. Black History Month Most Americans know

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Utility District general manager on Jan. 25. Coate was the architect of EBMUD’s 30-year water supply plan as former Director of Water and Natural Resources. He was heavily involved with the Freeport Regional Water Project and Coate’s unit also “developed pipeline connections with local water districts for mutual aid and increased flexibility during future water emergencies,” according to Charles C. Hardy, EBMUD spokesperson. He now faces budget issues, as water sales are down 15 percent. Super Bowl Sunday Feb. 6 Use the following piece of trivia to impress guests at a Super Bowl party. It is rumored that the name “Super bowl” was coined in 1967 by Kansas City Chiefs Lamar Hunt after “Final Game” and “The Big One” were nixed. Reportedly the thought occurred to him after watching his daughter play with a “Super Ball,” a popular, small high-bouncing toy of that time. Valentine’s Day Feb. 14 Whether it is a poem, card, flowers, wine, chocolate or a hug, plan to show someone you care. Early St. Valentine’s Day messages began with a rondeau by Charles, Duke of Orleans to his wife while he was held in the Tower of London. William Shakespeare,

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John Donne, Edmund Spencer and Victorian writer Leigh Schmidt (Graham’s American Monthly, 1849) helped keep the tradition of St. Valentine’s messages of love alive until English and American greeting card makers made love notes a marketable art form. President’s Day Feb. 21 Enjoy the three-day President’s Day holiday Feb. 19-21 and remember why. Initially set by congress in 1880, the federal holiday was to celebrate George Washington’s Feb. 22 birthday. Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, Feb. 12 had never been a federal holiday, but by 1968, congress decided to recognize both presidents on a date falling between their birthdays and on a Monday in conformance with the Uniform Monday Holiday Bill. Reportedly it was not until the mid-1980s that the title “Presidents’ Day,” rather than Washington’s Birthday came into general use. Academy Awards Feb. 27 Form your own opinions about the following Academy Award film nominees in time for the 2011 Awards ceremony

hosted this year by Tina Fey. Best Picture nominees include: the King’s Speech, Black Swan, Get Low, Blue Valentine, Rabbit Hole, The Kids Are All right, 127 Hours, Inception, True Grit and The Fighter. Mardi Gras begins Feb.28 Carne vale means “farewell to meat” in Latin, but is generally known as Carnival, a party before the 40 days of Lenten abstinence begin. Carnival is celebrated by dressing up in costume for parties and parades. In New Orleans the Carnival was labeled Mardi Gras or “Fat Tuesday” by early French settlers who reportedly made a practice of eating everything fattening just before the start of Lent. Traditional Mardi Gras colors are purple for justice, green for faith and gold for power. Drive carefully or it could be costly. The average cost of traffic tickets in California was increased twice in 2010 and again in January 2011. The cost of a ticket for running a red light is now $479.

Bev Lane New EBRP Board President By Staff Writer

East Bay Regional Park District board member Beverly Lane of Danville, California will serve as this year’s President of the Board. Beverly Lane is a Director of the East Bay Regional Park District and has an extensive record of public service. Beverly has been active politically in support of the environment since she first walked door to door in Sacramento urging voters to support the proposed California Coastal Commission. She served on the Danville Town Council from 1982 to 1993, was mayor three times, chaired the Central Contra Costa Transit Authority in 1988 and was president of California Elected Women in 1992-93. Elected to the EBRPD Board of Directors in 1994, she has led efforts to establish the Iron Horse Regional Trail, the Calaveras Ridge Trail and Sycamore Valley Open Space Park. She is particularly interested in preserving cultural resources in the regional parks. In 2008-09 she served on the Community Advisory Committee reviewing reuse plans for the Concord Naval Weapons Station where a 2,500-acre regional park is planned. A s a Re g i o n a l Pa r k Director, she has focused on expanding and promoting use of regional parks and

trails in the East Bay. As the 2011 President of the EBRPD Board of Directors, Ms. Lane is focused on encouraging people to walk for health, and on promoting the message, “Healthy Parks, Healthy People”. The Park District covers Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, manages 65 parks and covers 108,000 acres. As a local historian, Ms. Lane is a published author, columnist and curator of the Museum of the San Ramon Valley. She was the founding president of the Museum of the San Ramon Valley and is currently president of the Contra Costa County Historical Society. Her most recent book is “Vintage Danville, 150 Years of Memories.” Her work has been recognized with these awards: San Ramon Valley Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year two times, The Mountain Star award for environmental leadership from Save Mount Diablo, and the Open Gate award from the Eugene O’Neill Foundation. In 2010 she was recognized for her work on the Iron Horse Trail, with an Award for Distinguished Leadership from the Association of Bay Area Governments, and the California Recreational Trails Committee Award, designated by the California Greenways and Trails Conference.

February 2011

The Valley SenTinel

Deaths from prescription drugs up—What does it mean? By Dana Guzzetti

The way that Michael Jackson and Anna Nicole Smith died is increasingly common. Socially acceptable prescription drugs are just as dangerous as street drugs. Use of prescription drugs is up, especially in children, and so is the percentage of deaths caused by prescription medication. This seems logical if more people have access to a physician’s care. However, without being alarmed or simply blaming doctors, these changes call for serious thought and more study. About 120,000 Americans a year go to the emergency room after overdosing on opium based painkillers (including morphine and codeine) according to Dr. Lasmaiah Manchikanti of the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians. The number of overdose deaths from opioid painkillers tripled between 1999 and 2006 to 13,800 deaths that year and it is still going up. Prescription drug use in the United States has increased almost five percent in the past 10 years to the point

Bev Lane EBRPD Board of Directors

where 48.3 percent of people take at least one prescription medicine, according to U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A local owner of post drug-rehabilitation facilities, Frank Montero said, “For most people, their drug of choice is a prescription. Oxycontin (pain medication) is more powerful than heroin.” Recognizing that there are times when prescription drugs are beneficial, Montero remarked, “Most physicians are good people. The person (drug user) becomes manipulative and does what is called doctor shopping.” Montero insists that some students would not be able to graduate from high school or find work without medication, so it is important not to jump to conclusions. It is just as important to be careful and vigilant about the use of prescription drugs. Growth in children’s use of drugs outpaced increases for all other age groups last year, according to an annual report from Medco, and prescription drugs to insured children

2011 Trails Challenge will get you moving

increased 10.8 percent last year, at a rate three times higher than older adults, according to the CDC. Children age 11 and under take heavy doses of asthma drugs and kids age 12 to 19 are commonly prescribed drugs for ADHD, as well as asthma. More children are taking cholesterol fighters, strong heartburn remedies and diabetes drugs as well. Why is this alarming? Because according to law enforcement, teens often end up selling them to classmates who frequently move on to other drugs. When kids get in the habit of self-medicating, some think it is more likely they will consider accessing other drugs around the house. Then there is the issue of possible overdosing and side effects. Commander Norm Wielsch of Contra Costa County Narcotics Enforcement says, “Doctors seem to be over prescribing. Kids sell their prescribed drugs to other kids and there is less of a stigma to prescription drugs. The

problem is often found in affluent communities.” Readers who are interested in learning more about this issue or finding answers to questions about a particular situation or drug can email, write or call anonymously and

Pharmaceuticals Drop-Off

Monday-Friday, 8:30am-4:30pm 17011 Bollinger Canyon Rd You can now dispose of your medications—pills, capsules and liquids—safely at the Dougherty Valley Police Sub Station, next to the Dougherty Station Community Center. Never place medications down the toilets or drains. Prescription and over-the-counter medications can contain chemicals and hormones that harm soil and water. Please call (925) 973-3300 for more information or directions.

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Diablo & Hwy 680


the Trails Challenge logo on the front page of the website. The Park District’s Natural Talent Photography Exhibit is on display at the Contra Costa County Historical Society showcasing photos taken by the winners and finalists of the 2010 East Bay Regional Park District photo contest. Photos and other park memorabilia, including a complete collection of Trails Challenge pins, will be on display through April 30. The Contra Costa County Historical Society is located at 610 Main St., Martinez. The gallery is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9am to 4 pm and the third Saturday of each month from 10am. to 2 pm. Visit photocontest2010 for an online view of the exhibit. If you are looking for a challenging hike to start off the year, Naturalist Kevin Damstra will be leading a 7-mile Diablo Foothills Discovery hike in Walnut Creek on Saturday, February 26. Beverly Lane is president of the East Bay Regional Park District Board of Directors. Her ward includes Central Contra Costa County from San Ramon through Concord.

submit questions to the Valley Sentinel. Those questions will be researched and experts will be consulted in order to publish the answers in future editions of the Valley Sentinel. We can be reached at info@, or call (925) 820-6047.

love that grows

By Beverly Lane

Picturesque Parks is the theme for the East Bay Regional Park District’s 2011Trails C h a l l e n g e, t h e p o p u l a r self-guided hiking program designed to encourage people to enjoy the East Bay Regional Parks. Now in its 18th season, the program challenges people to explore the parks via any five of 20 selected routes. Hikes are designed for all levels of ability, including wheelchairaccessible excursions. In 2010, nearly 10,000 people signed up. Thanks to a continuing partnership with the Kaiser Permanente Health Maintenance Organization, the 2011 Trails Challenge is free for residents of Alameda and Contra Costa counties. Trails Challenge participants receive access to download a hiking guidebook, instructions on how to receive a free t-shirt, and web links to visualize the routes on Google Maps. A commemorative pin will be sent once a participant completes the challenge and sends in a trails log. All registration for Trails Challenge must be done online at Look for

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The Valley SenTinel

February 2011 Advertorial

Cancer Syndromes and Importance An Ashkanzie Jewish of Family History woman has 1 in 40 chance of Dr. Shoba Kankipati

The majority of cancer is sporadic, which means that it occurs without known family history. However there are specific cancer syndromes that can occur in multiple family members at an early age and can be related to a genetic mutation. Only 8–10% of cancers are genetically predisposed. Both affected and unaffected individuals can benefit from knowing their detailed family history. This includes both paternal and maternal family histories. Specific cancer syndromes that are commonly identified

include cancer of the breast, ovary, uterus, colon, and thyroid. For example: A woman has a 11% chance of developing breast cancer, but if she has a strong family history that number may increase her risk up to 80%. Genes called BRCA1 and BRCA2 are implicated in 8-9% of breast cancers. These genes are passed onto a woman or a man from either the mother or father, which makes knowing both paternal and maternal history very important in cancer risk assessment. These genes are also implicated in ovarian cancer. The BRCA2 gene can cause male breast cancer, pancreatic cancer and prostate cancer.

carrying a BRCA1 or 2 mutation. If a gene is not identified, there are other familial syndromes where a specific pattern of increased breast cancer is seen among the women of the family. These women also need to be identified so appropriate risk reduction and surveillance can be offered. Colon cancer can also have genetic or familial disposition. Syndromes called HNPCC (Hereditary Non-Polypsis Colon Cancer) and FAP (Familiail Adenomatosis Polyposis) can be identified with detailed family history and appropriate testing. Patients with HNPCC are at an increased risk for uterine cancer, ovarian cancer,

and cancers in the stomach and small bowel. Pa t i e n t s a n d f a m i l y members are usually reluctant to undergo genetic testing due to concerns about cost and insurance coverage. What they may not know is most health insurance companies will cover most of the costs. Your doctor or genetic counselor might need to write a letter to explain why testing is needed. There are also specific assistance programs that can help in cost coverage. Another concern is how the results of genetic testing will affect the chance of getting health or life insurance in the future. In the United States, a federal law known as the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act prohibits health insurers and employers from using your genetic information. This law is intended to encourage

Americans to take advantage of genetic testing if needed. The important message here is to be aware of your family history, which includes your first, second, and third generation relatives. If multiple cancers are observed in family members, it is important to bring it to your physicians attention so they can guide you in regards to genetic testing for you and your family members. As new information is added to your family history remember to keep updating your primary care doctor about it. One day you may not qualify for genetic testing, and the next day you may. Dr. Kankipati is a board certified Medical Oncologist and Hematologist with Epic Care, Dr. Kankipati works with Dr. Tyler Kang, Dr. Cannon Milani and Dr. Kenneth Chao.

Eve Ensler Addresses East Bay Women

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Award-winning playwright, activist and author Eve Ensler is keynote speaker at the 6th Annual East Bay Women’s Conference, March 7. Sponsored by the Walnut Creek Chamber of Commerce, Chevron Corp. and other local businesses, the popular event is usually sold out. Featured speakers for the conference titled “Embrace Strength-Imagine Success” include Kristine Carlson, coauthor with her late husband Richard of the Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff series, Robyn Benincasa, world champion racer and founder of World Class Teams, who’s made a n a r t f o r m o f ex t re m e performance, Lori Nader Gray, author of “From Cover Girl to Cookie Queen,” who will share her thoughts on overcoming adversity and creating a successful recipe for life, and Christy Kaplan, director of the

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John Muir Women’s Health Center. Breakout sessions will focus on contemporary issues. Exhibitors, a bookstore and author signings are on the program. Industry experts i n b u s i n e s s l e a d e rs h i p , vo l u n t e e r i s m , f i n a n c e, relationships, health and n u t r i t i o n , a n d e f f e c t i ve relationships will be there to share information. Marcie Hochhauser, Senior Vice President of the Walnut Creek Chamber of Commerce said. “What I love about the East Bay Women’s Conference is that it offers something to women of all ages at all stages of their lives from personal inspiration to professional development. I have been personally touched over the past six years, by the feedback I have received from women I don’t even know. Everyone has their story and if the EBWC can touch a person’s life, then yes, we have made a difference.” Eve Ensler Ensler, 57, is known for her explicit talk on feminine sexual issues. She rose to prominence with her 1996 feminist play “The Vagina Monologues.” Play writing and performance is reportedly one form of therapy she used after what she has described as a tormented childhood which included rape by her father and abusive parental efforts to improve on her looks and behavior. “Vagina Monologues” was the culmination of 20 years of sometimes self destructive efforts to come to terms with societal pressure on females to look beautiful and be well behaved. That play also propelled her to national prominence,

allowing her to raise millions of dollars for various international campaigns. Among them was the Karama program in the Middle East, funding over 5,000 community-based antiviolence programs and safe houses designed to combat violence against women and educate male dominated societies around the world. In Ensler’s most recent one-woman play, “Good Body,’ she revisits the now common theme of how modern pop culture putting pressure on women to be thin and beautiful has a noxious effect on feminine self esteem. Ensler counters the idea that feminism is passé, insisting that sexism still exists in all of its most pernicious forms around the world and in the United States. According to the national YWCA website, American women spent $7 billion on cosmetics and $11.7 million on plastic surgery in 2007. Ensler suggests that women spend some of that to help protect women from all kinds of violence. Good Housekeeping magazine named Ensler on its list of “125 Women who have Changed the World” and her latest book “I Am an Emotional Creature: The Secret Life of Girls around the World,” made the New York Times Best Sellers list.

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Embrace StrengthImagine Success

March 7, 2011, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. San Ramon Marriott For tickets call Marcie Hochhauser, W. C. Chamber of Commerce 925/934-2007 or


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

page 7

March 2009

February 2011

2011 CHEVROLET VOLT BY David and Judy Colman

You’ll be reading reams of technical information about this car in the months to come, but what’s it really like to drive? Based on a 100 mile round trip between Sausalito and Marshall, the Volt offers a workable solution to everyday transportation for four with the added bonus of 25-50 miles of gas-free operation daily. Volt operates in two different modes: There’s battery power, which is good for that gas-free 25-50 mile romp, plus gasoline power for an added range of about 350 miles. If you drive short trips every day, it could be months before you need to refill the Volt’s 9.2 gallon gas tank. Of course, you’ll need to recharge the batteries every night, a 10 hour job if you use 120V household current. If you want a three hour home recharge at 220V, you’ll need to install a special battery charger which costs $600. Chevy will do a free site survey to assess what the installation of this charger will entail. Labor and parts can run the job as high as $2,000.

T h e c o m b i n e d ra n g e estimate of 379 miles means you never have to worry about getting stuck with a dead battery, because the Volt’s diminutive 1.4 liter gas engine immediately comes to the rescue when the lithium-ion battery pack runs out of charge. So unlike the electric-only Nissan Leaf, which will stop dead after just 118 miles, the Volt will travel four times as far without giving you “range anxiety” ulcers. The best part of owning a Volt is staying green without being a dolt. Unlike the Leaf’s ToonTown caricature face, the Volt looks slick and futuristic without pandering to stylistic digression. The Volt’s shape cheats the wind like few other cars on the road. With a co-efficient of drag (CD) of 0.28, Volt is actually a slicker shape than Porsche’s slippery Cayman sport scar (CD 0.30). Everything about Volt is tailored for exceptional mileage, like its model-specific Goodyear Assurance tires (215/55R17), which come with a standard tire pressure dashboard monitor to insure proper inflation. Of course, you still have to

MAFCA chooses local as president By Dana Guzzetti

The Model A Ford Club of America is recognized as the largest car club in America with more than 14,000 members worldwide and local Diablo A’s Chapter member Alex Janke recently took office as its president. Seventy-five families in Danville, Alamo, Walnut Creek, Concord and surrounding areas make restoration and preservation of the historic Model A Ford vehicles a way of life. Nearly 5 million of these sturdy Fords were manufactured between 1927 and 1931. Many are still seen on the road today for special events and tours. “I have been a Model A owner since 1960. My father had a Model A when I was growing up and I rebuilt it so I could drive it to high school,” Janke said.

Model A car owners say that they are fun to drive, easy to work on, and parts are still available. The parts that were used to build them were more durable than some other brands and there are more Model A’s still in existence. Diablo A’s members dress in the style of the period, touring the region and sometimes the entire country. Danville’s Adell Kirk tells how member relationships have gone beyond a mutual interest in Model A Fords. It is fun for the public as well. Non-owners often attend events just to see the classic automobiles. The Diablo A’s will be touring the Antioch Historical Museum in February, the 25-club Northern California Regional Round-up in Vallejo in April and the Annual National Tour at Natchez Trace Parkway in Nashville in May. The Diablo A’s club meets at 8:00 pm on the third Friday of the month at the Faith Christian Fellowship Church, 860 Bancroft Road, Walnut Creek. Guests are welcome. Visit their website at www.

monitor the monitor, and add air as needed, but Chevy eases the job by providing a neat portable pump in the hatchback’s trunk. Volt carries no spare tire, so the Goodyears are run-flat specials. Inside the cabin, Volt is a work of art, with dash-top pads that flow seamlessly into the door structures. The junction between these disparate surfaces is so tight the Volt looks like a Bentley inside. You can festoon the door panels with leafy green inserts that match the “newly mown grass” stripes on the seats, or you can forego the new age look for a more subtle combination of cloth or leather. The center stack of the console, which mounts the standard seven inch navigation screen, is a model of computer keyboard design with touch-activated January every 2011 needed areas controlling interior function from HVAC to communication to navigation. If you need gratification for your green keen, the screen can be configured to display the state of regenerative braking, your efficiency as a driver, or your mileage on the current run. Another 7-inch wide screen directly in front of the driver contains pertinent information about state of battery charge, range to battery

expiration, and a slew of other minutiae (like tire pressures), all at your beck and call with the twist of a dial. The Volt is a remarkably mature product. It handles well on the secondary roads of Marin County, despite the hard rubber compound which makes the Goodyear tires squeal in tight turns. In full power mode (“Sport” setting with Low gear selected), Volt is just adequate for passing slower traffic on 2-way roads. You won’t have your heart in your throat, but you won’t feel overly confident until the 3,781

pound Volt is back in its proper lane. 0-60 runs take about 8.8 seconds, and top speed is governor-limited to 100mph. 2011 CHEVROLET VOLT ENGINE: 1.4 liter DOHC in-line 4, gasoline/electric hybrid HORSEPOWER: 149 hp TORQUE: 273 lb-ft FUEL CONSUMPTION: 93 MPGe (all electric), 37 MPG (gas only), 60 MPG (combined composite) PRICE AS TESTED: $43,485/ $35,985* (*includes $7,500 federal tax credit)



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February 2011

The Valley SenTinel

Travel, Explore, Learn – Valley Seniors Never Stop By Dana Guzzetti

Valley seniors are not just living longer, they are getting more out of life. When the pressure of raising children and caring for others gradually

subsides, people age 50s get a second chance for fun, service and personal development. Travel, community service and education can be as satisfying as a career; in fact,

those activities often become a second career. After a lifetime of working for a salary or in a business, it may require an attitude adjustment to realize that discipline, work and study without financial remuneration,is just as valid for so many other reasons. Mature people learn to recognize the value of their time and deciding how to spend it is an important step. San Ramon Senior Center volunteers provide leadership and contribute 18,000 hours of support toward the success of that center. Volunteers tutor, drive vans, garden, help with special events and more. For some, a senior center seems to represent a personal concession to aging. The opposite is true for most people. A nearby senior center can become a social focal point, akin to involvement with a church activity, museum, gardening group or a book club.


It can also provide a network of connections that opens doors to other options, such as trips, part-time work and information about senior benefits. It is a time to explore. What about experiencing human body flight at iFly Skydiving in Union City on one of the Danville Senior Sneaker trips? An indoor vertical wind tunnel creates the experience without the danger. The same group is visiting the Charles M. Schulz Museum (with wine tasting), hearing a Beethoven symphony at Davies Hall in San Francisco and checking out the Jelly Belly Factory and Anheuser Busch in February. Of course health and personal fitness is the key, but beyond that seniors are taking advantage of free and reasonably priced classes of all kinds. For example, the San Ramon Senior Center and SR Teen council recently offered a free Tech Tutoring session. Whether exercise is a pleasure or a duty, most

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seniors realize that a certain amount of movement is vital to being able to do everything else. The cities of San Ramon Danville and Walnut Creek all provide a remarkable array of exercise, dance and fitness movement classes including Wii. Anyone who has not tried a Wii game at least once is missing out. Consider Zumba, ballroom dancing, line dancing or just walking with friends. These are all happening through local senior centers. No longer consumed by the world of work, seniors with latent talents often blossom later in life. One way to start is to go to a class like the Artist Workshop coming up Feb. 5 in Danville at the Village Theatre Art Gallery. It is an introduction to mixed media art techniques. It is not too late to become a bird watcher, write one’s memoir or participate in local theater. Unlike the past, the 21st century is a great time for older people to explore and develop to their full potential. City resources for seniors; San Ramon Senior Center; 973-3250. Danville Senior Programs; 314-3400. Wa l n u t C re e k S e n i o r C e n t e r ; 9 4 3 - 5 8 51 . w w w.

Life Can Sometimes Get a Little Difficult…

The Alcosta Senior & Community Center offers shortterm consultations with an experienced family counselor. Claire Chow has been associated with the center for a number of years and is pleased to be able to offer this service. If you have questions about being a caretaker, about living alone, about grief, about how to make a good relationship with your adult children or with your grandchildren, it might help to take advantage of this service. You can call Claire Chow directly at 8282656. Consultations last a half an hour, but can be longer if needed. A nominal fee of $10/ half hour is paid directly to the counselor.

Kid’s Camps

February 2011

Start Researching Camps Now Danville By Dana Guzzetti T h e A m e r i c a n C a m p Camp Expo

To d ay s u m m e r c a m p means more than traditional outdoor recreation, sports, crafts and songs. Camp is a memorable experience for most kids, offering the opportunity to be with different kinds of people, explore their talents and conquer new challenges. Contemporary summer camps offer the chance for youngsters to hone already blossoming interests and skills and provide educationally enriching opportunities. Parents considering a camp for their child must be sure it is a place their child wants to go and start planning early. Good camps are the first to be filled. No child will have fun or get the most out of a camp that they do not want to attend. Get children involved in the quest for a camp and let them begin to understand what is involved in arranging schedules and transportation, planning a wardrobe and making decisions in advance. Children naturally gravitate to their interests when they know the options. Summer camps are good for parents too; either by participating in a family camp or having a brief time-out from parenting duties. With the pressure on kids for grades that will get them into the best colleges, many students genuinely need an outdoor carefree time-out too. Introduce the idea of camp to youngsters as soon as they get comfortable with school. Start with a short session at a local summer school, recreation program or one of the East Bay Regional Park summer activities. A day camp can transition to more lengthy time away from home. If those first few opportunities for growing independence are successful, youngsters are often eager to become more adventurous at a camp away from home for a week or two when they are older. It is always important for parents to clearly understand and approve of the safety standards, camp philosophy and activities. Make sure the child has a way to contact parents if things go awry, but do not encourage it if they are simply lonesome or uncomfortable.

Association website, www., and www.Caladventurecamps. org are good places to begin a search of summer camps. Local Community Summer Camp/Activities San Ramon Parks and Community Services, Town of Danville Recreations Services, Mt. Diablo Region YMCA , Walnut Creek Civic Arts Education (www.walnut-creek. org), Devil Mountain Summer Camp and Athenian Sport Camp at Athenian School, Dorris Eaton School, Seven Hills School, Heather Farms Camp and Boy Scout and Girl Scout camps. All of these are in close proximity and provide a

Saturday, February 12, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm, Danville Community Center Back by popular demand! Get a sneak peek of what the Town of Danville has in store for spring and summer 2011! Meet summer day camp and aquatics staff, plus a variety of specialty class instructors, and get all of your questions answered in person. Receive 10% off registration for programs listed in the Spring Activity Guide and Summer Camps Brochure (not all programs or classes may be included) by signing up at the Expo! For more information visit or call (925) 314-3400

The Valley SenTinel

page 9

Summer is just around the corner! Saint Mary’s Athletic Summer Camps

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The Valley SenTinel

February 2011

Peripheral Neuropathy, BE GONE!

Understanding nerve pain and how it can be healed naturally By Dr. Niele Maimone, DC

for those suffering from this malady and treatment may vary depending on the cause and severity. However, many individuals find relief using natural remedies. Peripheral Neuropathy is a condition that affects people in every walk of life. It is estimated that 20 million Americans and 60% of diabetics suffer from this disorder. There are hundreds of different kinds of neuropathy, the symptoms of which include burning, tingling, weakness,

W h a t i s Pe r i p h e r a l Neuropathy? Peripheral Neuropathy is a condition in which there is damage to the peripheral nervous system, which transmits information from the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body. This can result in pain, loss of feeling, and inability to control muscles. As with any other condition, there is no “one size fits all” remedy


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numbness, paralysis, and dull to excruciating pain– especially in the limbs. Although many neuropathies have no known cause, neuropathy is often associated with another condition, such as: diabetes, HIV, shingles, toxins, autoimmune disorders, neurological conditions, carpal tunnel syndrome, and malnutrition. Statin (cholesterol) drugs and chemotherapy can also cause neuropathy. While medications can sometimes help with the symptoms, they cannot be relied upon to restore the health of the nerves. Most often the drugs that treat neuropathy leave the sufferer feeling intoxicated and hopeless to lead a normal active life. Understanding the Nervous System Nerves carry the electrical signals that allow us to move, feel, breath, digest, detoxify, respond to our environment, and much more. Nerves are the electrical wiring of the human body. Plain and simple, if the nerves do not work the body will not

work,in some capacity. It is also important to understand that unlike other tissues, the primary blood supply to nerve tissue is actually located WITHIN the nerve itself. So, if a nerve becomes impinged or compromised, so does the blood supply to the nerve. Without proper blood supply, the nerve does not receive the energy and nutrition that are needed for the nerve to heal itself. Over time neural impingement leads to a painful chronic condition called neuropathy. Natural help for Neuropathy sufferers For the past eleven years Align Healing Center has been offering many natural therapies to soothe and heal painful neuropathies. In 2009 we began using Class IV Laser Therapy and the results have been outstanding! Class IV Laser Therapy allows the practitioner to stimulate healing within the nerve tissue by delivering the necessary energy directly to the injured area. During each painless t re a t m e n t , l a s e r e n e rg y increases circulation, drawing

water, oxygen, and nutrients to the damaged area. Laser therapy is a photochemical process that is able to bypass the arterial “highway” that has been damaged. During laser therapy, the infrared laser light interacts with tissues at the cellular level and metabolically increases the activity within the cell, improving the transport of nutrients across the cell membrane. This initiates the production of cellular energy (ATP) that leads to a cascade of beneficial effects, increasing cellular function and health. This creates an optimal healing environment that reduces inflammation, swelling, muscle spasms, stiffness and pain. In other words, NO MORE pain, NO MORE numbness, NO MORE tingling and NO MORE burning! Depending on the type and severity of neuropathy, we have witnessed patients beginning to get relief after the first visit and with continued care receive complete relief long-term. Dr. Niele Maimone, DC of Align Healing Center in Danville, CA has been active in natural health & wellness since 1999. For more information or to set up a consult call 925-362-8283 or visit www.

Danville business and PG&E provide Free energy-savings for schools By Dana Guzzetti

Danville’s John Gigliotti has come up with a wonderful way for schools to save money on their PG&E bills and have more to spend on education. It is almost like finding unexpected funds. PG&E has an obligation to its customers to save or conserve energy. Consequently, a rebate is available for companies and institutions that install new software, which monitors and regulates power to computers. G i g l i o t t i ’ s c o m p a n y, Autonomic Software, Inc. is providing and installing its Desktop Power Manager at no cost, except the assignment of the PG&E rebate. In most places, computers are on all the time and they do not need to be. The software can be set to automatically go on standby after 15 to 30

minutes, automatically turn off at night and weekends if not in use. According to Gigliotti, the software saves about $60 per desktop computer per year. Schools, cities and counties would normally have to pay for the software and to have it installed. “We just installed software for the Hayward Unified School District, which has 4,000 computers. They will save $250,000 on their PG&E costs over the next four years, Gigliotti remarked. “This is really important in the summer when there is peak usage.” Oroville Union High School District has two high schools, a continuation school and a community day school with 600 computers. The district’s IT professional Tom Talley reports that the district expects to save $36,000 annually using

Autonomic’s software. PG&E is enthusiastically spreading the word, offering to provide power management software (installed) to schools, libraries and other public institutions, based on its agreement with Autonomic. Gigliotti says the company has also provided this free s o f t wa re a n d s e r v i c e t o counties and municipalities such as Butte County and Plumas County. The award-winning software allows the network administrator to manage energy consumption at each connected desktop. They do this remotely and by implementing “policies” with a few clicks so that monitors and PCs turn themselves off whenever appropriate. The schools pay nothing for the software, installation or support, Gigliotti said.

Danville Area Chamber of Commerce 2011 installation dinner 7:30pm.The price per person is The Danville Area Chamber of Commerce is pleased to invite the public to the Installation Dinner of the 2011 Chairman of the Board, Kim Lindeberg, The Lindeberg Group and the 2011 Board of

Directors. This event will be held on Thursday, February 17, 2011 at the historic Diablo Country Club. The evening begins with no-host cocktails at 6:30pm, followed by dinner and program promptly at

$90. After February 4, 2011, the price will be $99 per person. Please call the chamber offices at 925-837-4400 to order your tickets or visit our website at www.danvilleareachamber. com.

February 2011

Hometown Heroes Help Restore Veterans Hall By staff writer

S a n Ra m o n U S N av y Veteran Lorrie Sammons, speaking about herself and her husband Tim, says, “The Vets Hall is a cause we both support. We have lots of good reasons. Our son had great experiences with a Community Youth Group that was based at the Hall. We’re involved with veterans’ organizations that use the facility, through Tim’s life membership in the VFW and my life membership in the Viet Nam Veterans of Diablo Valley. Tim has shared displays of military communications equipment at the Vets Hall Museum and participated in educational programs for the community on military history. Also, the presence of a satellite office for the County Veteran Service Officers will increase access to information for south county residents.” Tim and Lorrie Sammons are both retired US Navy Captains! Tim served our Country from 1971 to 1995 with exemplary service and is an expert and “go-to man” in

Tim and Lorrie Sammons

the fields of fast patrol torpedo boats and harbor defense. His career in the Active and Reserve Navy components took him to Saudi Arabia during Desert Storm/Desert Shield, Jordan, Somalia, Mogadishu, Kenya, Diego Garcia, as well as domestic assignments from San Diego to Alaska. I n N ove m b e r, L o r r i e retired from the US Navy. Her most recent of many impressive military honors

Local Students Honored at WSU

is a very prestigious award! Lorrie responded, “With almost nine percent of the nation’s veterans being here in California, I am very honored to be selected as the 2010 Woman Veteran of the Year for the state. The judges looked at military contributions, service to veterans, and community service at the local, state, and national levels, so I kind of consider it a ‘lifetime achievement’ award for the last thirty-nine and one half years.” Lorrie’s community involvement has also earned her the Department of Defense Outstanding Voluntary Service Medal consecutively each period since it was authorized! Tim and Lorrie are an extraordinary couple. Lorrie and Tim’s first gift of their three-year pledge helps restore and expand the Veterans Memorial Building of San Ramon Valley in Danville. When completed, the entire community will have access for seniors’ events, weddings, business affairs, youth groups,

Local students Kevin Patrick Faulkner of Alamo and Wayne M. Yamada of San Ramon have been named to the Fall 2010 President’s Honor Roll at Washington State University in Pullman, Washington.

The President’s Honor Roll recognizes students who stand above the rest with excellent academic performance. To be eligible for the honor roll, undergraduate students must be enrolled in a minimum of nine graded hours in a single

term at WSU and earn a grade point average of 3.75 or earn a 3.50 cumulative GPA, based on 15 cumulative hours of graded work. T h e Va l l e y S e n t i n e l congratulates these local students and wishes them continued success.

SENTINELS from page 1

concentrate. We are going to accept our responsibility.” “The VA does a great job of supporting them when they are in the military. It’s when they get home and they might not have the family, resources or business connections they need,” Conklin remarks. Sixty of the sixty-two severely injured veterans in the Danville-based program have succeeded. Word has spread throughout the country. An interesting part of this inspiring story is that at its inception, the name of the

program was inspired by the Sentinel Newspaper. Back then, Conklin had contacted the Sentinel to begin running profiles of local servicemen and women who were entering or returning from tours of duty, and the column was called “Sentinels of Freedom.” To learn more about the Sentinels of Freedom, view personal video stories of individuals in the program, or to contribute time or money, visit www.sentinelsoffreedom. org or call Mike Conklin at 925-353-7100.

is his support team and he has over 100 people helping him. Rotary President Bill Clarkson said, “Rotary is a service organization. It is our way, as citizens, to take care of another citizen who has gone into harm’s way for us. This effort is also a pilot program, and could be something good for service clubs across the country to pursue.” Rotarians have made Sykes an honorary Rotarian and their veteran has become part of the community. Clarkson said that over half the guests at a recent surprise party for Ryan Sykes were members of the San Ramon Rotary. This wheelchair-bound veteran is attending DVC classes and working with a personal trainer, doctor and physical therapist. “When he first started, he could take four steps. He can already take 400 steps,” Conklin says with pride. “A lot of it is his personal drive and his DNA. We support the rest, so he can relax and

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The Valley SenTinel parties, group meetings and fundraisers. Of course, veterans will hold meetings and events and will use it as a resource for military information and services. The Sammons family invites others to join them in making this important treasure a reality for their


page 11

friends and neighbors. You can find out more at the website Your help is needed. Please call Linda at (925) 362-9806 if you have questions about the restoration and expansion project or about creating a legacy for your family through your donation.

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Please mail check and ad to: The Valley Sentinel, 390 Diablo Rd., Ste. 145, Danville, CA 94526. Or email w/credit card information to Write your ad clearly and include your: Name, Address, Daytime Phone, Date, and Category. DEADLINE is the 15th of the month preceeding publication month. For more information call 925-820-6047. 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. BUILDING MATERIALS Discounted Steel Buildings Big & Small Get the Deal of Deals! Placement to Site Source #1BJ Phone: 925-304-4266. EDUCATION Tutor: California Credentialed teacher and a degree in special education, will provide instruction for grades K-12. Phonics, reading/comprehension, writing, math, study skills. RESULTS! Please call 925997-1673. FOR SALE Scooter Pronto M51. Please call (925) 381-0170.

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Kitchen Cabinets, never used, natural cherry. 17 ft. base cabinets, 10 ft. upper cabinets. $4500. For more information call (925) 8371790. Bell & Howell 16mm Movie Projector, model #2592. Works well. $95. Call Dave, 925-681-8594. 2010 Entertainment Coupon Books for Greater East Bay Area available NOW! Only $30 each. Support California High School Choral Boosters. Call Cam Reed @ 925-8290628. Free delivery San Ramon/Danville/Alamo/ Dublin area. HELP WANTED


Risk Analyst - Structured Securities: Master’s in Econ., Finance, or rltd. & 3 yrs. exp. & exp. in analytics using Intex to forecast losses on structural securities including RMBS, CDOs and CLOs; implementing Model Governance framework on organization-wide models; and FRM certification. Resume 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 located in San Ramon, CA. Sales Executive P o s i t i o n : T h e Va l l e y 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 info@, or fax it to 925-820-6048. SEEKING EMPLOYMENT

Senior Caregiver/ Companion. Cook, run errands, reliable with references. Kind, considerate and patient. Call Marianne in San Ramon at 925-858-4758.

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Community News & Information

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


F e b r u a r y

F e b r u a r y

F e b r u a r y

F e b r u a r y

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

We hope to see you there! ANNOUNCEMENTS Contra Costa County Library Launches Discover & Go: Reserve & Print Museum Passes Online A first of its kind, Discover & Go provides access to passes that can be printed online rather than traditional physical passes that must be picked up and returned to the Library. Each Discover & Go pass expires immediately after the reservation date – no returns required and no possibility for overdue fines! This unique program allows library users to make reservations online by date or by venue and immediately print out a pass or print later for free at any library. Customers without internet access can reserve a pass by telephone or in person. Library cardholders can reserve up to two passes at one time from a growing list of destinations. Discover & Go website: Afterschool Enrichment Class Enrollment San Ramon Parks & Community Services provides educational opportunities at every elementary in San Ramon! Enhance your child’s educational experience and ignite their passion for art, drama, music, science, sports and much more. Most classes begin the week of January 31. Visit the website at for a complete list of classes, dates, descriptions, fees and registration options. Registration is now open! Now – February 28 Exhibit of acrylic paintings by Roger Sperling 4:30pm, February 5, opening reception. Refreshments will be served. Sperling looks for interesting painting subjects—of places he has been or sights he has seen— and uses photographs as a jumping off point for his paintings. Ygnacio Valley Library, 2661 Oak Grove Rd., Walnut Creek. Information: 938-1481. Now - March 5 Honoring Valley Veterans
 Heroes in Defense of Freedom Uniforms with gear, military memorabilia
 and artifacts, Kids’ Korner. Located at the corner of Railroad and Prospect Avenues in Downtown Danville. Call for open hours: 837-3750 Now – March 10 Heart Throb Exhibit Tues-Sat: 11am-5pm. What is your “heart throb”? Artists work to express what they love or capture a moment in time, creating art that will resonate with a viewer and allow them to share the artist’s experience. Free. Lafayette gallery, 50 Lafayette Circle, Lafayette. Information: 2842788. February 7 “DRUMMM” Fun at the Walnut Creek Library 4pm. Drums and other child-friendly rhythm instruments will be provided for all attendees. DRUMMM brings to their programs years of experience working with people from vast backgrounds in every imaginable setting and everyone is guaranteed a drumming experience to remember!. Free. The first 100 people will be admitted. Walnut Creek Library, 1644 N. Broadway, Walnut Creek. Information: 977-3340. February 9 Surefire Strategies for Job Seekers Over 50 6:30pm. Are you unemployed, over fifty, and feeling frustrated by the lack of opportunities you’re finding? An informative workshop with Eileen Williams. Ms. Williams has a Master’s Degree in Career Development and twenty

years experience as a job search specialist, career/life transition counselor, speaker, and writer. Free. Walnut Creek Library, 1644 North Broadway, Walnut Creek. Information: 977-3340. February 10, 17 & 24 Diabetes Self-Management Series 2:30-4:30pm. The classes will be held on four Thursday afternoons. Classes will present an overview of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, healthy eating, exercise, and complications. San Ramon Regional Medical Center building in the Blackhawk Conference Room, located at 6001 Norris Canyon Road, San Ramon. To enroll in the class, please call 275-6020, option 5. For more information: 275-6018. February 12 Victorian Valentine’s Day at Forest Home Farms 10am-2pm. Make an old-fashioned calling card, Valentine craft and enjoy Victorian-era refreshments. Do you know what the history of Valentine’s Day is? Make a special card for your sweetie in true Victorian style – they’ll be tickled pink! Forest Home Farms Historic Park, 19953 San Ramon Valley Blvd., San Ramon. Information: 973-3284. February 12 Diablo Ballet Angelina Ballerina Story Times 10:30am. Join the Diablo Ballet as they read the popular book Angelina Ballerina. One of Diablo Ballet’s apprentice dancers will be in costume to read the story to children. After the reading, you can have a complimentary picture taken with the dancer. These readings are part of Diablo Ballet’s new youth outreach program, the Prima Ballerina Club, which is open to children ages 3 - 13 and free to join. Walnut Creek Library, 1644 N. Broadway, Walnut Creek. Information: 943-1775 x 0. February 15 Your Next Travel Adventure: ALASKA! 6:30pm. Tips and travel advice from the author of Great Destinations: The Alaskan Panhandle. The slide talk will guide you to the fiords, forests, glaciers, quirky towns and totem poles of the 49th state’s panhandle. This stretch, from Ketchikan to Yakutat, is the region most visited by tourists. Most of them come by cruise ship. Free. Ygnacio Valley Library, 2661 Oak Grove Rd., Walnut Creek. Information: 938-1481.

BUSINESS Alamo Chamber of Commerce Events February 23: Monthly Mixer, 5:30-7pm. Come to network or catch up with old friends. Bring a raffle prize and you can give a 1 minute commercial about your business. Union Bank, 3191 Danville Blvd., Alamo. Cost: $5.00 members, $10.00 soon to be members Danville Chamber Of Commerce Events February 10: After Hours Mixer, 5:30pm. Pacific Union International, 541 Sycamore Valley Road West, Danville. February 17: Installation Dinner, 6:30pm. Public is invited to the Installation Dinner of the 2011 Chairman of the Board, Kim Lindeberg and the 2011 Board of Directors and Awards Ceremony for the 2010 Educator of the Year, Business Person of the Year, Citizen of the Year and Charitable Oraganization of the Year. Diablo Country Club, 1700 Clubhouse Road, Diablo. Tickets: $90. To purchase tickets call the chamber at 837-4400. March 3: State of the Town, 11am. Crow Canyon Country Club, 711 Silver Lake Drive, Danville.

San Ramon Chamber of Commerce Events February 17: Business Expo. and Mixer, 5-8pm. Join 300+ of Tri-Valley business owners, retailers and employees at our Semi-Annual San Ramon Chamber of Commerce Business Expo and get exposed to the business community. Booth space is sold out. $10 for members and $20 for non-members. The Bridges Golf Club 9000 S. Gale Ridge Rd., San Ramon.

CLUBS February 9 The Exchange Club 12:00 (11:30 sign-in) Faz, 600 Hartz Ave., Danville. “What Market Recovery—Assessment Practices, Surveys, and Consumer Scams.” Speaker is Gus Kramer, Contra Costa County Assessor. $16 members/$20 returning guests. For more information call 275-2412 or email Lunch will be smoked pork chop with apple chutney. February 17 The San Ramon Valley Newcomers Club Luncheon 11:30am-2pm. Speaker will be Terry Monday, volunteer program mgr. for Medshare, which recovers & distributes surplus medical supplies. Blackhawk Grille, 3450 Blackhawk Plaza Cir., Blackhawk. Call Susan at 718-5214 for reservations & information. Tuesdays Danville Sycamore Valley Rotary Club Meetings held every Tuesday morning at 7am. Crow Canyon Country Club, 711 Silver Lake Dr., Danville. For more information, call Scott Sampson at 743-8449. Wednesdays San Ramon Valley Rotary Club 7:00pm. Crow Canyon Country Club, 711 Silver Lake Dr., Danville. For information call Valerie Munoz at 683-6310 or visit Wednesdays Blue Star Moms Chapter 101 General Meetings 7-9pm. Meets the second Wednesday of every month at Hap Magee Ranch Park Swain House, 1025 La Gonda Way, Danville. For more information contact Peggy Conklin at 866-7035 or visit Wednesdays Diablo Singles Dance Club 7:30-10:30pm. Last Wednesday of every month. 111 N. Wiget Lane, Walnut Creek. Members $7, guests $9. All are welcome. Call 837-2851 for information. Thursdays Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW), Post 75, San Ramon Valley 7pm. Meets every second Thursday of the month at the Swain House at Hap Magee Ranch Park, located at 1025 La Gonda Way in Danville For more information contact Post Commander Nathan Greene at 875-1747. Mail to: VFW Post 75 San Ramon Valley, P.O. Box 1092, Danville, CA 94526. Find out more about the VFW on the internet at Fridays Montelindo Club 9am. Club meets the third Friday of the month, September through May. The meeting is free and welcomes guests and new members. Orinda Community Church, 10 Irwin Way, Orinda.

Please email or fax your Calendar Events to the Sentinel by 5 p.m. Friday, February 14 for the March issue. Fax No. 925-820-6048, or go to to enter your event online. Inclusion in the calendar pages is at the sole discretion of Sentinel Newspapers, Inc.

page 14

FOOD Nutrition • Health • Gardening • Wine • Events • Gourmet February 2011

A Taste of Romance By Ron Ottobre

Valentine’s Day is that yearly reminder for us not to take love and romance for granted. But how did this tradition of February amore get started? See’s Chocolate Company or Hallmark Cards Inc. didn’t create it, as you would suspect. Actually it began as a pagan holiday. In ancient Rome, February14th was the day to honor Juno, Queen of the Roman Gods and Goddesses. She was also the Goddess of women and marriage. But on the evening of her celebration an unusual ritual began that had more to do with the following day, February 15th — the Feast of Lupercalia. Lupercalia was named after the cave that the wolf supposedly suckled Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome (lupus - wolf). Originally this fertility festival involved sacrificial animals but evolved into an Ancient Roman version of the “Dating Game.” At this time, young men and girls were segregated. However, the night before Lupercalia, the names of Roman girls were written on slips of paper and placed into earthenware jars. A young man would draw a girl’s name from the jar and they would become a pair through the days of the festival. As is expected with most teens, this coupling often lasted after the festival and resulted in many marriages. Two historic personalities changed all the fun and games.

Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, and the early Christian priest, Valentine, decided to keep marrying couples in love despite the emperor’s decree. His secret marriages were eventually discovered and Claudius ordered that he be beheaded. Legend has it that this future saint actually sent the first Valentine greeting himself. While in prison he fell in love with a young girl–his jailor’s daughter who visited him during his imprisonment. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter, which he signed “From your Valentine,” and greeting card companies rejoiced and all was good in H a l l m a r k h o l i d ay land. Romantic Foods As there are many foods that are thought to have aphrodisiac qualities, and movies like Tom Jones, Tampopo, Like Water for Choco late and Chocolat cinematically portray its effects. Oysters and other shellfish, caviar, asparagus, chilies, wine, chocolate, grapes, strawberries, raspberries, figs, basil, honey, garlic, vanilla, and truffles belong in this list. Oftentimes it is the shape of the food that is seductive as with

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bananas, avocados, oysters and eggs. Scientifically, foods that are rich in vitamin E, as the aforementioned, really do have the potential to stimulate your libido. Besides the romantic effects of vitamin E, there is nothing like a glass of that favorite Valentine bubbly beverage – champagne. As we all know, a little wine can both relax as well as enliven you. Nonetheless it is chocolate, with its unique psychoactive chemistry, that may leverage Valentine bliss more than any other nutriment.

Celebrate your Love Really show your sweetheart you care by devising your own romantic affair. Lend your children to the grandparents or friends for the night, find the candles and a log for the fireplace. Then shop for the bubbly and those amorous ingredients. Included in this article are a couple of fabulous, yet involved recipes that are guaranteed win over the heart. Le Menu Oysters Casino Classic Chocolate Mousse with Berries Oysters Casino Ingredients 12 oysters in the shell 1/3 c. fine diced roasted red bell pepper (you can use purchased peppers) 2 ½ oz. 1/2 c. fine diced red onion (1/2 onion) 3 bacon slices, minced (3 oz.) 1 large clove garlic minced fine 4 tbsp. Sweet butter (1/2 stick) Kosher salt 1/4 c. unseasoned bread crumbs 3 tbsp. freshly squeezed

lemon juice (juice of 1 large lemon) 4 c. kosher or rock salt for baking Method Preheat oven to 400 ° F. Cover a baking pan with 4 c. Kosher or rock salt to hold the oysters level while baking and keep any juices in the shell. Shuck oysters, loosen and place onto salt covered sheet pan so that they are level. In a sauté pan sweat the bacon over low heat to release the fat and the onions and garlic and sauté for one minute. Add the bell pepper and butter. Continue warming until the butter melts. Remove from heat. Place a tablespoon of bacon mixture on each oyster. Sprinkle breadcrumbs until they are used up then sprinkle breadcrumbs with lemon juice. Bake at 400°F for 25 minutes until breadcrumbs start to brown and juices start to bubble. Serve with baguette slices to remove any of the delicious juices or filling after the oyster is consumed…yum, yum. Serves 2 as an entrée (6 each) or 4 as an appetizer (3 each) Classic Chocolate Mousse with Berries ( f o r a d ra m a t i c s e r v i n g presentation purchase large chocolate cups) Ingredients 3 eggs separated 1/2 pint whipping cream 2 oz. cold coffee 1 packet plain gelatin 1 tbsp. white sugar 8 oz. semi sweet chocolate 60% cocoa Raspberries or Strawberries for garnish Technique Dissolve gelatin in the cold coffee for 2 minutes. Add chocolate and melt over simmering water. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time. Add the sugar. Remove from heat and cool slightly. It should still be slightly warm to the touch. Fold in the whipped cream and beaten egg whites a little at a time until completely incorporated. Chill 10 to 15 minutes until almost firm. Spoon or pipe with a pastry bag into wine glasses. Chill until firm.This may be done the day before.

If using the chocolate cups you can purchase a little raspberry or strawberry sauce for garnish on the plate. You can also sprinkle a little powdered sugar and or coco powder over the top. Serves 4

Valentine Menu “Rapidement”

First present a bouquet of Roses in a vase on the table with lit candles. Add a bottle of champagne in an ice bucket with appropriate glasses On one plate arrange a small bunch of seedless grapes, preferably red; six strawberries; a few slices of avocado; 2 oz. Brie cheese and a few crostini. Cover another plate with Kosher salt and on it arrange six shucked oysters and lemon wedges. On another plate present a few stalks of grilled asparagus (large stalks with the tough ends snapped off) wrapped with thinly sliced prosciutto and a few cooked lobster ravioli (I can’t mention the chain of local stores that sell these) or cheese ravioli tossed in olive oil and Parmesan cheese (this is the only thing you need to do at the last minute). Finally present a plate of different kinds of chocolate, use your imagination. And voila – Romance!

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page 16

The Valley SenTinel

February 2011

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