A Chapter of the California Council of the Blind

May 2020


EDITOR: Susan Glass,

COPY EDITOR: Beverly Clifford,

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

DEADLINE: for the June, 2020 issue: noon, May 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 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.



* Editor's Desk

* President's Message

* Membership Corner

* Atomic Antics

* Fund-Raising Report

* Ramblers Calming Presence Eases Anxiety

* Nourishing Your Body

* Eyes Free Fitness

* Event Calendar




This issue of In Touch has been super fun to prepare because of the number of you who contributed articles. What you find within these pages will surely raise your Spring spirits.


Rob's President's message starts us off with a well-deserved salute to long-time SVCB member and friend Dawn Wilcox. Abby Tamara's piece "Nourishing Your Body," offers excellent nutrition tips, sources, and recipes. Abby, I can't wait to try making those On The Run Black Bean Burgers.


Mike and Star Keithley are hosting some unusual feathered house guests. Read about them, and about our May SVCB birthday celebrants in Mike's "Membership Corner."


"Spring has put the mischief in me," says the speaker in Robert Frost's poem "Mending Wall." You'll be feeling mischievous, too, after reading Noel Runyon's article "Atomic Antics, Capers, Hijinks, Mischief-making, and Pranks."


I'm sure you all remember Michelle's former guide dog Rambler McGrew. He's made a heart-warming career change as you'll see when you read Michele's article.


Lately I've been rising at dawn to enjoy my life-long hobby of bird listening. Attached to the email version of this newsletter, you will find a short mp3 file with recordings of a House Finch, and a Lesser Gold Finch, singing at my bird feeder. These are common backyard birds that I'm sure you are hearing every day. The warbling tune in the recording belongs to the House Finch, and the wistful, single call notes and tweets to the Gold Finch. For those of you who can see, here are descriptions of each bird taken from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology All About Birds website.


House Finch: Small finch with a conical seed-eating bill. Like other finches, it has a notched tail. Adult males are rosy red around the face and upper breast, with a streaky brown back, belly, and tail.


Lesser Gold Finch: Small finch with a conical bill. Adult males are yellow below with a glossy black cap and white patches in the wings. Their backs can be solid glossy black or dull green, particularly west of the Rockies.


And one final editorial note: To make the beginnings of articles in this newsletter easier to find, I will use 3 asterisks ***  as article separators. Thank you, Noel, for this suggestion. Please, all, let me know if you find the asterisks helpful.




by Rob Turner


I am declaring April 2020 "Hats Off to Dawn Wilcox" Month. For many years, Dawn served on our Phone Tree Committee, keeping our members informed about chapter events, and offering support as needed. She also served on our Hospitality Committee and made sure that during meetings we got the goodies and drinks we wanted. She contributed recipes to our cookbook and, if I'm not mistaken, even baked cookies for the Cookie of the Month fund-raiser. For years, she organized the Jingliers, a bunch of SVCB members willing to ring bells, play spoons, and sing at our holiday parties. She is still active in the community, serving as a volunteer at Vista Center's health library where she does research concerning diseases of the eye. Dawn, thanks for all you do.


We probably won't be able to have an in-person May meeting, so we'll have to meet using our conference line. We will discuss this at our upcoming board meeting, but I would expect to meet at the usual date and time. We need to elect delegates to the CCB virtual convention and select a volunteer to serve on the Nominating Committee. We will notify you of the meeting details shortly after our Board meets on Thursday May 7.


As we approach the sixth week of stay-at-home, delivery services such as Instacart and Doordash are finally doing a better job of keeping up with demand. Recently I placed an order in the morning, and it showed up by mid-afternoon.


Stay safe and well, everyone, and enjoy this lovely spring weather. I look forward to speaking with you all at our May meeting.



by Mike Keithley


So how y'all doin'? Star and I are doing well. We go to Knob Hill for groceries, Walgreens for medications, and Cuesta and Sylvan parks for very pleasant walks. And as I described in our last SVCB teleconference, there's a bird's nest in the top drawer of the patio table. And there are four youngsters in there. They seem to be well, even though their mother is obviously keeping an eye on us bummer humans. We had a "social distance picnic" on the porch and the lawn, and everyone agrees we're witnessing a miracle. The birds have been here for a week, but they'll likely be gone soon.


It looks like we'll not have an in-person meeting in May, but we will have a virtual meeting at 10 AM Saturday morning, the usual meeting time. The current plan is to have a social hour from 10 to 11 AM, and a business meeting after 11. It looks like plans for CCB's virtual convention are ripening, and we have to elect Delegate and Alternate Delegate, plus consider resolutions. The call-in is 800-662-6992, with ID 1184109.


One really encouraging aspect of SVCB shelter-in-place life is the weekly virtual meetings. They're now scheduled for Wednesday afternoons from 4 to 5 PM. The call-in number is 800-662-6992, with ID code 1184109. I hope that once we return to normal living, at least one weekly meeting remains. I can't think of a better way to keep us interested in what's going on with our members, and we have an opportunity to hear from people like Mickey and Sandy Quenzer from Kentucky and David Hunter from Virginia. So please put Wednesdays at 4 PM on your calendar.


Let's wish happy May birthdays to Anna Bolino, John McNulty, John Glass, Susan Glass, and Dawn Wilcox.



Noel Runyan


This first atomic caper story is one of several from my collaboration with Leon Cooper, our favorite high school chemistry teacher, and fountain of fascinating stories.


Deb and I grew up in Los Alamos, New Mexico, where the first atomic bomb was developed. It was a small, isolated community with only one movie theater, no drive-in, and only limited other venues for entertainment. Therefore, we youngsters had to get creative to come up with our own forms of fun. Intelligent, carefully thought-out capers were greatly prized by kids, and even more so if they left school principals and other adult authorities frowning hard (often while trying their best to not let a laugh or smile escape their lips).


A Dennis the Menace mischief kit got me started with pranks and capers, after a great response to a fake ink spill I set up in the cubby hole in my third grade desk.


Proper capers with real style endangered nobody, were not vandalistic, and were not real crimes. Some of our most sophisticated capers were in the form of senior graduation pranks.


Due to the statute of limitations, it is now finally safe to reveal these capers. However, most of the names have been withheld to continue to protect the not so innocent. Similarly, many of our caper stories have been written from a third-person viewpoint, in order to limit possible incrimination of the authors.


The flagpole was the focus of many capers such as a trash can placed high atop the pole, streamers of girl's panties flapping in place of the flag, and other flagpole capers. If you like this first caper about the moving flagpole, we can share many others. We would also like to encourage other members to write up and share their favorite caper stories.


The Moving Flagpole Caper


The Los Alamos High School complex was constructed in stages as the town grew into a city over the course of some twenty years. The high school library became so cramped that a larger facility was needed. Planners came up with a modern design for a new "IMC" (Instructional Materials Center) in the middle of the open area in front of the school. The flagpole stood right in the center of the future structure, so it's removal was the first order of work.


The heavy aluminum flagpole stood 120 feet in height, the tallest flagpole in New Mexico. It was firmly anchored in a large cylindrical mass of cement about four feet in diameter by eight feet deep. Massive equipment was required for removing the pole intact and laying it off to the side.


It was April of 1967, the time of year when devious students were considering options for the annual senior prank. Now keep in mind, the dozen or so of those devious characters almost always included the top scholars in the class. The flagpole might be a useful object for the prank. As mentioned previously, the senior pranks were never supposed to be destructive, didn't involve material costs to the school or community, and didn't harm anyone.


Creative minds went to work. How could the flagpole be incorporated into a unique prank? Numerous ideas were tossed around, but most required too much time and effort. After all, the enormous aluminum flagpole weighed more than a ton which, combined with the massive concrete base, made it difficult to manage.


A plan was chosen, and the wheels of progress began to grind. A few nights later, the clandestine group dressed in dark clothing, and went to work. All tools had been collected, and all measurements had been taken. They were ready.


Several kids equipped themselves with walkie talkies and secreted themselves at strategic places, in order to report on any police patrols cruising near the school. The others erected a tent made from a tarp over the concrete base, and proceeded to saw the flagpole from the concrete. Still others used a master key to enter the double doors leading into the high school D wing near the Little Theater, giving them access to the hallways. The D, C, B, and A wings were intersected by the main hallway leading to the front lobby and main entrance to the school.


The bolts holding the center post of the D wing door, as well as those holding the hallway door center posts, had to be removed with wrenches, to permit the temporary removal of the center posts.


The assortment of heavy equipment that had been brought to the high school construction site for excavation and construction of the IMC facility included a front-end loader. One of the kids became familiar with the operation of the loader through watching the operator a few days earlier. This student managed to start the engine, and moved the front loader up to the flag pole's formerly attached concrete base, picked it up gently, and drove to the high school D wing door. With only inches to spare, he entered D wing, proceeded to the main hallway, made a left turn at B wing and drove to the south end. He cautiously lowered the concrete base onto a wooden pallet that his friends had placed there to protect the floor.


A 12 by 12-inch fresh air vent was removed from the northern end wall of the hallway, providing an opening large enough for passing the flagpole through. Fifteen big kids spaced themselves along the pole, lifted it to their shoulders, and marched over to the opening. As each few feet of the pole was passed through the opening, one kid would run into the hall and shoulder the pole, repeatedly, until the entire pole was inside the B wing hall. It was then placed level on blocks, and the pole and concrete base were joined by spot welding at the joint, after which the joint was smoothed and painted with aluminum paint. Their work was excellent; the joint wasn't noticeable. The air vent was replaced in the north end wall, thus completing the job.


The tractor front loader was parked back in its regular place at the construction site, and everything else was restored "as was." The entire job was well planned and went off without a hitch, the total time being little over three hours. Parents, teachers, and others were unaware of the "night shift" mischief job until after school started the following morning. Only one teacher and perhaps twenty students were in on the caper.


The situation was that everyone attending classes in B, C, and D wings had to step high to get over the pole extending across the intersection at B wing. The principal wasn't amused; he called the superintendent, who also was not amused. The superintendent called school maintenance people to assess the problem and figure out how to remove the pole from B wing. Even people from the Zia Company, who took care of all maintenance and construction in Los Alamos, were called in to consult, but no one could figure out how the pole appeared in the hallway. They were sure there was no way the pole, along with its massive concrete base, could have been set there without removing the roof. They checked the roof; it hadn't been tampered with. They checked the mortar between the concrete blocks in the end walls; it hadn't been tampered with.


The flagpole remained in B wing for two days before the superintendent announced that it would have to be cut up in short lengths and hauled away. It was at this point that a chemistry teacher instructed one of the main instigators to suggest to a janitor that the pole could be cut from the concrete base, thus saving it from destruction, and that, after removing the small air vent at the end of the wing, twenty men might be able to pass it out through the opening. And if they'd remove the metal center pole from the double doors at the front entrance, they might be able to place the concrete base on heavy duty dollies and roll it down the hall and out the front of the school. The lowly janitor earned a lot of points that day, since the school's administration successfully followed his "brilliant" suggestions to a "T".


A chemistry teacher was later quizzed by the principal as to whether he had any idea as to who the culprits might have been. The "baffled" teacher had to plead total ignorance.


Case closed.



by Michelle McGrew


I regret to inform everyone that SVCB has made the difficult decision to cancel its upcoming tech grant fund-raising event at Marie Callender's that was scheduled for May 18-19, 2020. With everyone still sheltering in place and not knowing when these orders will be lifted, we decided that it would be better to cancel the event. Once we can hold this event again, we will reschedule our fund-raiser. If you were able to spread the word about our upcoming event at Marie Callender's, please let your contacts know that the event has been cancelled, and encourage them to watch our website for the rescheduled event once the shelter-in-place orders have been lifted.


Please note that although the tech grant fund-raiser has been cancelled, we are continuing with our plans to award a tech grant. If you or someone you know would like to make a contribution to this fund, please make checks payable to SVCB, write "tech grant" in the memo line, and mail your check to the address at the top of this newsletter.


I'm pleased to announce that the Fund-Raising Committee has been hard at work, making plans for the transition when I move. Darin and I still don't know the revised timing of our move, but when that time comes, here are the committee's plans:


Naomi and Lupe will continue to sell items at the Blind Center on Wednesdays, and Carol will handle sales at the SVCB membership meetings. Carol will purchase items we source locally, and Rob will purchase items that we order from out-of-state. Lupe will arrange for our tech grant fund-raisers at marie Callender's. Lynette will coordinate our Cookies of the Month tech grant fund-raiser, and help with other phone calling on behalf of the Fund-Raising Committee. Carol and Naomi will be in charge of organizing our auctions and raffles, and Carol will continue to collect our donated items for these events. We're still not sure who will braille the raffle tickets, but if you can help with this, please let one of our committee members know. Carol will also be our new Fund-Raising Committee Chairperson. As Chair, she will coordinate events, keep track of inventory, and write our newsletter reports and give updates at the Membership and Board meetings. And, of course, I will assist with the transition in whatever ways I can. Thank you, Committee, for jumping in to help out in so many ways!


The coronavirus continues to impact our ability to do fund-raising, and with the continuation of the shelter-in-place mandate, we still do not know when our fund-raising activities will return to normal. However, one of our members purchased two boxes of candy bars to donate to two firemen she knows, and a bunch of bags of Welch's Fruit Snacks to give to children in her neighborhood for a special Easter treat. You may not be in a position to do something like this, but if you would still like to support SVCB, remember that you can always send in a tax-deductible contribution. Please make checks payable to SVCB, write "general donation" or "tech grant donation" in the memo line, and mail them to the address at the top of this newsletter.


Given that we were unable to meet in April, our raffle featuring donated items is postponed until our next in-person meeting. Prizes currently include a package of Snake Eggs singing magnets, an egg poacher (holds 2 eggs), a kitchen towel and dishcloth set, a collection of "happy birthday" gift bags and tags, a clear round glass vase, and two books: “Three Cups of Tea”, by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin (on CD), and “The Kitchen God's Wife”, by Amy Tan (on cassette). Tickets are $1 each or $5 for six.


Our Cookies of the Month fund-raiser is temporarily on hold. But we will work with our bakers to reschedule our March and April cookies once we can safely resume this fund-raiser.


Getting low on chocolate? As you know, we sell chocolate bars from Van Wyk Confections and Meltaways from Bakers Candies. Since we are all sheltering in place, I can't get more chocolate to you right now, but if you would like to reserve an order to pick up once we can meet again, here are the details: Meltaways come in four-ounce bags containing about 13 individually-wrapped chocolates, and sell for $4 per bag. I currently have the following flavors available: three kinds of dark chocolate (plain, orange, and cherry), six kinds of milk chocolate (plain, peanut butter, coconut, raspberry, mocha, and caramel), and the assorted (mix of both dark and milk chocolates). (Sorry, we're sold out of both mint chocolates and the dark chocolate sea salt caramel.)


You may also reserve candy bars. We 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. The candy bars sell for $1 each.


Or, you may wish to reserve some of our other snacks! Choose from the following: nut mix (with either sweetened dried cranberries or with chunks of dark chocolate), Kirkland Nut Bars (contains a sprinkle of salt and a little chocolate), and the last of the Welch's Fruit Snacks (2.2-ounce bags of chewy fruit-flavored candies, in the following flavors: Mixed Fruit, Island Fruit, Apple Orchard Medley, and Strawberry). 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 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


Please stay tuned to the Phone Tree for further updates. In the meantime, stay safe and well!




Submitted by Michelle McGrew


[Note from Michelle: Many of you know that in 2018, my black Labrador Rambler guided me for five-and-a-half months before changing careers due to his anxiety around traffic. Rambler now serves as a facility dog. Darin recently found the following article about Rambler, published early this year by Dogs for Better Lives (DBL) in their 2019 Annual Report. I thought you'd enjoy reading this informative article about Rambler's new job, too.]


One gentleman reluctantly returning for additional cognitive testing for Alzheimer's disease at Spokane Psychology and Neuropsychology said, "The only reason I'm here is because I want to see the dog."


Rambler is just the reassurance many of the patients need when they come to see neuropsychologist Winifred Daisley. From toddlers to seniors, Winifred works with people who have brain function effects from diseases such as dementia, tumors, and Parkinson's disease, as well as injuries from concussion or stroke, and learning and behavior issues like autism and ADHD.


"Working with the population I do, I thought it would be comforting and reassuring if we had a well-trained, reliable service dog," Winifred said. "It has turned out far better than we had even hoped."


Rambler is the successor of Jackson, Winifred's first dog from DBL. A rescue who was starved as a puppy, Jackson was too distracted by food to be a Hearing Assistance Dog, so he made a career change as one of DBL's first Facility Dogs.


"I had a patient with post-traumatic stress disorder that couldn't talk about those experiences unless he sat on the floor with Jackson," Winifred said. "He would pet Jackson's head and then begin to talk."


After Jackson died, Rambler took his place.


"Rambler has an incredibly calm disposition," Winifred said. "When people first come to a psychologist's office, they often have anxiety. A sweet dog to greet them is comforting." Winifred has lots of stories about how the two dogs have influenced patients and staff. She's seen people with dementia brighten up and come to life when they see a dog. She's seen children on the autism spectrum who have difficulty relating to people happily interact with a dog, showing more of their true potential. She believes more psychology offices could benefit from service dogs.


"I think a lot of my professional colleagues don't even know about this resource," she said. "We aren't given a class in how to work with an animal as part of training. But both my dad and my grandpa were veterinarians, so I know how amazing animals can be."




by Abby Tamara


Nourishing Your Body: Now more important than ever to ensure you have the strongest immune system possible


As a child, I developed an eating disorder at an early age. In the home I grew up in, there were no meals prepared for breakfast or lunch, and dinner happened at 8 PM. I suffered deprivation and abuse. Whatever was in the pantry or refrigerator was how my siblings and I fed ourselves. As an adult, I would go into a grocery store not knowing what to buy, and leave the store without having purchased anything. As a result, I have become very interested in nutrition and how foods contribute to health and longevity, and not disease and death.


I will be sharing interesting information on ways we can increase our nutrition/immune systems, and will also include some recipes.


Blue Zones are areas in the world where individuals live the longest. One of them is in Loma Linda, CA, where there is a large Seventh Day Adventist population. There are a number of things Blue Zones have in common, including a primarily plant-based diet and eating beans, nuts, and seeds.


Dirty Dozen™ and Clean Fifteen™


Every year, lists are published of the Dirty Dozen™ (crops with the highest amount of pesticides) and "Clean Fifteen™" (crops with the least amount of pesticides). Dirty Dozen™ items should be eaten organic. Strawberries are the food that consistently appears as number 1 on the Dirty Dozen™ list. Here are the lists for 2020:


Dirty Dozen™


1. Strawberries

2. Spinach

3. Kale

4. Nectarines

5. Apples

6. Grapes

7. Peaches

8. Cherries

9. Pears

10. Tomatoes


11. Celery

12. Potatoes


Clean Fifteen™


1. Avocado

2. Sweet Corn

3. Pineapple

4. Onion

5. Papaya

6. Sweet Peas Frozen

7. Eggplant

8. Asparagus

9. Cauliflower

10. Cantaloupes

11. Broccoli

12. Mushrooms

13. Cabbage

14. Honeydew Melon

15. Kiwi


Many medical conditions require specific diets. Be sure to check with your physician before changing your diet if you require a specific kind of diet.

Moving to a whole foods, plant-based diet has been shown to have many health benefits. Dr. Joel Fuhrman uses the acronym, G-BOMBS (Greens, Beans, Onions, Mushrooms, Berries and Seeds) as foods that are the most beneficial to be eaten every day. In following many of his recipes, as well as other recipes, I will also be telling you things I have learned about ingredients. Here are some of those things:


• An individual I know who is legally blind recommended the use of chef gloves for cutting vegetables. My friend only uses a chef's glove on the hand that is not using the knife. Here is an Amazon link to 2 pairs of chef's gloves at level 5 protection for $9.99.


• • Here is a link to a website for how to measure your glove size if you don't already know it:


• Mushrooms should only be eaten cooked to avoid a carcinogen (argaritine)


• When using cinnamon, use Ceylon cinnamon vs. Cassia or Saigon, which is a form of Cassia, due to coumarin content. Ceylon cinnamon is sold in spice areas of markets, as well as in larger amounts cheaper at


• Use non-alkalized cocoa powder (alkalization affects the major nutritional benefits of cocoa powder). If cocoa powder has gone through alkalization, the ingredients usually say something like "cocoa powder with alkaline"


• When using tomato products (chopped tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, etc...) due to their acidic content, buy products in cartons or glass jars


• Aim for no more than 300 mg. of sodium a day in addition to what is naturally in vegetables and fruits. As you learn to live without salt, your taste buds develop. Use other non-sodium seasonings to further enhance flavors


• Oils are healthier when they come from avocados, nuts, and seeds. Processed oils, including Olive Oil, enter the blood stream very quickly and spike blood sugar, whereas avocados, nuts, and seeds enter the blood stream slowly


• When using dates for sweetening, if you use Medjool dates, you only need half the amount you would use if you use Deglet Noor dates.


• When adding beans to your diet, you may need to use bean pastas or tofu until you get more used to eating beans on a regular basis. The closer you are to eating the whole food (beans), the more nutritious the food. Tofu, bean pastas, bean flours, and soy milk are all processed forms of beans. If you buy beans already cooked, you can buy sodium-free beans at Whole Foods and Sprouts.


• When buying anything processed (example soy milk), look for the fewest and healthiest ingredients. The plain, unsweetened organic soy milk I purchase has the following ingredients: water, organic soybeans


• My largest meal is a very large salad. Here are ingredients for a typical salad (determined by what I have on hand): kale, arugula, broccoli, sweet pepper, radishes, ginger, turmeric, tomatoes, beans, quinoa, cabbage, flax and hemp seeds, scallions, carrots, cauliflower, berries, non-oil homemade salad dressing, or flavored vinegar.


• When cutting up vegetables, I save the scraps in bags in the freezer for when I make vegetable broth.

• On the Run Black Bean Burgers

Serves: 4



1. 1/2 cups cooked or 1 (15 ounce) can no-salt added or low sodium black beans, drained

1/4 cup minced onion

2. cloves garlic, finely chopped

3. tablespoons low sodium ketchup

1. tablespoon low sodium mustard

1/4 cup old-fashioned oats



Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.


In a mixing bowl, partially mash beans with a fork. Stir in onions, garlic, ketchup, and mustard, then mix in the oats.


Divide into 4 burgers and place on a baking pan lined with parchment paper (I use a silicon mat). Bake for 10 minutes, carefully flip, and bake for another 10 minutes.


Per Serving: Calories 101; PROTEIN 6g; CARBOHYDRATES 19g; SUGARS 2g; TOTAL FAT 0.5g; SATURATED FAT 0.1g; SODIUM 47mg; FIBER 6.1g; BETA-CAROTENE 43ug; VITAMIN C 2mg; CALCIUM 26mg; IRON 1.5mg; FOLATE 99ug; MAGNESIUM 50mg; POTASSIUM 284mg; ZINC 0.8mg; SELENIUM 2.3ug


Note: When making bean burgers, if the batter is too loose to make the patties, add extra old-fashioned oats. I usually double the recipe and put extras in the freezer. Depending on your oven, times may need to be increased to complete cooking.


Better for you Ketchup


Jen Finn

Serves: 24

Preparation Time: 15 minutes




4 Medjool or 8 regular dates, pitted

1. cup water

12 ounces no-salt-added tomato paste (see note)

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon paprika

pinch allspice



Blend water and dates in blender until very smooth. Pour into saucepan with other ingredients, and whisk together on medium-low heat until bubbly. Chill and serve. I store this ketchup in glass jars in the refrigerator.


Notes: Select tomato products packaged in glass or cartons. These materials do not contain BPA.





Creamy Avocado Dressing


Laura from Australia (Body2Mind)

Serves: 4

Preparation Time: 5 minutes


2. ripe avocados, peeled, pitted, and chopped

3. tablespoons nutritional yeast

1/4 cup small shallots, according to taste

1/4 cup white wine vinegar



Blend all ingredients in a high-powered blender until smooth and creamy. You can modify amounts of shallot and non-dairy milk to adjust taste and consistency.


Note: Unlike most fruits, avocados start to ripen only after they are picked. Unripe, firm, and green fruit can take four to five days to ripen. A ripe avocado yields to gentle pressure, but is still firm. If your avocado is ripe before you are ready to eat it, it can be refrigerated to slow down the ripening process.





Submitted By Susan Glass


Following a tip from the ACB Leadership List, I launched the YouTube app on my phone and searched for the Eyes Free Fitness Channel. There I found the coolest set of work-outs, 26 in all, beautifully described and set to appropriate music—jazy for the cardio stuff, and mellow for the stretches and yoga and meditations. It turns out that you can also download and save the work-outs as zip files, which you then open on your computer or other player. Here are the work-outs that I've sampled thus far:

Gentle Work-Out Set, lower Body and Balance: (audio only): 18 minutes.

Gentle Work-Out Set, Upper Body and Core, (audio only): 18 minutes.

Gentle Work-Out Set, Cardio (audio only): 20 minutes.

Gentle Yoga for Beginners (audio only): 40 minutes.

Chair yoga (audio only): 43 minutes.

Other sets I'm eager to try include Sculpting with Weights, Slow Flow Yoga, Whole Body Stretch, Interval Training, and Strengthen for Balance. I've never before found work-out sets that are so well described that I can do them independently. You can also download document files that let you study the descriptions for each exercise.


The only person in my life not happy that I've found these work-outs is Omni. According to her, they interfere with our walking, jogging, sniffing, and lay-about time.




Compiled by Mike Keithley




Please note that a weekly SVCB conference is scheduled for 4 PM every Wednesday afternoon until sheltering at home has ended. Call-in: 800-662-6992, with ID code 1184109.


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


Calendar: May through June, 2020

May: Healthy Vision Month.


May 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


May 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 Rob Turner.


May 16, 10 to 12 PM: Virtual SVCB membership meeting; 800-662-6992, with ID 1184109; see Phone Tree message.


May 19, 5:30 to 7 PM: Let's Talk Low Vision; Curious About Convention? link: zoomddus/j/793242226. Or one-tap dialing from your mobile phone: +166990091281,793242226#; see notes.


May 22, noon: June newsletter deadline.


Jun 2, 5:30 to 7 PM: Breast Cancer Support Group.


Jun 4, 7 to 9 PM: SVCB board meeting.


Jun 19 and 20: CCB virtual Conference and Convention; see Phone Tree messages and June newsletter.


Jun 26, noon: July SVCB newsletter deadline.


Jun 26 and 27 at 8 PM and 29 at 6 PM: THE BOOK OF WILL; TheatreWorks, with descriptions by the Visual Voice; MVCPA.