June 2020
10 Years Old and Thriving!
by Rochelle Lefkowitz

It’s been an unforgettable tenth anniversary year, in more ways than we could have expected . As we look ahead, amidst today’s concerns and uncertainty, we find ourselves truly sheltered in place by the remarkable community we’ve built together.  

Ten years ago, Ashby Village Founders Shirley Haberfeld and Pat Sussman were inspired to create a Village to support us to age better, together, in our beloved homes and communities. Today, with around 400 members, 300 volunteers and a pool of devoted donors, we’re a strong, close-knit community that has shown we could meet the unprecedented challenge of a global pandemic with resilience.

You can’t, of course, create community the day before you need it. Fortunately, we’ve had ten years to cultivate connections and partnerships ... read full article here
Upcoming Events
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Growing Stronger: North Oakland Village Merger With Ashby Village
Ashby Village (AV) and North Oakland Village (NOV), both beginning their second decade of service, are finalizing a merger to become effective on July 1 st that will bring even stronger support to both communities.

The Boards of Directors of both villages have officially approved the merger..." We are delighted with this opportunity for Ashby Village to continue to grow while strengthening our neighborhood connections..." says Andy Gaines, AV Executive Director.

Read all about it here .
In honor of this Tenth Anniversary, we cordially invite you
to join us for our special “10 for 10” programming series:
ten events that celebrate who we are as an organization, a community, and a Village.
Raising our Glasses to Celebrate 10 Years - LIVE!

Join us Wednesday,  July 29th at 5 p.m . to celebrate the Ashby Village Tenth Anniversary (launched July, 2010). This 30 minute broadcast will feature the premiere of the Ashby Village film:  Aging Better.Together.  Special guests will raise their glasses to toast our accomplishments and exciting future.  Stay tuned for your invitation.
Creative Aging: Your Turn

Building on our popular Creative Aging launch in April , on May 22 nd an enthusiastic group of around thirty Ashby Village members joined our second on-line event. Members shared their own creativity pursuits or needs, and suggested ideas how the village can support personal creative interests, possibilities and challenges. Watch the summary report-out from the five breakout sessions below or on our YouTube channel .
We Invite Your Suggestions:
How can Ashby Village help you explore your desire for creativity? Or support your creative efforts now? As the creativity organizing committee members consider ways of implementing members' suggestions, they welcome any additional input you have on ways the organization can encourage and support our members' creative endeavors. Please let Arlene Reiff know at areiff@gmail.com - we value your input.
More Upcoming Events
New Member Mixer Event

When: Friday June 5, 3:00-4:00pm
Where: via Zoom

Many of those joining Ashby Village express an interest in getting involved in this community and meeting others.

Ashby Village new members are invited to a small VIRTUAL gathering to engage in a variety of ice-breaker and get to know one another activities.
Welcome, New Kids on our Block!
Science and Ideas Group: Disappearing Frogs…Canaries in our Global Coal Mine?

When: Wednesday, June 10, 3:00-5:00pm
Where: Via Zoom, email Audre for link

A former Professor of Biology at UCLA with a specialty in herpetology, AV member George Gorman will present a summary of what we know and don't know about striking examples of world-wide amphibian declines and apparent disappearances.
Read more here .
Book Reading by Ashby Village Board Member

When: Thursday, June 11, 10:30am

Rudi Raab, a retired Berkeley police officer and an Ashby Village member, and Julie Freestone, Ashby Village's newest Board member and a former newspaper reporter, will read from their novel Stumbling Stone. They'll share the mystery of Rudi's uncle who resisted the Nazis and show many photos and other memorabilia
A Time Trump Would Love: The United States of 1917-1920
*Arts & Culture Series*

When : Sunday, June 14, 2:00-3:30pm

Where : via Zoom Webinar *Note NEW link* https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89208446785

The First World War reshaped the world for the worse in every conceivable way, leading directly to the rise of Nazism, the Holocaust, and a new world war. However, we pay far less attention to its consequences inside the United States. Adam Hochschild writes frequently about human rights issues. His latest book, Rebel Cinderella: From Rags to Riches to Radical—the Epic Journey of Rose Pastor Stokes was published in March 2020. He teaches at UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism. Read more here .
Manage Your Passwords (or leave the front door open!)
When : Tuesday , June 23, 10am-
Who: This workshop is open to members of Ashby Village and the UC Berkeley Retirement Center
Where : Via Zoom
Register: Email info@ashbyvillage.org to register, and we'll confirm your registration. The day before the workshop, we'll email you the Zoom link
We’re online more than ever, and passwords help protect us from financial fraud and identity theft. Join a team of Ashby Village technology volunteers to learn how to strengthen your passwords! We'll discuss how to generate unique passwords, organize passwords, and store passwords more securely.
The session will begin with a presentation followed by breakouts to explore specific password skills.
Improvisation As A Way of Life

When : Thursday , June 25, 10:30am

Improvisation can be very helpful in building our lives. It gives us tools to continue to grow and develop, no matter our age or life circumstances. Life by and large is unscripted. We may have a plan and then something happens and we need to improvise. We can get stuck thinking we need to know how to respond. Improv and play can help us break out of being stuck and help us create something new.
June is the month where we annually celebrate our volunteers with a Volunteer Appreciation  party extravaganza! We are deeply saddened about the interruption of the event this year. 

We promise that the next one will be a Rootin' Tootin' time. Yee-Haw! (hint, hint)

In lieu of our party (sort of), 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 pat.c@ashbyvillage.org  
Tom Noyes, The Wizard Behind Ashby Village’s Computer Systems 
By Karin Evans
Moving Ashby Village’s data to Salesforce and the modification of our Volunteer Connect platform was and is a big task. Although the process works easily and might appear simple, it’s actually a sophisticated system. All the changes over the last two-plus years have been thanks to a techno-wizard behind the scenes, an Ashby Village volunteer and former Salesforce software engineer named Tom Noyes
Ashby Village couldn’t have found a better volunteer for the task. 

If you are one of the lucky ones to have received a mask courtesy of Ashby Village, you have volunteers Jake Matchett and Maryl Gearhart to thank!

Thank you for the donation of masks for our members, volunteers and staff...and appreciation to the volunteers who delivered them!
Healthier Aging
Dear Walking Enthusiasts,

If you haven't found your own ways to get out into nature lately, here is a list of walks in our parks that I can suggest. 

The LIST is actually toward the bottom of the article which appeared in the May Newsletter, but this link will take to directly to the article and the list. Happy walking!

Audre Newman (member and volunteer)
Recommended Reading

Four questions to ask a home health agency about COVID-19
Is it still safe to use home care? Many caregivers such as home health aides are still caring for seniors and going inside patient’s homes during the COVID-19 pandemic. The coronavirus has changed the way caregivers think about interacting and socializing with others. Read here .
To Fight Covid-19, Don’t Neglect Immunity and Inflammation
Two things you can do at home to strengthen your immune system during the pandemic. Read here or download .
The Foods That May Lower Dementia Risk
Blueberries, strawberries and red wine were among the foods tied to a lower risk of dementia. Read here or download .
GETTING TO KNOW YOU – A New Series to Connect Together
Written by Arlene Reiff

The New Normal. The New Calm. We’ve been living in this unprecedented new chapter in our lives since March, confined in our homes, except for walks or shops, or other six-feet away outings. For many of us, there is a deeper sense of isolation, the loss of how we used to be together with our friends or family to see plays, or go to a concert or a movie, or on and on. We now are living the changes in our lives.
Ashby Village plays a vital role by offering or informing us about ways to expand our horizons, even while we shelter in place. Take a look at the daily calendar and you will see all of the ingenious ways to be involved, be connected.

The new series will be launched on June 12 th , Getting to Know You: Connecting Members Through Conversations . This will be an initial series of four bi-weekly virtual conversations, where members will have the opportunity to develop meaningful relationships with one another. Read the suggested conversation topics here .

When:  Fridays, June 12, June 26, July 10, July 24
Time:  11:00 – 12:00 p.m.
Where:  Via Zoom
Registration: There is limited space for this event. Please RSVP no later than June 5 th to arlenereiff@gmail.com . Please let us know if you need any assistance in setting up Zoom.
Calling All Non-Member Volunteers for a 1-Hour Virtual Focus Group! 

The Ashby Village Sustainability Task Force is looking for non-member volunteers for a one hour Zoom focus group in June entitled, "Volunteerism and Membership--Pros & Cons. Help us figure it out!”. We'll offer several dates to try to work with your schedule.

If you'd like to join us, email Emily Sexton at sexton@berkeley.edu by June 8th, putting "Volunteer Focus Group" in your subject line. Looking forward to hearing your ideas!
New Ashby Village Support for Long-Term Caregivers

Ashby Village was planning a support group for long term caregivers when Covid-19 made that temporarily impossible. But sheltering in place only adds to the feelings of stress and isolation caregivers can experience. So for now Ashby Village members Marc Pilisuk and Martha Rabkin, who will lead the group when life returns to normal, are offering 45 minute telephone conversations for help in thinking through difficult situations and complicated feelings you may experience.

It’s hard for anyone who has not lived day and night as a family caregiver to understand how many problems there are to solve, how many decisions to make, and how much stress to cope with. Marc and Martha were caretakers for a spouse for over thirty years, and understand what the experience is like when you find yourself confronted with challenges you never could have imagined facing.

Marc and Martha are also both trained professionals. Marc is a Professor Emeritus for the University of California and has experience as a licensed Clinical Psychologist. He has published books and articles on the relation of social support to physical and mental health. Martha, a Clinical Social Worker for 32 years, was a therapist first at Family Service of Oakland, then Kaiser Oakland, and finally in private practice in Berkeley.

To arrange a 45 minute telephone conversation send your name and telephone number in an email with the subject line "Caregiving" to MPilisuk@saybrook.edu or tworab@att.net. You can specify if there are times that are best for you to get the call back.
Our 2020 Member Survey is Complete!

Thanks to all of our members who participated in our two surveys! We had a stunning 210 responses to the second part of our survey. You can view the initial summary data here.

Analysis on the first part of the survey is being reviewed and finalized and will be shared in an upcoming Village Voices.

If you have any questions or suggestions for future surveys please email: survey@ashbyvillage.org
Tech Tips
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 to keep in touch with family, friends, and Ashby Village
  • ordering groceries online
  • communicating with health providers via their web portal
  • streaming entertainment via services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, or HBO Go.
Expand your communication toolbox!
We're all longing to talk with family, friends, and colleagues face-to-face. To guide you with options for online communication, we created some help docs. Visit the Ashby Village TECH TIPS & RESOURCES page to find information on four communications apps posted at the top under "STAYING CONNECTED IN OUR DIGITAL WORLD."
You'll learn that Zoom , Google Duo , and Skype can be used across platforms - PC & Mac computers, Android and iPhone/iPad phones and tablets. Facetime is a single platform Apple app for communicating with Apple devices - iPhones, iPads, and Mac computers.
Bay area organizations offer helpful tech resources
Many Bay area organizations have compiled lists of helpful technologies for sheltering in place. We picked two to share:
  • The UC Berkeley Retirement Center has posted resources on technology, including Zoom guides and a link to Senior Planet's online tech classes for seniors.
  • Longevity Explorers offers technology resources and the opportunity to add your comments and suggestions.
Need our assistance?
Email info@ashbyvillage.org 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.
Reflections on Past Events
The Science and Ideas Interest Group Offers Successful Zoom Presentations to Ashby Village Members
by member and volunteer Audre Newman

Can it be that respected scientists might be biased in reporting their results? Could Jurassic Park’s terrifying T-Rex and Disney’s mischievous Tweety be cousins? Could Frogs be a warning to us of impending crises?...Could be!
Two Ashby Village members, Charley Tart, professor emeritus of Psychology at UC Davis, and Roger Newman, former teacher of Anthropology at the Peralta Community Colleges, each addressed the first two of these questions in recent Zoom presentations to AV members this spring. The Zoom format was new to AV before now, and each of these speakers and others have presented different topics to the “live” AV Science and Ideas Interest Group over the last five years. Their Zoom presentations have proved to be very successful since this format lends itself well to talks with Q & A afterwards. Read full article here .
A Poem
Edited by Irene Rosenthal and Peter Sussman

For the poem column in this newsletter and a succeeding one, we are featuring poems on the subject of quarantines, both written long before the current pandemic. Today's poem is by prolific and internationally acclaimed writer Eavan Boland, who split her time between her native Ireland and the Bay Area. Boland died of a stroke in Dublin on April 27 but had been teaching since 1995 at Stanford University, where she was the beloved Melvin and Bill Lane Professor and director of the Creative Writing Program. She often told interviewers that she intended her poetry to reflect a woman's point of view grounded in the "dailiness" of life.
Bulletin Board
2020 Census

Don’t forget the 2020 Census is still ongoing! You can easily complete it online at  my2020census.gov  or by calling 844-330-2020 - everything from roads to public health services, from our representation in government to unemployment resources is based on this count.
Looking For A New Place? - Backyard Cabin Available in Exchange for Weekly Support

"My active, cheerful mother is in her 80’s and looking for someone to provide about 12 hours a week of help to her in exchange for free rent in the furnished cabin in her backyard garden. We’re looking for a friendly and respectful person who could do some shopping and meal preparation, as well as helping out with reminding her to take her supplements, and things like that. I can describe more fully when we speak. My mother has some working memory challenges but otherwise is in good health and has a nice community of friends. The home and cabin are located in the flatlands of Berkeley, walking distance to the North Berkeley BART station and to UC Berkeley (about 1 mile). Please contact me, Stephanie, at stephaniefpass@gmail.com or 415-350-7891 via text to set up a time to talk together."
The 1619 Project

In April, after Dick Myers, facilitator of the 1619 group at Pasadena Village, posted an inquiry on the national Village to Village network website, twelve Pasadena Village members met via Zoom with an added member of a Massachusetts Village to continue their discussion of issues raised by the New York Times publication, The 1619 Project.

Read more about this group on page 3 of the Village Movement California newsletter .

If any village member is interested in learning more about this discussion group or joining it, please contact Sue Kujawa at susangail.kujawa@gmail.com , and if you're interested in starting a similar group at Ashby Village please contact our Program and Member Support Manager, Erik at erik@ashbyvillage.org.
Glass Jars Available for Contactless Pick-Up

One of our members has about 45 very clean (not sterilized) quart jars with lids available for free. If interested please email bslapin@gmail.com.
Women's Daytime Drop-In Center In Need of Supplies

The  Women's Daytime Drop-in Center  works to empower homeless and low-income women and children to move from the streets to a home.  Ashby Village has offered to provide some homemade masks for their clients, but more supplies are needed. Please keep them in mind when you shop:
  • Cash donations (any amount)
  • $10 target and safeway gift cards
  • Toilet Paper
  • Travel sized toiletries: shampoo, conditioner, lotion 
  • Ground Coffee
  • New Bath Towel Sets (dark colors like Navy Blue, Purple, Green, Brown)
  • New Sleeping Pillows for new families moving into the shelter (no used bedding)
  • New dark comforter (twin size) for new families moving into the shelter (no used bedding)
  • Cleaning supplies - antibacterial wipes/sprays
  • Hot coffee cups to go
  • Ziploc Bags (gallon sized)
  • Paper Towels
  • Stamps for mailing job applications for clients 
  • Disposable Gloves
  • White Sugar (non artificial sweetener)
  • Sliced bread
  • Amazon gift cards for purchasing supplies
Thank you to the Ashby Village volunteers who contributed to this issue of the Village Voices newsletter.