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This month the City of Fremont (Rachel DiFranco Cc’d), along with neighboring communities throughout the East Bay, launched a limited time solar group purchase (bulk-buy) program for residents. In just 1.5 weeks almost 200 residents have signed up for East Bay SunShares, which pools the power of the community to make solar simple and more affordable than ever.

East Bay SunShares is available to both residents as well as anyone employed or doing business in Fremont but living elsewhere in the Bay Area and there is no cost or obligation for residents to see if solar could be a good fit for their home through the program. Two local solar installation firms, selected by a community evaluation committee, are working with residents to schedule site evaluations and provide discounted proposals. Participants who decide to move forward with their project have until November 6th to sign a contract and take advantage of the federal tax credit which is scheduled to expire in 2016. Although we’ve seen a terrific response, Fremont is seeking additional outreach partners to help spread the word broadly. We are reaching out to ask you to help the City build a huge solar community – faster. If you’re able to send an email blast, post to social media and/or include an informational article in your next newsletter to your members/co-workers/friends/neighbors, we’d be deeply appreciative.

Please find attached template outreach materials for your use (email blast, flyers, etc.). We have also posted social media copy and the program logo to the News & Events page of the program website:

http://www.mygroupenergy.com/group/eastbaysunshares/news/

Please note, Vote Solar is the non-profit program administrator on behalf of the City of Fremont. Should you have any questions about the program, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Thank you!

September: Time to take Stock

the new youWhen I think of September my thoughts usually go to the changing of the seasons, cooler nights, school starting,and the thought that the holidays are almost upon us again (didn’t we just celebrate Christmas?).

I’ve always thought of January 1, New Year’s Day, as the time we decide to make changes in ourselves.  So it’s somewhat of a surpise to find that September is also officially Self-Improvement month. While I couldn’t find how this month originated, I do know that many of us are always seeking to improve ourselves in different areas of our lives.  While you don’t need a celebration of self-improvement month to get started, it might just give you that little push you’ve been needing to take action.

Check out the Internet.  There are many, many sites that give you ideas on how to improve yourself. Lifehack.org alone, has an article giving you 42 ways you can improve yourself. Other websites have day to day guides for self-improvement.  These are worthwhile articles, and will help you reach your potential.  We all can and should do things that make us healthier and wiser.  

I have a bit of a different take on what I can do to improve myself and my world.  It’s really very simple and difficult at the same time.  It has often been called the Golden Rule. I need to work more on treating other people the way I want to be treated.  I have to say this is something I am always striving to do, but I think self-improvement month is a good time to focus on it.  It’s not earth-shattering, but I feel better about myself when I am more patient, less angry, and more tolerant of others and myself.  That’s simple to say, and as I’ve already indicated difficult to do. So I’m going to try and stop myself from thinking,  saying and doing things that hurt others, and more importantly, my own spirit. I’m going to accept  other people’s kindness and pass it on to the best of my ability.  In my own small way, I will improve myself and the space I occupy. Maybe this is unrealistic, but I am going to try, and, hopefully, be better for the effort.

Art Therapy

Art therapy is a broad term used to refer to the practice of creating as a way to heal wounds of the mind or spirit. While art therapists are employed with increasing frequency at hospitals, nursing homes, in schools, and in treatment programs for a wide swatch of ailments, the rejuvenating, stress-busting results of such a practice are something we can all benefit from.

The following suggestions are simple ways to explore your inner creative voice while turning off the negative influences that so often get in the way. They may not all work for you, but hopefully one or more of the following techniques will serve as the artistic equivalent of a long, hot bath.

  • Design a postcard you don’t intend to send whether it’s a love note to someone you’re not ready to confess your feelings to, or an angry rant you know is better left unsaid, sometimes enumerating all the details helps deflate the issue at hand.
  • Cut and paste a painting to create a collage create a painting on a material like paper or cardboard. When you’re finished, cut or tear it up. Then use the pieces as building blocks for a new artwork
  • Build an altar to a loved one take inspiration from folk art and create an altar honoring a unique relationship between you and another person, living or not.
  • Draw in Darkness so much of the stress we experience when making art comes from the judgments and criticism that seem unavoidable every step of the way. Try creating artwork in total darkness to make art free from that inner art critic inside your head.
  • Watercolor your bodily state lie down and close your eyes. Visualize your body as you breathe in and out. Try to imagine your breath as a particular color as it enters your body, another color as it exits. What do you see? Draw an outline of a body on a large sheet of paper, and inside, create a watercolor based on your bodily state. Think about what these colors mean to you, where they are densest, where they are most opaque. Think of this as the most relaxing self-portrait you’ll ever create.

Excerpts from Huffington Post and Life hack

Books on Art therapy @ Library

Articles on Art therapy @ library

view more videos on art therapy on American Art Therapy Association

Free Movie in the Park

movies under the stars

Join everybody for a Friday Night Movie this Summer.

On Friday, August 21, movie HOME* will be shown on a big screen at the Central Park Performance Pavilion.  Grab a picnic dinner, blanket and beach chairs, and come to have a fun night with your community fellows.

Pizza, hot dogs, popcorn, ice cream and much more will be available for purchase.

The movie will start after the sun sets, and is free.

For more information and updates, visit here.

*Featured movie may be subject to change.

Shoutbomb is here!

Shoutbomb

To sign up:

  1. Using your text-messaging capable phone, text message the word SIGNUP to aclibrary@shoutbomb.com
  2. A reply will ask you for your library card number.
  3. Reply to the text with your library card number.
  4. The next reply will ask for your email address. Enter your email address or text NOMAIL if you do not wish to receive emails.
  5. There should be one final message to complete the process.

Common command words include:

RESEND -To have Shoutbomb resend its last message.

ADDEMAIL -To add or update an email address.

IOWEU—To see current total fees/fines.

HELP – Will list all available keywords.

ADDCARD -To add another card to your account.

QUIT— To stop Shoutbomb SMS. Will prompt for library card number.

SWITCHPHONE— Update phone # or provider.

If you want to cancel any notices, you can text:

OVERDUE to stop overdue notices

RENEW to stop renewal notices

HOLDS to stop hold notices

FEES to stop fees/fines notices

Sign up now and start receiving text alerts from your library!

Medical Resources

First of all, if you have questions about a medical condition, a medical term, its implications, treatments, etc., the BEST place to go is your doctor and/or medical staff in her/his office.

However, if you are waiting for your appointment and your lab test is available online, or if you’re wondering about general knowledge about a condition that is new to you, you will find some basic information in our electronic databases. You just need to log in with your library card number and last name, and you have access! We have the Merck manual home health handbook and other resources for information about symptoms experienced, or home health. Many of these can be checked out from the branches.

From our homepage, aclibrary.org, if you click the Research tab and search the Subject Guides  for Health, you will find a tab that then indicates Diseases & Conditions. Near the bottom, there are links to web sites for specific conditions such as Asthma, Diabetes and Flu, Addiction. There is also a link to Cancer.gov which has a clearinghouse of resources provided by the National Cancer Institute, including links to other patients and what they are experiencing. You can look up a specific type and see any new articles that mention that type. For instance, a relatively new (15 months) drug that might be effective on prostate cancer, etc…For school reports, there is a link to the World Health Organization, with top stories on the fight against ebola, hepatitis, and immunization against other key diseases in the world.

Another way to search online databases is under the A-Z Resources, then Subject (A-H): Health & Medicine. There is a link to medline PLUS, a web site organized by the National Institutes of Health. Again you can search by disease or topic, or search drugs & supplements.

I found Diseases & Conditions one helpful place to start when researching a medical condition for a family member. Of course, it’s best to talk to your medical professional before and after you look for information on your own. Not something we want to think about, but when we need a little bit of information between doctor visits, it’s great to have reliable sources.

Happy Sister’s Day

sisters dayThere is a plethora of days to celebrate throughout the year.  Most don’t catch our attention.  But as I looked at the calendar for August to get an idea for this blog, one day stood out to me: Sister’s Day.  Sister’s Day, which is on August 2, celebrates the bond between biological sisters. It’s a day to be especially kind to your sister.  So if you have a sister nearby or not , let her know how special she is to you.  After all, you grew up together, and you and she know things no one else does about your family and each other.

I had a sister who was 5 1/2 years older than me.  We  got along okay, not great.  I wanted to be close, she did not.  However, when there was a crisis in the family, it amazed me how much we thought alike and responded to the event.  That was really the only time we were close, and I’ve always felt a sadness that it could not be different.  My sister died some 14 years ago, and I still think about her often. Especially as I’ve passed her age, and wonder what it would be like if she were still here.

I was not happy without a sister. I needed someone to be more than a friend, to be the sister I missed..  I have been very fortunate.  i have some wonderful friends, and a support network that I can rely on when I need help.  And I have needed help over the years due to health problems. One day I met a co-worker, and we became very good friends.  I asked her if she would be my sister. She is the oldest of 3 sisters, but is younger than me.  She said she would, and now I am a big sister and she is my little sister.  We don’t always talk a lot or see each other a lot, especially since she has another job, but it is wonderful to know she is there if I need her.

So if you don’t have a sister, or have lost your sister, you can always create that relationship with someone special in your life.  And being a librarian, I, of course, have a three “sister” books to recommend. The main one that comes to mind is a beautiful novel by Chita Divakaruni called “Sister of My Heart”.Also, Louisa May Alcott’s classic “Little Women” about the March sisters is a fun, and at times, heartbreaking story. I laughed a lot when reading the “Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood” by Rebecca Wells.  There are many more out there, just Google “Sister novels”. In fact. you will find a list of 270 such books on Goodreads.

Remember to celebrate “Sister’s Day” on August 2, with a sister, biological or not. Women can be wonderful sisters to one another!

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