August 2019
Who We Are - Revisited
Vision Statement
Revised 7/2019

An interconnected, engaged and
inspiring community
By Karen Grimsich, Board Member and Planning Committee Chair

Non-profits are frequently described as “mission-driven organizations.” The mission provides the impetus for members to join, volunteers to contribute their time and energy, donors to contribute, and for staff to clearly understand their roles.
Over our first ten years there have been evolving messages that describe Ashby Village; some have been contextual such as describing a program to members or goals to funders, but most have captured the heartfelt nature of the organization. Over the last several months - in preparation for our next ten years - the board reviewed past documents and messages, held a facilitated retreat, obtained input from Village members, and has crafted and approved these revised Vision and Mission Statements that we feel capture what is needed.
Mission Statement
Revised 7/2019

Transforming how we age in our communities, Ashby Village connects us with one another, offering support and opportunities for meaningful, engaging experiences

To benefit our members, volunteers and the greater community, Ashby Village:
  • Coordinates activities and services.
  • Fosters mutually beneficial relationships and partnerships.
  • Provides clear, effective internal and external communication.
  • Maintains a sustainable business model.
Please join us at our Ashby Village Forum (see below) to explore how Ashby Village can best serve our members, volunteers and larger community in this second decade. We will be talking more about the vision and mission at that time.
Pre-Happy Hour event
August 2, 3:00-4:00 pm
Ashby Village 1821 Catalina Avenue, Berkeley

The recent earthquakes in Southern California were a scary reminder that we live in “earthquake territory” and that this could happen anytime here in the Bay Area, too. Our Earthquake Preparedness class last year was very popular and members were asking for a repeat.
We heard you and invited Amber Davis, Health Services Program Specialist from the Public Health Division- Emergency Preparedness of the City of Berkeley to talk to us about sheltering in place, reunification, making a disaster kit and finding out emergency information. Her presentation is specifically tailored to older adults.
Living Room Chats

 Invite a friend to join our Living Room Chat! They'll have the opportunity to hear what Ashby Village offers to our members and volunteers, how it enhances their quality of life, and why it helps them develop peace of mind about the future.
Sunday, August 11, 2:00-4:00 pm
RICHMOND - RSVP for location
Sunday, August 18, 2:00-4:00 pm
BERKELEY - RSVP for location
Upcoming Hearts N' Hands Events
Garden Project: Clip a Vine
Wednesday, August 14,
9:30am-2:00pm RSVP

Window Washing Caravan
Wednesday, September 11,
10:00-2:30pm RSVP

Come and join us! Light lunch provided.
The Hearts N' Hands  program provides volunteer assistance to Ashby Village Members when they need a hand.
Volunteers gather for a half day to complete multiple
jobs at once. 
Hearts N' Hands Thank you!

"T hank you Bob, Mary and Pat so much for making such fast work of clearing out my basement . I had no idea it would go so fast. I'm sure it would have taken me more than 4 times as long by myself and it is great to have it all done." All the best, Steve Toby ~ AV Member
Volunteer B'Cause Event
Partnering with Rebuilding Together

Check out photos

The Volunteer B'Cause   program enables Ashby Village and our volunteers a chance to help out other non-profit organizations in the community.
Do you have a long-term care story to tell?

The California Aging and Disability Alliance (CADA) is gaining ground in the establishment of a statewide publicly funded long-term care/support and services program.  Elder Action, an Ashby Village interest group with more than 70 members, is working together with the Domestic Employers Alliance and CADA to advocate for a statewide social-insurance model of long-term care/support and services.  

If you have a story to share, we are here to listen and to honor your stories. We are looking for:
  • Stories that speak to individuals or families that are struggling to coordinate, sustain, or afford long-term services and support, and
  • Stories that speak to great caregiving relationships (between family members, friends, paid and unpaid attendants and their employers). 

Email or call 510-590-8233.
WANTED: Your Speaker and Performance Recommendations!
Some of Ashby Village's most successful events have come to the us by way of member and volunteer recommendations and offers - in other words, they came from you!

Are you interested in sharing your subject matter expertise, or artistic and musical talents, or do you know someone who may be willing to share theirs?

Contact Sigrid, our Volunteer Events Coordinator, with the info!
Plan Ahead to Submit Articles to This Newsletter
Would you like your event or notice to appear in the Village Voices Newsletter? Use this simple form to submit your material. 

It takes us time to prepare each issue! Remember that the DEADLINE for each newsletter is the 15th of the previous month. Late submissions are not guaranteed placement in the next newsletter.
Tech Tips
Fall technology workshops


  • Digital Photography on the iPhone, Thursday, October 24 10:30am-12pm at Ashby Village. Ashby Village volunteers Bill Graham and Celie Placzek will offer a hands-on workshop on iPhone photography.
  • Medical Alert Devices, Tuesday, October 29, 10am-12pm at 150 University Hall. Dr. Richard Caro of Tech-Enhanced Life will present valuable information on medical alert devices.
Tech Tips & Resources

Frustrated with technology? Need more information?  
The Ashby Village technology committee created a web page with resources for you!

Click here to find technology resources on Ashby Village website
  • Tech Tips articles published in previous issues of Village Voices
  • Technology workshop handouts
  • Additional resources, including East Bay technology support

To request service, please email or call 510-204-9200.
Would you like personal assistance from Technology & Electronics Volunteers?

Volunteers can help you with a wide range of devices!

Do you want to learn how to get more out of your smart phone or tablet? Call us!
Not sure how to get your TV hooked up? Call us!
Interested in finally getting your printer to work? Call us!
Are you ready to learn how to use Skype or FaceTime to have video calls with friends and family? Call us!
Have you had enough of that weird thing that keeps happening with your computer? Call us!

To request service, please email or call 510-204-9200.

Click here to find technology resources on Ashby Village website.
Neighborhood Groups &
Ongoing Activities
Monday, August 5, 4:00 pm, The Midlands Tea. RSVP Wanda Nusted 510-527-5931

Tuesday, August 6, 2:00-4:00 pm, Thousand Oaks Hamlet Mac Users Group - accessible. For more info contact Ken

Friday, August 9, Outlandish Neighborhood Potluck. Contact Alison

Monday, August 12, 12:00-3:00 pm, North Berkeley Mah Jongg. Contact Gloria 510-666-0937

Wednesday, August 14, 3:00-5:00 pm, Science & Ideas group. RSVP not required.

Thursday, August 15, 1:00-3:00 pm, Nature Walk: Upper Strawberry Canyon (easy and more challenging options). Contact Audre Newman, 510-548-0530

Thursday, August 15, 3:00-5:00 pm, Clarewood IGroup . Contact Bob Reynolds 510-597-1952 

Monday, August 19, 10:00-11:00 am, Monday morning by the bay - C. Chavez Park. Call Claire Heinzelman 650-619-4016 

Wednesday, August 21, 11:00 am - 12:00 pm, Water Aerobics (Emery Bunch). RSVP Marjorie Paul, (510) 435-3022

Wednesday, August 28, 1:00-3:00 pm, Shakespeare Reading group at Ashby Village. Contact Don Hubbard

Check out our online calendar for the full view of our upcoming meetings, activities and other events.

Reflections on Past Events
A Conversation with Betty Reid Soskin
Story by Charli Depner, Photography by Richard Bermack
On Sunday June 30, 2019, a full house at the Epworth United Methodist Church’s stately sanctuary turned out to hear the heralded local nonagenarian Betty Reid Soskin, in conversation with acclaimed Bay Area journalist Brenda Payton.  If you weren't able to join us, CLICK HERE to watch it.

Ms. Soskin recounted tales of Transbay travel before the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges, the Oakland departure of Amelia Earhart’s fateful flight around the world (“… she was one of my childhood heroes”), and the tragic Port Chicago explosion and mutiny trials.  It soon became clear that Ms. Soskin has been more than a spectator to landmark events in her lifetime. “What gets remembered,” she said, “depends on who is in the room doing the remembering.” Her presence in many such rooms has preserved a richly diverse history, including stories that need to be told about Home Front World War II and that draw from a near century of life as a person of color in the Bay Area.  
Israel - A Three Week Experience 
by Sigrid Duesberg
On July 5, as part of our Pre-Happy Hour series Mona Reeva, an Ashby Village member, presented a slide show about her recent trip to Israel. She visited Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and went to the North, South and Petra in Jordan. The historic importance and the beauty of Israel were reflected in her slides and much enjoyed by our members. Mona is a world traveler and photographer and we are looking forward to having her back for another presentation.
Redwood Walk July 13
by Audre Newman

A glorious day! The tiny fish ladder (1986) was charming and new to many of us. Some of us vowed to return between January and April when the Rainbow trout are migrating up it on their way to their spawning grounds farther up stream. On this walk, we followed the tiny Redwood creek on the Bridal trail as far as the Orchard trail which branched off going up the hill. Several walkers continued on the flat Bridal Trail with volunteer guide Flo Raskin in the lead. Others of us took the “Challenging route” starting out with the relatively steep Orchard trail. Soon we took off our outer layers which weren’t needed any more. At the French Trail junction we started the blissful gradual downhill part of the walk, through the towering redwoods for which the park is named. We returned to Redwood Creek and followed it back to our parked cars. This route with all its stops to take breaths, drink water, and gaze at the wonderful surroundings took us 3 hours instead of the planned two, but fortunately no one was inconvenienced. It was just too beautiful.  
An Appreciation
An Ashby Village members tells us how much she appreciates the Healthier Aging classes

I joined Ashby Village a year ago. My husband died three years before, after ten years of Alzheimer’s with me as his primary caregiver. Shortly after, I was hit by an overlapping series of health issues that included loss of balance and strength. I immediately signed up for Tai Chi Chih with Faith Isaacs, and for Strength, Balance and Flexibility with Pamela McKernan. A year later, I still show up for both classes every week and continue to reap benefits, leading to participating more fully in an active lifestyle.  

In the middle of this past year I had surgery (thanks MedPal) to correct spinal stenosis and to limit the progression of scoliosis. I am writing now to let the Village know how valuable these classes have been for me in preparation and in the aftermath. While the surgery itself was successful, my surgeon and physical therapist concurred that my rapid recovery and continued improvement in alignment, balance and gait can be credited to these classes. In fact, I was able to reduce the usual course of post-surgery physical therapy as a result of these activities. And, for the first time in years, my diminished lung capacity has also improved.  

I want to share how grateful I am for these strides in experiencing a healthier, more empowering lifestyle. I am also very pleased to see others in the classes making similar gains. I sincerely appreciate being in community with others. Each session, we are happy to see each other and participate in the synergy created by the group. We all share a deep appreciation for the quality of the teachers, their knowledge, focus, compassion and respect; and for Ashby Village for having seen the value of these activities and making them available us.  

Thank you, thank you, thank you,  

Wendy O.
Bulletin Board
Ashby Village Seeks a Filmmaker to Tell a Captivating Story

Next Spring, as Ashby Village its 10th Anniversary, several of our members will celebrate their 98, 99 and 100 year old birthdays. We are seeking a filmmaker with the interest, skill and passion to tell the important story of these members, and how our Village has supported their successful aging. Please contact Andy Gaines, Executive Director, if you're interested or know someone who might be.
Seeking Storage Space

I recently downsized and am looking to rent storage space for boxes, suitcases and odds and ends (no huge pieces). Current commercial storage unit is very inaccessible and I'd rather give my money to a local person who might have extra space in a garage or shed. I will not need very frequent access. Please contact me at if you might have space or know of someone who might.
Lovely Creekside 1850 San Pedro house available

My family house at 1850 San Pedro is available to rent August 1, 2019. You can check out photos here; the house is not on the market for sale. Text me at 510 406-4523 if interested in checking it out. Jeff Mertens, Ashby Village member
Recommended reading

(by Peter Sussman)

In Loving Memory
Alfonso J. Arredondo
April, 2044 - July, 2019

Berkeley Police Reserves
Boy Scout Troop 273

"Rough & tough & hard to bluff,
and used to hardships"

Thank you to the Ashby Village volunteers who contributed to this issue of the Village Voices newsletter.
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