East Bay Center for the Blind


Summer 2013
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 Maureen Schulz

So you would think that summer is a time for taking it easy, for minimal activity schedules, and for spending time lying in the sun and doing absolutely nothing? Not so if you look at the East Bay Center Event Schedule over the next few months. The Center is busier than ever. Everybody is planning and organizing summer events, and writing about them. This, of course, makes my job easy as your editor. I have just enough time to wish all of you a wonderful summer, and to thank everybody for their generous and thoughtful contributions to this issue.

General Manager's Letter

By Jan Santos

Summer at EBCB brings some shifts in our activities. As always, we'll not be having our Berkeley Adult School classes, i.e. no Ceramics, Exercise or Music classes until September. Our Braille and Computer classes as well as the Writing Group, Book Club and Bingo will continue as usual, except for the first two weeks in August when the Center will be closed (see Events List for specific dates.) We'll miss these classes, but this makes more room for other possible outings and activities.

We're exploring more outings with BORP for the summer and fall. Some possibilities are a trip to the Wine country, an outing to Tilden Park or Lake Chabot, to restaurants such as Oyster Point, the Culinary Institute at Treasure Island, to name a few. Please call me with your favorite ideas of where you'd like to go.

On Wednesday, July 24, Access Ingenuity will be making a presentation on blind and low-vision products at 1 PM. Call me or Leah Gardner at EBCB for more details or to sign up.

Dorothy Donaville and I are planning a support group related to memory loss and blindness, to be started as soon as possible and running at least through the summer. Call either of us at the Center for more information or to sign up.

We can also organize other activities here at EBCB if there is interest, maybe you'd like to have a game day (we have Scrabble, cards, etc.) here at the Center. Perhaps we could have a sing-along one day, or gather to play some old-time radio programs.

These are a few possibilities, and you may have more suggestions. Please let us know what you'd like to organize or do, and we can work together to make an interesting and eventful summer at EBCB. Of course you are all welcome to come to the Center to visit, socialize, and pitch in to help with work around the place to keep things running smoothly.

Speaking of fun, Bill Barker and the talented folks he pulled together gave us a great time at our EBCB Talent Show in May: Singing, piano pieces, tap dancing, poetry, were part of the entertainment we enjoyed. And Bill always is the gracious host! Many thanks to Bill and all who shared their talent with us.

A word about donations: First of all, our Many thanks to anonymous donors who have been so generous since our last newsletter. A five thousand dollar donation was made to EBCB which will help with our deficit and toward buying a new stove (which is much needed, as we can no longer find parts for our trusty ancient stove.)

Another donation of $300 earmarked for folks who can't afford fees for outings, will enable more of our members to go on trips with EBCB. We are very appreciative of these donors for their generosity and thoughtfulness.

I thank you all in advance for any help and support you can give in response to my letter regarding donations, which is being sent separately from this newsletter. Also, thanks for your help with the upcoming raffle, which you will read about elsewhere in this newsletter. Remember, whatever any of us can do is appreciated, whether it is work, financial help, or recruiting other interested folks to donate or get involved with EBCB. No contribution is too small, and we do not expect you to do anything to cause hardship in the doing.

I'll be looking forward to seeing you at any of our events in the next few months. Be well, and enjoy your summer (maybe we will even have some warm weather if we're lucky.)

Isaac Jordan Remembered

Submitted By: Jan Santos

I am sad to report the recent passing of Isaac Jordan, one of our long-standing EBCB members. Isaac regularly attended our events over many years. He always enjoyed Bingo, and visiting with his friends.

In our conversations remembering him in recent days, here are some comments folks at the Center made: "He never complained." "He was a very generous person with friends and family". "He was an independent traveler and went many places." "He loved his family very deeply." (Isaac was the father of eight children.) "He was very responsible in whatever he took on to do in life."

Isaac was a pleasure to be with and a warm and welcome presence at our Center. He will be missed by many, and his spirit will stay with us at EBCB.

Center Announcements and Events

Submitted By: Leah Gardner

On Wednesday, July 24 between 1 and 2:30 PM, Access Ingenuity will make a presentation at the East Bay Center for the Blind highlighting many new Freedom Scientific products, both for blind and low-vision consumers. Included are demonstrations of the Ruby XL HD, a handheld CCTV, the Topaz Desktop CCTV, as well as Magic, OpenBook, the Pearl scanning camera, and the latest model of the Focus Braille display. RSVP is required by Tuesday, July 23, either by phone at 510-843-6935 or via email at eastbaycenterfortheblind@gmail.com. The Center is easily accessible via BART. Call if directions are needed.

Submitted By: Jan Santos

Jan Santos and Dorothy Donaville will be starting a peer support group for those of us dealing with the issues posed by memory loss and blindness. Focus will be on developing coping skills and giving emotional support to one another. We hope to start this group as soon as possible, and continue it at least through the summer. Contact us at the Center if you are interested. The frequency of meetings as well as dates and times are still to be decided.

Center Events

Our next quarterly business meeting will be held Saturday, July 27, from 1 to 4 PM. We will serve a tuna casserole for lunch, green salad, a roll and dessert. Lunch will cost $10 across the board. Please reserve by Wednesday, July 24.

Then there is our picnic on Saturday, August 24, between 12 and 4 PM. We'll serve everything you would expect from a good picnic: Hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, baked beans, corn on the cob, and watermelon. Lunch costs $10 across the board, to be reserved by Wednesday, August 21.

On Saturday, September 28 between noon and 4 PM, we will have another one of our oldies dances hosted by DJ Michael Gorman. For lunch we will serve fried chicken, potato salad, a roll and dessert, and it will cost $10.

The Center will be closed Thursday and Friday, July 4 and 5, as well as Tuesday, August 6 through Monday, August 19, to open again Tuesday, August 20. Because of these closures, our July Book Club moves to Friday, July 12 10 to 11 AM, and there will be no Book Club or Writing Group in August.

Berkeley Adult School classes are not taking place in July and August but will start up again in September. Ceramics and Exercise start Tuesday, September 3, 2 to 3:30 Pm, the Music class Friday, September 6, 1 to 3 PM.

About the East Bay Center Reading Club and Writing Group

Submitted By: Patty Nash

First our Book Club: We generally meet on the first Friday of every month from 10 to 11 AM. July and August are the exceptions. As the Center is closed on July 5, we will meet on July 12, 10 to 11 AM, and there is no meeting in August.

Every month, we discuss a book which we have chosen and read prior to our meeting. Books are chosen from the BARD website, so they will be available to all. BART books can be downloaded onto a Flash Drive, or they can be ordered on cartridge directly from your Reader Assistant at the Sacramento Braille and Talking Book Library.

The books we read generate lively discussions, and we are able to explore different lifestyles, time periods and places. In one of our recent meetings, we discussed the book called "Friendships in the Dark", written by Phyllis Campbell, a visually impaired lady who attended a residential School for the Blind, as many of us did. She wrote with humor and warmth about her adjustment to blindness, finding her place in the world and about the many friends she made. All of us could relate to her experiences.

Reading keeps our minds active, and of course we all enjoy having fun and learning. We hope you will join us, and you are welcome to suggest a book for our Book Club.

Our selection for the month of July will be "Caleb's Crossing" by Geraldine Brooks. For September, we will read "The Silver Lining Playbook" by Matthew Quick. October: "White Oleander" by Janet Fitch. We have chosen our books through December 2013, and you can request these titles from Patty Nash or Dorothy Donaville by calling the Center at 510-843-6935

Now about our Writing Group: We meet every third Friday from 10 to 11 AM at EBCB, except in August when the Center is closed. We read and share each other's writing, and we are open to criticism or suggestions as to how we can make improvements to our work. We discuss suggestions for topics to write about, and we talk about the writing process.

They say everyone has a book waiting to be written, and that there isn't a person in the world who doesn't have experiences to share. So come join us, as we learn to write together

From The Fundraising Committee

Submitted By: Dorothy Donaville

The fundraising committee wishes to express our appreciation to all who have participated in our monthly lunch event which is held on the second Friday of each month. Lunch is $7, and reservations should be made no later than the Wednesday the week of the lunch. Space is limited to 20 people, so make your reservation early. As a reminder: These funds will be used for the purchase of chairs which are much needed for our Center.

Raffle tickets for the December 2013 Holiday Event are now available for sale. Tickets are $2 each or $10 for a book of six. First Prize is $500, second Prize $250, third prize is a Treasure Basket Valued at $100.

For more information and purchase to win, win, win!, please contact Dorothy Donaville or Sandra Fancher through the Center @ 510-843-6935

Our Mutual Support Model

Submitted By: Daveed Mandell

The East Bay Center for the Blind is unique among organizations that serve blind and visually impaired people. The Center doesn't depend on the Department of Rehabilitation. Our members offer mutual support in an informal, nonjudgmental setting. Over coffee, people share ideas, demonstrate various high and low technology products, and talk about problems and experiences, as they strive to live normal lives with vision loss.

Our members are responsible for the Center's day-to-day operation. We don't depend on sighted people to run it or make decisions for us. Blind people are encouraged to participate in keeping the Center going. Whether it's making coffee, cooking meals, answering the phones and the door, cleaning the storeroom, or organizing the office, we do it all! In our informal support model, we teach each other and learn from each other.

Our computer instructors work with people according to their needs and interests. Do you want to learn how to download books from the BARD website? Perhaps you would like to write poetry or puns? Maybe you wish to learn Microsoft Word or Excel? Would you prefer to download music or write a newsletter article? Unlike most agencies that serve blind people, there are no formalized goals, time limits or rigid expectations.

So how about it, members and friends? Become involved in running the Center. Share your concerns and skills, and don't hesitate to talk about your problems. Help others find ways to function normally with their sight loss. We look forward to working and sharing with you, as our Center continues to grow and prosper.

Working With A Personal Trainer

Submitted By: Preston Moses

Since 2005, I have been working with a personal trainer. My cousin Dianne was concerned about my health and my weight, so she went online and shortly after, I heard from a trainer named Latanya who started working with me for four years before she moved to Chicago.

She would come to my house, and she worked whit me on stretches, weight lifting and push ups. We also did some leg lifts and squats. We had a lot of fun.

Then four years later, I started working with my second trainer Dawne Schoep, who I gave the nickname "surprise" because she always has me do new stretches so that I never know what to expect.

We get together once a week. I meet her at the 10th and Mission BART Station since she lives in San Francisco, and we hike up Potrero Hill or Vernal Heights. We climb hills and stairs, and we do squats and stretches. She always tells me to sit up tall with arms out to the sides, And with a smile in her voice, She lets me know that this is torture Preston day. When I ask her why she causes me so much trouble, she says that is her job. There is always a little mutual teasing going on with a lot of laughter.

It feels great to work out, and I feel so healthy and my blood pressure is good because of it. I also ride a stationary bike and am taking Yoga at the Ed Roberts Campus on Monday mornings from ten to eleven with Nancy Yates who teaches Yoga to blind people there. I eat lots of fruits and vegetables, but I really like all kinds of food. My trainer told me that everyone should eat every four hours and within an hour after a work out to build up protein.

It is great to work with a personal trainer. She knows how to work with blind people and those with other disabilities. If you have questions or want more information, you can contact me at the Center.


Serves 12

(We had so many requests for instructions on how to make this marvelous dish, which Lizz Deeff made and which was served at our last Mardi Gras celebration, that we have included the recipe in this issue of the newsletter. We modified it from a recipe for 48. Also, The original recipe calls for Confit, which is smoked duck. It's great without, though! Yum! Enjoy!)

1 pound thick-sliced smoked bacon, cut in one-inch pieces
1 pound smoked sausage, cut into 1-inch slices (four sausages)
1 1/4 large onions, chopped
4-6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons dried thyme
2 tablespoons tomato sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons pepper
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
5 1/2 cups chicken broth (Base or bouillon cubes)
7 1/2 cups cooked Navy beans
3 cups fresh bread crumbs (optional)
3 tablespoons olive oil (optional)

Brown sausage and bacon (Bacon can be cooked in oven on cookie sheet at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.) Cook onion and garlic until soft and translucent. Stir in thyme, tomato sauce and pepper. Cook for one minute. Add wine. Heat to boiling. Reduce by three quarters (about 5 minutes). Add broth and beans. Place mixture in large baking pan and bake at 375 degrees. Add Salt to taste. Optional: Top with crumbs mixed with olive oil and brown for 20 minutes.

Know Pun Intended

Submitted By: Preston Moses and Michael Gorman

Why did the truck driver sleep under his truck? He wanted to get up oily.

What was Bugs Bunny's least favorite dessert? Elmer fudge.

What did one balloon say to the other balloon? Nothing. Balloons can't talk.

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

General Manager: Jan Santos
President: Anita March
First Vice-President: Lizz Deeff
Second Vice-President: Steve Fort
Recording Secretary: Daveed Mandell
Corresponding Secretary: Patricia Nash
Treasurer: Ida Johnson
Directors: Dorothy Donaville; Claude Everett; Katrina McCurdy; Grace Rodriguez; 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.

"I almost wish we were butterflies and liv'd but three summer days -- three such days with you I could fill with more delight than fifty common years could ever contain."
-- John Keats