August 2020
Raising Our Glass To Ten Years
by Jan Corazza and Pat Sussman

On Wednesday, well over 500 members, volunteers, donors and friends joined in celebration of Ashby Village's 10 th Anniversary...virtually of course!

Read all about the jam-packed program highlights HERE!

Watch the recording here if you missed it!

(Start at the 15-minute mark to enter towards the end of the pre-show)
Upcoming Events
See what's happening this month.
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What our attendees shared:

"What an uplifting event!"
- Julie (member and volunteer)

"Well done, thank you so much! I am so glad to have found Ashby Village, a pillar of hope for today and for the future!"
- Elena (new member and volunteer)

"So inspiring - thank you for your amazing work and support of our community elders"
- Suzanne (friend of AV)

Please share widely with your friends and family so they too can learn about the wonderful community we have created here in the East Bay.
More Upcoming Events
Dreaming of Crafts Projects
~ An Exploring Creativity Event ~

When : Thursday , August 6, 1:00pm
Where : Via Zoom
Who: Members and volunteers, r egistration will be limited to eight (8) people in the group
RSVP : Barbi Jo , and if you have photos of some of your work -- or of plans for work you would like to do -- please email them to her before the first session.

Some of us have dreamed of learning a new craft but put it off for another day or perhaps just didn’t feel confident learning something new. Barbi Jo Stim invites you to join a Zoom session – the first in what she hopes will be a series of crafts interest-group meetings -- to discuss projects that members or volunteers would like to create but have put on the back burner.

This group is also for crafts people who would like to share their work and inspire others. After the participants get familiar with each other’s expertise, Barbi Jo suggests picking projects and trying to execute them during the following few months. Read more here.
August Social Hour: Getting To Know You - Sharing Finds For Our Times

When : Friday, August 7, 4:00-5:00pm

During these Pandemic times, many of us are either looking for or have discovered new interests, new ways to spend our time alone in our homes. 

Have you been binging on a TV show with many episodes that keep you wanting more? A mystery/procedural program, a family drama, a program about politics or a comedy that makes you laugh while you’re having your lunch? What about a movie you just loved watching? A favorite book you just couldn’t put down ?   An interesting blog? Or a Facebook page that intrigues you? What about a new interest you’ve taken up?

Come join us for the social hour to share your recommendations and to learn from each other about what we enjoy seeing, watching, doing. As a follow-up, we will send you all the list of our recommendations.
Virtual Living Room Chat

When : Sunday, August 9, 2:00-4:00pm
Where : Via Zoom

Please invite a friend to join our Virtual Living Room Chat!

Ashby Village is here and continuing to support our community and help keep everyone connected and engaged.

In the last four months we have continued to:
  • Pick-up and deliver groceries and medications
  • Hosted virtual get-togethers and provided access to online exercise classes
  • Given rides to doctor's appointments
  • Offered tech support to get our members up and running on Zoom

Come hear more about our membership benefits and learn about Ashby Village - what we do, who we are, and how we are helping our community continue Aging Better. Together.
Science and Ideas Group: Why Do Some People Distrust Science and Deny Its Conclusions?

When: Wednesday, August 12, 3:00-4:30pm

AV member and discussion leader Allan Griff is a chemist, engineer and anthropologist with an interest in why people deny and fear impersonal science.

Allan presents this topic for our discussion this month: Why do so many people distrust science and deny its conclusions? Some of this is obvious in the current arguments about social distancing and wearing masks. Electric vehicles are considered "green," ignoring or downplaying the costs and sources of power needed to generate the electricity. "Plasti-phobes" reject plastics and call them unnatural and chemical, although we are all "chemical," and plastics do so much for us by saving weight, resisting corrosion and breakage, protecting against pathogens and spoilage, and more. As for natural, there are many toxic natural materials, and many unnatural (synthetic) medications and other life-giving medical uses. Read more here .
Interested in Photography?

When: Thursday, August 13, 2:00pm
Where: via Zoom, t he conveners will send you the URL to join the meeting
RSVP: Either Nancy or Peter , and indicate in your email the level of your photography experience (from novice to accomplished) and details of your past photographic work, along with your thoughts on activities you'd be especially interested in, all of which will help shape the agenda for the meeting.

At the Village-wide Exploring Creativity meetings on Zoom, a number of members expressed interest in joining a photography group. Responding to that interest, creativity organizing committee members Nancy Rubin and Peter Sussman, both of whom became passionate photographers in their later years, will be convening a Zoom meeting for members and volunteers interested in joining a photography interest group -- or groups, depending on the number of people interested and their experience.

If you're interested in helping to organize and joining a photography group, join us on August 13, and read more about it here.
Shifting Zeitgeist:
Reflections on the Forces Reshaping the Nation’s
Understanding of Race -
A presentation by Troy Duster
*Arts & Culture Series*

When: Sunday, August 16, 2:00-4:00pm

There is so much going on in this country that it is impossible to even try to summarize the nature and extent of turmoil in either the political sphere or of the many reverberations of
the pandemic. There were daily protests on the streets of more than 140 cities for several weeks, and the composition of the protesters was unusually and notably diverse. So, of course, the next questions are why, and why now, and will it make a difference? Troy Duster will try to address one key aspect of these developments – the shifting portraiture of the idea of racism as “systemic”.

Read more about Troy Duster here.
Elder Action Presents: Vote YES on Prop 15

When: Tuesday, August 18, 2:00-4:00PM

Proposition 15 will be on our ballot this November. It will close a loop hole in Prop 13 that will bring $12 billion in yearly revenue to our schools and communities by insuring that a handful of the largest corporations like Disney and Chevron begin to pay their fair share of property taxes.
It will not affect residential property of any kind.
Ben Grieff, Executive Committee of the Prop 15 Schools and Communities First Initiative, will discuss what Prop 15 will and won’t do, answer our questions, and tell us how we can get involved to help pass Prop 15.

 Read full flyer and details here .
In lieu of our annual Volunteer Appreciation Party, for the remainder of the year, we will  highlight and appreciate several of our volunteers, some working behind the scenes that you may not ever meet.

If you'd like to nominate a volunteer or would like to contribute an appreciation, please let us know! Contact
Volunteer Path to Satisfaction: Meet the Cogs In the Wheel
By volunteer Suzanne Riess
As anyone who knows Ashby Village might expect, the volunteer vetting structure is brilliantly conceived and organized and motivated. And ESSENTIAL !

Take the three office corps voluntee rs who do interviews, reference checks, and complete satisfaction follow ups with all volunteers who come Ashby Village's way. Read more....
Healthier Aging
These are very difficult times for us all so it is even more important than ever that we do all can to stay healthy.

Here are three good mantras to live by:


And please check our weekly calendar  for virtual exercise classes and note that…

 Registration for Berkeley Adult School classes will start August 17 th for “Strength, Stretch and Dance” with Anne Aaronov, and “Exercising Your Memory” with Donna Davis. You can assume they will be virtual.
Older Adults are at Increased Risk for Coronavirus - Here are Some Infection Protection Strategies              

1.  Stay Home as Much as You Can.
Avoid Travel, and eating out, but do try to stock up on groceries and medications to avoid supermarkets as much as possible.
2. Wash Hands Well and Often
Before, during and after preparing foods, and the first thing you do after returning home from outside.
3. Disinfect Key Areas Daily
Door knobs, light switches, countertops, phones, toilets, faucets and sinks etc.
4. Keep Guests to a Minimum
Make clear to caregivers that they must not come if they have been exposed to someone with Covid-19 or are symptomatic.

Check out questions to ask your home care provider here .
Mark Morris Dance for Parkinson's Program
As a result of the Corona Virus we have been afforded a wonderful opportunity to participate via zoom in the internationally acclaimed dance classes for people with Parkinson’s Disease. 
Born from Mark Morris’ own experience with his mother who had Parkinson’s disease, was the idea that people with Parkinson’s disease could benefit from the insight and specific techniques and methods used by dancers.

Mark Morris Dance Group’s “Dance for PD” strives to increase coordination, balance, flexibility and strength through music and movement from a broad range of dance styles.
In classes lead by professionally trained dancer and musicians, participants experience the fluidity and power of dance in a joyful
and supportive environment.
Dance for PD is offering all New York City Flagship classes online.
Join them for free live streamed classes each week or obtain videos for purchase. For more information and to sign up each week go to:
Providing Rides During COVID-19

In March Ashby Village suspended services that did not comply with the precautions mandated by Shelter in Place. After consulting with the C ounty Public Health offices and our insurance provider, Ashby Village has determined that it will begin to provide essential transportation (i.e. rides to medical appointments, not Covid-19 related). Both member and volunteer will be asked to comply with a variety of personal protection activities and to sign a  Transportation Authorization, Liability Release, and Indemnity Form  

We are grateful to our volunteers who are willing to step forward to serve in this particularly challenging time.
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 Arlene with the info!
Tech Tips
Streaming: Cut Your Cable? It's all on the internet!

Ashby Village and the U.C. Berkeley Retirement Center are co-sponsoring an online workshop on Streaming: Cut Your Cable? on  Tuesday August 18 10am-12pm .   

Now, more than ever, we rely on the internet for news and entertainment. You don’t need to pay for cable or satellite television - you can get all your shows from the internet! This workshop will help you personalize your choices so you can watch what you want, when you want, and on any device.
The workshop will provide information on: what streaming is and internet requirements different streaming devices - e.g., Roku, Apple TV, etc. free and paid subscriptions for streaming videohow to watch sports, old & new movies, TV series, news, and more

The workshop will include a presentation followed by Q&A in small groups. You’ll leave with an article containing information to help you select streaming services and devices.  

Please click here to register online!
Would you like personal assistance from Technology & Electronics Volunteers?

Tech Volunteers are here for you!* With assistance by phone or Zoom, we can help you with priority needs such as:

  • using communication apps
  • ordering groceries online
  • communicating with health providers
  • streaming entertainment

Email or call 510-204-9200 to request assistance. When you put in your request, let us know if you're familiar with online tools such as Zoom, Google Duo, Facetime, or similar. If you're not familiar, a volunteer will arrange a training session.
*At this time, Ashby Village is not able to provide "in-home" tech support.
Reflection on Past Events
Embracing Change Presents: An Introduction to Ashby Village's Member Support Team And More

On July 21st we had a wonderful presentation from the Member Support Leadership Team and Senior Alternatives so that our members and volunteers could learn how to continue to live a life of health, meaning and purpose.

There was a presentation from Member Support, Healthier Aging, the Social Care Team, Connections Team, Support Groups, and from Senior Alternatives.

In case you missed this amazing presentation, you can still find out about all the things Member Support can do for you at Ashby Village by watching the recording on our YouTube channel here .
An Afternoon in Conversation with Pulitzer-Prizewinning Columnist & Novelist Connie Schultz
Written by Rochelle Lefkowitz

These days, while we’re sheltering in place, it’s a challenge to get to know people who live beyond our homes and neighborhoods.
How can we gain insight into their hopes and heartaches, empathy for their grief and share their dreams and disappointments?
It turns out that fiction offers us safe, yet revealing windows into lives unlike ours, lives we’d be enriched by if we could understand, respect and appreciate them more deeply.
Fortunately, on Sunday, July 26, as part of our Ashby Village Arts & Culture Series, we had the privilege of spending time with a writer who offers in her writing and conversation heartfelt portraits of working-class Americans, deftly enlisting mundane details—like train cases and lunch buckets--to shed light on the profound.

Read full article here and if you missed her talk you can watch the recording on our YouTube channel here .
A Poem
Edited by Irene Rosenthal and Peter Sussman

Today's featured poem is the second successive one on a topic that currently obsesses all of us -- quarantines -- though it was written more than five years ago. It is by Faith Shearin, a West Virginia writer of fiction and poetry who has published five books of poems. She has won many awards and has been featured in Garrison Keillor's popular "Writer's Almanac" on NPR and online. Like our previously featured poet, Eavan Boland, she is often hailed for her "ordinary life" perspective.

Read poem here
Bulletin Board
A Few Mask Resources

For those with hearing loss, masks are making communication even harder since they prevent lip reading and muffle the voice. Larry Fishman, co-leader of our Hearing Loss Support Group, shared these clear masks for sale, which his audiologist recommended:

Another person sent him the following link about a month ago from the California Department of Public Health on Guidance for the Use of Face Coverings.

Additionally, for many of us who wear glasses, we have found fogging to be an annoying side-effect of mask wearing. So here is a resource shared by member Paul Shepard from the Cleveland Clinic with some tips, and he shares that he's found the paper tape method the easiest and most effective .
Survey for Consumers of Homecare Agencies and Board & Care Residences

In partnership with the UCLA Labor Center, the Pilipino Worker Center, Golden Gate University, and the California Domestic Workers Coalition, Hand in Hand, The Domestic Employers Network, is conducting a study of the long-term care industry, with a focus on surveying those who are in the private pay market and hire through homecare agencies, or who live or have loved ones in board and care homes. Our goal is to better understand the choices and challenges facing older adults and people with disabilities who need long-term care (and their families) and who fall outside MediCal eligibility, the working conditions of caregivers and also, in the current context of COVID, some of the health and safety considerations that are shaping Longterm Care consumer choices in the private pay market.
Click here to take the survey now. Elder Action, an interest group of Ashby Village, has been working in partnership with Hand in Hand as part of a larger coalition advocating for a universal long-term care benefit in the state of California.
12-year old 42 inch 720P Plasma TV Free for Pick-Up

It’s a Panasonic TH-PX75U; here are the  specs . It was  well-reviewed   and it worked well for the previous owners. It comes with its own stand or can be wall-mounted. it weighs 60 pounds plus 15 for the removable pedestal. Member can help you get it into your car. If interested please email
Thank you to the Ashby Village volunteers who contributed to this issue of the Village Voices newsletter.