Newsletter of the
A Chapter of the California Council of the Blind
April 2018

EDITOR: Susan Glass,
COPY EDITOR: Beverly Clifford,
ADDRESS: P.O. Box 493, Mountain View, CA 94042
DEADLINE: for the May, 2018 issue: noonapril 27
VOLUNTEERS: Naomi Grubb,
MEMBERSHIP: Mike Keithley,
LEGISLATION: Mike Keithley,
PHONE: 888-652-5333
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,

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.


* President's Message
* Program
* Meet Gabriela Aldana
* Membership Corner
* Fund-Raising Report
* Event Calendar

by Susan Glass

It's Thursday, March 29 as I write this message, and it's 83 degrees outside, and lemon and almond blossoms are mixing their fragrance with eucalyptus and redwood bark, all enriched by the sun's warmth. That's probably a run-on sentence. I don't care. I don't want to do anything except loll in the warm air. And write to all of you, of course.

John and I had an enjoyable, productive time at the CCB convention. The Marriott Hotel proved easy to navigate, and to a person, its employees were warm and helpful. My longest and most vigorous day was Thursday, which began with several other CCB members and myself braving a rainy walk to the Light Rail, followed by a 40 minute ride to CAPITOL Hill. We had excellent interactions with our State Assembly members and Senators. We'll fill you in on everything during our April business meeting. Back at the hotel, some of us attended the Nominating Committee meeting, and then it was time for Dining in the Dark. I was on my feet from 5 in the morning until 10 at night, which these days is a lot of action for this little mare.

At the banquet on Saturday night, our own Noel Runyan won a Publications award for his Blind Californian article describing the Los Angeles County voting system. Noel also brought several of his art pieces to the CCB auction and art show, and several of them sold. Congratulations Noel.

On Sunday afternoon after the convention, some of us took a leisurely walk along the American River Parkway. Think about meadows, and swaths of quiet, grass-scented air. Hear the occasional passing bicyclist, and the laughter of your friends and new acquaintances. Breathe. Spring is coming.

by Bev Clifford

The speaker for our April program will be Liz Dietz, registered nurse with the Red Cross, who lives near Vic and me in The Villages. We met her last Friday night at a Seder given at a friend's house, and we were impressed with her knowledge and her personality. She will talk to us about Disaster preparedness.


When you arrive at our April 21 membership meeting, make a point of greeting Ms. Gabriela Aldana, this year's Barbara Rhodes Adaptive Technology Grant winner. Those who attend Wednesday gatherings at the Santa Clara Valley Blind Center have already experienced Gabi's warm and vivacious personality. A San Jose native, Gabi attended Independence High School, and had planned to join the U.S. military, but then life threw her some peculiar curves. In her senior year of high school, she was diagnosed with diabetes. In 2008 her vision and her kidneys simultaneously stopped working. She received both a kidney and a pancreas transplant, and now lives a health-focused lifestyle complete with good food, exercise, and a positive attitude. Her voice lights up when you ask her about the classes she's taken at the Blind Center, and her experiences as a mentor there.

"The Blind Center is my second home," she says, "and my friends there are like family. I love Ernie's classes."

Gabi is only 39 years old. At age 21, she worked at the YWCA with at risk youth. She speaks Spanish and English fluently, and would like to attend college in order to become an interpreter.

"I don't like to start things without finishing them," she says, "and whatever I do, I always give 150 percent."

Her tech grant award of a new iPhone and computer will allow her to give that 150 percent to her college studies and her work at the Blind Center.

And what does Gabi do for fun?

"I share my home with a 7-year-old Russian Blue cat named Buster, and I love to read thrillers. I like people. I like life."

by Mike Keithley

Well, I suppose the CCB convention was the big deal for me. I went, of course, but John and Susan Glass, Rob and Alice Turner, John Vandervort, and Lorraine Brown were also there. John G was instrumental in getting the general session and banquet streamed via ACB Radio, I attended my very first Dining in the Dark fundraiser, and let myself become President of the Braille Revival League of California. Don't know what happened to Mr. Vandervort, but Rob was re-elected as a Director on the CCB Board, and Alice moderated a great guide dog luncheon. And the dogs! Someone barked during the Pledge of Allegiance, King says; like, "what's all this?" Would have made Trump happy!

We'll all be talking about the CCB convention at the April meeting. And Susan Glass described her experiences at the ACB mid-year meeting, Legislative Seminar, and adventures on Capitol Hill at the March meeting, which you can hear at

We met Ratha, an interesting fellow from Massachusetts, at our last meeting. I understand he's moving here permanently, and I hope he joins SVCB. And we're still the largest chapter in CCB, with CCCLV being a close second.

Now let's wish happy April birthdays to Anna Bolino, John McNulty, and Dawn Wilcox.

by Michelle McGrew

Save the dates and spread the word! Please join us at our next fund-raising event at Marie Callender's (
751 East El Camino Real, Sunnyvale, CA 94087) any time Monday, April 23 through Wednesday, April 25, 2018 (11 AM-8 PM) for a meal, dessert or snack, or even to purchase a pie to take home! Please call 408-245-3710 to make reservations if you have a party of 6 or more. Present one of our fund-raising event flyers to your server, and Marie Callender's will donate 20% of each purchase (excluding alcohol, tax, and tip) to SVCB's technology grant program! We'll have the required flyer at the April meeting, or visit to download and print it from our website. (Note: Marie Callender's will not have extra copies, and we will not receive credit for your purchases if your party does not have a flyer.)

Thanks to all who donated items for our auction at the March meeting! We auctioned two popcorn poppers, an Olympus digital voice recorder, a rolling suitcase, a rice cooker, a TV screen magnifier, a bacon cooker, and a snack/sandwich cooker. Thanks to all of our participants, and to our auctioneer, Joe. Congratulations to our highest bidders: Carol, Michelle, Tamara, Mike, Ratha, John V., and Rob. We raised $141!

In April, we’re having another 50/50 raffle! Tickets will be $1 per ticket or $5 for six. However, 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 March Cookies of the Month fund-raiser, benefiting our tech grant, featured Biscochos baked by Mary Castellano and herNiece. The recipe for these cookies was featured in the “Snack Shack” column of our May, 2017 newsletter. We sold 27 bags of cookies at our meeting, and another 23 bags of cookies at the Blind Center. Thanks to all of our supporters! Altogether, we raised $50!

For April, Bev Clifford will be baking Nieman-Marcus Cookies, a very choclatey cookie containing oatmeal and lots of nuts. Each bag of cookies will sell for $1. If you would like to volunteer to bake cookies this year 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

We still have some chocolate for sale! Meltaways from Bakers Candies 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), five kinds of milk chocolate (plain, mint, peanut butter, coconut, and raspberry), milk chocolate wrapped caramel, and the assorted (mix of both dark and milk chocolates).

For candy bars, we’re sold out of the See’s, but at the time of this writing we do still have some World's Finest Chocolate bars. These cost $1 each, but please check with me for flavors and availability. To purchase or help sell candy bars, or to order Meltaways, please contact me as listed above.

Or, choose one of our other snacks for $1 each! You may purchase bags of Welch's Fruit Snacks (2.25-oz bags of chewy fruit-flavored candies), or Kirkland Nut Bars (contains a sprinkle of salt and a little chocolate). We’ll begin selling the nut mix again once we’re out of the chocolate bars. To place an order for nut bars or Welch’s Fruit Snacks, please contact me as listed above.

See you at the April meeting along with my new puppy!

EVENT CALENDAR: April Through May, 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 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: 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

The monthly "Let's Talk Low Vision" conferences from CCLVI can be accessed as podcasts at

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

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


Apr 5, 7 to 9 PM: SVCB Board meeting. If you're not on the Board but wish to attend this meeting, please contact President Susan Glass.

Apr 13-May 7: ADRIFT IN MACAO, Apr 14 pre-show (see Notes).

Apr 17, 5:30 to 7 PM: Let's Talk Low Vision, Resources and Support Groups for People with Low Vision, 712-432-3447 with ID 145330.

Apr 21, 9:30 AM to 1 PM: SVCB monthly meeting. Present award to recipient of 2017 Barbara Rhodes Adaptive Technology Grant, and hear convention reports.

Apr 27, noon: SVCB In Touch newsletter deadline.

Apr 27 and 28 at 8 PM, 29 at 2 PM: THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY, TheatreWorks, descriptions by the Visual Voice, MVCPA.

May: Healthy Vision Month.

May 1, 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

May 3, 7 to 9 PM: SVCB Board meeting.

May 19, 9:30 AM to 1 PM: SVCB membership meeting.

May 25, noon: June In Touch newsletter deadline.

May 26, 2 PM: THE COLOR PURPLE, Orpheum San Francisco, descriptions by AudioVision.

May 27, 1:30 to 3 PM: Ye Olde Towne Band free concert, Shoup Park, 
400 University Avenue, Los Altos. Come and enjoy a free, old-fashioned band concert in a beautiful park setting. Each month, Ye Olde Towne Band of Los Altos provides an enjoyable concert presenting music ranging from rousing marches to popular musicals. Spend a lazy Sunday afternoon sitting on the grass listening to your favorite concert music. A playground is available for the youngsters. Bring a picnic lunch to enjoy.