Newsletter of the


A Chapter of the California Council of the Blind

November 2018


EDITOR: Susan Glass,

COPY EDITOR: Beverly Clifford,

ADDRESS: P.O. Box 493, Mountain View, CA 94042

DEADLINE: for the December, 2018 issue: noon, November 23

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

* Membership Corner

* Fund-Raising Report

* News From Your Roving Goodies Reporter

* Snack Shack

* Tidbits

* Event Calendar



by Susan Glass


On Friday, October 19, I did something that I've yearned to do since childhood. I rode in a horse show.


Growing up, I rode horses regularly between the ages of 10 and 15. My teacher, Mr. Higgins, was a kind, wise, and jolly surrogate grandfather to myself and the other 15 or so kids he taught. We learned the basics of Western riding, as well as horse safety, how to groom, feed, and tack up, which means saddling and unsaddling the horse. On trail rides, Mr. Higgins guided me by calling out "right," "left," "steep downgrade coming," gradual upgrade," "duck: low trees." Generally, my horse Bonnie followed his horse Blackboy anyhow, nose to tail. We didn't do much arena or ring work, which was fine with me since what I loved most about riding was its sensory richness: the warm smell of Bonnie's coat whether shaggy in winter or sleek in summer; the round clopping of her shod hooves on pavement and their padded tones in dirt; trail fragrances of wild oats and oak leaves and eucalyptus; and birds (meadowlarks, flickers, California quail). And there was my friendship with Mr. Higgins, his laughter, his propensity for telling tall tales, and his faith in the abilities of all children.


I learned to ride horses before I learned to use a cane. Horses were my first freedom, and my first understanding of myself as a person who could move confidently in the world.


About a year ago, I began taking riding lessons at Garrod Farms, located in the Saratoga foothills. This time though, I wanted to immerse myself in the athletics, art, and skill of riding. My teacher, Kathleen Reyes, was excited to work with a blind rider. Comfortable with hands-on instruction, she guided my body into the correct postures for sitting, walking, trotting, and cantering a horse, and she helped me learn how to transition smoothly from one gait to the next. She showed me how by subtly shifting my weight from one hip to the other, and turning my body in the direction I wished to go, I could ask the horse for a 15, 30, 45, 90, 180 or even 360 degree turn. What a splendid means for practicing mobility and proprioceptive sense! And did you know that when you ride a horse in this concentrated way, you move 430 parts of your body? I applied all of these skills to learning to ride in an arena, and navigating my horse through barrels, poles, and cones.


On October 19, along with several other Garrod students, I rode in a "play date" (casual horse show.) Incidentally, former SVCB chapter member LeeAnn Nakagawa, who had also been taking lessons at Garrod, rode in the show too. We each participated in three events. Mine were called the California Barrel, Hurry Scurry, and Keyhole. Before each of my events, an apprentice teacher, Maria, walked my horse and me through the course that we were about to ride. Then my teacher Kathleen stood on the arena edge calling out instructions, "Lope! Left 15. Neutral. Right, 30. Neutral. Left 45. Haunch turn. Gallop home." Kathleen's oral instructions, and being permitted to pace the route out before riding it, were the only adaptations that we made to blindness. Oh, just one more: We asked the audience to be quiet so that I could more easily hear Kathleen.


My horse's name was Fudge. He's a gentle bay, which means that he's brown with a black mane and tail. Our first two events were fine, but we messed up the third one by riding off pattern and getting ourselves disqualified. That happened to some sighted riders too. It was all in good fun, and I can't wait for our next show which will occur next June, and which will focus on Equitation or rider form.


To my knowledge, Kathleen is the only instructor at Garrod who teaches riders with disabilities. West wind Barns in Los Altos, and Bok Ranch in Wood Side, are two places that offer therapeutic riding lessons specifically geared for blind and disabled riders. I'm planning to visit both locations so that I can learn more about their programs. I'll keep everyone posted.




Come to our November Membership meeting ready for recreation. Rob Turner will help us play more audible darts, and Noel Runyan will instruct us in the art of target practice using a nerf rifle. A bean bag toss is also a possibility, as is a discussion about each of our favorite recreational pastimes. Finally, John Glass will have some musical surprises for us. Following this energetic hour, we'll elect our officers and board members for the coming year, and transact other SVCB business.



by Mike Keithley

Sing hey for Deb Runyan! We hear she's recovered nicely from hip replacement surgery. And congratulate king, he won the 50/50 raffle at the October membership meeting. "You've got it wrong, master. I got the number, but you took it away, you old rascal!"


And at the same meeting, Pete Stahl, a representative from the California League of Women Voters, presented pros and cons for state and local measures on our November voting ballots. Great job, Pete! And from Bernice and Roger: "The best way that we have found for studying up for the election is to go to You will be asked for your address and zipcode, and your ballot will be presented to you with links to find out more information on any candidate or proposition. ..."


You can hear the October program at


Don't miss the holiday party! It will be at the Silicon Valley Blind Center on Saturday, December 15. Do plan to come! You can register by coming to the November meeting or sending a check to the address at the top of this newsletter. Put "holiday party" on the memo line. Registration is $20 for CCB/SVCB members and $25 for friends. At the meeting, give your money to Joe Silveria.


We'll have another holiday show of old time radio produced by John Glass; and Armadillo Willys will be our caterer, so expect great food.


Candidates for SVCB's 2019 administration have been announced. Elections will be held at the November membership meeting, and the slate of candidates will be presented. But remember that you can nominate anyone you wish from the floor. The slate is:


Susan Glass: president (fourth term), Alice Turner: Vice President (fourth term), Rob Turner: Recording Secretary (first term), Naomi Grub: Corresponding Secretary (fourth term), Victor Clifford: Treasurer (sixth term), Mike Keithley: Board member (first term). Per a recent constitutional amendment, there is no term limit for Treasurer.


Be on the lookout for the updated membership list distributed with this newsletter. And if your contact information is wrong, please let Mike Keithley know.


And finally, happy November birthdays to Alicia Carrillo, Naomi Grubb, David Hoffman, Perla Kohs, Carol Ann Owens, Rob Turner, Vivian Younger, and Steve Lehnhoff. And if you need another reason to come to the November meeting, sing a "happy birthday" to them there.



by Michelle McGrew


We just concluded our fund-raising event at Marie Callender's in Sunnyvale (October 22-23). Thanks to all who attended! We raised $145.81 plus an additional $30 donation for the technology grant! If you were unable to attend, you may also make a contribution to our tech grant fund. Please make checks payable to SVCB and write "tech grant" in the memo. Donations may be mailed to the address at the top of this newsletter.


Thanks to all who purchased calendars! By the time you read this, I expect that we will have sold out. However, if there is enough demand, we could order more, so if you are interested in purchasing calendars should they become available, please let me know how many you would like to purchase. They cost $10 each. You may contact me by calling 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


Thanks to all who got tickets for our 50/50 raffle at our October meeting! We sold $94 in tickets, so SVCB and our winner each received $47. Congratulations to our lucky winner, Mike Keithley!


At our November meeting, we're having a raffle featuring donated items! Prizes include: a mini handheld vacuum for auto care, a black hand bag, blueberry Russian herbal loose leaf tea, two (15-count) packages of self-stick Christmas gift tags, a new plaid winter scarf, and two lace handkerchiefs in a box. Tickets are $1 each or $5 for six.


Our October Cookies of the Month fund-raiser, benefiting our tech grant, featured Peanut Butter Crisscross Cookies baked by me. (The recipe for these cookies was featured in the "Snack Shack" column of our October, 2017 newsletter.) We sold 39 bags of these cookies (31 at the Blind Center and 8 at our meeting), plus we sold another 22 bags of Almond Cookies at the Blind Center the last Wednesday of September. So altogether, since my last report, we raised another $61! Thanks to all of our supporters!


Our featured cookie for November will be a strawberry cookie with chocolate chips baked by Suzanne Smith. We'll sell these at our November SVCB meeting and at the Blind Center in early December. If you would 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


SVCB is again selling chocolate! At ; our November meeting, we will have four-ounce bags of Meltaways from Bakers Candies in Nebraska for $4 each. Each bag contains about 13 individually-wrapped chocolates. I expect to have the following flavors available: five kinds of dark chocolate (plain, mint, orange, cherry, and sea salt caramel), 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 chocolates).


And, World's Finest Chocolate bars have returned! We have four kinds of milk chocolate: with almonds, caramel, crisp, and plain, and a very limited amount of plain dark chocolate. The World's Finest sell for $1 each. To purchase or help sell candy bars, or to order Meltaways, please contact me as listed above.


Or, choose one of our other snacks! We're selling bags of nut mix as part of our Holiday Sale. These come with either sweetened dried cranberries or with chunks of dark chocolate. You can also purchase Kirkland Nut Bars (contains a sprinkle of salt and a little chocolate) and bags of Welch's Fruit Snacks (2.2-ounce bags of chewy fruit-flavored candies, in the following flavors: Mixed Fruit, Island Fruit, Apple Orchard Medley, Strawberry, and Berries 'n Cherries). The nut mixes, Nut Bars, and Welch's Fruit Snacks are all $1 each. To place an order, contact me as listed above.


See you at the November meeting!



by Bev Clifford


Editor's Note: This column from Bev appeared in our October newsletter. We are reprinting it here as a reminder to any who still wish to sign up for a goodies month in 2019.


Vic and I are in the last throes of preparing and packing for our marathon train-and-car trip, but I wanted to take a minute to let you know how we're doing goodies-wise for 2019. The only months still available for volunteers to bring scintillating snacks to an upcoming meeting are April, May, and November, so do consider filling in these slots. Who knows"your snacks may become the talk of the town! You can call our SVCB phone number and leave me a message at 1-888-652-5333, drop me an email at, or look me up in our SVCB Membership List and contact me directly by phone or email. We will be checking our home phone messages and emails as well if that works better for you. I'll be here until Saturday September 29, so if you're quick about it you can catch me before I leave. Thanks ever so to those who've already chipped in, and thanks in advance to the newbies: We love you!




El Paso Burgers

Submitted by Suzanne Smith


This recipe comes from Recipes from the Heart Cookbook.


1. medium onion, finely chopped

1. small green bell pepper, finely chopped

1. package (1.25 ounces) taco seasoning mix

2. pounds ground beef

8 hamburger buns

8 slices pepper jack cheese

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup thick and chunky salsa


In large bowl, combine onion, bell pepper, seasoning mix, and beef. Mix well. Form into 8 half-inch thick patties. Grill patties over medium for 14-16 minutes for medium doneness or broil 3-4 inches from heat source for 10-12 minutes or until center of meat is no longer pink. Turn patties once during cooking. Serve on buns; top with cheese, sour cream, and salsa. Makes 8 servings.




compiled by Mike Keithley


Medi-Cal Benefits


If you have had or are having a problem receiving communications in Braille or another alternative format regarding your Medi-Cal application or benefits, Disability Rights Advocates is interested in speaking to you about this issue. Please call Sachiko Riddle at (510) 665-8644 or email her at


From Bonnie Rennie, Member, Publications Committee


Know a senior who's struggling to adjust to vision loss?

Cab proudly announces,

Our book, "Have a Happy Life:

as a senior Losing or /without Vision" is now available on Kindle. Audio CD version soon to follow.

Please spread the word!



EVENT CALENDAR: November through December 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 The Tabard THEATRE, 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 Note that it is not known whether shows listed below are at the Orpheum or Golden Gate Theatres. So if you're interested in attending one, be sure to inquire with AudioVision.


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




Nov 1 through 18: THE EMPORER'S CLUB, Tabard Theatre, see notes.


Nov 1, 7 to 9 PM: SVCB Board meeting, call-in 800-662-6992 with ID code 1184109. If you're not on the Board but wish to attend this meeting, please contact President Susan Glass.


Nov 3 at 2 PM: MISS Saigon, descriptions by AudioVision, see notes.


Nov 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


Nov 10 at 2 PM: waitress, descriptions by AudioVision, see notes.


Nov 17, 9:30 AM to 1 PM: 31st anniversary SVCB membership meeting. Elect officers for 2019 (see Membership Corner), announce Budget Committee.


Nov 20, 5:30 to 7 PM: Let's Talk Low Vision, "Festive & Fun with Low Vision," 712-432-3447 with ID code 145330.


Nov 23, noon:: December newsletter deadline.


Dec 4, 5:30 to 7 PM: Breast Cancer Support Group.


Dec 6, 7 to 9 PM: SVCB Board meeting.


Dec 15, 11 AM to 3 PM: SVCB holiday party, Silicon Valley Blind Center (see Membership Corner in this newsletter).


Dec 16 at 2 PM: A BRONX TALE, descriptions by Audiovision, see notes.


Dec 18, 5:30 to 7 PM: Let's Talk Low Vision, iPhone apps and Jaws.


dec 21 and 22 at 8 PM and 23 at 2 PM: TUCK EVERLASTING, TheatreWorks, descriptions by the Visual Voice, Lucie Stern.




Dec 26, noon: January, 2019 newsletter.