Archive for February, 2011

Last Friday the libraries were closed for Lincoln’s Birthday so this little monkey took a field trip to visit one of my all time favorites, Curious George!

Happy@thelibrary is happy @ the museum

Curious George is the creation of Margret and  H.A. Rey. I loved seeing the Rey’s original artwork and was engrossed by the story of their escape from occupied France to New York during World War II. There are strong parallels between the Rey’s true life story and Curious George’s travels and escapades.

This wonderful exhibit runs through March 13th. See the Contemporary Jewish Museum website for information on current and upcoming exhibits.  Library cardholders can borrow a museum pass at the Fremont Main Library.  The pass admits for two adults; there is no charge for those ages 18 and under.  Call  (510) 745-1401 to reserve a museum pass.

If you miss the show, you can still read The journey that saved Curious George : the true wartime escape of Margret and H.A. Rey / by Louise Borden and, of course, enjoy the numerous Curious George books and movies.

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Did You Know?

Did You Know?

Besides material in English, Alameda County libraries carry collections in several community languages.

Chinese, Hindi, Farsi, and Vietnamese are the ones most in demand in the  Fremont area.

Depending on availability for purchase, the library collects material in these languages for children, teens and adults.

Depending on availability of the formats, we collect books, DVDs, CD books and music CDs in these languages.

Fremont library users love our DVDs!

The Indian film industry, known as Bollywood, produces over one thousand movies each year, the largest number in the world movie industry.

Bollywood movies are watched in countries with NRI (non-resident Indian) population in Europe, Southeast Asia, Canada, the US, Australia, New Zealand, and some African countries.

Regular movie theaters in the Bay area also play some Bollywood movies along with Hollywood movies.

A new Hindi movie, Band Baja Barat, was recently playing on Big Cinemas in Fremont and Century Theater in Union City.  A young and ambitious woman, Anushka Sharma, assisted by her male partner, Ranveer Singh, starts her own business of wedding planning and makes it a big success. It is a pretty good and funny movie. If you get a chance, go catch it!!

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Watch How Heartburn Works?

Seriously.  You read about it, hear about it, or experience it firsthand.  Now you can watch it on a VIDEO!

Anatomy books (in 611, 611.00222 and 612 areas) are very popular in the library.  Besides books, there are videos that may prove helpful with the study.  For example, we can learn by watching health videos on topics such as human anatomy and surgical procedures on MEDLINE Plus.  Click on the Videos & Cool Tools tab, then on the Anatomy Videos big button (in the middle) and take your pick! 


And if you dare, check out the various Videos of Surgical Procedures.    And just in case you are curious about Coronary Artery Bypass Graft

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Jews and African Americans, as two distinct ethnic groups, historically struggled for freedom and searched for a homeland, but each group felt in the other’s music the deep sentiments of their common history.  “Black Sabbath-the Secret Musical History of Black-Jewish Relations” is an album that the Idelsohn Society for Musical Preservation released in September.  The album showcases African American artists from the 1930s to the 1960s singing Jewish songs, including Johnny Mathis, who made a special visit on February 3 to the San Francisco Contemporary Jewish Museum for “A Johnny Mathis Homecoming”.  An exhibition at the museum bears the album’s name and runs through March 22.  A visit to this exhibit at the CJM is one way to mark National Black History Month this month.  Visitors can relax in a gallery where tracks from the album are piped in, and headphones are available at listening stations where more song titles are available.  A sampling of the music can be heard at http://bit.ly/d0xx4d.

The Contemporary Jewish Museum website has information on current and future exhibits.  Museum passes are available at the Fremont Main Library for library cardholders to borrow.  Each pass allows admission for two adults; there is no charge for those ages 18 and under.   Contact the Fremont Main Library at tel. (510) 745-1401 to reserve a museum pass.

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Issues in Mental Health Nursing

Image via Wikipedia


Date: February 16th and February 23rd, 2011

Location:  Washington High School Cafeteria 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.       

In addition to the normal ups and downs of childhood and teen life, more serious problems can occur. Depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, addiction and bi-polar are mental health issues that also can affect our children, and today’s parents want more information to help them recognize and work effectively with these serious situations. Whether your family is currently dealing with one of these problems or you just want to be more informed, come to these meetings on mental health and our kids.

It will cover signs of mental health problems, resources available for help,  and learning strategies parents can use to help children and teens develop the emotional resilience they need to respond appropriately to the challenges and frustrations of growing up.

If you are interested in attending, you need to RSVP at  lorinaylor@gmail.com

Instructor: Elaine Culverwell, a marriage and family therapist, has over 20 years of experience working with the kids and parents of Fremont. She is a former teacher in the Fremont Unified School District and now teaches parenting classes for Fremont’s Youth and Family Services.

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Beware of Gift Tax Rules!

What we learned from the Estate Planning Seminar at the Fremont Main Library held on January 24:

The gift tax law is complex and we best leave specific situations to the lawyers, but there are some simple and every day common mistakes most people make.

For instance, if you put your child or other relative on your savings account, give your child some stock, and perhaps put your house in a joint account with your child or favorite relative they will inherit a huge tax burden!

To put someone, outside of your spouse, on a savings account incurs a gift tax and the IRS keeps track of your giving every year. You are entitled to give 13,000 (this year and last year) to someone,  but any amount above that will incur a gift tax which needs to be paid or this extra amount will be taken off the life cap of 5 million (1 million in 2010). This gift tax amounts to 35% this year and in 2010. Beware of 2013 when the life time cap may again be 1 million with a 45% tax rate above the amount unless the estate gift tax law is repealed.

If you gave someone (outside of your spouse) stock or added them to the deed of your house that person will incur a heavy tax when they try to sell the stock or the house since they will be the owner of the basis of the property plus any added value or capital gains. If you pass these properties at death then all appreciation is wiped out and there are no capital gains to be paid. Also, with real property, creditors may have access to the property. Also, think of the gift consequences when you make this transfer, it could be huge since it is over the 13,000 limit.

Take advantage of giving a gift this year to someone which is less than 13,000, but you can give a gift to as many people as you wish. With your spouse you can give up to 26,000 to any one recipient. Never name your child on your property or your stock if you love them, instead pass it on at death.

 Below is an article from Forbes which summarizes the Gift Tax Law.

Gift Tax Under The 2010 Tax Relief Act (P.L. 111-312): Different Rules For 2010, 2011 & 2012

Dec. 29 2010 – 8:25 pm | 8,884 views | 1 recommendation | 5 comments


The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010, P.L. 111-312 (2010 Tax Relief Act), which President Obama signed into law on December 17, 2010, makes significant changes to the gift tax. 

Different Years, Different Rules


The 2010 Tax Relief Act keeps the gift tax rate and exemption the same as it was under the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (EGTRRA): 35% tax rate and $1 million exemption for individuals. 

2011 and 2012

The 2010 Tax Relief Act keeps the gift tax rate at 35% for 2011 and 2012, but the gift tax will be significantly different in 2011 and 2012. 

(1) Higher exemption. The gift tax exemption for 2011 and 2012 is increased from $1 million to $5 million for individuals. So, individuals who used their entire $1 million gift tax exemption prior to 2011 will be able to gift an additional $4 million in 2011 and 2012 without incurring a gift tax. 

(2) Unified exemption. The gift tax exemption will be reunified with the estate tax exemption, starting 2011. 

(3) Indexed for inflation. Starting 2012, the gift tax exemption will be indexed for inflation. 

(4) Portable. In 2011 and 2012, the gift tax exemption will be portable. Portability allows a surviving spouse to use the amount of estate and gift tax exemption not used by the decedent spouse. For an explanation, see Deborah L. Jacobs, Married Couple’s Guide To The New Estate Tax Law, Forbes, Dec. 23, 2010. 


This table provides a summary of the gift tax rules in 2010, 2011, and 2012 (references are to the text of 2010 Tax Relief Act, as introduced by Senator Reid (PDF)): 

 Gift Tax Strategies

The changes that the 2010 Tax Relief Act has a number of implications for estate planning. 

(1) Changes year-end planning. 

Many older, wealthy people were waiting until the end of the year to make large taxable gifts. Under EGTRRA, there was no estate tax in 2010, but it was scheduled to return in 2011 with an exemption of $1 million and a tax rate of 55% (60% in some cases). Also, under EGTRRA, the gift tax rate was scheduled to jump from 35% in 2010 to 55% in 2011 (with an exemption of $1 million). The idea was to make large taxable gifts and pay a gift tax of 35%. A transfer in 2010 under EGTRRA would have saved at least 20% compared to a transfer (either during life or upon death) under the rules that were scheduled for 2011. A 20% tax savings is significant. 

The 2010 Tax Relief Act changes this year-end planning. Taxable gifts for clients in the $5 to $10 million dollar range probably should not be made in 2010. The reason for this is that the exemption under the 2010 Tax Relief Act jumps from $1 million in 2010 to $5 million in 2011. So, by waiting just a few days, money can be transferred by gift without incurring a gift tax. 

(2) Limits the 2010 GST tax opportunity. 

As I wrote in an earlier post, Congress provided the wealthy a tremendous generation-skipping transfer tax opportunity just for 2010. The 2010 Tax Relief Act reinstated the GST tax in 2010. But Congress is providing a GST tax “holiday” because the GST tax rate in 2010 is 0%. 

The $1 million gift tax exemption in 2010 acts as a limit or cap to the 2010 GST tax opportunity. At a minimum, it makes decisions regarding whether to take advantage or pass on Congress’ 2010 GST tax gift more complicated. 

Still, distributions in 2010 from non-exempt GST tax trusts can generally be made without incurring a gift tax. (If you have further questions about the GST tax opportunity in 2010 and whether it is right for you, you should consult your estate planning advisor immediately. Time is of the essence as this opportunity is only around for a few more days.) 

(3) Creates gifting opportunities in 2011 and 2012. 

The gift tax in 2011 and 2012 will be levied at a rate of 35% and with an exemption of $5 million that is portable. 

(a) People who were once limited by the $1 million gift tax exemption will be able to gift up to the new limit. 

(b) The $5 million exemption can be stretched with proper estate planning. Congress did not change the rules for grantor retained annuity trusts or for valuation discounts. It had been threatening to significantly restrict these estate planning tools. So, they can be used in 2011 and 2012 (so far). (Further, planners who make seed gifts before selling to intentionally defective grantor trusts will use the higher exemption to transfer tremendous amounts of wealth. I am planning to discuss this strategy in a separate post.) 

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Scrabble Anyone?

I play Scrabble.

One of the joys of Scrabble is to discover new words, especially words of 7 letters. That’s a bingo, worth 50 points if you can play it.

Thanks to the robot, I learned about utilidors, huge, underground utility tunnels underneath the Alaskan tundra or Disney World. Aphanite is an igneous rock, so fine grained that the crystals don’t show on the surface. And reredos, an ornamental screen behind an altar brings up romantic images of Spanish or Mexican churches.

However, you can have fun too and try out your words with live people. The Fremont Main Library holds a Scrabble Game Night once a month. The next Scrabble Game Night is Monday, February 14, 2011, from 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. Do drop-in at 7 p.m., when we match folks up according to skill. All ages are welcome! We have anywhere from about 20 adults and families.

Please join us next Monday.
For more information, write ntucker@aclibrary.org

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I picked up The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein ,because two very different male friends had read it and couldn’t stop talking about it. I’m glad I did; because despite being not my usual type of book, it was well worth my time. Art of Racing is the story of a very happy family where things go horribly wrong. If it wasn’t for the narrator I would have found the story clichéd and melodramatic. The narrator is Enzo , the family dog. We meet Enzo at the end of his life and find that not only is he smarter than average dog, but he is wiser than many humans. Enzo biggest ambition to be reincarnated as a human . His biggest frustration – his inability to communicate. He is , after all , only a dog.The sory is funny, sometimes very dark, sad, bu in the end, uplifting.

Request it here for yourself or here for your book club. and if you would like to know more about Garth Stein, read here.

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Check out these Book Talks done by kids!

Click on the picture to the left to see the videos on the Centerville Library Glogster page. If you would like to participate in the Centerville Library Kids Book Discussion Club join us the second Thursday of every month. You can record your own Book Talk and be featured on the Centerville Library Glogster Blog and Facebook page.

Join us today (Feb 10th) at the Centerville Library from 4:30-5:30

If you can’t make it today, contact Elizabeth to find out when our next meeting will be.

510-795-2629 or egamell@aclibrary.org

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Bay Area Author

Matthew Fox 

To encounter Matthew Fox in writing or in person is to be exposed to high-level scholarship, an incredible variety of stories and life experiences, his sharp wit and sense of humor, and potentially the most spiritually liliberating learning experience one can have….(By Richie Townsend from Creation Spirituality website)

Library books by Matthew fox


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