A Chapter of the California Council of the Blind

July 2019

EDITOR: Susan Glass,

COPY EDITOR: Beverly Clifford,

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

DEADLINE: for the July, 2019 issue: noon, June 28

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,

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

* Convention Report

* Fund-Raising Report

* Snack Shack

* Event Calendar


by Susan Glass

Greetings to all from Lincoln Nebraska. This is the 8th time that John and I have flown back here for a summer visit with aunts and cousins, and every year we have more fun! On Sunday afternoon, for instance, we toured the Arches Museum in Kearney Nebraska. Kearney is famous for two things: the great Sand Hill Crane migration in March, and the Arches Museum, which is built directly above Interstate 80, and which, through interactive exhibits, chronicles a history of travellers and transportation along the Oregon Trail. Among our adventures, we said hello to Tin Lizzie, a model T Ford, as well as to a 1962 Cadillac, a stage coach, and a Pony Express log cabin. Then we checked into our hotel where one of the outside doors fell off of its hinges when we touched its handle. Things only got funnier from there.

The centerpiece for this month's issue of In Touch is the CCB Convention Report, co-authored by Mike Keithley and Rob Turner. They blend issues and nuance, sobriety and levity, in an article guaranteed to leave you well informed and ready for some CCB action yourself. There's also Mike's "Membership Corner," unique for the conversation that he carries on with two of his former guide dogs. There's a Fund-Raising Report, a new recipe from Suzanne, and an Event Calendar. So grab yourself a glass of lemonade and a bowl of popcorn, and enjoy reading our July issue.


by Mike Keithley

I remember my transition times between high school and junior college, and then to the University of Santa Clara. It was easy: just stay in school and have fun, despite the difficulty of getting books! It wasn't until I graduated from SCU with my Bachelor's in psychology, and no clue as to what I was going to do with it, that my rehab counselor put her foot down and said, "You're going to work;" and Kola, my first dog, said "Ha ha, the party's over." Fortunately I knew about the Vista Center, then called the Peninsula Center for the Blind. I don't think they had transitioning services for kids moving between high school, college, and work, but I had a wonderful O&M teacher who introduced me to the idea that I wasn't alone, and I could get help if I needed it.

Nowadays, the process of transitioning is more formalized, and Amy Jine from Vista Center told us about it during our May program. She actually works out of the San Jose Vista office, and is eager to learn about SVCB and everyone in it. Unfortunately, we learned about her a bit late for this year's picnic, so a group of transitioning kids probably won't be there. But if some of them join SVCB, so much the better. Those of us who have had a working career can learn a thing or two about the modern challenges of getting a job. I didn't even have a resumé written when I got a call from HP in 1973. I think it was just that I impressed some people by taking the Greyhound bus from San Mateo to the Pagemill division (I actually made a mistake and asked for an application at the place across the street). I just had this list of electronics companies to explore, and HP was the tenth entry. "Oh, it was just Kola force." You're probably right King.

Anyway, be on the lookout for Amy and her kids, and hear her program at

In the same segment, we heard from those who went to the CCB Conference and Convention. Rob and Alice Turner, and Mike Keithley, had some highlights to talk about. Be sure to read the convention report in this newsletter.

And some SVCB people are going to the ACB Conference and Convention this July. I know Rob and Alice are, along with John and Susan Glass.

Let's wish happy July birthdays to Carol Silveria, Kathryn Hoag, Joe Silveria, and James Brown.

And don't forget the picnic! It's on Saturday, August 17 at Hellyer Community Park in San Jose, and our picnic site is called Sylvandale. Registration is $20 for SVCB/CCB members, and $25 for guest. The address of the park is 985 Hellyer Ave. It is accessible by VTA Access and bus lines, and VTA Access will not be required to pay for parking.

The chapter is providing hamburgers, hot dogs, and vegie burgers, plus appetizers, desserts, and drinks. Register at the July meeting by talking to Victor Clifford, and be sure to tell him what food you want.

You can also register by sending a check to the address in the masthead of this newsletter. Be sure to write "picnic" in the memo line, plus your food choices: hamburger, hot dog, vegie burger, or any combination thereof.


by Mike Keithley and Rob Turner


The convention adventure started at 4 PM Wednesday, June 5, when I packed a small suitcase, and made sure my "convention jacket (that I bought at the 75th CCB convention) was in good order. After saying goodbye to the Quenzers, who left their house in Grant's Pass Oregon, and were on their way to live in Portland Tennessee, I landed at the Diridon station to board the Capitol Corridor train to Oakland with Rob and Alice. We then met David Jackson and Linda Porrelle, from the San Francisco chapter, on the Amtrak San Joaquin train to Fresno--four hours of talking, checking out the train's wireless, and eating (had a nice hot dog). Hot in Fresno, over 100 degrees, and it was good to end up in the hotel room I shared with Steve Fort, who used to live in Alameda but now resides in Portland Oregon. Steve and I have this long-standing arrangement of sharing a room, bringing each other up to date, and sharing opinions on technology. He sure misses the Bayview chapter! Had a great dinner in the International Cafe with Rob, Alice, Linda, David, Steve, someone else, and dogs under the table. I chose an entré of Chicken Creole with Penne Pasta, which was tasty and surprisingly cheap. I was stymied by the pervasive sound of the waterfall in the hotel lobby, so the food there was pretty much the only thing in town. The convention was CCB's 85th, and I went to the 85th birthday celebration in the Presidential Suite. Didn't stay long--lots of noise, and a steam-rolling backpack knocked a glass of wine all over me. So much for those clothes!


If you're going to Fresno, if possible, take the train the whole way and avoid the Amtrak bus. The trip home was hot and unpleasant. While listening to the convention program on the VR Stream on our way to the convention, we noticed that the statewide affiliates programs and other content were missing. We thought, "Oh no, this is not getting off to a good start." Later we discovered that all the expected content was there when read on a computer.

For the past few years, CCB has obtained convention sponsors. This year's sponsors included: Energy Upgrade California, Vanda Pharmaceuticals, Sprint, Cruise Automations, Rosen, Bien, and Galvan & Grunfeld LLP. The get-together on Wednesday evening, hosted by president Wilkinson, worked out better for me and Alice than it did for Mike. Judy and Steve made everyone feel welcome, and the snacks and adult beverages tasted good. We got settled into our hotel room, and picked up our registration packets on Thursday morning.


I spent Thursday morning registering and kind-of exploring the hotel. I never could get the scale of the description in the program to make much spatial sense, and the waterfall was a problem. It wasn't all that bad, though, after I gave up trying to understand the layout. The upside of the waterfall was that I found it peaceful, like being in an acoustical fog.

The Technology Committee had its meeting Thursday afternoon, and the topic was games and alternative reading devices. I understand there were discussions on iOS and Android time wasters, but there were no assistive listening devices in the room and I couldn't hear well. So I left, took a nap, and prepared for the Board dinner. The food there was first-rate,—Creamy Salmon and Roasted Potatoes and I successfully avoided the tomatoes (I hate 'em).

CCB is still in very serious financial straits, but the impression I came away with was that expenses continue to be kept down, and record-keeping has improved. The contract for the 2020 convention in Fresno was canceled, and we'll be experimenting with regional one-day conventions, all linked by the Internet. No details yet.


I spent a few minutes in the technology presentation, but was asked to help set up the audio in the convention room. I brought an audio mixer and microphone for streaming on ACB Radio. From my perspective as a CCB board member, I agree with Mike that record keeping is improving, and expenses are being managed more responsibly.


Friday morning was a time of testing of sorts for me. I'm president of the Braille Revival League of California (BRLC), and I conducted the meeting without an assistive listening device. Fortunately, I had lots of help from friends, so King said it was a success. Went to the BRLC/CLUA (California Library Users of America) luncheon but it wasn't very satisfying--no ALD. There was an ALD for the first general session, and I successfully modified the receiver's antenna to improve reception. I was disappointed that the fellow from Cruise Automation (a convention sponsor) didn't speak. Cruise Automation wants to make sure that visually impaired people are included in the development of autonomous vehicles. They apparently had a lot to say at the CAT (Committee on Access and Transportation) meeting, but I didn't hear anything about that. Guess we'll have to wait for the posting of the convention audio files. A really cool happening was a call to Cathie Skivers, who served two terms as CCB president. She just celebrated her 94th birthday, and it was fitting to hear her help us kick off CCB's 85th.


At the BRLC meeting, Mike and I demonstrated the Orbit Reader and Focus 40 braille displays. Friday afternoon's general session started with a speaker who welcomed us to Fresno, followed by the President's Message. For me, the highlight of the afternoon was a presentation titled "Honor Roots and Foster Growth: Nurturing Relationships, Reenergizing Grassroots Advocacy, and Thriving as an Organization," by Shannon M. Mulhall, Certified Americans with Disabilities Act Coordinator, City of Fresno. She reminded us that CCB has a powerful history of relationship building and advocacy. She described ways to honor our roots, while at the same time embracing the energy of new voices and mentoring the next generation of leaders.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 85th birthday dinner. Several speakers, including me, described their involvement in CCB. I was especially gratified to hear my mentor Bob Acosta and his wife Ruth Ann tell their stories.


Friday night's second general session featured the credentials report, among other things. Somebody commented that although CCB has lost a few chapters, a higher percentage of affiliates were seated in this convention. It seems that progress is being made in CCB's legislative imperatives (see Alice Turner's article in the summer BC). We had the first reading of the proposed Bylaws to the Constitution, whose details were considered during the third and fourth general sessions. Elections were held. The winners were: Sarah Harris, Second Vice President; Linda Porelle, Secretary; and five directors. All five directors reside in southern California, so the Board will be more balanced between northern and southern California.


According to Vivian Younger, Membership Committee chair, there were fifty people at Saturday morning's Membership Breakfast. Also that morning, the Golden State Guide Dog Handlers, Inc., met for their business meeting and program, and the student group held theirs as well. Another Saturday morning event was "Vision Workshop: Three Keys to Accelerating Your Results," presented by Kelly Eagan, a blind woman who works for Sprint Communications Accessibility. I spent time in the exhibit room, but didn't buy anything this year. For me, Saturday morning was a time to relax and socialize with friends.


Saturday morning is an easy-going time for me. I had registered to go to the Membership Breakfast, but I figured out that the ALD wouldn't be there and I'd be wasting my time. So I found the auto-teller, had a nice Chai late, read a lot of email, and got the BC launched. I also took a good look at HumanWare's BrailleNote Touch Plus.

The third general session featured a panel from the Department of Rehabilitation (DOR), along with its boring, bureaucratic language. But things sparked up when a resolution was read and accepted opposing DOR's intention to have clients bear some financial responsibility for their cases. I felt a bit sorry for the panelists as this hostile (to my thinking) resolution was processed. We had the second reading of the Bylaws, which were accepted one-by-one until Bylaw 8, where there was a great deal of discussion on removing the home chapter system we now have. It probably would be best to wait for the convention audio to be posted to really get a feeling for this, but there was a lot of concern about ambitious people grabbing control of chapters. Further consideration was tabled for the Sunday session.


I was pleased that the resolution opposing financial responsibility was passed. Families raising a disabled child have enough pressure without having to disclose their financial means. Although I favor eliminating the home chapter provision, I consider it to be a minor issue.


The Banquet featured meat that was hard to cut, awards, scholarship presentations, and an Elvis impersonator giving us a concert (see President Wilkinson's article in the summer BC).


The banquet dinner was Roast Pork with Potatoes and Vegetables. Mine was tender and tasty. SVCB was acknowledged for our scholarship donation. I can't remember the awards, but I'm sure they will be presented in the fall BC.


In the fourth general session, feelings about the home chapter issue had calmed down a bit, and that provision was defeated. In all, the work of the Constitution and Bylaws Committee was acceptable to the convention. We had several resolutions, and they will be summarized in the fall BC. The Treasurers Report was presented, along with the reading of an unfairly opinioned letter from the Noel Perry Fund trustees. They seem to think President Wilkinson likes having her hands slapped.

Homeward bound! We took the Amtrak train to Stockton and a bus to San Jose. It was a sleepy time for me, but I enjoyed using my Victor Trek to keep track of the bus route. Was very happy to be home, treated Star to ice cream, and went to bed early!


My overall impression of the convention was that it generated lots of positive energy and cooperation. I think that the saying, "When the going gets tough, the tough get going," applies to CCB.


by Michelle McGrew

We're looking forward to several upcoming events! July's meeting will feature a raffle with a fun twist (read more below). At our August picnic, we'll have a raffle for several very nice prizes, including a 24-inch Samsung LED TV! And below are details about two tech grant fundraisers!

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, September 23 through Tuesday, September 24, 2019 (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 our upcoming meetings and at the picnic, and should soon have the flyer available on our website at for you to download and print. (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.)

At long last, another old-time radio show fundraiser to benefit our tech grant is in the works! We have scheduled the event for Saturday, October 12 at Vista Center San Jose. We'll play old-time radio shows from 1 to 4 pm. So, please plan to arrive from noon to 1 pm and to depart from 4 to 5 pm. Stay tuned for additional details!

Thanks to all who got tickets for our 50/50 raffle at our June meeting! We sold $96 in tickets, so SVCB and our winner each received $48. Congratulations to our lucky winner, Frank Brown!

At our July meeting, we will have a raffle featuring donated items, but with a twist! We will draw ten lucky numbers. Winning ticket holders will each be able to select two items. Prizes include a set of two matching placemats, 4 classical music CDs, 6 shopping bags, costume jewelry, a lunch bag, a set of singing magnets, a treat pouch from GDB, some picture hanging strips, a Jansport water bottle, a pink zippered makeup bag, an LED pocket light, 4 rolodex boxes, and 2 one-week pill containers. Tickets will be $1 each or $5 for six.

Our June Cookies of the Month fund-raiser, benefiting our tech grant, featured Cappuccino Royale Cookies baked by Lorraine Brown. (The recipe for these cookies was featured in the "Snack Shack" column of our July, 2016 newsletter.) We sold 28 bags of cookies at our June meeting, and another 49 bags of cookies at the Blind Center. Plus, we sold another 14 bags of cookies from last month after my May report. Thanks to all of our supporters! We raised $91!

For July, Bev Clifford is baking Neiman Marcus Cookies. These cookies contain oatmeal, nuts, and two kinds of chocolate. Each bag of cookies will sell for $1.

Our chocolate supply is in transition. We have already sold out of candy bars, and I expect that we will soon sell out of Meltaways. We will restock our candy bars and Meltaways in the Fall once the weather begins to cool down. In the meantime, choose one of our other snacks for $1 each! You may purchase bags of Welch's Fruit Snacks (2.2-ounce bags of chewy fruit-flavored candies), Kirkland Nut Bars (contains a sprinkle of salt and a little chocolate), or as part of our Summertime Snack Sale, nut mix with cranberries or with chocolate. To place an order for nut bars, Welch's Fruit Snacks, or either nut mix, please 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

See you at our July meeting!


Apricot Crumble

Submitted by Suzanne Smith

This is the recipe for the snack I brought to the June meeting. I got the recipe from a cookbook called "Life Is a Bowl of Olson's Cherries."

2 cups sliced fresh apricots

1 cup graham cracker crumbs or shortbread cookie crumbs

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons melted butter

Light cream (I used Cool Whip)

Combine brown sugar, cracker or cookie crumbs, melted butter, and lemon juice. Blend gently with sliced apricots. Spread in shallow buttered baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Serve with light cream. Makes 6 servings.

EVENT CALENDAR: July through August, 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 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

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


Jul 5 through 12: ACB convention.

Jul 4, 7 to 9 PM (this date may be changed): 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.

Jul 13, 8 PM: NEWSIES; AudioVision; see notes.

Jul 16, 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

Jul 16, 5:20 to 7 PM: Let's Talk Low Vision; How to use the National Library Service Digital Talking book player; 712-432-3447 with ID 145330#

Jul 20, 9:30 AM to 1 PM: monthly SVCB meeting. Begin plans for White Cane Safety Day and Employment of People With Disabilities Awareness month, appoint Holiday Party Committee chair.

Jul 26, noon: August SVCB newsletter deadline.

Aug 1, 7 to 9 PM: SVCB Board meeting.

Aug 3, 8 PM: BILLY ELLIOT; AudioVision; see notes.

Aug 6, 5:30 to 7 PM: Breast Cancer Support Group.

Aug 17, 11 AM to 3 PM: SVCB annual picnic. See Membership Corner in this issue.

Aug 23, noon: September SVCB newsletter deadline.