of the

San Mateo County Council of the Blind


April. 2002 Vol. 3 No. 3


President's Message

by Frank Welte

With the mid-April tax-filing deadline approaching many of us at this time of year find ourselves pondering our financial position more than usual. The speaker at our April SMCCB meeting, Philip Bombace, will provide answers to financial questions that we all have. Mr. Bombace has been the Investment Specialist (ISPEC) of the Levy Financial Group for New England Securities since Nov. 1996. He is responsible for supporting the investment activities of over 100 NASD registered Representatives of New England Securities.

During our April meeting, we shall make final preparations to host the Spring Convention of the California Council of the Blind in San Mateo from May 2 to 5. Our chapter is recruiting convention volunteers, hosting several convention parties and performing important roles during convention general sessions. I shall be serving as the Master of Ceremonies for the convention banquet. Because of our heavy involvement in the convention we shall not have a chapter meeting in May.

On Saturday, March 23, SMCCB members gathered for a bowling outing in Redwood City. The seven bowlers and two spectators had a great time, so we'll be going back for more in April. Mark your calendar for Saturday, April 27 at 2:00 PM when we shall meet at AMF Redwood Lanes bowling center at 2580 El Camino Real in Redwood City. Please call me if you plan to attend this activity, so I'll know how many bowling rails and lanes we'll need. Remember to bring $8.00 to pay for bowling and for rental of bowling shoes.

Our membership is 42. We hope to be at 60 by the end of the year. PLEASE PAY YOUR DUES. It is only $10 for SMCCB, CCB & ACB.

Our meetings take place on the first Saturday of the month at 11:30 A.M. It is in the Bank of America branch on El Camino Real and 3rd Avenue in downtown San Mateo. For more information contact Frank Welte at (650) 508-8329 or send an e-mail message to [email protected].



By Jean Ackerman

Consider your preparation and response in these situations:

A premiere "BE PREPARED-2002" seminar was developed by the members of the Consumer Advisory Committee (CAC) of the Peninsula Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired (PCBVI). Over forty people attended this. seminar in Palo Alto.

The program contents were specifically chosen to impact on the needs of the blind and visually impaired community. A major part of the information presented is applicable to anyone.

Consumer Advisory Committee members, Dawn Wilcox and Noel Runyan, successfully organized this highly informative and hands-on event. The speakers were chosen because of their expertise in preparation for disaster and other emergency situations.

Dawn opened the seminar highlighting the World Trade Center tragedy of September 11, 2001. People of the United States and the world, shocked by the terrorists attack, now fear further disasters. The result of this attack brought the nation to alertness. The seminar "Be Prepared" was created in the wake of the trauma of "911" with special attention given to those who may be more vulnerable in emergency and disaster situations.

The first presenter, Chief Mick McDonald is in charge of the Office of Emergency Services (OES) for San Mateo County. The Chief stressed the placement of smoke detectors in the kitchen, bedrooms, laundry room and garage. For those who have gas heating and gas appliances, he recommends carbon monoxide and smoke detectors.

The Chief emphasized the need of preplanning for any emergency or disaster. The details of planning ahead were provided in handouts for attendees. (Refer to the end of this article on how you can get copies in the format best for you.) The next presenter was Dave Talas, a Western Blind Resource Center instructor with the Veterans Administration, Palo Alto Health System. He presented information that applies to blind and visually impaired people as well as others with special needs. Dave explained the use of emergency supplies. He invited people to review the supplies and ask specific questions at the conclusion of the meeting.

John Glass, from the SVCB and a ham radio operator, emphasized the use of these radios versus Citizen Band (CB) radios. One of the major advantages of this type of communication device is that it does not rely on telephone lines. Phone communication is often disrupted during disasters–such as earthquakes and floods. John shared information about becoming a ham operator. Brochures and other information were available to attendees.

Noel Runyan, from the CAC, addressed general and special needs issues. Noel noted the importance of maintaining copies of family records and contact phone numbers. He drew attention to emergency supplies for people and for their animals. With a reminder to routinely review prepared records, medical information and emergency supplies, Noel encouraged ongoing preparedness. He advised participants to keep supplies and first aid kits available in their homes and cars. Also, you were encouraged to update supplies routinely.

Dawn Wilcox, Chairperson of the CAC and Coordinator of The Health Library, spoke about biological threats. She dubbed these as "Bad Bugs". In this category are anthrax, airborne plague, botulism, smallpox, and airborne tularemia. Descriptions of the symptoms for each "Bad Bug" are available as hand-outs.

To acquire a list of the available information, contact The Health Library (THL) at the PCBVI. Phone (650) 858-0202 ext. 32 or e-mail [email protected]. Please specify the desired format. Items may be available in large print, braille or cassette. All materials are available on diskette in PC or Mac format.

About the Author: Jean is the secretary of our SMCCB and volunteers as a health care consultant at PCBVI. She received her BS degree at UC Berkeley and BSN at UC San Francisco. During the Viet Nam War Jean spent two years in the Air Force stationed in Osan Air Force Base in Korea. After completing her service she received an MSN at the University of Miami, Florida.

List of available information

Animals: Emergency supplies kit for your service animal or pets

Bad Bugs: A description of the major bioterrorism germ agents.

Before: Preparations you should do before an emergency

Car-Kit: Emergency supplies kit for your car

Cheap Cell: Various cheap or low budget cellular phones for emergency communications

During: What to do during a disaster

Emergency Numbers: Phone numbers for Santa Clara and San Mateo emergency services

First Aid: First aid and other medical supplies lists

Food: Recommendations from Office of Emergency Services for food storage

HamRadio: About ham radio, Handi-Hams, getting your FCC license, and loaner equipment

LiveWith: Living With Our Faults (from OES)

LV-Stuff: Emergency supplies for people with visual impairments

PhoneTip: Office of Emergency Services tips for telephone use during emergencies

Postal: Recommendations of Post Office for safe handling of mail

PowerGen: Select a home, backup electrical power generator

Pubs: Disaster and preparedness related publications

Records: Important family info. to copy and for emergencies

RedCross: The Red Cross Disaster Preparedness Manual for Persons with Disabilities

Resource: Important websites, phone numbers, and addresses

SafeHome: Making sure your home is safe from earthquakes

Supplies: Emergency supplies list

Symptoms: Brief listing of expected symptoms after exposure to the major bioterrorism agents.

Terror: FEMA's recommendations for dealing with terrorist-caused emergencies

Water: How to directions for storing, purifying, and finding emergency drinking water.

YourNums: A form for listing your important numbers.

Your SMCCB Chapter in Action

Our Speaker's Bureau has been busy. Frank addressed the Blind Veterans in Palo Alto. Bill spoke to the Woodside Homeowners Association and a Brownie troop in Los Altos.

Last year we sold 12 boxes of chocolates. This year we already have sold 16 boxes.

Our Bowling group had its first outing at the AMF Redwood Lanes. There were 9 keglers who attended the outing. Jeanie Ackerman surpassed her best score ever by 24 pins in her first game and then proceeded to beat that higher score by another 27 pins. Congratulations!!

Frank Welte went to Washington D.C. and met with Congressmen Tom Lantos. Frank found him very interested. He also attended the President's meeting in Houston, TX.

All of 2001 we had 4 booths at fairs. This year we already have had a successful exhibit at the CSM Volunteer Fair and gathered 40 signatures. April 9-10 we shall again be at the CSM Health Fair. April 27, at the Hillsdale Mall, we shall have an Emergency Preparedness exhibit for the Blind and Visually impaired. May 10th we shall be at Stanford for the PCBVI Vision Seminar. It is hoped that it will be a joint booth with, SVCB, our sister chapter to the south. As the hosting chapter for the State Convention in San Mateo, May 2-5, we shall have our first booth at a state convention. Thus, by May 5, we shall have surpassed last year's total.

Just received the program for the May 10 program at Stanford. Here is a brief outline. Registration forms will be coming soon.

Friday, May 10, 2002

Fairchild Auditorium, Stanford University Medical Center

Understanding Your Vision: Is It In Your Genes?

Preregistration Fee $25, $35 at the door (includes box lunch)

The 3rd Biennial Conference will bring together

educators, parents, rehabilitation specialists and people with vision loss.

Presenters will come from across the United States with

backgrounds in ophthalmology, law, technology and behavioral

sciences. About 250 attended the 2000 conference.

8:30a Registration and Coffee

8:50a Welcome, Pam Brandin, Executive Director

9:00a "The Chairman of the Library Board Can't Read the Books!"

Barry Levine, Homer Glen, Illinois, is a business owner and public

Library Trustee. He will share with us his experience making the transition

from fully sighted through low vision to total blindness as a result of a genetic

eye condition, retinitis pigmentosa.

10:30a "What's new in the Genetics of eye disease? Will this research lead

to treatment?"

Richard A. Lewis MD, MS Cullen Eye Institute, Baylor College of Medicine,

Houston, Texas, an ophthalmologist who is an expert on the genetics of eye diseases.

12:00n Lunch

1:00p Stem Cells and Other Legal and Ethical Issues that affect Eye Research

Hank Greely JD, C. Wendell and Edith M. Carlsmith Professor of Law,

Stanford University, Stanford, California.

2:15p Legal Advocacy as a Part of Living with Low Vision

Lainey Feingold Esq. Berkeley, California, listened to people with vision

loss and now they listen to talking ATMs.

3:00p Approaching Low Vision from the Other Direction

Mike May, CEO, Sendero Group, Davis, California, is a successful

businessperson in the field of assistive technology.

He is totally blind since age 3. Now he is 43 years of age.

4:00 - 5:30p Exhibits


The Bulletin
San Mateo County Council of the Blind
Phil Kutner: Editor
1128 Tanglewood Way,
San Mateo, CA 94403
Ph 650-349-6948
E-mail: [email protected]