A Chapter of the California Council of the Blind

November 2019


EDITOR: Susan Glass,

COPY EDITOR: Beverly Clifford,

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

DEADLINE: for the December, 2019 issue: noon, November 22


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 Santa Clara Valley Blind Center (Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired 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 Update

* Snack Shack

* Tidbits

* Event Calendar


President's Message

by Susan Glass


Its amazing, but over the last 4 weekends, John and I have found ourselves involved, directly or indirectly, with SVCB and Vista events. The busyness began with our Saturday, September 21 SVCB membership meeting, where we heard the informative presentation on emergency preparedness given by Patty Eaton. Then on September 28, we attended Vista's Technology Education Conference at the UCSC extension campus in Santa Clara. Several other SVCB friends were there, and we were treated to panel discussions on artificial intelligence, the future of self-driving cars, recreational opportunities (especially through media) for those with visual disabilities, and high school age entrepreneurs who design products for visually impaired and blind people.


Then on Saturday October 5, we attended Donna Sanchez's birthday party at the Vista San Jose location. We ate delicious pizza and cake, and talked to as many people as possible, including folks from Donna's church. The older I grow, the more I treasure birthday celebrations. I know this sounds corny, but it's such a gift to be alive, and to celebrate life with those for whom we care.


A week later, we again found ourselves at Vista San Jose, this time enjoying our Old Time Radio Tech Grant Fund-raiser. I hope I may be forgiven for boasting that John Glass was an outstanding emcee. I'll bet that Fibber McGee and Molly, Sergeant Friday, and the folks from "This Is Your FBI" never thought they'd help raise money for an access technology grant, but they sure added to our party fun. So did those who brought yummy baked goods. Be sure to check out this month's "Snack Shack" column for Lynette Kersey's 2 cookie recipes.


October 19 brought us together again for another SVCB meeting, this one alive with member stories of their most recent life adventures.


I joined our chapter in 2005. Before that time, I had almost zero interactions with other blind people. This wasn't because I didn't want to be with blind people. It was because my job as a college English professor placed me in settings where, but for the occasional visually impaired student enrolled in my classes, I just wasn't bumping into anyone who was blind. My colleagues were all sighted. My job was my life, and my social life was with my colleagues.


That all changed in September of 2005 when I joined SVCB. Now I can't imagine my life without my blind friends and colleagues in it. I'm rich beyond measure because of you. Corny again, you say? Well, too bad. It's how I feel. I'm so grateful for all of you.


Be sure to read Mike Keithley's "Membership Corner" carefully. In it, you'll see our slate of candidates for next year's SVCB officers and board. The slate was prepared by our Nominating Committee, John Glass and Lorraine Brown. Come to the November meeting ready to elect our new officers, and remember that you can nominate someone not on the slate, or run for a position yourself.


And speaking of elections, we hope that our November program will focus on the various voting machines and other options now available to us. See you there.



by Mike Keithley


Our daughter Pam, who lives in Boise Idaho, tells a story of how a flock of geese lackadaisically walked across a busy intersection in the middle of town, and she was there. Those birds just took their time, and everyone stopped, having a great time. I'm sure there were lots of cell phones out taking pictures.


So that's our White Cane Safety Day adventure in 2020. Let's try Grant Road/237 and El Camino Real. And there's a nice sandwich place next door to Wallgreens.


Let's wish happy November birthdays to Alicia Carrillo, Naomi Grubb, David Hoffman, Perla Kohs, Rob Turner, Vivian Younger, and Steve Lehnhoff. And if you need another reason to come to the November meeting, you can sing a Happy Birthday to them there.


We had an entertaining program at the October meeting. We told stories:


Susan Glass described what it's like to own a horse named Travis, Bev Clifford participated in an active shooter drill, John Glass told us about an inspiring AIRA adventure, Suzanne Smith described a cruise, and silly King quipped about a talking elevator at the Palo Alto Medical Center. And there was more!


If anyone doubts it, we visually impaired people live full lives, and you can hear the program at


For the November program, we are working on having people from the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters show us the new equipment we can use to vote in person in the 2020 elections. We had an article about this in last month's newsletter. This event isn't firm yet, so stay tuned for the Phone Tree message.


At the October business meeting, the slate of candidates for SVCB's 2020 administration was announced by Nominating Committee Chair John Glass, with help from Lorraine Brown. The slate is:


Rob Turner: President; Mike Keithley: Vice President; Carol Silveria: Corresponding Secretary; Gail Roe: Recording Secretary; Victor Clifford: Treasurer; and Naomi Grub: Board member


Remember that you can nominate yourself, or anyone else, from the floor.


Another important decision at the business meeting was to raise SVCB membership dues to $20 per year. This was in response to a decision by CCB to raise its dues to $10. It was also decided that those who joined SVCB this year using the $13 rate will not be asked for more money. You can bring your 2020 dues to the November meeting and give them to Victor Clifford.


I am happy to announce that Lynette Kersey will start a new column in this newsletter concerning new members. I used to do this regularly, but I gave the job to King, and he's been silent. "Don't listen to him, he's a liar." Yes sir, I lie around all the time. "You see, he twists my words, too; oughtta kick him out."


Don't miss the holiday party! It will be at the Silicon Valley Blind Center on Saturday, December 14. Do plan to come! You can register by giving your money to Victor Clifford at the November meeting, or by 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 guests.


Party planning is still going on, but Armadillo Willy's will likely be our caterer, so expect great food.


Be on the lookout for the fall SVCB membership list.



by Michelle McGrew


Everyone who attended our Old-Time Radio Show Fund-Raiser had a great time listening to a variety of shows, visiting with friends, and enjoying many tasty snacks! Thanks to all who worked together to put this show on: the Tech Grant Committee, our volunteers, our bakers and shoppers, John Glass, those who suggested shows to play, and all who attended! In addition to raising funds at the event itself, we also received some donations and have been selling extra snacks and beverages in lieu of our October Cookies of the Month, so we thank these supporters, too! We still have more snacks and beverages to sell, but as of this writing, we have raised $300 from admission, $161 from concessions sold at the event, $62 in donations, and another $105 from snacks and beverages sold after the event, for a total of $628!


Have you gotten your large print/braille calendar for next year? At the time of this writing, I only have 15 left! These calendars, featuring artwork by blind and visually impaired people of all ages, cost $10 each. They are great to share with others! To reserve yours, 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


In my last report, I forgot to tell you about the drawing we had at our September meeting! SVCB purchased two emergency backpack kits to raffle after our September program on disaster preparedness. Congratulations to our winners, Rob Turner and Mike Keithley! Thanks to all who participated in this special raffle! We sold $133 in tickets. So, after expenses, we raised $47.78!


And, thanks to all who got tickets for our 50/50 raffle at our October meeting! We sold $105 in tickets, so SVCB and our winner each received $52.50. Congratulations to our lucky winner, John Glass!


At our November meeting, we're having another raffle! This one will feature donated items, so get ready to do some early holiday shopping! Prizes include: beauty products, a football-shaped container and a picture frame ornament, an evening clutch, a fondue set with 3 forks, a green candle, a hummingbird pin in a small jewelry box, a Japanese trinket container, a magenta scarf, a hat and gloves set, a pewter pin with a 3 fish design, a set of pillowcases with a cross stitch rose design, a wooden collapsible basket, and 2 sets of Christmas paper, bags, and cards. Tickets are $1 each or $5 for six.


As you may recall, our September Cookies of the Month fund-raiser featured Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies with Pecans. We concluded our sales of these cookies by selling another 15 bags in early October!


Our Cookies of the Month fund-raiser, to benefit our tech grant fund, returns in November with some holiday cookies baked by Suzanne Smith and Michelle McGrew! Watch the Phone Tree for details. And speaking of what's to come, if you would like to volunteer to bake cookies for next year, please contact me as listed above.


SVCB is again selling chocolate! At our November meeting, we plan to 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).


At the end of September, we ordered our first supply of candy bars for the Fall. We've already sold three of the four boxes! So, provided that the weather stays cooler, I will order more candy bars in early November. If all goes as planned, we will have four kinds of milk chocolate bars (roasted almond, creamy caramel, crispy rice, and plain) and a limited number of dark chocolate with roasted almonds. These sell for $1 each.


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 for any of these items, or for chocolate, contact me as listed above.


See you at the November meeting!



by Bev Clifford


This is going to be a very short and boring article as, sadly, I have nothing new to report. No one, other than the two members who have already stepped up for the months of January and April, has offered to bring goodies to our meetings in 2020. Come on, guys, glab your months! Otherwise (and imagine the following couple sentences in my Boris Karloff voice), "ghosties and ghoulies and long-legged beasties may come grab YOU on Halloween night, or maybe even sometime in early November! And who knows where they will take you, or what might happen to you there! Do you reeee-ally want to find out?" My goodness, your Goodies Chairperson would be distressed beyond measure if such a thing should come about, so I think you know what to do; and if the above warning from Boris is any indication, you'd better do it quick! Just call our SVCB phone number (1-888-652-5333) and leave me a message, or drop me an email at, or look me up in our SVCB membership list and contact me by phone or email directly. I will be woo-oo-oo-oozy with joy to hear from you!



Introduction by Michelle McGrew

Recipes submitted by Lynette Kersey


When we were planning our snacks for our Old-Time Radio Show Fund-raiser, Lynette volunteered to prepare some cookies for us to enjoy. She made two kinds of cookies, both of which are "No Bake" cookies. As I've been selling our extra snacks from our Radio Show event, several people have asked, "What is a "no bake" cookie?" So, I asked Lynette if she would share her recipes with us. She graciously agreed to do so!


Lynette found both of these recipes on the internet, from a blog called "Spend with Pennies." The Oatmeal Cookie recipe includes some additional options in the notes following the recipe, but Lynette didn't use these options when she made them for us. But she added a tasty addition to the Cornflake Cookies! Here are the recipes:


No Bake Oatmeal Cookies



1 cup butter (2 sticks), room temperature

1-1/2 cups sugar

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 cup milk (Lynette used almond milk)

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup creamy peanut butter

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

6 cups quick cooking oats, dry

1 cup graham cracker crumbs, optional (or use extra oats as Lynette did)




Add butter, both sugars, milk, cocoa powder, and salt to large saucepan over medium heat. Stir to combine, and bring the mixture to a rolling boil. Hold for 1 minute, and then remove from heat.


Stir the peanut butter into the hot mixture until melted. Stir in the vanilla extract. Add the oats to the mix, and stir until fully coated. If the batter is too soft, mix in the 1 cup graham cracker crumbs, or extra oats 1/4 cup at a time.


Using an ice cream scoop or large spoon, scoop the batter and shape into balls or cookies. Flatten the cookies slightly. Place them on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Let them cool to room temperature, and chill for one hour before serving.


Blogger's notes: Top with chocolate chips or dried fruit immediately after placing cookies on the baking sheet. You can also dip them in chocolate after they've been chilled.


What to do if the cookies aren't setting: You may have to use 1/2 cup more oats if using brown sugar. If you use old-fashioned oats, you may have to add 1/2 cup more oats. If the cookies are too dry and crumbly, you can add a bit of melted coconut oil one tablespoon at a time.


No Bake Peanut Butter Cornflake Cookies




1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup corn syrup (such as Karo)

1 cup creamy peanut butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

6 cups cornflakes




In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, and peanut butter. Cook over medium high heat until the center starts to boil. Make sure to stir constantly so the sugar doesn't burn.


As soon as the sugar mixture comes to a boil, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract and cornflakes. Mix until the cornflakes are evenly coated in the sugar mixture.


Use an ice cream scoop to drop the cookies onto wax paper; do this as quickly as possible, before the mixture starts to cool and harden. Let the cookies cool on the wax paper for 20 minutes before enjoying.


Note from Lynette: I mixed 1 cup of butterscotch chips in with the cornflakes. You can also use chocolate chips if desired.



by Mike Keithley


Save the Date!


California Council of the Blind Is Pleased to Announce Its 2020 Vision for the Future: The 2020 CCB Conference and Convention

June 3-8, 2020

Double Tree Hilton Hotel Fresno Convention Center, 2233 Ventura St., Fresno, CA 93721


Informational General Sessions

Breakout Presentations

Friends, old and new!


Exhibit Hall

Volunteer Opportunities


For more information, call the CCB Office at Toll Free number 800-221-6359 or 916-441-2100, or email us at You can also visit our website at


And here is a Tidbit offering from your editor Susan Glass. You may remember that about a year ago, I collaborated with Mr. Jay Gluckman on an article about the Bay Area's Magical Bridge playgrounds, and I told you about spending time at the one in Palo Alto. These playgrounds are designed to include all kids, disabled and nondisabled. WELL, here is an update from Jill Asher of the Magical Bridge Foundation. It's about the Palo Alto playground, and also about a so special group of young filmmakers who are creating a documentary about the playground. Read on and enjoy.




We are so thrilled and honored to share the release of "Building the Bridge," a documentary on the realization of the Magical Bridge Playground in Palo Alto, California. This film was created by students from Options For All, and told through the lens of disabled filmmakers.


Options For All Film and Media Studio is located in Sunnyvale, California, and is a hands-on vocational service which trains and teaches individuals with developmental disabilities to become filmmakers, and pursue employment in the film and multimedia industry.  This is their very first project in the Bay Area and we are so proud to have them create and share our journey to bring Magical Bridge to life, and highlight the profound and positive impact we have on the communities we touch. We hope when you consider your film and media needs, you reach out to the team at Options For All.


Watch the Magical Bridge Playground Documentary


It's Coming Along! We are forging forward with construction of Magical Bridge Playground in Redwood City's Red Morton Park.  Here is a video update on the playground project and we are now targeting a Valentine's Day Weekend 2020 opening! We appreciate your support and patience as we build this playground, which will give the joy of play to EVERYONE in Redwood City and San Mateo County (and beyond).


Watch the September 2019 Update on Magical Bridge Playground coming to Redwood City.


EVENT CALENDAR: November through December, 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




Nov 1 to 17: THE TIN WOMAN; Tabard Theatre; see notes.


Nov 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


Nov 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.


Nov 15, 9:30 AM to 1 PM: SVCB meeting; elect the 2020 SVCB Administration; announce Budget Committee.


Nov 19, 5:30 to 7 PM: Let's Talk Low Vision; What's New In Low Vision Aids; 712-432-3447, with ID 145330#; see notes.


Nov 22, December In Touch newsletter deadline.


Dec 3, 5:30 to 7 PM: Breast Cancer Support Group.


Dec 5, 7 to 9 PM: SVCB Board meeting.


Dec 6 to 22, A TAFFETA CHRISTMAS; Tabard Theatre; see notes.


Dec 14, 11 AM to 3 PM: SVCB holiday party. See Membership Corner in this newsletter.


Dec 17, 5:30 to 7 PM: Let's Talk Low Vision; Glare and Lighting; see notes.


Dec 26, noon: January, 2020 newsletter deadline.


Dec 27 at 2 PM, 28 at 8 PM and 29 at 8 PM: PRIDE AND PREJUDICE; The Visual Voice; TheatreWorks, Lucie Stern.


Dec 28, 2 PM: THE DONNA SUMMERS MUSICAL; AudioVision; Golden Gate Theatre.