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July 2018 Newsletterr

Village Network of Petaluma

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


Getting to Know Us. Learn What the Village Offers at Welcome Meetings
Thursday, July 12, 11:00 am - 12:00 noon
Saturday, July 21, 11:00 am - 12:00 noon
Village office, 402 Petaluma Blvd. North (at Oak St.)

An introductory meeting for adults 50+ and familymembers who want to learn more about the innovativeVillage concept of “friends helping friends.”Learn how membership offers social engagement, transportation, home assistance, computer help, connection, and fun! Get your questions answered, and meet Village members and volunteers.


Weekly Walking Group
Tuesdays, 8:30 – 9:30 am. Meet at Walnut Park on 4th 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.
Wednesday Morning Drop-In Coffee Hour
Wednesdays, 9:00-10:00 am, Aqus Cafe, 189 H St.
Village members and active volunteers are invited to a Wednesday weekly drop-in Village member and volunteer Tiaga Liner facilitates this new way for Village folks to get to know each other.

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, July 6 and 20, 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 at
415-827-3206, For Village members and volunteers.

Gentle Chair Yoga -To Improve Balance, Flexibility and Increase Vitality
Wednesday, July 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.

Teacher Pat Martin, CMT, EEM-CP, CYT, focuses on optimizing health and managing stress using Massage Therapy, Yoga, and Eden Energy Medicine. Pat also teaches yoga at P.O.S.T. Wellness by Design.

Bocce Ball
Wednesday, July 18, 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, July 13, 4:00 – 6:00 pm, in a member’s home,newcomers welcome!
A great 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, July 16, 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, at

Potluck for Village Members and Volunteers: Newcomers welcome!
Sunday, July 29, 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, July 25, 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, Steve Schlich 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, July 26, 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 Takes a Break
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

TED Talks Resume in September

Online calendar

Village Network office: 402 Petaluma Blvd. North

Village Moving to New Home
atPEP Housing Headquarters
We are delighted to announce a new partnership! PEP Housing has offered to sub-lease space to the Village Network in their administrative headquarters located at 955 Petaluma Blvd. South.

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, at the same time (office hours Monday – Thursday, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm), with monthly informational Welcome Meetings on Thursdays and Saturdays as announced.

We welcome donations to help us meet the costs (around $5000) of our move. Donations can be made on-line at onDonationson the sidebar), or by mail to VNP, P.O. Box 442, Petaluma, CA 94953.

Village Member Profile: Jane Merryman

After 25 years as librarian at Petaluma High School, Jane Merryman began looking for places to retire. Top on her list of requirements was year-round hiking. Next was easy access to the arts.Her search extended up the West Coast and into the Southwest, but it turned out that Petaluma, with its proximity to big-city culture as well as to mountains and seashore, was the only town that provided everything she wanted.

“I have more friends now than at any other time of my life. All because of the Village.”

“Petaluma is probably the only place on earth where you can hike in a wilderness area in the morning,” Jane said, “and attend a world-class opera in the evening.”

Jane moved to Petaluma and began her work at Petaluma High in 1972, when she was newly divorced with two children. She soon discovered Annadel State Park and Point Reyes National Seashore and began to take long walks in the woods, sometimes bringing along the kids (who are still hikers), but often alone.The local Audubon Society and the California Native Plant Society helped her learn about the bird life and plants she was spending time with.

Eventually Jane started a freelance copy editing and book indexing business, working at home.“If I wanted to hikeon Tuesday, I did, and put in the billable hourson Saturday,” she said. “I began volunteering as a docent at Jack London State Park in Glen Ellen, partly because Jack and I share the same birthday (not the same year!) and I felt a certain ineffable connection to one of America’s most well-known authors.”

About five years ago Jane heard Anne Greenblatt give a talk at the Petaluma Senior Center about a new idea, the Village Network.She soon got involved in planning and then putting together monthly programs for the Petaluma Village.“This made me realize that one of the things I liked best about being a librarian was connecting people to the information they needed. Now I get to do that all the time,” she said.

Jane still finds time to travel, paint, write, garden, and, most recently, has become a fan of Country and Western music.“And,” she adds, “I have more friends now than at any other time of my life. All because of the Village. Thank you.”

Beware of ScamsRelated to New Medicare ID

Medicare has begun issuing new membership cards to all recipients, a process that should be complete by April 2019.The purpose of the change is to remove Social Security numbers from membership cards in order to prevent ID theft and fraud.

The new card, consisting of 11 random digits and letters, will become the recipient’s new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI). (About one-third of Medicare recipients receive their benefits through private insurance known asMedicare Advantage plans. Those cards do not include Social Security numbers and therefore will not change.)

Although the changeover will prevent theft of Social Security information and provide more security, it has precipitated new forms of scamming, according to the Federal Trade Commission.
Scammers may call Medicare beneficiaries and ask for their new numbers or other personal information, supposedly to confirm their new Medicare cards. Or they might ask for credit card or banking information to pay for the new cards.

Be aware that there is no charge for the cards, your benefits won’t change, and Medicare won’t call to ask for personal or financial information.Any such calls or others suspicious contacts should be reported to
Senior Medicare Patrolor855-613-7080. Questions about the new cards can be directed to Medicare at800-434-0222.

Two Helpful Programs You May Not Know About

Useful resources are available forpeople who incur extra energy costsdue to medically required heating, air conditioning, or medical equipment, and for those who are medically unable to put out their own refuse collection cans.

1. Medical Baselineis a financial assistance program fromPG&Efor residential customers with special energy needs due to certain qualifying medical conditions. Information is available from PG&E at1-800-743-5000.

2. The Walk In program from Recologyprovides special services to residents who are physically unable to set their bins near the curb for collection. The local Recology office can provide information at 1-800-243-0291.Both programs require a letter from the customer requesting the service as well as a letter from a physician attesting to the medical need for the service.

Smart Tips Take Trouble Out of Travel

Attendees at theTravel Tipsprogram last month had a great time and shared lots of valuable information. Village member Sue Miller and her friend Andrée Langlois demonstrated how to pack light. No one ever says,“I wish I’d taken more.”

Use Google freely to learn more about these tips. And you can design your own trip using

This site provides information about all types of transportation, including air, ferries, bus, train, and more. And you can book tickets from the site. Decide what you want to do and see, and book day tours with

The following are some of the helpful tips from Sue and Andrée:

1. Travel with one small suitcase and a tote– every ounce adds up.

2. Take a light weight foam visor– they weigh almost nothing.

3. A lightweight Therabandhelps you stretch out the kinks.

4. Take beauty and cosmetic itemsin a folding case to hang in a bathroom; you can’t count on counter space abroad.

5. For comfort en route,a pashmina shawl keeps your neck warm on the plane and doubles as a wrap during your trip.

6. Some of the new light weight travel neck support pillows or scarveshavehidden internal neck support systems to hold your head and neck in the best position for sleeping – and are machine washable.

7. Don’t forget a light weight foldable bagfor shopping.

8. Put your name, contact number, and destinationon the inside and outside of your suitcase, in case it is lost (but don’t divulge your home address).

9. For foreign travel,research international text plans and whether you’ll need to have your carrier unlock your phone, or get a SIM card at the destination airport.

10. Pay with a credit cardbut use a debit card for cash.

11. Buy your rail pass in the U.S.and activate it in a foreign country. It also works on postal busses and steamers.

Aside from the specific recommendations offered during the program, we enjoyed hearing from one another about international people-to-people groups such asFriendship Force, Road Scholar, Servas, house trades, and three-month volunteering forays to India and other destinations.

Find local group travel through Santa Rosa-based
You always meet other solo travelers on motor coach trips to Northern California games, shows, and attractions, or outbound tours all over the U.S. and Canada. Our ownPetaluma Senior Centeralso offers trips.

Friendships Provide Huge Health Benefits and Enrich Lives

Loneliness and social isolation are common byproducts of our busy, fast-paced society. Several recent studies reveal that loneliness is particularly prevalent among older adults and can contribute to a host of health issues. We often lose friends as we age, and the opportunities for making new ones diminish.

The loss of a social support system can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, depression, and dementia and raises the risk of an early death by 26%. The cure for this ill is to make, sustain, and possibly reinvigorate friendships.

If you have moved away from old friends, you can keep touch by email, phone calls, and other electronic means. But making local friends with whom you can share your life more fully and more frequently reaps even greater rewards.

While it’s not always easy to put ourselves out there and risk rejection, the rewards are worth the effort. When two people “click,” they embark on a process of mutual support and understanding that enriches both lives.

Participating in the sorts of classes and events offered regularly by the Village is a great way to establish bonds that can lead to lasting relationships.

Having just a few people in our lives whom we trust, can talk comfortably with, and whose company we enjoy provides huge health benefits. In fact, one study found that supportive friends contribute more to well-being than family ties.

As members of the Village community, we have a unique opportunity to participate in activities that we find enjoyable and rewarding. But even more important, we can share them with people who have similar interests and therefore are likely candidates for friendships that will both improve our health and enhance our lives.
Download July programs in calendar format

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
Jeff 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


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

Major 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
Copyright © 2018 Village Network of Petaluma, All rights reserved.