September 2020
Upcoming Events
See what's happening this month.
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Annual Open
Board Meeting
Wednesday, September 9th

Each year, as noted in our October 2019 newsletter's lead story, Ashby Village will host an annual Board Meeting to promote greater transparency. Members and volunteers will have the opportunity to view the Board process, ask questions and make comments.

Please RSVP by Monday, August 7th at noon if you are planning to attend. We will send you the Zoom webinar link and Board packet for review.
Update on Ashby Village’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Initiative
It’s been a whirlwind two months for Ashby Village following the Board of Directors’ commitment to promote greater inclusion and challenge institutional racism.

To get the ball rolling, Board Chair Andra Lichtenstein announced Ashby Village’s intent to conduct a systematic assessment of the values, policies and practices of the organization. The Board immediately created a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee, under the consultation and guidance of Rita Shimmin, that drafted “A Way Forward” to provide a framework for this work. It will be discussed and is expected to be approved at the open September 9th Board meeting. The intent of DEI is to engage all Village leadership, members and volunteers through 12/21.

Groups across the Ashby Village community have begun exploring systemic racism. The Arts and Culture committee hosted a compelling talk in August about systemic racism by Troy Duster (see separate story in “Reflection on Past Events” section). The North Berkeley Neighborhood Group created a discussion group to begin exploring systemic racism. This month features a discussion about “White Fragility” the book by Robin DiAngelo and a program from the Science and Ideas Group, “Out Of Africa: Recent Findings About Earliest Human Migrations”.

We’ll be updating you monthly about how everyone who wants to be involved can participate moving forward.
More Upcoming Events
White Fragility: A Discussion

When: Wednesday, September 2, 2:00-3:00pm

"White Fragility" by Robin DiAngelo demonstrates how white privilege can be very translucent to those of us who benefit from it. In it she explains that whites have often thought of racism as individual intentional discriminatory acts by unkind people. This book demonstrates how racism is instead much broader and deeper, a many-centuries-old, complex system set up to perpetuate domination of one group by another with many powerful unseen roots. Read more here.

Please join us for a lively discussion of this book and the timely, important topic.
Dreaming of Crafts Projects
- An Exploring Creativity Event-

When: Thursday, September 3, 1:00pm
Where: Via Zoom

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. Read more here.
Please RSVP to Barbi Jo at for the Zoom link, and if you have photos of some of your work -- or of plans for work you would like to do -- she asks you to email them to her. The next session will be September 17th.
September Social Hour: Getting To Know You - Imagine a Photo Album of Your Life

When: Friday, September 4, 4:00-5:00pm

This afternoon we’re going to imagine there is a very special photo album on your bookshelf. What’s special about it is that the album only contains three photographs that you chose to put in it. Which photographs are they? They can be funny, serious, sad, happy, family, anything you want them to be. Come join us and share with us the three photographs that capture special moments or turning points in your life and tell us why.  
Science and Ideas Group: Out Of Africa: Recent Findings About Earliest Human Migrations

When: Wednesday, September 9, 3:00-4:30pm

About 70,000 years ago early humans started to migrate out of Africa into Asia and then Europe. Surprisingly, the earliest known migration led to Australia, which is both far away and required the crossing of seas. How did they accomplish this feat, and why Australia?
In our talk for September, Roger Newman will discuss the evidence we have for this remarkable migration. Evidence comes from the fields of archaeology, linguistics, and now comparative genetics. Studies of the ability of other animals and plants to disperse across water are also relevant and sometimes quite surprising. Read more here.
The Governor’s Master Plan on Aging: A Presentation by Fiona Ma
*Arts and Culture Series*

When: Sunday, September 13, 2:00-4:00pm
Where: via Zoom Webinar,

State Treasurer Fiona Ma will speak about the Governor’s Master Plan on Aging, many of the provisions of which promote aging in place. The Stakeholder Advisory Committee developing the Master Plan is currently finalizing its recommendations and will submit them to the Governor in October. Ms. Ma will address these recommendations, with particular emphasis on the possibility of a statewide, publicly funded, universal benefit for long-term services and support (LTSS). Read more about Fiona Ma here.
Writing in the Second Half of Life

When: Tuesday, September 15, 10:30 am - 12:00pm

Three published women poets – Joanne Rocky Delaplaine, Yeva Johnson, and Nancy L. Meyer – in their second half of life, will read their work and circle up for a discussion about these questions:
  • At what age did you come to writing? 
  • What brought you to it? 
  • What role does being a poet play in your life right now? 
  • How do you stand in your older voice as a poet?
Read more about these poets here.
Election 2020: An Analysis -
A Presentation by Robert Reich
*Arts & Culture Series*

When: Tuesday, September 22, 2:00-3:00pm
Where: Via Zoom Webinar

Robert B. Reich is Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley, where he teaches graduate students at Goldman School, along with 800 undergraduates each year. He served as Secretary of Labor in the Clinton Administration, for which Time Magazine named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the 20th century. He served as an advisor to President Barack Obama and also worked for Presidents Carter and Ford. He has 17 books, most recently, The System: Who Rigged It, How We Fix It. His books have been published in over 20 languages. He is a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His weekly column appears in Newsweek, The Guardian, The San Francisco Chronicle, and 160 other newspapers around the country. He is co-creator of two full-length documentaries, “Inequality for All,” which won the special feature award at the Sundance Film Festival, and Emmy nominated, “Saving Capitalism,” both now streaming on Netflix. He is the co-founder of Inequality Media, a nonprofit digital media organization aimed at debunking the right’s lies, educating the public about economics, inequality and imbalance of power, and breaking down solutions to the structural issues plaguing our country.
Learn the Art of Self Massage

When: Thursday, September 24, 10:30AM

This class will introduce self-massage and stretching techniques that can be used on yourself using a combination of bodyweight, household items and acupressure massage points for general relief and some more specific imbalances (irritability, breathing regulation, should-neck tension release).

Anna Ishida was raised in the Bay Area was trained at the Acupressure Institute (Berkeley, CA) in Zen Shiatsu, Tui Na & Acu-oil massage and has been a bodyworker for 15 years. Her work is primarily intuitive and incorporates all above-mentioned modalities based in Acupressure Jin-Shin technique which calls the client's attention to their own blockages to help facilitate free chi/qi/energy flow. 
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 Appreciations
Submitted by Ashby Village Members
Alison Colgan has been the wonderful facilitator for our Outlandish Neighborhood group for many years. Always cheerful and willing to help she takes on task after task: organizing and coordinating monthly meetings, offering her comfy house and beautiful garden for get-togethers, sharing flatware and glassware for potlucks, and even volunteering as a handyperson. I treasure her friendship! Submittted by Audre Newman

Roberta Pressman has been a dynamo for Ashby Village ever since I've known her. She helped to develop the Member Support Programs which now includes Healthier Aging, Connections (the friendly visitor program) and the Social Care Team, encouraging well being and providing comfort to many members. She keeps tabs on all its programs, fine tuning, solving problems, encouraging innovation and satisfaction for members and volunteers alike. Submitted by Audre Newman 
Elisabeth Scharbaum, shopper extraordinaire. My weekly grocery shopper has saved me untold anxiety and stress around food since MD doesn’t want me shopping in stores. Takes initiative and surprises me by dropping off an elusive product she found on her own time. Always polite, flexible, accommodating. Communicates easily and well. We renegotiate needs and schedules as we go. I feel I have found a new friend in Elisabeth and am deeply grateful to her and to AV. Submitted by Linda Blachman 

Thank you to all our volunteers!
Youth Spirit Artworks' "Tiny House Village" - Nears Completion

Through Ashby Village's Volunteer B'Cause Program, 22 of our volunteers, over several weekends in August and September of 2019, volunteered to help Youth Spirit Artworks build tiny homes for some of Oakland's homeless transition aged youth.

Finally, after "tireless work, funding pleas, celebrations, and setbacks, their 'tiny house village' is nearing completion". Read more about their journey from Berkeleyside's article here.
Exploring Creativity: Painting
In response to member interest, the Exploring Creativity organizing committee is expanding its reach. In previous newsletters, we have solicited participation in a life story writing group, a support group for creativity, a photography group, and a craft projects group. We are now exploring interest in groups or programming around painting.
The painting initiative is being spearheaded by award-winning painter Carolyn WarmSun, who comes to Ashby Village through the merger with North Oakland Village and has joined the Exploring Creativity organizing committee.
There are many ways members and volunteers might address their mutual passion for painting: interest groups, resource sharing on the website (for example, resources for learning how to paint), occasional “studio” visits with painters, etc. 
Carolyn asks that any of our members or volunteers who are especially interested in painting email her to indicate which activity most interests them:
  1. Looking at paintings and learning more about them—an art history emphasis
  2. Engaging with painters and their work, with the opportunity for questions and discussion
  3. Sharing your own paintings in an interest group to explore issues of mutual interest (e.g., new directions if you are stuck or possible exhibition of your works), and to learn together about materials, techniques, processes, etc.
  4. Learning to paint
  5. Something else … please describe
In order for us to plan well, it will be helpful if you select the option above that most interests you. If more than one is of major interest, rank them in preference. Please include the number above, with the corresponding description, and respond to Carolyn at no later than September 15.
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
New Articles Posted In TECH TIPS & RESOURCES

We just posted two new resources. Click the Village TECH TIPS & RESOURCES page to read them, and you’ll find the articles in the section, Tech Tips Articles from Village Voices: 2020.
Manage Your Passwords (or keep the front door open!) covers how to generate unique passwords, organize passwords, and store passwords securely. Since we’re all online more than ever, it’s important to use strong passwords to protect us from financial fraud and identity theft.
Streaming Almost Anything To Your TV describes what streaming is as well as the internet requirements, different streaming devices, streaming subscriptions, and how to watch what you most enjoy - sports, movies, TV, news, and more. You don’t need to pay for cable or satellite television - you can get all your shows from the internet! 
New Workshop Recording Posted on Village YouTube Channel
Did you miss our recent workshop, Streaming: Cut Your Cable? It’s all on the internet! by any chance?  Check out the recording on the Village Youtube channel. The recording captured our presentation and the Q&A discussions. The presenters covered: what streaming is and internet requirements; different streaming devices (e.g., Roku, Apple TV); options for free and paid subscriptions; and suggestions for streaming what you most enjoy - e.g., movies, TV series, news, and sports.
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
Getting to Know You: Sharing Finds of Our Times

On August 7 the Events Team held their second Social Hour on Zoom. As we did for the July Social Hour we created a topic of conversation for our participants. We decided on “Getting to know you: Sharing Finds of Our Times. Many of you, like us, have discovered new interests, new ways to spend time during these Pandemic times, so why not share recommendations and learn from each other about what we enjoy seeing, watching, doing.”
16 members and volunteers joined us for what turned out to be a really fun hour with lots of good ideas, stories and recommendations. Read all about what we learned here.
A Searing Look At Systemic Racism
Written by Julie Freestone

Troy Duster gave Ashby Village a stunning virtual lecture on a broiling day in August that will surely remain seared into the memory of the nearly 300 people who attended.

Duster, Chancellor’s Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley, past-president of the American Sociological Association and chair of the Board of Directors of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, used the event to explain in vivid ways why the murder of George Floyd under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer became a spark for a change in the Zeitgeist —the spirit and culture of this country.

If you missed the lecture, it is available for viewing HERE, and a link to Duster’s presentation slides are in the video description and can be accessed HERE. It should be mandatory viewing for anyone who wants to understand what systemic racism is and how the term suddenly after Floyd’s murder became common language for the media, politicians and everyday people.

ELDER ACTION Educates Ashby Village Members About Yes on Prop 15
Written by Rochelle Lefkowitz

In Election 2020 there’s a California ballot measure where we can have a real impact.
But big corporate opponents of Prop 15—Schools & Communities First—are targeting older women voters, especially homeowners. Yes, us.
Their direct mail and Facebook posts warn us that unless we vote down the measure that would bring $12 billion in new corporate property tax dollars each year for our state’s public schools and local governments, we soon won’t be able to afford the reason we joined Ashby Village: to age in our beloved homes and neighborhoods.
But, thanks to Ashby Village’s ELDER ACTION’s Prop 15 Task Force, says Ashby Village Board Member and ELDER ACTION co-chair Rochelle Lefkowitz, “We’re old enough to know better!”
And, since August 18, when Evolve Campaign Director Ben Grieff addressed us, we REALLY know why to say Yes on Prop 15—and we hope you will, too!

Read the full article and review the Prop 15 "To Do" List, and watch Ben's presentation here if you missed it.
What We Are Reading
Curated by volunteer Patricia Hom

by Paul Schrodt, Money, 11/22/2019

The Nikkei Asian Review, 11/23/2019

by Taylor Kubota, Stanford News, 06/03/2020

by Healthline, EcoWatch, 06/06/2020

by Jeffrey Young, HuffPost, 06/08/2020

by Minda Zetlin, Making It, 07/30/2020
Member Spotlight - Joan Feinberg
While apart, and unable to have our monthly in-person potlucks and happy hours, this column is meant to help each of us get to know our community members better. My goal in doing the column is to support the merger of the Ashby Village and North Oakland Village communities, so names in each become familiar to both.

- Member and section writer Ruby Long
Joan Feinberg has been a moving force in helping North Oakland Village folks feel like they’re part of a community. In normal times, she and her cohort, Sally Hunter, call every NOV member every month and have a good chat to see how they’re doing and if they need anything. These days they do it every two weeks. 

In addition, their Healthy Aging group, now meeting by Zoom, limited to eight members, meets every two weeks to talk about an aging related topic for two hours. At the end of eight weeks, a new group forms.

In between these tasks, Joan is part of a team that visits prospective members to make sure they understand the Village concept and help them decide if it is for them. As a member of the Membership Committee, she calls seven people a week to see how they’re doing. She was the one who set up Village Visitor, whose volunteers maintain regular contact with homebound members.

All of this is a natural extension of her thirty years as a social worker. Her last job, at Summit Hospital, focused on cancer education and prevention.

Not related is her twenty-two years at the Oakland zoo where, as a docent in the chimpanzee area, she, to quote her, “learned a lot from them.”

An active musician, she misses the COVID imposed halt of monthly East Bay Pickin’ and Fiddlin’ meetings where everyone plays or sings music. She does still manage some small group musical gatherings, however.

Another regular, long term passion is water aerobics at the Oakland Y. During COVID the group is continuing, without water, by Zoom.

In between all this, Joan and her husband, Abe, have been regulars at the monthly NOV potlucks.

Where does all this generosity and energy come from? Ask her when you see her next!
Bulletin Board
Medicare Fraud Awareness

Senior Medicare Patrol developed a helpful one-page novella telling how Medicare beneficiaries can protect themselves from enrollment fraud.

Please review it in either English or Spanish.
Ashby Village Member Looking for Housing

"Hi. I’m Bruce and I am an Ashby Villager. I will have to move out of my 30 year rented house in the upcoming months and will need a new home. The Golden Gate District of Emeryville, North Berkeley, the Hills the Elmwood District, or Rockridge would be ideal. Will also consider joining with someone to rent a complete house. I work full time, have assets and references if needed. Thanks."

Please contact Bruce with any leads or recommendations.
Looking for a Companion/Helper?

"I am 65 years old and spent years in the Telecom sector in engineering and sales. I have done Companion/Help services for over 5 years with two elderly people, one a lady in her 90s and the other a man in his late 80s. I got on well with both of them and lived in their homes while helping with meals, doing laundry, shopping, medical/dental appointments etc. Both of them wanted to be able to stay in their own homes. I have excellent references and am looking for a similar position." Contact Richard 415-971-3770.
Track Your Vote-By-Mail Ballot

All California voters will be sent a vote-by-mail ballot with a prepaid postage return envelope for the November 3, 2020 General Election.

All voters can now get critical updates on their ballots through California’s official “Where’s My Ballot?” tracking tool. Signing up takes less than three minutes! You can sign-up here.
Berkeley Mutual Aid is Looking for More Volunteers

Berkeley Mutual Aid is an evolving effort developed by volunteers in the community to get neighborly support to where it is needed most. Right now, they are focusing on helping people at higher risk from COVID-19 to help flatten the curve, and helping people who are being especially heavily impacted by COVID-19.

Like Ashby Village, Berkeley Mutual Aid are reliant on volunteers and are putting the call out for more. They’re especially looking for volunteers in the 94702 zip code. Please sign-up here if you can.
Looking for a New Home for Stairlift Chair

Bought it several years ago and have used only a very few times. It goes up/down 9 steps. The asking price is $1000 but negotiable. The buyer would have to remove and pick up. (The photo is not the actual chair). Please contact Lourdes at 708 466-0441
Free Antique Appraisal Service

A possible resource for those considering downsizing, shared by member and volunteer Jeanette Ward.

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