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May 2018 Newsletter

Village Network of Petaluma
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Village Network of Petaluma
A nonprofit membership
community of connection and support
serving the Petaluma and Penngrove area.

Village Office:402 Petaluma Blvd. North

Community- Support - Peace of Mind
Table of Contents

Welcome to the Village
Saturday, May 19, 11:0012:00 noon
Thursday, May 31, 11:00 – 12:00 noon
Thursday, June 14, 11:00
12:00 noon
Village office,402 Petaluma Blvd. North(at Oak St.).

An introductory meeting for adults 50+ and their familymembers who want to learn more about the innovativeVillage concept of “friends helping friends” to continue living vibrant, active, and connected lives in our own homes as we age. Learn how membership offers social engagement, transportation, home assistance, computer help, connection, and fun! Bring a friend or loved one, get your questions answered, and meet Village members and volunteers.


Men's Discussion Group
Thursday, May 3, 17, and 31,2:00 –3:30 pm, Village office.
We get together with other men on a regular basis to discuss men’s lives and other topics in a spirit of fellowship. If you are interested or even curious, please RSVP to
info@VillageNetworkofPetaluma.orgor776-6055.For members and active volunteers. The group, limited to 8, is now full. Call the office if you are interested in being on the waiting list.

NEW! Wednesday Morning Drop-In Coffee Hour at Aqus Cafe
Starting Wednesday May 16, 9:00 – 10:00 am, Aqus Café, 189 H. St., Petaluma
Village Network members and active volunteers are invited to a weekly drop-in Village Network Coffee Hour at Aqus Cafe, meeting every Wednesday. Village member and volunteer, Tiaga Liner, will coordinate this new way for Village folks to get to know each other.

Volunteer Driver Training
Monday, May 7, 1:004:00 pm, Villageoffice.
The Village. Network has been steadily growing, which means our need for volunteer drivers, our most requested service, is also growing. Members are deeply appreciative, and have glowing feedback about Village drivers. Completion of this training is necessary before driving Village members.RSVP by Wednesday,May 2


Awakening to Aging
Wednesday, May 23, 10:30 am – noon, Community Room, Petaluma Library, 100 Fairgrounds Drive.
A fresh look at the joys and challenges of aging based on the bookAwakening to Aging: Glimpsing the Gifts of Aging, edited by local therapist Dr. Myrtle Heery. The book is a deeply insightful anthology of personal stories of practical advice, wisdom, and compassion for the complexities of growing older. Dr. Heery will be joined by two local chapter authors, Regina Reilly, a Village member, and Bev Miller. Together theywill engage the audience in exploring some of the new frontiers of change this stage of life offers. Reflectprovided.

Dr. Myrtle Heery is a marriage and family therapist practicing in Petaluma since 1983 and founder of the International Institute of Humanistic Studies. She also teaches psychology, publishes books, and is a trainer in the mental health field.


Weekly Walking Group
Tuesdays,8:30 – 9:30 am. Meet at Walnut Park on4th St.
We have fun, great conversations, and exercise while exploring neighborhoods and gardens, or walking across the river. Everyone welcome. Email Sue Miller at
rmiller875@comcast.netfor info, and whether rain cancels.
Our Life Stories and Legacy
Tuesdays,10:15 – 11:45 am, Village Network Office, Newcomers welcome.
Our life stories and legacy are unique and important both individually and as a community. We explore ways to preserve, celebrate, and honor our experiences using writing and creative projects. For more info email Members free, non-members $5.m
Qigong Class
Thursdays,9:30 – 10:30 am, Village office. Newcomers welcome.
Fridays,3:30 – 4:30 pm, Petaluma Health Center,* 1179 No. McDowell
* Co-sponsored by the Petaluma Health Center and the Village Network

Qigong is a mindful movement training that supports balance, relaxation, vigor and strength. Qigong is also a meditative practice that encourages awareness, focus, and calmness. Participants report feeling confident as they walk without a fear of falling. There are no restrictions on who may comeif you cannot stand, the poses can be done easily in a chair. Members free, non-members $5.

Elad Levinson has studied QiGong for many years with teacher Teja Bell. He has also practiced meditation since 1975.

Film Discussion Group
Fridays, May 4 and 18,10:15 – 11:15 am, in a member's home.
Would you like to join a group of film lovers who get together to discuss the latest hits? We agree on a movie to see on our ownand discuss it at the next meeting. Please RSVP to Jerry Spremich at415-827-3206, or For Village members and volunteers.

Drawing Workshop: Yes, You Too Can Draw
Wednesday, May 9, 2:00 – 3:30, in a member’s home.
Drawing is fun, relaxing, and mindful. You can do it anywhere; all you need is a pen, a small sketch book, and the confidence that you too can draw. This workshop, for members and active volunteers, is for those who have little or no drawing experience. RSVP for location to

Facilitator Diane Benjamin is an artist and long-time art and art history teacher in local schools.

Gentle Chair Yoga -To Improve Balance, Flexibility and Increase Vitality
Wednesday, April 11 and 25,11:00 – noon, Village office.
Practice gentle yoga, Eden Energy exercises, breath work and meditation to promote your well-being. We work both sitting and standing and focus on stress reduction as well as improving strength and resilience. Members are free, non- members $5/class.

Bocce Ball
Wednesday, May 16,4:00 – 5:00 pm, Leghorn Park. (Meets the 3rdWednesday of each month.)
No experience necessary, rain cancels. We have a lot of fun! Newcomers are welcome. RSVP to George Beeler
Village Game Night
Friday, May 18, 4:00 – 6:00 pm, Village office,newcomers welcome!
A lovely way to relax and have fun at the end of your week. We have several new games to play...You can also bring a game you like, finger food snack or drinks (optional). Or just bring yourself. RSVP to the office for address at, or776-6055.

Gardening Group
Monday, May 21, 12 – 1:30 pm, at the home of a member. (Meets 3rdMonday of the month.)
Join our monthly gardening interest group, meeting in each other’s gardens. This is not about having a showplace, but about seeking suggestions, new ideas, and having fun. Please RSVP to Suzanne Clarke for the address, at707-364-6298, or

Potluck for Village Members and Volunteers: Newcomers welcome!
Sunday, May 27, 4:00 – 6:00pm, in a member’s home.
A time to get to know each other better, share good food, enjoy our “conversation café,” and have fun. For members and volunteers. RSVP to the office, at, or776-6055, for the address.

Tech Workshop
Wednesday, May 30, 1:00 – 2:30 pm, Village office.
Members at all experience levels welcome in this workshop, which will assist you with computer, tablet, or cell phone issues. Learn new ways to get things done and make your life easier. Led by Village volunteers Tom Horst and Paul Greenblatt. Please RSVP to

Reminder: If you are a member and need someone to come to your home to help with a computer problem, you can also schedule an appointment with a Village tech volunteer.

Village Singing Group
Thursday, May 31, 3:00 – 4:30 pm(Meets last Thursday of the month.)
No prior experience or talent necessary, just a love of making music. We try many kinds of music – and have a lot of fun! RSVP to Tiaga Liner at
tiagananda@gmail.comor658-1646for location.
Book Group
TheVillage Book Groupis taking a break until the fall and will resume based on interest and input on the kind of Book Group you want. Should we meet every month? Read fiction or nonfiction or both? Please send your ideas to Jane Merryman and let her know if you are interested in joining the group.For members and active


NEW: Mindfulness-Based Meditation Group
Saturdays,June 2 throughJuly 21, 10:00– 11:00 am, in a member's home.
TheMindfulness-Based Meditation Groupincludes two guided meditations per session, each with a brief introduction and a post-meditation check-in. Our goal is to hone our meditation skills and foster calmness, relaxation, compassion, gratitude, and nonjudgmental awareness. Registration is on a "first-come" basis for up to 12 Village members and active volunteers.RSVP byMay 21to reserve a place:

Facilitator Freeman Humphrey is a retired psychiatric social worker who has led mindfulness-based meditation groups for over ten years. For more information about the structure and focus of the meditation group, contact Freeman at

Travel Tips: Before, During and After
Monday, June 11, 10:00– 11:30 am, Village office. Open to members, volunteers, and the public.
What interests and excites you about travel? We will share our ideas and experiences to get the most out of roaming the world. How has travel changed in recent years? How havewechanged in our physical requirements and our reasons for getting out and about? Learn how to use the Internet to your advantage and discover organizations that offer learning experiences. RSVP toinfo@VillageNetworkofPetaluma.orgor776-6055.

Presenter Sue Miller worked in reservation sales and ticketing for 30 years with Pan Am and 5 years in business travel with American Express and has had a lifelong curiosity about our world.

Making Your Five Wishes Known: A Health Care Directive with Heart
Monday, June 18, 10 – 12 noon, Village office
Have you made out a Health Care Directive? Or have you been thinking about doing it, but just can't get around to it? Either way, this workshop is for you. The Five Wishes format is a compassionate expansion of the standard advance directive, adding instructions for "How I want people to treat me" and "What I want my loved ones to know." We will explore feelings about our final wishes, receive a copy of the Five Wishes booklet, walk through each of its sections, and get a start on making our wishes known.The workshop is limited to 20 members and active volunteers, and an RSVP is required to reserve your place.Please respond to
info@VillageNetworkofPetaluma.orgor776-6055as soon as possible.k

Marjorie Sands received her Five Wishes training through Hospice of Petaluma and has facilitated a number of workshops on this topic.

TED Talks Discussion Group
Wednesday, June 20, 10:30 – 11:30, Village office.
We watch two or three Ted Talks and talk about what they talked about—anything from current politics, elements of a spiritual life, how our language changes, science in everyday affairs, why we travel, what is happiness. Open to members and active volunteers. Contact Jane Merryman for more information:
jane@sonic.netor707-775-1754. RSVP toinfo@VillageNetworkofPetaluma.orgor776-6055.

We Are Moving This Summer
We are are delighted to announce a new partnership! PEP Housing has offered to sub-lease space in their headquarters tothe Village Network. Many details need to be worked out, and the space needs a great deal of preparation. We anticipate moving in August. PEP has requested that Village members and volunteers not drop in until our move-in date, and we will keep you all posted.

In the meantime,
the Village will continue in our current office at402 Petaluma Blvd. North,at the same time (officehours MondayThursday,10:00 am1:00 pm), with monthly informationalWelcome Meetings on Thursdays and Saturdays as announced. Watch for our upcoming funding campaign to help cover moving expenses.
Member Profile: Barbara Stagg
Barbara Stagg joined the Village community soon after she moved to Petaluma in November of last year. As an attorney specializing in estate planning, trusts, and probate, along with elder abuse and mediation, she brings a wealth of knowledge and personal experience of many issues pertinent to Village members.

Born into a large extended family in New York City, Barbara early on developed a sense of community that no doubt fostered her interests in community, service, and connecting with the larger society. Those concerns were encouraged at Antioch College, where she participated in a co-op job program while studying English and Literature. After graduation, Barbara married her college sweetheart and began a family that would eventually comprise five daughters.

In her early 30s, she returned to work as a secretary with the Geothermal Division of Union Oil Company. After earning a master’s degree in Environmental Management from the University of San Francisco, she became an Environmental Specialist and eventually attended UC Davis Law School with the intention of practicing environmental law in the alternative energy field.

However, her mother’s serious illness required that Barbara take a leave of absence from law school. The experience of caring for her mother through the last stage of her life ultimately impacted the direction of Barbara’s future law practice, leading her to specialize in elder law.

After selling her 100-year-old farm in Cotati and moving to Petaluma, Barbara also relocated her law practice here and now happily “walks to work.” With her daughters and their families scattered on both coasts, she has remained self-sufficient and independent, but felt that the Village Network of Petaluma matched her values and interests and would be a great way to make friends in her new community. Barbara has found that participating in community life contributes to a sense of well-being and considers sharing and exchanging resources part of the joy of life.
Whenever I drive a Village member,
I ask them how they like the Village,
and they’ve all said “we love it.”
- a Village volunteer driver
Driverless Taxis Help Keep Silicon Valley Retirees Independent

After successfully launching a fleet of autonomous cars in a San Jose, CA retirement community, the startup company Voyage has introduced the same technology to a 125,000-resident 55+ community in Florida. Partnering with Camera, a company that provides extensive, detailed maps of local roads, Voyage continuously imports data updates into the cars to ensure safety and efficiency. The taxi service has received an enthusiastic response among residents of The Villages Golf and Country Club in San Jose, where the initial rollout began last October. Residents can use a smartphone app to summon a self-driving car and travel autonomously around the community. The first passenger to try the service was Beverly Clifford, who is blind and previously found local transportation challenging. She now uses voice commands with her Voyage phone app to call a taxi and travel easily among points of interest within the Villages.

Several other elder living communities are looking into self-driving taxis as a step beyond the traditional community bus. And with the second Voyage rollout in the 40-square-mile Florida community, the idea seemed poised to take off as a way to keep people who cannot or prefer not to drive active and on the move.
- Kathy Lawrence

Good News for Older Adults

The prestigiousJournal of the American Medical Association(JAMA) recently published some encouraging statistics about the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia in the U.S.: the incidence has actually declined by 25% to 30% over the last 25 years. More good news: those who are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s are being diagnosed at older ages. Another study of more than 21,000 people older than 65 found that the rate of Alzheimer’s decreased from 11.6% to 8.8% between 2000 and 2012.

These improvements may be part of a general decrease in diseases associated with aging in this and other wealthy countries. And in further positive news, the National Bureau of Economic Research reports that an increase in life expectancy in the past two decades has been accompanied by an even greater increase in life years free of disability. New treatments for heart disease and cancer are responsible for much of the improvement, as are better diagnoses and increased educational levels. Greater participation in exercise, particularly aerobic exercise, has also contributed to the delay or prevention of dementia. The specific contributions of social, behavioral, and medical factors to this advancement needs additional study, however. There is even speculation among some researchers that the cellular process of aging may be changing, with benefits for the aging population, but more work in this area is also needed.
It’s unfortunate that these positive results are relatively unknown and undiscussed, but people’s fear of cognitive decline combined with generally alarming media coverage of the disease tends to emphasize the negative. Theodds of dementia do increase with age, but itisnottypical of aging.The falling dementia ratesshould help reduce anxiety and instill greater peace of mindamong older Americans.

- Kathy Lawrence

Formally Lifeline, now Connect America West
For those of you who have been using the personal emergency response system called Philips Lifeline, thePetaluma Healthcare District, who sponsored Lifeline, has moved to a new provider, Connect America. Your service will not be disrupted. The Petaluma Healthcare District will be upgrading all units and swapping out equipment in the coming weeks. If you have questions, contact Dave Decker at Petaluma Healthcare District office, atdave.decker@ConnectAmerica.comor707-778-7883.

Donors to ourMembership Partners Program

Patricia Arfsten
George and Ellen Beeler
Suzanne Clarke
Fr. Michael Culligan, St. James Church
Deborah Dalton
Becky Devine
Maria DoCeu, Out West Garage
Earl and Micky Dolcini
Laura Dunne and Stacey Banas
Selma Ehrlich
Paul and SherryEklof
Linda Endicott
Rabbi Ted Feldman, B’nai Israel Jewish Center
Ann and Mel Fox
Gopal Gauchan, Everest Indian Restaurant
Majida Gibson
Wayne and Robin Guptill
Marcia Hince
Kiwanis Club of Petaluma
Scotti Kluess
Lucy Kortum
Diane Judd and Ronald Krempetz
Robert Leichtner
Tiaga Liner
Maryann Marks andElad Levinson
Jell Lyons, Adobe Creek
Pat Martin
Kathy MacDonald
Len and Charlotte Nelson
Teresa Nelson
Nora Pearl
Leslie Quadres
Kris Rebillot
Alice Rebizzo
Starr Rohrman
Robin Schaef
Paula Schafer
Vreni Schnirman
Eileen and Ernie Simard
Janine and Ray Slaughter
Lori Torkelson
Janny Van Aalderen and David Quist

Your donations are vitally important in building a sustainable organization.
All financial and in-kind donations are tax deductible,
as we are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

If you would like to support the Village Network, make checks payable to:
"Village Network of Petaluma"
P.O. Box 442
Petaluma, CA 94953

Or you can donate on-line at

2016 Donors to the Village Network are deeply appreciated

Diamond Sponsors - $1,000 to $5,000
Stanton Lawson andGabriella Ambrosi
Sequoia Senior SolutionsIn-Home Care Provider
Jan Conlon
Anne and Paul Greenblatt
Pat Martin

Supporting Donors-$500 to $999
Steve Ayala
George and Ellen Beeler
Lolly Burns
James and Harriet Coyne
Sherry and Paul Eklof
Marie Fletcher
Ann and Mel Fox
Linda Fox and Floyd Dickman
Robert Gallup
Marilyn Hartley
Gary and Lynn Imm
Janice Kearns
Darcy Levy
Sid and Gerry Lipton
Barbara and Jake Mackenzie
William McDevitt
Suzanne Miller
Diane Olberg
Nancy Porter
JoAnn Pozzi

Supporting Donors - $100 to $499
Doris Bowman
Joanne Martin Braun
Lyndi Brown and Anthony Tusler
Pat Burns
Chris and Sue Castellucci
Suzanne Clarke
Jodi Clinesmith and Chris Samson
Sam Doctors and Meredith Cahn
Ken Gertz
Peter HolewinskiHome Care Assistance
Gary and Lynn Imm
Kathy Lawrence and Rod Fraser
Kit Loofroos
Margaret Kullberg
Elad Levinson
Bill and Catherine Luther
Len and Charlotte Nelson
PEP Housing
Emil Perlsteiner
David and Cheryl Perry
Mike and Sue Riley
Eileen Simard
George Young and Kelly Corbett

Donors-up to $100
Bridie Acton
Janet and Vernon Burrows
Patricia Early
Bill and Margaret Fishman
Tina Hittenberger and Chuck Pyle
Marilee Jensen
Hilda Jobson
Kathleen Kestlyn
Nina Komiakoff and Paul Smith
Lucy Kortum
Nancy Kull
Joanne Martin Braun
Kathy MacDonald
Maryann McCourt
John Mazzella
Caroline O'Reilly and family
Paul Praetzl
Starr Rohrman
Jerry Spremich
Pam Torliatt

We extend our appreciation to Kathy Lawrence our newsletter writer/editor,
and to Denise Wilbanks, who handles MailChimp formatting,

for contributing their expertise.

Community-Support-Peace of Mind

As part of a national movement, the Village Network of Petaluma is a nonprofit membership organization empowering adults 50+ to continue living active, independent, and connected lives in our own homesand apartments as we age.

402 Petaluma Blvd. North - -707-776-6055
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Village Network of Petaluma
P.O. Box 442