Newsletter of the
A Chapter of the California Council of the Blind
February 2019

EDITOR: Susan Glass,
COPY EDITOR: Beverly Clifford,
ADDRESS: P.O. Box 493, Mountain View, CA 94042
DEADLINE: for the January, 2019 issue: noon, December 26
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: Monthly meetings are held at the Peninsula Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired (Vista Center San Jose) at 101 N. Bascom Avenue in San Jose. Meetings run 9:30 AM to 1 PM the third Saturday of the month and are open to all. 

* President's Message
* Membership Corner
* Fund-Raising Report
* Goodies, Anyone?
* Snack Shack
* Tidbits
* Event Calendar

by Susan Glass

Happy February to one and all! On February 2, instead of observing Ground Hog Day, we in our chapter will celebrate "Does King See His Shadow Day." He will be meeting with the chapter's other guide dogs to determine the first day of California's spring, because as we know, Californians rarely follow the official calendar.

Our February 16 meeting will happen in our new permanent location, The Santa Clara Valley Blind Center, now Vista San Jose. If you're coming via Access, your drop off address is 
101 North Bascom Avenue in San Jose. Victor has arranged with a nearby Subway store for the same lunches and prices as we had in Mountain View. Our new digs will be fun, like moving into a new home.

As of this writing, 38 chapter members still need to renew their dues for the coming year. We must submit our member roster and number of members to CCB by Friday February 15, so if you've not yet renewed, please mail your $10 check to PO Box 493, Mountain View, CA 94042 before February 15. You can also pay at the February 16 membership meeting. However, for credentialing purposes, CCB will use the member number count that it receives on February 15 to determine the number of votes our chapter is allowed at CCB conventions when making CCB legislative and policy decisions, amending or changing the CCB Constitution, and electing CCB officers.

On behalf of all in our chapter, I want to extend special gratitude to member Perla Kohs. In honor of her birthday this year, Perla asked her Facebook friends to forego gifts and cards, and instead donate money to the Barbara Rhodes Adaptive Technology Grant. Her friends responded by donating $225 to our grant fund. PERLA, you humble and amaze us, as do your friends. Thank you.

And speaking of the grant, anyone interested in applying for this year's award has until February 28 to complete and postmark an application.

I look forward to seeing everyone at our February meeting.

by Mike Keithley

Hey, get ready for our first meeting at the former Silicon Valley Blind Center. It's now the San Jose branch of Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired. The address is still the same: 
101 N. Bascom Avenue, San Jose, CA 95128. So be sure to arrange your VTA Access ride for Saturday, February 16. We hope to have the sound system working along with the ALD devices.

Let's wish happy February birthdays to Ruth Fisher. Kinda cold for birthdays, or is it rainy!

Unfortunately, we don't have a recording of the January meeting. King forgot to switch the recorder from pause to record. "Hey there, it was Master who did that. It's true I was asleep, but he can't blame that on me. Please come to the February meeting and punish him."

But we did have an informative program. Jose Rivera, Executive Director of work2Future Foundation, spoke to us. The foundation's mission is to assist businesses and individuals in meeting the workforce demands and opportunities of the global economy. It works with businesses, residents, government, educational and community-based organizations to maximize local and regional employment opportunities. A rather small (I thought) population of visually impaired people in Santa Clara County are served by the foundation to find employment or plan careers. To hear more, come to the February meeting to hear Recording Secretary Rob Turner's minutes.

In our business meeting, the 2019 administration was installed by Roger Petersen. The Picnic Committee was formed with Carol Silvaria, Victor Clifford, Susan Glass, and Mike Keithley (chair).

Hey guys, at last count 38 of our 90 SVCB members have not renewed. You better watch out--King is coming! If you don't renew soon, you won't get your newsletter. Even though it costs less to produce with a reduced membership, you really don't want to lose your newsletter, the worst in CCB!(SMILE). So come to the February meeting and renew your membership for 2019. You can also send a $10 check to SVCB, PO Box 493, Mountain View, CA 94042.

And considering your newsletter, some formats cost SVCB money. The email format costs nothing, but producing the braille, tape, and large print formats consume 15 percent of SVCB's budget, and it would be higher if it weren't for the generosity of a long-time benefactor. So if you can do so, consider receiving the email edition. Another perk here is that the chapter currently produces a non-members newsletter via email.

The 2019 SVCB budget is distributed with this newsletter. We'll approve it at the February meeting, so please read it.

by Michelle McGrew

Thanks to all who purchased calendars! All 15 calendars from our second order are now sold or reserved. Altogether, we sold a total of 70 calendars for this year!

January's auction was a bit unusual. We had several items that received no bids, perhaps because we had a smaller group in attendance, people were low on funds right after the holidays, or some other reason. Even so, we still had a lively bidding contest for two purses, and found homes for two hoodies and a table lamp. Thanks to all of our participants, and congratulations to our highest bidders: Mike, Kathy, and Sharon. We raised $75!

Since the meeting, we received a bid for the braille book from someone unable to attend the meeting, so it has found a home, too. If you were unable to attend the meeting but would like to place a bid on an item, please let me know. The items that received no bids are a lazy susan (good for holding something like a TV), a set of six Noritake bone china teacups and saucers, a teapot, an overnight bag for a woman, and a Korg combo tuner metronome chromatic (you need at least some sight to use this). To place a bid, 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

For February, we're having a raffle featuring donated items. Prizes include a bundt cake pan, four 60-minute cassettes of The Great Radio Comedies, the book Plum Lucky by Janet Evanovich (on CD), two Harrison Ford VHS movies, two doilies (1 large, 1 small) in a box, some dog treats, and a trumpeter swan stuffed animal (makes real bird call). Tickets are $1 each or $5 for six.

Our January Cookies of the Month fund-raiser, benefiting our tech grant, featured Butterscotch Pecan Cookies baked by me. (The recipe for this cookie will appear in the "Snack Shack" column later this year.) We sold 14 bags of cookies at our meeting, and another 26 bags at the Blind Center. Plus, at this writing, I have a few more orders to fill, so I'll be baking some more. Thanks to all of our supporters! So far, we raised $40!

February's Cookies of the Month fund-raiser will feature Raspberry Chocolate Chip Cookies baked by me. 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 contact me as listed above.

SVCB continues to sell chocolate! We sold out of several flavors of Meltaways in January, so I'm restocking our supply in time for our February meeting. These come in four-ounce bags containing about 13 individually-wrapped chocolates, and sell for $4 per bag. I will 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, raspberry, coconut, and mocha), milk chocolate wrapped caramel, and the assorted (mix of both dark and milk chocolates).

And, we currently still have World's Finest Chocolate bars available, but our supply is getting low, especially in certain flavors. As of this writing, we have four kinds of milk chocolate: with almonds, caramel, crisp, and plain, and we have a very limited amount of plain dark chocolate. The World's Finest sell for $1 each. As announced at our January meeting, we are looking into our options for resupplying our candy bars. We are considering a different brand that we think may work better for us. To purchase or help sell candy bars, or to order Meltaways, please contact me as listed above.

Or, choose one of our other options! We're selling bags of nut mix as part of our Special Delivery 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 February meeting!

by Bev Clifford

Oh dear, oh dear! Your goodies chair is woefully singing a familiar little ditty, as she checks her notes and finds that our SVCB meetings for April and November will be lacking yummy treats! Listen to her sing, "Oh where, oh where have my volunteers gone? Oh where, oh where can they be?" Like the poor little dog in the childhood song, my volunteers have skedaddled to parts unknown. Can someone go find them? April and November are very lonely! If you encounter any of these lost volunteers (who may be out geocaching or chasing Pokemon for all I know), please tell them that if they want to bring goodies to one of these meetings, they should leave a message for me at 888-652-5333, find me on our Membership List to call or email me directly, or send email to Thanks so much for helping me search.


Editor's Note: In honor of President's Day, our Snack Shack recipes for this month come from __First Ladies Cookbook: Favorite Recipes of All the Presidents of the United _States. Thank you, Suzanne Smith, for contributing these timely recipes.

Crab Artichoke Casserole
Submitted by Suzanne Smith

This favorite recipe of Ronald W. Reagan and Nancy D. Reagan comes from First Ladies Cookbook: Favorite Recipes of All the Presidents of the United States.

3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1-1/2 cups milk
1. teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2. cups canned or frozen crabmeat
4 hard-cooked eggs, quartered
1. (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Melt butter in saucepan. Stir in flour until smooth. Gradually add milk and seasonings and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in crabmeat. (If using frozen, make certain it is thawed.)

Place eggs and artichoke hearts in bottom of greased 1-1/2 quart casserole. Pour crab-cream sauce over all. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake in a 350 degree oven about 30 minutes. Makes 4-5 servings.

Peanut Soup
Submitted by Suzanne Smith

This favorite recipe of Jimmy (James E.) Carter and Rosalynn Carter comes from First Ladies Cookbook: Favorite Recipes of All the Presidents of the United States.

1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2-1/4 cups milk
1, (10-3/4 ounce) can Cream of Chicken Soup
1/4 cup chopped salted peanuts

Saute onion in butter until soft, but not brown, in a large saucepan. Stir in peanut butter and cook slowly, stirring several times, for 1-2 minutes. Stir in milk and soup. Heat slowly, just until hot (do not boil). Stir in peanuts. Ladle into tureen or soup cups. Garnish with peanuts, parsley, and paprika. Makes 8 servings.

by Mike Keithley

HBO Access Inquiry--Kim Charlson

Disability Rights Advocates and the Disability Law Center are investigating complaints on behalf of the American Council of the Blind from blind individuals who report that the HBO GO and HBO NOW websites and mobile applications are not accessible via screen readers, and from blind individuals who want audio description tracks to be made available on HBO GO and HBO NOW.

We would greatly appreciate speaking with you if you are blind and you have chosen not to subscribe to HBO because you have heard about the lack of audio description available for HBO's programs, or about web access barriers on HBO's websites and mobile applications. We are also interested in speaking with you if you have confronted access barriers yourself while using HBO GO or HBO NOW.

To share your experiences, please contact Carson Turner by phone at (510) 665-8644, or by email at

EVENT CALENDAR: February through March, 2019
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 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

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


February: Eye Donor Awareness Month.

Feb 5, 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

Feb 7, 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.

Feb 8 and 9 at 8 PM and 10 at 2 PM: FROST/NIXON, descriptions by The Visual Voice, MVCPA.

Feb 16, 9:30 AM to 1 PM: SVCB membership meeting. Approve 2019 budget.

Feb 15 to Mar 10: BEAU JEST, Tabard Theatre (see notes).

Feb 19, 5:30 to 7 PM: Let's Talk Low Vision, 712-432-3447 with ID code 145330.

Feb 22, noon: March newsletter deadline.

Feb 23 to 26: ACB Affiliate Presidents' Meeting and Legislative Seminar. Capitol Hill Day is Tuesday Feb 26. Meetings take place at the Crowne Plaza Old Town Alexandria, located at 
901 N. Fairfax St., Alexandria, VA 22314. Visit

Feb 25 to Mar 1: 33rd Annual CSUN Conference at the Anaheim Marriott Hotel in Anaheim California. Visit

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

Mar 7, 7 to 9 PM: SVCB Board meeting.

March 9: Northern California Regional Braille Challenge; California School for the Blind, 
500 Walnut Ave., Fremont, CA 94536. Contact Angela Martyn at, or call 510-936-5514.

Mar 9, 2 PM: HAMILTON, descriptions by AudioVision, Golden Gate Theatre.

Mar 16, 9:30 AM to 1 PM: Monthly SVCB meeting. Discuss resolutions for CCB Convention.

Mar 22, noon: April newsletter deadline. Distribute spring membership list.

Mar 29 and 30 at 8 PM and 31 at 2 PM: MARIA AND ROSETTA, descriptions by the Visual Voice, TheatreWorks, Lucie Stern.