SVCB IN TOUCH
Newsletter of the
SILICON VALLEY COUNCIL OF THE BLIND
A Chapter of the California Council of the Blind
EDITOR: Susan Glass, email@example.com
COPY EDITOR: Beverly Clifford, firstname.lastname@example.org
ADDRESS: P.O. Box 493, Mountain View, CA 94042
DEADLINE: for the March 2018 issue: noon, February 23
VOLUNTEERS: Naomi Grubb, email@example.com
MEMBERSHIP: Mike Keithley, firstname.lastname@example.org
LEGISLATION: Mike Keithley, email@example.com
Legislative Hotlines, current issues for blind persons:
CALIFORNIA CONNECTION: 800-221-6359, after 5 PM and weekends
WASHINGTON CONNECTION: 800-424-8666, 3-9 PM and weekends
DISCLAIMER: This publication contains announcements from the Silicon Valley
Council of the Blind and is also a forum for opinions relating to blindness
issues. Signed articles reflect the views, and research, of their authors.
STATUS: SVCB is a 501(c)3 non-profit, tax-exempt organization under the
California Council of the Blind.
CHANGES OF ADDRESS: Contact Mike Keithley, firstname.lastname@example.org.
MEETING LOCATION: SVCB's monthly meetings are held in the community room of
the Monte Vista Terrace Apts. at 1101 Grant Road, Mountain View. Meetings run
9:30 AM to 1 PM the third Saturday of the month and are open to all. Monte
Vista Terrace is one block from the intersection of Grant Road and El Camino
Real and is accessible by bus #22.
IN THIS ISSUE
* President's Message
* Membership Corner
* Fund-Raising Report
* Announcing the End of the * Stop Hunger Campaign
* Snack Shack: Adventures In Baking
* Event Calendar
by Susan Glass
Probably everyone in our chapter knows that I am happiest when spending time
outdoors, especially in wild places where birds abound. On Friday, January 19,
I had the outdoor experience of a lifetime. My friend LeeAnn Nakagawa and I
spent a day at West Coast Falconry, one of 3 facilities in the United States
where laypersons can, under the supervision of master falconers, interact with
and fly falcons and hawks. West Coast Falconry is located on Spring Valley Road
in Marysville, California, on 110 acres of rolling grasslands and oak groves.
The hawks, owls and falcons that live there are kept by day in what is called a
weathering yard, which consists of spacious enclosures for each bird, with
plenty of perches, foliage, water, and food. At night the birds are housed in
an indoor shelter called a mew, to protect them from predators.
Falconry is one of the most ancient hunting partnerships that exists between
people and animals; it predates the use of firearms. Both men and women hunted
with falcons. The birds would fetch the prey, and their human handlers would
divide it fairly so that both bird and handler got enough to eat. The sport of
falconry still exists today, but many of its practitioners are also active
conservationists who educate the public, and fight to protect the species.
The outing in which LeeAnn and I participated was not a hunt; we merely
exercised the birds. Our instructors, Jana and Kate, were happy and comfortable
working with a blind person. They were great sighted guides and hands-on
teachers. It was thrilling to walk through the meadows carrying a Harris Hawk
named Mariposa on my left wrist. Hawks have sharp talons that will lacerate
your naked skin, so you carry them on a thick, leather glove, holding their
restraining leash tightly in your fist. You hold your arm level as though
balancing a cup of coffee. The hawk wears a cloth hood as you carry it, which
keeps it calm. When you are ready to fly it, you remove its hood, unfasten its
leash, stretch your arm horizontally in the air at about shoulder level, and
open your fist. The hawk often remains perched on your arm for a few seconds or
even a few moments, but when it's ready to fly, it rouses (straightens and
shakes all of its feathers) and then takes off. We took turns flying Mariposa,
calling her to our gloves by holding out pieces of meat. We also flew two
falcons: one named Cubby and another named Benny. Our morning brimmed with
amazing sounds: the tinkling bells worn by the falcons, the beeping and static
of the radio transmitters that they also wear, the whistle calls that Jana and
Kate used to summon the birds, the whizzing of falcon wings heading toward us
at 100 miles per hour. (Their maximum speed is 240 MPH, which is faster than a
I learned much that day about the differences between hawks, falcons, owls,
and vultures. I will share this additional information in a later article. It
felt joyous being wild, even if only for a morning.
Turning now to news directly relevant to our chapter, it is my sad duty to
tell you that long-time member Julie Lovins passed away on January 26 following
a protracted illness. We will devote some of our February 17 meeting time
toward sharing our memories of Julie. If you would like to attend her
Celebration of Life, read her obituary, or watch a video of a City Council
tribute to Julie, here is the information you will need.
Dr. Julie Beth Lovins, 1945"2018
Civic activist, active citizen, "language doctor"
Mountain View resident 1981"2018
Julie died peacefully at her home in Old Mountain View on Friday night,
January 26 2018, after a 15-month journey with brain cancer, supported by
wonderful friends and neighbors. Julie's beloved husband and civic partner, Dr.
Greg Fowler, had died unexpectedly on September 25 2016.
A celebration of Julie's life will be held for the community at 12:30 PM
(doors open 12:15) on Sunday February 11 2018 in Mountain View City Hall
Council Chambers, with remarks by family, friends, and community members,
including comments to be invited from participants, followed by informal
adjournment to the Bean Scene after 2:00. All friends are welcome.
Her obituary has been posted at
Council tribute by then-Mayor Ken Rosenberg is at
by Mike Keithley
So how y'all doin'? Have you dropped your new year's resolutions? "ah Master,
give 'em a break." But king, I'm just writing my introduction. Weird, but
that's no less strange than Cora almost getting her head squashed in the door
as she left Crepe Vine. "Yes, that was odd, but it was her fault--she was
looking at a girl sitting at a table." That goes to show you that guide dogging
Enough of that, let's wish happy February birthdays to Ruth Fisher and Zeus,
President Glass' now retired guide dog. And if there are canes "swinging in the
land of Over There" that need a birthday song, get your people to bring them to
the February membership meeting in the land of here.
We had an instructive program at the January meeting. Jingyi Li and Alexa Siu,
both Stanford University students, discussed systems to help visually impaired
people build good-looking Word and PowerPoint presentations. Alexa demonstrated
a prototype device to show shapes in a dynamic environment. King got a kick out
of how square pegs were used. "Maybe my toenails would be better." At any rate,
you can listen to the program by going to svcb.cc/psaudio/ps0117.mp3.
We elected a delegate and alternate delegate for the upcoming CCB convention
in March. (See the January newsletter for details.) Alice Turner is our
delegate, and Mike Keithley is our alternate delegate. And remember that this
CCB event is in Rancho Cordova (a suburb of Sacramento), so it's close. And you
can get some compensation from SVCB if you use the Capitol Corridor train.
The 2018 SVCB budget will be distributed to members with this newsletter.
Please read it, come to the February meeting, and vote to accept it.
Braille copies of the 2017 BIRD (Blind Interest Resource Directory) are
available. If you want one, send a message to email@example.com or call
by Michelle McGrew
Save the dates and spread the word! Join us for Tabard Theatre's "The Miracle
Worker," see my retired guide dog Garvey perform in his first play, and enjoy
tasty snacks and drinks from the concessions bar. Tabard donates a portion of
the funds from their concession sales to designated local non-profits that are
in some way related to the show. For this show, Tabard has selected SVCB and
Guide Dogs for the Blind! Several of us are attending a special hands-on
presentation for blind and visually impaired patrons on Saturday, February 17
at 1:30 PM, followed by the 3 PM performance. But even if you cannot attend
this performance, I hope you, your friends, and your family will consider
attending one of the 13 other performances! The show runs from February 16
through March 11. The performances are at 29 North San Pedro Street, downtown
San Jose. For more information, please call the Tabard Theatre at 408-679-2330,
or visit www.tabardtheatre.org. (SVCB members and Blind Center clients may use
discount code BC27.)
Thanks to all who got tickets for our raffle featuring donated items at our
January meeting! Prizes included a coin purse, a gravy boat, cassette mailers,
headphones, a speaker, a belt, books on cassette, photo albums, note paper, 2
scarves, a pair of Sweet Tomatoes meal certificates, and a $25 New York Pizza
gift card. Our winners were Mike, Naomi, John V., Roger, Kannie, and Vic.
Thanks to all who donated prizes and to those who purchased tickets. We raised
At our February meeting, we will have a 50/50 raffle. Tickets are $1 each or
$5 for six. Also, if you have items you'd like to donate for a future raffle or
auction, or if you'd like to suggest ideas for possible items for either event,
please let someone on the Fund-raising Committee know!
Our January Cookies of the Month fund-raiser, benefiting our tech grant,
featured Dawn's Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies. After our meeting, I baked a
few more so we'd have enough to sell at the Blind Center the following
Wednesday. Only, my cookies came out different from Dawn's! You can find Dawn's
recipe and read about my baking adventure in the "Snack Shack" article in this
newsletter. We sold 17 bags of cookies at our meeting, and another 18 bags of
cookies at the Blind Center. Thanks to all of our supporters! Altogether, we
February's Cookies of the Month fund-raiser will feature cookies baked by
Suzanne Smith. The cookies will sell for $1 per bag, and the funds raised will
benefit our tech grant. If you would also like to volunteer to bake cookies for
this fund-raiser, please call 888-652-5333 (leave a message to be forwarded to
me, or look me up on our Membership List to call me directly), or send email to
firstname.lastname@example.org (note the slight change in this address).
SVCB continues to sell chocolate! We still have Meltaways from Bakers Candies.
These come in four-ounce bags containing about 13 individually-wrapped
chocolates, and sell for $4 per bag. I have the following flavors available:
four kinds of dark chocolate (plain, mint, orange, and cherry), six kinds of
milk chocolate (plain, mint, peanut butter, coconut, raspberry, and mocha),
milk chocolate wrapped caramel, and the assorted (mix of both dark and milk
And, we still have candy bars! We have See's dark chocolate with almond bars
and World's Finest Chocolate bars (four kinds of milk chocolate: with almonds,
caramel, crisp, and plain, and very limited amounts of plain dark chocolate).
The See's bars sell for $2 each, and the World's Finest for $1 each. To
purchase or help sell candy bars, or to order Meltaways, please contact me as
Or, choose one of our other snacks for $1 each! You may purchase bags of nut
mix (containing lightly salted almonds and cashews) with either sweetened dried
cranberries or dark chocolate chunks) as part of our Special Delivery Sale,
Welch's Fruit Snacks (2.25-oz bags of chewy fruit-flavored candies), or
Kirkland Nut Bars (contain a sprinkle of salt and a little chocolate). To place
an order for either item, please contact me as listed above.
See you at the February meeting!
ANNOUNCING THE END OF THE STOP HUNGER CAMPAIGN
by Bev Clifford
Very dear and cooperative friends,
We are pleased to announce that the 2018 Stop Hunger Campaign has been a
rousing success. We want to thank each and every one of you whose compassion
for our food-deprived SVCB meeting-goers has led you to reach into your hearts
and pocketbooks to help this worthy cause. Now the long-suffering members of
SVCB can look forward to a full year of delicious morning repasts. We
anticipate even more generosity in the year 2019; and again, we thank you.
The Stop Hunger Campaign Team
SNACK SHACK: An Adventure in Baking
Submitted by Michelle McGrew
Recipe submitted by Dawn Wilcox
I started our Cookies of the Month fund-raiser in May, 2016. Since then, we've
discovered that our supporters love homemade cookies! We sell our cookies at
the SVCB meeting and at the Blind Center. Sometimes, after selling cookies at
one location, we don't have enough left to sell them at the other location, so
I use our cookie baker's recipe to bake more. Until this month, this has always
worked well. The cookies I baked came out as expected. But this month was
After selling Dawn's Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies at our January SVCB
meeting, I needed to bake more for the following Wednesday. Dawn hadn't emailed
the recipe to me yet, but since I knew they contained one of her secret
ingredients, I wasn't worried about it. I got out my SVCB cookbook and
proceeded to follow the recipe. Except, instead of being crunchy as expected,
the cookies were soft and cakey! They were still good, but not what I expected!
What had gone wrong? What should I do? There wasn't time to bake more for
Wednesday. So, we salvaged the situation by offering our supporters a choice:
"crunchy or soft" cookies. And, we pondered how this could have happened!
Later in the week, Dawn emailed her recipe to me. I then compared the recipes.
At the Blind Center, we wondered if there had been a difference in oven
temperature. As it turns out, there was a difference in the ingredient list. In
the book, it called for 3 eggs and 1/2 tablespoon water. But in the recipe Dawn
emailed to me, it called for 2 eggs and 1 tablespoon water. All other
ingredients were the same. So, I decided to experiment. I tried making another
batch using the amounts specified in Dawn's email. I also decided to bake one
batch of the cookies at 350 degrees and one batch at 375 degrees, to see how
that affected the cookies. Both batches came out crunchier. But the cookies I
baked at 350 were a bit softer in the middle than those baked at 375. Those
baked at 375 had more of a crisp-crunchy texture.
After sharing my adventure with Dawn, I've decided that my next experiment
will be to flatten the cookies a bit. I use a cookie scoop that makes a ball of
dough. Although her recipe doesn't specify this, Dawn told me she flattens them
if the cookie is ball shaped. I think that helps them have a more consistent
texture throughout the cookie. It will be interesting to see how time and
temperature affect the cookie dough with this change. And, I might need to do
some experimenting with those cakey cookies, too. Perhaps this will inspire a
new cookie to be featured some month in the future! But for now, here's Dawn's
Dawn's Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies
This recipe started life as a recipe for Toll House chocolate chip cookies
that my mother found on a bag of chocolate chips, but it's changed a bit since
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon water
2 2 eggs
2-1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup Guittard chocolate bits
1 cup nuts
2 cups cornflakes
Cream butter or margarine with sugars, and beat until fluffy. Mix in vanilla,
water, and eggs. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to butter mixture,
and mix well. Stir in chocolate bits and nuts, then gently fold in cornflakes.
Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls on greased cookie sheets (or cover cookie sheets
with parchment paper). Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Makes a crunchy,
not soft, cookie.
Note: Watch for the sales on Guittard chocolate chips at Safeway. Then stock
compiled by Mike Keithley
If you have an item of interest to SVCB members and want it published in the
In Touch newsletter, email email@example.com, or call 888-652-5333.
New Real ID
The Department of Motor Vehicles began issuing REAL IDs on Monday, January 22.
The identification cards comply with the federal Department of Homeland
Security's new requirements for traveling. The REAL ID card has a special
marking in the upper right-hand corner. The marking is of the California
grizzly bear with a star, the DMV said.
Beginning 2020, anyone looking to travel domestically will need a REAL ID
card, with the exception of those under the age of 18. According to the DMV,
you do not need a REAL ID to drive, apply, or receive federal benefits, enter a
federal facility, visit a hospital, or receive life-saving services.
To apply for a REAL ID, you can make an appointment or walk into any DMV
office. You will need proof of identity, proof of a social security number, and
a California residency document. For more information, go to realid.dmv.ca.gov.
New Venture Competition"- Colleen Wunderlich
Two years ago, I had the idea of introducing a competition to inspire and
support blind and visually impaired would-be entrepreneurs. I wanted Hadley to
go beyond teaching concepts to helping people make their ideas for new
businesses come to life. That was the genesis of Hadley's New Venture
The idea has proven so successful that we are offering it this year! For this,
our third competition, we are offering cash awards up to $30,000 to fund the
start-up or early growth stage of a business being launched by a blind or
visually impaired individual.
To qualify, applicants take at least one module from our Forsythe Center for
Employment and Entrepreneurship series (hadley.edu/fce.asp) and submit their
business plan. The deadline is March 15, 2018.
Have a client or student you'd like to recommend to apply? Simply send them to
the Hadley website. All the details, including the expectations for the
business plan submission, are explained there.
Please feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions or concerns.
Thank you so much for helping to get the word out about this exciting
Director, Forsythe Center for Employment and Entrepreneurship
Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually impaired
700 Elm Street, Winnetka, Illinois 60093
EVENT CALENDAR: February through March, 2018
compiled by Mike Keithley
Tabard Theatre shows: To order tickets, call the Tabard box office at
408-679-2330 and speak to Marilyn Watts, or visit tabardtheatre.org. SVCB
members and Blind Center clients should use Discount Code BC27 when ordering.
Performances take place at Theatre on San Pedro Square, 29 North San Pedro
Street, San Jose.
Shows described by AudioVision: Get tickets for Broadway San Jose by calling
866-395-2929. Performances are at the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts
(SJCPA), 255 West Almaden Boulevard, San Jose, on Sundays at 6:30 PM unless
AudioVision: For all San Francisco productions (Golden Gate and Orpheum
theatres): Tickets are generally on sale four weeks before the production
opens. To charge tickets and reserve receivers, call 888-746-1799 (SHN
theaters), or fax your order to 415-581-2121 and ask for AudioVision tickets.
If you have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The monthly "Let's Talk Low Vision" conferences from CCLVI can be accessed as
podcasts at www.airsla.org/cclvi.asp.
Bay Area Association of Disabled Sailors: Departs every Sunday at noon from
Pier 40 in San Francisco. Call 415-281-0212 for information and reservations,
or visit www.baads.org.
Bay Area Outreach and Recreation Program (BORP): BORP believes that everyone
should have access to the unique challenges that outdoor recreation provides,
and makes every effort to accommodate each person's needs, including providing
transportation and volunteer support. For event listings, call Lori Gray at
510-843-4398, or visit www.borp.org.
February: Eye Donor Awareness Month.
Feb 16 to Mar 11: THE MIRACLE WORKER, Tabard Theatre, see notes.
Feb 17, 9:30 AM to 1 PM: Monthly meeting. Approve 2018 budget. Note that this
meeting may adjourn early to facilitate transportation to the Tabard
Feb 20, 5:30 to 7 PM: Let's Talk Low Vision, Networking with Low Vision, call
712-432-3447 with ID 145330.
Feb 23, noon: March newsletter deadline.
Mar 1, 7 to 9 PM: SVCB Board meeting. Call-in: 800-662-6992; ID: 1184109. If
you're not on the Board but wish to attend, contact president Susan Glass.
Mar 3, 2 PM: THE BOOK OF MORMON, Orpheum Theatre, AudioVision, see notes.
Mar 6, 5:30 to 7 PM: Breast Cancer Support Group. Call-in: 605-715-4920; ID:
2776167. For questions, call Lori Scharff at 516-887-1336, or
Mar 17, 9:30 AM to 1 PM: SVCB membership meeting. Discuss resolutions for CCB
Mar 19 to 23: 32nd annual CSUN Conference in San Diego at the Manchester Grant
Hyatt Hotel, San Diego. Visit www.csun.edu/cod/conference.
Mar 20, 5:30 to 7 PM: Let's Talk Low Vision, Update and Advancements for
Treatment of Macular Degeneration and Other Common Eye Diseases.
Mar 22 to 25: Annual CCB Conference and Convention, Sacramento Marriott Rancho
Cordova, 11211 Point East Way, Rancho Cordova, CA 95742; Phone: 916-638-1100.
Mar 23, noon: April newsletter deadline. Distribute spring membership list.