East Bay Center for the Blind


Fall 2009
Newsletter of
The East Bay Center for the Blind, Inc.
2928 Adeline St.
Berkeley, CA 94703
Phone: 510-843-6935
Fax: 510-843-6006
E-Mail: ebcb@pacbell.net
Web site: www.eastbaycenterfortheblind.org

Editor's Corner

By Daveed Mandell

Welcome to the Fall issue of "Keeping in Touch". It has been quite busy here at the Center, what with various committee meetings, installation of new blinds, and the addition of a new light and fan in the computer lab.

During the past few months, the Center has been extremely fortunate to find several topnotch, hard working volunteers, who have done everything from purchasing supplies and performing various maintenance tasks, to reading printed material and filling out surveys. We wish to express our heartfelt appreciation to volunteers Maria Cardenas, Gary Marvin and Greg Fernbacher, and to Center member David Heath.

For the second time this year, Center member Mike Gorman has scored a big hit as DJ. Last month's event was enjoyed by all, and Mike says he's ready for yet a third round! Mike's dance parties have both been very successful and popular events.

I am pleased and proud to dedicate this issue to poet and Center member Doug Nash. He has published a book of poems, which I would very much like to read. Several of his poems appear later in this newsletter. Doug is gifted with the ability to express a variety of emotions concisely and candidly. He possesses keen insight, humor, passion, sensitivity, and respect for nature, all with a healthy dose of cynicism.

Thanks also to Preston Moses for sharing his impressions of the fall season with us. He presents fall in a most enticing manner.

Let me remind you that I welcome your contributions to this newsletter and encourage you to contact me. Please send me email at daveedm@sbcglobal.net, or call me at (510) 665-9260.

On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanza, Happy Chanukah, or any other Holidays that you celebrate. May you have a healthy, prosperous, joyful and productive New Year.

President's Letter

Dear Friends,

I have some very important information to share with you all about Center programs. If you enjoy attending classes now, or think you will in the future, please take note.

As many of you know, we have been fortunate to have several wonderful classes available to us through the Berkeley Adult School. Currently, we have Music Keyboarding, as well as Music Appreciation/Chorus, with Diana Perry; Ceramics with Michelle Muenig; and Exercise and Movement with Kathleen Davis. Up until the summer, all of these were free of charge to EBCB. Starting this fall the Center is required to pay Berkeley Adult School $225 per semester for each class. This is still a very good situation for us.

However, with all the cuts in the present economy, we may have to trim the Center's instructional program, or discontinue it altogether, if both enrollment and average weekly attendance are low. Berkeley Adult School has already been forced to make deep program cuts, and may have to cut back even further due to lack of funds.

Without the support of the Berkeley Adult School, we will be severely hampered in our ability to provide quality programs to make the Center a place of interest for the community. So please sign up for classes that interest you and be sure to attend after you sign up. The current requirement for each Berkeley Adult School Class is enrollment of at least fifteen people, and average weekly attendance of at least twelve people.

We're trying to increase our Center activities; to lose these vital classes from the Berkeley Adult School would really set us back in accomplishing this goal.

Speaking of our programs, I want to thank those members who have filled out and returned the surveys we recently sent you. If you haven't yet done so, please fill out your survey and return it to the Center as soon as possible. We need to hear What you want and what you can contribute to determine Center programs and activities. We want to hear from each of you; remember if you need help filling out the survey to call the Center and ask for assistance.

I look forward to seeing each of you at our quarterly business meeting on October 24th. We'll be electing the nominating committee for the 2010 election of officers, so come and participate in selecting this important committee.

All the best,

Jan Santos

Upcoming Events

Joint EBCB-BORP Trip: The Center is pleased to co-sponsor with Bay Area Outreach Recreation Program (BORP) a trip to Wild Cat Canyon. The all-day outing will take place on Friday, October 23, and will depart from and return to the Center. Please bring a lunch. For more particulars, call the Center.

Quarterly Business Meeting: The Center will hold its next quarterly business meeting on Saturday, October 24, from 1 to 4 PM. We will elect three members of the Nominating Committee, which will choose a slate of officers for next January's elections. Lunch cost $8 for members and $9 for guests. Please reserve your lunch plate no later than Wednesday, October 21.

Annual Harvest Festival: The Center's annual Harvest Festival will take place on Saturday, November 21, from noon to 4 PM. We will be selling holiday craft items and baked goods. Please call the Center if you plan to bring your favorite hand-made ornaments or other wares to sell. Please also let us know if you wish to contribute your most tempting taste treats to be purchased by members and friends of the Center. We have yet to decide what will be served for lunch. The $6 lunch plate will be available for those who order it no later than Wednesday, November 18.

Annual Holiday Party: Our annual Holiday Party will take place on Saturday, December 19, from noon to 4 PM. Lunch, still undetermined, is free for those who pay their 2010 dues before, or on the day of the party. We will sell craft items, and our chorus will present songs and readings. Please reserve your lunch no later than Wednesday, December 16.

Center Announcements

Dues Reminder: 2010 dues are now due and payable. Please remit your $10 to the Center as soon as possible. If you pay your dues on or before December 19, the date of our Holiday Party, your meal will be on the house.

Possible Spanish Class: A number of our members have asked the Center to offer a Spanish class. If you are interested in attending, please notify the Center accordingly.

Computer Desk: The Center is seeking a computer desk. Please contact the Center, if you can donate one, or know of someone who would be willing to do so.

See's Candy Orders: Charlotte Criddell is now taking orders for one-pound boxes of See's Candy. Please call her with specific orders. Her email address is ccriddell@sbcglobal.net, and her phone number is (510) 632-0917.

The following 1-pound boxes are available for $15 each:
Soft Center Chocolates,
Assorted Chocolates,
Bridge Mix,
Nuts and Chews.

A box of assorted peppermints costs $7.
A can of mixed nuts costs $8.

Center Closures:

The Center will be closed for the Thanksgiving Holiday from Wednesday, November 25, through Friday, November 27. It will re-open on Tuesday, December 1.

The Center will be closed for the Winter Holiday from Tuesday, December 22, through Friday, January 1. It will re-open on Tuesday, January 5, 2010.

Best time of the year

Submitted by Preston Moses

I think that the best time of the year is the fall. The weather is changing, and college football and baseball pennant races are exciting. Pro football starts, and the smells of the changing seasons are in the air.

One does not have to be sighted to enjoy this magical time. The holidays are near, and there is music and food smells that bring back pleasant memories.

Harvest festivals and friends and family get-togethers are memorable. The first rain makes the air smell so nice. So I would say to everyone to just enjoy this wonderful fall season.


Submitted by Doug Nash

"The Mind-Heart War"

The heart has its other, softer, language,
In a mystery which words hardly touch,
Other things are said which are barely listened to on earth;
The mind doesn't know what the heart is for,
The mind is in its mental war.
The heart asks for peace with the mind and offers to be kind,
The mind screams, "No prisoners!"
As the heart cries, "peace!"


I shall be dying,
It took so long to understand;
This world is just a drop of sun
Dancing in my hand. 


Confidence comes from sitting in a corner,
Always bossed around and being a mourner,
Confidence comes from being blind, judged and criticized all the time;
Pitied and helped, corrected and scorned:
This is how confidence is formed.


Such a prison is the world,
With bars of sky,
And yet, in dreams we fly.

"If Nature Were Capitalism"

When the flowers release their scent,
Do they raise the rent?
And as the rivers rush to the sea,
Do they charge a river fee?
We've swallowed capitalist lies too long --
Do the robins demand payment for their songs?

Twice the price
Said the nickel to the dime,
"Is twice the price, twice the good time?"
Said the dime to the nickel,
"You have to eat your own pickle."

"The Muse of Music"

Music, like the singing of angels, replaces time with forever, pain with love.
It heralds heaven and proclaims the victory of the spirit over the flesh.
Music is itself an angel,
What we do is play,
Take up our instruments and pray.

"Lost Key"

She asked, "What key are we in?"
I started to grin,
Because I didn't know --
We keep playing though.

"The Rose and the Wind"

Said the wind to the rose,
"I know the enchantment which makes you grow."
Said the rose to the wind,
"I know the secret places you have been."

"The Day"

What time is it?  I shall look: 
We cut up the day with time,
but this is man-made;
The day is whole in itself, by itself.

Mission Statement

The mission of the East Bay Center for the Blind, Inc., is to develop quality programs and services for blind and visually impaired people by providing a safe and supportive environment, while encouraging one another through leadership, interaction and the sharing of information, resources and skills. The Center's activities enhance independence, dignity and self-determination. As a self-governing organization of primarily blind and visually impaired persons, The East Bay Center for the Blind, Inc., is committed to remaining a living, working foundation of strength, as we participate in the larger community in all areas of our daily lives.

Center Officers and Directors

President:  Jan Santos
First Vice-President:  Daveed Mandell
Second Vice-President:  Steve Fort
Recording Secretary:  Patricia Nash
Corresponding Secretary:  Ida Johnson
Treasurer:  Lizz Deeff
Directors:  Charlotte Criddell, Connie Kelley, Katrina McCurdy, John Morin, Connie Skeen


If you or a friend would like to remember The East Bay Center for the Blind, Inc., in your will, you can do so by employing the following language: "I give, devise, and bequeath unto The East Bay center for the Blind, Inc., a nonprofit charitable organization in California, the sum of $___ (or ___) to be used for its worthy purposes on behalf of blind persons." Thank you.

"Take time to laugh -- it is the music of the soul." -- From an Old English Prayer