News

Arts Around August

Join the Walnut Creek Historical Society Tuesdays in August at 6 pm for a fascinating 90 minute history walk through 4 blocks of downtown Walnut Creek. Come and see how living in our city has changed over the past 165 years!

August 10
August 17
August 24
August 31

Meet at the fountain at Liberty Bell Plaza. Tour will begin at 6 PM so please arrive at least 15 minutes ahead.

News

President’s Message

by Fred Rentschler, WC Seniors Club President

Now that the state of California has relaxed many Covid restrictions, it is time to think about returning to the Senior Center. Our target date is September after Labor Day. When the Center reopens, there will be some new procedures. Everyone who attends a drop-in group meeting will need to be a member of the Walnut Creek Seniors Club. And the drop-in fees of $2 per meeting will be mandatory, instead of optional because we will be paying a room rental fee to The City for the first time.

You can help us with the transition by joining the WC Seniors Club now. This way you can avoid delays and long lines waiting to fill out membership forms when the center reopens.

We are looking for a volunteer for each drop-in group to collect drop-in fees and manage the sign-in sheet. If you would like to be an assistant, let your group leader know. Some groups will need a new leader. If you are interested in becoming a drop-in group leader, let us know by emailing wcseniorsnews@gmail.com

Activities, News

Walking Buddies

Photo Above: Twelve Walking Buddies participated in the hike via Larkey Park on May 18, which we described in a recent WCSC newsletter. The picture was taken at the turnaround point by Dan Crowley.

 

by Rolando Salazar

It is usually hot here in July. Why do these Walking Buddies go out on their hikes this time of the year in the blazing sun? Are they crazy?

Actually, we try to pick walks that are shady or cool in the summer and dry and/or paved in the winter. We also start early, around 8:45 to 9:00 in the morning and are usually back by 10:30 or 11:00. It’s a lot of fun and good exercise. We are a bunch of nice, interesting people, too.

For example, in July, we are going to walk the Iron Horse Trail from the Rudgear/Danville Rds. Staging Area to the Stone Valley Staging Area. This

section of the IHT is one of the prettiest. It is mainly shaded and follows a path behind residential homes where horses are kept. It has the ambiance of being in the country. At the turn-around point is the Stone Valley Shopping Center. The round trip distance for this section is about 4 miles. Why don’t you check us out? Get out of the house and breathe fresh air. For more information contact Rolando Salazar at rsalazar94598@gmail.com.

The schedule is online at  Hike Schedule for July-December 2021 (tripod.com)

News

Meet Volunteer Frank Napoli

by Donn King

When you see Senior Club volunteer Frank Napoli for the first time, try not to hold it against him that he is so handsome. It’s a terrible affliction that Frank has struggled with his entire life. However, this is one good-looking guy that you can trust. Frank puts in literally dozens, if not hundreds, of hours working for seniors here is the county. He shops and delivers groceries and library books, runs errands, and drives our club members all over the county to appointments and engagements. Frank also is active in the Creaker softball program, the senior softball club for Walnut Creek Senior Club members. He is a generous teammate and although he is a talented ball player, Frank keeps a low profile and just does his job.

Frank had a successful career in the news business and lived in England and Italy with his family for extended periods of time. He is fluent in Italian and is a man of broad experience. He lives in Walnut Creek with his wife Kathy. They have been married for 44 years and have three grown sons. Frank grew up in New Jersey and stays very emotionally close to his family. When you see Frank out in the ball field, or running errands for seniors, don’t forget to thank him for his work. He is a guy whom we are very lucky to have.

News

Water District Rebate

The Contra Costa Water District has a Lawn to Garden Rebate Program that provides rebates to qualified customers to replace their existing water-thirsty front lawns with water-wise landscaping. The rebate is $1 per square foot with a maximum of $1,000 per single-family residence and up to $20,000 for commercial, homeowner associations, industrial and institutional properties. The program is not retroactive.

Before: With Lawn
After: Using Rebate

News

Advisory Board Minutes for April 19, 2020

Walnut Creek Seniors Club
Advisory Board Meeting
April 19, 2021

 

Welcome & Call to Order at 9:30 AM

      Approval of Last Meeting Minutes.   Minutes approved.

 

Treasurer’s Report.  Bob Mohler: Creakers are back in business. Unrestricted checking is up from March.  Creakers’ income is also higher.  Registration for Creakers was compressed into March. Bob has started working on income tax return.  May 15th is the normal filing date for nonprofits.  He is expecting a check from the city for the dues they have collected so far.  Our CD is coming due.  Bob made a motion to roll it over for another 6 months.  Jeanne seconded.  Motion passed.  Fred congratulated Bob and the Board for a good balance sheet. 

 

Correspondence – None

 

Manager/Coordinator Update

         Vanessa Cendejas. The building is still being scheduled to reopen in the fall.  The city has been meeting with Meals on Wheels and other groups that used to meet in the building for the fall.  Kat has worked with Lisa Mattone for the travel group.  They have scheduled a group to take a bus trip to Golden Gate Park in June.  The City is sending out a survey to members next week and wants info on what kinds of questions the Board would like added to survey. The city is actively looking at the MOU for signing.

   

Presidents Report.  Ellen Sorbone is theoretically a board member but has not attended a meeting and we are having a problem communicating with her.  Regina is hoping to meet with her this afternoon and will ask Ellen if it is ok if Regina gives Fred her phone number

 

Unfinished Business

            WCSC Secretary: No volunteers

            Newsletter    Robin reported that the Newsletter is almost ready to send out.  Robin wonders if she should list the board members at the bottom of each newsletter.  It was felt that would be a good addition.  She would like to know the names of the board members plus their functions.  Fred will send it to her.

 

           2021 dues collection    Fred thinks we are doing quite well with dues collection.  All of the Creakers and Tennis Club members have paid.  Fred was particularly impressed with Cindy’s figures re the numbers of people who have paid either by check or on the internet.  Fred thinks a lot of people are waiting until the building opens.  Robin says that 577 people have paid their dues.  Jeanne asked if we expect our membership to go up or down due to the new Lyft program.  Fred said you do not have to be a member in order to use Lyft.  There is a lot of resistance to going back to the building IF we are going to have to stay 6 feet apart!  Most groups do not want to go back with those restrictions.  Robin says people are actually refusing to go back to the building with 6-foot restrictions.  The Let’s Sing group has chosen to stay on zoom!  Bob said he thinks things will be different by September.  Kat is making plans for a September reopening.

                           

New Business

      Covid protocols. Everyone got the vaccination protocol that Fred sent (from the Creakers) and wants to know if we should adopt it for everyone.  No decision was made.

 

      Returning to the Senior Center.  September is the tentative reopening date.  Robin said the CDC reports that it is extremely low risk for people to catch Covid by touching.  Fred thinks the majority of groups will not come back to the building until they come back with no restrictions.  Robin mentioned that before Covid, the Bingo group was shoulder to shoulder!  Fred thinks the city is considering the possibility of having the building open less than 5 days per week.  He feels that is why the city is wanting to know which days each group wants to meet.  Cindy wondered if they were trying to ease us out of the building so they could rent to someone else.  Fred doesn’t think so.  Fred said right now we have 9 groups that used to meet in the building and he feels we will probably be down to 6 or 7 groups post-Covid.  Bob volunteered to ask the Trivia group next week how they feel about coming back to the building with restrictions.  Robin feels we should have combination groups both on zoom AND in person.  Regina agreed with Robin and felt we should look into it.  Regarding getting vaccinations, Jeanne said we should realize that not everyone will choose to get vaccinated.

 

 

Pass Through grants. We have had two “Pass through” donations which we are requested to pass on to the City. Do we need a motion? One is a grant for the senior transportation program from John Muir Hospital and the other one is a donation from First Republic Bank for the Senior Club of Walnut Creek. Fred has tried going into First Republic bank to get information about the donation but has previously been unsuccessful.  It was discovered that the bank had made an error in updating the club’s records and did not have Fred as an authorized signer.  This has now been corrected.  There was a discussion between Bob, Jeanne, & Fred regarding the ethics of Kat asking the bank for a donation for the Senior Club without the Senior Club having a copy of her request. The John Muir Hospital grant is $10,000 for the Senior Transportation Program. Fred said the First Republic donation appears to be to fund a city employee to help with the senior citizens of Walnut Creek. Fred feels what Kat is doing is okay because she has told him about it in advance. Jeanne is unsure. Bob was concerned about “unrelated business income.” Fred said he will not sign anything unless and until the Board approves it. He also mentioned that this is the 3rd year in a row we’ve done this. Jeanne said she wants to make sure we have accountability. Cindy & Bob were concerned that we did not have copies of the request to First Republic or a copy of the grant proposal sent to John Muir Hospital.  They were also concerned about “unrelated business income” affecting our standing as a nonprofit group. Bob was also concerned about the potential liability issues associated with the grant, especially since we did not get a copy of the proposal. We are required to sign a grant agreement with John Muir promising, among other things, the proper use of the $10,000 grant and proper reporting and insurance coverage.  When we pay the money to the City, we require that they sign a fiscal sponsorship agreement which basically states that they will hold us harmless for any issues arising out of the grant agreement.  Bob thinks as long as we file the paperwork correctly we should be okay with this particular grant, since it is specifically for assistance to the Senior community. Jeanne feels it’s fine for Kat to try to get grant money for the senior club, but she feels the board should have a copy of what she is doing. Fred feels that as long as he is aware of what she is doing, it is okay. Bob talked some more about “unrelated business income.” He said most people feel 15% (unrelated business income) is the threshold to try to stay under. The $10,000 grant makes Bob uncomfortable from an accountability issue. The issue of the $3500 donation for Spec Rec was raised as a possible accounting issue because Bob feels we can not donate to a non 501c3 organization, which the City is.  Our accounting would have to show the expense as something unrelated to a donation or senior programs.  Bob was unclear about the tax implications.  Jeanne said when she voted to approve this grant she did not realize there might be a problem with the 501C3. Fred says we can legitimately do this but Bob was unsure. Bob said the legitimate way to do this is to have Kat send us an invoice for City Services of some sort. The subject was tabled until next month.

 

Ambassador Reports.   Robin: We have someone interested in leading the investment group.  The Mahjong group is interested in coming back.  PG&E is going to fund Robin’s son to teach Qigong for the city.

 

Rolando said the Walking Buddies are out walking.  Everything looks good.  The walkers all sign waivers for each walk.  Robin said that 15 people downloaded info

 

Donn: Opening day for 2 of the Creakers divisions is tomorrow.  The third division opens on Thursday.  It’s great to be back.  Everyone seems to be enjoying it.  Donn says they have a good PA system and will ask people to spread out for the “opening ceremony.”  Donn will send Robin a photo and a paragraph about opening day.  Donn feels the drone pictures have never been very successful so he will take some pictures himself for Robin.

 

Cindy: See report.  Robin was amazed at everyone who downloaded the coupon.  We will have another coupon this month.  160 people downloaded the coupon.  Robin hopes for more coupons from other restaurants.

 

Meeting Adjourned at 10:48.

Next meeting: May 17, 2021

 

Activities, News

Why Walking Buddies

Photo Above: Twelve Walking Buddies participated in the hike via Larkey Park on May 18, which we described in a recent WCSC newsletter. The picture was taken at the turnaround point by Dan Crowley.

 

by Rolando Salazar

Why do these “old geezers” hike and walk every week, you might ask? I’ve been doing it with the Walking Buddies for more than 12 years and can attest to the benefits and fun that the group provides. We have hikers who are in their 60s, 70s, and 80s.

I worked almost my whole life in an office and really didn’t do any outdoor activities except during vacations until I retired. I tried different activities but didn’t keep up with any of them. When I retired, I started walking for exercise by myself along the Iron Horse Trail and I enjoyed it. One day I read about Walking Buddies in a Walnut Creek Seniors Club newsletter. It piqued my interest. I tried it, joined the group, and enjoyed the walk and the people. ,Every place we went was new to me and I had no idea there were so many trails, open space, and regional parks to do this activity. It became a habit that I looked forward to.I stayed with the activity and eventually, I became one of four coordinators. It led to more years of fun, camaraderie and fitness.

It’s a bunch of nice people. We have retired people from all walks of life. There are also members knowledgeable about wildflowers, birds, and butterflies. It is fun to stop and have someone point out one of nature’s wonders that you had never noticed before. Sometimes it doesn’t even feel like you are near the hustle and bustle of the towns and cities we live in. And it is all right here!

We are meeting weekly only on Tuesdays at 8:45 AM and going to different places for about an hour to an hour and a half. If you are interested and want to try it, send me an email (rsalazar94598@gmail.com) and I will add you to the distribution list. You only need to be a member of the WCSC and agree to the liability waiver. An email is sent weekly with details of the upcoming walk and directions on where we will meet. Try it. I know you will like it!

 

News

Seniors Club Update

from Fred Rentschler, President

I can report that things are slowly getting back to normal at your Seniors Club. During the pandemic we were forced to go to electronic media only to communicate with you. A new program of Zoom meetings was launched and is still going strong. We also rented a sophisticated email newsletter program that allows us to make live links so that members can click and contact services, event organizers and group leaders. This allowed us to connect you with our Zoom activities and with city events. A new garden group and a new Qi Gong group were established via Zoom during the shutdown. The garden group put in a new garden next to the Senior Center. The Walking Buddies had to go on hold during part of the shutdown but are now back on the trail. The Creakers started playing softball this March. So our outdoor activities are up and running.



We delayed membership registration for 2021, hoping to get an idea of when we will be back in the building. We still do not know for sure when the building will reopen but we are planning for a return sometime this summer. Registration for 2021 opened in January and is ongoing. If you have not paid yet, I encourage you to do so soon, either by computer or mail-in. There are links to both options in this monthly newsletter.

News

Neighbors Express Program Continues

Even though the county is moving towards healthier tiers related to COVID 19, the City and the Arts + Recreation Department is committed to supporting its most vulnerable community members. If you are a homebound senior and would like assistance with grocery or library book delivery, please call our Senior Care Coordinator at 925-943-5852 or go to
https://walnutcreek.neighborexpress.org/request

 

News

Advisory Board Minutes for December 21, 2020

Walnut Creek Seniors Club
Advisory Board Meeting
March 15, 2021

Welcome & Call to Order by Fred at 9:30 AM

Present were Fred Rentschler, Bob Mohler, Jody Johnson, Kent Clancy, Robin Wolf, Jeanne Wolf, Donn King, Cindy Mohler, Regina Harwig, Rolando Salazar, Dave Dredge, Kat Reisinger, Preston Jones, Fred Weston.

Fred introduced Preston Jones who will talk to us about donating money to special needs camp.  Preston expressed his appreciation for the $3500 donation from the Senior Club last year which paid for 10 participants for the special needs camp. Preston will be working with both the Senior Club and the special needs club in the future.  Jody asked about the number of kids attending during the summer.

Previously the camp has maxed out at 30 kids with 10 staff members.  However, last year the camp was organized into pods with 14 kids per pod, which will be done again this year, so the maximum will be 3 pods of 14 kids each for 6 weeks this year.  Kids can sign up for as many weeks as they want.  They range in age from 5-21.  It is quite an undertaking for staff with such a diverse age range.  Each participant must be able to eat and toilet themselves.  If they cannot do that, they must bring an aide along with them.  It is a full day camp from 9-3 each day.  This year they will add swim service for each of the participants.  They will also increase the staff at the pool so they will have a higher ratio at the pool.  There are at least 10 families out there who could use scholarships.  Kat interjected that the camp is the city’s most economical camp and many kids are coming with some sort of financial assistance.  Last year the city was also able to fund raise $1800 which also helped include a couple kids.  People who can afford the camp do not apply for the scholarship.  They staff at 5/1 or 4/1 staff members per pod of 14 kids.

 

Approval of Last Meeting Minutes: Approved!

Treasurer’s Report: Bob has been working hard the last two weeks with Creakers and treasurer’s report.  He sent the income statement and balance sheets to everyone.  He reiterated the major income and expenses for the month.  He filed the 1099 form a month late because the forms arrived to him late.  He has spent a majority of his time registering the Creakers.  Currently there are 161 paid and registered members.  (Last year over 200 people registered at this time.)  Tryouts are tomorrow.   Fred commented that the fields won’t be open till Wednesday.

Correspondence ~ none

Manager/Coordinator Kat Reisinger is unsure of the fields’ availability.  There is a struggle with park maintenance to repair fields so she doesn’t know exactly when they will be available.  The issue is finding the balance between resting the fields to let the grass grow and being able to use the fields. She discussed minibus funding sources.  Wendy’s funding will be ending. Transportation is going on right now but funding ends June 30.  It’s been a y ear since we have been able to run our minibus.  We don’t always have staff to run the minibus.  Looking for grant opportunities. Vaccine clinic at Tice is going very well.  Preston is currently housed there. Future of Civic WCSC building is still not resolved. Everyone is anxious to get back but timeline now is that we won’t be able to get back till fall.

Presidents Report: Fred is planning for the Senior Center to be open in  September. A couple weeks ago Kat told Fred that Preston will start doing the city’s zoom events.  Presently we have 10 people doing bingo and 17 doing trivia.  We’d like to have the senior club take it over but we will need to increase their numbers in order to do that.  Robin will put a notice in the newsletter.

 

Unfinished Business

WCSC Secretary – Fred asked if anyone wanted to become the secretary.  There were no volunteers

Newsletter Anyone who has anything to put in the newsletter should send it to Robin.  We used to have 430 people who read the newsletter and now we have 730.  We are sending out 1200.  We are way above 60%.  Jody helps Robin by writing some articles.  Fred contributes jokes.  Cindy changed the newsletter format so that people could print only one article or one page and we had 70 people who did that.  Thinking about restaurant coupons in the future.  Thanks to Cindy for her contribution.

2021 dues collection: Bob said that over 230 people have signed up on the Perfect Mind site.  We don’t know how many checks have been sent.

Rolando asked about parking permits which we’ve had in the past.  Kat reported that the parking permits will come back when we open the building.

We will not have the membership figures from Carol at the city until the end of the quarter.  David thinks people will resent paying dues when the center is not open.  He thinks we’ve lost contact with all our members.  Robin doesn’t agree because of all the people who are reading the newsletter.  Robin thinks people join as a civic contributions.  Some people are actually asking to pay their dues.  Garden club is getting good speakers and there are many other good things happening.  Jody agreed with Robin.  David says he could agree if he knew how many people had signed up.  Robin says that Carol said 230 have paid as of one month ago.  We are currently over 300 not counting the Creakers.

Kat forgot to mention we are using Peg money from TV to create new learning spaces on zoom in addition to in person for those who don’t want to come downtown.  Bob said zoom is fairly cheap: $15 per month.

Garden Group. Jane West is head of the Garden Group.  Terrific group of speakers once a month on zoom right now. Some people are growing plants in their homes right now to be planted later.  Also, Bob Simmons wanted to extend the Creek walk so he would like a series of mini-gardens and we have just put the first one in.  Plants are small but they should be big by the time we are back in the building.  All are native to CC County.  All were chosen by Leslie Hunt.  The money was raised by Let’s Sing in memory of one of our members who passed away.  When the fields open up we will have members come and work in the fields.  Robin goes to the building daily to water the plants but she needs the code to be able to get water at the building.  Kat is working on it.

New Business: Jeanne thinks we should donate the same amount of money to the special needs camp as last year.  Bob says any amount we donate will come out of reserves.  Jody moved that we donate $3500 to Preston & Jody seconded the motion. The motion passed 8 yes, 1 no. Kat will let Bob know where the money should be sent.

 

Creaker application update: Creakers have been told they can start playing in the next 2 weeks.  Bob, Cindy and Don have been doing an incredible amount of work in preparation for this.  Don said he has been shuffling players to accommodate those who are not coming back.  They are using tractors and farm equipment to aerate the infield.  He feels they are ready to go.  The teams will practice for about a month before they begin the season.

Fred: Creakers have developed a protocol regarding Covid which he thinks the Senior Center should copy. Fred will send it out and the board will discuss it next time. Vaccinations are considered experimental so we cannot require anyone to get the vaccine. Also, there are some privacy issues with regard to asking people whether they’ve had the vaccine.  The greatest issue, as Fred sees it, are the players who are under 65 who cannot get the vaccine yet and are most vulnerable to getting the disease.

Kat says the city found a program which they will be using for the camps which will be sent to every camp participant every morning.  Each camp participant will need to click on and answer 3 questions, and their answers will approve (or disapprove) them to be safe in camp on that day.

Ambassador Reports: Robin, Qi Gong has more than 20 participants each month. Jody said she still gets asked about travel quite often.  Fred is hopeful that we might do something regarding travel together with Pleasant Hill.  Rolando is planning to begin Walking Buddies the second week of April.  He has written something for the April newsletters.

 

PROS Commission: Fred Weston announced that he has sold his home in WC and is in the process of moving to Tucson, AZ, so this will be his last meeting with the Advisory Board.  He will be greatly missed and everyone wished him well.

Meeting Adjourned at 10:53.

 

Next meeting: April 19, 2021