A Chapter of the California Council of the Blind

November 2021

EDITOR: Susan Glass,

COPY EDITOR: Beverly Clifford,

ADDRESS: P.O. Box 4116, San Jose, CA 95125

DEADLINE: for the December, 2021 issue: noon, November, !! 2021

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 to 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.



by Rob Turner

Lisa Thomas, CCB treasurer, filed the required forms to have CCB's 501C3 tax status reinstated. She expects to have an update in four to six weeks.

I'm reading a book titled "People of Vision: A History of the American Council of the Blind." It's available from BARD in braille or on talking book. I chose the braille version. It got me thinking about history and the amazing changes that have taken place during my lifetime. I know that access to transportation and information is far from perfect, but we've sure come a long way since the 1950's. A couple weeks ago, I planned a trip to Palo Alto to withdraw money from a Credit Union and visit Mike and Star on my way home. I took the southbound 22 bus from Palo Alto, and asked the driver to stop at the far side of Grant Road. He forgot to call it out, and by the time the annunciator spoke it was too late to request the stop, and I had to get off at Sylvan instead. Today the problem was easily solved by summoning an Uber. When this same thing happened to me back in 2008 when I was staying with Mike and Star, that solution wasn't available. Back then the ride-hailing services didn't exist. At the time, Star commented that walking over highway 85 was dangerous and to call them rather than walk it.

I was adventurous back then, walked anyway, and made the crossing successfully. I figured Star would never find out about it, but I was wrong. A neighbor spotted me, told Star, and I was busted. I'd never try that crossing nowadays.

Our November meeting will be in-person and over Zoom. We have some ideas to improve the Zoom audio. I look forward to speaking with you then.



by Susan Glass

This program announcement comes from Perla Kohs. We are still working to arrange our November program, but the speaker will likely be Christina Fitzgerald, who is knowledgeable about both local and regional public transportation as well as Paratransit. She is currently part of a program to bring together people from various disabilities to work on advocacy for improvements in regional transportation for all persons with disabilities. Watch the Phone Tree message for updates.



by Mike Keithley

Birthdays are nice, don't you think so? "O yes, I used to try to get Master to do my birthday every day." Yes, and I used to say that would be boring. "Not for me! After all, today is today, tomorrow is tomorrow. But it didn't work; so my birthday is just tomorrow and tomorrow and ...."

So let's wish happy November birthdays to Naomi Grubb, David Hoffman, Perla Kohs, Rob Turner, Vivian Younger, Steve Lehnhoff, and SVCB, which is 34 years old. And if you need another reason to come to the November meeting, you can sing a Happy Birthday to them there. "And me too!"

The blind community lost a long-time advocate and mentor, Bernice Kandarian. Bernice passed on October 3. She was a founding member of SVCB, and of the California Council of Citizens with Low Vision (CCCLV), an affiliate of CCB. She was also a founding member of Council of Citizens with Low Vision International (CCLVI), the national ACB affiliate. CCLVI is looking for donations for an angel plaque on the ACB Angel Wall, a memorial space in the ACB national office. If you'd like to make a donation, call 502-749-4751 anytime from 9 AM to 9 PM Eastern, or mail a check to:

Council of Citizens with Low Vision International, 5401 Southern Pkwy, Louisville, KY 40214.

Our October membership meeting featured a presentation by Triet Hoang from the California Telephone Access Program, often called California Phones. Phones in this program are free to disabled Californians and feature amplified receivers, and large buttons with large print labels and braille. There are standard land-line phones, cordless phones, and an in-line dialer with capacity for many memory numbers.

Contact information:


Phone: 800-806-1191

The slate of candidates for SVCB's 2022 administration was announced at the October business meeting. Thank yous to chair Naomi Grubb, Lorraine Brown, and John Glass. The 2022 slate is:

  • President: Rob Turner (3rd term)
  • Vice President: Mike Keithley (3rd term)
  • Recording Secretary: Gail Roe (3rd term)
  • Corresponding Secretary: Carol Silveria (3rd term)
  • Treasurer: Victor Clifford (unlimited term)
  • Director 1: Joe Silveria (3rd term)
  • Director 2: Naomi Grubb (3rd term)
  • Director 3: John Glass (1st term)

Remember that you can nominate yourself, or anyone else, from the floor. "I've been trying for years to get elected president." Guess your reputation isn't too good, King. "Apparently so, but who cares, just can't get that point across."

The SVCB holiday party is coming up. It'll be on Saturday, December 11, from 11 AM to 3 PM. Registration is $20 for SVCB members and $25 for everyone else. It'll be at the San Jose Vista Center for the Blind, 101 North Bascom AVE, San Jose. You can register at the November meeting, through PayPal or mail a check.

We'll have catering from Armadillo Willy's, so expect a yummy feast. If you want vegetarian food, be sure to let Victor know. The Santa Clara Valley Fiddlers Association will be there to entertain us.

Be on the lookout for the fall membership list. it'll be distributed with this newsletter


FUND-RAISING REPORT for November 2021

by Carol Silveria

Hello everyone!

At present, we have no current news concerning CCB's 501C3 tax exempt status.

As I mentioned in last month's newsletter, as soon as CCB's 501C3 tax exempt status has been reinstated, we will start fund-raising again. In the meantime, have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and, as always, please keep yourselves safe and well!



by Bev Clifford (with mechanical help)

Hello, Hungry, Humans,

I, am, a, robot. My, name, is, Gulliver; your, Goodies, Guru. I, have, a, request. Someone, bring, goodies, for, March, or, April. Please, comply! Below, find, contact, info, for, human, in, charge. Good-bye.

To contact me, call our SVCB phone number (1-888-652-5333) and leave a message for me, drop me an email at, or look me up in our SVCB membership list to contact me by phone or email directly.



Submitted by Bev Clifford

A Mainstage production—SWIFT JUSTICE.

In 1933, Brooke Hart was abducted and murdered. Two men confessed to the crime, and their subsequent lynching in St. James Park set off a national debate about mob rule and vigilante justice. This take on murder, vengeance, and hope in San Jose's not-so-distant past returns to Tabard in a new re-working by former Mayor Tom McEnery.


Christmas just wouldn't be complete without the swingin' sound of all your favorite holiday classics, performed with a live big band in the style of classic singers such as Bing Crosby, Dean Martin and Ella Fitzgerald. It's the most wonderful time of the year to have yourself a Merry Little Christmas ... Cabaret!


IRS Additional Standard Deduction for the Blind—Media Format Request

Submitted by Victor Clifford

If you claimed the additional standard deduction for the blind on your Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR tax return within the last two tax years, the IRS has announced that beginning no later than January 31, 2022, you may elect to receive future correspondence from them in braille, large print, audio, or electronic formats.

To designate an alternative media format preference, in January 2022, complete Form 9000, Alternative Media Preference, that will be available at

Include it with your tax return, or mail it by itself to: Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, Kansas City, MO 64999-0002.

For assistance, contact IRS customer service at telephone number 1-800-829-1040.


WAM (World According To Me)

by Mike Keithley


Around here, we eat sugar-free peanut brittle. Last time I ordered some from the website, I wanted 10 8-ounce boxes.

Well, I got on the site, got past that annoying centennial video, and found the candy. There was this spinner widget used to enter the number of boxes. I entered 10, but the site insisted I meant 1010.

I finally got the value changed on the page, but when I checked out there was this 1010 quantity again. I don't blame them for not wanting to change it; after all, they'd make over $15,000.

King wasn't around, and I couldn't figure out how to re-enter the number of boxes. But there was this one button that let me decrease the amount by one.

So I've got to press this button one thousand times? Apparently I did, and I spent 10 minutes doing it. Press, press, press—not too fast or I'd overrun the machine, not too slow or I'd go to sleep. Ten minutes of pressing—my poor finger was numb! And after all that, I pressed 1 too many times, and I had to actually add one box.

But I finally got the quantity to ten boxes and made the order. And we got the candy with a note:

"Ah shucks, better luck next time."


EVENT CALENDAR: November to December 2021

Compiled by Mike Keithley


A weekly SVCB Social Hour is scheduled for 4 PM every Wednesday afternoon until forever.

  • Join Zoom Meeting
  • One tap mobile +14086380968,,739825688##
  • Call in number: 408-638-0968
  • Meeting ID: 739825688
  • Passcode: 222638
  • When prompted for a participant code, press the Pound key.
  • Note that the above call-in information is used for SVCB's virtual link to in-person membership meetings.

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

San Francisco LightHouse

To hear weekly events at the San Francisco LightHouse, call 415-694-7325.

Let's Talk Low Vision

The monthly Let's Talk Low Vision conferences are held on the third Tuesday of the month at 8:30 PM eastern. Archives are at

Zoom information is distributed through the ACB Community Schedule email list, or by emailing

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



November 5 through November 21: Tabard Theatre presents SWIFT JUSTICE; see notes, and article above.

November 20, 9:30 AM to 1 PM: 34th Anniversary Annual SVCB Membership Meeting. Elect 2022 SVCB administration.

November 22, noon: December SVCB newsletter deadline.

December, 2021

December 2, 7 to 9 PM: SVCB Board meeting. If you're not on the Board but want to attend this meeting, contact SVCB president Rob Turner.

December 7, 5:30-7 PM: Breast Cancer Support Group meeting. For questions, call Lori Scharff at 516-887-1336, or

December 10 through December 19: Tabard Theatre presents A MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS CABARET; see notes, and article above.

December 11, 11 AM to 3 PM: SVCB holiday party; see Membership Corner in this newsletter.

December 20, noon: January, 2022 newsletter deadline.