East Bay Center for the Blind


Spring 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

Help Save Center Classes!

The Berkeley Adult School has, for more than ten years, provided instructors for most of our classes. Last year, the city's Board of Education cut the school's budget by 50 percent. This year, the school board is seriously considering closing the school entirely and putting the money into children's programs. That would mean, of course, that the Center would lose almost all of its classes.

If these classes are important to you, please write or call the Berkeley school board immediately, requesting that it keep the Adult School budget intact, and that classes continue to be offered. It is vital that the board receive letters or phone calls from as many people as possible to save the classes.

Please send letters to the following address:

Berkeley Board of Education
2134 Martin Luther King Jr. Way
Berkeley, CA 94704

Names of members:

Karen Hemphill, President
Beatriz Leyva-Cutler, Vice-President
Nancy Riddle
John T. Selawsky
Shirley Issel
Valeria Gonzalez
Superintendent, William Huyett

Paper letters delivered through the mail carry more political weight than emails. However, if email is the only way it is going to happen, then you may want this address: boardofed@berkeley.k12.ca.us. This address sends your letter to all school board members automatically.

Call the Board at the following number: voice mail: 510-644-6550

Editor's Corner

By Daveed Mandell

Welcome to the Spring issue of "Keeping in Touch". The season's beautiful, warm weather gives us joy, which is often expressed through laughter. Indeed, humor plays an important role in this issue, as you will soon discover.

Congratulations to singer-songwriter and former Center member Earl Rivard of Alameda! Earl is becoming well known in the Bay Area. He performs both as a solo act with his guitar, and in his band, called Earl J. and the Minor 7th. Earl plays and sings an ecclectic mix of rock, pop and Spanish folk and pop. The 31-year-old bilingual singer has recently performed at Oakland's Stork Club and San Francisco's Great American Music Hall.

Besides the usual Center-related announcements, I am including a brief article on changes in public transit and paratransit. You will also find an amusing poem, a delicious recipe and a practical quotation, all generously offered us by Center member Grace Rodriguez. Thanks to Preston Moses, who once again tickles our funnybones with "Know Pun Intended".

As always, send your newsletter contributions to me via email, at daveedm@sbcglobal.net, or phone me at 510-665-9260.

President's Letter

Hello, everyone,

I'm happy to say our Center kitchen now has new sinks and shelves, a dishwasher and a new tankless water heater which is energy-efficient and space-saving. This will make things easier for our events' meals. We're hoping to put in an exhaust fan and improve the ventilation in the not-too-distant future.

We.re fortunate to have our new Spanish class taught by volunteer Maria Cardenas, assisted by Center member Josie McDoal. It's great to have the opportunity to learn this new communication skill as a part of our program.

On another note about our classes, we're not out of the woods in terms of keeping our Berkeley Adult School classes. It's crucial that we keep attendance high to encourage continuation. Please be sure to attend your favorites, so hopefully we won't lose these wonderful classes.

Member Mike Gorman has agreed to deejay another oldies dance for the Center in May. So put on your dancing shoes, bring your friends and come on over on Saturday, May 22, for a good time between 2 and 6 PM.

Please help us with our outreach for new members and volunteers. If you know of organizations or individuals wanting to become involved with EBCB, put them in touch with us, or invite them to come to an event or class to check out our Center.

I look forward to seeing each of you at the April Business meeting, or hopefully even sooner at upcoming classes.

Jan Santos

Upcoming Events

Quarterly Business Meeting: The Center's next quarterly business meeting will take place on Saturday, April 24, from 1 to 4 PM. Lori Gray will talk about upcoming BORP activities, and we will discuss how members can increase their participation in running the Center. Please attend. Lunch has not yet been decided. Please reserve your lunch plate, which costs $8 for members and $9 for guests, no later than Wednesday, April 21.

Deejay Dance: Center member Mike Gorman will deejay a dance on Saturday, May 22, from 2 to 6 PM. He will play songs from the 40s, 50s, and more. The menu will be, among other things, fried chicken and potato salad. Please order your meal, which costs $10 across the board, no later than Wednesday, May 19.

Bake Sale: The Center's annual Bake Sale will take place on Saturday, June 26, from noon to 4 PM. Bring your tasty treats to share with others, and buy the baked delicacies that fellow members bring. Lunch menu to be determined. Please request your lunch, which costs $6 across the board, no later than Wednesday, June 23.

Public Transit News

Paratransit: Starting March 1, East Bay Paratransit riders may make reservations three days in advance of their trips. Telephone reservation hours are now 8 AM to 5 PM, seven days a week.

Fixed-Route Transit: Starting March 28, AC Transit has made sweeping changes throughout its entire service area. These changes are far too numerous to reprint here. For instance, the 51 bus route has been split into two lines. The 51B travels from Berkeley Amtrak (3rd and University) to the Rockridge BART Station in Oakland. The 51A travels from the Rockridge BART Station to Alameda and to the Fruitvale BART Station. The 15 bus has been scrapped, and the 12 line is now traveling on part of that route.

For more information, or to obtain route charts and schedules in alternative formats, contact Anita Payne at AC Transit's Accessible Services Department. Her phone number is 510-891-7175. You can email her at apayne@actransit.org. AC Transit's website contains comprehensive route information. Visit www.actransit.org.

BART: A safety tour of the 19th Street BART Station will take place on Wednesday, April 28, from 10 AM to noon. For more information, call Ike Nnaji at 510-464-6173.


My Get Up and Go Has Got Up and Went!

Author Unknown
Submitted by Grace Rodriguez

How do I know my youth is all spent?
Well, my get up and go has got up and went!
But in spite of it all, I'm able to grin,
When I think of where my get up has been!
Old age is golden, I've heard it said;
But sometimes I wonder when I get into bed,
With my ear in a drawer, and my teeth in a cup,
My eye is on the table until I wake up.

As sleep dims my eyes, I say to myself,
Is there anything else I should lay on the shelf?
But I'm happy to say, as I close the door,
My friends are the same, perhaps even more.

When I was young, my slippers were red,
I could kick up my heels over my head.
When I grew older, my slippers were blue,
But I still could dance the whole night through.

Now I'm old, my slippers are black,
I walk to the store and puff my way back.
The reason I know my youth is all spent,
Is my get up and go has got up and went.

But I don't mind when I think, with a grin,
Of all the grand places my get up has been.
And since I've retired from life's competition,
My schedule's all scheduled (with complete repetition).

I get up each morning and dust off my wits;
Pick up the paper and read the obits.
If I see my name missing, I know I'm not dead,
So I eat a good breakfast and go back to bed.

Know Pun Intended

Submitted by Preston Moses

Q:  If April showers bring May flowers, what do May flowers bring?
A:  Pilgrims.

Q:  Why is there water in watermelon?
A:  Because it grows in the spring.

Q:  Do you know why watermelons can't get married? A:  Because they cantaloupe.

A college student emails his father: "No mon, no fun. Your son." His father replies: "Too bad, too sad. Your dad."

Harry and Phil, who are rather elderly, always go together to Spring Training in Florida. Phil says to Harry: You know, both of us are getting older now, and we're probably going to die very soon. So we've got to figure out a way to communicate about whether there is baseball in Heaven." Phil dies. Harry goes to Spring Training in Florida. Just before the first pitch is thrown, he hears a voice that comes out of nowhere: "Hey, Harry! It's Phil! I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that there is baseball in Heaven. The bad news is you are pitching next Saturday."

Q:  When was baseball mentioned in the Bible? A:  In the Big Inning, and when the Prodigal Son stole home.

Q:  Who was the richest man in the Bible? A:  Noah. He gathered up his stock, and liquidated the rest.

Q:  Who was the richest woman in the Bible? A:  Pharaoh's daughter. She went to the banks of the Nile and withdrew a little Prophet.

Message from a Sweet Potato

Submitted by Grace Rodriguez

I am a sweet potato. I am proud to be a member of the vegetable family. I am beautiful, I am plump and round, and I am golden like the sun. I grace your holiday table, and I am available the year round. I am packed with vitamins and minerals, and I am delicious. I go well with members of the fruit family, as you will see in the following recipe. Enjoy!

Sweet Potato and Apple Stir-Fry

2 tbsp butter or margarine
2 tbsp olive oil
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
2 apples, peeled and sliced
1 onion, chopped
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
Salt and pepper to taste

In skillet, over medium heat, melt butter and olive oil. Add potatoes and stir till beginning to soften. Add onions, and continue stirring for about ten minutes. Add apples, and cook for another ten minutes. Add pumpkin pie spice, and salt and pepper. Stir for about five minutes more.

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.

"Confidence comes from not always being right, but not afraid of being wrong."
-- Anonymous