January 2006

Newsletter of
The East Bay Center for the Blind, Inc.
2928 Adeline St.
Berkeley, CA 94703

Phone: 510-843-6935
Fax: 510-843-6006


Web Site:

Editor's Corner by Daveed Mandell

It is already 2006! Happy New Year to all of the Center's members and friends.

As we begin the New Year, it is time for us to look ahead and ask ourselves what short- and long-term goals we want to set for our Center. As Editor, let me start the ball rolling by proposing some ideas. These are obviously just suggestions. I hope the membership will offer input and additional possibilities for our future direction.

1. Consider writing and adopting an updated comprehensive Mission Statement.

2. Consider identifying sources of and actively seeking grants.

3. Consider seeking grants to hire an Executive Director, Administrative Assistant, and other staff.

4. Consider seeking grants to update all of its computer equipment and software, including printers and embossers.

5. Consider seeking grants to implement a transportation subsidy program for both classes and social functions.

On Saturday, January 28, we will once again elect Officers and Directorrs. Please come to this meeting! Our Center President Lizz Deeff says it is vital that members nominate and vote for people who will show initiative and work actively so that the Center will continue to function smoothly.

Last year a number of people signed up for events, but they did not show up for them. These people failed to call up and cancel well in advance. The Center certainly understands unforeseen circumstances, such as if Paratransit does not come to pick you up, or if you become ill at the last minute. But if you know you will not be attending a particular function, please cancel no later than the Wednesday deadline. The Center does not want to spend more money and buy more food than is absolutely needed.

The Center welcomes input from its members. We also desperately need your participation in planning and running events. We look forward to more members volunteering to serve on various committees and helping to get things done.

President Lizz Deeff would like to thank the outgoing Board of Directors for its hard work and commitment to our Center.

Thanks to Sandra Fancher for submitting the recipes for this issue. As usual, I invite members to contribute announcements, information items, poems, short articles and recipes to our newsletter. Please contact me via e-mail at, or by phone at 510-665-9260.

Upcoming Events

Quarterly Business Meeting:

The Center's next quarterly business meeting will be held on Saturday, January 28, from 1 to 4 PM. We will have elections for First Vice-President, Recording Secretary, Treasurer and the five Directors. This is a very important meeting, so please attend. Lunch costs $8 for members and $9 for guests. We will serve meat loaf, mashed potatoes, salad, rolls and ice cream and cookies. Please order your lunch plate no later than Wednesday, January 25.

Mardi Gras:

Come to the Center's annual Mardi Gras celebration on Saturday, February 25, from 4 to 8 PM. Bill Barker's Rose Resnick Alumni Band will entertain us, and dinner will be offered at a cost of $6. Please order your meal, yet to be determined, no later than Wednesday, February 22.

Pasta-Bingo Fundraiser:

If you're lucky, you may be able to take home a substantial amount of winnings from the Center's annual Pasta-Bingo Fundraiser, to occur on Saturday, March 25, from 4 to 8 PM. This event costs $10. Please reserve your pasta plate no later than Wednesday, March 20.

Center Announcements

Nominating Committee:

Thanks to the Center's Nominating Committee, ably chaired by Sandra Fancher, and consisting of the following members: Bill Barker, Steve Fort, Peter Pardini and Grace Rodriguez. The Nominating Committee proposes the following slate of Officers: First Vice-President: Steve Fort; Recording Secretary: Patricia Nash; Treasurer: Ida Johnson; and Directors: Claude Everett, Joyce Ishii, Katrina McCurdy, Peter Pardini and Jan Santos. Please remember that nominations can be made from the floor during the elections.

Center Closures:

The Center will be closed on Monday, January 16, Martin Luther King Jr. Day. It will also be closed on Monday, February 20, Presidents' Day.

In Appreciation


We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to the volunteers who helped us with our events last year. We truly appreciate their efforts on our behalf.

Special Thanks:

We wish to express our sincere appreciation to Dorothy Vallerga, Margaret Duncan and Teri Moore for all the hard work they put into setting up the crafts table at the Harvest Festival and Holiday Party, as well as making and selling so many beautiful and useful items. Thanks, too, to all those Center members who contributed craft items and baked goods.

Audio Library:

Thanks to the yoeman efforts of Becky and Bill Ellery, the Center's audio library is now organized. We invite our members to come and browse the hundreds of books recorded on cassettes and CDs that have been donated to the Center. Thanks also to Lizz Deeff who provided the new shelves for the audio library.


The Center gratefully acknowledges the receipt of monetary donations from a number of members and friends in the community: Blind San Franciscans; James and Debbie Fong; Dorothy Leonard; Hiroko Katsumata; Margaret Duncan; Dorothy Vallerga and Family.

Several contributions to the Center were given in memory of John di Francesco. Carmelina M. Lawton; Angela di Francesco; Sam W. di Francesco; Deborah A. Snyderman, MD; Toshiko Tekawa; Eleanor Bliss.

The Center greatly appreciates these gifts, which will be used to promote the independence and enrich the lives of blind Bay Area residents.

Of General Interest

Free Directory Assistance:

Tired of paying for directory assistance? Now you can look up phone numbers free of charge. Call 800-FREE-411 or 800-373-3411. The service will even connect you to the number you want without charge.

New Online Braille Bookstore:

Associated Services for the Blind in Philadelphia has opened an online braille bookstore on its website. For more information and to order books, open your web browser and go to:


Whether you're looking for the day's top news stories, stock quotes, sports scores or weather forecast, you'll want to call Tellme. You can even order a taxi or book a flight and more. Try it by calling 800-555-TELL or 800-555-8355.

Newsline for the Blind:

The National Federation of the Blind has arranged with regional and subregional libraries throughout the country to carry Newsline for the Blind. This service offers newspapers and magazines read by computerized speech synthesis over the telephone. To sign up, call your local library for the blind. Newsline's toll-free number is 888-882-1629.


Frozen Lemon Custard

Submitted by Sandra Fancher

2 eggs, beaten
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 cup cream, whipped
15 vanilla wafers, crumbled

Beat eggs in top of double boiler; add sugar and lemon juice. Cook over hot water until thick; cool. Whip cream, and fold into custard. Sprinkle most of crumbs in refrigerator tray. Pour mixture over crumbs, sprinkle remaining crumbs over top. Freeze until firm. A small can of crushed pineapple added to the custard makes a nice variation.

Lemon Ice Box Pie

Submitted by Sandra Fancher

Combine 1 can condensed milk (1-1/2 cups) with 1/2 cup lemon juice, 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind, and 2 beaten egg yolks. Pour into a baked or crumb crust. Chill. Top with meringue or whipped cream.


"A bad attitude is like a flat tire. You're not going anywhere unless you change it."
--Author Unknown

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