East Bay Center for the Blind


Fall 2010
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 is hard to believe that 2010 is nearly over!

In this issue, the Internet Archive's Open Library launches an effort to make its millions of books accessible to blind and vision-impaired individuals; Patty Nash and Dorothy Donaville inform us about a new book club at the Center; Doug Nash entertains us with some of his poetry; Disability Rights Advocates requests testimony regarding its lawsuit against the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and the National Park Service; Anita March captures the Holiday spirit with her recipes for popcorn balls and cracker jacks; Preston Moses adds to the festivities with another installment of "Know Pun Intended!"; and Patty Nash offers a scrumptious peach cobbler recipe.

Center member Joyce Ishii would like to give away a Grade Three Braille instruction book. Please contact her at 510-527-1776.

I appreciate each and every contribution to this newsletter. During 2011, I hope to receive articles about living with blindness and/or vision impairment, daily living skills hints and tips, poems, letters to the editor, informational items, recipes, book reviews and/or ads, from significantly more members. I am sure each of you has a story to tell, an idea to share, a funny bone to tickle or an axe to grind. Please, therefore, come forward and make yourselves known. Simply contact me via email at daveedm@sbcglobal.net, or by phone at 510-665-9260.

I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanza, Happy Hanukah, & a productive, joy-filled, healthy and Happy New Year.

President's Letter

Dear Friends:

It's a hopeful time for the Center. We're in process of building some important outreach and fundraising contacts. In October we're planning to have a table at a volunteer fair sponsored by the Volunteer Center of the East Bay, in conjunction with yelp.com. We're organizing outreach events for the Fall with the Senior Centers in Berkeley, to spread the word about EBCB, and to exchange resources and information. We also have two potential grant applications in process.

Another exciting fundraiser activity is our raffle to be held at our Holiday Party on December 18, being planned by our great committee of members. Prizes include a culinary basket of kitchen and food items worth over $300.00, as well as cash prizes, a meal at the Culinary Academy and more. Our committee members are Dorothy Donaville, Anita March, Sandra Fancher, Sandra Kramford and Ida Johnson. Please contact any committee members if you'd like to contribute prizes for the raffle. Winners do not have to be present to win. We will be contacting you to ask for your help in selling raffle tickets, and you won't want to miss out on buying tickets for these great prizes.

Thanks to Sandra Kramford, we are making active progress on updating and expanding our resources list. Sandra has put together a fine computerized list that can be easily updated and expanded, and covers many areas of information. This will make our work easier, and provide needed information to the community. Many thanks to Sandra.

I have an important reminder about our Berkeley Adult School classes. We need fifteen people per class. Funding for these classes is fragile, so if keeping these classes at EBCB is important to you, please sign up and attend.

Last but by no means least, remember our business meeting on Saturday, October 23, at which time members of the nominating committee will be chosen. The nominating committee makes recommendations for officers for our January election, in addition to which nominations can be made from the floor at our January quarterly business meeting.

Be well, and I look forward to seeing all of you at our upcoming events and classes.

Jan Santos

Upcoming Events

Quarterly Business Meeting: The Center will hold its next quarterly business meeting on Saturday, October 23, from 1 to 4 PM. Those present will elect three members of the Nominating Committee, which will choose a slate of officers for next January's elections. The lunch menu will be ham, potatoes, string beans, salad, rolls and pie. Lunch costs $10 across the board, and it must be reserved no later than Wednesday, October 19.

Annual Harvest Festival: The Center's annual Harvest Festival will take place on Saturday, November 20, from noon to 4 PM. We will be selling holiday craft items and baked goods. Please contact the Center if you plan to bring your favorite handmade ornaments or other wares to sell, or if you wish to contribute your most tempting taste treats. Lunch costs $6 across the board, and must be reserved by Wednesday, November 17.

Annual Holiday Party: The Center's annual Holiday Party will take place on Saturday, December 18, from noon to 4 PM. Lunch is on the house for those members who pay their 2011 dues before or on the day of the party. The Center will sell craft items, and the chorus will perform songs and readings. Please reserve your lunch no later than Wednesday, December 15.

Center Announcements

Macular Degeneration: Center member Joanna Hochman would like others to benefit from her experience with macular degeneration. She has had visual hallucinations associated with her macular degeneration which are very distressing. Her experience is that doctors generally do not know about this aspect of macular degeneration, and this adds to the patient's distress, often making people feel they are having psychological difficulties. Joanna has begun researching this phenomenon, and we will be covering this in more depth in a future newsletter. For those interested in learning more in the meantime, information is available on the internet.

Spanish Class Discontinued: Please note that at this time the Center is no longer offering a Spanish class.

See's Candy Orders: Charlotte Criddell is now taking orders for boxes of See's Candy. Charlotte's email address is ccriddell@sbcglobal.net, and her phone number is 510-632-0917.

The following 1-lb. boxes are available for $16 each: soft center chocolates; assorted chocolates; bridge mix; nuts and chews. A box of assorted peppermints costs $8. A can of mixed nuts costs $8.50. A 24-oz. box of peanut brittle costs $15.

A box of eight awesome bars (walnut squares, nutty chewies or chocolate-covered peanut brittle) costs $8. A box of thirty lollipops (chocolate, butterscotch, vanilla or cafe au lait) costs $14.

Dues Reminder: 2011 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 18, the date of our Holiday Party, your meal will be free.

Center Closures: (Note: This information has been updated and corrected.)  The Center will be closed for the Thanksgiving Holiday from Wednesday, November 24, through Friday, November 26. It will re-open on Tuesday, November 30. The Center will be closed for the Winter Holiday from Tuesday, December 21, through Friday, December 31. It will re-open on Tuesday, January 4.

Free Digital Books Now Available from the Internet Archive

More than doubling the number of books available to print-disabled people of all ages, the Internet Archive has launched a service that brings free access to more than 1 million books, from classic 19th century fiction and current novels to technical guides and research materials, available in the specially designed format to support those who are blind, dyslexic or are otherwise visually impaired. The Internet Archive will also invest in the growth of its virtual bookshelf by funding the digitization of the first 10,000 books donated.

The 1 million+ books in the Internet Archive's library for print-disabled people are scanned from hard copy books, then digitized into DAISY (Digital Access Information System), a specialized format for easy navigation. To access books, visit: http://openlibrary.org/subjects/accessible_book

Older books are available from the Internet Archive's unencrypted DAISY library, and modern books can be accessed by "qualified users" through their NLS key, an encrypted code provided by the Library of Congress' National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.

By leveraging automated scanning and conversion processes, Internet Archive technicians can conduct a cost-efficient scan of more than one thousand books per day. Books are scanned at sites located in San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles and other major cities in five countries. Most of the older scanned books have been reformatted for the print-disabled from broad digitizing projects.

Scanned physical books came from the collections of over 150 libraries, most of which are in the Open Content Alliance, but others as well. The funding of those scanning projects is coming from foundations, corporations and governments. Most of the older books have been scanned from library collections, with newer books having been donated to the Internet Archive by companies such as the online bookseller Alibris, libraries and individuals.

The print disabled collection of books is now available through the Archive's Open Library site, (www.openlibrary.org), which serves as a gateway to information about millions of hardcopy books and more than 1 million electronic books.


Submitted By: Patty Nash and Dorothy Donaville

Announcing a Book Club: The first Friday of each month, from 9:30 AM to 11 AM, we invite you to participate in a book club, in which we will discuss a book which all of us have read.

Since many of us receive books from the National Library Service, and more particularly the BARD website, we will select a book which we can discuss. We invite suggestions, and ideas for our discussion group.

We are considering offering a writing class for the succeeding two Fridays—that is, the second and third Fridays at the same time—9:30 AM to 11 AM. These groups will be informal, and you may drink coffee during the reading and writing discussions.

The book club will begin in November, and the first book to be discussed will be "The Help", by Kathryn Stockett, and the second will be "Home Before Dark", by Susan Wiggs. Moderators will be Patty Nash and Dorothy Donaville.


Submitted By: Doug Nash

Bite Or Write?

Bite Or Write?
Bite or write?  Biting writing,
A quip with a nip,
Prose with blows,
A sonnet
with boxing gloves on it,
The epigram with a bam!
And quatrains of headache pains—
A writer is a fighter on the lines,
Blowing people away with his pen,
Broadsides to rip open.

The Poem Form

Poems are things
But they have wings;
Their shadows land on the page
But their spirits are not in the cage.

Park Lawsuit

Disability Rights Advocates in Berkeley has filed a lawsuit against the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) and the National Park Service. The law firm is seeking to force them to eliminate barriers to access experienced by people with mobility and vision disabilities when they visit GGNRA parks and facilities. If you have encountered any access barriers at GGNRA and would like to share your experience with us, or would like more information about the lawsuit, please contact Alicia Reyes or Raziya Brumfield at:

Disability Rights Advocates:
Alicia Reyes, areyes@dralegal.org
Raziya Brumfield, rbrumfield@dralegal.org
Phone: 510-665-8644

Anita's Popcorn Balls

Submitted By: Anita March

3/4 c. light karo syrup
1/4 c. butter
1 box powdered sugar
1 c. marshmallows
2 tsp. water
5-6 qt. popcorn

Heat mixture; do not boil. Pour over popcorn and toss lightly. Butter hands and form popcorn mixture into balls. If desired, you may add candy to the mixture as you form the popcorn balls. Enjoy!

Grandma's Cracker Jacks

Submitted By: Anita March

2 sticks butter
2 c. brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 c. light karo syrup
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. soda
1 tbsp. butter flavoring
4-5 qt. popcorn, popped

Melt butter, stir in syrup, sugar and salt. Bring to a boil and cook 5 min, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Add butter, flavoring and soda. Pour over popcorn and toss. Place in shallow pan and bake at 250 dg. for 1 hour. Stir twice while baking. Spread on wax paper to cool. Store in air-tight container.

Know Pun Intended!

Submitted By: Preston Moses

Q. Why was Santa Claus depressed on the day after Christmas?
A. Because he had low elf-esteem.

Q. What is another name for Santa's elves?
A. Subordinate clauses.

A Sunday school teacher asked her class to bring pictures that depicted Christmas. One boy brought a picture of a round, fat man. When the teacher asked what the picture had to do with Christmas, the boy replied, "It's a picture of Round John Virgin."

Q. Why is a cat running across the desert like Christmas?
A. Because it has sandy claws.

Q. If athletes get athlete's foot, what do astronauts get?
A. Mistletoe.

Connie's Fruit Cobbler

Submitted By: Patty Nash

1 1-pound can mixed fruit
1 stick butter
1 c. milk
1 c. sugar
1 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder

Pour fruit in baking pan. Melt butter. Pour over fruit. Mix milk, sugar, flour and baking powder thoroughly and pour over fruit and butter. Do not stir. Bake in 300 degree oven for 1 1/2 hours or until crust is brown. The crust rises to the top and is delicious. You may want to add extra fruit juice, because the cobbler has a tendency to get dry after a few hours. Makes 4-6 servings.

You may want to use a larger can of fruit, such as peaches, apples or apricots, and add cinnamon and a pinch of salt to the dry ingredients. This cobbler is especially delicious with fresh fruit.

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:  Lizz Deeff
Second Vice-President:  Steve Fort
Recording Secretary:  Daveed Mandell
Corresponding Secretary:  Patricia Nash
Treasurer:  Ida Johnson
Directors:  Charlotte Criddell; Dorothy Donaville;
Anita March; Katrina McCurdy; 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 for your tax-deductible donation.

"Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence."
--Leonardo da Vinci